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The cedar and weather in Austin finally got to a point where it was safe to go outside for the entire weekend and not end up sneezing or wet. I was itching to try out my new Porter Cable and all the associated exterior detailing goodies.

Starting out early Saturday morning:
  • I washed the car (easy)
  • dried the car using microfiber towels (why didn't I get these sooner?)
  • clay bar'd the car (4 hours later... but so worth it)
  • polished using the Porter Cable (very nice thing, I highly recommend it) and buffing it by hand (with a microfiber towel of course..)
Then, having to let the polish cure for 8 hours, basically meaning, wait until Sunday morning unless I wanted to work in the dark, led to early Sunday morning:
  • hand applying a coat of wax and buffing it off with a microfiber towel
  • waiting 8 hours (hello Rock Band!)
  • apply a second coat of wax
  • sit back and enjoy the hard work
Now, today when I actually got to see the car as the sun was coming up and the sun was bouncing off the nice clean paint it was amazing. It made all the hard work worth it.

For the products I picked up everything from Proper Auto Care (no affiliation, just a happy customer) and used their Blackfire products for the "Wet-Ice over Fire" shine. This was my first time to do this much detailing so I'm sure I can improve it the next time (maybe I should have practiced on my Miata first...), but overall I was very impressed with the results that a first timer can have. Did I mention just about everything slides off the car now? I found out when I put a towel on the hood and watched it slide off.. it shocked me, but, boy is it nice.

I have attached a picture that I took of the hood (ignore the rain drop in the top left, it was beginning to rain) and one of the side of the car to show the shine the car has now.
 

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Clean Car! Are those painted brake calipers or Brembo?
 

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Very nice work! Pictures rarely do it justice, though.

I cant wait for spring to give mine the treatment. I'm seeing some swirlmarks and they're driving me nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Clean Car! Are those painted brake calipers or Brembo?
Close, they are StopTechs 355mm front and 345mm rear.

DINY said:
Very nice work! Pictures rarely do it justice, though.

I cant wait for spring to give mine the treatment. I'm seeing some swirlmarks and they're driving me nuts.

Yeah, it is hard to capture how shiny it really is and I had more to worry about than swirlmarks... my car almost had a perfect black to tan fade on it thanks to all the dust and pollen around here.
 

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Nice.

I use Griot's products and the Griot's random orbital polisher. But since the weather has been so bad in this area, I haven't bothered.

Where's summer???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice.

I use Griot's products and the Griot's random orbital polisher. But since the weather has been so bad in this area, I haven't bothered.

Where's summer???
Do you guys even have a summer or two consecutive days of sunshine up there?

Last time I was in Seattle it drizzled on me non-stop. I loved the country though and it was nice to not see billboards while driving.
 

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Starting out early Saturday morning:
  • I washed the car (easy)
  • dried the car using microfiber towels (why didn't I get these sooner?)
  • clay bar'd the car (4 hours later... but so worth it)
Quick tip on claying your car - as soon as you rinse from your wash, you can begin claying, use the clean water on the car as part of your lubrication. It will save from having to dry, then clay, then dry again...pics look great though!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quick tip on claying your car - as soon as you rinse from your wash, you can begin claying, use the clean water on the car as part of your lubrication. It will save from having to dry, then clay, then dry again...pics look great though!

Really? I'll have to remember that for when I go through this process with my Miata this weekend (assuming it doesn't rain).
 

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Really? I'll have to remember that for when I go through this process with my Miata this weekend (assuming it doesn't rain).
Yes absolutely. I used to do it in steps like that until someone told me to just clay right after rinsing, and it made alot of sense. It also cut about 20 minutes out of my routine.

If you think about it, clean water really doesn't have contaminents, so there's no need to worry about micro-scratches when claying. It also isn't the slickest substance, and that's where your clay lube comes in. Once done claying, give another rinse then dry - you're ready for polishing!
 

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Just an observation, jetblack -
in the pic your car looks low in the front and high in the back.

Is it just the angle of the photo, or have you done something to your suspension
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Partially the angle; but, I do have the Dinan Stage 3 suspension setup and that could be contributing to it a little.
 
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