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Discussion Starter #1
So, I decided to strip ‘er down… for a good shine.

Using techniques gleaned here, I spend a few hours detailing my car. (Over the course of three days...) I thought I’d add my comments and pictures to other great posts here.

1. First, wash with alkaline soap (Like Dawn dish soap). Dry, pull into the shade.

2. Clean up any tar spots, etc with bug and tar remover.

3. Clay bar- I used two Zaino bars I got with a kit. (Actually only needed one, but I dropped one and had to throw it away. (DO NOT EVER KEEP USING ONE THAT TOUCHES THE GROUND.) I mixed a solution of 6 parts water to 1 part car wash soap- put it in a spray bottle to use with the clay. Keep the surface wet and just slide the clay around- the bar will form to the surface. The little bugger is slippery- careful.

4. Outside for a Rinse and dry. Back inside.

5. Masking and trim removal. See pictures 1-4. I removed all the belt moldings, plus the bumper moldings. Just gently pry them up and pull away. If you need, use a screw driver but wrap the tip with tape to protect the paint. Then I masked a few items: Head and tail lights, front and rear window trim, around the side mirrors, headlight washers, etc.

6. I then used a buffer to apply and work Meguirs Swirl remover 2.0. (I use a Porter Cable 7336SP). Velcro backing pad with an orange foam applicator pad.) My color is light, and the paint is in pretty good condition. This stuff is not super aggressive. The hardest part is telling how much you need to work certain areas. This is the hardest part of a good detail/polish/wax: getting the fine clearcoat surface lines out. Sometimes you will need to go back and do it 2, 3 times to get all the defects out. With a bluewater, a few lines will never be seen… still, I don’t like to see them. Each application you work, then let it dry, then buff it off my hand with a cotton towel.

7. Next I applied 3 coats of Zaino Z5 with ZFX accelerator. Apply with porter cable buffer, and a fresh orange pad. Let it dry. Buff it off with a cotton towel. Z6 speed shine to remove any particulates. Repeat. Repeat.

8. Next I applied 3 coats of Zaino Z2 with ZFX accelerator. Apply with porter cable buffer, griots red pad (kind of soft, very conforming). Let it dry. Buff it off with a cotton towel. Repeat. Repeat.

9. Clean the interior. Vacuum, clean surfaces, leather conditioner, etc

10. Clean the glass. Windex.

The last three pictures are the results. Yeah, shiny is shiny- light colors are hard to see the depth of the reflections or the perfection of the surfaces.. Anyone want to see what 9.5” rears with 275s and 3mm spacers, check it out.

A
 

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Hey, that is a sharp "powder blue" M5! :biggrin:

All kidding aside, looks great. I'm not up for a three day detailing, but I did finally get my full Zaino kit and will be doing the clay bar/Z-5/Z-2 thing fairly soon, so your post was very informative!

I'm just going to apply the stuff by hand and am definately not up to removing the trim or taping, etc. Still, I hope to approximate your great job!

Thanks for the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's baby blue, bud!

:)

Don't get misled by the seeming excess- it is like painting, a bit of tape and prep makes it SO much faster to slop on the paint. Truly, 15 minutes to pop off the trim and tape means that you can get on all the other coats much faster.

Remember to really work the Z5/Z2 into the surface- a little goes a very long way.

Another great post: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=43557&highlight=porter


A

PS It wasn't three full days- soccer games, a horse show and a bunch of other chores mixed in there....
 

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Adam,

It looks great - thanks for the tips! I especially like the OEM rears up front.
Hopefully we can hook up one of these days so I can see it in person...

Jim
 

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ard said:
So, I decided to strip ‘er down… for a good shine.

5. Masking and trim removal. See pictures 1-4. I removed all the belt moldings, plus the bumper moldings. Just gently pry them up and pull away. If you need, use a screw driver but wrap the tip with tape to protect the paint. Then I masked a few items: Head and tail lights, front and rear window trim, around the side mirrors, headlight washers, etc.

6. I then used a buffer to apply and work Meguirs Swirl remover 2.0. (I use a Porter Cable 7336SP). Velcro backing pad with an orange foam applicator pad.) My color is light, and the paint is in pretty good condition. This stuff is not super aggressive. The hardest part is telling how much you need to work certain areas. This is the hardest part of a good detail/polish/wax: getting the fine clearcoat surface lines out. Sometimes you will need to go back and do it 2, 3 times to get all the defects out. With a bluewater, a few lines will never be seen… still, I don’t like to see them. Each application you work, then let it dry, then buff it off my hand with a cotton towel.

A
Hello Ard,
Thank you for sharing your techniques and pictures. The car looks awesome!

A couple of questions if you don't mind.

How do you "grab" the moldings to pull them off the body? (The first approach before resorting to using the screwdriver wrapped in tape.)

I just purchased a Porter Cable variable speed polisher. Where did you get the Velcro backing pad? I'm assuming the Orange pad came from Griots - correct? I need to get these as the pad that came with the polisher had a hard attachment on the back. Or is each pad you buy supposed to have this "hardware" on it? (I've always done my detailing by hand, but also have never been able to do much swirl removal - Zymol HD Cleanse was about as far as I would go. I am a little anxious about "cutting" into the paint with the power tool. I know, I know - a little at a time - do it multiple times versus trying to get it all on one pass. Great words, a little harder to actually do on our "baby"!:eek: )

Thank you!
 

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Ard, Looks great! I use the Zaino kit on a silver Z8. The fly's were using the hood as a sliding board. I did try the Rejex on the Avus blue M5 and I feel Like I cheated her. I'll try the swirl remover 1st then Zaino the M as soon as "Shrimping" season is over. You seem like a detail fanatic so I was woundering if you have any tips for removing or filling A lot of tiny rock chips in the nose. Jonnycherrsagai
 

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Looking good Adam!

:M5thumbs:
 

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Wow Adam. When you detail her you really detail her. She looks great. Thanks for the tips.:cheers:
 

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Looks good, when shall I drop mine off? Josh
 

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So you know painters tape works just as well as acually removing the trim.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Stickman said:
Hello Ard,

How do you "grab" the moldings to pull them off the body? (The first approach before resorting to using the screwdriver wrapped in tape.)

I just purchased a Porter Cable variable speed polisher. Where did you get the Velcro backing pad? I'm assuming the Orange pad came from Griots - correct? I need to get these as the pad that came with the polisher had a hard attachment on the back. Or is each pad you buy supposed to have this "hardware" on it? (I've always done my detailing by hand, but also have never been able to do much swirl removal - Zymol HD Cleanse was about as far as I would go. I am a little anxious about "cutting" into the paint with the power tool. I know, I know - a little at a time - do it multiple times versus trying to get it all on one pass. Great words, a little harder to actually do on our "baby"!:eek: )

Thank you!
I'll reply to a couple of points:

I just kind of pinched the end with fingertip pressure and try to pry it out- that usually leaves enough room to but something under it and never contact the paint.

I really hate buying stuff from Griots... all the stuff in the catalog is a price ripoff, and half of it can be found elsewhere at much less. The tried to tell me THEIR backing plate was specially designed for high end cars. it IS a porter cable part number....The orange pad was from rightlook.com, or autopedia....

I'd never tackle swirl removal without electric help. Any product that claims to 'hide' or 'fill in' scratches won't for long.

No tips on rock chips. (Bluewater is very forgiving...) There is an interesting product that promises 'near perfect' repairs- it is a masking process, paint, then buff.... it's been discussed here. Search.

On the fanatic scale, it is like money- there's always someone a lot more fanatical! :)

And, of course taping the molding works- BUT- you can't get all the way up to the very edge where the paint dips under the molding, AND when you take off the molding you will find grit and dirt. It is, actually, faster to remove them.

Actually, this reminds me- I rewashed the car UNDER the moldings after removal- LAST thing you want is the buffer to pick up grit and destroy the paint..

A
 

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Jayson said:
So you know painters tape works just as well as acually removing the trim.

I'd have to agree that you will have an easier time with the mouldings removed. A buffer, orbital or straight drive, will rip the tape right off and you will still burn the moulding. Also, as Adam mentioned, if you tape up the mouldings, you don't get the wax down into the crevices, nor do you get the dirt out from behind. I too think it'd be just as quick to pop them off, on a newer car at least where the retainment clips aren't old and brittle (and likely to break). Then you can bring the mouldings to the bench and soak them in dressing without worries of getting it on the body.
Looks like a fun project. I haven't been that intense with my car in quite a while...
Mike
 

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mottati said:
I'd have to agree that you will have an easier time with the mouldings removed. A buffer, orbital or straight drive, will rip the tape right off and you will still burn the moulding. Also, as Adam mentioned, if you tape up the mouldings, you don't get the wax down into the crevices, nor do you get the dirt out from behind. I too think it'd be just as quick to pop them off, on a newer car at least where the retainment clips aren't old and brittle (and likely to break). Then you can bring the mouldings to the bench and soak them in dressing without worries of getting it on the body.
Looks like a fun project. I haven't been that intense with my car in quite a while...
Mike

Being one of those people that spends 3 days detailing the car ( and i do use machines) I have never ripped the tape off the car. And I tape it in a way that I get right up to the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jayson said:
Being one of those people that spends 3 days detailing the car ( and i do use machines) I have never ripped the tape off the car. And I tape it in a way that I get right up to the edge.
Last time I did this level of detail (which, in case you think me way over the edge, was 10 months ago) I taped the belt moldings and removed only the rear bumper trim.

I really didn't have a problem with ripping the tape off on the molding or trim. (Although taping the windshield and headlight washers are a PITA and THEY DO come off- especially if you are polishing 5,6,7 times.)

Tape versus removal is a personal choice- I would say that there is no visual difference in the end result. For me, cleaning the molding and body of dirt, getting a good coating of plastic/rubber dressing on the molding tips the scales for me to removal.

I also need to look into buying 26 replacement rubber cups for the trim clips- they do rip. I'd only pop these moldings off on a annual basis.

A
 

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Hey Adam,

As I am about to use Zaino...

Everyone says to use it sparingly, much less than a tradtitional wax. How much Zaino does it take to cover the E39? Since I have to use all the Zaino I treat with ZFX, I don't want to prepare too much or too little. I was thinking 1 oz per coat...what do you think?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was at 1.2-1.3 oz per coat... just a bit over one-half of the two oz squeeze bottle.

Alfred- sorry I missed your question- the velcro pad comes witht he 7336sp, but is an accessory for the other model (like the 7242? same identical product, just has a pad)... Last year the 7336sp was $94 at home depot. Just go on line and look for the PC pad. The manual that comes with the PC polisher will usually list the part number for the accesories.

A
 

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ard said:
I was at 1.2-1.3 oz per coat... just a bit over one-half of the two oz squeeze bottle.

Alfred- sorry I missed your question- the velcro pad comes witht he 7336sp, but is an accessory for the other model (like the 7242? same identical product, just has a pad)... Last year the 7336sp was $94 at home depot. Just go on line and look for the PC pad. The manual that comes with the PC polisher will usually list the part number for the accesories.

A
Thank you! I guess I didn't get the 7336sp. I checked my So Ca Home Depots and they didn't have the polishers, so I got it from Top of the Line Detailing Supplies. The one pad that came with it looked pretty securely fastened.

I'll go on-line at Home Depot and look for the PC Pad. Thanks again! And I'll get the orange pads from a less expensive source that Griots. (I wonder how much they could reduce their costs if they only sent out 2 catalogs a year?!)
 

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Stickman said:
Thank you! I guess I didn't get the 7336sp. I checked my So Ca Home Depots and they didn't have the polishers, so I got it from Top of the Line Detailing Supplies. The one pad that came with it looked pretty securely fastened.

I'll go on-line at Home Depot and look for the PC Pad. Thanks again! And I'll get the orange pads from a less expensive source that Griots. (I wonder how much they could reduce their costs if they only sent out 2 catalogs a year?!)

Top of the line has wonderfull polish and wax pads.
 

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Jayson said:
Top of the line has wonderfull polish and wax pads.
Sorry if I'm stealting this thread (but it related to doing a great detail job!).;)

Jayson, did you get their velcro holder too? My web search on Home Depot came up empty and the other site was an encyclopedia and I didn't know where to go from there. Which polish and wax pads do you get? They offer a couple of brands.

Thank you!:thumbsup:
 
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