Rasky, ive been trying to find someone in my area to do a perfessional detail, but i cant seem to find anyone that comes recommended. (i searched on MOL too) I found one guy just searching on the web Custom Detailing Tallahassee - Serving the Tallahassee area since 2003 but his site doesnt really showcase his work very well. Is there something i could look for or ask the guy to ensure his credibility? i don't want to give him my car and a couple hundred bucks and hope he does a good job.
Rasky's Auto Detailing: Paint correction, Black 2010 Altima Coupe
I actually complete this one back in June and just haven't gotten around to doing the article until now. The Owner of this vehicle is actually from Canada and he had contacted me a while back to see if I'd be willing to detail it. At first I was a little reluctant, as I really didn't think it was necessary for him to drive 6+ hours to have his car detailed. I was confident I could refer him to a closer, yet reputable detailer, though he insisted there was no other reputable place closer than me. Just to be sure I checked with some fellow Canadian detailers and they agreed I was by far the closest they'd recommend. After agreeing to take the car on the owner sent me some pics highlighting his concerns. Apparently the dealership had left their trademark DISO and he was not happy with how the car looked. Based on his pictures below I gave him a preliminary estimate of a 2 step correction, but I also informed him that any deeper RIDS could potentially require a 3rd correction step or could even be too deep to safely remove.
The owner arrived late on Friday evening and it appeared my assessment based on this pictures was going to be enough to achieve 90-95% correction and we agreed to the 2-step correction.
Some more before pics showing the quality work by the dealership
Marring and holograms
Wash - Foam bath with CGCW and 2BM
Wheels - Sonax Full Effect
Tires/jambs/wheel wells - OPC
Clay - Clay Magic with ONR
Paint correction Step 1 - Meguiar's D300 on the GG6 with 5" MF cutting pad (Heavy pressure and slow arm movement, speed 4)
Paint correction step 2 - Menzerna 106fa on the GG6 with tangerine LC foam
Paint prep - Foam bath with CGCW and gentle wash, rinse with DI water and blow dry
Paint protection - Blackfire Wet-Diamond (Opti-Guard on the wheels, front bumper, and headlights)
Glass- Meguiar's D120
Tires/Wheel wells - Meguiar's Hyper Dressing 3:1
Exhaust tips - Optimum Metal Polish
Note: I used Opti-Guard on the front as the owner was concerned about the bugs from the long ride home. It was also a way for him to decide if Opti-Guard was an investment he wanted to make next year when he has me touch up the car again.
50/50 shot after only D300/MF
It was a cloudy day so this was the best I could do for sun shots.
The owner on this beautiful car recently found me online. After exchanging a few emails inquiring on pricing/options we scheduled a time for me to evaluate the car. Upon inspection there were some obvious signs of previous rotary work, clay marring, and a few deep RIDS, but most of swirling looked like it would come out with a 2-step method, which was the route we decided upon. The owner arrived Friday evening at about 6:00 and he had arranged with me to stick around for a few hours so that he could get a better understanding of the washing/drying process. Basically he wanted to help protect his investment with me and keep the car looking as nice as possible. Usually my plan for Friday is to get the car prepped for polishing on Saturday morning. If there is time I will also do a few test spots to determine the best process for polishing. My Original plan of attack was D300/MF followed by 106fa and the initial spot looked great minus a few deeper scratches. However, after hitting a few other panels I was finding there were LOTS of deeper scratches hidden by the swirls which appeared to have been induced from previous rotary work (likely from a dirty wool pad). Some of these scratches required more than one pass with M105/PFW on the rotary! With the owner still watching me do my test spots and seeing the results, we decided to make it a 3-step job as there were just too many scratches left over from only doing a 2-step...being that we were coating the car we were striving for about 90-95% correction.
Wash - Foam Cannon with CGCW & OPC mix, Lambs wool mitt
Wheels - Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner
Clay - Clay Magic and ONR as lube (owner had also clayed previously)
Step 1 - M105 via rotary and PFW pad
Step 2 - D300 via GG6 DA and MF cutting pad
Step 3 - 106fa via GG6 and tangerine LC Hydro foam pad
Coating Prep - Foam cannon and wash with OPC and CGCW mix, followed by DI rinse
Tires - Megs Hyper Dressing 3:1
Glass - Megs D120
LSP - Optimum Opti-Guard
The wheels were also removed to better clean up tar from inner barrels and to apply the Opti-Guard. Wheels were then reinstalled and torqued to factory specs.
I was contacted by the owner this spring to detail this low mileage beauty and it was scheduled for my Premium exterior service (2-step correction). Upon inspection the paint appeared to be in good condition with moderate swirls and a few RIDS and the 2-step was able to achieve at least 95% correction. While the car has very low miles on it, it had been repainted at some point in its life…overall a very nice car though and the interior was mint…of course I forgot to take a pic.
Wash - ONR
Tires – Cleaned with Optimum Power Clean and dressed with Meguiar’s Hyper Dressing
Wheels - Sonax Full Effect, light polish with Optimum Metal Polish
Paint correction - M105 with a Surbuf pad on the GG6 followed by M205 with a crimson LC pad on the GG6. Bumper covers were done with Sonax Paint Cleaner and a 4” tangerine LC pad…(more about that below).
Glass - Meguiars D120
LSP – Blackfire Wet-Diamond
Putting my new brushes to use
Swirls were a little hard to capture…
Lots of areas that had TOGW!
My initial test spot was with D300/MF, which worked well on the light swirls, but the paint was hard and a more aggressive method was needed for the deeper stuff, M105/Surbuf worked better and even finished down very well!
Single Stage paint…being a repaint I was expecting BC/CC.
The 50/50 shots were with D300/MF
This one was with M105/Surbuf…not the best shot as it was the top of the fender but you should be able to see it.
All sharp edges were taped up…Corvettes are notorious for sharp edges, and burning through them is very easy to do. There were actually several areas where the edges were already burned on this car (which were documented prior to correction) so I wanted to be sure I didn’t make things any worse. 3M fineline tape works great for these areas!
You can actually see the sharp raised edge here
Gas doors have very sharp edges too!
There are always going to be those cars or paints that come along which really pose a challenge or require some thinking to correct…well, this was definitely one of them! As I worked my way around the car M105/Surbuf was working amazingly well, right up to where I started on the rear bumper! The second I started hitting the bumpers, everything I tried dried up right away and it dulled the paint big time! See pic below
After trying about 6 different polishes (M105, D300, M205, M83, M80, and even M07), various pads, rotary, DA and hand, I began to be concerned. I gave my good buddy Kevin Brown (aka – Buff Daddy) a call to discuss some possibilities to the problem. Kevin suggested a few options and it was finally decided to try a few other polishes, possibly some which were water based. In the mean time I figured I’d get the rest of the car done first and worry about the bumpers last as I was pressed for time. While I was working my fellow detailing buddy Justin stopped by looking for some product samples. I showed him the issue I was having and he volunteered to help try some things out while I continued working on the rest of the car. He immediately asked if I had any Sonax Paint Cleaner on hand, having read Todd Cooperiders review on it recently, he thought that would be a good place to start. Of course I had some and he went to town applying it by hand first. Almost immediately we saw signs of improvement! Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one! Here is Justin helping me out… thanks for the free labor Justin!
The owner of this fine E46 recently purchased the car used with a little over 30k on the clock. While it was in very good condition overall, the paint did have some moderate swirling that was taking away from it's true potential. I had evaluated this car in early June, and based on the condition and the owners expectations, we agreed upon my Premium exterior service (2-step correction). The service was booked for my next available opening, 9/24/11.
Wash: Foam Cannon with OPC/CGCW mix and 2BM wash using a lambs wool mitt and CGCW. Boars hair and lambs wool detail brushes were also used to clean hard to reach areas.
Wheels: Cleaned using Sonax Full Effect with various brushes and wash mitt. Wheel faces later coated with Optimum Opti-Guard.
Tires: Cleaned with OPC and Tuf Shine tire brush, dresses with Meguiar's Hyper Dressing.
Wheel wells: Cleaned with OPC and dressed with Meguiar's Hyper Dressing.
Tar: Removed with Stoners Tarminator
Clay: Clay Magic and ONR as lube
Glass: Cleaned with Meguiar's D120. Front wind shield also had a couple water spots that had ran down the glass and stained it...owner wanted them removed if possible. Chemical Guys Water Spot Remover was allowed to dwell for a few minutes which did the trick. I followed by polishing the front glass with M205 and then coated with Opti-Guard
Paint correction: Meguiar's M105 applied via Griots GG6 D/A equipped with 6.5" and 4" Surbuf pads. Finishing step was M205 applied via Griots GG6 D/A and 5" and 4" LC Hydro tangerine pads. (Some tight areas were done with M105 and 3" MF pads)
Head/Tail lights: Meguiar's D300 with 3" MF pads, followed by M205 and 4" black LC pads. Later coated with Opti-Guard
Trim: Meguiar's Ultimate Protectant
Paint Protection: Ultima Paint Guard Plus
After claying the sun popped up a little so I tried to capture the defect in the paint with little success...
All taped up with Meguiar's masking tape and some 3M fine line tape to protect trim
I tried all different kinds of lighting and camera settings to get the best 50/50 shots I could in an attempt to show the true condition of the paint, but silver is very hard to achieve this on (I'm all ears on tips for doing so!). Hopefully you can still see the difference a little.
50/50 shots after M105/Surbuf
Left door corrected
Tail lights before
Applying Opti-Guard to lights
Note: I applied Opti-Guard to certain areas of the vehicle (wheels, front glass, lights) to help the owner decide if it's something he wanted to invest in for his wife's car which is scheduled in a couple weeks. I did so free of charge and was also not asked to do so. However, I'm confident it will result in the sale of the coating on his wife's Mini so the small amount of extra time and product cost is worth it.
This truck belongs to the brother of one of my friends, both are avid hunters and their vehicles sit out side 24/7. I detailed my friends truck early this summer and his brother booked his truck shortly after. Overall condition was not too bad, and was what I expect from most trucks in MN. The job was booked for an interior detail and a 1-step correction...great opportunity to use the full MF system! Normally the D300/D301 combo would be a 2-step correction, but since the D301 works so effortlessly I really don't mind doing it for free as it doesn't take much longer than using a dedicated wax/sealant, yet it offers more correction for my client.
Wash - Foamed bath followed by 2BM wash using CGCW
Wheels - Meguiar's Wheel Brightener
Tires - Cleaned with Meguiar's D103, dressed with Meguiar's Hyper Dressing
Wheel Wells - Cleaned with Meguiar's D103, dressed with Meguiar's Hyper Dressing
Clay - Clay Magic & ONR for lube
Tree sap - IPA
Paint correction - Meguiar's MF system D300/D301 on GG6 DA
Glass - Meguiar's D120
Plastic Trim - Meguiars Ultimate Protectant
Step bars - Polished with Meguiar's Aluminum Polish via GG6 DA and PFW pad
Chrome - Mothers Chrome polish
Head/tail lights - D300 MF followed by PlastX foam LC on the GG6 DA
Carpets - Pre-treat with Bio-clean, scrubbed with hand brush and DA attachment, extracted with LGM and followed with Shop Vac.
Leather - Cleaned with OPC followed by Leatherique system
Vinyl - Cleaned with OPC and dressed with 303 Aerospace Protectant
Dash/radio/climate controls - 1Z Premium
Door jambs - OPC & various brushes
Weather stripping - 303 Aerospace Protectant
Lots of bugs on the front....OPC loosened them up nicely.
Crusty salt deposits
On these trucks I'll pop up the step plates as a lot of dirt tends to gets under them
Fine tree sap all over the truck as well as a few globs too...sorry for the blurry pics
Paint was pretty swirled up and the 50/50 shots don't to a vary good job, but light colors suck for capturing this.
Mini Cooper R paint correction, Opti-Guard protection
This hot little hatch actually belongs to the owner of the E46 I recently detailed and after inspection it was scheduled for a 2-step correction with Opti-Guard protection. After working on a full size Chevy truck last weekend, having this little thing to work on was a relief to say the least, but surprisingly, it was still a fair amount of work.
This vehicle did see occasional tunnel washes in the winter (slap n' Scratch) which was very evident upon the initial inspection. The scratching and marring on the tops and passenger side were not quite as severer as the drivers side, and the lower you went down on the side panels, the worse they were. For those of you familiar with the slap n' scratch wash, you will understand why this is.
Wash - ONR
Wheels - Sonax Full Effect
Tires - OPC
Clay - Clay Magic fine clay, ONR as lube
Paint correction - D300/MF followed by 106fa on tangerine LC pads (GG6 DA). Drivers side also needed some M105/Surbuf.
Opti-Guard prep - Foam bath with OPC/CGCW followed by wash with CGCW, 15% IPA wipe-down
Glass - Meguiar's D120
Exhaust tips/metal trim - Optimum Metal Polish
Tires - Meguiar's Hyper Dressing 3:1
Opti-Guard application - Paint was done using CarPro Suede MF applicators, trim/wheels were done with foam applicator, plastic grills done with air brush.
Owner had two areas of concern....Bird poo etching
...and bug spatter etching. Both came right out with D300/MF
More water spots and RIDS
I love PPF!
Black trim shows true paint condition better
50/50 shots after D300
Lots of taping on these cars
Foam bath to prep for coating
Front and rear grills were a little dull and very intricate....a PITA to clean too!
This is the second time I'm applying 303's Touchless Sealant Protectant on my 2007 Honda Civic EX. Mind you, this car is more than 10 years old now and the results speak for themselves. For roughly $25, you are giving your car paint a ton of protection.
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I would like to say hello, and offer you my detailing guide that i have used on several of my cars, including my current E46 - M3 and my 2006 Civic Coupe.
I also posted this over at Temple of VTEC, if you use that sight more.
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Use a soft, CLEAN wash mitt and a pH balanced...
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