Tips/Help needed on cleaning/detailing exterior body

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Oct 8, 2004
Long Island, NY
Hey all, please give me your best tips on how I can bring the original paint job on my '86 FJ60 back from its lately dull look.. I've never been much of a car cosmetics guy, or even a car washer for that matter. I always just did it when I got around to it. However, I want to keep this 60 I have in as close to mint shape as I can. She is a DD for now, and has very little rot starting around the rear wheel wells. Other than that, just some pitting on the valance (the piece with the headlamp washers mounted to it), and some nicks on the hood front edge. Otherwise, she's spent her entire life garaged. Of course, I plan to wash the truck...then what? Do I invest in a reasonable RO buffer? Get the Mother's "ball" thing? Pure carnauba (non-silicone) wax? Clay bar? The paint looks like it has a bit of contaminant like tree sap/oils (mildew-colored type), and a little "filmy" dullness. Also, any ideas for engine bay detailing? Thanks, your help is infinitely appreciated!

;) Paws
TLCA# 3123
'86 FJ60
'75 FJ40
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I used a clay based "Turtle Wax Heavy Duty Scratch Remover" on every little nick, scratch, and discoloration I had on my cruiser. It worked really well. After the initial getting rid of the scratches, I then used a meguires paint cleaner on the entire truck, followed by the meguires "NXT" polymer based wax. It takes a little while, but after 3 coats it looks damn good. The polymer based wax is sweet too, because you can just keep building on it. I try to wax mine 3 or 4 times a year. And also when in California, I normally wash it every other week. It always runs better when it's clean :D
If you don't have much oxidation, I would...

1. Wash with Dawn to get all the old wax (if any) and crud off.
2. Use a clay bar to clean off all fine particle contaminants. (You won't believe how smooth it will be after the clay bar treatment. Lots of time / elbow grease required, but well worth the time.)
3. Apply good wax like zmontgomery suggested. (If you want to go "over the top" here, you can try go the Zaino route, but it's probably overkill for a cruiser.)
4. Repeat step 3 a couple times. Use detailing brushes, good microfiber towels (not the ones from Walmart) to get all the wax off and out of tiny crevices.
5. Wash only with car wash soap until you're ready to start over at #1 again in a year.

here's a great site for you:

the Porter Cable 7424 is an AWESOME machine and makes short work out of your detailing chores. picked one up recently and have nothing but good things to say about it -- echo the sentiments of the product testaments found on the web.

here's a couple more to feed your new found interest in auto detailing/paint care:

follow the tips & techniques found on these sites and you will be amazed at how far you can resurrect a paint job you may have thought was hopeless

good luck,
-dogboy- '87 FJ60
Thank you, thank you all...Now as soon as the weekend comes, I'm gonna try some of these ideas! I'll keep you posted!

What colour is the truck. Some are easier to keep looking good than others, with black being the hardest and silver/white the easiest becaise they don't show scratches as much.
I'd avoid using Dawn repeatedly, it's not designed for car paint, and car soap is cheap. Clay bar is a good idea at first, and a pencil eraser works well on some stuff too.
I like the EagleOne micro wax because it's really easy to apply. Paste is the same thing with more effort. If you wash it regularly and apply wax each time it will build up and get easier to get a nice smooth finish. My Focus paint feels like polished glass and cleans up really quickly. I gave up waxing the LC because it's too damn big and i can't reach the roof, but then, it is a truck. Waxing cold paint is much much easier.
If you want to use a buffer, have someone show you how, it's really easy to burn your paint if you do it wrong. Detail guys will often do work on the side for real cheap

My $0.02
Truck is "primary color" blue. Not the royal blue, or light blue shade.
I gotta get some mods (read: BODY ARMOR!) on this thing if I'm gonna do anything more like I did last weekend. Had fun, but I was in trails with little friggin branches screeching down the sides of the 60. I usually don't give a- about damage, let alone scratches, but this truck is in nice shape. I don't want to beat it up on some BS Long Island woods trails. I'll save the carnage for real wheeling. For now, I'm gonna try some scratch remover, I have a guy on reserve to do a small rot repair on my quarter panel wheel arches.. I hope this weekend the rain holds out.

Stay safe all, thanks again

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