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  • Car Washing/Detailing Tips (Formerly: "Clay Bars")

    I clay barred my car today and what a difference! The body used to feel like fine sandpaper if I ran my hand along it, espeically the hood, roof and trunk. Now the whole car is smooth as silk, feels like a brand new car. Now it's ready for some spring wax.

    I highly recommend everyone do this to their car. Our cars are pretty old,. so most of them need a good cleaning. It was really easy to use the clay bar, just make sure you put a lot of lubricant on the car. I got a small scuff on the trunk lid where I didn't have enough.

    The kit only cost $20 and it took about 3 hours (wash, dry, clay bar, wash, dry)

    Here's a pic although it's pretty bad and hard to see anything in terms of cleanliness.
    RightDrive Inc. Parts Manager
    http://www.rightdrive.ca :: http://www.rightdriveparts.com :: http://www.rightdriveusa.com
    1970 Highway 7 West, Vaughan, ON :: 1-877-398-8220




  • #2
    Well I gotta say it looks pretty clean to me, nice job. Now I used to do car detailing however it was never with a clay bar, based on that are they really that easy to use?
    RHD DriftinG, DoeS iT GeT AnY BetteR????

    Project GTS-R: 1992 R32 Skyline GTS RB20na-> Turbo
    Mods: A few things .
    Dyno Results> 209.2whp/196FtLb @ 7psi

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep they are really easy.

      I used this tutorial:
      http://www.advanceautoparts.com/engl...0030401cb.html

      1. Rip off about 1/3 of the bar
      2. Roll it up into a ball
      3. Pound it flat in your palm so it's flat
      4. Spray lubricant on the area of the car
      5. Rub the clay bar across the lubricated surface
      6. When the surface of the bar gets a little dirty roll it up and flatten again so you have a clean surface
      7. Rip a new peice off the bar when a 1/3 of the car is finished. You probably can keep using it, but just to be safe I threw it away.

      Also, don't do this in direct sunlight, the lubricant will dry up quickly, and thats a bad thing.

      Thats about it. You can feel the small dirt and bumps under the clay, and you can feel them come off. Pretty easy!
      RightDrive Inc. Parts Manager
      http://www.rightdrive.ca :: http://www.rightdriveparts.com :: http://www.rightdriveusa.com
      1970 Highway 7 West, Vaughan, ON :: 1-877-398-8220



      Comment


      • #4
        Car looks awsome man! Im gonna have to try this on my baby for sure!

        Doesnt seem too hard, now I just need a place out of direct sunlight...
        Originally posted by JZ
        I just wished she had bigger twins...at least T88\'s.

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, don't push down on the clay-bar... because anything it picks up will be forced down into the paint. You use the weight of the bar with maybe a TINY bit of pressure.
          Race. Win. Live.

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          • #6
            It's great to see some skyline owners doing this! I hope I can clear a few things I've noticed so far though..

            Automotive Clay is just that, it's an Abrasive. Body shops have been using this for ages to remove overspray from vehicles (which is why this is commonly reffered to as overspray clay) As many of you have already said, you have to use it with a lubricant. You shouldn't be pressing this clay against your paint AT ALL....Just use the weight of your hand and keep sliding it back and forth....DO not put any weight on the clay...

            The point of the clay is to pick up industrial fallout that ANY daily or weeend driven vehicle will have. Chances are you're vehicle has never been clayed...What I don't think anyone has mentioned, is that the claybar is supposed to be used in a SEQUENCE as part of a decent detailing plan.

            Simply claying your vehicle and leaving it at that isn't what I would reccomend. If you're have a lighter colored vehicle (gunmetal, white etc) You probably didn't notce the swirls you just put in your vehicle. Clay is an abrasive and you ARE irratating your clearcoat to some degree..

            Whenever you use clay on your vehicle, it should UNDOUBTABLY be followed up by a cut polish to some degree, whether it be a light cut polished followed by an LSP. You need to remove some of the marring that the clay just put in your vehicle (or that will also be there alredy)..

            See my post not to long ago with my detailing plan for my car:
            http://forums.gtrcanada.com/viewtopi...mate+detailing

            Notice that the clay is my FIRST step in the paint preparation process...The claybar is going to CLEAN your paint, but it's going to dull your finish to some degree. You need to cut polish this to bring back some gloss and remove marring induced by the claybar.

            I hope I cleared up some of the misconceptions about automotive clay. It's a VERY handy tool in the entire process....

            If anyone has any other questions feel free to shoot

            Comment


            • #7
              Great writeup mcnab I used to detail as well, and looks like you've covered it all.

              I do the claybar/polich treatment on a regular basis, it keeps the car looking great.
              Dave

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by qualthar
                Great writeup mcnab I used to detail as well, and looks like you've covered it all.

                I do the claybar/polich treatment on a regular basis, it keeps the car looking great.
                If you clay often, I'd suggest moving to a lighter clay (if you're using something like the Mothers California Kit u buy from Canadian Tire)...Sonus makes an "Ultra -Fine Overspray Clay" specificially for the folks that prefer to clay often..

                Personally, I don't clay very often. Only before a major cut polish routine. If you clay once and do a proper cut polish, then simply maintain your paint, you shouldn't have to clay or cut polish at all...

                The whole point is to avoid cut polishing or claying at all, since anytime you use abrasives on your paint, you're removing part of your clear coat. The less clear coat you have, the more apt you are to paint failure (which is definitly not good). Obviously using light cut polishes and glazes isn't a big deal.

                I personally use Pinnacle Synthetic Polymer Clay. Works excellent for me. If I need a harsher clay for a customers car, (which is often the case) i'll use a medium grade clay.

                So if you're going to clay your vehicle, make sure you follow up with an appropriate cut polish for your vehicles paint condition. AFter this, apply a synthetic sealent glaze (or wax if you want). Using booster wax's to extend the length of your sealent or wax is a very good idea. this will keep your paint feeling slick as well (and beading very well)...Use a proper wash technique to insure you're not putting more marring it as well. I wash my vehicle one or twice a week depending on conditions in the summer. This keeps it relativly clear of industrial fallout and other contaminents..

                Also re-apply a synethic sealent every 4-5 months, and if you're using a carnuba wax, re-apply every month. (Yes a carnuba wax only lasts at most a month despite manufacturers claims)

                On my previous integra, I could take a Microfiber cloth and skin the towel along the surface and it should slide all the way down the hood. That's how slick the paint was.....Mind you it had 5 layers of KSG on it too, but it was AWLAYS well protected.

                One thing I forgot to mention about clay, after every panel, make sure you're folding andkneeding clay so you're claying with a new clean surface. Also take off any bits that are heavily contaminated as well. The last thing you want to do is starting running the clay all over another panel with the contaminents it just picked up underneath it...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I recently clayed my car as well. I bought a kit from Zaino Brothers....world renowned for car detailing. This kit was worth every penny! Took me over 6 hours to do the entire car, but the results were amazing.

                  www.zainostore.com

                  Here were my steps:
                  1) Wash car with dish soap
                  2) dry
                  3) Clay bar entire car with lubricant (mix of water and car wash solution in a spray bottle)
                  4) Dry car with 100% cotton cloth as you clay it
                  5) Wash car with car wash solution
                  6) Dry car
                  7) Wax with first Polish for clear coats
                  8) Apply Ultra Clean detailing spray to remove excess wax (helps put on other coat)
                  9) Final Wax, second polish that helps removes swirls and fine scratches
                  10) Apply one last time the Ultra Clean detailing spray

                  This gives these results:





                  - 1997 240sx w/s15 drivetrain
                  - 1990 Nissan Pulsar GTIR (sold)
                  - 1991 Toyota Aristo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Zaino is awesome stuff! Expensive, but as you said it's quality stuff....Here's a hint on Zaino products though..

                    IF you want ONLY reflection, go with Zaino. Zaino doens't give off that nice "depth and luster" that other combo's will give off. Zaino is ALL reflection...It all depends what you (or in my case customer) want. Im not saying Zaino is bad at all, because even I love the stuff! Zaino has a reflection that no other sealent or carnuba can give..But you don't get the depth that other polishes / sealent gives.

                    Did you just use the Zaino clay kit? or the Full Zaino polishes and sealent???

                    Looks AWESOME!! You apply that by hand? or with a DA or Rotary?


                    Just a side note on your choice of towels.....I would avoid ANYTHING that's not a quality microfibre product. Also just because it says microfibre on it, doesn't mean it's quality stuff...

                    Here's a microscopic comparison of what your terry towels are doing to your paint surface....This is why I ONLY use quality microfiber towels for drying, polishing and QDing



                    Quality Microfibre on the Left
                    100% Terry Towels on the right..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice job Daryl Brother work 8) 8)
                      Yann Anderson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's my crazy routine

                        1) wash car with soap
                        2) Rinse
                        3) Give car a viniger sponge bath (some detailing places refer this as an 'acid magic bath')
                        4) rince with soap and water
                        5) dry off
                        6) clay bar it
                        7) use an orbital buffer and a cutting pad and SSR 2 and 2.5 swirl remover
                        8) buff it off with a microfiber towel
                        9) using orbital buffer, and a polishing pad, apply klasse All in One wax
                        10) buff off wax to a shine
                        11) Use Klasse Sealant. buff wait 12 hours, apply another coat of sealant, buff, wait 12 hours.
                        12) top it all off with Some Meguairs Gold class, and buff again.

                        Klasse AIO + sealant + Gold class >>>>>>>>>>> Zaino. Zaino may be shiny, but it hardly makes the color jump out and be more lush.
                        Tuning the Spec V until I can own a V Spec...

                        Regional Coordinator - Manitoba

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                        • #13
                          OK, so today I bought some polisher, it seems to be the right stuff. It's for polishing, shining and getting rie of swirls and small scratches.
                          I can't read the instrucitons on how to apply it though. It came with a sponge and a bottle of the polishers.

                          How do I put this on?

                          Also, what is a good kind of wax? I went to the store today and I don't know any of the brands that they had. They don't have Zaino or any of the brands I'm familiar with. Is something with carnuba good? Also, is there a difference between the $20 wax and the $40 wax?
                          RightDrive Inc. Parts Manager
                          http://www.rightdrive.ca :: http://www.rightdriveparts.com :: http://www.rightdriveusa.com
                          1970 Highway 7 West, Vaughan, ON :: 1-877-398-8220



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well I know Mothers is one of the best company out there ( I have'nt used them though) for car polish products. I don't know if they sell that brand where you are though.

                            What ever you guys use for polishing or cleaning your cars, post them here for all to see, http://forums.gtrcanada.com/viewtopic.php?p=67718#67718

                            This way we can start having a list of good things to use on our cars.

                            I know I have to detail my car and hopefully the weather will co-operate with me when I'm ready to do it.
                            RHD DriftinG, DoeS iT GeT AnY BetteR????

                            Project GTS-R: 1992 R32 Skyline GTS RB20na-> Turbo
                            Mods: A few things .
                            Dyno Results> 209.2whp/196FtLb @ 7psi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mcnab
                              Zaino is awesome stuff! Expensive, but as you said it's quality stuff....Here's a hint on Zaino products though..

                              IF you want ONLY reflection, go with Zaino. Zaino doens't give off that nice "depth and luster" that other combo's will give off. Zaino is ALL reflection...It all depends what you (or in my case customer) want. Im not saying Zaino is bad at all, because even I love the stuff! Zaino has a reflection that no other sealent or carnuba can give..But you don't get the depth that other polishes / sealent gives.

                              Did you just use the Zaino clay kit? or the Full Zaino polishes and sealent???

                              Looks AWESOME!! You apply that by hand? or with a DA or Rotary?


                              Just a side note on your choice of towels.....I would avoid ANYTHING that's not a quality microfibre product. Also just because it says microfibre on it, doesn't mean it's quality stuff...

                              Here's a microscopic comparison of what your terry towels are doing to your paint surface....This is why I ONLY use quality microfiber towels for drying, polishing and QDing



                              Quality Microfibre on the Left
                              100% Terry Towels on the right..
                              Hi Mcnab... I bought the entire kit of claybar/polishes/sealants w/o the interior stuff. I did the entire thing by hand, without an orbital, cause I heard it uses up more polish and since the kit was expensive, I wanted to save as much as possible. Plus I'm an old fashion kind of guy...thinking that if I do everything by hand it will look better. hehe

                              Thanks for letting me know about the microfibre, I used 100% cotton made quality rags for buffing, but I was wondering about the microfibre if it was better or not...cause I used microfibre in the past. Zaino said to use 100% cotton rags, but I'll take your comment in consideration for next time.
                              - 1997 240sx w/s15 drivetrain
                              - 1990 Nissan Pulsar GTIR (sold)
                              - 1991 Toyota Aristo

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