Peleg's Guide to Detailing your car - Lexus ISF / IS-F / LFA / LF-A Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Peleg's Guide to Detailing your car

I'm new to the site, no ISF yet, but regardless, I've browsed through the forum and didn't see any detailing threads, so I figured I will start one.

I do realize that most people are busy, and take their ISF to either the local car wash or get it washed at the dealer.

From detailing cars for the past 5 years, I can tell you that most car washes are just a big no no to your ISF, because of all the swirls they put into the clearcoat. Very few car washes are decent enough, that I would trust them with a car like an ISF or any other high end car.

This thread is designed for those who wish to start keeping their ISF clean on their own.

Detailing your car isn't that hard, it is a combination of the right materials, techniques and TIME.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I figured I can start with the washing, drying basics and then move onto more advanced detailing.

Just for glimps, here is an STi that got too close to some bushes while "offroading". The owner didn't want to pay for a full detail, so I helped him out with a basic wash and some paint correction. Luckily, the scratches weren't deep, just into the clearcoat, and that allowed us to get rid of them.

BEFORE:








AFTER::









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post #2 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Basic Washing:

When: Early morning, later afternoon. Avoid the sun as much as possible.

What I'm going to show here is my own method based on 5 years of improvement and advancing my own skills.

Basic washing materials:
  • Any quality car shampoo, Do NOT use dish soap!
  • A 5 gallon bucket, with gritt guard
  • Wolfgang foam gun.
  • A quality wash mitt. (this will be used ONLY on body panels, not wheels!)
  • Pressure washer or hose attachment for car washing
  • California Gelly Blade
  • An electric leaf blower
  • Dish washing gloves
  • Microfiber drying towels, 24 x 16

Method:

Best time to do this when the car is cold, Do NOT do this after track event, cold water and hot brake rotors isn't a good combination.

Before you begin doing anything, remember that prep work makes all the difference in the world, that means having things ready.

Start with 16 oz of soap, put that into the foam gun, fill up the foam gun with water until 3/4's full, shake it a bit, set it aside.

Fill up your bucket with just water, set that aside.

Hose the car off with water, don't worry about the sun and drying right now, we will get to that later. Hose the entire car, don't forget the wheels, wheel wells, roof, trunk, etc.

Once the car got soaked with water, hook up the foam gun to your hose. This is when the fun begins:



You're giving the car a nice bubble bath. I like the DP car foaming shampoo, Meguiar's would do the trick as well. Just stay away from dish soap.

Get the car covered with foamy soap, that will start dissolving the dirt, grime and whatever else hit your paint while you were dusting that M3 or Audi RS4.

Gloves on!

Now, take the bucket (grit guard should be at the bottom) and your microfiber wash mitt and work from the roof down to the doors, then hood, front bumper and go back to the rear. No need to scrub hard, 2-3 times per panel and move on.

Every 2-3 minutes, take the wash mit and dip it all the way to the bottom of the bucket until it rubs against the grit guard. This is how you prevent swirls, any microscopic materials that got caught in the mitt will be taken away and sink to the bottom of the bucket, the guard will block them from contaminating your mitt again.

Done scrubbing?

Hose the car off.

At this point, I would get into clay bar, polish, wax etc. but that's for another chapter.

Time to dry this car off. Gloves off!

If the sun is out and is pretty strong, Drive the car into the garage as it is. It won't make a big mess, and your drying will go much smoother and easier. Avoid the sun at this point is important, because it will prevent those nasty waterspots from forming on the paint. The waterspots can be removed, but that's done by polishing. (which we haven't covered yet)

The California Gelly blade is a great product. You can start with the roof and work your way down the doors and other panels. This product will not scratch the paint and will speed up your drying time.

I then like to use the electrical leaf blower on the door jams, front bumper and any hard to reach places to get water out of them.

Any remaining water can be wiped with the microfiber drying towel.

That's it for washing, let the car cool.



* Squeeze the wash mitt, throw it in the laundry if it's dirty, then to the dryer on delicate, keep it in a ziplock bag.

Last edited by 2URGSE; 04-20-2009 at 05:45 AM.
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Wheel cleaning:

Materials needed:

[*] P21S Gel cleaner, I like the 1 liter bottle.[*] A seperate spray bottle for mixing.[*] OXO or any other good brand teflon brushes for wheel cleaning.[*] A pressure washer will improve the results dramatically.[*] An electric leaf blower. (from the last chapter)

I'm really anal about my car, especially the wheels.

I take off my wheels once a year for this 2.5 hour ritual:



I clean them by hand, dry them and use wheel sealant on them before putting them back on the car.

You don't have to go that far, plus with the following method, you can get your wheels to look great.


Prep:: Fill up the spray bottle with 1/3 P21S, fill the rest with warm water.

Method:

This step takes place after you soak the car with water, before the soap.

Hose the wheels off, if you have a pressure washer, it will clean about 95% of the brake dust. From what I read, the ISF brakes were designed by Brembo, so I'm assuming they use brembo pads, and those create a ton of dust.

Spray the wheels with the P21S spray bottle. P21S is made in Germany, Ph balanced and is a very high quality wheel cleaner. Unfortunately, it's not sold locally.

Let the cleaner do the work for about 2-3 minutes, you can use a wheel brush to scrub the wheels a bit.

Move onto the foam gun and wash the car itself, do not hose off the wheels yet. Reason is, if you hose them off now, when you hose the body/soap the wheels will get dirty again.

This way, you can hose the car from the roof down, the soap from the body will get on the wheels and enhance the cleaning even more.

Once the body is hosed off, hose the wheels and get ready to dry the car.
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 03:41 PM
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Nice write up Peleg! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, there are a few things in here I'm going to start doing now. You use a lot of products I've never heard before, where do you get them if you don't mind me asking?




2008 Mercury Metallic IS-F - Work Gnosis GS3 Wheels Burning Black Centers with Polished Lips F: 20x9 R:20x11; Nitto Invo Tires F: 245/30/20 R: 285/25/20; Lexon Front Lip, Rear Roof Spoiler and CF Fog Covers; Custom Rear Diffuser and Tinted Tails; Joe Z Exhaust; AFE Takeda Intake; Blitz Throttle Controller; Smoked Emblems; JDM Window Visors; Tein Springs; Passport 9500xi Radar Detector; 5% Tint including windshield (I think that's it but might be missing something...feel free to ask)
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMikeISF View Post
Nice write up Peleg! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, there are a few things in here I'm going to start doing now. You use a lot of products I've never heard before, where do you get them if you don't mind me asking?
http://www.autogeek.net

A great detailing site!
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post #6 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for sharing !! Nice write up
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post #7 of 34 Old 04-20-2009, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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If anyone has any further questions, feel free to post them or PM me.

Next chapter: Clay bar
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post #8 of 34 Old 04-21-2009, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peleg View Post
http://www.autogeek.net

A great detailing site!
Thanks for the tips! I have to buy more equipment!

Jesus loves you!
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post #9 of 34 Old 04-21-2009, 05:17 AM
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Peleg, if you don't mind, I will stick this thread. Thank you!




2009 USE20 - 077/LB21
What is F? - Everything you thought we weren't. - Lexus
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post #10 of 34 Old 04-21-2009, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peleg View Post
http://www.autogeek.net

A great detailing site!
Thanks for passing on the site Peleg




2008 Mercury Metallic IS-F - Work Gnosis GS3 Wheels Burning Black Centers with Polished Lips F: 20x9 R:20x11; Nitto Invo Tires F: 245/30/20 R: 285/25/20; Lexon Front Lip, Rear Roof Spoiler and CF Fog Covers; Custom Rear Diffuser and Tinted Tails; Joe Z Exhaust; AFE Takeda Intake; Blitz Throttle Controller; Smoked Emblems; JDM Window Visors; Tein Springs; Passport 9500xi Radar Detector; 5% Tint including windshield (I think that's it but might be missing something...feel free to ask)
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