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How To Put a Show Car Finish on Your Chrysler 300

By Yamabob 3CF Super Moderator

Remember how your car looked when it was brand new? Would you like to see your car look that way again? In fact, would you like to drive and show a car with a mirror-like shine that is even “better than new”?

Detailing or correcting the paint on your car is a rewarding experience. There is nothing nicer than cruising in an ‘eye-catching’ shiny car – especially one as good looking as the Chrysler 300!

As long as you follow some simple steps and have the patience to spend the time, the results are often a finish better than what came from the factory.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Washing Your Car

What You Need:
  • 1 clean 5 gallon pail or bucket
  • A Grit Guard for the bucket (optional)
  • Supply of clean microfiber cloths and / or a clean wash mitt
  • A hose with a nozzle and lots of clean water
  • Car cleaning soap (shampoo) specifically designed for washing cars.
If one is not careful, washing in and of itself, can induce marks that can cause the paint to be less reflective.

The key is to work with a sudsy solution and use plenty of water .A pre wash soak will help to loosen up stubborn dirt. Your old T-shirt or sponge should not be used as these can induce damage. Be sure to remove your watches, rings, belts before you begin.
A microfiber made for washing or a wash mitt is fairly safe. A nice 5 gallon bucket is as good start. You can add a grit guard to help keep the dirt from being agitated in the bucket and going back on your wash rag.

There are advanced techniques, such as adding a foam cannon to a pressure washer to soak and dwell to really minimize damage, but most don’t need to do that. A good car shampoo is best for the paint. It is best to use a product designed for automotive washing. The old myth about dish soap removing your wax is only partly true.

Remember-a good quality sealant and wax are made to resist chemical attacks. Wheels should be done last and with a separate cloth. Excess water can be removed with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

After the car has been thoroughly washed and rinsed -this is very important - rinse with plenty of water - you can begin the next step.

Step 2: Claying Your Paint

What You Need:
  • A freshly cleaned car
  • A bar of Automotive Detailing Clay
  • A spray bottle of Quick Detailer
Does your car really need claying? Unless it’s a garage queen that never goes outside, the simple answer is, “Yes”.

Airborne contaminants such as tree sap, hard water spots from rain or washing, bugs and tiny particles of metal from brakes and road contaminants can take a toll on the surface of your paint.

Simply washing the car whether by hand or at the local car wash can induce swirls-scratches and other marks which will dull the appearance. The best most reflective surfaces are those that are flat and very smooth.

Claying is one of the first steps to help restore or improve the beauty of your car's finish. Automotive clay was first produced in Japan in 1990 to help remove overspray off of newly repainted cars.

It is not true clay, but a synthetic that has abrasives added to it. These abrasives are what help to remove not only old oxidized paint but also surface contaminants. Clays come in various degrees of abrasiveness. Most but not all surface contaminants can be removed by claying. Clay will remove surface contaminants by knocking down or leveling things that polishing will simply glide over.

One thing clay needs to function properly is a lubricant. By itself, it will simply stick to the cars surface. This is one of the few areas where and OTC product will benefit the user by cost reduction A simple Quick Detail spray makes a great lubricant.

Break off a small piece of clay and work it in your hands to help soften it up.
Make a small pancake about 2" x 2" and an 1/8" to 3/16ths inch thick. Spray an area no bigger than 2' x 2' and gently wipe back and forth with the clay. You will actually feel the surface become smooth. Keep the area well lubricated.

When surface is smooth, fold clay, re-flatten and move to another 2' x 2' area. It's a good practice to only do a panel or 2 at most with that piece of clay. Remember-you are removing particulates that can be re-introduced and cause marring. Throw away your small piece of clay when you can no longer fold out a 'pure' surface on the clay.

Don't worry about the minor flaws as the next step will remove them. You want to minimize the work at each step.

After the car is complete, a quick wash will remove any residue and prepare you for the next step - Polishing.

One rule of thumb in the detail business is to use the least aggressive means needed to get the desired results. This starts with the condition of the paint prior to beginning. A neglected surface will need more aggressive clay. While some OTC's come in a kit and are fine for the weekend warrior-there are products out there which will greatly improve the results of the finished product. As with any detailing step, it's best to start with a cool surface and work in a shaded area.

Step 3: Polishing Your Paint to a Mirror Smooth Shine
(in progress)

Step 4: Protecting & Enhancing Your Beautiful Shine
(in progress)
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