The victim : 2002 BMW 330ci, Orient Blue Metallic. The car was in not-so-good condition, had a pretty bad case of the swirls. BMW brake dust and these wheels are killer. The interior, engine bay, etc., needed TLC. The paint hadn't been waxed in god knows how long, it felt like sandpaper. This car was begging for a detail, so here goes.
Process took me a few days because I really took my time on this one, and Christmas fell in between. No problem since it is garage kept. Here is the basic process I used on it, and I am completely satisfied with how it came out.
wash with turtle wax carwash and a Meg's wash mit.
Poorboys SSR2.5 using Porter Cable 7336sp/orange cutting pad
Z5 x 3 coats, with Z6 in between each coat
Z8 Grand Finale spray seal
Simple Green, old dish sponge, cotton towel on wheels (sucked!)
Simple Green+ towel and toothbrush+ vacuum cleaner engine bay
Meguiars nxt Glass Cleaner
Poorboys Natural Look on dash and seats
Z16 on tires, fender liner, plastic + rubber under hood, all rubber trim
Simple Green and Nevrdull metal polish on exhaust tips
Poorboys spray and wipe in door jambs, followed by Z5.
Full interior vacuum.
drying: leaf blower, california blade, Cobra + Megs waffle weave towels
buffing: Cobra and Megs microfiber towels
Here is some before pictures: not much to say, it was pretty bad...
First step, wash in the shade using a good clean wash mit, either a grit guard or the two bucket method (shown), keeping your rinse water seperate from your soap water. Wash from the top surfaces and work your way down and around the car (dirtiest parts on the bottom of the car).
Next, I clayed using a meguiars claybar and Poorboys QD as some lubricant, wiping dry with a megs MF towel.
For those who have never clayed, YES it makes an incredible difference, especially in the feel of the paint. Look at all the crap that came off of just one panel after a few swipes of the bar...and this is AFTER the wash!
After claying, I began buffing. This is how I like to put the polish on the pad, some people will do a big X or something, doesn't matter. Before turning on the buffer, dab in a few places on the panel youre going to be working to spread out the polish. Turn it on, start at a very slow speed like 2 or so on the dial, to prevent splatter and furthur spread out the polish. Then increase the speed, I believe I had it around 4.5, maybe a tad higher on average...only on some of the more heavily scratched/swirled panals did I increase the RPM much higher than that. Let the machine work under its own weight, no need to push.
Work one panel at a time until the polish begins to haze. Go in a north to south motion, than change it up to an east to west motion, until you are done with the panel. It will look like this while you are buffing:
Wipe off the remaining polish with a good microfiber towel. I followed up the buffing, with a mist of z6 (use very little) to rid of any dust and prepare the surface for z5 pro. In this detail I decided to clay a panel, buff it, lay down some z5 and move on to another panel while the 1st coat of z5 dried, going back and removing/ putting on more layers. I found this made the job less tedious I guess because I was constantly changing what I was doing, and saving time as well. A lot of people can't even think about claying an entire car, than buffing an entire car, then laying down 3 seperate coats of wax on an entire car, etc...It's a lot, and I just think this method breaks it up a little. Just don't forget where you left off on each panel.
I'll jump ahead to the final product now, everything else is just as straight forward, I didn't take any pics doin the other stuff. Again, I'm really happy with the way this turned out, aside from the dents which are getting removed another time, I turned the car around 180. It just takes some patience and some effort.
comments/ questions welcome