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  1. #11
    Senior Member VISITOR's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    good to hear paul914, enjoy your new polisher!

  2. #12
    Senior Member JustJesus's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    The 3401 gets a bunch of negative comments as well. Owning one, how do YOU like it? Personally, I love mine so much, I bought a second one.

    I did have a chance to use the XFE-15 during the filming of Competition Ready. We did a two step correction on two Lambos owned by Adam Carolla.

    I enjoyed using the machine. With the pads we used, and compounds by Sonax, it seemed like it was all designed to work together!

    Some day, I will add the XFE-15 to my collection of Flex machines.

    Annnnd. It sounds like you *are* enjoying your new Flex

  3. #13
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    I'll chime in....

    First - I get asked about different polishers a LOT. When it comes to the BEAST or the FINISHER I immediately POINT OUT that the FLEX 3401 is called the BEAST for a reason. It's a BEAST. It can tackle heavy correction work head-on and do the job as fast as it can humanly be accomplished while maintaining high quality, professional results.

    When I talk about the FINISHER I immediately point out it's called the FINISHER because it's not meant for or intended to do heavy correction work or even medium correction work, it's intended to FINISH.


    I like to make sure a person's expectations are REAL-WORLD because my experience is guys tend to NOT have real-world expectations way to often when it comes to all types of detailing functions.


    I compounded the hell out of the paint on this car with the BEAST and then I finished it with the FINISHER. This car has a lot of very curvy panels as well as a few flat panels, (the portions on the side of the door) and I had zero problems with pad rotation using the FINISHER. So be careful about reading other people's opinions, they could be real-world and they could be out-of-this-world.








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  4. #14
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJesus View Post

    We did a two step correction on two Lambos owned by Adam Carolla.

    Remember how awful the condition of his Lamborghinis were?


    The all original 1965, that was the black one was the worst. So much heavy contamination on the paint, glass and chrome.


    Incredible.


    :duno:
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  5. #15
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by paul914 View Post

    Also, now that I got my new polisher I am in the market for a great pad/compound combo for this.

    Anyones input would be more than welcome. Thanks.

    I keep going back to the Lake Country 6.5" Force Hybrid pads. I tried the Lake Country HDO and SDO pads on the Finisher last night but found I preferred the thicker and larger tapered edge on the Force Hybrids. I used the Orange foam cutting pads to correct the paint on the 1935 Ford Coupe and then the 6.5" Black Force Hybrid Finishing pads to polish the paint on the 1935 Ford Couple. I used Pinnacle Compound and Pinnacle Finishing Polish. So far all I have done is the compounding and the polishing but the paint looks freaking amazing.




    Pinnacle compound, swirl remover and polish are about the same price as any high end compound and polish but they really work great. Wipe off is easy too...


    Mike Phillips
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  7. #16
    Senior Member JustJesus's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Remember how awful the condition of his Lamborghinis were?


    The all original 1965, that was the black one was the worst. So much heavy contamination on the paint, glass and chrome.


    Incredible.


    :duno:
    I sure do, Mike! The Sonax Clay Dscs and Glass Cleaner did well to clean the contamination!

  8. #17
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I keep going back to the Lake Country 6.5" Force Hybrid pads. I tried the Lake Country HDO and SDO pads on the Finisher last night but found I preferred the thicker and larger tapered edge on the Force Hybrids.
    I got a 5" backing plate and tried a couple different pad combos with the smaller plate. I used a B&S Uro-Fiber, and a 3D purple polishing pad. I felt like the Uro-Fiber gave a lot of vibrations and I didn't get any additional power from the thinner pad. The purple polishing pad from 3D was a little grabby but smoother, probably because of the thickness of the pad, no additional power.

    I have 6.5 force pads for my 3401 so I put those on there at your recommendation with the larger backing plate. I was really surprised. They were smoother than the other two pads, and I felt like I got even more rotation. I don't get why, because it's a bigger pad. I was really surprised. I liked it so much, I ended up going back over the whole hood again with the white 6.5 pad. The only thing I noticed was at speed 6 on the polisher it increased vibration, but I only used that to test the power as it bogged down on the hood contours. I did most of the hood with the white pad at speed 4-4.5. I finished off waxing with my 6.5" black pad, which gave me even more rotation and less vibration.

    Thank you for the advice, I am really impressed with how these worked.

    I am going to order some 5.5" hybrids and hopefully I will get even more power. I think I am going to test out some B&S Uro Tec pads too, I heard some people like those on this polisher.

    Another quick thought before I end my reply. The 6" backing plate has screw holes big enough to fit spacers between. When I took off the backing plate I was surprised to see these installed by the manufacturer (also, the screws were super tight, I think they put lock tight on them in the factory, it had some green film that looked similar to lock tight when I took them out and they were really difficult to get out, I had to use an electric screwdriver). These small green spacers had to be taken out when I put on the 5" backing plate because the holes aren't big enough to fit them. Maybe these spacers reduce vibration? I am not sure. When I switched back to the 6"plate I put them back in. I am sure those who own this polisher and have switched plates know what I am talking about.

    Thanks again!

  9. #18
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by paul914 View Post

    I have 6.5 force pads for my 3401 so I put those on there at your recommendation with the larger backing plate.

    I was really surprised.

    They were smoother than the other two pads, and I felt like I got even more rotation. I don't get why, because it's a bigger pad. I was really surprised.


    I liked it so much, I ended up going back over the whole hood again with the white 6.5 pad.

    I've shared this on the forum randomly but don't remember writing a specific article on it but here's what I found out.

    First of all, I'm the guy that coined the term,

    Thin is in


    And I believe this is true and accurate on short stroke free spinning orbital polishers like the Porter Cable 7424 and the Griot's Garage 6" ROP. BUT when I tried this with the FINISHER I had a hard time maintaining pad rotation and it drove me crazy because I knew thin pads rotated better on short stroke free spinning polishers. I figure it would be the same with long stroke. But when I started using the FINISHER with the 6.5" Lake Country Force Hybrid pads I found pad rotation was much better in every way.

    The only reason I can explain this to myself and to others comes down to one word.

    Inertia


    My theory is once you get the pad mass oscillating and rotating, it is able to maintain this oscillation and rotation via inertia. Then the other technique tip is keep the polisher moving, don't ever stay in one place.


    Simple huh? --> Inertia



    I have I think 24 BEASTS and 24 FINISHERS in the garage for my car and boat detailing classes. At one point I had the smaller backing plate on all of the FINISHERS. No longer. Now I run the factory 5.5" backing plate and show, use and teach this tool with 6.5" Force Hybrid Pads. Usually the white polishing and the black finishing. Also the red pads when machine applying a wax or a sealant.

    Don't know if the above helps but that's what I've learned from experience.






    Quote Originally Posted by paul914 View Post

    I am going to order some 5.5" hybrids and hopefully I will get even more power. I think I am going to test out some B&S Uro Tec pads too, I heard some people like those on this polisher.
    I've tried the above and don't remember liking them enough to continue using them but would love for someone to prove me wrong.



    Quote Originally Posted by paul914 View Post

    Another quick thought before I end my reply. The 6" backing plate has screw holes big enough to fit spacers between. When I took off the backing plate I was surprised to see these installed by the manufacturer (also, the screws were super tight, I think they put lock tight on them in the factory, it had some green film that looked similar to lock tight when I took them out and they were really difficult to get out, I had to use an electric screwdriver). These small green spacers had to be taken out when I put on the 5" backing plate because the holes aren't big enough to fit them. Maybe these spacers reduce vibration? I am not sure. When I switched back to the 6"plate I put them back in. I am sure those who own this polisher and have switched plates know what I am talking about.

    Thanks again!
    I'll send the link to the above to Chris Metcalf and see if he can provide some insight.


    This is the power of this forum and good connections.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  10. #19
    Senior Member dlc95's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I've shared this on the forum randomly but don't remember writing a specific article on it but here's what I found out.

    First of all, I'm the guy that coined the term,

    Thin is in


    And I believe this is true and accurate on short stroke free spinning orbital polishers like the Porter Cable 7424 and the Griot's Garage 6" ROP. BUT when I tried this with the FINISHER I had a hard time maintaining pad rotation and it drove me crazy because I knew thin pads rotated better on short stroke free spinning polishers. I figure it would be the same with long stroke. But when I started using the FINISHER with the 6.5" Lake Country Force Hybrid pads I found pad rotation was much better in every way.

    The only reason I can explain this to myself and to others comes down to one word.

    Inertia


    My theory is once you get the pad mass oscillating and rotating, it is able to maintain this oscillation and rotation via inertia. Then the other technique tip is keep the polisher moving, don't ever stay in one place.


    Simple huh? --> Inertia



    I have I think 24 BEASTS and 24 FINISHERS in the garage for my car and boat detailing classes. At one point I had the smaller backing plate on all of the FINISHERS. No longer. Now I run the factory 5.5" backing plate and show, use and teach this tool with 6.5" Force Hybrid Pads. Usually the white polishing and the black finishing. Also the red pads when machine applying a wax or a sealant.

    Don't know if the above helps but that's what I've learned from experience.








    I've tried the above and don't remember liking them enough to continue using them but would love for someone to prove me wrong.





    I'll send the link to the above to Chris Metcalf and see if he can provide some insight.


    This is the power of this forum and good connections.


    Inertia is why I suspect the 6" counterweight works better for me using the trusty dusty PC.

    I have another tool set up with the 5" weight and it doesn't maintain rotation as well as the ones with the 6".

    However, I get a lot of vibration with smaller plate / pad set ups. But using them on the too set up with the 5" weight works great!

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