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Old 11-25-2009, 11:53 AM
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Dann Dann is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester (uk)
Age: 30
Posts: 429
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 1998 Dodge Ram
Trim Level: SLT sport
Color: red
Engine: 1998-2001 360ci (5.9L) Magnum V8 245hp(standard), 250hp(Sport package)
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Default Cleaning your pride and joy (guide)

Dont know if you guys have meguires products if not use the following steps but with your quality products. I use meguiars and its brought my ram up like new after 6 hours cleaning like the following.

Equipment:
1* Meguiar's 1908ml NXT car wash
1* Meguiar's 532 ml NXT Tech Wax
1* Meguiar's ultra plush Gold Wash mitt
1* Meguiar's 710 ml NXT Glass cleaner
1* Meguiar's 710ml NXT Speed Detailer
2* Meguiar's Gold applicator pads
1* Meguiar's purple/green applicator pad
1* Meguiar's 207ml Scratch X
1* Meguiar's 800grams of polishing cloth
3* Meguiar's terry cloths
2* Meguiar's microfibre cloths
1* Meguiar's (2* Bars) Clay detailing system (Clay Bar)
1* Meguiar's 473ml Deep Crystal 1 Paint Cleaner (or equiv)
1* Meguiarís 473ml Deep Crystal 2 Polish care (or equiv)
1* Meguiarís 473ml Deep Crystal 3 Carnauba Wax (or NXT Tech wax or NXT Spray wax or equiv)
1* Meguiarís 142g NXT All Metal Polish

1)THE WASH

if you have buckets (hosepipe ban?) go to 1a, if you are using a jetwash, head to 1b

1a) BUCKET METHOD:
Firstly, get 2 buckets.
Fill one with cold water and wet the car (repeat as required) this will always be your clean bucket which you will then fill will your shampoo solution. Once the car is wet enough, continue.

Add your shampoo to one bucket and then fill them both with warm (not hot) water. We'll call one the shampoo bucket and one the dirty bucket...
While your shampoo bucket is filling up, use your hand to create as much foam as possible. Ideally you would use a foamer on your jetwash or hose (for those not in a hosepipe ban area).

Use the mitt to wash your car, the mitt should be placed into the shampoo bucket, the surface of the car cleaned and then placed in the dirty bucket to rinse off any dirt particles before being placed back into the shampoo bucket. Repeat this on each panel until clean.

While cleaning the car, use straight line hand motions. For the roof, bonnet and flat tailgate area use horizontal motions, for the panels, doors and bumpers use a vertical (up and down) motion. Start at the top of the vehicle and work your way down.
The reason for this is that you can never prevent adding tiny scratches and blemishes to pain while you wash. Washing can be abrasive and we don't want to make the truck look bad. Scratches and swirl marks are visible more when circular because instead of the light having to hit it at a certain angle to be visible, being a circle, the light source can be anywhere for it to be visible. This should not be required when it comes to waxing unless you were lazy with the shampooing.

1b) JETWASH METHOD:

Sorry...if you were hoping to escape using buckets then I am afraid you were mistaken. Whilst a jetwash is good for removing loose surface matter, you canít really clean a car with one.
Firstly, add the shampoo to your bucket. Starting with low pressure and building up (to prevent a spray of shampoo in the face) fire your jetwash into the bucket. This will create a good almost 100% foam lather.
Do the same with another bucket WITHOUT the shampoo.
Wet the car thoroughly with the jetwash and use the lance to remove any bird crap/large loose objects on the paintwork. We will then continue as if we had no jetwash (although you can smile when it comes to rinsing J
Use the mitt to wash your car, the mitt should be placed into the shampoo bucket, the surface of the car cleaned and then placed in the dirty bucket to rinse off any dirt particles before being placed back into the shampoo bucket. Repeat this on each panel until clean.

While cleaning the ram, use straight line hand motions. For the roof, bonnet and flat tailgate area use horizontal motions, for the panels, doors and bumpers use a vertical (up and down) motion. Start at the top of the vehicle and work your way down.
The reason for this is that you can never prevent adding tiny scratches and blemishes to pain while you wash. Washing can be abrasive and we don't want to make the car look bad. Scratches and swirl marks are visible more when circular because instead of the light having to hit it at a certain angle to be visible, being a circle, the light source can be anywhere for it to be visible. This should not be required when it comes to waxing unless you were lazy with the shampooing.

1c) RINSE AND REPEAT:
Sadly, I am not the best at washing the ram, if I stopped now then tomorrow morning I would notice big patches I missed. I am aware of this and so...... I do it again! Exactly the same as above.

2)Dealing with paint defects/bird crap/swirl marks
2a) Scratch removal

To remove the etching and scratches, apply a blob of ScratchX onto a clean applicator. You want to work in small circles over the area of the damage, using a firm amount of pressure. The abrasives in ScratchX break down to a fine powder very quickly, so you will have to repeat the ScratchX stage 4 or 5 times if not more. This product promises NEVER to add more scratches when it removes and in my experience that is correct so get your elbow going and really give it some hassle.

2b)Look ma, I got clay

You can argue this if you like; I tend to clay before I clean. My argument is that I remove the surface contaminants and then clean the paint beneath them. Others say to do it the other way around, (if you are removing birdlime or scratches then please use the paint cleaner FIRST) find what works for you. Paint attracts pollution, tree sap and other contaminants which can adhere to the paint work and 'soak'. Clay coupled with a lubricant (speed detail spray) (donít bother with the details spray. Itís expensive and as it is only a lubricant then I use my shampoo bucket. It works wonders and is cheap as chips.....)removes these imperfections and smoothes your paint for a mirror finish and that wet look you see in shows.
Mould the clay to form a flat surface, using detail spray (see above) to lubricate, wipe the clay over the panel, you should feel the difference using the back of your hand. If it still feels uneven then keep going. Make sure you keep the clay lubricated. Wipe dry with a terry/microfibre cloth. Do not allow the clay or solution to dry naturally on the car.

2c) Clean the paint

To continue to remove any paint contaminants apply a blob of the Deep Crystal 1 paint cleaner to an applicator pad and firmly work it into your paint where damage has occurred. Deep Crystal 1 is a chemical paint cleaner, and the chemicals in it will gently and safely remove any further contaminant. I will also lessen the extent of any scratches. After two or three applications of the Deep Crystal 1 to the damage, remove any excess while it is still wet using a microfibre or terry towel.
(Also see the claying section)

3)Polish

Apply a small amount onto one of the applicator pads and work into the paint using small circular motions. You should find that this (and the waxing) is where your preparation pays off ten-fold. This will be so easy to apply AND remove that it is as simple as washing the car.
Wipe dry with a terry cloth or microfibre. This (coupled with the clay) will create that ďwet lookĒ on flat colours. Mine is red which is easy to get looking OK but much harder to get looking amazing (more on this later).

4)Wax

Wax the truck using an applicator pad to apply and a terry cloth to remove (no need for microfibre yet).
Before removing the wax though read the next bit:

Trim:
Apply your trim detailing products while wax is still on the panel surrounded by the trim. The reason for this is that you have just washed, cleaned and now waxed the car, do you want overspray, drips etc on your paint? No, so do it now and that way, if you do overrun then it comes off with the wax. I tend to do my windows at this point as well. Itís a personal choice though.

End Wax:
Now remove the wax using a terry cloth.

2-3 coats of wax are a good base, if you have never waxed your car then you should add a layer of wax every 12-24 hours to form a good base. This will also help to smooth any imperfections and make waxing a 30min job instead of a 3 hour job.


5)Shoes (wheels and tyres)

As you would any other wheel cleaner, spray on the hot rims product (safe for chrome and polished rims), work it in (I use a sponge and not my mitt) and then hose off. If you are in the hosepipe ban areas then use your dirty bucket but rinse it first or use a third bucket if you have one. DO NOT contaminate your clean/shampoo bucket. You should not use the shampoo bucket for any other purpose.


I have the standard alloys and they do get pock-marked and dirty pretty regularly so every now and again I use the Meguiars all metal polish on them. Its anti-corrosive agents protect against degradation of the metalwork (those with blinged engines take note J )

Using the Meguiars tyre spray, simply spray it on and leave it. Job Done.
It lasts for weeks as well, not days.

Well its only a guide but the results are amazing and the rain just beads off the truck now.

Many thanks for reading
Dann
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