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Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing Photo Gallery
Insider Information To Know When Having Your Eight-Lug Truck Detailed
Dr Whaba –
Aug 1, 2009
Photo 1/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 ford F250 | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 2/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 gas Pump | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 3/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 ford F250 | A detailed truck has a level of sparkle to it that really makes it look great. This truck gets a lot of hard use but needs to look good while doing it-which is why once a year it goes in for a thorough detailing at Supreme Detailing in Canton, Michigan, as part of its regular maintenance schedule.
Photo 4/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 interior | Does this truck look roughed up or what!?! If your truck is a real workhorse, like this one, it can look great and last a long time, but you need to get it some detailing care and cleansing every once in a while.
Photo 5/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 aluminum Truckcraft Dumpbed | Having a slick aluminum TruckCraft dumpbed is cool, but it needs to be professionally cleaned regularly to maintain that like-new shine. Supreme Detailing is very experienced with the professional-grade spray-on cleaners, polish, and elbow grease needed to bring the luster back.
Photo 6/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 pre Soak Cleaner | The first step Supreme Detailing takes with a vehicle is to inspect it for any major paint damage, then discuss that with the customer. Once this is noted, they begin the cleaning process by spraying a pre-soak cleaner on all the heavily soiled areas-like the doorjambs, wheelwells, tires, rear bumper area, and anywhere else that has caked-on scrounge.
Photo 7/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 tires | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 8/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 rear Bumper | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 9/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 pressure Washer | After the pre-soak cleaner is scrubbed into some of the really yucky areas, the entire truck is rinsed off with a pressure washer-including the doorsill areas. The carpet/rubber mats are going to be cleaned anyway, so they can get a little wet. It is amazing how good this truck looked just from this step!
Photo 10/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 doorsill | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 11/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 mike And Tina Hensley | Mike and Tina Hensley, the husband and wife team from Supreme Detailing, then jumped to soaping up the exterior and rubbing the sud-covered paint with their secret weapon, the Magna Sponge (from Hi-Tech Industries in Southfield, Michigan). This product removes a lot of the brake particles and debris in the paint...but requires a deft touch to avoid leaving marks in the surface. Luckily, the Supreme team does this work all day long, so they have the experience to do this process the right way every time.
Photo 12/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 magna Sponge | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 13/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 prograde Aluminum Cleaner | Once the entire body was scrubbed and rubbed, the suds were rinsed off. While the truck was still wet from the rinsing, the aluminum on the truck was sprayed with pro-grade aluminum cleaner. This product is serious and requires knowledge and experience when using to avoid etching the aluminum and/or damaging the paint. The aluminum cleaner is sprayed on in a light coat, allowed to set on the aluminum, then rinsed off. A reapply may be necessary if the aluminum is heavily dulled (as this aluminum was).
Photo 14/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 aluminum Cleaner | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 15/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 dry Blades | For a long time, Supreme Detailing used to dry vehicles with natural chamois, but it switched to blades a few years ago, as they are quicker, do less damage to the surface, and require much less muscle to use. It was hard to get this shot-the crew was done drying in such a short amount of time!
Photo 16/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 rag With Solvent | A rag soaked with a light solvent, like lacquer thinner, was then used to go around the vehicle to rub off any tar, gunk, or other stuck-on materials from the paint. Doorsills are often one of the worst areas for things to find a home on the paint, so a considerable amount of time is spent here on this step.
Photo 17/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 clay Bar | The paint surfaces then receive a thorough rubbing with a clay bar to remove any other debris on the surface. A slicker solution is sprayed on the paint area that is being rubbed to minimize the friction and help keep the clay bar from loading up with the material it is removing from the paint. The color of clay bar used is important. Supreme uses a purple clay bar on white vehicles, while all other colors are rubbed with a gray clay bar.
Photo 18/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 headliner | While the exterior was being beautified, the interior was getting buffed up, too. One of the more unpleasant areas on this truck was the headliner-the result of sweaty workers spending hours in the driver's seat. Using their special mix of a foaming cleanser, a rag, and some knowledge, the Supreme Detailing team was able to get the brownish goo out and bring back the original gray/blue color. This is why you take your vehicle to a pro!
Photo 19/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 door Panels | The door panels were then lightly sudsed and scrubbed, then blown dry via a small, handheld nozzle controlling compressed air. The use of the air nozzle is one of Supreme Detailing's secret weapons. A little shot of pressurized air gets the remaining sudsy dirt out from between all the plastic component mating areas and leaves the interior looking truly impressive.
Photo 20/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 dashboard And Instrument Panel | The dashboard and instrument panel areas are then sprayed with a cleaner similar to Simple Green mixed with water (Supreme Detailing uses a different cleaner but has looked long and hard to find it, so it is not willing to share what it is). A clean rag is then used to wipe the surfaces clean, and the compressed air nozzle is used to clean the crevices.
Photo 21/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 ashtray | Another tip from the Supreme Detailing team is to aggressively clean the dirtiest, smelliest areas: like the ashtray. Even if there aren't ashes in it, these often fill with crud that can emit odors. To treat these areas, Supreme heavily sprays the ashtrays and drink holders with cleaner and lets them soak for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing them out.
Photo 22/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 window Cleaner | The windows are then cleaned by spraying them with window cleaner and scrubbing them with a window cleaner-soaked rag. Then, while the glass is still wet with cleaner, a separate dry rag is used to polish the glass clean.
Photo 23/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 steel Wool | If there is rubber or other materials still stuck to the glass after the glass cleaner wash up, Supreme lightly buffs the errant material off the glass with some 00 steel wool (pronounced double-aught steel wool).
Photo 24/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 prograde Upholstery Cleaner | The next step Supreme Detailing takes when cleaning the interior is to lightly scrub pro-grade upholstery cleaner onto the seats with a soft brush. The scrubbing is done in a cross-hatch pattern, being careful to cover all areas evenly, so the final product is evenly cleaned.
Photo 25/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 wet Dry Upholstery Vacuum | A special wet-dry upholstery vacuum is then used to suck as much grime, soap, water, etc. out of the seat covers as possible. This seems like a simple task, but the vacuuming needs to be even across the fabric or the final result will not look evenly cleaned.
Photo 26/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 rubber Mat | The floor is then cleaned. In this case, it is covered with rubber mat, but carpet is cleaned the same way by applying carpet cleaner, heavily scrubbing in a cross-hatch pattern, letting it soak in for a few minutes, then vacuuming it up in a cross-hatch pattern.
Photo 27/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 exterior Protectant | While the interior is being prepped, all of the exterior rubber and plastic is wiped down with protectant. This solution is only for exterior use-Supreme never applies exterior protectant to interior surfaces, as it attracts dust and makes the interior parts slimy.
Photo 28/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 wheel Center Cap | With the protectant applied, the exterior prep shifts to lightly cleaning the chromed surfaces with a pad of 00 steel wool. Items like this wheel center cap often have rubber and other gunk stuck to them that is best removed with the steel wool.
Photo 29/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 wool Buffer | The real pro-level work starts at this point with a wool buffer wheel being used to buff the entire painted surface with a light abrasive to bring out the like-new luster of the paint. This is backbreaking,highly skilled work that can make or break a detail job—too heavy or impatient with the buffer and the paint can be left with swirls. As a result of too much pressure, you can end up with burned-through paint, primer showing, or worse—bare metal. All of this is the result of not understanding how to use the buffer in the most basic sense.
Photo 30/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 quality Liquid Wax | After the entire car has been buffed, a quality liquid wax is applied to every inch of paint by wiping it on and polishing off the excess. If the buffing work on the previous step was a quality job, the waxing should make the paint look like it was just applied and miles deep.
Photo 31/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 maximum Shine | While the wax was being applied, all of the aluminum surfaces were being polished to bring out their maximum shine. Polishing aluminum is another one of those seriously physical jobs-there are no shortcuts to a deep, lasting shine. As a note, the folks at Supreme Detailing routinely use an aluminum polish-soaked Mothers PowerBall on a cordless drill to increase the rate at which they can polish intricate aluminum components.
Photo 32/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 pre Wash | The first step Supreme Detailing takes to rejuvenate an enclosed trailer is to spray it with pre-wash in any of the really grimy areas. Then it is thoroughly scrubbed down with a sudsy automotive soap/water mix (never use dishwashing soap-it is too harsh!) using a soft push broom to speed the process over the large surface area of the trailer sides.
Photo 33/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 diamond Plate | The aluminum diamond-plate and wheel fenders are then treated with liquid aluminum cleaner to bring back the shine. The cleaner is allowed to work on the aluminum for less than a minute before being rinsed off with cool water.
Photo 34/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 wheel Fenders | Detailing 101 with Supreme Detailing
Photo 35/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 galvanized Metal Roof | The trailer is then wiped down with the drying blade. Once dry, the areas with rubber or other gunk stuck to the surface were then wiped down with lacquer thinner to clean them up. The area on the top of this trailer's sides was heavily discolored, so it looked 10 times better after this step. The Supreme team has seen this before, due to an unpainted galvanized metal roof section leaching a grayish-goo down onto the painted surfaces when it rains, or even just from morning dew. The solution is to paint this bare metal with RV roof paint-something this trailer is going to get next.
Photo 36/36 | detailing On A Ford F250 wool Buffing Pad | The final steps for the trailer were just as time- and skill-intense as the previous: all of the painted surfaces were buffed with a wool buffing pad and abrasive liquid, then the entire surface was waxed by hand. The final result looks great and will lengthen the life of the paint considerably.