DIY Detailing

Claying, polishing, waxing... share your secrets in here.
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Loxford
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DIY Detailing

Post by Loxford » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:32 pm

Sharing my first experience of detailing.
Just became an owner of an immaculate Black Z4. It didn’t take long before I found two large splodges of pigeon poo on my drivers door. I hadn’t used the car for a couple of days, hence they’d baked. Carefully cleaned off, the surface had been quite badly attacked.
What a problem it is! If I find it, I wipe it off but I don’t go and check my car every few hours!

I read the articles, the recommended tools and products and got stuck in.
Before playing with my Z4 I started by working on reviving the whole of my 1980 Scimitar GTC. It had very oxidised paint.

I bought a dual action rotary polisher and I cannot impress upon the uninitiated what an essential Labour saving tool it is.
Various grades of hoop and loop foam pads, Meguiar’s Compound and seal, clay bar and microfibres.
I decided from research not to use wax.
The GTC took an afternoon to work the whole car from washing, clay barring, through to final sealing.
I stood back and was pretty chuffed.

A few days later, now more confident, I set about the pigeon damage on the Z4.
It was on the top sloping area where it meets the driver’s window seal.
Wash then clay bar the area first.
This time the same process was not enough.

I bit the bullet and got the 2000 grade paper out. Soaked it for 20mins and with a cup of soapy water started very gradually to take the surface down.
Very slow. With many stages, stopping to check. This is the way to irreparable big mistakes if you go too far.
Very light pressure, side to side only, with the 2000 grade keeping it constantly lubricated with the soapy water (washing up liquid). Stop and check, stop and check, it removes the surface fast.
Clean with soapy water, dry and stare hard before proceeding. Don’t, DON’T over use the emery paper.

Next the polisher machine with Megs compound and soft foam. Again, stop. Clean. Check. Don’t go too far, too fast.
It was then just the finishing touch with the sealer on a light foam pad.
Done.
The marks gone. Perfect!
This job took around 2 hours.

G
Last edited by Loxford on Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ph001
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Post by ph001 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:52 pm

Good stuff. Must have been some serious acid damage to the laquer to warrant 2000grit paper. I’ve always managed to get even the worst seagull s**t damage out with a pad and cutting compound on the DA.
2007 E85 Z4 3.0Si manual :driving:
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Loxford
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Post by Loxford » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 pm

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Last edited by Loxford on Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Loxford
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Post by Loxford » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:03 pm

I tried with the compound and the dual rotary for a long time until I realised it just wouldn’t dig deep enough. Of course I didn’t have any courser compound.

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buzyg
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Post by buzyg » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm

Good work. Moral of the tale, check every few hours that our feathred freinds haven't got your P&G. :wink: Had to cleaned mine three times in a day once at work. :D
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ph001
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Post by ph001 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:31 pm

Imagine us lot living at the coast! Would have no fingernails left!
2007 E85 Z4 3.0Si manual :driving:
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Post by Loxford » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:50 am

I am right now rather depressed. I'm a new owner of what was an immaculate 2011 in Black.
Here's a followup to my post above describing my successful efforts to remove the after effects of bird poo, it was indeed a very successful couple of hours and rewarding and the paintwork was perfectly how it looked before.

I returned home from working late last night, as I always do. It's hard to find anywhere to park when you work until midnight, everyone else is home, parked up and asleep. The only space in many streets was under a tree, we've got lots of them! Don't they look nice!!!

That was around 1am. I went to fetch my car this afternoon around 2pm and it was utterly splattered with pigeon poo. Really, bad. Thinking I'd learned my lesson, don't leave it there, wash it off straight away, I got soapy water and microfibres and set about washing it off.
TOO LATE! It's etched into my paintwork already and it's bad, far worse than before, large areas of the roof, the wing, the bonnet.
This after just 12 hours. It was night time, I have to go to bed!!!

I am now beginning to regret buying this car because I simply cannot keep on top of this. The amount of labour I put in to removing just two pigeon marks is nothing compared to what's now required to repair the area of damage I now face. This will be many hours of work, besides you can only do this so much before you get through the lacquer and then the paint itself.
This is my road, it's full of trees - and pigeons. No one can possibly check ones car every hour!

So before my immaculate Z4 ends up an ugly looking wreck, what are my options? Apart from the obvious, I should have just bought a cheap old car.

Someone suggested "Superguard". A treatment they had when theypurchased there second hand car. Anyone had any experience of it?
Any other options?

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ph001
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Post by ph001 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:38 am

I feel your pain, it’s awful to come back to that, Few options maybe:

1) Outdoor car cover. Wouldn’t buy a cheap one though as that itself can cause damage to the paint when the wind gets up + it’s a bit of a hassle to fit and remove daily.

2) Paint protection film. Not cheap to apply and not always completely invisible depending on where the cuts end.

3) Ceramic coating such as Gtechniq Crystal Serum. Has to be the one that is professionally applied though which again is quite pricey. The DIY one will not give much extra protection. Forget things like Supagard snakeoil - that stuff has been doing the rounds for almost 20 years!
2007 E85 Z4 3.0Si manual :driving:
19" CSL's | Eibach Springs | Aeroskirts | Z4M front bumper | Clear brake light | ZHP | RCH+| Stubby

2004 E46 M3 coupe manual.

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Post by Loxford » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:44 am

Thx ph.
I'm looking into those options. Never thought I'd have this problem.
My old 1980 Scimitar GTC still with its original paint, I believe has been bombed many times, it's never suffered such damage so easily. It still looks great.
Of course it's cellulose paint. I wonder if that is less easily eaten by the chemical reaction with bird poo?

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Post by tomscott » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:19 pm

Its not a bad idea to seal then add a couple of layers of wax too, just adds that extra layer of protection and the deep shine that the synthetic stuff doesnt add. It does help.

People seem to be really scared of the ceramic coating, there are loads of products on the market now. Its application is as simple as wax (wipe on wait wipe off) and offers far more protection. Just have to ensure that the prep work is done well.

Don't need to spend £1000 having someone do it for you and the satisfaction of knowing youve done it :thumbsup:
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Post by john-e89 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Paint protection film, grit your teeth and go for it, you won’t have any more issues physically and mentally, that’s got to be worth it no?
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Post by Angelus666 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:49 pm

I'd go with the PPF for the roof and bonnet, it'll make your life less stressful. Guessing you're looking at £250 for the flat panels to be done. If that's too much, then just buy one of the ceramic coatings and DIY....it's all B/S that you need the paintwork to be 100% before applying it.

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Post by Loxford » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:11 pm

As my primary problem is pigeon attack, protection has to cover the whole vehicle.
I’ve priced PPF with two recommended companies both estimated over £4000, not including some inevitable detailing that needs doing before application. A lot of people use this to protect vulnerable sections only, stone chips are not my issue.
I think that is a bridge too far.
I might have to use ceramic coating or similar. Someone has offered to give me a bottle of trade coating made for a well known motor manufacturer. Easy to apply.

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Post by Silverstar » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:23 pm

Loxford wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:11 pm
As my primary problem is pigeon attack, protection has to cover the whole vehicle.
I’ve priced PPF with two recommended companies both estimated over £4000, not including some inevitable detailing that needs doing before application. A lot of people use this to protect vulnerable sections only, stone chips are not my issue.
I think that is a bridge too far.
I might have to use ceramic coating or similar. Someone has offered to give me a bottle of trade coating made for a well known motor manufacturer. Easy to apply.
A little while ago I went to see a firm in Marbella about getting my car detailed and they specialise in PPF and detailing and the chap was trying to sell the PPF to me and quoted me same kind of money to which I pointed out to him that the car is worth 10 to 15K and he wants me to spend a around a third of that on PPF, to which he quickly replied so it will just the paint correction and coating then! :rofl:
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