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I see this topic growing to a ton of opinions on all sorts of things.

As far as soaps... as long as it's car soap (and not dishwashing soap, unless you like to use Dawn to strip off wax) I have never really found a difference. YMMV.

For waxes... all I've ever used was Megquires series. I've used paste, and liquid, and I actually really love the 3 step liquid system. It always did wonders on my ruby red Alero, and the car looked better than it did in the showroom after I did all three steps. It didn't take long either. I've heard for years that Zaino is "the best" from many people, but it seems like it takes for ever to do use the product according to the instructions.

I found a good wash, followed by a drying of some sort (chamois, silicon blade, terry cloth towel, etc.), then a clay bar, then a wax job will do wonders beyond belief for most any car. In the course of just a few hours I can bring back my car to a better than show room shine after a long hard winter.
 

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I think all of the Megquires wax and cleaner products are great!
 

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rlhammon said:
For waxes... all I've ever used was Megquires series. I've used paste, and liquid, and I actually really love the 3 step liquid system. It always did wonders on my ruby red Alero, and the car looked better than it did in the showroom after I did all three steps. It didn't take long either. I've heard for years that Zaino is "the best" from many people, but it seems like it takes for ever to do use the product according to the instructions.

I found a good wash, followed by a drying of some sort (chamois, silicon blade, terry cloth towel, etc.), then a clay bar, then a wax job will do wonders beyond belief for most any car. In the course of just a few hours I can bring back my car to a better than show room shine after a long hard winter.
Yep ... I've heard great things about Meguiars from a lot of car guys and that seems to be what good detailers use. That's what I go with now. And I agree, the clay bar can work wonders for giving you a nice, glassy surface, particularly if you need to clean up tough bugs or overspray and such. But for those not familiar with it, be careful ... it's basically like using a VERY fine sandpaper. It works great, but don't use it unless you need to ... it's not made to be used every time you wash and wax the car.

By the way ... do new cars come already waxed? I've never bought a brand new one before. I know if you have a car re-painted, they say to wait a month before you wax it ... is it the same with a new car or do they apply some sort of wax alternative? Should it be waxed when you first get it?
 

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I like Meguires too. Paticularly I use Meguires Gold Class on my red Fiero. Its a premium liquid polish, about $10 a bottle, and it is not the easiest to remove. However, I have not encountered a polish that did as good of a job on bringing out the shine in the finish and sheeting dirt off the car when it rains than this wax does.

My Fiero is 17 years old with its original paint job and 116,000 miles of wear and tear, but it looks like its nearly showroom new with this polish. Also, after a rain when you generally get waterspots and dirt on the side, it still looks clean. I imagine it is because the wax is slipery enough the dust and dirt cannot stick to it, and the rain carries it right off the car!

The down side, it gets gummy on the rag when you remove it. So you really have to rub the same spot twice to really remove the residue. Once with a rag, and a second time with a second clean rag to really buff it out. When done, it is worth it! At least for a color like red!
 

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You guys have to try Zaino, you can only get it from their web site. I heard alot of people talking about it on the Magnum forum and they were posting some very nice photos of the results. I got some and can say it is better than anything I have ever used. The first thing on my agenda after getting my Sostice is putting five coats of Zaino on and it will out shine anything on the road. The stuff builds with each coat and give a deeper shine each time even though one coat is very good. you need to wash the car with dishsoap to remove the old wax and then claybar the paint before waxing to get the best finish. I don't see the need to use clay on a new car though.
 

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Zaino is huge on the CorvetteForum, too. I've used Zaino, and I have no complaints with it. And it smells good, too. No, really.
 

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ateam_77 said:
You guys have to try Zaino, you can only get it from their web site. I heard alot of people talking about it on the Magnum forum and they were posting some very nice photos of the results. I got some and can say it is better than anything I have ever used. The first thing on my agenda after getting my Sostice is putting five coats of Zaino on and it will out shine anything on the road. The stuff builds with each coat and give a deeper shine each time even though one coat is very good. you need to wash the car with dishsoap to remove the old wax and then claybar the paint before waxing to get the best finish. I don't see the need to use clay on a new car though.
My problem with Zaino (and I've never used it) is that it appears to take forever to apply.

If you read this shortened part of the process, you'll see that you do step 5 (Z-1), then directly do 2-3 coats of Z-5 or Z-2 PRO. With each coat of Z-5 or Z-2 PRO you need to apply Z-6 between them. Z-5 / Z-2 PRO takes 30 - 60 minutes to dry. Then, once you are done with the 1 coat of Z-1, 2-3 coats of Z-5 / Z-2 PRO, and the 1-2 coats of Z-6 (between the Z-5 / Z-2 PRO) you have to let the car sit for 24 hours.

That means you wash the car, clay bar it, and do something like 6 coats of stuff on the car, wait 24 hours, and then get to finish it the next day. Oh...and if it's humid, well... you'll be waiting longer.

Now, in being as fair as possible... the results I've seen in person are great, no doubt about it. If you spend the time with the *right* products (and I do think Zaino is the *right* product) you'll get great results. However, when I've washed to strip wax on my Ruby Red Alero, then used the clay bar, then used Megquire's 3 step (with 2 coats of Step 2) I've been able to get the car bug free with a better than showroom shine in the better part of a day (maybe 5-6 hours). That includes all the detailing on the inside, wheels, etc.

Now... Zaino has the new ZFX additive which sounds like a great advancement. And will allow you to do 2-3 coats in a day, just as quick as the mass market systems. I'd love to hear from those who have used the ZFX additive (since it just came out in April 05, hopefully word of mouth will get around this spring). If it's still as good, Zaino's going to have me as a customer for my Solstice.
 

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I think there are 2 basic types of waxes, acrylics and naturals (carnauba)...I'm still learning all this stuff. The acrylics last for 6 months where the carnauba last for less than 3 months because of lower melting point. The Carnauba is said to have a much richer/deeper shine but the maintanance is much higher to keep up with it (every few months). Some hard-core detailers seem to like to put multiple coats of carnauba over an acrylic base.
 

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Consider also that the finish on the SOl and virtually ALL new cars is clear-coat. So you are not polishing the color as in the past, just removing oxidants and pollution from the clear top coat without scratching it which is what dulls the finish. I am forever sold on product called AstroSHield, which is a polish ing glaze and not a wax. It goes on so easy, by hand or machine and is very conducive to being applied strictly with your bare hand and can be applied to entire car before removal. It takes less cloths for rubbing off as there is less residue produced. The result if done according to directions (two applications) is good for 6 months like they claim. I also have used NuFinish with similar ease of application and results. Both of these can be topped with a wax but I have found it not always necessary. EagleOne Fast Finsh (I think thats the one, that you just spritz on and wipe off is good for in between times. The aforementioned polishes are also excellent at removing tar and sap while you rub.
 

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Can one of you describe what is involved in using a claybar? Are there any dangers of scratching the paint when using clay?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Superglaze?

I have a friend that shows his 63 Vette, he thinks the best out their as far as waxes is from The Wax Shop - (Superglaze )Has any one tried this product before and he also uses their product called slickstuff for fine detailing. I have been a long time user of Megr's products and their gold class product is very good. He said that the superglaze is like water consistancy and comes off with easy. Go to their site and see what you may think off this product.
 

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A guy that works for me has a unique way of keeping his '86 Mustang looking great. After he washes the car he does a second rinse with 3M pink glaze in the water. He only puts about a 1/4 cup in the bucket. The results are fantastic. He sponges the entire car with the mix then gives the car a complete rinse. It gives the car a fantastic shine which looks great between his 3 per year full Saturday morning wax rituals.
 

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Chip said:
Can one of you describe what is involved in using a claybar? Are there any dangers of scratching the paint when using clay?
If you want technical details on clay bar, you should do a search or read some of the sites that are posted near the start of this thread.

As far as usage... I've never found it to be difficult. You should soften up the clay a bit by squeezing it in your hands and rolling it a bit like you might do with dough for baking. You should then use a wetting solution (some use soapy water, some use detailers spray) to just wet the car's surface and run the clay bar over the car. You don't need to apply any real pressure, don't use the clay like a sanding block or anything. Wash the car, dry it off, spary a little lubricant of your choice on the car and gently move the clay bar over the paint surface.

You'll want to work the clay around a bit in your hands after it's picked up the gritty stuff off of your car so that you have a "clean" section of clay to work with.

Read the directions on the box.. but it's super simple to do and really results in a great finish afterwards.
 

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Chip said:
Can one of you describe what is involved in using a claybar? Are there any dangers of scratching the paint when using clay?
It is slightly abrasive, but as long as you don't do it all the time and you keep it well lubricated, it should not be a problem at all. Detailers use it all the time. RLH gave some good advice. The only thing I would add is that I have found the spray included with the bar isn't always very slick and I prefer using dish soap directly on the bar. Just be careful not to drop it in the dirt because it can get pretty slippery. You should also wash the car first and keep it wet while using the clay. There should be very little friction when you're using it. Glide your fingers over the car and you should feel the difference ... it should be smooth as glass. Again, that should be completely unnecessary for a new car and only used on rare occasions.
 

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mceb said:
We are going to need a whole car care forum eventually.

If you are into higher-end stuff and "detailing" check out these sites. Pretty hard-core stuff. I'm still wading through it myself.

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/
http://www.properautocare.com/index.html
http://www.autogeek.net/
http://www.bettercarcare.com/

It's a whole world onto itself :lol:
Also check out these two forums under the product discussions:

http://www.detailcity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1
http://autopia.org/forums/

Product reviews can be found here:

http://www.detailcity.com/reviews/
http://autopia.org/review/

I use the polymer product below (UPP) on all my cars:

http://www.premiumautocare.com/fostulpapr.html

I also apply a coat of Klasse all-in-one (AIO) before the UPP polymer on my daily drivers. I can go 6 months or more with the finish still looking glossy and beading water well.
 

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I generally sware by Megguires products. Liquid polish and wax are easy to apply and remove. 3M pro products are also very good but more pricey. Believe it or not the best chrome cleaner (not that there is much of that on the Sol) and liquid wax that I have found is Harley Davidson's line of products. Use both on my truck!
 

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The clay bar is a must if you car has been on the road a while. My 86 Grand Prix has been in storage for about the last 5 years and I have always kept it clean and out of the winter but the finish felt rough even after waxing it last week(waxed it when i put it away 5 years ago and only wiped it off since then). I then clay bared it and it is slick as new and the shine is 10x better. Once you use the clay bar the finish is much better.
 
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