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914Driver
914Driver HalfDork
7/11/08 6:24 a.m.

Mothers sells a kit for ~$18, it includes a spray bottle of some snake oil, a small bottle of wax and a ball of silly-putty looking stuff. You spray your car down and then rub the silly-putty over the body. It pulls out dirt from the paint and smoothes the surface unbelievable. I was working in the garage last night and had some extra time and two beers left so I did my bike with it. The deep cranberry paint is soooo deep now. I also ran it across the plastic/lexan windshield. It removed all the swirl marks from years of waxing attempts. It looks brand new.

This is a must have if you own a black vehicle.

Dan

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/11/08 6:51 a.m.

It also does wonders on hazy yellowing headlamps.

I suggest to anyone doing a clay bar treatment on their car to put a sealer on the paint before waxing. 3M makes a couple as well as Mothers and Meguiars among others. It will keep the color deeper and prettier longer.

Maybe a thorough write up is needed.

mistanfo
mistanfo Dork
7/11/08 7:11 a.m.

John Brown- you have hopefully saved me many hours of wet sanding with extremely fine grit sandpaper.

captainzib
captainzib New Reader
7/11/08 7:25 a.m.

Yeah clay bars are awesome. For people that have never used em, if you rub your hand accross your car after you wash it, you'll notice that there are really tiny bumps of what I assume to be little bits of dirt or whatever that stuck to the paint. After using the clay bar, you rub your hand on the same spot and it feels as smooth as a new piece of glass and looks good too.

P71
P71 Reader
7/11/08 7:35 a.m.

Clay bars rock! The Meguire's one is actually pretty "soft", if you want a tougher one (and cheaper), check out www.tropi-care.com . I like their instant detailer and synthetic wax too.

I ruined an entire claybar on the P71, but it sure does look good! I didn't even bother on the 7...

CoryB
CoryB Reader
7/11/08 7:36 a.m.
mistanfo wrote: John Brown- you have hopefully saved me many hours of wet sanding with extremely fine grit sandpaper.

Probably not. Clay will remove surface contaminants but it isn't abrasive. If you have something that needs wet sanding and use clay instead, you'll have something SMOOTH that still needs wet sanding.

To get the best results, the paint should be polished and then waxed after claying.

Cory (aka detailing nut)

GregTivo
GregTivo New Reader
7/11/08 7:39 a.m.

Claybar is really good on oxidation. I was able to turn a poor oxidized red miata into a nice, shiny red miata with a claybar, polish and wax process. Its really amazing

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/11/08 8:09 a.m.
CoryB wrote:
mistanfo wrote: John Brown- you have hopefully saved me many hours of wet sanding with extremely fine grit sandpaper.

Probably not. Clay will remove surface contaminants but it isn't abrasive. If you have something that needs wet sanding and use clay instead, you'll have something SMOOTH that still needs wet sanding.

To get the best results, the paint should be polished and then waxed after claying.

Cory (aka detailing nut)

I will take before during and after photos of the Deasthscort this weekend, as I need to CB it, polish/seal it and wax it anyway. Thank god it is going to rain...

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
7/11/08 8:32 a.m.

Production Chemical makes a "Web Wax" which is sort of claybar like, but also adds a wax to the car at the same time. It works really well and is a bit easier than a normal clay bar.

Per

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
7/11/08 8:36 a.m.

Clay is great, but you don't need to spend megabucks on the kits, do it the Grassroots way!

Go to your local craft store or even the craft department of Wal Mart and buy a package of their synthetic clay. It usually comes in a package of colored strips. Now you have a large amount of clay so you can make a good hand sized wad that is much easier to work with than those stingy little balls they give you with the kits.

The liquid that comes in the kits is simply a detergent/water mix to make it slippery. You can use a car wash/water mix or a Dawn dishwashing soap/water mix. I prefer Dawn. The experts recommend washing with Dawn occasionally to strip the old wax anyway.

This will give you several clay kits for quite a bit less than the cost of just one of the Automotive kits. It works great! I've done it this way for years and my cars look great.

You are supposed to rework the clay occasionally to work the contaminants into the clay ball and keep them off the surface so they don't scratch the paint. That is so much easier when you have a large wad of clay than one of those teeny little balls like comes with the kits.

If you drop your ball on the ground, with the expensive kit that comes with only one ball you have to take the time to pick all the little pieces of dirt and grass out and hope you've got all the grit out, with the cheap stuff you just toss it.

When you use clay sometimes little bits will adhere to the car and they can be a bugger to get off. This usually happens when you've hit too dry of a spot, an extra dirty spot or over a seam. I like to use a contrasting color clay so that it is easy to spot and I can go back over that spot with the bar until I have all the clay off the car.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/11/08 8:40 a.m.

Now THAT is a YMMV submission.

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
7/11/08 9:14 a.m.

No idea why.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/11/08 9:18 a.m.

No, the little blurb in the magazine "YMMV!" it is meant as a compliment.

Whenever Per asks for your quick tech suggestions it goes into the mazine and you become instantly famous and unbelievably rich.

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
7/11/08 9:24 a.m.

Cool, I could use rich right now!

I took it as Your Mileage May Vary meaning it might not work for everyone.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
7/11/08 9:25 a.m.

Those YMMV submissions are naturals for the "tech tips" section.

Wall-e
Wall-e SuperDork
7/11/08 9:31 a.m.

It's true. JB used to be a humble NAPA parts guy now he's Mr Big Shot with V-Dubs surrounded with actors and models.

Of course he had to put on a few pounds to play the part of a '64 bug on TV and women find him cute, but not in That way

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/11/08 10:00 a.m.

Yesterday Goran Sutan of MSU basketball fame got posted up by yours truly. I reminded him that in HS they gave me a nick name that should instill fear in him... they called me "The Bricklayer!"

aircooled
aircooled Dork
7/11/08 10:42 a.m.

Regarding carguy123s note:

Now that's Grassroots!! This is the sort of stuff I think almost all GRMers love to read!!

OK, OK,.... now tell us all how to make homemade tire softener, and octane booster and....

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
7/11/08 12:40 p.m.

Hey CarGuy,

email me at per@grassrootsmotorsports.com

I want to use this tip.

Ian F
Ian F New Reader
7/11/08 2:00 p.m.

We spent a good portion of 4th July w/e clay-barring my daily driver... she was long overdue... just used the clay bar and soapy water... :( ...then 5 coats of Zaino... unfortunately, a dark blue car looks dirty pretty quickly...

Nomad
Nomad New Reader
7/11/08 2:16 p.m.

synthetic clay? Have a pic of the brand?

carguy123
carguy123 HalfDork
7/11/08 9:02 p.m.

All the clay I have right now is in an opened package, but I will look for it in the store tomorrow.

I don't believe it's really totally synthetic, although it could be, I think it is more of something has been added to the medium to make it smoother and more malleable. That's why I like it better, it's easier to use in cold weather.

A lab technician friend of mine took samples of the "real" car clay and the couple of brands we bought and put them under the microscope to see if there were any differences. Read that to mean was the cheaper stuff gonna scratch the paint.

He couldn't find any real differences by look, but he did say the particles in all the clays were rougher than we'd imagined. He told me that if he didn't know it worked he would have thought it was too rough. So it appears clay really is a fine polishing medium.

I got this tip from my Dad. He saw me using the bought and paid for stuff and laughed at me. It seems that body guys were using clay for a long time before this stuff appeared on the market. And he thought it was funny I was using this expensive stuff.

oldsaw
oldsaw New Reader
7/11/08 10:29 p.m.
carguy123 wrote: All the clay I have right now is in an opened package, but I will look for it in the store tomorrow. I don't believe it's really totally synthetic, although it could be, I think it is more of something has been added to the medium to make it smoother and more malleable. That's why I like it better, it's easier to use in cold weather. A lab technician friend of mine took samples of the "real" car clay and the couple of brands we bought and put them under the microscope to see if there were any differences. Read that to mean was the cheaper stuff gonna scratch the paint. He couldn't find any real differences by look, but he did say the particles in all the clays were rougher than we'd imagined. He told me that if he didn't know it worked he would have thought it was too rough. So it appears clay really is a fine polishing medium. I got this tip from my Dad. He saw me using the bought and paid for stuff and laughed at me. It seems that body guys were using clay for a long time before this stuff appeared on the market. And he thought it was funny I was using this expensive stuff.

Would you ask your Dad to start reading and posting on the board?

Please?

carguy123
carguy123 HalfDork
7/12/08 8:23 a.m.

Unfortunately he'd have to post from the beyond as he passed on a few years ago.

Headed out to the store. I'll post the clay brand(s) later.

yo vanilla
yo vanilla New Reader
7/12/08 8:24 a.m.
carguy123 wrote: He couldn't find any real differences by look, but he did say the particles in all the clays were rougher than we'd imagined. He told me that if he didn't know it worked he would have thought it was too rough. So it appears clay really is a fine polishing medium. I got this tip from my Dad. He saw me using the bought and paid for stuff and laughed at me. It seems that body guys were using clay for a long time before this stuff appeared on the market. And he thought it was funny I was using this expensive stuff.

It's not a polisher, it actually lifts dirt out of the paint. If you look at a pain chip in a microscope it's not smooth; it has peaks and valleys and dirt gets trapped in those valleys. What the clay does is attract the dirt, lifting it out of the paint.

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