Winter Prep Ford Explorer Day 2

Compound, polish, and more polish.

Never have so few worked so hard and had so little to show for the effort. Churchill said it about the Nazis after The Battle Of The Bulge, and it holds true for me as well. I just spent eight hours polishing out the paint on my car, and I ain’t even half done yet. It blows my mind that some people choose car detailing as a full-time career; it’s really hard fucking work and once you hit middle age your body will be broken. I am middle-aged and my body is pre-broken anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Right now I’m totally shot; I’ll have to update the post later. Pictures and even video to follow.

I’m in pain. And I’m hungry.

Short Update: Here are some pics from today to hold you over until I get time to do a proper write-up.

Short update 2: A quick video clip of me cleaning the gunk out of polishing pads.

Products used today:

  • Harbor Freight dual action polisher. If there’s a sale and you have a coupon, you can pick this up for about $50 dollars. It’s an absolute steal even at full price and quality seems to be more than good enough for the amateur enthusiast/masochist.
  • Flex 3401 dual action polisher. This one is not cheap (but Marianne only wants the best). It’s powerful (due to forced rotation), hard to handle (due to forced rotation) and extremely heavy; I’d estimate about 68 lbs. That’s why my back hurts.
  • Various buffing/polishing pads from Lake Country and CarPro.
  • CarPro Fixer heavy compound. This gets the job done rather well, but is a total bitch to work with; it takes more muscle and time to remove the residue from the paint than the actual compounding, so I switched to…
  • Menzerna FG 400 with a fairly aggressive pad for the first step. I also used a very fast-cutting CarPro Flash Pad that also finishes nicely for spot corrections where I found deeper scratches.
  • CarPro Reflect with a medium fine polishing pad.
  • Menzerna SF 4500 with a very soft foam pad to finish off and bring out the gloss.
  • Of course the job isn’t done until the clean-up is done, so I washed the pads with a Grit Guard Universal Pad Washer. Pretty expensive for a hobbyist with only two cars to take care of, but, again, Marianne is a snob and wants all the fancy toys. Marianne also shot a video of me laboring with the pad washer. I’ll try to get it uploaded so you can see it in action. It’s a time saver for sure.
  • Buncha general purpose short nap microfiber towels from all over the place.
  • CarPro Eraser and isopropyl alcohol to help remove polish residue.

I think I could have done a decent enough job with two steps, or even one given that the paint was nice to begin with, but taking the easy way out is for girlie men. John Wayne said that.

Oh yeah, I tried to take some before-and-after close-ups of the paint to show the difference, but my camera just won’t pick up such small details in the light silver paint with lots of metallic, but trust me, it’s smoooth.

I think this will have to suffice as today’s entry. As always, no links are monetized. This blog had 36 unique visits yesterday, so I might want to rethink that policy. I could be leaving some serious beer money on the table. EDIT: I rethought that policy. Any and all links on OGNDY can now potentially be a source of beer money for me. Happy clicking!

It’s past midnight. Do you know where your children are?

Confessions Of A Neophyte Car Detailing Hobbyist — Super Quick & Superficial Product Review

My experience level is: I have watched weeks worth of YouTube videos, read volumes of how-tos and articles, read a lot on the boards (but haven’t participated actively very much). I’d say I know more than enough to get myself in trouble, but not enough to really know what I’m doing beyond the basics.

I am the fleet manager of exactly two cars: a 2005 silver Ford Explorer and a black 2014 Hyundai Tucson, but I’m only the boss of the Ford. My friends1 think I’m taking it a bit too far, but our cars look much better than theirs, so there’s that.

This is a list of some of the car detailing products I’ve accumulated and tried in the ~18 months since my awakening. Here we go!

CATEGORY 1: Products that I like very much and will probably buy again. There is plenty of overlap between products in this category.

  • Garry Dean Infinite Use Detail Juice waterless/rinseless wash
  • Chemical Guys Eco-Smart waterless wash
  • Chemical Guys V07 quick detailer
  • Adam’s Detail Spray
  • Blackfire Wet Diamond Polymer Spray quick detailer
  • Adam’s H20 Guard & Gloss drying aid and sealant/gloss enhancer
  • Optimum Opti-Seal paint sealant
  • GTechniq C2 V3 Liquid Crystal paint sealant
  • Nanoskin Rain glass sealant
  • Optimum Opti-Bond tire gel
  • Stoner Invisible Glass glass cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Black On Black vinyl and trim dressing aerosol
  • Chemical Guys Mr Pink car soap
  • Chemical Guys NonSense all purpose cleaner (APC)
  • Stoner Trim Shine vinyl/rubber/trim dressing
  • Adam’s Deep Wheel Cleaner

CATEGORY 2: Products that I like and may buy again. There’s plenty of overlap here as well, both within the category and with Category 1.

  • Optimum ONR rinseless/waterless wash
  • CarPro Perl Plastic & Rubber Protectant
  • Diamondite Perfect Vision glass cleaner
  • Menzerna Endless Shine quick detailer
  • Chemical Guys Afterwash drying aid and sealant
  • RainX 2-1 Foaming Glass Cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Glossworx car soap
  • Meguiar’s Plastic And Vinyl Coating aerosol
  • GTechniq Silo Seal paint sealant (discontinued, sadly)
  • Chemical Guys Inner Clean interior APC
  • Chemical Guys Silk Shine Dressing interior dressing gel

CATEGORY 3: Decent enough products but too much overlap with stuff in categories 1 & 2 that I think might be better. Also stuff that I’m just not sure about but don’t hate. I probably won’t ever buy any of these products again.

  • Ultima Wash And Wax waterless wash
  • Duragloss Rinseless Wash
  • CarPro Hydrofoam car soap and sealer
  • Sonax Polymer NetShield paint sealant
  • Griot’s Garage Spray Wax
  • Griot’s Garage Speed Shine
  • Meguiar’s Last Touch spray detailer
  • Meguiar’s X-Press Spray Wax
  • Chemical Guys InstaWax + spray wax
  • Sonax Brilliant Shine Detailer detail spray
  • Sonax High Speed Wax spray wax
  • Meguiar’s Ultimate Quick Detailer
  • DoDo Juice Red Mist detail spray
  • Turtle Wax Jet Black detail spray
  • Chemical Guys X-Treme Body Was & Wax car soap
  • Meguiar’s Hyper Dressing vinyl/plastic/rubber dressing (almost went in cat. 4)
  • Chemical Guys Bug And Tar Wash car soap
  • Chemical Guys Grime Reaper all purpose cleaner/degreaser
  • Chemical Guys Blue Guard II vinyl/rubber dressing

CATEGORY 4: Stuff I didn’t like and won’t buy again either because I thought it was a bad product, severely over-hyped or over-priced.

  • Flash Brown Royal Wheel & Tire Cleaner
  • Optimum ONR Wash & Wax waterless wash
  • Garry Dean Juice Boost paint sealant/waterless wash additive (specific to the Garry Dean line of products)
  • CarPro Spotless water spot remover

The list is not exhaustive. I have plenty of other products that haven’t been included, either because I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, or have used them so little that I can’t form an educated and informed opinion. These include glazes, polishes and compounds; lots of interior detailing stuff including leather care products; paint coatings, and also paste waxes. Quite a few tire dressings didn’t make it because they were so junky and I don’t even remember their names.

Final thoughts:

  • I have too much time on my hands and need to get a hobby.
  • I need to learn better self control when it comes to clicking the “add to cart” and “place order” buttons.
  • I may have to mark promotional emails from AutoGeek as spam, because this is getting expensive.
  • My kids will never go to college.2

  1. I don’t have any friends, but if I did, this statement would be true.
  2. I don’t have any kids, but if I did, this statement would be true.