The first of many videos of this nature! An outline of some of these vehicles in my first vlog is shown below. Although this article will be somewhat of an overview of some of the cars talked about, I plan to be more detailed and descriptive for future vlogs. Hopefully you enjoy the write up and video.
White 1987 Volkswagen GTI Callaway
This car was featured on the cover of the 1987 edition of Volkswagen and Porsche magazine.
I was involved in addressing the cosmetic condition of the car prior to it being sold. This can be considered or classified as a barnyard find. A once commonly driven car that was kept in storage for quite some time.
This is not something you should take lightly (mold shown below).
Various detailing specific carpet/fabric cleaners were used for this area. The area cleaned was spritzed with hydrogen peroxide. All microfiber towels used to clean mold were isolated and discarded. N95 mask was used. Although there were no visible signs of mold hours later, I followed up with a fabric safe mold remover from a hardware store.
Although mild, I with pause took on this challenge. Assuming it is not a severe problem in the car, I do not want to suggest whether you would or should not take on such a task. Be careful and charge accordingly. My attitude would be more rigid/hesitant now (in signing off and pricing) when taking on these problems. If it is severe or there were signs of it being in the vents, I would suggest against it for the sake of your health.
Now on to the paint.
After a more aggressive cleaning (alkaline car wash solution) to remove years of embedded grime, this is what I pulled out of the pores of the paint with a claybar (mechanical decontamination).
The claying process did take a while.
Even at the time of detail rarely would I perform a clay and wax detail, without polishing. It made sense for the detailing goal for this car, which was to make a white car presentable for sale.
2003 Porsche 911
This car is one that I have worked on before. (Prior Article)
On short notice and limited time, I was called upon to perform a light polish (that would be slightly more than light) in preparation for an event for Amelia Island.
Although there were some moderate and deep scratches that accumulated over the past 3 in 1/2 years, I was impressed with how well he took care of the car. The wash induced swirls were present but not as bad as the first time the car was detailed. If time allowed and it was requested for a true single step machine polish (polishing in smaller areas for a longer period), the condition would have been even better than since I last performed a two-step correction. Even when someone’s wash habits have room for improvement and acknowledging light swirls are difficult to avoid for anyone, the owner succeeded in limiting the wash induced damage. The most concerning damage came from the clay mitt the owner used prior to the detailing.
The one problem with claying.
The reason many detailers do not offer just a clay and seal package. (Pictured Above and Below marring from a Clay Mitt)
I do not want to go down the rabbit hole of judging (other businesses) whether using clay or clay alternatives without polishing is professional work. The marring is deeper and more present around the car than usual. I do believe this is the result of using a mitt that was a aggressive grade. Also not removing some of the bonded contamination chemically (ex: iron remover) likely added to the workload of the mitt. There are quite a few competent detailers who perform wash, clay, and seal/wax service. There are quite a few businesses that do not for this reason. Although that is no longer an offering, starting out on a few occasions I would wash, clay, and wax. For my car that I can polish on my schedule and friends whose car is not in great shape, I have clayed without polishing.
But I want to make something perfectly clear. If performing a iron removing step and carefully using a gentle claybar (22ple Ultra Soft Glass Coat Clay) you should not have the same issue of a high volume of severe marring pictured above. With that said, I CAN NOT say you will have no micro marring no matter how careful you are. You will just have a minimal level of marring, which may be palatable for a daily driven vehicle or a car you plan on polishing annually.
Although normally with a 12inch polisher for a single step of correction the working area is about shoulder length. I doubled that distance, spending more time than I would using a light cleaner polish. But I also worked quicker than I normally would with a one step.
Jescar Micro Finishing Polish with the Rupes Yellow Pad was my choice to achieve the results below.
Gloss trim on this 2016 Mercedes is just as scratch sensitive as paint. I will say in general more scratch sensitive than paint. It should be treated the same to prevent or at least dramatically slow down the build-up of marring.
If you are polishing gloss trim, treat them like soft paint. Work small sections at a time. I split this area (picture below) into 4. At the time I used a Porter Cable with a 3-inch White Lake Country Polishing Pad and Gyeon Polish. Currently in this same situation, I would use a Rupes Nano with a 2 Inch option (w/Yellow Rupes Pad). But the Porter Cable has been my old reliable in the past.
2001 C5 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
A Corvette enthusiast owned this car for many years.
The Z06, a track ready/optimized car, was originally a code in 1963. The Z06 code was mentioned (shared) privately amongst racing circles for individuals who were looking for track oriented (racing optimized) upgrade. The 2001 model saw the Z06 badge appear marking its official reintroduction.
I have no doubt she is extremely careful with her car, who ended up in an unfortunate predicament. I originally received a call to address hard water from a sprinkler that had sprayed the car. The owner was aware of how much hard water there is in sprinkler water. My client informed me she had successfully removed the waterspot damage and consequentially our appointment was put on hold for a while. The trim and seals, based on close inspection, had really showed its age. Also, older paint will become less thick near edges and raised body lines. Extra care was necessary, but some of the water spots that were not removed promptly enough had etched the surface. Unfortunately, many of the mineral deposits that now were starting to etch were near the edges, where it was important to be especially careful with an older car. Corvettes also usually have hard paint. This is based on their substrate. A fiberglass base affects the hardness of the clearcoat (sitting above the color coat), which is what we are polishing.
Due to how hard the paint was, Sonax Perfect Finish and the Rupes Yellow pads were my most common combination. Although the intention was to perform a single stage polish, I did work most of the large horizontal areas with a mild compound and a Lake Country HDO Blue pad followed by a refinement step.
For the reasons mentioned, the decision and process of deciding to tape or not was not one that I took likely. The ultimate ‘catch 22’! The problem is I do not want a machine brushing up on these areas. I also wanted minimal clean up on this material. But these seals happen to be especially sensitive to pulling and tugging (to remove tape).
I always remove tape with care, pulling forward at a 45-degree angle. But in this case where realistically it would take at most 30 minutes to remove tape, the removal process was over an hour. I exercised extreme caution gently pulling at the width of my pinky (1 to 2 inches at a time) finger. I carefully monitored the trim as I switched fingers, alternating 2 inches at a time. It is especially important to be focused, noticing subtle movements in the seals and be methodical in your approach. Generally, it will take longer to apply than to remove tape. This is the first time that this was not the case (by far).
I did not remove all of the swirls. At the same time I yielded a result we were both proud of.
2010 Signature Series Camaro
A presentation of this car can be found in this video below
List of Products Used:
- Porter Cable 7424
- Rupes Polishers
- Jescar Micro Finishing Polish
- Sonax Perfect Finish
- Gyeon Polish
- Gyeon Compound+
Interior Cleaning And Protection:
- Leatherique Twins
- Sonax Upholsertery & Alcantara Cleaner
- Sonax Multi-Purpose Auto Interior Cleaner
- Gyeon Fabric Coat