'71 Spider detailing - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 03-12-16 Thread Starter
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'71 Spider detailing

I would like to detail my '71 Spider as well as possible for a 45 year old car. It was resprayed about 35 years ago, but now the Pinninfarina Blue paint is very scratched and dull. I clean it regularly and give it a polish with Autoglym SRP about once or twice a year and maybe a coat of wax as well. But that is it.

First I would like to clay it as it has never been done. Then maybe a light machine polish to remove some of the scratching. I have been thinking of buying a DAS 6 or similar as my Giulietta and the wifes MX5 would also benefit.

I guess the paint is quite soft and there would be no lacquer layer so don't want to get down to the primer. Open to suggestions as to the best course of action.
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Start with a good clean, claying is easy and safe as long as you don't do anything strange. Clay mitts are much easier to use and can be reused many times although I think clay bars are slightly more effective.

As for machine polishing, it is always worth looking on Detailingworld, lots of great information on the various options. Essentially these days there are standard machines which are very versatile, there are longer throw machines which seem to work much faster and have less vibrations but are limited in terms of pad sizes however I have not tried any of these machine. There are variations which are very popular with the professionals such as the Flex 3401 as they have greater power but these are not cheap. Final option is a rotary, these have a terrible reputation for damaging paint very easily and taking years to master. Neither is completely true. A rotary is much faster and can cause damage if the operator is careless but the same could be said for any power tool. A normal DA polisher is almost plug and play but a rotary does take longer to learn.

Working on older paints can be very satisfying, one product which is always worth considering is the Meguiars No7 glaze. It is a non abrasive cleaner which seems to hydrate older paints. This is a very long thread but worth reading at least the first few pages The Secret to Removing Oxidation and Restoring a Show Car Finish to Antique Single Stage Paints

Even if you intend to polish by hand or machine, the No7 is worth using before hand. You can use many modern products on older paint just make sure they are not very harsh. I think No7 has been around since the 1920's or 30's but it still works very well on older paints.

If you do intend to machine polish the paint, be aware, the pads will quickly turn the colour of the paint, this is normal. The trick is to keep cleaning the pads and the cleaning also applies to working on modern cars. If budget allows, get at least two of each type of pad eg compound and polishing, the process will be much easier. A pad loaded up with old polish will not work effectively and may introduce new swirls into the paint plus the pad will start to overheat which can easily lead to the pad failing whilst polishing - not a good thing.

Might have gone into too much information here but I do envy you, older paints really can be very satisfying to work on. Just remember older paint is not as tough as modern stuff so avoid any really harsh products and enjoy yourself
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(Post Link) post #3 of 7 Old 04-12-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info fellow Cumbrian. I had a look at the link and even though it is rather long winded it contained some good information. I have tried the plastic bag trick and the surface feels very rough, so a clay bar sounds a good start and then I will try the Meguires #7. I may get a DA in the new year and try some machine polishing as well. I have used T-Cut a couple of times on the car and know about pads/cloths turning the same colour as the car.
Lots to think about.
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If your going to machine polish your car make sure you have good lighting, if your working outside get a tripod from screwfix or similar, natural light 'lies'.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/ae0165a5-1...FSyT7QodZiUIRA
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Originally Posted by Shambeko View Post
Thanks for the info fellow Cumbrian. I had a look at the link and even though it is rather long winded it contained some good information. I have tried the plastic bag trick and the surface feels very rough, so a clay bar sounds a good start and then I will try the Meguires #7. I may get a DA in the new year and try some machine polishing as well. I have used T-Cut a couple of times on the car and know about pads/cloths turning the same colour as the car.
Lots to think about.
Machine polishing can yield impressive results but if you do not have a heated garage, I would wait until spring. Polishing in the cold is hard work and the vast majority of polishes do not like the cold either.

Don't forget, we want pictures of your progress
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(Post Link) post #6 of 7 Old 04-12-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Was going to wait until it gets a bit warmer. Though I may give it a good clean and clay before then.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 7 Old 16-03-17 Thread Starter
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Took a couple of photos of my Spider's paint today. Lots of scratches, some quite deep. There are some blisters that have appeared in the paintwork that I have not noticed before, so am a bit hesitant about using a DA. I have ordered a Bilt Hamber clay bar, Meguires #7, a detail spray and an assortment of Micro fibre cloths from Cleanyourcar. Should be here today.
As suggested by lowejackson I am going to clay first and then condition the paint as shown in the link. Going to see how it looks afterwards and then decide if anymore work is possible or needed.
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