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Old 04-10-2017, 12:56 AM   #1
Cobrakai
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Location: South OC
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2005 STy
White

Default 04 Java Black Pearl STi - High correction + Coating

Preface

Three years ago I stepped away from detailing due to "champagne dreams with beer budget" car owners that would come out of the wood works after I did their friends cars, and a full time regiment of upper division math and science classes took up too much time. Still saved all of my machines and products thankfully.

Fast forward to now - catching up on the cars that I had to turn away while in school, and a member randomly stumbled upon a post I made about headlight restoration eons ago and contacted me for a similar service. After he saw some of my paint correction work on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/southocautospa/), he mentioned a possible correction + coating job on his new to him 2004 Java Black Pearl STi.

I've always wanted to work on this color and finally got the chance, so I was beyond ecstatic.

Sadly I can't use a DLSR to save my life, so most of the before and during photos didn't turn out, plus if you see one swirled panel you can imagine what the rest of the car is like.

The paint readings were anywhere from 72 microns all the way up to 200 on the resprayed areas, after several test spots I was happy with the results using Sonax Perfect Finish on a light polishing pad. I prefer to be as minimally invasive as possible.

I found it very difficult to properly capture the defects, something about the temperature of my LED worklights and the gold flakes just didn't mix.

Tools/products used:

Karcher Pressure washer with no name foam cannon
Adam's Car Wash Shampoo
Metro Masterblaster air dryer
Claymagic clay bar (didn't need this in most areas, paint was actually quite clean)
Rupes15 Mark II with 5.5" pads
Griots Garage Polisher with 2" pads
PC with 3" pads
Sonax Perfect Finish
Menzerna FG400 for spot compounding on the heavily scratched areas
Aerospace 303 for trim and plastics
Optimum Opti-Lens for headlights and tail lights
GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Light

Process:

-5 minute foam bath using Meguiars Hyperwash to loosen up the heavy layer of dirt and dust on the car.
-Rinsed and foamed again for added lubricity during hand washing
-Two bucket wash method using Adam's Car Shampoo and a Merino Wool Mitt
-Air dried with Metro MasterBlaster
-Masked off all of the plastic and rubber that may come in contact with the edge of a pad
-Measured clearcoat to reveal several resprays
-Cut at speed 4.5 and finished down at speed 5 with the Rupes
-Panel wipe down with Gyeon Q2M Prep
-Application of GTECHNIQ CSL
-Headlights and tail lights were corrected, polished to a high gloss, and then sealed with Optimum Opti-Seal
-Plastic and trim was cleaned with APC and a soft boars haired brush then sealed with 303 Aerospace.



A large portion of that time was battling the poorly resprayed areas, each panel reacted differently and did not want to cooperate with a set regiment.

Onto the photos:

Decontamination:



Initial test spot:



Driver front fender 50/50:


Passenger front door before:


After:


Sideskirt Before:


After:




Any questions or comments, let them fly.


Anthony
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Last edited by Cobrakai; 07-01-2017 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:57 AM   #2
Cobrakai
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Member#: 176408
Join Date: Apr 2008
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South OC
Vehicle:
2005 STy
White

Default

Headlight Restoration: Sanded with 1000,1500,2000 and compounded with FG400 on a yellow cutting pad, then finished with Sonax Perfect Finish on a Lake County Green Pad. Sealed with Optimum Opti-Lens


Fuel door before:


After:

Driver Fender 50/50 without lighting, night and day.


Hood scoop defect:



Bare paint after correction, crazy how much the flakes show even under fluorescent lightning.



Driver Rear Door Handle: Note- the cups will be corrected tomorrow prior to coating


Last edited by Cobrakai; 04-17-2017 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:01 AM   #3
Cobrakai
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2/3 of the car is now coated, temps and humidity to die down a bit before I continue, not happy with the bumper either so I'll be going over it again with an ultra fine polish and a finishing pad.

Photos:











Will add more as I make more progress.

Last edited by Cobrakai; 04-17-2017 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:15 AM   #4
carcrazy85
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Great job. You sure know what you are doing. I always wanted to get into detail work as a side job. Could you message me the rate that job went for?
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carcrazy85 View Post
Great job. You sure know what you are doing. I always wanted to get into detail work as a side job. Could you message me the rate that job went for?
Thanks, sure I'll have something written up and fired off before this afternoon.


Anthony
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:24 AM   #6
Cobrakai
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White

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Done correcting, 23 hours total. The car is now fully coated and I'm in the middle of rejuvenating the plastic and rubber trim.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:31 AM   #7
apexandy
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Looks amazing. The black pearls are definitely not easy to maintain.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexandy View Post
Looks amazing. The black pearls are definitely not easy to maintain.
Thank you!

I agree, Subaru's paint isn't known to be the best.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:03 PM   #9
Cobrakai
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Finished up with the car this afternoon, total time is over 30 hours.

Plastic and rubber trim was beyond dry and certainly showed its age, applied several coats of 303 Aerospace and Adam's Super VRT and it looks dramatically better.

Here's the last batch of photos I shot today with my STy looking filthy in the driveway, OCD is triggered.

Note: These are RAW photos, I slightly alter the exposure and lighting in Lightroom because I'm DLSR illiterate. There are no gimmicks here, no snake oil or smoke and mirrors. I can't stand seeing heavily doctored photos on detailing feeds!









Polished to a mirror finish



"I want the gold, give me the gold!"


Last edited by Cobrakai; 04-17-2017 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:25 PM   #10
ANR62NV
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Heavy breathing
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:04 PM   #11
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANR62NV View Post
Heavy breathing
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:42 PM   #12
Illipino_
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Such a great outcome!
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:04 AM   #13
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illipino_ View Post
Such a great outcome!
Thank you, I was very pleased with the final result.

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Old 04-17-2017, 03:07 AM   #14
pooster.online
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my god, looks like it just rolled off the production line.. the owner must be ecstatic!
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:19 AM   #15
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooster.online View Post
my god, looks like it just rolled off the production line.. the owner must be ecstatic!
That was my goal, as much correction + gloss enhancement prior to applying the coating (and staying well within the budget haha).

Truly love working on cars, excited to take paint correction full-time.

And thank you for the kind words!
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:08 PM   #16
Java Black Pearl
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I approve.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:37 PM   #17
Rainmaker86
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So with 30 hours in the job did you have to cover the car or was it alright just sitting in the garage? Or did you have to wash it before you started every day?
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:44 PM   #18
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Black Pearl View Post
I approve.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainmaker86 View Post
So with 30 hours in the job did you have to cover the car or was it alright just sitting in the garage? Or did you have to wash it before you started every day?

The car sat in my garage but was backed out periodically, to deal with dust I would hit it with my air dryer. I'd also sweep up the garage while the car was out to ensure as clean of a work environment as possible.

Depending on how much dust is created from compounding/polishing I'll foam the car and pressure wash it prior to the coating application.

Also - car covers tend to leave deep scratches so I avoid them like the plague.

Because the STi wing is known to hold water in the crevice for damn near forever and the resprayed paint was so soft I opted not to rinse this one off.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #19
Rainmaker86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobrakai View Post






The car sat in my garage but was backed out periodically, to deal with dust I would hit it with my air dryer. I'd also sweep up the garage while the car was out to ensure as clean of a work environment as possible.

Depending on how much dust is created from compounding/polishing I'll foam the car and pressure wash it prior to the coating application.

Also - car covers tend to leave deep scratches so I avoid them like the plague.

Because the STi wing is known to hold water in the crevice for damn near forever and the resprayed paint was so soft I opted not to rinse this one off.


Thanks! I'm looking to start detailing (my own cars first) with machines I know that washing, claying and waxing can take a while. I can imagine having to put a few hours in each day to get correction just right (since it won't be my full time gig).

The car looks great keep up the awesome work!
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:12 PM   #20
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainmaker86 View Post
Thanks! I'm looking to start detailing (my own cars first) with machines I know that washing, claying and waxing can take a while. I can imagine having to put a few hours in each day to get correction just right (since it won't be my full time gig).

The car looks great keep up the awesome work!
Thanks man.

Correction can be time consuming, but that's what separates "detailing" from paint correction, if you catch my drift. Sometimes you have to go over the same panel multiple times to ensure it looks perfect.

Fortunately the Rupes polishers are workhorses and cut down my correction time by about 30%.

Start small with a basic machine like a Porter Cable or Griots 6", then grow from there. You don't want to invest too much time and money into something that might not be for you.

Those little machines get the job done, they're affordable, and they refuse to die. I still use my original Porter Cable that's 8+ years old for 3" pads.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #21
panerai28
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"champagne dreams with beer budget"...can't stand people like that.

love the outcome!
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:55 PM   #22
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panerai28 View Post
"champagne dreams with beer budget"...can't stand people like that.

love the outcome!
Thank you!

Yep, me neither. But in their defense most people don't know how much time and effort goes into this line of work.

Either way I can't comprehend their logic - so you're going to spend multiple days on my car and use expensive products, but I can't pay you minimum wage for your time?

Very disheartening.

Call me an ******* but I've been doing this long enough to know when my time is appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:03 PM   #23
mcganz121
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I found that plastic parts such as the wing/scoop oxidized pretty fast. Hitting them with the DA would bring them back for a bit, but then would revert. Same with headlights.

Do you see the same thing?
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:24 AM   #24
Cobrakai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcganz121 View Post
I found that plastic parts such as the wing/scoop oxidized pretty fast. Hitting them with the DA would bring them back for a bit, but then would revert. Same with headlights.

Do you see the same thing?
Yes absolutely.

Plastic pieces will oxidize faster than metal due to their inability to conduct heat as well as a metallic structure.

Regarding headlights: there are a few ways prevent them from hazing up again.

Paint - not so much. Once the UV protection is gone it will continue to haze.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:46 PM   #25
kcwerks
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Just corrected my 15 wrx as well, nice work.
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