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  1. #31

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by wannafbody View Post
    I have propane in my work garage. For some reason it doesn`t feel warm like oil heat.
    Well, as we used to say, you can`t have fun without oil...or was it cubes? Something like that.
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  2. #32
    bennylava's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Not being a builder or architect, nor am I familiar with the area of Texas that you live in, it would be difficult to access your list for its vehicle detailing correctness.
    1) What are are zoning laws and building codes for your area where you live? Building out in the middle of nowhere or largely rural area is MUCH different than a zoned residential area or a private estate community that may have covenant requirements as to what you can or can build.
    THAT assessment would be my first and most criteria for my detailing garage. That may dictate: ...
    Yes I`ll be building out in BFE because I don`t really want to deal with neighbors. And all of the building requirements you mentioned. Sounds like a big bureaucratic ball of red tape that`s best avoided. I`ll make another thread when the building is completed in case it may help other decide what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Amigo -
    You are in Texas where all the Fracking is going on, and you have a natural gas shortage???
    How is this possible?
    And a power failure for 3 days because of natural gas???
    Huh???

    Regarding Electrical -- ...
    Yeah we had that big power outage for like a week in some places, when we had a bad winter recently. Got down to something like 0 degrees for a week, which for Texas wasn`t ready for. I think most winters we don`t drop below the 20`s, and most of our winter is above freezing. So when this happened, the natural gas was getting used by everyone and their dog and they couldn`t keep up with demand. Another thing is that Texas is a big energy exporter, so some big chunk of that gas was going out of state.

    I didn`t like being out of power for days in 0 degrees, so I`m going to build my next place accordingly. I`ll just have some giant propane tank on hand that`s good for a few weeks worth of heating. I`m building a house at the same time, so I`ll just use the propane to heat both.

    Quote Originally Posted by wannafbody View Post
    I have propane in my work garage. For some reason it doesn`t feel warm like oil heat.
    I wonder if there`s anything to this. I don`t know all that much about heating. Maybe the type of fuel used can cause the heat to linger just a bit longer? Or maybe it`s all imagined I`d be curious if oil heating ever left any kind of residue on your stuff. In which case I`m definitely going with propane instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    I`ve found that the smallest/weakest/cheapest pressure washer if fine for washing vehicles, no matter how dirty they get. I`ve had much more powerful ones, but don`t miss `em a bit for this application. So IME you can do fine *for washing vehicles* with the lowest psi/gpm units available.
    Guess I was wrong about this, but I always thought you wanted the most pressure and water volume you could get without harming the paint. Within reason of course, but it would still come out to be a pretty nice power washer. And as usual, expensive. But the idea was to have the power washer do the work so you spent less time wiping.

    There must be some kind of limit I`m not aware of. Maybe there`s some pressure number where you won`t take the paint off, but you`re still hurting the finish.

  3. #33

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Guess I was wrong about this, but I always thought you wanted the most pressure and water volume you could get without harming the paint. Within reason of course, but it would still come out to be a pretty nice power washer. And as usual, expensive. But the idea was to have the power washer do the work so you spent less time wiping.

    There must be some kind of limit I`m not aware of. Maybe there`s some pressure number where you won`t take the paint off, but you`re still hurting the finish.
    Don`t be quite so quick to call yourself "wrong" Different people/situations etc. etc.

    NORMALLY...[heck] yeah, I`d want all the pressure/volume I could get away with! But...reality (i.e., older cars) dictates that I be cautious, and since the weaker ones seem to do the job just fine, I`m leaning towards sticking with those. OR...one weak one like I already have and one that`s a bit more potent...maybe.

    Note that I`m also concerned about overspray, which is less of an issue with the weaker units.

    I was looking at the undercarriage attachments for these, and some require a *LOT* of psi/gpm! Something like those would be more convenient than the "bent normal wand" that I use with my little one, but that thing works great.

    Oh, and note that the rinsing off with the pressure washer is only the *first* step to my washes...the first of quite a few. It`s just to "get the big stuff off" before I switch to the foamgun and the BHBs and mitts. For that, you really don`t need much, at least not IME.

    Back when I had a much more powerful pressure washer, I *never* seemed to get anywhere close to its max when doing anything car-related...but it was sure swell for everything else! Shame that all those units kept dying, right out-of-warranty of course. Now that I have a cheap little "disposable" one, it`s lasting forever...go figure!

    If the cost doesn`t bug you, maybe you *should* go ahead and get something really potent. Then you could use the undercarriage attachments (if that`s a factor down there in TX).
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  4. #34
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    I think with any kind of heating, you want to know the number of BTU`s coming from that source of heat.. Some things produce more BTU`s than others..
    Perhaps if you research the average number BTU`s of heat between propane heat, natural gas heat, electrical heat, then that will help you figure out which one is best for your needs.. You want to know how "Hot" these things burn..

    I remember when I was a kid living in Dallas, one year it absolutely snowed and froze that year..

    When I was in The USAF, stationed at the top of the world, it got down to -84F that winter... When it started warming up and got all the way up to 0 degrees, it felt like a Heat Wave and we went out side in shorts and T shirts and threw the football around..

    Pressure Washers - I have been using the same 2gpm, 2,000 psi pressure washer for a few decades and it has been just fine..
    You want to have the Widest Tip on it that you can get, so you get more of a Fan spray. This will cover more area and will be the safest using it on painted surfaces..

    The purpose of me using it is to quickly remove some surface dirt (not all will come off), and getting into places to remove all the little trees that grow from seeds, that fall into the outside trim or areas like the trunk jambs. Also, fender wells, carefully on wheels, tires, underbody, etc., and engines, the engine compartment, all of the area under the hood in the front, behind the grill, etc.,

    It is good to use to clean out the area where the gas cap goes, and the inside of that door, that sometimes is very dirty..

    On vehicles that come to me really, really, dirty, I sometimes will wet it all over, then come back and spray Meguiars Degreaser or APC, all over the paintwork, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then spray it all off. This helps break the layer of dirt, grease, etc.. initially, and makes the follow up hand wash go by so much faster..

    Especially good to spray the Degreaser/APC in the gas filler area and the back of the gas filler door..

    You will have to learn how to use it safely so you do not damage the paint, etc., on vehicles..
    The best advice = keep the tip far away from the paint, experiment with how close you can get, and keep it moving - always - or risk it might damage paintwork..

    Think about what you should NOT spray with it.. On a vehicle, the underhood Insulation is one thing that should never be, or only very carefully sprayed from a distance, so you don`t damage it and have to replace it..

    A way more powerful pressure washer like 3 gpm+ with more pressure? Perhaps it might work faster, but it is also more dangerous if you get too close to some things...

    I like a bigger, more powerful pressure washer to clean concrete, for example, but remember, that the machine is actually removing a small layer of dirty concrete to get it that clean again...

    My pressure washer is a gas powered unit, going on 40 years old, and is still going strong..
    Dan F

  5. #35
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    What do yall think about heated power washers? As a teen I worked at a light pole plant, and we had to degrease all those giant light poles you see in parking lots before they could be painted and sent out. We had an awesome heated power washer there, it was heated by propane. Those poles came from china caked in gunk and it was all coming off once that power washer got warmed up. It was scalding hot.

    Any thoughts on using something like that on a car? Sounds like a bad idea to me, but I`ve noticed some people have been "steaming" their car paint lately lol

  6. #36
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    What do yall think about heated power washers? As a teen I worked at a light pole plant, and we had to degrease all those giant light poles you see in parking lots before they could be painted and sent out. We had an awesome heated power washer there, it was heated by propane. Those poles came from china caked in gunk and it was all coming off once that power washer got warmed up. It was scalding hot.

    Any thoughts on using something like that on a car? Sounds like a bad idea to me, but I`ve noticed some people have been "steaming" their car paint lately lol
    Heated power washers might work pretty good, but I bet they are really expensive to buy and use..

    In my Dad`s garage, the guys had one they used to clean things under vehicles, like take the wheels off and clean all the brake parts with hot water and it worked great to quickly remove all that brake dust, etc., without chemicals...

    I see no advantage to steaming car paint.. If not paying attention, one could probably damage it or the surrounding seals, etc... I use water pressure correctly, do a really great job, and you still need to wash it by hand afterwards...

    When Steamers first came out for vehicles around 20+ years ago, people were using them to clean out interiors, carpets, seats, more than anything else..
    You need a big capacity steamer, to ever be able to go even quick across an entire outside of a vehicle..

    Then, many used a Steamer to clean the engine compartment, but again, you need a lot of steam pressure and longer hoses, etc., to be able to get one all over the engine and compartment, or it will take forever with those small ones..

    I think high pressure steam up close to some components, connectors, under the hood could be a problem immediately or for sure later, when that steam cools and condenses into water, and perhaps gets into places that it was not meant to be..

    I have best results using my same old pressure washer to clean most engines, engine compartments, all the places in front of the radiator, behind the front grill, etc., because I have been doing it for decades, and learned how to use it. There is a process I use that has enabled me to never have an issue with the hundreds of vehicles, that I have done this to. They always start right up when I have done the cleaning, and the rest of the process..

    Dan F

  7. #37

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Are not heated pressure washers called "Steam Cleaners"?
    If you go that route , Detailed Image sells the high-end commercial Fortador brand and Chief Steamers sells there own commercial steamers direct.
    Great steamers for external cleaning of vehicles, but a little (OK, a lot) out of the price range of most do-it-yourself detailing hobbyists.

    It would be nice to know the name brand of the "heated pressure washer" used to clean those electrical poles before painting. Were they from the Hotsy Equipment Co out of Aurora, CO by chance, which has a network of area-designated dealers??
    GB detailer

  8. #38

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Are not heated pressure washers called "Steam Cleaners"?
    No, those are different. The hot-water pressure washers don`t get *that* hot.

    The heated ones are awfully pricey, and I myself would never have a Detailing-related use for them. (Of course a situation like Stokdgs`s father had would be different! We used a big propane-powered steamer for that kind of thing.)

    FWIW, and this might be ill-advised, so don`t just assume it`s OK....I`ve run hot water ("water heater turned up pretty high"-level) through mine a few times without any issues, but found it simply wasn`t necessary as "regular quiet warm" water (water heater on "regular HOT", both hot and cold water turned on FULL) worked fine even on the winter salt/etc.
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  9. #39
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    No, those are different. The hot-water pressure washers don`t get *that* hot.

    The heated ones are awfully pricey, and I myself would never have a Detailing-related use for them. (Of course a situation like Stokdgs`s father had would be different! We used a big propane-powered steamer for that kind of thing.)

    FWIW, and this might be ill-advised, so don`t just assume it`s OK....I`ve run hot water ("water heater turned up pretty high"-level) through mine a few times without any issues, but found it simply wasn`t necessary as "regular quiet warm" water (water heater on "regular HOT", both hot and cold water turned on FULL) worked fine even on the winter salt/etc.
    Maybe I`m just lazy

    I`m always looking for that thing that just melts all the dirt and grime and bugs (and everything away). With little effort on my part lol.

    I must come up with the most efficient process! I think one of those steam blasters might actually be the best thing for nasty windshield bugs. Right now they still take a little wiping and scrubbing even with the bug-be-gone chemicals. Maybe at the same time, the steamer could be use to blast all the gunk off the rims. So it would be worth firing it up and waiting on it to heat up.

  10. #40

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    1. I don`t spray iron remover on the brakes themselves. On very very dirty wheels, I use a wheel cleaner/iron remover combo, but just on the wheels, not the brakes.

    2. The intent of a foam gun/cannon, IMO is two fold. One, it starts to act as a pre-soak to break up some of the more caked on dirt, grime, etc. I`ve actually seen dirt and grime pull off of the vehicle and embed in the foam, and drip off of the vehicle. Second, I feel it reduces chances of micro marring by creating a intermediary between the surface and the wash media.
    Ryan Cywinski - Owner
    Northeast Auto Reflections
    Detail Spa and Mobile Wash, LLC
    www.northeastautoreflections.com

  11. #41

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Maybe I`m just lazy

    I`m always looking for that thing that just melts all the dirt and grime and bugs (and everything away). With little effort on my part lol.
    Hey, nothing wrong with that IMO! In my way, I to try to do everything as quickly/easily as possible.
    I must come up with the most efficient process!
    That`s what I was thinking when I set up redundant systems on each side of the washbay. I`m currently *this close* to buying a second pressure washer so I have one of those on each side.

    I think one of those steam blasters might actually be the best thing for nasty windshield bugs. Right now they still take a little wiping and scrubbing even with the bug-be-gone chemicals.
    Windshield moldings are an area where I myself would take it a little easy

    I just use those "Bug Sponges" (which will *NEVER* touch my paint) on the windshields. Since I clean `em almost *every* time I use a vehicle, that`s enough for me.

    aybe at the same time, the steamer could be use to blast all the gunk off the rims. So it would be worth firing it up and waiting on it to heat up.
    But doesn`t everything just wash right off? Maybe you need different LSPs that release contamination easier...Our vehicles get *FILTHY* between washes but there`s no real "scrubbing" or, well...anything else that`s a challenge. Stuff comes clean right away, there`s just so much of it to *do* that it still takes me forever.

    OR..are you doing other people`s vehicles that`re in awful shape?

 

 
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