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  1. #1
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    I have never put more pressure on myself than I did for this job. Bill contacted me on AG after his gorgeous 2012 Q7 was keyed down 3 panels. Everyone locally (he's from Chicago) was telling him the only fix was to paint the panels...that's almost the entire side. The thought of that made him sick to his stomach. He had viewed my Key Repair thread and contacted me about fixing his problem.

    For those of you who don't know, Chicago is one time zone and 5 hours away from me. But he chose to make the trip. I got him set up in a hotel just a few minutes away. He was to arrive at my house on Saturday morning at 8 am. I had finished the Equinox at midnight and was ready to get a good sleep before he arrived...and then my daughter started throwing up. Oh well, 2:30 am was better than up all night.

    Anyway, I was pretty nervous about doing this job. I just felt like he was going to so much expense, I really, really wanted to come through for him so I was heaping HUGE amounts of pressure on myself to hit this one out of the park!!


    So, he arrives on time and it starts to rain. Are you kidding me?!? We get blessed and the rain stops about 30 minutes later so I can pull the Q7 outside and wash it there. I absolutely hate washing vehicles in my garage...I want my floor to be dry! In the haste of moving the car, etc, no initial before shots were taken. By the time I realized it, we had done the following:

    Wheel barrels cleaned with Tarminator, followed by Zep Citrus and DG 901 in a wash bucket.
    Faces cleaned with Tarminator and then shot with Zep Citrus and washed with DG 901 and a demoted mitt.
    The tires were scrubbed with Zep 505.
    The wells were cleaned with LATA.

    The Q7 was then washed with DG 901and my Incredimitt followed by IronX paste combined with my Incredisponge. He was very impressed seeing the IX paste in action with the Isponge.

    Bill was going to be staying with me every step of the way. I was excited for him to be able to see the process unfold so he could really appreciate the work that would go into his baby. He also proved his prowess on the DA and he followed me for the polishing stage, but more on that in a minute.

    The car was then blown off with the Master Blaster. Does that car love to drip!! I then clayed it with the Speedy Prep towel and ONR. Now the car was clean and dry and it was time to meet the challenge and see this scratch. I dried it off with the air compressor and finally it dawned on my moronic brain to snap some shots. This scratch started on the passenger front door, went continuously into the passenger rear door and then into the rear 1/4 panel ending at the gas door. The douchebag who did it also made sure it crossed the body line too, just to make it as difficult as possible. Here are some shots of the damage:













    Again, with LED flashlight helping to illuminate it:















    My goal was to lay down the paint into the scratch as quickly as possible so it had the most time possible to cure and harden. However, upon inspecting the scratch that was on the passenger front door, it was determined that it was not deep enough to warrant being touched up and that wet sanding would probably remove it, similar to the job I did a few weeks ago on that Challenger. I ended up taking 2000 grit paper to it by hand followed by a 3000 grit sanding disc on my 3" GG ROP (pretty much all I use it for now). This is a shot of the sanding efforts in progress:




    Here is that section finished being sanded and is now ready to be compounded and polished:



    The next panel, the passenger rear door was deep and would need touch up paint. I had picked up the paint for Bill the previous week (of course I've never met the man but couldn't resist teasing him and telling him the touch up paint was brown when it should have been gray, LOL). Luckily he's got a good sense of humour! I used my usual method of spreading some of the paint on a plastic lid and dipping the pointy end of a toothpick into the paint and trying to get it to wick down deep into the crevice. The scratch itself was not wide, so that helped a bit. I kept changing toothpicks to insure I had the sharpest point possible to assist in getting the paint to the bottom of the crevice of the scratch. It's a slow and tedious process. You don't want too much paint on top so you're not wasting time and removing surrounding clear needlessly when it comes time to level it.

    The other problem with this panel is the scratch dips down by the door handle and crosses the body line. There would be no wet sanding close to the edge so we were literally going to use 3 different approaches to try to fix the problem. I filled the scratch all the way to the end at the gas door. Now it was time to let it sit and cure and harden.

    So, time to polish some paint!! Bill is a diehard Menzerna guy. He was going to be a participant in my Meguiars appreciation class, LOL. The paint was in very nice shape for the most part. I started with the passenger front door that I had wet sanded. I used M105 + black TB wool + Flex 3401 for the most of that area. I did need to break out my Menz PG in one area that needed addressing by hand where the machine would not fit (under the mirror). That was followed by 3401 + M205 + white B/S pad. I also used DG Squeaky clean by hand to ensure truthful correction. We nailed it!! The fun part was talking with Bill too. Close to me in age, a fellow rock and roll nut and 2 small kids as well as being anal about his car...boy, we had lots in common!

    I showed Bill what the TB wool + M105 + the Flex 3401 would do to his factory paint. I describe it as bringing a clarity to the paint. He absolutely concurred. So, I would work the panel with that combo and then I had Bill follow behind with my Rupes 21 + M205 + white B/S. We were getting stellar results. We worked late into the night and ended up compounding and polishing the whole car minus the key repair areas plus I coated all those same panels with 2 coats of CQF. His windshield got 2 coats of Fly-By-30 and the rest of the glass got CQF X2. The glass on the roof was cleaned with Eraser (all the glass was) and then coated with Pinnacle All Surface Coating. He was impressed at how easy it was to apply and how smooth the finish (Bill did that stage himself).

    Time to call it a night.

    The next morning it was paint repair leveling time. I used 1500 grit with a small block that was basically as narrow as the scratch to remove the excess paint on the surface while disturbing the surrounding clear as little as possible. Next came a wider area of sanding using 2000 and then that same area with 3000. Throughout the whole process, including front door, multiple and continuous readings were being taken to ensure we had lots of paint to work with and weren't thinning it down too much. It was going very well.

    The challenge came for the part crossing the body line and into the gas cover. I leveled that very carefully with Langka. Bill had never seen it in action before and was astonished at how fast it would remove the surface touch up paint. I was being very, very careful not to remove the paint from within the scratch itself, which is not easy to do with Langka. That area was then compounded with Menz PG by hand with a mf followed by M205. That was the only area not to come out perfect, but it was damned near perfect. We were both very pleased at how it came out. Bill's expectations were wildly surpassed and he was very pleased. I could now finally relax, LOL.

    Those repair sections were polished and coated as well as the wheels. The barrels were shot with Permanon and the tires with DG Wet Shine via an air gun. Each panel was baked with the IR light. ReLoad was used afterward on the whole car. Approx 20 man hours went into this job. It is with extreme pride that I present the After shots:

    Here are just a few from inside on the Saturday night (with no ReLoad yet):








    (We started out with clouds but they blew over a bit later and got some better shots too)







    KEY REPAIR AREAS:








































    Got Flake??









    And finally:





    This was a very rewarding experience. I feel like I've made a friend in Chicago and we were both able to get his car to the shape it deserves to be in. Thanks for sharing the journey!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member jamesboyy's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Very nice work on that Audi you would not know the vehicle was keyed if there was no before photos

  3. #3
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Awesome! Makes me wanna drive up and see you

  4. #4
    Senior Member theblob640's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Very nice work! Like it was never even there. May I ask which Permanon you used?

  5. #5
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Great work!

  6. #6
    Senior Member EVOlved's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    I'm sure he was thrilled when he left there great work!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member hernandez.art13's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Beautiful, no one would know what happened without being told.

    Great Job!

  8. #8
    Member rickylexus250's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    Great job, I am hesitate to have any panels painted unless absolutely necessary and this is the right and only way to go. Had my car White) keyed deep down one side and had a touchup expert clean and air brush paint in stages into the scratches, then finish up with what you have done (single stage white is easy). My wives Alfa (Red) was key down two sides, she repainted the whole car in three pack (apparently scratch proof). These were both the old single coat no clear coat in those days. Now my Lexus has a three stage paint, white+pearl+final coat being pearl mixed with clear, apparently).

  9. #9
    Senior Member primo spaghetti's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    great job as usual richy!
    I am the heir to the primo spaghetti sauce fortune

  10. #10
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Re: Key Repair + Fellow AutoGeek = Huge Pressure

    "THE" how to for quality key repair.....

    This should be in the "How To" section Richy!!

    BobbyG - 2004 Millennium Yellow Z06 Corvette

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