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Blink74
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:11 PM
I'm new here but have been a long time user and car guy. I'm pretty meticulous with my cars and have used Meguiars products buy hand for years. Recently we bought a 2002 Black Benz in need of some seriuos TLC. The previous owner must have only used gas station car washes, because the paint had major swirl marks and looked more grey than black. I first tried the Gold Class Cleaner and wax, but, it did nothing. So, I went to the local NAPA and got some 3M light rubbing compound, swirl remover and yellow wax. A couple days and two sore elbows later the car looked good. However, it still has some minor cobwebs and swirls. I recently clayed the car and put on a coat of wax and it looks good, but, I want to take it to the next level. I have decided that in order to do so I need to invest in a good polisher and return to Meguiars products.

Here is my plan of action.
PC 7424
#83 w/ 8006
#80 w/ 8006
#26 w/ 9006

Couple of questions: Do I need to tape off the trim? Will this plan result in a flawless finish? Any warnings or suggestions for a first time PC user?

Mike Phillips
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Blink74
Couple of questions:

Do I need to tape off the trim?

From experience, you will be better off to spend the time upfront taping off trim, then to spend the time after the fact detailing, (the meaning of the word detailing as it is used here means getting the wax out of the cracks and off the trim).


Will this plan result in a flawless finish?
Many others have gone before you and produced flawless results using the above products, the difference between good results and so-so results will come down to you and your technique.


Any warnings or suggestions for a first time PC user?

Go slow, as in move the polisher slow during the cleaning step, (Steps M83 and M80), most people tend to move the polisher too fast over the surface and then when they wipe the final coat of wax of the car and inspect, they see the swirls are still present. When removing swirls with the G100/PC, only bite off a small area at a time, that's because this tool is gentle to the finish, not aggressive. Remember, removing swirls, means removing paint, (how else could you remove a defect that is "IN" the paint), because this tool's cleaning action is gentle, you need to slow your arm speed down and only work a small section at a time when doing the cleaning steps. Imagine a McDonald's, or Burger King food tray, work an area about that size using overlapping motions. Then, move to a new section and overlap into the previous section for uniform material removal.

When applying a pure polish or a wax, you can bite off larger section and spend less time on them because you're not trying to remove paint during these processes, you only need to remove paint during the cleaning, or defect removal process.

Here's something I wrote that may help...

When working on dark colored paints, you really need to take every step you can to insure good results. Meguiar's never recommends using a cutting pad on the dual action polisher. While it may remove the defects the aggressive nature of the cutting pad when used with the oscillating action of the dual action polisher will haze the finish and it will often times require a rotary buffer to remove the haze.

Conversely, the same pad used with a rotary buffer will create a clear, high gloss finish. It has to do with the action of the machine and how it works the diminishing abrasives against the finish.

Here's a thread that discusses this more fully.

PC+83 not "cutting" it! (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3056)

I'm not sure who's pads you using, but if you want to try to polish the paint out on this car again, here's a basic outline as to how to approach it.

Here's the basic order of steps to follow,


Washing
Before detailing your car, first do an extremely good job of washing it. Remove all the dirt from all the nooks and crannies. This prevents any small abrasive dirt particle from entering into the machine polishing process and potentially instilling a swirl. Get the Car Sparkling Clean to start with and everything will be downhill after that.

Claying
After that clay the car, at least the horizontal surfaces. Again, do a good job of claying to insure you remove all above surface contaminants. The level of gloss you can achieve from your car's finish is mostly determined by how smooth you can make your paint. Claying will make your car's finish as smooth as new glass.

After washing and and claying the car, and the car is all dry and ready to work on, the first thing you should do is to tape off any parts of the car you want to protect from splatter or prevent getting any product onto. Here's an example of a 1991 BMW taped off for machine polishing.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_finishedshottapedoff1.jpg

Now move onto the cleaning step.


Cleaning
Cleaning is different than washing. Cleaning is removing both above surface defects like oxidation and below surface defects like swirls, scratches, etchings, and dirt that has embedded itself under the surface. Choose the appropriate paint cleaner for the condition of your car's finish and your application process. If you're unsure of which paint cleaner or cleaner/polish is right for your car, describe your car and if possible post a picture and we'll be glad to make some recommendations.


Polishing
Polishing after removing the defects is typically using a pure polish that is non-abrasive to restore brilliant high gloss and deep, dark reflections. This is an optional step and one best used on medium to dark colored car.

Protecting
This is where you apply your choice of wax or paint protectant. Adding a layer or two of wax creates a sacrificial-barrier on your car's paint to protect it and also add shine and gloss. Generally, two thin coats will insure even coverage with a uniform appearance.

Maintaining
Maintaining is the use of products like a quick detailer or a spray wax to maintain that "Just detailed look" in-between regular washings, and the regular application of a normal coat of wax.


Meguiar's always teaches,

"Always use the least aggressive product to get the job done"

The idea is to see if you can restore an acceptable finish using the least aggressive product. Starting with a mild paint cleaner or cleaner/polish and testing to see what can accomplished with it is the safe way to learn which product you will need to safely remove the defects. If the first products you try don't do the job, you can always substitute a more aggressive product.

The most aggressive you can go with Meguiar's products and a dual action polisher is using our #83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish and our W-8006 foam pad on the 5.0 setting. Getting any more aggressive than this can cause hazing of the finish and if the defects are serious enough to require a more aggressive product then you should use a rotary buffer or take it to a professional who is experienced with the rotary buffer.


When it comes to removing swirls and other defects using the dual action polisher, here are two products that work really well,

#80 Speed Glaze (http://www.meguiars.com/store_meguiars/product_detail.cfm?parentURL=index_pro.cfm&sku=M-80)
#83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish (http://www.meguiars.com/store_meguiars/product_detail.cfm?sku=M-83)

http://www.meguiars.com/store_meguiars/images/product_m83.gif http://www.meguiars.com/store_meguiars/images/product_m80.gif

In keeping with Meguiar's philosophy of using the least aggressive product to get the job done, if you are unfamiliar with these products and/or your car's paint, then always perform "Test Spot" to a small are first before attempting to do the entire car.

"If you cannot make one small area look good with your prescribed products and process, then you will not be able to make the entire car look good"

Makes sense huh?

To do a test spot, start out with the #80 Speed Glaze with a W-8006 foam polishing pad and buff for 3-4 minutes.


When cleaning paint with the dual action polisher, you want to map out in your minds eye a section or area about 16" square or rectangle, or whatever fit's your car's body panels shape. The idea is you don't want to try to do to much of an area at one time or you will not get good results. The dual action polisher is gentle in it's cleaning and polishing action and for this reason, trying to work on too large an area at one time will not remove enough paint to remove any defects.

Note: To remove a below surface defect, you must remove some paint until the highest points of the surface are level with the lowest depths of the defect you're trying to remove. This means removing paint. This also means how deep of a defect you can remove is determined by how thick you paint is. Often times you can improve a defect, but not completely remove the defect as to do so would remove to much paint and in the case of a clear coat, expose the color coat and in the case of a non-clear coat finish, you will expose the primer under the color coat. How much paint you can remove is hard to know because you can never know exactly how much working film-build you have to work with. Experience in this area helps a lot and sometimes luck is a factor to. Remember this, light swirls are generally pretty safe to remove, but deep scratches like key scratches etc. you will probably be better off merely improving the way they look so they don't stand out like a sore thumb, the to attempt to completely remove them.

When using the dual action polisher to remove defects, map out a section to work in your minds eye. Check the speed setting on the variable speed adjuster. For removing defects you usually need to be around the 4.5 to 5.0 setting. Meguiar's never recommends running the polisher faster than the 5.0 setting as these higher speed settings produce an oscillating action that is too violent in it's speed and motion and this combined with time creates heat and the synergy of all these factors will loosen the Velcro material attached to the foam. Keep your speed settings at 5.0 or below.

After applying some product to your foam pad, (already attached to the polisher), place the face of the foam pad onto the finish and then turn the polisher on. DO NOT turn the polisher on before it has come into contact with the foam pad or your will sling product all over the place and then you'll get to clean the splatter up instead or work on your car's finish. Once you have turned the polisher on, move the polisher around to spread out your product over the area you are going to work. This is important. What you're trying to do here is to spread-out your product so that you have a film of fresh product spread out over the surface you're going to work. THEN begin to work the product against the finish using a slow arm speed, moving the polisher back and forth over the section and overlapping your passes by 50%. You should run the polisher in a couple of different directions, always with overlapping motions, to insure even cleaning over the entire surface.

Note: The reason you want to spread your freshly applied product out over the section you're going to work is because if you turn the polisher on and immediately begin to work in one place, as you're working the product against the finish the diminishing abrasives are breaking down. As you continue to move around the area you're working, by the time you get to the last portion of the area you're working, you will be using a much less aggressive product than when you started out because all the while the diminishing abrasives have been breaking down. If when you first start out you take a few moments to spread the freshly applied product around over the entire section you're going to work, and then go back to your start point, you will have fresh product ready to be worked into the finish as you move from one area to the other.

Does that makes sense?

After you have buffed the area for 3-4 minutes, (how long you buff can be relative to the temperature and humidity in your area, also the type of paint your working on and the amount of product you applied. The important thing is that you buffed long enough to work the product against the finish and have broken the diminishing abrasives down, but you have not buffed to long and buffed to a dry buff. This is something that is hard to explain with a keyboard and a computer monitor and is really something that first-hand experience will teach you), stop buffing, wipe off the residue and inspect the results in two kinds of light, (if possible). If your results look good and are acceptable to you, then repeat this process, (#80 Speed Glaze with the W-8006 foam pad on the 4.5 to 5.0 setting), and after removing all of the residue you can then go on to the waxing step.

If your results don't look good, and this combination of products is not removing as many of the swirls and scratches as you would like, then try repeating the above to the same test section using the #83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish. Use a new clean W-8006 foam polishing pad for this step, or a W-8006 foam polishing pad that you have previously used with the #83.

Here's a suggestion
Use a permanent marker to mark the back of your buffing pads with the product number you're using with them so you don't mix different products onto different pads.


After buffing the test section on the 5.0 setting remove the excess product and re-polish the same area with the #80 Speed Glaze and the W-8006 pad marked and used with this product. Repeat the same procedure as originally outlined for doing the test spot with the #80 above. After you are finished buffing this area, remove the residue and inspect your results again in two kinds of light if possible.

The goal of coarse is that now your car's finish will look great! and be ready for you choice of wax. If your car's finish does look great and meets your expectations then repeat this 2-step cleaning approach to the entire car. If not then chances are very good to remove the defects and meet you requirements the finish will need to be professionally cleaned and polished using a rotary buffer by an experienced professional.



Hope this helps...

Mike

Blink74
Apr 30th, 2005, 04:45 PM
Thank you for the speedy response. Do you remove the tape for the wax or wax the trim (I believe the trim is painted) after you are done with the PC? Also, would you recommend a rotary buffer instead, or, a random orbital due to my inexpirence?

Mike Phillips
Apr 30th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Blink74
Thank you for the speedy response. Do you remove the tape for the wax or wax the trim (I believe the trim is painted) after you are done with the PC? Also, would you recommend a rotary buffer instead, or, a random orbital due to my inexperience?

If the trim is painted, then you don't need to tape it off, just try not to get excess product into the cracks and crevices.

Rotary buffers are for removing serious paint defects, if you've never used one before, you certainly don't want to learn on a black Mercedes-Benz!

Stick with the dual action polisher.

atclew
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by Blink74
I believe the trim is painted

First off, Conga-rats on your new (to you), Mercedes! I purchased an '03 C320 4-matic this past Dec. and absolutely love it.

Most of the trim on later model MB's are painted. I just usually tape off the trim along the bottom of the door windows when using the PC.

#83 responds very well with the MB's paint and you should see noticeable results with it. I'm still a novice user with the PC and I'm already getting fantastic results using the quality advice in these forums! I know alot of people are following the #83 up with #80 but, I tend to prefer #81 applied with the PC. I finish it all off with NXT. It just makes the finish "pop".

Blink74
May 1st, 2005, 04:16 AM
Thanx for the congrats. We've actually had the car for a year now. My wife loves it and will never drive anything else again. Me? I'm a truck Guy. But there is no denying the luxury and stye of the Benz.

I learned how to wax cars using #16 and #26 when I was a kid (Dad is a Meguiars fan). Since then I've tried several different waxes and such. Most recently I used Mothers reflections (Synthetic similar to NXT) and it worked well. It is east to use, very reflective and left one hell of a shine. However, there is just something missing that I get with the Yellow wax. I'm not sure exactly what the definition of "depth" is, but, I'm guessing that's whats missing. Will the NXT give me the same or better results than the GC or #26.

AutoNova
May 1st, 2005, 05:33 AM
Where can you find the blue masking tape used to tape up the benz and where did those wheel covers come from?

Mike Phillips
May 1st, 2005, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by atclew
#83 responds very well with the MB's paint and you should see noticeable results with it.

Does either of these two cars in this discussion have the Ceramiclear paint?


I'm still a novice user with the PC and I'm already getting fantastic results using the quality advice in these forums!

It's nice to read this as I know we have a lot of forum members here that are always willing to share their advice and experience.


I know alot of people are following the #83 up with #80 but, I tend to prefer #81 applied with the PC. I finish it all off with NXT. It just makes the finish "pop".

M81 Hand Polish is a pure polish, that is it contains no ingredients with the intended purpose of cleaning, or abrading the finish, just add beauty. That said, the reason that many people follow the M83 with the M80 Speed Glaze is because the M80 Speed Glaze is a cleaner/polish, in Meguiar's terminology, this means it contains a diminishing abrasive which will help to remove any micro-marring, or hazing left on some finishes after using the M83 with the dual action polisher.

The best thing to do is to test on your specific paint type to see what produces the best results. M83/M81 works for Lew, but please do be aware that you may need to try the M83/M80 combo also. Like I always post,

You don't know what you can do until you try..."

And in some cases, you don't know what you can do until you test...

Mike Phillips
May 1st, 2005, 06:24 AM
Originally posted by AutoNova
Where can you find the blue masking tape used to tape up the benz and where did those wheel covers come from?

I usually get the blue tape from our local PBE store when I'm getting other supplies but you can find the wide stuff pretty easy and most stores. It's the thin painters tapes that are hard to find and these can be found at PBE stores.

I always take newspapers with me when I detail a car and make my own wheel covers. Yes, I know you can purchase wheel covers, but old habit die hard and sometimes the wheel covers you purchase won't fit all the tires of all the car you detail, so newspapers and tape works on everything...

:xyxthumbs

atclew
May 1st, 2005, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by Mike Phillips
Does either of these two cars in this discussion have the Ceramiclear paint?

Very good question Mike, that's on my "things to do list" tomorrow. I've got to call for my first maintenance anyway, I'll ask them then.


[Originally posted by Mike Phillips
...the reason that many people follow the M83 with the M80 Speed Glaze is because the M80 Speed Glaze is a cleaner/polish, in Meguiar's terminology, this means it contains a diminishing abrasive which will help to remove any micro-marring, or hazing left on some finishes after using the M83 with the dual action polisher.

You know, I've got to the M80 a try now! I'm very curious to see what difference it could/would make!


Thanks again for weighing in on the subject Mike!
:bigups

atclew
May 1st, 2005, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by Blink74
Will the NXT give me the same or better results than the GC or #26.

Pics of the Benz are forthcoming but, in the meantime...

I'll repost a pic here of my folks PT Cruiser that I detailed for them this past July 4th weekend. The finish had very little defects in it so we just clayed it, used #81 and finished with NXT, both by hand.

The NXT seems to give a very deep, mirrorlike reflection on darker finishes.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/599mom_and_dad1.jpg

Blink74
May 2nd, 2005, 03:26 AM
Great thread guys, Thanx.

BTW, I show my wif some of the before and after pics of black cars on the forum and she volunteered to but the PC. Needless to say she was impressed. Hopefully I can deliver the same results on her car.

atclew
May 2nd, 2005, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Blink74
Recently we bought a 2002 Black Benz in need of some seriuos TLC.

What model of MB did you and "Household 6" buy?:coolgleam

RamAirV1
May 2nd, 2005, 07:09 PM
NXT will definitely give better results than GC or #26. They are very good products, but the NXT will take your black Benz to the next level! I would use #83, #80 if any marring remains, then #81, then 2 applications of NXT Paste with 12-24 hours between coats.

RamAirV1

Blink74
May 3rd, 2005, 02:27 PM
It is an E320.

veedub Mike
Jan 2nd, 2007, 07:17 PM
Does either of these two cars in this discussion have the Ceramiclear paint?


Hi Mike!
Ceramiclear was introduced by Mercedes-Benz in late 2002. So the first MB in this discussion probably does not.

gorin002
Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:42 PM
nice show what a shine