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View Full Version : Product stronger than 3M Swirl Remover....

Tue, Mar-23-2004, 04:08:56 PM
Hi all - people here were kind enough to recommend 3M Swirl Remover for dark cars to me when I posted a scratch/swirl mark problem with my '04 IR.

Some background....My IR's paint is flawless (very smooth) except for this area on the rear bumper (side going horizontally). There are a series of very fine marks or scratches (might of been from the claybar!) that are NOT felt by my hand. I tried the 3M with no luck - still there.

Is there anything a bit stronger that will take these away? A stronger paint cutter perhaps thats good? It sucks cause the whole car is mint with 5 coats of Klasse on it (except for the troubled bumper).

I really think these marks were caused by the clay bar I used on it because before I used the Klasse Sealer, I felt some bumps on the rear bumper so I used the clay and now I see these marks on it! They are real fine but when you hit the light just right you can see them.

By the way, I hand wash my IR with MF towels and use back/forth motion. I am very cautious not to develop any marks in the paint.

Anyway, thanks for the help in advance!


Tue, Mar-23-2004, 04:14:28 PM
Where's Mike? BaDmOtHeR!!! He'll know how to help you! He's the official M3Forum Detailing MAN! :thumbsup:

Tue, Mar-23-2004, 04:29:51 PM
I feel your pain! I just went through the same thing this weekend. I tired the SMR with a PC and saw no difference at all. I also tried applying some by hand to see if it would result in any difference and none.

As for me, at this point I got tired of buying so many different products, tools, etc. and actually dropped off my car at a professional detailer today. Will have it back this afternoon and will see if they can deliver on their promise to get rid of the swirls.

Getting back to your specific question, after my latest round I decided to ask around on Autopia and here is a summary of the responses:

3M SMR is a very very mild abrasive and contains mostly fillers. This would be my suggestion based upon the condition you have described- cutting pad with something like DACP, PI III MG, or 1Z PP. Crank up the PC to 6, and work them until they are like dust. Check to see if they are removed.

Itís not the Zaino layers that is preventing the removal.

The consensus seems to be that SMR is not strong at all and best used after a heavier polish like the ones recommended above. The last comment was in regard to my thought that perhaps due to wax and Zaino buildup the SMR just couldn't get to the swirls, but the majority of the folks there tend to think not and seem to agree that SMR is not the way to go.

I know people on this forum have had great success with Zaino and SMR and swear by them both, but looks like both of us are in the same boat.

Good luck and you might want to check out Autopia for more details and recommendations.

I will try to take and post some pictures later of the detailing for comments. At this point, if they clean up the car real nice and get rid of the swirls, with all that I have learned since getting the car, I think I should be able to better care for it to prevent them from coming back and having to go through this again.


David MacNeaney
Thu, Mar-25-2004, 07:25:07 PM
Have you tried Meguiar's Scratch X product. I have used it and it is excellent. Worth a try.


Tue, Mar-30-2004, 11:19:55 PM
Fred: There are quite a few options you have in terms of swirl/fine scratch removal. Based on your description of the scratches (meaning you couldnt feel them by hand/nail) means it is a correctable situation.

Now, i must say this before i start listing some effective products/techniques to get rid of those swirls. The most efficient and user friendl method to remove those kind of paint imperfections is via a PC (better known as a porter cable). This easy to use and 'newbie' friendly polisher conducts thousands of RANDOM orbits (not a constanst circular motion that is) an is extrememly effective for the task ahead (removal of those swirls. There are many sites which sell the PC 7424 (thats the model number), just do a quick search on google to find one. A good price is anywhere from $120-$150...depending on how many accsories come with it.

When correcting tough swirls its best to follow this 3 step method:
1) Use a high quality paint cleaner (with mild-medium abrasives depending on the severity of the blemishes) to help remove oxidation, imperfections and impurities on the paint. Personally i use Meguiars Medallion paint cleaner (their top of the line product)....but you have MANY other choices which are equally if not better than this (some detailing proucts can get REALLY expensive). Check out Four star products, Poorboy's and Klasse, they are all top notch.

2) Following the paint cleaner (after you have completely buffed it off the car) with a high quality polish to help bring out the luster and brilliance of the finish. Here i alternate b/ween Poorboys Premium polish and Meguiars #9 Swirl remover (it has excellent polishing qualities while also remaining tough enough to help correct imperfections such as swirls). If your going with Poorboys check out they SSR series (super swirl removers), they have 3 different grades of abrasiveness....they produce FANTASTIC results.

3) Finally, after the quality paint cleaner and subsequent polish you can seal in your work with a good quality wax sealant. This will help solidify all your hard efforts and further fill in the final microscopic scratches/paint imperfections that the cleaner and polish missed.
High grade waxes include:
Meguiars: NXT Generation, Medallion Premium Paint protection, Gold class
Poorboys: EX-P, Poorboys polish w/carnauba
P21S brazillian Wax
S100 Wax
Four Star: Ultimate Paint protection

Also, if you are going to use the DAP PC (Dual action polisher-porter cable) i recomend you get a set of Meguiars pads with it. The 3 pads range from a cleaning pad (medium abrasiveness), a polishing pad (low abrasiveness) and a finishing pad (no abrasiveness.

Always try the least abrasive/powerful paint cleaners & swirl removers, and move up if you need to based on the results you get.

Hope this helps some.


Wed, Mar-31-2004, 06:33:03 AM
Now would you use the Porter cable in all the steps?

Wed, Mar-31-2004, 03:59:12 PM
Now would you use the Porter cable in all the steps?

Thats really a preference issue there. For paint cleaning/oxidation removal and subsequent polishing...the PC is a must. Compared to doing those 2 steps by hand (which i have been doing for almost 2 years prior to purchasing my porter cable a few weeks ago) the porter cable is 100 times more ruthlessly efficient, and more importantly...its fool proof. By fool proof i mean that it is deisigned in such a manner that it utilizes random orbital motions that DONT generate powerfull heating/cutting motions like a body shop Rotary buffer would.

With that said, i prefer to apply waxes/sealants by hand b/c they are toppers. You need little to no pressure/effort when applying the finishing touch to a finish, so wax application is effetive by hand. Some people however prefer the versatility and speed of the PC, and this is also a safe option.

In summary (yea, i kno...i made this longer than it should have):

Paintcleaning/minor swirl correction = Porter Cable

Paint polishing/Revival = Porter Cable

Waxing/sealing = By hand OR porter cable (i go by hand for this step).

:D :dance:

Thu, Apr-01-2004, 04:40:29 PM
Have you tried Meguiar's Scratch X product. I have used it and it is excellent. Worth a try.

havent used that on a bmw, but its good stuff. :thumbsup: