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Minor scratch - Wet sand?


Guest BobFronk

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Guest BobFronk

Hello all,

I purchased a new 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP CompG last week. Sometime this weekend, it appears someone brushed against the car and left a 2 inch scratch on the driver door. The scratch is in the clear coat and only a small portion of it can be felt with the fingernail.

I used some ScratchX, which helped, but the scratch is still there. I am considereing wet sanding the area to remove the scratch.

I am a former detailer (stopped in 1986) and have not really kept up with the current products and trends. My question(s) is this:

Is wet sanding still the preferred method for this minor scratch?

Does anyone know how many coats of clear GM uses these days?

Any suggestions from the experts is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Bob

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Guest FMS01

Do you have a picture of the scratch you can post? That would help alot. Everyone has a different interpretation of a scratch. Clear coats are usally about 1.5-2 mils thick. But you will need to know the total thickness(4-6 mil) before you determine how much you can sand down if necessary.

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Guest FMS01

I don't know the tools you have so here's what I would do with mine. First I would use the Porter Cable(setting 4.5) with the orange pad and 3M Swirl Removal and see if the scratch is removed. If not, I would then try the Meguiars Swirl Remover #9 with the same pad(clean of course). You can continue with the Porter Cable with more aggressive products if you prefer to stay away from a high speed.

If that doesn't get it, then I would move to the Mikita high speed(1or2 clicks under 3) with a foam polising pad(3M Black Pad) with those same products. The last resort would be with a wool pad again with those same products. Always start with the least aggressive steps/polish first then move to a more aggressive action. If the products are not working with the high-speed the you will have to move up to a light compound.

Something that will remove 1500-2000 grit scratches. Both 3M and Meguiars both make such a product. If you have to use the light compound you may have to come back with the 3M swirl Removal or Meguira's #9 to remove any hazing from the light compound and return the shine.

Finally, a nice coat of wax for protection.

This is a good board for help and I'm sure someone else could give another opinion.

Hope this helps. :rollin Goodluck.

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Guest FMS01

If you can feel it with your finger nail you may be out of luck with the steps I just mentioned. The local body shop could be your next step. Perhaps the dealer can give you a referal or direct you to their body shop.

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Guest BobFronk

Ok. Thanks for the info.

I am not afraid of high speed and a variable speed buffer and have both the wool and foam pads. I just need to re-stock my compounds.

The last wet sand I did was my black '97 Trans-Am, two weeks after I bought it. Everyone thought I was crazy until they saw it after I was done. I used 800, 1200, 1500 by hand, then 3M cutting compound, then a green 3m (can't remember what it was), followed by a cleaner wax, then a 3m swirl remover, then carnuba. This was what I knew from my couple years of detailing back in the 80's. I was just making sure it was all still the same and no new "miracle" products had come out.

I am considering wet sanding the new car, but since I have not kept up with the detaiing world, I just wanted to make sure it could still be done on the newer paint factory paint jobs.

For now, I will just take your advice and try to buff out the scratch.

Thanks,

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