Received my new Porter Cable polisher and pads this past Friday - See this post:
Decided to give it a whirl this past weekend along with using all new/different products.
Started with a good wash.
Next, came the Meguiar's Clay Bar. The finish did need it too. Running clean fingers across the finish did not yield 100% smoothness. After the clay bar the finish was Awesome! Softer & smoother that I've ever felt, or even thought possible. An absolute mirror at as well! Most difficult parts to complete were along the rocker panels behind each front wheel, and on the rear fenders just behind the rear wheels. Lots of tar/road gunk to get off of those areas. Overall, a very simple and surprisingly quick process. I believe it to be much quicker with better results (100 % results) than using a cleaner that is based on rubbing it in with a pad, such as the Meguiar's 3-part Crystal system cleaner product. Wiped it all off with a terry cloth towel. Overall, the clay baring took about an hour to complete the entire car. One tip in using this product: knead the clay bar in your hand, and apply plenty of the Meguiar's Detailing spay (supplied with the clay bar, which is used as a lubricant) on the clay bar itself. Knead it into the bar until NONE of the clay bar wants to stick to your hand. As well, keep the finish wet with the Detail spray at all times. If you apply that clay bar to your finish as it has any quality of sticking to your hand, you'll end up depositing a splotch of this white clay onto the finish, of which is a bitch to remove. Keep it all wet, and you'll be just fine.
Next step, polishing. Used the machine with the proper foam pad for to apply Meguiar's #7 Professional Show Car Glaze/Polish. Went on as easy as I could have hoped for. The Porter Cable Polisher does it's job perfectly, and without adding any swirl marks, even for a rookie like me. The polish/polisher actually removed the majority of the minor swirls that I previously had. Pretty much easy to reach all portions of the car with the polisher, with the exception of the front grill area. That area was done manually with a hand held foam pad. Polish was allowed to dry, and then was removed using a clean terry cloth towel. Buffed the surface with the Porter Cable polisher using a Micro fiber bonnet over the top of a wool pad backing plate. Super simple overall, and easily took less than half the time it took with a hand help pad. Overall time to apply and remove polish was about one hour. Results: Outstanding! Depth, clarity, reflectance. Amazing!
Final step, waxing. Again, used the machine with a different proper foam pad to apply Meguiar's #26 Professional Hi-Tech Yellow Wax. Again, went on as easy as hoped. Very little wax needed to properly coat the entire car. Dried almost to a point where I couldn't see it on the surface. A new, clean terry cloth towel was used to remove the hazed product, of which came off EXTREMELY easy. HOLY BALLS BATMAN! The depth of shine, and the liquidity of the finish is just exactly what I knew this car could look like all along! Absolutely a show car finish! An ABSOLUTE mirror too!
Went out for dinner in Minneapolis Saturday night with the girlfriend, and went to a place where they park your car via Valet. When that guy pulled around the corner that night, with all the city lights and neon lit, I couldn't believe my eyes, and a few others waiting for their cars couldn't believe it either! Wish I had a pic of that shine/glare with all the city lights hitting it!
Obviously I'm extremely pleased with the polisher, pads, and Meguiar's products. Maybe this is just the kick in the shorts that others need to give this process a try. Aside from a throwing a little scratch for the polisher, I see this as a real money and time saver in the future. I'm more likely to polish and keep the wax on the car at regular intervals (about every 40 to 60 days with this black finish), I'm saving time (about 2 total hours to polish and wax) and the product goes a lot further than by doing it by hand.
Party on boys & girls!