Saturday, May 31, 2008

Waxing & Polishing

With show season fast approaching I decided it was time to get the Speedster polished and waxed. Bob's Bug has been at my place for the month too, so I felt I should get it looking its best as well.

In the case of Bob's bug, I also tried colour sanding and buffing some of the dry spots and orange peel from the hood. The good news is that it's possible to get it looking perfect. The bad news (for Bob) is that he'll have to do it. Knowing that won't happen any time soon, I used the Mother's clay-bar and zip-wax polishing compound where needed, then a thorough coat of Mother's cleaner carnuba wax for the whole car. I also painted the brake drums and installed the chrome lug nuts as well!

The Speedster was another story. First of all, I wanted as close to a show car finish as possible. Though the original gel coat appeared shiny and in good shape, I was amazed how rough it felt to the touch. I guess 15 years of sitting allowed a good deal of dirt and debris to work into the finish. I started polishing with a Meguire's fine polishing compound, but it wasn't agressive enough, so I switched to a Zip-Wax paste polishing compound, all by hand. You could not only feel, but hear the difference as you run your hand or a cloth from the unpolished to polished surface. After two nights of hand polishing the car was looking pretty great. I had to use some 2000 grit paper in some spots to remove blemishes, but the compound brought the shine back very well. After the polishing I picked up a Mother's Clay Bar kit and proceeded to clay bar the entire car. I was shocked that this process picked more black dirt up off the seemingly brilliantly clean surface! Following the clay bar I went to work waxing the whole car with Mother's Carnuba Cleaner wax. Vanessa used the same to polish the wheels. The results were pretty amazing to see. I really wish I had before pictures, but any of the assembly pictures would provide a good comparison... The final product I've been using is Mother's Instant Detailer, which is a spray bottle. I found it to be useful to quickly clean and polish the entire car if you've driven through any bugs or dust.