A German Icon Restored
We seem to be biased towards Porsche car detailing at Project Detail, while that may or may not be true, it is undeniable that the 911 has been an icon for the Zuffenhausen Company. In fact, it has been argued that the shape has very much become a 'brand' in itself that represents the precision behind Porsches success.
We spent over a week working on this Porsche 997 911 Carrera 4S. The new owner had commissioned us to restore the interior, wheels, engine and paintwork to the highest degree.
To illustrate just how much time we spent on this particular Porsche, we've decided to make this article a bit longer then than normal. Thank you and we absolutely appreciate your patience in reading and viewing about our work.
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As with most Porsches, they strike an emotional chord with their owners that seem to see them adore and wanting their cars looking their absolute best. This particular 911 Carrera had been washed incorrectly in its lifetime which unfortunately meant the paintwork was extremely dull and was covered in medium to heavy swirl marks and other paint defects.
Like all the Porsches we have worked on, they require an incredible amount of time in order to polish all the curves and make sure the hard German paint is corrected properly in order to show the real colour of the car.
Washing, Decontamination & Drying
In order to begin the process of detailing any major project, we need to be able to assess the vehicle thoroughly in order to decide how to appropriately approach the car. Our 21-stage wash is already drastically different from most car washes or even some detailers. It includes the use of a citrus pre-wash soak, Iron Ferrous Remover, snow foam, multiple grit guard buckets and the luxury of hot water.
After the wash the vehicle is then decontaminated; Iron Fallout, Tar, Tree sap and other contamination is removed from the surface. This contamination cannot be removed during the wash process.
Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne uses a mixture of Microfibre drying towels, Waffle weave towels and air blowers to dry the car after the wash. This way, no water is still present during inspection and especially during the paint correction phase.
Only once the vehicle is washed, decontaminated and dried properly we can begin assessment of the vehicle. This way none of the dirt, dust or contamination can affect the appearance of the paintwork. The inspection is done under a mixture of LED, fluorescent and halogen lights in order for us to see all the scratches, swirl marks and paint defects and make notes regarding the car as we progress.
Original Paintwork - Before Paint Correction
The photo's in the gallery illustrate the poor nature of the paint beforehand. Heavy Swirl marks were consistent and present all over the paintwork. The paintwork itself was dull and lacked clarity and depth.
In order the rectify these issues, we needed to proceed with intensive paint correction to remove all the defects and bring gloss back to the car.
Two Stage Paint Correction
Paint Correction is the technical term Project Detail uses to describe the machine buffing and polishing process. Paint Correction is a time consuming task which often means it can can day and sometimes weeks to achieve the perfect finish. To find out more about Paint Correction, click here.
This polishing process involves using a series of machines which slowly polishes the surface using abrasives which flatten the surface until the defects disappear overtime. From the photos, the depth and metallic flakes really begin to stand out.
Paint Correction begins with a more aggressive product called a compound, these contains abrasive materials which allow us to remove the swirl marks and scratches. This process can take hours depending on the severity of the defects and also the hardness of the paintwork. For example, most German cars using extremely hard paintwork versus the soft spongy paint from Japan.
Because Project Detail specialises in the correction of high end vehicles, we have access to a variety of tools which allows us to work in finer areas which would be out of reach normally. Our Rupes TA-50 is a team favourite, allowing us to polishing the smallest areas with ease.
After the first stage of compounding, the paint correction continues to move towards refining the paintwork with finer polishes with more delicate abrasives. These allow the paintwork to begin to take its glossy finish. The fine polishes also allow any haziness or dullness from the first stage to be removed.
After Paint Correction
After many hours of paint correction, the car begins to resemble the finished product. The paintwork becomes extremely glossy reflecting the surrounding objects in our workshop. Only by spending the appropriate time in can you avoid costly mistakes such as buffing marks or holograms. You can find out more about the perils of cheap and quick buffing
The Porsche is then washed a second time to remove compound dust and debris that naturally collects during the paint correction process. This also gives the chance to clean rubber seals, remove masking tape and prepare the car for the application of the glass coating.
The defects and the swirl marks are now permanently removed. They will only return in the form of new scratches but with the right protection coating and care the car can stay looking great for a long time.
Finished - After Glass Coating Paint Protection
The vehicle then undergoes one of the final procedures. CS2 Titanium is a top tier, 2 part glass coating which gives great physical resistance, superior water beading and an intense gloss to the car's it's applied to. The curing time varies depending on the weather but normally we allow 7-8 over night to let the product become ready.
The final elements of the detail are finished at this stage including, any wheel detailing or coating, exhaust polishing etc. This Porsche also had it's interior detailed and also the wheels removed and coated giving it the long term protection it needs.
We hope that this longer article shows some of the work that goes into preparing the detailing these beautiful vehicles. Project Detail strives to deliver the best results for their owners.
This Porsche 997 911 Carrera 4S looked remarkable when it was finished. The owner was stunned at the level of gloss that we could achieve and the paintwork looked completely different to when we began.
We have the pleasure of regularly maintaining this vehicle for the owner. This means that we can check on the coating's condition as well as dealing with any swirl marks or scratches that may develop in between visits.
Total time 70 hours -
60 hours Paint Correction
6 Hours for Interior detail and leather treatment, soft top care and wheel polishing
4 Hours Applying Coating