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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This detail was done back in the autumn of 2007, but it remains one of the most involved details we have performed on an Evo, so I thought it would make a nice introductary thread about our standard of work...

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A month or two back, when we told Clark he was going to have to have a week off to use up some annual leave, it seemed like a good idea to me to book in a single car for the week. My thinking was that this would limit the loss of income from detailing, and also allow me enough time to do the work without compromising all of the other tasks I have to do on a daily basis. So, a week or two later when a local chap called Keith popped in with his newly acquired Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition, asking for a full show preparation detail and two coats of Zymol Vintage, it seemed like an ideal job... or so I thought.

The car itself is a minter; just fewer than 20,000 since it first hit the road in the year 2000, and a really full history, even including petrol receipts! In terms of paint defects and the need for the detailing work, a pre inspection revealed the usual swirling and random scratching, plus numerous stone chips that would need filling. Keith also pointed out the graphics were full of air bubbles (or trapped dirt), and that the wheels were suffering wear and tear around the bolt holes. It was agreed that the graphics would come off ahead of the detail, and that new ones would be fitted mid detail (after the machine polishing work but before the wax layers). Game on...

Monday

Monday's are always a nightmare, due to having to deal with the weekend's e-mails and voicemails, along with catching up on the forum sections we are currently sponsoring. Accordingly, I didn't want to lose too much of the day to the detail, so I limited myself to just the wash and claying steps...



The process was the same as usual. The car was foamed with Meguiars Safe Degreaser, rinsed using the pressure washer, then hand washed with mitts and Meguiars Shampoo Plus (2 bucket method), then rinsed again. Autosmart Tardis was then used neat to remove all traces of tar, and the car was rinsed again. All panels were then clayed with Meguiars Detailing Clay Mild, which took no time at all as the car was pretty clean anyway. The wheels required more effort, and a two stage process; firstly I used Menzerna Gel 7.5 and some new wheel brushes we are testing to shift the bonded brake dust, and then I followed up with Tardis to shift any stubborn tar spots. The final results were spot on...

Before



After



I finished up for the day by foaming the car with Hyper Wash one last time (as the car had sat for an hour or so while I did the wheels), rinsing thoroughly with an open ended hose and then drying the car off fully with our trusty leaf blower. It was then moved inside ready for polishing the next day.

Tuesday

Tuesday was looking little better in terms of free time, so I settled on doing just the roof and all of the pillars. After taping off the window rubbers I took readings across these areas using our hand held DFT Combo gauge. The results were not confidence inspiring...



I couldn't help at this stage but have a wonder around the whole car with the gauge, and soon found that most of the panels were sitting between 85-95 microns with numerous low areas in the 60s and a few higher zones up into the low 100s. On reflection though, 69 microns isn't that big deal on paint that only comprises two layers; a quick test confirmed I was dealing with single stage paint, so things were about to get messy. After a little experimentation, I opted for Menzerna 106FA and 3M pads to do all of the metal panel correction, as Menzerna RD3.02 was removing way too much paint and not finishing down LSP ready. On panels with relatively few defects, the 106FA and blue Ultrafina SE High Gloss Polishing Pads did the trick nicely in a couple of attempts, while on more defective panels, the black standard High Gloss Polishing Pads were needed, along with 2-3 attempts for maximum defect correction. Thus it was time consuming, but this was show preparation after all...

Before



After



Me in action on the roof...



Wednesday

Wednesday was the big one... I had to get all of the metal panels done by the evening ready for the installation of the fresh graphics, so I started early and pressed on all day long...

Little tips to pass on; on cars with bonnet vents, there are two important things to consider. Firstly, if you get polishing dust down into the vents, how easily will you be able to clean them out again? If in any doubt tape them off fully... but remember that the paint on grill vents may be very brittle, due to the effects of heat over time - tape it and more often than not you'll pull some off when you peel off the tape. To avoid this, you can cover the grills as follows and kill two birds with one stone; and it only takes 1-2 minutes per grill to do...



All you do is take a piece of paper, push it gently into the edges of the grill to define the shape, then take it out, cut it out, lay the grill shaped piece back in and finally tape the edges neatly. Job done!

Before



After



Before



After



Before



After



Before x 2





After x 2





After doing the near side wing and front door, I was left with a nasty scratch that needed a lot more work. Jim at Auto Perfection had kindly sent me some new goodies to test beforehand, so I opted to dry sand the area with 4000 grit micro-sanding discs, removing a good 9-10 microns in the process. I then polished out the haze with ease using just 106FA and one of the black standard high gloss pads, which reflects just how fine the sanding haze was - top trick Jim, cheers mate!



With all of the metal panels polished, it was time for the new graphics to be fitted. Donald from the Vinyl Cut kindly gave up his evening to do the work, and as always, a damn fine job he did too...



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thursday

The graphics themselves left a bit to be desired though. Not only did they not come with fitting tape, but they were also slightly swirly in places...



I was pretty annoyed at this, as I wasn't about to let swirly graphics let the paint down, so I the next day I gave Keith a call and told him I wanted to machine polish the vinyl. This carried a fair risk due to them being so new, but I was fully prepared to cover the cost of reinstallation if things went wrong, so I pushed on. After a difficult experience with an Armourfend type film a year or so ago, I have long known that Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish is ideal for polishing graphics; just enough cut to nip out swirls, but not so much as to cause any hazing. Once again it didn't let me down...



Then it was on to the plastics, and it was here that things became more difficult. Although Clark was off on holiday, he had done an SL500 the previous Thursday and Friday, and also a supercharged VR6 on the Monday and Tuesday, so he had taken the plastics paint thickness gauge. Knowing how thin the paint was on the metal panels made me stop and think, and without a gauge I didn't want to go at the plastics too hard, but equally I wanted them to not let the rest of the car down. I also knew that the car would be going in to the bodyshop at some point in the near future to have one of the side skirts painted (due to fracturing of a dodgy lacquer coating). With this in mind, I took the bold decision to push on with full correction in mind, as I knew Keith wanted it as perfect as possible. By now it had become personal, and I knew I would be happy to cover any costs if things went wrong. You may be surprised to read that, but in this case the car had to be perfect, and if I didn't correct it then Keith would have painted it, so I in a sense there was nothing to lose - I wanted it right!

The method I adopted was 106FA on a CCS Polishing Spot Pad by PC - the plastics in general were too awkward for the rotary, and I wanted to push on hard without causing heating problems. The results were good...

Before



After



...so good in fact that almost all of the plastics came up spot on. The only panel that gave me a hard time was the passenger side skirt. Although this looked perfect compared to the one on the driver's side (which was suffering the fractured lacquer problem), one light attempt with the above pad and polish combination resulted in severe hazing. At first I thought I had struck through, but there was no paint transfer (thankfully I had switched to a fresh pad before starting the panel), which indicated I was working on a lacquered surface (similar to the other side skirt). I switched to Menzerna 85RD in order to try and remove the haze, and this improved matters, although not 100%. I then switched to Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish (for the mildest possible cut), and this fully corrected the problem. A quick wipe down with Methylated Spirits confirmed the haze was gone, and hadn't been hidden by the glazing oils in the product. Phew! I can only think that the lacquer on the skirts wasn't baked at the time of application, and has remained extremely soft, making it susceptible to severe compound hazing. Such things are sent to try us...

When I finally got the rear spoiler, I was tired and not looking forward to the task in hand. Keith and I had investigated the possibility of taking off the whole spoiler to promote access to the whole of the bootlid, but this proved too challenging due to the glue used to fit it, so instead I removed the blade on the top level and worked around everything. I used the rotary to do everything, as the areas were mostly broad and flat. What I did make sure of though, was to heavily tape any potential strike zones as plastics damage occurs virtually instantaneously at 1800rpm! I also removed the handle from the Makita in order to be able to get the head into all of the awkward areas. In total, I spent over 3 hours getting the spoiler and bootlid spot on...

Before



After



Friday

After spending the morning off site washing the DB9 and SL55 AMG we look after on a weekly basis, I moved on to some of the details and the first coat of Vintage on the Friday afternoon . The engine didn't need anything other than dusting out, as Keith had already done a great job of cleaning it up. I toyed with the idea of using 303 Aerospace Protectant on it, but with it featuring mostly metal parts I decided it just wasn't worth it - the 303 is better on engines with lots of plastics (i.e. anything made in Europe!)...



It almost goes without saying that all of the shuts were carefully dusted and cleaned out (using the usual brushes, work towels and copious amounts of Meguiars Last Touch). They were then treated with Zymöl HD-Cleanse and waxed with Vintage...



The interior needed nothing more than a light Meguiars APC wipe down (10:1) and a vacuum; again, Keith had done a great job in this respect. The glass was cleansed inside and out with HD-Cleanse, applied using the white side of a German Pad and buffed off with work towels...



At the end of the afternoon, I applied the first coat of the Vintage using the red side of a German Pad, and then tackled the wheels and arches while it cured. The alloys were treated with Poorboys Wheel Sealant and the tyres dressed with Blackfire Long Lasting Tyre Gel, while the arches were dressed with Meguiars All Season Dressing (applied using a microfibre pad after jacking the car up to reveal the insides of the arches). The Vintage was then buffed off using Deluxe Mega Towels and a light mist of Last Touch at the end to ensure smear free perfection...





















Saturday

A day off! Went to see Ratatouille at the cinema with the kids, brilliant fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sunday

The last job was to add another coat of Vintage to all of the exterior surfaces (including the glass, trims and graphics) and get it buffed off and photographed before Keith came in to pick it up at lunchtime. So, a nice easy morning, with the only difficulty being having to work carefully with the new graphics to ensure no snagging and peeling of the pointed edges. The weather improved a lot through the morning, and by lunchtime the sun was beginning to peep out a bit...















... that's it, just a little more please...



... c'mon, a little more, pleeaassee...



... you beauty (!), taken just as Keith arrived...



So, the final reckoning then; 33 hours of hard graft all said and done, with two 1am finishes. I cannot see how I could have done any better; the paint is now 99% perfect, with just the odd random trace here and there that is too deep to warrant full removal. The finish in the flesh after two coats of the good stuff was way better than the pictures show... as is sadly always the case. Keith has booked the car in again for a top up ahead of the show season next year, and between now and then it will over winter in a garage. I enjoyed this one immensely, but it killed my week, and I'm still struggling to get back on top of the usual stuff I have to do two weeks later. So, in a way it is a swansong for me, as I am going to finally have to give in to work pressures and stop detailing unless absolutely necessary (no more annual leave for Clark then!). Onwards and upwards as they say (although but it wasn't meant to be like this). Cheers for looking!

:)
 

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Stunning results:smthumbup

What did you use on the light clusters and headlights etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Testing my memory now (!), but if I recall correctly it was Menzerna 106FA on a CCS Polishing Spot Pad using the dual action machine; this would be my normal approach for sure. :smthumbup
 

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Wish i had the time and the paint work to warrant that sort of dedication but my car is stone chipped to death and would be easier with a respray....Top work....::):):)
 

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Great documentation of some detailed work :coolsm::coolsm::smthumbup

I find I can get a pretty damn good finish with my basic maguires washing/detailing goodies and a lot of elbow grease.

Does this process remove much of what is already a very thin paint coat ? I've always been a bit cautious when polishing mine due to the worry that theres not much paint to polish !!!! :eek:

Great job... .wonder what it cost Keith ? :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow :coolsm:!!!

how much does that kind of session cost?

also do you get rid of scratches/stone chips?:smthumbup
A full guide to the services we offer and associated pricing information can be viewed on this link...

http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/detailing-services-service-options.html

In fairness though, the above service was closer to our premium Ne Plus Ultra service, which doesn't carry a fixed price, as the amount of time needed can vary hugely from car to car. More details here (7 days on a Gallardo used as the example)...

http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/detailing-services-ne-plus-ultra.html

When it comes to scratches and stone chips, we can usually remove most scratches (unless they are very deep, or the paint too thin), see this image for an example from the above detail...



Stone chips are harder to tackle; we limit ourselves to carefully touching in with colour and then clear, but this rarely gives a seamless result. In most cases, if widespread stone chips need fixing we recommend that the car is put in for a partial respray before coming to us to finish it off.

:smthumbup
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great documentation of some detailed work :coolsm::coolsm::smthumbup

I find I can get a pretty damn good finish with my basic maguires washing/detailing goodies and a lot of elbow grease.

Does this process remove much of what is already a very thin paint coat ? I've always been a bit cautious when polishing mine due to the worry that theres not much paint to polish !!!! :eek:

Great job... .wonder what it cost Keith ? :thumbup:
Cheers for the kind words! The above polishing removed about 2%-3% of total paint thickness over much of the car; so not the type of thing you want to be doing more than 2-3 times in the life of the car, given how thin Evo paint is. In this case, Keith had just bought it, and wanted in properly brought up to show condition. It will never need the same treatment again providing that he now maintains it well (which he is doing). Of cource, to do the above safely you also need digital paint thickness gauges to hand, to tell you exactly how much is on the car and to monitor the removal rate.

:)
 

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That is one hot Tommi if i do say so myself :D
Nice to see you are now an official trader on here:thumbup:
I hope it generates a lot of work and sales for the Polished Bliss Team... Nobody deserves success more than yourselves. :)

I can vouch for PB's work it is second to none... and as you can see on my car above! pictures only tell part of it... to see the finished product with the naked eye is nothing short of breathtaking.
I would have no hesitation in recommending For either products or for Detailing work.

A very happy Keith. :D

p.s Rich will i be ok for another coat of Vintage late april?
 

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Stunning work there,the car looks :coolsm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is one hot Tommi if i do say so myself :D
Nice to see you are now an official trader on here:thumbup:
I hope it generates a lot of work and sales for the Polished Bliss Team... Nobody deserves success more than yourselves. :)

I can vouch for PB's work it is second to none... and as you can see on my car above! pictures only tell part of it... to see the finished product with the naked eye is nothing short of breathtaking.
I would have no hesitation in recommending For either products or for Detailing work.

A very happy Keith. :D

p.s Rich will i be ok for another coat of Vintage late april?
Cheers Keith, I'll give you a bell shortly to make the arrangements. ;)
 

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I've got a red car and loads of stickers, a few stone chips.....what the sort of costs to get mine looking like this one? :confused:

Regards

Mark
 

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I've got a red car and loads of stickers, a few stone chips.....what the sort of costs to get mine looking like this one? :confused:

Regards

Mark
Full paint correction is £895+vat
and the car had 2 coats of Zymol vintage which i think would be £100 per coat on top of that.
Rich would be able to give you a better answer.... but that would be a ballpark.
The results are amazing and very much worth it:smthumbup

Keith
 

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Full paint correction is £895+vat
and the car had 2 coats of Zymol vintage which i think would be £100 per coat on top of that.
Rich would be able to give you a better answer.... but that would be a ballpark.
The results are amazing and very much worth it:smthumbup

Keith
Thanks Keith,

That's about where I was expecting it to be and bearing in mind the Labour and materials being used, I would say that's more than fair. I've got hundreds of stone chips on the wing corners from chasing my mate in his Gallardo... about time I tune it up to 500 bhp and stay in front of him at the top end as well. :naughty: :lol:

Regards

Mark
 
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