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Final Polishing for the Cobalt SS

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Boy, that title is misleading.

Day nine of Cleaning the Cobalt saw me make both incredible progress and equally incredible stymieing.

Thankfully I only put in two hours or the progress I made today would be terrible.

You see, I made so much progress because I found out that with only dust and some minor plastic polish spatter, I could forgo the second cleaning and just prep each area with Sprayway foaming Glass Cleaner – it's an old auto body trick that works as a paint prep. It also worked great to get rid of the dust on the otherwise clean roof panel. I simply sprayed it on and used a microfiber hand towel to wipe it off and voila, perfection.

I also got through the compounding pretty fast as well. After all my concern about hazy, cloudy paint after the dry cleaning I gave the car, it simply didn't do that much damage. Yes, it left scratches, but they are fairly minor. There ended up being only two cloudy areas and the 3M Rubbing Compound knocked them out without a great deal of work. Just a few applications on each spot with a microfiber towel, a quick cleaning with the Sprayway Glass Cleaner and they were history.

So, I jauntily moved on to polishing, starting with the roof.

That's where it got challenging, because I also ended the evening with polishing the roof.

I decided to use the roof as test subject and with Mothers' Microfiber Applicator in hand and a bottle of their Pure Polish, I went about polishing a quarter of the roof. After completing the polish, I discovered the polish didn't remove what seemed like light scratches left behind by the dry cleaning around the opening of the sunroof.

I figured "no big deal, I'll just call on the trusty 3M Rubbing Compound and I'll have this knocked out in a jiff."

Nope.

After several applications of the Rubbing Compound, the scratches were still mocking me.

I thought "okay, you want to play hardball, let me get my bat."

I pulled out the 1500 grit 3M Imperial Wetordry Sandpaper, a 3M Number 20 Wetordry Sponge Pad, some water, and I went to town.

I won all right.

Then I tried to remove the 1500 grit sanding scratches with the rubbing compound and found it was going to take waaay too long to do by hand. I did the next best thing and pulled out a piece of 2000 grit 3M Imperial Wetordry Sandpaper. After a while I had those 1500 grit scratches gone and I returned to the Rubbing Compound. About an hour later I finally finished removing the sanding scratches.

I learned a valuable lesson: Although I was able to remove the dry scratch marks from a section of the sunroof opening, it was going to take way too long to get done to do that to the entire car.

So, with the light fading fast, I went back to work with Mothers' Pure Polish and finished the roof just as dusk was coming to an end and I was going to be done for the night.

I hope this can go more quickly. The car has been down for nine days now, I've put in some 35 hours, and I need the car finished. I'm truly enjoying my Zen-like progress, but reality is closing in fast.

Ryan

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