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Waxes and Dings

Waxes and Dings

I'm a new member to the List and a new Jaguar owner (a former Porsche loyalist). While I don't enter concours, I enjoy making the most of my cars. I have a pretty clean 92 Sovereign with 46K on the clock. Its black over black. I have been a long time Zymol user but have just received an order of Pinnacle. I am anxious to try it but, living in Minneapolis, I doubt I will have the opportunity until Spring. Any thoughts on the one wax over the other . . . or tips on use? I have noticed that just waxing the chrome tends to cloud it (I generally use metal polish - Blue Magic - followed by wax). Ideas on making it gleam? I would also like to get at the interior. The seat seams have a fair amount of goop in them and I would like to clean it out. I bought a natural-hair paint brush and trimed it so that it's firm but I'm not sure on the proper cleaning technique. I also have noticed that the wood cutouts (around the vents) is black in some spot but not in others. I assume it was originally all black. Is that right? And, if so, what's the best way to restore the color? Lastly, I have a pesky door ding I would like to take care of . . . thoughts? Sorry for the rambling . . . I have been waiting to ask these questions for some time. - Scott

In regard to your door ding, the best thing to do is see if there is a franchise of Dent Doctor in Minneapolis. Our Wisconsin Jaguar Club had a tech session at the local franchise last spring and it is amazing what they can do. It is a paintless repair whereby they access the back of the panel and massage out the ding with long special tools. This is for the typical dings where someone opens their car door into your side panel. If in the door, they use a wedge to slightly bow the door panel where it meets the side glass. In a few instances, they may have to drill a hole in a door post or through the boot but a plug seals it up later. They do a little touch up painting if necessary but it is best where the paint is OK but the sheet metal is dinged. It costs about $50-$70 for the first ding and less for each additional. They can access and fix 90% of the car area with this technique but it is obviously not for large dents and collision repair. I have recently seen and ad here for a company called Dent Wizard which I assume offers the same service. A lot of business for these companys is for used car dealers where they take in trades with dings. In these cases, the company does the work on the dealer's lot. - Bob Reid

Scott> I have a late 82 xj6, a 3 time first in classs JCNA winner. My advice to you is that you are wasting money with ZYMOL and I have never heard of Pinnacle, but what you say about the chrome clouding shows that they are not doing the job. FIRST: STOP using chrome POLISH. Everytime you use it you are removing some of the chrome plating. SECOND: buy a good quality NON-abrasive CARNAUBA wax (several brands are good. I have used Eagle, and Classic for 20 years!). This wax gives absolutely the clearest, most brilliant, UV protective shine, and it is a snap to put on. It makes your chrome glisten, clearly. You also use it on the wood inside the Jaguar to protect it from sun damage. You can apply coat after coat with absolutely no damage to the paint. Leather:you are using something like LEXOL to keep it soft and supple, I hope? To clean, use something like the LEXOL cleaner which is designed with the right PH for leather so that it will not dry or damage it. There is no car shinier than mine, so I know this stuff works and has worked, as I said, for 20 years. - Gregory Andrachuk

Thanks for the tips! I have a Connelly leather care kit and it has worked pretty well. What technics do you use on cleaning the seams? Scrubbing the cleaner in with a brush? I have some carnuba wax (can't recall the brand but its non-abrasive) and would like to apply it to the interior wood. I have the car in a semi-heated garage (above freezing) . . . is it O.K. to wax at these low temps? Thanks again for your help. Advice from people with such experience is invaluable. - Scott

No. Wax should be applied above 60 degrees F. For absorptive surfaces, if the wood is not laquer coated, it should be quite warm. Park the car outside on a bright sunny day and heat it up. Work the leather treatment in with your hand. A good leather treatment compound will also be good for your skin. That's another way to evaluate these things. - Kelly P.

For Scott re: Carnauba wax and leather care: Scott, you can use the carnauba wax at any temperature. My car is in an UNheated garage, and I have used it in the winter. This wax does not go cloudy, and is very easy to buff to a brilliant shine. This may be because it is basically made by God and not by chemical engineers! The wax is the natural wax found in the Brazilian carnauba tree and is what gives the leaves their shiny protective coat. You can use this wax on everything that is smooth, including the black rubber bumpers. Two coats gives them a gloss that is unequalled, much better than those "black wax" products made for bumpers. True! About the leather: the idea is to use the minimum of cleaner, and with a very soft bristle brush, and by that I mean something like a SOFT bristle toothbrush. Follow up with some leather conditioner like LEXOL. If you have a Connolly kit, it probably contains their HIDE FOOD. I think you will find, no, I know you will find, that something like LEXOL is much easier to use and more effective than HIDE FOOD (which I have used in the past, but gave up because it requires a lot of buffing to get rid of the sticky feel left on the leather). Make sure that you treat the top of the rear seat regularly since this is the area of greatest sun damage. The leather dries, shrinks, and then pulls at the sttching. LEXOL will actually expand and soften the leather so if there is a hint of this problem, that is what I recommend, and no, I do not have shares in LEXOL, not am I related to anyone there, I am just a very satisfied and impressed owner. I have found that I can buy larger size bottles of this product at tack shops. Good luck! - Gregory Andrachuk

Hi Scott & all -- Scott, to clean the leather seams gently, use a bit of Ivory liquid dishwashing detergent or equivalent mixed with enough water to make suds, and go over the seams with it and a SOFT (worn-out) toothbrush, with GENTLE pressure. Do as many times as necessary to be sure seams are clean, then dry thoroughly with terrycloth towel. After this cleaning, put Connolly Hide Food on all leather surfaces (light coat with a terry washcloth), let set up 1/2 hour (more if very cold), buff out with a clean terry towel. Do Hide Food every 3 months, and leather will stay soft and usable. For wood: my brother-in-law, who's a woodworker, recommended years ago that I wax the wood with Minwax Finishing Wax (paste, in yellow can). I've followed his advice since acquiring 792817 BW, my original Mk IX, in Feb. '89, and the original wood GLOWS! Put a thin coat on with terry washcloth, let set up 1/2 hour (more if very cold), buff out with clean terry towel. If your wood is close to original without damage, you'll like the finish this gives you. I hope this is helpful -- happy holidays to all! Larry Martz

Carnauba wax can be applied at virtually ANY temperature with no change in gloss properties. I have done it in freezing conditions in an unheated garage, as well as in summer heat. Same result. - Gregory Andrachuk

Funny enough, just when I was thinking about posting a question on concours I return to a mailbox with the latest digest! Well, let's keep the momentum going here - I have some comments on the previous discussion and then some questions. First, I too have used both Lexol and Hide Food. Lexol is the best for regular maintenance, but when starting with an old piece that needs to be thouroughly clean and treated (after a PO that did not know the difference btw. leather and vinyl) I have used the following with good results. First use Lexol cleaner (this is a separate product from their conditioner) to clean it, and wipe off with moist cheesecloth or eqv. Then apply Hide Food in fairly liberal amounts and work it in with cheesecloth. I did 2...3 rounds of this (with a few days in between each) and after the final buffing the leather came out as new. I then finished off with a thin coat of Lexol and use that for regular maintenance now. My leather guy did warn me though that sometimes Hide Food can cause leather to dry out (has not happened to me) and he recommended to use Lexol only. OK, then to the issue of paint maintenance. You guys were talking about Carnauba a lot - Now I have been following Thomas Nast's guide (he preaches Meguiar's Medallion and other products) and have been fairly happy with that. On my Ser. 1 Jag this with their #7 polish does a good job (once the paint is clean). However, Nast says that Carnauba is something one should not have too much of in a wax, and of course all abrasives (as well as silicones incidentally) should be avoided (unless one talks about cleaners of course). Does anyone have comments on this? How about Mr. Nast's guidelines in general? (They are available on the main page of the xjlovers website, at http://www.jag-lovers.org/xjlovers/ ).

Then I am curious about clear coat & metallic paints. All the Meguiar's stuff is clear coat safe, but I have a new car (just got it 2 months back) with a metallic paint+clear coat. The manual says I do not need polish, but that an occasional wax treatment is to be recommended. Now, I try to wash my car very gently, and use 100% cotton to wipe it dry. The wax I use is Meguiar's Medallion. However, I am worried about hairline scratches (and concours people know what I am talking about - these are VERY tough to avoid since they seem to appear by the mere washing of a car). You know, these thin scratches that you can't see or feel unless you look at your car from a specific angle in direct sunlight. So, what is the correct procedure for clear coat, and especially on a new car? How long does one have to wait before the paint has hardened 100%? Is there any way to avoid/treat hairline scratches/swirls? - Per Stenius

I bought a new car about 3 months ago with metalic paint, and the manual says it takes 6 months. The local paint shop that did my XJ6 said to wait "at least 6 weeks, preferrably 3 months" before waxing. Probably depends to some extent on the paint manufacturer and application method. >Is there any way to avoid/treat hairline scratches/swirls? The only way to avoid them is to put the car in a sealed dust-free room and never touch it. A large part of most dust is actually sand, so any wiping of the surface is like using sandpaper. Driving the car is analogous to sandblasting. It's a rough world our there! Of course, you can do things to reduce the amount of abbrasion that you inflict on the car. Washing with lots of water and little wiping pressure, frequent changing and cleaning of towels/sponges/chamois/etc. Detailing books recommend all wiping be in parallel strokes lengthwise along the car, rather than in a circular motion. They also suggest that it is much better to clean off any dirt/grime/tar/bugs/droppings as soon as possible, rather than let it accumulate on the car. For simple dust they recommend those wax-impregnated dusting wands. For stuff that's water soluble they recommend sponging with no rubbing until the stuff lifts off. For things that need tar remover, they suggest cotton swabs and gentle rolling/lifting action instead of rubbing. Of course, they also recommend avoiding driving show cars in bad weather. All this stuff works if you are willing to dilligently invest the time in it -- I only washed my XJ6 twice in the three years that I owned it, and once was right after I got it. But I spent many hours cleaning it on a regular basis. It still got scratches, but no where near as many as my wife's Volvo that we bought at about the same time and washed and waxed in the usual once-every-couple-of-months manner. Treatment requires some form of polishing and then waxing. Of course, polishing removes paint a little at a time, so you don't want it to be a regular process. When I'm judging a car, by the way, I rarely notice minor scratches in the paint (a fresh wax job hides an awful lot). I'm usually looking for rust bubbles, fading, peeling, dents, chips, bad repairs, orange peel, mismatching of colors between sections, worn-through areas, etc. There are typically more than enough of these to distinguish any two cars. Comparing levels of minor scratches is very difficult because it depends on factors like the lighting, the angle of the car with respect to the sun, other surfaces that are being reflected by the car, and the color of the paint itself. I would only feel comfortable making a deduction for scratches if they were clear and obvious. Chip Weems

a reply to Per Stenius: I mostly agree with your posting about leather treatment and waxes, with the following comments: I have used both HIDE FOOD and LEXOL (as well as other products, and I strongly advise AGAINST using Mother's Leather Conditioner: it gives a shiny, plastic look to the leather). Hide Food is water based. Water and Leather? No thanks. It is more difficult to use than LEXOL, and I have found LEXOL to do a remarkable job of softening old leather. My car now has new, original Jaguar (not aftermarket) leather. Before installing these I treated them with Hide Food. But since installation they have received regular Lexol treatment. When I recently removed my rear seat, I found to my amazement, that the portion of the seat bottom which sits UNDER the seat back, in other words, the portion of the leather which had not had the benefit of the regular LEXOL treatments, was NOTICEABLY stiffer and harder (now, since the leather is new, this is relative) than the rest of the seat, which HAD the LEXOL treatment.This was proof enough for me. This means that my leather is in fact softer and more pliant than it was when shipped from the the factory two years ago! In any case, I know that people always comment on the beauty and the feel of the leather, so I am sticking with this product. WAXES: I have used Carnauba waxes for at least 25 years. They are non abrasive (if you get the right kind), easy to use, and give the most brilliant shine. This wax is also wonderful for the chrome, the rubber parts and the WOOD inside the Jaguar. I am presently using EAGLE brand but have used others including CLASSIC. There does not seem to be any noticeable difference between them, but I would never use any other type. Clear coat or not, this is best in my opinion. Clear coats should NOT be subjected to regular abrasive cleaners because if you cut through the clear coat, you have only a flat coloured surface. Clear coating is literally a clear shiny coat on a flat colour coat. Those spider marks, the fine scratches that Per refers to, are almost impossible to avoid and are most noticeable on dark colours. My 82 has a clear coat white finish so these scratches are only rarely noticeable. The best thing for dealing with them is to use a GLOSS coat (made by several different manufacturers, including MOTHER's, and theirs is good. They are in the business of SHINING, so naturally, or unnaturally their leather treatment gives an undesirable shine!) and to follow the GLOSS coat with a coat of Carnauba wax. This procedure gives a brilliant, hard shine which eliminates the appearance of those scratches (they are still there of course, but the GLOSS coat is designed to "fill" them. The GLOSS coat is left to dry before buffing). I found that in the last concours my car was so shiny (and white) that the judge remarked that it was blinding. He seemed to spend more time than necessary looking for imperfections! - Gregory Andrachuk

Thanks Chip and Gregory for your expert comments! Chip, you mentioned detailing books - any good ones that you could recommend? - Per Stenius

Warn't me, Per. Detailing books? UGH. Use Meguiars and work hard. - William C. W. Lamb

I picked up a couple at one of the local megabookstores a few years ago. Can't remember the titles off-hand. But my overall impression was that they were a lot of filler with just a few good suggestions and some that were questionable. The good ones made sense, whereas the others seemed either steeped in ritual or intended to get you to buy some product. I wouldn't recommend actually buying them -- better to check them out at a public library and make some notes. Some of them are just hard-copy infomercials for car-care product lines and will tell you that you need some chemical to accomplish virtually anything (e.g., get Motheguires specially formulated antenna polish, in either the chrome or black version, depending on your aerial's finish). Besides keeping the car from accumulating dirt, one of the other generally good suggestions was to use care in applying wax etc. so that you don't get it into places you don't want it. For example, it's a real pain to clean wax out of the letters of a plastic logo, as is removing oversprayed vinyl protector from the bottom edge of the windshield near the dashpad. In the extreme, they recommend using cotton swabs to work up to the edges all of the areas you want to avoid, and only using larger applicators in the middle of larger areas. I have had several concourse winners tell me that their real secret is thousands of Q-tips and a lot of patience (old toothbrushes, wooden cuticle sticks, and artists paintbrushes also seem to figure heavily in their bag of tricks). Another point I remember was that home detailing and professional detailing usually have different goals. Professionals need to get the best looking overall results in the least time, so they tend to use stronger chemicals than you can buy retail. A lot of their work is prepping a car for a sale, so it needs to look good for a buyer's inspection -- OK to do a pressure wash, quick machine polish, spray wax, and hit it with a finish enhancer to make it glow for a short time. Not the sort of thing you'd want to do every weekend. Home detailing is seeking to preserve the finish, so uses milder chemicals, gentler washing and hand-application of materials. Not that you can't find professionals who will do this too -- it's just that you have to explicitly seek them out. - Chip Weems

If you have the time...... write, call, fax or email (it will require a computer however) the various manufactors of cleaning etc.(detailing) products and ask for product literature and advice as to how best to use their products....... I'm sure that they will be more than happy to help. They spend untolds amount of money on R+D to make their product "better," so use their knowledge. As a side thought..... medical supply house have VERY long "cotton swabs," 6 -12 inches that can be helpful when trying to reach to unreachable.

QUESTION 1: Can a "hair stylist" charge more money for cutting hair than a barber ? QUESTION 2: If you label a product for "detailing" can you charge more money than if you label it for what it actually does ? - Ron S

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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