Author Topic: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??  (Read 33601 times)

Offline JB GTI

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Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« on: 05 February 2016, 08:16 »
So I have been reading that a DA machine may not be the disaster zone I always thought it could be and am thinking about investing in one. I have a donor vehicle (White Fiat 500) to practice on. Shh... Don't tell the wife !!
I am looking for a little bit of advice on which one to go for and also some pointers on which pads? and associated bits and bobs I would need as well  :smiley:
I have always had a morbid fear that using one of these would reduce my paint to bare metal,marring and sparks within seconds  :whistle:
« Last Edit: 05 February 2016, 10:18 by JB GTI »
Now Gone: 3dr GTI Carbon Grey Performance Pack Dynaudio
Discover Nav Park Assist Rear Camera
Picked Up: 15th March 2014


Now Gone 3dr Golf R Lapiz Blue, DSG, Dynaudio, 19" Pretoria's, Discover Nav, Keyless, Rear View Camera
Picked Up: 1st March 2015

Current: Mk7.5 Golf GTi Performance 5dr Indium Grey DSG Dynaudio 19” Brescia Alloys Vienna Leather Keyless Entry/Start Panoramic Roof 90% Tints Park Assist Rear View Camera Voice Activation Dynamic Lane Assist/DLA

Offline Booth11

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #1 on: 05 February 2016, 11:05 »
IMO it's definitely worth investing in a DA system James if you are into detailing. There's none of that worry of burning through paint as you might with a rotary polisher in inexperienced hands.  DA's are really pretty foolproof (no offence, lol) though it's a great idea to practise on a lesser car ;-) or an old panel just to get the feel of the machine weight and vibration, speeds, arm pressure etc.

There are lots of good DA starter kits out there and you will need a DA, cutting pad, polishing pad and finishing pad, a couple of polish compounds, plus a backing plate (maybe 2 if you but different sized pads), and something to remove polish residue - Gtechniq Panel Wipe or IPA.  I would keep it simple to start and take a look at the starter kits on here which will give you what you need to get started and build up as required. 
http://www.theultimatefinish.co.uk/car-care-kits/machine-polishing-kits.aspx

Look under each DA for starter kits
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polishing-machines/cat_68.html
http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/machine-polishers-and-accessories.html

For last few years I been using a Meguiars G220 DA with either Meguiars pad or Chemical Guys Hex pads ( I have both).  The machine has been superb and both brands of pads are good.  I use with Poorboys SSR polish compounds – SSR1; SSR2 and SSR2.5, etc. 

If I was buying a new DA machine now I’d probably go for this though 
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polishing-machines/das-6-pro-plus-dual-action-polisher/das-6-pro-plus-15mm-dual-action-polisher/prod_1452.html

However I am just about (this spring) to try a new pad and polish system with my existing DA .  Earlier this month I bought the Meguiars Microfibre Correction DA System (pads and polish) to try as an alternative to my usual system. Entirely happy with my usual route for swirl correction but it was suggested to me by another enthusiast that the Meguiars Microfibre system has shown to be effective in levelling (to a degree) orange peel, which is more prevalent and noticeable on black paint. So as I'm doing a polish in spring anyway, thought I may as well try it out.



The system is very streamlined and consists of a MF cutting pad and an MF finishing pad, plus a cutting compound and a finishing wax.  The pads are available is 5” (better for control) or 6” and spot pads for smaller areas.  The finishing wax compound is designed to be used with the finishing pad and to leave a layer of protection, but you could use your own refining polish if desired.  As I like to apply sealant and my own wax after use, I’ll use the Megs one with the pad but wipe it off after and apply my own sealant and wax as the LSP.
   
I'm looking forward to seeing how the Meguiars MF system compares to my usual one, and more importantly if it does lessen (even a little) the orange peel. Even if it doesn't have any impact on the orange peel, it may prove to be a more streamlined system. And if the results on swirls and defects are as good as my current approach then it will be worth it. I'll feedback when I've tried them out.

Here’s the pad and polish kit (6” pads) http://www.theultimatefinish.co.uk/meguiars/meguiars-microfibre-polishing-kit.aspx

Or with a DAS-6 Pro DA included
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polishing-machines/das-6-pro-plus-dual-action-polisher/das-6-pro-plus-meguiars-microfibre-kit/prod_1454.html

Anyway, though I've yet to use the new system, just waiting for better prolonged weather, the Meguiars MF system is worth a look to anyone new to DA polishing looking for a quick easy effective system and by all accounts - good results.  The reputation for orange peel flattening (not removal) is an added bonus of it.
« Last Edit: 05 February 2016, 13:13 by Booth11 »
Black Beauty: MK7 R 5dr DSG, DBP, 19" Pretoria, DCC, Vienna leather, Keyless, Dynaudio, DNS Pro, Rear camera, HBA
2012 MK6 GTI DSG
2008 MK5 GTI DSG
2005 MK5 GTI Manual

https://www.flickr.com/photos/booth11

Offline JB GTI

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2016, 13:50 »
« Last Edit: 05 February 2016, 14:06 by JB GTI »
Now Gone: 3dr GTI Carbon Grey Performance Pack Dynaudio
Discover Nav Park Assist Rear Camera
Picked Up: 15th March 2014


Now Gone 3dr Golf R Lapiz Blue, DSG, Dynaudio, 19" Pretoria's, Discover Nav, Keyless, Rear View Camera
Picked Up: 1st March 2015

Current: Mk7.5 Golf GTi Performance 5dr Indium Grey DSG Dynaudio 19” Brescia Alloys Vienna Leather Keyless Entry/Start Panoramic Roof 90% Tints Park Assist Rear View Camera Voice Activation Dynamic Lane Assist/DLA

Offline Booth11

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2016, 14:39 »
I knew you wouldn't let me down Rebecca  :smiley: :grin:
Thanks !!

What do think about this kit ??
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polishing-machines/das-6-pro-plus-dual-action-polisher/das-6-pro-plus-chemical-guys-kit/prod_1551.html

 :tongue: 
I'm going to start charging for my non professional, unsolicited (maybe ;-) detailing advice.  I just can't help myself.  :laugh:

That looks a great kit James.  Great machine and the right selection of pads.  I've watched a couple of Chemical Guys polishing videos where they used the polishes in this kit (on Hex pads) and was impressed.  If I hadn't had a cupboard full of Poorboys SSR I would've been tempted to try. Good set of gear for just under £200.
Black Beauty: MK7 R 5dr DSG, DBP, 19" Pretoria, DCC, Vienna leather, Keyless, Dynaudio, DNS Pro, Rear camera, HBA
2012 MK6 GTI DSG
2008 MK5 GTI DSG
2005 MK5 GTI Manual

https://www.flickr.com/photos/booth11

Offline JB GTI

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #4 on: 23 March 2016, 20:11 »
My Das-6  Pro+ kit turned up yesterday (They were out of stock) and I am planning to have a go with it on SWMBO Bossa Nova White Fiat 500 over the next few days. I have also bought a Bilt Hamber Autoclay clay bar to give the paintwork a going over prior to attacking it with the DA. Never used a clay bar either so the next few days are going to be a proper baptism of fire for me  :undecided:
The paintwork doesn't seem too bad (to my untrained eyes) lol.  It has what I would class as light swirl marks all over but no scratches.
I am planning to use the Orange Chemical Guys Hex Logic pad and the CG V34 jollop to correct the swirls.
If someone with a better recommendation wants to stop me from wrecking it before I have started please feel free  :whistle:
I then plan to give it a coat of Poorboys White Diamond Glaze with either the White? or Black? Hex Logic Pad.
Thoughts anyone ???
« Last Edit: 23 March 2016, 20:17 by JB GTI »
Now Gone: 3dr GTI Carbon Grey Performance Pack Dynaudio
Discover Nav Park Assist Rear Camera
Picked Up: 15th March 2014


Now Gone 3dr Golf R Lapiz Blue, DSG, Dynaudio, 19" Pretoria's, Discover Nav, Keyless, Rear View Camera
Picked Up: 1st March 2015

Current: Mk7.5 Golf GTi Performance 5dr Indium Grey DSG Dynaudio 19” Brescia Alloys Vienna Leather Keyless Entry/Start Panoramic Roof 90% Tints Park Assist Rear View Camera Voice Activation Dynamic Lane Assist/DLA

Offline Booth11

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #5 on: 23 March 2016, 21:02 »
My Das-6  Pro+ kit turned up yesterday (They were out of stock) and I am planning to have a go with it on SWMBO Bossa Nova White Fiat 500 over the next few days. I have also bought a Bilt Hamber Autoclay clay bar to give the paintwork a going over prior to attacking it with the DA. Never used a clay bar either so the next few days are going to be a proper baptism of fire for me  :undecided:
The paintwork doesn't seem too bad (to my untrained eyes) lol.  It has what I would class as light swirl marks all over but no scratches.
I am planning to use the Orange Chemical Guys Hex Logic pad and the CG V34 jollop to correct the swirls.
If someone with a better recommendation wants to stop me from wrecking it before I have started please feel free  :whistle:
I then plan to give it a coat of Poorboys White Diamond Glaze with either the White? or Black? Hex Logic Pad.
Thoughts anyone ???

Sounds good to me, but better to start with the least abrasive polish on the orange pad and then step up to a heavier cut if required.  Why not start with v36 first, which is for moderate swirls and scratches, then, after checking progress if more cut is required move up to the v34.  Then step down, finally finishing with a black pad and v38.

I haven't had time to do a DA guide yet, re your comment in the other thread, but to keep you going till then........

There's loads of advice on DA polishing on places like Detailing World but also plenty of advice on this forum too in the detailing section.  Some good guides here:

http://www.autogeek.net/detailingtips.html
http://www.autogeek.net/dual-action-polisher.html
http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/porter-cable-7424xp-dual-action-orbital-polisher/38399-da-polisher-articles-help-newbies-machine-polishing.html
http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/images/misc/dapolishing.pdf
http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/car-care-advice.html
http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=63859%C2%A0

Practicing on a lesser car or some old panels from the scrappers is worthwhile to give you a chance to get used to the weight, speed of the machine and practice your techniques and arm pressure.  Here's a bit of general DA advice:

On a general polishing note, the rule of thumb is to start with the least abrasive polish and pad combination and step up from there as required by the severity of the swirls.  Choose your polish first used on the least abrasive pad and if not getting required result, try next polish up on the same pad. Then if required, step up to a heavier pad.  And step down when refining.
 
A garage or workshop is preferable especially one with a good light source so you can regularly check your progress.  If you do it outside (I do), the light needs to be good and you're at the mercy of the weather.  If doing it outside and over more than a day, you will need to wash the car again prior to continuing.  I'm not a pro but these are my best tips:
 
•   Assess the condition of the paintwork first in good light, so you know what is required
•   Prepare the paintwork prior to polishing - tar remover, iron remover, claying etc, to ensure it's free of all bonded contaminants.
•   Tape up all trim with low tack masking tape.
•   Take it slowly and split larger panels up into manageable areas. 
•   Start with the least abrasive pad and polish combo and step up as necessary.  Choose your polish first. Then the least abrasive pad, if more cut is required step up to the next pad. If a more abrasive polish is required use that again starting with the least abrasive pad.....and so on.
•   Start with the correction/swirl removal polishing stage first using a cutting pad then follow with the refining stage using a finishing pad.
•   Use moderate arm pressure - too light and it will have little effect, too much and you will fry your backing plate screw thread.
•   Use mid speed - as too low a speed won't achieve anything.
•   Always sling the DA cable over your shoulder otherwise it can drag/trail across the paintwork causing marks (just as you are trying to get rid of them!).
•   Stop and inspect at regular intervals to see how you are progressing and what further is required.
•   Use a good LED light source to check for swirls close up.
•   Once you've primed the pad with polish make sure you place it on the paintwork before switching on    DA, otherwise the polish will fling off everywhere.
•   You might need to do several passes to achieve the required correction.
•   After polishing use a good IPA like Gtechniq Panel Wipe to remove polish residue before going on to seal/wax the car.
 
Finally look on YouTube for Mike Philips (formerly of Meguairs) DA tutorials.  He also has lots of good tips on Autogeek site.  Great for someone new to DA polishing.
« Last Edit: 23 March 2016, 21:13 by Booth11 »
Black Beauty: MK7 R 5dr DSG, DBP, 19" Pretoria, DCC, Vienna leather, Keyless, Dynaudio, DNS Pro, Rear camera, HBA
2012 MK6 GTI DSG
2008 MK5 GTI DSG
2005 MK5 GTI Manual

https://www.flickr.com/photos/booth11

Offline JB GTI

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #6 on: 23 March 2016, 21:53 »
Thanks Rebecca :smiley: You are a star !!
Now Gone: 3dr GTI Carbon Grey Performance Pack Dynaudio
Discover Nav Park Assist Rear Camera
Picked Up: 15th March 2014


Now Gone 3dr Golf R Lapiz Blue, DSG, Dynaudio, 19" Pretoria's, Discover Nav, Keyless, Rear View Camera
Picked Up: 1st March 2015

Current: Mk7.5 Golf GTi Performance 5dr Indium Grey DSG Dynaudio 19” Brescia Alloys Vienna Leather Keyless Entry/Start Panoramic Roof 90% Tints Park Assist Rear View Camera Voice Activation Dynamic Lane Assist/DLA

Offline Booth11

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #7 on: 23 March 2016, 21:59 »
Thanks Rebecca :smiley: You are a star !!


Anytime James. :smiley:  Do you finally forgive me for saying I didn't like blue cars.  :laugh:
Black Beauty: MK7 R 5dr DSG, DBP, 19" Pretoria, DCC, Vienna leather, Keyless, Dynaudio, DNS Pro, Rear camera, HBA
2012 MK6 GTI DSG
2008 MK5 GTI DSG
2005 MK5 GTI Manual

https://www.flickr.com/photos/booth11

Offline JB GTI

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2016, 22:11 »
Thanks Rebecca :smiley: You are a star !!


Anytime James. :smiley:  Do you finally forgive me for saying I didn't like blue cars.  :laugh:
Of course  :laugh:
Mine might not be blue for much longer after I have been at it with the angle grinder DA lol  :whistle:
Now Gone: 3dr GTI Carbon Grey Performance Pack Dynaudio
Discover Nav Park Assist Rear Camera
Picked Up: 15th March 2014


Now Gone 3dr Golf R Lapiz Blue, DSG, Dynaudio, 19" Pretoria's, Discover Nav, Keyless, Rear View Camera
Picked Up: 1st March 2015

Current: Mk7.5 Golf GTi Performance 5dr Indium Grey DSG Dynaudio 19” Brescia Alloys Vienna Leather Keyless Entry/Start Panoramic Roof 90% Tints Park Assist Rear View Camera Voice Activation Dynamic Lane Assist/DLA

Offline Booth11

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Re: Recommendations for a good DA polisher and pads ??
« Reply #9 on: 23 March 2016, 22:17 »
Thanks Rebecca :smiley: You are a star !!


Anytime James. :smiley:  Do you finally forgive me for saying I didn't like blue cars.  :laugh:
Of course  :laugh:
Mine might not be blue for much longer after I have been at it with the angle grinder DA lol  :whistle:

If I can do it, you can.  After the next few days, you'll wonder what on earth you were worried about.  Make sure you tape up your trim before you start as plastics (not the bumper) can get DA burn, but you'd have to some kind of cack handed fool to burn the paint. :laugh:  DA's are designed not to burn through paint. 

I look forward to reading about your non traumatic first polish.  :smiley:
Black Beauty: MK7 R 5dr DSG, DBP, 19" Pretoria, DCC, Vienna leather, Keyless, Dynaudio, DNS Pro, Rear camera, HBA
2012 MK6 GTI DSG
2008 MK5 GTI DSG
2005 MK5 GTI Manual

https://www.flickr.com/photos/booth11