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Day 6: More Clay Barring for the Cobalt

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Day six and six more hours of cleaning.

That's 25 total.

So far.

Today I continued claying the body, well, Speed Claying.

It's working pretty spiffy. There are only two drawbacks: First, since this is a block rather than a moldable piece of clay, it can be tricky or impossible to get it into some contours and tight places. Second, it's a polymer pad attached to a soft foam interface, which is attached to a dense foam block, so I've had to be really careful around emblems and such because they can shred the interface and peel away the pad. Otherwise, it works like a charm.

I did discover one little trick by accident. A bug and tar remover pad and GreaseMaster does much of the same work as the Speed Clay 2.0, which means that I can use the pad in tight spaces and contours. To be fair, it doesn't work as well, but I've found that there aren't nearly as many contaminants to pull from the paint in the areas I've already hit with the pad.

Ideally, I would probably want to have 3M Perfect-It III Cleaner Clay and the Mothers Speed Clay 2.0 for different purposes. I would use the Speed Clay on the open areas and the Cleaner Clay in the tight areas, thus using less of the more expensive Cleaner Clay – especially since Mothers says the Speed Clay can be used around 15-20 times.

On another note, I saved the engine's plastic parts. Not perfectly, but I was able to remove the acid residue and recondition the damaged areas until they were almost like new. Here's what ended up working:

  • Engine Cover: I removed what I could with toothpaste, then I used Mothers Back-to-Black Heavy Duty Trim Cleaner, followed by Mothers Back-to-Black Trim and Plastic Restorer. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it took four hours of repeated application of both to do it, but it worked for the most part. There are still a few blemish spots that are slightly visible here and there. It obviously isn't a perfect solution and when the Trim and Plastic Restorer wears off, it will go back to be discolored, but beggars and choosers and all that jazz.
  • Oil Filler Cap: I removed what I could with toothpaste, followed by repeated scrubbing with Mothers Back-to-Black Heavy Duty Trim Cleaner, followed by light scrubbing with Autosol Metal Polish (it works for hard plastics as well as metal), then repeated coats of Mothers Plastic Polish. It also wasn't perfect, but it worked for the most part. It isn't a beginners technique, either. The area that was damaged was lightly textured, so I didn't rub very hard or very long with the Autosol, only long enough to remove some of the deposits and provide a light scuffing. Then I brought it back up to its original luster with the Plastic Polish. Again, there are still some light stains visible, but only slightly. And, again, as soon as the Plastic Polish wears off, it will be discolored, but it does look almost new again.
  • Blower Relief Valve: Toothpaste, lots of scrubbing with toothpaste. Some applications of Mothers Back-to-Black Heavy Duty Trim Cleaner. At this point, it was almost perfect with some light scuffing left behind from the toothpaste. I followed it up with Back-to-Black Trim and Plastic Restorer and it looks like brand new. Not a single stain or discoloration in sight and the surface texture doesn't look any different either. Again, when the Trim and Plastic Restorer wears off, it will probably go back to looking a little rough around the edges, but, given the damage I'd done, I'm pretty pleased.

All right, that's all for today.

Tomorrow I'll be back at it to finish up the clay barring and hopefully get to follow up with a second, light wash to remove the water spotting from the clay barring process.

That's not all, there's still more on the way, I have a lot more to do before this cleaning is kaput.

Ryan

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