Alfa Red 159 - best polish? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa Red 159 - best polish?

I'm looking to get rid of the swirls and a few light scratches on my 159, been looking at all the different polishes and not 100% which would be best to go for. I have access to a cheap rotary polisher and also a DA.

Folks who have done a 159, what did you go for polish wise?

Thanks
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If you've no experience using a DA polisher I wouldn't suggest you go any where near your P&J with it. If you really want to go this direction atleast get an old bonnet or panel to practice on first....

If you decide not to use a DA,then a product like poor boys black hole is full of fillers and will help hide your paint imperfection and a half decent wax like soft99 Fusso king of gloss to seal and wax. Both products are cheap enough and won't break the bank and give you good results

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Originally Posted by johnsy View Post
If you've no experience using a DA polisher I wouldn't suggest you go any where near your P&J with it. If you really want to go this direction atleast get an old bonnet or panel to practice on first....

If you decide not to use a DA,then a product like poor boys black hole is full of fillers and will help hide your paint imperfection and a half decent wax like soft99 Fusso king of gloss to seal and wax. Both products are cheap enough and won't break the bank and give you good results
dont think you know as much as you think. DA is as safe as you can get, the polisher will stop spinning at angles it finds too much pressure from unlike Roterys which creates heat at a much faster rate and can burn the clear 3-5+ times faster then a DA.

A Da is super forgiving in that you can be a first time user, watch a video on youtube and do exactly what they do and succeed more or less. the outcome depends on what kind of paint it is, which pad your using (polishing pad, medium cutting pad or heavy cutting pad) and the cutting ability of the compound/polish being used... usually alfa paint/fiat paint is soft so a medium green/white foam pad with a medium to heavy cut compound will be fine for 95% of the scratches. technique, pressure and speed within that technique also apply s but that will come with the hours you spend doing it.

doing a whole car thats never been compounded/polished before takes.. 15-25 hours and that only gets you to.. 90-95% ish of the scratches. this includes a pre rinse, a degreaser, a de ironing, a soapy bath and then claying the car for the remaining contaminates in the paint. only now can you start polishing your car.

Key words:
Compounding: using heavy cutting materials to level the scratches, this creates micro marring or hazing
Polishing: Using lighter compounds to level the micro marring/ hazing and get the shine out of the paint.

Myths: waxes and sealants dont bring any shine to the paint, its for protection. you can fill the scratches with fillers/glazes all you want but it will only last for a few weeks and the scratches come back.
The shine comes from leveling the paint and cutting down on the hills and valleys of the scratches by compounding/polishing the paint.

Step 1:


How to safely wash a car:


Step 2
Decontamination
This would be just a spray on: IronX, Tar X, Mac 124 Prickbort
Step 3: Clay

Step 4: Compounding And Polishing

any DA with 500+ watts is fine. they cost like 90 ish. more watts the better tho.

can do this on wheels as well:

I did both of these on my car except i did a ceramic coating meaning i put a 3-5 year clear coat on my car so the dirt will repel easier and wont stick as easy on the paint: http://imgur.com/a/lutAj and http://imgur.com/a/xJMNj
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Last edited by WillieNillie; 17-02-17 at 17:48.
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WillieNillie is spot on. Don't listen to johnsy and don't use the cheap rotary.
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Between the two polishers, the DA will be the safer bet. A rotary is much faster than a normal DA but there is a much steeper learning curve. A rotary is not a fire breathing machine which will burn through paint in a second but it takes a while to learn how to control it. Many will rightly point out how safe a DA is but this is relative to a rotary, a DA is still a power tool and if abused it can damage the paint.

It is very important to get the paint to be very clean and free from any dirt. It really is impressive how many swirls can be created with a few bits of dirt.

As for the polish these days there are a huge range of brands which will do a good job. I would guess the most popular combination is Meguiars 105 and 205. 105 is the compound and 205 is the polish. This combination will allow someone to polish almost any type of paint. It is common for many to switch 105 for the consumer version Ultimate Compound as it can be a bit easier to use and does not dust as much but has slightly less cut than 105. There are very good alternatives from Menzerna, Scholl, Sonax etc. They will all work in slightly different ways, for example, Menzerna products need to be worked until the polish starts to go clear but with Meguiars polishes the level of cut is changed by using different pads and pressure. I use Optimum polishes as they are not fussy at all and are very easy to work with but it is about getting the best out of the products you buy, not who made it.

As for pads, again a vast range of brands out there, you will want a compounding, polishing and finishing pads. This will cover you for nearly all paints. If you budget allows, get at least two of each pad. Moving to a clean pad after one or two panels just makes life easier. When a pad get loaded up with polish and paint, it stops working efficiently and also is poor at dissipating heat which can often cause the pad to fail during use. After each panel or more frequently, clean the pad with an old soft toothbrush or mf cloth.
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In the video they suggest only claying when you really have to. I was under the impression that you had to clay to remove old sealant/wax before doing any cutting/polishing?

So can I go straight to cut/polish with the old sealant present? Would make life much easier for me!

If not can you top up your sealant with a da without having to remove what's there?
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Its usually wise to decontaminate/clay before any polishing/compounding because of residue control. if the contaminates get in the pad and starts making swirls then your out of luck.

You can if you so wish, its wise to degrease the whole car before any sealant as the bonding will be most effective aka.. the sealant will last longer on the clean paint compared to being bonded on previous wax.

Last edited by WillieNillie; 29-01-17 at 13:20.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieNillie View Post
Its usually wise to decontaminate/clay before any polishing/compounding because of residue control. if the contaminates get in the pad and starts making swirls then your out of luck.

You can if you so wish, its wise to degrease the whole car before any sealant as the bonding will be most effective aka.. the sealant will last longer on the clean paint compared to being bonded on previous wax.
So contrary to what the guy in the video says you should clay whenever you detail? What about applying more sealant with a finishing pad? Is ok to do this? Just seems such a faff!
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Originally Posted by Shimmerydolmeo View Post
So contrary to what the guy in the video says you should clay whenever you detail? What about applying more sealant with a finishing pad? Is ok to do this? Just seems such a faff!
If you plan on polishing or compounding then yes you should always prep the surface for decontamination.
You polish and compound maybe once every few years honestly, your goal is to do it once and never do it again for as long as you can, this is why people do Paint protection film or ceramic/glass coatings. because you shave off the clear coat each time, you only have x amount of times to polish a car in its life time. And doing a coating will only scratch the coating and make the panel hydrophobic for years.

same with washing a car, the less you actually touch a car the better it is for the paint. You want to get the car dirty and let it stay dirty until you can wash it properly. these small scratches people get are called love marks, meaning you love it so much you have to get the dust off and start making light marring because of it.

skip to 3:20 in this video.

5.16 t/mils factory paint
4.31 t/mils wet sanding
3.94 t/mils compounding
3.88 t/mils polishing

0 means clear is gone. in this case you can wet sand 4 times and the clear is gone. this is a extreme case scenario, most cars wont need wet sanding. and it all depends on your technique/pressure/grit and so on. some people will burn the clear coat on their first wet sand.


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I'm new with Alfa cars but I don't think it will require different polishers at all. the best polishers in the market will do as long as it is carefully done. just avoid other colored wax I guess.
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