The Ultimate Guide to Detailing your Mustang
(or any other piece of junk for that matter)
I put this document together because there was a lot of wrong information floating around and while I find the time I spend detailing my car enjoyable some people dread it because they are being lead in the wrong direction.
The products I will recommend/ discuss in this are mere suggestions and by no means set in stone. I don’t get any kick back’s from the suppliers or the retailers that carry these products. But I will suggest some places where you can get these products! www.meguiars.comwww.premiumautocare.comwww.autogeek.netwww.topoftheline.comwww.autopia-carcare.comwww.poorboys.comwww.adamspolishes.comwww.leatherique.com
There are many more that I could list but these are just a few
•Microfiber polishing towels (the more you have the better .. I have over 150 of them!
•Microfiber Waffle weave drying towel
•Shop Towels (The blue ones that come in the roll!)
•Brushes… a variety you may want to pick up a few of the super cheep tooth brushes (soft bristled)
•Foam Wax applicators
•Terry polish applicators
•Foam paint brushes (a variety of sizes)
•Porter Cable’s 7424 Dual Action Polisher (Not essential but great investment
Detailing Product essentials
•Soap (Meguiars Gold class soap, Poorboy’s Super slick & suds)
•Wheel Cleaner (Poorboys spray and rinse is great I personally like 4 star’s Ultimate wheel cleaner Gel because it sticks to the wheel)
•Turtle wax Bug and tar remover
•Paint correction products (Poorboys SSR’s 2.5, and SSR 1. Or Meguiars # 83 Dual action Cleaner polish.) there are too many to list these are the ones I use and like.
•Polish (Poorboy’s has two great product here Professional Polish, or Polish with carnuba) again these are the products I like there are many other out there
•Sealents ( Meguiars NXT , Poorboy’s EX-P or EX , 4 stars Ultimate paint protection)
•Last Step Product ( Carnuba wax … there are many on the market that range in prices. I personally like Poorboy’s natty’s for the price its $14.99 and performs better than waxes triple its price
•Tire dressing poorboys bold and brite best thing about it is you can apply it and then about 20 mins later fry the hides and you will have NO SLING!!!
•Pick up some cheep tire dressing (I use this to spay my fender wells)
•Lexol or lexol type products … I use leatherique.
•Interior protectant. I use 303 protectant or Poorboys Natural look
•Convertible Roof care I use 303 protectant here as well
•Exterior trim. Poorboys Trim Restorer there is no product on the market like it! Side scoops mirrors cowl looks like brand new!
That’s about it for supplies!
Now lets get down to the detailing.
I start with the exterior with the following steps.
1. Wheel wells. I use either engine degreaser or Simple green and a long handled brush!
3. Convertible top
4. Body from top to bottom.
Wheel wells and wheels are pretty self explanatory if you have questions there please feel free to ask!
• Convertible top (vinyl)
1. Mix a bucket of Auto soap
2. rinse roof
3. With a soft bristled brush scrub the roof there is no reason to scrub hard just a light massage if you will.
6. Allow to dry for another hour or so.
7. Apply protectant
Please keep in mind that im not telling you to to do this one step after the next. I will most likely wash the entire car before going back and doing the rest of the steps.
• Body washing.
Use the 2 bucket 2 wash mitt method
1. Fill 1 bucket with plain water. The other with your Car wash.
2. Wet the car down I usually will go over the car to remove any heavy stuff with the stream of the hose.
3. Bug and Tar . I usually will spray the lower panels with this
4. Starting at the top of the car. Wash an area when you go back for more soap prior to dipping your mitt into the wash bucket dip it in the plain water bucket to rinse then back to car wash and continue.
5. I will typicly do the entire top of the car… rinse … and then with a different mitt go back and do the bottom of the car.
Dry. I use a Waffle weave micro-fiber towel ive never seen something soak up so much water in my life!
Claying Your Car! (I will typicly do this before drying the car from the wash!) and keep a spray bottle of quick detailer or highly concentrated Auto wash to water mix!
Claying the car is easy. You don't need an awful lot of pressure to do it. Just glide the clay over the car in the same direction that the wind blows over the car when you drive. The water on the surface will help, but use the clay lubricant when necessary. If it grabs too much then it needs some lube. Do it slowly and one section at a time. Fold the clay often and if you drop a piece then throw it away. It is possible to do a lot of damage with clay if there are abrasive particles in it. Even the smallest rock or piece of grit can cause problems. Better to be safe than sorry. A 200 gram bar of clay will cut up in to 6 or 8 pieces really easily. You don't need much to do a complete job.
You will feel the difference right away after you clay. The surface will be smooth as glass. I love the feeling of a freshly clayed car. At this point you might want to wash it again becuase there will be drips from the clay. Don't worry about cleaning that up as you go. Just save it for the end and you can wash your car again. Since our next step is step one of the polishing process, we don't have to worry about that.
Now your ready for paint correction!
Swirls come in many degrees and a lot of it depends on the color of the car. It may take longer or shorter to deal with them depending on a lot of factors.
I like to start with DACP (Meguiar's #83) or equivalent Poorboys SSR 2.5.
From my experience I have learned that not many cars come to me with just a few swirls. Obviously if its a brand new car then I wouldn't do that, but I might. SSR 2.5 is pretty darn effective. If the swirls are really bad then you might need to step it up a notch Maybe SSR 3. The order of abrasives on the Meguiar's scale is like this:
#85 Diamond Cut = 10
#84 Compound Power Cleaner = 9
#4 Heavy-cut Cleaner = 8
#1 Medium-cut Cleaner = 7
#83 DACP = 6
#2 Fine-cut Cleaner = 5
#80 Speed Glaze = 4
#82 Swirl Free Polish = 3
#9 Swirl Remover 2.0 = 3
#3 Machine Glaze = 1
They don't list anything at the 2 rating that I know of.
Poorboys would be
SSR 2.5 This has diminishing abrasives so the more you work it it turns more to a polish. You can actually get away with going right from this to the Polishing step.
Typically Here is my process
1. SSR 2.5 (swirl/paint correction)
2. SSR 1 (Remove any fine swirls that weren’t removed in the previous procees)
3. Pro Polish ( This will polish the clear coat to a high Gloss)
4. EX-P (Sealant/Protectant this will give your paint protection for about 6 months but I do this more often than that)
5. Natty’s Carnauba Wax (Gives the paint nice depth and in the end my paint looks so wet you could actually take a swim!)
Swirls need a machine to be removed. I know there are a few super men out there who can do it all by hand, but that isn't most of us. If you want to spend 30 hours polishing your hood by hand to equal 10 minutes with a Porter Cable 7424 then be my guest. Take my advice and get the PC. You'll be glad that you did.