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      02-04-2009, 01:37 AM   #1
d00t
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ACDetailing: 2002 M3.. A thorough "once" over!

Alright! This car is a 2002 M3. The M3 legacy has been going on now for over 20 years, and this was the first model of M3 based on the E46 chassis. This car, with it's screaming ITB'd I6 mated with the 6 speed transmission, and LSD equipped rear end makes it a blast to drive. With plenty of grunt below, all the way through the 8000rpm red line as the raspy I6 takes you through the gears.

This particular car was quite a nice example, of course with it's own issues. This particular Titanium Silver M3 convertible only had 40,000 miles on it. Under initial inspection, I figure it would be relatively easy to correct out. I constantly fought against lighting conditions, only being able to catch the true defects under sun light. The color masked every single defect in halogen, LED, and fluorescent lighting. So during my testing process, it was very tedious to pull the car in and out of the garage in order to see what was working. :banghead:

With that said, I picked up the car and got it to my house at around 4pm on Wednesday afternoon, and after having time management issues on the E55 (I had no deadline.. so I dragged my feet a lot), I decided to get right to work: I started with the wheels, of course.

Upon initial inspection:







These wheels were not HEAVILY dusted, but dusted none the less. Unfortunately for the more sought after 19" wheels, they were in need of a good refinishing: They were oxidized, and and heavily curbed. I would have taken care of the oxidation, had I had a good wheel polish. Raceglaze wheel polishes from the UK are now order though!

With only an hour of light, I was in a hurry to get this first part done.. so no "during" pictures. They were soaked with P21S wheel gel, and let sit for 5 minutes. The tires and wheel wells were soaked with P21S TAW.

Wheels after:





The second day was my first full day of the detail. I started bright and early at 9am with a balmy 31*F sunny morning. The paint was quite dirty, and I knew I would be spending a good amount of time degreasing and prepping for the correction work.



As you can see, there is also a lack of gloss in the paint due to the surface contaminants.













So the decontamination process began. I found it important to hook my CR Spotless up to my pressure washer during the initial washing due to the fact that I was in the sun, and I didn't want any spotting at all. Also, I feel de-ionized water is a good practice to always have while washing the car, no matter the circumstances.



Up first was the initial foaming. I wanted to be sure to get as much surface contaminants off as possible, because the less physical contact I am in with the paint, the less chance I have in further marring the paint. The most soiled areas were presoaked with P21S TAW, and then the entire car was pressure rinsed before the initial foaming:









You can see in this photo two things: There is beading on the paint, so wax/protection needs to be stripped. And the steam coming off the soft top.. Like I said, it was cold :



Then I set off with my foam lance, 1500 psi pressure washer, CR Spotless, and a strong mix of 1:1 optimum power clean. It was then foamed on:





While the powerclean was dwelling, I felt it important to take a Swissvax Wheel Brush and agitate those heavily soiled areas:



After the OPC was finished dwelling, I pressure rinsed it off. I was still getting some beading, as well as some surface dirt I thought would be more easily lifted with a second foam bath. This time I opted to use Chemical Guys' Citrus Wash and Gloss diluted to a paint cleaner strength, and then foamed on:



After that was completely dwelled, it was rinsed. Then using the 2BM with grit guards, a Uber Sheepskin Mitt, and CWG, I washed the car thoroughly. Once that was complete, I rinsed the car down on more time. Then I had an epiphany and realized I forgot to do the engine bay: Usually you do not want to do the engine bay AFTER cleaning the car, because the "dirt" will/could leak on the clean surface. BUT, it needed to be done, so I sighed, and continued with the wash.

When I first popped the hood:









It was clearly dirty, and in need of a thorough clean. I'm assuming it's never been thoroughly detailed in there, and the dust/caked on dirt shows. So I went at it with a thorough dowsing of P21S TAW:







Once the P21S TAW was let dwell for a few minutes, I began agitating it with a dedicated Swissvax Wheel Brush.





Once the engine bay was done; I figured I'd best go around to all the other cracks and crevices I forgot.. such as the under the trunk lid, and the doors:







The tools of my degreasing/decontaminating:



As you can see, just by the condition of the exhaust tips, a thorough degreasing/decontaminating of the paint, etc goes a long way in speeding up the process down the road. While they aren't perfect (and will be later on) they're certainly cleaner, and making my life easier:





As I had mentioned earlier, I fought through the whole detail to find good lighting to highlight the defects needed to be removed. I ended up having to adjust my camera in manual mode, because automatic did nothing but blow out the shots and overexposing everything. So this in itself took longer than expected.









As you can see, no real wash induced marring, which I found VERY surprising. The only real damage present was heavy RIDS.

So with my game plan in my head.. I set out on the easy stuff. The highlights/taillights! I corrected these with my Makita 9227c, 4" LC White Pad, and 106fax2:



(sorry forgot afters!)

After that was complete I began my testing process. I thought since there was no real washed induced marring, just the RIDS, I would start with a 3M UK Green Compounding Pad, my 9227c, and SIP. I tackled the hood. Pulled it outside, and the BMW Cermiclear laughed at me with one of those "IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!" kind-of laughs. So then, I went at it with M105+Green. No such luck. I have heard that PFW works really well with cermiclear paints. And the same went with me as well. 2xPFW at 2100rpm with M105.

Results after just M105:





As you can see, all of the RIDS were tackled, and all that was left was the PFW marring that is to be expected.

Also.. M105+PFW Was acting really weird. It would have "blotches" left over that was like REALLY sticky/dried up polish that took real elbow grease to get off. At first, I thought it was strike-through. But it wasn't thank god. Then I thought it had to do with not getting enough heat to the panel, but even when working the "blotches" alone, they wouldn't come out. Any ideas?



Artsy shot:



As you can see in this shot, the clarity of the paint is definitely being restored from original condition:



Now the paint is finally getting restored to it's better than new luster.



My attempt at 50/50s. As I was saying.. I was battling with lighting the entire time.. so it make take a little bit of searching to find the "line" :





In an attempt to find swirls, etc under halogen lighting, I had all the lights off but the one, and it made for an interesting shot:



After working in the M105+PFW, I switch to the 3M UK Green pad with SIP. Here I am working around the side vents with the 80mm pad:



After SIP+3M Green pad, I moved on to PO85rd with a 3M UK Yellow Pad. This pad is very versatile I have found. it can be a finishing pad on hard clears with the right polish, or on soft clears, can be a medium polishing pad, much like the LC White pad. But I believe it's a lot more controllable than LC pads.

I began to work in the 85rd+3M Yellow:



With the process of the 2xPFW+M105, 1xSIP+3M Green, 1x85rd+3M Blue, I was able to achieve about 98% correction. The car was then taken outside for a much needed bath. It was rinsed down under pressure to remove dust, as well as blue tape adhesive. The shots were taken before any lsp, and right after the wash


(in this pick there was this weird circle in the middle of the hood, I confronted the owner before picking the car up, and they said it was a rock chip or somethign like that that was filled).





After the entire outside was finished, I moved to the interior. I first vacuumed everything up with my Metro Shop Vac. Then the carpets were cleaned and extracted with CG Extratimator, and a MyteeLite2. I then focused my attention on the leather, which received LeatherMasters Strong Cleaner, Vital, and Protection Cream:



Unfortunately I forgot to take befores.. but it was pretty bad.

The plastics were cleaned with a combination of 1Z Cockpit Premium, and Megs APC+ 10:1. Then it was all dressed with 303 Protectant. The glass was cleaned with Stoners IG and then followed up with DI water to get rid of any last streaks. The trim was treated with a combination of Megs HyperDressing 3:1 for a satin finish, and 1Z Gummi Plfedge on the seals to plump and dress them.





The engine bay received 303 Protectant as well. I felt it was important to use this dressing as it adds a nice satin finish to the plastic, as well as reduce static cling which reduces dust considerably.







The exhaust tips were polished with Mothers Polish:



FINALLY the LSP was applied. For this application I chose to use the Gloss-It Twins: Signature Gloss Sealant, topped by Concorso Gloss. The shine brought by these two rivals both of my premium carnuba waxes, but adds the protection brought from sealants. The twins bring a very nice glow to the paint, only to really show in person, as well as a slickness rivaled by the best.

Afters:

















:thud:

C&C Always welcome :hello:

Aaron

Last edited by d00t; 02-04-2009 at 09:43 AM.
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      02-04-2009, 05:46 AM   #2
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The e46 m3 came out in 2001 and the redline is 8k. Nice detail btw
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      02-04-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
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The e46 m3 came out in 2001 and the redline is 8k. Nice detail btw
Oh! and it's an I6 too . I had a lot of typos in there.. but I did think it was '02 that it came out. Thanks for the correction! Changing now
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      02-04-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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Nice job. Looking forward to doing the same with my car after the winter is over here in Montreal, Canada.
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      02-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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silver never looked so good!
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      02-05-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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Awesome post. Thanks for taking the time to take pics along the way.
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      02-05-2009, 02:11 AM   #7
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dude, awesome job.
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      02-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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Nice job, car looks great. I need to clean my engine bay. I read that you sprayed on P21S TAW followed by the Swissvax wheel brush. Afterwards, did you hose it down, wipe it with a cloth or just let the P21S TAW dry?
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      02-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncros View Post
Nice job. Looking forward to doing the same with my car after the winter is over here in Montreal, Canada.
Must be tough.. couldn't imagine being snowed in by 2 ft of snow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecC View Post
silver never looked so good!
Thanks Ben!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetopher View Post
Awesome post. Thanks for taking the time to take pics along the way.
Thanks for the props! I'm glad people enjoy reading the threads

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Originally Posted by Big Windy View Post
dude, awesome job.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96OCTNE View Post
Nice job, car looks great. I need to clean my engine bay. I read that you sprayed on P21S TAW followed by the Swissvax wheel brush. Afterwards, did you hose it down, wipe it with a cloth or just let the P21S TAW dry?
Thank you! Yeah after I agitated with the SW wheel brush, I rinsed everything down. Never let APCs dry on plastics/paint. They can/will stain
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