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Jaguar XJS – Protection Detail

June 12th, 2015

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

This month we have a modern British classic for you; a 1994 Jaguar XJS 4.0 Convertible that came in to us for a Protection Detail. This rather lovely example is essentially a summer car and does relatively few winter miles, so the purpose of this detail was simply to freshen it up and get it ready for another Scottish summer… which in reality usually involves all four seasons on a daily basis, plus a lot of splatted bugs and flies! As such, the use of good quality protection was going to be important, particularly on the fabric convertible top and exterior brightwork, which are both prone to staining. Compared to many of the details we post this one was actually very simple and straightforward to perform, but we’ve still included a few tips that you might not have come across before…

After setting up our pressure washer and laying out our waste water collection bund, Clark started the detail by tackling the wheels. This particular XJS is fitted with a gorgeous set of chrome-plated rims, so care was going to be needed in order not to mark them. After a thorough rinse at low pressure, Clark scrubbed the tyres and cleaned out the arches before washing the rims with Auto Finesse Revolution and a combination of PB Boar Hair Detail Brushes and PB Luxury Spoke Back Woolies. Revolution is the perfect wheel cleaner for rims like this, as its highly lubricated nature and mildly soapy formula make it ideal for use on sensitive surfaces that mark or stain easily…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

After rinsing off the wheels, Clark turned his attention to the fabric convertible top, which was blighted in places by some stubborn bird dropping residues. The only way to clean fabric hoods properly is with a colour-safe cleaning solution and a soft scrubbing brush. On this occasion we used 303 Convertible Top Cleaner, which has long been our favourite convertible top cleaner, and a PB Cleaning Brush, which features the perfect type of bristles for safe fabric cleaning (firm enough to agitate the surface of the material properly, but soft enough not to disrupt its texture or pile). The method we use is very simple, and involves rinsing, then cleaning and then rinsing again…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

With the wheels and hood done, Clark moved on to the bodywork and glass. Given that it was a warm and sunny morning, and knowing that all of the shuts would need cleaning too, we firstly applied a thin blanket of a relatively weak mixture of Auto Finesse Avalanche using our PA Foam Lance

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Why so thin? Simply because the more watery a snow foam mixture is, the longer it takes to dry out, meaning you have longer to do other jobs while the foam is dwelling. You do lose a little bit of cleaning power when you use a weaker mixture, but on a fairly clean car to start with the pros outweigh the cons. While the foam was dwelling Clark cleaned all of the shuts with Auto Finesse Citrus Power

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

After rinsing out the shuts and rinsing off the remaining foam, Clark then hand washed the bodywork and glass using Auto Finesse Lather and a Microfiber Madness Incredisponge. Microfibre Madness have really hit the nail on the head with their proprietary deep-pile microfibre wash material; it’s every bit as safe as lambswool, but doesn’t rot and ultimately fall apart in the same way over time…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

After a further final rinse Clark checked the (still) wet bodywork and glass for contaminants using the tried and trusted fingertip test (such surfaces should feel perfectly smooth if they are free of bonded contaminants; if your fingertips detect rough spots or a gritty texture then contaminants are present and need to be removed before any polishing is done or any form of protection is added). On this occasion no contamination was detected (an extremely rare but welcome outcome!) so the car was moved inside and then dried off using a PB Luxury Drying Towel and our Metro Vac Air Force Blaster. After a long lunch break (to allow time for the fabric hood to dry out fully, which is always important when you plan on reproofing them) Clark prepared the convertible top for the addition of protection by vacuuming it carefully to remove any residual fibres left behind by the drying towel…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

The fabric hood was then treated with Nanolex Convertible Top Sealant, which is an advanced chemical nanotechnology coating that repels water, resists everyday soiling and staining, impedes mildew formation and helps to prevent fading caused by harmful UV rays from the sun…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

You may not have noticed this before, but when you apply fabric proofers they have a habit of sitting on the surface of the fabric rather than soaking in to it. Regardless of what proofer you use, if you want it to perform optimally and to last for as long as possible you should massage it into the fabric with gloved hands. By doing this you will ensure that the proofing agents are deposited within the body of the fabric rather than simply on top of it, guaranteeing it a longer lifespan…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

With the fabric hood reproofed and needing to be left to dry naturally for 24 hours, Clark turned his attention to the Solent Blue bodywork. This car received an Enhancement Detail in our studio back in June of last year, so all that was needed on this occasion was a light hand polish prior to the application of fresh protection. Auto Finesse Tripple was chosen for its all-in-one nature; in a single step it nips out light wash marring, masks any deeper defects and lays down a surprisingly generous amount of wax protection. Combine this with its phenomenal gloss-enhancing properties and easy on and off nature, and it’s very clear to see why it’s an award winning product; it’s fantastic! After buffing off the Tripple the bodywork was then further protected with a coat of Auto Finesse Desire

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

…which in turn was buffed off using a Microfiber Madness Crazy Pile Towel. There’s a glut of really nice microfibre towels on the market these days, but those in the Microfiber Madness range remain hard to beat. Stereotypes don’t always hold true, but the reputation that German manufacturers have for producing superior quality goods shines through in this particular case…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

After buffing off the wax, Clark turned his attention to the remaining exterior details, namely the wheels, the brightwork, the stainless steel exhaust tips and the glass. The chrome-plates rims were treated with Carlack Complete, in order to remove some light tarnishing and lay down a tough layer of synthetic protection to guard against brake dust…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

The tyres were then treated with Swissvax Pneu, which delivers a lovely rich understated finish that really suits classic cars with relatively high profile tyre walls…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

All of the chrome-plated brightwork was then treated in exactly the same way as the rims, i.e. with Carlack Complete, in order to remove light tarnishing and residual watermarks. The stainless steel exhaust tips were then polished with Auto Finesse Mercury

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Next up was the glass, which was cleaned with Auto Finesse Crystal and a pair of Microfiber Madness Cloudbuster Towels. Why a pair? The answer is one towel to apply the product and do the cleaning (i.e. a wet towel), and the other to buff off the residue and leave a perfect smear-free finish (i.e. a dry towel); most glass cleaners deliver smear-free results when this method is used. However, rather than leave it to chance, it’s always worth double checking…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

To complete the exterior part of the detail Clark popped the bonnet and gave the uppermost surfaces of the engine a steam clean (the engine was detailed fully the last time the car was in, and this time round only a light film of grimy dust needed to be removed)…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

To finish things off, the Magnolia leather interior (the smell of which in older Jaguars is very distinctive) was cleaned and conditioned with Dr Leather Liquid Cleaner

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

…and the carpets and mats were vacuumed and then steam cleaned to lift out any trodden in dirt and grime, and leave them looking richer, plusher and like new…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

As soon as he got to work the next day Clark double checked the proofing results on the fabric hood; the easiest way of doing this is by spraying the hood with deionised water and checking that all areas of it are beading properly. In this case the results were perfect…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

All that then remained to be done was to take the car outside to photograph the end results. Luckily the sun was making a rare appearance so we managed to capture some lovely images showing off the final finish in all its glory. Although it was a relatively straightforward detail to perform, we hope you still found this post interesting and useful. As always, if you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to fire away below…

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

Jaguar XJS - Protection Detail

On a final note, we’ve been nominated in the AA Cars Auto Blog Awards! If you enjoy reading our monthly blog please consider voting for us here – we’re up against some pretty stiff competition and your vote might just swing it for us. Thanks in advance!

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7 Responses to “Jaguar XJS – Protection Detail”

  1. Martin Welsh says:

    Another great write-up and a different type of car than usual, looks stunning!

  2. Jon Allum says:

    Thanks to Rich and Clark for another informative write up. There is always lots to learn and also a lot of reassurance when your products, stages and methods mirror that of an extraordinary detailer. It was tough call on who to vote for, but I voted for PB over Kwik Fit, who are currently polling at a well deserved 0%.

  3. @Martin @Jon – Thanks chaps, we’re glad you enjoyed it. It looks like we came in a strong second in the voting – given the strength of the competition we’re pretty pleased with that!

  4. Great post- You’ve put a lot of detail into it plus I have to say that’s one hell of a beautiful machine! I’ll second that for a vote for PB!

  5. David Panchal says:

    Great write up and stunning car. Forget how good Tripple is until you see the final finish when topped with a good quality wax!

  6. Bill says:

    Hi that’s a great job, but as I am getting older it’s just too strenuous now. So recently tried foaming (GYEON bought from you). First I covered the car with a thick foam let it dwell then hosed off. Then foamed again a panel at a time hand washing with a microfibre mitt using the foam instead of a shampoo, then hosed off and rinsed the mitt. And on to next panel. Final hose down and then pat dry with microfibre towel and a final go over with Meguiar’s Ultimate Quick Wax. I found it much quicker and easier as no bucket of shampoo so much less bending. Car looks great. But still got a slight worry niggle about using second foaming instead of shampoo. What you think, is that OK?

  7. @Bill – As long as you’re rinsing out your mitt thoroughly after doing each panel then it’s a completely fine method to use. You could easily argue that the foam is actually providing more lubrication than a normal shampoo would, and we’d have no qualms about using this method ourselves.

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