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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to pass along some tips that I have picked up over the years regarding polishing and waxing. First of all, I am not an expert per se, I am just offering items that I have learned either throught reading, talking to others, or just stumbled across myself. So no flames please....lol

Everybody has tried one type of polishing system or another and has their views on it as well. I have enough polish and wax in my garage to last me 3 lifetimes...lol Lately I just have purchased the Zaino system. So far I has achieved very good results with it. I am not a dealer for them or any other system, but the point that I would like to make is that with any "good system" by different manufactures can and do work just as well as the next. Body preparation is the key to getting the best possible shine and protection. Also it takes time, be prepared to take the time to do the job right your first time. When I did the Zaino system, I started 11:00 in the morning and finished up about 8:00 in the evening. Of couse I had a break or two during that time. Now after the first time, keep up maintenance should take no time at all.
I have used many different products and they all have come out looking great. Yes there are some that are inferior than others, but you learn which ones they are. Just remenber you have to have patience in order to achieve the best results.

Now some tips that you may alrealy know.

Water spots, how to prevent them...Athough I have a garage, you can also do this outside weather permitting. Whenever I come home, I always pop the hood on the SSR to let out all of the engine heat. Heat is your worst enemy for waterspots. If it is raining and you park in the garage without wiping down the hood, you are asking for trouble, as the heat from the hood will just bake the rain drops into the paint. Lets say you don't cover your car at work and you have an afternoon shower, which leaves the rain to be dried by the hot sun afterwards, you can be looking for waterspot trouble. That is why I always carry a spray bottle of water and liquid polish or wax with enough cloths to hande any situation.
If anything try to keep your hood as clean as possible under any conditions and you will prevent waterspotting in the future. Never wash your vehicle in the sun, no matter what anyone tells you, just don't do it period. With one exception, if you don't have a choice, was it piece by piece and then dry that area, this way the sun does not have a chance to spot the finish with dried water.

Tires and Wheels-always wash them first, it is easier to respray them as you wash the rest of the vehicle rather than the the other way around. I have also found that the stock wheels on the SSR are just about the easiest to keep clean inside and out. Just pick up one of those small sponge handle products from the supermarket, they are easy to use to use to get to the inner wheel area, or for the rear wheels just lay underneath and use the sponge or rag to wipe down that area. It does make a difference in the appearance of your SSR. And if you do it when you wash your SSR, that brake dust never builds up.

Winter driving- Alot of us will be seeing snow with our SSR's this winter, not only is it important to keep the body clean, make sure you stay ontop of the wheels. Don't let salt and brake dust stay on the wheels for an extended period of time, that is asking for disaster. Even if you come home and you know that the roads will be just as bad the next day, get that salt and dirt off your wheels, so that it doesn't bake in, believe me it will be a real problem if you don't, and keep that hood clean.

Just thought I share some tips with you, which you may know and do already, I am on vacation this week and have some extra time on my hands, what better way to spend it, having a conversation with the SSR menbers....................Tom
 

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Thanks Roadster

I too have purchased the Zaino products :) . It is so hot here in Texas right now that I am waiting for it to cool off a little before I attempt this project. My driveway is only shaded for a few hours, so I will be doing a lot of work in the garage trying to keep it out of the sun. I'm hoping for excellent results and you have encouraged me to get it done as soon as possible. :cool The reminder on patience hit home, I'll try to be just that and get a quality job. :nono
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No Problem!!!

woohoo said:
I too have purchased the Zaino products :) . It is so hot here in Texas right now that I am waiting for it to cool off a little before I attempt this project. My driveway is only shaded for a few hours, so I will be doing a lot of work in the garage trying to keep it out of the sun. I'm hoping for excellent results and you have encouraged me to get it done as soon as possible. :cool The reminder on patience hit home, I'll try to be just that and get a quality job. :nono

Glad I am lighting the fire under your a** to get the job done... :lol
Remenber the day you do the SSR, do not make any plans to do anything else, that way you don't have any pressure and you can really take your time and do the job right!!! :) :)

Another reminder, I use only micro fiber cloths rather than cotton cloths for the body. I have found that for the window glass area's that cotton is better to dry them than the micro fiber, but for the body micro fiber can't be beat. Just make sure you buy good quality micro fiber cloths, just like everything else, you get what you pay for...............................................................Tom
 

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Burning Hot

Roadster said:
Glad I am lighting the fire under your a** to get the job done... :lol
Remenber the day you do the SSR, do not make any plans to do anything else, that way you don't have any pressure and you can really take your time and do the job right!!! :) :)

Another reminder, I use only micro fiber cloths rather than cotton cloths for the body. I have found that for the window glass area's that cotton is better to dry them than the micro fiber, but for the body micro fiber can't be beat. Just make sure you buy good quality micro fiber cloths, just like everything else, you get what you pay for...............................................................Tom
THAT FIRE IS GETTING HOT,HOT,HOT :reddevil .........WILL GET THE MICROFIBER CLOTHS BEFORE I START :thumbs
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Another item!

I did wash the SSR with the Dawn dish soap before proceeding. But I did not clay the SSR. I felt that the body was very smooth and upon close inspection, found no unwanted particles on the paint, as the previous owner bought this SSR for more of a collectable than anything else. Now when I do my wife's Vibe, I will definately clay that vehicle, because it has been exposed to many more of the elements than the SSR has. So if you clay the SSR, allow more time for the job.
:ssr :) :ssr
 

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Just a few observations, from another long-time, strictly-amateur "shag boy":

I disagree with washing the wheels and tires first, unless you do so with a completely different "bucket o' suds" than used on the body. You don't want to subject your SSR's (or any vehicle's) precious body, glass, lenses, etc., to the grease, grime and road scuz that the tires and wheels can collect. My approach is to wash top to bottom, front to back, soaking the sponge (or whatever you use) frequently, and rinsing the vehicle frequently and liberally. I wash the wheels and tires last. If I use up my entire bucket of suds on the body, and have to whip up another fresh batch, so much the better.

With clear coat finishes, I don't see any problems drying with soft cotton towels. I recently picked up a silicone squeegee blade that is excellent for removing the excess water from glass and body panels prior to drying. I go through fewer towels, and it takes less time to dry the vehicle.

After drying all the exterior body parts, I use the damp towels to wipe down all the window sills, then door sills, the edges of the doors, the cargo cover (or trunk) and its sills, then the underhood area, in that order.

Wax your painted aluminum wheels (or polish your chrome wheels) each time you wash (not just wax) your vehicle, and they'll withstand the road nasties much better, and stay looking new much longer.

My vehicles are garaged day and night (Thank God for the underground parking at my office), so my usual schedule is a wash once a month and a wax job once a quarter. (I freely concede that this regimen may disqualify me as a "fanatic"!)
 

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You will use the squeegee until that fateful day when it picks up one grain of sand and makes that bone chilling sound that we all dread....... I stopped using one about 30 years ago...
 

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woohoo said:
I too have purchased the Zaino products :) . It is so hot here in Texas right now that I am waiting for it to cool off a little before I attempt this project. My driveway is only shaded for a few hours, so I will be doing a lot of work in the garage trying to keep it out of the sun. I'm hoping for excellent results and you have encouraged me to get it done as soon as possible. :cool The reminder on patience hit home, I'll try to be just that and get a quality job. :nono
We apply Zaino in the heat of the day (100+), in the bright sunlight without ANY problems...matter of fact, the warmer it is, the shorter time it takes to complete the process. Works wonderful...keeps the purple baby looking good and the old Lincoln LS like it is new again! Keeping both clean after Zaino is a breeze :thumbs
 

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Response to mikem-2005

mikem-2005 said:
You will use the squeegee until that fateful day when it picks up one grain of sand and makes that bone chilling sound that we all dread....... I stopped using one about 30 years ago...
Point taken, but IMHO it takes no more discipline to keep a squeegee grit free than a cotton towel (just a different procedure).
 

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Roadster,

You should do the "plastic test*" before you are so quick to say it doesn't need to be clay-barred. The clay removes rail dust, from when the car was shipped from the factory. You really WON'T see a difference until you do a panel of your vehicle. Clay 1/2 of your hood, and feel the difference, even with your bare hand.

*from the Zaino web-site:

EVALUATING YOUR PAINT FOR CLAY
How do you know if you need to use Z-18 ClayBar? After thoroughly hand washing and drying your car, stretch a piece of saran wrap over your hand extending past your fingertips. Gently slide the saran wrap across the finish of your vehicle. Does the surface feel bumpy or gritty? These bumps are contaminants attacking the finish of your car. Removing these surface contaminants (rail dust, road tar, bug residue, paint over-spray, brake pad dust, hard water spots, etc.) will improve both the look and health of your car's paint.

No matter how well you hand-wash your car, many of the contaminants that have worked their way into your car's paint finish will remain. Have you ever looked at your applicator pad after applying a coat of polish? What do you think that black stuff is? It's dirt, and you're sealing it in.
 

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Something that works better than that squeegee is the Absorber, comes in different colors and this thing is great for drying, takes all the water off then a quick rub down with a lint free rag.

As for the clay bar, don't skip this step. You only think that it feels smooth but after you use it on just one part of your hood and rub your hands over both sections you will feel the difference.

Woohoo, the first time I used the Zaino I started late in the afternoon, did all the steps up to the wax (I think #5) I let it set overnight to dry very well then finished off in the morning. Worked out well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
QUOTE=JAustin]Just a few observations, from another long-time, strictly-amateur "shag boy":

"I disagree with washing the wheels and tires first, unless you do so with a completely different "bucket o' suds" than used on the body. "

Failed to mentioned that when I do the wheels first, I always change the solution after they are done. If the vehicle is really dirty, I will change the solution for the body as many times as needed, as I see the water getting dirty...
As far as the cotton, I used them for years, Only problem I noticed was on the black cars that I had in the past, they just seemed to put very tiny "scratches" if you will into the finish. I have found for myself that I enjoy the micro fiber cloths much better, because they will not scratch your surface at all.
Not trying to say what is best for you or anyone to use, like I said earlier, I used cotton for years. Everyone has something that works for them, just passing along what works for me and maybe help someone else along the way......Tom
 

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artsmart said:
We apply Zaino in the heat of the day (100+), in the bright sunlight without ANY problems...matter of fact, the warmer it is, the shorter time it takes to complete the process. Works wonderful...keeps the purple baby looking good and the old Lincoln LS like it is new again! Keeping both clean after Zaino is a breeze :thumbs

I have also read that the Zaino can be applied in the direct sunlight, but I enjoy it better in the shade, much cooler for me.... :lol

But I still won't wash the vehicle in the sun, unless there was reason to do so and then I would do one panel and dry, etc. I just hate waterspots, learned from the early years..................... :) :) :)
 

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As far as the water getting dirty, try using two buckets. One with just water and the other with soapy water. Rince what ever you use in the clear water and than get the soapy water. I have used thie method for years.
 

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my helpful hints

Oh wait.....I don't have any...... :jester

Oh wait...vist Cruzin Ed's house. He will wash it for you :lol
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another great point!!! Thanks Jeff

JeffDBFl said:
As far as the water getting dirty, try using two buckets. One with just water and the other with soapy water. Rince what ever you use in the clear water and than get the soapy water. I have used thie method for years.

Great idea!!! I always rince my wash cloth with the hose after each panel, to flush away any loose particles or stubborn ones. It is usually after a rain storm where I collected alot of dirt on the vehicle, or in the winter time when there is salt and other dirt on the car, that I change the bucket as often as needed. Usually during the summer I can get by with one...But I like the two bucket approach, will have to stop by PepBoys or Home depot for my second bucket.
:thumbs :ssr :cool ............................................Tom
 

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Just tried this....

the other day after washing the SSR. Had the gas blower out from doing the lawn and decided to dry it off with 150 MPH wind power. Didn't get it totally dry but a quick way to almost completely dry it without much sweat!

Wally
 

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wildcat66 said:
Something that works better than that squeegee is the Absorber, comes in different colors and this thing is great for drying, takes all the water off then a quick rub down with a lint free rag.
I'd like to check these "Absorbers" out. Where can I get them?
 

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JeffDBFl said:
As far as the water getting dirty, try using two buckets. One with just water and the other with soapy water. Rince what ever you use in the clear water and than get the soapy water. I have used thie method for years.
I like this idea. Simple, elegant, brilliant!
 

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wallygator said:
the other day after washing the SSR. Had the gas blower out from doing the lawn and decided to dry it off with 150 MPH wind power. Didn't get it totally dry but a quick way to almost completely dry it without much sweat!

Wally
Now I've heard everything. If my wife sees me trying this, she'll think I've finally lost my mind! (And she may be right, regardless...)
 
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