Saturday, May 09, 2015

MINI detailing - getting it done

This second part of my MINI detailing documentation covers the rest of the prep work, primarily stripe removal, and then the actual detailing. This is just kind of a slapped together narrative.

Stripe removal continues

Was tired from being outside most of the weekend watching soccer, but decided I better do some work on the stripes. Good thing I did.

I removed the second boot stripe and got all the glue off the boot. That took about an hour.

I then decided to start on the hood stripes. What a pain that turned into. I managed to get one stripe (and related glue) off. That took only 3 hours. Looks like I know what I'll be doing either Monday or Tuesday night.

Below is a close-up of hood stripe before I took it off. Just wanted to show the cracking.

Finally - all that is left of my boot stripes:

With regard to the stripe removal process, I have plastic scraper that I think is meant for doing spackle. However, they work good for detailing work since they are plastic.

I have been using a hairdryer to heat up the vinyl. Unfortunately, the vinyl is so thin and weak it just keeps breaking as I try to pull it up. Every now and then I might get a piece that actually starts to peel off - that's why the second boot stripe went so fast as the bottom 6 inches or so I was able to just lift off.

Stripe removal finished

The final stripe took about 2 hours to remove. I think I ended up with a total of 7.5 - 8.0 hours just getting the stripes off. You may also notice I removed the hood emblem - the MINI logo had come off, so I have a new one on order.

Let the work commence!

Early Wednesday morning was a little bit cool. But that didn't stop me from starting the process. 2 bucket wash system used. For soap, I'm using Dawn dishwashing liquid so I can strip off any remaining wax that may still be on the MINI.

Here is the MINI WUF post-wash, but before I started on any other work. As you can see, in photos at least it does not look half bad. In real life it is considerably duller than how it appears here.

I went ahead and taped off the plastic and rubber bits so I wouldn't have to worry about getting any wax, polish, etc. on them. This is the first time I've ever bothered to do this.

Some attempts to show the swirls, etc.

The three photos above are my attempts to show a close-up of the condition of the paint and the swirls that are present.

This was an easy video to add - only 10 seconds and I don't need to bother combining it with any others. This was my "helper" while I was detailing.

An aside

Since I'm cross posting most of this entry from what I posted over on the THMMC forums while I was in the process, sometimes things don't make sense in context. Case in point, here is a post where I was replying to someone's questions. Figured I would drop it in here since this is where it came in the chronological order of postings:

I prefer 303 Aerospace Protectant for cleaning up the interior, including my leatherette seats. Otherwise, I don't do anything special.
On the black trim, I have found the Black Wow does a good job of getting off any stray wax that might get on the trim. It does a pretty good job of cleaning the trim and restoring it to black. My biggest complaint is it remains sticky, and thus a dust magnet, after you are done and it does not last very long imo.

Cole has probably the best looking trim I've seen. He told me a while back that he uses Renew Protect Blak ( Once my funds are replenished a bit, I'll probably buy some and hit mine up with that to see how it does.
I haven't gotten around to posting it yet, but my honeycomb grill inserts in the front and rear bumpers were in really bad shape as well. I came across some Meguiers (sp?) black trim restorer at the auto store that was in an aerosol can. I decided to give that a try although I was kind of skeptical. I thought it worked extremely well and was pleasantly surprised. It made short work of all that detailed trim. I may have to go back and do a couple more treatments - waiting to see how the initial application is going to hold up.

Back to the detailing

Just sharing some video. This is a collection of clips that I recorded during the first day of work. The video itself is about 12 minutes long, but each of the different clips is only a couple minutes.

A couple pics to start the morning of the second day once I had the MINI back in the garage and ready to go:

The black trim

I ended up doing most of the black trim with Black Wow. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan of Black Wow, but I have a bottle left from early in my MINI ownership when I bought into the hype. My dislike for it has been born out as it is not even a month later and the trim looks like crap again. I will have to redo it with something else.

One nice thing I did discover though was this Meguier's trim restorer in an aerosol can available at the local auto parts store. I was very skeptical about using it, but decided to give it a go on the honeycomb inserts in the front and rear. As it turned out, it worked really well. Thus far it is holding up okay, considering I only did one coat, but it will not be long before a second coat needs to be done.

Another video, this one from the second day. This video is really just three short clips showing the application of the Poorboy's World wax. I went with EX Sealant with Carnuba. The Carnuba was to help add a little depth since I have a dark color. I wanted something with a sealant though for longevity (did I mention I find no joy in all the detailing work?). According to their directions, this product can be layered, but I only did one application.

And the final set of pictures. One quick one showing the double-sided tape applied to the back of the Cooper S badging before being put back on. The others are just some of the finished MINI.

The last item to take care of - installing the new hood badge. All the black had come off the old one. Just held on with double-sided tape.

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