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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training

    The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training


    Training car: 2005 Black Chevy SSR
    The Flex 3401 training car for the July 2015 Detailing Boot Camp Class belongs to my friend John who purchased this truck in the condition you see it.

    I made a promise to John that after he dropped his prized SSR off with Autogeek the next time he sees it he won't recognize it and he'll think it was repainted.

    Here it is on display at one of Autogeek's monthly Cars & Coffee car show out on the lawn.





    Using the bright overhead sun I capture the swirls and scratches in the paint.











    The day before the class I documented the condition of the while she was in our Show Car Garage using the overhead florescent lights. Same story, horrific swirls and scratches throughout the entire finish on the Chevy SSR.

















    Wow! Pretty wiped out huh?


    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on Real-world training

    Step 1 - Washing

    On Friday morning we washed 3 of the 8 cars used for this 3-day detailing class including the,

    2000 Corvette
    2004 Corvette
    2005 Chevy SSR



    We used the DP Wheel Cleaner and an assortment of brushes to start with washing the wheels and tires first.

    Next the class sprayed all 3 cars down with Iron X to chemically decontaminate the paint.

    After that the cars were foamed using the Autogeek Foam Gun along with DP Xtreme Foam Formula Autowash Shampoo.

    After thoroughly washing using the aggressive wash approach I teach in all my classes the cars were all dried off using the DP Turbo Car Dryer and Guzzler Waffle Weave Drying Towels.

























    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on Real-world training

    Step 2 - Mechanically decontaminate the paint

    During the washing step we chemically decontaminated the paint using Iron X but this doesn't remove the above surface bonded contaminants like,

    • Overspray paint
    • Industrial fallout
    • Traffic pollution
    • Tree sap

    Flex 4301 + Nanoskin Autoscrub Pads
    In my Flex 3401 how-to book I recommend using the Nanoskin Pads on the Flex 3401 for the smoothest paint possible when trying to create that show car look.

    Gloss comes from a smooth surface so one of the goals you're trying to reach when creating a show car finish it to make the paint as smooth as possible and in my experience there's no better way to do this than the Flex 3401 with Nanoskin pads and PLENTY of clay lube.

    For the clay lube we used DP Universal Clay Lube.

    Nanoskin offers two Autoscrub pads in 6" which work perfect on the factory 5.5" backing plate on the Flex 3401

    Fine Grade
    Medium Grade



    Techniques for using the Flex 3401 to decontaminate paint
    After going over how these two tools work together and then a demonstration on correct technique it was time for some hands-on practice and training.

















    Mike Phillips
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  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on Real-world training

    Step 3 - Perform a Test Spot

    After the paint was decontaminated and all the clay lube was wiped off the next thing we go over in our Flex 3401 class is how to perform a test spot and dial in a process that works perfect.

    When working on BLACK paint it's vitally important to get it right the first time.

    For our testing we used,

    Compounding = Wolfgang Uber Compound with the Lake Country Hybrid Orange Foam Cutting pads.

    Polishing = Wolfgang Finishing Glaze with the Lake Country Hybrid White Foam Polishing Pads.

    Waxing = Wolfgang Fuzion Paste Wax with the Lake Country Hybrid Red Foam Waxing Pads.







    We also go over how to measure paint thickness using a paint thickness gauge. In the shot below we're measuring the paint thickness on a section before we buffed and then again on the side we used for the test spot.





    Step 4 - Machine compound the paint
    After going over the correct techniques for using the Flex 3401 to compound, polish and wax it's time for hands-on training. The paint on this SSR is really in bad shape so the class has their work cut out for them.







    Pad Side Priiming
    Here Sean is priming the side of the pad so that it's lubricated and loaded with abrasives for when he gets close to a curved panel.






    Here's Chelsea working on the driver's door with her dad to the left of her....






    Here's Darrell working on the hard tonneau cover....






    Cody working on the tonneau cover...








    Here's Tim working on the passenger side fender....








    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on Real-world training

    Step 5 - Machine polishing the paint
    After the compounding step to remove all the major and minor defects the next step is to machine polish.







    Step 6 - Machine waxing the paint
    Here the class is going to machine apply the Wolfgang Fuzion Paste Wax to seal the paint and create that deep, wet shine everyone loves.



















    Here's the paint with a machine applied coat of a paste wax....





    Mike Phillips
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    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on Real-world training

    Step 7 - Carefully removing the wax
    Here the class is going to machine apply the Wolfgang Fuzion Paste Wax to seal the paint and create that deep, wet shine everyone loves.













    During our 3-day detailing boot camp class we go over TONS of techniques including how to inspect your microfiber towels before using them and hocorrectlyeclty wipe wax off so as not to mar the paint in the process.


    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.



  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training

    Here's the final results.....
























    A few outside shots....














    Nick works really hard in these classes making sure everyone is taken care of and all questions are answered in a timely manner. The payoff is he gets to drive a lot of cool cars. (I'm behind the camera)







    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #8
    Senior Member whavens's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training

    Brings back memories. I had a great in the Boot Camp and learned a ton of information. I also got a chance to try many types of equipment and product. The Boot Camp was money well spent.

    Walter
    2009 Volvo S60 2.5T Black 2011 Mini Countryman Oxford Green Metallic

  9. #9
    Senior Member aim4squirrels's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training

    That's truly impressive that a FOAM PAD and Uber Compound was able to remove that level of surface marring. That thing looked like somebody used a rake on it!

  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Flex 3401 Car Detailing Class - Hands-on real-world training

    The owner John, brought his way-cool 2005 Chevy SSR to our Cars & Coffee show last Saturday to show it off and I took this picture.




    Thanks John for trusting Autogeek with our black SSR!


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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