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  1. #1
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Auto detailing bruh's!! Come at me!!

    Alright... I need some direction from people who know WTF they are doing. I have 2 vehicles that need a solid detailing... like a light cut and buff...

    Now , I have done plenty of this kind of stuff by hand (which is exhausting) but my truck is going to need some extra love. So I am in the market to purchase a good variable speed buffer and products to get this done.

    So I am all ears for recommendations

    So far I have been eyeballing these two:

    https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DWP849.../dp/B004W1WGIC

    https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-.../dp/B002654I46

    Greens on the table for legit answers..
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  2. #2
    Registered User playerofwar's Avatar
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    As a newbie, only go for random orbit (porter cable in this case). With a regular one you will burn through your paint in less than a second if you don't have the right technique.
    I'm currently using the RUPES Bigfoot LHR21 Mark III, which is the highest end polisher that you can get. If you only want to do 2 vehicles and maybe 1 a year afterwards, go for something cheaper. But if you want to do one a month, spend the serious money for the serious machine.
    I used to have something similar to the Porter cable (900W variant) and if a vehicle used to take me 6 hours to do, it now takes me 3 hours. The Rupes paid back itself after less than 3 vehicles.

    You need good buffing pads and buffing compound as well. But what I recommend will depend on your choice of machine first.
    Maybe share your total budget with us. Pads are 1-2 pads of each per vehicle and polishing products last for at least 20 vehicles.
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  3. #3
    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    As previous poster said, the Porter Cable one is easier to use and learn. It can get the job done, but it will take longer than the rotary (like the DeWalt one) because it doesn't have enough power.

    Rotary *can* burn through paint faster because it has more power, however, it's really over exaggerated. I've attempted to burn through paint on spare hood with orange pad and cutting compound and it takes more effort than people make it out to be. Like you really have to spend some time in one spot with it and speed cranked up.

    My recommendation would be rotary just because you'll outgrow the PorterCable pretty quick and because doing a truck with PorterCable will take you like 3 days. If you can, get a spare body panel like hood, trunk, etc and practice on it before working on the car. Follow the instructions on cutting/polishing compounds. Some people will just run everything on 6k RPM even if instructions call for 3k and that's where problems happen. If you can swing it, get both because PC makes it easier to apply waxes and sealants.
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  4. #4
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by playerofwar View Post
    As a newbie, only go for random orbit (porter cable in this case). With a regular one you will burn through your paint in less than a second if you don't have the right technique.
    I'm currently using the RUPES Bigfoot LHR21 Mark III, which is the highest end polisher that you can get. If you only want to do 2 vehicles and maybe 1 a year afterwards, go for something cheaper. But if you want to do one a month, spend the serious money for the serious machine.
    I used to have something similar to the Porter cable (900W variant) and if a vehicle used to take me 6 hours to do, it now takes me 3 hours. The Rupes paid back itself after less than 3 vehicles.

    You need good buffing pads and buffing compound as well. But what I recommend will depend on your choice of machine first.
    Maybe share your total budget with us. Pads are 1-2 pads of each per vehicle and polishing products last for at least 20 vehicles.
    I dont necessarily have a budget , because I am willing to spend the money on something quality that I will have and use for the foreseeable future. And I have used a variable speed buffer once or twice but it has been a long a$$ time. I know you have to keep it moving and have been reading up on random orbital machines... just not sure that is what would produce the best finish or not.
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  5. #5
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jax05 View Post
    As previous poster said, the Porter Cable one is easier to use and learn. It can get the job done, but it will take longer than the rotary (like the DeWalt one) because it doesn't have enough power.

    Rotary *can* burn through paint faster because it has more power, however, it's really over exaggerated. I've attempted to burn through paint on spare hood with orange pad and cutting compound and it takes more effort than people make it out to be. Like you really have to spend some time in one spot with it and speed cranked up.

    My recommendation would be rotary just because you'll outgrow the PorterCable pretty quick and because doing a truck with PorterCable will take you like 3 days. If you can, get a spare body panel like hood, trunk, etc and practice on it before working on the car. Follow the instructions on cutting/polishing compounds. Some people will just run everything on 6k RPM even if instructions call for 3k and that's where problems happen. If you can swing it, get both because PC makes it easier to apply waxes and sealants.
    Funny you mention that... I was just thinking about hitting the junkyard up and picking up some bull$hit fender or hood to practice on before hand
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  6. #6
    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1slo5oh View Post
    Funny you mention that... I was just thinking about hitting the junkyard up and picking up some bull$hit fender or hood to practice on before hand
    Best way to learn is with some practice on stuff you won't feel too bad about if it doesn't work out
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
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  7. #7
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jax05 View Post
    Best way to learn is with some practice on stuff you won't feel too bad about if it doesn't work out
    So you want me to practice on my neighbors Dodge Ram? He is a walking sack of dicks so I could just grind that $hit down to metal and not feel bad at all.
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  8. #8
    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1slo5oh View Post
    So you want me to practice on my neighbors Dodge Ram? He is a walking sack of dicks so I could just grind that $hit down to metal and not feel bad at all.
    that's a tough one...there's a 50% chance he might end up with a very shinny Dodge Ram.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
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  9. #9
    Trance Brah chrsschb's Avatar
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    DA is better for cutting.
    Rotary is better for finishing.

    There's really no reason to compound your paint more than once a year or two. Do the work once and protect it. The Griots G21 or G15 are great garage detailer machines and have lifetime warranties. Dewalt makes an awesome and well-priced rotary but it's really not needed unless you're doing this chit professionally.

    Get you a 5 inch backing plate, detailed image or autogeek mixed pads kit from Lake Country, and something like Megs 110/210. Then top with a good sealant like Optimum Opti-Seal or a good wax like Collinite 845. Hell even NuFinish works great. The Rag Company makes a couple detailer kits that come with various towels, brushes, buckets, and other crap depending on what you need.

    If you really want to go all out then pick up a bottle of CQuartz UK and try your hand at ceramic coatings. It's super easy to use, even when it's cold out.
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  10. #10
    Registered User lownslow's Avatar
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    i have had my 7424xp for years. it probably has 200 hours on it. still works like day 1. just get good foam pads like hexlogic or lake country. im not sure how much cut you need, but the HD Speed polish works great for everything i do besides heavy correction.
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  11. #11
    Trance Brah chrsschb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lownslow View Post
    i have had my 7424xp for years. it probably has 200 hours on it. still works like day 1. just get good foam pads like hexlogic or lake country. im not sure how much cut you need, but the HD Speed polish works great for everything i do besides heavy correction.
    3D Speed is more glaze than polish as it also has fillers and sealant in it. 3D One is meant to be used before LSP as it doesn't have any fillers or protection. 3D One is incredibly versatile though.
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  12. #12
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Awesome info guys... to be honest even as a newb I feel like most of what I need to do is light work... swirl marks and some hard water stains at best. I do try to take care of my paint on all of my vehicles.. only recently have I pondered the idea of taking it to the next level.

    With that said should I go for the DA and practice or the almost fool proof random orbital?
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  13. #13
    Registered User swoleyo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1slo5oh View Post
    I dont necessarily have a budget , because I am willing to spend the money on something quality that I will have and use for the foreseeable future. And I have used a variable speed buffer once or twice but it has been a long a$$ time. I know you have to keep it moving and have been reading up on random orbital machines... just not sure that is what would produce the best finish or not.

    If you don't have a budget get one of these.

    https://www.amazon.com/Rupes-Random-...KE1XS2VQ9B1Z0C



    More powerful than the portal cable but still not as rough as a non-orbital polisher. You can be a complete noob with this thing and not damage your paint.
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  14. #14
    Maximum Gainz 1slo5oh's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swoleyo View Post
    If you don't have a budget get one of these.

    https://www.amazon.com/Rupes-Random-...KE1XS2VQ9B1Z0C



    More powerful than the portal cable but still not as rough as a non-orbital polisher. You can be a complete noob with this thing and not damage your paint.
    I dig it... I am not above spending cash on quality tools that will be around a long time.
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  15. #15
    Time to Work litljay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1slo5oh View Post
    Awesome info guys... to be honest even as a newb I feel like most of what I need to do is light work... swirl marks and some hard water stains at best. I do try to take care of my paint on all of my vehicles.. only recently have I pondered the idea of taking it to the next level.

    With that said should I go for the DA and practice or the almost fool proof random orbital?
    Random Orbital like the Porter Cable. I've spent quite a few hours with mine back when my wife had a black Yukon. Use the least abrasive product available until it's not getting out the imperfections then go more aggressive.
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  16. #16
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    I've always understood the idea of paint correction

    Wet sand 1500,2000,2500 then rubbing compound/polishing compound- but I never truly grasped what the sandpaper actually does or how to choose the correct grit to the exterior (clear coat, primer, base coats, etc.)

    Too much of a puzzy right now to mess with my vette's paint even though it's not my DD.
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    For budget, check out Griot's Garage Random Orbitals (I'd link, but don't have enough posts yet). Add some pads and you're good to go for less than $250-$300

    Else, I second the Rupes if you're wanting to drop more money
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  18. #18
    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BullittEV View Post
    Wet sand 1500,2000,2500 then rubbing compound/polishing compound- but I never truly grasped what the sandpaper actually does or how to choose the correct grit to the exterior (clear coat, primer, base coats, etc.)
    The purpose of wet sanding and polishing is to put smaller and smaller (finer) scratches into the clear to the point where they're so small they don't affect light reflection anymore.
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  19. #19
    Drill Team Dec4y's Avatar
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    I bought a really nice random orbital porter cable with a crap ton of backs and pads about 5-6 years ago...never opened the box lol. Still sitting in my garage
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  20. #20
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    If cost is no object, you can't go wrong with the FLEX XC 3401 Dual Action Polisher. Flex offers both corded and cordless models. I recommend Lake Country foam pads. DA polishers used with foam pads are rookie proof. Rotary polishers require more experience, especially if used with lambs wool pads.

    Menzerna heavy cut 400 performance compound will provide a nice cut, but somehow brings the surface back to a nice gloss in one step. You could then go with a Menzerna super fine 2400, 2500, or 3800 polish if you wanted a top level gloss. I think Menzerna offers 6 different levels of polish if you are ocd, but the 400 and a super fine polish should do exactly what you want in just 2 steps.

    Jescar Powerlock + is an excellent polymer sealant to get you ready for wax.

    You could go with a ceramic coating. I am not familiar with those. Do your homework before proceeding if you decide to go that route.

    I think Lake Country offers 8 different color/grit pads. You just have to experiment to decide which color pads that you want to use with your compound and polish.

    Don't forget to tape off any plastic, rubber, or vinyl parts that may stain if compound/polish/wax comes into contact.
    Last edited by deadwoodgregg; 12-02-2019 at 04:48 PM.
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    The tools can only get you so far. It's the knowledge and practice you need.

    I would start by watching AMMO NYC for his tutorials. Dude is a detailing legend.
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    IMO polishing is one of those rabbit holes that never end. It can get expensive pretty quick once people on internet have convinced you how great Flex, Griot's, and Rupes products are. Before you know it you'll be snorting dried up Mazerna while watching Larry from AMMO NYC on Youtube.

    Budget products will get you the 90% of results you want. Chasing that remaining 10% will just get more expensive without any real benefit.
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    Originally Posted by BullittEV View Post
    I've always understood the idea of paint correction

    Wet sand 1500,2000,2500 then rubbing compound/polishing compound- but I never truly grasped what the sandpaper actually does or how to choose the correct grit to the exterior (clear coat, primer, base coats, etc.)

    Too much of a puzzy right now to mess with my vette's paint even though it's not my DD.
    The idea behind paint correction is to get the clear coat as smooth as possible. When you see swirls, what you are seeing is fine scratches in the clear coat that are reflecting the light. When you polish/compound/wet sand, what you are doing is taking a small portion of that clear coat off. The more aggressive the step, the more clear coat you take off. So, wet sanding would be more aggressive than compounding and compoiunding more aggressive than polishing. They are all taking some of the clear coat off, it's just how aggressively it's doing so.

    Originally Posted by Jax05 View Post
    IMO polishing is one of those rabbit holes that never end. It can get expensive pretty quick once people on internet have convinced you how great Flex, Griot's, and Rupes products are. Before you know it you'll be snorting dried up Mazerna while watching Larry from AMMO NYC on Youtube.

    Budget products will get you the 90% of results you want. Chasing that remaining 10% will just get more expensive without any real benefit.
    Very true. I think too many people get caught up in the 2-3 step processes when a simple 1 step polishing will correct 80-90% of the defects they're seeing. Then top it with a protection layer (sealant or wax or both). If you're going to top it with something like a Ceramic coating, then you'll want to get it corrected as far as possible.

    I'll be doing my truck here shortly to get it ready to sell. It's white and I've neglected it pretty badly. Don't think I've put a coat of wax on it in 2 years. So, my current plan is to wash -> clay bar -> wash -> polish -> top coat (going to give the chemical guys Hydroslick a shot).

    OP - consider picking up a trial "kit" compound/polish. I think most manufacturers put together a small trial size kit. Chemical guys, Adam's, Griot's, Meguire's, Menzerna, etc. The options these days seem endless.
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    Originally Posted by litljay View Post
    The idea behind paint correction is to get the clear coat as smooth as possible. When you see swirls, what you are seeing is fine scratches in the clear coat that are reflecting the light. When you polish/compound/wet sand, what you are doing is taking a small portion of that clear coat off. The more aggressive the step, the more clear coat you take off. So, wet sanding would be more aggressive than compounding and compoiunding more aggressive than polishing. They are all taking some of the clear coat off, it's just how aggressively it's doing so.


    Thanks, so if you polish your car enough- eventually the clear coat will come off?

    What about people that wet sand to get rid of a small scratch? At some point the clear coat will come off quick? At that point, without clear coat-it'll be a matte finish of the base coat, correct? (At what point do you need to add clear coat?)
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    lol
    Schooling everyone that has to do with automotive one brah at a time. It's tiring but someone gotta do it lol


    I have a manual car but auto IS WAY BETTER THESE DAYS. ACCEPT THE FACTS BRAHS! LOL
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    Originally Posted by BullittEV View Post
    Thanks, so if you polish your car enough- eventually the clear coat will come off?

    What about people that wet sand to get rid of a small scratch? At some point the clear coat will come off quick? At that point, without clear coat-it'll be a matte finish of the base coat, correct? (At what point do you need to add clear coat?)
    Correct. Which is also why for an amateur a DA polisher is much safer. A rotary has more ability to "burn through" which is really just cutting through the clear coat and/or in extreme fk ups can cut through the paint.

    A really good/high end detailer will have and use a paint depth gauge that will tell them how much room they have to work with before getting into trouble. This will also tell them how aggressive they can be to get the correction done.

    Wet sanding scratches is a step I've never done, but know the basic concept behind. The concept is basically the same as using a polish or compound only more aggressively. Typically, if the scratch is through the clear coat, your best bet is at a body shop. There are ways to hide the scratch however. The concept would be to knock down the sharp sides of the scratch. Basically making the scratch edges go from ][ to \/ so the light doesn't bounce so abruptly.
    If your fingernail can get caught on the scratch, then it's beyond what a normal detailer can fix.
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    Originally Posted by litljay View Post
    Correct. Which is also why for an amateur a DA polisher is much safer. A rotary has more ability to "burn through" which is really just cutting through the clear coat and/or in extreme fk ups can cut through the paint.

    A really good/high end detailer will have and use a paint depth gauge that will tell them how much room they have to work with before getting into trouble. This will also tell them how aggressive they can be to get the correction done.

    Wet sanding scratches is a step I've never done, but know the basic concept behind. The concept is basically the same as using a polish or compound only more aggressively. Typically, if the scratch is through the clear coat, your best bet is at a body shop. There are ways to hide the scratch however. The concept would be to knock down the sharp sides of the scratch. Basically making the scratch edges go from ][ to \/ so the light doesn't bounce so abruptly.
    If your fingernail can get caught on the scratch, then it's beyond what a normal detailer can fix.
    Yes, I've known the fingernail trick, if it catches- there needs to be actual paint work done to even out the surface. Cant you add clearcoat in minimal conditions like that?

    Also, a paint depth gauge (clear coat depth gauge? i guess since clear coat is a paint?) Hows that work?
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    Originally Posted by BullittEV View Post
    Yes, I've known the fingernail trick, if it catches- there needs to be actual paint work done to even out the surface. Cant you add clearcoat in minimal conditions like that?

    Also, a paint depth gauge (clear coat depth gauge? i guess since clear coat is a paint?) Hows that work?
    You can add clearcoat to small touch up jobs like rock chips and small scratches. On bigger surface it won't bond with the paint/old clear coat underneath.

    Clear coat is technically not paint. It's a clear resin with different chemical make up (usually nastier chemicals).
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    I have the Porter Cable you linked to in your first post. It's great and you really have to be careless to burn your paint. I picked up a few tips from this video series:



    I used his method, Meguiar's M105 cut/Meguiar's M205 to finish. This was part of my Viper's hood after paint correction and before wax.

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    Looks great mingrey.



    I had been looking for that illustration but wasn't using the right search terms. Finally found it.


    I can't seem to find any of the good pics from the first detail job I did, but did find this one.

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