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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I'm back. http://www.z06vette.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76627

Picked up some clay on the way home. I got from the doors back done but now I'm on edge. I notice an extreme amount of orange peel, a slight dullness ( could be clay residue) and lots of super-fine scratches (not anything you can hang a nail on or anything AND these are visible under the flourescent lights in the garage). The paint seems to be coming off though. Is the above normal - especially noticing the fine scratches? Could this be the finish being stripped to zero and now everything is unhidden? I've shocked and what a f-up this was!
 

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I have been using clay since '97. The haze you refer to is residue that will wipe off. Don't get excited about what you see right now. Wait until after you wax it and then see what see looks like. As for the scratches, those did not come from the clay unless your rubbing hard. The clay is suppose to glide across the wet surface. If you have been doing it correctly then those scratches were already there. Remember, clay takes everything off so any wax that was hiding these is gone.
 

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You're just seeing the paint w/o polish. Wax/polish hide those fine scratches and the orange peel. With the clay bar you are taking that shine away that hide the imperfections. If you use detailing spray with the bar and buff that dry you don't notice it as much but you still need to re polish when done. Just great to see that fine vette paint finish :( Don't worry almost everybody's has the peel/fine scratches crap just shine her up!
 

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I am worried about these fine scratches....

As others have said...yes...it is very true that using the clay will strip the paint finish of the product you had on it. If that product had fillers...yes...the scratches/swirls will reappear.

Here is my clay routine:

Wash your Z with a quality car shampoo (Meguiar's, Mother's Zaino...etc).

Leave the car wet...DO NOT DRY IT.

Pull the Z into your garage and spay a small section down (half the hood, fender, door...etc.) with a good quick detailer type product.

Apply the clay in straight back and forth type motions using a slight amount of pressure. You will feel the clay "stick" on the first few passes as it grabs the contaminants. When the clay starts to glide on the paint the contaminants have been removed. Don't be afraid to use generous amounts of lube...it can only help the whole process.

Take a good quality microfiber towel and buff the clay residue away.

Knead (fold) the clay so a fresh, clean surface is revealed on the bar and repeat the process on the next section.

Some folks will wash their car again after the whole process just to make sure all the residue is removed.

If you don't mind me asking...

What type of clay are you using?
What type of lube are you using with it?
Did you wash the car before the clay application?
Are you "kneading" the clay bar after each section?
What are you wiping the clay residue off with?
What type of products did you have on your Z before the clay application?
 

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Cleaning with Clay
Every car finish shares a common enemy: pollution. It relentlessly pursues your car from the second it leaves the factory until your car meets its ultimate demise. It's in the air we breathe, it's on the roads we drive, and it attaches to your car's paint, where it bonds and begins a process of oxidation.

When contaminants get a solid grip on your car's paint, washing alone may not be enough to remove them. Pre-wax cleaners also may not be able to exfoliate large particles. In this case, you have two choices: use a polishing compound, which removes a lot of paint material, or use Z-18 ClayBar. Clay isn't a polish or a compound, it is a surface preparation bar that smoothes the paint and exfoliates contaminants.

USES FOR CLAY
Clay is not a cure-all or a replacement for polishing. It's a tool for removing surface contamination. One of the many reasons for using clay is the removal of brake dust. Brake dust contamination, which attaches to painted rear bumpers and adjoining surfaces, is a metallic surface contaminant that can be removed safely and effectively by using clay.

Clay is also very effective on paint over-spray. If the over-spray is particularly heavy, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional. Tree sap and tar specks can also be safely removed with a clay bar. Recently, I have also started using clay on my windows (exterior) to remove heavy road film, bug deposits and water spots. It works very well, and seems to outperform even the best window cleaners.

EVALUATING YOUR PAINT FOR CLAY
How do you know if you need to use Z-18 ClayBar? After thoroughly hand washing and drying your car, stretch a piece of saran wrap over your hand extending past your fingertips. Gently slide the saran wrap across the finish of your vehicle. Does the surface feel bumpy or gritty? These bumps are contaminants attacking the finish of your car. Removing these surface contaminants (rail dust, road tar, bug residue, paint over-spray, brake pad dust, hard water spots, etc.) will improve both the look and health of your car's paint.

No matter how well you hand-wash your car, many of the contaminants that have worked their way into your car's paint finish will remain. Have you ever looked at your applicator pad after applying a coat of polish? What do you think that black stuff is? It's dirt, and you're sealing it in.

USING THE Z-18 CLAYBAR
Before using a Z-18 ClayBar on your car, you must thoroughly clean and dry your car to remove any loose dirt. Direct sunlight should not fall on your car's surface, and it's best if the work area is relatively cool to prevent rapid evaporation of the clay lubricant.

To use the clay bar, you spray a water-based lubricant (1/2 a cap of Z-7 Show Car Wash with 16 ounces of water) on a small area of your car and rub the bar back and forth with light to medium pressure. Z-18 ClayBar should glide across your paint like a hockey puck on ice. If the lubricant begins to dry, and the Z-18 ClayBar begins to drag, you'll need to spray more lubricant. Clay is fairly sticky, and cannot be used dry.

After a few passes with the ClayBar, rub your hand over the area to feel if the surface contamination was removed. Keep rubbing until all contamination bumps are gone. Finally, wipe the clay residue off with a soft terrycloth towel, and buff to a nice luster. Just like waxing, work in small areas.

Check your Z-18 ClayBar frequently for hard particles. When found, pick them off. Make it a habit to occasionally knead and reform the bar so that a fresh portion of the bar contacts your car's paint. If you drop your bar of clay on the ground, it's history. Toss it out. Don't take any chances, discard the clay bar if it becomes impregnated with grit. Read the manufacturers' directions for the number of uses of their clay bar. Do not overuse a clay bar.

When you're finished claying your car, you should wash it with Z-7 Show Car Wash to remove the lubricant film. Finally, polish and seal your freshly cleaned paint with your choice of Z-2 Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Car Finishes, Z-3 Show Car Polish for Non-clear Coated Paint, or Z-5 Show Car Polish for Swirl Marks and Fine Scratches enabled with ZFX™ Flash Cure Accelerator Additive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1 Clean Z06 said:
I am worried about these fine scratches....

As others have said...yes...it is very true that using the clay will strip the paint finish of the product you had on it. If that product had fillers...yes...the scratches/swirls will reappear.

Here is my clay routine:

Wash your Z with a quality car shampoo (Meguiar's, Mother's Zaino...etc).

Leave the car wet...DO NOT DRY IT.

Pull the Z into your garage and spay a small section down (half the hood, fender, door...etc.) with a good quick detailer type product.

Apply the clay in straight back and forth type motions using a slight amount of pressure. You will feel the clay "stick" on the first few passes as it grabs the contaminants. When the clay starts to glide on the paint the contaminants have been removed. Don't be afraid to use generous amounts of lube...it can only help the whole process.

Take a good quality microfiber towel and buff the clay residue away.

Knead (fold) the clay so a fresh, clean surface is revealed on the bar and repeat the process on the next section.

Some folks will wash their car again after the whole process just to make sure all the residue is removed.

If you don't mind me asking...

What type of clay are you using?
What type of lube are you using with it?
Did you wash the car before the clay application?
Are you "kneading" the clay bar after each section?
What are you wiping the clay residue off with?
What type of products did you have on your Z before the clay application?

Thanks for the help. I am using Meguires clay, Meguires detailing mist as a lube, no-I did not/could not wash the car berfore the claying as the paint overspray landed on an otherwise dusty car (this is what really bothers me), I am turning the clay frequently, I had 3 fresh coats of Zaino Z2 on the car (this sure isnt hurting me!).

I just dont like all the microfine clearcoat scratches I see as the finish was pristine prior to this f-up. I think possibly looking at this under flourescent lighting is only magnifying every blemish but when i clay I am actually rubbing against (1) paint overspray and (2) a fair amount of dust already on the car. I dont know what else to do or how to make things right again besides claying. I think when i am done I will re-wash the car with Dawn, hit it with some polish on the buffing pad, rewash and then Zaino again all with my fingers crossed. What else can I do / does this sound reasonable?? Thanks again.
 

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JKLNHDE I have a feeling in my gut you are introducing new scratches into the paint as you clay. The reason I say this is because as you stated "... but when i clay I am actually rubbing against (1) paint overspray and (2) a fair amount of dust already on the car". The overspray you are claying against will not mar the paint as it is already bonded to the surface. The clay will simply pick up the contiminants as you work. The lose dust on the otherhand is a different story. The dust will simply be suspended in the lube then worked into the paint as you run the clay over it introducing scratches. When you clay a vehicle always make sure the paint surface is 100% free of lose contiminants.

After you rewash and clay the car I would indeed polish it. If you have a Porter Cable 7424 I would use that with a polishing pad and a good polish. Klasse All in One or Menzerna Intesive Polish or Final Polish are all great products and 100% compatible with Zaino as they do not contain any oils. You can polish your car then go straight to your Zaino application without having to wash with Dawn again. I would try layering some Z-5 before you apply your Z-2 as the Z-5 has some fillers in it and will hide any scratches or swirls that you could not buff out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see plenty of Z5 in my future. Can anyone think of another way out of this or is claying as I have been doing my best option? Thanks.
 

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Oh man, I did not realize that you had clayed your car without washing. I always wash and dry the car first. If this is in fact what you did, I cannot help you. This might be something for a pro detail shop to try to buff out or a good wet sand for you.
 
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