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chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 12:10 PM

45 hr Detail by me
 
24 Attachment(s)
This winter, my project was to do a full correction on my paint and then apply Optimum Gloss Coat. I've watched all the Ammo NYC videos and whatnot, and my buddy is a professional detailer. I took my time and made sure things were done to my liking. I figured I would just make a little writeup of what I did. I am by no means a professional detailer.

Tools used:
-Griot's 6 inch DA
-Rupes 15 w/5 inch backing plate
-Griot's 3 inch DA
-Home Depot Halogen work lights
-2 6 inch Meguiar's Microfiber Cutting Pads
-4 3 inch Meguiar's Microfiber Cutting Pads
-1 Hex Logic yellow foam cutting pad
-2 5.5 inch Meguiar's Microfiber Cutting Pads
-2 4 inch Lake Country orange foam polishing pads
-1 4 inch Lake Country black foam finishing pad
-1 6 inch Lake Country orange foam polishing pad
-1 6 inch Lake Country black foam polishing pad
-about 20 16x16 Griot's MF towels (available at Advance Auto Parts)
-Bottle of 15% IPA solution
-1 32 oz Bottle of CarPro Eraser (WOULD NOT RECOMMEND!)
-3 grey foam OptiCoat applicators
-1 10mL tube of Optimum Gloss Coat (5ml used)
-1 Mother's Clay bar kit (Next time I will try Nanoskin AutoScrub or a finer clay)
-Menzerna FG400
-Menzerna SI1500
-Menzerna SF4000
-automotive painter's tape

Things I wish I had:
-Flex 3401 w/pads to support it.
-Climate controlled garage.
-15 sets of arms.

I started with my normal wash. Nothing too special, although I have since bought a foam cannon and Chemical Guys Snow Foam. I won't go into the wash details. I then clayed the car which I think marred the paint considerably. I don't remember the Meguiar's clay marring the paint, but I feel like the Mother's Clay Bar, even with significant amounts of the provided detail spray, left considerable marring.

Next step was an IPA wipedown and then tape off the rubber trim. Then it was off to the races with the compound. I started with my Griot's 6 inch with a MF Cutting pad and the FG400 on speed 6. It worked fine, and I did almost half of the car like that. The problem was, it took FOREVER! I made sure to clean out the pad periodically to get rid of any buildup or dried compound. Once the FG400 started to break down or dust, I'd wipe the panel down with IPA and inspect. It worked well but left a haze as expected.
Taped off. I think I would not tape the sides of the B-pillars. The tape adhesive started to just make things a pain.
Attachment 391041

Here's a 50/50 shot showing the haze left, but the marring is removed.
Attachment 391042

After getting tired of the slow progress with my Griot's DA, I called my buddy and begged him to loan me his Rupes 15 which he gladly did. He also gave me some MF cutting pads and a Hex Logic Yellow cutting pad to go with it. I initially used the yellow pad which was nice as it followed contours better and didn't clog as easily as the MF pads. Unfortunately as I had read about, the Hex Logic pad started to disintegrate. So I switched back to MF cutting pads for the rest of the car. The Rupes was easily 3 times as fast and provided an equal or better result. That being said, even with the "washer mod," the pad is still fairly easy to stop. I would have preferred a Flex 3401 to cut through the hard paint. Here are a couple more before and after shots.
Attachment 391043
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Some little tips maybe specific to this car:
The creases that run the length of the car easily stop the pads from rotating. I found that I couldn't get the bigger buffers to correct near the creases. In order to fix that paint, I ended using the Griot's 3 inch with a MF cutting pad to cut all that paint. That little buffer was crucial in taking care of the front bumper, the creases on the sides, the strakes on the hood, and the B-pillars.

For the B-pillars, I used the 3 inch buffer with an orange pad and the FG400. I think that paint is single stage as I was getting some paint transfer. Here are some progress shots.
Attachment 391050
left one done:
Attachment 391051
Attachment 391052

After all the big marring was taken care of (approx. 30 hrs later), I went over the car with an orange pad and SI1500. This got all of the hazing out but under direct spotlight, you could see some very fine scratches. In addition to the paint, I corrected any scratches on the headlights and tail lights with 1500 and an orange pad on the 3 inch. I don't really have any progress shots of that as the iphone wasn't really capturing it. Last step was SF4000 on a black pad to jewel the car on speed 4.

Once the paint was all done, it was too cold to OptiCoat! Even with some small space heaters, I couldn't get my garage warm enough and didn't want to try the heat lamp method to try and make it cure. I patiently waited 3 weeks to coat the car. There was a slightly layer of dust on the car I had to carefully remove prior to putting the coating on. My detailing buddy told me to use CarPro Eraser as there is supposedly less chance of marring the paint, but it's still supposed to remove any polishing oils and residues. We sprayed it on and immediately began to "scoop" the dirty off the paint gently. We did not let it sit at all. We started to notice whitish spots that looked like acid rain etching on the paint. After having stared at the paint for literally days, I knew I hadn't seen this before. I stopped using it, corrected the paint again with a light polish, did 3 IPA wipe downs and everything seemed fine.

Optimum Gloss Coat was actually pretty easy to use. There are some videos on youtube of how to apply it. I would definitely recommend using the black/grey applicators. Once the temp was in the 60s and 70s, OC went on smoothly and flashed very easily. I applied in the standard cross pattern, let it flash and sit for a few minutes and then knocked down (basically lightly go over, lighter than buffing off the haze from a sealant) any high spots that were left. I applied it to all painted surfaces, the lights, rear windshield, sunroof, and the outside mirrors. I elected to not put it on the wheels since the car is getting new tires this week and I will have to remove the old wheel weight residue anyway. I'll do it then. One thing I noticed with the semi-low temps that kind of scared me was some hazing from the OC. They didn't look like high spots that I had seen on forums, but maybe more like spots where the paint had some type of contamination under the OC, not allowing it to adhere to the paint. This was still there a day after coating the car. I decided to park the car in the sun when it was about 65F outside and just let it sit for a couple hours. I came back out, and the haze was gone. I am pretty sure the OC just needed a little more heat to cure.

Now on to the Final pics (grille was changed too :naughty:):
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Dat reflction!:eek:
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You can see the ceiling's texture!
Attachment 391061

With a 6speed M4 my buddy just finished. It sounded like a diesel :puke:
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Comments and questions are welcome! Thanks for looking!

rentzington 03-10-2015 12:38 PM

Wow that was a lot of work, you just scared me away from attempting to polish mine haha

CarHopper 03-10-2015 12:54 PM

I tried to get someone to do this not too long ago.

As far as I'm concerned, this should be stickied, starred, and bolded.

Nicely done

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by rentzington (Post 6359344)
Wow that was a lot of work, you just scared me away from attempting to polish mine haha

Haha. It was. But how do you eat an elephant...and it was soooo worth it! The car looks incredible in person.

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:09 PM


Originally Posted by PurpleHeartAMG (Post 6359368)
I tried to get someone to do this not too long ago.

As far as I'm concerned, this should be stickied, starred, and bolded.

Nicely done

Thanks. I asked someone how much it would be and they told me around $2500-3000 for inside and out. Now if I could just tell my wife that I saved $3000 and should use that towards headers...

lionheart_ 03-10-2015 01:18 PM

i spent 10 hours detailing my car this past weekend and think i now hold the record for expletives shouted. you are something else, great job!

PeterUbers 03-10-2015 01:18 PM

Damn... Nicely done

Am I seeing swirls in that black paint? Any technique to get those out?

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by PeterUbers (Post 6359414)
Damn... Nicely done

Am I seeing swirls in that black paint? Any technique to get those out?

Swirls?! Where?! Are you looking at the trunk shot while it's in the garage? Those aren't swirls...at least not on the paint. They are swirls on the ceiling of the garage!

Some of it might be the hazing I was talking about. A lot of those pics are after only the compounding was complete. 1500 and the orange pad smoothed that all out. And the 4000 and the black pad made it look wet

CarHopper 03-10-2015 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by chrisridebike8 (Post 6359400)
Thanks. I asked someone how much it would be and they told me around $2500-3000 for inside and out. Now if I could just tell my wife that I saved $3000 and should use that towards headers...

Even at a cheap $75/hr, a 30hr detail is $2250. People who don't understand detailing lose their chit when they call a shop for a "full" inside out job and get quoted $2k.

PeterUbers 03-10-2015 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by chrisridebike8 (Post 6359418)
Swirls?! Where?! Are you looking at the trunk shot while it's in the garage? Those aren't swirls...at least not on the paint. They are swirls on the ceiling of the garage!

Some of it might be the hazing I was talking about. A lot of those pics are after only the compounding was complete. 1500 and the orange pad smoothed that all out. And the 4000 and the black pad made it look wet

Pics 6,8,10,11 from the original post

Again, NICE JOB!!

By the way that grill is how it should be from the factory on the w204...

an_DREW 03-10-2015 01:26 PM

Nicely done, is that a 55tech grill by chance? I've been on the fence about picking one up, but you might have put me over the edge.

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by PeterUbers (Post 6359427)
Pics 6,8,10,11 from the original post

Again, NICE JOB!!

Yeah. Those are swirls. Those are the before shots. The after are right next to them. To get them out you have to do a lot as stated above.

And i didnt mean to come off as mad. More as excited about the reflection/gloss. Thanks for the compliments.

CarHopper 03-10-2015 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by PeterUbers (Post 6359414)
Damn... Nicely done

Am I seeing swirls in that black paint? Any technique to get those out?


Originally Posted by chrisridebike8 (Post 6359418)
Swirls?! Where?! Are you looking at the trunk shot while it's in the garage? Those aren't swirls...at least not on the paint. They are swirls on the ceiling of the garage!

Some of it might be the hazing I was talking about. A lot of those pics are after only the compounding was complete. 1500 and the orange pad smoothed that all out. And the 4000 and the black pad made it look wet


Originally Posted by PeterUbers (Post 6359427)
Pics 6,8,10,11 from the original post

Again, NICE JOB!!

Chris, I believe peter is asking for the techniques you used to remove the swirls as those are "before" pictures. Not saying that swirls are still present.

PeterUbers 03-10-2015 01:29 PM


Originally Posted by PurpleHeartAMG (Post 6359431)
Chris, I believe peter is asking for the techniques you used to remove the swirls as those are "before" pictures. Not saying that swirls are still present.

Exactly... I have same swirls but don't have your skill level!! lol don't want to ruin my car

PeterUbers 03-10-2015 01:31 PM

And by the way your w204 look just doesn't make me wanna love the w205 c63... Your sedan is bad a$$

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:31 PM

Peter, i think a video will explain better. Larry has tons and os definitely someone to watch on youtube, even just to see the cool cars he does. Heres a good example of how to remove imperfections. Hope that helps and is a better answer you were looking for.


CarHopper 03-10-2015 01:34 PM

^ Going off of that, you could probably watch YouTube videos from now until the day you die 24/7 on detailing. Tons and tons of videos out there. Find someone with a lot of views, comments, and seems professional and just go off of that. I learn much better by watching the process as well.

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by PeterUbers (Post 6359436)
Exactly... I have same swirls but don't have your skill level!! lol don't want to ruin my car

Honestly, unless you have a rotary buffer, if you watch youtube and read forums like me, you can end up with the same result. The paint on this car is so hard that it makes it, I wouldn't say difficult or impossible, but less easy to mess up while cutting the paint. A Flex or a rotary could probably get you in trouble with possible burn through but a Griot's DA and some free time to experiment shouldn't do too much harm. Just see how Larry does it and read some stuff on autogeek. Try some out. Maybe see if someone has a beater you can try things on first. And then crank things to 11 when doing the C63 because the paint is so hard.

CarHopper 03-10-2015 01:44 PM

If you're friendly with a body shop just ask them for a body panel that came off of whatever in an accident and was dumpster bound. Scratch that up with whatever and just practice on a small piece.

INS1GNIA 03-10-2015 02:05 PM

Fantastic job, looks amazing!!

rentzington 03-10-2015 02:22 PM


Originally Posted by chrisridebike8 (Post 6359446)
Honestly, unless you have a rotary buffer, if you watch youtube and read forums like me, you can end up with the same result. The paint on this car is so hard that it makes it, I wouldn't say difficult or impossible, but less easy to mess up while cutting the paint. A Flex or a rotary could probably get you in trouble with possible burn through but a Griot's DA and some free time to experiment shouldn't do too much harm. Just see how Larry does it and read some stuff on autogeek. Try some out. Maybe see if someone has a beater you can try things on first. And then crank things to 11 when doing the C63 because the paint is so hard.

I plan on doing my truck first this spring , but it's a soft painted Toyota so it won't be as are just lots of surface area

I suppose paint this hard is where the really pricey da's like rupes and flex come in handy

chrisridebike8 03-10-2015 04:41 PM

Thanks for all the comments! I hope some of this was helpful.


Originally Posted by rentzington (Post 6359534)
I plan on doing my truck first this spring , but it's a soft painted Toyota so it won't be as are just lots of surface area

I suppose paint this hard is where the really pricey da's like rupes and flex come in handy

Yeah. I need to do my Lexus. That amount of marring on the Lexus is only like 6 hours total work because it's so soft. And I can't use MF pads and FG400 on there without risking burn through.


Originally Posted by an_DREW (Post 6359429)
Nicely done, is that a 55tech grill by chance? I've been on the fence about picking one up, but you might have put me over the edge.

Yeah it is. I bought it off a member here and then I used plastidip and glossifier on the edge to make it look like a 507 grille. Like a couple other members on here, it made a whistling sound around 70 mph. This is due to the fact that the stock top piece has a small rubber gasket and the 55tech one doesn't. You can use the stock top piece or find some type of insulation to use.

I am Jeff 03-10-2015 05:05 PM

Excellent detailed write up Chris! I'm definitely going to hit you up when I attempt something like this for my ride.

I guess you'll be getting a set of headers soon...

rentzington 03-10-2015 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by chrisridebike8 (Post 6359689)
Thanks for all the comments! I hope some of this was helpful.



Yeah. I need to do my Lexus. That amount of marring on the Lexus is only like 6 hours total work because it's so soft. And I can't use MF pads and FG400 on there without risking burn through.



Yeah it is. I bought it off a member here and then I used plastidip and glossifier on the edge to make it look like a 507 grille. Like a couple other members on here, it made a whistling sound around 70 mph. This is due to the fact that the stock top piece has a small rubber gasket and the 55tech one doesn't. You can use the stock top piece or find some type of insulation to use.



Did the same to a oem fl grille on mine and it was such a pita getting just the trim black, I need to rip it off and try again it's not as smooth as I'd like

Thrilla 03-10-2015 06:31 PM

45h is no joke. Labor of love right there.
You're going to love opticoat. Labor intensive to begin with but keeping it clean the rest of the time will be cake.


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