Detailing Guide

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Founding Member
May 9, 2001
any sugestions of buffing pads and kits? i'm looking into the ones i seen on tv. but don't know who makes them they have the different color pads that go with different polishes and waxes.


10 Year Member
Apr 4, 2005
any sugestions of buffing pads and kits? i'm looking into the ones i seen on tv. but don't know who makes them they have the different color pads that go with different polishes and waxes.

Spend some time reading through the detailing forums on Autopia, Autogeek, and Meguiars Online. Autogeek has some nice starter kits that come with a DA polisher (dual action) such as the PC 7424, Flex, or G110, a handful of polishing pads, and some compounds, polishes, and LSP (last step product).

I have the PC7424 DA and also the Chicago Electric rotary, a handful of lake country pads (at least one of each: blue fine finishing, black finishing, white polishing, orange compounding, and yellow compounding), and a couple of wool bonnets. I've tried a few different compounds and polishes and I really like Menzerna products and the Meguiars M105 and M205 line. I tried the Pinnacle XMT stuff and wasn't very impressed. It seems to breakdown way too quickly and IMO doesn't finish off very well.

Here's a couple pics of my old Grand Prix GTP I detailed. I started with a wool bonnet and Menzerna power-gloss on the rotary, and finished it off with Pinnacle XMT fine swirl remover on a white polishing pad, and topped it with NXT 2.0 wax.



50/50 (before the NXT 2.0 was applied)









I think its safe to say that each person finds his/her own methods to achieve the desirable results. FWIW, this Grand Prix was my first attempt at detailing and it was a great learning experience for me. My Mustang was in much better shape than that car and I was able to refine the finish to bring out the gloss and cut down on the relatively few swirls that were present. I've also detailed a few other cars since then and I feel more confident with my approach each time I do it. If you're serious about trying to do paint correction, my recommendation is to buy a nice starter kit from one of the sites I listed above, practice on a car you don't really care too much about, and do what you can to educate yourself by reading the online paint correction tutorials that are contained in the websites I listed above. Good luck and if you have more questions don't hesitate to ask.


New Member
Feb 9, 2012
Great post! I do have a question about something that wasn't covered (hard to believe since this was so detailed :)) Do you have any recommendations about cleaning maintaining the cloth convertible tops? I use Mother's Showtime detail spray each evening when I put the car in the garage, but I am not sure the best way for keeping the convertible top clean between washings.


Founding Member
Aug 1, 1998
I'm now considering switching up my previous detailing game, which wasn't nearly as much as some of you folks here. Impressive looking stuff. With my GT about to have new paint, I'm really gonna step things up and I want to keep it clean and protected as much as possible. But I live in a townhouse so having space to really do everything is a bit limited, though I do have assigned parking spots. Also time. One good thing though is that I do have a second vehicle so I can keep the Mustang limited in it's driving and it may not get so well as having a cover for it.

I might pick up a DA before long and test it out on my Explorer to see what'll work for me. I don't want to get too crazy with what I use as far as budget goes, but I think I'd just like to try some good off-the-shelf stuff.