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Old 04-18-2006, 02:34 PM
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Need Help!!!

This is for all of you detailing pro's out there, I have a 01 X5 and it is in need of a detail asap in my opinion, I was wondering is it better to do it myself or pay to get it done? what are the best products to use? do I do it by hand or use a polisher/buffer? Zaino seems to be pretty popular with many of you but is it the best you can use? I also need a good leather cleaner. Any help will be greatly appriciated,thanks in advance
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Old 04-18-2006, 02:44 PM
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Not a pro. I don't have the 8 hours some of these folks put in. But it does take about 4 hours from wash to the end if I do my detail job.

I use Meguiars tech wax
Lexol for the the leather
Vinylex for the plastic and Vinyl

Other than that I make a list of what the experts use, the order they use it, then I find myself the best detailer who works at a BMW dealership and get him to come on his day off and pay him to bring his machines. I explain what i want and provide the products if i think it's necessary.

Usually cost about $150,00. Worth his time and mine to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.jay
This is for all of you detailing pro's out there, I have a 01 X5 and it is in need of a detail asap in my opinion, I was wondering is it better to do it myself or pay to get it done? what are the best products to use? do I do it by hand or use a polisher/buffer? Zaino seems to be pretty popular with many of you but is it the best you can use? I also need a good leather cleaner. Any help will be greatly appriciated,thanks in advance
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:06 PM
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A good detailer will knock it off for you, and save
you time, etc. That's up to your sched and needs.

Some use Zaino, some use any one/combo of
other brands. If you've never really detailed, waxed
or Z'd it, and that time thing is a factor, I'd drop it
at the Detailer and be happy.

For some of us more A-O types, and in my case,
lotsa time on my hands, a spring/fall detail job is
sort of a hobby. But, no disparaging remarks from
this gang. Do as you choose.

Also, a good detail job gets your ride back to
almost square one...then, if you want to hammer
on it, at your lesiure, you have a cleaner canvas
to work on, imo.

Many detailers offer outside and inside work.
GL,md
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Old 04-19-2006, 10:38 AM
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Unless you have money to burn, I'd do it yourself. There a certain satisfaction that comes with doing it yourself, and once you appreciate the time and effort, you will probably be more inclined to not let it go so long between detailing.

With that said, here's my recommendation:

Get the Zaino kit that includes Z-18 clay, ZFX, Z2, Z6, Z5, Zaino car wash and four applicator pads. Cost is $125 and will last you for many, many applications. Go to Home Depot and buy an empty spray bottle for $2 and pick up some Dawn Dish detergent on the way home.
  1. Wash the car with Dawn, rubbing really good to get all the wax off.
  2. Put a capful of Zaino car wash in the spray bottle and fill with water. Use this as the lube to clay the car. Total time is about 15 minutes do to...it goes REALLY fast. Just spray an area and rub with the clay. You'll laugh when you see how easy it is. If you do 3'x3' areas at a time, you can dry immediately with a soft cloth and won't have to re-wash the car. When you're done, the paint will feel like glass when you slide you hand over it. Watch as the smile grows on your face from ear to ear. You can nod your head and smirk as you feel that smooth finish...we all do.
  3. Apply Z5 to remove swirls and scratches. Let dry 30 minutes then buff off with soft cloth (I used old T-shirts)
  4. Apply Z2, let dry 30 minutes, buff off
  5. Apply Z6 (spray on and immediately buff until dry). You apply it just like you would when cleaning glass with Windex. Spray on, wipe off.
  6. Apply Z2, let dry 30 minutes, buff off
  7. Finish with a final wipe down of Z6 (optional).
Repeat step 6 as many times as you like. Normally two coats of Z2 and a finally wipe down with Z6 is all you need for a showroom shine.

Now, having done this you now know you have great UV protection and one helluva shine. I don't trust "pro-detailers" - one actually burned the paint on my hood of my 700hp Mustang and tried to conceal it from me. I don't like orbital buffers for this reason.

You'll find that the Zaino process is VERY EASY, requires NO hard rubbing or buffing and will leave a shine like no other you've seen. The kit comes with instructions, but I basically outlined it for you. Just be sure you add 4-5 drops of ZFX accelerator to the Z2 in one of the 2 ounce mixing bottles they give you (it's all in the instructions).

As for interior, I use diluted Simple Green and a soft cloth for everything. Finish up with a leather conditioner.

Hope that helps.

You can see pictures of my Zaino'd X5 here: http://home.houston.rr.com/rogerandjulie/X5/
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:07 AM
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I agree with the folks above, if you have the time to DIY, then its a lot less expensive and you know its done right.

I usually don't have the time to DIY, so what I do is get a couple folks from work who also want their car detailed. Then, I have a local mobile detailer come by my office to perform their magic. Because of multiple vehicles, most detailers give you a good price break.

However, finding a GOOD detailer is the biggest battle. I usually call around to find the best prices for a mobile detailer that has his own water tank. I also ask them what products they use. This is also very important b/c usually a lower price means cheaper products. Some of the products above (Zaino, Meguiars, Lyxol, etc) are great, so I know which ones are better than others. I usually get at least 2-3 other folks at my office and end up sending about $125 each for a full interior/exterior detail. This does not include clay and/or sealant, which is usually another $20+.
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for all of your help guys especially you madforce, when I saw you pics of you zainoed X I felt inspired so I am going to go ahead and purchase the zaino and give it a go myself. A sidenote to your pictures madforce you have a beautiful home to go along with a great looking X ,also I have the same 19'' wheels as you what products did you use on them and the tires?
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.jay
Thanks for all of your help guys especially you madforce, when I saw you pics of you zainoed X I felt inspired so I am going to go ahead and purchase the zaino and give it a go myself. A sidenote to your pictures madforce you have a beautiful home to go along with a great looking X ,also I have the same 19'' wheels as you what products did you use on them and the tires?
Thanks Dr. Jay. As for the wheels, I use just some off the shelf brake dust cleaner from Autozone (I don't recall the name, but I know it's in a flouresent green bottle - it might be from Turtle Wax, but I can't be certain). The trick is to spray on and then use a GOOD soft 2" wide paint brush to brush it around. Hose off lightly, hose the brush and then brush them again without adding any spray (there will be enough residual brake dust cleaner on the brush and rim to carry you through a second cleaning). Hose off and that's it...takes about 1-2 minutes per wheel.

As for the tires, I think it's called "Tire Shine"...big white spray can with black cap. Just spray it on (it doesn't foam or make a mess) and walk away. The spray is "tight" enough that you don't get it all over the rims. Takes about 15 seconds per wheel, and it's the LAST thing I do after everything is done. I don't like the foaming type of wheel shines because they tend to run down and get on the rims.

And of course, there's the simple method of spraying Armour All on a sponge and wiping it on the tires. Just don't plan on ever using that sponge again on anything but tires becuase it will turn it black.

Good luck on the Zaino, and most of all, have fun with it. Read the directions and make a cheat sheet, or just print out the steps I outlined and follow that. Remember, use back-n-forth motion on the hood, up-and-down on the sides, for both applying and removing.
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