Detailing Thread

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
ohcanada_00
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Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:30 pm

After answering a question about clay bars in another thread, I thought I would put my knowledge to good work and ask if anyone had any detailing questions? I am a detailer with close to 12 years experience now and work for Griot's Garage, a manufacture of detailing product. I promise you I will not try to sell you anything but if you had any specific or general detailing questions, I'd love to help out. I do love me a clean car.
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by Petros » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:54 pm

why dont you write a brief sequence of what you do, and what products you use when doing a detailing job?

I had encouraged my teenage daughters to earn a good summer income by putting on their bathing suits and find single guys with flashy sports cars to offer to wash, wax and detail their car for a "special price". They can earn a lot more than your typical detailer by virtue of their gender.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

ohcanada_00
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My tercel:: 1984 DLX 4WD
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:48 pm

i'd be happy to! Let me put something together and post it a little later!
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

xirdneh
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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: Detailing Thread

Post by xirdneh » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:13 pm

I have a 1983 F150
the rubber/felt whatever track the door window slides in has deteriorated and the noise from air is getting annoying
so should i be able to replace that?

is that something a detailer does?
seems like i heard once there are people who will detail a car for a hundred bucks or so?
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

ohcanada_00
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:05 pm

The rubber/felt isnt typically something a detailer does but is pretty easy to do with some junkyard or replacement parts.

People who detail cars on the side (like me) or for a job set thier own prices. I have packages ranging from $75 to $$Quote$$ biggest job I ever charged was well over $1000. I offer a pretty basic package for $100 but others don't even come close to what I offer. most shops or mobile detailers start at around $200 for a complete job.
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

ohcanada_00
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:12 pm
My tercel:: 1984 DLX 4WD
Location: Tacoma, Washington
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:33 pm

to the fun stuff! My disclaimer is that I do work for Griot's Garage. I prefer to use Griot's products as I feel they work the best and honestly do believe that, but if we dont make something or another brand works better, I will say that. I'm not making one cent off doing this, I just really enojy teaching and detailing so this is something I feel I can contribute to the community. I have been through several extensive detailing courses and have detailed cars for 12 years with several national concours award winners under my belt including my most recent high level winner the Best In Show at the 2009 Porsche Parade National Concours. I love what I do!


I figure for this, I'll do one or two sections a day to really get into the topics and not overwhelm anyone!

Basic detailing 101

Wash:

Using a good car wash is actually more important than most people think. Using dish soap contains so much detergent that it will strip any sealant, wax or treatments on the car already so you want to pick a car wash that has a high lubricty factor but low or no detergent. picking one that is pH balanced also helps prevent some common problems like ashy or dried out bumpers, plastics or trim. It can also over time, start to etch the paint and clear coat if the wash is to acidic.

Another common thing with most car washes is the 'suds factor'. Bubbles do not mean the product works any better. You should actually look for car washes that have more of a sud (tight compact lather like bubbles) versus bubbles and foam. Foaming bubbles mean the presence of sodium sulfates that are not dangerous in anyway, but lots of hulla baloo and additives that just make the product foamy.

You'll want to make sure the surface of the car is cool to the touch. Not freezing and most certainly not too hot. Paint that is too hot can cause the car wash soap to flash dry on the paint and etch or leave stains.

Now to washing! First follow the manufactures suggested ratio of car wash to water exactly! Too much actually makes the product LESS effective and not enough doesnt provide the lubricity you'll need to get the dirt and grime off. If you have access to warm water, use it. It will actually make your car wash soap MORE effective.

Rinse the car thoroughly first with a heavy or steady stream of water, knocking the heavy and large particles off the car first.

Now dip your washing tool (mitt, pad, brush etc...) and sauturate with water and soap. Work from the top down leaving the dirtiest spots for last like rocker panels, wheel wells, wheels, and the like. Work small areas. I like to work 4x4 sections at a time dipping and rinsing my wash pad several times in a seperate rinse water bucket so I dont transfer any of the gunk I just washed off to my clean soapy water. If you need a good method to washing I like to follow this: Top, Front, Hood, Front Fender (L), doors (L), rear deck, rear fenders (L) Rear fenders (R), doors (R) then front fenders (R). Clean the wheels and tires with your car wash soap last as they are usually the dirties but we'll talk more about some special cleaning later for those areas. Its always a good idea to knock down most of the dirt though in the car washing process.

When you do your final rinse, use a flat stream of water or knock the sprayer off your hose and just let the water flow. This leaves much less water on the surface and makes it easier to dry. Make sure to spen enough time rinsing everything to get all the soap and wash out of all the nooks and crannies.

A little tip: If you dont have a spray on wax product, squirt a SMALL amount of cream or liquid wax in your wash water to provide a very minimal waxing effect as you wash. This will also help bond the water together and prevent the majority of water spots.

After all this you should have a pretty clean car!

Next: Drying!
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

ohcanada_00
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:45 pm

Drying!


Drying is a task often overlooked when thinking about ways to take care of your car. Infact, MOST swirl marks on cars happen during the drying process and can be avoided with a few simple steps.

When drying a car, I LOVE to use a waffle weave microfiber towel. The one I use is huge (25" x 35") and has pockets sewn in so I can use both hands to guide my towel and get the greatest surface area. Waffle weaves reduce friction on the surface of the paint and are much more absorbant so it makes good sense.

When drying, I start with a spray on wax. I douse the panel I want to dry with a few light mists of a water based spray on wax product then use the towel to go from top to bottom following the same pattern I washed the car in. I will completely dry one panel then more to the next. You will want to wring out your towel often or as I do, keep a couple on hand. Even with the diminutive Terc 4x4 I will use 2 of the big towels to make sure I give it the best drying possible.

There are other tools you can use and they do have benefits and cons. Water blades made of surgical grade silicone are an excellent way to get 80% of the water off the car before a towel dry but inferior grades of silicone or rubber can strach your car very quickly. Synthetic Chamois are also good tools but I find that when the surface gets dry, they tend to pull and stick a lot and can actually lead to a condition called 'pulled wax' where waves will appear in the coat of wax or sealant you have on the car from being 'pulled'. Traditional chamois are prone to the same problem but when used properly can be very nice. My biggest complaint with them is the care required to keep one in good shape. A $30 chamois will require about $15 in maintenence products just to keep it supple and ready for use. My biggest fear in drying is the ol' terry cloth towel. Terry cloth is so abrasive its not even funny. Cotton by nature is a VERY rough fabric when looked at under a microscope. It can fray easily and without the utmost over the top care, can get scratchy. Imagine what that will do to your paint!!

Next: Wheels and Tires!
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

ohcanada_00
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:12 pm
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:28 pm

What the Heck is a Clay Bar?

Regardless of how clean you think your paint is, there are still contaminants stuck on the paint that you need to remove before waxing or polishing your paint. But how do you know if they are there? Easy. After washing your car, run your hand down the paint. If you feel the small bumps and ridges, its time for a good clay bar session.

Clay barring is easy. Very easy. So easy in fact, you should be ashamed you didnt know about this before. First, buy a clay bar and a corresponding lubricating fluid. You DO NOT want to use water as it will make the clay super sticky and ineefective. You also want to stay away from a lubricant that is too slippery as it will make the clay bar glide right over any of the gunk you are trying to pick up. Usually makers of clay bars will reccomend a quick detailing product for the caly bar and that usually works well.

SPray some of your quick detailer on the surface to be clayed. I work in 2'x2' sections and try to use two or three good mists of fluid per section. Take the clay bar in your hand and lighting god back and forth up and down in a cross hatch pattern in your section until the paint feels smooth and glassy. This should take about 30-60 seconds of constant motion per panel. You dont need to press hard! Pressing hard does nothing for you and makes removing the fluid harder because you'll have pressed the dirt and grime further down.

Once you panel feels smooth, take a soft microfiber towel and completely wipe away any residue. No need to leave it on as we'll discuss in further installments. You can repeat the steps as needed until the paint feels glassy, cool and smooth. On cars that have never been clayed, it make take two or three tries per panel. If you have a single stage car, DONT be afraid if a little color comes up with the clay. Thats perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

There are more than just paint clay bars out there. There are usually three main types. Glass, Paint and Wheel clay. Each is specifically designed to meet the needs to the indicated surface but they all act the same and are genrally just different grades of the same material. Clay can get overspray off cars, graffitti, and lots of other stuff that is stuck on.
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

deejay1272
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My tercel:: 1985 Navy Blue Tercel Wagon SR5 4x4 now with Weber 32/36!
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by deejay1272 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:49 pm

So I've been anxiously awaiting some info about cleaning wheels. Can you provide us with any useful information?

I'm planning on cleaning the alloy wheels on my other car (A '97 Civic) and I thought some professional help would be useful. My wheels are in poor condition - LOTS of pits, lots of black spots that don't come off without some serious elbow grease. I'm trying to find a way to use my Dremel tool to help me out. Any ideas for what would work to get REALLY caked on dirt off of alloy wheels to make 'em look better?

Thanks!
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Beefsteak when I'm hungry, whiskey when I'm dry
Greenbacks when I'm hard up, heaven when I die

ohcanada_00
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ohcanada_00 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:45 am

Sure, I was laid off from my job last week so now I can mention brand names!!! Imwill write something up and post it soon
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: Detailing Thread

Post by Petros » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:02 pm

laid off! what happened? was there a sudden slow down in overpriced car cleaning supply sales?

So, you going to go full time into car detailing now?
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

deejay1272
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:20 pm
My tercel:: 1985 Navy Blue Tercel Wagon SR5 4x4 now with Weber 32/36!
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Detailing Thread

Post by deejay1272 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:06 pm

ohcanada_00 wrote:Sure, I was laid off from my job last week so now I can mention brand names!!! Imwill write something up and post it soon
Sorry to hear it! Times sure are tough out there right now...
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Beefsteak when I'm hungry, whiskey when I'm dry
Greenbacks when I'm hard up, heaven when I die

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by ARCHINSTL » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:25 am

Wow - unfortunate, for sure!
This is interesting on another level, however (not to make light of your situation!).
When I was in the bike biz, I had several customers who were in the "man toys" business; one had a gun shop, and another was a real tailor, and another had some kind of bigga-buck audio stuff. There was also a lady who sold expensive brassieres (yes, hand-made bras) to rich women.
Anyway, during a couple of economic slowdowns in the mid-'70s, early '80s and early '90s my biz really slumped. I recall asking each of these folks if they were hurting as well, since their products were definitely not essential. They all, to a person, replied that they suffered not at all, as the tailor and bra-lady said their customers were the quite well-off set and pampered themselves anyway. The gun and audio guys said that men always had bucks "put aside" (wink-wink) for their toys and the "purchasing agent" at home would not know about the new weapon (easily concealed) or the new audio gizmo ("Hey, Honey, it doesn't sound different to me?).
I would have thought that Griots, based on its intended market, would not have suffered even now.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
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DanT
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My tercel:: 83 Toyota Tercel SR5 Wagon
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by DanT » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:29 pm

I am in the process of doing a complete cleaning of the interior of my 83 SR5 wagon right now and have been at this all week. Spent over 100 hours on body work, trim, new windshield, and painting the outside. Ouside looks great. I have been doing net searches trying to learn how to correctly handle various interior detailing issues. Here are my questions:

1) Seats: I have cleaned the plaid cloth seats years ago and they are due again. In the past I used a bucket of water, dish soap, and 409 APC. Worked about 1 foot section at a time with a brush, and then wiped up as much dirty liquid as I could with a cloth. Seats turned out really well, but is there a better approach? I am about to start on this tomorrow. I have a wet vac this time.

2) Glass: I cleaned all of my glass with a clean cloth and windex, and then used a thin film of Turtle wax on both sides. (Except for the back and front glass.) What do you recommend for windshield glass (and all other glass)?

3) Plastic: I have used armorall on the tan interior plastic with good results in the past. Like the way it looks. I scrub down the plastic with water and dish soap and 409 APC using a brush, then apply armorall. I was horrified to see about 10 "bleach spots" in the plastic, not just on the surface, that appeared a full day after I did this. Still not sure what caused it. I touched up the spots with matching paint, and have semi-recovered. (I used some lacquer thinner to clean tar spots, but I washed it off before armorall, or it might have been windex that spilled on the armorall, or maybe it was really old armorall that chemically separated?) Have you seen this before? Any guesses on what caused it? Recommendations?

Thanks very much for any suggestions.

My best regards,

Dan T

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dlb
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Re: Detailing Thread

Post by dlb » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:07 pm

hey dan. if you want to go nuts with your detailing you can remove the covers from the seats and put them in a washing machine. i did it and documented it here:

http://www.tercel4wd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6526

the second tercel i bought stunk like smoke, puke, and dog, so i really had no choice. took about 10 hours total to do the whole job. when i washed the covers i did small loads so they would be agitated better. the water after the first wash was virtually mud so i did them a few more times. the hard part was getting the stink out of the seat foam but i used a carpet cleaner smell removal pre-treatment spray. i doused all the foam with it and let it sit in the summer sun. i did this several times and it worked pretty well. i also cleaned all the door panels, the headliner, and removed the carpet and rug doctored that. in the end, the car still smelled a little bit funky but it's been sitting with one window open just a 1/2" since then and it actually doesn't stink anymore. i'm really pleased with how the interior turned out. i'm not sure if i'm going to go through with the rest of the repairs on the car but even if i just keep it as a parts car, i now have a decent interior to transplant if i need it.

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