Lotus Elan

Buffing the paint.

PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:33 pm

I'm just about to fit the adjustable A frames, (cos I have a pair so I may as well.)
Then set up the corner weights and rear tracking.

After that I'm having trouble finding things to do on Toad!

The last thing is to buff up the bonnet. It's is covered in swirl marks that are visible close up,
especially as the rest is good.

So how to do it? An electric buffer like this? - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391332071410

I am (vaguely) familiar with Farecla cutting componds - G3 or G10? Which is suitable with a buffer?
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202287793682

And what are the different mops for? Is a sheepskin better for a final sparkle?

Vince
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:25 am

Hi Vince,
I went through this recently and ended up buying a DA6 Pro polisher and after trying a few cheap pads I ended up using expensive ones from "The Chemical Guys".

I used this forum to learn about the various polishes and tools available because it really is a minefield for the novice.

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/index.php

Polishers seemed to range from very cheap to hundreds of pounds, in the end I bought a "kit" for around ?150 and then added a 3" disc to get into tighter spots. I went for a dual action polisher, think of it as an elliptical oscillation rather than plain circular motion as you get with an angle grinder. This is apparently the easiest for a novice to use with less chance of burning through paint.

I've used Farecla polishing compounds when doing hand polishing but with a polisher I think they'd be too abrasive. It's a combination of pad stiffness/pore type/compound and because it's going so fast it's easy to cut through paint too quickly. I used Menzerna polishes, they look expensive compared to traditional hand polishing stuff but you don't use as much and they do make a very good job.

I've just remembered where I got it from - this page shows the tool & kit.

https://www.in2detailing.co.uk/products/paint-correction/polishing-machines.html

Around the time I bought mine Argos had a very cheap DA polisher on offer which also had good reviews on Detailing world. The only reason I didn't go for it was because I needed advice on pads, etc, so I went to a specialist instead.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:02 am

I've used lots of polishing machines over the years and as long as it has a speed control and you can handle the weight for one off jobs just get a cheap one...... it has been known to just use a DA sander with a polishing foam fitted (might need a soft interface pad but basically what most buffers are anyway)....... just keep the speed slow and controlled and don't go right upto the edges.

As for polishes, strangely i don't know allot about diffrent makes and models as i only use 3m Green 50417 (fast cut),Yellow 80349 (extra fine) and Blue 50383 (Ultra fine/anti hologram) polish with the matching pad..... even if i left it there i'd not have any swirl marks even with the daylight torch...... but to finish it i use Angelwax THE FIFTH ELEMENT over the top which gives it a good six months protection and a deep shine (about the most hydrophobic wax i've ever used but it's not cheap).

One thing i do know is the Farecla G series polishes are very dusty, the 'Premium' are better but still not as good as the 3M.
Chris
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:54 am

I?ve also got a DA6 polisher and I?m pretty happy with the results I?ve been getting. I haven?t touched the +2 with it yet.

Here?s what I achieved with my sisters old Peugeot which had been neglected for many years...

25c4aff5-034b-494f-8715-5c055459edc3.jpeg and
Before


226da234-4668-4d8e-ba41-091fbf9cad5a.jpeg and
After


Pretty shiny!
96a5cd47-b340-4693-8579-7327fd4be2a4.jpeg and
Side
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:01 am

Vince, my 2p.

Unless you fancy/plan polishing cars in the future the investment perhaps isn?t worth it. I?m sure your local body shop wouldn?t charge ?50 to polish the bonnet for you.
Steve

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:15 am

Thanks for the replies chaps.

As has been said a veritable minefield!
I started reading the detailing forum and they went off into "claying". Which is now, apparently,
old hat and started on about clay mits, which morphed into various clay cloths and the
benefits of. And pre wash?

So giving it a seeing to with a garden hose is nolonger the recommended technique?

Anyone recommend a paint supplier that can match correctly? spectrophoto???? machine.
I've read they can match from digital images but I cannot believe that is accurate.

Steve,
You could very well be correct. As it happens the planets alligned and a neighbour strolled up
having spotted Toad lurking. Turns out he is a pro paint detailer. Loads of kit in the boot of his car.

That's handy!

I still fancy getting some paint for small touch ups. It's probably being at bit OTT but having got this far etc.

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:52 pm

You?re starting to love it aren?t you? Go on admit it, you know you want to...
Steve

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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:11 pm

Vince, it is easy to use a clay bar ("claying") and this removes all the road film and old polish from the paintwork ready for new polish or "t-cut" type finishing compound application which is what I think you are talking about. The main danger with a powered finishing tool is getting "strike through" (where you wear through the lacquer coat).

I really would try a clay bar plus polish first, you might be surprised at the results. Not expensive.

Have a look at some of ChrisFix's videos, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFXfSBR5Q9w

Yes, he is American (with a typical accent) but he does have some good tips for cleaning / finishing paintwork and he explains his reasoning too. In the video linked above he restores a filthy red Mustang with a wash, clay bar and superfine wet & dry (to remove scratches) as well as finishing compound, all by hand. It's 18 minutes of viewing but worth it.

Cheers
JonB

PS, I've done the clay bar thing on my car and it really worked. Previously I had a shine but the paint felt rough -then I clay bar-ed it and applied three coats of wax, polishing between each application. Took a while but was worth it. The finish was so slippery that it took three attempts to get the car cover on (it kept sliding off before I'd got the elasticated ends under the bumpers).

By the way, I took the girls to their proms and they made great entrances climbing out of the lovely shiny purple Elan. Mission accomplished!
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:40 pm

Firstly many congratulations on making the proms. Maximum brownie points with your ladies! Enjoy them whilst you can.

Excellent video thanks for the prod. I'll probably try the claying on an old Honda Jazz that is basically a spare mobile skip. That would be a good test. Toad is a straight colour so has no lacquer (apart from the sparkly roof.)

I'll try and make sure my "new friend" knows what he is doing before he starts! This isn't a Ford Focus with modern 2 pack base and lacquer etc.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:02 pm

Not being funny but Chrisfix it is a bit of a jack of all trades........ the guy you want if you are trying to get a proper detailing level finish is Jon at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4lRo ... jsFGWS0Jzg in the Detailing world he's a bit of a Guru (he's in the Uk too so the products he uses are available)

For example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxtYZ9Pe2NA


I have to admit on reflection i'd agree with Steve....... you could spend ?250 easy on buffer / Polishes and if your just trying to remove Holograms a detailer will do that for ?100ish
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:36 am

@Grizzly - yes you're right, but I think he is pitching at the right level (for me, at least).

Vince, if you have no lacquer then have at it with the old T-Cut. You won't get strike-through if it's not lacquered (no top coat to wear through) but be sure first. Even flat colours have lacquer coats these days.
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PostPost by: TJS » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:41 pm

I had a similar issue recently with an Exige S hard top, lots of swirl marks and small scratches on metallic black paint due to a car cover.

Given the relatively small area the best solution I found was to use Meguiars Scratch X 2.0 applied by hand. It took me about an hour and restored the finish to 'as new'. It is clear coat safe and is not a coarse liquid paste like some cutting compounds and paint rectifiers. Very easy to polish off.

Definitely worth a try before spending money on dual action polishing machines. Check out the on line product reviews.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:31 pm

JonB wrote:Vince, if you have no lacquer then have at it with the old T-Cut. You won't get strike-through if it's not lacquered (no top coat to wear through) but be sure first. Even flat colours have lacquer coats these days.

Depends what paint your polishing, if it's original Cellulose or Enamel then T-cut is king but if it's wearing modern 2k he'd be best with some thing that doesn't have ammonia in it as it can make the finish cloudy. (T-cut is quite severe too, i've seen people polish through when machine polishing with T-Cut it's by hand only imho)

It's difficult to tell without seeing it first hand but often a good coat of quality wax deals with most swirl marks and holograms.
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:05 am

He already said it was a flat colour with no lacquer.

But... if in doubt try on a small hidden area first.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:22 pm

Many thanks for all the replies and suggestions.

JonB wrote: Vince, if you have no lacquer then have at it with the old T-Cut.


When Toad was made lacquer was something women sprayed on their barnet.

Definitely none on the yellow. A brief rub with liquid T-Cut brings up colour on the cloth. The sparkly roof however.....

I'm considering trying some very mild (2400) wet / dry with plenty of soapy water. The bonnet is flat enough so it should not cut through. (I.E. I wouldn't try on the front wing line!)
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