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Thread: Going from DA to Flex 3401

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Nyholm's Avatar
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    Going from DA to Flex 3401

    Hi guys,

    I have used a DA for a couple of years now and I'm getting fine results. However, the velcro on my DA have been destroyed/worn down and cannot hold the pads anymore. So I ordered the Flex 3401 and I'm going to try it out within the next weeks.

    My question: The Flex is forced rotation. Are there anything I need to be aware of, going from a DA to the Flex? Speed, pressure, amount of polish, wax etc?
    I guess the Flex is a bit more dangerous than the DA, regarding burning the paint?

    Thanks. Thomas

  2. #2
    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    So the hook material on your backing plate is worn out and instead of buying a new $25 backing plate you bought a new $325 buffer?

    Ok, sorry, just playing with you!!!



    You will definitely feel more power with the 3401 and it won't bog down under heavy pressure like a DA can (with varying levels of pressure, depending on the tool, of course). The vibrations from the tool will be much finer than a DA as well, which you may like or you may not like.

    I'll let others with more experience using the 3401 chime in. I'm not the best to comment on it as I, personally, don't really care for the tool very much. I absolutely love my Flex rotary and wouldn't give it up for anything, but I just don't care for the 3401. I know I'm in a very small minority here, and that's fine by me. Give me a good DA, a good rotary, and I don't feel the need for something in between the two.

    But those who love it, really love it. Without a doubt it's a great, high quality tool.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


  3. #3
    Avatar Czar BlueZero's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    So the hook material on your backing plate is worn out and instead of buying a new $25 backing plate you bought a new $325 buffer?

    Ok, sorry, just playing with you!!!
    I like his thinking!!! Gosh sure wish my velcro would wear out. Haha
    Scott

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    Registered Member ethereal45's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    The main thing you have to look out for is that the Flex DA can "walk" on you if you aren't careful. The tool will tend to act like it has a mind of its own if you don't keep the pad flat against the surface you're working on. It's easy on flat panels like hoods, but on contoured body panels it will take a little bit of re-training technique wise.

  5. #5
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    What are you going to do woith the broken DA. E-mail me if you want to get rid of it.

  6. #6
    Registered Member FRS's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyholm View Post
    Hi guys,

    I have used a DA for a couple of years now and I'm getting fine results. However, the velcro on my DA have been destroyed/worn down and cannot hold the pads anymore. So I ordered the Flex 3401 and I'm going to try it out within the next weeks.

    My question: The Flex is forced rotation. Are there anything I need to be aware of, going from a DA to the Flex? Speed, pressure, amount of polish, wax etc?
    I guess the Flex is a bit more dangerous than the DA, regarding burning the paint?

    Thanks. Thomas


    You will definitely love it, all other DA's will look like toys comparing to 3401.

    I suggest you start with smaller pads (4") to get used to the machine then go for bigger pads.

    It'll take some tome to understand how to control the 3401 but after that you'll be laughing.

    3401 is not more dangerous to the paint then other DA's but cuts faster and produces much better results. On speed 6 it has 480RPM's of forced rotation, it's like a mini rotary, but it won't burn your paint unless you stay at the same spot for prolonged periods.

    Enjoy it!!

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    Mr. greg0303's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    As others pointed out expect much faster defect removal with Flex 3401 than with a traditional D/A polisher. I estimate its power as about 80% of a rotary buffer which operates on higher speeds. Flex 3401 also makes orbital movement (just like other dual action machines) which makes it safe and it could be used with Meguiar's DA Microfiber Correction System for even faster defect removal (6" microfiber discs work best).

    Lake Country introduced universal backing plate for 3401 which works with 6.5" and 4" buffing pads.
    Lake Country's newest Hybrid pad system works absolutely fantastic with that tool so do purple foamed wool pads.

  8. #8
    Formerly 101impala Moderator Andy M.'s Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    There is a learning curve with any tool and please keep that in mind. Just like when you bought your first DA and said I now have power. Sure beat doing anything by hand didn't it? But you still learned as you went. That being said I have heard nothing but good things about your new machine and I am sure you will like it. Please keep us posted as to your results!

    Andy
    Keeping MOL family friendly! If you need help or have a question, don't hesitate to shoot me an email or PM. 101impala@gmail.com
    Andy M. Moderator

  9. #9
    Registered Member Nyholm's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    Thanks for all your great replies. I'll start off easy and learn the tool and new technique as I go. I will probably learn, that I'm able to move the Flex faster across the surface, than the DA, right? Getting the same amount of defects removed.

    Oh, btw. What speed to I need to use in the different steps?


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    So the hook material on your backing plate is worn out and instead of buying a new $25 backing plate you bought a new $325 buffer?

    Ok, sorry, just playing with you!!!
    Haha. I saw the opportunity to get a new toy and grabbed it ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry A View Post
    What are you going to do woith the broken DA. E-mail me if you want to get rid of it.
    Thanks Larry, but I'll probably keep it and fix it someday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
    There is a learning curve with any tool and please keep that in mind. Just like when you bought your first DA and said I now have power. Sure beat doing anything by hand didn't it? But you still learned as you went. That being said I have heard nothing but good things about your new machine and I am sure you will like it. Please keep us posted as to your results!

    Andy
    Yep, the DA was a huge step forward. I don't expect the Flex to "revolutionize" the same way, however I expect easier and faster defect removal. So exited to go to work!
    I have read a lot of great reviews of the Flex too.
    I'll post my results when done. Got 2 Honda's to fix :-)

  10. #10
    Mr. greg0303's Avatar
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    Re: Going from DA to Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyholm View Post
    I will probably learn, that I'm able to move the Flex faster across the surface, than the DA, right? Getting the same amount of defects removed.
    Oh, btw. What speed to I need to use in the different steps?
    Same principal:defect removal requires arm speed of 1-2 inches/ second (it's still a D/A polisher). Rotary buffer 2-4 inches/ second. You'll quickly learn that Flex 3401 needs less section passes to fully remove defects (comparing to traditional D/A).

    Speed settings:
    defect removal/ correction step - speed 5-6,
    polishing - speed 3-5,
    final polish/ waxing - speed 2-4.

    DA Microfiber Correction System/ 6" microfiber discs:
    D300 Correction Compound - speed 3 - 3.5,
    D301 Finishing Wax - speed 2 - 2.5 .

    Start with slower speeds and smaller pads until familiar with your new tool.

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