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Took the new FJ to a recreation park this weekend. My friends couldn't believe I was taking a 2 day old car to go play in the dirt, but its one of the reasons I bought it! The trails are dense with bushes and despite my best attempt to stay out of them I got scratches all along the passenger side. Mirrors, fenders, paint everything. I am guessing most of it will come off with a wax and armor all on the plastic. Do you guys have any products to recommend getting surface scratches to be less apparent?

Is there something I can coat the paint/ plastic with to make it harder to scratch?

Thanks!
 

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G'day Nicole,
Great to see you getting out, down n dirty in your FJ ...
There are a few options available.
Firstly pin stripes come with the territory .... some wear them as a badge of honour ..
but to minimise your pin stripes..
light weight ones will polish out.
using a clay bar and elbow grease and a top polish will keep it looking good for longer..
HD pin stripes... still gonna happen some times
some members use a vinyl wrap or skin on the body panels to protect the doors etc ...
it lasts a while then needs to be replaced...
Things like your bumper ends/ wings.. well they can even rip off its its bad ... a lot of members actually remove the wings all together ...

I would suggest you do lots of research here... often the best way is to do a google search first ... its a better engine, and it will point you to the correct forum threads on how to / why to / etc ...
And ask lots of questions .. just like this question ... we will all chime in with lots of info ... etc ...
The best detailer on this forum is a chap called Old Cruiser, he used to own a detailing business and know everything about scratch removal... you will notice his posts when you start searching ...

Good luck

Cheers
Baz
 

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Re: Re: Off Road Paint protection and scrath repair

Took the new FJ to a recreation park this weekend. My friends couldn't believe I was taking a 2 day old car to go play in the dirt, but its one of the reasons I bought it! The trails are dense with bushes and despite my best attempt to stay out of them I got scratches all along the passenger side. Mirrors, fenders, paint everything. I am guessing most of it will come off with a wax and armor all on the plastic. Do you guys have any products to recommend getting surface scratches to be less apparent?

Is there something I can coat the paint/ plastic with to make it harder to scratch?

Thanks!
I had the same experience with my friends and family. Within 300 miles I was stuck in the mud (I still didn't know how to put it in 4 wheel drive) and within 3 months I had pin stripes, bent exhaust, and a dented front Bumper all from the Toyota Jamboree. I actually didnt mind it. The stupid ones I do on accident are the ones i get furious about. Lol.
I did use a clay bar the first time I went out. I'm not sure how much it helped but Im sure it did. I guess anything is better than nothing. Others can offer better advice.
Welcome to the club. It's a hell of a ride. :D

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Not sure about the best but I can wheel a bit...with a buffer that is:lol:

Nicole- Post up some picks. I can better address the issues with visuals.

Baz was spot on for the ideas posted. A great product line that Ive suggested to many thats so easy to use and works for about 90% of the stuff out there. The last 10% is a little more difficult to explain without getting into heating the paint and shifting. One of the only great things about water based Urethane paints.

Griots Garage sells a system that works best when applied by a small orbital polisher. These are great as they don't damage the paint and the products used are a chemical leveling/ etching compound as opposed to heat which is what the buffers use.

The system's numbered 1-4 so you start with the lightest option and if it doesn't work go to the next until the scratches are removed, then work back to the lightest to gradually make the surface polished. Simple. Then as Baz eluded- Wash and then Clay bar, then wax with Best in Show.

They also offer a all in one polish/ sealant. While Im no fan of multipurpose products (cleaner combined with waxes) Griots wont put their name on a product they wouldn't trust on an antique Ferrari. So it would be an alternative.

Some of their products are now sold at automotive stores but the best selection is still at the web site.

Little spendy but for the money its easy, you'll look like a pro and get more out of it than one trip to an expensive detailer or body shop. BTW- most detail shops aren't used to removing heavy scratches (even light ones) so their experience level with a buffer is poor. Once their "hide everything" glaze wears off your rig will look like swirl city.

The orbitals will never leave swirls with proper application and pad cleaning.

Heres some links-

Machine Polish Collection - Polishes - Polishing - Car Care - Griot's Garage

Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital - Griot's Garage

Hope that helps

-OC
 

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I use contact paper when I go offroading. 2 rolls costs $16 and it takes about 2 hours to put on by yourself. At the end of the day it all peels off in about 5 minutes.
 

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Nicole,
Glad to hear your having fun! and don't worry about what others think they simply would not understand the bittersweet thrills and agony of offroading, As long as you are making the payments it's yours to enjoy! Take a few of them with you and see what they think afterwards.
I have not had the opportunity to remove pinstriping from my FJ yet but I have had lots of experience with my jeeps and Chevy ZR2. As old Cruiser said there are tons of "Easy Fix's" out there but I think most of them are not worth the bottle they are packaged in, mostly just silicone or fuel oil based shiny coats that will oxidize in a few weeks and collect grit and dust to grind into the paint.
The best thing I found was a great coat of Wax applied by hand a few times a summer over a really clean paint surface , it not only puts a slippery coat on the top so many minor things slide along without digging into the paint but also it works to fill in some of the minor abrasions you will collect while practicing our hobby.
There is no real quick or easy fix for real scratches and the best thing is to identify if what you are seeing is a minor abrasion simply visible because of the top surface is dulled and no longer reflecting evenly or if you actually have a scratch into or beyond the paint / primer surface, a true scratch you can feel with your fingernail and a surface blemish can be made less visible with good hand cleaning and another coat of wax. For the real scratch it's ether one of the suggestions Old Cruiser made (I am no paint expert just a spray gun hack) or if you can't afford the repair at least clean it up good and rewax to protect the scored surface from future oxidation or acid damage from rain and birds.
Having a Red and a Charcoal Grey sports car I am happy to report the Sandstorm FJ is one of the most maintenance free colors I have ever owned, Not real flashy but definitely a winner in the "looks clean" category even when it is filthy and living in Wisconsin in the winter we know a lot about filthy.
 

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A good base coat or two of wax goes a long way at lessening scratches. Stuff tends to slide off a little better IMO.

Also Back-to-Black works wonders on the black plastics to refresh and cover up any scratches.
 

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I'm more of a pruning shears / tree saw thinker. It keeps visibility and reduces vehicle damage. Participating in a trail maintenance program is a rewarding experience.


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welcome ... pinstripes and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys!

I actually spent a few hours cleaning the wheel hubs,washing the car and hand waxing it. I tested a spot on the sliver accents and it seemed to be fine with wax so I waxed the wings and mirrors and door handles as well. I used armor all on all the black plastic and while you can still see the one deep scratch if you look really close, most wont notice unless they are really looking.

Where does one get contact paper and is it pretty self explanatory to apply?
What about vinyl wraps? How much are these guys and how are hard are they to apply?

And overall, I think the experience and fun is way worth the stripes, I just would like to keep the FJ looking as nice as possible.
 

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I wonder how well that light tack plastic wrap contractors use on carpet will work? Lowes sells it by the 50' roll. It is about 3' wide, clear and is like plastic food wrap but with a light adhesive on one side.


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I wonder how well that light tack plastic wrap contractors use on carpet will work? Lowes sells it by the 50' roll. It is about 3' wide, clear and is like plastic food wrap but with a light adhesive on one side.


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I can see the comments I would get now... Do you really need to bubble wrap your truck Nicole?:lol::lol:
 

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I used armor all on all the black plastic and while you can still see the one deep scratch if you look really close, most wont notice unless they are really looking.
Don't sweat it, it gives it character. :lol:

Where does one get contact paper and is it pretty self explanatory to apply? What about vinyl wraps? How much are these guys and how are hard are they to apply?
Just get a few rolls of this if you actually want to give some protection. It's cheap and goes on quick...



I've seen more than a few people use it...



And overall, I think the experience and fun is way worth the stripes, I just would like to keep the FJ looking as nice as possible.
Again, don't sweat it, it gives it character!
 

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No reservoir tip I ran out of plastic. On a brighter note I did escape trail herpes. Lol
 
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