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  1. #1
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    Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    I'll start off by admitting that I am a total newbie. I bought my wife a new Dodge Challenger for Christmas. I knew I wanted to take care of the finish and interior myself, so I started researching online and found my way to Autogeek. What a great resource! And thank you Mike Phillips for being so generous with your knowledge.

    I have read more articles and watched more videos than I can count. I have already been hand washing the car using the information and products that I learned from Autogeek. I have ordered a Griot's 6 inch polisher and accompanying accessories (pads, etc...).

    Even with all of the great how-to videos and articles I have found that I still have some questions. I have decided I will be using an AIO for polishing and protection. This is mainly because the car is a daily driver and is exposed to the elements for the time being (full garage). I am going to start by trying 3D HD Speed. Also, I will be working outside without shade, and I understand HD Speed works fairly well in those conditions. Even though the car has less than 600 miles on it I found that it has what Mike referred to as the Dealer Installed Swirl Option. There aren't any really deep scratches or swirls, so I am hopeful I will get excellent results with the HD Speed.

    On to my questions. The Challenger had the Blacktop package. This includes some satin/matte finished areas. Mainly it has what I believe are probably vinyl matte stripes across the top of the car from the truck deck all the way to the front of the hood. From my studies here and on Autogeek.net I know that I should not clay or polish these stripes. The problem is the stripes are not solid. I'm sorry I don't have a picture to post right now. The stripes are actually a series of stripes that start out really thin at the trunk and get progressively wider on top of the car and then thin back down toward the front of the hood.

    When I am polishing the car, should I tape these off? Should I even worry about the gaps between the narrow sections (the gaps are very narrow)? Should I use my matte care product before I polish the paint? I am a classic overthinker, so forgive me.

    I am going to start by trying the blue Buff and Shine pads. Do any of you know how soft the black paint on these Challengers is? Any help and or suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hoyt66's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Congrats to your wife for having someone like you to research and learn how to keep her Challenger in A-1 condition. So you have strobed graphics?? You should definitely tape them off. They will need some protection as well as the paint in between. As painstaking as it may be to keep your lsp off the matte stripes it must be done. I would tape them off as a whole when polishing and carefully go by hand in between them after removing tape even using q-tips if needed. When I apply my Mckee's 37y matte protection I wipe over the stripes and do not worry the I am getting some on the paint in between. I simply wipe the remainder off with a clean dry micro. Also congrats on finding Autogeek. Great place to be!
    2012 Dodge Challenger RT Classic

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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Thank you so much for your input. That's what I was afraid of. Taping them off as a whole was kind of the direction I was thinking of. I had no idea what I was getting into with the vinyl stripes (and black paint for that matter), Lol!

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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Here's a couple of pics. I will try to get the trunk stripes in a pic tomorrow. I was mistaken earlier. The hood stripes are all uniform. It's the stripes on the trunk deck that are super thin.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Definitely donít polish over the stripes. Tape them off. My friends dad has a charger hell cat and I donít have pictures. But itís granite metallic and black vinyl stripes and the guy heís been going to for 10+ years polished over them and burned the polish into them and it didnít come out. So my friends dad had new vinyl installed and now calls me and Iím his go to detailer now. Hereís a pic of his stripes now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -3bc23500-1ca7-4310-85e5-355ad07f1aa1.jpg   -4bb84b31-4f0a-45f6-bb6d-59c69526e0f1.jpg  

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    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Man, what were they thinking when they re designed the front end on that car. Dodge Charger used to look so much better..

  10. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I'll start off by admitting that I am a total newbie.
    You're in great company... we we're ALL newbies when we started including yours truly and I'm probably the King of Mistakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I bought my wife a new Dodge Challenger for Christmas. I knew I wanted to take care of the finish and interior myself, so I started researching online and found my way to Autogeek.

    What a great resource! And thank you Mike Phillips for being so generous with your knowledge.
    Nice story thank you for sharing. I hope and am confident you're wife appreciates your follow-up work after the sale by now taking ownership of the appearance maintenance of her new super cool car!

    Lots of places sell stuff, what separates Autogeek from the rest is the education aspect of our business model. Our customer care support staff are also top notch, hopefully no one ever needs help from customer care but for those times when it is needed it's nice to have top notch people you can rely on to do the right thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I have read more articles and watched more videos than I can count. I have already been hand washing the car using the information and products that I learned from Autogeek.
    I can tell already you've been reading and watching videos. No doubt you've come across multiple, multiple times where I explain how a car looks all comes down to how the paint is "touched". I know it sound super simple but it is the reality of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I have ordered a Griot's 6 inch polisher and accompanying accessories (pads, etc...).
    Just curious... was that purchase decision made after reading this article?

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




    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Even with all of the great how-to videos and articles I have found that I still have some questions.
    And thank you for taking the time to join this forum and create your first thread. In my opinion, this is the best way to get "more" help. With this forum myself and others can "easily" share,

    • Pictures
    • Videos
    • Links to more information
    • Format our replies using headings, bold text, italics, etc.,
    • Plus put all of the above information in a linear format that makes it easy for the human eyes to read and absorb.


    You just can't do the above with other social media platforms like FB, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat... And the "environment" in these other social platforms in my experience tends to be a tick on crude and vulgar side. Okay for some I guess.


    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I have decided I will be using an AIO for polishing and protection. This is mainly because the car is a daily driver and is exposed to the elements for the time being (full garage). I am going to start by trying 3D HD Speed.
    I's say that's a wise choice. Coatings are the new hip thing that everyone's going mad over and I agree they have their place and I in fact use a coating on one of our cars, but they are not the end-all, be-all the uber hype makes them out to be. For a daily driver, a one-step cleaner/wax is a great way to go and the way I take care of our other car.

    In fact, driving to work today and seeing the drizzle stains from road film and pollution impacted onto the front windshield of our car that I had recently polished just confirms in my mind that YES any daily driver gets a film build-up not just on the glass that I can see because I'm looking through it, but ALSO ON THE PAINT - whether it's coated or not. Thus, if you want a car to always look it's best and especially black and other dark colors, the best way is to have a process that you can perform quickly and easily, (one-step cleaner/wax), and you can repeat over and over again.

    3D HD Speed uses amazing abrasive technology. You are going to be impressed with what it can do on black paint. And here's the deal. Any product that works great on black paint works great on all paint.



    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Also, I will be working outside without shade, and I understand HD Speed works fairly well in those conditions.
    Yes. There's a number of things you can do to make working outside easier. If you live where it gets really hot then start early in the morning. When working on car paint, work smaller sections at a time and wipe the excess residue off the paint immediately. Clean you pad often. Have lots of clean towels. Have a roll-around cart that is clean to set your towels, tools and product on.


    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Even though the car has less than 600 miles on it I found that it has what Mike referred to as the Dealer Installed Swirl Option. There aren't any really deep scratches or swirls, so I am hopeful I will get excellent results with the HD Speed.
    The bad news is DISO or the Dealership Installed Swirl Option is the norm for the new and used car dealership industry. The good news, through the work of the IDA that is the International Detailing Association, plus forms like this that spread education, we are making inroads into the dealership industry. It will be a VERY SLOW process to change how they do things but it's not all their fault.

    And for those reading this into the future, here's my article on this topic,

    DISO = The Dealership Installed Swirl Option





    On to my questions. The Challenger had the Blacktop package. This includes some satin/matte finished areas. Mainly it has what I believe are probably vinyl matte stripes across the top of the car from the truck deck all the way to the front of the hood.

    From my studies here and on Autogeek.net I know that I should not clay or polish these stripes.

    [/quote]

    Correct.

    You want to treat these matte graphics like a newborn baby, that is GENTLE in everything you do. Washing, drying, wiping and overall in anyway you ever "touch" them.



    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    The problem is the stripes are not solid. I'm sorry I don't have a picture to post right now. The stripes are actually a series of stripes that start out really thin at the trunk and get progressively wider on top of the car and then thin back down toward the front of the hood.
    Yeah... while they look cool... they are a pain in the butt to live with, work around and take care of. My guess is the cool-factor will wear-off as time goes by. While not an option when buying a new car, in the custom car world, the way to do it right is to put all graphics under the clearcoat. Then you get the "look" without the "work".


    Ding dang... I even have an article on this topic...




    I'm going to add a numbered list to what you wrote below...

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    1: When I am polishing the car, should I tape these off?

    2: Should I even worry about the gaps between the narrow sections (the gaps are very narrow)?

    3: Should I use my matte care product before I polish the paint?


    I am a classic overthinker, so forgive me.
    Nope - you're not overthinking this at all. You're wise in that you have done you're research and you are being pro-active.

    Here's my recommendation... in order...

    1: Yes tape off the edges.

    2: No - don't worry about the thin strip of paint in-between the graphics. At least don't worry about machine polishing it until you bring up your skill level for working by hand or if these sections are at least an 1" wide you're ready to purchase a machine with a 1" pad to do the work for you and even then, being a daily driver I wouldn't. Maybe just carefully use a finger or two to gently rub some HD Speed over them and then wipe if off and in the future - ALWAYS touch these areas uber carful, (washing, drying and wiping).

    3: If you use a matte care product before you polish the paint you probably won't be able to get the tape to stick to the matte graphics to then protect them. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation. I'd say tape off and polish first and the remove the tape and apply the matte products.

    Most important - when working around the edges of the matte surfaces, even when taped-off, TAKE YOUR TIME. BE CAREFUL. And in the great advice Mike Pennington from Meguiar's always shares with others and taught me to share with others...


    S-L-O-W --- D-O-W-N




    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    I am going to start by trying the blue Buff and Shine pads.

    Buff & Shine has two pad lines with blue pads,

    • Uro-Tech
    • Uro-Cell


    In both these pad lines, the blue colored foam pad is the MOST aggressive pad.

    My normal protocol when using a one-step cleaner/wax is to test a "polishing" pad first and see if this will create the results you're looking for because you can always get more aggressive.

    The cut of an aggressive foam pad can actually mar the paint in and of itself, so when doing a one step process, when using great product the pad can end up leaving buffer trails or a shadow effect in the paint.

    Which pad line did you get?

    In the Uro-Cell line the orange pad is a "polishing" pad.

    In the Uro-Tech line, the yellow pad is a polishing pad.

    So I'd suggest doing a Test Spot using one of these pads first and then inspect the results and go from there.


    I show EXACTLY how to do a Test Spot in this video as well as how to detail a car from start to finish...

    Best video ever on how to machine buff a car from start to finish



    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Do any of you know how soft the black paint on these Challengers is?
    Off-hand don't remember...


    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Any help and or suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Hope the above helps... and welcome to AGO

    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Click on a book to get your own copy.



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  12. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
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    Click on a book to get your own copy.



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  14. #9
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    Red face Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Mike, thank you for your response. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your advice, and with such detail.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Nice story thank you for sharing. I hope and am confident you're wife appreciates your follow-up work after the sale by now taking ownership of the appearance maintenance of her new super cool car!

    She is really amped about how much work I have put into it. Thank you, sir.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Lots of places sell stuff, what separates Autogeek from the rest is the education aspect of our business model. Our customer care support staff are also top notch, hopefully no one ever needs help from customer care but for those times when it is needed it's nice to have top notch people you can rely on to do the right thing.
    I agree 100%. This was one of those situations where I didn't know how much I didn't know.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Just curious... was that purchase decision made after reading this article?

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

    It actually was. That and probably about a dozen or so other articles, videos and posts.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    And thank you for taking the time to join this forum and create your first thread. In my opinion, this is the best way to get "more" help. With this forum myself and others can "easily" share,

    • Pictures
    • Videos
    • Links to more information
    • Format our replies using headings, bold text, italics, etc.,
    • Plus put all of the above information in a linear format that makes it easy for the human eyes to read and absorb.


    You just can't do the above with other social media platforms like FB, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat... And the "environment" in these other social platforms in my experience tends to be a tick on crude and vulgar side. Okay for some I guess.

    You are most welcome. Again I agree 100%. My mind has been blown with all of the information available. And I really appreciate your style of presenting the information. You make everything really easy to understand.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I's say that's a wise choice. Coatings are the new hip thing that everyone's going mad over and I agree they have their place and I in fact use a coating on one of our cars, but they are not the end-all, be-all the uber hype makes them out to be. For a daily driver, a one-step cleaner/wax is a great way to go and the way I take care of our other car.
    I was actually leaning in that direction originally. But after reading and watching your articles and videos, along with other information, I came to the same conclusion you did.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    3D HD Speed uses amazing abrasive technology. You are going to be impressed with what it can do on black paint. And here's the deal. Any product that works great on black paint works great on all paint.
    I can't wait to try it out. Now if the weather will ever cooperate. Lol!


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Yes. There's a number of things you can do to make working outside easier. If you live where it gets really hot then start early in the morning. When working on car paint, work smaller sections at a time and wipe the excess residue off the paint immediately. Clean you pad often. Have lots of clean towels. Have a roll-around cart that is clean to set your towels, tools and product on.
    Thank you. I actually read your post on the subject.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Yeah... while they look cool... they are a pain in the butt to live with, work around and take care of. My guess is the cool-factor will wear-off as time goes by. While not an option when buying a new car, in the custom car world, the way to do it right is to put all graphics under the clearcoat. Then you get the "look" without the "work".
    Yes, knowing what I know now I would probably rethink getting those graphics. The funny thing is, the graphics weren't the main deciding factor on purchasing that particular car. It was the wheels. She really wanted the blacked out look, and unfortunately for me, it came with those darned stripes. Lol!



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Nope - you're not overthinking this at all. You're wise in that you have done you're research and you are being pro-active.

    Here's my recommendation... in order...
    I appreciate you taking the time to give me your recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    1: Yes tape off the edges.
    I will do that for sure. Given some of these stripes are really thin. I haven't measured them, but a guesstimate for the smallest ones would be like one inch by 12 inches with may a 1/2" gap between the next stripe. Given your next recommendation, would you tape the edges off in a block? In other words, don't worry about the gaps and make a single line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    2: No - don't worry about the thin strip of paint in-between the graphics. At least don't worry about machine polishing it until you bring up your skill level for working by hand or if these sections are at least an 1" wide you're ready to purchase a machine with a 1" pad to do the work for you and even then, being a daily driver I wouldn't. Maybe just carefully use a finger or two to gently rub some HD Speed over them and then wipe if off and in the future - ALWAYS touch these areas uber carful, (washing, drying and wiping).
    That is a relief. I was really sweating how I was going to get those areas properly. Again, I haven't actually measured yet, but I don't think those gaps are even an inch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    3: If you use a matte care product before you polish the paint you probably won't be able to get the tape to stick to the matte graphics to then protect them. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation. I'd say tape off and polish first and the remove the tape and apply the matte products.

    Most important - when working around the edges of the matte surfaces, even when taped-off, TAKE YOUR TIME. BE CAREFUL. And in the great advice Mike Pennington from Meguiar's always shares with others and taught me to share with others...


    S-L-O-W --- D-O-W-N


    Thank you so much. I will definitely take your recommendations. I hadn't even considered the aspect of the tape being able to stick after using the product. I am going to try the McKee's Matte Finish Cleaner and Protectant.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Buff & Shine has two pad lines with blue pads,

    • Uro-Tech
    • Uro-Cell


    In both these pad lines, the blue colored foam pad is the MOST aggressive pad.

    My normal protocol when using a one-step cleaner/wax is to test a "polishing" pad first and see if this will create the results you're looking for because you can always get more aggressive.

    The cut of an aggressive foam pad can actually mar the paint in and of itself, so when doing a one step process, when using great product the pad can end up leaving buffer trails or a shadow effect in the paint.

    Which pad line did you get?
    Forgive me for the confusion. I didn't even realize there were other blue pads in their line. I got the 5.5" Flat DA Foam Pads. They look like a lighter blue than the ones you referred to. These are the pads: https://www.buffandshine.com/collect...foam-pads-550g The description says they are for light polishing. I would have linked to the Autogeek page, but for some reason it is not working. Should I reconsider using these? I got the 5" inch backing plate to go along with them. If I recall correctly, I read at least two of your articles about pads and colors. Despite the great information you gave, they are still kind of confusing. Lol!


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    So I'd suggest doing a Test Spot using one of these pads first and then inspect the results and go from there.

    I am definitely going to do a test spot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I show EXACTLY how to do a Test Spot in this video as well as how to detail a car from start to finish...

    Best video ever on how to machine buff a car from start to finish

    I have actually watched that. Thank you for including it.




    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Hope the above helps... and welcome to AGO



    Thank you, Mike. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply with this much information. I am definitely happy to be here.

  15. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new BLACK Dodge Challenger

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerrob View Post

    Forgive me for the confusion. I didn't even realize there were other blue pads in their line. I got the 5.5" Flat DA Foam Pads. They look like a lighter blue than the ones you referred to.

    These are the pads: https://www.buffandshine.com/collect...foam-pads-550g

    The description says they are for light polishing.

    My mistake, I wasn't sure which pad from B&S you were referring to, but you are correct, the pads you have are for light polishing, from their website,

    Application: Lt. Polishing


    So you're good to go.


    Mike Phillips
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