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Car Detailing/polishing gear recommendations

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Hey all

 

What do you guys recommend for polishing your cars.

Im looking at doing cut and polish type of thing. Using a electric buffer.

So any recommendations of cutting/polishing/buffers car care stuff that would be needed.

First time doing this to a decent standard.

 

 

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Depends on your budget, I have a Flex XC 3401 it's expensive but it's one of the bests.

The really good thing with it is that it's a Dual Action polisher, meaning it moves in circles like you would do if you were polishing by hand. This makes it safer for beginners as it reduces the risk of cutting too much and going through the clear coat. The drawback with most DA polishers being that it doesn't cut as much or as fast as the rotary polishers. The Flex XC 3401 doesn't have this drawback as it's really powerful.

 

Anyway, if you're beginning with this and just want to "refresh" your paint I would recommend a DA polisher.

 

EDIT : You'll also need some pads and polishing products. I personally really like the polish/compounds from Menzerna, they have some really versatile products.

Edited by delta

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+1 for meguiars

 

I have a TORQ FX dual action polisher. pretty much an entry level thing. 

do some research on it though

personally I would use a clay bar every time before doing a car.

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I got the rockwell rotary buffer from supercheap and what a heap of S*** that thing is, speed 1 doesn't even turn, speed 2 turns so slowly you can't even put it on the paint without it stopping instantly and speed 3 is like too fast to even polish with lol. Maybe mines faulty I dunno, but def stay away from them. 

 

I've heard good things about the rockwell DA which I'll probably go for next.

 

product wise you'll need cuttiing compound, wax for polishing, a cutting pad, a microfibre/polishing pad, clay bars, soft yellow sponge wax applicator pads, microfiber towels (at least 6-10) and I think that should get you started pretty nicely. Aliexpress has these dirt cheap if you don't mind waiting a month or so. 

 

Do yourself a favour and grab the microfiber cutting/polishing pads, and get your product from the likes of pacer.co.nz or the sprayshop here in chch

 

I love meguiars but the NZ supplier is a frekn wanker and slaps like a 300% markup on the stuff. If you import it from USA it's 1/4 the price (if anyone knows a local shop importing it and not charging through the teeth please let me know lol) , supercheap wants 46$ a bottle in usa they charge under 10usd lol. 

 

As for polishing tips I'm a real amateur lol, follow the youtube videos from AMMO, he explains things quite well and it helps sort of put things in context.

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shipping liquids to nz is a pia and you pay the appropriate tax.

 

wait for a ripco/supercheap sale and stock up.

 

 

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Better bump this up since @Batbaruman has made me feel bad about my car care efforts in recent times.

 

Do you guys with corded random orbital polishers find the lead gets in the way much?

Figure i’ll probably be more inclined to sort mine out if I get a tool to do more of the hard work for me.

 

I see Makita has released an 18v one recently which will probably be super expensive but runs the same batteries as the rest of my tools so the battery running flat isn't an issue and the general quality is typically top notch. 

 

https://www.makita.co.nz/products/model/DPO600

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Y’all should feel really bad aye

Speaking is detailing product specials though

Meguiars clay bar / derailed spray kit $28 at repco, I saved the spray for later and just use bucket of gold class wash & wax for the lubricant

Meguiars towel magnet $20. was 40% off at repco too, single towel to dry the whole car much preferred it over previous synthetic $5 thing I used as that product left micro scratches and needed frequent wringing out

Meguiars gold class wash and wax 1.9L $25 at supercheap , it’s my go to product for once car has been waxed as cleans car, has some agents for hard water so less risk of water spots and doesn’t strip wax.

Meguiars ultimate polish $32 at supercheap , ultimate compound on sale at same price might grab some myself for next time

Saw rainx products were on sale at mitre 10 grab some if you haven’t tried and been curious, the windshield wax spray will last you forever and has practical benefits

Rockwell / SCA branded dual action random orbits polisher with 1 foam pad for $109 at supercheap . Bunch of 7” /180mm pads on special too









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Hey it gets rain X all the time. 

Plus I can’t see the outside when driving and it just gets covered in bugs, dirt and soot. 

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Better bump this up since [mention=20441]Batbaruman[/mention] has made me feel bad about my car care efforts in recent times.

 

Do you guys with corded random orbital polishers find the lead gets in the way much?

Figure i’ll probably be more inclined to sort mine out if I get a tool to do more of the hard work for me.

 

I see Makita has released an 18v one recently which will probably be super expensive but runs the same batteries as the rest of my tools so the battery running flat isn't an issue and the general quality is typically top notch. 

 

https://www.makita.co.nz/products/model/DPO600

 

Personally nope , I learnt off YouTube tutorials this way to loop cord around myself so it doesn’t damage the paint. If you had a few spare batteries around then seems cordless one would be even better provided it isn’t weak / battery doesn’t get flat too quickly

 

Bonus tip (learned the hard way few years ago) - is you’re not particularly vertically gifted you may find your clothes would touch body of car when you’re reaching to scrub top of it. A) lower your car (considering it) and b) make sure you’re not wearings stuff that could scratch car like hoodie with metal zips , pants zips, belt buckles/ Burton’s etc

 

 

Can someone please recommend what are some good backing plate sizes to have on hand and some pads? The SCA ones I’m sure won’t cut it for when I wanna do some compound work , just barely good enough for polishing. I’d like something that I can attach to have a food go at headlights later, right now I’m only 70% happy with them

 

 

 

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Just use rainx on the lights the solvent eats the plastic and clears the yellow. 

Also any rough cleaning removes the UV protection coating and they yellow up real fast. So buy the new clear coat for them. 

 

Plus don’t polish with anything high speed as if you heat it too much the plastic it gets bubbly and you end up buying new lights. 

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15 hours ago, Gripless said:

Just use rainx on the lights the solvent eats the plastic and clears the yellow. 

Also any rough cleaning removes the UV protection coating and they yellow up real fast. So buy the new clear coat for them. 

 

Plus don’t polish with anything high speed as if you heat it too much the plastic it gets bubbly and you end up buying new lights. 

yeh my dad fixed the yellow problem.. he thought he was helping me while car was parked away during my surgery. i get back home for a 'nice' surprise, lights no longer yellow.. instead they're full of micro scratches cos he used autosol metal polish (the thicker paste version) and steel wool on the plastic headlights.. very abrasive. that day i did not need pain killer as the shock completely numbed me :D clear but so many deep scratches!

 

i've since improved on the scratches but eventually my next moves on the lights will likely need to be 2000, then 3000 wet sanding followed by some polishing action and then some clear coat that's suitable for plastic (not sure where is best to get that from). for now they're near perfect from 1metre away  but any closer and they look gross.

 

the story behind why i originally started crazily detailing my own cars from long back is also related to fixing random 'helpful' things my dad would do to my cars way back, i guess that's his way of teaching me lol.

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I figure I may as well bump this up instead of starting a new thread that will pretty much cover the same things so here goes... 

 

I'm about to partake in a full exterior detail of my wagon and have been gathering supplies before getting started. 

I have everything I need apart from the pads needed for the Dual Action polisher. 

I have bought some from SCA but quickly realised they won't cut the mustard and I will be needing a whole lot more anyway. 

Where do people recommend getting these from? 

Also, do people recommend 180mm or 150mm pads? The backing pad will take either. 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Cheers! 

 

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14 hours ago, tweedo said:

I figure I may as well bump this up instead of starting a new thread that will pretty much cover the same things so here goes... 

 

I'm about to partake in a full exterior detail of my wagon and have been gathering supplies before getting started. 

I have everything I need apart from the pads needed for the Dual Action polisher. 

I have bought some from SCA but quickly realised they won't cut the mustard and I will be needing a whole lot more anyway. 

Where do people recommend getting these from? 

 Also, do people recommend 180mm or 150mm pads? The backing pad will take either. 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Cheers! 

 

Just about to do the wifes car too, getting it ready to hand over to our son when he gets his license later this year.

Unfortunately its been sitting out in the open untouched for the last few months so will need a really good detailing.

 

@tweedo  good time for a bump 

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18 hours ago, tweedo said:

I figure I may as well bump this up instead of starting a new thread that will pretty much cover the same things so here goes... 

 

I'm about to partake in a full exterior detail of my wagon and have been gathering supplies before getting started. 

I have everything I need apart from the pads needed for the Dual Action polisher. 

I have bought some from SCA but quickly realised they won't cut the mustard and I will be needing a whole lot more anyway. 

Where do people recommend getting these from? 

Also, do people recommend 180mm or 150mm pads? The backing pad will take either. 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Cheers! 

 

if you're not in a rush, you can get pretty decently priced ones off ebay. i'm no pro, but i got a good variety from there. also if you already have the ones from supercheap, they'll work 'ok', just keep cleaning the pad as you go regularly.. you shouldn't need a whole lot of them, the key is to clean and if you watch a bunch of guides from youtube 'pros' you'll see it's a common theme that they use air gun while spinning it on low to keep pad clean.

 

how many steps are you looking at doing on the detail? compound, finishing polish, and wax to seal? or something more? my paint was very dry and lackluster before i started, and with a couple passes of finishing polish (meguiars ultimate polish) and meguiars carnauba gold class wax,  it was what i'd call 8/10 condition up from originally 6/10). my regret at the time was investing all that time to prep (full on clean & dry, claybar, clean again, claybar little more, polish couple times and wax), i should have gone 1 more step and compounded.. i have ultimate compound waiting for around october when i do it all again.

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Sweet as, I'll have a look into them... anyone had any dealings with the Trademe ones? There's a Canterbury based outfit that sells them on there. 

 

I'm looking at going the whole hog, right from the clay to the wax.

Well, what I would consider to be the whole hog!

I watched the Meguiars UK YouTube series called Detailing 101 which was such a good series for a noob like me. 

Still a little unsure on what colour pad to use for the different stages though... what did you use on your car @Batbaruman?

 

Apparently that Ultimate Compound is the ducks nuts too 👍

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Sweet as, I'll have a look into them... anyone had any dealings with the Trademe ones? There's a Canterbury based outfit that sells them on there. 
 
I'm looking at going the whole hog, right from the clay to the wax.
Well, what I would consider to be the whole hog!
I watched the Meguiars UK YouTube series called Detailing 101 which was such a good series for a noob like me. 
Still a little unsure on what colour pad to use for the different stages though... what did you use on your car [mention=20441]Batbaruman[/mention]?
 
Apparently that Ultimate Compound is the ducks nuts too

When I did it, I actually just used the cheapo yellow of that came with my SCA polisher for the polishing steps . When I redo it I’ll use the eBay polishing pads of varying strength for different steps. For wax steps I used cheap SCA black pad. I’m a noob too and followed same online tutorials, found the megiuars vids to be quite helpful though it helps I guess that I’ve done it all by hand in the past on previous cars (multi day process by hand!)

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Done some write up in my thread of my experiences if interested but as a one line summary : the Meguiars stuff with the super cheap stuff is very easy to use, doesn’t break the bank and gives great results if you put in the time to do it right



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