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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have scratches in the clear coat on the area of the tank that's between my legs. I'll get a protector set from the DML for next spring, but I want to remove the scratches that I already have this winter and buff up the tank. Would any of the paint god/gurus (like Ducpainter) be willing to give a safe description of the steps to go about removing small scratches from the clear coat and polishing up the tank.

PS I hope this isn't like asking your doctor for free medical advice...
 

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Slash said:
I have scratches in the clear coat on the area of the tank that's between my legs. I'll get a protector set from the DML for next spring, but I want to remove the scratches that I already have this winter and buff up the tank. Would any of the paint god/gurus (like Ducpainter) be willing to give a safe description of the steps to go about removing small scratches from the clear coat and polishing up the tank.

PS I hope this isn't like asking your doctor for free medical advice...
More like asking your lawyer for free legal advice. ;D

Removing scratches is fairly easy if you don't mind spending about a hundred bucks or more for all the tools/materials depending on what you already have.

It is basically a multi step process that could involve some wet sanding depending on the depth of the scratches. Compounds designed for clear coats work best on 2000-2500 grit scratches. Depending on the surface it is usually faster to wet sand. That is really the only unsafe part.

WARNING: Don't think about buffing a Dark. It cannot be done without ruining it.


You then compound with a 3" wool pad on a small 5"air sander. I use 3" because it is much easier to control. You'll need to buy an arbor to adapt the grinder as well as an adapter for the pad. Tool speed is critical to success. About 12-1500rpm. After you cut with the wool pad and the sand scratches or defects are gone you switch to a foam polishing pad and repeat the process. This will remove the swirls left by the wool pad. One thing to remember is never buff without the compound remaining wet. I use a microtek cloth to remove the haze from the wet compound. If you "dry buff" you will add to the scratching. Black is harder to achieve good results as opposed to lighter colors

Another tip is to just use a small amount of compound with the foam pad. Seems to work better.

All of the materials and pads I use are 3M products available at PBE suppliers, or maybe on-line through Auto Body Warehouse. I buy local. My supplier is good to me and I'm loyal to him. The grinder is whatever you have. A dremel or small right angle grinder won't work. Not enough power.

Disclaimer:
Keep in mind I've been doing this a long time. Much of what I say off hand has taken a long time to learn the "feel". I can't teach that.

If you don't have any of the tools it would be cheaper to have a good body shop do it. I can do it if you like, but you'd have to get your tank to me.

If you have any specific questions pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Nate. What do you think about starting with scratchx? Does that stuff have a down side? Any other products work that you can recommend?
 

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Slash said:
Thanks, Nate. What do you think about starting with scratchx? Does that stuff have a down side? Any other products work that you can recommend?
Not really familiar with that specific product, but from experience all most of those do is hide, not remove the scratches. I don't think it would hurt the paint, but it might not help adhesion of your protector.

On that topic, as good as the protectors are as far as gloss they are not as glossy as clear. That alone might do as good a job of hiding the scratches as the scrathcx.
 
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