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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > My first ever detail! 2010 320D LCI Monaco Blue



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      09-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
mob17
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Hi,

I performed my first ever detail at the end of July this year. I had planned on posting pics up way earlier but there has been so much going on that I just haven't had the time. Plus I wanted to complete all the sealing/waxing to show the final finish. I understand this isn't exactly a full detail, as I didn't do the interior and engine bay. I also didn't apply stuff like snow foam, iron x etc. Maybe next time I will. The wheels and tyres I just washed with a Meguiars wheel cleaner and tyre shine, Anyways here it is.

I want to offer my sincere gratitude to Greg @ Detailed Image for his constant guidance on techniques and products, whenever I asked him. He was very thorough in his recommendations and always left me trusting him 100%. Also, it's not as though he was gaining any sales as he couldn't ship anything to the UK. So I really appreciate his advice and suggest anyone who is not sure about detailing to go to him, he really knows his stuff!

Ok so the first step was to decide what exactly I would be doing and what products I would need. After some research I decided that a machine polisher is a must, as no matter how big my arms were, I couldn't match a random orbital machine. Then I got recommendations from Greg on polishes, sealants etc. This is a full list of things I had to buy:

Clay Magic Perfect Finish (100g)
DAS-6 PRO Dual Action Polisher
(I wanted the PC but it was hard to source here in the UK, plus this came with good recommendations from members on here)
Lake County Constant Pressure Pads x 2 (White)
Lake County Constant Pressure Pads x 2 (Blue)
Lake County Constant Pressure Pads x 2 (Orange).
This was for any areas where I didn't get the best results with the white/blue combination.
Menzerna Power Finish PO203S
Menzerna Final Finish PO85RD
Menzerna Power Lock Sealant
3M 3434 Masking tape
Meguiars Lambswool wash mitt
Meguiars – Water magnet drying towel
Eurow – Shag Pile double density towels
(these towels are soooo soft. Even softer than the towels I use on myself!)
Hand Foam applicator pads
Meguiars QD Spray


Here is the list of stages that I went through:

1. Wash and Dry (2 bucket method)
2. Clay
3. Wash and Dry (2 bucket method)
4. Machine Polish with Menzerna Power Finish PO203S
5. Wash and Dry (2 bucket method)
6. Machine Polish with Menzerna Final Finsh PO85RD
7. Wash and Dry (2 bucket method)
8. Seal with 4 coats of Menzerna Power Lock Sealant
9. Wax with 2 coats of Dodo Juice Purple Haze

I also decided that I wanted to buy a tent/marquee, as the weather here is unpredictable and I didn’t want it to start raining or the sun coming out halfway through. So I bought a 6 x 3 marquee from Mr Singh. This was perfect for this job.

Day 1

I stupidly thought that I would get all of the above done in one day! Maybe some people can but it took me waaaay longer than I thought. This day all I did was steps 1-3. This took me around 6-7 hours believe it or not. The QD that came with the clay was not enough for me, and I used the Meguiars QD to finish. I was very impressed with the claying; it really did make all the surfaces feel like glass, like it just came out of the showroom. Even when it was dark, I could notice that car had an extra shine to it. I even thought that’s it I should just stop now, but that was never going to happen!

Day 2

Ok so today I thought i’m going to get everything else done. Stupid assumption again! All I did on this day was step 4, the polishing. I taped the window trims, lights, handles and badges with the masking tape, went over the whole car with a QD, as a little dust had gathered overnight. I then used the white pad with some PO203S and started at the bonnet. I followed the same method on Greg’s excellent guide. For some areas, I used the slightly more abrasive orange pad.

This was quite harder than I thought it would be. At times I felt like giving up but I got motivation from random people walking by. A lot of people commented that it looked nice and one even asked if I was a professional!! So i ploughed on and managed to do the whole car in about 9 hours. But this was from when I stepped out of my house at midday until I finished clearing up for the day at 9. I took regular breaks every 3 hours which I would definitely recommend.

Day 3

I started at 7am on this day as I wanted to finish the final polishing and at least one layer sealant as I had to pick up someone from the airport. Today I managed to do steps 5-7 + one layer of sealant! I was very happy to finish as I didn’t want to waste it all by driving on the motorway with no sealant.

This time polishing did go slightly quicker. I used the blue pads and the PO85RD. This really gave the car a nice glossy shine. I applied the sealant by hand with an applicator pad. This was much faster than using a machine. I was a bit concerned that it looked quite faint, but Greg assured me that’s normal. I think the key is to apply it as thin as possible.

The following 6 weeks up until yesterday

I washed my car around once a week, and after each time I applied a layer of sealant. In total I applied 4 layers of sealant, and one layer of wax which I did yesterday. I did want to wait until I added the second coat of wax before posting pics, but I have waited long enough.

Verdict

This was a mammoth effort, and made me realise why professional detailers charge so much. After the 3rd day I was knackered and just glad it was over. I did enjoy myself as well though. I would recommend anyone doing this to invest in a marquee and plan 2-3 days for it. I would also recommend not leaving masking tape on overnight. I left mine on for 2 nights and there was some residue left behind.

The car has improved considerably from before. Unfortunately I didn’t take any before pics, I guess I was too excited to start. Around 80% of the swirl marks have disappeared, 100% of water marks, 100% of the rough areas around the front bumper, door mirrors, low areas on the front fenders have gone completely smooth. The detailing has really brought the deep blue colour to life Even when it’s raining the car looks shiny! I really like the way the water beads and flows right off.

However there are some areas that are still not perfect. But I wasn’t really expecting to get rid of these completely anyway. There’s a small scratch on the bonnet, which I can feel with my finger nail, the usual bonnet chip marks and a little amount of swirl marks around the car. The remaining swirl marks, which there isn’t really much left i’m just being really fussy, will be sorted out by a more abrasive combination next time round. Having said that, the scratch does look better than before, it’s less visible, and you can tell by the pics that there aren’t really that many swirl marks. Before there were loads, from when I used to take it to car washes and didn't know the correct techniques. Also the pictures don't really do the car justice. I think with all car pics, the actual car looks better in person.

Now you can see the final pictures. The first picture was taken during the first day, the rest were taken today.
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      09-09-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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EXCELLENT write-up! Detailed Image is great, I'm in the US and able to buy nearly everything I need there.

I could not agree more about it taking forever ... polishing, claying, etc just does not happen in one day. I ended up doing mine over a series of three afternoons and one full day. The effort was so worth it in the end. Your car looks great and while you don't have 'before' pics, the correction looks nearly perfect ... which is as good as you're going to get.

I'm not sure about you, but I would not do this for someone else even if I was paid!
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      09-09-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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Looks good, but I think you should have either used a more aggressive polish, or worked it in more. You do need to take some #0000 grade steel wool to that tip with some metal polish ASAP!
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      09-09-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
EXCELLENT write-up! Detailed Image is great, I'm in the US and able to buy nearly everything I need there.

I could not agree more about it taking forever ... polishing, claying, etc just does not happen in one day. I ended up doing mine over a series of three afternoons and one full day. The effort was so worth it in the end. Your car looks great and while you don't have 'before' pics, the correction looks nearly perfect ... which is as good as you're going to get.

I'm not sure about you, but I would not do this for someone else even if I was paid!
Thanks for the kind words This was my first time and although I had zero experience, I was happy with the results.

Yes the effort definately paid off, that's what i kept telling myself whenever i felt like giving up! It is a shame I didn't take any before pics, would have really shown the improvement.

I know what you mean about not doing it for anyone else, same here! You really need that love for a car to do it properly. I can understand why its expensive to get it done now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
Looks good, but I think you should have either used a more aggressive polish, or worked it in more. You do need to take some #0000 grade steel wool to that tip with some metal polish ASAP!
Maybe I could have worked it in more. It was my first time so I should be forgiven But I always read that its better to start with a light combination and work your way up until you get it perfect. I have removed around 80% of the swirls but for the remainder I will do the more abrasive combination in spring time!

Agree 100% about the tip. I haven't done anything to it since I bought the car and really should try cleaning it up. I was actually thinking about it the other day. Now your eagle eyes have spotted it i'll have to do it pretty soon!
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      09-18-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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Awesome work, I'm thrilled the first detail came out so well. With more experience you'll be able to move faster and hopefully keep getting better results each time. Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience and I'm happy to have helped! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask you know we'll be here for you.

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      09-20-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailed Image View Post
Awesome work, I'm thrilled the first detail came out so well. With more experience you'll be able to move faster and hopefully keep getting better results each time. Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience and I'm happy to have helped! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask you know we'll be here for you.

Greg @ DI
Thanks for the approval Greg I think next time I will use a more abrasive combination and hopefully it will take me less time!

Just need to sort the exhaust tip out now, it's letting the rest of the car down. I will be getting some #0000 grade steel wool that otruba suggested. What polish and/or cleaners do you recommend? I read an article on your website which used CG Grime Reaper to clean and then Optimum metal polish. Would both of these be suitable/required?
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      09-21-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for the approval Greg I think next time I will use a more abrasive combination and hopefully it will take me less time!

Just need to sort the exhaust tip out now, it's letting the rest of the car down. I will be getting some #0000 grade steel wool that otruba suggested. What polish and/or cleaners do you recommend? I read an article on your website which used CG Grime Reaper to clean and then Optimum metal polish. Would both of these be suitable/required?
There are lots of ways to get great results cleaning the exhaust tips. Steel wool is not my personal favorite but if they are really dirty it's an effective cleaner. The Grime Reaper is a great cleaner for heavy build ups, but you can sometimes just use a metal polish. The Optimum Metal Polish will clean and polish while leaving light protection.

I also assume you read this article http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P...tip-detailing/ on detailing exhaust tips, but if not it's a great read.

Take care!

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      09-21-2012, 03:15 PM   #8
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Yes that's the one i read. Nice article

What alternatives are there to steel wool? And there isn't much of a heavy build up, so i might just try the polish on its own and see what results i get.
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      09-26-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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My Monaco blue is in need of a full detail as well. I'm glad to see the results here
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      09-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Yes that's the one i read. Nice article

What alternatives are there to steel wool? And there isn't much of a heavy build up, so i might just try the polish on its own and see what results i get.
Generally speaking a metal polish is enough to clean most tips, but it may require just a little extra time compared to the more aggressive steel wool. If it's not enough a cleaner like the Grime Reaper can help but again most times a good metal and some elbow grease is all you need. For regular maintenance details a metal polish should be more than enough.

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My Monaco blue is in need of a full detail as well. I'm glad to see the results here
As you can see above, you'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish on your first attempt and you'll only get better with more experience. Let me know if you need any additional help. Good luck!

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      09-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #11
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I use Optimum Metal Polish for my tips and it produces wonderful results.
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      09-28-2012, 04:05 PM   #12
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Cool ,Optimum Metal Polish it is then. Will update when I get a chance to try it

Oh yeah, I am assuming using an old microfibre is fine with that polish?
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      09-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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Cool ,Optimum Metal Polish it is then. Will update when I get a chance to try it

Oh yeah, I am assuming using an old microfibre is fine with that polish?
Any old rag or mircofiber towel should be perfectly fine. just do not use something you still want to use on the car because it will get dirty. This reminds me I need to polish my tips this weekend
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      09-29-2012, 02:40 AM   #14
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Man, that's an excellent write up! Kudos Mo.
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      09-29-2012, 06:27 AM   #15
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Thanks Otruba, will get to it in the next week or so.

Sam: thanks for the kind words. You looking to do your car anytime soon?
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      09-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #16
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great job..that made the monaco really pop
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      09-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Sam: thanks for the kind words. You looking to do your car anytime soon?
Not anytime soon lol. First I get my audio install done, then get a few bits resprayed and THEN I do a full detail - always wanted to have it done as I don't think I have the patience LOL, but only time will tell
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      09-29-2012, 07:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Sam: thanks for the kind words. You looking to do your car anytime soon?
Not anytime soon lol. First I get my audio install done, then get a few bits resprayed and THEN I do a full detail - always wanted to have it done as I don't think I have the patience LOL, but only time will tell
Just bear in mind if you decide to do it properly with multi stage polishing, then its hard graft, your back may ache like mine did!
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      09-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #19
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great job..that made the monaco really pop
Thanks

Yeah, the monaco blue really comes out deep and rich now, even in the rain its noticeable.
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