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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Detailing gurus, I require your assistance. My car is crying for a good detailing session, but unfortunately I found no one I could entrust with her. So I decided I'd do the job myself, but first I need to know what products to use. I'd really appreciate insight!

Off to the condition of my car,

  • Garaged at night, but not at day.
  • A lot of highway driving.
  • She is cleaned (not washed) at least once a day.
  • When on vacation, she's washed at least once a week. Else at least once every two weeks.
  • Never clayed, polished or waxed (I know waxing is essential, but what about claying and polishing? When? What? Does claying replace polishing?).
  • Has about 5 or 6 stone chips on the hood and front bumper, hoping there's some way to treat them or at least decrease the damage other than a full repaint!
  • Some minor scratches here and there, nothing serious.
  • Some scratches on the wheels.
  • As you might have guessed, swirl marks!
  • The soft top has never been treated, its not damaged so far, but I'm willing to be proactive before it is!

So, what should I be using? Should I trade her in :p?!
 

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Oh boy, have you opened up a huge can of worms...

Detailing gurus, I require your assistance. My car is crying for a good detailing session, but unfortunately I found no one I could entrust with her. So I decided I'd do the job myself, but first I need to know what products to use. I'd really appreciate insight!

There are lots of good brands out there - Mothers, Meguiars, Collinite, Zaino, 1Z, Zymol, just to name a few. You might visit autopia.org (car detailing website and forums where the members are rabid detailing enthusiasts) to get some reviews and recommendations. If you don't detail your car regularly, you'll want something that's durable and lasts a long time.

[*]Never clayed, polished or waxed (I know waxing is essential, but what about claying and polishing? When? What? Does claying replace polishing?).
Here's the differences:

Claying: removes surface contaminants that have embedded into the clearcoat. The clay lifts these contaminants out.
Polishing: usually done with a polishing compound/agent that contains some abrasive, and an abrasive foam pad or cloth, to help remove swirl marks and light scratches. Polishing involves removing a tiny layer of clearcoat on top of the finish, so it's not something you want to do on a regular basis.
Waxing: provides protection to the car's finish and enhances gloss and color.

None of these replaces the other.

[*]Has about 5 or 6 stone chips on the hood and front bumper, hoping there's some way to treat them or at least decrease the damage other than a full repaint!
You can use small dabs of colormatched touch-up paint if the chips are small, or something like Langka to fill in the chips.

[*]Some minor scratches here and there, nothing serious.
What you do with these is up to you. You can polish them out using a random orbital polisher and polishing compound, or if they're light enough you can just use a sealant that fills in light scratches and swirls, like Zaino Z-5.

[*]Some scratches on the wheels.
This is tougher. Sometimes scratches/scuffs can be buffed or wet-sanded, but most of the time require professional refinishing.

[*]As you might have guessed, swirl marks!
See Above.

So, what should I be using? Should I trade her in :p?!
You'll get lots of recommendations for almost every brand out there. It will depend on how much you're willing to spend, what you're looking to do, and how often.
 

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You might visit autopia.org (car detailing website and forums where the members are rabid detailing enthusiasts) to get some reviews and recommendations.
I agree with Interpol that the Autopia website is great place to learn about detaling...they used to have a downloadable version of their detailing "book" which was great! Another good source of both info and products is "www.carcareonline.com"...I have been doing business with Larry Reynolds, a Porsche racer and concours competitor, for many years before joining PCA or P-9. While opinions will be as numerous as products, I can strongly recommend the P-21S Wheel Cleaners (both liquid and gel), the new P-21S 100% Carnauba as a wax, and Rejex for wheel protection. If you remember the movie "Karate Kid", please FORGET about the circular motion of "on with wax, off with the wax"...use only linear motion following the path air would take over the car. Even if using (high quality) microfiber cloths, application/removal of products (even washing) in multiple directions can put fine scratches into the finish which essentially create a diffraction grating resulting in dulling or visible scratches over time when viewed from almost any direction.
 

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there are many opinions about what brand but some things are the basic material required if you are going to be a "hardcore detailer" and will keep it in prestine condition.

Here are some basic required material that makes the job easier & better (all stiff I just bought recently for my new CS):
bucket with grit guard
foam gun & quality car soap
wheel cleaner & protector (I use Meguires hot rims cleaner & wheelwax polish)
floor jack (used mainly to remove wheels for detailing)
soft socket for lug nuts
torque wrench for wheel tightening
wax (I used the Zaino products)
leather conditioner (I use Zaino)
Dash detailer/protector (I use Mothers)
microfiber towels or cotton towels (high quality)
wash mits (quality one- I use one for the top portions of the car and one for the lower portions....also use an old one for the rims)

I also use a water softner......just very picky and not required if your water is not hard or if you dry it after washing.


For microfibers & cotton towels- do the CD test. Rub the towel hard on a CD and see if it scratches.....if it doesn't it will not leave swirl marks if the towel is clean and so is the car
 

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also in your case......soft top protector and a swirl remover polish. Its been mentionned before but I would claybar the car to start off with before waxing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. Actually this can of worms opened more questions than it answered :D I will take a look at those websites you mentioned!

What do you recommend for soft top cleaning??

Edit: Also what wax / polish / clay do you recommend??
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. Actually this can of worms opened more questions than it answered :D I will take a look at those websites you mentioned!

What do you recommend for soft top cleaning??

Edit: Also what wax / polish / clay do you recommend??

If very subjective and you can ask 10 different people and get 10 different answers so its best to do some research on the forums and talk to people that have tried many of them. Just don't base your opinion that the higher priced ones are better. In the end all the recommended ones are good.....some last longer, some are easier to apply & remove & some have a better deeper gloss.

Here is the fruit of my labor this weekend

http://www.planet-9.com/porsche-care-detailing/40692-zainoed-my-cayman-s.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was just checking your pix in that thread :D

Obviously you recommend Zaino's products, may I ask what each of the ones you used did? for example, what does the clear seal do? etc...?
 

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Was just checking your pix in that thread :D

Obviously you recommend Zaino's products, may I ask what each of the ones you used did? for example, what does the clear seal do? etc...?
Its better & easier to go to their web site and read up on it there.

there is also a FAQs section as well as a Tips & Tricks section that is helpful.
 

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Was just checking your pix in that thread :D

Obviously you recommend Zaino's products, may I ask what each of the ones you used did? for example, what does the clear seal do? etc...?
Zaino offers a lot of products but you don't need them all.

Z-18 Claybar: nothing special, just a claybar.
Z-5: polymer sealant that helps fill in swirls and light scratches
Z-2: polymer sealant that emphasizes gloss and shine
Z-CS: a new(er) long-lasting sealant that is supposed to do what Z-2 does, but extremely easy to apply. Spray on surface, wipe with applicator, let dry. Done.
Z-6: Quick detailer spray
Z-8: "Final" layer sealant spray that gives finish a real glossy and wet look.

I haven't used the Z-AIO products or any of the others in the store, so I'll leave that to others.

It's been noted both here and on Autopia that if you use Z-CS, you probably don't need Z-2. Of course, putting a layer on before Z-CS doesn't hurt either. It all depends on how much work you're willing to do.
 

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I didn't have much experience before I started to do mine. Swirl marks can be removed by using a medium polish and a buffer. Just about everything I use was bought from our sponsors, as long as you use good quality products. I would contact Phil at Detailer's Domain and the new guy (can't remember his name) at Glimmer and Glass Detailing to see what types of kits they have. You'll need a clay bar, medium and final polish, a buffer, wax and some microfiber towels. Along with autopia.org there are alot of instructional videos on youtube too.
 

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Coming from the current PCA Overall Concours Preparation winner, my advice is not the product you choose. As stated above, everyone has their favorites.
And all for different reasons. And, all are fine products.
It's how you apply them.
The care you take, the results you expect, and the frequency that you do.
Good luck!
Keep it clean!
 
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