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thinking of claying my car

Discussion in '360/430' started by grigiomike, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. grigiomike

    grigiomike Rookie
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    May 2, 2008
    18
    manhattan beach ca.
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    mike w
    #1 grigiomike, Apr 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I have a 2008 F430 spider (grigio silverstone) and I am feeling small bumps on the paint surface......what is the best way to get rid of these....if claying is the best way what are some tips to do the job correctly.
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  3. Barrister

    Barrister Formula Junior

    Aug 11, 2008
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    "Big D"
    Use Zymol Lehm clay along with the Zymol clay lubricant. The best way to tell if you need to clay is to take some plastic wrap and slide it across the surface. If you can feel the bumps through the wrap you should clay. The process is pretty self explanatory. Just lubricate the surface and rub the car down. Move in small sections - about 2ft by 2ft. Be sure to be ready to also apply a good wax because after you clay there is absolutely nothing protecting the surface of the clear coat. Should be a fun day! You will learn quickly why a good detailer can charge $1K for a full detail.
     
  4. Volare

    Volare Rookie

    Nov 11, 2008
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    San Luis Obispo CA
  5. Barrister

    Barrister Formula Junior

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    To me, the best in the business is Moe Mistry at Glistening Perfection in the OC. Check out his website and give him a call. You will never regret it.
     
  6. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Just get one of the Meguiar's kits with the clay and detail spray and follow the instructions. After you wash the car you can have it clayed in about a half hour.
     
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  8. robert biscan

    robert biscan F1 Rookie

    You don't press hard just do it easy. The clay does the work not you. You may only need to do the hood and bonnet. The sides are probably smooth.
     
  9. ebehrendsen

    ebehrendsen Karting

    Sep 26, 2007
    221
    Colorado
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    Erik
    Remember when using clay on an F430 you are working with a hardened ceramic clearcoat. Any small particles of dirt/dust that have not been thoroughly cleaned from the surface first, can cause scratching of the clearcoat, which are extremely difficult to buff out.
    Claying the car can, and will make the paint as smooth as a babies behind, just be sure you're working with a very clean surface when begining the process. YMMV
     
  10. zippyslug31

    zippyslug31 Formula 3

    Sep 28, 2007
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    +1
    This is what I do, too.

    Only.... mine takes MUCH longer than a half hour! More like a few. Guess I'm more anal?
     
  11. Barrister

    Barrister Formula Junior

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    No. You are just realistic. 30 minutes to clay a car?? A matchbox car maybe.
     
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  13. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
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    #10 SrfCity, Apr 8, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
    Yea, 30 minutes. After you wash and dry then spray with detail spray in small sections. Mold the clay into a pancake shape and then use circular motions over the areas and finish up with a micro fiber cloth. How long does that take? I've taken the detail class at Meguiar's corporate so I know it shouldn't be a drawn out process. Maybe you slow pokes are doing it in the sun, d'oh. ;)
     
  14. zippyslug31

    zippyslug31 Formula 3

    Sep 28, 2007
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    Yeah, I'm really at a loss on this one.

    Nope, not doing it in the sun, yes, pancake shape, spray, etc.

    Where I think my time is going isn't so much the circular motion of the clay, it's the verifying it is not rough... which might take a couple passes. After I've confirmed the surface is clean I wipe down the area well and buff out any of the detail spray that remains. Not doing this and leaving the paint even damp makes the paint spotty.

    If you aren't doing this, I'm going to guess that my final results are "better", but not sure by how much.
     
  15. S Brake

    S Brake F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2006
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    I once took ten hours to clay my Audi A6 wagon. It was white and had small rust spots all over so it took forever.
     
  16. JOEL D.

    JOEL D. Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    222
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    Joel DeLuca
    #13 JOEL D., Apr 8, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
    I agree with less than an hour. I work in small blocks, say 1/2 fender or 1/4 hood at a time. I wipe off as I go and it is done relatively quickly, uses up a lot of towels, but it is really no problem. I would recommend not using circular motions. I go vertical on the sides and horizontal on flat surfaces like roofs or hoods. I do the same with polish so it might just be habit with me. Also, get good clay, because cheap clay will smear on the car and this is not something you want to deal with if you can avoid it.
     
  17. BigP1202

    BigP1202 Formula 3

    Jul 11, 2007
    2,212
    Sarasota, Florida
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    Peter
    There are a lot of good claying products out there. The Zymol works really well. Just give it a good wash first and don't give it time to sit and collect any dust/dirt. Work in small areas like others have said but pay attention to detail. Take your time and don't rush it when actually claying. And I guarantee you it will take a lot longer than 30 minutes if you want to be even remotely proud of your work. It once took me about 1.5 hours to clay HALF of one side of a GMC pickup.

    In the end, if you focus and don't rush it, you will be thrilled with your work and proud that you did it yourself. You should feel closer to your car, as corny as that may sound. And don't forget to give it a good wax right after to protect that clear coat.

    Peter
     
  18. zippyslug31

    zippyslug31 Formula 3

    Sep 28, 2007
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    Q's:
    1 - Why do you do this?

    2 - I think I'm clear on the sides, but "horizontal on flat surfaces" can mean many things depending on your orientation to the surface in question. Can you elaborate?
     
  19. Cavallino Aficionado

    Oct 3, 2006
    1,992
    Lk. Tapps/Buckley WA
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    Brian
    Hmmm... I'm a huge fan of Griot's products and have attended a few of thier tech sessions. I think they may even have a how-to video on thier website? www.griots.com

    At any rate it takes me about 3 hours since I always do with a fresh wash (1 hr), clean wheels (.5 hr) and claying plus cleanup takes about anouther 1.5. My wife knows when I say I'm going to go clay the car real quick that she should should pencil in 3 hours of free time for herself. :) I must say as they guys mentioned above, it's easy work and quite gratifying. The clay does all the work and that baby-so-soft feel gets me all excited!!

    Oh and as far as directional, I have been told ALL should be in a front to rear, rear to front motion for ALL all surfaces. ALL means everthing from washing, drying, "speedshine", clay, RO, etc.

    My $0.02

    Brian
     
  20. ntingle

    ntingle Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    52
    Los Gatos, CA
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    Nick Tingle
    Are you sure it's not just tree sap? This feels like small bumps but comes off pretty easily if you just wash it, or even quick detail spray + microfiber towel. Try a small section first. I would leave claying to the professionals, personally. I tried it one time but it's nervewracking - one tiny bit of grit in the clay somewhere and you're done for.
     
  21. Swiss Frank

    Swiss Frank Karting

    May 6, 2008
    177
    Hong Kong
    I've used Meguiars products: Gold Class Shampoo, Clay, then Crystal Step 1 (Cleaner) and Step 2 (Polish), and in side-by-side comparison prefered their Tech Wax to the Crystal Step 3. (Almost no difference, just slightly darker darks on a carbon black M5.)

    First wash the car well and dry. This only takes 20 minutes I think. With the clay you'll be rubbing, you don't want even dust on the car. If you don't dry your clay will get full of hard water deposits from the evaporating water drops. Wash tip: I'll go through about 20 small terrycloths (somewhat bigger than half a sheet of paper), 1-2 per panel. I'll use both sides, then move to a fresh cloth. Faster and easier than ringing, and you don't worry about grit getting caught in the cloth. It only takes one piece of grit to scratch!

    Clay actually doesn't take long, maybe 45 minutes. After this step the car looks and feels like a whole new car. Meguiar's clay box has two bars, but 1 seems plenty for a car.

    Cleaner again makes it look like a whole new car. The car almost feels like medical equipment afterwards.

    Then Polish makes it look and feel like yet another new car. (Helped on swirl marks but not as much as hoped.)

    Wax again is another new car look and feel. Especially on my old M5 which had heavy swirls from a previous owner, most swirls went away.



    Verdict: if your earning power stretches to an F430, its probably alot cheaper to pay a detailer! But not as fun.
     
  22. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
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    Would Clay Aiken do this procedure?
     
  23. Barrister

    Barrister Formula Junior

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    "Big D"
    Ha! LOL.
     
  24. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

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    I bet he'd get the clay for a song!!!
     
  25. flipdowt

    flipdowt Karting

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Mahopac,New York
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    John Flip
    what shape would he model the CLAY into when he uses it?
     
  26. Barrister

    Barrister Formula Junior

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    I'm not sure that you really want to know the answer to that! LOL!
     
  27. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

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    #24 GCalo, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
    I don't think I'll touch that one!
     
  28. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
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    Greg Calo
    Now if he spent all day clayin' his car you think he'd be Aiken?
     

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