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Discussion Starter #1
I got quoted 125$ for a full detail from a buddy of mine, but since I'm going to have to deal with this thing for a good number of years, I'd almost like to learn all of the detailing qwerks so I can maintain it by myself...

I know the first time will be the worst, because this paint hasn't been taken care of like black should, and when you get it under good light you can sure tell....

What steps/order should I go about doing this?
Good products?
tips/tricks that I should keep in mind?
would it be smart to claybar before trying to rub some of these scratches out?

any info would be excellent!
 

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I would definitely start off by clay barring the car. I have two size clay bars that will work well for you. You can find them here: http://www.glimmerglassdetailing.com/clay-bars-and-lubricants.html
The larger clay bar will obviously last you considerably longer if you plan to clay again in 6-7 months.
After claying, it would be a good idea to rewash the car to remove any clay residue leftover. At this point, you need to determine just how bad your paint is and how aggressive you want to go. I dont know how old your truck is, but by the sounds of it, I would suggest doing ssr2.5, then follow that up with either ssr1 or optimum polish.
All of the polishes I mentioned are located here: http://www.glimmerglassdetailing.com/poglco.html

Now you'll have a paint that is ready for some finishing steps. Depending how often you would like to reapply your last step will partially determine what I would recommend. A sealant is will last longer than a glaze will, however, red moose glaze on black is one of my absolute favorite items, especially when topped with either clearkotes carnuba moose wax or nattys blue paste wax. If you choose to use a sealant, like poorboys EX, you can still top that with a carnuba like the two I mentioned above for a deeper look, but the sealant does lose a little slickness when topped, however still keeps its duarbility. All of these items I mentioned you can find here: http://www.glimmerglassdetailing.com/waxes-and-sealants.html

Then of course, I would recommend picking up some good microfiber towels. They are easily one of the items that is a necessity when doing good detail work. A microfiber drying towel is also nice to have to assist in drying. http://www.glimmerglassdetailing.com/microfiber-products.html

If you are looking to pick up a porter cable, the cheapest place I have been able to find online is at toolup.com. They sell it for 120.00 shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A little more detail on my situation will help it seems...

It is a 99 Sierra Ex-cab that looks like it's just been powerwashed it's whole life. It's not bad looking in the daylight, but in headlights or under a street light it looks pretty bad.

All of this information is great, and I appreciate all I can get...

I've always kept my cars fairly clean, but I want this one DAMN clean, even if it is a daily driver...
 

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I think if you follow the order I listed with those products (or a variant of them), you'll be very happy w/ the results.
If you plan to do this by hand, I would recommend an easier product to work with, b/c you will not be able to remove swirls by hand. In that case, I would go to something like professional polish, which is a good chemical cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll try to get the truck sprayed off and pictures of it tonight so you can see what I'm working with...

thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This will not help much, but oh well. As you can see the paint isnt horrible, but it really shows up bad under a good parking lot light. I also don't think I'll be able to get the scratches out of the door pillar posted in the last pic,....

worst scratch, more of a scuff...
DSC04255.gif


Tailgate
DSC04254.gif


pass. door
DSC04258.gif


scratched pillar
DSC04259.gif
 

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GM's black is a fairly easy color to maintain and is pretty forgiving when it comes to removing surface imperfections. As said I'd clay the rig before doing anything, In the past I've noticed that even if you think a vehicle doesn't need to be clayed you should do a quick clay anyway, a clean smooth surface helps products work relatively quicker and produce a better end result.

The scratches in the pillar look pretty deep, IMO you can feather out the scratch a little so it's less visible but it won't go away short of some touch-up/color sanding. The one in the first pic you should be able to remove up to 95%, meaning you won't be able to see it unless your really, really looking for it. Other than that, truck looks like it has a nice gloss to it. A thorough claying (Lacquer thinner will get off the more stubborn tar, tree sap if any and NO lacquer thinner is safe for clear coats, just wash the are afterwards), thorough polishing, topped off with any quality wax will bring that paint back to life. Daily QD'ing, possibly a spray-wax (not much on longevity but they add a nice "pop" to the finish, and because they're water-emulsified it doesn't strip off the product already on the finish), you're good to go.

FWIW I've Been using some of Chris's Elite MF's for the past week or so, they kick ass for QD'ing/wax removal on black :anitoof:
 

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The first one looks like it might be a little deep. I think if you work them with something like optimum compound or ssr2.5 on a pc you should be able to remove the majority of them.
 

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First piece of advice.. sell it! lol

My SS is black. I dont use any of that fancy stuff that you have to order by mail. I just use Maguries NXT and Ive had more compliments on it using that than with Zaino, and all that other stuff.

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