|So, the detail, I arrived Tuesday morning to be promptly greeted by a power cable being lowered down from a third floor flat. For some reason a Brothers Grimm fairy tail sprung to mind, unfortunately it there was not a beautiful maiden at the other end :DFirst sight of the car showed it to be reasonable tidy but still in need of an Xd a deep clense. So I started with a hot rinse to remove any dust off the car then I applied liberally some heavy-duty traffic film remover to dissolve any wax and tar that had attached itself to the paint. This was then followed by a snow foam to emulsify the gunk on the car followed by a hot rinse. Now I had removed the bulk it was time for the sheepskin wash mitt and some hot soapy water. Followed again by another rinse and a blow dry, yes you did read right a blow dry. The idea is to minimise any mechanical contact you have with the paint to reduce the chance of adding swirls into the paintwork. Blow-drying the car means that you are not rubbing the cars paintwork to dry it so reducing the chance of swirls.
SO all clean, well no, it looks clean but its not, if you rub your hand across the paintwork it feel rough, the reason for this can be road tar, industrial fallout or tree sap, so out with the claybar warmed up nicely in hot water and some quick detailer, the claybar removes any bonded contaminants from the paintwork as can be seen here off of Elliots freshly washed car;
So a while later and another wash and another blow-dry and it was time to inspect the paintwork with my scary lamp. One of the first things to hit me was lot’s of pig tailing scratches across the paint, if you look where the light is shining you should get a clue as to what I am talking about.
This was quite worrying as this meant that someone had worked on the car before, and not very well I hasten to add, so I took some readings with the paint thickness gauge to see if the paint was any different around these areas. The reading across the car averaged around 168 microns; in these areas they were showing around 272 so there had obviously been some repairs in the cars life. Colour matching on the panels was perfect it just seems as though the bodyshop were not very good and finishing and had used dirty pads. I was able to reduce these defects using Farecla G6 cutting compound but ideal would be to have wet sanded the area and then polished. This would have taken some time to get right and I did not have time on my side, so we got something pretty reasonable where the marks were smoothed off rather than removed.
At this point we started to get some drizzle so I popped back and got the marquee and continue;
Oh, plus my doggy;
All seemed okay but then the rain got heavier and eventually turned into a thunder storm, with one doggy looking rather scared trying to hide under the car plus me working with 240v cables in a flow of water I decided the marquee was not really enough so finished off a few bits and packed up ready to come back the following day.
Next day sunshine was out so I could see where I had worked and I was seeing holograming from the machine polishing, this meant I would need to go over the area again with a less aggressive compound to polish out these marks. It meant three levels of machine polishing, the first being a aggressive polish to remove the defects, the second to removes the swirls and holograms and eventually an machine glaze to get the depth of colour out of the paint.
For those detailers out there I used Meguiars Soft Buff 2.0 machine pads and 3M Fast Cut, Perfect-it III finishing off with Ultrafine SE. All I find to be fantastic products from 3M but unfortunately dust something rotten.
So Sunshine out in spits and bouts I made started polishing part of a panel and masking the remainder off so we could really see what was going on with this buffing malarkey.
What these are showing are swirl marks, these are caused by everyday use and washing. Poor washing technique will put these into your paintwork quite quickly and can even add scratches to the paintwork too. Safe washing unfortunately is not something that many drive in valet companies observe or even understand. Elliotts Maserati has pretty hard paint so it takes quite a bit to put marks in the paints, more recent cars though have much softer paint and I am seeing a lot more new swirly cars out there on the roads thanks to our local valet companies.
Anyway rant over and back to the car; having done three levels of polishing I then cleaned up all the paintwork with some paint clenser, washed the car again to remove any remaining dust, dressed the wheels and trim and then gave the car a coat of FinishKare wax. Below is the result of around 12 hours of labour;
Here’s what Elliot posted on Petrolhead Nirvana after the detail;
“The job that Lee’s done, the finish that he’s achieved is remarkable.
You know those sci-fi films when the hero puts his hand out to touch a seemingly solid object, only to se his hand slip through the surface? Well, that’s what the finish of my car looks like.
The finish looks as if it’s a liquid. I really, really want to dive in. I told Lee as much. He backed away from me slightly.
I’m delighted with the finish. The contours and curves of the bodywork are evident as they’ve never been before in my ownership of the car. The rear three quarter is a bloody work of art. It’s thanks to the finish that this becomes evident. he way that the wheel arches hunch over the tyres and the slightly ‘pregnant’ bulge of the bonnet really pop out. It’s ;like looking at a completely different car.
Excuse me if I sound over excited. But, I probably am. I’ll bring the car along on Monday and you can decide for yourselves.
I recommend Lee’s work unreservedly. Though , I preferred talking to his Yorkshire terrier.”
Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks to Elliott for commissioning me to do his lovely car, hope you enjoyed. I will be up at the Ace Café meet this Monday and with a bit of luck Elliott will be up there as well with his Shiny’d Maser. We are now in discussions BTW to tidy up the interior which Sienna his pet pooch has made her home and engine bay 😉