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Thread: Recommendations for Newbies
06-19-04, 08:18 #1
Recommendations for Newbies
When newbies ask for recommendations for "full details", including first-time marring removal, they are bombarded with recommendations. There are just *so* many good products out there...and so many factors that need to be taken into account, such as ease-of-use, effectiveness, and product compatibility.
Many of these people are working by hand (no PC), and as most of us "old hands" know, removing marring by hand isn't easy.
While each of us has our favorites (which we can debate forever), newbies just want to make a huge improvement (*in their eyes*) with minimal effort and a nice, steep learning curve (lots of learning over a short period of time).
I sometimes worry that we recommend products/procedures that are either too hard/complicated or potentially ineffective when employed by beginners. Consider that people often try, unsuccessfully, to remove marring in b/c with Meg's #9 or 3M SMR. Think of how DACP (a very good product) can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it and may/may not need a follow up with a milder product. As for AIO/SG- *I* think the K twins are incredibly user-friendly, but plenty of people think otherwise (especially about SG). Sealants often require an alcohol spritzer, which sounds sorta over-the-top to many people, and which might uncover marring best left "concealed", at least for a beginner.
Some of the non-Autopians I'm coaching in this stuff are teaching me that we might need to keep the whole thing *VERY* simple and easy or they'll just say "forget it" and go back to cleaner-wax or even the neighborhood carwash.
So what's the easiest approach for a first-timer that's likely to give good results?
My $0.02- I haven't found *any* polishes that work as well by hand as 1Z (and I think they're pretty tough to beat by machine as well), and they leave wax behind, so immediate LSPing isn't really mandatory (good after a long day of polishing). Meg's #80 is about the only other thing I can think of that fits the bill, but I haven't tried PoorBoy's stuff. I'm still sorta undecided about a LSP to recommend over them, though. I'd like to say Meg's #16, but some think it's hard to use. Maybe Souveran, but it's sorta expensive. So I guess S100- it's easy (pretty much fool-proof) and cheap and can be found at Harley dealers.
That makes *my* newbie recommendation 1Z polishes (probably Paint Polish) or Meg's Speed Glaze, topped with S100. Soliciting other opinions....Too Many ads? Becoming a member of Autopia has its privileges. Sign up here .
The most interesting man in all of Autopia Land. (<--I didn't enter that!)
06-19-04, 08:52 #2
That sounds about right. I tried so many times to remove swirls with SMR and i never saw a thing being removed or filled. Frustrating to say the least. The 1z's are awesome! But MP is just too mild. Someone here called it a cleaner wax and that sounds about right. Great post.
Another tip: You might have to divide your polishing into days because you will start to get sloppy as you get tired.
06-19-04, 09:00 #3
Before I got my PC...1Z PP was the best to use by hand for me anyways.Can't argue that one. I like using #16 now but I could see where some could have trouble using it.Good write up.
06-19-04, 09:34 #4
I agree with the 1Z polishes for newbie but let's not forget Glanz Wax. A really great but underrated LSP, easy to apply and remove.
I also try to supply newb's with links to all the "important" stuff.....the eBook, the "learn" buttom and the Definitive PC thread. Sometimes searching for a particular term can be quite overwhelming but these basic links can get them on a get start if they take the time to read. I know I learned a tremendous amount of knowledge from the eBook and the PC threads. I throw in my nod to 1Z but I think some just prefer the over-the-counter products and the eBook and such explains a lot about the mainstay products that are tried and true.'96 Jeep Cherokee Country - White - Gray Leather Interior
'02 Volkswagen Passat GLX - Reflex Silver - Black Leather Interior - 5 spd Manual
06-19-04, 02:39 #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
I think it is a bit difficult because I think it depends on the person. For instance, recommending a 3 step system by Mothers or Meguiars for instance is an easy way to introduce someone to the basics of detailing. Learning the fundamentals and care needed is quite important but at the same time it also yields frustration in my opinion. When I first started getting into detailing my car I researched and like any beginner was astounded by all of the products. I started simple and went with a system plan and all I can say is I was pretty much disappointed with what I got after hours of work. The Ebook is incredibly helpful but I think that even reading that without too much experience is going to spin a person's head. I think someone should just buy the basics after reading the Ebook and while I wouldn't recommend them getting tons of fancy products online, I still think you can't beat the ease of polishes like 1Z'.
06-19-04, 02:41 #6
Macgirl- Yeah, I thought about GW, but I don't want to recommend anything that I haven't tried. Hence my request for more opinions. I thought some people found GW hard to use because of the "put it on thin" bit, I wasn't sure it would be newbie-proof. Heh heh, I oughta just try it, huh?
NozeBleedSpeed - yeah, I know where you're coming from And that thread *is* a good example.
We're not really on opposite sides of this one, I think I'm just used to a different sort of newbie, and/or maybe expecting that the ones we're talking about will have already done some research. Way back when I started doing this (about the same time you did, as I recall), I read what little was available, gave it a *LOT* of thought before starting, and actually, even my very first details turned out rather well. I was maintaining black ss lacquer, and I kept it pretty nice, even by today's Autopian standards. I gave a lot of the credit to the products I was using (mostly Meg's and Pro brand stuff), and I don't think I could've done as well with "consumer grade" stuff.
It seems *everybody* wants to know how to get rid of "swirls", and yeah, they're gonna learn by doing.
Your Mother's 3-step suggestion might indeed be a good starting point. I was just thinking that something more aggressive is needed to get rid of marring.
A friend's husband is a good example of what I mean. I taught him the basics at my place and he got it right away. But he kept getting crappy results when he "waxed" their cars at home- no wonder, with TW rubbing compound :scared and a SMR and NuFinish! I helped him Cyclo/PC his marring down to where it was livable, then I gave him some MFs, some #80, and some #16 (and explained how to use them). Problem solved; their cars look much better than average with what they consider reasonable effort. He was just using the wrong stuff.
I'm not at all saying we oughta start neglecting the big emphasis on process and experience, just kicking around ideas about what stuff is likely to give good results in the hands of a beginner. Well, make that a thoughtful, well-read beginner
[Edit:] Accumulatorette points out that my version of a "newbie" is skewed because everyone I grew up with was into detailing more than the average person. Even the (literal) "old maids" in my family had cool cars and kept even their doorjambs spotless and waxed. I grew up hearing how hard to use the original Simonize was...The most interesting man in all of Autopia Land. (<--I didn't enter that!)
06-19-04, 03:11 #7
If they are only interested in what products to use just suggest Meg's ScratchX and NXT Tech Wax or Mother's Cleaner Wax.
I love to clean up my Mom's car but she doesn't know how to wash it to keep up the work, so I just clay and wax. I try hard not to OCD about it and just get it done so it is at least protected. I took that advice from Mike Phillips....if the owner is going to run a car through an automatic wash then it isn't worth the waste in products and time to get it looking fantastic just to have them mess it up.'96 Jeep Cherokee Country - White - Gray Leather Interior
'02 Volkswagen Passat GLX - Reflex Silver - Black Leather Interior - 5 spd Manual
06-19-04, 04:18 #8
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
Guys, I'm in the middle of writing something like that for my car club.
The gist is, it's OK to not be hard core, but whatever you do, do it right.
After all, there's nothing wrong with using a cleaner/wax... cleaner waxes are GOOD for everyday users. What's wrong is washing your car with dish soap and a synthetic wool mitt, then waxing using cleaner/wax and an old dirty applicator, dropping the applicator and wiping it on your pants, picking up a rag off the floor to remove the wax, etc.
The article is a "work in progress". It's at somewhere around the 4th draft out of 10 stage, so it's reasonably structured now, and it's about 60% complete, volume wise.
Here is a link to the article. Tell me what you think. The good looking guy in the background, with the black sweatshirt, is yr. hmbl. svt.
TomThe best way to maintain that "just waxed" look is to have just waxed your car.
06-19-04, 11:23 #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Im sorta a n00bie to this car detailing thing myself and im only 18. First thing i did was search search search ..i been searching on each product i buy and which combos work great with them. Only thing holding me back is a PC. Neway i like the Autopia environment, no one gets flamed for a being a n00bie and there are always people feeding back great info! keep it up!
06-20-04, 03:53 #10
Mosca, I have done a few writeups for Maxima.org, NissanX.com, and, now, NICO. But mine isn't as (pun intended) detailed as yours.
Here's mine on NICO: http://www.nissaninfiniticlub.net/fo...866#post734866Shift_Cactus!
06-20-04, 08:49 #11
Originally posted by Macgirl
..I love to clean up my Mom's car but she doesn't know how to wash it to keep up the work....the owner is going to run a car through an automatic wash then it isn't worth the waste in products and time to get it looking fantastic just to have them mess it up..
But then my Dad's second wife just *killed* the Volvo, and as you said, it was a drag to watch her undo my efforts on it (and she maintained that the Volvo paint shouldn't be waxed, as per her salesman got nasty with me for waxing it). Interestingly enough, I found that the #16 held up pretty well against carwashes, BTW. Even provided a little protection against the mechanical abrasion. The few areas of original paint are now going through to primer because I kept polishing out the marring all the time- so there's a practical/functional lesson to be learned here too.
VinnieMack- I think it's cool when young car enthusiasts are interested in doing their detailing right. Heh heh, you're gonna look back on this in few decades and think how you started off on the right foot
Mosca- OK, I gotta go read that article of yours...Hey, that's really good! Nice to see you mentioned good old Meg's #5, tooThe most interesting man in all of Autopia Land. (<--I didn't enter that!)
06-20-04, 09:37 #12
Originally posted by Accumulator
[B]. My Aunt Irene (mid-seventies, in very poor health)washed and waxed her big-block Mopar the week before she died. The ten year old car was truly immaculate, and she drove it year-round. Oh, and yeah, as she grew more infirm, she switched from Meg's Mirror Glaze line to Rain Dance for her regular waxing. That cleaner wax worked great for her and appeared to be plenty gentle on her ss paint.
Now that is something very, very respectable!
(and she maintained that the Volvo paint shouldn't be waxed, as per her salesman got nasty with me for waxing it).Unsuccessful at converting my neighbors to Autopians
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