View Full Version : Major Scrape Fix off Black Vette!

Jun 9th, 2006, 07:57 AM
Today's detail is a 2005 Black Corvette with around 15,000 miles on it. Overall it was in pretty good shape. There were some light scratches and swirls in the paint, and two major scuffs. One was on the right rear fender and passenger mirror where the owner had backed into a garage and hit a wooden post.
On the front right side, there was also a scrape from a driveway. The white area above the bumper lip is a reflection. The scraped area is on the front and underside of the bumper.
This scrape happened recently from trying to back into a garage. Can it be fixed or atleast minimized?

Sadly the Corvette lives on the street and has been egged twice. You can see the damage an egg does to the paint. All of those white areas were cuts in the paint.

My Swirl Finder light showed me the real condition of the finish. I did a test spot and determined that using M83 and a W8006 pad would get the job done right.

I arrived at 9:30AM and didn't begin polishing until 1:30pm. What happened during those 4 hours? Well here was the first challenge. I needed to wash the car. I had a 15' hose and my pressure washer. When I saw where the spigot was (next to washing machine), I realized my hose wasn't going to reach.

I decided QEW (ProtectAll's Quick Easy Wash) was going to be the method. Seeing that the car was covered in a lot of dust, I measured out 4L of water and 2 cap fulls of QEW. I used a Microfiber sponge as the applicator, and a second bucket of clean water with a gritguard to rinse the applicator of contaminants. I dried with a Meguiar's Ultrasuede Microfiber drying towel. I worked on a body panel at a time.
I washed off the painted body panels. Then I washed the wheels. I used a soft body brush with flagged ends to get into the deep socket wells of the wheels. I used different bristle brushes and my bug sprayer to get the inside of the wheels clean--just brush the brake dust and immediately rinse with bug spray washer. For the soap, I used Meguiar's Gold Class car wash soap.

Jun 9th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Exhaust tips before polishing with NXT Metal Polysh






I also washed off the engine using a nylon brush, APC, and a small pump up bug sprayer. I covered up the alternator with a towel and was careful where I sprayed water. Now the engine was already pretty clean. It was covered in dust and road debris, but the result of cleaning and dressing is dramatic!

Jun 9th, 2006, 07:58 AM



Pretty subtle improvement but the customer certainly noticed!


Then I proceeded to clay the entire car, and all the glass (front windshield, rear windshield, and top. Once that was glassy smooth, I began working the defects. I had to run the clay over for quite awhile to pick up all the embedded contaminants.


Using Meguiar's Quik Clay system the improvement was dramatic! Notice the edge of the wheel well. All of the brown coloring was removed with only clay. Even the scratches seemed to be minimized.



Jun 9th, 2006, 07:59 AM
Clay removed all hints of transferred color, and the remaining defects were easy to buff out.

Not a lot of color was transferred to the clay so it took many many passes to remove it all.





But some areas of the paint like the trunk lid were really filthy!

I know the Vette looks pretty good already, and all I've done is wash and clay for 4 hours.



Jun 9th, 2006, 07:59 AM
Ok time for some REAL fun. I made newspaper wheel covers and taped off the car using blue painters tape. I only taped the areas that couldn't be accessed by lifting the panel.




I did a test spot using a W7006 pad, M84, and my Makita buffer to see how effective it would be on those scratches on the rear panel. After several tests, I decided I would wetsand using 2500 grit Unigrit. I did this very carefully, then used the W7006 pad, M84, and RB to remove the sanding marks. I followed that with M83 and a W8006 pad then with the PC with M80 and also a W8006 pad.

What remained were 3 deep grooves but all the finer scratches were completely removed. From most angles you couldn't see the defects any longer and actually what stood out more were two little dots of where the paint actually came off from the initial impact.

Jun 9th, 2006, 08:00 AM
Sanding Marks
Sanding Marks
All buffed out and looking pretty sharp!
Where did that scrape go?
Remember it used to look like this!


Here's the engine compartment all detailed and ready for presentation!


Jun 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM
Tires were dressed with Meguiars Endurance High Gloss Gel



All done! It's 8:30pm (11 hours later). I used two coats of M21 to seal the finish. Sadly I didn't get good pix of the front bumper but I buffed the majority of the scratches out and all that remained was a dime sized patch of missing paint.

Here is a summary of my steps. All are Meguiar's products.

M83 with RB with W8006 pad
M82 with RB with W9006 pad
M80 with PC with W8006 pad
M21 with PC with W9006 pad (2 coats)
Removed with PC and W7006 pad and MF bonnet
Defect Removal used 2500 Unigrit
Sanding Mark Removal using M84 with W7006 pad and RB
M83 with RB W8006 pad
M80 with PC W8006 pad

The interior was vacuumed and wiped down with Quik Interior Detailer Wipes. The dog hair extractor brush was used to remove stray dog hairs from the carpets.

The next day the owner of the Corvette called me to tell me how fanastic the finish looked and how pleased she was with my work. I told her that she was going to get noticed, and that's what happened! People commented how they could use her car as a mirror now, and loved how smooth the finish was. Already, I got booked for my next job as a referral from her, though the next one won't be as exciting as this black Corvette, I was just really glad she was so pleased with the finish and wanted to tell the world! [:D]

Jun 9th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Great job on the car - it's good to see a detailer going the extra mile and wet-sanding to remove damage!

Great write-up as well.:bounce

Jun 9th, 2006, 08:19 AM
Awesome Job OctaneGuy !!....now wouldn't it be nice if that red shirt you were wearing had a big MEQUIARS ONLINE.COM logo on it ?!?! :xyxthumbs


Seriously, fantastic job...11 hours...not many people understand why it takes so long...that's the part I struggle with all the time..."you need my car for 4 hours ?"...I'm like, "and I'll be humpin to get it done in 4!!!"

Great Job !!:xyxthumbs :xyxthumbs :xyxthumbs

Jun 9th, 2006, 08:28 AM
Thanks! haha I'd buy 5 of them, for one for each day, and 2 black ones for the weekend. LOL

Yeah most of my recent details have been on black cars and I'll spend between 11 and 14 hours per car. Most other colors I can be done in 8 to 10 hours depending on size of course.

When I get customers who've seen my work, there is no need to convince them, but like this customer, she came from a referral and wasn't familiar with my work, so it took some convincing that I was worth it. It wasn't until after the job was done she agreed. LOL.


Originally posted by TKDDAD
Awesome Job OctaneGuy !!....now wouldn't it be nice if that red shirt you were wearing had a big MEQUIARS ONLINE.COM logo on it ?!?! :xyxthumbs

Seriously, fantastic job...11 hours...not many people understand why it takes so long...that's the part I struggle with all the time..."you need my car for 4 hours ?"...I'm like, "and I'll be humpin to get it done in 4!!!"

Great Job !!:xyxthumbs :xyxthumbs :xyxthumbs

Mike Phillips
Jun 9th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Very nice work Richard and a very professional approach. Also a very nice write-up with excellent pictures that share your process with others including pointing out you did Test Spots each step of the way.

:bow :bow :bow

Jun 9th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Mike Phillips
Very nice work Richard and a very professional approach. Also a very nice write-up with excellent pictures that share your process with others including pointing out you did Test Spots each step of the way.

:bow :bow :bow

You taught him well :xyxthumbs

Jun 9th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Well said!! :D

I'd have to say I'm one of the luckiest individuals on this earth to have had the good fortune of learning under Mike Phillips.

Originally posted by RDVT4ME
You taught him well :xyxthumbs

Jun 9th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Great writeup, Octaneguy! (as usual)

I think most people would've thought those defects would only go away after repainting the entire car. Great to know what a lot of knowledge, experience, and passion can accomplish.

Everytime I read one of your writeups it makes me want to go work on my car right away :)

Mark McGuire
Jun 9th, 2006, 11:24 AM
Very nice work, great attention to details that most people don't think about. Great write up and pictures.

As for learning from the Master, we talked about that at the Dragon.

Keep up the good work and you will get plenty more.

Jun 9th, 2006, 11:46 AM
simply amazing! you can't see any damage from the pics!

Jun 9th, 2006, 12:38 PM
How could someone let a peice of American History be treated like that.:wall: :( Awesome job nontheless on the vette tho. :bounce

Jun 9th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Very impressive! When I first saw the scratches, I was thinking repaint. Now it looks better than new!

11 to 14 hours is not bad at all. It would have taken me 2 weeks minimum to do all of that, not including the wet sanding a rotary work which is beyond my skill level.

Great writeup too! And thanks for the suggestion of using a body brush to use on the spoke wheels. I never even thought of that. I should have purchased more Body Brushes at Big Lots!


Jun 10th, 2006, 04:36 AM

Thanks for the write up and pics., what would a job like this cost?

Jun 10th, 2006, 06:50 AM
My normal rate is $350 to $400 per car unless it's a MINI where I give a significant discount to the community, though I have been known to work for less even on non MINIs. This was one of those cases, in part because it was a referral and the customer didn't know my work and couldn't justify spending "that" much money on her car. The upshot of it is that I got another job lined up as a referral from this customer with potentially more fun stuff coming down the line.

So IMO, getting the full rate from a one time customer or getting a partial rate but getting additional work is also acceptable though maybe not preferred.

In every single case, after the car is done, the customer is floored, tells me it was well worth the rate, and receives comments from people (strangers included) about how outstanding it looks.

That's the kind of feeling I wish I could impart ahead of time so asking them to pay my rate won't leave them feeling insecure.

I suppose it's one of my weak traits. This is my fulltime job and I need to eat, support my family, and cover the bills, but I'm unable to lower my quality standards if I get paid less.

And spending an entire day (8 to 14 hours) on single car without getting my rate isn't the best way to make money, although it's definitely rewarding, but not something my wife easily understands.

Sorry for the long winded answer.


Originally posted by SD DIESEL

Thanks for the write up and pics., what would a job like this cost?

Jun 20th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Car looks great. Amazing job on removing the scratches and scrapes.:xyxthumbs