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Old 08-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 118594
Join Date: Jun 2006
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Buffalo, NY
2005 STi

Default Pad and polish recommendations

I'm looking to get into machine polishing and I believe I have narrowed down the actual buffer, but am having some difficulty selecting a pad/polish combination.

I will be detailing for personal use, nothing professional, and will most of the time be detailing the STi (which from what I read has relatively easy paint correction). The car has a decent amount of etched water spots (mainly on the roof and hood), along with the typical swirling from washing. Overall though, I would say the paint is in relatively good condition.

For the actual machine, I believe I am going to purchase a Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital. However, I would greatly appreciate any advise for selecting the correct pads and polish to correct the above mentioned blemishes
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 279801
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: PA
2011 WRX
WR blue


Im no expert but I would recommend either the Porter Cable or a Flex DA. As for pads visit AutoGeek and read all about the different color pads and what they should be used for as well as all the needed polishes, waxes, sealers, swirl removers and so on. I have learned a ***** ton from that site. Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 253911
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Randolph,MA
1999 2.5rs


i've seen alot of people use meguiars 105/205 as a good combo as a compound/polish. i'm not sure about brands of pad but you can check out lake country or autogeek. i was going to buy the meg's g110v2 to try out.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:51 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 270945
Join Date: Jan 2011
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: SoCal Torrance
2003 Wrx wagon


my personal favorites are 3M polishes and the meguiars 105/205. since your beginning id suggest the 105/205 combo. as far as pads go, it depends on what your doing, I use lake country and my most used pads are the orange, yellow, white and black pads.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 119219
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: VB, Va.
2005 STi
WR Blue


If you are just starting out and using a DA like the Griot's of PC7424 I would recommend the Wolfgang Twins from Autogeek, or the Pinnacle XMT 3, 2, & 1 swirl removers/polishes; stay away from the XMT 4 compound. Using the Wolfgang Twins, which is their Total Swirl Remover and Finishing Glaze, feels like cheating. With the WG twins I recommend the Lake Country orange cutting pad and their gray(black) finishing pad. Or you can go with the LC Hydro-tech pads which are designed for polishes like Wolfgang's. The cyan advanced cutting pad is like an all in one polishing pad. It can finish out a compound or swirl remover to a high gloss finish with no marring/haze left behind in most cases. Sticking with thin, flat pads gives consistency and a good feel for the paint surface. IMO they are a great starter set of pads especially if you are just detailing for your self. If you want to experiment with different pads I would say try out the Cobra Cross Groove 6.5" pads. They are along the same color code for aggressiveness as the LC pads. They work great for contours, which the STI has plenty of. I would suggest comparing the pads on Autogeek for yourself and possibly calling them and asking for a good started kit for someone new to machine polishing; they are very helpful and have some great packages that could keep you in your budget. Pads and polishes are personal preferences so a lot of people will recommend something different so sometimes you need to research for yourself then put it all together to decide what will work best for you. One thing great about AutoGeek as well is that they sell samples of a lot of stuff so you can decide before spending money on full containers of products that you may not like using on your car. I would say that the WG Twins and the Pinnacle XMT 2 fine swirl remover with the LC Hydro-Tech pads is a great starting point and gives you all that you need for correcting the defects you stated. You can get into using smaller backing plates for smaller pads so you can polisher smaller areas easier, but I don't know how that would work out with the Griot's 6" polisher. You might be better off doing small areas by hand for now which will save you money if you are on a budget for detailing. I have been using an original PC7424 since 2005 and have had no problems with it. It is safe yet if you know how to use it you can remove some serious defects. I recently heard of some people having issues with Griot's 6" polisher being under powered compared to when they first came out. So that is something else you can keep in mind and research. I would recommend the Flex as an intro into the world of machine polishing. It is a great tool but cost more than the standard DA polisher kit, and IMO wouldn't allow a new user the enjoyment of learning that a traditional DA will. Hope this helped and wasn't confusing.
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