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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
Todd@Autopia
 
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Ferrari 458 Spider: Full paint correction & Gtechniq EXO

Before/After Video at the end

Ferrari's fabled line of mid engine V8 sports cars has a storied history. I am lucky enough to have detailed the paint on every model and varation of the theme, from mustache and Hawaiian shirt 308's to the race-ready Scuderia's and 16M's, and everything in between.

The Ferrari 458 Spider makes use of ingenious technology to blur the line between sports coupe and convertible. Cruising around with the top up, the 458 Spider is quite, composed, and dare-I-say, comfortable (gulp). Drop the folding metal top (with a push of the button) and stab the throttle to call upon the Ferrari's full infusion of Formula 1 technology. The rear sways gently to the side as the tires strain for traction, the still air is blasted with a beautiful Italian symphony of 562 horsepower at a race car like 9000 rpm.

See video bellow...





The detail...

Steve has been a long time client of mine and a great person, however he is very particular about his cars and the level of paint perfection he desires. I have detailed his Ferrari F430, Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Ferrari 458 Italia (you may remember that I wet sanded it completely), and now his F458 Spider. All of them have been black on black with white stitching. In addtion, I have detailed 4 of his Maserati's (black of course).

I am currently semi-retired from detailing as my regular job and being a dad take up 90% of my time, maybe more. Steve, as I mentioned, has been a favorite client and a great friend, so I had to get creative with my schedule to work it. I drove down to Boca Raton (3 hour drive) early Saturday morning, worked from 9AM until 4AM, took a 1 hour power nap, then back to work from 5:30AM until 3PM, before making the drive home and picking up my son. It was a LOOOONNNNG weekend and I should thank his wife and family for letting me hammer away in his garage.

Steve's goal was perfection and my pride comes from meeting that expectation. We agreed (all previous cars have been protected by BLACKFIRE) to use Gtechniq's range of protectants on the paint as a cool twist, considering that Formula 1 Ferrari teams use it in their goals to cheat the wind.

Getting Started...

The first step in any paint correction is prepare the paint for machine polishing. This means running through a gambit of detailing procedures to clean the paint and surfaces including washing, decontaminating, and stripping the paint as well as protecting any delicate areas from damage.

I usually start with the wheels and tires. In keeping with the permanent protection theme of this detail, I wanted to use TUF SHINE's permanent Tire Clearcoat on the tires and Getchniq's C5 Wheel Armor on the wheels & brake calipers.

I always start a detail by washing and cleaning the tires first, then the wheels & wheel wells, then finally washing the body.

TUF SHINE Tire Cleaner is a great choice for cleaning grime and filthy from tires and does an excellent job at removing cheap silicone dressings. Yes, even Ferrari's come with cheap silicone dressings.




To demonstrate, I cleaned half of the rear tire with TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat using the TUF SHINE Tire Brush. You can see the old dressing on the wheel lip as it curled off of the Michelin rubber.




A quick rinse reveals how effective TUF SHINE Tire Cleaner is at removing thick, solvent-based silicone tire dressings. I cleaned each tire, then moved the Ferrari forward to reveal the bottom sides, before cleaning again.




The Ferrari, like many modern super cars, is outfitted with Carbon-Ceramic Brakes. Braking systems such as these do not create metallic brake dust so there is no need to use wheel cleaners. To clean I filled up a wash bucket with BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo and pretreated the wheel, caliper, and wheel wells with diluted (4:1) BLACKFIRE All N One APC.

A Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush make quick work of the barrels and behind the spokes...




Wheel Woolies are excellent for cleaning the wheel wells without scratching. The soft lambswool head holds a ton of soap, and the thick plastic handle allows a good amount of cleaning pressure.




The ultra-soft Montana Boar's Hair Wheel Brush is my favorite wheel-face cleaning brush. The soft boar's hair is safe to the tough finish of wheels, preventing scratching, and the shorter "matured" bristles provide cleaning power. I usually work from the inside (barrel of the wheel first, then wheel wells, then wheel face) out.




Cleaning is cleaning and detailing is cleaning everything... The Boar's Hair Wheel Brush make quick work of the various grating, vents, and ducting that Ferrari outfits to their sport's cars.




Finally S100 Detailing Swabs handed the details, such as around the valve stem caps, caliper bleeder nipples, and lug screws.




With the details handled, the next step was to carefully wash the paint with BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo using the Two-Bucket Method w/ Grit-Guards. I used a Super Plush Micro-Chenille Wash Mitt and a Deluxe Jr. 600 Microfiber Towel to carefully wash the Ferrari's curvaceous body work.




After flooding the paint and removing as much standing water as possible, the entire body was sprayed with CarPro TR.IX Tar & Iron Remover to keep clean any splatter, bugs, and iron fallout from the paint. This was left to dwell for several minutes before rinsing clean.




The final decontamination step involved using detailing clay to remove any above the surface bonded contamination that had adhered to the finish in the Ferrari's 500 miles. I chose to use Meguiar's M34 Final Inspection as a clay lubricant because it wipes completely clean and does not leave anything behind on the surface. Sonus SFX Ultra Fine Detailing Clay is extremely gentle to the paint work and will not cause additional fine scratching. As you can see in the picture I am claying the car while wet so I needed the power of the Cobra Guzzler HD Waffle Weave Drying Towel to soak up any remaining water.




Detailing half of the bonnet/front trunk lid reveal that the Ferrari was covered in a black film. 30 minutes later the paint and glass was smooth to the touch and perfectly clean.




At this point I finished drying the 458 Spider using the Metro Blaster 8 HP and shot the video below.



Finally I elected to remove any light streaks (from drying) with CarPro Eraser. Eraser is a pre-coating prep that will strip anything that could possible be remaining on the paint's surface (including any fine residues from the clay lube that I didn't wipe away completely). As you can see in the pictures below, stripping the paint via decontamination, claying, and finally with Eraser revealed a paint surface that was scarred with swirl marks, holograms, and deeper scratches. This damage was from the factory, as the Ferrari had not been washed by the dealership or the owner.




Finally I snapped some pictures of the Ferrari's paint surface (a full sunlight walk around is visible in the video at the end of this thread).









The final step in the preperation stage was to mask off any areas of trim that could be damaged by the paint correction polishing. This included the lips of the clear film (installed on the front bumper, the considerable roof trim (that was already stained with polish residues), and window seals. I used 3M green low-tack painters tape.


Paint Correction...

Paint correction consists of removing paint defects such as swirl marks, scratches, etchings, then polishing the paint to a microscopically smooth finish that reflects maximum light. The exact process required for any paint system can vary and there are many options for achieving a perfect finish.

The paint on this Ferrari 458 Spider was a little more sensitive to paint correction techniques then other Ferrari 458's that I have worked on. Keep in mind that anytime you are going to apply a coating to paint you need to spend extra time making sure the finish is perfect. Oils and solvents in polishes can hide/mask paint defects, so strip the surface often and inspect constantly.

I used a combination of high intensity halogen lights as well as a Brinkmann Swirl Finder to inspect the quality of finish after each step. The paint was wiped down with CarPro Eraser after each step.

After some trial and error I found the best combination to attack the deep paint defects and remove them from that hard paint was to use Meguiar's M105 Ultra Compound on a FLEX PE Rotary Polisher armed with a Lake Country Purple Wool Pad. Some areas required as many as three applications to level out the deeper scratches.

After 'cutting' the paint, I came back and applied BLACKFIRE SRC Compound using a Lake Country 5.5 Inch Yellow Low Profile Pad, again on a FLEX PE Rotary. The picture below shows the top of the bonnet broken down and the bottom with fresh SRC Compound.




A quick tip: When polshing edges of body panels you can use small bottles, such as these from LeatherMasters to polish up to and over the edge.



This was followed by applying BLACKFIRE SRC Compound with a Griot's Garage 6 inch polisher armed with a 5.25 inch Lake County Microfiber Pad. At this point the it was well past midnight and I had been polishing for the last 13 hours. I washed the Ferrari, dried it, and started the final polishing process.

For the final polishing, I elected to stay with the BLACKFIRE range of polishes, using BLACKFIRE SRC Finishing Polish. A Lake Country 5.5 inch HydroTech Crimson pad was used with the following technique: Polish 3-4 passes over the area until it began to clear up, then clean the pad with a Pad Conditioning Brush, and make 2 more passes over the areas on speed 4, still using firm pressure. The result, even after stripping the paint, was a super high gloss with zero risk of holograms, and a shine equal to that of a rotary polisher.

Before:




After M105/rotary, BF SRC Compound/rotary, BF SRC Compound/DA (not final polished):




Before:




After M105/Rotary/ BF SRC Compound/rotary (note, the area by the gas filler lid had not received BF SRC Compound/rotary yet and has more visible holograming from M105.):




At 4AM I finished polishing and took a 90 minute power nap.

I awoke to continue working.

Clean up...


Polishing paint creates a lot of dusting that often requires washing. I started by removing the tap from all of the trim. Unfortunately much of the trim was already stained from the detailing acting the factory. While the flash of the camera shows the quality of finish achieved on the carbon fiber panel, the goal of the picture below was to show the caked on residue that stained the trim.




BLACKFIRE All Purpose Cleaner and Meguiar's Supreme Shine Microfiber Towel made quick work of any staining.




This process carried out on all of the trim on the Ferrari 458 Spider.




Finally the Ferrari 458 Spider was pulled out into the early morning light and carefully washed using Gtechniq GWash. I used a Gold Plush Microfiber Towel and carefully and methodically worked around the paint work, making sure to clean each and every crevice. Gtechniq GWash proved to be a very good shampoo which rinsed away completely clean with ease.




After carefully drying the paint with a Cobra Guzzler Microfiber Towel and a Metro Blaster 8hp, it was time to prepare the various finishes for the appropriate Gtechniq Surface Coatings.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:32 PM   #2
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Gtechniq...

Preparing the surface for the correct coatings requires wiping the surface with Gtechniq Panel Wipe. I used my favorite Supreme 530 microfiber towel to avoid scratching the paint. Panel Wipe spreads easily and wipes away to reveal a perfectly streak free shine. The paint, glass, and wheels were all wiped clean.



Gtechniq EXO is a hybrid coating that provides exceptional protection and extreme water beading. This is the same coating that Ferrari F1 teams use. Application is fairly simple but the some requirements must be met.

For proper bonding and set-up, Gtechniq EXO must be applied to surfaces that have a surface temperature of at least 68 degrees F. A MicroTemp MT-Pro Non-Contact Digital Infrared Thermometer checks temperatures extremely accurately. As you can see, various panels of the Ferrari ranged in temperature but all were within spec for application.






To apply EXO you want to dispense it directly onto a soft microfiber and spread it into a thin film. Let stand for several moments then wipe away any remaining residues with a clean, soft microfiber towel. Gtechniq recommends applying two coats, 30 minutes apart.




Anytime working with permanent coatings it is a good idea to wear skin protection, such as Nitrile Gloves.




Spray EXO directly onto the Gold Plush Microfiber Towel and spread in overlapping passes to ensure even coverage.




Finally wipe away any streaks with the Miracle Towel.




Finally Getchniq Wheel Armor was applied to the wheels and brake calipers, and Gtecniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass was applied to all exterior glass in a fashion similar to this thread...

http://www.autopiaforums.com/forums/...echniq-g1.html


Now it was time to pull the Ferrari 458 Spider into the sunlight and enjoy the finish of the various surfaces.






Now more swirl marks or scratches















The owner and his neighbor examining the high quality finish and gorgeous lines of the Ferrari 458 Spider.




Some long angle shots that show the quality gloss of the paint.























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Old 11-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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looks awesome! Great (albeit long) job!!

I recognized the neighborhood from this thread http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247967 lol!
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Wow. Todd, outstanding job.

There are so many cracks,, turns, bends, uneven surfaces and textures on that car it a miracle you got it done as fast as you did.

Thanks for sharing your talent and passion with us.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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An absolute dream car . . . sounds like your friend is doing well for himself - the neighborhood speaks for itself.

I was surprised that for the final wash you used a microfiber towel, I've never seen anyone do that before - what made you decide to go that route?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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where can i buy that panel wipe detailer?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:55 AM   #7
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wow you did an absolutely amazing job on that thing!

Awesome car, but I think it's safe to say that detail job is even better!
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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DAMN.....I LOVE THIS CAR!

nice ride bro.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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looks like black chrome. sweeeet
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihaveacamaro View Post
looks awesome! Great (albeit long) job!!

I recognized the neighborhood from this thread http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247967 lol!
Good eye. As I noted in my thread this is the 4th black Ferrari I have detailed for him. The car in that thread is his coupe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rpomeroy View Post
Wow. Todd, outstanding job.

There are so many cracks,, turns, bends, uneven surfaces and textures on that car it a miracle you got it done as fast as you did.

Thanks for sharing your talent and passion with us.
It was a LONG run. Thank you for the compliments. Its amazing how the car just keeps getting bigger and bigger as you work on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadG View Post
An absolute dream car . . . sounds like your friend is doing well for himself - the neighborhood speaks for itself.

I was surprised that for the final wash you used a microfiber towel, I've never seen anyone do that before - what made you decide to go that route?
Do you mean the final wash? My theory is this...

When you are wiping polish off your paint you are using a microfiber towel. My thought is that washing the paint with a microfiber towel (after polishing) will give you additional cleaning power (over a mitt) plus the added safety of soap/water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro2lt View Post
where can i buy that panel wipe detailer?
Autopia-CarCare: http://www.autopia-carcare.com/gtech...ting-prep.html

However it is not a detailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trewyn15 View Post
wow you did an absolutely amazing job on that thing!

Awesome car, but I think it's safe to say that detail job is even better!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 View Post
DAMN.....I LOVE THIS CAR!

nice ride bro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sikoriko View Post
looks like black chrome. sweeeet
Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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what is a good detailer and spray wax you guys like??
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #12
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what is a good detailer and spray wax you guys like??
quick detailer: Ultima Waterless wash plus http://tinyurl.com/cypt4br


Spray wax: Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax


HOWEVER, instead of a spray wax I know just use a Waterless wash with wax in it. For example, http://www.autopia-carcare.com/water...-carnauba.html.

It cleans the car and leaves the same amount of wax a spray wax normally would. What's not to like?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
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So when do you want to come down and detail my Camaro?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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So when do you want to come down and detail my Camaro?
when you pay him 2 grand
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:58 PM   #15
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2 GRAND Plus food and lodging.

Another great write up amigo and another save from a great detailer. Bravo!
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #16
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What is best for a white camaro?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #17
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What is best for a white camaro?
Car care products do not know what color the paint is that they are being applied to. Not trying to be a smart-ass, that's just how it works.

I do find certain LSPs play better with metallic vs non-metallic paints, but I've never been able to see a difference between a good sealant on a white car and that same sealant on a red car with my eyes. There may be nano-infused-unicorntears and other hokum decreed by the manufacturers to lure customers into buying a specific product for a specific color, but I've never been able to SEE any difference.

That being said, a lot of people swear by Werkstat Acrylic Jett for white/light paint colors. I think it's a phenomenal sealant and works well on ALL colors, but that's just one opinion.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroDreams07 View Post
Car care products do not know what color the paint is that they are being applied to. Not trying to be a smart-ass, that's just how it works.

I do find certain LSPs play better with metallic vs non-metallic paints, but I've never been able to see a difference between a good sealant on a white car and that same sealant on a red car with my eyes. There may be nano-infused-unicorntears and other hokum decreed by the manufacturers to lure customers into buying a specific product for a specific color, but I've never been able to SEE any difference.

That being said, a lot of people swear by Werkstat Acrylic Jett for white/light paint colors. I think it's a phenomenal sealant and works well on ALL colors, but that's just one opinion.
Hokum . . . obviously a Big Bang Theory fan!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #19
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Bazinga!

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #20
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Awesome job on the detail and great job on the photography.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #21
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Shines like new glass. Awesome job.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:10 PM   #22
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So when do you want to come down and detail my Camaro?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihaveacamaro View Post
when you pay him 2 grand
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo@Autopia View Post
2 GRAND Plus food and lodging.

Another great write up amigo and another save from a great detailer. Bravo!

How about 10% of that 2 GRAND a happy meal and a cot in the garage.By the way great job on bringing that car back to life.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:41 AM   #23
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Thank you for the compliments
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #24
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Great Job Todd!

I thought I was the only one using a microfiber towel on the final wash. They're not as easy to use as a mitt or a sponge but well worth it to guard against any wash induced marring.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:33 AM   #25
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Great Job Todd!

I thought I was the only one using a microfiber towel on the final wash. They're not as easy to use as a mitt or a sponge but well worth it to guard against any wash induced marring.
Agreed, and they are great choice after polishing, since the nap will loosen any polish residues and make sure your paint is very clean.
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