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Old 09-26-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
Zombaru
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Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2017 WRX Limited
Pure Red

Default Machine Polishing Newbie looking for advice

So I want to get into machine polishing and I've finally committed myself to making the purchase but at the same time I don't want to be wasting any money on things I won't need.

My goal is to get my 17 Lightning Red WRX back to its original luster. The paint has been decently well cared for so its not bad at all with the exception of the front bumper and its many rock chips, bug gut stains and generally dulled paint that comes with driving a car for 60k miles. (I know the polish won't removes the chips, I just want to polish the paint that is there to make it look better)

So I have narrowed down my product choices to two starter kits from AutoGeek:

The Porter Cable kit https://www.autogeek.net/porter-cable-pad-kit.html

And the Griot's Garage Polisher Club Kit https://www.autogeek.net/griots-gara...sher-club.html

So my major question is is the added cost of the Griot's kit worth having the additional, smaller tool for my car?

Also, I am very open and welcoming of any suggestions for pads and product that work well on specifically Subarus. I will also be using these on my wife's Explorer as well but she isn't really the picky type when it comes to her paint.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:08 PM   #2
electricmarquis
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Member#: 407348
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Northern VA
Vehicle:
2020 STI
CWP

Default

Whats more important is the abrasive chemical you use with the technique. You might only polish one or two times. Hint: Its really addictive. If you think you might find this task enjoyable, get the Griots machine. Dont fall for the chemical guys marketing. Try BOSS line of abrasive tech. You will be hooked.

I bought Porter Cable, SOLD
I bought the Harbor F, Turned into a carpet machine
I bought the Griots......GOLD. Makes you want to explore paint correction as a second job.

The quality of machine is not as important as the abrasive tech and pads along with technique you use. Keep in mind each time you polish, you are removing clear coat. If you have never polished a particular car, take base line coating depths. I have done this on my 20 STI when I bought it. Some areas are much lighter in paint thickness than others. You would thingk the front of the hood and rockers would be thick. Each car is different. You can take 20 cars in a row off the production line and all can have different paint thickness. Paint thickness gauges are all over the price range as well as quality of readings. Take all this info as just a start, you might only polish that car one time.........in that case, spend your money on chemical and pad quality. Its alot of time and work. Watch youtube videos on test sections. Testing your pad and chemical combo is everything. Always keep in mind that taking a cars finish to 90% is alot better than trying for 100% when its not really achievable. Those who have strived for that 100% on a matured car go for a respray. Production line cars are not really 100% from the start.

Another thing to think of is ceremic coating after that paint correction. With care and schedules on maintenance washing, you can keep that 90% alot longer than you think.

Then for your drying technique, switch to pressure air drying. Most of the swirls are made with non-perfect drying towels and pressure.

Try the matador drying technique with Griots drying towels. Drag not press.

Last edited by electricmarquis; 09-26-2020 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:03 PM   #3
subaru_gc8
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Member#: 29292
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Orange County CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX wagon
silver

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get a DA polisher, there is less chances for error from lack of experience. and start with a light cutter with a sponge style pad. you can also find a car wash shop and ask them they will point you in the right direction.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:52 AM   #4
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2017 WRX Limited
Pure Red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricmarquis View Post
Whats more important is the abrasive chemical you use with the technique. You might only polish one or two times. Hint: Its really addictive. If you think you might find this task enjoyable, get the Griots machine. Dont fall for the chemical guys marketing. Try BOSS line of abrasive tech. You will be hooked.

I bought Porter Cable, SOLD
I bought the Harbor F, Turned into a carpet machine
I bought the Griots......GOLD. Makes you want to explore paint correction as a second job.

The quality of machine is not as important as the abrasive tech and pads along with technique you use. Keep in mind each time you polish, you are removing clear coat. If you have never polished a particular car, take base line coating depths. I have done this on my 20 STI when I bought it. Some areas are much lighter in paint thickness than others. You would thingk the front of the hood and rockers would be thick. Each car is different. You can take 20 cars in a row off the production line and all can have different paint thickness. Paint thickness gauges are all over the price range as well as quality of readings. Take all this info as just a start, you might only polish that car one time.........in that case, spend your money on chemical and pad quality. Its alot of time and work. Watch youtube videos on test sections. Testing your pad and chemical combo is everything. Always keep in mind that taking a cars finish to 90% is alot better than trying for 100% when its not really achievable. Those who have strived for that 100% on a matured car go for a respray. Production line cars are not really 100% from the start.

Another thing to think of is ceremic coating after that paint correction. With care and schedules on maintenance washing, you can keep that 90% alot longer than you think.

Then for your drying technique, switch to pressure air drying. Most of the swirls are made with non-perfect drying towels and pressure.

Try the matador drying technique with Griots drying towels. Drag not press.
Thank you for that information. I actually do have a paint meter as I work in the car business as a wholesale inspector and I have already taken baseline readings of all of my panels with exception of the bumpers because, well, meters don't work on plastic but I'm not telling you anything new. One thing that I have noticed in the way that manufacturers paint their cars, usually the hood, trunk and roof are the thickest.

I have been watching a ton of videos on it lately and they seem to not line up in terms of philosophy. Some say technique is more important than product/pad (meaning as long as you are doing it right the product will do what its designed to do) You, as some other videos I have seen, seem to argue the opposite so I take a lot of those recommendations with a grain of salt. I actually already have Meguire's products (that I used by hand) that I intend to use before I go out and spend money on any other products out there. But I do appreciate your advice.

One thing I would like your opinion on is whether or not having a second DA with the smaller 3" and 2" pad options is necessary for getting into the small areas of the front bumpers of these cars (mine is a 17 so the whole front lip is painted as opposed to the 18+'s)
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