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Old 03-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
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Detailing your Box....

Do you do it yourself or pay somebody to do it?

When I mean detailing I mean waxing it. I find with my black Box I start it and do a quarter of it and let it dry , buff it and then I cannot tell where I started and finished.
Yes I know there is a special product for black paint that somebody mentioned before?

Secondly in order to avoid the "Ferris Buhler's day off" scenario, I assume you either do it yoursef or 2) go to a detailer that has a good reputation.

Anybody know of a good detailer in the Edmonton area? If so they can use my wife's Camry as the guinea pig!

Soooo do you wax it yourself or pay somebody to do it?
Signing off Guy not shining so brightly but would like to be.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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Asking about detailing here is akin to asking about oil or tires. Everybody has (and is entitled to) an opinion. But, I think most of us can only truly reach Zen by detailing our Porsche ourselves.

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Old 03-29-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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I enjoy washing and waxing my car. Its one of the perks of ownership. Now if someone wants to wax my beater, they are more than welcome.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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I felt the same way when I first started too, but I learned that waxing will not improve the look significantly, not without other paint correcting steps. You still get an extra layer of invisible protection though. I have been into detailing, so I just invested in a Porter Cable polisher to achieve better results. And like schnellman, I enjoy detailing, cleaning, taking care of my Boxster. I assume if you don't pay the detailer enough to do the paint correcting steps, the result would not be very different from yours.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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I clay barred and waxed mine a couple of years ago and have not touched it since. I do garage it though so it stays very clean. I also used a product from Pelican called Rejex that may have helped; sort of a high tech wax.

I've heard that Ming on 105 and 108 street does a good job.

Detailing my car tends to be a stress reliever for me.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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Portal Cable is a must, as well as patience. I was a local concours winner for years with my 911s, before I got into tracking. More fun to drive, than polish, but I'm still very anal about keeping my cars clean and enjoy it. Always said I'd never buy another black P-Car, but come home with another, time after time (and some other colors). Many great products and everyone has their favorite, so I'm not going there.

A few of my examples over recent years...




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Old 03-30-2014, 05:32 AM   #7
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Zaino Bros. is the only way to go

If you want to make that black thing sing, you have to check out Zaino.com It is an absolute awesome system and very easy to apply and maintain. Your first use will cost you a saturday, but still a must. If you want a black mirror, you want Zaino.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:51 AM   #8
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If you want to make that black thing sing, you have to check out Zaino.com It is an absolute awesome system and very easy to apply and maintain. Your first use will cost you a saturday, but still a must. If you want a black mirror, you want Zaino.
Zainostore.com. Zaino Store
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:57 AM   #9
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I do clean/claybar/wax myself but if the car needs polish I leave it to a professional.
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:49 AM   #10
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I get no joy from washing and waxing. I take it in for a pro job every three or four years, whenever the swirl marks from my own inept attempts become unbearable.

In the meantime I use the color-tinted wax for black cars. Can-Ti carries it. They also have a detailing spray made just for black cars.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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I love washing and detailing my Boxster- when else do you get to feel the curves under your fingertips, and get the paint as smooth as ice?
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:33 AM   #12
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I love washing and detailing my Boxster- when else do you get to feel the curves under your fingertips,
I tend to run my hand over my cars hips when leaving it
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #13
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I do not pay for basic or moderate level detailing. 99% of what you'll ever need falls into this category. The hourly rate of a legit professional detailer (and not just a guy at the local car wash with an orbital buffer being paid minimum wage) makes it a "splurge" since none of it is rocket science and can be learned rather quickly.
Also professional detailing rates are better avoided and better spent on equipping your garage with the machinery and products. With practice you can learn to do almost all basic or moderate level detailing quickly. And the detailing that can take an hour or more is seasonal only, meaning you'll only have to something that time consuming once a year. If you're doing this type of time intensive detailing a regular practice then most likely you are over-detailing the car and probably introducing more swirls or whittling down the clear coat more than necessary.

Also, there is no need to over-spend on detailing products or buy into the whole marketing hype of "multi step" product lines, as in more than basic polish/wax routine. You only need a few basic items, the first being a decent clay bar. Right now imho Griot's Garage are one of the best deals as they do not bundle the clay with a quick detail spray which is just a way to pump up the price. You don't need a specific product to use with clay bar, a basic car wash soap will do once you get the paint surface full of suds. After first washing the car and then cleaning with the clay bar, wash the surface again with a new $5 wash sponge or mitt. Preferably the kind that does NOT have a prickly microfiber surface. The basic chenille wash mitt that you can get at Target will do. Secondly you do not need an over-priced car wash soap this is yet another way they try to squeeze another couple of bucks out of you. If after washing and claying (carefully) the paint surface does not pass the "white glove" test which basically means applying a small amount of wax and buffing out (there should be no dirt on the buffing towel, then you probably didn't clay bar enough. Or if the paint has been neglected for a very long time or the car has spent many years outside then you might want to consider rehab with a something like Finish Kare Paint Decontamination System, auto paint cleaning system, de-contamination solution. This will clean into the swirl channel that the clay bar can't get at since the clay only clear the surface area. Do NOT get this on glass. And if you're clusmy type in general that doesn't like to read directions beforehand avoid this product and ask a professional detailer to decontaminate your paint. It should not be that expensive since it will be quick. But they'll most likely charge you retail for the product itslef though... bit of a trade off there. Or he'll just wash your car with Dawn or Palmolive. That stuff strips everything right off your paint and costs $3.

Then you've got to take care of "cleaning" the paint with a polish that contains a mild abrasive (obviously the car wash soap and clay bar do not contain abrasives). In my experience ANY paint polish will do a good job of this. Unless you live somewhere that the EPA has to visit often, most paint, particularly garaged cars, will NOT need super concentrations of the various cleaning agents to break loose contaminants. Even Turtle Wax sold your local Wal Mart will do the job on a first application (assuming you have done a thorough wash and clay bar). Everyone has their personal favorite but the fact is that I could polish a car with Turtle Wax and another with a product costing twice as much and you could not tell the difference unless you were a professional detailer, so like "half of 1%" of the population.

The second thing you'll be doing is "sealing" but I'm not sure that even this is necessary if you are an "enthusiast" who will most likely add layers and layer of synthetic wax through out the year. If instead you use a non-synthetic wax made from pure carnauba wax like S100, P21S or Souveran, etc. you'll need a dedicated sealant since pure carnauba waxes are not meant to withstand heat and rainfall. These have a wetter shine but do not have the durability of synthetic wax which cost much less and make up the bulk of the wax market. The price of carnauba waxes go up the higher the amount of carnauba and the less filler is used. If you are a carnauba wax user then any basic sealant will do. Even the most inexpensive products I've used have held up seasonally. These have all managed to hide swirls for a few weeks if left as the final layer with no wax on top. But this is not something an enthusiast will ever do, more so someone who drives a beater car and may only bother to polish the car once a year if that. I doubt this type of person will bother with a sealant and they definitely are not coming back after a day (to allow for sealant curing) to add additional waxes or anti-static finishing. But as general rule if you can see swirls return, the sealant has dissipated along with your wax below the depth of the swirl channel, enough to still produce a shine, not deep enough fill swirls.

Which then leaves you with the "bling" stage of waxing. Again, any decent wax assuming proper "prep" (wash/clay/polish/ and/or sealing) is going to produce a wet shine. You DO NOT have to spend $30. In fact I'm not sure you even need to spend $10. For instance Finish Kare sell a product called Pink Wax... in tin can so large it will probably outlive the car. The product is EXCELLENT. It's very durable, achieves wet gloss (but not quiet pure carnauba wax wet) and does not wash off easily. But its only one options of hundreds. Put it this way you could randomly pick a wax from any detailing product website, photograph it then use an "enthusiast favorite" brand of wax on the second half of the car, photograph that result and you'd be lucky to tell the difference.

Also, you don't need color specific waxes. This is more marketing nonsense. However ,there are waxes and polishes that work better with "metallic flake" paints like silver vs. flat colors like white or a flat blue, flat black and such. Jeff Werkstatt Prime polish is one example of a polish that seems better suited for mettalics. And then on flat paints or dark colors pure canuaba like S100 or Souveran work better than on metallics. But neither of these are specifically marketed for certain colors, they just happen to have more visible results with some colors. Be leary of any product pitching itself as specifically for a certain color. These seem to be rampant in retail stores, most likely because the consumer is less familiar with detailing in general... P.T. Barnum school of detailing.

Bottom line, don't believe the marketing hype. Virtually none of these products have proprietary ingredients. That means they are all using a basically similar formulation, except that some are bit more concentrated than others, but not enough a difference that a the less concentrated product won't do the job. And by doing the job I mean a concourse quality final result. The problem is that the typical guy goes from using a cheap product, that has less concentration, doesn't do enough prep work, then upgrades to these over-priced "enthusiast favorite" brands that have more concentration and the result is immediately obvious. Meanwhile, I have never heard of a person who knew the proper way to prep a paint surface come out and say "Oh my... I've been using X for years and the first time I used Y it was an instant improvement!". Unless the product has a patented ingredient and not just some marketing gimmick, a night and day difference to the eye of an expert is not possible. But it's a large market place with tens of millions of consumers so inevitably you're going to end up with dozens of brands at varying price points....but all the popular ones, be it an OTC brand sold at your local Pep Boys, or a boutique brand sold only by mail, are basically the same. For years I used the boring 3M brand on a black car and it produced an excellent result that prompted questions like "did you have the car painted?". Total cost: $25 for their 3 step package back then. And for the record I've tried ALL of the brands. I learned the hard way. If you've ever read the marketing article "You are not that smart - brand loyalty" you'll see what I'm talking about.

Lastly, when it comes to paint correction, or swirl removal, that can't be done by hand if there are deep swirls or if they're are a lot of swirls. Your wrists will hate you for life. You'll need your own orbital polisher like the Porter Cable, the Griots Garage, a Cyclo, or a Flex. The polishes used to remove swirl are not all concentrated equally and some brands alike Menzerna are known to have the most swirl-removing bite.

For interiors, I use either Woolite (diluted two parts water) or Griots Gargage which seems very similar to Woolite. For leather I find 1Z to get along with Porsche leather the best while leaving a matte "new look" finish. The Griots Garage leather spray is a close second and maybe better for frequent use, I use both. For wheel cleaning P21S seems to be the safest/most neutral. And as an anti-static (dust repelling) LSP (last step product) that goes on everything that isn't leather or carpet, there's no beating Finish Kare #425 as it is one of the few detailing products that does seem to have a proprietary ingredient that leaves behind a very teflon like surface. For windshield Rain X is an underrated product. I also find that the Griots Garage green and blue towels use a long nap fiber rather than the typical scratchy hooked fibers of you're basic auto store microfiber towel. Any of these over the counter towels costing $1-2 per towel are basically re-branded janitorial towels used to clean linoleum floors. Such towels are overkill for a well maintained paint surface and will do more harm than good. Granted, not as harmful as what everyone was using before these auto store microfiber towels came along: terry cloth towels, cut up bath towels, old gym socks...
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 03-30-2014 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:02 PM   #14
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Cool

Nothin' like driven' with the top down on a beautiful day with a clean beautiful shiney Boxster...........With that being said check out Autogeek.net. Great website with great products and info...........I personally love to detail my cars myself even at 57 years old. Its not getting easier and my knees let me know it, but I enjoy the instant gradification of a deep, glossy shine. I recommend Wolfgang 3.0 paint sealant 2-3 times a year and frequent carnuba waxing with Chemical Guys Petes 53 or Pinnacle.........Enjoy.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:18 PM   #15
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Good thing Perfectlap didn't give a detailed explanation ! I just wash mine when it gets dirty, and wax her once a year. Looks fine to me!
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:07 PM   #16
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^ LOL. I am lazy and cheap. I buy the cheapest product that will do the job and use methods that will have me on the road quick. Some people find cleaning therapeutic..... I'd rather be riding my new track bicycle!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:05 PM   #17
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I'm with particlwave on the good but cheap idea. I also think that the Porter Cable polisher is the best and easiest to use polisher on the market. Combine that with some good quality pads and any wash, bar, polish and wax will make your car shine like new.
I like the autogeek.net (not affiliated) site for their prices and their quality. Check it out.

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:02 PM   #18
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^ Have you tried the Fliex polisher? It does not vibrate your limbs to sleep when on #5 during a cutting pad session.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:21 AM   #19
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My storage ace details them for a great price, then I handle it all season. I brought it back last cal and my guy said "you've been waxing it yourself... That's ok, when you come back, it'll look like I did it."
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #20
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^ Have you tried the Fliex polisher? It does not vibrate your limbs to sleep when on #5 during a cutting pad session.
I've not tried the Fliex polisher, but I already have the PorterCable and I love it.

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