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