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Old 08-13-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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Clay Bar

Well guys, I took a clay bar to the old box this weekend, and I have to say I was a little disappointed with the results. I picked up the Mother's California Gold Clay Bar system Saturday morning, and after a good wash I went to town on the paint.

https://store.mothers.com/product_info.php?products_id=26

It did accomplish what I had hoped, which was to remove the dried cement / mud reside from when I went through a puddle a couple of weeks ago, but to be honest I really couldn't tell much of a difference in the paint from the before and after

Could it be because the car is garage parked at home and at work ? I use the Zaino Z-5 on a regular basis ( finally picked up some Z-2 though ). Is the Z-5 abrasive enough that it had already removed what the clay bar was intended for ?

Any thoughts or explanations would be appreciated

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:02 PM   #2
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Maybe your car's paint surface is already really clean and free of gunk... How does the surface feel now compared to before? Any bit more smooth and glasslike?
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:12 PM   #3
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I just clay barred my car on Friday, first time I've done it. I did notice on most of the surfaces, it didn't feel like it was doing much, and the bar didn't look like it was picking up much. But on some other surfaces, I did see traces of gunk on it.

The clay bar is more about maintaining the health of the paint, getting contaminants and very small particles out of it. Stuff you might not be able to see. It's good to do it even if it doesn't end up looking better as a result. It will keep your paint 'healthier'.

ETA... the surface did feel smoother, even if the bar didn't appear to be picking up a lot of particle matter...
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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My last clay bar job (several weeks ago) didn't appear to change the way the paint looked, only how it felt. It's pretty effective at removing road tar droplets, though.
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Old 08-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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well in theory you're supposed to do the sandwich bag test to see if your paint requires clay at all. Place hand in bag and run fingers across the paint to see if there is any drag,bumpy lumps vs. smooth gliding.

Claying only "shaves" the top surface. If you have swirls that haven't been corrected you may have pollution and particles trenched in the swirl channels. Using Menzerna with an orbital buffer will flatten the paint surface so the particles have no place to hide. If you don't want to go the buffer route you can try paint decontamination which flushes out the swirls channels. FK1 1119/883 is one popular decontamination kit for about $50.

p.s.
if you are claying and nothing is coming off that's a good thing. Kinda like spraying for roaches before you get them.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:48 PM   #6
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I have never noticed a change in the appearance of the paint after using clay; however, I could always feel a huge difference. I sleep comfortably knowing that contaminants aren't eating at my paint.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:35 AM   #7
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It really doesn't seem to the touch that the surface of the paint is any more or less smooth before and after the clay bar

Regardless, thanks for the feedback, guys, I appreciate it...

Nick
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:45 AM   #8
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claying also cuts down on swirling...lifts teeny tiny road sediments that grab onto your paint that don't come off in the washing process (unless you for some reason rub real hard when you wash). Those who don't clay then unwittingly rub these sediments all over the paint when they buff and wax(which does break lose the particles)...voila new swirls.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:18 AM   #9
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Did you use anything to strip off the present wax/protectant off before you used the claybar?

Not sure what some use (dishwashing detergent like "Dawn" or something) to remove the wax buildup first.

As far as the cement/mud...were you able to remove it without damaging the paint?

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:36 AM   #10
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Mark,

No, I did not strip off the present wax before using the claybar. I did wash and dry the car, but not with dishwashing detergent. Was I supposed to ?

The claybar did do a great job on the cement / mud. It removed all traces of the splatter with no ill effects to the paint...

Nick
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:48 AM   #11
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Allot of people wash with Dawn before claying and polishing. Its a very concentrated detergent when compared to car wash soaps made for frequent use, afterall Dawn is made to remove dried BBQ sauce from your dishes. Doubt you'd get that off the plates with most car wash soaps. But there are car wash soaps that strip the paint bare too like P21S paintwork cleanser.
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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I am not a professional detailer or stay at Holiday Inn Express

I was "told" that if you don't strip the wax first, you are only removing sediment/bugs/grime/fallout from the "layer" you are scraping (which would be the wax buildup)

I am not suggesting that you don't take care of your car or paint (possible the present paint is as "clean" as its ever going to get)...but if you (or someone) are (is) already waxing over an accumulation of "crap"...you may not be removing said substances with the claybar process.

just my 2cents

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Old 08-14-2007, 02:49 PM   #13
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How long it been since you has applied the Zaino. It could have had some effect, but my guess is your paint was in good shape and they wasn't anything there really for the clay. As PL said that's a good thing!

I know the first time I used a claybar my Yukon I had was in good shape. I was thinking the claying was worthless or I was doing it wrong. I hit some spots and realized how it worked and that the first spots were just in good shape.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:53 PM   #14
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I clay bared my o2 boxter s about 2 months ago I washed it with dawn first and I noticed a pretty significant improvement in the appearance and texture of the paint, however I did also use NXT wax a product I have been truly impressed by.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:44 PM   #15
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Mark, thanks for the input. Makes senseÖ

SC987 - I use the Zaino whenever I get done washing the car and it looks like it needs it, maybe every other wash. I guess the paint is just in good shape, and Iím glad it worked on the dried stuff, I just expected more...

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Old 08-15-2007, 01:12 PM   #16
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Is there a limit to how often you should clay your car? Does it erode the paint in the same way that polishing does?

Also, what is the maximum frequency that a man should polish his car?

I like keeping my car looking sharp, but want to make sure I am not destroying its finish in the process.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:01 PM   #17
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It does not erode the paint as a polish, it does not have the cutting power like a pad and polish.

How many times can be related to a couple of factors and everyones opinion will differ. I was taught twice a year for outdoor cars, once for cars that have a garage.

I can't say that I think you are taking away to much clear and paint if you were to do it a couple of times more. If you keep your paint clean and protected you really shouldn't require more.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:04 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCats
Mark,

The claybar did do a great job on the cement / mud. It removed all traces of the splatter with no ill effects to the paint...

Nick
Good deal!

In my youth I spent a lot of time on the road piloting a 2 wheeler...I always find it amazing how much abuse paint/lamps/glass etc a vehicle gets.

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Old 08-16-2007, 07:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Kill
Is there a limit to how often you should clay your car? Does it erode the paint in the same way that polishing does?

Also, what is the maximum frequency that a man should polish his car?

I like keeping my car looking sharp, but want to make sure I am not destroying its finish in the process.

imo if you use a soft clay you can clay every other wash. That's a top surface claying and I think you should be doing this before you reapply a carnauba paste wax topper like P21S or a synthetic paste or liquid topper like FK1 Pink Wax or NXT. if you're going to dry rub on the paint you should make sure its free of road sediments before waxing.

If you are doing your seasonal stripping of all your polishes, sealants, and waxes you should use a harder clay to strip the paint bare to the clear coat. This 'harder' claying removes the sediments that gets traped into the various layers of wax that you apply during a season.

The frequency of polishes depends on the degree of abrasiveness. A mild polish can be used 3 or more times a year for an outdoor/daily driver. A stronger polish like Werkstatt Prime Strong (Carlack in Germany), Poorboys, or Klasse should be used less frequently or when needed like in the event of a mishap...such as parking under a tree full of birds who hate Porsches.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
imo if you use a soft clay you can clay every other wash. That's a top surface claying and I think you should be doing this before you reapply a carnauba paste wax topper like P21S or a synthetic paste or liquid topper like FK1 Pink Wax or NXT. if you're going to dry rub on the paint you should make sure its free of road sediments before waxing.

If you are doing your seasonal stripping of all your polishes, sealants, and waxes you should use a harder clay to strip the paint bare to the clear coat. This 'harder' claying removes the sediments that gets traped into the various layers of wax that you apply during a season.

The frequency of polishes depends on the degree of abrasiveness. A mild polish can be used 3 or more times a year for an outdoor/daily driver. A stronger polish like Werkstatt Prime Strong (Carlack in Germany), Poorboys, or Klasse should be used less frequently or when needed like in the event of a mishap...such as parking under a tree full of birds who hate Porsches.
Thank you for your response.
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