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The Road to Austin: 997 GT2 New Car Prep

  #1  
Old 08-25-2008, 04:31 AM
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The Road to Austin: 997 GT2 New Car Prep

A friend called me a while back and mentioned a client that was interested in some products. Didn’t think much of it and figured I’d give the referral a call later in the day when things calmed down. A few hours go by and the referral ends up calling me. Very nice gentleman and he was interested in some products to care for his cars. One thing led to another and we began talking about the new 997 GT2 he was about to take delivery from Brumos Porsche in Florida. As I listened to his story he began telling me about how he would also like to utilize my services but the car wouldn’t be in California.

As most of you know, I’m swamped as it is, currently seven weeks booked out. But something was calling me. It has now come to the point where the client and the car choose me, so I decided to extend an offer to the proud new GT2 owner. I suggested we take delivery of his GT2 as-is and we’ll do a New Vehicle Detail at his home in Austin, Texas. Needless to say, the client was ecstatic. We also decided to have my clear film guy fly out and we’d do a full custom film application as well since this was a black GT2 and it would be tracked.

For the greater part of May we were planning the logistics and trying to pin down a solid date that the GT2 would be delivered from Germany. We finally got the window of delivery from Porsche, booked flight, hotel, and began planning out the time necessary to perform this service. Meanwhile, my film guy had been on vacation in Asia and the only way to communicate is via text messaging.

As we get close and were days away, we finalize the scope of work and begin planning an hourly schedule of what needs to be done. I’ve traveled before but usually in California, so this was the first out-of-state detail for me. The sheer planning and making sure all the products and tools that I would need to be able to work is quite daunting. Not only do I need to bring products for the detail, but what if there are complications such as swirls, scratches, chips, etc. Luckily, the client was interested in expanding and elevating his detailing skills so we ended up shipping lots of products such as a Flex, Menzerna polishes, CR Spotless, airmax dryer, Zymöl products, etc. Basically I had everything I needed there to tackle anything that came my way.

Well, last minute, I ended up having to make alternative plans to find a replacement for the film installation. It’s curve balls like this that you cannot expect but ultimately have to remedy because the client is counting on you and your expertise to get the job done. I called my good friend Matt at Detailing Dynamics in New York. A bit concerned, I asked Matt, “Can you fly to Austin and help me out with this?” With a saddened voice “There’s no way I can get away on this short of a notice. We’re swamped and I would need the car here for proper lighting and the lift” said Matt. “OK, so who do you know in Texas that would be able to handle this caliber of work?” Matt is a wealth of knowledge and is well connected so he replies “Call Reggie at Xpel. Tell him I sent you and he’ll be able to take care of it”. See, this is how things get done in our world. When the client gives us the freedom and capacity to do what we do best, a magical process happens.

Suddenly, the car becomes the focus and those that are fortunate enough to be involved in the history of the car rise to the occasion. I called Reggie at Xpel on Monday. Reggie was a great guy and very friendly. I explained my situation and the expectation. “So who do you know Reggie that you would trust?” I asked Reggie. “The only place I can feel comfortable with Moe is at our headquarters in San Antonio, Texas” replied Reggie. “OK. Let’s do it” I replied. After some coordination with Reggie and Jeff at Xpel, we got the GT2 a spot in their schedule.

Meanwhile, the client is getting very excited about all this and I give him the good news and everything is on schedule. I arrived in Austin Wednesday morning at around 1:00 AM.



The flight wasn’t bad and I wasn’t all that tired. I decided to get a good night’s rest as my day would begin at 7:00 AM. The goal was to have me do my New Car Prep, begin getting the front portion of the GT2 ready and prepped so the film installers at Xpel could begin doing their magic.

Picture a beautiful sunny day in Austin, high humidity, temperature in the high 90s. The initial condition of the GT2 wasn't too bad. Brumos had done an excellent job transporting the new beast.

Initial Condition










The client and I begin doing a tech session/detail on the GT2. This is the first time anyone has washed this GT2 and we want to make sure a proper foundation is achieved. I walk the client through the proper routine and get the GT2 washed, dried, and pulled into the garage to begin prepping the front end for clear film.

Washing, rinsing, and drying










 
  #2  
Old 08-25-2008, 04:31 AM
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Once the GT2 was dry, I could examine the finish. Overall, it wasn't too bad. The major area of concern was the rear wing.





Well nothing ever is simple according to Murphy and his Law. I happen to be working in the same garage as there are a couple of guys installing a sink in the garage cutting the cabinet. So imagine saw dust flying around and I’m trying to clay, polish, and wax. Once again, curve balls I have to work around and not make excuses. So, basically when the cabinet guys are measuring, I’m claying, when they start to saw, I stop. I clean the area, start on the next section, repeat process. This goes for the polishing and waxing process as well.

Sonus Extra Fine Clay was used initially. I then switched to Zymol Lehm Klay 3 and Lehm Lube. There was more impurities in the paint as I originally thought



After claying. This lube residue now needs to be washed off. It contains the lube itself along with all the impurities the clay may have left behind





Clean and smooth paint post claying process



Rinsed and dried again



Needless to say, everything comes out great and a bullet is dodged. Once the front end is prepped, we now have to protect the front end for our 80 mile trip to the Xpel factory in San Antonio.


Zymol HD Cleanse is applied by hand. This step is followed by applying Zymol Vintage by hand



Final taping to prepare for our road trip





 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 04:46 AM.
  #3  
Old 08-25-2008, 04:32 AM
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As we’re driving, the temperature is now reaching over 100 and the rock chips are flying from all the construction on our way to San Antonio. We finally arrive at Xpel at around 3:00 PM, about three hours behind schedule. When we arrived, the GT2 was anxiously expected and it quickly gets pulled into to the training facility where it will receive its new paint protection film.

As the blue painter’s tape is removed, to our dismay, we notice the heat has melted some of the glue from the tape onto the paint. Well, I knew this might happen, so another bullet dodged. I quickly pull out the FLEX, Menzerna Nano Polish, and GP White CCS Polishing pad. The glue is quickly removed, we re-apply the Zymöl HD-Cleanse, and re-apply Zymöl Vintage.




The two technicians that would be working on this GT2 were Derrek and Brendan. They began work on the GT2 around 4:00 PM and we realized then to have the job done right, it needed to be kept there overnight. So while the boys were installing the film on the hood, the client and I head back to Austin.

Next morning, we head back up to San Antonio. Both the client and I were anxious. I’m use to perfection when it comes to clear film installs and didn’t know what to expect. To our faith in the boys at Xpel, the GT2 was nicely wrapped in her new skin. The film was absolutely crystal clear and we found out the boys had stayed well into the night to get this special job done right. Here are some pictures of the behind the scene work while we were gone.

















 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 04:54 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-25-2008, 04:32 AM
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This is actually one of the head guys at Xpel working on this GT2. This is a how devoted these boys were. Awsome job guys.





Front end of this GT2 is now completely protected




Amazing how nice the edges look. This was a pre-cut film. No other software in the world has this capability as Xpel. This allows the beginner or intermediate installer an edgeless application without making cuts









Thanks again to these fine Texans. Pleasure working with you gents

 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:33 AM
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As soon as we arrived back home, it must have been close to 100 degrees with high humidity. I began washing the exterior to begin my detail. Thirty minutes later, around 5:00 PM, I begin working on the interior.

Initial condition after the drive from San Antonio






Initial interior. We decided to install a light tint and this was the residue from the tint installer



Initial door jams and bonnet area





Interior is cleaned





Interior is complete. Leather is conditioned. Vinyl surfaces are treated





 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:33 AM
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Basically, I’m expecting a pretty easy detail where I should be back in my cozy bed in a few hours. Well, Murphy would have none of that. As I began polishing with HD Cleanse, the light just hit the bumper and rear wing. I realized HD Cleanse was no match for the swirls and spiderwebbing caused by machine polishing that could only have come from the factory. For all you pros out there and some advanced DIYers, what do you do when your only tool is a FLEX, Menzerna 106FF, and Lake Country White and Orange pad? Knowing you must do some paint correction and not having Menzerna SIP makes it very challenging. But at the end of the day, the results need to WOW the client. So I do a test section using the FLEX, LC Orange CCS Pad, and Menzerna 106FF. To my surprise, it worked. After four hours and two stages later, the finish was swirls free. The rear wing was 85% of the way there. I knew I could only do so much since I didn’t have SIP. I also knew the client would have a chance to make the wing perfect once I shipped him SIP and he did the correction. By now, he’s had many hours of learning and hands-on experience.

Imperfections from the factory. This carbon fiber wing needs further polishing to remove compounding marks



Another shot of the 1/4 panel. Further marks made by polisher during paint polishing. This is the first 997 I've seen that has these imperfections




Taping to protect the rubber trim and film edges



Now having a clean slate, I can finally finish up the detail. HD is applied by hand, Zymol Vintage is massaged in, glass, trim, door jams, tail pipes, etc. somehow come to a finale around 4:00 AM. My clothes are drenched in sweat, my legs are almost giving away, and my back feels like a linebacker just tackled me. This is the glamorous life of an auto detailer folks. But you know what, it was all worth it. I had a slight moment to look at what I had done and just took it all in. The GT2 looked amazing. I only wished I was around in the morning to see the look on my client’s face. By the time he had woken up and saw the finished GT2 in his garage, I would be half way to California. I’m getting goose bumps writing this as I’m taken back to that hot and humid morning in Austin standing next to one of the most amazing cars ever built. I’m truly blessed to do what I do and I thank the lord for giving me the talent, desire, and passion to do what I love.
 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:34 AM
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Thanks to all of those involved in this experience. This whole journey will go down in the first chapter of this GT2’s long and amazing history. I’m truly honored to have had a small part.

Final shot the next day courtesy of the owner













 

Last edited by MoeMistry; 08-25-2008 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:12 PM
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WOW! What a great post Moe. This kind of detail from the master is truly special. Awesome job!

Nobody goes the extra mile like Moe.
 
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrister View Post
WOW! What a great post Moe. This kind of detail from the master is truly special. Awesome job!

Nobody goes the extra mile like Moe.
Thanks Dana. We strive to achieve unsurpassed customer service. It's the little things that make the big difference.
 
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:00 PM
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Thanks for sharing this amazing experience with us, Moe. Your post speaks for the success of your business.

Keep up the examplary work!
 

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