Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal
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  1. #1
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    Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Hi all, long time reader first time poster.

    I've recently gotten into this hobby and have read about everything I can get my hands on about typical hobby detailing, particularly Meguiars products.

    Over the last few months I've been practicing with my new PC 7424XP on a few vehicles I have kicking around and have finally tried some test spots on my black RX-8. I have read that RX-8's have pretty soft and thin paint so I attacked my swirls and scratches gradually, and I'm a little suprised at the lack of defect removal I am seeing.

    What I have immediately available to me for product is, #9, #80, SwirlX, ScratchX 2.0, and Ultimate compound. I have a selection of pads from soft buffing to light cutting.

    I'm testing on about 1/3 of my hood at a time. What I have ramped up to on one side is 3 hits of #80 on a polishing pad, and on the other side 2 hits of SwirlX on a polishing pad, both at about a 5 speed. I haven't had a chance to get a good look at both sides in the sun so I can't say for sure which side looks 'better' but using a flashlight in my garage the results look similar, although I am expecitng SwirlX to show better results in the sun. Now, I am seeing a noticable amount of fine swirl reduction, but a decent amount of random deep scratches remain. I can't come close to picking them with my fingernail so they should be reasonably safe to remove but what should be the next step?

    As far as I see the next step should be either SwirlX on a light cut pad or perhaps ultimate compound on a polishing pad. Is there something else you might reccommend? My understanding of ScratchX 2.0 is that it's not really for doing something like a whole hood/car so I haven't really considered it. Should I? I think I can also get ahold of #83, but my understanding is that SwirlX should be slightly more aggressive so I'm not convinced that is the answer here.

    I am nervous to jump to ultimate compound with such a notoriously soft paint, and I'm sure it will need to be finished off with #80 or SwirlX so I get nervous I might be removing too much too quickly off an already thin paint system. Conversely, I've read that even though the paint is thin (~80um i've read?), it could be 'safe' to take it down as far as ~50um before clear coat failure is a concern - which is alot of removal when considering the tools and products I am using.

    Sorry for the long post. I'm growing quite passionate about this hobby, and I want to get it right - Any thoughts?

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    You are using Lake Country pads?
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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Hi there, and welcome to the club.

    After reading your post we both have a simular dilemma. I have a VW that is deep pearl black. And to be honest i have been detailing cars for well over 10yrs and it is a real art to remove all of those swirls and scratches. Especially on a black car.

    I have only ever detailed by hand as machine polishing worries me that I will get a little carried away.

    There is lots of advise and hints on here. Just do a search in the search tab above.

    I have used the Meguiars clay and 3 step system.

    Also I have just used scratch x2 all over my car and its reduced swirls and scratches, followed by meguiars 3 step system DC01 Dc02 Dc03. Also before applying dc03 i use nxt 2 tech wax. ALL BY HAND 20hrs later.

    I have been reading that you should rub up down left right and never go round as this will add swirls and not remove them.

    Dont get me wrong its not swirl free but it looks a lot better in direct sunlight.

    I would suggest leaving it to the pro's that do it day to day with the machine polishers. But thats just me.

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Quote Originally Posted by Murr1525 View Post
    You are using Lake Country pads?
    Correct.

    I would suggest leaving it to the pro's that do it day to day with the machine polishers. But thats just me
    I can say for certain that a DA polisher is extremely easy to use, and if anything, is not effective enough. So far I have found no way to cause more problems than it solves. There are some deep scratches I can pick my nail into - I have no intention of eliminating them as that's not what a DA is for. Rotary buffers have their place and I have no interest in using them... too much risk for me.

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    I am very new to the "detailing world" and have just completed my first claying experience as well as the first waxing job as well. I started out with my "test car" an older 1995 Buick that had been well maintained in all respects since new. It had a LOT of fine scratches from front to back however. With my new Meguiar's polisher and Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, it's hard to find a single scratch on the Buick. I used a speed of 4 and it did a fantastic job to say the least. It would be pretty hard to damage a paint surface with this polisher. I followed up with the NXT wax and the results were amazing. This weekend it gets it's second coat of wax. I am no longer concerned using the power polisher on any of my vehicles.

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Just a newb here, but this link showed me what to do w/ pics, as opposed to told me what to do. Nice to see how much pressure to apply, perhaps you aren't applying enough?

    www detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/polishing-how-to-with-meguiars-m105-m205/ *(Copy and paste into your browser, adding a period after the www to view the link)

    This one wrote it out well too:

    http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2965

    GL!
    Last edited by Markus Kleis; Jun 4th, 2010 at 10:53 AM. Reason: No hyperlinks before 30 posts

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Yeah, technique would be imporant, as in some pressure, still letting the pad spin, moving slowly, etc.

    Now, if you claim extremely soft paint, (and years, colors, model, etc can vary), you would want to look close that you are not adding/moving around swirls, and that the actual deep swirl/scratch is what is still there.
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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Quote Originally Posted by Murr1525 View Post
    Yeah, technique would be imporant, as in some pressure, still letting the pad spin, moving slowly, etc.

    Now, if you claim extremely soft paint, (and years, colors, model, etc can vary), you would want to look close that you are not adding/moving around swirls, and that the actual deep swirl/scratch is what is still there.
    I agree whole heartedly, and admittedly, my technique is far from professional and I will never get it perfect, I'm just slightly surprised that, assuming my paint is soft (I still think it is at this point - it does scratch and chip readily) I expected more action out of SwirlX on a polishing pad. Perhaps I'm just expecting too much out of the product. I still have some experimenting to do with speeds and pressure and whatnot, but I do get the feeling I need soemthing more agressive.

    I'm just scared of Ultimate Compound being too agressive for what I would be happy with. Perhaps I am overestimating the abrasiveness of UC even on soft paint. I am kinda hoping someone has had some experience with soft/thin paint and these products to possibly shine a light on what the best method of attack would be. Repeated passes of SwirlX or #80 will get me there I have no doubt, but I think I'll be old and grey by then I'm sure theres a better way.

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    Re: Need advice for RX8 scratch/swirl removal

    Chipping could be a sign of more hard brittle paint. Wouldnt base 'softness' for detailing off of that really.

    Make sure you have a line on the pad so you can see it spinning.

    Using UC wont hurt anything, esp if you start with a gentler pad. If you needed it everytime, something would seem wrong. But to fix the car up, then use milder products in the future, that is a reasonable plan.
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