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  1. #1
    DetailingDude
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    Default My Car Care Philosophy (Part 1)

    I guess I sould introduce my overall car care philosophy. My goal for every car is to achieve what I call "Maximum Optical Clarity". There are various things on the surface of your car that are either absorbing the sunlight (surface contaminants) or refracting the sunlight (surface blemishes).

    I hope by this point most of you have read my posts "The Ultimate Clay Bar Guide", "My Ultimate Wheel Care Guide" and "What is a Swirl". Now I hope that this can build on those posts to help you understand paint and how to care for it.

    Step 1:
    The first thing that I do when I detail a car is get rid of everything on that paint that is not the paint itself. This has to be done in stages. The first thing that should be done is giving your car a pH balanced wash. I do not recommend using Dawn as it the Alkalines in it can begin to strip the oils out of your black plastic trim and also get into areas that you aren't going to be able to get with wax. Regardless if a car is new or not I would not use dawn.

    Step 2:
    The next thing I do is Clay the entire car. See "The Ultimate Clay Bar" for tips on claying and clay bar selection. I clay EVERYTYHING that has a hard surface: Windows, Side Mirrors, Headlights, Taillights, Chrome etc.

    Step 3:
    Then I De-Wax the entire painted surfaces with 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. Sometimes a car will arrive with some light surface scratchs that are just in the layer of wax. It also gets rid of Road Tar on the lower surfaces. Sometimes if there is some Alkaline water spotting or Acid Rain spotting the wax will have absorbed the damage and once the wax is removed the damage is actually gone.

    Step 4:
    At this point I do a full paint analysis. Using an opposing light source I look for swirls, surface blemishes, light surface scratches, oxidization etc. I want to find anything that was not factory paint. I decide, at this point, what needs to be treated in what manner.

    Many detailers out there choose speed over quality. What I mean by speed over quality is that many detailers use products that are designed for speed and not what is best for the paint. Most detailers just break out the Alkaline-based cleaners and blast away with hot water. Then they break out the buffer and grind away at the paint.

    This is what I do to every car that I do my initial detail on. I suggest that you do this to your Corvette this winter while you have the chance. Once you get it down to just the factory painted surface, and blemish-free you can put multiple layers of wax (Be that wax Lusso, Mother's, Meguiar's, P21S, Pinnacle, Zaino, or Zymol). With multiple layers of wax you can increase the depth of shine and the clarity of the color and increase the integrity of the protection. And then you can have "Maximum Optical Clarity".

  2. #2
    Gone but not forgotten Ken's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the tips Dude.

    I'll "stick" it to the top so it won't get lost.

    _ken

  3. #3
    Site Administrator Rob's Avatar
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    1990 ZR-1 (Canadian) Bright Red / Black

    Default

    Awesome information! Thanks Dude!!
    Rob Loszewski, Owner & Site Administrator
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    "Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." - Sun Tzu

    1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 , 350 Stock ZF 6-speed. Stock Bright Red

  4. #4
    les
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    Default

    Let me make sure of this . You clay the car , then de-wax?

  5. #5
    DetailingDude
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    Default

    Originally posted by les
    Let me make sure of this . You clay the car , then de-wax?
    Wash to free up and loose dirt

    Clay release trapped dirt

    De-Wax remove the wax

    Remove surface blemishes

    Begin waxing.

  6. #6
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    GS Diva's Avatar
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    2016 Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic Z06

    Default

    As one who is constantly looking for just the right method and products to make my Corvette looks its very best, I have to say I'm loving your posts! Keep up the good work!

    Elaine


    2016 Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic Z06


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  7. #7
    DetailingDude
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    Default

    Originally posted by GS Diva
    As one who is constantly looking for just the right method and products to make my Corvette looks its very best, I have to say I'm loving your posts! Keep up the good work!

    Elaine
    I have received so much in the way of nice comments. I am trying to spread out my posts so that everybody has a reason to check back here periodically.

    Soon I will begin posting some rather fun detailing tips called, "Why Didn't I Think Of That?"

    Thanks for the support!

    DD

  8. #8
    Member Wamp's Avatar
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    Default Lets get this clear

    Detail dude

    In your process:
    1. wash car
    2. clay bar
    3. remove wax
    4. wax

    if the clay bar gets the contaminents off, (the wax being the protective coating so the contaminents dont reach the paint) why should I not strip wax then claybar the paint surface getting rid of any contaminents that were left after dewaxing?

    wamp

  9. #9
    DetailingDude
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    Default Re: Lets get this clear

    Originally posted by Wamp
    Detail dude

    In your process:
    1. wash car
    2. clay bar
    3. remove wax
    4. wax

    if the clay bar gets the contaminents off, (the wax being the protective coating so the contaminents dont reach the paint) why should I not strip wax then claybar the paint surface getting rid of any contaminents that were left after dewaxing?

    wamp
    If you find that works for you then that is great. The reason that I suggest this way is that the washing lifts the loose dirt, the clay lifts the dirt that has bonded to the wax, then I DeWax. If, during the claying process, you for some reason you don't fold your clay as frequently as you should and you put a very light surface scratch it would most likely be in the wax and not the paint.

    If you find that you are getting your desired retults then by all means go with what you know!

  10. #10
    Member Wamp's Avatar
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    '74 Yellow/Tan int '96 Black/Black int LT4

    Default thnks

    I see your point now, I thought the way the steps were written the claybaring would be useless since most everything would come off with dewaxing anyway. I have never used one before, but read alot about it here on forum and want to try it out. anything special you use on chrome, I use turtle wax chrome polish on my sidepipes but don't know if it's good or not. what do you use on wetherstripping? I have some old wax in crevices, I have tried plain water and tooth brush without much luck, any ideas?

    Wamp

  11. #11
    DetailingDude
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    Default Re: thnks

    Originally posted by Wamp
    I see your point now, I thought the way the steps were written the claybaring would be useless since most everything would come off with dewaxing anyway. I have never used one before, but read alot about it here on forum and want to try it out. anything special you use on chrome, I use turtle wax chrome polish on my sidepipes but don't know if it's good or not. what do you use on wetherstripping? I have some old wax in crevices, I have tried plain water and tooth brush without much luck, any ideas?

    Wamp
    Here's quick and easy one: http://corvetteactioncenter.com/foru...threadid=21233

  12. #12
    Member Wamp's Avatar
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    '74 Yellow/Tan int '96 Black/Black int LT4

    Default 3m de wax

    detail dude

    am at the 3M dewax point, cant really tell if it takes the wax off but I do have a haze on the car now. Should I wash it with plain water after this 3m dewax to get rid of the 3m that may be on car and old wax. I do have oxidation in some spots, what to do with that?

    Wamp
    Wamp
    "74 Stingray Coupe
    "96 Coupe (LT4)

  13. #13
    DetailingDude
    Guest

    Default Re: 3m de wax

    I am at the 3M dewax point, cant really tell if it takes the wax off but I do have a haze on the car now. Should I wash it with plain water after this 3m dewax to get rid of the 3m that may be on car and old wax. I do have oxidation in some spots, what to do with that?

    Dang it. I spent the weekend with my family and I hope I am not too late. Not Dang it that I spent the weekend with the fam! Anyway, If you use the 3M GPAC to DeWax I am sure it is.

    Ok, you are right where you should be. You have inspected the surface, right? With the light areas of oxidation I suggest that you first use the clay bar on those areas to minimize it. Then use a non-abrasive surface prep to get the oxidation. Here's why I suggest the non-abrasive product: I am not sure what year your 'Vette is, but the clear coat was regurlarly used AFTER 1987 so I am assuming that yours is pre-87. If it is oxidizing now it was before and I don't know how much 'servicable paint' there is. Abrasives don't know when to stop working. When you stop working they stop working. I just don't like using abrasives if there is a safe alternative. (Zymol's HD-Cleanse, Lusso Paint Revitalizing Creme, Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion, P21S Paintwork Cleanser are a few). They should do the trick.

    I don't know what system you use, but if you tell me it I will try to find the product equivalent for that MFR.

  14. #14
    Member Wamp's Avatar
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    '74 Yellow/Tan int '96 Black/Black int LT4

    Default 3 wax jobs

    It wasnt oxidation on my paint. It looked like it at first, but the car has been repainted and this is a light area that did not get full coverage.

    We followed your process and I do have pics. For waxing I first used Mcguires swirl remover, the Mcguires final inspection, and then mcguires gold. Figure a few more coats of the final inspection and gold she'll blind people.

  15. #15
    RubyDropTop
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    Default

    Very nice photo, Wamp! Lookin' good!!

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