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Vantage said:
Underneath my Zaino'd car, most of the surface quality comes from a series of defect removing polishes and a final burnishing with Menzerna Final Polish, which is the same product Mercedes uses on the production line.
what polishes do you use?

Do you use all Menzerna, or just the Menzerna final polish along with other brands of more aggressive polishes beforehand?

I have used the Griot's polishes in the past but wasn't that pleased with the results.
 

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After reading most of this post, I'm simply....


:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I've used Zaino,

I've used P21s,

I've used 3M products,

Zymoil,

I'm going to have to find a clear an concise plan to attack the elise with all of these substances!

It's a buffet of chemicals and waxes to protect that ultra thin coat of paint, isn't it?

:D
 

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Ellen,
I'm fairly confident that we fall into the category of the "pickiest"! :D

Genjuro,
There are so many quality products, it can be confusing! Maybe if you can formulate a few questions or goals, we can help you choose.

atyclb,
Do you find the clear coat on your BMW to be especially soft? This seems to be the case with Merc, before the newer "nanopaint" technology. Essentially, they are trying to minimize paint chips at autobahn speeds by engineering a bit of give into the clear. Zaino never builds up into a white residue and fills crevices, but I noticed after using 3M polish or a thick paste wax, that the residue can accumulate in the deepest of pits that would have otherwise been rock chips on harder paint. A toothpick is really one of the only ways to get it out, as bad as it sounds.

As far as my plan of attack, I still had 3M Finesse-It II Machine Polish lying around, otherwise I would have ordered Menzerna Intensive Polish. I prefer Clay Magic brand to Zaino or the old Meguiars clay (the new formulation is basically like Clay Magic), so I used that first. Followed that up with the 3M polish to remove swirl marks with a PC7424 and a white lake county polishing pad. I could have stepped up to a yellow cutting pad to remove deeper scratches and spider webbing, but I did not want to remove that much clear coat. As someone who does this ritual once a year, most likely for the next five or six years, I don't want to attack the paint too severely.

Meguiars insists on not using a cutting pad with an orbital, because with a polish like 3M FI-II, it can leave some haziness and marring that can be difficult to remove without the use of a rotary. I am able to remove these marks with a very fine polish and a polishing pad (white). More on this later, but I will say that the polish will have to contain ultra fine abrasives somewhat lacking in domestic products to accomplish this goal. If I work 3M FI-II or a similar product in for a long time with a yellow pad, I can minimize the amount of marring. This of course, is the proper way to use products such as these. However, it will still leave a bit behind with a product of this aggression with a Porter Cable.

In my most thorough and labor intensive passes, I could work in 3M FI-II for a few minutes and leave the paint almost finished. It is afterall a finishing polish, however, I think it was designed for use with a rotary polisher and not a random orbital. Therefore, after this step, I was left with some micro-marring that could be seen under intensve lighting.

Menzerna products are also designed for use with a rotary and as they use them an OEM setting. As a result of this, they are also designed to work very quickly. Before bringing the product over to the US, Menzerna added some more lubricating oils to the Final Polish and called it Final Polish II. I could work in this product almost forever without it drying up, even if it was hot that day. By contrast, the 3M breaks down into powder comparitively quickly. Because polishes are designed to work wet, you may have to make multiple passes with the 3M.

The Final Polish is a high quality product and works extremely well with soft clear coats, like those found in German cars. With a polishing pad and Klasse AIO, I can even get micro-marring using a photography flash. Kind of weird, maybe my pads are getting old. Anyway, after a minute or so of polishing, the gloss really comes up and the paint is burnished into a very high shine. What's nice about it, is that it contains no fillers or silcones and leaves the finish literally squeeky clean. I went straight to three coats of Z5 because of this.

So yes, you can remove defects with an orbital. I would suggest a Porter Cable 7424, Cyclo, or similar products. Products with less power cannot always generate enough heat to break down the polishes, especially when they are designed for use with a rotary. Polishes without fillers are helpfull (both 3M and Meznerna polishes for example), because you can see what was removed right away.

Sorry for the long (again) post. :) Not sure my writing is entirely clear, so please ask questions. We will be writing articles on topics such as these for the Club111 newsletter BTW.

- J
 

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thanks vantage!

I'm just having a hard time deciding on a line of polishes to use.

I have used the Griot's polishes for the last couple of years, but have never been that happy with the results. Lots of autopia guys say they aren't aggressive enough, and I agree.

So, I was trying to decide between menzerna and einszett (1Z) polishes.

I'm not thrilled that the einszett polishes contain fillers, so I was leaning toward menzerna.

I really like the 1z perlz shampoo though
 

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I have limited use with Einszett polishes, and even then, it was back when 1Z just came into the U.S. and my test car had Japanese metallic green paint. I find this combo to be fairly forgiving compared to black German paint.

Metallic polish is a very well performing final polish and is easy to use. If I remember correctly, it seemed to remove some minor defects and was a great complement to Glaze Wax. From recollection it seemed to have a solvent-like smell, so it may have chemical cleaning properties as well like Klasse AIO. What do you plan to use as your last step product? My thinking is that if you plan to use Zaino, then Menzerna may make more sense, especially if you plan to keep your M3 (dark colored?). However, for virtually any other product, Einszett makes a worthy competitor. Menzerna has somewhat of a smaller following on Autopia, but it is growing. Haven't heard much (if any) negativity towards 1Z.

If you still cannot decide, one possible kicker is to see if you are ordering other items online at the same time. Not all retailers stock Menzerna, Einszett, and the other items in your order. I have yet to find one retailer that carries everything I have on my shelf, which makes sense...

- J

PS: Pinnacle just released two new polishes, Swirl Remover and Advanced Swirl Remover. Got the two plus Liquid Soveran in full size through their promotion. Swirl Remover is very similar to Meguiar's #9 and contains fillers/oils. Advanced Swirl Remover is touch less aggressive than 3M FI-II, but is slightly easier to use on the hottest of days, when the 3M product can be hard to remove if not worked in properly. Good, but not great. Liquid souveran is pretty nice though (quite slick too).
 

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Vantage said:
What do you plan to use as your last step product? My thinking is that if you plan to use Zaino, then Menzerna may make more sense, especially if you plan to keep your M3 (dark colored?). However, for virtually any other product, Einszett makes a worthy competitor. Menzerna has somewhat of a smaller following on Autopia, but it is growing. Haven't heard much (if any) negativity towards 1Z.

If you still cannot decide, one possible kicker is to see if you are ordering other items online at the same time. Not all retailers stock Menzerna, Einszett, and the other items in your order. I have yet to find one retailer that carries everything I have on my shelf, which makes sense...

- J
After polishing I'll be using AIO/SG topped with Pinnacle Souveran carnauba

The M3 (Topaz Blue) is leaving when the elise comes
 
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