YET ANOTHER QUESTION FOR CHARLIE - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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  #1  
Old 06-20-2005, 07:35 PM
04TBEXT 04TBEXT is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Dark Green Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NORTHERN ILLINOIS AREA
Posts: 477
YET ANOTHER QUESTION FOR CHARLIE

I would first like to commend Charlie for his input of this forum. I have had the opportunity to comment with him in some areas and enjoy learning from his responses, not only in his line of expertise, but in other areas as well.
I have a couple of questions for Charlie specific of my concerns and I hope any answers I get may help others as well.
I just received my Trailblazer back from the body shop where the hood, bumper fasicas and the whole left side of the vehicle has been painted. I believe the actual paint was applied some where in late April and I received the vehicle back for the Memorial Day holiday. Keeping this "newer" paint in mind, I pose these questions:
1) I drive in the southern Wisconsin area at night where the bugs are similar to raindrops. I receive an amass of bugs on the frontal area of the vehicle. This driving occurs on the weekends and it may not be until the first of the week (Tues-Weds) before I can get to cleaning the vehicle. At this time of the season, the vehicle sits out in the sun for this period which seems to "cook" the bugs onto the painted surfaces. I go to a high-pressure manual car wash and try to soak the bugs to a certain point, then use close-up pressure to "blow" the bugs/debris from the painted surface. This seems to work well, until the other day. I hit a bug, which left a straight line up the hood of approximately six inches. The bug, itself, washed off, but it left a "line" in the paint. I do not have any type of buffing equipment, so I resorted with an attempt to use a liquid finish wax which proved unsuccessful. I then tried 3M fine cut. I used conservative pressure which seemed to reduce the line, but not remove it. This action left a haze, I presume micron scratches in the surface, where I applied the 3M product. I do believe these scratches are buffable and I think my friends at the body shop would help in correcting my error, this time.
My desire for the future is to know whether or not there is a product(s) that I can apply to these painted surfaces, by hand, which would protect the paint from getting "stained" and help in making bug removal easier? I hate to call the body shop every time, if ya' know what I mean? I don't like a bug/air deflector, so I need to work with the bare painted surfaces.
2). Is using the high pressure wand in this manner adviseable?
3). Is there any product I can use myself, by hand, to address the micron scratches I've left... or should I contact the body shop and let them "restore" the surface?
4). If you were to have the scratches restored, how would you want your body shop to do it?
5). With all the in mind...if you look in the dictionary under LAZY, you will find my picture there...

Thanks again, Charlie.
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2005, 12:15 AM
02EnvoySLE Guy 02EnvoySLE Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by 04TBEXT
I would first like to commend Charlie for his input of this forum. I have had the opportunity to comment with him in some areas and enjoy learning from his responses, not only in his line of expertise, but in other areas as well.
Well, first, thanks for the kind compliments. Now to address your questions:

Quote:
1) I drive in the southern Wisconsin area at night where the bugs are similar to raindrops. I receive an amass of bugs on the frontal area of the vehicle. This driving occurs on the weekends and it may not be until the first of the week (Tues-Weds) before I can get to cleaning the vehicle. At this time of the season, the vehicle sits out in the sun for this period which seems to "cook" the bugs onto the painted surfaces. I go to a high-pressure manual car wash and try to soak the bugs to a certain point, then use close-up pressure to "blow" the bugs/debris from the painted surface. This seems to work well, until the other day. I hit a bug, which left a straight line up the hood of approximately six inches. The bug, itself, washed off, but it left a "line" in the paint. I do not have any type of buffing equipment, so I resorted with an attempt to use a liquid finish wax which proved unsuccessful. I then tried 3M fine cut. I used conservative pressure which seemed to reduce the line, but not remove it. This action left a haze, I presume micron scratches in the surface, where I applied the 3M product. I do believe these scratches are buffable and I think my friends at the body shop would help in correcting my error, this time.
First off, I'm assuming by "3M Fine Cut" you're referring to the Perfect-It II Rubbing Compound?



The haze you describe (based on not having a picture) is actually a normal result for a product that aggressive. For future reference, just remember the "rule-of-thumb" that says "Start with the least aggressive product to get the job done, and move up from there as needed." -- My bet is that a claybar or a solvent-type bug and tar remover would've corrected the etched-in remains, and then could be polished out with a much lighter polish. Even if not, there are other less aggressive products such as the Meguiar's Clear Coat Body Scrub I keep mentioning, or Meguiar's Scratch-X (basically the same as GS27 scratch remover) to name a few.

However, now that the haze is present (I assume you did get all of the stain out?) you'll have to bring back the shine with a less agressive polish product. If we're sticking to the 3M product line, I would grab for 3M Swirl Mark Remover. It's the next-least aggressive product in the 3M lineup, and should leave the finish glossy.



If I were using a product in my personal arsenal, however, it would be Meguiar's #83 Dual Action Cleaner/Polish. DACP has been known to leave haze for some folks as well, though I've never experienced it myself. It needs to be worked into the finish until it basically dissapears, so nothing of the chemically-diminishing abrasives is left on the paint. Another viable option in it's place would be Meguiar's #9 Swirl Mark Remover 2.0 -- this product may take a couple applications to clear everything up since it's a bit less agressive than the DACP.

If you would still feel better having someone else do the work, I would take it to a reputable detailer in your area, in lieu of a body shop. Most body shops aren't regularly called upon to perform the work we're talking about here; the extent of their "polishing/compounding" is on paint fresh from the booth which has been recently wet-sanded, as a final prep. Don't get me wrong, a body shop can do a great job, I just don't know that they would be as effective (depending on the shop).

Quote:
My desire for the future is to know whether or not there is a product(s) that I can apply to these painted surfaces, by hand, which would protect the paint from getting "stained" and help in making bug removal easier? I hate to call the body shop every time, if ya' know what I mean? I don't like a bug/air deflector, so I need to work with the bare painted surfaces.
Well, yes there are products to protect from staining; however with as new as your paint is, you shouldn't be using most of them! (Fresh paint which did not come from the factory is applied and cured differently than OEM paint. It takes the average body-shop repaint 90 days to cure safely).

If you wax a freshly repainted piece too soon, you are sealing the pores in the paint and adding to a potential for problems down the road. During that 'curing' process, the paint is releasing solvents which were mixed into the paint to aid with adhesion. If these solvents remain trapped in the paint for too long, they will actually have the opposite effect, making the paint less able to adhere to the surface it is on. Hence why you sometimes see re-painted vehicles peeling after awhile.

In the interim, you would be best to use a "pure polish" to protect the surface. There are several products available for this purpose, most known as "glazes." Two of my favorites are 3M's Imperial Hand Glaze, and Meguiar's #5 New Car Glaze. Both products are heavy in oils which will protect the paint from outside contaminants, yet will allow the solvents to still release.

A good guideline to follow is to re-apply your glaze after each time the vehicle sees rain, or is washed. The glaze has a very limited lifespan of durable protection, and will wash away without too much effort. Basically though, I would look for a product claiming to offer some degree of protection, as well as being "Body Shop Safe."

After your 90 day wait is up, and since you don't want a bug deflector (which I'm sure you've noticed I have on my truck) I would get some 3M or similar "Clear Paint Protection Film," also known as a "Clear Bra." When applied to a perfectly contaminant free, well prepared surface, the film is hardly even visible unless you are specifically looking for the edges of it. Some body shops and detailers can apply this for you for a reasonable cost. The film can be waxed just like the rest of the paint and will be much more durable than just a waxed/sealed "bare paint" surface. Just keep in mind that any defects that aren't corrected before the install will be there permanently until you remove the film.

Another trick one of my friend's fathers (who used to build streetrods) told me way back was that if you were headded somewhere and you KNOW there are lots of bugs on the way, to pull out a good carnauba paste wax and apply it to the front of your vehicle. Don't buff off the residue right away; just drive it with the application haze still on it. Once you get to your location, just wipe the haze off with a soft towel. All the bugs and other "road crud" will have stuck to the wax haze instead of the paint, and should come right off. Best part is you're left with a freshly-waxed looking area underneath. I've personally seen several guys do this if they're traveling to a car show and don't want a huge hassle of clean-up once they get there. Obviously that trick can't work for you now, but once the paint is cured it is certainly a viable option.

Quote:
2). Is using the high pressure wand in this manner adviseable?
3). Is there any product I can use myself, by hand, to address the micron scratches I've left... or should I contact the body shop and let them "restore" the surface?
I wouldn't use the wand for that purpose on a regular basis, honestly. When you blast the paint with high pressure water, you're risking actually driving the bugs and other contaminants deeper into your paint, as well as sending them across the paint at high velocity. This can lead to even more scratches. Pressure washers are nice, but I would always start with some good prep-work using low pressure water and a bug/tar remover on a rag before hitting it with the hard stuff.

As for restoration, see above.

Quote:
4). If you were to have the scratches restored, how would you want your body shop to do it?
Again, see above. As I described, a less agressive product will be able to remove the ones created by the Fine Cut compound. The repair can likely be done by hand, or with a dual-action (orbital) or rotary machine polisher.

Quote:
5). With all the in mind...if you look in the dictionary under LAZY, you will find my picture there...

Thanks again, Charlie.
No problem.... all I can say is that keeping your vehicle looking spotless is a bit of work, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming as long as you are dilligent at keeping up a good routine. If you say to yourself "I will wash it weekly, add a fresh coat of wax every other week, and polish/wax it each month, ..." it becomes much less hassle since you never have to do it ALL at once.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:35 AM
04TBEXT 04TBEXT is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Dark Green Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NORTHERN ILLINOIS AREA
Posts: 477
Charlie....Thank you for the "blow-by-blow" instructions. Reading this posts and your others has helped by find my way around the chemicals, make good product choices in address of my needs and the hands on (labor) process to perform what is necessary.
In address to this post, yes I used 3M Fine Cut Perfect II rubbing compound. Unfortunately, I would say that about 70% of the stain is gone. When I saw that the stain was "not leaving", I stopped. Looking straight into the paint, you do not notice the stain nor scratches. If your looking at the paint from an angle (reflective), the scratches and the reminants of the stain can be seen.
I will readdress the stain and then move forward to remove the scratches as you recommend. I'm thinkin' clay bay, then DACP...any comments???

Thanks again...Charlie
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:59 AM
02EnvoySLE Guy 02EnvoySLE Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by 04TBEXT
Charlie....Thank you for the "blow-by-blow" instructions. Reading this posts and your others has helped by find my way around the chemicals, make good product choices in address of my needs and the hands on (labor) process to perform what is necessary.
In address to this post, yes I used 3M Fine Cut Perfect II rubbing compound. Unfortunately, I would say that about 70% of the stain is gone. When I saw that the stain was "not leaving", I stopped. Looking straight into the paint, you do not notice the stain nor scratches. If your looking at the paint from an angle (reflective), the scratches and the reminants of the stain can be seen.
I will readdress the stain and then move forward to remove the scratches as you recommend. I'm thinkin' clay bay, then DACP...any comments???

Thanks again...Charlie
At this point, I would say the clay followed by DACP is your best bet. If that doesn't get it, you'll probably have no choice but to get it machine polished.

If all that is left after those steps is a haze from the DACP, you can move to #82 (Swirl Free Polish) or #81 (Hand Polish) to remove the haze. Once you use a product as aggressive as the 3M PI-II, the haze and marring have to be worked out using a series of gradually less abrasive products.

Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2005, 04:58 PM
04TBEXT 04TBEXT is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Dark Green Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NORTHERN ILLINOIS AREA
Posts: 477
Charlie...Thanks again for your guidance with my dilema. I attempted to follow your suggestions and I looked for the DACP. As yourself, I always received good results using Meguiar's products. We only have one larger auto parts store in my area which has a larger array of waxes, polishes, in which the DACP sadly was out of stock. I also checked the automotive sections of some large chain stores and in a local Wal-Mart stumbled upon a Meguiar product called Scratch-X. Its' purpose was labled for hand applications to address minor clear coat surface scratching and for removal of surface contaminants. I want to say, I used this product today with excellent results. The micron scratches in the clear coat which I created using the 3M PI-II are gone, the bug contaminants and surface staining is gone. It seem to have left the paint surface "squeaky" clean.
Thanks again , Charlie for you guidance through the array of products. I used the wrong product the first time and would be destined to do it again without your help. Your explanation of the products, what they do, and how to used them, allowed by to select the proper products and end up with the desired results.
Thanks again.
P.S. I think I'll park the T/B and "tie one on" tonight...With all that rubbin', I broke a sweat...I'll have to replenish those body fluids...
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2005, 07:02 PM
02EnvoySLE Guy 02EnvoySLE Guy is offline
 
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Posts: 1,590
Hey glad to hear that it worked out for you. I should've mentioned Scratch-X before but I usually pass right by the tube since my other products on the shelf do the job too It's a good thing to have around in emergencies though; mine just stays in a bin in my truck at all times
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