Random Notes – June ’89

Random Notes – June ’89

by | Jun 26, 1989

An incredible thanks to Phil Smart, Sr. and the whole BMW crew at 714 Pike for hosting a great meeting last month. Phil is the ultimate gentleman of the marque, and as usual, opened the doors to club members who were treated to the Smart kind of hospital­ ity. We discovered some super buys in the parts department, a grand assort­ ment of treats and beverages, as well as the showroom full of beautiful BMWs to poke around. To top this, Phil has arranged a special presentation / dem­ onstration by Mike Phillips of the Meguiar’s Company.

I confess, I am a closet clean car fanatic. Sometimes it doesn’t always show, but for me, finding new methods of cleaning and detailing the BMW is a kind of hobby in itself. I know this is a sickness a few others can understand (are you listening,  Marc?) Anyway, I thought I was in heaven when I found out Phil had brought in the Meguiar’s rep. And he had a table full of every kind of cleaner / wax/ polish that you could imagine. I was like a kid in a candy store with 200 questions.

Coincidentally, about two weeks prior to the meeting I had “discovered” Meguiar’s one day at Schucks. After a Saturday’s worth of effort, the results were phenomenal. I had achieved a significant reduction in swirl marks and a super depth of color. After years of messing with all kinds of products, I was sold on Meguiar’s. But then I found out I was using the wrong stuff. It turns out the red bottle stuff is “con­ sumer” oriented and not as effective as the tan bottle stuff, which is intended for detail and body shops. Excuse me, I’m off to get the “right” Meguiar’s.

At the meeting, Mike victimized a new MS with badly scratched black paint. He quickly demonstrated the product on a section of the trunk, re­ storing it to a near perfect finish. An­ other test area on the hood took a bit more effort, but the results were finally close to the same. There were lots of tricks in style and technique that Mike shared, enough for a great car cleaner’s tech session. Possibly we could sche­ dule such an event this summer.

Here is a quick review of the pro­ ducts I intend to use: for hand polish­ ing, soft 100% cotton terry cloths. To apply the products: a fiber-free foam pad with an adaptor for a common drill. To clean the paint first use a #2, then polish the cleaned surface with #9. These products are intended for clear­ coats, urethanes and polyurethanes which includes most recent BMW fin­ ishes. Then to finish it off I’ll use the #26 yellow wax. You will not believe the results, especially if you have a dark  car.

But there is more! For major wash­ ing I’ll use the #00 non-silicone wash. For inbetween washing when I just want to dust the car, the #34 trigger wash is great stuff.

If this wasn’t enough to make me crazy, I tested a #4 cleaner on my terribly spotted glass and found that it re­ stored it to new. Nothing had pre­ viously worked. Then I went out to the 5 armed with #40 leather cleaner/ con­ditioner. It worked. Finally, I grabbed some #42 rubber bumper treatment and headed for the back of the car. I have searched for something that would effectively restore the black plastic piece that separates the bumper from the body on my 5. Armoral just does not work. You guessed it, #42 won agam.

If I sound like a Meguiar’s commer­cial, it is because I love stuff that works. All of these products are avail­able at Phil Smart or some local parts store. Look for the tan bottles. And for the best selection, you had better get there before me.

(P.S. – After searching around, I found the most complete selection of Meguiar’s products at Phil Smart BMW. I bought the adaptor to use the foam pads with my basic Black and Decker drill. It worked but the drill is not very happy and probably a bit short on life. Mike Phillips recom­ mends a small, variable speed buffer, and was using a Makita model the night of the meeting. These can be found for about $170-180 at local tool shops. My garage now looks like a Meguiar’s test kitchen with all the pro­ ducts and their assigned terry towels lined up across the workbench. The #2 and #9 process even worked on Chuck C’s pickup! Tip: pick up a firm tooth­ brush to clean around door handles, chrome trim, door bumpers, window rubber, etc. The power buffer will leave a mess in all these little places.)

This article was originally published in the June 1989 edition of Zundfolge