Home » Detailing

Category Archives: Detailing


Fender Flair Repair

As a general rule, I try to do minimally invasive work, only removing enough paint to get the desired level of shine and clarity before coating. But occasionally there isn’t anything to work with as was the case with this fender flair. A good bit of paint was scraped off down to bare metal which had rusted.

Since this was a track car, I advised the owner that his best option was for me to just paint the flair, blend the arch, and compound the surrounding area. If it looks good from five feet, we’d call it a win. The result was better than expected.

After washing and using a clay bar to remove any rolled-up rubber on the surface, I sanded the edge down to bare metal. Given the amount of surface rust, I was surprised to see there wasn’t any pitting. There was evidence of some body filler so I didn’t roll the fender which I normally would have on a track car like this. Once sanded, I used a minimum amount rust inhibiting primer on the edge. I wet-sanded the primer flat, then scuffed the next two inches or so around it to prep for painting.

I cleaned it again and carefully sprayed the base coat on the lip and edge, blending only slightly into the fender where I had scuffed it previously. I waited 48 hours then wet-sanded the base coat along with a few more inches into the clear on the fender. This gave me about an eight inch margin to work with when I wet sanded the clear coat the next day.

After sanding, I used a wool cutting pad to compound, and finished with a foam polishing pad. After waiting a week, I coated the entire quarter panel with a ceramic coating. It’s not a lot of work and isn’t a complicated repair, but it takes a lot of time between the steps, so don’t rush it. And when someone tells you that you can’t get body shop results from a rattle-can, show them this. A special shout-out goes to Automotive Touchup Paint for such a great paint system.

Leather Steering Wheel Refresh

Don’t let the condition of your leather steering wheel let down the rest of your interior. You would be surprised by what can be done to extend the life before you need a re-wrap. Here’s a before and after comparison on a BMW E46M3.

Bumble bees need love too

This E36M3 was really loved by someone. The roof was painted black by brush and the front of the car sprayed yellow with rattle-can paint and no clear coat. Much of the factory clear is failing or missing on the rest of the car and there appear to be at least two layers of yellow on much of the car. But just because it’s oxidized and faded to different shades, doesn’t mean it won’t take a polish.  You just have to be careful to balance how much you remove by polishing against how much paint remains.

This car is for sale, so the goal was to create a pop in the eyes of a potential buyer from 10 feet away. Once you get that close, the conversation shifts from how it looks to the modifications made for the track anyway. This would make a great project for anyone looking to make that leap from tracking their daily driver to having a dedicated track car.

This car is for sale. Contact TIER Car Care for details.

Services: Deep cleaning, clay bar, paint correction, paint polish, paint sealant, trim coating, and headlight polishing.

BMW M3 Refresh

I recently had another E36 M3 in the shop for to detail for resale. A preservation detail can really help a car “pop” and make a solid first impression for any potential buyer. It also helps ensure that the condition they see is more than just temporary as is common with many used car dealers. (Send an email to info@gcomotorsports.com if you’re interested and we’ll connect you with the seller.)

This is a 1997 M3 coupe which is getting an interior refresh, paint correction and coating, along with some paint repairs to the spoiler and rear bumper cover. The exterior color is Cosmos Black and the Interior is Mulberry. This car has an S-54 motor from the E46 M3, tuned by Dinan, along with a Dinan exhaust.

I started with a deep cleaning, clay bar, and polish before rock chip repair and paint touch up. The paint on the rear spoiler required sanding and respray as did the top of the rear bumper cover. I coated the exterior trim in Frame Pro and the paint with Reflex Pro II. The interior was first cleaned, the leather stripped of oils and conditioners, repaired, and then refreshed with LeatherFresh. The before and after photos are pretty striking.

Polishing an Icicle

This is a 200K mile X5 we had in the shop this week for a detail and ceramic coating. White paint is tough. You wash it and it looks white. You clay bar it and it looks white. You polish it and your pad is filthy, and it looks white. But then when you ceramic coat it and step back, it looks WHITE. You don’t realize how many shades of white paint there is until you try to color match the touch-up paint. In the end, I think it came out great.

Below are some before and after photos. Steps involved: power wash, clay-bar, hand wash, machine polish, touch-up, and ceramic coat. Interior leather repairs were minor with some small tears being repaired and some selective re-dye of worn areas of the seats. Steering wheel refreshed with ColourLock LeatherFresh.