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  1. #1

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    Why so many hours?

    I read a lot of write ups that give discriptions of what was done and how it took 20-50 hours on the paint. Why? If you’re working on factory paint with car wash damage and swirl marks, what in the world takes so long? If you’re polishing on paint that long, you’re either using the wrong products and tools, or you’re damaging the paints expected life. Which makes you not a professional, but an amateur. So, someone give me a reasonable answer as to why.
    Thank you!


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  2. #2

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Chasing unrealistic results while losing money.
    Likes John U, wannafbody liked this post

  3. #3

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    I’ll buy that! Thank you!

  4. #4
    acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    You read these 20-50 hour descriptions here on Autopia? Or out in the ‘real world’? I can only picture taking that long if a best buddy offered to pay me $10k to clean and polish his Lamborghini with a soft bristled toothbrush. But I would do it.

  5. #5
    briarpatch's Avatar
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    I just watched a White Detailing video where he resurrects a hammered Porsche. Not sure if he had that many hours....but he had a lot in it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Hey Mike. I agree. What’s your average and how does it beak out ?

    I’m slow and steady and Here’s my guess at my times.

    1 hr wash exterior
    .5 if I detail engine bay
    45 min on interior without extraction
    1.5 to polish per step
    1 for each ceramic coat application / removal on paint x2
    1 to polish glass and coat glass
    .5 to coat wheels
    .5 to clean up space and check My work.

    So I guess I’m around the 8 hour mark of on the car time. In reality add an hour for food /
    Rest breaks. Add 1.5 for another polishing step if it’s hammered.

    If it’s my own vehicle many times I do strictly exterior one day and interior on another

  7. #7

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Its an inception car within a car within a car.... so yeah.... alot of surface area


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  8. #8

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Mike:
    I think your reasons of wrong products, tools, and damaging the factory paint life`s expectancy is somewhat correct.
    I would say the biggest problem is using a polisher or buffing machine incorrectly due to wrong techniques of such machines coupled with wrong pad or product choices for the surface being corrected and perfected.
    Someone within this forum made a statement that if a detailer is charging by the hour, that detailer better have the right tools (polishers and enough pads) to complete the job in a little time as possible and not be "inefficient".

    That said, the amount of time spent correcting and perfecting a vehicle`s paint can be attributed to three things:
    1) How "perfect" does the client want the paint?
    2) How much surface area does the vehicle have?
    3) As mentioned, the tools available to the detailer and their expertise and abilities in using them CORRECTLY and efficiently.

    There is is the law of "diminishing returns", meaning how much time is spent and what return do you get for that time spent can greatly impact the hours spent "perfecting" a vehicles paint. Getting a hammered Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition to look like it is ready for the Pebble Beach Concours D`elegance is much different than getting a garage queen/rarely driven MGB Midget ready for a local drive-in weekly car show, as an example of items No. 1 & 2.

    I will not dis any detailer, professional or hobbyists, who spends those hours perfecting the OEM paint to level that has that insane, head turning appearance of perfection.
    What is insane or more correctly "uneducated" (AKA stupid) is doing so without the aid of a Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG) to know the true thickness of an OEM paint and how much the OEM surface is compromised in doing so. That has been the subject of great debate in this forum about removing OEM orange peel and how thin today`s clear coats and paint surfaces are with modern manufacturing techniques/processes on most vehicles. (I have recently learned from Merlin that orange peel is actually "programmed" into robotic painters to cover up "minor" sheet metal stamping ripples and imperfections. Really?!) It is one of the reason you and other professional detailers post pics of PTG readings when doing a detail as proof of that.It is just part of the detailing process to verify the actual paint thickness throughout the vehicle BEFORE you begin so a detailer knows what areas may be problematic and require special attention. That process, to me, is the BIG difference between a professional and an "amateur" detailer.

    SO, the answer is "because a client wants absolute perfection and they have found a detailer that can do that". Is it efficient time-wise (and hence money spent) to perfect the paint to the Nth degree? NO, not to you, Mike. Is it the right thing to do to an OEM paint and thin it so much that there is no clear coat & paint for future correction OR the life expectancy of that surface is greatly reduced? NO, not to you.
    Then again it is not my vehicle and I am not the detailer who is going to do that.
    GB detailer
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  9. #9

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    I’m guessing the average time I spend on the paint, not including decon is about 6-8 hours depending on the vehicle size. As far as if the client wants perfection, if you are a true professional, you would explain to them it is unreasonable to expect that. I get as close as possible without damaging the vehicle. I’m not talking about the damage you mentioned in Jim’s video. I’m talking the average damage seen from a rotary and poor washing.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    ....I’m talking the average damage seen from a rotary and poor washing.
    I shake my head at pics of the condition of new vehicles as received by the customer from the dealer posted in this forum that many of you professional detailers do. I was under the impression that the "additional dealer prep charges" was to remove them, not add them (Dealer-Installed Swirl Option or DISO)
    Like I`ve said a gazillion times before, a lot of you detailers are making good money removing DISO`s and the pictures prove it.
    GB detailer

  11. #11
    wannafbody
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    I pretty much agree with Mike. Over the years I`ve seen posts by "pros" talking about how long it took to detail a car with a PC. There were guys on this site who`d wetsand and polish out with a PC. What a joke. They could cut the time by 3/4 if they learned how to use a rotary and a wool pad on hammered cars and follow up with a Flex.

    The biggest issue with guys using a rotary and large pads is splatter. Smaller pads seem to work better. An extra wash step would be needed to clean. Still with care, it`s manageable. The other thing I think some of these guys might be doing is that if they just have one job for the day, they milk it out to increase what they are charging. (I`m referring to guys who`d take 8 hours for a light compound, polish and wax).

    The only vehicles that truly deserve that amount of time are trailer queens or exotics where the owner is willing to pay for perfection.

  12. #12
    wannafbody
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    I’m guessing the average time I spend on the paint, not including decon is about 6-8 hours depending on the vehicle size. As far as if the client wants perfection, if you are a true professional, you would explain to them it is unreasonable to expect that. I get as close as possible without damaging the vehicle. I’m not talking about the damage you mentioned in Jim’s video. I’m talking the average damage seen from a rotary and poor washing.

    I doubt some of those guys at the dealers clean their pads very often. It also takes a real master to be able to finish a car hologram free with a rotary. They don`t take the time to follow up with a RO for a perfect finish.

  13. #13
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    ... (I have recently learned from Merlin that orange peel is actually "programmed" into robotic painters to cover up "minor" sheet metal stamping ripples and imperfections. Really?!) ...
    I love this place.

    I`d never heard that either, and feel like this is the kind of place you learn that kinda thing.

  14. #14
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    That is absurd. I starting detailing in ‘78 and painting in ‘83. I switched to bikes in the 2000’s. I never delivered anything without cutting and buffing ( in the old days colors and when we were using single stage lacquers). Hell I can wet sand and polish out the marks in about 16- 20 max. I think it gives them in their own minds credence to their methodology or workmanship. If they are just correcting then they are surely not a pro
    Likes wannafbody, Stokdgs liked this post

  15. #15
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Why so many hours?

    Mike,
    I sometimes take around 10 hours to paint correct vehicles..
    If the paint is good enough, they will always be clear, flat, rolling mirrors..
    And of course I measure everything first to get the baseline, and then measure constantly to insure I am removing as little as possible, to achieve my standard..

    Those endless correction marathons must be for people who do not do this for a living, and can go out there and hit the vehicle for a few hours a week or something??
    And of course, as you already said, their technique may not be the most efficient, etc..
    Or, perhaps, they just love doing this and do not care how long it takes them, ever...
    DanF

 

 
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