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Detail Complete: 2004 Mazda RX-8 "Winning Blue Metallic"


THE Mook
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Good Morning!

 

I had the pleasure at the end of last week to start on this Ocean Blue Metallic RX-8. The objective here was to not only polish the car out the right way, but also to test many products in the process. This write up will be pretty picture heavy so I will break it up into parts as best I can. I would like to thank Dylan for helping me out during some of the polish process and also with his killer Camera work at the end.

 

Let's Get Started!

 

The Wash.

It was really difficult to gauge just what I had ahead of me, as the car was left with us at the Detail Clinic we had to kick the season off a couple weeks back. I could see through all the dirt, that there were areas of the car I would be spending a little more time on than I wanted to. The Exhaust Tips were scary, the last "detailer" to touch the car left more wax on the trim than he did on the paint, the Engine Bay hadn't been cleaned since it was swapped in well over a year ago, and I hadn't even touched the paint yet!

 

Dirty Car

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As with anything I detail, I started with cleaning the engine bay and wheels and tires.

 

 

Products Used for Engine Bay, Wheels & Tires Cleaning:

 

I started the Engine Bay by covering the air filter with a trash bag I had handy. I never realized this little rotary motor needed such a big filter! Looked like E.T.'s Head.

 

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The next step was to grab the 36oz. Adam's All Purpose Cleaner with Foaming Sprayer, and get a little trigger happy all over the Engine Bay.

 

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Grabbing the Adam's Boulder Blonde Boar's Hair Wheel Brush, I began to scrub, scrub, and scrub some more. I rinsed and then started over. This time I grabbed the smaller head and medium head Adam's Wheel Woolies, and began to knock out the tiny areas I couldn't reach with the big brush.

 

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Satisfied with the level of clean I am pretty sure the Engine Bay had never seen before, I closed the hood and proceeded to the Wheels and Tires portion of my day. Upon closer examination of the wheels, I could see clear coat failure on all 4, and at least two of the tires had been curbed at least once.

 

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My first real opportunity to use the Adam's Deep Clean Tire Scrub Brush, as I don't let my stuff get that filthy to ever need more than the Adam's 20" Fender Brush to clean my own tires, I was still more than impressed with it's ability to remove dirt from the surface with minimal effort. Adam's All Purpose Cleaner with Foaming Sprayer was used on all surfaces in the Wheel and Tire portion as the Cleaner.

 

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Once I hit the four corners, it was time to have a little bit of fun with the Pressure Washer, the Foam Cannon, and a Mixture of Adam's Car Shampoo and Adam's Waterless Wash in the canister, for supreme foaming lather. Adam's Merino Wool Mit and Adam's Jumbo Wash Pad were used in conjunction with the Two Bucket Wash with Grit Guards, post-cannon-izing of the car.

Edited by Mook@Adams
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The Wash Continued

 

Products Used for this Portion:

 

 

Onto the fun!

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The mixture of the Car Shampoo and Waterless Car Wash inside the Foam canister really helped the Shampoo stick to the surface to allow a nice layer of lubrication to the paint before I went ahead and removed the dirt with the wash pads.

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For it being February in Colorado, I figured I would make it snow a little too...

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Executing a Two Bucket Wash properly means washing the car from top to bottom, utilizing two wash pads (one for the upper 2/3, the other for the lower 1/3) and continual trips to the bucket system with grit guards to maintain clean washing tools.

 

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I finished soaping the car down, rinsed it off, and pulled it into the garage to dry it off with Adam's Air Force Master Blaster by MetroVac. I used this opportunity to lift the hood, dry off the Engine Bay, and touch up anything that needed touching up, prior to dressing it.

 

 

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I dressed the Engine Bay with Adam's In and Out Spray. It's perfect for all the hard to reach areas, but also makes the hoses and plastics inside look brand new. I regret not getting a cleaner shot of the Engine, post detail.

 

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...More coming...

Edited by Mook@Adams
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After getting the car dried off, and since I already had the In and Out Spray out from dressing the Engine Bay, I took the opportunity to hit all the plastics this car has. I then pulled the car into the detailing bay to start on the Interior.

 

Products Used for Interior Detail:

 

 

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I wiped the door jambs out with the Adam's New Detail Spray and a Waterless Towel. Once that was complete, I grabbed the Adam's Leather & Interior Conditioner and a Block Sponge, and treated all the weatherstripping inside the doors and around where the doors close to the body. Adam's In and Out Spray was used inside the door hinges, to tidy up the hinge boots as well.

 

This would be my first chance to try out the latest Vacuum offering from Adam's Premium Car Care. The Adam's Vac'n'Blo Compact Wall Mount IS A BEAST! I haven't used a detailing vacuum with such efficiency and attachments....LOVE THIS THING! I needed to get all the debris off the seats and carpet, before I could actually clean the door panels, dash, gauge cluster, and console.

 

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The assortment of tools this bad boy comes with made EASY work of all the tight areas this interior was loaded with.

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Finally done vacuuming that thing out like Alice from the Brady Bunch, it was time to play with some new juice we are testing for the Interior! Without getting too specific, let's just say it's somewhat of an All-in-One, Interior Quick Detailer with some nice features and great scent. The door panels weren't too terribly dirty from looking at them, so I grabbed the new stuff and another Waterless Towel, and began to clean.

 

Before

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The Towel was pretty loaded with funk.

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After--The New IQS leaves the surface clean, smelling good, and has a nice finish to it. Not too glossy and not too matte--just enough to know you did something.

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With the Interior complete, time to focus a little closer on the Exhaust Tips and Trim pieces...

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The next stage of this detail was to rehab the Exhaust Tips, decontaminate trim, and then properly dress it. The Tips weren't the worst I've seen but they were pretty gross.

 

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Products Used for Exhaust Tip Rehab:

 

 

My process was to take the .0000 Steel Wool and Adam's Metal Polish #1, rub out the inner 2" of the tips. I clayed the outside of the tips with Adam's Detailing Claybar and Adam's New Detail Spray.....YUCK!

Then take the Adam's Blue Hex Grip Applicator and more Adam's Metal Polish #1 and "clean" the tips. After that, Adam's Metal Polish #2 on an Adam's Microfiber Applicator Pad to "shine" the tips. Then knock it all down with an Adam's Double Soft Towel and be happy with the results I just got!

 

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There were some really horrible spots on the trim pieces of this car...what with all the wax and polish residue, and contamination along the door pillars...which *were* the body color stock, but were painted at some point I think. You'll see what I mean...

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Now, onto some time in the Trim Triage. Holy wrecked pillars!

 

I think these weren't stock painted black, as up close, you can see some blue coming through. The black paint was contaminated with oxidation among other things so the first plan of attack was to grab the Adam's All Purpose Cleaner with Foaming Sprayer, and an Adam's Edgeless Utility Towel.

 

Before

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Weapons of Decon Destruction

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Look at That Funk!

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With the trim being "bare", it was apparent I needed to get out the Adam's Revive Hand Polish and a Blue Hex Grip Applicator and try to level that out before dressing it with Adam's SVRT. I know this was going to work as I had great success with this method on an old Porsche 911 last summer.

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Ready to Dress.

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POW!

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I spent more time getting old wax and polish off other trim pieces with the above method, then dressed them with Adam's In and Out Spray. (Some trim responds better to InO than SVRT, so that's why in this case.)

 

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Anyone ready to see actual polish pictures yet? ME TOO. But first...

Edited by Mook@Adams
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To this point in the detail I hadn't addressed dressing the Tires or Wheel Wells.

 

I grabbed some paper towels to throw down where the typical run off for Adam's Invisible Undercarriage Spray drops, laid them down, and grabbed the bottle of said dressing.

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I then shot Adam's Invisible Undercarriage Spray into the wheel wells and let the magic happen.

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The clear coat failure on the wheels themselves was a bit of a bummer. All I could really do to get them to look better was to take some Adam's In and Out Spray on a block sponge and make them a little sassier.

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Those tires were looking awful bare so I grabbed the Adam's SV...no I didn't. But wait, what did I grab? That's right...we ARE testing something new for the tires...I'll let you deduce what it is in the pics.

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Let that sink in for a minute, and go ahead and see what's up with the paint portion!

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Finally onto the fun stuff!

For this portion of the detail I used the following products:

 

This may be the single worst car I have ever clayed. Ever. I mean it. I threw up in my mouth a little bit claying it. It was that audible. I threw away the BRAND NEW claybar after I was done with this car. All 200 grams of it.

 

Using the windshield of the car to flatten the Adam's Detailing Claybar out and Adam's Detail Spray as a lubricant, I was able to get a complete flat surface for proper paint decontamination.

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A little portion of the hood told me this was going to be rough.

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Finally done, Dylan and I could move on to some misc. testing with our pads, some MF pads, some compounds, and polishes...all stuff we are currently playing with. ETA on all this? When we are ready. ;)

 

One last shot to ruin lunch.

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Edited by Mook@Adams
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There weren't a whole lot of polishing action shots taken. We can't let everything out of the bag!

 

Here are a couple in progress...notice the headlamp lens restore...I will touch on that in a few minutes.

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I figured why not use this too? I mean I had already used three other machines!

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Glaze on the Glass, Wax on the Paint.

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Paint was Perfect enough for us.

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Those headlights were a real mess upon post-wash inspection. Lots of water getting inside the lenses made me worry if what I was about to do was going to help. I didn't use any sandpaper here.

 

Products Used for Headlight Lens Restoration:

 

 

Befores:

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POW Turned AROUND!

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All that was left to do at this point was to touch up the glass, knock the dust off one more time, and snap some pics!

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