Polished Bliss: Sprint Blue RS4 on 20s - Studio shots!

WX51TXR

Polished Bliss
With our six month waiting list causing the odd bit of grief with both new and existing customers, and Marsha now happily in post and tackling the orders, I guessed it was about time I should ease myself out of my chair and dust the cobwebs off my Makita... roll on a summer full of weekend details.

First up, a nice RS4, recently modified with a nice set of arch filling 20s of off an S5...

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I'd inspected the car a month or two back and booked it in for a minor correction detail, as in the sun it didn't look to bad at all. Big mistake, but I'll come back to that later. First of all, the wash process, starting with setting up the waste water collection bund...

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Hot foam at 60oC does a marvellous job of removing traffic films and the like, but bug splattered front ends and dirty trims always benefit from a pre-soak with P21S Total Auto Wash...

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as do door shuts...

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and engine bays...

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After a little light agitation with microfibre wash mitts and several brushes. I rinsed the whole lot off at 60oC, and then switched the lance into hot foam mode...

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With the foam soaking, I set about the wheels, finding that only normal suds were required to bring them up 100%...

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After rinsing off again at 60oC, I then used Autosmart Tardis to remove any remaining bug splatter and tar spots. This product is best applied neat, and should then be left to work for a minute or so before being wiped gently with a microfibre work towel - this ensures any stubborn residues are removed. A top tip is to bin the towel after use, as if you try and wash it it will stink out your machine...

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After another thorough rinse off, I rolled the car inside and clayed the glass and bodywork using Meguiars detailing Clay Mild and Last Touch as the lube...

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Then it was back outside for a final rinse before drying off with the leaf blower. Just at this point the sun made an appearance, and this is what I could see - pretty much the same as when I had first inspected the car. Menzerna 106FA and a polishing pad it was to be then - hurrah!

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However, this turned out to be a hasty assumption. Inside, under the 500W halogens numerous other defects started to appear... including some nasty random scratches on virtually every panel. Hmm, maybe 106FA won't cut it after all...

Bonnet Before

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Bonnet After

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The final process needed here was 1 x 106FA @ 1800rpm on a 3M High Gloss Polishing Pad, 2 x RD3.02 @ 1800rpm on a 3M High Gloss Polishing Pad, and finally 1 x 85RD on a 3M Ultrafina SE Finishing Pad. Fantastic... the dream of an easy single stage process was well and truly out of the window. Here's me finishing off the bonnet...

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The roof required just 1 x RD3.02 @ 2000rpm on a 3M High Gloss Polishing Pad, and finally 1 x 85RD on a 3M Ultrafina SE Finishing Pad. But then the bootlid reared its ugly head, and when I saw this...

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...out came the big guns. 1 x 3M Fast Cut Plus @ 1800rpm on a 3M High Gloss Polishing Pad and then 1 x 85RD on a 3M Ultrafina SE Finishing Pad gave me this...

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Why not use a compounding pad? Well, some of the curves on the RS4 are a pig with harder pads, and Fast Cut Plus seems to work very well even with a soft pad, so why make life harder? This panel set the process for much of the rest of the car... but by this point it was 7pm, so time to call it a day with just the bonnet, roof and bootlid fully corrected.

Total work time for day one = 11 hours.
 

WX51TXR

Polished Bliss
Day two dawned with me feeling somewhat unwell - a bad headache and the constant feeling of wanting to throw up, so the whole day ended up being a rather testing experience. Each side took around 3 hours to fully correct and the bumpers took another hour each. The rear bumper was the worst of the lot, looking like this before....

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and this after 1 x RD3.02 on a Lake Country CCS Light Cut Spot Pad at speed 5 on the G220 (I'm still not inclined to rotary bumpers, as I have a tendency to like to work the rotary hard, and heat remains an issue!)...

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With the correction done by just after 4pm, it was time to dust off all of the polishing dust (mostly generated by the Fast Cut Plus) using one of our new wool dusters - great bit of kit, a third of the price of others on the market...

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Then in quick succession, I cleaned out all of the shuts (hoover, then Last Touch wipe down), dressed the engine bay with 303 Aerospace Protectant, cleaned the exterior glass with Meguiars Glass Cleaner Concentrate, dressed the tires with Blackfire Long Lasting Tire Gel, shampooed the boot with Brisk and the help of Charles (the wet & dry hoover) and finally polished the large rear exhaust tips with Raceglaze Metal Polish. All of this took around two and a half hours. Here are the finals...

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Hang on a minute!

Sorry, I forgot the wax! And the poison for this detail? Blackfire Midnight Sun, for a little jetting of the colour and a dash more reflectivity...

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Well, okay, as it turned out it made very little difference to the overall finish, which just goes to show that a few extra hours spent with 85RD on a finishing pad makes all the difference between a good finish (i.e. that given for example by RD3.02 when properly finished down) and a stunning finish to which LSP's add little if anything at all. Here are the proper afters, with the indicator lenses also put back in!

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Total work time for both days = 23 hours.

:icon_thumright:
 

wallacr

Registered User
Wow, great job... If it wasn't a 500+ mile drive to get to you, think I'd get you to do my A4. I look after it, but it does need a good going over still.

Rich
 

stoakseya4

Registered User
Awsome...
 

JamesS4cab

Registered User
That is truly stunning. What a cracking finish!!

I tried some Menz and some Meg 80 and 83 with a G220 on my S4 and the paint was just damn hard and took a fair few of the scratches out, but not all of them.

Would you say these aren't hard enough for Audi paint??
 

WillsNogaroTT

B cool, B safe, B foolish
just keeps getting better and better. Nice one
 

WX51TXR

Polished Bliss
That is truly stunning. What a cracking finish!!

I tried some Menz and some Meg 80 and 83 with a G220 on my S4 and the paint was just damn hard and took a fair few of the scratches out, but not all of them.

Would you say these aren't hard enough for Audi paint??

Which Menz and what pad? 83 struggles a bit on Audi paint, while RD3.02 will do well, but you might need a harder pad to get the best from it (such as the Menzerna Polishing Pad). Spot pads also help when it comes to getting stuck into the paint good and proper. :yes:
 

JamesS4cab

Registered User
Which Menz and what pad? 83 struggles a bit on Audi paint, while RD3.02 will do well, but you might need a harder pad to get the best from it (such as the Menzerna Polishing Pad). Spot pads also help when it comes to getting stuck into the paint good and proper. :yes:
I will find out what Menz and pad combo - I was working with ahaydock from DW - he is fairly regular over there!!
 

Drmatrix

Vorsprung Durch Technik
Brilliant work Rich
 

Gilly

Registered User
I would loved to have seen the owners face when he got the car back, It looks like it has spent its life in a showroom

good work !
 

Fraser

Registered User
great finish - surprised the car had the paint in such poor nick - cheapo drive in handwashing?
 

andyccr

2003 1.8T Sport Ebony Black A4 Cabriolet
And dare I ask what sort of cost this would be. Even with my business's labour rate of £35+VAT that would have cost £945 + 88 pennies !!!
 

Spec

Currently just a Clio owner :(
Sickeningly sexy! Nice work there pal. Nothing better than seeing the result hours of detailing
 

caldy

Registered User
Rich - I apologise if this seems to be a basic question, but I am unsure as to the order in which you use the polishing compounds. I thought that 85RD had a cut of 7 and a polish of 7, yet the 106FA had a cut of 4 and a gloss of 9. Does this not mean that the 85RD should be used before the 106FA?
 

WX51TXR

Polished Bliss
Not at all, all questions are equally valid! I think you have the codes mixed up in your head, that's all. RD3.02 which was used first above has a cut of 7/10and a gloss of 7/10. The next finer grade is 106FA, and this has a cut of 4/10 and a gloss of 9/10. The finest grade is 85RD, and this has a cut of 2/10 and a gloss of 10/10. I also had to revert to 3M Fast Cut Plus on some panels, as this gives a cut of 10/10 and a gloss of 6/10. More details available on the product description pages on our website. :icon_thumright:
 

richie allen

Registered User
What do you think is the best stuff to clean the wheels with as they seem to get a coating of break dust really quick i have tried all sorts.
 
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