The British car manufacturer Jaguar has always been considered to be one of the best luxury cars you can buy. With great specifications, beautiful styling and absolutely dripping in leather, alcantara and wooden paneling on the interiors made Jaguar the pinnacle of British automotive luxury. With heritage of some of the most beautiful vehicles still to grace the roads today, such as the Jaguar E-Type and more recent F-Type, Jaguar's XJ was always going to set the bar for automotive luxury vehicles. Of course the XJ has always been the flagship model for the manufacture since the Series 1 was launched in 1968. The evolution of the XJ has continued through to the present model which was revealed in July 2009 before being put into production. The XJ model was released as the general purchase vehicle, the XJL was released for those requiring the long wheel base limousine.
The XJL in question for today was due to receive an extensive overhaul of all areas including paintwork, interior and engine bay. The owner wanted the metallic and colour to be extracted to reveal the Caviar Red paintwork in all its glory.. So, lets get to work..
To begin the detail, the bonnet was lifted to expose some heavily dusted areas that appear to have been neglected in the hands of the vehicles previous owner. As there were no painted/carbon fiber covers present in this engine bay that would need potential correction, the Engine Bay Detail Light was the most appropriate option. After assessing the various areas and any intricate places, the upper engine covers were removed carefully to gain access to built up dirt beneath. These covers were placed to one side for the time being..
The engine bay was sectioned into corners to make the task more manageable, an All Purpose Cleaner (APC) was sprayed onto the exposed metal work and plastics and left to dwell for a few minutes. Electrical components were avoided as best as possible. An assortment of brushes were used to agitate the APC to lift dirt and grit ensuring even the tightest corners and edges were cleaned. A pressure rinse of each treated area followed where the dirt and APC remains were carried away, the pressure rinsing also providing a little more penetration for areas not accessible by brushes alone. Once the engine bay had been cleansed and rinsed thoroughly, the plastic covers were replaced onto their mountings and they too were cleansed of surface dirt and dust. Once these covered were rinsed the bonnet was closed down to begin the exterior..
The front and rear registration plates were removed from the vehicle to gain access to the areas behind, the front plate mounting was also removed. The Jaguar was in a respectively presentable condition when delivered to us. Other than severe swirling, there was only light road soiling, tar and general dust to take care of. The nose grills looked a little dirty from being neglected through previous washes and really effected the appearance of the nose of the car..
The wheels had recently been refurbished prior to the vehicle being brought to us, meaning that there wasn't any severe build up of brake dust that had been given chance to embed into the wheels. A diluted mixture of Auto Finesse Imperial wheel cleaner was misted onto the wheel surface and left to break down the light covering of brake dust. A bucket of shampoo solution was used to rinse and lubricate an assortment of wheel brushes and woollies that were used to agitate the wheel cleaner. Faces, barrels and the rear of the spokes were cleared of any dust and dirt before a pressure washer was used to rinse the wheels thoroughly. An APC was sprayed into the arches and a long reach brush was used to work the APC and free accumulated dirt. Once again a pressure washer was used to force out any remaining dirt that the brush could not access.
A foam pre-wash was blanketed over the entire vehicle through a snow foam lance that contained a diluted mixture of product. This foam was left to dwell for approximately 2-3 minutes to breakdown any surface dirt whilst a boar hair detailing brush was used to agitate body gaps, badges and other intricate areas before a pressure rinse carried away loose grit and grime to prevent any further damage being caused to the paint during the wash process. With the foam rinsed, the Jaguar was moved onto the bucket wash. A two bucket method was used alongside Auto Finesse Lather pH neutral wash shampoo and a synthetic wash mitt to gently remove any remaining dirt and grit particles that the pre-wash couldn't quite remove. Due to the glorious weather, the car was washed and rinsed one panel at a time to prevent wash solution drying out on the surface. These panels were kept wet throughout the remainder of the wash to reduce the chances of water spots forming.
Once the car had been washed and rinsed the first stage of decontamination would be to remove any tar spotting present. A dedicated tar removing agent was misted onto the panels and left to work for approximately 30 seconds before a microfiber cloth, dampened with the tar remover, was used to wipe away any spots effortlessly. Any stubborn spots were given a second treatment. The Jaguar was then moved indoors after the tar treatment to move onto the fallout stage of the three stage decontamination. Auto Finesse Iron Out was misted liberally onto all painted surfaces and left to dwell. With the humidity being against us, a watchful eye was kept on ensuring no product was given chance to dry out as best as possible. Once the fallout remover had been given approximately 5 minutes dwell time, in which any ferrous particles present on the paint was indicated by turning a deep shade of purple, the Jaguar was moved back outside and the fallout remover was pressure rinsed away thoroughly. To finalize the three stages of decontamination a surface prep towel (clay bar alternative) was used to massage any over-spray and stubborn bonded contaminants away to leave the paintwork smooth to the touch. A second foaming was blanketed over the car in order to carry away any lifted contaminants from the surface prep towel. Water traps will also be cleared of any remaining fallout remover as the foam will ingress into every gap, forcing the remains of any other product out. With a final pressure rinse, this time paying extra attention to body gaps.
With the Jaguar XJL now rinsed and moved indoors for the final time, it was dried down with a combination of warm filtered air and drying towels to ensure water was blown out of water traps to prevent persistent drips. All intricate rubber seals, plastic trim and edges were masked off to prevent any polish staining r damaging them during the correction process. To get the best possible finish between the rear 'XJL' emblems it was decided they would be removed and re-fixed to the car once the detail was complete. The 'Portfolio emblem was also removed at this point as places safely to one side. With all delicate areas taped off and the car assessed for defects, it was apparent that the vehicle had previously lived a life of poor washing techniques and inferior car care. Heavy swirling, marring and holograms from various visits for paint work were unquestionably present on this XJL. A perfect candidate to demonstrate the potential of our Enhancement Detail.
Inspection of the paint both visually and with a Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG) highlighted very heavy swirling, a few areas of deep scratches and a wide paint thickness measurement across multiple panels. This indicated that multiple panels had previously undergone paint work other than the panel that we were informed about prior to the Jaguars arrival. The readings collected ranged from 120-130 microns for panels that were assumed to be the original finish, areas ranging 170-350 microns and the lower boot area giving very low reading of 79 microns at the lowest reading. Extra care would be needed whilst correcting this area. The first of two polishing stages was carried out using a Koch Chemie polish and a Lake Country CCS polishing pad via a rotary polisher. Polishing in sets of 5-6 passes in a cross-hatch arrangement the swirls and lighter defects were removed permanently from the paint. Gloss, clarity and a superb fleck was extracted from the paintwork with a little work. This is how the first stage of polishing made a great improvement..
This image is a great example of why the rear emblems were removed to gain the best possible finish. It would have been extremely difficult to polish thoroughly between the emblems, even with a miniature spot pad system..
Once each panel section was polished, an alcohol (IPA) wipe down followed in order to remove any remaining polish and oils. This eliminates the potential for the polish residues to mask any defects such as fine swirls. Essentially giving the illusion that the paint is at the finish required when it is in fact not. Once this wipe down and an inspection was done, the paint was re-polished if necessary before moving on to the next section/panel. Once happy with the paint condition on the entirety of the vehicle, a second polishing step eliminated the chance of any holograms and fine marring. Any tape masking edges were removed first, allowing the removal of built up polish from the tapes raised edge. A fine finishing polish and a CCS finessing pad were worked via a Flex 3401 VRG dual action polisher once again section by section. Normally this second step has no need for an IPA wipe down as the desired level of swirl removal was taken care of in the initial polishing stage. However, as this Jaguar was being protected with Gyeon's MOHS quartz coating which meant the panels would need to be oil and polish free for the product to gain a superior bond with the paint. Gyeon PREP was used as the final panel wipe product to ensure the panels were as clean as possible. Every panel that would be receiving Gyeon MOHS treatment would need to be cleansed and prepared with the Gyeon PREP. Now that the oils and polish residues had been removed, the Jaguar was ready to have the first of two MOHS layers applied.
Using the supplied suede applicators and leveler block, droplets of the MOHS were applied to the applicator and spread across a section of a panel. Two new microfiber cloths were used to buff the product; the first used to spread and remove the excess whilst the second was used to buff away the remainder until a streak free finish was achieved. Applying the product under artificial light aided with ensuring no un-buffed product was left to cure on the panel leaving an uneven and patchy finish. This continued until all painted panels received an even layer of the product. Before the second layer was applied, a one hour perios was required, In this time the few plastic panels that were present on the Jaguar were treated with Gyeon TRIM. All glass was cleared of water spotting and dust with Auto Finesse Crystal glass cleaner before the wheels were buffed free of dusting with Auto Finesse Finale quick detailing spray. Auto FInesse Dressle was misted liberally into the arches before each corner was finished with Gyeon TIRE to leave a superb satin finish. Door shuts were misted with quick detailer and buffed free of any remaining water spotting and polishing dust. The engine compartment was buffed free of dust before Auto Finesse Dressle was misted over any plastic and rubber areas. Any excess or over misting was then carefully wiped away with a microfiber cloth. With a few smaller areas taken care of, it was time to apply the second layer of Gyeon MOHS using the same technique as the first. With the second layer applied to the whole vehicle, each panel was force cured under infrared lamps. This reduced the curing time of the Gyeon Quartz from 24hours to 10 minutes per panel. Not only does this mean that the vehicle can be exposed to the elements on the same day as application, but the force curing technique also help to gain the absolute maximum durability from the product when applied correctly. During the curing time, the nose grills were polished by hand to remove built up dirt that we mentioned earlier. This task was a very time consuming process but the results made a very big difference to the front of the Jaguar when completed...
With the curing completed, the final step in the Gyeon MOHS treatment was to apply Gyeon CURE. This maintenance spray prevents water spotting forming whilst the MOHS coating cures fully. Even though the MOHS is cured enough for the vehicle to be driven, full curing takes a further seven days to fully harden. In this time the CURE acts as a sacrificial layer. Once the CURE was applied and buffed away, a few small details such as exhaust tips were polished to remove minor emission staining. With a final inspection using a hand held sun gun alternative, the paint was inspected to ensure all CURE product was buffed to reveal a smear free finish to the Caviar Red paintwork. Once this inspection was completed, the rear 'XJL' and 'Portfolio' emblems were re-fixed to the rear of the vehicle to complete Enhancement Detail element of this detail.
The final part of this Jaguar would be the Interior Detail. Similar to the exterior, the interior of the XJL was in a very respectable condition. A few minor crumbs on the floor mats alongside a little built up dirt from use was all that stood out. A thorough vacuuming of all interior surfaces was carried out using an assortment of brush attachments to agitate the carpet pile, releasing any grit and dust trapped in the fibers. A soft bristle interior detailing brush was used to clear dust from corners, air vents and button controls without damaging the gloss finished trim. A diluted interior cleaner was misted into a clean microfiber cloth and used to gentle wipe any dirt away from the leather dashboard trim. This said leather was then conditioned with Gliptone Liquid Leather Conditioner to prevent premature cracking due to the leather drying out in the future - it also helped to gain a satin finish that complimented the high gloss wood panels perfectly. Any gloss black and gloss wood paneling was polished by hand with a small amount of Auto Finesse Tripple polish to remove finger prints, boost the gloss levels and to hide any minor marring from previous interior care. after a few minutes the polish was buffed away. The chrome finish air vent surrounds and center console were also polished at this point. The leather steering wheel was cleaned of built up dirt to restore the matt finish back to the hide.
The floor matts were misted with an interior cleaner and scrubbed thoroughly with a stiff bristle upholstery brush. A clean microfiber was used to wipe away lifted dirt and moisture before repeating this process once again. Once clean they were re-fitted securely after a vacuum f the underlying carpet. Leather seats were gently cleansed with the same diluted interior cleaner and a dedicated leather brush was used to agitate the hide free of minor dirt build up. A separate microfiber was then used for a gentle wipe away to remove the product and the dirt. Once dry, all leather surfaces of the seats Were conditioned with Gliptone Liquid Leather including side bolsters and rear pockets. Leather door trim were also cleaned and conditioned. The fold down rear lap trays situated in the rear of the front seats were polished with Auto Finesse Tripple and buffed to a high shine before being folded back away. The LCD screens were carefully cleaned of dust by misting a minimal amount of Auto Finesse Crystal glass cleaner onto a lint-free glass cloth and gently working the product in only straight lines to prevent unwanted smears and damage. All interior glass was cleaned free of smudges and streaks with Auto Finesse Crystal along with vanity mirrors, rear view mirrors and the raw-finish kick plates were also wiped over to remove a few water spots.
The boot compartment was removed of the plastic protection tray and the rear carpet boot floor was raised to reveal the spare wheel, battery and tool kit. A large microfiber towel was draped over the boot ledge to prevent any marring or damage being caused. The spare wheel securing pin was removed and placed to one side along with the spare wheel itself and the underlying foam tool carry tray. The exposed spare wheel well was thoroughly vacuumed of dust and debris that had accumulated over the vehicles years of use. A soft bristle detailing brush carefully agitated any dust from between power cables and tighter areas that the vacuum could not reach. The foam tool tray also contained a few pieces of debris, all tools and the lifting jack were removed from the foam and each compartment was also vacuumed before the tools were wiped down and replaced into their designated place.
The spare wheel was unused and only required a buff with a quick detailer to remove light dusting. The tyre was then dressed with Gyeon TIRE and replaced into the wheel compartment and secured with the locking pin...
The rear boot cover was lowered back down and the carpet within the boot iself received a thorough vacuuming to remove debris. As the Jaguar had a plastic boot guard in place, the carpet below was in what seemed to be a brand new condition. The side wales and rear edge of the boot compartment were the only areas that needed thorough agitation with the brush attachment to bring those areas back up to an equal standard as the boot floor. To complete the Jaguars extensive detail, the plastic boot protector was also vacuumed and refitted into the boot compartment. A very photogenic Jaguar XJL Portfolio looking superb after receiving our Enhancement Detail, Interior Detail and Engine Bay Detail Light services with the additional upgrade of the Gyeon Quartz MOHS coating..
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