View Full Version : removing swirls & scratches on '06 Jeep Liberty

Jan 30th, 2011, 06:21 PM
Hi All,

I just got myself a 7424XP, and am working on my '06 Jeep Liberty. I bought the Jeep used - and it's obvious it's been through lots of car washes. It's just covered in serious swirls. There are some light scratches here and there as well. Funny, most of them don't show up too badly in ordinary light, but with the shop light on the vehicle in the garage, they really stand out.

I am working with all Meguiars cleaners/polish/wax. I'm using Lake Country 4" pads because the Liberty has very little "wide open space" ... there are lots of trim pieces and "lines". Six inch pads wouldn't be practical.

I started today on just one door to get started. I used the Lake Country Orange pad, supposedly good for swirls. I tried several polishes, starting with fine cut, then medium cut, then ended up using Heavy-Cut (M0416). Even at that, it took me nearly 3 hours to get most of the worst of the swirls removed from this one panel!

It seems like I need something more heavy duty for this first pass to clean up the heavy swirls & scratches. I am thinking I'll move to the Yellow pads, but wonder if I should try something heavier than M0416. It seems the Liberty has a very hard clearcoat.

I've attached the image below to show what I mean. The panel on the left hasn't been touched. The one on the right shows what I have been able to do so far ... it's not perfect but it's far better.

Should I expect to spend 3 hours per panel for a moderate improvement? or should i use a different product? (what's heavier than heavy-cut?)



Jan 30th, 2011, 07:48 PM
Your problem may not be "heavy cut", but proper product. #4 isnt exactly best for DA use. And of course we would check technique as well.

Be sure to be moving the machine slowly, and adding just enough pressure to not stop the pad spinning. Mark the back of the pad with a marker so you can watch it.

I would want to try something like Ultimate Compound with a DA.

And of course some scratches could just be too deep to worry about.

Jan 30th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the quick response! I will check out the Ultimate Compound.

As for technique, I agree, mine could be "suspect", as this is my first "real" polisher. I did some of this kind of thing before, but I used a Craftsman polisher ('nuff said :)).

I did read elsewhere about marking the the pad to observe the spinning, so I did that (actually I marked the backing plate). But that leads me to a question: I've read that you should apply 15-20lbs of pressure while polishing. I tested that effort with the DA on a bathroom scale to get a sense for how it should feel. But when I exert that much force with the device on the vehicle, the pad stops spinning.

'sounds like I should focus on keeping it spinning then...

While we're talking about proper product, I'm also planning to use Swirl Remover to fine tune after the Heavy-Cut/Ultimate, and then Show Car Glaze. Will these be OK with the DA? I'll also be using NXT wax, but I assume I should just use the applied applicator, not the DA to apply this (?).

Thanks for bearing with a newbie...

Thanks again!


Jan 30th, 2011, 11:04 PM
yes swirl remover after ultimate compound would be good

u could apply wax with the DA as well with low speed and a finishing pad

3 hours seems a bit long..

Shawn T.
Jan 31st, 2011, 04:42 AM
It certainly looks like you are doing the proper technique of trying the least aggressive product.

Unless you are using a rotary, do not use M04. It doesn't play well by DA and needs a rotary to break down the abrasives. M04 is also very good for taking water spots off of windows by hand with a terry cloth or by rotary.

Like Murr suggested, go with Ultimate Compound. It was made to be used by hand and DA. It has a very long work time and allows you to really work it almost as long as you want. Of course, stop buffing before it dries so that you prevent marring.

Are you making nice, slow section passes moving the bufferr at about 1" per second? That is a good speed to try and maintain.

Do not move to the yellow pad yet. Try the orange with Ultimate Compound and see how that works.

Follow Ultimate Compound with Swirlx, Ultimate Polish, M205, etc. if you think you need a finishing polish. Ultimate Compound can finish out very nicely on it's own.

Jan 31st, 2011, 09:22 PM
Thanks, this is all great feedback. Elsewhere I've seen suggestions that M105 Ultra Cut may be a good option for this situation, rather than Ultimate Compound. What do you-all think about this?

Jan 31st, 2011, 09:40 PM
What speed do you recommend using on the 7424XP when using something like Ultimate Compound (or Ultra Cut)?

Jan 31st, 2011, 10:03 PM
speed 5 is more then enough

Feb 1st, 2011, 06:06 AM
UC would be more DA friendly in most situations.

Shawn T.
Feb 1st, 2011, 06:52 AM
Go with UC. It is so much more user friendly. People think it isn't good because it is a consumer productr but it provides a lot of cut with great work time.

Michael Stoops
Feb 1st, 2011, 07:49 AM
First, if you haven't yet read through D/A Buffing 101 – An Introduction to the G110v2 and similar tools (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45702), we highly recommend you do so.

You should be just fine staying with Ultimate Compound rather than jumping all the way up to M105. As others have mentioned, the user experience with UC is much nicer on a D/A than M105, especially for a new user. You'll get a lot less dust and a much longer buffing cycle with UC.

Don't focus too much on the pressure aspect of tool use - pressure needed is really determined more by what the paint requires based on the severity of defects and the overall workability of the paint. Plenty of paint systems don't need a lot of pressure, while others demand it. This is just one of the many reasons why doing a test spot is so important.

Just as important as the pressure used is you arm speed, or the speed at which you move the tool across the paint. You need to really slow this down, and keep it consistent. Smooth, overlapping passes covering an area no larger than about 2' x 2', even smaller if the paint is a bit resistant to polishing.

Feb 1st, 2011, 07:03 PM
Thanks everyone. Michael, I don't think I've read this particular article, but others like it. I'll go thru this one too.

Meanwhile I ordered some "UC" (which I now realize means "Ultimate Compound", as opposed to "Ultra Cut" :), so will try it this weekend and let you all know how it goes :).

Thanks again!

Feb 1st, 2011, 07:34 PM
#105 would be used around here for the Ultra-Cut.

Feb 6th, 2011, 12:42 AM
OK, I tried the Ultimate Compound (UC) as you'all suggested. I tried it first with the orange pads I was using before. The UC made a huge difference over the Heavy-Cut Cleaner, but was still taking several passes to reach remove the heavy swirls. So I stepped up to the yellow pads. Wow, the combination of the UC with the Yellow Pads is amazing! I worked a couple panels this afternoon, and there's not a swirl to be seen! :). There are still a few scratches but they're pretty deep so I doubt I can remove them.

I am also working on my technique .. keeping the pad spinning, etc. It's working :).

I'll post an update when I've made more progress. Meanwhile, thanks again for all the feedback, it's been very helpful!

Feb 6th, 2011, 07:57 PM
So I stepped up to the yellow pads. Wow, the combination of the UC with the Yellow Pads is amazing!

which yellow pad did you use? Meguiar's?

Feb 6th, 2011, 08:57 PM
which yellow pad did you use? Meguiar's?

I'm using the Lake Country 4" pads. Even with the yellow pad & the Ultra Compound, it still takes at least a couple passes to remove the swirls. I'm taking care to move the polisher very slowly, keeping it aligned with the surface, and applying quite a bit of force but still keeping the pad rotating.

I spent about 3 hours yesterday + about 8 hours today, and still have to do the lower part of one front door, one back door, a rear quarter panel, the tailgate, and the roof. I expect it'll take me a couple more days just to finish this phase (Ultra Compound) before I can move on to the next phase. Whew!

But, wow, even after just the Ultra Compound, it's looking like a new vehicle!

Mar 24th, 2011, 08:06 PM
Hi All, I wanted to follow up now that I've made some good progress, after you were all good enough to lend some very useful advice.

I have finished the following on all but the roof & doorjambs, and I still need to poke at the areas around the emblems. But all the rest is "done". I'm using a 7424XP with 4" pads.

1. Ultimate Compound, LC Yellow Pads
2. Swirl Remover 2.0, LC Orange Pads
3. Show Car Glaze, LC Black Pads
4. NXT Tech Wax 2.0, LC Blue Pads

So far I have spent about 7 (long) days of work on this.

Here are a few shots showing the results. I'm curious what you'all think :).

Here's what it looked like before I started. OK from a distance, but up close, swirl city... and in hindsight, pretty dull :)


Then after:

And a couple close-ups:



Mar 24th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Ooooooo, VERY nice indeed!!!! You really made that blue pop!!!!

I recently ordered some 4" LC pads and I'm anxious to start using them!

Keep up the great work!!! Lookin' great! :xyxthumbs

Mar 25th, 2011, 03:57 AM
looks great! nice job :)

Mar 25th, 2011, 04:15 AM
Nice job on the Liberty! The blue really jumps out! Scottwax2

Mar 25th, 2011, 06:34 AM
great work! i am a user of the m105. i dont have the experience with a rotary and dont mind the time it takes. and i have yet messed up a paint job with it. i personally like to follow up with m205, as that is what the pros here recommended and it worked great.

Mar 25th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback! It's been a huge job - and there's still more to go :).

Tomsteve, just to clarify, I used Ultimate Compound, as was recommended here (not to be confused with M105 Ultra Cut). I used Swirl Remover 2.0 as opposed to M205 Ultra Finishing Polish. I'm actually very please with how the Swirl Remover worked... it took out some light scratches that were still left after the Ultimate Compound, as well as some holograms that were created while using the UC.

The only problem is since it's a Jeep, I'll be taking it out to get really dirty before long, and the whole time I'll be paranoid about new scratches & swirls... :hm1

Mar 25th, 2011, 09:03 PM
i'm gonna have to try that swirl remover. you could always get some masking film and mask the whole jeep off before you hit the trails!!:dp:

Mar 26th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Hmmm, yeah, that's an idea :)

Apr 4th, 2011, 10:22 AM
Nice results.

After running around in the dirt, use a pressure washer and then wash with a proper "2 bucket" method, and you'll really minimize new scratches.