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Old 02-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #1
deevergote
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Just got a dual-action polisher. What pads, polish, and wax should I get?

I recently got a Chicago Electric 62862 (Harbor Freight) 6" dual action polisher.

I've never used one of these things before, and I'm getting a bit overwhelmed by the huge variety of products out there! I'm looking for some quick-start advice for a beginner.

My paint has swirls, but no significant oxidation. I'm looking to polish and wax.

I need some help figuring out what pads, liquids, pastes, etc... that I should get. I'm trying to keep costs down, so I don't want to throw a ton of money at the absolute best I can get.

I've read great things about Griots and Lake Country as far as pads go. However, I'd probably be fine with something like Meguiar's. I have a few different types of paste and liquid wax already, though I'm not sure what's really suitable for use with the machine.

I also want to polish the heavily hazed plastic headlights on my CTS-V.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:18 PM   #2
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Personally I've always believed it's best to start with the least invasive methods first. That said I would avoid using the power buffer unless absolutely necessary. I've seen (and done) too much irreparable damage because of these.

If you're looking for a recommendation I've been using Zaino products for about 18 years. They're not the cheapest but a little goes a long way and you'll be surprised at the results even without a polisher.

What I like about their products is how easily it goes on and comes off. Little to no build up around emblems and moldings, no white chalky buildup/discoloration on black plastic moldings and phenomenal shine and protection.

True Meguiar's and others do a decent job but if you're looking to making your paint pop there aren't many products better than Zaino... IMO

http://www.zainostore.com/
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:17 PM   #3
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Awesome. I never even heard of them! I'll definitely look into it.
I'll probably get the hang of doing things with cheaper stuff (both of my cars need to be painted anyway), and once my skills improve, I'll upgrade my materials. I've got wicked bursitis in my right shoulder, so I learned very quickly that waxing and polishing by hand are a no-go, sadly. I'm sticking to the dual action polisher rather than a straight rotary polisher, so that should help prevent damage (as long as I'm careful... not holding it in one place, or applying pressure...)

I love the idea of little to no buildup around moldings and emblems. I've been struggling for years to get the white wax residue out from around my moldings on my black CTS-V. The previous owner clearly didn't use something as clean to wax the car! I've always just been careful when doing it by hand to avoid getting any wax in there. I always only used spray wax anyway (cheater wax. )
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:35 PM   #4
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I have the lake country pads and they are pretty good. They don't fly apart if you accidentally hit a sharp emblem lol. As for polish for the easiest and the best to start with I think is meguiars 105 and 205 combo. You can't really mess up with that combo for a polish, that's what I use. As for wax I just use mothers or meguiars carbuana wax, use a synthetic paste if you want it to last longer.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:31 PM   #5
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I just ordered some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, Ultimate Polish, and Cleaner Wax paste on Amazon. The price was right, and the reviews seemed to be good for all of it. Hopefully it's all decent! Many of the higher end stuff was just so damn expensive (I had a $50 gift card to spend on everything, and I didn't want to exceed that... I basically hit it right on the button!)
I also got myself some pads (orange, blue, and gray) from Harbor Freight, along with some terrycloth bonnets.

Once I upgrade my skills, I'll likely upgrade my materials. I'm hoping I didn't go TOO far into the bargain basement for this stuff.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:39 PM   #6
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Those meguiars products are very similar to the 105 and 205 so they should be fine. Start with the polish first to see if that will fix your swirl marks first. If not than compound might be neccasary.

Personally I hate terry clothes, I bought a 50pack from sams club and everything they touched they left little fuzz. Granted they were cheap, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:40 PM   #7
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Deev, you should chat it up with Ralph (Rafael) on FB, if you know him. He has the purple 5th Gen Coupe with immaculate purple paint. He's done a good amount of detailing work in his free time.


Although, I know one thing he'll tell you.....there is no "best" product. Some products will work great with one kind of paint, and be horrible with another. Its a lot of trial and error.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:38 AM   #8
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FYI Dev, i see a lot of people modding that unit to make it quieter and easier to use. Some day when you are bored.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/auto...5-minutes.html
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corweena View Post
Deev, you should chat it up with Ralph (Rafael) on FB, if you know him. He has the purple 5th Gen Coupe with immaculate purple paint. He's done a good amount of detailing work in his free time.


Although, I know one thing he'll tell you.....there is no "best" product. Some products will work great with one kind of paint, and be horrible with another. Its a lot of trial and error.
I might know him. Not friends, I don't think, but I'm sure I've seen him in the various groups. Is he also Pearl Coupe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf99 View Post
FYI Dev, i see a lot of people modding that unit to make it quieter and easier to use. Some day when you are bored.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/auto...5-minutes.html
Awesome. Thanks! Accrdwgnguy mentioned that to me on facebook, but didn't say where to find the info. I have a feeling I'm going to look to do that after my first use, if it's really as irritating to use as people say!
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:30 AM   #10
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ahh yea sorry I had forgotten where to find the info. But I did the switch mod, super easy and does make it much easier to use. Did the grease mod as well, didn't test it much yet but does seem a bit quieter. I did watch another video that showed after running the tool the gears do fling the grease off themselves. But I feel better that there is actual grease in there as opposed to the vaseline that China put in there. If I was a pro using it every day all day I'd spring for the Porter Cable. But I'm a home guy buffing a vehicle once in awhile.

Don't forget the cord mod either! Makes it so much easier to use.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deevergote View Post
Is he also Pearl Coupe?
That is indeed him.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
deevergote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accrdwgnguy View Post
ahh yea sorry I had forgotten where to find the info. But I did the switch mod, super easy and does make it much easier to use. Did the grease mod as well, didn't test it much yet but does seem a bit quieter. I did watch another video that showed after running the tool the gears do fling the grease off themselves. But I feel better that there is actual grease in there as opposed to the vaseline that China put in there. If I was a pro using it every day all day I'd spring for the Porter Cable. But I'm a home guy buffing a vehicle once in awhile.

Don't forget the cord mod either! Makes it so much easier to use.
Porter Cable is what I eventually want to move up to. That, or Makita, based on Maple's recommendation (he's a doofus on occasion, but he knows his detailing stuff!)
A friend of mine said that Harbor Freight's stuff was actually the same as Porter Cable. I'm sure that's not the case, but I wouldn't be surprised if the thing I have is basically a knockoff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corweena View Post
That is indeed him.
Cool. He seems to be a pretty decent dude. I'll have to talk to him.
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deevergote View Post
I just ordered some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, Ultimate Polish, and Cleaner Wax paste on Amazon. The price was right, and the reviews seemed to be good for all of it. Hopefully it's all decent! Many of the higher end stuff was just so damn expensive (I had a $50 gift card to spend on everything, and I didn't want to exceed that... I basically hit it right on the button!)
I also got myself some pads (orange, blue, and gray) from Harbor Freight, along with some terrycloth bonnets.

Once I upgrade my skills, I'll likely upgrade my materials. I'm hoping I didn't go TOO far into the bargain basement for this stuff.
Deev, those are the actual Mequiar's Products that I used on my Wagon 45 days after the paint job.
IMPORTANT! I used a Porter Cable buffer/polisher .. AMAZING!



It is next to impossible to burn your paint. RPM is adjustable like a madman ...
If I used this (2 days to do the job) on my BRAND new paint ... it can be used on anything.

Yeah, it's a lil pricey, and so are all the pads and actual product, but, so was that paint lol!
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deevergote View Post
I'll probably get the hang of doing things with cheaper stuff (both of my cars need to be painted anyway), and once my skills improve, I'll upgrade my materials. I've got wicked bursitis in my right shoulder, so I learned very quickly that waxing and polishing by hand are a no-go, sadly. I'm sticking to the dual action polisher rather than a straight rotary polisher, so that should help prevent damage (as long as I'm careful... not holding it in one place, or applying pressure...)
You have to apply pressure when using a dual action polisher. The pressure makes it easier to control and allows the product to cut more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol blue View Post
I have the lake country pads and they are pretty good. They don't fly apart if you accidentally hit a sharp emblem lol. As for polish for the easiest and the best to start with I think is meguiars 105 and 205 combo. You can't really mess up with that combo for a polish, that's what I use. As for wax I just use mothers or meguiars carbuana wax, use a synthetic paste if you want it to last longer.
Lake country pads + M105 and M205 is a great combination of products. I would recommend ditching the carnauba waxes and going with sealants or coatings.

This is what M205 + a LC white polishing pad can do
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