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  1. #1
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    My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Hey Everyone,

    I've owned my FLEX since 2008. I'm just a hobbyist and use it on my own vehicles. I'd say I have less than 50 hours on it total. Anyway, I have some concerns about the felt ring and my backing plates. I have the original Flex backing plate, along with another set of backing plates I ordered a few years back. My felt ring is just about black at this point, and my backing plates have a "grove" in the back of them. I'm wondering if this is normal or if I need to send it in for some sort of repair / Maintenance.
    Has anyone else with a 3401 experienced this? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Here are some pics:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??-flex-backing-plate-jpg   My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??-flex-head-jpg   My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??-flex-other-backing-plate-jpg  

  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    I've seen this, it wont' hurt anything.


    Question: Did you lubricate the felt ring after purchase?


    If not - do so now and periodically. Also - turn the felt ring over every time you do this and then lube it.




    Lubricating the Felt Ring on the Flex 3401


    First there is no official recommendation from Flex on this procedure but most owners of the Flex 3401 like to lubricate the Felt Ring to ensure there are no issues between it and the hard plastic backing material that it comes into contact with during operation.

    For preventative maintenance reasons, it's okay to lubricate the felt ring after purchase and periodically depending upon how much use your Flex 3401 sees.

    What to use?I went to NAPA and purchased some Air Tool Lubricant, (see picture), but any light machine oil should work including the traditional 3-in-1 Oil.


    Here's the felt ring on the Flex 3401





    Check out the full article here,

    Lubricating the Felt Ring on the Flex 3401

    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I know it sounds trivial, but I feel honored having you reply to a post of mine.
    Good to hear it's not a major issue, cause I really like my Flex!
    I did not lubricate the felt ring initially after I purchased it, but I have started doing so a couple years ago after seeing the traffic on here about it.
    I'll have to turn over the felt ring before I use it again, good idea.

    Thank you, Sir!

    Respectfully,

    Steve

  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Quote Originally Posted by scjshaylen View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I know it sounds trivial, but I feel honored having you reply to a post of mine.
    Good to hear it's not a major issue, cause I really like my Flex!
    I did not lubricate the felt ring initially after I purchased it, but I have started doing so a couple years ago after seeing the traffic on here about it.
    I'll have to turn over the felt ring before I use it again, good idea.

    Thank you, Sir!

    Respectfully,

    Steve

    Lubricating the felt ring is not an official recommendation from FLEX but myself and many others, that tend to PUSH down on the head of these tools when doing hard, fast correction work - well when we do this we flex, (no pun intended), the rigid plastic backing plate so that it does come into contact with the felt ring. And - having some lubrication is better than turning and churning dry. Just my opinion and experience.


    The BEAST! It's a great tool.

    I have a 2011 Corvette to detail this weekend with the factory HARD clearcoat. It only has light swirls. To tackle this car I'm using the BEAST and LC 6.5" Orange Force Hybrid Foam Cutting pads. Lately I've been using the Supa BEAST but for this hard clearcoat - I'm going full BEAST.


    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Thanks for the info and recommendations Mike!
    It's funny you mention the LC Orange Force Hybrid Foam Cutting pads. I placed an order late last week for a six pack, three of which were the orange. But unfortunately they are currently out of stock, so I'll be getting the LC CCS pads in their place. I'll keep checking back for the Force Hybrid pads.
    I picked up some 3D Speed, of which I've used and really like, and waiting for the delivery of the 3D One polish, of which I'm anxious to try after using the Speed.

    What polish will you be using for the 2011 Corvette with the LC Force Hybrid pads?

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Quote Originally Posted by scjshaylen View Post

    Thanks for the info and recommendations Mike!
    It's funny you mention the LC Orange Force Hybrid Foam Cutting pads. I placed an order late last week for a six pack, three of which were the orange. But unfortunately they are currently out of stock, so I'll be getting the LC CCS pads in their place. I'll keep checking back for the Force Hybrid pads.
    Yeah, it's been a problem for a lot of companies, that is maintaining stock. I know LC is working hard to re-supply.


    Quote Originally Posted by scjshaylen View Post

    I picked up some 3D Speed, of which I've used and really like, and waiting for the delivery of the 3D One polish, of which I'm anxious to try after using the Speed.
    Both those products are top notch in abrasive technology.



    Quote Originally Posted by scjshaylen View Post

    What polish will you be using for the 2011 Corvette with the LC Force Hybrid pads?

    Going to try BLACKFIRE One Step. If this doesn't cut it, (pun intended), then I'll switch over to Pinnacle Advanced Compound and then "polish" with the One Step.

    The paint on this car is actually in what I would categorize as Very Good Condition.




    Yet it still has fine swirls and scratches and has not been professionally machine polished for at least 2 years. The current owner bought it used so no way of knowing how many years have gone by before it was professionally machine polished by previous owners. Point being, paint always looks it's best after a thorough wash, clay and machine polish. So I expect to see the finish on this Corvette really *pop* when I'm done.


    Mike Phillips
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  7. #7
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    Re: My FLEX 3401 - Is this Normal??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post

    Going to try BLACKFIRE One Step. If this doesn't cut it, (pun intended), then I'll switch over to Pinnacle Advanced Compound and then "polish" with the One Step.

    The paint on this car is actually in what I would categorize as Very Good Condition.


    I see the Blackfire One Step gets good reviews, says it has a bit more cut than 3D Speed. Good luck with the upcoming project! Thanks again for all the info!

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