Author Topic: Detailing Best Practices  (Read 2592 times)

mdsalemi

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Detailing Best Practices
« on: February 12, 2022, 12:58:24 »
In the past the late Bob Geco would give us some of his techniques.

Saw this today:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/cleaning-secrets-only-car-detailers-know/
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

thelews

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2022, 14:29:16 »
303 aerospace protectant is excellent for dash, door tops, other interior areas, exterior vinyl/rubber to provide a nice finish and uv protection from the sun.
Enjoy some pictures at this link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8292359@N06/sets/72157603240571101/show/

John - Wisconsin
1967 Early 250 SL Red/Caviar, Manual #1543
1961 190 SL 23K miles
1964 Porsche 356
1970 Porsche 911E
1991 BMW 318is
1966 Jaguar XKE
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750

mdsalemi

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2022, 19:10:40 »
303 aerospace protectant is excellent for dash, door tops, other interior areas, exterior vinyl/rubber to provide a nice finish and uv protection from the sun.

https://www.goldeagle.com/brands/303-products/
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

thelews

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2022, 23:18:46 »
I didn't know about their Graphene products.  Going to try them out, good reviews all around, it appears and available on Amazon.
Enjoy some pictures at this link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8292359@N06/sets/72157603240571101/show/

John - Wisconsin
1967 Early 250 SL Red/Caviar, Manual #1543
1961 190 SL 23K miles
1964 Porsche 356
1970 Porsche 911E
1991 BMW 318is
1966 Jaguar XKE
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750

lreppond

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2022, 23:31:53 »
I follow several auto detailers who post on YouTube.  I’ve picked up some very useful information.  None of it is particularly difficult but I believe organization and having the right cleaners/tools and containers are key.

The one part of my car that has eluded my efforts are the chromed fresh louvers.  Mine went essentially a lifetime before being given attention.  They have no pitting just a thick hazy skin that covers them.  I’ve used detailing brushes, mini blind cleaners with microfiber tips, Q-tips, etc.  They look much better but as a perfectionist they are far from great, especially in the tight corners.  Suggestions? 

Kampala provided some useful information on how he detailed the chrome on his dash.  It was gorgeous when he finished.  He removed and disassembled parts and I’m just too cautious to try that.   
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 00:37:16 by lreppond »
~Len

1971 280 SL
576G red/251 Beige
4 speed manual
Family owned since new (father —> son)

DaveB

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2022, 23:54:22 »
Bronze wire brushes seem good on chrome, without scratching. But you would need a small fine one for that job.
DaveB
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190

John Betsch - "SADIE"

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2022, 00:02:59 »
I am usually a fan of Amazon but it looks like they have their hooks into Family HandyMan magazine when you see all the "buy now" buttons

But here is an opportunity for members:

Why not post some o your secret detailing techniques to share with other members

Let's here you-

Cant wait to hear!

JB
JB; 1965 German market SL, Rot Met 571, Summary Code 213 Interior

mdsalemi

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2022, 00:22:26 »
I am usually a fan of Amazon but it looks like they have their hooks into Family HandyMan magazine when you see all the "buy now" buttons


I receive email blasts at least daily from Family Handyman. It isn’t too common that they have buy buttons… And as I have been getting these hundreds of times over the past few years I cannot recall any link between them and Amazon in the past. But then again I’m not looking for it. Looking at it another way a large number of people would want to know where to get certain things or what they’re even called. Certainly the buy button does that…

In my local Mercedes-Benz club back in Detroit we had a detailing seminar at a local detail shop and he used all kinds of special little tools and every single person asked where could they get them. One of them was some thing I ended up making for the group out of a bunch of parts from my car wash supplier! It was a specialty shaped air nozzle attachment for an air hose used to clean out dust and dirt from the most interesting places.

Of course you could get most of this stuff at Griots garage or Eastwood…
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

John Betsch - "SADIE"

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2022, 00:29:56 »
Let's hear everyone's ideas! This could be helpful to us all as we keep our Pagoda as it was meant to be.  JB
JB; 1965 German market SL, Rot Met 571, Summary Code 213 Interior

wwheeler

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2022, 00:33:40 »
I went to a detailing seminar that was given by a high end detailer. That company took the paint on my '70RR that was at a 5000 grit stage, and polished it to an unbelievable state of shine. They also did the long term ceramic coat. The product line they use is mostly Gtechniq and also available on Amazon. I am just getting started using their products, but so far it is top notch. The detailer also recommends Griots garage products as a "economy" line. I saw the link to the handyman and agree with most of his recommendations.

There are better ways to apply soap and one being a foam gun that uses a garden hose connection. Not expensive and applies a foam layer. The detailer recommended using Autofiber products for drying cloths and wash mits. They are first class! Regards to wax, there have been advances that don't require the excessive rubbing and they have better and longer protection. Gtechniq has their C2 liquid Crystal and is highly recommended. Not cheap though. Gtechniq also sell a glass sealing system that lasts about 4 months and much longer than Rain-X. 

One thing Handyman didn't mention is using clay to remove paint contaminants. The traditional clay bar has been replaced by a clay pad that last longer and is easy to use. Griots has these. One other paint cleaning item is iron and fallout remover. it is widely available and removes paint contaminates before you use the clay pad.
 
Another more expensive option when washing is using a water deionizer. You can get an inexpensive one for $200 or so. Removes the minerals in water and completely eliminates water spots. With that, you can even let the car air dry in direct sunlight without spotting.   

   
   
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

lreppond

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2022, 00:44:34 »
Sounds like a great experience Wallace!  I completely agree about using a foam wash.  I keep my car pretty clean,  but it does get dusty and some road dirt.  I spray on the foam, let it do it’s thing with only a modicum of agitation (if at all) and then rinse off.  A deionizer is a great trick.  Essentially like rinsing your car with distilled water! 
~Len

1971 280 SL
576G red/251 Beige
4 speed manual
Family owned since new (father —> son)

wwheeler

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2022, 00:52:37 »
The one thing you have to do as an owner is to access the condition of the paint. Is it a original paint, a recent paint job or even your daily driver? They all have different needs. That is where a good detailer comes in and knows what to do based on the owner's desires. The detailer also should know not be more aggressive than the paint will allow. Hearing about polishing always makes me nervous because that can go from very aggressive to minimal. You always want to error on the conservative side to start.

One other tip when washing is to use a leaf blower after the wash to blow away trapped water in the nooks and crannies.

   
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

mdsalemi

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2022, 01:04:46 »
Right! Clay bar not mentioned. Been using them for years, great results.

After the last detail seminar I did end up buying the clay bar pads…on Amazon…but haven’t used them yet.

As for cleaning the fresh air vent louvers try metal polish and the appropriate tools to get the polish in there. I’d use small foam pads or a tongue depressor and microfiber…what else! I use blue metal polish. Easy to find at any auto parts store…
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

lreppond

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2022, 01:30:39 »
I used a tongue depressor wrapped with thin microfiber. It produced my best results but where the louvers are the shortest is also where the curve of the circular ring to which they’re attached is most pronounced leaving little to no wiggle room.  I used 91% isopropyl alcohol cut with an equal volume of distilled water.  It was very effective in removing the “breath” scum. I followed that up with a thin application of Blitz silver polish.  It is an extremely fine polish with zero chance of scratching yet brings chrome to a high specular finish.
It’s those areas with little to no wiggle room that have been so frustrating.  I’ll try foam pads and see if they will compress enough to fit in but not bend or distort the short louvers. 
~Len

1971 280 SL
576G red/251 Beige
4 speed manual
Family owned since new (father —> son)

GM

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thelews

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2022, 14:22:20 »
You know, I've owned my 250 SL since 2007.  I don't think I've ever washed it.  Polished, glazed, waxed when got the car (I think, it was pretty nice) and detailed as needed through the years.  California duster in between details with Griot's Speed Shine.  Sure, I take a hose and wash the wheels and tires with brake dust and all, but not the whole car.  Nice damp or wet rag to the nose if the bugs are bad to loosen them up and remove (right away) and then a detailer.  Same with the rest of the car if I feel it needs a more liquidy wipe down. Water is the enemy in my opinion and less is more.  It goes places where you may not want it to or see, and does its magic over time.  In fairness, my 250 is out on nice days, never in rain, not on crappy roads.  So, my protocol does not work for everyone, but does for me.

Pictures from 2007 when I got the car and 2 years ago in the upper garage when it was the 250 SL's turn to be driven that week.  Gets maybe 500 miles/year of driving.

Enjoy some pictures at this link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8292359@N06/sets/72157603240571101/show/

John - Wisconsin
1967 Early 250 SL Red/Caviar, Manual #1543
1961 190 SL 23K miles
1964 Porsche 356
1970 Porsche 911E
1991 BMW 318is
1966 Jaguar XKE
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750

mdsalemi

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2022, 16:39:20 »
When I owned the car wash 2002-2008, one of the things I added was a massive RO system, capable of 3,000 gallons per hour; that was fast enough to use in "real time". They are notoriously wasteful, so I captured the RO waste water and used it for the detergent mixing. Unlike under sink RO systems working on water pressure or deionization filters doing it the same or by gravity, this beast had a seven stage pump and a massive 5" x 40" membrane.

It is more necessary for people that don't dry their cars; if you dry your car with a microfiber the RO (or distilled or deionized, they are all used for the same spot free purpose even though they are all different) isn't all that important. We offered it as a final rinse for those that liked to wash, rinse and then drive away.

It was marginally helpful, as in a car wash, high pressure can push the water into some areas of the car that take a while to bleed out. At least with an RO rinse you minimize spotting. With hand washing for me, it's never been an issue as I always dry by hand.

There is a minor concern in that any kind of deionized or distilled or RO water is aggressively looking to bond with something...and can degrade metals. You'll always see plastic tubing and components on such systems.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

wwheeler

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2022, 18:47:50 »
As with John, I haven't washed my 280SE with a water hose since 2007. Most of these detailing tips are really meant for daily drivers. Old classics not driven in bad weather demand a different approach. Don't do more than you have to to keep your car clean and shiny. More isn't better.

I have an inexpensive deionized water system with the main purpose being washing cars in the Texas summers. When the temperature goes from a "low" of 80 to a high of 100, you can't absorb the water fast enough before it dries an leaves water spots at any time of the day. Even in the shade. With deionized water, you don't have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to absorb the water. Makes it much less stressful. I use tap water for all washing and only use the deionized water for the final rinse.     
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

66andBlue

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2022, 18:57:09 »
Michael,
did you have a "touchless" carwash or one with a bristle wheel? This dog sure would like to know!  ;D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTJV4G8FVmo
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
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mdsalemi

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2022, 19:49:55 »
Michael,
did you have a "touchless" carwash or one with a bristle wheel? This dog sure would like to know!  ;D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTJV4G8FVmo

That's hysterical...

FWIW, I had a touchless automatic; at the time I installed it, it was state of the art, a Belenger Vector. Had the most sophisticated sensor and measuring setup using both sonar and IR detectors. I had to cater to the blue collar market I served, and I could wash an F350 4-door Super Crew pickup with 8-foot bed, dual wheel rear axle, and a 6" lift kit, and the GM/RAM equivalents (though those were rare on the west side of metro Detroit).

Mine was similar to this: https://youtu.be/myosJl4BW6o

Regarding the "roll over automatic" in the dog video, you cannot really run those without having staff on site; they are too dangerous. Stories abound in the car wash industry of those rotating brushes picking up things from the bed of a pickup truck (like baling wire) and then whipping at around a car causing significant damage...
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

Garry

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Re: Detailing Best Practices
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2022, 21:42:27 »
I remember a hire car that i put through the car wash in UK before giving it back and there must have been a bit of wire in the brushes and put scratches all across the roof.  Nothing a permanent marker was not able to hide😵‍💫
Garry Marks
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