The owner of this Raptor came to me looking to see if I could bring some life to the trucks paint and most importantly protect it properly so it’s easier to keep clean. As well as spruce up the interior. Basically it was booked in for a paint enhancement detail complete with Opti-Coat Pro+ and a full interior.
Here is the truck as it was delivered to me:
Well I decided to start by washing the vehicle, I always say I gather the tools. Well these are the well used and miss treated tools I speak of:
That is what I call the three bucket system, you can’t see the third bucket but it’s just to the right. The small and beat up bucket is the one I’ve been using for many, many years now as you can clearly see it’s seen it’s share of vehicles. Any who that small bucket is strictly dedicated to what I call the shoes (aka the wheels) of the vehicles. It holds various brushes to scrub, agitate and cleanse all the wheels. Here is what all that scrubbing and elbow grease looks like:
Like I said it holds various brushes and I use them all to properly take care of the shoes on this truck. I mean after all you can’t have the truck look good and have dirty shoes.
Any who after all four corners were scrubbed and properly cleansed I then turned my focus to the paint. First it was washed with the two bucket method. Once the entire truck was washed it was time to begin the decontamination process.
Here are two of the three tools I use to properly decontaminate the paint:
Both Iron X and Tardis in their appropriate containers and most importantly you know how I always say I use a dedicated micro fiber towel. Well those are them, one for each product.
Like always for me the decontamination process on the vehicle consists of three steps. Step one, is to spray Iron X on the entire vehicle and watch it work it’s magic like so:
As expected there was a large amount of contamination on the paint. I gently wiped off Iron X from the surface with the dedicated micro fiber towel followed up with a thorough rinse on the vehicle.
The second step is to use Tardis to remove all organic contamination. When I say organic I’m referring to tree sap and road tar and then some. Tardis is applied to the entire surface of the truck and wiped off with yet another dedicated micro fiber towel. I’ve mentioned it before but Tardis is extremely potent and it might be just me but the new formula seems to have extra juice in it. So much that I spray one panel at a time and wipe one panel at a time. I do this to ensure Tardis works properly and more importantly it doesn’t cause any harmful effects on the paint…you know just being extra careful that’s all. Any who once the entire truck was wiped clean with Tardis it was once again given a thorough rinse.
The third and final step of the decontamination process is to clay the vehicle. On this truck I decided to go with my favorite clay bar and that is the famous yellow clay bar. To be honest I don’t have to do this third step but I do it just to get the surface of the paint completely clean and most importantly smooth. Any who, one the entire truck was cleansed I gave it it’s final rinse. For the final rinse I always use Reverse Osmosis water, I truly love having this system at the shop.
Last step is to dry the truck, for this I use a combination of air and drying micro fiber towel. I’m just about ready to inspect the paint but before I do that I always take paint readings. For that I turn to my paint gauges, PosiTector 6000 and PosiTector 200. On this vehicle there weren’t too many composite body panels so I didn’t use my PosiTector 200 as much. I’m happy to report that the vehicle had plenty of clear coat which once again I didn’t really need to take readings specially considering I’m going to be doing a paint enhancement, meaning a single power polishing pass. Which barely removes 1micron of clear coat, but again you can never be too careful and you just never know.
Any who, after all of that I can finally take a look at the paint and see what I was after. For all paint inspections I always use my 3M Sun Gun and here is what I found:
Even the tail lights were in poor shape
Well as you can see light color vehicles are hard to capture the true conditions of the paint but at least now you have an idea of what I was up against. With that said it was time to begin the polishing. Now seeing as I’m just doing a minor paint enhancement (aka single power polishing pass) I needed to choose a combo which would deliver the best results as possible. You know I say that but to be honest there is one polishing combo I always go to and that is this one:
3M UK Extra Fine Plus with a 3M UK Polishing foam pad and my Festool rotary. This polishing combo always delivers and has never let me know. I’ve been using this combo for quite a few years now and I’ve gotten into a really good groove with this combo.
Any who, time to polish, now I tried my best to get some before and after pictures but to be honest when polishing light color vehicles it’s very tough to keep track where I’ve polished…but I always try to get some pictures. So here is a 50/50 of how this combo was performing:
I know, I know it’s a bit out of focus but honestly I still have a tough time capturing the difference I make to light color vehicles…but I’m persistent and just keep trying one of these days I’ll get it till then practice makes perfect.
I found one spot that I could actually get a noticeable difference, before:
After a single pass:
After a single pass it didn’t’ look quite right so a third pass was done and here is how it turned out:
As you can see you can just make out the difference, like I said it’s quite tough to capture the difference I as making on camera. With that said that’s where I stopped taking pictures of the polishing process, trucks always take a bit of extra time due to their sheer size.
Once I finished polishing the entire vehicle I actually further refined the finish with Menzerna 106FF (I think that’s final finish) with a 3M UK Blue finishing foam pad. I know I was supposed to do a single power polishing pass but I just can’t let a vehicle go with one pass, I did the finishing pass to ensure I completely remove any buffing marks I may have left behind. To be honest I do this more for my sake, just to make sure I don’t leave anything behind which can happen and is easy to miss.
Once the entire truck was refined it was time for a final wipe down, usually I literally do a final wipe down however this truck was in for Opti-Coat Pro+ so I prepped the paint with:
Opti-coat Primer with yet another 3M UK blue finishing foam pad and my Festool rotary.
Once the entire truck was primed and properly prepped it was time to apply Opti-Coat Pro+:
You know I barely had enough to get through this truck but I’ll be honest I can’t apply coatings thin even if my life dependant on it. I just can’t do thin, for me more is better…but that’s just me.
Any who once the entire truck was properly protected it was time for me to turn my attention to the interior. Like always I begin by removing all personal belonging complete with floor mats and followed up with a thorough vacuum. Once the entire truck was vacuumed it was time to steam clean the interior and like always I begin with steaming the vents:
I can never get enough of the steaming of the vents, something about steam going in one vent and coming out all the others is just entertaining…what can I say I amuse easy.
Every inch of the interior is steam cleansed including glass. I simply steam the area, like so:
Followed up with a wipe down with a micro fiber towel like so:
Once the entire truck was steam cleaned the carpet was extracted with my Mytee extractor:
Well that about does it for the interior, now you might be thinking that doing interiors is easy and I just breeze right through it. It’s truly the opposite, interiors in general take me between 4 to 6hrs depending on the conditions. On this truck it took me about 5hrs to complete. Some people can’t believe how much time I spend on the interiors but when you have to steam clean every nook and crevice it takes time to do properly and make sure every inch is well cleansed. Besides, I always spread out the work over 2 to 3 days. Perfection takes time and I do not like rushing the detailing of a vehicle.
Back on topic, that about does it for this truck just a few loose ends to finish up. Such as dressing the tires, big tires such as these always take a bit of extra time to get them looking right. Polish the exhaust tips, apply Opti-Glass on all glass oh by the way the interior was protected as well. Leather received Zymol Treat, all plastic/vinyl trim was dressed with 303. Carpet was dressed with 303 Fabric Guard and that about does it.
Now for the end results, lets start with the interior:
There was something about all those switches by the shifter that I enjoyed.
Now for the exterior:
Almost forgot to mention, I had plenty of space to get inside the wheel well so I lightly polished (by hand) the Fox suspension and protected it with Opti-Coat Pro+ as well. It’s all about the details:
Well that does it for this truck, I spent quite a bit of time on this truck but the end results are always worth it. Most importantly the owner was very happy with the end results and to be honest that is what I am for, customer satisfaction is very important to me.
As always thank you for taking the time to read the full write up and if you have any questions feel free to let me know as I enjoy questions.