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Discussion Starter #1
I suspect this thread will evolve over time, especially once we get the cars, so we can tailor it specifically to the Elise's needs.

What's first? How to wash the car?
 

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I'm here and in the business. I will help as much as I can.
 

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are you familiar with the new 'state of the art' product called 'Crystal Guard'?
the guys on 'my350Z' site swear by it,
saying easy application, no swirls, tougher than wax, brighter than a showroom car etc.. Recent article in EVO
mentioned how, after 10 months of testing in England, stone chips did damage the nose and lower flanks from normal driving. What's best for protecting these areas?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No wax, sealant, or other product intended for paint protection/beautification is going to protect your paint from stone chips and the like. The best bet for protection is some sort of clearbra like Xpel or Stoneguard. They seem to work pretty well but I have never purchased one myself.

Crystal Guard gave me a free do-it-yourself sample, but I never really prepared the surface on my test vehicle fully, so I didn't get the best results. I ought to try it again before making my final opinion on it. However, I can tell you that they seem to throw around the marketing fluff quite a bit.

With any product, they key is surface preparation and not necessarily the product used. New cars don't require that much prep and so they tend to get good results without any real work.
 

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know this guy with a beautiful 1974 Toyota Corolla (owned it since new) and
he claims to never have washed the car with soap. It still looks pristine. Also, I
was told that if you must go to a car wash, then make sure it is 'touchless',
not 'brushless' if you want to avoid getting swirls.
 

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I have never used it, but the product has received negative reviews throughout Autopia.org. It was tested by several professional detailers and the consensus was that it CG boasted far more that delivered.

There are other proven products that offer similar durability at 1/4 the cost.

As for appearance, that is subjective. There have been a few people commenting that they love the look. Nothing wrong with that. Others note the lack of depth.
 

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Ridgemanron said:
know this guy with a beautiful 1974 Toyota Corolla (owned it since new) and
he claims to never have washed the car with soap. It still looks pristine.
I met a guy with an early 60s car that looked brand new. Not a show car, his daily driver. He said he wiped it with kersosene. :eek:

P.S. The Elise will NOT ever see a automatic car wash that touches it.
 

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McGuiars claims that, 'you tell them your zip code and their computer figures out the best products for your car'. Climate
& acid-rain areas go into their analysis.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would like to note that autopia.org is simply a wonderful resource for learning to detail in depth. Once you join, expect to start spending hundreds of dollars! :)

If you have the time, hand washing is still the way to go IMO. The Elise is such a small car, I can't imagine it taking a long time.

I'm old fashioned, and so I still prefer natural sheepskin mitts (2) replaced every year and your favorite car wash solution with the two bucket method. Microfiber waffle weave towels to blot dry, and microfiber cloths for the final quick detail touchup.
 

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Heh heh..

Why wash it at all?

Just drive it until it is filthy...

Then drive it some more!! :D

You won't be able to resist driving it.. Muhaaahaahaaa!! (diabolical laughter...) :cool:

Bye, Arno.
 

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Are there any books out that explain some of the things I see posted here such as clay use (whatever that is) and swirl removal, etc., etc. I sure like the idea of getting some step-by-step recommendations on the finish. Maybe general washing, non-concours waxing and surface preparations and advance concours stuff.

I'd especially like to see details on stone chip repairs. I plan on getting a boat load of em, and hate em!

I'm all ears and think that this information will be of great use.

Thanks all for the great info so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Vantage said:
I'm old fashioned, and so I still prefer natural sheepskin mitts (2) replaced every year and your favorite car wash solution with the two bucket method. Microfiber waffle weave towels to blot dry, and microfiber cloths for the final quick detail touchup.
I agree with Vantage on this. Wool mitts, two buckets and MF. Use the waffle to dry and a soft plush cloth for wax removal and detailing spray. I polish the daily driver every six months or so, and hit the second car about every nine months.

When it comes to wax, a lot of it depends on personal preference. Do you want long-term durability? Do you like a lot of shine or deep gloss? Do you mind waxing every six weeks? Do kids put their fingerprints all over your car?...
 

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Vantage,

I can't thank you enough.

I'm sure our other Forum members feel the same.

What a great group of people here.
 

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I have used both Griots and Zaino and they both came with instructions on cleaners -> clay bar --> polishing compound ---> Wax.


I really liked the x-pel stuff at the LA Auto Show. The VP of Marketing was talking to Lotus there.

http://www.xpel.com


P.S. Adding a clear bra will be a dealer installed option that you are supposed to order at the time of your initial order. Because then they will not install the standard clear plastic protection on the rear of the car (directly behind the doors). That is what I was told, but they were working out some details still.
 

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saw a wash bucket (on T.V.) that had a built in mesh mid-way down that allowed
the up-top water to remain free of sediment. Then, you could rub your wash mitt on the upper portion, thereby guarantee-ing that you were always applying a clean mitt to the car. The mesh
didn't look that 'fine' so I guess everything in the form of a contaminate
stayed away from your mitt.
 

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Randy Chase said:
P.S. Adding a clear bra will be a dealer installed option that you are supposed to order at the time of your initial order. Because then they will not install the standard clear plastic protection on the rear of the car (directly behind the doors). That is what I was told, but they were working out some details still.
I'd rather have the factory protector aft of the doors and the other pieces can be the dealer installed option.
 

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FYI, Griots Garage makes their detailing handbook available free of charge in PDF format...click here.

I've used their stuff for years and have been very impressed, especially with their wax.
 
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