photos by: Rick Seitz
Project ReDo Receives a High-Quality Polish
Your paint job is probably the most valuable part of your muscle car. You don’t believe me? Consider the amount of effort it takes to repaint a classic muscle ride. Disassembly, repair, prep, paint, clear, cut and buff, reassembly, and detail.
We won’t even mention how many months all of this can take, or how much money it can end up costing. Do I even have to mention the term, “Paint Jail?” I didn’t think so. Engines, suspensions, and even interiors are relatively easy to get together. Paintwork typically requires professional tools, a dedicated environment, and skilled hands to get great results.
That’s why chips and scratches hurt so much, and why it’s so important to keep your paint clean and well cared for. The experts at Meguiar’s have developed a new line of maintenance products called “Mirror Bright” that are engineered to protect your paint from it’s natural enemies like UV rays, air pollution, and bird droppings.
These products are designed to be easy to use. The liquid waxes and polishes are easy to apply and remove, and the car wash products make removing dirt, mud, and bird droppings easy while enhancing you’re paint’s protection against the elements.
The thing to remember is that these are maintenance products and you will still want to do a hard waxing a couple times (or more) per year to give your paint all the protection it needs. The Mirror Bright products will enhance and protect the shine that’s already there, while helping prevent dirt and grime from doing anything bad to your clear coat or color.
So, back to basics! Washing a car properly means it should be done from top to bottom, in the same way rain hits it. Naturally, you wet the entire car down first, and then begin cleaning the roof, and then the trunk, hood, sides, grille, and valances. Finally, hit the rockers and all the lower portions of the body. Rinse again and make sure you got everything!
Always use a designated car wash product, and never use dishwashing soap. Remember what dish soap is good for- cutting grease and oils off. Your car’s painted surface (and the wax you apply to protect it) contain oils that contribute highly to the shine. The wax’s ability to bead up water is because of the oils it contains.
Use of dish soap removes a lot of these valuable oils your paint needs to last long-term. Dedicated car wash soap (like Mirror Bright Automobile Shampoo) is designed to clean the car’s painted surfaces without removing the essential oils.
It’s also best to wash your car in the shade, or on a cloudy day. The water droplets act like little magnifying glasses in the bright sunshine, and can cause bad things to happen. Additionally, the sun tends to dry the water on the car before you can wipe it off, which generally defeats the purpose and forces you to re-was the same area again.
Dry the car with a product designed to absorb a lot of water quickly. A nice, big chamois is the old-school favorite, but there are some other new products that work well too. Some of the new synthetic chamois are great performers. The idea is to get the car dry before it dries itself, so the more absorbent the product is, the quicker you can get the water off the car.
Different waxes have different personalities. Some go on easy and come off easy, while others really require some elbow grease to go on and come off. We used the Mirror Bright liquid wax, so application with a pad is pretty easy. Mirror Bright also makes a hard paste wax, which goes on and comes off with more effort, but lasts longer too.
Regardless of that wax product you choose, take the wax off with a soft microfiber cloth and don’t be afraid to go back over the whole car again after you finish. It’s the best way to ensure you’ve removed all the wax and the residue that can sometimes show up if you don’t remove it completely.
Your car’s wheels are constantly fighting the effects of road grime and brake dust, and the Mirror Bright wheel cleaner will help on both fronts. This is especially effective on painted surfaces, and makes scrubbing into the nooks and crannies easier by breaking loose the dirt and grit that likes to hide down there.
Teamed with a soft brush, a thick sponge, and decent water pressure from the hose, you should be able to bring your muscle car’s wheels back to a like-new look in record time.
These cleaning products work in concert with metal polishes and elbow grease to keep your investment in killer wheels looking fresh and new. They make this often-tedious job a lot easier, freeing up more of your precious time.
If you’d like some more information on Meguiar’s “Mirror Bright” products, check out this cool video, HERE.
The end result was a show-stopping Firebird that really brought out the shine and all of the metallic that was present in our paint. The protective coat of wax also makes future cleanup even easier, as the summers in the Midwest are typically filled with mosquitos, lighting bugs and other game-killing insects.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you another update on our Firebird, that will only compliment the Meguiar’s detail job even further!
After spending almost a decade in the aerospace industry, Scott Parkhurst chose to learn about racing engines by working in some of Southern California’s most respected engine shops. He took on the role of Tech Editor at Popular Hot Rodding magazine back in 1998, and was instrumental in the development of both the Engine Masters Challenge competition and Engine Masters Quarterly magazine. He was also the founding Editor of Street Thunder magazine and Author of the V8 Horsepower Performance Handbook before he arrived at Timeless Muscle.