Ok, so I've been driving for 20 years, and have always washed, waxed and armorall-ed my vehicles with whatever the local PepBoys or hardware store had on their shelves. Even before I could drive, I washed my parents cars, and even used rubbing compound on my dads faded brown MGB with great results, conditioned the top, too. When I was a freshman at AZ State, one of my fraternity brothers from CA had a business detailing cars, $50 for a 3 hour detail, I helped him and was amazed at the results. I now realize he took all the short cuts to give an acceptable result to the customer, but I'm sure it didn't last long. After a slew of Nissans and Hondas and 10 years with a '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I finally got my first German machine, a 2004 Brilliant Black A6 2.7T S-line I bought CPO, returned 2 year lease. It looked good when I picked it up at the dealer, but it was December in NH, so by the time I got it home it was dirty, and stayed that way until May. Everytime I washed it I found a new nick or scratch or curb rash that I didn't notice before, in hindsight, I should have had the dealer put new wheels on before I bought it. I have lurked the detailing forum for awhile and was waiting for Phil's trip to Boston, which never happened, so I took matters into my own hands and ordered DD's detail kit and set aside Labor Day Weekend to do the "deed".
I ordered 1Z Cockpit as I read it was good stuff for the rubberized buttons, which was good because the Adam's In and Out was back ordered. I was planning on practicing on the wifey's Odyssey on Saturday, and doing mine on Sunday, but with all the family stuff going on, I did the interior, engine bay and wheels on Sunday evening and saved the big stuff for Monday(Labor Day, fitting for the day I had!)
I used to use Kaboom! but the Adam's works well.
I got this nice scratch at Mt Sunapee ski area last winter. I wish I could have caught who did it! I really don't look like Humpty Dumpty.
Adam's Car Wash
Adam's Wash Mitt
Adam's microfiber applicators and MF towels
Adam's Clay Bar
Adam's Swirl & Haze Remover
Adam's All Purpose Cleaner
Adam's Revive Polish
Adam's Buttery Wax
Adam's Detail Spray
Adam's Spin Top Bucket
Extra Bucket for rinse water
Porter Cable 7424 with adapter and pads
NevrDull Metal Polish
1Z Cockpit Spray
Stoner Invisible Glass Cleaner
iPod/speakers with 5 podcasts of CarTalk
Adam's Spray Glaze(didn't use, not sure what its for!!)
Lexol Leather Cleaner
Lexol Leather Conditioner
Since the wheels were already done, I went right to the body with Adam's Wash Mitt. I used a seperate mitt for everything below the molding, and gave the wheels another wash with an old wool mitt for good measure. I started at 9am, so it was cool and shady, 65 degrees. My three kids decided they wanted to help daddy wash and rinse, so I ran around making sure there were no mitts crossed up or hose contact with the body. They must think I'm a freak.
Before shot, notice all the swirls!
The dang RS6 spoiler that I love creates alot of filth, especially on my 200 yards of dirt driveway!
After washing, I brought the car into the garage and dried with Adam's waffle weave towel and another MF I had. Then I used the shopvac on reverse to blow out all the nooks and crannies, especially useful on the grill and trunk seams, lots of water in there! I used the plastic bag on the paint to see if I needed to clay, the whole car was a mess! I was amazed at all the crap that came off the car even after I had washed it. I assume this car had never been clayed in its life.
Then came my first experience with the PC. I used the orange pad and Adam's Swirl & Haze Remover. It took awhile to get used to the handnumbing sensation, but I think I got some good results. Several times I pulled the pad off the car before it was done rotating and I have stripes of polish on my garage floor, my legs, and other items in the garage. I think I spent 2 hours on this step alone. The Adam's Revive Polish went much quicker, with the white pad. I applied Adam's Buttery Wax by hand, and removed by hand. Then I had to VRT the moldings and tires and remove the polish splatter. I used Stoner's Invisible Glass on glass and mirrors, then NevrDull wadding on tailpipes and brightwork. I did a quick spray with Adam's Detailing Spray and wipe with MF towel to clean everything up, then picture time.
I found that what looked fantastic in the shaded garage looked only okay in the sunlight, but I wasn't about to start over again.
Yes, thats a golden retriever.
Taken at ColbySawyer College in the sun!!
Nice!!!! Looks good in the right light, but there are still swirls.
All in all, between the two days, I spent about 6 hours on the detail, plus another 1.5 with this write up(slow DSL connection, or slow AW server). I like the Adam's stuff, smells really good and was easy for a detailing nOOb like me to get it done. I have some thoughts for those who may follow in my footsteps:
1. Send your family away for the weekend, if you have one. When your kids drop your wash mitt in the gravel driveway, then pick it up to wash some more, you tend to yell a little.
2. The PC on 3-4 vibrates the fvck out of your arm, especially if the side handle isn't screwed in all the way. I found 5 easier to work with. I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow.
3. A 3M clear bra protects the paint, leading edges of the car, but looks like **** at 3 years old when the rest of the car is clean, I could not get the nose to look any better than it does, same goes for mirrors and fender wells.
4. The RS6 spoiler sucks dirt and any other airbore contaminant right to the posterior of the car. Annoying, especially if you live on a dirt road.
5. Wives just don't understand when you are OCD about your car. I keep going out to the garage to look at it, and she keeps rolling her eyes.
5. 1Z Cockpit is awesome for the rubberized buttons.
6. After doing tires and rubber trim, Adam's VRT does a great job of staining your fingernails black.
7. Adam's Detail Spray smells/looks good enough to drink, especially on a hot day in the garage with no breeze.
8. Click and Clack make the time go faster.
9. The sandblasted areas behind the front wheel and in front of the rear wheel don't get better with Swirl remover, polish and wax.
10. Life was simpler when I had a silver Accord.
11. I need to order Adam's Invisible Undercarriage stuff
What I am looking at right now...
I don't know how Phil does this every day!