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FOLLOW ALONG WITH MY VARIOUS GARAGE PROJECTS AND SHENANIGANS
The appeal of auto detailing, for me, is the confluence of art and science. I have viewed countless videos posted by fellow detailers, and time to time I come across a video that powerfully and accurately captures this relationship between art and science. This is one of those videos. Just amazing in every regard. This detailer has just one video posted on his YouTube channel, but I suspect that will change, or at least I hope so.
Friends of mine are planning on offering up their 2005 Ford Escape for trade on either a new Mazda CX-5 or Subaru Outback, so they asked me to perform an "economic" detail prior to them shopping it around to local dealers. No problem. Once I began, I noticed that there was a lot of dried sap on the car. A lot. Seeing as they didn't want to shell out for an extensive detail, I opted to concentrate my efforts on the hood. With the hood nice and shiny, it should show well when the dealer gives it the once-over. That's my thinking, at least.
I loosened up the sap using Stoner's Tarminator spray and then used a sharp wooden pick to dislodge it from the clear coat. I then used Menzerna PG 1000 Rubbing Compound to remove the swirls and scratches and followed up with Menzerna SF 4000 Superior Performance Polish. The hood looks terrific. The interior came out nice as well. Other products used include Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss, 1Z Einszett Cockpit Premium, Griot's Garage Interior Cleaner, Griot's Garage Carpet Cleaner, Lexol Leather Cleaner, Stoner Invisible Glass, and Griot's Garage Long Lasting Tire Dressing. All up, I have between six and seven hours invested in this Escape, and I'm happy with the results. I'd love to go another 8 hours, but it's just not necessary for a car that is going to be traded in within days. I'm hopeful this detail will help my friends get a bit more cash for it on trade. Enough chit chat, here are some photos from the day.
There's little chance my SQ5 will receive any major mods, but this heavily-modded SQ5 is pretty killer. Beautifully edited video as well. Check it out:
Little by little, I am getting the SQ5 into ship shape. I had a few hours over the weekend, so I set my sights on the engine compartment. It was the first time I detailed the engine since owning it. I should have taken more "before" shots, but as these beauty shots show, the results were pretty good.
Here's a video that illustrates the process I followed:
Growing up, my father drove virtually every North American built sedan there was. I think the only car he didn't have was a Buick Park Avenue. Understandably, the big American sedans were my bread and butter. That was, until I attended my first Auto Show in 1983. It was at that time that I fell in love with everything that was European. I became obsessed with Saab, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and others. All of those brands have remained on my list of favourites (except Saab), but one car company that I fell in and out of love with was Jaguar. I loved the early 80's Jags with their sleek design and opulence. But, then Jaguar lost the plot. I can't remember when it actually happened, but Jags were no longer cool to me. It might have been around the time Ford bought them and produced cars such as this. Well, I'm glad to say that my love affair with Jaguars has returned. In fact, I attended the Auto Show in March, and I have to say, the car that had the biggest impact on me was the Jaguar XF-RS. That thing is wild. I am actually looking forward to seeing the new C-X17 crossover in the flesh. If you are like me, and wrote off Jaguar, it might be time to check out the current line up, because things have improved exponentially over the past decade. Here's my Top 5 Jags, past and present:
I can't get enough of this YouTube clip posted by AWE Tuning. It features their "Touring Edition" exhaust system for the SQ5. So cool. What do you think?
I ordered my SQ5 with the optional 21" Audi-exclusive wheels which came wrapped with summer Pirelli P-Zero rubber. This is great for 3-4 months of the year, but I needed to find a setup that would get me through the rest of the year. My research pointed me towards Hartmann, a manufacturer of high-quality Audi replica wheels. I had a set of Chinese-made 22" Porsche replica wheels on my Q7 and they were fine, but I always questioned their quality. After talking to the guys at RPI Equipped in British Columbia, I made the decision to purchase 20" HRS6-204-GS wheels with the 25 offset. With the OEM centre caps, they are identical to the OEM wheels they are based on, but costing about 1/4 of the price. The "GS" denotes the gloss sliver finish. I wrapped them with 255/45ZR20 LM-60 high performance winter Blizzaks and they have never disappointed. I have had them on the vehicle for almost two complete winters and they have been awesome, plus they maintain the factory look, which I like.
One question I get a lot is, "Can you lift a car using a floor jack atop the FreeFlow floor?". The answer is yes, but you will damage it. In this video, I demonstrate how the floor reacts to the force of a floor jack lifting my Audi SQ5. I had a few extra tiles laying around, so I thought I would give anyone interested in installing a FreeFlow floor by RaceDeck a look at how it performs in this regard. While the damage isn't terrible, you will see some significant divot marks and gouges caused by the casters sinking and cutting into the tiles. I use a heavy duty rubber mat to protect the floor, which is an extra step, but keeps the floor free from damage.
I take decent care of my car, but the unrelenting Canadian winter inevitably leaves my winter wheel setup in dire need of a restorative detail by the end of the season. I recently swapped over to my 21" summer setup, so I took a day to detail the 20" winter setup prior to storing them for the summer. I put this video together to demonstrate the process I follow to undo the damage caused by their exposure to the salt and debris of our winter roads.
Wheels: 20" ET25 HRS6-204 in gloss silver by Hartmann (with modified lugs)
Tires: 255/45ZR20 LM-60 High Performance Blizzak by Bridgestone
OEM centre caps
RAD GARAGE is my personal detailing theatre. I am a teacher who finds immense pleasure in completing deeply therapeutic, thorough and highly satisfying detailing projects in my residential garage. I have converted my suburban double car garage into a world class detailing environment and I enjoy caring for my own car and select cars belonging to others. The garage and the work I complete in it have allowed me to connect with other detailing enthusiasts from around the world.
Carzilla is a local detailing store that caters to the North American community of professional and enthusiast detailers. I have been a longtime customer and I am fortunate to call the owner a friend. Besides stocking a vast quantity of top quality detailing products, the owner has supported various garage and detailing projects of mine over the years.
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