Looking for some guidance from you veterans. Here are the facts. I've got a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser; color is Voodoo Blue (sky blue) with white top. I've had the vehicle about 3 months so I thought I would detail it today, before the cold weather sets is.
I started by washing using Nxt car wash, chenille wash mit, and the 2 bucket system. Rinsed thoroughly, and pulled it into the garage to dry off with microfiber cloths.
After wiping down the door sills and misc areas, I proceeded to clay the entire vehicle, using Megs QD and some white clay (not sure of the brand) which I received with an order from Auto Detailing Solutions. I ran out of SQ, so I mixed some Megs Final Touch 1:1 with distilled water and continued.
By this time it was getting dark so I turned on a 250 W halogen work lamp so I could see to apply some #80 using a PC G100 with a 8006 pad. When I turned on the lamp, I saw a horrific amount of scratches all over the paint. From the direction of the scratches I thought I may have inflicted them when I did the claying. But, they may have been caused by use of an Absorber the last time I washed the vehicle.
Anyway, I thought holy ****, at least I have the right supplies to remove them. I proceeded to appy the #80 (first time I have used this product). I applied a lot of pressure to the G100 and worked the product for several minutes over an area of about 2 x 2 feet. After about 3 applicatiions I could finally see some improvement. I could no longer see the linear scratches, but after buffing off the # 80 using a Megs microfiber I can still see random scraches ( not the typical swirls).
By now I am starting to panic. I have not looked at the entire vehicle because I am afraid of what I might see. Its too late to continue working tonight, but I plan on starting up again tomorrow morning.
Some of the areas where I saw scratches are not accessible by the G100. I briefly tried some Scratch-X using a piece of terry cloth towel. Could not see much difference after 2 attempts.
When I bought the vehicle off the lot, the dealer had already applied the so called paint protectant. Is it possible these scratches were dealer installed also, and may have been hidden (filled) until I clayed the entire vehicle.
I need to get these scratches out tomorrow and here is what I have at my disposal:
#9 Swirl Remover
#2 Fine Cut Cleaner
#7 Show Car Glaze
Scratch-X (old type, by hand only)
Nxt Liquid Wax
G100 with 8006 and 9006 pads
Even coat applicators
Hi-Tech foam applicators
Microfiber applicator pads (non Megs)
Councours terry buffing towels from Autopia
Cheap terry towels
Klasse Sealant Glaze
Some Toyo Guard cleaner sealer given by the dealer
None of the scratches can be felt by the fingernail, but they are very visible when looking at an angle under the 250 W halogen.
After my first attempts at removal with #80 (speed 5, 8006 pad), I started thinking I may make things worse, so instead of trying to remove them maybe I should just try to hide them for now, and time permitting, try to remove them doing one section at a time. I normally never have an entire day available to detail my ride.
How do you vets think I should proceed. I am thinking, maybe the paint is 'hard' and I need #83 to remove them. But after reading some posts about #83 being tricky to use by the unexperienced, I thought I should seek advice before I possibly make matters worse.
I know you guys often recommend Scratch-X by hand. If I have to resort to this, what kind of applicator is best. What about any of the other products I have, any of these worth trying? Should try to find the new Scratch-X for use with the G100?
If possible, I prefer to work with the G100, since I have a lot of area to cover. But I am not experienced using it for defect removal. Is it actually possible to apply too much pressure to the G100? Felt like the machine was getting warm when I was using it.
You vets make it look so easy to achieve picture perfect finishes. Under halogen lighting, will there always be some minute scratches visible, or am I just not using the correct technique?
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Pics not possible as I loaned my camera to a friend for use on vacation.
Apologies for the long post, but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible.