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Peugeot 205GTI - Enhancement Detail

A hot hatchback is always something that is going to be adored by most avid car enthusiast for their great handling, big power outputs and, being based on ordinary day-to-day hatchbacks, panels and parts are cheap and easy to find when things go wrong; attributes that you would want any performance vehicle to be. The hot hatchback love was born in the eighties with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault 5 and of course the Peugeot 205 GTI. These cars cemented the hot hatch foundations firmly amongst the high performance vehicles of their time and instantly became something everyone would fall in love with upon driving them. The Peugeot 205 GTI was launched in 1984 with a 1.6L engine producing 104bhp, increasing a few years later to 115bhp with the addition of larger valves and a few other adjustments within the engine itself. Whilst the more desirable 1.9L version were released in the later years of production, it was said that they seemed a 'lazy' engine compared to the rev-happy predecessor. Years later the 1.9L has become the more desirable version of the two, although the 1.6L has always remained the original for the most nostalgic classic hot hatch fans. Today we have the original, the 1.6 205 GTI, purchased recently by our client. The vehicle was delivered to us in a completely clean condition - we carried out a Silver Maintenance Valet on the car only a few days after his purchase in order to see what the vehicle required to bring the condition up to a high standard.

Unusually, the sun had decided to break out on the morning the Peugeot was delivered to us which allowed the condition of the paintwork to be instantly visible..

The car was still washed as part of the preparation stages to remove dust from it being stored in a garage following our Maintenance service. A light dilution of Bilt Hamber Autofoam pre-wash was applied to the car and left to dwell for approximately two minutes (we skipped the wheels as they had covered less than one mile since being cleaned).

A thorough pressure rinse carried away any light surface dust prior to a two bucket wash to clear any remaining surface soiling. A lambswool wash mitt was used in conjunction with Auto Finesse Lather shampoo to safely yet meticulously wash the vehicle before another pressure rinsed followed. Our attention was then turned to the tar spotting that had accumulated over the vehicle, mainly on the lower areas directly behind the wheels. A solvent based tar remover was liberally sprayed onto each panel and massaged with a microfiber towel after approximately 30 seconds. If a repeat treatment was required it was carried out before moving onto the next area.

With all panels treated, the vehicle was then thoroughly rinsed of any remaining tar remover before a liberal application of Gyeon Quartz Q2MIron was misted onto every exterior surface. The purpose of the Q2MIron is to chemically remove any airborne metallic particles present on the paint surface. As these particles are sharp in nature, when they land onto the vehicle they have a tendency to become embedded within the paint and will not be removed with normal washing and drying procedures. Over time these particles begin to corrode and create a sandpaper-like feeling when left untreated. The Gyeon Q2MIron causes a chemical reaction when the product comes into contact with these ferrous particles. This chemical reaction is highlighted with a change in colour from a clear liquid through to a deep shade of purple. Once this chemical reaction begins, the ferrous particles become transformed into a water soluble state allowing a thorough rinse to remove upto 80% or more to be removed. The Peugeot was once again thoroughly rinsed before the car was then moved to the third and final stage of the decontamination process; the clay towel. The purpose of the towel is to physically remove any remaining contaminants from the exterior surfaces. Whilst the chemical treatments (i.e. tar and fallout) remove the majority, there are always those stubborn areas that need a little extra persuasion.

After all three stages of decontamination were completed, the car was then re-covered in a weak dilution of the same Bilt Hamber Autofoam used earlier. The weaker dilution is designed to carry any remaining and lifted contaminants from the paintwork whilst the foam works itself into any water traps and intricate areas where the fallout remover may have collected, thus clearing these areas more thoroughly before a final pressure rinse was carried out and the vehicle was moved indoors to be dried down to complete the preparation stages of its Enhancement Detail.

The Peugeot was dried down using a combination of drying towel and warm filtered air to blow out any standing water that collects in areas like boot badges, window trims and door shuts (areas that drip annoyingly for hours after washing). The car was then moved onto our scissor lift and raised in order for us to inspect the condition of the paint, allowing us a far clearer view of the task at hand. At this point any plastic trim, rubber and generally delicate pieces were masked off using 3M tape at this point.

Using a varied assortment of daylight balanced lighting including focused LED spots, the paint was inspected for defects. A paint thickness gauge was used to measure a minimum of 9 points on every panel, an average reading was then taken ad noted for future reference. We found a few minor dents across a few of the panels which were removable through our Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) expert. A brief phonecall to the owner of the Peugeot to discuss them being removed and he was happy to proceed.

Once the dents had been removed, we returned our attention back to the machine polishing. The paint on the vehicle showed oxidation (fading), heavy swirling and lots of RDS that would need to be corrected. We used a few pea size spots of Gyeon Q2MPolish on a Rupes yellow polishing pad to polish a section of paint and assess the level of correction achieved. A wipe of the section using IPA removed any remaining polishing oils to show true level of correction; if the oils and polishing residues were not decreased before an inspection, any minor marring or scratches can be filled by these said oils and create the impression of a fully corrected section. We found that the Q2MPolish and yellow Rupes pad combination wasn't quite cutting enough for our expectations so we decided to swap the polish for Q2MCompound which gave the extra cutting ability we required.

A comparison of the rear nearside quarter before and during its initial cutting stage..

The cutting stage was continued over the entire vehicle with our Flex PE14-2-150..

Once the first initial cutting stage had been completed in order to remove the swirling and oxidation, a second refinement stage was required to extract the most gloss from the finish as possible whilst simultaneously removing any defects imparted by the cutting stage (an IPA wipedown of each panel ensured the correction level was true across every panel beforehand). Holograms, micro marring and any haze remaining would be removed with an ultra-fine finishing polish worked via a large-throw dual action polisher to ensure a superb finish. Once again, following the completion of the second polishing stage came another degrease with isopropyl alcohol followed by Gyeon Q2MPrep - this allowed a more thorough removal of the polishing oils before the wax was applied.

Auto Finesse Desire was applied in a thin, overlapping circular motions for an even coat and left for ten minutes to cure. A clean microfiber towel was then used to buff away the residue to reveal an intense glossy finish. As per Auto Finesse's recommendation, a minimum of one hour is required before a second coat of wax is applied.

During this hour our attention was turned to the replacement rear boot emblems that had deteriorated over time. The owner gladly supplied us with a replacement 'Peugeot' badge although the '205' he supplied was the incorrect size. We decided to improvise in order to get the vehicle finished, allowing the owner plenty of time to obtain a replacement if he wishes. Some alloy wheel silver paint matched the lettering on the opposite badge, so we used a foam headed swapp to carefully apply the paint to the raised lettering in multiple thin coats. Once happy with the coverage, any excess was removed with a solvent and a cotton swab.

Next we turned our attention to the many pieces of plastic trim that were in reasonable condition although lacked the colour and protection. Auto Finesse Revive trim dressing was applied to all the bumper trims, arches, rear tailgate trim and any other plastic we could find. The depth of colour was instantly returned to the plastic although we left the Revive for approximately fifteen minutes before a clean microfiber was used to remove any excess.

Window rubber seals received a treatment of Gtechniq T1 Tyre & Trim to preserve and protect these pieced that often deteriorate with time. As the wheels had been refurbished soon before our client purchased the vehicle they needed nothing more than a spray of Auto Finesse Finale quick detailer and a clean microfiber to remove any dust and waterspots present. Auto Finesse's Satin tyre dressing was then applied to each tyre and left to cure, giving a perfect and original 'new tyre' appearance to the Michelin Classic tyres.

Following on from the initial coat of Desire, it was time to apply the second coat of wax to the paint. A buff down of the panels removed any secondary hazing and light surface dust was removed with a lambswool duster. A thin layer of Auto Finesse Illusion was applied to the paint in circular overlapping motions. By layering Illusion over Desire the finish of the paint gains the full protection of the more durable Desire base coat, whilst Illusion delivers the super high gloss and beading ability it is famed for; as Illusion is a wax designed for show vehicles the life expectancy is short, usually approximately four weeks can be achieved although the product may be required to be reapplied every two weeks or more on heavily used daily drivers.

Once the llusion was buffed away, we continued to finish the remaining areas of the exterior. The hoses and plastics of the engine compartment were given a liberal spray of Auto Finesse Dressle and left for a little while before the excess was mopped up with a microfiber towel. Dressle leaves a superb satin finish that is the perfect balance between original finish and well dressed. All exterior glass was cleaned of any dust, finger prints and polish residues with Crystal, Auto Finesse glass cleaner and buffed using a Microfiber Madness Cloudbuster glass towel. At this point any trim or parts we removed before the polishing began were refitted to the car - the rear window spoiler, bonnet washers, side repeaters and rear wiper arm were all removed to gain more consistent finish. Things were starting to come together and the Peugeot was looking almost brand new through its Enhancement Detail.

The interior of the car was given a vacuum for any light debris before the interior glass was cleaned using Crystal once more. As the Peugeot had undergone a Maintenance Service only a few weeks prior and had been placed in storage between visits, there was very little that needed to be done. A light spray of an interior cleaning solution onto the red floor carpet was then worked with a microfiber towel to remove very light soiling. The owner also requested we remove the deteriorated tax display from the lower corner of the windscreen.

To finalise the service, the 205 GTI received a final buff using Auto Finesse Finale quick detailer to ensure that no remaining wax residue was left behind. The Finale also adds additional gloss and slickness to the paint that feels like silk when buffing away. The door shuts were then cleared of any polishing dust and given a minor top up using the quick detailer to ensure future maintenance is that little bit easier in these areas. With the car now complete, it was lowered from the scissor lift and positioned in readiness for some well deserved photographs. We certainly enjoyed carrying out this this little classic hot hatch's transformation - What classic hot hatch will we see next?

- Aaron

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