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Golf Mk2 GTI – Correction Detail

October 28th, 2015

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Back at the start of August this year the owner of this lovely Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI made the long journey north from Cheshire to have us work our magic on it. I’d previously inspected the car back in the summer of 2014, when the owner was holidaying in Scotland and decided to kill two birds with one stone by visiting us to discuss his options. The car had previously received a bare metal respray, and while it looked great from ten feet away, when you got up close it was easy to spot the usual paint defects typically left in situ after a trip to the bodyshop – sanding marks, random scratches/swirl marks and buffer trails. It was therefore agreed that we would carry out a full correction detail and then apply a warrantied GYEON Q2 DURABEAD bodywork treatment…

Despite the long drive up from England the car arrived in a surprisingly clean state, and it quickly became clear that the owner had done a great job of doing a lot of the preparatory work himself (including removal of the wheels and cleaning of the arches). Thus, there really wasn’t a lot to do during the wash stage; the wheels were given a gentle clean with Auto Finesse Revolution, PB Boar Hair Detail Brushes and a large EZ Detail Wheel Brush, and the bodywork, glass and trims were then washed by hand in the usual way (i.e. two bucket method) with Auto Finesse Lather and a Microfiber Madness Incredimitt. A few minor tar spots on the lower panels were then nipped off with Auto Finesse Oblitarate, and a number of panels were then clayed with GYEON Q2M CLAY and GYEON Q2M CLAYLUBE to remove some light overspray. Finally, the car was rolled inside and dried off with a PB Luxury Drying Towel and our trusty Metro Vac Air Force Blaster.

With everything now clean and dry I performed a thorough wipe down with GYEON Q2M PREP (to ensure that there was nothing left on the bodywork that would otherwise mask defects, e.g. previous product residues) and then whipped out a paint gauge and our inspection lights to check exactly what I was going to be up against. What I saw wasn’t exactly pretty…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

During the inspection process I removed various pieces of the car (trims, vanity panels and light clusters), as I saw that many of the defects present ran right up to (and then often underneath) these areas – getting the best possible finish requires good access!

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

It was clear that while there were a lot of random scratches/swirl marks to contend with, the biggest job was actually going to be removing the sanding marks and ridges that had been left in situ after the respray work was finished. Here’s a particularly bad example…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

After taping off and then spending half an hour or so of playing about with a couple of different pad and polish combinations, I settled on the Meguiar’s DA Microfibre System (140 mm DA Microfibre Cutting Discs and DA Microfibre Correction Compound) on my FLEX XC 3401 VRG Positive Drive Orbital Polisher. As the respray wasn’t quite as hard as the original paint would no doubt have been, this approach proved to be sufficient to knock back the majority of the random scratches/swirl marks in just one or two attempts on most of the main panels…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

In several areas where the defects were much worse I had to break out my trusty old Makita 9227CB Rotary Polisher along with a Lake Country Rotary F-W Pad and Menzerna Heavy Cut Compound 400 (which until recently used to be known as FG400)…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Switching back the FLEX, I then went over the entire car again with a Lake Country Hydro-Tech Polishing Pad and Menzerna Medium Cut Polish 2500 (PO203) before doing a third and final stage of polishing (this time refining) with a Lake Country Hydro-Tech Finishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800 (85RD). This final step really sharpened up the finish and maximised its gloss, but after multiple stages of machine polishing the car was quite dusty, so I moved it outside and foamed it with Auto Finesse Avalanche. I then rinsed it off, brought it back inside and blew it dry with our Metro Vac Air Force Blaster, which left it looking like this…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

I then did a further wipe down with GYEON Q2M PREP (to ensure that any lingering traces of polishing oils were fully removed – the foam should have done this, but it pays to be extra careful when working with coatings) and carefully applied the GYEON Q2 DURABEAD protective coating system…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Several hours later, with the bodywork now fully protected, I turned my attention to the wheels. With our scissor lift making things nice and easy, I took all four wheels off and coated the lovely BBS split rims inside and out with GYEON Q2 RIM (two coats)…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Two coats of GYEON Q2 TIRE were then applied to the tyres to give a subtle yet highly durable finish, and I then used our infra-red heat lamp to force cure all of the fresh coatings at 60°C for 10 minutes (on each panel/wheel) before giving the bodywork a final wipe down with GYEON Q2M CURE and then re-fitting the various parts I had removed at the outset…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

To finish things off I gave the glass a final clean with Auto Finesse Crystal, vacuumed the interior (it was pretty much mint when the car arrived) and did a final visual check with our 3M Sun Gun to ensure that all surfaces were smear-free. Note that the exterior trims were not coated as they had been painted with trim paint as part of the previous respray work…

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

All in I spent around sixty hours on the detail; correction work, when aiming for as close to perfection as possible, takes time! Luckily for me the weather was glorious in the run up to the owner collecting the car, and I was able to roll it outside to photograph it in bright sunlight. Seeing the paint look like this makes all of the effort feel supremely worthwhile!

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Golf Mk2 GTI - Correction Detail

Clark @ PB

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8 Responses to “Golf Mk2 GTI – Correction Detail”

  1. Garry says:

    My favourite Golf, top job as always, thanks for posting on your site.

  2. Mark M says:

    Looks fantastic!

  3. Donna says:

    Incredible job!

  4. Paul F says:

    Wow! Superb finish.

  5. richard says:

    Stunning, as always nice detail.

  6. FC says:

    Brilliant work as always. What’s PB’s best suggestion for either restoring the black bumper trim or painting it as in this case? Any particular products more with more longevity?

  7. @Garry, @Mark M, @Donna, @Paul F, @richard – Thanks everyone!

    @FC – Thanks! Had the trims not been painted we would have cleaned them with Swissvax Plastic Wash (during the wash process), then degreased them with GYEON Q2M PREP (once the car was inside and dry) and then coated them with GYEON Q2 TRIM (at the same time as applying the other GYEON coatings). As long as you have access to an indoor workspace then this approach is the best we can suggest, as GYEON Q2 TRIM is by far the most durable trim restorer we currently use and sell (if you don’t have an indoor workspace then Nanolex Trim Rejuvenator is another excellent choice). With regards to having such trims painted; this is outside our sphere of knowledge, and you would need to speak to a specialist bodyshop about it.

  8. Captain Chilled says:

    Great job guys! Nice to see an 80s (I think!) classic brought back to life.

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