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      11-20-2011, 08:43 PM   #1

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DetailWNY - BMW E90 Montego Blue - Quest for detailed perfection in Buffalo

I just saw this car again for pre-winter detail which prompted me to post, I will have that top-up write up posted soon.

This was a paint refinement detail and correction on a Montego Blue E90 328. The focus was to brighten the paint get a little exposure off the 2 year old car, and actually try to get the paint as close to perfect in the supplied time. The car hadn't had any protection on it since July of last year!

I will start by saying, the owner takes tremendous care of his vehicle and I believe is a true enthusiast. European delivery, tasteful aesthetic mods all coupled and tied in with regular maintenance. Debadging, black front grill surrounds, a great front plate location coupled with the always good looking Montego Blue left for a great looking vehicle that I was thrilled to finally get to prepare.

The owner did mention that there were a couple patches of definite marks from a touch up kit, as well as a couple bird bomb etchings that stood out to him. After inspection, I was willing to bet there was probably a fair amount of water spots to contend with, hopefully nothing too bad.

Some of the befores show how good of condition this car really is in. I made mental and actual paper notes on things to pay serious attention to the first thing being the wheels. The faces were well kept, the barrels needed some pretty serious cleaning

So I said to myself "Lets try to take this car to the next level".. for the owner who is as compulsive and detail driven as I am.

The car:
2009 E90 in Montego Blue from Bayerische Motoren Werke (or Bavarian Motor Works
). This 3- series vehicle gets its humble beginnings from the 1975 E21, which was upon release was available in 3 choices - A 316 (1.6 liter), a 318 (1.8 liter) and a 320 (2.0 liter). The roots of this vehicle would become nearly iconic as a "starting point" for many lifetime BMW owners.

The owner loves and takes great care of this car. My goal: perfection.

Before Exterior Photos

A little leftover wax from..


In moving the car to start rinsing, the co-pilot and navigator decided he/she had enough, so I backed the car up, opened the door. and let her get moving to where ever her next stop was. She was about the size of a quarter..

I really wanted to keep all painted surfaces marring free for as long as possible, so the jambs were rinsed on medium pressure and washed carefully using separate gear. Remember: Taking it all to the next level..

After a very thorough rinse, I started on the wheels, tires and fender wells also using separate(marring free is the key). I started with a liberal amount of another shampoo in a separate pair of buckets and used a bunch of horsehair brushes, a couple barrel brushes a mitt with copious amount of agitation to get these babies clean.

For the wheels I used use a gentle pH neutral gel with a barrel brush and horsehair detail brush. These were washed 2 times to be nice and clean.

Horsehair for the face and lugs

A gentle barrel brush(with custom reinforcement handle mod) for the barrels

..and a mitt to reach into the valleys on the REAR of the spokes - who knows when the next time they will be cleaned.

The arches were treated with a secret foaming citrus cleaner and Meguiar's Degreaser and scrubbed.

After a rinse - yes, the wheel wells were so clean they beaded water...

The tires were doused with some strong cleaner and scrubbed 3 times each to get off any old tire dressings.

..and after a rinse - squeaky clean.

Onto the wash: I mixed up a strong solution of lovely fruit punch scented shampoo, got a couple ounces of a safe wax stripping agent mixed up and pre sprayed each panel to nip off whatever protection may have been present.

I payed special attention to the grill and was very careful not to inflict any additional marring.

Paying special attention to the rear half and trunk, where by doing these cars I know some gunk can quickly work its way up into the release buttons and behind the plate simply from driving because of the air signature of the car.

After all was rinsed, showing zero protection and ready to be deconed and prepped for polishing.

After pulling the car in and drying it with an AutoGlos Aspen White drying towel and forced air, I clayed the already smooth paint with a mild clay to eliminate any above surface contamination and taped her up.

Unfortunately at this point in evaluation I realized that while the paint was in great shape, I was going to have to curtail my documentation for the interest of saving time for the lighter polishing and numerous heavier marks that I simply had to eliminate.

The finish was in great shape, but as suspected by the owner there was the odd stray deeper mark that actually would be classified as a fine, deeper scratch, each one needing spot compounding before being refined around the rest of the car.

Here is a section of the cluster of what turned out to be scratches from a touchup(which was a good touch up job by the owner - some "directions" on these kits just aren't thinking from a compulsion standpoint)

and a shot of more scratches

On just the driver's side doors were a cluster of the worst ones. They were so fine, that it took me copious amounts of boxer-like head movement to find them under the myriad of light sources I used. After only lighter polishing could I see these. They are all marked with a piece of tape.

The trunk had 2 heavier bird bomb etchings and the odd water spot here and there. These all required further compounding on 3 inch custom(made for me) wool spot pad, then polished and further refined. I chose to step up to wool after measuring thickness, because my other choice of lighter defect removal type compounding didn't do a thing on the deeper marks.

Another issue, was the famed Piano Black trim that lines the B-pillars. Notoriously finicky to polish, I chose a spot pad on my workhorse Makita rotary and used a multiple-hit process to dial them back to black. I realized after doing this, they had a little lighter oxidation that wasn't visible beforehand, but they DEFINITELY darkened up from polishing.

..after some magic..

A couple quick inside afters:

I dusted the vehicle down removed the soccer ball of tape along with everything and pulled her out to inspect the sun ducked in and out all day.
Sun inspection = perfect.

Please excuse the towel lint on the piano black trim - its notoriously staticky.

Bug etching and light scratch on the mirror - GONE.

The Results - Perfection.

After tidying everything up, I did the small details including dressing the tires, polishing the exhaust, removing the sealant etc...



Final Results:

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!
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      11-20-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
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Good job man!! You do good work!
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      12-14-2011, 09:44 PM   #3
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Awesome job!
2011 Alpine White on Black 535i M-Sport
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