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Polished Bliss®: Traded my feisty French tart for a hippy Swedish beauty!

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by WX51TXR, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    Finally, after many years of dedicated grafting, I'm lucky enough to now be in a position to afford to buy and run what I would describe as my first 'proper' car - a brand new Volvo C30 T5 R-Design. The car was ordered back in July, and the long wait for it to be delivered has been almost unbearable. However, now it's arrived, and this is the story of what I have done to it so far...

    Volvo Aberdeen were very obliging throughout the buying process, and let me take away the car with all of the protective wraps on, inside and out...

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    As soon as I got it back to PB HQ, I removed the wraps in order to check for any major paint problems...

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    With no obvious problems, I then moved the car over to our wash bay ready for the detailing to commence...

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    The state of the exterior prior to commencing work...

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    ...and the engine bay, which I was a little disappointed about - some technicians have no pride in their work and seem unable to work tidily...

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    Given this, it made sense to start on the engine bay, and give it a thorough clean ready for a coat of protection later in the detail. Therefore, firstly I soaked it with Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner diluted 4:1...

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    ...this was then agitated thoroughly using Raceglaze Detailing Brushes...

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    ...before being rinsed off carefully at low pressure using hot water (60°C).

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    A Black Baron Vehicle Dryer was then used to blow the entire engine bay dry; the warm air generated by this tool makes light work of such tasks...

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    ...all done, and ready for a coat of protection later in the detail.

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    Next, before starting on the bodywork, I gave the wheels and arches a thorough clean, using a combination of high pressure hot water at 60°C, a test shampoo, Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner diluted 4:1 and Eimann Fabrik Wheel Woolies...

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    ...which left the arches looking like this.

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    The bodywork was then rinsed at pressure using hot water at 60°C, in order to remove as much loose grime as possible before any contact was made with the paint.

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    #1
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  3. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    All of the trims and shuts were then washed with Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner diluted 4:1 (using Raceglaze Detailing Brushes to gain access) before rinsing off again...

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    The bodywork was then washed carefully by hand using the two bucket method, an Easirider Lambswool Mitt and a test shampoo.

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    This gave me a good chance to inspect the bodywork more carefully for minor paint defects...

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    ...before rinsing off again.

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    With all of the loose dirt and grime now removed, the next step was to strip off any residual transport wax and all other oily/greasy contaminants. My product of choice for this type of task is Autosmart Tardis, using a simple spray on, wipe down, rinse off method...

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    With all loose grime and oily/greasy organic contamination now removed it was time to focus in on inorganic contaminant removal, which is often overlooked on brand new cars. Bear in mind at this point the car was less than a week old; even so, Aquartz Iron Cut revealed a fair amount of iron filing contamination, even on areas of the car wrapped at the end of the production line (indicating that filings were deposited on the production line itself). Such contaminants are invisible to the naked eye until they start to oxidise, at which point they turn orange - this is when many new Volvo owners notice the problem! The following images show Aquartz Iron Cut working it's magic, reducing bonded iron contaminants into a soluble form (purple solution) that can easily be rinsed off...

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    #2
  4. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    With the paint now free of iron contaminants, the car was moved inside and then dried off fully using the Black Baron Vehicle Dryer. Usually I would have started to clay the paint straight away whilst it was still wet, but time was pressing so I decided to delay claying until the following morning.

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    At the crack of dawn the next day, I rewet the car with cold water and then used Meguiar's Mild Detailing Clay to remove any remaining bonded contaminants (I did not expect the clay to remove many, as the paint felt very smooth and clean after the use of Aquartz Iron Cut the previous day...

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    ...a nice little composite shot showing me working my way around the car panel by panel over a twenty minute period.

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    Once the claying was done, the remaining water film was dried up by carefully pat drying with a Poorboy's Waffle Weave Towel.

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    With the paint now 100% decontaminated ad dry, it was time to make a little cosmetic alteration. I can't stand model badges, so using a heat gun I carefully warmed up the adhesive backing and pulled the badges off (residual glue was removed with Autosmart Tardis).

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    I then proceeded to inspect the paint once more, this time using a 3M Sun Gun to look for any fine defects. Aside from a tiny little bit of marring here and there, all I found was this production line de-nibbing mark on the driver's side wing...

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    Figuring the paint would be on the soft side, I started out the correction process by polishing the area carefully with Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish (#205) on a Lake Country Hydro-Tech Finishing Pad. One hit on my Kestrel DAS-6 Dual Action Polisher at speed 5 was sufficient to fully remove the defect, confirming that the paint was indeed very soft...

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    With the paint now clean and defect free (aside from the aforementioned minor marring) I proceeded to tape up all of the trims using low tack 3M masking tape in readiness for the addition of paint protection....

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    A basecoat of PB Project Awesome was then applied using a Kestrel DAS-6 Dual Action Polisher fitted with a Lake Country Ultimate Last Step Pad. Why Project Awesome? Simply because it looks amazing on white, has great durability and serves as an excellent base for further coats of synthetic protection...

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    #3
  5. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    While the Project Awesome residue was left in situ to cure for one hour, I turned my attention to some other tasks. Firstly, I dressed the engine bay with a soaking of 303 Aerospace Protectant. Don't panic anyone... we'll look again at the end of the detail time to see how nicely it dries all on it's own without any buffing off.

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    Secondly, I protected my unsullied floor mats and carpets with Nanolex Textile & Leather Sealant, which adds extremely long lasting water and dirt repellency...

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    Thirdly, the interior leather was wiped down with Raceglaze Leather Balm, not because it really needed it at this stage, but rather because I like the matte look it gives and the new leather scent...

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    Fourthly, the interior glass was cleaned with 3M Glass Cleaner, which offers ace performance for pennies...

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    All of this work left the interior looking like this...

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    With a little spare time on my hands until the Project Awesome finished curing, I decided to complete some more minor cosmetic alterations. The headlights were removed and the amber side marker daytime running lights were replaced with Philips Blue Vision bulbs - this is more of a safety issue, as the orange side lights can confuse other drivers and make them think you're indicating to make a turn. Whilst the lights were out I also swapped out the dipped beam bulbs for a set of Philips Ultra Blue Vision 4K bulbs, mainly to get rid of the yellow tinge at night.

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    I then moved round to the rear of the car and swapped out the tacky amber bulbs with Philips Silver Vision bulbs. While I was at it, I fashioned a vacuum extension pipe from an old spray head and a Black Baron accessory part in order to remove a dead fly from inside the rear light cluster assembly; it must have got in there on the production line!

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    A sneaky peek in the boot as this stage indicates at modifications to come...

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    Back to the detail. The Project Awesome residue was buffed off using PB Luxury Buffing Towels and a wee mist of Werkstat Acrylic Glos on each panel to ease the process. I then turned my attention to the exterior glass. Firstly, I did a pure IPA wipe down to remove any residual oils and produce a perfectly clean base. Then I used Nanolex Premium Glass Sealant to seal the windows; this product is highly durable and sheets water like you wouldn't believe at speeds above 40 mph.

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    Next, the exhaust tips were lightly polished with Briliant Aluminium & Stainless Steel Polish before being sealed with Blackfire All Metal Sealant - the best metal sealant I have yet discovered.

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    The lacquered aluminium wing mirror covers and front gill surround were then treated with Werkstat Prime Acrylic to remove a little minor water staining and lay down a little protection...

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    To complete the detail, the tyres were dressed with Blackfire Long Lasting Tyre Gel and I called upon many versions of myself to lay down three successive coats of Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger before doing a final wipe down with Werkstat Acrylic Glos to ensure a perfectly smear free finish.

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    Finally, I affixed new number plates, which once again display WX51 TXR as the registration. This was the number that came with my first brand new car over 10 years ago, and by what I go as on many internet forums...

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    #4
  6. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    Right, that's enough blethering on my part, here's the after pictures showing the final results...

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    My apologies to those expecting this to be the end of the report; I couldn't resist a few further modifications. Knowing that stock sports suspension setups on hot hatches are typically harsh on rough roads(over sprung, under damped), I made the decision (before even taking delivery of the car!) to swap out the springs and dampers for an Eibach/Koni setup. So, it was over to Clark Motorsport with it...

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    After the springs and dampers were swapped out, a four wheel alignment check was performed and geometry adjustments made; the final result of the 30mm or so drop in ride height is that I'm running -1.1 degrees of camber on the front of the car, and a hefty -2.3 degrees on the rear (with toe-in and front castor figures matching Volvo's standard numbers). The eagle-eyed among you will also have spotted the change of wheels; gone are the standard 18" Atreus alloys in lieu of 17" Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2's fitted with Vredestein winter rubber. These will see me through the snow and ice over the coming months, before a swap to bigger rims and wider rubber next spring. Interestingly, this swap has also cut exactly 20kg off the unsprung weight of the car - the handling is now delightful, offering suppleness, control and grip without any harshness.

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    The final act so to speak was to paint the bright silver wheel bolts black to match the rims...

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    ...and here's the final after images...

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    Thanks for reading!

    :)
    #5
  7. James.Asbri
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    James.Asbri Vorsprung Durch Technik

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    Thanks again for a useful post, I'm taking delivery of my Ibis soon so i'll be keeping an eye on this post for tips and products to use.

    Thanks
    #6
  8. Fahim
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    Fahim Member

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    Amazing work!!! Its crazy how much work you to do a NEW car!

    Love it. :)
    #7
  9. S3 Rav
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    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 15, 2010]
    Great work as always. Rarely see details being done by the master rich himself! Very nice car.
    #8
  10. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 18, 2010]
    Rich, well in buddy! Lovely car! Not to my taste looks wise, but can guarantee the grin of th T5 engines having had 850, V70 and C70s! Lovely! :thumbsup:
    #9
  11. Mr.G
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    Mr.G Active Member

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    [Oct 18, 2010]
    Lovely car. Really really nice, I'm actually really surprised and pleased to see a C30 T5 R-Design of the new shape, loved the old but this one looks more aggressive.

    Stunning job on a new car too.

    What I don't like are the wheels, (stocks are stunning btw) I know you've said winter wheels, still not my first choice, makes it look cheap and tacky, if I'm totally frank with you, can't wait to see it with larger, wider wheels.

    Will keep my eyes out for updates to the thread on this one.

    G
    #10

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