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  1. #1

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    Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Hi guys, how would you approach polishing thin panels on a car such as the one below, using a basic dual action random orbital polisher with 5.5" pads? Videos that I have seen online show them using more fancy things like smaller 4" pad or a separate machine with a 1-2" pad. Areas I would like to know how would be a) areas right above and below the tail light, b) the back of the car, including the trunk with the logos, and the lip below the trunk lid, c) thin edge along the side of the hood, d) areas around the headlight, e) thin lip below the grill.

    Do you end up just using the outer few inches of a pad and try to keep its surface parallel to the surface you are working on? I saw some tips in this post. Maybe I am better off avoiding those areas and try some polishing by hand? Thanks.


  2. #2
    dcjredline's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Most free spinning DAs will stall if you use the outter edge of the pad. FLEX 3401 is the only one that wont which is why I think its superior to the rest. If you dont have one of those then hand polishing or buying a smaller machine (Griots 3" is only $100).
    Don

    1989 Formula 350
    2004 Saturn Ion Quadcoupe

  3. #3
    A Miracle Detailing Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Have you tried using LAKE COUNTRY 5.5 INCH HDO ORBITAL FOAM PADS?
    I like the beveled edge that allows "edge polishing" with a DA or Flex or Rupes.

    Merlin
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  4. #4

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    Re: Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Quote Originally Posted by xilex View Post
    Hi guys, how would you approach polishing thin panels on a car such as the one below, using a basic dual action random orbital polisher with 5.5" pads? Videos that I have seen online show them using more fancy things like smaller 4" pad or a separate machine with a 1-2" pad.. Maybe I am better off avoiding those areas and try some polishing by hand?
    Doing it by hand will be a lot safer, which does translate into "a lot more time" too.

    heh heh, used to be you could spend literally a whole afternoon removing scratches from behind door handles (and maybe not finish in just one day), but products like M101 do speed it up considerably. IMO people who say "you can`t do it by hand" just gave up a few hours too soon. Not that I always want to spend forever doing it either!

    IME the problem with just using the edge/outer portion of the pad *on a RO/DA* is that it can be a fine line between "not aggressive enough to be effective " and "oops, much too aggressive". IMO doing it with a rotary should probably be left to those who are already good at it.

  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Xilex in Anaheim !

    You can try carefully to get the pad edge into the area, and see how it works.. Be sure to mind the - edge - of the backing plate itself, so that it does not contact the paintwork...
    If it is not working, you will need a smaller backing plate or 2, and get smaller pads..
    Backing plates and pads now are 4", 3", 2", and 1"..

    For the area around letters, the roundel, etc., I always use Meguiars 105, on a small, soft, white, cotton, towel and my finger to carefully clean out those spots..
    What I cannot get to, I carefully put some compound on a Q-Tip, and carefully rub around that area.. Wipe off can be the soft cotton towel or the Q-Tip by itself, or the cotton towel over the Q-Tip, etc..

    If you use M105 or M101 or I guess M100, these products will clean up things nicely and if worked long enough with a little moisture if needed, they finish down very nice, clear, and glossy..
    Good luck with this !
    DanF
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  6. #6

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    Re: Polishing thin panels on a car with only 5.5" pads

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    For the area around letters, the roundel, etc., I always use Meguiars 105, on a small, soft, white, cotton, towel and my finger to carefully clean out those spots..
    What I cannot get to, I carefully put some compound on a Q-Tip, and carefully rub around that area.. Wipe off can be the soft cotton towel or the Q-Tip by itself, or the cotton towel over the Q-Tip, etc..

    If you use M105 or M101 or I guess M100, these products will clean up things nicely and if worked long enough with a little moisture if needed, they finish down very nice, clear, and glossy..
    Those areas are another thing that can eat up entire days (and boxes of swabs). That`s a big part of why I`ve been debadging stuff for decades.

    Oh man, I still dunno how you guys get M105/M101 to finish out OK! If it touches any of my paints it requires a follow up to pass inspection. Every single time, period: dark room + SunGun = uh-oh

 

 

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