Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?
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Thread: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

          
  1. #1
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    Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Is it the same as doing a clear coat car?
    I plan to
    1) Wash car
    2) Polish car (by hand). I expect paint to come off onto the pad here, right?
    3) Wax car.


    Also, unrelated question.
    If you have a car that you need to compound (deep scratches, etc)
    Do you have to polish after compounding, to shine with a finer grit product?
    Or can you go directly from compound to wax, and skip the polish?

  2. #2
    Mr Sparkle davey g-force's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    The basic steps are the same, yes. So it would be:
    1. Wash
    2. Clay
    3. Compound (if required)
    4. Polish
    5. Wax (sealant)

    Having said that, if the paint is oxidised, or dried out, single stage (no clear coat) paints benefit more from products with more oils such as M7, M80, M83. So the products you use may be different, but the basic principles / steps are the same.

    Regarding your other question: It depends on many factors such as the products/technique you use, how the paint responds and what you're trying to achieve. Generally, you would polish after compounding to refine the finish and remove any marring left by the compound. However, often after compounding, the paint is "LSP ready" i.e. it does not require any further polishing, or is good enough for the type of car it is and how much time/effort you want to put in. So basically you would compound and see how it looks to your eyes, and then determine whether you will polish before waxing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    I own a silver vehicle and a black vehicle owns me. The black one demands attention, washing, detailing, waxing and an occasional dinner out at a nice restaurant. The silver one demands nothing and it looks just fine. I think the black vehicle is taking advantage of me, and the silver car is more my style. We can go out for a drive without her makeup and she looks fine. If I want to take the black one out, it is three or four hours in the "bathroom" to get ready.

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    Michael The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    You may want to give white wax a shot as well. Check out this thread and what Michael Stoops has posted.

    http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...SS-White-Paint

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    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    At the end of the day, no matter if the car is single stage lacquer, single stage enamel or a modern base coat/clear coat system, you're working on paint. Some are harder than others, some are a breeze to work on and some are beyond frustrating. But it's all paint. And that means the basic processes are going to be the same - wash, clay, compound, polish, wax - although the product choices may vary.

    As Davey points out, single stage lacquers from the '70s and prior really like the polishing oils found in certain older products of ours. Let's face it, those products were designed when those paints were the norm, so they tend to work best even all these years later on. That doesn't mean you can't use newer products on these older paints; in fact, sometimes the newer products are the better choice for those older paints just as they are for newer paints. If you've got what looks to be very healthy older paint (good gloss, plenty of paint thickness left, just a bunch of typical swirl marks) then a more modern compound or polish may prove to be the best choice. But if that older paint is heavily oxidized and/or badly dried out, you may find some of the newer products don't behave the way you'd like them to, or expect them to. For example, M105 seems to really not like dry paint very much. The lubricants in M105 can easily get pulled into the pores of really dried out paint and M105 can turn to a gummy mess. Not a fault of the product, as it was designed to be used in a body shop on fresh paint, although it does work beautifully on factory cured paint as well. But on that old dried up stuff, not a good match. Ultimate Compound tends to be much more forgiving on these older, dried out paints that need heavy correction.

    Something to keep in mind when working on these older, and generally softer, single stage paints: because they are softer you tend to pull a bit more material. Not only will this turn your pads the color of the paint, which is no big deal, but it will also pull more paint residue into that pad. We don't often think about the paint residue in a pad on modern cars because we can't see it. Working on a clear coat paint system means you're pulling clear paint residue and we just can't see "clear". Clear coats also tend to be harder, so you don't pull as much material. But single stage will pull a lot of material into the pad, so very regular cleaning of that pad while working on the car is important. Like, really important. In fact, and personally I kind of hate to say this, but I don't think enough people are as diligent in cleaning their pads while working on a car as they should be. I've seen far too many pads that are loaded up with product, even to the point where they've gained so much weight the tool can no longer sustain pad rotation. Crazy, huh?

    So, treat those single stage paint cars basically the same way you'd treat a clear coat, but consider changing up your product mix a bit if the paint is looking dried out. M07 can be a lifesaver on such paint, even before compounding. If the paint looks nice and healthy but just has some light swirls, M80 could be the perfect choice. As always, do a test spot first to see how the paint responds and adjust your game plan accordingly. Lastly, don't forget, if you're working on very old paint try to find out the history of that paint. Has it been compounded in the past, and if so, how often? Take some paint thickness readings if you can. Old paint that looks great could have been polished within an inch of it's life, and an overly aggressive process could pull enough material that you go right through what's left. High spots on body lines should be treated with great caution on older cars as the paint could be extremely thin there. Sometimes the smart thing to do is leave well enough alone, increase the gloss with some M07 or M80 by hand, and leave as much of the paint intact as you can. Most owners of classic cars with original paint would prefer to have a few swirls remaining in that original paint, rather than removing all the swirls and taking all the paint with them.
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    So, treat those single stage paint cars basically the same way you'd treat a clear coat, but consider changing up your product mix a bit if the paint is looking dried out. M07 can be a lifesaver on such paint, even before compounding. If the paint looks nice and healthy but just has some light swirls, M80 could be the perfect choice. As always, do a test spot first to see how the paint responds and adjust your game plan accordingly.
    As always, Michael's nailed it.
    Being an old guy with a bunch of old friends with old cars and old paint, I can attest to his words. I never would have thought of using M07, a product labeled as a glaze, BEFORE compounding. When I tried compounds as the first step, the parched paint quickly soaked up the moisture, leaving me with a caked-up pad, dust everywhere and little improvement to the finish. Once I tried M07, rubbing in a heavy coat by hand with some serious pressure on a terrycloth towel and allowing the oils to soak in overnight before removal, it was truly a "eureka" moment. The results after only this one step were dramatic on my faded, OEM-lacquered 1987 El Camino. Polishing with M80 next was another newly-learned step, spot-treating with UC where needed.
    I now repeat the process every spring and I've taken the old girl from a ride I was starting to be ashamed to be seen driving, to winning a few trophies in judged shows.

    Bill

  6. #6
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJack View Post
    As always, Michael's nailed it.
    Being an old guy with a bunch of old friends with old cars and old paint, I can attest to his words. I never would have thought of using M07, a product labeled as a glaze, BEFORE compounding. When I tried compounds as the first step, the parched paint quickly soaked up the moisture, leaving me with a caked-up pad, dust everywhere and little improvement to the finish. Once I tried M07, rubbing in a heavy coat by hand with some serious pressure on a terrycloth towel and allowing the oils to soak in overnight before removal, it was truly a "eureka" moment. The results after only this one step were dramatic on my faded, OEM-lacquered 1987 El Camino. Polishing with M80 next was another newly-learned step, spot-treating with UC where needed.
    I now repeat the process every spring and I've taken the old girl from a ride I was starting to be ashamed to be seen driving, to winning a few trophies in judged shows.

    Bill
    Exactly what I expected.... not just a response from you, Bill, but also a picture of your El Camino!! You're sort of the king of working on original single stage paint around here, and that El Camino always drives the message home!! Just look at the reflections in that hood......love it!!
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

  7. #7
    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    Exactly what I expected.... not just a response from you, Bill, but also a picture of your El Camino!! You're sort of the king of working on original single stage paint around here, and that El Camino always drives the message home!! Just look at the reflections in that hood......love it!!
    Thanks, Michael, but I'm far from an expert. I just know who to trust for directions, both yourself and Mike Phillips, whose article back in 2010 on single-stage paint renovation
    ( http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...&highlight=M07 ) was nothing short of a game-changer for my tired old Camino's finish.
    I grew up in the SS lacquer and enamel years of the car business and all I knew for a long time were gritty compounds, wool pads and 2000 RPM rotary buffers. For over 40 years I've had M07 on my shelf and never knew what it could accomplish with some expert advice. I'm not very fast on the keyboard, but I'll type away every time I see a post from a relative newbie on old paint just to save one more cherished old ride from the torture I put many old rides through in the past using my rotary and "rocks in a bottle" compounds. My pictures are posted to drive the point home that there's always some hope, in addition, of course, to a little bit of showin' off!
    I've got a good friend who just dug his 2-owner '70 Z28 out of a 30 year hibernation. Once he gets it up and running, I promised him by best efforts in reviving the 44 year old paint. This time, I'll document with befores as well as afters so that anyone interested can see the capability of M07, elbow grease and some competent instruction from the true experts like yourself.

    Bill

  8. #8
    Mr Sparkle davey g-force's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    ^^ Can't wait to see that write-up!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    I own a silver vehicle and a black vehicle owns me. The black one demands attention, washing, detailing, waxing and an occasional dinner out at a nice restaurant. The silver one demands nothing and it looks just fine. I think the black vehicle is taking advantage of me, and the silver car is more my style. We can go out for a drive without her makeup and she looks fine. If I want to take the black one out, it is three or four hours in the "bathroom" to get ready.

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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Can you repeat what the revelation using M07 was?
    What did you originally think it was meant for?
    You're using "glaze" as the polish, right?

    Where does "glaze" compare in the grittiness compared to polish and compound?

    What is that "glaze" marketed as,
    and what are you using it for (sounds like an undiscovered application)
    otherwise, you'd have known what to use it for much sooner.

  10. #10
    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing 1970's cars with no clear coat?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaintenanceFirst_ModsLast MaintenanceFi View Post
    Can you repeat what the revelation using M07 was?
    What did you originally think it was meant for?
    You're using "glaze" as the polish, right?

    Where does "glaze" compare in the grittiness compared to polish and compound?

    What is that "glaze" marketed as,
    and what are you using it for (sounds like an undiscovered application)
    otherwise, you'd have known what to use it for much sooner.
    Back in 1971, I rebuilt a totaled Malibu, including a full repaint. My uncle, the painter, instructed me to use no wax for at least three months. After color-sanding and compounding, I went looking for a product to amp up the gloss without any wax content. My local parts/paint store turned me on to M07, then called "Sealer and Reseal Glaze". It enhanced the shine so well that I've used it ever since, after any polishing and before my final wax.


    It was only when I read the article referenced in post #7 that I learned the healing potential of M07 for old, parched single-stage paint and attacked the paint on my Camino with some new found enthusiasm. I can't explain it any better than Mike does in the article, so I'll encourage you to read it in its entirety. As I've stated before, it was a true game-changer for the tired paint on my Camino and it likely will be for your project too.

    Bill

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