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mwalsh
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Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:51 pm

Despite a good coat of wax a few months ago, my hatch feels nasty and rough, and I've got some specks of Lord-knows-what stuck on the paint harder than I don't know (they certainly don't come off with washing). Anyone with clay bar experience care to share some techniques?
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ENIAC
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Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:12 pm

Claying is done to remove micro contaminants which settle on a vehicle. So typically you clay the horizontal surfaces rather than the vertical surfaces. If you have visible substances on your paint, claying probably won't do the job. I would soak a microfiber towel in car wash soap and leave it on the area for awhile to see if that loosens it.

But if you decide to clay, here's my technique. Remove your ring(s) and your watch. Moisten the clay and spread it out over your palm between the little finger and thumb. The little finger and thumb actually touch the cars surface, so you can feel the proper pressure. Wet the area. Work in a small 2' by 2' area at a time. I use water but they make a clay lube as well. Only work the clay in a back and forth lateral direction along the length of the car. No swirling or side to side motions. You're done with the area when it's smooth to the touch. Keep the area wet and fold the clay over and rework it as you move to a new area. You typically only need to clay the horizontal surfaces where contaminants settle. When you're done claying, rinse the car, dry it, and apply a wax.
mwalsh wrote:Despite a good coat of wax a few months ago, my hatch feels nasty and rough, and I've got some specks of Lord-knows-what stuck on the paint harder than I don't know (they certainly don't come off with washing). Anyone with clay bar experience care to share some techniques?
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z0ner
Posts: 497
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:16 am
Delivery Date: 18 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 0909
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:09 pm

ENIAC is right on, but I wanted to add something that may be MOTO: the bar is VERY slippery when kept wet, so what I do is wear rubber gloves during the application. If you accidentally drop the bar on the ground, throw it out. You do NOT want to grind rocks into your paint :o

Deciduous
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Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:31 pm

I've used a clay bar many times on my cars. Although horizontal surfaces are usually rougher, the rear hatch area of any car will always be rough. The key to using a clay bar is to be gentle. It's an abrasive, and it needs to be run lightly across the paint, with plenty of the proper lubricant, not water.

I use Mother's clay bar kit, but there are other good brands out there as well.

Wash the car thoroughly, dry it, use the clay bar with the recommended lube, wash the car again, and then wax it.

I usually don't have to do this more than once a year, or maybe twice on an older car.

It's worth the effort.

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Devin
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Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:56 pm

z0ner wrote:If you accidentally drop the bar on the ground, throw it out. You do NOT want to grind rocks into your paint :o
I always clay/wax in the garage and use that as an incentive to clean the garage floor fairly thoroughly beforehand so if I drop the clay or set the waxing cloth down on the floor it doesn't get contaminated. Obviously you would inspect the dropped clay before continuing to use it, but if it's clean you can knead it and continue. Not possible for everyone I'm sure but it's definitely better than chucking the clay all the time. Plus it's a good incentive to clean the garage floor.
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z0ner
Posts: 497
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Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:22 pm

My garage would have to be a clean room before I'd pick up a dropped claybar and use it. My eyes are great, but I wouldn't trust them to find every particle, and folding the clay only delays the problem by a few more folds. For that same reason I will never have my car "professionally" clay'd. Best to use gloves, and have a few backup bars IMHO as those suckers are slippery.

LEAFfan
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Re: Need to clay bar my hatch already

Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:20 pm

I'll add one more detail: Make sure you use a 'fine' clay bar, not medium.
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