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View Full Version : How much of importance is surface prep?



zaidgreat
Jul 27th, 2009, 04:09 AM
Was wondering why all the fuss about LSPs when surface prep is the single most important regime that every one of us should be perfecting? Especially on clearcoats..
Protection? Gloss? Surface smoothness? Reflectivity? I bet you won't get any of it without suface prep:xyxthumbs.

Michael Stoops
Jul 27th, 2009, 07:11 AM
Protection? Gloss? Surface smoothness? Reflectivity? I bet you won't get any of it without suface prep:xyxthumbs.

Very, very true.

If you look at all the fantastic "before and after" threads here on MOL and elsewhere, and read through the steps taken to return a battered, neglected, tired or abused finish to a gleaming show car shine, you know it takes work. But you also know that none of those vehicles would be so transformed if nothing more than a wax, even an extremely expensive wax, was applied as the ONLY step.

Most of the discussion surrounding LSPs revolves around what are usually fairly subtle changes to the final appearance after all that prep is done. The discussions can become somewhat esoteric (not unlike the debate over various types of cables/wires used in high end audio systems) and, unfortunately, they can also degrade into a massive argument that serves no real purpose. So as this thread progresses, let's all just keep that in mind!

akimel
Jul 27th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Most of the discussion surrounding LSPs revolves around what are usually fairly subtle changes to the final appearance after all that prep is done. The discussions can become somewhat esoteric (not unlike the debate over various types of cables/wires used in high end audio systems) and, unfortunately, they can also degrade into a massive argument that serves no real purpose. So as this thread progresses, let's all just keep that in mind!

I suppose that it is at this point when the discussion turns to waxes that detailing ceases to be craft and becomes religion. I'm not sure why this is so, but it seems to be the case, at least by my observation.

The one thing I do know is that I wish one day to acquire the polishing skills to create a swirl-free finish. I'm not even close. Sigh. :sosad1

Michael Stoops
Jul 27th, 2009, 08:10 AM
I suppose that it is at this point when the discussion turns to waxes that detailing ceases to be craft and becomes religion.
Sometimes it even starts in the defect correction stages. We were discussing this over the weekend in our Detailing 101 class. Specifically the very heated debates over which compound/cleaner/polish/etc is best. Funny thing is, you'll get 6 guys yelling and screaming at each other over products and techniques, yet when you search through that same forum for work that each has done, they all get great results. They seem to miss that while yelling at each other. Seriously, if 6 people can use 6 different products and all achieve outstanding results, how can any of them be "wrong"?

Find something you like, and use it often. Hmmmmm.... now where have I heard that before???? :dunno:dunno

J. A. Michaels
Jul 27th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Well I agree the prep work is the key. The more meticulous you are about the prep work, the better end result will be achieved. Just my 0.02.

zaidgreat
Jul 28th, 2009, 05:15 AM
Well I agree the prep work is the key. The more meticulous you are about the prep work, the better end result will be achieved. Just my 0.02.

:iagree: So, why is it that LSPs costs a lot more than surface prep products? Are we all sort of ''misguided""..:scratchhead1

Calais
Jul 30th, 2009, 11:23 AM
I made a thread kind of like this: http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35249

ninobrn99
Jul 30th, 2009, 11:49 AM
id say 85-90% prep, 10-15% product.

Caress Detailing
Jul 30th, 2009, 12:01 PM
It also depends what the user is trying to achieve.

Some people might consider just claying a car as surface prep and then apply a wax.

Is that wrong? I don't think so. If the car doesn't need compounding, polishing, or cleaning then maybe claying is sufficient.

Then of course, obviously heavier neglected cars will need more correction.

captaincog
Jul 30th, 2009, 07:34 PM
I would say good surface prep is important for several factors that I have learned over taking classes and then practice, practice...
I know that a well prepped surface not only comes out looking great, but any additional corrections that need to be done are easier to see. I also learned the surface prep makes the final stages much easier. I remember using old paste wax and dishwasher detergent on my Dad's MGB when I was a kid and did not know any better. Wow, what a chore that was after doing the same wash and then paste wax every week. Years later the job was torture because the surface was so bad that the wax could not be removed. Many years later after learning the right techniques, correct product application, etc., the removal is no work at all. I find that for me surface prep makes the entire job easy. I am able realize some solace, satisfaction, and visual rewards for a well done job. Oh, and the 50+ car show trophies don't hurt either.Scottwax2:woot2:worship

Kickin Griffin
Jul 31st, 2009, 01:11 AM
:iagree: So, why is it that LSPs costs a lot more than surface prep products? Are we all sort of ''misguided""..:scratchhead1

Marketing :) Especially in the cases of some manufacturers where huge sums of money are charged for waxes which, in the case of prep work beging spot on, add little or nothing to the finish.

Last year I, with the help of a few mates :), machine polished to perfection 7 black Vauxhall Corsas, identical cars and then applied a range of LSPs - one on each car, ranging from cheap and cheerful to expensive and exotic... Could anyone spot the difference and find the expensive waxes? Nope!

Its all in the prep :)

Michael Stoops
Jul 31st, 2009, 06:49 AM
Marketing :) Especially in the cases of some manufacturers where huge sums of money are charged for waxes which, in the case of prep work beging spot on, add little or nothing to the finish.

Last year I, with the help of a few mates :), machine polished to perfection 7 black Vauxhall Corsas, identical cars and then applied a range of LSPs - one on each car, ranging from cheap and cheerful to expensive and exotic... Could anyone spot the difference and find the expensive waxes? Nope!

Its all in the prep :)
That was such an awesome demonstration of the power of perception. If memory serves, even with the very wide range of prices in the LSPs used almost all of them earned both a top mark and a bottom mark somewhere along the line. Good stuff.

Jokeman
Jul 31st, 2009, 09:46 AM
100% prep.

zaidgreat
Jul 31st, 2009, 02:57 PM
Its about time to start paying top dollar for surface prep products as its money well spent as opposed to forking out hundreds or thousands of dollars on LSPs.... Heck, I'm not going to spent anything more than $50 for a small can or tub.
(Makes me feel good now).....:D

StoneRaizer
Aug 1st, 2009, 04:55 PM
So with everybody saying prep is the the most important step, will Meguiars drop the price of NXT 2.0 and Gold Class while jacking up the price of ScratchX, Cleaner Wax, ColourX and other Step 2 and Step 3 products?

zaidgreat
Aug 1st, 2009, 10:16 PM
So with everybody saying prep is the the most important step, will Meguiars drop the price of NXT 2.0 and Gold Class while jacking up the price of ScratchX, Cleaner Wax, ColourX and other Step 2 and Step 3 products?

:woot2 It will be better if Megs maintain their surface prep prices while dropping the prices of its LSPs....:xyxthumbs

Michael Stoops
Aug 3rd, 2009, 06:18 AM
So with everybody saying prep is the the most important step, will Meguiars drop the price of NXT 2.0 and Gold Class while jacking up the price of ScratchX, Cleaner Wax, ColourX and other Step 2 and Step 3 products?

Ah..... no. :D

zaidgreat
Oct 19th, 2009, 08:42 AM
It is also true that a surface prep will provide different outcome/result in its final stage before coating a sealant or wax.
In fact it is where we get our paint's TRUE 'slickness', 'glossiness', depth etc.
LSP's just a small icing on the 'cake'.
It's sad to see the norm in my group of friends/detailers over emphasizing on sealants/waxes:furious1

bullitt21
Nov 3rd, 2009, 10:46 PM
I agree it's almost 100% prep. I can notice very(and I mean very) subtle diffferences in the application of different LSP's. I've just started totally correcting the loaner SUV(Black Sport Trac) we use. I went ahead and did a full correction on the hood. One side has Megs #16 and the other Supernatural and I can't tell the difference. Sometimes I do feel that some LSP's give a more warm, deep look on darker cars, but it's still subtle. When I think LSP I think more in terms of durability and static control.

weis
Nov 6th, 2009, 03:12 AM
from my noob experience..

surface prep will provide longer durability.. no doubt about that.. referring to looks, then i not too sure.. haha.. cause i dun have other products to compare..

only meguiar's in my arsenal so far :D

EPHIOS
Dec 20th, 2009, 08:12 AM
I'd say, the products you use is only as good as your techniques. It's like a 50/50 split.

Paul S
Dec 20th, 2009, 10:00 AM
Not discounting the importance of surface prep , but all LSP's are not created equal. Things that come to mind are durability and ease of application and removal.There are LSPs that seem to last thru months of adverse weather and others shot after a short time. Some seem to reflect metallic colors differently then others. Some make reds or other colors seem darker. I am on board with the idea that the prep is the most important step and without it your just wasting wax LOL. Paul S

Michael Stoops
Dec 21st, 2009, 08:34 AM
I'd say, the products you use is only as good as your techniques. It's like a 50/50 split.

The guys in our Customer Care Center gets calls on a daily basis where someone is complaining about the poor results they've gotten from a product. 99.9% of the time it turns out they're using the product incorrectly - applying a pure wax to a very badly oxidized surface expecting a small miracle; putting a paint cleaner on like a wax and letting it dry; or even using the wrong product on the wrong surface. Plenty of those same people have called back a few hours or days later, after going back and using the same product correctly, just to let us know that it actually is pretty darn good stuff!!!