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Old 29-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #1
Morgen
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Advice on these swirls - single stage paint

Hello,

I'm new to the forum but I've been reading through a lot of the threads and definitely found a lot of inspiration. I was hoping to hear some thoughts/opinions on the approach I'm taking to the paint on my old MX5. It's 27 year-old paint, as far as I can tell it's original, single-stage, and plenty of swirls etc.

I've got a rotary polisher - I know starting out with a DA is generally advised, but I've had this machine for years. I've got some experience in bodywork, wet-sanding etc, but I've never done the final finishing.

I also gather that there is some controversy about whether or not you can finish with a rotary, but the consensus seems to be that you can if you are careful/methodical.

I have ordered the flexipads liquidshine kit to try out - high-cut, medium, and finishing. By the looks of these swirls, am I right to think this is most likely going to require the high-cut to start with?

If I start with high or medium should I expect the swirls to be dealt with at this first abrasive stage, and then the following stages simply to improve the depth of the shine? Or are some swirls left and then dealt with at the low-cut/finishing stage?

Pictures attached, hopefully,

Any thoughts really appreciated!

Thanks,
Morgen
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
Andyblue
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Hi and welcome along.

I’m no expert by any means, but I’d probably start with the lesser cutting power and increase if required rather than starting with the most powerful cutting all over the car...
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Old 29-11-2018, 12:25 PM   #3
Sam6er
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As Andy said, start with low cut and work your way up until the desired results are achieved then follow that combo through the rest of the paint. With such old paint and possibly not knowing its history i would advise the use of a paint depth gauge so you dont end up going through the paint. PDG can be bought relatively cheaply, have a look at DT-156 on amazon and ebay. I use one of these myself and its brilliant for the money. It has potentially saved me making some expensive mistakes.

Some panels may have less paint to play with than others and this is where you would need to change the level of cut you use. I was dealing with a friends Honda Civic a while back and tested all the panels before i started, the bonnet had the least amount of paint (less than 100 microns) so i only did i light cut on that panel compared to the rest of the car where i used a medium cut. Helping a friend out could have cost me money to get his panel resprayed if i went in without checking

Last edited by Sam6er; 29-11-2018 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 29-11-2018, 01:37 PM   #4
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Deffo better to practice.

I have had an old rotary for years after using it for hours refurbing alloys years ago but never used it since or on paintwork. Decided I wanted to have a try.

I just got a practice bonnet spent a couple hours on it, using a cutting polishing and finishing pad. I would NOT be going anywhere near my own car anytime soon. Also even on the bonnet laid flat the easiest of all angles, I have had no practice on sides ect. If anyone pics up a rotary and jumps on their own car with no experience I personally think they're either stupid or very nieve.

And also you mentioned the finishing the rotary has no problems they are used by professionals as they cut alot quicker than DA's hence why they are more 'dangerous' towards damaging paint than a DA.

Deffo get practice in unless you honestly don't car if you damage they car at all! Let us know how it goes though
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Old 29-11-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
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All as above. I worked on an mx5 not so long ago, and whilst I appreciate each and every car is different, I found the paint to be as soft as butter. I used a flex 3401 with a lake country polishing pad... No pressure and a polish... Can't remember which polish though.... This proved to be enough to take out swirls and light scratches no problem. I would exercise caution using a rotary... Especially if you're not that experienced with it and just follow the above advice.
Can you finish down with a rotary?? Yes. But it's dependant on the paint, the pads and the products and a bit of skill and experience.
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Old 29-11-2018, 01:44 PM   #6
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And before you do any of the above you will need to safe wash and decontaminate the paintwork
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Old 29-11-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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I'd be tempted to try Megs #205 on the softest liquid shine pad and if this does achieve good results step up to the medium pad , just go easy with the rotary and keep it around the 1000rpm mark . Enjoy using the rotary and post some pics up of your progress .

Mark
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:22 PM   #8
Morgen
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Thanks a lot to everyone for the advice - I really appreciate hearing from people with more experience.

So for now, I'm going to avoid going too harsh until I can get a paint depth meter.

I think from what I can tell, the paint does seem to be on the soft end of the spectrum - matching up with the advice, above.

I've got some of the megs 205 to do a comparison between that and the flexipads zero swirl. I started with a test of the zeroswirl on the bootlid, since it's relatively flat and if I do make of mess if it at least the damage is restricted to a single separate panel that could be repaired without involving the rest of the car. The zeroswirl has done a better job than I expected of sorting out the superficial stuff. There are quite a few deeper scratches (although none all the way through top colour) and I imagine that those will require a medium or high-cut. . . so for that I await the depth-meter. Pictures included of progress so far. When I get to that stage I thought I might try a soft pad with a medium cut, as an intermediate stage before medium cut and medium pad.

In the meantime, I'll continue carefully trying the zero-swirl and megs with the softest pad and see how far that takes me.

In addition to the scratches, there are lots of tiny little spots all over the paint - much smaller than water marks, they look like little pin heads - not sure what they are a result of, other than not enough care over the years.

I've tried medium cut with medium pad on a test panel to get a feel for it. I did this a couple of times until the panel had a light haze all over it, and lost the gloss. I then ran over the test panel with a couple of rounds of zero-swirl and I'm reasonably happy about getting the gloss back from to a reasonable finished standard with the rotary. Kind of tempted by a dual action still, but reckon I should prioritise the depth-gauge in terms of spending

Boot lid


Bonnet


So basically I need to figure out now how much better I can realistically get the paint, beyond this initial swirl treatment.

For finishing I'm thinking of either SRP followed by EGP or Ultra HD wax - seems like these will give me a reasonable amount of filling and gloss to compensate to some extent for some remaining scratches.

Thanks everyone!

Last edited by Morgen; 06-12-2018 at 01:25 PM.
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