Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wax On, Wax Off — Waxing and Detailing your Corvette

I believe that if you want your vehicle to stand above the rest, you have to pay attention to even the smallest details.

When people talk to me about my Corvette, they always say that it is the cleanest one they've ever seen, and that's nice to hear, but I believe my attention to detail also helps hide some of the flaws or imperfections.

My car is far from perfect, but if there's one thing I do constantly is to keep it as clean as possible and the paint polished to the best of my ability.

To that end, I like to use a liquified Carnauba wax I found at a local car show a few years ago. Actually, I like it so much I usually buy four or five bottles every time I start running a bit low.

And even though you can apply and remove the wax very easily in direct sunlight, I avoid doing that and, instead, wax my car in the garage and sometimes allow the wax to dry and stay on for days. I know it sounds excessive but it wipes off without any effort and, I believe, adds to the paint shine and depth.

Best of all, I can also use the product on glass and chrome, and the water-repelling properties are an added bonus.

Of course waxing the paint is a given. But most people limit the waxing to the exterior of the car. I go beyond that point and if it has paint on it, I will wax it. From door jambs to fender lips, areas under the rubber bumpers, and even the license plates get a coat (or more) of wax.

But wait... there's more!

I also apply wax under the hood! Items such as the air cleaner assembly, brackets, valve covers, the brake booster, and more, all get a coat of wax. My Vette's engine always stands out at car shows and cruises and people notice.

But detailing does not stop there. A while back I wrote a fairly comprehensive article about detailing the windshield wiper trough. Needless to say, the wiper arms, actuating rods, and even the hoses were also detailed. And while I was at it, I also removed the wiper motor and detailed it as well.

If you are a C3 owner, I don't need to explain how Chevrolet chose to "finish" the windshield wiper trough. The amount of excess seam sealer plus barely a coat of black paint made for an area that was not suitable for a Corvette. Granted, it was out of sight when the hood was closed, but it looked hideous when you opened it.

The photo above shows some of the seam sealer "turds" as I scraped the trough. The firewall/hood crossover lip was also in desperate need of attention. This detailing project took me about two weeks but it was worth the time and effort. Click here to read the two-part Restoring the Wiper Bay Area article.

Paying attention to detail also allows me to spot small nicks and scratches that are bound to happen from normal use of the car. This is an excellent time to touch up paint chips or detail small parts that get usually ignored.

Door jambs get plenty of wax, as do the inside painted areas of the doors. And again, this is an excellent opportunity to remove screws and bolts to give those a little love too. Most of the time all that's required is a good scrubbing with a metal bristle brush, and what a difference it makes!

After I wax the glass, I turn my attention to the rims. After spending a few days detailing a set of original slotted C3 Corvette wheels I found on Craigslist, I like to keep the rims looking like new by waxing them often. I do polish them at least once or twice a year, but the wax does an excellent job of keeping them looking great while protecting the finish.

Other chrome items such as the door handles are also waxed for looks and protection, and as I mentioned earlier, a few brackets and other items under the hood are also cleaned and waxed as needed.

By the way, the C3 door handles are usually an item that fails due to age, use, and fatigue. After all, these cars are in their forties or pretty darn close to that number, so if you have to replace yours, make sure they are of the best quality available as the Made-in-China repops are worthless.

And while you're at it, get a pair of new gaskets so everything looks fresh and in like new condition.

Needless to say, if you remove the original door handles and replace them with new high-quality reproduction parts, make sure you take this opportunity to touch up any paint chips in that area, which due to use, gets more than its share of scrapes and scratches.

Since I use and love this wax, I happily recommend it. But please know that I am not affiliated in any way, shape or form with the seller, other than as a regular customer.

If you would like to order a bottle of Classic Touch Premium Liquified Carnauba Wax, contact Lee Henson directly at 321-229-9164.

I shot the video above to demonstrate how easy it is to remove this wax even after a couple of days. Sometimes I wax my Corvette a few days before a show and let it sit like that in the garage for three or four days. Then the night before the event I remove the wax with a clean microfiber rag and the car is ready to show.

As a matter of fact, I've seen Lee wax his first-gen Camaro at car shows in direct sunlight. Then easily remove the sun-dried wax with a rag.

Time spent detailing your Corvette is not wasted and it will make it stand out from the rest. Just take your time to do it well and enjoy the process.

Thanks for reading and following.

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