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Detailing & Appearance Discuss washing, waxing and detailing information as well as interior/exterior cosmetic modifications. This includes neons, body, cosmetic wheels, etc. Even under the hood detailing.

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Old 05-10-2006, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default Clay bar question

Anyone have any suggestions for the best kind? Any interesting insights into technique? I've never used one before (never had a car worth polishing to be honest) and I would like to really get this lil girl shining for summer. Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:43 AM   #2
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mother or meguiars. Are the easiest ones to get.

Not sure which is better, 6 and 1/2 dozen of the other.

Tip, there is never too much lube.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Work in small spots at a time. Spray some detailer spray in a spot, and go at it with the clay in circular motions, just as you would apply wax, until the detailer spray dries and the clay gets sticky on the paint. Then buff that spot off with a cotton towel or microfiber. Do that with the whole car and it will be very smooth.

Make sure you wash, then polish and wax after you use the clay, since it strips all the old wax and such.

I have been using the Mothers Clay Kit, which comes with the clay and the detailer spray. I'm sure the Meguiars is just as good.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
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Another helpful tip...

You will drop the clay on the ground at some point. Do not use it on the body after this - it will have imbedded debris from the ground and will scratch the surface. I would suggest halving your clay bar, then knead one half and spread it for use. Wrap the other half in Saran or a sandwich bag. When you drop the bar you are using, you can then switch to the 2nd half. The clay you dropped can be used on your wheels, if you happen to have painted wheels like I do.

Also, as someone else already said, use plenty of the clay lubricant. If you follow the directions, your paint should be as smooth as glass.

Good luck, and post some pix when you are done!

John
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:20 AM   #5
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Here'* a more detailed explanation of the benefits of claying your Bonne...

Clay, in and of itself, really isn't anything more than an abrasive cleaning tool. The simple abrasion of the clay against the surface of the paint (with lubricant) simply cleaves off and/or removes bonded and/or stuck-on contamination.

One of the most common types of bonded contamination is something known as rail dust What happens here is a train goes down the track and the friction between metal wheel and metal rail generates a 'shower' of metallic flecks that spin off everywhere. This metal lands on a surface like a modern clear coat finish and 'melts' into the paint. It typically doesn't make it far but, you can't really remove this type of thing with a simple wash with your favorite car wash solution.

Enter a clay bar used properly...

The clay will glide across the surface and, with the friction, snare that fleck of metal and extract it from the paint. Remember, this is happening on a micro basis -- not a macro.


When you're done, you're left with a substrate that is as smooth as glass. (trust me here... go feel your paint after you've washed your vehicle... feel that rough texture? That'* 'bonded' stuff (rail dust, industrial fallout, paint overspray, mineral deposits... etc. -- clay it using the directions as listed on the box (major readily available brands include Meguiar'*, Mothers, Clay Magic -- all are very good products) -- feel it afterwards. That'* the difference).

This is a try it and be sold on it deal.

Frequency -- typically around a few times per year for me and I'm frequently in industrial areas and live in a very dirty environment (which is what pays the bills).

So, all in all, it'* a simple 'surface preparation' step for someone who is very serious about the appearance and/or care of their vehicle. Surface prep, on ANY vehicle is the most critically important part -- anyone can smack a coat of wax on a vehicle and call it 'perfect'... it takes a true enthusiast to clay, polish, polish, polish, polish, wax, wax, wax and QD at the end to bring perfection.

I hope this helps!

John
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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I don't use circular motions, I go forward and backward only. Not that it wouldn't work in circular motions, but the directions say to go forward/backward (on Mothers clay bar at least).

Either way should work fine, just as long as you use enough detailing spray and fold/turn the bar frequently.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:45 AM   #7
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The best way to cvlay i * in a back and fourth motions on the roof and hood, and up and down on the sides, by doing the ciruclar motion your just adding to the swirls, also if your doing the whole car your gonna use a tonne of lube, scrap that its expensive and save it for something else,

Here swhat i usually do

1) wash the car really good, make sure everything is washed throughly(use two wash buckets one for soapy the microfibre, and the other for rinsing after washing a part of the car)

2) after rinse thoughly, and empty bucktes and rinse out making sure there are no crusties in the buckets, get another microfibre cloth, fill the bucket with alot of extra soap ,mix, usually you would use 1 cap, go for 3 just so you get alot of suds, after all the suds slop some onto the car were you want to begin, make sure there is alot of suds, get the clay bar and go to work, keeping suds around the whole time, after youve done the spot wash aagain with the cloth and your good to go, move on and continue,

this is what i do with my car, and as you can see by pics its in really good shape, try it out youll be happy with the end result

trip
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:06 PM   #8
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it is a common misconception that clay bars remove wax, they dont.

You should really do EVERYTHING in back and forth motions. Clay, polish, wax, etc. There is no real advantage to swirl motions.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:23 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. Weather here has been rainy (feels like Seattle I'd imagine) but in less than a week I'm done with teaching for a few months and I will get to it. I'll be sure to take some before and afters for everyone. I have the Ivory white paint though, so I'm not sure how dramatic the difference will be just by looking but I'm positive the feel and finish will be TONS better. Thanks again!
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:26 PM   #10
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