Monday, January 14, 2013

Ride Dirty No More

Giving your Daily Driver a Full Show Detail With Adam’s Polishes

Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan

Detailing your show truck can be a simple task if your truck is kept garaged and driven only to cruise nights and shows. You can simply hit the finish with some quick detailer and a microfiber towel, maybe polish up the wheels every once in a while, and wax it when you feel like it. But what about those of us who drive their custom trucks to work every day, on road trips, and then want to take them to weekend shows? Road grime, rainwater, snow and bird droppings plague the custom finish. Brake dust clouds the wheels, and evidence of daily use is apparent inside the cab. A full show detail is a must.

Adam Pitale founded Adam’s Polishes when he was a teenager detailing bicycles, and the company has grown immensely since it was first headquartered in Colorado. Its product line has become quite extensive and includes detailing products for every corner of your truck, inside, outside and underneath. Whether you want to improve and maintain your truck’s finish or go all out with a professional-style detail, Adam’s Polishes offers the perfect products. Product development is an ongoing process at Adam’s, with new and improved products from sprays to waxes to towels and brushes being introduced all the time. Various levels of detailing kit packages are offered as well, including everything you need to get your truck ready for shows. Small, area-specific kits are also available.

Information is important to the folks at Adam’s Polishes. Many video tutorials are available via the company’s website at Not only do the videos showcase Adam’s products, they also highlight proper application techniques to help you achieve the best quality finish possible. Follow along as we show you the products and techniques to turn your dirty daily driver into an award-winning show truck in an afternoon.

The newly finished Project Greystone is a daily driver. Recently, weeks of rain and shop time have left it full of dirt and grime. We met up with Dylan from Adam’s Polishes to get the truck ready to show.

Adam’s offers several brushes for the wheels and tires, which will be tackled first.

After rinsing the wheels, spray them with Green Wheel Cleaner and scrub with a Boulder Blonde Boar’s Hair Wheel Brush to get rid of the brake dust without scratching the finish.

The Premium Trim & Lug Nut Brush is used to clean the inside of the spokes and lug nut areas.

You can see how much brake dust and road grime were on these satin black finished Verde wheels.

Spray the tires with the All-Purpose Cleaner and scrubbed with a soapy Tire & Fender Brush before rinsing them clean. The All-Purpose Cleaner is also great for removing bugs, tar and other road residue.

Because this truck is driven daily, the engine compartment is very dirty. Cover the alternator, battery and any other exposed electronics with plastic bags or aluminum foil before rinsing the engine compartment.

Spray all of the parts beneath the hood with Adam’s All-Purpose Cleaner and scrub with a soft brush.

A final rinse cleans the engine compartment. Start the truck up and keep it running while you wash the rest of it in order to dry the engine compartment.

Here is the Detailing Bucket with Grit Guard and Jumbo Professional Washing Pads made of ultra-soft synthetic wool.

Place the pads in the bucket and put 1-2 ounces of Car Wash Shampoo onto the Wash Pads and fill with water to generate thick suds.

Dylan uses a foam gun to cover the truck in Car Wash Soap.

Using the soapy Jumbo Professional Wash Pads, wash the truck from top to bottom. Leave the quarter panels and rockers for the end as they tend to be the dirtiest.

Clean tight spaces such as door handles and mirrors with a soapy Boar’s Hair Trim Brush. The brush is also excellent for cleaning around badges or the tight spots in the grille, gas cap, etc.

After a quick rinse to get rid of the soap, Dylan uses the hose without a nozzle to sheet the water off of the surface. This leaves much less water to dry and limits the possibility of water spots.

Pull the truck out of the sun and use a Blaster Sidekick Car Dryer to dry out the door handles, wheels, tires, the area behind badges, and mirrors and other tight areas.

Spray the truck down with Detail Spray to make drying with the Great White Waffle Drying Towel easier and help prevent scratches and water spots.

Dry the black satin finish wheels using the Waterless Wash to avoid water spots and reach any areas that may have been missed by the brushes.

It is now time to clay, polish and wax the truck to a sparkling finish. There are flat clear accents on Project Greystone that are taped off first to avoid messing up the finish.

Use the Detailing Clay Bar to remove oxidation on the surface and any impurities remaining on the clearcoat. Use Detail Spray to lubricate the surface. Fold over the clay bar often to create a fresh surface.

One of for Adam’s new products in 2011 is its Flex Polisher. The orbital dual action buffer rotates as well, making it slightly more aggressive while avoiding any possibility of burning through the paint.

Swirl & Haze Remover is placed on the slightly abrasive orange pad. All of the Flex Polishing Foam Pads are color-matched to their respective products. For more aggressive paint restoration needs, a Severe Swirl Remover and Green Foam Pad are available. Test out small sections to see which product you need to start.

Polish one panel at a time, wiping the material away with a Detail Spray-covered microfiber towel to check your progress.

Once the Swirl & Haze Remover is finished, its time to polish the paint surface. A less aggressive white pad is placed on the buffer and hit with Fine Machine Polish.

Remove the residue from each panel after polishing is complete with a clean microfiber towel and Detail Spray.

A smaller pad is attached to a Porter Cable DA buffer to use on smaller areas such as bumpers and pillars where the larger Flex Pads would not fit.

Here you can see the shine and how much more of the metallic in the BASF paint has been revealed.

The bumper trim, wiper cowl and any other black plastics are hit with the Super VRT dressing. This product was recently reformulated to be water repellent and provides a black matte finish without any greasy residue that will rub or fling off.

One of the most popular items from Adam’s is its VOC-compliant In & Out Spray. Basically, it’s the Super VRT dressing in aerosol form used for getting the rest of the wiper cowl and small, hard-to-reach areas nice and black.

Underneath the hood, the plastics and hoses are finished with Waterless Wash and a waffle towel.

The Super VRT and In & Out Spray are used on the plastics and hoses underneath the hood for a brand-new look.

Use Glass Cleaner and a fresh microfiber to clean the windows inside and out.

Hit the glass with Glass Sealant, which acts as a protective coating. It helps maintain optical clarity and actually allows water to bead up and roll away in wet weather conditions.

Hit the fully polished paint finish with Brilliant Glaze to enhance that deep wet paint finish. This is also a maintenance product that can be used in between waxes for a freshly detailed look and shine.

Adam’s Americana Paste Wax is the finishing touch. An ultra-premium, concourse level hard wax, it’s made using the highest quality ingredients available and leaves the deepest, wettest shine on your truck’s paint.

Spray the fender wells with Undercarriage Spray to black them out and cover up evidence of driving grime.

A Pro Tire Sponge is used to apply the Super VRT to the tires for a matte finish with no greasy residue.

Super VRT can also be used on matte-finish parts and wheels to achieve a deep satin finish. It made the matte wheels on this truck dark without making them appear greasy or shiny.

If you have billet wheels, parts, or in our case, a stainless steel exhaust tip, use the Metal Polish to bring out the shine.

On the interior, you can use the Leather & Interior Cleaner on a multitude of surfaces including vinyl, leather and plastic.

Use an Interior Brush to clean the textured areas and vinyl.

Use a dry Premium Trim & Lug Nut Brush to dust all of the nooks and crannies on the inside, including switches and gauge bezels.

Once clean and dry, apply the Leather & Interior Conditioner to surfaces to protect the leather and vinyl and provide a clean, matte finish. This product provides an SPF of 65, important for those long days where the sun beats down on your interior at a show.

Adam’s Polishes

No comments:

Post a Comment