So I detail cars...

Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#1
Hey Everyone,

Been meaning to share this with you for a while. I did start a post way back about car detailing but it was right around the beginning, and I was still very new to the concept and practice. I've secured a decent amount of work and skill under my belt, so I thought I'd share some of the cars I've cleaned.

Also, if you have questions or damage on your car and want to know how to go about cleaning it/fixing it, maybe I can help.

Lets get started, first with just some finished shots of my Parents new Car, 2014 Prius V.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

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Being a new car, it's not exactly hard to make it sparkle, but still it was not cleaned or detailed properly at the dealership.

Moving on, this is a buddies Honda Accord. Well taken care of, low mileage, but hasn't seen a proper clean in a few years.
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Some deep scratched which were rounded and reduced as much as safely possible.
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And after! Note that removing all defects was not in the cards, just a general improvement.
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Ready for sealant!
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Interior cleaned and dressed.
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As well as the vroom vroom.
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Leaving us with this!
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

I'm going to split up these posts as I have a few cars I want to show and it'll make for a stupidly long post.

SheepStar
 
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Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#2
Next up is another friends car, this time a Mazda 3. It was kept in really good shape with minimal paint defects. It did however have some body shop overspray and just needed some light polishing to make the new bumper paint job not look out of place.

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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Car sprayed with the foam Canon to soak and let the cleaners dwell and remove dirt before even touching the paint, a good way to reduce scratches inflicted by wash mitts.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

While it's on the car, you go around and get in the nooks and crannies with small soft brushes with all purpose cleaner (not home stuff, something designed for a car). You'd also go around and do the door trunk and hood jambs and engine bay after this step (might have to rinse if it's hot out though).
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Engine gets foamand APC with brush agitiation.
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Wheels cleaned with a number of special brushes and various cleaners depending on the soil level. Acid works best but it's harsh to choose it wisely.
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Clay bar is used to cut down ingrained particles and smooth the paint out.
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Floor mats are hit with boiling hot water, extractor and spot cleaning solutions and then scrubbed with the polisher using a soft bristle brush and slow speed setting. It's 10 times faster then manual scrubbing. After they are rinsed with hot water and extracted to damp before being left to dry in the house.
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Yum!
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Once in the garage I inspect the paint with various lights to see how bad the paint is and choose my polish and pad combinations. Some times people don't care about chasing all the marks and scratches so a light machining with just 1 polish step is usually what I find I'm doing. Below you'll see the hazy overspray below the mirror.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

This is the paint on the rear bumper, which is brand new. I need the rest of the car to not look out of place to this.
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Small swirl from a brush being used to remove sap.
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50/50 on the overspray after getting hit with a heavy cut polish on a Micro Fiber pad.
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More heavy marks on the door.
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Reduced to a 75% removal.
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First coat of sealant curing.
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And removed.
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Tape protecting the new paint from polish and sealant. New paint needs a good few months before you can wax it as it needs to breath and cure fully.
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Engine cleaned.
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Fin.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#3
Last one for now, this is my friends 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

He lives up north (near alaska) and it definitely needs regular cleaning. I usually clean the truck and he gives me a nice bottle of scotch.
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Lets clean! Engine, under carriage, and body all hit with APC and then snow foam to pull as much dirt as possible before contact.
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After the wash the clay comes out to smooth out what was left behind.
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Paint is okay for the situation. No cut polish was used as he doesn't want to start removing clear coat until there is more scratches.
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I used a couple different cleaner polishes to remove light marks and fill in the rest. These are super mild and you could polish for days without removing more then a micron of paint. Worked well on the tail lights though!
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Polish being worked into the door panel. A lot of people are unclear how polishes really work, but it's actually quite simple. I'll explain it later in another post.
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Entire interior APC'd and cleaned. The floor liners protected the carpet so only a light vacuum was required.
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And the finished product.
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That's enough for now. I haven't been able to detail for a while due to home renovations. I have 5 more cars pending for hopefully the next month or so.

SheepStar
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,712 22 38
#4
I could say something smart-ass like - "what's the big deal? So you know how to clean cars. Welcome to America amigo" but then again I know how much detailing of top end luxury cars costs and I decided to keep my smartass comments to myself. You could be making more money cleaning cars than me fixing computers.

Oh and really nice job.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,435 7 3
#5
Yeah I'd pay to fix up my car if you were around here. My car needs a lot of work and I don't have the garage for it.
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#6
Thanks Fellas (I think?).

This is a side job I do to line my pockets, and since I bank roll the hole operation It's not as profitable as it would seem (I spent 18 hours on the accord alone). Since I usually do friends cars and am constantly testing products and trying new techniques I usually don't charge as much as a normal shop would, but I do usually offer better results and the products I use are much better. One thing they have on me is turn around time, being 1 person it can take a whole weekend plus a day for a basic single stage polish and in/out clean (like the Tundra). But my costs will eventually drop to nearly nothing except my time, and when you have results like that and prices which are usually half of the shops locally, it's easy to keep busy.

SheepStar
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,712 22 38
#8
Like i said Brian, you should be looking to detail classic and luxury cars. Not accords :)
As my own 4 wheels - they are in such poor state, mostly not my fault - parking on streets of New York long enough and the car will get abused. From casual bumber dents to more serious hit and runs on parked cars. To fix the body would cost me more than the car worth. So i just maintain it mechanically
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#9
Like i said Brian, you should be looking to detail classic and luxury cars. Not accords :)
As my own 4 wheels - they are in such poor state, mostly not my fault - parking on streets of New York long enough and the car will get abused. From casual bumber dents to more serious hit and runs on parked cars. To fix the body would cost me more than the car worth. So i just maintain it mechanically
Ahh, yeah New York, San Fran, places like that are for bicycles.

I honestly like detailing normal cars. It's amazing what is fixable/cleanable. Cars go from "I wonder how much I'll get for it" to "I'm not selling it now". True Story. Classic cars with single stage paint and chrome bits the size of a finger nail demand so much attention and careful work that you have to pay that much. You don't want some side street turn and burn detail for retail place taking a wool pad rotarty to those. I don't have all the tools I would need to take on project like that (paint depth guage being the big one),so I'll stick to the plebian models. I have connections thanks to the day job to lots of high end cars, but it's hard to convince them to let me drive it 23kms home to detail it then drive it 23kms back.

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#10
I've never had my cars detailed like that (I'm assuming it's not cheap). Great work.
I'm cheap, but I'm not that close to you. I'm actually very far away from you. You'd be better of learning to do it yourself. I can help if you need advice on what to use and where.

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#12
This next car is a co-workers. 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD3S. Insanely fun car and well loved and used, but the paint was in need of a spruce up. The detailer at my dealership gave it a shot but he uses very poor techniques and products and the end results was horrible. My deal with coworkers is $100 dollars and I will clean, polish, and wax/seal the paint (assuming the car isn't gigantic).
I started with cleaning the wheels. This is some of the brushes I used for wheel cleaning, all with their own purpose.
Small brush to get into the lug holes and around the small cracks on the face of the wheel.

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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

The large brush is to get the face of the wheels and the tire, as well as the inner sides of the spokes (or as much as posible depending on the rim design).

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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

The Wheel Woolie (microfiber wad on a stick) is for the inner sides of the face and the barrel of the rim. It is gentle, but the hard pole makes for good scrubbing power. I also have a bristle style brush like this but it's for larger spoke spacing.

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Now, if you consider this car was "polished" less then a year before I polished it, you'd think the paint was nice. It's not.

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But it's not ruined yet. It's single stage paint, and you have to be careful with how aggressive you get, but these are small scratches and not too bad on soft Japanese paint.

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The body was in better shape in most spots, mainly just polishing haze and light swirls from the improper use of a rotary polisher and wool pad.

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But it came up pretty nice.

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Wheels were also sealed with a special high heat resistant sealant.

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The front bumper was the worst part of the car, being plastic and old the paint was in needed of a re-spray, so the gloss levels achieved were not the same as the metal body panels. After working until about 3 in the morning this is how the car looked.

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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

SheepStar
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
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5,712 22 38
#14
Just for a reference this detailing job took whooping 120 hours :eek:, that's 15 8 hour days (


but then again - small price to pay for a cool mil dollar (plus) car
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#16
Just for a reference this detailing job took whooping 120 hours :eek:, that's 15 8 hour days (


but then again - small price to pay for a cool mil dollar (plus) car
Yeah, there is some really high end and excellent shops in the UK. The Forum I frequent for detailing is based in the UK.

Check out KDS detailing for some wickedly good work.

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#17
I'm not done yet!

Another Mazda 3, a good buddy of mine that brings the car to me once a year. He didn't shaw it once since I detailed it last time (note this photos is after an initial wash to see how the products held up).
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Snowfoam!
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This is something new I haven't shown you yet. It's a fall out remover. It binds with metallic particles on the paint and dissolves them, and changes the metal purple which makes the car look like it's bleeding if it's really bad.
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by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Because the car was in good shape, I had more time for extra steps due to saved time polishing. Wheels on, inside and out cleaned and sealed.
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Interior all cleaned and dressed.
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Engine cleaned and dressed.
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Contrast.
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Up next is the beading shots. This is something a lot of detailers get bend over. Waxes and sealants are there to protect your paint, not make it shine per say. Polishes and compounds remove the defects from the clear/top coat to make it shine. All a wax or polish is supposed to do is keep that shine protected. The side effect of this protection is making water bead up and fall off. Not all waxes bead and sheet water the same. Some resist dirt build up more, others bead up very tight, and some completely sheet the panel dry. Just depends on the product and what your'e after. They also have different duration in protection, and there is lots of claims of durability. Testing which one lasts the longest is a specialty of mine.
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Nice and clean, ready for another year.
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SheepStar
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,534 11 12
#18
beautiful work Sheep. Really like it. Question, how do you get hardened salt stains out of car mats and out of the foot well? I can nwver get the carpet to lift after salt has hardened. I've tried warm vinegar with a soft wire bristle on those spots.
 
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Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
1,205 1
#19
I just typed up a reply but it got deleted. I'll go over my procedure for mat/carpet cleaning and maybe some of these things might help out.

1. Vacuum carpet/mat thoroughly. You don't want anything else on the mat if you can avoid it.
2. Boil water.
3. Spray APC/Stain remover on to troublesome spots. Use carpet, and preferably Automotive specific products.
4. Apply regular carpet/mat cleaning solution using the Manuf. application procedure (just don't remove anything yet).
5. Add boiling water to mat, distribute thoroughly making sure to get the troublesome spots.
6. Agitate. If you have a brush, go for something slightly firm. Soft brushes will turn to mush in the hot water. I use my polisher with a brush as it saves me the most time.
7. Once agitiation is complete rinse the mat, preferably with hot water. I have a large laundry sink that I use for the cleaning steps (spraying detergent, boiling water application, brushing, and rinse).
8. Once rinsing is complete extract the water out of the mat and check your work. Repeat cleaning steps if it's not clean enough. If you don't have an extractor either a. get one, or b. wring out the mat as best as possible (but get one, they are not expensive and make short work of most carpet stains).

That should help, if not take some pictures and show me what it's like.

SheepStar
 
Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
Ratings
2,782 2 2
#20
What foam gun are you using?

Preferred product line?

I've been getting more involved in detailing my own vehicles (subscribed to Ammo NYC detailing on Youtube) but still learning the basics. My wife, with good intentions, got me that big 10" craftsman polisher for Christmas when I told her I was looking at them (specifically Porter Cable 7424xp).

My truck is similar in size to the Tundra plus in has a canopy on the bed so I know how long it takes to do a vehicle that big.

I have those Husky Weatherbeaters in my truck, they do a great job at saving the carpet (as do the weathertech mats).
 

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