B L O G
FOLLOW ALONG WITH MY VARIOUS GARAGE PROJECTS AND SHENANIGANS
I have to admit I have been pretty lazy over the last month or so with keeping the interior of my car clean and tidy. Winter is rough where I live and the interiors of cars get filthy quickly. I took a few hours this past weekend to tidy up the interior using a few products I have been meaning to try out. I have had Gyeon Leather Cleaner in my cabinet for a long time, but I think this marks the second occasion I have actually used it. I love it. I also had my first opportunity to give Lithium's "Inner Space" a genuine try. It was equally impressive. Strong cleaning power but also leaves a factory fresh finish on interior surfaces. The SQ5 was in dire need of attention and I will tackle the exterior in short order so stay tuned!
🧽 P R O D U C T L I S T
➤ Lithium Inner Space
➤ 1Z Einszett Plastic Deep Cleaner
➤ Gyeon Q2M Leather Cleaner
➤ Adam's Rubber Mat & Liner Cleaner
I've always liked having my polishers stored above my main work bench, but I've never been in love with the look of it. Recently, I took advantage of a great deal at Auto Obsessed, and I picked up three of the Rupes polisher hangers. I revamped a portion of the wall to the right of my main work bench and mounted the three holders to the wall. I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure this gave me the result I was after. The holders are made of light plastic and don't have the quality feel or appearance I was hoping for. I don't think they will be around forever.
The weather Gods threw me a bone this weekend with double-digit Celsius temps, so I pounced on the opportunity to perform a much needed cleaning of my garage floor. This was the first time cleaning the floor with the new drainage system. In this video, I demonstrate the process of rinsing the debris into the channel drain and then emptying the catch basin with my 1/6 horsepower sump pump. The entire process was highly satisfying and took me just over an hour. The garage is easily the cleanest garage in the city.
My friend parted ways with his cherished 1994 Audi RS2 Avant this past summer. It was a bittersweet decision for Dave, but it was made a bit sweeter by the fact that it was purchased by YouTube sensation car reviewer, Doug DeMuro.
Doug has uploaded his reveal video on his very popular YouTube channel. I'm obviously hoping he will see my wash video from this past summer. I posted a comment on the video about being sure to check out my video and I have already seen a slight uptick in traffic. Who knows? Maybe this will be the break I've been looking for!
Here's the original video from last summer. As you can see, I have already changed the title of the video!
Winter is the perfect time of year to shift my focus to the garage itself. I have always endured drainage challenges that come with snow and ice melting and then freezing just outside the garage door. This ice damning can occur often in the winter, so conceiving a drainage system that prevents water from escaping the garage and wrecking havoc on my driveway has always been a goal of mine.
I finally pulled the trigger and enlisted a concrete firm to install a channel drain/catch basin system. The installation process was labor intensive and required a 48" wide section of the existing floor to be demolished and removed by hand. Once the concrete was removed, four 1-meter sections of trench drain were precisely positioned one inch below the level of the existing floor and pitched towards a large catch basin with a 30-gallon capacity. The concrete was then poured and shaped in such a way that all water will be directed towards the channel sections. No water will now escape the garage and cause me headaches in the winter.
While that job was in progress, I took it upon myself to paint the ceiling and install all new lighting. A company out of Saskatchewan called LevKom reached out to me and generously offered to supply me with all new LED lighting necessary to turn my space into an even more effective detailing environment. With the help of an electrician friend, we removed all nine existing fluorescent 2-bulb fixtures and installed four 60-watt "trilights" and eleven 30-watt 48" LED linkable tubes. The lighting install took six hours in total and turned out great.
These three upgrades have breathed a lot of new life into my garage. I am still in the process of cleaning up all the dust from the concrete work and sanding of the ceiling, but it already looks even more amazing than before. In addition to just looking better, I am now able to conduct details year-round. The garage is now a much more comfortable and efficient place to do my thing! I have documented all of these changes in a 3-video series I call "Floor to Ceiling".
This video demonstrates the demolition stage of the drainage project. The crew worked tirelessly for about six or seven hours removing a 48" wide portion of the existing slab.
I wasn't able to record the footage of the actual drain and basin placement, but this video shows how they were placed in the excavated portion of the floor.
This video demonstrates the final result after the concrete was poured to fill in the system. It also demonstrates the system in action as I perform a quick floor clean.
Performing a comprehensive exterior detail on this gorgeous 2008 Audi RS4 was one of the highlights of my summer. What made the project even more special was the fact that the team from Auto Shield Canada came to help out. I connected with the company a few weeks prior and was impressed to hear about the research and development that has gone into their new Graphene coating. There's a lot of controversy in the detailing world around the topic of graphene, but I have no problem experimenting with the new take on a paint coating. The results on this B7 Avus Silver RS4 say it all. Thanks to Wilson, Josh and Jyles for all their help and support and I look forward to using their coating on my car in the very near future.
I consider myself very fortunate because companies are starting to take notice of what I do and I have had a number of them reach out to me. Recently, the team at Lithium Auto Care sent me a promo package containing their yet-to-be-released interior cleaning spray called "Inner Space". I used it only briefly on the Misano Red RS5 and it was awesome. I look forward to playing with it very soon when I find the time to tackle my own car. I was shocked by how amazing the packaging and presentation was for the launch of this product. The personalized letter was a very class touch! I have to send my thanks to Josh, Bill and the rest of the team over there at Lithium.
I stopped in for a new wheel brush and left with two boxes of stuff. I can't thank Chris and his team at Carzilla enough for the support over the years. I picked up a few things while I was there a few weeks ago but he wouldn't let me leave without a few more goodies. I now have a comprehensive collection of TAC SYSTEM and Fireball products that I'm really looking forward to trying out once the "busy season" of teaching settles down a bit. I also picked up some polishes and compounds from Rupes and CarPro. I think I'm pretty set for the winter detailing season!
The Rag Company has this program where they select ten people a quarter to rep the brand. I was very fortunate to be selected for the last quarter of 2020. I received an incredible prize pack of goodies. I put a video together that highlights all the items I received. I am also very pleased to be able to offer viewers a 15% Rag Company discount that can be used on any item for sale on their website. Just enter "RAD15" at checkout. The code is active until the end of the year. What an amazing team of people over there at TRC! A full inventory of my winnings is listed in the description section of the video.
I have been buddies with Pan the Organizer for a long time. We regularly chat about detailing, YouTube and life in general and we have wanted to collaborate in some way, shape or form a while now. Pan contacted me about an idea he was cooking up in which I would do some work in my garage and he would feature the footage in a video on his channel while narrating the action for his viewers. I enlisted a gorgeous Misano Red Audi RS5 from my friend Dave and proceeded to give it a complete "wheels off" detail. The fabric wheel arch liners on Audis are notorious for absorbing copious amounts of dirt so the footage I shared with Pan demonstrated the process I follow to return the wheel arches and wheels to factory condition. I am so pleased with the way this project turned out and I have to thank Pan for the invitation and honor of being featured on his channel. I hope we can do more collabs in the future! Here is the final video as featured on Pan's channel:
The full project video can be viewed here:
Back in September, my car was backed into by someone on the street by my workplace. I have a strong suspicion of who the culprit is, but no way of proving it. Regardless, I filed a "no fault" claim through my insurance company and my SQ5 is back and even sports a new custom grille. Here's two videos that tell the story along with some "before" and "after" shots.
The damage wasn't as extensive as I first thought. The insurance adjustor actually made a personal visit to check the damage out, and while at my house, he was able to snap a few of the panels back into place. Thankfully, there was no paint damage. All repairs were done at Cosmos Collision in Calgary and they were just awesome. I gave them a full 5-star review on Google.
Cosmos and my insurance company were extremely accommodating and worked with me on the installation of a custom RS-style grille versus the OEM version. I purchased this Carbnlab grille through Nemesis Autosport in the States. I love how it looks on my SQ5. Huge thanks to staff at all these companies for helping me return my SQ5 to brand new condition. The team at TD Meloche Monnex (Astride & Navi), the team at Cosmos (Jaclyn, Ken & Loc) and Nima at Nemesis. I appreciate you all!
The top guy at Swisstrax Canada reached out recently to let me know that dozens of orders had been placed utilizing the RAD GARAGE discount code. I was happy to hear that. On the other hand, I don't think Swisstrax Canada was prepared for the volume of orders they have received so they have requested that the discount be modified. From this point forward, Swisstrax Canada is extending a $0.25/square foot discount to RAD Garage referrals.
As my social media reach expands, I am finding more and more detailing companies are reaching out to me. It is gratifying to know my humble channel is now attracting the attention of established detailing product manufacturers from all over the world. One such company; Lithium Auto Care contacted me during the summer to see if I would be interested in trying out a few of their new products. Of course, I said, "Yes". Yesterday, a package arrived on my doorstep containing two of their "elixirs". I will be giving them a try on upcoming projects and I look forward to seeing how they perform. I must thank the team at Lithium for sending me these products for free and with no strings attached. For a guy who details for the fun of it, it really means a lot that companies would care enough to reach out to and send me complimentary samples of their products.
I can't resist a trip to Carzilla so whenever I have the time I like to drop in and see what new goodies they have to make my detailing life more convenient and rewarding. My latest haul includes some new Jescar polishes, Detail POPO 320GSM microfibre towels and other supplies. While there, Chris presented me with a little tool holder that fits on my bucket that was especially made for me by @ctarasco. It is a cool little innovation that I'm sure will make my wheel cleaning process even more convenient and effective. Reach out to him on Instagram if you would like one for yourself.
You can hear the full story of what happened to my pride and joy SQ5 by watching the video below. Let's just say the school year isn't off to the greatest start!
Towards the end of August, I had occasion to detail two amazing Audis. The first one is a very rare and special RS6 Avant and the other is a beautiful RS5 Coupe. Both are owned by guys I have come to know through my detailing escapades. The RS6 received a comprehensive maintenance wash while the RS5 got the full meal deal including a full paint correction and Ethos graphene coating. Both cars came out great and I am very proud of the videos I produced for each of them.
I've been quite busy with life, but I wanted to make a quick post to share this project I completed back in August. The owners of this gorgeous Lexus IS300 contacted me through my website to see if I would be interested in detailing their cherished car. I jumped at the chance, and spent the better part of three days putting my touch on it. I washed, polished and coated this car and the results were substantial. This video includes the reaction of the owner when he picked it up. It was a great project.
My Brother-in-law and I colluded behind my SIL's back to have her 2017 Audi Q3 detailed behind her back. She was under the impression her car was being "detailed" at a local car wash, when in actuality, it was with me for three days. I was able to wash correct, polish and ceramic coat her little commuter and the results were highly satisfying. This video illustrates the extent I went to in order to surprise her.
This was such a unique project for me. A few weeks ago, a young man contacted me about detailing his 2008 VW Golf R32. This is a significant and rare piece of high performance VW machinery and he stated that he was a fan of my videos and wanted me to spend some quality time pampering it. So, we agreed. He drove it in from BC, where he has been living since August of last year. He arrived here around 1:00 on Friday afternoon and left it with me for the long weekend. He flew out of YYC to YYZ later that afternoon. Monday morning, it was picked up a car carrier and transported back to Toronto, where he is originally from.
The owner had ceramic coated the vehicle last summer with a combination of GTechniq CSL and EXO. It hadn't seen a lot of use due to the C19 situation, so I decided to try something a bit new with this one. Instead of polishing the coating completely off and starting from scratch, I used a very light hand to clay and polish the very top layer of the existing coating and reapply a layer of EXO. It's impossible to really know (for me at least) just how much of the base layer of CSL was still remaining, but from speaking to the owner, we thought that it should still be in pretty good shape. I used Adam's Visco Elastic Clay and CarPro Essence with a yellow Rupes pad on my LHR75e DA polisher.
I ordered and received some solid black oak Swisstrax tiles to replace my aging "Carpetrax" tiles at the base of my garage stairs. These grey carpet tiles were looking a bit worn and dingy so I decided to swap them out. I also preformed a thorough clean of the garage floor by dividing the Swisstrax tiles in long sections and dragging them out onto the driveway. The garage is pretty clean as I tackle an exciting Golf R32 project.
I noticed a real slice of history was up for auction on "Bring a Trailer" a few months back. This pristine example of a GLH-S sold for just under $15K USD in February. It got me thinking, would I still be as enamoured with this car as I was back in my 20's? At any rate, here is the old auction listing that includes many photos of this remarkable car.
Link to auction here.
A YouTube viewer contacted me about putting my touch on his prized Golf R. I love these little rockets so I jumped at the opportunity. I performed a very thorough exterior detail and did my best to rid the paint of some tiny tar deposits. You'll have to watch the video to see how things turned out. It's a bit of a long video so I suggest grabbing a snack first!
I'm pleased to be able to offer a $0.25/square foot discount to those Canadian friends wanting to purchase a Swisstrax floor for their garage. Simply reference "RAD GARAGE" in your email or phone call to the sales staff at Swisstrax Canada when placing your order. Be sure to keep your eye on Swisstrax.ca for any specials as well. Currently, they are running a 20% off sale on Ribtrax systems and a 15% sale on Diamondtrax tiles. As always, if you have questions about Swisstrax, feel free to shoot me a question. I am always happy to help people decide if Swisstrax makes the most sense for them and their garage.
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.
I have teamed up with Teespring to offer viewers an opportunity to grab some RAD gear! Click here to see the current inventory of RAD merchandise available at my Teespring store!
Use "RAD10" to save yourself 10% until the end of March, 2021.
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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