BMW M3 E92 4.0 V8 - Nathan Hewitt
Entered for the March 2016 competition.
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Name: Nathan Hewitt
Model: M3 E92 4.0 V8
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How Nathan Used Our Products
The winter slush, grime and salt is bad news for the M3. It sits low on the road and is excellent at gathering all sorts of debris so, in addition to the standard two bucket wash, I went for a synthetic protection layer, the Auto Finesse Tough Coat after a lengthy decontamination of the Silverstone Blue metallic paintwork.
A rare late February day offered dry, mild, overcast conditions which were ideal for such a treatment. The car was hosed down and left for 10 minutes, then, the two bucket method with grit guards, Gtechniq G-Wash and a Swissvax Waschpudel got the worst from the car. I would have used snow foam before this but my lance attachment had broken. To reduce the chance of swirl marks and deeper scratches, it is important to wash the 'top-half' of the car first, then, ideally changing your wash water, clean the 'bottom-half' with wash strokes that follow the same direction i.e. if you wash from side-to-side, keep to this. To dry the car, an UF Ultra-Soft Microfibre Drying Towel was perfect at taking the water off the car without imparting scratches. Usually, when drying a car with sealant already on it, I use a few sprays of Gtechniq C2 v3 Liquid Crystal as a lubricant for the drying. Because it is also a quartz coating, the C2 v3 adds a light layer of quartz protection while helping to reduce marring of the paint any dust and debris in the towel.
After the body of the M3 had been shampoo washed and dried, the 19inch M-Sport Wheels got some attention. I do not wash the wheels first because the shampoo and rinsing can soften and loosen some of the debris and brake dust on the wheels so it cleans off easier. I use a separate bucket and a Wheel Woolies 12" Caliper & Spoke Wheel Woolie to wash and prepare the wheels. To seal, I used Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour which is reasonably expensive but it offers protection for longer plus the excellent video clip guide on ultimatefinish.co.uk made the application simple and effective.
With the weather still good, claying the M3 was next. The E92 M3 has large panels but the nature of the car means none of them are flat with the bonnet's powerdome (housing the S65 4.0 V8) being an example of this. To prep the car for the Auto Finesse Tough Coat I used Auto Finesse Detailing Clay with their clay lubricant known as Glide. The process removed a fair amount of contaminants and it was important to be liberal with the clay lube. Once the clay glides across the panel without any resistance, you can move on to the next section. I tackled the panels in quarters on the bonnet and halves everywhere else including the glass which is important to clay as it removes discrepancies nicely. Once I completed a section, I buffed off the Glide with a UF Microfibre fleece, as per the guidelines from Auto Finesse. It took nearly two hours to clay the car and half a bottle of Glide later, the M3 was read for the Tough Coat.
The Auto Finesse Tough Coat is applied in two stages, first, using an Auto Finesse Dual Applicator pad, Auto Finesse Tough Coat Prep Pre-Sealant Cleanser (a green/blue light abrasive polish) was applied (using the white side of the pad) to the freshly clayed paintwork to provide a perfect contact surface for the sealant. This should be done panel by panel and then immediately buffed so not allowing any time for the polish to cure. The M3 then had the Tough Coat applied (using the black side of the pad). It is a synthetic polymer sealant which is advertised to protect and last for a number of months but it is dependent though on correct application and you do need dry conditions. I sprayed on the Tough Coat, panel by panel, and using a clean applicator pad, using circular motions let the weight of the pad spread the Tough Coat across the paint. The guidelines on the product state you should allow the coat to cure before buffing with a microfibre towel but it did not state for how long. An email to Auto Finesse themselves yielded a response of "ideally at least 45 minutes". Using this information, I was able to apply two layers (as the more layers, the better with this), spraying, curing and buffing appropriately with an Autoglym Hi Tech Finishing microfibre cloth.
The M3 is now protected until late Spring and the water beading and sheeting has been impressive. Even, when it has frozen overnight, the beading has been 'preserved' on the boot panel. Debris on the car has reduced significantly as most is now rinsed away by rain because of the Tough Coat's hydrophobic qualities.
Please enjoy the photographs.