Thursday, September 23, 2010

1998 Jeep Wrangler SYSTEM ONE Detail

Jeeps often lead a hard life! This 1998 Jeep Wrangler was relatively well cared for but the paint was definitely in need of the DetailingGurus treatment. Twelve years of only basic washing had left oxidation, mineral deposits and the remains of many bugs who met their unfortunate demise on the trademark Jeep grille.

It should be noted that some of the bug remains had etched their way through the basecoat, underscoring the need to remove these as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage. There is no reason to give up on a car with paint blemishes such as these, though! As will be seen in the following photos, a partial restoration that can be accomplished by the driveway enthusiast with a few essential products and some knowledge.

The Jeep had been regularly washed, so there was little buildup of major dirt, although the oxidation and mineral deposits made it difficult to imagine the paint wasn’t “dirty”. To start the process, a basic wash was completed, utilizing 2 capfuls of Optimum No Rinse to two gallons of water to get the paint clean and ready for claying.

Sonus Medium Grade clay was used to prepare the surface for polishing. A fine grade clay is good for maintenance work but with the level of oxidation and raised deposits on the paint, the more aggressive Grey Medium Clay was used. Already, the pain has taken on a deeper black color and the diffusing properties of oxidation and mineralization have been stripped away by the clay.

 It is also essential to clay before polishing to ensure the polishing pad doesn’t pick up these deposits and grind them into the paint, causing what’s commonly referred to as “buffer trails”. Use caution not to apply too much pressure when removing heavy deposits such as these, although you may still see some very light scratches that will be removed in the following polishing stage.

System One X3 cutting polish was used to remove the remaining oxidation, deposits, and cut down the swirls and light scratches that accumulate over 12 years of washing and driving (and some off-roading!). This cutting polish has a fine abrasive that combines with varying pads of either wool or foam substrate to provide either aggressive polishing (with the wool side), or fine finishing polish (with the white pad side). The EDGE adapter allows quick removal of the pad to allow the detailer to flip from one side to the other.

 After a quick wash to remove polish residue, we took the time to treat the vinyl top as well as the fender flares, and also the tires with System One Licorice Dressing. This is a critical step that goes a long way towards a total restoration detail such as this one.

The paint was dried with a GuruFiber 360XL Drying Towel, which was lightly pulled across the surface, using caution not to apply pressure that could mar the freshly prepared paint surface that is now vulnerable without the protection of any wax or sealant. Once dry, a coat of GuruWax was applied to the entire surface, and allowed to dry to a light haze before buffing with a GuruFiber 400 towel. The silk edging on the GuruFiber 400 helps ensure the edges of the towel do not pick up debris or mar the paint.

The transformation from nearly six hours of work has brought new life to this Jeep, bringing looks of admiration from fellow Jeep enthusiasts on the road!

For these, and other fine detailing products, visit

-Optimum No-Rinse Car Wash
-Sonus Detailing Clay
-System One X3 Cutting Polish
-GuruFiber Detailing Towels
-GuruWax premium Carnauba paste wax
-SystemOne Licorice Dressing

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Little Details - Painting Calipers

Sometimes the smallest details can set your auto detailing apart from the rest.  In this case we have an older Mustang Cobra with brake calipers that looked faded and uneventful.  Even in perfect factory finish (black), these brake calipers were not so impressive looking.  We used Duplicolor Brake Caliper Paint to spruce this pony up with a hot red finish.  Sanding the surface of the raised letters restored the lettering and made for a factory look.  The results completely changed the look of the car giving it a great look.