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mmcglynn264 04-20-2012 03:03 PM

Need advice for what products to use & steps to take
I'm currently deployed. I bought my truck about 3 weeks before I left to come over here. Since then, accept for when I beg my wife to drive it just to keep it from sitting the entire time I'm gone, which is about 6 miles a week, it sits in the driveway. When I get home in June, I want to clean it up and get it shining. I'm not car enthusiast but, having 3 kids who are now getting older, my oldest is now driving, this is the first vehicle I purchased because it was what I wanted not because it was practicle. (my last 3 vehicle purchases where minivans).

I've read alot in here and on but there's almost too much information which makes it harder to figure out. What I want to know is what is the best step by step proces for cleaning and waxing my ram and what are the best products for each step. Keeping in mind I dont have a buffer. It will be done by hand. Any help for a "detailing newbie" would be greatly appreciated.

GTyankee 04-20-2012 03:23 PM

First of all
Thank You For Your Service

The first thing to get prepared to wash your vehicles
Have 2 buckets, one with soap, & the other for rinsing
Use good micro fiber towels etc.
after you use the towel on the vehicle, rinse it out in the rinse bucket thoroughly, then put it in the clean soap bucket , this method keeps the soap water clean & any dirt granules will be in the rinse bucket, when the rinse bucket starts to get cloudy, dump it in the flower bed & fill it up with either the old soapy water or clear water. It will keep the swirls down to a minimum

Pull Ya 04-20-2012 06:28 PM

I'll try to give you some of my ideas about the process, but please keep in mind everyone has their own way of doing things so others may have quite different ideas. Also a word about products---it's kinda like asking people what type of pizza they like--everyone has their own favorite.
1. Wash(2 bucket method) The first wash should be done with Dawn liquid--after the first time use a good auto soap--like Meguires.
2. Clay bar--gets all the crap off the paint and cleans it really well--this is your "foundation". If it isn't good and clean your just polishing and waxing over crap on and in your paint.
3. Wash your truck again with Meguires and dry it off. Do this in the shade if you can, to prevent water spots. Use microfiber towels or use your lawn blower to dry the truck.
4. Put a good sealant on your truck. Wolfgang 3.0 makes a good one so does Zaino and may other name brands. Wipe it off with microfiber towels. Don't use to much product
5. Put a good wax over the sealant. Collinite 845 is a great wax. Wipe it off with microfiber towels. Don't use to much product.
The reason you put a sealant on first is that a sealant lasts about 6+ months whereas wax alone only lasts for about 60 days. After this process you can just wash your truck and dry it and then use a spray detailer after you dry your truck. This will keep your truck looking great till you put some more sealant or wax on it. This is a time consuming process to begin with but it is well worth your time. You should be able to do it in one day. Maybe our resident expert Luke will chime in on this question and give you some more advise--listen to him---he is a pro!!!!

primo spaghetti 04-20-2012 06:56 PM

I would recommend highly considering purchasing a random orbital for the job. you will definately get the use out of it, and it will make such a great improvement effortlessly. i have the PC random orbital, but i think the Girots or Meguirs ones are a bit cheaper, and from what ive read are very good too.

also consider using a polymer sealant after you prep the paint. you can top coat with wax, but the sealant will definately add some life to the paint cleaning...i did a 14 hour job on my truck in the fall with the wolfgang line, and just a couple of weeks ago the paint was still in good shape i top coated two coats of wax again.

If you are going to pass on the buffer, then i would try the Klasse AIO and Sealant Glaze. I have some, but havent tried it yet, but from what ive read it works very well with a hand application so long as you remember less is more.

primo spaghetti 04-20-2012 06:57 PM

nice write up pull ya...we must have been on them at the same time!! haha

mmcglynn264 04-20-2012 07:04 PM


Thanks for the info, it is exactly what i was looking for! As for the pizza reference consider me someone who has never had it before so I'm looking for a good place to try it for my first time. Anyway, at least now, thanks to you, I have a process to use and some products to try out. So we are clear the process is: Wash, dry, clay bar, wash, dry, sealant, wax then future cleanings (during the following couple months) wash, dry and detailer spray.

Pull Ya 04-20-2012 09:20 PM

That is the process that I would use. You can go back to auto.geek and study the different products and see which ones you think would be best for you--it's really a matter of personal choice although IMHO I perfer professional detailer products(my thinking is that they must use them for a reason). I think that if you park your truck outside all the time, the sealant step would be most important because it last a lot long than wax only and would give you a little better and longer protection. The products that I use are the ones I have had the best results from, however there are a lot to choose from, like I said everyone has there favorite. The products I use can be used either with or without a buffer. A buffer is a good tool to have and it some cases it can make your life a lot easier. I have a porter cable and really like it but seldom use it on the truck because I use the sealant and wax about every other month(when your retired you have a lot of time on your hands)LOL. Another web site you might want to look at is called This is a worldwide professional detailer site(it's free), where they talk about products, techniques, answer questions and show off their work. A wealth of nformation!!! I'm glad I could help, if you have other questions let me know.

M.Scipione 04-21-2012 07:50 PM


Originally Posted by primo spaghetti (Post 781171)
I would recommend highly considering purchasing a random orbital for the job.

I second that, You try doing this thing by hand and...

1. You won't get very good results
2. You will be in traction for a week.

Our trucks are way too big to do by hand, a DA polisher is worth every penny.

Amaon has them on sale right now for $109. (I might buy another!)

Pull Ya 04-21-2012 08:59 PM

If you decide to purchase a buffer make sure you get a good selection of pads. Extra pads never hurt either.

M.Scipione 04-22-2012 09:56 AM


Originally Posted by Pull Ya (Post 781877)
If you decide to purchase a buffer make sure you get a good selection of pads. Extra pads never hurt either.

I just got a deal at autogeek that was for 6 lake country pads of your choice for $50.

One of the ones I got was the coarse green, don't do that. I don't know what I would ever use that thing on.

When they say coarse they mean it, it is like a scotch brite pad...

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