FOLLOW ALONG WITH WHAT I GOT GOING ON
Probably my greatest detail to date, check it out when you have a spare eleven minutes. Cheers.
A friend of a friend dropped off his '08 X5 for some detailing this morning. I planned on doing a quick interior job, but it morphed into a 9 hour full detail. The owner is trying to sell it, so hopefully this detail helps him get top dollar. I have to say, these X5's are pretty impressive vehicles. And, don't ever let someone tell you they aren't big, because they are.
I had an opportunity to finally remove the swirl marks from the SQ5's B-Pillars. With my new Flex PE-8, Griot's Garage 3" orange pad, and some Menzerna SF4000 high performance polish, I was able to rid both pillars of the micro-fine swirls that have been plaguing me for a while. Because the material the pillars are constructed of is soft, they seem to scratch quite easily. I try my best to be gentle, but it seems inevitable that they will attract swirls. Well, no worries, because in less than an hour their lustre has been returned. Here's a little slideshow showing the process I followed. Enjoy.
I have always been a fan of the Infiniti FX, so I was happy to get my hands on a FX45 belonging to a friend. They are on vacation which meant I had the option of working on the car at my convenience. Over the course of three days, I put north of twenty hours into restoring the lustre of this aggressively-styled and powerful SUV. Our friends don't exactly baby this car, so a fair amount of work was required.
Day 1 - Interior
After a very thorough vacuum, I used my Tornador foam gun to coat the carpets in a think froth of Griot's Carpet Cleaner. I used a soft bristle rotary brush to dislodge the deep down debris and break up some hardened stains on the carpet. Some areas required extra attention so I fired up my Mytee Firebird Steamer. To get the carpets completely clean, it took me five hours. They came out brilliantly. Later that evening, I drove the car down to the coin-op car wash to thoroughly power wash the mats and engine compartment. I hung the mats on my mat wall to dry for a few days and continued working on the engine bay the following day.
Day 2 - Seats/Engine
The leather upholstery in this FX is perforated and many of the perforations were filled with debris. I used a very pointy punch to dislodge each of them, but some steaming was required to really clear them out. I used Sonax's Leather Foam on the seats. First, I used a detailing brush to distribute the cleaner and followed that up with a leather brush to really work the cleaner into the leather. The Sonax Leather Foam left the seats looking natural. The way I like them. With the seats complete, I turned my attention to the rest of the interior. Using my Firebird steamer, I took care of the vents. The steam does an amazing job of dislodging the dirt from the hard-to-reach surfaces. I have a brush that my wife used to use to clean my son's baby bottles, and I used that to get into each crevice of the vent. I also used my 1Z Einzett Cockpit Premium to get that dash looking its finest. I used compressed air to blow away the leftover product. The engine bay was looking much better after the power wash at the coin-op, but there was still a lot of grime that needed to go. My Firebird, once again, rose to the occasion. With the engine bay pristine, the only thing left to do was to dress the various components, but that had to wait until the final day when I concentrated on the finishing details.
Day 3 - Polish/Wax
The paint on the FX was pretty beat up. It is obvious this car has suffered through numerous automated washes. The swirls were quite severe. I opted for Wolfgang's Swirl Remover. I began the day by going over the paint with Griot's Paint Prep which ensures that the paint is free of any wax or sealants. I was sure this car had no such coating, but I just wanted to ensure I was working with a clean slate. Using my Flex 3401 and my newly-acquired Flex PE-8 and a combination of pads, I spent three hours going over every panel of the FX, including the parts coated with 3M. The pad I found most successful was my Lake Country CCS 5.5" yellow "Heavy Cut" pad. Unfortunately, I only have one of them. I ended up having to transfer over to a Lake Country Orange "Light Cut" pad, which took a bit more time and patience to achieve what the yellow pad accomplished. For the trickier parts of the car, I used my 1", 2", and 3" Flex pads. They were a lot of fun. The body styling of the FX has all kinds of curves and bulges, so the smaller pads were perfect for working around them. I was particularly impressed with how well this setup worked on the headlights and emblems. After the polish, I washed the vehicle to rid it of all the leftover polish residue. The paint has a number of rock chips and deep scratches that still remain, but the vast majority of the surface looks incredible. My Metro Vac Master Blaster made sure the car was bone dry before I applied a thick coat of Collinite Insulator Wax.
I'll be sure to post the video I made showing how it all went down. I think you will enjoy seeing how I utilize the space to make the job more efficient. It should be up in a week or so. Just have to fine tune it a bit more. In the meantime, here's a shot of the finished product:
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.
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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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