The owner of this gorgeous vehicle contacted me and wanted to have his new pride and joy protected with Opti-Coat Pro+ and I was more then happy to oblige. Now considering it’s a brand new vehicle I expected the usual, more on that as the write up progresses. Here is the vehicle was it was delivered to me:
The signs were everywhere, not so obvious here but wait for it.
Well as you can clearly see the Viper had been polished, now please note the owner is extremely meticulous so much that he personally went to inspect the vehicle once it had arrived in Calgary. No one touched the vehicle so regrettably everything you see here came from manufacture.
Now that I had an idea of what I was up against, it was time to wash and decontaminate the vehicle. Like always I begin with what I call the “shoes” of the vehicle. The rims, tires and wheel wells are scrubbed with various brushes and I used the combination of P21S Wheel Gel and P21S Total Auto Wash. Love these two products for cleansing the wheels. Here is how all that scrubbing looked like:
Once all four corners of the vehicle had been cleansed it was time to turn my attention to washing the rest of the vehicle. For this I used the two bucket method and the shampoo of choice is the Meg’s Gold Class Shampoo. Once the entire vehicle had been washed it was time to begin the decontamination process. First up is Iron X:
I simply applied Iron X to the entire vehicle let it soak and work it’s magic for a few minutes. I usually go around with my camera to take pictures to show just how badly contaminated the vehicle is but regrettably due to the color I couldn’t capture just how badly contaminated the paint was. As expected the vehicle had quite a bit of iron contamination on it. Once I was done visually inspecting the paint I then gave it a wipe down to agitate the surface and remove as much iron contamination as possible. Once the entire vehicle had whipped with a dedicated Iron X micro fiber towel I proceeded to give it a good rinse.
The second step of the decontaminating process is to use Tardis to remove all organic contamination, this also includes the removal of whatever protection the manufacture may have put on the paint. Now because it’s a brand new vehicle I decided to apply Tardis one panel at a time and wipe it off. I do this as Tardis is extremely potent and I’m too paranoid about potentially harming the paint, but that’s just me. Once I coated and wiped off Tardis I once again gave the entire vehicle a good rinse.
The third and final step of the decontamination process is to clay the vehicle. The clay of choice I went with was the famous yellow clay bar. As expected there was hardly anything the clay bar picked up, the odd bits and peaces here and there but nothing major.
Now I can finally give the vehicle a final rinse, for this I always use Reverse Osmosis water. The next step is to simply dry the vehicle, to dry it though I always use the help of air and a very soft drying micro fiber towel.
Now I can finally see the true conditions of the paint and for this inspection I usually grab my camera and take pictures of what ever I find and here is what I found:
The signs were clear that the vehicle was polished, but I already knew that but the amount of polish residue left behind was astonishing. But the again, on new vehicles it’s very normal to see vehicles in these conditions.
Next, I decided to grab my 3M Sun Gun and take a closer look at the paint:
You know every time I detail a brand new vehicle I some times get asked “why would a brand new vehicle ever need to be detailed?”. Well regrettably brand new vehicles usually come with lots of holograms or buffer marks from improper power polishing, pigtails left over from the wetsanding process and the odd random scratches. I think the pictures speak for them selves as to why a brand new vehicle needs to be properly detailed, I emphasize on the properly.
When the owner brought me the vehicle, he asked me if I could make the vehicle look better than new? I turned to him, smiled and said yes, absolutely.
Well as you can clearly see I had my work cut out and most importantly I now had to back up my bold statement that I can make his vehicle look better then what the factory provided him with.
Before I begin the power polishing steps, I decided to put the vehicle on the lift. I did this for two reasons, one this vehicle is quite low to the ground so rather then me fighting with awkward angles on the lower panels why not raise the vehicle to a better-suited angle that would provide more comfortable polishing position for me. The other reason is because I wanted to hear the sound and most importantly the head lights this bad boy had. Here is the vehicle on the lift and I was just starting to tape up the sensitive areas:
Once I had tapped up all the areas I felt needed taping, which weren’t that many to be honest. Actually to be perfectly honest I hardly use tape now, I mean I still tape but I don’t go over board like I used to. I guess after a few years I’ve learned which areas truly need taping and which parts don’t. Any who, now I was ready to polish before I show you what polishing combo I decided to go with allow me to show you the results I was achieving. Before:
(sorry for the blurry picture, my bad)
As you can see it does look better but I wasn’t quite happy with the end results, simply because there were still some random scratches that were being stubborn. Well nothing that a second or even a third power polishing pass couldn’t fix.
With that said the polishing combo I ended up using was Menzerna SIP partnered with a 3M UK Yellow Polishing foam pad and my Festool Rotary. The reason I went with this polishing combo was because I didn’t want to go to aggressive and this was due to the fact that the vehicle’s body panels were al composite. Composite panels are always easier to correct, it takes time but they are easier.
Well now on to the polishing before:
If you look real close to this picture, you can see the pig tails that were left behind.
The spoiler which is usually one of the easiest parts to polish, didn’t look so great.
It wasn’t just the top of the spoiler, underneath the spoiler was just as bad:
Lucky for me the spoiler was tall enough to get my Festool rotary to fit:
That about takes care of all the larger panels, now it was time to get in to those tight areas and for that I switched over to my smaller 3M UK foam pads:
Well that about does it for this Viper, with the correction all done I refined the finish with Menzerna Super Finish and a 3M UK Blue Finishing foam pad. Once I finished giving the vehicle the last power polishing it was time to prep the surface for protection. For this I went with yet another 3M UK Blue Finishing foam pad and Opti-Primer. Once I finished applying Opti-Primer to the entire vehicle it was time to apply:
I applied Opti-Coat Pro+ to the entire vehicle, the wheels were removed and also coated. Since I had the wheels off I also coated the calipers:
My apologies for the dark picture.
All glass was coated with Opti-Glass, tires were dressed, exhaust tips (more like side tips) were also polished and that about does it for this vehicle. Now for the end results, get your snacks ready because I may have gotten carried a way with the amount of pictures I took of the end results:
Here are those exhaust tips I was telling you about.
You know every time I looked at this Viper I couldn’t help but think of the Bat mobile, it’s got such an aggressive stance to it and the curves are just awesome. It truly was a real treat detailing this lovely Viper. Most importantly the owner was extremely happy with the end results and I will most likely see this vehicle on an annual basis for maintenance.
Well that does it for this Viper, as always thank you for taking the time to read this write up and I hope you enjoyed all the pictures. If you have any questions or feed back please let me know as I enjoy hearing your thoughts/opinions.