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 Post subject: How to remove oxidized paint & swirl marks (Carbon)
PostPosted: January 6th, 2014, 7:32 pm 
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Started to go a bit Colt crazy!
Started to go a bit Colt crazy!

Joined: January 1st, 2012, 11:27 pm
Posts: 526
Location: bath, somerset
Model: CJ (1996 - 2004)
: facelift gen 2 cyborg RS
I recently got around to polishing the Carbon Kevlar bonnet of my car which had been suffering from oxidized paint ever since I first bought it. So on Saturday I finally got around to sorting it out, and I am over the moon with the results!

For anyone that is new to the world of detailing and machine polishing I highly recommend looking at Larry Kosilla's YouTube channel and his videos on the /Drive network.

AMMO NYC
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYsa8SOy3TkoxI5D17s1u-w

/Drive Clean
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDW6i9VIK4M&list=PL96D52AF54166C886

So in this write up I am going to be focusing on the bonnet as the rest of the car is due a respray later this year (Finally!!) so that will be left for another day. Carbon Fiber or Carbon Kevlar bonnets are usually clear coated to give them both shine and protection. Most modern paints are also clear coated (2 pack paint) over older (1 or single pack paints) so what you are actually polishing is the clear coat rather than the colour it's self. Over time without proper protection and washing and drying techniques the clear coat can become faded and scratched which dramatically reduces the amount of light it reflects, making the paint look dull and tired.

This video will be your best port of call for more information on the above topic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYed_Hnrql4

So onto the job at hand, now what tools am I going to need? (In true Mighty car mods style)
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Polishing:
A direct action or rotary polisher (DA's are much safer and easier to use)
A set of polishing pads, one for cutting, one for polishing, and one for refining
A cutting compound and a polishing/refining compound

Decontamination products include:
Dish washing detergent to strip off all existing wax
A clean clay bar
Tar remover or similar product (Tarox/Iron X)

Additional equipment:
Spray wax or spray detailer (Not pictured)
Synthetic sealant & or Carnuba wax
Applicator pads
Spare spray bottles for dish washing detergent mix
A Pre wax preparation product (Auto finesse rejuvenate pictured)
A high powered torch or light to help you see the swirl marks and watch your progress
Masking tape
Cloths to cover up parts of the car you don't want to strip wax from unless doing the whole car

So first step make sure you have everything to hand in your work space, Make sure everything is clean, dirty pads or microfiber towels could scratch the paint and undo your hard work before you even begin. So start by washing the car or area you are working on with the Dish washing detergent, car shampoos tend to leave a thin layer of protection depending on the product you are using so to save time and product wash with the dish washing detergent, If you have a snow foam lance you can simple foam the car in it and it should strip all sealants and waxes off of the car. The idea is to leave you with naked paint so you can see the true condition of the paint and to make sure you are working directly on the paint rather than having to cut through anything during the process. Once the car is clean ensure that you dry it off properly, having water running into your compound will reduce it's efficiency and leave you with a wet pad.

Once the car is clean begin the decontamination process, use any products you have to remove tar and Iron deposits from the paint Iron X for example with leave you with something like this.
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Once that is done you can move onto clay barring the car. You can clay bar the car during the wash process if you want, just make sure you keep the surface wet with your mitt and clean bucket water. Or you can use a dedicated spray detailer to lubricate the clay and the surface. Use straight motions and apply light pressure. The area will be clean once it goes quiet and you can look at the clay to see how heavily contaminated it is. Remold the clay and start on another section, this will pull off tree sap, road grime, and general pollutants that sit on the paint. These steps are very important to ensure you don't inflict more swirl marks to the paint when polishing as well as keeping your pads clean and lengthening their life.

For doing the bonnet I simply washed it, Wiped it down with a diluted solution of Fairy, and then Clay barred the surface. I knew from previous work I had done on it that it had no Tar spots and the clay bar came up with almost nothing as It had been clayed and waxed in the past by myself.

Wiped down
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Nothing to take off with the clay
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Once the paint is completely free from contaminants it's time to assess what sort of condition it is in. This is where your light comes in handy, go over the area with the light and look at it from different angles to see how bad it is, look for deep scratches, chips, flat or dull patches and non smooth paint like orange peel for example. Knowing what the paint is really like you can decide on the level of work and what techniques you are going to use as well as products.

So for me I had,

Badly faded and oxidized clear coat (Where it is white)
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The top of the bonnet was the worst, this is due to the heat from the engine and water sitting on the top end of the bonnet.
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Scratched
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Once that is done begin masking the car up, avoid strong tapes like duct or packaging tape, it will leave glue residue on the paint and is much stickier than is needed. I masked the edges of my wings, the tops of my headlights and put a line done the middle of my bonnet for a good comparison of my work. If you are doing the whole car mask any sharp edges, window rubbers, trim pieces etc. This will help protect you from shredding a pad, or transferring compound onto parts where it's not wanted.

In my case I removed my wiper blades as well.
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Bonnet was raised and propped and sheets applied to protect the wax when I was using the washing detergent so I didn't strip the wax from other panels.
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Now onto the cutting stage, I took my cutting pad (The brown one) and placed it as centrally as possible on the DA, they are stuck on with Velcro so I was careful to ensure it had stuck properly by pressing it into the Velcro. I next primed the pad which is done by spraying some quick detailer or spray wax onto the pad and rubbing it in, a light misting will suffice. This helps the compound spread onto the pad easily as well as providing some lubrication to the pads for when you first start using the pad, the same is done with your polishing and refining pad as well. I then apply the cutting compound to the pad, this is done by putting small blobs on the outside of the pad, I tend to do about 8 blobs all opposite to each other, if you find your paint is absorbing a lot of your compound then you can always add more to the center or outside as well. To spread the compound into the area you are going to start cutting put the DA on a low setting like 2, tap the pad on the surface and then spread it around with the DA on 2. Once it is spread about you can apply some lubricant from either a quick detailing spray, spray wax, or some drops of water. Try and use it conservatively to allow the pad and compound to be effective in cutting the paint. You may find it needs very little lubricant depending on your paint, but if you find the pad is sticking and the compound drying, stop and re lubricate the area and the pad, your DA may also be going too fast so you can drop the speed down as well. I ran mine on 5 throughout the whole process as it was the fastest I could go without it heating up too fast.

When using the DA try and go in straight lines up and down, left to right over the area you are working, ensure that the pad is actually turning and not just vibrating, reducing the pressure on the pad and changing the speed you are going over the area can affect this so try and few different speeds to see what works best for you. Stuff like this can be really useful to learn on an old panel if you are unsure of what you are doing or want to get some practice before working on your own or someone elses' car.

Keeping an eye on your progress is crucial as the key is to remove as little paint as possible so you want to know exactly when you have achieved the correction level you are wanting. Once the compound has buffed off or begins to leave stretches of paint with no compound on stop, buff off the remaining compound with a microfiber towel, and assess what it has achieved. it may need more work, some scratches may be deeper than others, so repeat the process until you are happy with the level of cut that has been achieved. Don't worry if the paint seems a bit flat and dull, this is normal when cutting as the courser pad and compound is sanding the top layer of paint off. You should also be weary not to burn through the paint, especially on the edges, this is where DA's provide vital protection, rotary polishers will show no mercy for those who don't know what they are doing. Professional detailers will measure the depth of the paint with a paint depth gauge. These can be be purchased but are an expensive tool for the weekend warrior. But could prove vital for anyone doing a lot of polishing or working on other peoples cars.

Here is after my first pass, right side cut.
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Still a faint mark here
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 Post subject: Re: How to remove oxidized paint & swirl marks (Carbon)
PostPosted: January 6th, 2014, 7:33 pm 
Offline
Started to go a bit Colt crazy!
Started to go a bit Colt crazy!

Joined: January 1st, 2012, 11:27 pm
Posts: 526
Location: bath, somerset
Model: CJ (1996 - 2004)
: facelift gen 2 cyborg RS
Once I was happy that the oxidation had been removed, it took me about 4 passes until I was happy I began the polishing process. I moved onto the yellow polishing pad and the refining compound, you an get specific polishing compounds as well but it did work exceptionally well to being back the shine.

Big difference in the this picture
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And after refining, the pictures don't really do it justice, I went over the whole bonnet again after bother sides had been done with the refining pad, my average camera phone and bad lighting.
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Tape lifted
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Managed to borrow the neighbors garage, always better to do this kind of work inside.
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And now the otherside done, the difference is massive compared to how it was!
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No swirl marks!!
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And waxed
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I will add more pictures once the weather is better (Could be long wait!) I have tried to go into much more detail than I probably should have, but to fully understand the processes and techniques watch the videos in the links at the top, Larry is a top guy, and I learnt 70% off my stuff by watching his content and asking him questions in emails. I will be adding more to this topic over time and maybe some more topics in the future. Any questions just comment below and I'll try my best to answer them.


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 Post subject: Re: How to remove oxidized paint & swirl marks (Carbon)
PostPosted: January 6th, 2014, 8:46 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2008, 6:49 pm
Posts: 3624
Location: Reading
Model: CJ (1996 - 2004)
I'm interested to see how long this lasts as mine is oxidizing badly and have been told by a carbon fibre specialist that the only way to get rid of it is to sand it down to the carbon and relaquer it as its in the gel coat

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Check out my project post (paid members) viewtopic.php?f=125&t=13368


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