"Meguiar’s Polish Session" Pays Tribute to Alpine’s Ultimate Listening Machine
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  1. #1
    Registered Member Kevin Brown's Avatar
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    "Meguiar’s Polish Session" Pays Tribute to Alpine’s Ultimate Listening Machine

    One AMAZING Ride


    The week after Christmas, a couple of friends and I had the opportunity to lend a hand to Steve Brown and Mike Vu, the creative team in R&D over at Alpine Electronics of America. In case you've never heard of them, Steve Brown and Mike Vu are the guys responsible for creating the one of a kind, show-stopping, absolutely amazing musical car creations that Alpine Electronics uses to debut their latest and greatest wares.

    Every year, people flock to Las Vegas, NV to attend The Consumer Electronics Show. This is the event of the year if you are interested in the newest in electronics (audio, video, computer, etc.).



    Since Steve and Mike were nice enough to bring the Alpine Electronics Cooper S to our Meguiar's booth at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals, we offered to help out with the wetsanding and polishing duties on their next creation. They said, "Okay!"

    We thought that was cool.

    With $20,000 of airbrush paintwork (and well over $300,000 worth of parts and labor invested in the X5), we were excited to be included in this project.

    I will post more info and pics over the next couple of days.
    Last edited by Kevin Brown; Jan 27th, 2005 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered Member Kevin Brown's Avatar
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    Alpine Electronics BMW X5 Wetsand & Polish Session!

    The story begins August 2004. If you are a car stereo enthusiast (as am I), you'll know this car.



    As mentioned in my last post, we hosted this ride in our booth at the 2004 Goodguys West Coast Nationals. This is the car Steve Brown and Mike Vu created to house the newest gear from Alpine Electronics of America for the 2004 model year.



    This car stopped showgoers in their tracks!

    Combined with the huge offering of Meguiar's products,





    Hands- on demonstration,




    Plus a staff of FIFTEEN to answer questions or just shoot the breeze,



    Alpine's WILD single-seat sled helped put our booth OVER THE TOP!


    ...more to follow...
    Last edited by Kevin Brown; Jan 27th, 2005 at 06:01 PM.

  3. #3
    aka 2hotford Tim Lingor's Avatar
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    Hey,

    Great pics!! The paint/artwork on that X5 is incredible!!!

    Tim

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    Registered Member HotRodGuy's Avatar
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    I saw that mini down at the Coast Airbrush show, unreal
    Chopped 55 Suburban
    99 3.0 CL
    Family cars:
    1958 Eldo Biarrittz Vert
    48 Merc Woody - a true sleeper
    New project: 67 Sunbeam Tiger
    Newest project: 66 Mustang Vert

  5. #5
    Registered Member Kevin Brown's Avatar
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    Alpine Electronics BMW X5 Wetsand & Polish Session!

    A few calls to some of my crew members and we were set. My friends Jamie Verduzco and Billy Mann were down with the project, so we loaded Billy's truck with plenty of Meguiar's goods and took the three hour trip to Alpine Electronics.

    Steve and Mike had the X5 ready to go...
    All the trim and glass was off the vehicle, and the paint was only a week old. Jamie and I started in on the wetsanding immediately.

    We fired up the Mirka Bulldog and the Fast Finish System (which uses Meguiar's compounds and pads exclusively). You may remember this system if you read about the Inaugural NXT Tech Institute). Armed with 1200 grit Mirka Royal in a dry-sanding mode, we smoothed away nearly all the heavy orange-peel.

    Jamie decided that he liked the hand-sanding method better (Jamie is a professional painter by trade, so I wasn't going to argue with him), and switched over to Meguiar's Unigrit Finishing Paper in 1200 grade and a mixture of M62 Carwash Shampoo and Conditioner and water.

    I started on the driver's side...


    ... while Jamie handled the passenger side...


    ... And Billy chewed the ears off Steve and Mike with his non-stop barrage of questions.


    Billy helped out where needed, and eventually helped Steve install the MONSTER brakes on the X5.



    more to follow...
    Kevin Brown
    NXTti Instructor, Meguiar's/Ford SEMA Team, Meguiar's Distributor/Retailer

  6. #6
    Registered Member Kevin Brown's Avatar
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    Alpine Electronics BMW X5 Wetsand & Polish

    Once we had the paint leveled, we switched our grade of sanding to 2000 grade.



    I continued sanding with the Mirka Bulldog, but I switched to 2000 grit Mirka Abralon 6" Foam Grip Discs. Abralon is an incredibly flexible sanding disc made of fabric and foam. The sanding particulate is attached to the fabric on one side, and the backside is fuzzy (to allow attachment to a velcro backing plate). Abralon also features an extremely uniform grit particulate size, and therefore cuts without leaving gouges and deep scratches.

    Jamie's weapon of choice? Meguiar's Unigrit Finishing Paper, of course! Jamie was able to knock out his final sanding in nearly identical time as me, (he was actually a little quicker). He finished with 2000 grade.

    Regarding Unigrit - If you've got some wetsanding abilities but have not yet tried Meguiar's Unigrit Finishing Paper, you will be blown away... It is undoubtedly the best on the market. Extremely consistent particulate size, fast cutting, long lasting, and the list goes on.

    Steve and Mike supplied pizza. We ate and drank. Once refueled, Mike and Steve decided to crash our sanding party and tackeld the bumpers and lower body areas via hand sanding. Billy was busy sanding the roof (he's taller than the rest of us).

    It was time to buff scratches! Steve and Mike fired up their trusty mini rotary buffers (outfitted with 3" foam pads) to smooth their handiwork, while Jamie and I opted to use the big rotary machines (outfitted with W4000 Meguiar's Cut & Shine pads).

    Jamie worked on Johnny, Ray, Elvis, Madonna, and John...


    ...While I got to know Tupac, Sinatra, Hendrix, Jagger, and Cobain.


    Billy 'busting a move' on the quarter panel.

    Check out that plexiglas rear hatch!

    Mike works nonstop on the video screens..


    ...While Steve applies a layer of undercoat.


    Jamie was responsible for sanding and polishing the hood. A difficult job, but not for 'The Master'.




    To remove wool pad swirl, we re-polished the X5 with M85 Diamond Cut 2.0. For this step, we used Meguiar's SoftBuff Polishing Pads (W8000 and W8006) at a much slower buffer speed (1100-1200 r.p.m.)
    The slow speed allows the pad to easily contour the painted surface, while minimizing pad cutting power.

    What an intense area to sand and polish!


    Where are my safety glasses?!?


    ...final to follow...
    Last edited by Kevin Brown; Jan 31st, 2005 at 01:43 AM.
    Kevin Brown
    NXTti Instructor, Meguiar's/Ford SEMA Team, Meguiar's Distributor/Retailer

  7. #7
    aka 2hotford Tim Lingor's Avatar
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    Hey Kevin,

    Great write-up and pictures!!!

    Although it is a LOT of work to wet sand and buff out a finish, there is nothing like bringing a finish to its maximun potential!!


    Tim

  8. #8
    Registered Member Teak's Avatar
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    Great write-up and good work. Alpine has some the most creative demo vehicles.

    Eric
    Talk it over folks. Communication is the key.

    --Jerry Springer

  9. #9
    Registered Member GSRstilez's Avatar
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    Absolutely amazing!
    Sean Busch

  10. #10
    Registered Member Kevin Brown's Avatar
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    Alpine Electronics BMW X5 Wetsand & Polish - RESULTS!

    The pictures taken after rotary polishing disappeared... Sorry.
    We ended our polishing session by giving the paint an application of M09 Swirl Remover 2.0. To apply, we used the Meguiar's G100 Random Orbital Polisher and a W9006 SoftBuff Finishing Pad. Approximate speed setting was 3.5-4.0.

    Upon completion, we thanked the Alpine Electronics guys for the opportunity, and they thanked us for the help.

    Off to Vegas they went! The X5 made it's debut at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show...

    ...And blew everyone AWAY.

    The door opens, and the seat comes out with it...

    Driver's side door for the front seat, and passenger side door for the rear seat.
    Both seats are centered in the middle of the interior, one behind the other.


    install shot...


    'Best Show Vehicle' for 2005 Consumer Electronics Show...


    Mike Vu, Kevin Brown, and Steve Brown with the trophy...


    The End!


    I have more photos (and some I wish I would have taken), but to see more soon about the Alpine Electronics BMW X5, go to http://www.alpine-usa.com/


    Kevin Brown
    NXTti Instructor, Meguiar's/Ford SEMA Team, Meguiar's Distributor/Retailer

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