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Old 07-19-2007, 08:10 PM   #1
944GLE
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Default I'm doing a complete car detail, and I need some help.

So tomorrow I'm completly detail my car from the outside to the inside to the engine, wheels everything. So I need to get cleaning supplies. I need help decideding what to get. Help me make a list of stuff to get. Let me in on what you guys use and like.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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I would also like to know what people use.. but simple green is the answer for anything oily. ;)

BTW, i would expect 1 day simply for the engine compartment..
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:43 PM   #3
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yeah, a dirty engine can take all day.

simple green, water, bucket, wash brush, tire cleaner, wheel brush, wheel cleaner, car soap (not dish soap), leather cleaner, leather conditioner, carpet shampoo, small brushes for dusting, rags, soft towels to dry with, glass cleaner, vacuum, etc

you won't have time to wax/polish, but the meguiars 3 step system rules in my experience.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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+1 For meguiars' 3-step. One of the best products you can buy for home use.

You'll get best results if you can find a compressed air tank. A blast of compressd air works wonders for air vents, small cracks and corners, and also for getting the clingy stuff and sand from out of the carpet. Just be sure to wear goggles though since those bits of sand go flying everywhere.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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nice, will the compressed air in a can work too?
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:10 PM   #6
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Nothing beats a high pressure steam cleaner for the engine and under the car. It is worth just having it done because most places have a bay to get underneath, plus the cost of sprays and the fumes are all bad. Chemicals will not come close to steam cleaning for speed and a good job.

I would blow all the ducts out with air as mentioned above and clean the inside from headliner down. I have just put the hose in on the floor and filled it with an inch of water added soap and scrubbed. Suck out the water with a shop vac and repeat till the years of coffee, coke, and dirt stop coming up. You have to leave the windows down for a couple of days after to get it to dry. When down it looks fine.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:29 PM   #7
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get Meguiars product wherever possible for the exterior. I used to detail at a used car dealership for 3 years, and Meguiars products worked best on the exterior. Here's a list of what I use for a complete detail on the outside of my 945T:

1) Wash with Meguiars Gold Class car soap.
2)Clean rims and tires with Meguiars Wheel and Tire Cleaner (simple green corrodes aluminum) Oh, and be sure to clean inside the wheel wells too.
3) Dry car with chamois and dry wheels w/ microfiber cloths.
4) Meguiars 3-Step paint system. This works miracles on the paint.
5) Follow up 3-step with Meguiars Quik-Detailer. This gets rid of any swirls left from the wax.
6) Meguiars High Endurance tire shine on the tires and ALL plastic trim. Apply the tire shine liberally to all surfaces, let sit for several minutes, and then buff off excess with clean, dry microfiber.
7) Meguiars Plastx on plastic headlight/taillight lenses. With a decent amount of elbow grease, this can make your lenses look almost new.

USE MICROFIBER TOWELS ON PAINT!!!! IT TAKES OFF THE WAX/TIRE SHINE MUCH BETTER!

For the interior, I use a mix of products,

1) Vacuum carpets/seats
2) Vinylex on trim
3) Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner on seats
4) For carpet shampoo, Mix 1 part Woolite laundry detergent with 6 parts water. This is the best carpet shampoo I've EVER used.
5) I use windex on all the glass and mirrors. It works just fine for me.

Be careful with the engine compartment...mask off the distributer cap, alternator, and any other equipment that can be damaged by water. Soak the engine compartment in degreaser, and I mean SOAK, and then take some sort of scrubby brush to heavily soiled areas. Then, GENTLY hose off motor/engine compartment, being careful to avoid fragile equipment.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:31 PM   #8
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oh, btw, be sure to post pics when you're done!
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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can't beat a 1" foam paint brush for doing tight places like the little squares of the grill.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:10 PM   #10
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meguiars back to black works awesome for the outside black trim
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:20 AM   #11
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meguiars back to black works awesome for the outside black trim
+1. excellent product!
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:53 AM   #12
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The first thing and most important thing is not to wash your car in direct sunlight, and not after the sun has first heated the surfaces = 8-9 am is the best time. Meguiars Gold Class or NXT aren't bad at all, however stay away from whatever that crap they have in the pink / purple bottle. Get yourself one of those lambskin wash mitts, your arm will thank you for it as you don't have to squeeze to hold it like a sponge. Do the wheels first so you won't splash crap on clean surface in the end. Wheel cleaning acid is easy to use but can damage wheels. Final rinse always with freely running water from the hose, this step actually removes tons of water from the surface. Dry with a big microfiber towel, if you haven't used them before they take a while to get used to. Drying is a very critical step so don't try to get away with a half-ass job. Clean the windows with Stoners invisible glass and newspaper. If you're really hardcore and have a strong arm, clean your paint with a claybar. For waxing, I prefer to use 2 component polymers because of their strength, such as Autoglym. Carnauba looks beautiful but it just melts away in the south. I like to protect interior parts and door seals with 303 Aerospace Protectant.

To answer your original question briefly - Get a wash mit, big brush you can use for both tires and wheels, big microfiber towel for drying, some applicator pads + normal microfiber towels for waxing, buffing + applying products, and a squeege for windows.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:29 AM   #13
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I am not a big fan of the polish that comes in the 3 step but i need like the lubricant and clay bar. Where can i just get the spray on lubricant and clay bars?

Also what can i soke nuts and bolts in that will clean and shine them up. I also want to polish my fuel rail, what can i use on that?
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:06 AM   #14
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nice, will the compressed air in a can work too?
I usually just about empty out a 55gal container @ 150 PSI so that might be a whole heck of a lot of cans.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:19 AM   #15
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I usually just about empty out a 55gal container @ 150 PSI so that might be a whole heck of a lot of cans.
LMao I can picture someone going into napa to buy buy cans of compressed air.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:24 AM   #16
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for the glass, stoner invisible glass is very good.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:09 AM   #17
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I am not a big fan of the polish that comes in the 3 step but i need like the lubricant and clay bar. Where can i just get the spray on lubricant and clay bars?
Last time I bought a clay bar I picked up a kit made by Mothers from Advance Auto Parts (15$?). It came with a bar, detailing spray and a tiny little bottle of their cleaner wax.

I usually buy my detailing supplies from properautocare.com , they're located in Tampa, FL. Check out their website, they have a TON of detailing tips there. Another good one is autopia.org .
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:29 AM   #18
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Because your car is white, you won't need to get into the serious chemicals. White at its best looks clean and wet. Great color for maintenance.

I went all out and got the daddy of all detailers, the Porter Cable 7424. I usually do MeGuiars 3-step by hand, but instead this time I bought the professional detailers package to bring some life back to a 1985 silver 245.

Again, because your car is white, just clay the car, use meGuiar's paint cleaner, then polish then Gold class wax.

You'll love it and each costs about $5-6.

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Old 07-20-2007, 01:39 PM   #19
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I started at 9am with the wash, then came the clay bar, then wax. I'm taking a break right now then im going to tackle the interior
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:40 PM   #20
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tactle eh? sounds dirty...
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:26 PM   #21
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As far as insides go... small canister vacuum is your best friend again (uprights prove their uselessness yet again), pay extra attention to the seams as sand and cookie crumbs love to hide in there. Finish dusting with a dry microfiber cloth. If you decide to use some kind of cleaning products always test them on the surface materials first, e.g. Autoglym interior shampoo will strip all paint off Ford buttons & knobs. Lexol is good for leather seats, so is Leatherique though that has a very odd application process. Just remember to use lint free cloths again, or you'll hate the results. For vinyl trim, 303 Aerospace Protectant works good, and readily available from boating supply stores. Never spray on surfaces, always spray on an applicator, and less is more (the idea is to make the surfaces look new, not greasy and glossy). Remember to buff the surfaces thoroughly, you don't want the end result to be spotty. Put some 303 in your door and trunk seals, and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping up the excess, I've seen this stuff bring old crusty Mercedes weatherstripping back to life.

Once you're done, you can wash your microfibers and applicators in the washing machine, just air dry them. If you used a wash mitt, hand wash it, make sure you get the sand out and hang it to dry. Wash and dry your hands, apply bandaids liberally, take some pictures, have a cold one and get used to everyone thinking you've lost your mind.

I used to take care of two of my own vehicles this way, and on occasion detail my relatives vehicles where their children had sprayed milk and half eaten cookies all over the seats. But that was B.C. (before child) and now I just hang my head in shame and can't look my Volvo straight in foglamps as it's covered in crap.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:43 PM   #22
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btw, I went with the meguairs 3-step. It went fantastic.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:46 PM   #23
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out to go get stuff for the inside
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:57 PM   #24
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NXT meguiars glass cleaner is really awesome IMO.....also their clay bar is a good choice
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:43 PM   #25
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Last time I bought a clay bar I picked up a kit made by Mothers from Advance Auto Parts (15$?). It came with a bar, detailing spray and a tiny little bottle of their cleaner wax.

I usually buy my detailing supplies from properautocare.com , they're located in Tampa, FL. Check out their website, they have a TON of detailing tips there. Another good one is autopia.org .
Great Site and Great Advice! Thanks! I have been looking for a site like autopia.org for awhile.

But would someone please tell me how i need to go about polishing my fuel rail and what i can soke my nuts and bolts in that will make them like new again?
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