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  1. #1
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    New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Hi Mike and everyone Ė Long time lurker and first time poster! Really awesome forum and overall site and Iíve learned a ton over time.

    I recently got into a Donington Gray BMW M5 and Iím looking for some guidance. Itís a different color vs traditional silver or gray and Iíd like to make the color pop / glassy.

    With previous cars, I would take it to my local guy and he would do a full prep, decon, 1 stage and a ceramic like Modesta or Nanolex. Now with COVID and more time at home, I thought I would give it a go.

    Car looks like its in good shape paint wise, but Iím sure there are light swirls courtesy of the dealership. So what Iíd like to do is do a full wash, decon, clay (if needed) , 1 stage polish and then apply a ceramic that would last ~3 years (itís a lease).

    Have a bunch of the basics in terms of soap, buckets, rags, brushes etc. but Iím also looking to add. This is what I have right now:

    • Power washer
    • MTM Foam Cannon
    • Wash Soap (different varieties)
    • Sonax finishing sprays
    • Kenotek finishing sprays
    • Microfiber (but want to add more)
    • Buckets
    • Few wash mitts
    • Metrovac (do I donít touch the paint after wash


    Goal - get max glossy/glassy look, easy washes once the ceramic is on and some pop to the color. Iím a novice on polishing and have been waxing on/off for years.

    This is what I have in my cart. Would be great to get your advice on it, anything better and also anything else worth adding?


    • Griotís G9 (thought about the Rupes but not for me until I really learn this)
      • Saw a bunch of combos on the website if you recommend one of those?

    • Need advice on which pads to get and would prefer an all in one if possible
    • Need for the paint and also the carbon fiber roof / panels. Think Iíve heard you recommend Lake Country?
    • CarPro Iron X
    • Gtechniq Serum Light (anything better than this to make color pop with good hydro properties?) Also, heard good things about Gyeon Q2?
    • GYEON Q2M Prep
    • Cobra Supreme 530 Microfiber Towels (looking for best ones you recommend)
    • Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay (not sure I need but getting just in case)
    • Cobra Micro-Chenille Wash Mitt 4-Pack (add to the collection unless you recommend something else)
    • Ceramics for rims and glass worth getting?
    • Anything else?


    Thanks again Mike and all!

    -FJ

  2. #2
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    • Griot’s G9 (thought about the Rupes but not for me until I really learn this)
      • Saw a bunch of combos on the website if you recommend one of those?

    • Need advice on which pads to get and would prefer an all in one if possible
    • Need for the paint and also the carbon fiber roof / panels. Think I’ve heard you recommend Lake Country?
    • CarPro Iron X
    • Gtechniq Serum Light (anything better than this to make color pop with good hydro properties?) Also, heard good things about Gyeon Q2?
    • GYEON Q2M Prep
    • Cobra Supreme 530 Microfiber Towels (looking for best ones you recommend)
    • Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay (not sure I need but getting just in case)
    • Cobra Micro-Chenille Wash Mitt 4-Pack (add to the collection unless you recommend something else)
    • Ceramics for rims and glass worth getting?
    • Anything else?

    I don't have the G9 but many like the tool. Just be sure to get enough pads

    How many pads do I need to buff out my car?

    This is what I would consider

    Ironx

    Cquartz UK 3.0 topped with Gliss and maintain with CarPro Elixir. I mention this as CSL is not going to be the most hydrophobic coating. It is rather easy to apply but needs Exo for hydrophobic's. Skip Gyeon unless you want a coating lite like CanCoat.

    CarPro Eraser - A bit stronger than Gyeon Prep

    Wash - CarPro Reset

    Sonax EX 04-06 - This is a good polish to start with

    Clay mitt - I would consider a clay mitt such as this BLACKFIRE Clay Mitt

    Wash Mitt - I am not a fan of that type of wash mitt. Meguiar's makes a good one https://www.autogeek.net/meguiars-mi...wash-mitt.html Griot's also makes a good one https://www.autogeek.net/griots-gara...iber-mitt.html

    Coating Towels - I would look into getting some of these for coating removal https://www.autogeek.net/igl-coating...al-towels.html or head over to the rag company and get yourself some edgeless 300

    Polish wipe off towels. - the rag company 365

    QD towels - the rag company eagle 350 or 500

    Glass Coating - I would look into McKee's that are no longer sold here. This looks similar in application https://www.autogeek.net/auto-glass-coating.html

    Wheel coating - You have two options here. Go with a dedicated wheel coating or use the same coating as on the paint. If you use the same coating as on the paint then get the 50 ml bottle of CQUK 3.0. If you go with the wheel coating then look at CarPro DLUX. The benefit of DLUX is that it can be used on trim as well.

    You may want to look into wheel brushes and a tire dressing of your choice

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  4. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Welcome to AutogeekOnline!





    Let me take a stab at your questions....



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  6. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    Hi Mike and everyone – Long time lurker and first time poster! Really awesome forum and overall site and I’ve learned a ton over time.
    Thank you for joining the forum. So many lurkers, and too often instead of joining the forum they send me an e-mail to ask questions? They find me via lurking on the forum but then can't figure out this is where I type out help and answers. Thus when they do this, (send me an e-mail), I answer them on the forum and then send them the link. There's simply not enough time in the year to type out in-depth answers for one set of eyeballs.

    So thank you for joining the forum.



    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    I recently got into a Donington Gray BMW M5 and I’m looking for some guidance. It’s a different color vs traditional silver or gray and I’d like to make the color pop / glassy.
    Here's the simple answers,

    Gloss comes from a SMOOTH surface.

    So if needed, claying the paint to remove ANY kind or type of above surface bonded contaminants and "yes" even brand new cars can have bonded contaminants from all types of sources.


    Shine, depth and clarity come from a defect-free surface.

    This is where the paint correction step comes into importance. Machine polishing or machine compounding followed by machine polishing to perfect the topcoat of paint.



    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    With previous cars, I would take it to my local guy and he would do a full prep, decon, 1 stage and a ceramic like Modesta or Nanolex. Now with COVID and more time at home, I thought I would give it a go.

    Car looks like its in good shape paint wise, but I’m sure there are light swirls courtesy of the dealership. So what I’d like to do is do a full wash, decon, clay (if needed) , 1 stage polish and then apply a ceramic that would last ~3 years (it’s a lease).

    Have a bunch of the basics in terms of soap, buckets, rags, brushes etc. but I’m also looking to add. This is what I have right now:

    • Power washer
    • MTM Foam Cannon
    • Wash Soap (different varieties)
    • Sonax finishing sprays
    • Kenotek finishing sprays
    • Microfiber (but want to add more)
    • Buckets
    • Few wash mitts
    • Metrovac (do I don’t touch the paint after wash

    The above sounds like a good arsenal of maintenance products. You can never have too many "good" or "un-contaminated" microfiber towels.

    See my article and video below - without a doubt - the most important thing I've ever written for enthusiasts and pros alike.


    How, why & when to inspect your microfiber towels when detailing cars




    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    Goal - get max glossy/glassy look, easy washes once the ceramic is on and some pop to the color. I’m a novice on polishing and have been waxing on/off for years.

    This is what I have in my cart. Would be great to get your advice on it, anything better and also anything else worth adding?


    • Griot’s G9 (thought about the Rupes but not for me until I really learn this)
      • Saw a bunch of combos on the website if you recommend one of those?


    [*]I'd get any kit that includes the 5" backing plate and 5" foam flat pads. This is the ideal set-up for ANY simple, entry level free spinning random orbital polisher.

    I don't work in the sales and marketing department and have my own job duties to perform today an everyday, so if you can't find a kit like I describe above, call customer care and cite this thread, (send them the link), and then tell them what you want and they can build you a custom kit.

    Griot's G9
    Griot's 5" backing plate
    6 each - 5.5" Griot's BOSS Orange pads
    6 each - 5.5" Griot's BOSS Yellow pads

    For years I posted and recommended to Griot's to CHANGE the Griot's 6" Random Orbital Polisher, (no discounted), with the 5" backing plate instead of the 6" backing plate BECAUSE - smaller, thinner pads ROTATE better on these types of tool.

    Selling these types of tools with a 6" backing plate FORCES your customer to purchase pads that FIT the 6" backing plate and this means larger and depending on the pad THICKER pads. Large and thick pads DON'T ROTATE WELL ON FREE SPINNING RANDOM ORBITAL POLISHERS.

    I personally would not use any brand of tool set-up like this.

    So while it was never fun to tell the thousands of people I've helped over the last 10+ years here at Autogeek to buy the GG6 and throw away the 6" backing plate and then buy a 5" backing plate, it's also no fun to tell people to buy the G9 and throw away the 6" backing plate and buy a 5" backing plate.

    BUT - when you do this - RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO you start spending your MONEY on the right and best size pads for these types of tool. And because it takes more than ONE pad to buff out a car, as everyone finds out sooner or later when they make the move from working by hand to working by machine - after the initial purchase of a tool the next ONGOING investment is in products and PADS.


    I cannot count how many times I've shared the above and you and everyone that reads this into the future can take me at my word and act accordingly or do as you will but if you read enough posts about these types of tool, (free spinning random orbital polishers), the Number #1 complaint is PAD ROTATION. That is people get a polisher, (any brand), and when they go out into their garage and start buffing out their car they find it real easy to maintain pad rotation on flat panels but as soon as they get into curved panels, thin panels or tight areas, the pad STOPS rotating and this means you're NOT removing swirls and scratches and now all you're doing is wasting time.


    When it comes to a free spinning random orbital polisher,

    The pad MUST ROTATE in order to remove swirls and scratches.


    When the pad STALLS out, this means all it's doing is jiggling or vibrating against the paint - in simple words - you ain't doing anything.


    The NEW G9 IS the most powerful free spinning random orbital polisher on the market today, at least that I know of and a great tool. But you're going to be able to MAXIMIZE the power coming out of it by using smaller, thinner pads, not larger thick pads.

    The Griot's BOSS pads have a HOLE in the center of them unlike thin pad options and this helps the pads to last longer because the heat that is generated through the spindle and then through the backing plate goes into the AIR instead of the pad and this tiny little difference in pad design makes a HUGE difference.

    Like I always say in the car detailing world,

    The little things are the big things


    I explain all of the above in video #5 here,

    Complete List of Live Broadcast Videos on YouTube - Yancy Martinez & Mike Phillips


    And to back up what I explain above, I've written both of these articles and I'm actually the guy that came up with the simple idea of marking your backing plate, probably 15 to 20 years ago, to ENABLE your eyeballs to more easily see and monitor pad rotating on free spinning random orbital polishers.

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





    How to Monitor Pad Rotation? Mark Your Buffing Pads









    I'll answer your other questions in a follow-up reply.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]Need advice on which pads to get and would prefer an all in one if possible
    If you get the G9 then get either Griot's BOSS pads or the 6" Buff & Shine Uro-Tech. I actually like the Uro-Tec pads because while they are a tick thicker than the BOSS, THINPRO and Meguiar's foam discs, (all THIN foam pads), the Griot's has tons of power and has no problem rotating these pads.

    The extra thickness of the Buff and Shine Uro-Tec pads offrs a little more "cushion" and also move the backing plate a little further away from the paint and this is good for anyone new to machine polishing.


    Here's my review for the new G9. For this I used an old 2-door Chevy.

    Review: Griot's G9 - 9mm Orbit Stroke Random Orbital Polisher by Mike Phillips





    And here's my review for the Buff & Shine pads.

    NEW! - Buff and Shine Uro-Tec Foam Pad System for all long throw orbital polishers!





    Here's my review of the BOSS 15 and 21 back in 2015 when they were introduced and I have a section on the BOSS pads in it.



    Griot's Garage NEW BOSS Paint Polishing System


    BOSS Buffing Pads
    The pad system for the BOSS long orbit stroke orbital polishers is simple and straightforward and the color coding is instinctive relative to the majority of color codes used in the buffing pad market.

    The pads come in both 5.5" for use with the 5" backing plate and 6.5" pads for use with the 6" backing plates.









    The Buffing Pad Color Codes
    In order from the most aggressive to the least aggressive

    Black Micro Fiber Pad - The fastest and most aggressive pad option for use with the BOSS correcting and perfecting creams for removing serious paint defects while still finishing out to an acceptable finish.

    White Foam Fast Correcting Pad - This is a firm euro-foam cutting pad that offers fast defect removal using either other the correction creams to remove moderate to severe paint defects.

    Orange Foam Correcting Pad - This is a firm euro-foam cutting pad for use with the correcting creams to remove light to moderate paint defects.

    Yellow Foam Perfecting Pad - This is a multi-purpose foam polishing pad to use with the perfecting cream to remove light defects and impart a flawless finish.

    Black Foam Finishing Pad - This is an ultra soft foam finishing pad for use with the BOSS Finishing Sealant to finish and protect all paint systems.





    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]Need advice on which pads to get and would prefer an all in one if possible [*]Need for the paint and also the carbon fiber roof / panels. Think Iíve heard you recommend Lake Country?
    See above recommendations for pads. You "hope" you only need foam "polishing" but too often you end up needing something more aggressive, even for shallow swirls and scratches, depends on how hard the paint is plus other things like,

    1. Abrasive technology
    2. Tool
    3. Technique



    Also, treat carbon fiber surfaces using the least aggressive process approach.




    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]CarPro Iron X
    Good stuff.

    As a personal "Best Practice" I no longer use any brand of Iron Remover on anodized aluminum trim, which is commonly used around window. It's a STUPID type of trim to use on cars because once it fades or stains "we" the human race cannot fix it.

    If trim were like old cars had, stainless steel, nickel or aluminum, then WE could fix it via polishing. Anodized trim oxidizes and stains. With black anodized trim, like I see on BMW and Mercedes-Benz, when it fades or oxidized, you see a "rainbow" coloring on the trim and/or just a dull flat appearance.

    When the aluminum looking anodized trim, it stains and spots. I've fixed it using BLACKFIRE One Step and a microfiber cutting pad on the RUPES Nano but that's about a $700.00 investment to polish out really thin "trim". But at least I've found a way to fix it. But being pro-active in my profession - I just don't do things that cause problems. We can no longer wash cars outside of Autogeek any longer so it's less of a problem than in the past.



    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]Gtechniq Serum Light (anything better than this to make color pop with good hydro properties?) Also, heard good things about Gyeon Q2? [*]GYEON Q2M Prep

    I like the GTechniq Serum Light or any coating by GTechniq, they are what I call on this forum,

    An established brand


    GYEON is also an established brand and they make great products. You can't go wrong with either. For me? I like a coating that makes the paint feel slippery and slick. I won't use paint coatings that make the paint feel rubbery, and that's what most do.

    I don't remember how either of the above brands leave the paint feeling but I don't remember it being on the rubbery side of the "Paint Feeling Spectrum".





    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    For what I call "Paint Care", that is anytime I'm working on car paint, I like the Forrest Green Edgeless microfiber towels but we carry this same "type" of towel in a number of different colors, so it's more about the type of towel than the color.

    If you look at a lot of my write-ups from the last year, I ALWAYS include pictures of the "things" I use and you'll see a LOT of the Forrest Green Edgeless Towesl in my articles. I don't fake it or do mock up, so if it's in a picture it's the real-deal.


    From this recent article,

    Review: Dr Beasley's Nano Surface Primers and 1201 Paint Coating - 1947 Dodge Panel Delivery Streetrod

    If you scroll down, you'll see I included shots of everything I used including a PILE OF TOWELS - this is how many towels I used throughout this product. When I share a picture of pads and towels I'm TELEGRAPHING to my reader a message. That message is, you need more than one pad and one towel to buff out a car.


    Here's everything I used...

    NSP 150 with LC Force Hybrid Orange Foam Cutting Pads for removing sanding marks and the front clip.

    NSP 95 with the LC Force Hybrid Orange Foam Cutting Pads for removing holograms where there were no sanding marks.

    NSP 45 with the LC Force Hybrid Black Foam Finishing Pads - I used these for a second step polishing step anywhere I used the foam cutting pads to ensure no pad haze.

    Distilled water and Dr. Beasley's 1201 Paint Coating.





    Tools used

    I find myself using these three tools more and more as my normal tool selection for most car detailing projects.

    FLEX XC 3401 VRG - The original BEAST - Why? Because it's the fastest tool for me to remove paint defects without inducing holograms and consistently putting out pro quality results.

    FLEX PiXiE - I love how this too is able to maintain pad rotation when using the 12mm drive unit.

    RUPES Nano Long Neck - I use this in rotary mode for doing edge work.






    Forrest Green Edgeless Microfiber Towels

    I like these towels for 2 reasons

    1: They have a flat weave, which means they are less likely to become contaminated as compared to a large fluffy weave.

    2: They work great.

    Your choice for towels shouldn't be any more complicated than these two reasons.





    Typing for the future....

    For everyone reading this into the future - pay attention to my write-ups, I always include pictures like you see above. I show the tools, the pads, the products and the towels. This is what it takes to do a job right the first time. It's not sly marketing on my part - it's an honest attempt to HELP YOU figure this stuff out.


    As for the green towels I like, I heard last week while testing a new coating, see my review to be launched tonight I think), that we have a ton of these,

    Cobra Storm Gray Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloth - 12 Pack - always get a 12 pack, it's a better value and you can never have enough good un-contaminated towels.


    I do like the Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay, it is actually an ULTRA fine grade clay and this makes claying as safe as you can get, that and working on a meticullousy clean car and using plenty of clay lube.


    Step 2: Inspect the paint with your sense of touch and if you feel tiny bumps - use detailing clay and clay the paint.

    There was light contamination on the paint. I used the Wolfgang Clay and Clay Lube to remove the contamination.





    When you first start out, you'll often feel the clay drag a little. This is because the contaminants are still bonded to the paint.





    As you continue to rub the clay patty over the paint, the clay removes the contaminants and then you'll feel the clay begin to glide effortlessly over the paint. This is the sign you're ready to stop claying and wipe the clay lube residue off the paint.






    Remove the clay lube residue using a clean, inspected microfiber towel.

    Be sure anytime you're going to use any microfiber towel on your car's paint you first inspect your microfiber towels by looking at them and also feeling them for contaminants. Once your towels have passed your inspection they are safe to use.




    And I do like the thicker Cobra 530 in 16" by 16 size. I like the thicker nap on one side for when wiping any liquids over the surface of paint be it for removing clay lube or using a waterless wash.




    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]Cobra Micro-Chenille Wash Mitt 4-Pack (add to the collection unless you recommend something else)

    I include those wash mitts here for PREP WASHES

    Must Have Microfiber! At least my opinion


    But I also believe in and use this approach for coated cars. You can substitute the GREY towels I shared above for the green towels.


    How to safely wash a ceramic coated car by Mike Phillips - Traditional Hose & Bucket Approach






    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    [*]Ceramics for rims and glass worth getting?
    Sorry to say, I've only used and studied one wheel coating and it did impress me - GTechniq C5 Wheel Armor.

    For glass I use and really like the Pinnacle Black Label All Surface Coating

    Coated under 15 minutes using PBL Surface Coating


    I like the PBL paint coating and surface coating combo. Works for me. Leaves the paint feeling slippery. Easy to use. Hard to screw up.

    Most glass coatings I've used may bead water really well but they make the wiper blades chatter, not so with the Surface Coating. Plus NOTHING is going to last on the windshield due to the micro-abrasive of the wipers plus abrasive debris that gets on the windshield. So instead of looking for a coating that lasts for freaking years, I look for something that works great AND is fast and easy to re-apply. That's the real secret to a great glass coating - fast and easy to RE-APPLY becaue it's going to wear off. If the re-application is a freaking "process" - yeah... most people wont' do it. Fast and easy is what the average Joe likes including me.



    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post
    [*]Anything else?
    For leather interiors - again you want 2 things, first you NEED To be PRO-ACTIVE and clean your car's interior often. The interior of my car and my wife's car are IMMACULATE. Not because of me, but because of my wife. Each time we detail our cars, wash them or whatever), she does the interior and she never lets them get out of control. For the leather in my Lexus, she uses the PBL Leather & Vinyl Coating. It's take a guess.... fast and easy. Nothing on the driver's seat is going to LAST due to micro-abrasion each time you get into and out of the seat. So instead of looking for something that says it lasts forever, look for something you LIKE and use it often.


    From the year 2010 and I go back to preaching and teaching this to at least the 1980's - I just don't have an article for it that is this old.

    Find something you like and use it often





    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    Thanks again Mike and all!

    -FJ

    Hope the above helps. I would challenge you or anyone to go to ANY other social media platform and ask the same question and compare the help in the way of actual typed-out information PLUS links, pictures and videos that you get there to what you just got here.


    Some say forums are dead? Maybe so, but at least a well-run forum is efficient, friendly and helpful.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Also....

    Click the link below and watch the video

    How to do a Test Spot and then buff out your car! Video Explanation by Mike Phillips


    Everything I teach in this video applies to ANY type or brand of orbital polisher be they fee spinning, long stroke, short stroke or gear-driven.


    There's also LOTS of more INFO in that page, just scroll down, click on the links and read and you'll get "info" in your head.




    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    And here's something new Yancy and I are going.

    We BRAND these as LIVE DETAILING CLASSES because I teach all the way through them.

    Complete List of Live Broadcast Videos on YouTube - Yancy Martinez & Mike Phillips


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Wow, this is a lot of information but awesome details. Drinking from a firehouse right now but going to start at it and I will circle back with any questions as I go through. Hope everyone had a nice MDW!

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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Car Prep and Ceramics - Recommendations Please

    Quote Originally Posted by FJ80 View Post

    Wow, this is a lot of information but awesome details.
    And besides yourself, just a casual look at the number of views any given thread gets on this forum over time and knowing that for every person that has the will and inclination to join a forum and ask a question - doesn't it make sense now why I prefer to answer questions on the "public" forum and not in a Private Message or e-mail?


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