Tagged: BMW X3 & Honda S2000
June 13, 2017 at 1:54 am #11512
My name is Daniel. On the OG facebook page, you’ll see me as Doohwan Kim. I’m 31 years old and work as a pharmaceutical consultant in New Jersey. I’m not the most prolific writer, but I’ve always loved writing where I still have an on-going diary that I’ve kept since high school. I would sometimes read through past entries, reflect back on the old days, and get a good chuckle out of them. But more so, I often regret many of the things I’ve done. At times, it stings to know that the past is already written and the ink is dry. But there’s nothing I can do to change it. Unfortunately, I’m one of those guys that have a hard time moving on from something I wish I didn’t do. Maybe one day, I’ll get deeper in that. Sharing it now may be too much for a simple meet & greet entry.
I can’t say that I’ve been a car fanatic all my life. My first car was a ‘04 Acura RSX (5 spd MT) that my parents bought me as a high school graduation gift. What I really wanted was an Integra Type-R, but my parents couldn’t justify dropping $25k on a pre-owned. Nonetheless, I was thankful to even get one when most of my friends had to wait until college to get their firsts. I drove this car problem free for 11 years (120k miles). Aside from routine maintenance, I didn’t have to do a thing. It was bulletproof and was the perfect entry level car for me.
This is the only picture I have of my RSX. Remember how I said I’m not a car guy? lol Picture was taken after a lady reared me…
In 2014, I said goodbye to my RSX and looked for a new ride. I had a lucrative budget, but I didn’t want my reach to exceed my grasp. I’m a big believe of linear progression. If my first car was a BMW 6, there’s no way I’d appreciate its value. So while I wanted a nice upgrade, I didn’t want to circumvent my rule of thumb and do an exponential leap. Long story short, I landed on ‘14 BMW 328i (6 spd MT). This was an eye-opening moment for me. The moment I shifted to first and throttled, I knew this was it. It had a great low-end torque, good enough horsepower, and decent MPG (22/33). It came packed with all the necessary ingredients to be a perfect daily driver. I would lease it again if I were to go back in time.
And… my only picture of the F30, hidden behind my S2000. I’ve never regretted not taking many pictures of my cars… until now.
Today, I have a ’17 BMW X3 35i and a ’02 Honda S2000 as my rides. The S2K has been my dream car ever since its inception and after a long tiresome search, I finally got my hands on one last October. I will discuss both cars in depth in future posts. I don’t want to turn my first entry into a book, so I will leave at this for now. I hope you will enjoy reading my entries as much as I have fun writing them!
June 15, 2017 at 6:45 pm #11520
Unfortunately, I’m the only member of my family that goes extreme lengths to take care of cars (now anyway). Several weeks ago, I visited my parents and found two bird etchings that have been sitting on my dad’s Camry. Supposedly, they’ve been sitting for months. I gave the car a quick wash and clayed the two spots, but it wasn’t enough to get rid of the remnants.
After wash and clay. Needs more work.
Products used: Adam’s Clay Bar & Glide (1:10 dilution)
So it was time to wet sand and bring out the DA. I used a 1500 grit sandpaper from 3M and wet sanded the two areas.
Products used: 3M Sandpaper (1,500 grit) & Water as lubricant
Sanding did get rid of the etchings, but left some brutal scratches. My mother was on the verge of tears when she saw the aftermath of sanding, but I assured her it was going to be okay, haha. Not gonna lie though. When I saw her so concerned, it got me worrying as well. But there’s a solution to everything. If I really jack up the paint, we can always take it to a bodyshop and get it fixed. Years ago when I was still in school, one of my professors told me, “It’s impossible to make a mistake in biochem experiments. The mistake is not knowing how to fix it”. And I was ready to fix these scratches. It was time for my Rupes iBrid Nano to get to work.
I bought the long neck over the short neck. There’s an on-going debate about which version is better and the general consensus appears to be that neither one really has an advantage over the other. I tend to agree, but I paid the extra $30 for the long neck just in case. And I’m glad I did. While working on my S2000 recently, I came across a few spots that I’m not sure how the short neck would’ve done. Some say that the advantage of the short neck is superior control, which makes sense theoretically. But I had no issues controlling the long neck. If you don’t have issues controlling big DAs that weight 10x more, you won’t have trouble controlling the Nano 😉
I started with the blue coarse foam pad and the compound provided in the kit. I didn’t have a 2″ microfiber cutting pad then, so I resorted to whatever was available in the kit. Then I followed it up with the yellow fine foam pad + polish.
Not bad, yeah?
Products used: Rupes iBrid Nano, Rupes Blue Coarse Foam Pad, Rupes Zephir Gel Compound, Rupes Yellow Fine Foam Pad, Rupes Keramik Gloss
Needless to say, my mother was relieved lol. Afterwards, I finished the rest of the car with a much needed bath. Overall, it was a great experience as it was my first time getting rid of bird etching.
June 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm #11523
Twice a year, the s2ki’s NY Metro community goes on a bear mountain cruise. And its first run was held last Sunday. It is one of the most symbolic events in the northeast coast and we’ve had exactly 100 S2000s show up to this year’s event. The weather was perfect for a cruise and BM’s scenery never seems to disappoint. We take the exact same routes every year and I don’t think I will ever get bored of it. The admins have the routes down to perfection. I only miss church twice a year and this event is the sole reason behind it.
Three days before the meet, I started dialing in my S. It’s an ultimate garage queen, so there’s wasn’t much work to be done. I could’ve gotten by with just a quick wash & wax, but I had to live up to OG’s standards, haha.
This was before making any corrections. Minimal swirls as you can see, so I decided not to compound and go straight into polish. I didn’t decontaminate with Iron X nor did I clay the car. I personally don’t like adding extra steps unnecessarily. The car doesn’t get driven enough to be bathed in Iron X and the surface of the paint was smooth enough to bypass clay. My philosophy is, “unless it’s necessary, don’t do it”. So I simply washed the car, dried, and went straight into polish.
Unfortunately, I was against the clock, so I didn’t take many pictures. But after I was done with polishing the entire car, I gave it a quick wash with ONR and CarPro Eraser.
I have some thoughts I want to share about ONR, but I’ll save that for another day. After drying the car, I sealed it with Sonax PNS. The whole process took about 10 hours, over a span of 3 days. And my S was finally ready to see some sunlight after a long winter/pollen hiatus.
If there are any owners of S in the NE area, I would highly recommend you come to our second cruise in the fall. Although it’s a one day event, we’ve had people from Canada and Texas come and drive with us. Pictures are worth a thousands words, so here they are. Enjoy!
By the way, here are the products I used for the entire process:
Rupes LHR15 Mark II, Rupes iBrid Nano, M205, Rupes Yellow Foam Pad (6″ and 2″), ONR, CarPro Eraser, Sonax PNS, Adam’s Car Shampoo, Adam’s Glass Cleaner, Adam’s Tire & Rubber Cleaner, Adam’s VRT, Nextzett Colortec
The NJ guys met up before the actual cruise. We all then headed to the mountains together.
100 S2000s and 14 other cars
June 24, 2017 at 2:05 am #11546
Few days ago, I gave my F31 a wash. Shortly after watching the Optimum series from Matt’s channel, I picked up a bottle of ONR. I already have the Kranzle package, so I don’t see myself going full rinseless, but I figured it would come in handy whenever I want to dust off my S2000 without having to take it out of my garage. And it does that magnificently. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I always wanted an alternative to my current washing procedure where I don’t have to bring out my entire arsenal of equipment just to dust off my cars. This is it.
It’s great for ‘dusting’, but how would it do on a dirty car? Only one way to find out. I found that 2 gallon is more than enough to wash my Bimmer.
I must say that running the sponge through all that dirt made me cringe. It was death note to my ears. For a minute, I thought I made a huge mistake by trying to reinvent the wheel. But whatever, it’s a lease anyway. So I decided to finish the panel and see how paint held up.
Well, I was relieved lol. The paint was fine and I didn’t notice any scratches. However, ONR has its limits and didn’t fully rid of all the dirt and gunk in certain areas. Optimum claims the product can replace soap and explains the theory behind it, but I personally think it’s a proof of concept on a limited scale.
Left is before ONR and right is after. It did remove most of the grass/gunk, but not to my satisfaction. So now that I have a good understanding of its limits, I’ll use it when the situation calls for it. For someone like me, who only has a 1-car garage, the ONR comes in really handy when correcting paint. I’ll go deeper into that in my next post, which will be when I finish detailing my F31.
July 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm #11553
<h2>Dialing-In My F31 (Day 1)</h2>
Few days ago, I finished dialing in my BMW X3, my daily driver. And I’d like to share the process in its entirety over the next two posts. This entry will showcase what I did on day 1. I leased this car in December of last year, but had to wait for winter and pollen season to pass by before I could start this process. So there was I – working on my car in 98 degrees weather. But as we all know, it’s all worth it in the end.
For the past year, I’ve been using a garden hose with Adam’s nozzle to wash my cars. I debated for weeks whether I should invest in the Kranzle machine. I knew that, one day, I will have it as part of my arsenal. But I wasn’t sure if now was the right time. Remember, I am a big believer in linear progressions. Going from an Adam’s nozzle to Kranzle is a big leap. But after a week of internal struggles, I decided to go against my philosophy for once and ordered Matt’s package.
I won’t try to justify the steep price tag attached to Kranzle. But I will say that it gave a new meaning to car washing. It changed the whole experience and made what was already fun much more exciting. If I were to go back in time, I’d make the purchase again, for sure.
I did come across a pain point that needed to be addressed though. When I was using a nozzle, it was convenient that I could just unscrew the nozzle when refilling the rinse bucket (I always dump and refill the rinse bucket at least once). But with the Kranzle, I found it really inconvenient that I had to turn off the machine, disconnect the hose, refill the bucket, and restore everything back to order. To solve this, I got myself a splitter from HomeDepot, which is pictured in the left. I absolutely love this thing and it completely resolved the hassle I was super annoyed with. I highly recommend it.
<h3>Decontamination (Day 1)</h3>
I only have a one-car garage, which is occupied by my S2000. Correcting paint without a garage in a hot humid weather, I realized, can become very frustrating. For starter, I have a very small window to work with per day. In my location, I have from 7pm to 8:45pm to get things done. I would have a larger window if I bought an EZ tent, but I didn’t want to go that far just for the sake of earning one or two extra hours. I’m sure most of you fall under my bucket where you don’t have an optimum setup to do a full rundown of paint correction. So my hope is that this and next post will be informative for you.
Here’s my decontamination procedure:
- Foam then rinse (Adam’s Shampoo)
- Two-bucket method wash then rinse (MM Wash Pad)
- Iron-X then rinse (CarPro Iron-X)
- Clay, rinse, then dry (Nanoskin Autoscrub & Adam’s Detail Spray)
After someone on FB posted a picture of a workbench they use to wash their SUV, I picked one up from HomeDepot few days later. Best purchase ever. It’s durable, light, and just the right size. And most importantly, it’s cheap! It’s a must have for any SUV or truck owners.
Removing iron deposits (left) and scrubbing with Nanoskin Autoscrub (right)
About half an hour after I finished decontaminating, it started to rain. Weather forecast, why do you always fail me? So I couldn’t proceed with taping and compounding. My day 1 goal was to at least finish the hood, but mother nature said lolno. So my plan was cut short and I had settle with decontaminating for day 1. My next entry will be about compounding and polishing, so stay tuned!
Chance of rain = 5%. lolno.
July 11, 2017 at 3:57 am #11562
<h2>Dialing-In My F31 (Day 2 & 3)</h2>
All right, so to recap, I washed, decontaminated, and clayed the car on the first day. I wanted to at least correct the hood, but it started raining when I was half way through. So my plan was cut short.
<h3>Taping (Day 2)</h3>
The next day, I gave the car a quick wash with ONR to remove any dust that settled over night. Then I taped the car, which is my least favorite step. Before I corrected my first car, I never fully understood the importance of taping. Turns out, the compound residues, if smeared into trims, are a real PITA to remove. So after going through that hassle once, I now take my time to protect the trims. In the next post, I’ll share some tips on how to remove compound residues from plastic trims (Eraser doesn’t do justice from my experience).
About 1/3 of the way into taping… Wish there was an easier way.
<h3>Compounding & Polishing (Day 2 & 3)</h3>
The M105 and 205 have been my go-to agents for this step. But as effective as they are, I think I’m ready to move on to other brands. The insurmountable residue from these two always drive me insane. If you’ve ever used these before, I think you’ll agree. Detailing is cleansing for me. It’s a therapy. That’s why I never once charged a dime when I detailed my friends’ cars. So I try to minimize anything that would take me away from purely enjoying the process. Unfortunately, as much as I hate it, I can’t neglect masking. But switching to a different compound is something I can do. And I think I finally reached the point where I concluded that all these residues are causing more stress than good.
So after reading raving reviews about the new Jescar products, I recently purchased their correcting compound and micro finishing polish. I will give them a try when I correct my mother’s Acura MDX, which is also black in color.
After a quick dose of ONR and taping, I waited until sunset to compound & polish. DetailersDomain recommended that I try the Uro-Fiber’s microfiber pad for compounding. I think it did okay, but I’m still unconvinced that it’s equivalent or superior to Meg’s microfiber cutting pad. I still have 5-6 more of Uro pads left, so I’ll see how it does on my mother’s MDX when I get to correcting that. It’ll serve as a better benchmark since the MDX has tons of swirls.
My F31 had few deep scratches here and there that required some extra care. No idea where these scratches came from. Looked to me like someone ran their key through it.
The M105/205 combo did get rid of most of the scratch, but not completely. I think it was too deep. But unless you really zoned into the spot, you could barely notice it, which I’m okay with. Dealing with the residue afterwards is something I’m not. Grr.
In summary, I spent days 2 & 3 compounding and polishing. Here are the steps I used:
- Wash with ONR and dry (no drying aid)
- Mask trims, rubber, and badges with tape (3M masking tape)
- Compound (M105 with Uro-Fiber pad)
- Polish (M205 with Rupes yellow pad)
- Remove residue (CarPro Eraser)
<h3>Sealing paint (Day 3)</h3>
On the last day, after I was done polishing, I sealed the car with Jescar’s Powerlock. It’s my first time using this. Prior to it, I’ve been using Sonax PNS, which is a great product, but a little tedious and tricky to apply. Matt always raves about this thing, so I figured I’d try it out.
My initial impression was that it is very easy to apply. You really can’t mess this up (you can with Sonax). The ease of application won me over and I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be using this over the Sonax. My plan was to top this off with Collinite 845, but due to time constraints, I didn’t get a chance to. I’ll be applying it after my first wash, which will be in the next few days. Overall, I was pretty happy with Powerlock’s depth and finish.
Well, there you have it. The entire process took about 10 hours. I still have to do some TLC on trims, wheels, and tires, which I’ll do this weekend. Black paint is hard to maintain. But it’s the color that will put your effort into full display – even if it may only last a week, haha.
July 19, 2017 at 6:55 pm #11582
This will be a short post. I just wanted to share the Mystery Box I got from DetailersDomain.
It’s better than my last box, which was pretty underwhelming. I love Kenotek Showroom Shine as drying aid. It gives the glossiest look by far out of everything I’ve used. Nanolex is an uncharted territory for me. But I’ve heard nothing good about their products, so I’ll happily try these out.
Overall, it was $67 worth of products for $30. Feels good man.
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