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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious to hear some feedback from Raven Black XLR owners - how is the paint quality and how is it wearing? I have a black Escalade that tends to show everything and is generally tough to keep up with - in the dealer yesterday a Raven Black owner was really upset about his paint quality so-much-so he wanted out of the car - just curious- a black car when clean is the most awesome sight however they do require TLC.
 

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Boy do I have a story for you!!!

First of I have owned 25 black cars over the last 8 years. Its safe to say that any car painted black is the best the car can look. Most of these cars were cadillacs, jaguars, corvette, etc. I currently have a black on black XLR. So, I am VERY experienced with black paint and how to properly take care of it.

Without a doubt the best black paint job I have ever seen was on my 2000 corvette convertable. Not only did it look great, it held up very well. There were on scracthes or swirl marks on that car and I sold it 4 months ago when I got my XLR. Because the XLR is built in the corvette factory, I was hoping for the same results. However, that has not happened.

In 1998 I bought a new Cadillac Deville Concourse. Great car! However, soon after delivery I noticed swirl marks in the paint. Dealer said, "no problem, we will take care of it at next service" Okay. Long story short, the car went back 4 times in the next 2 months and the swirls kept getting worse. Finally, I demanded to talk to the regional rep for Cadillac and she agreed (after a lot of fighting) to re-clear coat the car. I was advised by a body shop friend not to do that. (the swirls in black paint are really small scratches in the clear coat and can often be buffed out) Re-Clear coating the car is a fancy way of saying repaint the car. It took 5 weeks to get the car back. So, in my first 4 months of ownership, I actually only had the car 3 weeks to use. They told me that the paint was "soft" which caused the problem. That was pure BS. ANyway, after I got the car back all was fine for about 1 month and the problem came back. As part of my deal I reached with Cadillac when I agreed to the re-clear coating, if the problem came back they had to replace the car. They did, only they wanted me to take a white one! I refused. The second car was great and I never had problems with it.

So, when I got my XLR home I took a good look at it. Guess What? Swirls. However, I am much more experienced now and simple fixed it myself. The guys at the local Cadillac dealer are butchers with the buffers which can easily cause swirls and if you are not experienced every time you try to fix black paint you will simply make it worse. Take your XLR to an experienced body shop guy and he can take them out and it does not cost much. Also, NEVER was you car in a car wash.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
rick - thanks - how do you wash the car and dry the car? What wax do you use as well? I have a black escalade that has its challanges as well however its self inflicted abuse as I have taken it to car washes - bad decision. Thanks
 

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swirl repairs??

What type treatment does the body shop guy do to remove the swirl marks?

how would you address a "chip" situation?
Thanks for you expertise Rick.
 

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Detail Recommendations

I use to take my xlr to the local car wash weekly for the mini-detail package ($45) until I started noticing swirls in the paint. I was referred to a detail specialist who gave my XLR a high end clay wax treatment (aprox 4 hours) and magically swirls were gone! I've had my XLR for over 6 months and it looks like I just drove it off the showroom floor. I now get this clay treatment once a month to preserve my paint and bring out the brilliance of the Xenon Blue color! The name of the company is Harpo's Mobile Detailing (323-216-0845) and serves all of Southern California. He specializes only on High-End vehicles!
Tell Harpo, MIGSGIG sent you and you'll get "xlr VIP service"!
migsgig
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The clay treatment is a good one - I currently have a Crimson Pearl loner while my Platinum beauty gets it's top fixed. The Crimson can be prone to swirls as well - Liquid Glass is a was I used on my vettes before - it works well, is "soft" to apply and makes the car look like its wet - really nice
 

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Wax and black cars

There are many opinions about black paint (doesn't matter who is the manufacturer) and surface swirls, etc. Periodic clay treatment (made by various companies including Meguiar's) used in conjunction with a lubricating agent, like Meguiar's Instant Detailer helps to prep the surface. Follow with polish and wax. My experience with three black cars has led me to Klasse, a German product that removes surface scratches and leaves a smooth polished surface ready for wax. I've used it for years and it is available through BMW and Mercedes dealers, as well as over the internet-- like autogeek.com. Check out the extensive posts on mbworld.com for true fanatics about black paint and polish, waxing etc. If possible, stay away from car washes and buffers. Good luck and don't look too closely at the paint -- enjoy the car!
 

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Black Paint

Forgot to mention another product which I have not tried but dark paint fanatics swear by --- Zaino Brothers. Check out their website too. Process is too time-consuming for me, but might be OK for you.
 

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I wash my XLR by hand using Mothers brand wash and only a little of it. There are a lot of good products out there that do the same bacic job. I can also highly reccommend the MR. Clean car wash system. It works great. The XLR is a small car so washing it by hand only takes a few minutes. However, remember these things when doing it:

1. Always keep the entire car wet even if you are only washing a certian section. That means that after you wash the hood, rinse the entire car not just the hood. THis prevents water spots and keeps the surface cool which will make drying easier.

2. When you are done washing the car, pull it in the garge to dry it or somewhere out of the sun. This will prevent spots. Also, dry it quickly!! Have lots of freshly washed towels around. I keep a whole set of towels just for washing cars.

3. If at all possible use a water purifier on your hose. This step will pervent hard-water and particles from scratching the clear coat.

Lastlly, I use Mothers band carnuba wax, but any good yellow wax will work. I reccommend that you wax your car as often as possible. It makes washing it easier, drying easier, and helps prevent swirls.

As for removing swirls, you can send me a email to [email protected] and I have a document I put together for the local Cadillac dealer that explains everything, tools needed, and where to get them.

Hope that helps.
 

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xlr47 said:
What type treatment does the body shop guy do to remove the swirl marks?

how would you address a "chip" situation?
Thanks for you expertise Rick.

See my posting on the swirls. Chips are much more difficult. However, it can be done.
 

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Hi All,

this is slightly off topic, but any suggestions on cleaning/polishing the exhaust pipes?? I just finished a long road trip and my pipes went from a mostly shiny chromed look to mostly black..

thanks,
Eric
 

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Swirls

In addition to the great washing tips offered here, you may want to get a gravel guard for the bottom of wash bucket. It helps to keep you from picking up sand and grit from bottom of bucket.
 

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Chromed Tips

Using Chrome Polish On Chrome Is Not Usually The Way To Go Even Though Thats What The Polishing Companys What You To Do. But Since Chrome Is Micro Thin Over Heavy Nickel Any Chrome Polish On A Regular Basis Will Slowly Start To Remove That Thin Chrome Plate. Usually Only Soap And Water Or Windex Is Perfect. That All Said The Exhaust Tip Edges Are So Slight And The Acidic Nature Of The Exhaust Is Already Bad Using Some Type Of Good Quaility Chrome Polish Like Semi-chrome Wont Hurt Them Any More Than The Exhaust Gases Already Are. Thats What I Used After A Little Windex And Rags Of Course! Good Luck Jim
 

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That reminds me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding...!

Windex is good for everything :lol :lol :lol :lol

But I have to say, in this case, it's true. :thumbs

SilverX
 

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the key is to preserve it, keep it clean, and waxed and in a garage all of the time, every time you come home from a drive clean it, when you wash and wax, do it in sections and never in a circular motion, always keep wash mitt clean and new, i have 3 different mitts for various cars, when done washing i use a leaf blower to dry it off, then a few towels and looks just like the day she came off the show room floor. Black is beautiful only when clean, so keep it clean!!
 
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I have the system on my V like NASCAR, when a bug lands on the car I have nanites come out and clean while driving. Nanotechnology is the way to go.
Dunerider has way to much time on his hands.:yesnod :yesnod :yesnod :glol :glol :glol :glol :glol
Bobo


We wrap ours in Saran Wrap, then peel off layers each day. :glol
 
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