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First go with the Kestrel DA polisher


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I plan to perform a full correction detail on my Golf Easter time so thought it best to get some practice in:

I today set about my Father in Law's Ed.30 Golf GTI as follows.....

(sorry, didn't really have much time for pics aside from one late afternoon)

  1. Snow foam whole car
  2. Clean wheels with AG wheel cleaner
  3. Clean arches with AG engine / machine cleaner
  4. Hand wash whole car with Duragloss 901 and Deep pile MF mitt
  5. Clay car with Sonus Green clay using Megs Last Touch as lube
  6. Hand wash whole car again and dry
  7. Took paint depth readings with PD8 (readings mostly averaged 120 - 140 microns although a couple of areas were as low as 89 microns. Plotted various readings on a blueprint.
  8. Taped car appropriately with blue 3m masking tape.
  9. Machine polished using AG SRP on a Menzerna orange polishing pad and buffed with MF
  10. Applied 2 x coats of Colli 845 2 hours apart
  11. Dressed tyres with Megs Endurance Tyre Gel
  12. Cleaned windows with Clearkote Quickshine
  13. Dressed arches & black plastics
  14. Polished tail pipes with Autosol

Overall, the car had moderate swirling and a few RDS.

I was amazed at how well SRP worked by machine. I spritzed the pad with water as SRP dries out fairly quickly. Most minor swirls were filled / removed by the mild abrasives and any RDS were much improved. I tried to 'work' the SRP as long as possible at speed 4/5. Overall the polishing took about 2.5 - 3 hours.

The complete detail took 8 solid hours with Mrs TT helping with drying and wax removal stages.

On the downside I managed to bugger my polishing pad. I caught it on the rear model badge despite taping and shortly after that the edge of the pad gradually started to disintegrate. Hey ho, all part of learning I guess!

A pic to come shortly :)

Edited by Tarmac_Terrorist
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That sounds like a fun, staisfying and rewarding day's work, TT. I too plan a full paint correction at the end of April with Dave KG at the helm as it were. Can't open the piccies (work internet restrioctions) but I'll check them out later at home +++

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Nice one TT, the GTI looks great! Machines make a huge difference, even to things like SRP as it works it so well in to the surface.

As a thought, Meguiars Soft Buff pads are good, if you get the new versions "2.0" branded you can just throw them in your washing machine with you MF towels etc.

And you bought a PTG, i dont even have one of those! 89 microns is low, misc. readings? Previosuly wetsanded from an accident?


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Hi Geoff, I've checked the calibration of the PTG Geoff- it comes with various plastic shims with the um rating on them and a small piece of steel to place them over to check calibration - all seemed fine and it read within 2um or nearer for each shim so I shall see how I get on. I've only had it a few days so I need to try it on a few other cars to check it further. I'm assuming that as both my Golf and my father in law's have thin paint in the same areas, it's a manufacturing thing? Neither cars have had any paintwork since ownership from new. I think I read somewhere on detailingworld some while back that some new VW's & Audi's do have very thin paint in certain areas. I will have to look into this firther. Eitherway, I will stick to finishing polishes in these area or consider SRP or some Clearkote RMG perhaps if this is the case.

I wasn't aware of the new 2.0 Megs pads. I already have a Megs soft buff finishing pad but i'm wondering if it is a bit large for all but roof & bonet panels. I realised yesterday that I could have done with a 3.5" spot pad for many of the fron / rear areas! The thought of being able to bung them in the washing machine sounds like a plan though! I might try and get a smaller backing plate and pads in the near future. Getting expensive this detailing lark! :)

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Cheers JC +++

Over on Detailingworld Dave KG suggested that VW's should fall into this range. Of course he would have recent recollection of yours I guess! The very low readings are found on the bottom edge of the tailgate and front edge of the bonnet - about and inch in from the edge on each. The rest of the car is pretty much OK and in the 120-140um range. A little higher even in some areas. It's very handy to know where the thinner areas are though. Typically, it is often the front edge of the bonnet and very bottom of the boot which can attract minor defects due to hand contact by mechanics and Mrs TT (when she forgets to pull tailgate down with internal hand grab, although I thinks she remembers not to these days!) and require minor correction.

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Can I ask why you bought the Kestrel, rather than say the Megs G220?

Hi Dave, Basically the Kestrel has a very similar spec to the G220 but is about a third cheaper. The Kestrel even comes with spare motor brushes in the box. So far I haven't heard of any failures as opposed to the G220 which particularly in it's early days had many.

Some prefer the Megs because it has a D handle on the top of the machine although I think that might have been an issue when polishing under the low colour coded sills.


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Oh yeah that last point reminds me; TT the Kestral is suppose to be lighter. Did you find it easy enough to use? I tend to find after a while i get aching legs or back esp. on the lower panels!

As for the D-handle thing, i took mine off, as TT says a bit of a pain.


The weight never really crossed my mind. It certainly doesn't feel particularly heavy at all. I was expecting it to vibrate like crazy and be noisy but that wasn't an issue either. My only criticism would be the on/off switch, unless you slide it fully forward it flicks back off and it's a bit stiff. Maybe this is because it's new.

Do you also just use it with polish or does it bring wax up too?


As Carmad says, there are various foam pads of different diameter and density. I bought 2 of each of the following:

Compounding Pad - hard foam for strong cutting polishes

Polishing Pad - for lesser cut polishes

Finishing Pads - for light cut polishing and potentially waxing


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