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First Time Polishing the Vantage Myself

 
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:50 PM
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First Time Polishing the Vantage Myself

After getting quotes from several area detailers that ranged from $500 to $650 to remove some swirl marks and light scratches on my Vantage Roadster, I decided to save some money and do it myself,

I paid $200 for a clay bar and detailing spray, random orbital polisher, polishing compound, pads, and paint sealant from Amazon. That's about a $350 savings (not factoring my labor)!



Check out the before and after pictures -- the difference is night and day!

 
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:16 PM
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:07 PM
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Outstanding.
 
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:44 PM
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Major savings!!!

Best $200 you could have spent...
I wish I could be so inventive!
 
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:37 AM
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Damned, I should have bought a Ford and your magic polishing equipment, would have saved me a lot of money.
Any more useful tipps?

PS: I clay and apply wax to mine regularly, any chances that a miracle happens and she will transform to a One-77?

Cheers and good luck

Christian
 

Last edited by GDay2; 08-03-2016 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:27 AM
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:58 PM
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Hello,

Not sure if you have done the work or not. Maybe you have, there was a night and day difference in the cars.

However, if you have not done the work, or you would like to get better or make the finish better, here are some helpful tips

Aston Martin paint is considered "Soft". example Mercedes and BMW are considered very "Hard"

The GG 6" random orbital is a good machine. There are professionals that use it.

For correction, for the leveling of the clear coat stage, the Meguires Microfiber cutting pad works wonders. BUT.... you must clean it with blown air, or with a spare towel after every section done for residue control. OR you will be scraping the surface everywhere with what you had already removed. EVEN foam pads. You should be using approximately one pad per panel when compounding to have the best results. Not cheap to have all those, but again your working on a AM.

I find Menzerna FG400 is one of the best for compounding. Meguires D300 is great also to use with the MF cutting pads.

For polish, I use Menzerna SF4000 with a medium (usually white) polishing pad with nominal pressure for all 8 passes. I follow that with Rupes Diamond Nano Polish on a Black or Red NO cut finishing pad lessening the pressure more and more from pass 4 through 8. The to finalize everything I use a special blend of Menzerna SF4500, Rupes Diamond Nano Polish, and DI water on the Black finishing NO cut pads with almost no pressure but the weight of the Rupes LHR 15 buffer and only make 4 passes or so lifting the weight off towards the end. I have a small 3" I use for small areas and soon to be the Rupes Mini 2".

I use now only AMMONYC Reflex, Skin, then Creme for the protection of the paint. NO coatings anymore. Just FYI


To take care of the paint from this point on-------- Use a bucket with ONLY proper wash soap, Chemical Guys is a good product and inexpensive, (also NO additives to the soap, just plain wash soap, Mr Pink, Honeydew etc...). Have a Grit Guard in the bottom for extra measure.

I have now gone to using about 10 or so Micro Fiber towels to wash the car with. One towel per panel only without dipping it back into the bucket. Then when washing doors I stop halfway down only. You do not want to bring grit or a speck of sand back up the door and scratch the surface. So was down only. I use separate towels for the lower parts to prevent this. When done, just wash the towels in specific microfiber washing liquid in your washer machine. Use again when needed. I bought the 18 pack for 10$ at Home Depot for this.


NOW Drying----- The absolute worst thing you could ever use is a Chamois. They are horrible for paint. Heaven forbid the plastic squeegee thing. But the California Duster is just as bad. All your doing if you have a speck of sand or debris, is dragging it across your paint everywhere, ruining over time all the hard work you have done.

SO----- Pay $90 and get the Master Blaster Sidekick and Blow air across the paint to dry it. Take 15-20 min and you can't get a mark from this. A garden blower doesn't focus the air correctly and can push oil in small particles in the air.


I hope this all helps, This Christmas when I get back home, I will do a full write up with pictures for the DB9 I pick up this fall.
 
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:59 PM
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The Actual Pictures

I wish I had done more research before buying the products. I bought Griot's Garage products for simplicity (same brand as the orbital). I'll try the Manzerna products next time.

The Griot's products weren't bad, though. I am happy with the results considering this was my first time polishing the car.

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Old 08-07-2016, 10:03 PM
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Looks good. I personally like Meguires top end "ultimate" level products. They do a fantastic job and are relatively available for a great price. I have gotten stunning results from their products. Also the Ultimate car wash solution actually repaid and adds layers of wax to the paint over time and beads water better with ever single wash. You can literally notice a difference if you use it regularly.

Their gold class products are medium level and are not as good. I would sepnd a little extra to get their top of the line proudcuts. Also you never need heavy duty polishing compound, the standard ultimate polish is a lighter product and produces excellent results without taking too much of the clear coat away.

I use the GG orbital too but with varying level foam pads now, I have since moved away from cotton terry and microfiber pads because they gum up too much and are harder to clean. Foam pads are the way to go
 
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 007 Vantage View Post
Looks good. I personally like Meguires top end "ultimate" level products. They do a fantastic job and are relatively available for a great price. I have gotten stunning results from their products. Also the Ultimate car wash solution actually repaid and adds layers of wax to the paint over time and beads water better with ever single wash. You can literally notice a difference if you use it regularly.

Their gold class products are medium level and are not as good. I would sepnd a little extra to get their top of the line proudcuts. Also you never need heavy duty polishing compound, the standard ultimate polish is a lighter product and produces excellent results without taking too much of the clear coat away.

I use the GG orbital too but with varying level foam pads now, I have since moved away from cotton terry and microfiber pads because they gum up too much and are harder to clean. Foam pads are the way to go
Cotton Terry only scratches the surface and will emplace swirls. Horrible to use on a car. MF products only, or foam. I have seen a MF applicator even marr the surface slightly of a midnight blue 5.0 Mustang. So nothing is perfect, all depends on the paint.


The depth of the clear coat is produced to provide optimal clarity of the paint, coupled with enough for body shops to work with to correct issues. The factories on higher end cars even wet or dry sand to remove flaws. So, there are several mils that can be used over time to re-level flawed paint. Typically using a MF cutting pad and Menzerna FG400 you might take .10 of a mil off, approximately. Maybe a tad bit more, but its only enough to level that area of paint. Not everywhere. However, you would not want to constantly use a cutting pad and compound or you would wear it out. Delfesko makes a really good paint depth guage for about $700 or so if you really wanted to measure. I have wet sanded several Maserati's and a Bentley to get the paint level from pits, so there is enough there. Typically you DONT want to sand factory paint, its really too thin for that. You have to be really careful.


For all my work, I want to take the least amount off, that way down the road there is enough left for the next owner to correct the paint.


Sorry to hear you had issues with MF pads. Its in the technique, they are far superior to foam for cutting. However for polishing I prefer foam.


Meg's Ultimate is an ok decent product. IF you want professional versions of thiers its M105 cutting, M205 polishing. Cost is not all that much more.


However for AMs, magic formula is Meg's M105 or Menzerna FG400 with Meg's MF normal cutting pad for the cutting phase. As I said above, you need to blow out the MF cutting pad after each section done. Change out pads every couple panels. I would use 5-6 pads for a Vantage. Same for foam pads (both cutting and polishing 5x-6x pads each step) You want the cleanest pads possible for each section done.


Polishing-- White or yellow foam polishing pad w/ Menzerna SF4000 or SF4500. For a three step, use a no cut pad, light pressure to no pressure and use Rupes Diamond Nano Polish.


All these product cost you only a smidgen more and its online purchases. So saves you time and tax likely.


I have used some or most of all the products mentioned so far. They have their purpose. However, I try to help AM owners with specific products to buy to achieve the best possible results. What you think is perfect so far, could be even better with using the correct items. Trying new products is the only way to better your process, and I have spent thousands on figuring out what works best and how to do that. However I would try new stuff now, if I thought I could produce a better more flawless surface.


For all my posts, I may be harsh at times with processes mentioned, I might diminish some work that someone did, or I might say what they bought was a waste. However this is all done from the perfectionist viewpoint and someone who has tried all the products available and figured what works. I am only trying to help, and instruct as much as I can through the internet to allow a member to improve their technique, what they purchase, and how they use it. So please don't take offense to anything that is said.


In the end, I am at least appreciative that members want to personally take on this technique and make that effort. I am just trying to refine that for you; so that you enjoy the work and see better results.
 

Last edited by SheriffDep; 08-08-2016 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by programmatore View Post
I wish I had done more research before buying the products. I bought Griot's Garage products for simplicity (same brand as the orbital). I'll try the Manzerna products next time.

The Griot's products weren't bad, though. I am happy with the results considering this was my first time polishing the car.

Attachment 455600

Attachment 455601


Sir,
That looks stellar in the pictures. For really specific, shoot the hood of the car while the sun is in the picture. OR, shoot the top side area by rear spoiler with the sun shining on the paint so its in the pic. That will tell the truth to how well you worked those areas. The hood is the best for that. If you move your head around while the sun is bearing down on it, you can see if there any swirls left or what is still there to remove. The smoother and more level the clear coat is, the higher the shine when polished. On, Autogeek there are threads showing how to shoot pics of cars, to specifically show paint correction work and finish.


Great work though, and please ask if you would like to learn anything more, I am happy to help. I will be getting Telum01s car done for him next year when I return to the country. I will likely live in your area so can help you out then if you like, but its definitely going to be next year late.


Sheriffdep
 
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:38 PM
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I'll shoot closeups of the hood next time. The hood looks nice and swirl-free. The metallic flecks on the paint really pop now. I am really happy with the results except... the clear bra, while shinier than before, still looks a bit dull compared to the uncovered part of the hood.

Are there any products/techniques you can recommend for polishing the clear bra? I was didn't want to use the Griot's compound because that will definitely scratch the clear bra, and I was hesitant to use the Griot's polish because that has some mild abrasives too. Can I use the Menzerna polish on protection film? Thanks!

Originally Posted by SheriffDep View Post
Sir,
That looks stellar in the pictures. For really specific, shoot the hood of the car while the sun is in the picture. OR, shoot the top side area by rear spoiler with the sun shining on the paint so its in the pic. That will tell the truth to how well you worked those areas. The hood is the best for that. If you move your head around while the sun is bearing down on it, you can see if there any swirls left or what is still there to remove. The smoother and more level the clear coat is, the higher the shine when polished. On, Autogeek there are threads showing how to shoot pics of cars, to specifically show paint correction work and finish.


Great work though, and please ask if you would like to learn anything more, I am happy to help. I will be getting Telum01s car done for him next year when I return to the country. I will likely live in your area so can help you out then if you like, but its definitely going to be next year late.


Sheriffdep
 
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:47 PM
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Nice job, your car looks great. This is an interesting thread, with much good input from Sheriffdep- thanks!
 
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by programmatore View Post
I'll shoot closeups of the hood next time. The hood looks nice and swirl-free. The metallic flecks on the paint really pop now. I am really happy with the results except... the clear bra, while shinier than before, still looks a bit dull compared to the uncovered part of the hood.

Are there any products/techniques you can recommend for polishing the clear bra? I was didn't want to use the Griot's compound because that will definitely scratch the clear bra, and I was hesitant to use the Griot's polish because that has some mild abrasives too. Can I use the Menzerna polish on protection film? Thanks!
Actually let me inquire about what to do on the clear bra. Most any of them I have dealt with are installs after a paint correction, or, they were fairly new. Hate to say it, but it might be a case of dealing with it as is, or taking off, correcting the paint underneath, and replacing. If removeal, AMMONYC has a really good video of how too do that. So only real expense would be the replacement part. Yes I know, expensive. But perfection polishing is addictive, you will start looking at the sun reflections all over now to check areas that need more. There is no problem if you redo areas with the Rupes Diamond polish (very little abrasives) to increase clarity. Once perfect seal it and leave it alone. But, I always found spots to correct no matter what. The 1" spot will catch your eye. The new RUPES iBrid set is a tool that if you can afford you should get. 1"-2" random orbital tool that is perfect for the door sills, bumpers, wheels if needed, small interior parts, places like the A pillar etc.... Your pad size should match the panel or area you use. You don't want to use half a pad trying to correct a section.


Also, as a great side tool, the GG 3" for $100. 3" pads and I use that for lower doors, bumpers, door sills. For 100 it was one of the best purchases. I apply sealants using a no cut black pad with it too.


BUT, Options might be AMMONYCs Reflex to get the clarity gloss up, then a sealant and Carnauba on top. Yes, coatings also might be a alternative for JUST the bra. So let me dive into that over the next few days to see what some experts recommend. I wouldn't touch a HOOD bra with a polish. To much to take a chance on. I have used the DA buffer, with foam and Menzerna SF4500 on lower rear side PPF near the wheels to lessen the marks there and diminish the dullness, however that is like using a scapel, where you have been using at sledge hammer. Hope that makes sense. Too easy to make a mistake.


Just FYI, all DA buffers (Rupes, Flex, GG, Meg's) take different pads that literally work best. Such as the Flex 3401 buffer needs a 5" backing plate, and the Lake Country Hybrid pads are the best pad for it. That means others do work, but the Hybrid pads work the best. There are threads about that on Autogeek forum which detail each type of buffer matched to what products. You get an experienced point of view rather than a manufactures sales pitch.
 
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:21 PM
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OCD much?

I'm dropping the car off at the dealership tomorrow morning for service. I really wish the dealership would do a better job washing cars but they don't. So to prevent them from putting swirl marks on the paint and undoing all the work I did, I printed out a custom hang tag for the rear view mirror. Do you think my OCD is acting up?

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