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How to clean my firebird?

This is a discussion on How to clean my firebird? within the Showcar and Detailing forums, part of the General Help category; I have a 95 firebird 6 cly 3.8L my engine doesnt shine like everybody elses :*( altho when i pop ...

  1. #1
    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
    98' Trans Am Black

    How to clean my firebird?

    I have a 95 firebird 6 cly 3.8L
    my engine doesnt shine like everybody elses :*(
    altho when i pop the hood everybody says oo its clean!
    im like NO ITS NOT!

    some spots around the engine like where the battery is and air intake stuff like that has water marks of some sort like it sat there for ages and like melted into it.

    Is there any kind of solution to make the metal red parts under my hood look like new shiny metal again?

    also everytime i pop the hood it makes a huge THUMGMG noise and im afraid its going to shatter -_- its fiberglass. should it crack when i open it or am i fine? is there anyway to make the handle next to the brake to open the hood.. make it not shoot up as hard?

    Ty

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    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
    98' Trans Am Black

    how do u clean ur car?
    This is how I do it. Any suggestions? anything i should change? process or anything! please let me know!

    1. Cool car off with showers of water.

    2. I used a Wax and Wash soap and scrub down the car by sections "Including wheels.

    3. Rinse the sections soaped and repeat "2" for the rest of the car.

    4. Pull car back into the Garage and Shammy down.

    5. Use Armorall on all 4 tires front AND back of tire.

    6. " i need to know what to clean my wheels with :*( they are silver with clearcoat."

    7. Wax car inside of garage with turtle wax applied with a buffer.

    8. Use industrial strength glass cleaner for inside and out of windows.

    9. Vacuum Inside of car.

    10. Wipe dash/buttons all interior not carpet with armorall wipes.

    11. take car on a joy ride

    thats how i clean my car everyday its a red firebird

    How do you do it? what can i do differently. I`m trying to make this a hood down showcar

  3. #3
    Custom Painter/Tech Customta98's Avatar
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    Flame Red / Orange Custom
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    First off one major thing to remember is to wash your car from the top to the bottom, since the water will flow down carrying the dirt with it, now you don't want dirt to fall on your newly cleaned surface cause then you will have to clean it again so top to bottom.
    Now I myself don't like using sponges, they pick up dirt more but it stays in the sponge and you wipe that dirt back on the car and it causes scratches, now I just use a brush and wipe gently from top to bottom and then rinse top to bottom then go for a quick joy ride to dry off your car.
    Now get your self some quick detailer spray, don't buy super cheap, then get some microfiber cloths you can get like 10 at advance auto for like 9-10 bucks then after you get back from your joy ride to dry most of the car you will pick up road dirt and you should spray the detail spray in a roughly 2ft section then take the microfiber cloth and wipe in one direction after you did that your car will be looking pretty good.
    Then you can detail your rims and tires, just a tip on the tire shine just use the spray unless you drive down really dirt less roads I have found that the gel tends to pick up more dirt and make it harder to clean them later, I use Meguiars Hot Shine High Gloss Tire Coating spray. Since your rims are Aluminum not polished then you can detail them with some aluminum polish then spray tire shine or before what ever you like but if you do it before don't hit the tire with the polish. Also if your wheels are painted don't use polish just clean them with some degreaser and wax them with paste wax.
    Last edited by Customta98; 08-22-2009 at 08:49 PM.
    98 Trans Am Custom Paint, Ghost Skuls On Racing Stripe + Custom Front Lip, :MODs Tubular K-member, Tubular Upper and lower A-arms, Tubular Control Arms, 4:10's, Cam L-.567/.575 D@.05-.212/.218,1.85 Roller Rockers, P&P Heads, ARH Headers & HF Cats & Y-Pipe, SLP loudmouth catback, +'s

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    Custom Painter/Tech Customta98's Avatar
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    Flame Red / Orange Custom
    1998 Trans Am

    Meguiars Gold class is some good wax I would look into it if I was you. But check around on a lot of different types. Personally I'm not a fan of turtle wax but it works alright.

  5. #5
    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
    98' Trans Am Black

    ty guys helps a lot.

    yeah i remember to always do top 2 bottem
    and after washing i use a shammy to do most of the drying but for some reason i still get water marks and that really pisses me off

    the car itself is pretty shiny if you have seen some of my pics

    but i dont think its nice enough for car shows and stuff so im still working on it.

    also whats better

    using a clay bar
    or
    waxing it?

    ive never done a clay bar so im still trying new stuff out.

  6. #6
    Custom Painter/Tech Customta98's Avatar
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    Flame Red / Orange Custom
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterYou View Post
    ty guys helps a lot.

    yeah i remember to always do top 2 bottem
    and after washing i use a shammy to do most of the drying but for some reason i still get water marks and that really pisses me off

    the car itself is pretty shiny if you have seen some of my pics

    but i dont think its nice enough for car shows and stuff so im still working on it.

    also whats better

    using a clay bar
    or
    waxing it?

    ive never done a clay bar so im still trying new stuff out.
    Well you still need wax no matter what that is a very key part to help protect your paint. Wax is called a sacrificial coat for reason good it will keep dirt and oxidation off of the clear coat hence sacrificing its self to protect the clear.
    Basically this is what you want to do with the clay bar and what it dose for you. Clay bars are meant to help clean off oxidation and rail dust stuck into the clear coat.
    To use the clay bar properly you want your car to be nice and clean then find trouble spots that are rough feeling to your fingers that is where you want to use the clay bar. First off take out the clay bar and check it for dirt crud anything you don't want to wipe on your cars paint surface, it should look nice and yellow. After you checked the bar take it hold it flat in your hand then spray some quick detail spray on the paint surface move the clay bar lightly over the surface back an forth feeling the surface every now and again and it should start to feel smoother, once all of the spots are smooth you should be good then you can buff the surface if you want.
    Now don't buff your car too much cause it sands down the clear coat to make it flat thats how you get it glossy but if you do it too much you wont have any UV protection for you paint and the color will fade in the sun.
    After you get it all buffed use a paste wax apply by hand and let it dry to a haze then take it off with a microfiber cloth apply 2-3 coats and your car will shine like there is no tomorrow.
    If you have a problem with water spots just use some quick detail spray and a microfiber cloth to wipe clean and you wont any more and if you follow my steps on washing your car you should not have any water spots to worry about.
    Here is another way to reduce water spots on your car just wash it at a self car wash that has spot free rinse (ionized water is what spot free rinse is it takes the small amount of dirt in there and removes it basically) use it last the drive you car dry and it will clean up pretty good. Hope this helps if you need any more help let me know.

  7. #7
    Member wicked1's Avatar
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    Black
    1999 Trans Am

    Im not a fan of turtle wax either but I got some new turtle wax ICE and its the best thing Ive ever seen. My car looked like a sheet of black glass. A clay bar and wax serve two different purposes. A clay bar helps remove dirt thats been embedded in the paint that you missed when you washed. Its a little costly and and only be used a few times before needing replaced but using a clay bar before waxing really adds a new car shine to the paint. Just be sure to follow the directions. Also if you want a really good job youre going to need to plan on spending a good deal of time doing it. When I first did mine and took it to work people asked me if I got a new car or just had the old one repainted. I said neither I just polished it. That turtle wax ICE is also very forgiving and easy to use and it does not leave white wax residue all over everything. You can even polish the exterior plastic and rubber pieces with it.

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    Turgid Member Goat-E's Avatar
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    My method

    1: Wash entire car with Meguiars Gold Class (I'm talking about the wash soap. It's about the best you can get in an auto parts store)
    2: Turtle Wax Ice claybar. (No particular reason. I've used them all. Just figured I'd give it a try. It was adequate)
    3: Rinse and wipe down with clean water.
    4: High speed polish with 3M fine cut compound. (Only for experienced use or you'll burn the paint)
    5: Wash with Meguiars Gold Class to remove compound particles, dry.
    6: Meguiars or 3M show glaze with a 6" orbital and a foam pad.
    7: Wash with Meguiars Gold Class to remove glaze particles, dry.
    8: Seal with a non abrasive sealer/wax.(I use the 6' for this also. Apply with a clean foam pad with a micro fiber pad. Remove with a terry cloth pad also pulled over the foam pad) If the can/bottle says polish or cleaner wax throw it away. Meguiars 26 is adequate. I used NXT 2.0 just out of curiosity this time. It was good.
    9: Smooth out the wax/sealer with a non abrasive microfiber or soft lambs wool pad on 6" orbital polisher. This will take out swirls and streaks.
    This oughta take you 2 days. Go get a massage afterward cuz your back and shoulders will be sore.
    I do not use tire shine. It's dirt glue. It makes the dirt stick to the tires and seep into the rubber.
    You can also Clay Bar the windows to remove tree sap and other contamination. Do NOT wax your widows but you can polish them to take out fine scratches and make the glass shiny and smooth.
    You don't need to go through this torture every time. You can just wax after this for about 2 years depending on conditions.(This is only an estimate. To each their own)
    If your plastic and rubber look old and white get a product called autoglym plastic & rubber cleaner. It will make the trim look like new. It looks like this It's expensive (about $20 a liter) but worth every penny and lasts a long time.
    PS: This is about $250 in materials and that's if you know where to get them and at a good deal. The high speed polisher could run you over $200 (SnapOn. A new Milwaukee is about $160. I got one at Pep Boys for about $80 and the 6' orbital is about $25. 10' orbitals are only good for really big things like a bus) alone but you could probably rent one. You only need to high speed every couple of years. You could also do this all by hand and we will see you in a week!
    The safest way to clean your engine is a rag and some denatured mineral spirits (IMO) then apply some silicone based shine to the plastic parts. You can polish the aluminum and metal pieces with a product called Nevr-Dull. Water and an electronically controlled engine are a BAD combination.
    These are all IMO. I'm sure others have a different theory.
    Last edited by Goat-E; 08-23-2009 at 12:54 PM.

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    RED
    2002 FORMULA

    what is cleaner wax. I have some Mcguires cleaner wax, red can. I have have used Tech 2 twice, normally use Gold class. Now my rear lid gets a white film after a week or 2. Not impressed with tech 2. Also have mcguires detail spray and ice detail spray, ice is better.

  10. #10
    Turgid Member Goat-E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideon1200 View Post
    what is cleaner wax. I have some Mcguires cleaner wax, red can. I have have used Tech 2 twice, normally use Gold class. Now my rear lid gets a white film after a week or 2. Not impressed with tech 2. Also have mcguires detail spray and ice detail spray, ice is better.
    A cleaner wax has an abrasive polish in it. If you use it regularly it will wear the clear coat off of your paint.
    The detail spray helps to loosen up dirt and take it out of your paint but isn't getting the whole job done without the clay. For quick detailing it acts as a loosening agent and also ads some lubrication so that you don't drag/scratch the paint with dirt particles. I've never used it as a cleaner, just with the clay. IMO it costs too much $ to use as a cleaner on a regular basis.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Custom Swirly Black
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    I use Mr. Clean touchless washing products so the the amount of contact and risk of swirl marks are reduced. I follow the same steps as almost everyone else here but I use Meguiar's for almost everything (most of thier interior products come w.UV protectant, a must no matter what product you buy). Quik deatailer is amazing! I use eagle one etch/mag wheel cleaner, nothing has come close to cleaning wheels like this (I even used it to degrease my motorcycle when i bought it). The only other product I use that isn't Meguiar's is Armor All Gel leather care. I've heard never to use armor all, but I have used this for 3+years now and I think it has actually improved my leathers condition.

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    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
    98' Trans Am Black

    wow! thank you guys for all of that!!!

    I`m not sure of what methods to change yet but i need to do a lot more
    my car is clean and shiny the way i do it. but im wanting like a very shiny piece of red glass

  13. #13
    Member gbd99ws6's Avatar
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    silver
    1999 T/A WS6 A4

    So after reading all the posts, seems like I'm the only one who blowdries my car, before I hand dry. Everytime I wash it I get out the leaf blower, gets the water out of all the little crevices and leaves very little to hand dry. As for products, right now I'm hooked on Zaino.

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    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbd99ws6 View Post
    So after reading all the posts, seems like I'm the only one who blowdries my car, before I hand dry. Everytime I wash it I get out the leaf blower, gets the water out of all the little crevices and leaves very little to hand dry. As for products, right now I'm hooked on Zaino.
    what if a rock or something comes thru the blower it will goo BOOM

  15. #15
    Turgid Member Goat-E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbd99ws6 View Post
    So after reading all the posts, seems like I'm the only one who blowdries my car, before I hand dry. Everytime I wash it I get out the leaf blower, gets the water out of all the little crevices and leaves very little to hand dry. As for products, right now I'm hooked on Zaino.
    My friend Charles uses a leaf blower to dry his car.

  16. #16
    Member Mike's TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbd99ws6 View Post
    So after reading all the posts, seems like I'm the only one who blowdries my car, before I hand dry. Everytime I wash it I get out the leaf blower, gets the water out of all the little crevices and leaves very little to hand dry. As for products, right now I'm hooked on Zaino.
    I blow dry my car as well, I just do it at 70mph down the highway. :-D

    I can't justify buying an electric leaf blower just to dry my car, since I drive to the manual car wash anyways.

    AfterYou: If you really want some good advice on cleaning and detailing your car, you need to talk to Z06-Goose.

    Here is some of his work:
    1969 Porsche 911
    White Range Rover
    1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air
    A fine example of america automobile excellence!

    As for me, I will go to my local manual car wash. Use the wash, rinse, spot free. Then drive her dry. When home I use the Meguiars 3 step deep crystal system. Clay bar or not, first, depending on conditions. See my post on my results here. Used Meguiars and wow!!!
    Last edited by Mike's TA; 08-24-2009 at 10:06 AM.

  17. #17
    Member blackbird0230's Avatar
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    Personally I don't take this many steps and mine comes out great. and it's a black car.

    1. rinse, wash with automotive soap (I use the armorall with the mustang on it) <more bubbles. rinse.
    2. move into the garage and dry with absorber. Awesome drying tool
    3.to insure dry I air blow all the creases and turn signals that collects water.
    (this step is important for best finish)
    4. I high speed buff with meguiers scratch X. this is the best step IMO
    5. wax that ass. Wipe off. done.

    Results
    Last edited by blackbird0230; 08-24-2009 at 10:19 AM.

  18. #18
    Custom Painter/Tech Customta98's Avatar
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    Flame Red / Orange Custom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike's TA View Post
    I blow dry my car as well, I just do it at 70mph down the highway. :-D

    I can't justify buying an electric leaf blower just to dry my car, since I drive to the manual car wash anyways.

    AfterYou: If you really want some good advice on cleaning and detailing your car, you need to talk to Z06-Goose.

    Here is some of his work:
    1969 Porsche 911
    White Range Rover
    1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air
    A fine example of america automobile excellence!

    As for me, I will go to my local manual car wash. Use the wash, rinse, spot free. Then drive her dry. When home I use the Meguiars 3 step deep crystal system. Clay bar or not, first, depending on conditions. See my post on my results here. Used Meguiars and wow!!!
    Yeah I totaly agree ZO6 Goose is the best I have ever seen for detailing a car, He Knows his shit, pay attention to him with open ears and eyes cause you can lear a lot from him

  19. #19
    I Drive A 95' AfterYou's Avatar
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    01' Firebird Pewter
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    wow thank you guuys so much !!! btw his work is amazzzing

  20. #20
    nut butter Poppn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbd99ws6 View Post
    So after reading all the posts, seems like I'm the only one who blowdries my car, before I hand dry. Everytime I wash it I get out the leaf blower, gets the water out of all the little crevices and leaves very little to hand dry. As for products, right now I'm hooked on Zaino.

    +1 to blow drying. i do it with an electric leaf blower. my neighbors look at me funny lol

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