How to detail a BMW i8

Car Tips, How-To, Interesting | April 8th, 2015 by 4
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Article by AestheticDetail For car enthusiasts, there are very few events in life that top getting a new car. It’s even better when the car …

Article by AestheticDetail

For car enthusiasts, there are very few events in life that top getting a new car. It’s even better when the car is new, state of the art, and a futuristic BMW. My customer reached out to me informing me of his new acquisition, the 2015 BMW i8. An electric innovation by BMW that often flirts with the word supercar. It may not have the fastest track time, but it sure looks like it’ll get the same praise as any supercar for its distinct styling.

Part of having one of the nicest looking cars on the road is keeping it looking just as nice. That’s where I step in. Preserving the finish and eliminating any surface blemishes that may have occurred while the vehicle was in-transit from the factory. Surprisingly enough to many new car owners, even when the car comes directly from the factory, enough hands have been put on the vehicle’s paint to cause injury. Given the properties of automotive paint/clear coat, it is left bare and vulnerable once the car leaves the factory in which it was produced. To bring out the brilliance and shine of any vehicle, paint correction is often used as the solution. To preserve the paint, protective paint film and protective coatings are installed.

Modesta BC-05: A premier paint protection coating that has some of the best hydrophobic properties, provides scratch and swirl protection, and adds high gloss and depth to any paint surface. This paint coating is only offered to the best detailers in the world. It leads the competition in terms of overall longevity and long lasting shine – several months/years after installation. One application of Modesta BC-05 will protect a car up to 10 years. The technical specifications of this product outnumber any product that I have used and is for the serious enthusiast looking to preserve the “new car” look for a very long time. Naturally, this was the exact coating the customer agreed to have installed.

Paint Correction: Correcting paint is in fact an art. It is a combination of experience, products, technique, and patience. Not all paints are the same and every single car reacts to correction differently. Two cars of the exact same make, model, and year could react differently to polishing. Properly assessing each car’s paint and correcting it accordingly is what separates an amateur from a professional.

This BMW i8 received an intensive detail. It received a full hand wash, decontamination using iron remover, tires scrubbed, wheels cleaned, and finally dried with a microfiber towel of 1200+ GSM.

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All surfaces are inspected by Rupes’ Swirl Finder Light. All cars can look fantastic under the right lighting conditions. To ensure the car looks great in ALL lighting conditions, the car is pulled into my studio to check from all angles.

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This car is supposed to be “brand new.” Well, if brand new means 0 miles, it’s new. Now lets talk about these swirl marks.

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When polishing near the trim, the rubber between the door can stain and the buffing pad will start to lose its cutting power. (Rule #1 of Professional Detailing: Pads are king.)

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Starting with the biggest problem area for the i8, the Rupes combo is used to polish out the black finish and the light. Yes, the light. Swirls accumulate on lighting as well as paint!

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To the right you can see the “after” shot of the first pass of polishing. The left remains unpolished and filled with micro scratches and swirl marks.

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Here you will notice two things. I’ve gripped the buffer tight and applied pressure to give more “cutting power” to the polisher. Second, the emblem has been taped off. Same rule applies. Emblems can stain polishing pads and dirty pads = more swirls. At Aesthetic Detail, no swirls is the rule.

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Towards the bottom of the rear, there were fine micro scratches that seemed to have been caused by improper wiping. Wiping a vehicle down requires two things: technique and high GSM. GSM? Grams per Square Meter. The more, the softer, and the better. Invest in high GSM microfiber towels – they’ll save you from swirls.

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What happened to my polisher? Some areas just need some elbow grease. As mentioned earlier there are sensitive areas on the door and around the vehicle that have more rubber. Areas with more rubber require higher levels of attention and care. Using a hand polisher i’ve achieved great results and have corrected the pillar without compromising the surrounding area.

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If you’re familiar with the BMW i8, the entire roof is carbon fiber. Unfortunately, carbon fiber likes to show swirl marks just as good as black paint. Needless to say, this required some precision and power. Multiple polishing steps is what it took to remove the blemishes and swirls, safely. Another technique may have been to use a more aggressive compound, but the idea of polishing is to keep as much clear coat on the car, while producing maximum amounts of shine. That is exactly what was done.

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See the thickness of the towel? High GSM and EDGELESS! Does your towel look like that?

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Checking my work before prepping the car for Modesta.

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The process of applying Modesta is by far the most extensive for any coating i’ve installed. So much so, that the industry has shifted and other coatings are starting to use base primers prior to application of coatings. P-01A is the Modesta primer that allows for a strong bond with the BC-05 Advanced Glass Coating serum. Before applying P-01A, polishing oils are removing by spraying all surfaces down with iso propyl alcohol. These leaves for a swirl free, oil free, bare surface.

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P-01A is polished onto the panels of the car, similar to a sealant would be. The curing time is 180 minutes or 3 hours prior to applying any coating.

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After curing, the car is now ready for the best part, MODESTA BC-05!

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Safety is important. Coatings are NOT for amateurs. Some coatings are available on the consumer market, but please be very careful in using them. They are highly concentrated substances and should be used with caution. Modesta is applied using a face mask and high levels of ventilation. A microfiber applicator is used to layer BC-05 thoroughly and evenly.

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This is exactly how I feel about Modesta, in all of its grandeur. It’s simply, amazing.

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Buffing off Modesta. Notice the high GSM towel. Yes, this one is also edgeless. It can be a task to buff of Modesta BC-05. Why? It is thick. You can feel it start bonding to the paint almost instantly.

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Gyeon Rim: Another very impressive, coating system. My customer decided on using Gyeon Rim instead of Modesta Bc-06. Simply due to preference. Both provide great protection. Gyeon Rim provides resistance against brake dust build up and is also hydrophobic. In addition to this, the depth of shine that results from it, is nothing short of stunning!

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Gyeon Rim is applied using an applicator block and suede cloth. This serum is truly quick to cure. The suede cloth was hard within minutes!

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Infrared curing at its best! Modesta BC-05 cures on the panels using this light.

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Not only does it benefit the coating and speed up the curing process, but the pictures resulting from this lighting are a delight.

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Smooth as butter. M1 Shot is the final step of Modesta. M1 Shot is a spray sealant that protects BC-05 while it cures and also provides great depth for the paint. Not to mention, keeping anything not the car becomes virtually impossible. The surface becomes very slick and the brilliance of shine is magnified.

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Dr. Beasley’s products are among my favorite. They are very  user friendly and do not leave residue or spray everywhere. Leather Lock is used to protect the interior seats. This product does not leave any streaks and forms a protective layer against accidental spills.

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In summary, it was an absolute pleasure working on this vehicle.

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[Source: aestheticdetail.com]

 

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