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  1. #1
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    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!


    About 2 months ago I bought a very lightly used 2017 F150 in the Lithium Grey color from a local dealer. The day I bought it it was cloudy and snowy but I did my best to inspect the undercarriage and paint and didn't notice any issues. In the following weeks I noticed that there are swirl marks pretty much all over the truck that are quite noticeable when you look at it in the sun.

    Since then I have been doing quite a bit of reading on how to fix the swirl marks. Needless to say, it is a bit overwhelming for someone with no detailing experience considering the amount of products on the market. I also debated taking it to a local detailer but I have a hard time trusting anyone to do a really good job and i'm not sure how to find a reputable one.

    So now I have purchased a Porter Cable 7424 XP polisher and some Chemical Guy's hex pads. However, I am still feeling uncertain about how to proceed.

    My biggest concern is using something that is too aggressive and doing more damage to the paint. I plan on having this truck for a very long time so I don't want to do something that is going to cause issues down the road. My goal is to make the swirls less noticeable with doing the least amount of paint removal as necessary.

    I am also quite busy so I would like to do this in the quickest way possible (a day or less). Can you give me some recommendations on how to proceed? I am looking for product recommendations and steps I should take. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Below are some pictures of the swirl marks.

    Thanks!

    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!-1-jpg

    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!-2-jpg

    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!-3-jpg





  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post


    Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!


    About 2 months ago I bought a very lightly used 2017 F150 in the Lithium Grey color from a local dealer.
    Congratulations on the new-to-you truck.

    Swirls are a regular problem and come from the previous owner and possibly the dealership car wash staff.



    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post

    So now I have purchased a Porter Cable 7424 XP polisher and some Chemical Guy's hex pads. However, I am still feeling uncertain about how to proceed.
    Can you return the Hex pads?

    Apologies - I'm a Fat Pad Man. Flat pads are faster and easier to clean. Simply run a pad cleaning brush over the face and BOOM - all the spent product and removed paint is off the pad. With a design - you have to what? Move the bristles of a brush in and out of the recessed areas? Time killer. Anytime a pad has a design in the face of the pad it's a place contaminants can build up and then come out while buffing and cause a problem.

    Porter Cable is the safest 8mm free spinning random orbital polisher on the market and also the weakest. Don't get me wrong, I've fixed as many cars with this tool as anyone breathing, I'm just point out compared to the Griot's Garage 6" ROP it's weak.

    You can OVERCOME the weakness with 5.5" diameter THIN foam buffing pads. I do't believe the Hex pads are thin nor small in diameter - this means the Porter Cable will struggle to maintain pad rotation and PAD ROTATION is what it's all about if you want to remove swirls. If a pad is simply vibrating or jiggling against the paint you are wasting your time.


    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post

    My biggest concern is using something that is too aggressive and doing more damage to the paint. I plan on having this truck for a very long time so I don't want to do something that is going to cause issues down the road. My goal is to make the swirls less noticeable with doing the least amount of paint removal as necessary.

    I am also quite busy so I would like to do this in the quickest way possible (a day or less). Can you give me some recommendations on how to proceed? I am looking for product recommendations and steps I should take. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Click the link below - read my article - buy the BLACKFIRE One Step and never look back. One and done. It uses AMAZING abrasive technology. If you read enough of my 40,000+ posts and articles you will come to learn that in my opinion and my experience the MOST important factor when buffing out a car is the abrasive technology.

    Not the tool, the pad or the person. Sure these things are important but THEY DON'T TOUCH THE PAINT FIRST - the abrasive touch the paint first. Kind of easy to see and figure out why abrasive technology is the most important.


    Review: BLACKFIRE One-Step Cleaner/Wax by Mike Phillips






    Here's my test car, it's an old swirled-out 2-door Chevy





    In case you can't tell - this is the before shot





    This is the after shot - the little dots you see are not defects - they are gold metallic flakes in the paint


    This was after 8 section passes using the Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital Polisher with a 6.5" Griot's Orange BOSS Foam Cutting Pad on speed 6






    Before
    This is the paint above my Test Spot. Note I've turned the overhead lights off to get rid of the their reflection on the panel. That's why you see a color change in the paint. At this point the light shining down is just the SCANGRIP Sunmatch Swirl Finder Light.





    Moving down the panel towards my tape-line




    On the tape line





    Just past the tape line...




    The middle of my test spot...





    You cannot go wrong with this product. It does three things in one step

    1. Removes swirls
    2. Polishes the clearcoat clear and glossy
    3. Leaves behind a synthetic sealant for protection


    Very NON-abrasive thus very safe.


    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    I wish you would have joined and asked questions and then invested money....


    For everyone that will read this thread into the future - before you start spending money - simply join the forum and ask a few questions - I don't have 17 year online history of leading people down the wrong path.



    Click here to join the AutogeekOnline Detailing Discussion Forum



    Mike Phillips
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  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    And unlike a Facebook Message or an Email I can do this on the forum

    Share articles with clickable links
    Share pictures in a manner that makes sense
    Share videos


    So read this and even though you bought the Porter Cable 99.9" of the info in this article applies to you.


    Here's what you need to get into machine polishing - Recommendations for a beginner by Mike Phillips


    In the above article I recommend these 5.5" pads - I'd recommend you get them to - Don't build up a collection of large thick pads - they won't rotate well when dry and they certainly won't rotate at all as they become saturated with product.


    Lake Country ThinPro Foam Pad System 5.5 Inch

    Notice the word THIN in the name of the pad - ThinPro






    Get a 6-pack of the white foam polishing pads. If your budget allows, get some orange pads too just incase your truck has hard paint. Normally when doing a ONE STEP process you want to stick with foam "polishing" pads NOT foam cutting pads.


    Here's my article on this topic and my normal practice.

    Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips



    See how handy a real discussion forum is?



    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Next....

    Watch this video - it will show you EXACTLY what to do with your Porter Cable Polisher. In the detailing industry, I coined the terms

    Test Spot
    Section Pass

    I think that makes me qualified to make a video showing how to do these two things and that's what you'll learn in this video PLUS a ton of other tips and techniques. Hands-down one of the best videos I've ever been a part of...





    And "yes" the Chevelle in the video is the real-deal. Not only a numbers matching 454 Chevelle but it was also jacked up and we fixed it.


    No mock-up detailing on this forum.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    More...


    Video: Mark your backing plate to make it easy to see pad rotation




    Here's a quick video that show how and why to mark your backing plate to see and monitor pad rotation while doing any correction or polishing steps.








    Mike Phillips
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  7. #7
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Wow! I was not expecting such a detailed response. This is all great information and very much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Can you return the Hex pads?
    I actually ordered the pads this morning on Amazon and I just went and successfully cancelled the order so I won't be using the Hex pads. Your reasoning makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately I can't return the PC polisher so that is what I will be using with some of the white ThinPro pads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I wish you would have joined and asked questions and then invested money....
    I agree. I honestly didn't expect this level of feedback and so I purchased the pads based on online reviews and because of the recognizable name (Chemical Guys).

    I am going to order some of the ThinPro pads and the BF One Step. I will also watch the video you provided before I go anywhere near my truck. This is exactly the type of guidance I was looking for. I'm probably not going to have time to do this for a few weeks but I will certainly follow up with any additional questions I have and/or hopefully some pictures of my shiny swirl-free truck

    Thanks you!

  8. #8
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    And I already have a couple follow up questions

    Is there a specific backing plate you suggest to use the the PC polisher and the ThinPro pads? I see there are a lot of 5" hook and loop backing plates but some are flexible. Is flexible better?

    Also, I get that the Black Fire One Step is theoretically "one step", but does that mean that I don't need to follow up with a dedicated wax?
    Last edited by ThunderGun10; 03-26-2019 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Posted before finished

  9. #9
    Senior Member fly07sti's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Where are you located? Maybe someone on this forum is close and could lend you a hand and get your truck done in no time.
    As far as following up with a dedicated wax, No you don’t “have to” but you can if you’d like. I personally use a spray wax or sealant after using an AIO. Very quick application and removal and helps me double check for anything I may have missed.

  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Fixing Swirl Marks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post


    Wow! I was not expecting such a detailed response. This is all great information and very much appreciated.

    No problem - this is how I've teen typing out help for 17 years - seems like I made a career out of showing people how to remove swirls.




    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post

    And I already have a couple follow up questions

    Is there a specific backing plate you suggest to use the the PC polisher and the ThinPro pads? I see there are a lot of 5" hook and loop backing plates but some are flexible. Is flexible better?
    In the article I linked to, I include 2 recommended 5" backing plates that will fit the 5.5" LC pads - I would get the Lake Country mostly because it's yellow and it will be easier to "mark" with a Sharpie and easier for your eyes to monitor pad rotation.


    I think I mentioned this previousy, but TONS of info in this one article I wrote.


    Here's what you need to get into machine polishing - Recommendations for a beginner by Mike Phillips


    I would be tempted to offer $100.00 to anyone that could find the same amount of info or more in a Facebook Group post.

    From the above article,

    Lake Country 5" Backing Plate




    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderGun10 View Post

    Also, I get that the Black Fire One Step is theoretically "one step", but does that mean that I don't need to follow up with a dedicated wax?
    Nope - don't have to. You can if you want longer protection. As a rule, and this applies to all one-step products, the protection lasts about 3 months. Look for a long lasting liquid paint sealant and then apply it using the PC and a soft foam waxing pad.

    This product is good but a bit sticky to wipe-off. As long as you only apply to small sections at a time and then wipe off it's phenomenal in longevity.

    SONAX Polymer Net Shield - Closest thing to a coating without being a coating

    Heck even if you only applied it to the horizontal surfaces I think you would be impressed. You can also apply to plastic trim. I do.



    Mike Phillips
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