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Thread: Truck detailing

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2017
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    Truck detailing

    How do you perform a full detail on a pickup truck? I assume that you would detail from the cab of the truck to the front bumper the sameway you would detail any car, right? Well how do you detail the actual inside of truck bed itself? is it possible to wash the entire truck, including the inside of the truck bed, using either a waterless or rinseless washing method?

  2. #2
    Member JeffsRealm's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Re: Truck detailing

    Usually night before I am cleaning my truck I do the interior and the windows inside and out. This includes the back window and side windows so I don't have to worry about them. I plan on an hour to an hour and a half depending what all I need to do. Sometimes it is quick 30 minutes.

    Then washing day could be the same day.

    I clean the inside of the bed first, however keep in mind I have a spray in bed liner. So hose it down and then add some soapy water and then scrub with a push broom then rinse really well. The reason for doing this is because water will come out of your bed when it rains and so on even after your done, more on that in a few, taking with it any dirt in the bed and depositing it on your fresh cleaned bumpers and everything else. Rinse it really well with power wash going from the cab side spraying everything out the back. Helps if can park on a slight slant so water flows out the back. Most trucks have a rake towards the front so when they tow and so on they level out and don't look goofy nose high. Mine has a 3 inch rake so I just drive the front tires up on 4 inch landscaping blocks. Give it a nice tilt.

    Once that is done, then rims and tires.

    Then assess the front bumper, how rough are the bug guts. I typically address them here make sure they are soaked and wet and so they are going to be easy to come off.

    Now it comes time for 2 bucket wash. Your doing this normally panel at a time. wash and rinse.
    Then to do the cab I have to crawl in the bed of the truck to get up top. I also use a werner platform you can find more info here Love those platforms, cheap and I find myself using them all the time. I mean seriously anyone of the guys that recommended them to me thank you!!
    While doing the roof I am also doing the different pillars coming down. I mean your right there and you already cleaned the windows. I lightly touch the windows again but just a quick swipe.
    Then I do the hood. Again using the platforms one side at a time on the hood.
    Then I go from front to back on each side. So Front Fender, door, then side of bed as 2 panels.
    Then I typically go work on the grill and the front. Making sure all the bug guts and everything which is now kind of soggy is removed, using bug and tar remover if needed.
    After rinsing off the truck again from the front bumper, I rinse out the bed again, to get anything out of it I might have tracked in.
    Then the tailgate. I do the tailgate last, typically because the way the airflow works on a truck it is the dirtiest. So I treat it as 2 panels. Half the tailgate and bumper as a panel. making sure to rinse your mitt well between.

    Now I start drying in the same order as above. The only exception to this before I do the tailgate and rear bumper I use wet towels to drag the water out of the bed and also soak up anything left in there. I am not going to get it all, because spray in bed liner has tons of little groves and stuff but I get most of it. As I am dragging it out it spills over on the the rear bumper. So once that is done. Then I do the tailgate and rear bumper again. Now I blow dry, nothing fancy, my shop vac is also a blower, but there is a ton of little nooks and crannys in the trim making sure it is pretty well dry.

    If I am waxing or sealing or clay barring or anything now I do that. Typically the same order as washing. By the time i get to the side panels and doors and tailgate I am using the werner platforms as a bench to work sitting down. Man I love these things. All that climbing in and out of the bed takes a toll on the legs.

    Finish with plastic trim and tonneau cover which was removed.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Stuart, Florida
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    Re: Truck detailing


    Hi webringtheshine,

    I've moved your excellent thread and question out of a dedicated forum "group" where I post my new articles and into a forum "group" where forum members can start threads to ask me questions.

    Here's where the thread was,

    2017 - New Car Detailing How-To Article by Mike Phillips

    And now it' here in this group,

    Ask Mike Phillips your detailing questions!

    I needed a way to get an accurate count of how many articles I've written year-to-year.

    I'm playing catch-up with some other hot projects but as soon as I get a free moment I'll be happy to offer my 2 cents to your question.

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page

    Click on a book to get your own copy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill1234's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    New York, NY
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    Re: Truck detailing

    One of my suggestions is a werner platform and a montana boars hair wash brush. I use the 10 inch one and a hardwood quickie brand pole from home depot. Very good combo and makes it easier to do larger vehicles.

    By the way, Im wondering what werner everyone does get. Almost all my clients are larger vehicles
    Bill 1234
    2004 audi a6 quattro (traded).
    2015 Ford Escape 2.0l ecoboost 4WD

  5. #5
    Senior Member briarpatch's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    Re: Truck detailing

    I own a Toyota CrewMax, and as a complicating factor, I'm on the 'vertically challenged' side. I have a 5' ladder from Cosco which gives me the reach i need to get the roof and hood. I have a spray-in bedliner in it, so the bed just gets a foam and rinse.

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