The Model 3 Detailing thread

GDN

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#2
So i did this process this past weekend, and it almost finished me!

Steps:
  1. Foam wash, and mothers speed clay 2.0 (rubber version of clay bar, i reccommend it), iron-x decontamination, rinse meticulous dry (air between doors and trunk and side mirrors, as they collect lots of water, learned this the hard way) -- Pretty quick about 1 hour
  2. 1 step paint correction using a swirl remover/polish in one product (i used chemical guys all in one polish/sealant) with a porter cable orbital polisher kit i got for >$200 on amazon (included backing pads and polishing finishing pads plus microfiber towels and pad cleaner etc) -- Took time, but fairly fast with the orbital power polisher (did the cross hatch 5 pass technique on 4'x4' sections) 2.5 hours
  3. did quick light check to see if any missed areas, water spots, swirls etc... 30 mins
  4. removed all sealants/oils/waxes with a Iso Alcohol solution --- 1 hour
  5. applied ceramic coat in cross hatch on 3'x3' areas removed with microfiber cloth after flashing (1min in my 80 degree garage) - 2 hours
Total time invested: +-7 hours
equipment: orbital polisher kit with all pads and backing pad etc. ($199)
all in one polisher: $17
Car wash gel (1 gallon): $10
Iron-X: $19
Speed Clay 2.0: $19
pack of 36 Microfiber towels from Costco: $14
ISO alcohol: $4
Ceramic coating: $79
Cost: approx $282 for prep detail, $79 for ceramic: total cost: $361

Quote for pro Ceramic job: $1200 for basic coating...$2000 for premium.
View attachment 13119

Note that this week, my body is sore from the work, and i had a bout of nausea after doing the first half of the paint correction in a closed garaged with no ventilation...had to go inside and detox by laying on an air-conditioned floor for 1 hour before continuing. I almost quit at many points, but i knew if i wanted to get the coating on, i would have to repeat all the steps again, so i powered through. started at approx 9am, and finished (after taking many breaks) a little past midnight on saturday. I did save myself, +-800, so I would say i am happy with the result, but man it is not easy, and i get why they charge what they do... I just couldn't get myself to pay over 1k for a temp coating, and i knew if i bought the gear i could reapply at the 1 year mark...now after doing it, i need one year to forget the effort it took, in order to go again (no way i would do it again next month even for $800 cash).
Very nice job. It is labor intensive for sure. A clean black car is one of the nicest looking in my opinion.
 
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#3
I ceramic coated my car myself. Did exactly the steps as @Mello.

Took me about 5~6 hours total. Then I helped my friend move right afterwards.....

I love working on my car, but it is still tiring. But in the end, i enjoyed it and worth every sweat.
 

PNWmisty

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#4
I just washed all the dirt/bugs away with some cheap car wash soap and water and dried it with a towel. Then I used a pre-wax cleaner on a damp sponge and polished it off with a dry microfiber cloth. After that, I put on a quality wax with carnauba. I like P21S because it's super easy to apply and doesn't stain black plastic. It only lasts 1-3 months but it's ease of application more than makes up for it. Future applications are even easier. Just wash with a non-stripping car wash soap like P21S bodywork shampoo and apply another coat of wax. It goes on and polishes out so quickly and easily it's a no-brainer. After this bugs, tar and sap are easy to wash off and the bodywork just glows with a beautiful and deep shine that almost looks wet.

I like the light orange peel most cars come with these days and avoid any abrasives to maintain the factory finish. I think the outer layer of paint is the least porous, once that is polished off it's more difficult to keep contaminants from embedding themselves in the paint if you get behind in washing/waxing. Modern water-based polyurethanes are really amazing in their durability compared to the cars I grew up with in the 1970's that would fade and look terrible after only a few years. With no wax/PPF or coatings of any kind, after 4,000 miles with about 200 miles of gravel roads/construction zones thrown in the mix I only found three minuscule little nicks in the front of the car that are barely visible under close inspection.
 
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JWardell

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#5
Why is all this detailing discussion moved into off-topic?
It's high time we have a detailing section of the forum.

JWardell, where did you get the hat in your signature?
From the M3OC store of course! Speaking of which, @TrevP where did the store go?
 

garsh

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#6

MelindaV

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#8
OK, but I still want to register my preference for a detailing subform, so we can have specific topic threads that serve as useful reference.
start a specific detailing thread here in the maintenance section. Is detailing not maintenance?
 

JWardell

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#9
start a specific detailing thread here in the maintenance section. Is detailing not maintenance?
[disagree emoticon] No one wants to dig through a huge long thread for recommendations on something specific. Think of a thread for overall process how to, a thread on polishing, a thread reviewing car washes, another reviewing ceramics, etc.. This is commonly a subforum in other car forums and we seem to have a fair amount of discussion on these topics already.

Maintenance should be more about repair and mechanical upkeep. You know, oil changes, spark plugs, blinker fluid, etc.
 

garsh

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#10
Maintenance should be more about repair and mechanical upkeep. You know, oil changes, spark plugs, blinker fluid, etc.
But given that we're talking about a Tesla, "maintenance" as you describe it is going to have two threads: "tires" and "windshield wiper blades". ;)
 

garsh

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#11
OK, but I still want to register my preference for a detailing subform, so we can have specific topic threads that serve as useful reference.
How about this:

Go ahead and start whatever specific "detailing" topics you desire within this subforum. If they become popular enough, then we'll ask TrevP to create a specific detailing subforum and move the appropriate topics to it. OK? :)
 

2Kap

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#12
I was looking for a thread like this this weekend. And didn’t want to start my own.

I picked up a few things based on the recommendation of the detail shop that ceramic coated my car.

Gilmour Foamaster 2. (From Amazon)
Foams up pretty good to just be a garden hose sprayer.
7482f21e-43c9-49cd-9fad-6002cc0dde88-jpeg.14416
20a57974-8fbf-42fc-a13b-372aa19dbe69-jpeg.14415


And the microfiber madness incredimitt
https://www.carpro-us.com/wash-mitts/microfiber-madness-incredimitt/
ff6ea894-99a2-45cd-8fd0-47396ec762d2-jpeg.14417


And they keep Shine Supply products on hand so i basically bought this kit.
a-png.14418

https://shinesupply.com/collections/shine-kits/products/ceramic-coating-maintennace-kit
 
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Twiglett

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#13
sorry, this thread makes no sense.
My original post was connected to an earlier post about fixing paint issues and the dangers of leaving it, it makes no sense on its own and out of context.
The next post is replying to another post in another thread. It makes no sense.
 

garsh

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#14
sorry, this thread makes no sense.
My original post was connected to an earlier post about fixing paint issues and the dangers of leaving it, it makes no sense on its own and out of context.
It never mentions paint correction, so didn't really go in that thread either.
 

scottismyname

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#15
Not sure if this is a general detailing thread, so if not, please move to somewhere else.

I had PPF and Ceramic applied by a shop, but to be honest, I'm not 100% sure how to tell if the Ceramic was actually applied. What is the easiest way for me to tell? I sprayed the car with water, but I'm not sure what to even look for? Any input would be appreciated.
 
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#16
Since we are into detailing I have heard so many confusing suggestions about cleaning the windshields/glass. I have 2 glass cleaners Griots Glass Cleaner and Armorall Auto Glass Cleaner, any suggestions on which is the best.
 

JWardell

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#17
Since we are into detailing I have heard so many confusing suggestions about cleaning the windshields/glass. I have 2 glass cleaners Griots Glass Cleaner and Armorall Auto Glass Cleaner, any suggestions on which is the best.
Personally I found Einszett 1Z glass cleaner to be the best performing however it smelled terrible.
It looks like the company has since rebranded and the new product is Windscreen Clear. No idea if it is the same or better.
More recently I've been using Prima Clarity which is nearly odorless, and still performs well though maybe not as strong as the Einszett.
I also know many folks are fans of Invisible Glass which is probably easier to find in a local store.
I'm sure Griots glass cleaner is decent as is true of most of their products. Armor All I generally do not trust. But those are both generalizations.