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      11-15-2014, 09:48 PM   #1
PinnacleAutoCT
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How to revive a hammered jet black 328i

This jet black 3-series was truly hammered. It exhibited just about every form of defect conceivable; hard water stains, chemical etching on the quarter panel, heavy marring all over, heavy contamination and to top it all off the paint had very deep swirls (the depth of actual scratches) that indicated someone took a rotary to the paint without washing it first. The purpose of this thread will be to demonstrate that even paint in this abysmal condition can be revived without a repaint, and to shed some light onto how to achieve these results.

This was the condition of the paint prior to starting work. Note that the car is supposed to be jet black, but it appears to be gray (or a washed-out black) because the marring and swirls ruin the paint’s ability to reflect light; it is diffused across a thousand tiny scratches instead of reflecting from a single point as it would in corrected paint.

159 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
163 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr

Brake dust on the wheels- this was from months or even years of accumulation:

161 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
162 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr

Close-ups of the paint showing just how horrible it looked, note that the swirls and marring were visible under just the overhead fluorescent lights:

164 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
168 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
169 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
216 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
228 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr

Now to get started you want to wash the car thoroughly. Since a car in this condition has lots of contamination and embedded dirt, it would be smart to presoak the lower portions of the side panels, front bumper and rear of the car with APC (Optimum Power Clean, Meguiar’s APC, etc). Let this dwell for a few minutes without drying, doing this will help to loosen up bonded contaminants. If you’re familiar with using chemical decon products, use something like Carpro’s Iron-X or Tar-X in place of the APC (you can soak the entire car with this). These products will change color while they’re working, giving you a nice indication of whether or not you’ve achieved even coverage. Make sure you rinse the body, including all cracks and seams thoroughly after using one of these products. For wheels as dirty as these were, Sonax Full Effect or Wheel Cleaner Plus will work great, just let the product dwell for a few minutes before agitating, and be sure to rinse thoroughly after agitating.

Next use a clay bar or decon towel to remove the remaining contamination from the paint and prep it for polishing. A decon towel or mitt (Nanoskin, Opti-razor, etc) will lightly marr the paint regardless of the grade that you buy, but this shouldn’t be an issue given that we’ll be polishing after and the marring is very light, so buy the decon towel if you want to save time (much quicker than clay). Work in small sections, keeping the paint lubricated with the provided lube or a QD (Optimum No Rinse works great), lightly gliding the clay or decon towel over the surface until the paint is smooth.
After this step dry the car and tape off any trim or moldings to avoid staining them with polish. 3m 233+ green tape is the best available in terms of adhesive strength and ability to conform to curves, but regular blue painter’s tape will suffice too.

After you’ve completed these steps you should have something that looks like this, clean and decontaminated but still full of swirls and marring:
231 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
235 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
008 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
005 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
004 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr

Now we’ve reached the polishing stage, as you can see in the pics above I’ve taped off a roughly 2’X2’ area to test different pad/polish combos before tackling the rest of the paint. Doing this ensures that you have the optimal combination to remove defects and leave a refined finish without making extra work for yourself. When it comes to these 06-07 jet black BMWs (this particular one is an 06) you’ll find that removing defects is relatively easy, but finish polishing without leaving micromarring or hazing is difficult. The solution to this is to use a finishing product without fillers that is easy to use, my favorites are HD Polish and Meguiar’s 205. I prefer these two products to others such as Menzerna SF4500 because both HD Polish and M205 use SMAT technology, which basically means that the abrasive particles don’t break down over time. This also means that these products provide uniform cut at all times and work quickly; 2-4 passes with light pressure at slow-moderate speeds (1-2” per second) is all that’s necessary (versus 6-7 with SF4500 using diminishing abrasives). Use these products on a standard foam finishing pad to ensure proper refinement of the paint. Remember that overworking these products just results in the lubricants drying up and subsequent dusting, so just work the polish appropriately and remove it. If marring remains try a second application, and if you’re working in direct sunlight an occasional light mist of water on the pad can aid in preventing dust.

If your paint requires more aggressive defect removal (as this car did), you can achieve this by stepping up to a microfiber finishing or cutting pad (Meguiars or Optimum are great). These microfiber pads provide more cut because each individual strand becomes coated with abrasives, yielding more surface area than a comparable foam cutting pad. To prime these pads, apply your compound liberally and work it into all of the fibers with your fingers. If you’re using a product such as Meguiar’s D300 (which is pink in color), you should see that your entire pad, even the edges, have turned pink once the pad has been properly primed. As far as compound selection goes, something like Meguiars D300, HD Adpart, Menzerna 2500, etc will provide a lot of cut with a finishing or cutting MF pad. If you have heavy defects like this car had, step up to something like Meguiar’s 100 or 101. You can mix either of these with D300 to reduce cut, extend working time and provide a more refined finish (a 70/30 M101/D300 mix with an Optimum MF pad were used in this case). The Meguiars compounds mentioned above are also SMAT products, so work them for 2-5 passes and remove the product. After each panel clean the pad with compressed air or a stiff bristled brush, doing so removes spent abrasives and abraded clear coat particles and allows you to continue compounding without negatively affecting cut or finishing ability. After brushing reapply the product in 5-6 pea-sized dots around the pad. If you find that your pad’s fibers have become significantly clogged and cutting ability degrades, switch to a new pad. You may go through as many as 6-8 pads on a car such as this.

After you’ve completed your compounding and polishing steps clean out all the body’s cracks and crevices with a MF towel or boar’s hair brush and QD. After this you can apply a sealant or wax, if ease of use is paramount you can’t beat Optimum’s Optiseal, if durability is a concern use something like Sonax Polymer Net Shield or Collinite 476s>. If you’ve done everything right your paint should look something like this:

309 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
308 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
316 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
317 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
318 by 337 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
337 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
097 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
132 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
080 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
064 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
061 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
095 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
101 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
102 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
108 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
107 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
120 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
130 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
137 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr
157 by Pinnacle Auto Detail - CT, on Flickr

Note that in this case I wasn’t going for full correction; approximately 80% correction rate was the goal. Any questions or comments are welcome.
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      11-15-2014, 11:09 PM   #2
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the restoration looks great op. I can't understand how people let their cars get to a point like this though.
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      11-15-2014, 11:45 PM   #3
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look at that JB shine!!

thanks for sharing!
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      11-16-2014, 12:19 AM   #4
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OMG that's an amazing transformation. Phenomenal skills you have there OP!

Question for you on claying using nanoskin. If ONR is used as lube, what should the mix ratio be? Should it be the recommended clay lube ratio (1:64), or should it be the quick detailer ratio (1:16)? Thanks!

As well, how many steps of compounding/polishing were used to achieve the above result?
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      11-16-2014, 02:21 AM   #5
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Wow! Great work!!! Night and day difference!
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      11-16-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpie168 View Post
OMG that's an amazing transformation. Phenomenal skills you have there OP!

Question for you on claying using nanoskin. If ONR is used as lube, what should the mix ratio be? Should it be the recommended clay lube ratio (1:64), or should it be the quick detailer ratio (1:16)? Thanks!

As well, how many steps of compounding/polishing were used to achieve the above result?

When I use ONR as clay or nanoskin lube I use it at 16:1 dilution ratio, it's only 8oz per gallon and provides extra lubrication.

The car in the first post received a two step, the compounding step was M101 & D300 mixed on an Optimum MF pad, the polishing was done with HD Polish on a black Lake Country foam finishing pad. There were probably two applications of the compound on this car (maybe three on certain areas) but I still consider it as a two step because no intermediate polishing was needed; I went straight to the finishing pad and HD Polish. I used the Rupes 21 for the majority of the work, the Rupes 75E was used for the tighter areas.
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      11-16-2014, 09:49 PM   #7
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Thank you for the detailed response OP! I have a porter-cable DA polisher. Is that tool capable enough to product similar results as yours?
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      11-16-2014, 10:40 PM   #8
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Wow! Excellent job, you brought that paint back from the dead.
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      11-17-2014, 09:46 AM   #9
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That looks awesome! Hopefully I can find someone to do this to my JB E92 in Florida!
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      11-17-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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Beast, Garry Dean is from Tempa, FL. Check him out on YouTube.
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      11-17-2014, 03:44 PM   #11
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I actually emailed him yesterday..! Does anyone know a ballpark price of what something like this goes for??

Thanks!
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      11-17-2014, 04:05 PM   #12
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$600-$900 would be my guess.
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      11-17-2014, 05:13 PM   #13
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Damn! I figured it was going to be steep, but that's def super steep.. Guess I better start doing some reading lol..!
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      11-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #14
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Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpie168 View Post
Thank you for the detailed response OP! I have a porter-cable DA polisher. Is that tool capable enough to product similar results as yours?

The Porter Cable will have significantly less correcting power than the Rupes 21, so it will take much longer to achieve the same results, but it can be done. The finishing will also take longer because the Rupes leaves a more refined finish than short stroke machines, so you may need more intermediary polishing steps.
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      11-18-2014, 03:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinnacleAutoCT View Post
Wow what a difference. Great work; that car looked nearly gray, rather than black, before you started!
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      12-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Wow what a difference. Great work; that car looked nearly gray, rather than black, before you started!
Thanks!
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      01-02-2015, 06:02 PM   #17
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Nice job! It looks like you sold the old car and bought a new one.
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      01-03-2015, 01:33 PM   #18
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Awesome work as usual!
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      01-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #19
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christ sake. nice work.
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      03-20-2015, 01:45 AM   #20
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Great job. Thanks for posting.

How much paint did you have to remove to get these results? I assume you took before and after readings.
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      03-20-2015, 11:56 AM   #21
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Nice job! I can't wait to get started on detailing my car.
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      03-20-2015, 11:59 AM   #22
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That car went from nasty, to ashy, to classy.
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