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  1. #1
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    This owner was a referral from the black Dodge Challenger I did a few weeks back. The car has been repainted, and for the most part, it was a good job. We agreed on a time frame that would allow me to do a one step paint improvement on most of the car and more steps where needed (top surfaces). The interior was also being done on it too. The coating of choice was to be Americoat.


    Here it is as it arrived:














    One of the first challenges I was going to face on this car was a tremendous amount of tar along the bottom of the panels. That step alone took quite a while to eliminate, but more on that later.











    There were quite a few chips too. This car has the 3 stage pearl white paint, so the paint shop mixed a bottle of touch up which they normally won't even try for this colour. It wasn't perfect, but pretty damned close! You'll see the after shot of this next chip later on and you can decide for yourself how they did matching it.


    This chip is on the back bumper, just to the right of the left tail light.














    A Closer Look:





    Even Closer:





    Some stains needing to be removed:












    Dirty Leather and dirty plastic:















    An Inside Look at the Hood and some of its challenges:





    So, lots of work ahead. I was looking forward to doing this car as it was a trip down memory lane for me. 3 cars ago, I owned a black/black 1997 STS. There were lots of similarities despite the 5 year difference between the 2.


    First up was to try to remove the tar. I used a lot of Tarminator, first with a mf and that removed some, but not nearly enough. The next step in aggressiveness was to break out a magic eraser. I soaked it with Tarminator and had at the area. Finally, tar-free! That 2 step process was followed on the whole car and probably took close to an hour. After that was contamination removal. After the black spots were gone, the red ones were now clearly visible. I used up the last of my Wolf's Decontamination gel to get rid of those.

    Next up was the wheels. Barrels & faces initially got treated to Tarminator followed by CarBrite wheel acid followed by Zep Citrus. The tires were cleaned with Zep 505 and the wells with LATA.

    Once cleaned, the plastic wells and the barrels were shot with CarPro Hydro to help protect them for a long time.


    The paint was cleaned first with Megs Hyper Wash followed by an IronX wash just to make sure there was no more wax on the surface (in my opinion it is the best LSP remover there is!). The car was then brought inside to get clayed with the Speedy Prep towel and the wheels and barrels were blown off with the Master Blaster. I was now a more than a full hour behind where I thought I'd be. I was hoping the paint would be kind to me so I could make up some time.

    After getting the car inside, the garage was a hideous temperature. I've always said "Both the products AND the operator work better with normal temps". The garage was in the 80's which it was in the high 80's outside and high humidity to boot. I have a portable A/C unit in the garage and I knew it was time to fire it up for the season. Here is a write up I did years ago showing my setup:
    A/C unit setup

    And here is what it accomplished after running overnight:


  2. #2
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    The hood showed the most evidence of the re-paint. There were some cloudy areas as well as a circular area that was about 4" in diameter that just looked nasty. I wet sanded those areas with 3K grit to dig into the clear a bit. That did it. Shame I didn't have time to wet sand the whole hood as it could have really benefited from it. The hood was then compounded with M105 + TB black wool + Flex 3401. That was followed up by what was used on the rest of the car: orange B/S + Sonax Perfect Finish + Flex. I used a blue B/S pad + Flex + DG Squeaky Clean to both inspect the paint for true correction and to prepare it for coating. The side panels all got the one stage and the tops the 2 stages as mentioned above.


    The wheels were cleaned with DG SC and then coated with AC. The windshield was coated with Fly-By-30 and the rest of the glass coated with AC. The paint, head lights, tail lights and remaining glass plus the grille were all coated with AC. The tires were shot with Opti Bond straight (not cut) from my air gun. It took some messing around with the gun to get it to play nice with the thicker mixture, but I was more happy with the results than I was spraying it with a cut mixture. The exhaust tips were cleaned with Collinite Metal wax + mf.


    On to the interior. Vacuumed thoroughly and then sprayed heavily with Folex and then agitated with my DA upholstery brush. Many, many white terry towels were used to remove stains from the carpet mats as well as the carpeting inside the vehicle. A few spots were bad enough that they were also agitated with OPC. The plastic and leather was cleaned with OPC and my AG knock off pad (the aggressive red one). The leather and plastic were then treated to UIGP as was the wood trim. The glass was cleaned with a KD cloth.


    Here are both inside and outside finished shots (it had been forecasted to rain in the morning):
















    I actually shook the owner's hand and congratulated him as this was the first car I have seen in a very long time (and unfortunately includes my own <wimper>) that had NO curb damage to the wheels !!













































    Remember that chip on the rear bumper? Here's how it ended up looking with 2 coats of touch up on it and being coated:






  3. #3
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

























    Metallic White looking Spectacular:








    Got UIGP??
















    The owner was thrilled. I came in on budget (16.5 hours) and was very proud of how it looked both inside and out. He was looking very forward to showing it off to his golfing buddies! Thanks for looking!

  4. #4
    Senior Member EVOlved's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Wow nice work Richy!! Looks fantastic!! Those wheels, I would have shook his hand too they look flawless now.
    It's all in the details

  5. #5
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Well played sir!!! Great job on that pearl white beauty.
    IGL Authorized Coating/Kenzo Installer

    Final Inspection Auto Detailing- https://www.facebook.com/FinalInspection

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dr_Pain's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Rich, can't find any flaw in your beautification process. Well done as usual. If I had to pick on you I would ask: "what made you decide on doing parallel concourse lines in the back and perpendicular in the front?" (relating the orientation to the length of the car). I'll admit that I've made the mistake once before (since the mats were out of the car and did not think about their orientation in the car... and just plain assumed). The customer never noticed but I spilled the beans on the final inspections and he STILL could not see what I was talking about LOL! This type of minutia seems to only matter to us

    https://www.facebook.com/FlawlessFinishDetailing
    Dr. Claude Tremblay, Co-owner/Senior Detailer, Certified CQuartz FINEST Installer

  7. #7
    Senior Member RTexasF's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Complete renewal on one of Caddy's best looking rides
    Rick....now in North Texas

  8. #8
    Senior Member fly07sti's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Looks great Richy. I have to try that magic eraser soaked in Tarminator trick.

  9. #9
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    Richy, your work is considered can't miss when I see you posting a new job. Awesome as always - thank you for sharing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tato's Avatar
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    Re: 2002 STS: Very Proud of This One!

    You should be really proud of this one, incredible work you did in only ~17h. Unbelievable, since it's looking more like a full restoration than a 'mere' detailing work.

    Congratulations my friend, thanks for sharing.

    Kind Regards.
    “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”

    ― Isaac Newton

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