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Detailing over multiple days

Junkman! I've watched your videos and attended one of your "seminars" last yr in NJ. Great stuff! But somehow I don't see the answer to this question: When doing a

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Detailing over multiple days

Junkman! I've watched your videos and attended one of your "seminars" last yr in NJ. Great stuff! But somehow I don't see the answer to this question:

When doing a multiple-day detail session, what do you reccomend doing to the car when starting a particular step after the car has been sitting in the garage for a day or so?

I just received my Adam's Starter Porter Cable 7424XP Polisher Kit and Adam's Car Wash Trio. I washed with foam gun/2 bucket and inspected and of course, it needs claying. I have never clayed this car and have owned it for 1yr (garaged, weekend good-weather cruiser). I've been holding off on a proper detail until I got the right equipment and knowledge and of course, time .

So right now my car is freshly washed and sitting in the garage. I want to start claying tonight (indoors). Should I use a california duster lightly before I start any claying? What if I clayed tonight and then washed and started with SHR or FMP the next day? Is it ok to let the car sit a day or so after claying and before the 2nd wash? Looks like it's going to be raining here for a couple days so I will not get a chance to do a proper wash until that passes. Is it best to start and finish a step in a single day? I know I've read about you and others spending months detailing but I've never read and/or seen what you are doing to prevent new damage from happening to a car that has been going through a multiple-day detail session.

Thanks for taking the time to be so thorough with your instructional videos!
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can take as many days to detail the car as you like. If you do not drive the car in between the days that you are detailing it, it won't get dirty. It will however, get dusty. Thus, you should cover it up (use a bed sheet if you don't have a car cover), and that will keep it dust free. Only work on a clean car.

I don't break my detail steps up by steps, I break them up by panels. For example, if I start claying and I get tired, I finish whatever panel I'm working on and then cover the car. I don't try to finish the entire car with a particular step when I'm tired. That causes you to do a half-azz job. Thus, finish the panel you're working on and stop when you are fatigued or finished for the day. You will remember where you stopped so continue on the next day.

If you detail your car this way, don't drive it until you have completed the car.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ahhhh the "godfodder" has spoken! I failed to mention that I will not be driving it while it is in-process of being detailed. I actually do own a car cover but wasnt sure if actually putting something ON my paint was better or worse than leaving it uncovered in the garage and dusting it off.

Judging from your answer about breaking it up into sections it sounds like it is OK to let the car sit overnight or for a few days during the claying process? So there is no harm in leaving detail spray and any residual "funk" on the car after claying before the second wash?

Thanks for the quick reply, I really appreciate it!
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Theres a few ways to skin this cat...

Personally I get all the way thru my wash and clay process first, reason being is it needs to be done everywhere on the car and you can easily knock it out in a few hours. When you hit that point you can then start to break it into segments. On lighter colors I do recommend a secondary wash after claying rather than letting the residue sit for too long. It won't harm anything, but there have been cases where the DS becomes a bit of a chore to remove on white or silver if its sat a few days undisturbed, plus that residue will give dust and stuff something to stick too over the 'downtime'

So in a roundabout way, the point I'm getting at:

Wash, Clay, Rewash, then Dry.

From that point you can polish one panel at a time until you're satisfied, then move to the next panel, until you finish the car.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Dylan. I would normally hope to get the wash, clay, rewash done in one day but my schedule doesn't allow me to knock that out anytime soon for a while... And my weekends are jammed for the next few weeks. I think tonight I will clay the entire car in my garage and cover it with my car cover. Then tomorrow I will rewash and dry. If the DS becomes a problem then I will file that into the "lessons learned" bin and make sure to always start a detail session when I have enough time to complete the wash, clay, rewash in the same day.

One additional question:

You mention "Wash, Clay, Rewash, then Dry", is it not necessary to towel dry the car after the first wash and before you clay?

Thanks
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nope.. you can totally clay the car while its still wet without any issues, obviously as long as you can get the car into shade while working b/c it will waterspot if you do it in full sunlight.

Don't waste the extra step drying if you don't have to.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Good to know, thanks for the clarification.

What do you recommend to do with clear bra? I know Adam's discontinued the clear polish. Should I clay that as well? I definitely don't want to use anything too abrasive on it. I'm thinking clay and then apply MSW (skip FMP).
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steveg78 View Post
Good to know, thanks for the clarification.

What do you recommend to do with clear bra? I know Adam's discontinued the clear polish. Should I clay that as well? I definitely don't want to use anything too abrasive on it. I'm thinking clay and then apply MSW (skip FMP).
I'm thinking you totally leave it alone.

If the shop that applied it didn't explain to you how to car for it, call them back up and ask. The products that you are using are made for PAINT, not the clear bra. The last thing that you want to do is get clay and polish/wax stuck all in the edges of the clear bra and cause it to start peeling. Mask the edges off with painters tape and avoid it at all cost.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Junkman2008 View Post
I'm thinking you totally leave it alone.

If the shop that applied it didn't explain to you how to car for it, call them back up and ask. The products that you are using are made for PAINT, not the clear bra. The last thing that you want to do is get clay and polish/wax stuck all in the edges of the clear bra and cause it to start peeling. Mask the edges off with painters tape and avoid it at all cost.
Good enough Junkman. I did get info and the card that installers give you when they install 3M products. I haven't done anything to it before except wash and apply spray on wax. I guess I will just give the guy a call again to be safe.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The biggest thing is to avoid the edge. The quickest way to make a clear bra ugly is to get a bunch of clay/polish/wax jammed up in the edge of it so you can see the line. Tape off the edge before any detailing or simply avoid the area all together.

As for the bra itself, claying is fine, and you CAN polish it, but nothing more aggressive than Fine Machine Polish and the White pad. That combo can remove slight surface defects from a clear bra, but beyond that more aggressive products will cause it to haze up so be careful. Also only polish it as needed - its a relatively scratch resistant material so you won't need to polish it nearly as often as you would the paint for example.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steveg78 View Post
When doing a multiple-day detail session, what do you reccomend doing to the car when starting a particular step after the car has been sitting in the garage for a day or so?
If you're doing it over multiple days, the thing you need to concern yourself with is dust on the paint. If you're doing multiple steps over multiple days, the paint surface will probably get some dust contamination. You might be doing a lot of washing to remove that contamination between steps (?).
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you're doing it over multiple days, the thing you need to concern yourself with is dust on the paint. If you're doing multiple steps over multiple days, the paint surface will probably get some dust contamination. You might be doing a lot of washing to remove that contamination between steps (?).
That's why I advised him to cover it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah the way my schedule is right now I didn't even have time to do the wash/clay/re-wash in the same day. And although I intended to clay last night, something popped up and that got scrapped. So I just figure I will hold off on doing the detailing until i have time to at least take care of the wash/clay/re-wash at once and the polish/wax the next day. I will cover the car in the garage if it has to sit.

No sense in rushing to get this done.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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... No sense in rushing to get this done.
You're right. It's not a race.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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hey junkman, great info you've given out here. I had a question. I'm not a wax guy... I like that candy apple effect of multiple layers of sealant.

My question is... I have Duragloss 105, as well as the Finish Kare 1000 and Blackfire wet diamond. I really do like the blackfire a whole lot, but the finish seems kind of soft. In the past I have put 5-7 layers on my old red Evo, and it always stayed looking great... I would add a layer here and there. The first 2 sealants I mentioned seemed to be a lot harder when it comes to keeping bird crap from getting through the sealant and it would basically just hose right off... but with multiple layers of the BF it didn't seem this was the case...

Would I be better off with doing 2 layers or so of the FK and then several top coats with the blackfire for the slickness or is there something else I can do?

By the way.. the car is pearl white.
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