Today, I started to work on the various chips and scratches around the car. After my bad experience with the OEM touch-up paint almost 10 years ago, I have avoided doing any more touch-up repairs. However, I saw Dr. Colorchip mentioned online as a good touch-up solution, so I purchased one of their kits.
I had removed the hardtop while I worked on the body of the car due to the 1-2" overhang around the clamshell. Once reinstalled, the top presents a few challenges. First, my hardtop has several scratches from the previous owner who had stored the top without a cover, and then leaned a ladder up against it. When I purchased it almost 10 years ago, I used OEM Porsche Touch Up Paint to try and repair the damage, and did an very poor job. I made the scratches much, much worse, including installing more scratches when I attempted to wet sand the touchup paint.
As I mentioned before, I severely under estimated the time required to do a two step paint correction. I just finished, and I would say I spent about 12 hours total on the paint. Compounding was fairly straightforward, and worked well using the microfiber cutting discs and D300 compound. However, I found the thin 5" pads are difficult to use everywhere other than the hood, as almost every panel of the 986 is curved. Even the door panels have a concave curve that made using the thin pads troublesome. I think I will probably use an orange foam pad next time. As a beginner, I think the thicker pad will be more forgiving and easier to use, which will help me achieve better results.
Let me start by saying, I totally underestimated the amount of work a two step paint correction would be. I started very slowly and have been taking my time. I started by cleaning the panel with Optimum Paint Prep to make sure there was nothing on the panel that could get into a microfiber or foam pads and cause scratches. I then tested a white foam polishing pad with Menzerna SF3500 finishing polish. It took out a lot of the minor scratches, but was not taking out the bigger ones. After that first test, I felt confident I was not dealing with soft paint, so I went to a microfiber cutting pad with D300 compound.
I decided yesterday that I needed to include my hardtop in this detail instead of doing it later. After installing it on the car I performed another strip wash with car soap and dawn, and used a clay bar to remove any contaminates from the hard top. I was surprised by how much came off the front of the hardtop, although it makes sense since the top is arched.
During the week I had a little spare time, so I decided to work on the rear Boxster emblem. This emblem has been incredibly frustrating to keep clean, and I have thought about removing it completely, but I am not a fan of the de-badged look. My emblem had a lot of wax and other gunk in it, and simply washing it had not done anything to clean it up.
Today I started by treating the leather seats with Griot's Leather Care. I had never used this product and initially I thought it did not work very well, but I realized I was applying way too much. Once I started using less it went on really well, I let it sit for about 30 minutes then gently buffed the leather seats, steering wheel and shifter boot with a microfiber towel. I then reinstalled the seats and airbag deactivation bar and torqued to the correct 48 ft-lbs. I also reinstalled my fire extinguisher after hitting it with some spray sealant that made the red powder coat pop.
I did not have a ton of time today, but I did some work on the interior. I reinstalled all of the carpet and the floor mats, then wiped down the entire interior using a damn microfiber cloth to pickup any dirt or dust. I paid special attention to the painted center console, which had some things hardened on the surface. Once everything was clean I applied Spritz Sealant (similar to a spray wax) to a foam applicator pad and applied it to the painted center console and painted roll bar. While not necessary, I lightly wiped/buffed the painted surfaces after a few minutes.
I started early and washed my car again, with foam and water only, to remove any dust that had accumulated on the paint while I waited for a few replacement products to arrive, after I had two different orders arrive with leaking bottles. I focused on cleaning the wheel wells thoroughly, and also agitated the soft top with a brush to see if it was possible to remove any more of the black marks caused by the top mechanism. Unfortunately, it looks like those are permanent.
Unfortunately, my 986 detail has been delayed due to a package that arrived with one of the bottles leaking. While I wait for a replacement to arrive, I wanted to share these models I recently picked up. They show a little Boxster history, and the evolution from the 356 to the 550 Spyder to the 986 Prototype.
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