The Mk2 Focus RS relit the fire for the Ford RS brand. The front wheel drive configuration with an upgraded Duratec ST engine is capable of achieving 0-62 mph in 5.9 seconds, but what’s really impressive is how it covers a kilometre in 25.4 seconds – from a standstill. Small wonder then, Ford UK claims the Mk2 Focus RS is “as close as you’ll come to driving a full-spec rally car”.
As a well-loved, often driven, 2009 registered car, this particular RS arrived at UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio for Paint Correction to restore the clarity to the Performance Blue paintwork. Wash swirls, a few dents, several random deep scratches (RDS) had all conspired to make the paint look dull, lacklustre and tired. Still passionate about his vehicle the owner was keen to restore the appearance. Covered in dirt and road debris, the first step before a full assessment or correction process could be undertaken was through decontamination and cleaning. Firstly, the number plates were removed to facilitate thorough cleaning.
The car was jacked up slightly to allow better access to the wheels and wheel arches.
Valet Pro Dragon’s Breath was used to remove traces of ferrous contamination, caused by brake pads shredding under load. Dragon’s Breath changes colour on contact with iron particles and when the colour has fully developed, the solution can be safely rinsed away taking the contamination with it.
The next step was to de-grease the car, paying special attention to the catches on the boot, bonnet and door shuts as well as the engine bay and under the bonnet. Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner was used with a detail brush to get into the tight corners, ensuring all the ingrained grime was removed.
Dirt attracts dirt, particularly if its oil based. So it’s important to remove all traces to minimise future recontamination. Using a detail brush makes sure you can get into the hard to reach parts of the catches and right into the corners of the shuts to make sure all the dirt is removed. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The car was then pre-cleaned using Ultimate Snow Foam. The foam gently lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the paintwork and the solution can then be rinsed with a pressure washer. This helps protect the paintwork from wash swirls usually incurred when wash mitts are passed over the surface of the paintwork, dragging dirt with it.
The RS was then washed using the Two Bucket Method, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Gtechniq G-Wash car shampoo. This pure shampoo contains no glossing agents to ensure a thoroughly clean surface. A separate UF Wheel Bucket with Scratch Shield was used to clean the wheels, with Wheel Woolies to reach between the closely spaced spokes of the alloy wheels.
After rinsing the suds away, the RS was then rinsed using an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter. This attaches to the hose and provides a pure water rinse by neutralising the impurities in tap water that cause water spot deposits. Afterwards, the RS was patted dry using UF Ultra-Soft Microfibre Drying Towels and brought into the studio for full inspection under high-intensity lighting.
The bright LEDs showed up the extent of the swirls and the scratches. We could also see the exact condition of the dents in the bodywork and we arranged for these to be addressed using paintless dent removal before the paintwork correction process was started. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
When the dents had been removed, paint correction could begin.
I discovered the paint was quite different on the passenger’s side compared to the driver’s side. On the passenger side it was quite soft, quite grabby, the sort of paint I would expect to find on a Ford. But on the driver’s side it was really quite hard and, as a result, I found I needed to swap machine polishing pads to achieve the same result. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
For the correction work, a FLEX PE14-2 Rotary Machine Polisher was used with Menzerna Heavy Cut Compound 400. On the driver’s side where the paint was harder, a Flexipads PRO-Detail Hex-Logic Orange Pad Cutting Pad provided an efficient cutting action to remove the scratches and swirls from the surface. Where the paint was softer, the Orange Cutting Pad was switched for a 3m PERFECT-IT III Yellow Polishing Pad.
Once corrected, the paintwork was refined using a 3M PERFECT-IT III Black Finishing Pad and Koch-Chemie M2.01 Hochglanz-Anti-Hologramm. The diminishing abrasives contained within M2.01 fine out to remove the micro scratches, leaving the paintwork with a high gloss finish.
When choosing the protective element of the work, the customer had stipulated a durable coating as he would continue to use the car on a daily basis. Therefore, the coating needed to be hydrophobic, to inhibit the adhesion of dirt to the surface, making the car easier to clean during the weekly wash. Of course, the customer also wanted the Performance Blue to ‘perform’, so Gtechniq Crystal Serum Black (CS Black) was suggested as the protective solution.
Crystal Serum is a nano-ceramic sealant that cures as a dual layer system. The lower layer cures to a hardness of around 7H (on the pencil scale of hardness), the upper layer cures to around 9H. Together, these layers provide a flexible, swirl resistant coating, impervious to extremes of pH. In order to ensure maximum durability, Crystal Serum must be applied in tightly controlled conditions and as such is available for application only through Gtechniq-approved detailing studios. However, Gtechniq is so confident in the performance of Crystal Serum they provide a seven-year guarantee. The ‘Black’ part of the service indicates an additional top layer of EXO V2 Ultra Durable Hybrid Coating to provide additional gloss and maximum hydrophobic performance.
Prior to application of Crystal Serum, the paintwork was cleansed using Gtechniq Panel Wipe. This ensures the sealant is able to form a strong chemical bond with the underlying substrate. Once applied, the coating was allowed to cure for a couple of hours before the additional layer of EXO was applied.
The glass was treated with Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass, forming a hydrophobic layer that causes rainwater to roll into beads on contact, allowing them to blow away easily. This makes driving less tiring during bad weather conditions.
The wheels were cleaned with Panel Wipe before being coated with Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour. Resistant to temperatures in excess of 300 degrees Celsius, C5 inhibits the build-up of brake dust and road grime, making wheels easier to maintain. This coating also negates the requirement for strong wheel cleaners, prolonged use of which could damage the wheel lacquer. The tyres were then treated with a layer of Gtechniq T2 Tyre Dressing to give a long-lasting, natural satin black sheen.
The final result was stunning, with the Performance Blue paintwork sparkling brilliantly. The durable nature of the nano-ceramic sealant will ensure the paintwork will stay that way for many miles to come!
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements and arrange a free vehicle appraisal.