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Premium Member
592 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had Sean's 520i in for a paint correction in the past few days. I was hoping to do a good photo-thread of the detail but on day 1, I had my camera but left the memory card at home! D'Oh! :rolleyes: So the first bunch of photos are just taken with my (old) phone!!

So, I collected the car at Sean's job where he informed me that he left a bag of goodies in the car for me....

Excellent!! LOL! Talk about a sugar-rush!! So first things first, quick cup of tea and 4 Oreos!

Prepping started with a good cleansing of the seals and the gaps all around the car. The window seals had a bit of moss growing in them from dirt/moisture getting trapped.

The APC used with the steam is Autosmart G101 which is getting a few mentions on the forum. Its pretty popular but its not my favourite (though with APC's I don't really have a favourite). All Purpose Cleaner means that its good for a multitude of dirt and soiling problems. But the powerful cleaners mean that it makes it less suitable for sensitive surfaces, regardless of concentration. Thats a different discussion though.... :)

As usual, the prep went with a full paint detox. I used the Valugard ABC decontamination system along with Tar X and UltraFine Clay to purify the paint. Wheels were done with Very Cherry, Iron X and Tar X in that order.

Once the car was towel & blow-dried, I took it in to tape up the trim and window seals. The polishing process was a bit retro. Because this is a 02 5 series, I knew the paint was going to be rock-hard. Actually it was worse than I anticipated, but that's the reason why they get into this condition. So I dusted off the 3M Fast Cut Plus from the shelf and took out my three FLEX polishers and put orange Lake Country cutting pads on them. (actually can't remember what brand the spot pad is - could be Menzerna).

The boot-lid was in really bad condition. I spun the rotary at really high speeds to get rid of the scratches, hitting 2500 RPM at times. I usually don't go above 1600.

Here's a sort of natural 50/50 shot on the bootlid...

Using the Flash... before:


And without Flash:

Just more progressive polishing shots fuelled by Haribo Tangfastics & Red Bull with the odd Curly Wurly for energy:D:

For the polishing enthusiasts, I used the LC 170mm orange pad with a
170mm backing plate at high speed on the big FLEX L602VR. Most users go for 125mm backing plate, but I needed full contact and pressure across the flat areas of the large panels. On the side panels, due to the body-lines and trim I used the 100mm pad at high speed instead of the larger pad as it would have generated too much heat on the parts of the pad making contact with the paint. Contact surface area with the large and small pads would be about the same anyway.

Instead of using a medium pad and medium polish to gloss up the paint, I stuch with the large LC pad and FCP but at full speed on the FLEX XC3401Rotary-Orbital Polisher. This proved most effective because the paint is so hard it still needed something with "bite" to eliminate cutting holograms. Most panels had three passes of compounding, with a further two stages of finishing with Gtechniq P2 and a 170mm Lake Country Black pad on the 602, again at high speeds up to 2200 then slowing down to 900.

The car was lastly coated with CQuartz Ceramic Quartz coating. Unfortunately, the weather was getting grim outside, so I only got a few snaps before the rain started to come down.

Thanks for looking. And thanks to Sean for the bag of goodies. To the owners of future cars coming in, I think fruit might be better!! The teeth still don't know what hit them!! :D

2002 520i M-Sport
694 Posts
Glad you liked goodie bag! Hope you didn't eat it all in one day!

I was blown away when I got the car back on Saturday, the paint just looked amazing, I knew the swirls were bad but those photos show just how bad it was!

It should be interesting to see how the Cquartz holds up over the next few months too, especially with weather like today.

Brian was a gent to deal with and had no issues collecting the car and getting it back to me, fully recommended.
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