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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I like our vehicles to look clean but more importantly they have to run great. That said our fleet was starting to look unloved. Being old, cheap, and a bit lazy I started an online search to see what the easiest way was to clean them all up.
If you believe what the "pro's" say then you will need a $200-300 DA buffer, maybe $200+ worth of foam, wool, & micro-fiber pads, $20 for clay bars, two special buckets for washing, a leaf blower for drying, and also a personal chemical consultant to help select the hundreds of dollars worth of the latest compounds, sealers, waxes, fairy or pixie dust, and a myriad of specialty sprays necessary to properly pamper your vehicle. NO WAY!
Today I buffed & waxed the first vehicle which is my latest daily driver. It is a maroon '07 ZX3 Focus with decent body and paint but milky water spotted clear coat and lots of pits. I picked this one to start learning on because if I messed up, it just wouldn't matter.
Over the past two weeks I have purchased a Harbor Freight 6" DA Buffer (Sale $49.99 reg. 69.99), a Griot 6.5" orange foam buffing pad (about $16.00 @ Auto Zone), and finally at Wally World; 2ea 4-pack microfiber towel ($1.ea pack), Turtlewax Premium polishing compound ($6.24), and Turtlewax Super Hard Shell paste wax ($4.92) for about $87. total with tax.
After about 4hr's work the result equals stunning improvement but more important it was actually easy & I found out that its almost impossible to damage the clear coat even with a powerful buffer. The very cost effective Turtlewax products worked perfectly too. Love it!
Next up will be the Wife's silver 6spd V6 Accord, with it I will have no margin for error but to quote the great Alfred E Newman "What, me worry?"
Buffing & waxing cars probably should be against the law on Labor Day weekend though.
The very last vehicle to be polished will be my black Canyon, I'll wait until the weather cools off a lot before doing black.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would prefer to keep this site pure so probably won't be posting any Ford or Honda images. What sucks is it's supposed to be 96 today and 99 tomorrow so progress may suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Car #2 the Wife's Accord done & sparkling! Car #3 another ZX3 but nicer, is washed and ready for buffing but it's getting hot already so I'll wait for evening to do more. So far the buffer, foam pad, and Turtlewax products are perfect for my needs and very easy to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, car #3 done & looking good. I'm on a roll and it's hard to stop. It's only 93F instead of the predicted 99 so I guess I'll go out wash my truck now just to see how much work is hiding under the ash, dirt, & bird poop. The humidity is only 13% so the black paint should at least be easy to dry. Many months of big fires some very close, make it very hard to keep anything clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well to make the truck look good again it will need some parts; windshield, new tail lights, front bumper cover, and maybe the trim on the sides and top of the windshield. Not sure about the windshield trim though, one flew off years ago and I haven't really missed it and it doesn't seem to be noisy or leaking so?? Anyone have any thoughts?
 

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CALI BOSS
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Hey neighbor, wanna come down the hill and do mine? lol

Kidding aside, any DA polisher goes a long way. They are a safe alternative to the old circular polishers and will not burn or damage the paint unless you have a badly worn pad or sandpaper mounted on the disk. I have an expensive, high powered DA polisher and have used aggressive paint correction polish on my black truck and not caused any damage. Properly maintaining your paint will definitely preserve it. I have a 2005 with 259,000 miles on it and I'm always asked if it was repainted recently. I have also cut my bi-annual paint correction time in half by using dual stage polish that starts out as a semi-aggressive swirl remover and finishes as a fine mirror polish, and a wipe-on hydrophobic paint sealer. No more dealing with clay, compound and wax steps
 

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Well to make the truck look good again it will need some parts; windshield...
A fresh windshield goes a long way to make an older truck look good... from the exterior and from the driver's seat.
 

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Way to go! Gold Country Russ !
I'll bet the pics from your efforts are quite stunning. I would like to see pics of them, if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nothing to see here folks, so far two shiny ZX3's & one Accord and no pictures (see post #3) will be forthcoming. I didn't need any buffing on last one, just a wash & wax cleaned it nicely.
Stunning is not the goal, just nice clean stock appearing will be fine. The Accord will be getting a few performance mods soon and will be quick, shiny, and very comfortable.
This will be the fourth windshield for this truck, the problem is I need at least one more good reason to drive 300 miles south to LA to get it for a really good price. The last one was about $165 installed. I'll probably just wait on the windshield until the next family function down south.
 

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CALI BOSS
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If you're ever in Stockton or Lodi, check McSparren Auto Glass. They're close friends of mine. Tell them Dan of Elite Restorations sent you. Kendra @ Stockton (209) 466 - 4901, Stephanie @ Lodi (209) 333 - 2601
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DBNissan (Dan) Thanks for sharing, will call them Thursday! Stockton is about one hour from home, I usually come down Mariposa to access 99N, 5N, or 12W.
Also I started using Dynicron Cylinder Head Service (Stockton) a couple years ago for machine work. They did my 3.5 head & a Honda head & even arranged after hours drop off & pick-up, so they have my Good Guys seal of approval.
A detailer could easily call my truck a lost cause. A black '04 that has been well maintained but never been garaged, waxed, or babied. Rock solid, I have used it to tow many loads over 5,000lbs over the Grapevine, and boats over every pass in the Sierras. To me it will look exactly like a well used tool should but I need to give it some deferred attention first.
 

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CALI BOSS
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The McSparrens are good people. I've been going to them for close to 30 years. They're on North Wilson Way just south of Sanguinetti.

Good to know on Dynicron!

A good detailer would view your paint as a challenge. The paint on these trucks is actually pretty decent. My truck is a daily work truck and has been abused. It's parked outdoors and had seen its share of tow duties. It's also far from being babied. It gets the routine maintenence regularly but it's driven hard a lot. I typically keep the paint protected but have been really busy so it's been neglected. I haven't washed it in two or three months now. I used to wash it weekly lol
 

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Discussion Starter #16
After 14 years I have finally found a benefit from having a black truck! Last weekend I washed it just to see how much work was going to be involved to bring it back to respectability. 14 Years of hard work have resulted is hundreds of pits, scratches, and yes small dents. The biggest problem is that under the black paint is white primer and it looks terrible with little white flaws everywhere. Because it was black I bought a couple of Sharpie black oil based paint markers (Wally World) and touched up a few of the bigger flaws. Early this morning I rewashed the truck and buffed a lot of the flaws that I had touched up. Even the worst of the touched up places are unnoticeable at three feet, I'm thrilled.
As a result I have stopped buffing and will now touch up every white speck I can find. The buffing compound has enough abrasive to remove any touch up paint on top of the clear coat and it blends in perfectly. There may still be a little pit but not white.
When I bought my Canyon '04 production had ended and there was a good GM rebate on the remaining '04 inventory. I searched the remaining GMC inventory for the entire state of California and this black one was the only one equipped the way I wanted and because the dealer was 450 miles away I (Trumped) negotiated a great deal. Black, white, & yellow were the only colors I didn't want though.
 
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