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July 22, 2011

39

Subaru Impreza: Beyond Swirl Free

by Kenneth Tang

Terrible orange peel on this OEM subaru paintwork, I just had to reduce it using Osren P40 compound and Velvet pad.

The condition of the car wasn’t too bad, it has your daily dirt and grime, paint is also heavily waterspotted and lacks depth and clarity. Lots of Random Deep Isolated Scratches (RIDS) as well.

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First job to do is to clean the wheels, or hubcaps in this case, tires and wheel wells. Tires scrubbed twice with Osren Multi Clean(diluted 1:1), hubcaps and wheel wells cleaned with Osren Degreaser FX(diluted 2:1)

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Next was the engine bay. Alternator and electrical connections wrapped with aluminium foil, brushed with Osren Degreaser FX(diluted 2:1), blow dried and dressed with Meguiar’s Hyperdressing (diluted 2:1).

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After the Hyperdressing is sprayed on, I shut the bonnet and started the engine. The warm engine bay will help water evaporate faster and the dressing soak into the plastics and rubber better. Tight areas where a sponge cannot fully clean is brushed with Osren Degreaser FX(2:1).

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Bodywork is washed with Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss and a splash of Osren Degreaser FX for extra cleaning power. Paintwork is then smoothened with Osren Magic Clay Cloth. Old duck tape residue removed with M6000 Wax and Grease Remover.

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At this point, the car is dried off and all masked up ready for polishing. Open the bonnet and you should see a clean and dressed engine bay.

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*Photos are not arranged according to chronological order to make for easier reading*

Process for paintwork preparation and orange peel reduction.

1. Osren P40 Compound, Osren Velvet Pad, Rotary @ 900 RPM
2. Meguiar’s #105 Ultra Cut Compound, Lake Country White Polishing Pad, Rotary @ 1200-1500 RPM
3. Meguiar’s #205 Ultra Finishing Polish, Lake Country White Polishing Pad, Dual Action @ Speed 6
4. Dodo Juice Lime Prime, Lake Country Black Finishing Pad, Dual Action @ Speed 5 -> 3

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Original swirls and marring caused by Osren Magic Clay Cloth,
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Flattening with Osren P40 and Velvet pad,
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Haze after P40,
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Massive holograms from P40,
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After M105/White polishing pad,
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After M205 and Lime Prime via DA,
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Before,
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After,
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Before,
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After,
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Before,
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After,
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Before,
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After,
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Before and Afters of swirling below:

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Please excuse the wiping smears,
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Reflection after flattening.

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Now this is why I had to use Lime Prime to finish off.

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The paint was super soft, I was marring the paint while wiping off the M205 residue. Hence, had to use a product with oils to add some slickness to reduce friction. The micro abrasives in Lime Prime also helped to remove those light wipe marrings.

P40 creates A LOT of dust.

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I couldn’t remove the windshield washer nozzle, so had to use smaller pads and polish around it.

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After P40,
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After M105,
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After P40,
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After M105, M205, Lime Prime,
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After P40,
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After M105, M205, Lime Prime,
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Before,
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After M105, M205, Lime Prime, Duragloss 601 PBA, Duragloss 105 sealant,
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The rear plates were removed, tail gates and both bumpers were prepped using:

1. M105, 4″ Surbuf pad, DA @ Speed 5
2. M105, 4″ Lake Country Orange CCS, DA @ Speed 5
3. M205, 4″ Lake Country White CCS, DA @ Speed 5

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Next up is the interior. Carpets were machine scrubbed using Porter Cable’s Aqua Brush with Presta’s All Purpose Shampoo, rinsed and extracted using a wet/dry vac. All interior plastics were cleaned with Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner(diluted 10:1).

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Items in the car were bagged seperately before cleaning.
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With the car full of dust, it is rinsed off and rewashed with some Osren Nano shampoo.

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Protection stage.

1. Duragloss #601 Polish Bonding Agent, Detailogy White pad, Dual Action @ speed 3
2. Duragloss #105 Total Performance Polish, Lake Country black ccs pad, Dual Action @ speed 2

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While the sealant was drying off, I polished the headlamps with M105 and M205. Coated with Optimum Opti-Coat.

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Before,
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After,
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Finally, buffed off the sealant and shine on! Apologies for the lack of after shots. The slight haze you see is from the sealant.

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Thanks for looking!!!

P.S I just want to end this post by saying how important the prep work is. The final looks from the car is 85% affected by the prep work and 15% by the protection coat, wait, make that 90% preparation and 10% protection. You could coat a car with the most expensive coating or some expensive wax with very high carnauba content stored in a crystal jar applied with bare hands. It’s not going to get the paint looking good without good prep work. Many people ask “which wax should I use to get the best wet look”, I think the more suitable question would be “how can I polish the car until it is looking wet”. Rather than buying ten different types of wax and ten different types of glazes, spend the time learning good prep work. It does not have to be orange peel reduction, e.g. prep work that involves compounding with a twisted wool pad will create better gloss than only using a foam pad. That’s from my limited experience, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I’m saying this because I have been at the stage of surfing detailing forums and taking up people’s opinion about which wax gives what kind of look, now I have a few cans of wax, a few bottles of sealant and lots of glazes collecting dust. In this detail, after P40 and M105, the paint looked glossy AND glassy, the subsequent steps of M205 and Lime Prime did little to make any observable marginal difference to the paint.

I guess the best wet look would be to get a custom aftermarket paint job where the clearcoat is thicker than OEM paint so that it can be sanded and compounded till it’s really flat. 75% Carnauba content wax? I’ll pass.

UPDATE: This post got featured on the front page of zerotohundred.com, I’m a happy boy!

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39 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 23 2011

    Amazing results Keneth! That P40 looks very good at burring orange-peel! Is it better than M105 in this aspect? Also, I notice you used only 900rpm, is this low speed better for orange-peel reduction? Does it help the abbrasives brake down slower or what?

    PS: Love the accent HAHA

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      Wow that was fast Toni! The P40 isn’t really the same as M105, P40 it’s like a rocks in a bottle compound, think a slightly midler version of Farecla G3, the compound that bodyshops use after painting a vehicle.

      So I wouldn’t replace M105 with P40 and vice versa. 900 rpm because the pad is really coarse and I needed to put on pressure for the flattening, this creates quite a lot of heat and any faster than 900 rpm is risking it. I need to level up my skill first, haha!

      PS: THANKS! LOL

      Reply
  2. CK
    Jul 23 2011

    Yeah.. love the accent! LOL

    Are you available for hire btw? I have a car to be done in October for wedding preps.

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      Hahaha, yes available for hire!

      Reply
  3. jackson
    Jul 23 2011

    so this is why u didnt join TT today 😀

    nice job ken! I agree with you its all in the prep work. LSP can be whatever to preserve the looks. It MAY add a bit to the looks but only adds 10%.

    I will contact u,may want to JV on something i recently have.

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      Thank bro. JV? Interesting, sorry couldn’t make it to the TT wasn’t feeling too well actually.

      Reply
      • jackson
        Jul 26 2011

        wrong term used. Not JV. but DIT. sorry.

      • Jul 27 2011

        Haha no problem, DIT sounds interesting too

  4. dschia
    Jul 23 2011

    A compounding job would have make a very significant result already, but minimising the orange peel just bring it to a whole new level. This owner must be a very happy man to have his ride detailed by you.

    Reply
    • dschia
      Jul 23 2011

      I just went through your vid, had a good laugh at the start, and whats up with the jap song, LOL. BTW, where to get your that ultra thin tape, I want those!

      Reply
      • Jul 23 2011

        Thanks man, the masking tape brand is Nitto, normally paint shops will sell the normal cheap masking tapes for big and medium sized ones. The thin ones they will sell this Nitto brand, made in Japan. I only use it when doing compounding work. 🙂

        If you want I can get some for you when I go to SG.

      • Jul 23 2011

        Oh, and Jap song because Jap car, hahaha! The artist is Yui, very good songs she has, Hitachi @ Osren likes her too, hehehe.

  5. vx55
    Jul 23 2011

    Hi Ken!
    I can imagine the time taken to really flatten and bling the paint up 🙂
    Great work and it should motivate me more to flatten my car’s OEM paint 😀
    Bravo!

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      Thanks bro! Took me about 30 hours in total. Yes, your car’s OEM paint would be a great candidate for this, go for it!

      Reply
      • Feb 3 2012

        Sin qeerur en lo más mínimo contradecir a la “norma” de “retirar cuando esté seca, quiero acotar que las ceras pueden en muchísimos casos, cuando están muy secas, generar muchos swirls…más cuando hablamos de lacas extra-blandas (tipo Opel, por ejemplo).Existen también las ceras que NO se deben dejar secar…pongo como ejemplo la Zymol Concours, que, si la dejas secar, será un gran dolor de cabeza para retirar.Cuando les toque una cera de ese tipo, les recomiendo tener el paño de retirar a la mano….hacer un paño pequeño (digamos…50 x 50, más o menos), no dejarla secar y retirar casi inmediatamente.Si tienen dudas de si habrá cubierto bien, etc. denle otra pasada muy “light” (sin “recargar de nuevo” el aplicador) y retirar inmediatamente.Y, si se les seca la cera…apliquen un poquitín más de cera para ablandarla y retirar, así no generarán swirls.Un gran saludo a Todos!

  6. vr2turbo
    Jul 23 2011

    Hi Ken,
    You did the number plate well also.
    If the paint is so soft, then the upkeep will be damn tough woh…..
    Overall great work.
    Rdgs,
    Unker vr2

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      Thanks unker! That’s why I can foresee the car coming back for some maintenance light polish in the future, hence, just DG sealant and no coating. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Cashloke
    Jul 23 2011

    Bro..!!!get some soft box with 250w light, china made one is quite cheap. You will get more dramatic photo effect.
    Cashloke

    Reply
    • Jul 23 2011

      oooo…never thought of that, great idea!

      Reply
  8. DC
    Jul 26 2011

    Have send an email for quotation. Thanks

    DC

    Reply
    • Jul 27 2011

      Thanks DC

      Reply
  9. david setiawan
    Jul 27 2011

    nice work ken,

    i has just start learn to do detailing / paint correction. damn its a hard work. i really tired after polishing and waxing one car with swirlX and NXT paste wax. how can do you that without look tired.

    ok, here my question ? what is the model and brand for the LED headlamp you use for detailing process , i’m interested ? is it very bright so can reveal defect on the paint. or it just good for cleaning or waxing a car in middle of the night ^_^

    regards
    Davids

    Reply
    • Jul 28 2011

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your kind words. It is actually very tiring, and I’m only doing it on the weekends. Imagine those people that are doing for a living!

      The LED headlamp is a China brand one, was a gift from my friend, I’ll have to ask where he got it from, I was surprised at the brightness. If you look at the video, after the polishing process, I showed the before and after with two LED lights, the less bright one is the LED headlamp, it still managed to show swirls even with bright ambient light, so this was actually pretty good.

      Reply
      • david
        Jul 28 2011

        hi ken,

        i going to buy my first rotary, any tips ?. should i buy a scrap panel and try there first ?. and one thing i’m from Indonesia. if you have a plan go to Indonesia. tell me ^_^. i be your guide and driver. for a exchange for in depth training ^_^ LOL

      • Jul 28 2011

        Wow, jauh nya dari Indonesia sampai ke sini, terima kasih dong. hahaha, with the rotary, nothing beats practice. Watch the Meguiar’s training video on youtube, it really helps a lot, and keep polishing and get comfortable with the machine. On a scrap panel, since it will be horizontal, there’s really only so much you can learn from it.

        Polishing an entire car will be very much different than practicing on a panel. Start with a panel first, get the feel, learn how to pick up a bead of polish, etc. then go to a car. All the best!

  10. abrdf
    Aug 11 2011

    Very good congratulations, what brand is the P40 for me in Mexico the P40 is Chemical Guys but is diferent , here usually you have to sand for the orange peel, but your technique is diferent look easy. You have tu use the Tornador believe me is the best tool for the interior, for the plastic, clean small places faster, sorry my english i hope you can understand !

    Reply
    • Aug 18 2011

      The P40 brand is Osren (www.osren.com), just a coincidence that is has the same model number with Chemical Guys’ P40, hehehe. I have tried the Tornador at a shop before and I want it so bad for use at home…but it isn’t exactly cheap and the air kompressor can be a bit too loud for my neighbour. Your English is very understandable!

      Reply
  11. mark
    Aug 19 2011

    Why the waste of time use this it remove the scratch without the machine of course light scratch. Soft99 Wax Scratch Clear Mirror Finish watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEu2A2swsoQ

    Reply
    • Sep 8 2011

      Hi Mark, I have actually tried that and numerous other ‘Scratch Clear’ wax and shampoos before, if those worked as advertised, paint polisher and detailers would be out of jobs! 😉

      Reply
  12. jim
    Oct 18 2011

    Bro, what’s that new gadget that u are using on your forehead when u r polishing the tight area near the bonnet area? Additional light source for spotting defects?

    Reply
    • Oct 18 2011

      Hi bro…it’s a made in china headlight using a bright CREE LED bulb. Able to control the spread of the light with the adjustable head. But eats up battery very fast… Need at least 6 AAA batteries per detail. Lemme know if u are interested. I will try to source for u.

      Reply
  13. jim
    Oct 19 2011

    There’s always something new when i return to visit your page, the gadget looks good too. I think there’s a potential market for this product especially for those who are doing mobile grooming biz. At present, they need to carry their own Halo/ MH lamps around for each grooming session. This will definitely ease their load if the lumen of the LED is powerful enough. I think orders will be coming in soon 🙂 Keep the good stuff coming ya, cheers.

    Reply
    • Oct 21 2011

      Thanks bro…from first can say it wont fully replace but helps alot since u can check wherever ur head goes. Especially useful to tell if the polish has hroken down or turned dry. Will I send u one if I can get my hands on it again…

      Reply
  14. Oct 25 2011

    It will be good if these tiny powerful LED can be integrated into the side frame of the eye goggles. U get protection for the eye when running the RO/ DA buffer and u can see alot better as well. hahaha…. easy for me to tokCSS. Any results yet from your coating test?

    Reply
    • Dec 6 2011

      Hi bro, for the coating test, all also got the same watermark issue, unavoidable. even though water repellency is still very strong for most coatings. Gloss is good, but the watermark make them look ugly

      Reply
  15. Rajesh Manchanda
    Oct 30 2011

    Great work!

    Reply
    • Dec 6 2011

      Thanks Rajesh!

      Reply
  16. Dec 20 2013

    Ken is detaling geek with headlight lamp *thumbs up* rofl

    Reply

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  1. Analysis: Sanding vs. Velvet Pad Compounding to reduce orange peel. Which removes more paint? | Wet Shine – Malaysia's Premier Auto Detailing Blog, Reviews, Tests, Details, Articles, Events

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