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FocusSTguy
07-07-2014, 06:22 PM
The detailing bug has hit me hard since I purchased my 2013 Focus ST (Tuxedo Black). I really had no idea what was involved in properly maintaining a cars finish. Then I found Chemical Guys :). After learning how to correctly wash the car, the dealer (and I'm sure a few from me) installed swirls are starting to bother me. The car has light swirls and 3 small scratches I want to remove. Time to take the next step.

I ordered the V series sampler kit, orange, white, and blue foam pads, MF F2 Cutting & Compounding Pads and a bunch of other stuff (ordered Saturday and it already shipped!).

So my questions are

Everyone I've talked to says the clear coat is soft so should I start with V36 on a white pad (on a test spot)? If that isn't enough try an orange pad with V36 or go right to V34. After all the research I've done I'm not sure how much of a difference just going to a slightly more aggressive pad will make.

Would you work on the scratches before or after polishing the rest of the car?

Will 4oz be enough to do a small car?

I also ordered the Black Paint Maintenance Kit and plan on using Black Light then Jetseal topped off with the Black wax.

Would you recommend washing the car between polishing and applying the glaze?

Right now I'm planning on applying the Black Light with the DA and do the last 2 steps by hand.

I'm excited and just a little bit nervous. I've got plenty of experience using power tools but this will be the first time I've used one on my paint. Any tips and advice is appreciated.

inDetail
07-07-2014, 08:45 PM
Test, Test, Test. Ford's are notorious for having different clear coat hardness from year to year. I know my 03 chatter box is a hard clear but is prone to chipping easily. My hood is a testament to that. If it's brand new try a white pad and V36 this should give you some indication of what you are dealing with. Don't expect it to cut the paint fast. Paint correction takes time and even longer with a DA. If your nervous go to a junkyard and pick up a black Honda panel, door hood whatever is cheap. If you can correct that soft clear coat without any problems you can handle the Ford.
If the paint has minor swirling that you can only see when you look at it from tight angles use a glaze. If they jump up and say hello when the sun hits it you need to polish.

FocusSTguy
07-08-2014, 12:57 PM
Test, Test, Test. Ford's are notorious for having different clear coat hardness from year to year. I know my 03 chatter box is a hard clear but is prone to chipping easily. My hood is a testament to that. If it's brand new try a white pad and V36 this should give you some indication of what you are dealing with. Don't expect it to cut the paint fast. Paint correction takes time and even longer with a DA. If your nervous go to a junkyard and pick up a black Honda panel, door hood whatever is cheap. If you can correct that soft clear coat without any problems you can handle the Ford.
If the paint has minor swirling that you can only see when you look at it from tight angles use a glaze. If they jump up and say hello when the sun hits it you need to polish.
Most of the swirling is this, pretty minor, but I know it's there. Since Black Light does have some cleaning/polishing capabilities I think I'll maybe try applying it with the DA and see what it looks like before bringing out the polishes. Good idea on the junk yard hood. Thanks.

inDetail
07-08-2014, 05:59 PM
Your welcome. That's why my chatter box is still around. I get to test stuff on it and I don't care how it looks. I have a black Civic hood maybe an 05. That's my other testing ground. All year it sits out 24/7 unless I'm working on it. I like it nice and hacked up before I work on the paint.

tenblade2001
08-02-2014, 07:23 AM
How big of a test spot do you use?

FocusSTguy
08-02-2014, 12:12 PM
I"m going to do about an 18"x18" spot. Actually going to start tomorrow afternoon! Cant wait.

shahsmerdis
08-02-2014, 06:45 PM
yes test spot test spot.

Im pretty sure you can get away with black light and white pad.

I still think you should apply all of them by machine if you bought the pads for it. applying sealants and glaze by machine gives a darn nice thin coat which allows you to buff off so easily and finish in fraction of the time.

Edit: Make sure you clay bar first!!!!

1BlackDropTop
08-20-2014, 05:54 AM
great questions, as I have had similar ones as well. If you use black light with a white pad as and AIO step, what speed would you apply with a DA polisher?

inDetail
08-20-2014, 05:37 PM
start off on 1 to spread make sure you prime well. Then use 4 or 5. BL will have cut on softer paint systems but can mar really finicky black paint. AIO will clean the paint a bit and lay down a little protection. Do a test but with an AIO like blacklight I would run it slow to test.

FocusSTguy
08-20-2014, 06:41 PM
great questions, as I have had similar ones as well. If you use black light with a white pad as and AIO step, what speed would you apply with a DA polisher?
I wasn't looking looking for any cut so just did a couple of passes on 4 to make sure I had an even coating. Like inDetail said, 4 or 5 for an AIO.

Here is what I found our regarding my questions.


The paint was a little harder than I was expecting. Since it was my first time I decide to do a 1 step. Did a couple of test spots and decided to go with V36 on a LC Hydro Tangerine pad, and this got most of the swirls. I'm planning on giving it another go in the spring with something a little more aggressive and knock out the rest.

The 3 scuff/scratches I referred to were on the plastic bumper and side mirror. I got some M201 with the DA and that got rid of them in just a few passes.

I also used V38 for the plastic B pillars with a white pad and that was another good combination

The 4oz sample was plenty to do the car.

I didn't wash the car after polishing but did clean the paint

After seeing how easy it was to apply the glaze with the DA, I started applying the Jet Seal with it and then my polisher decided to lock up :( so I ended up doing most of it by hand along with the wax

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