View Full Version : Detailing the MGB

08-09-2003, 11:45 AM
I posted this on another (auto detailing) forum, thought I'd cross post since it is British after all!

From reading different threads here, particularly Mosca's review of Meguiar's #20/#26 I decided to detail my MGB a little different than in the past. I'm prepping the car a little prematurely for a few shows in September, so if I really hate my changes I'll have time to do it again - this is a work in progress...

I hadn't touched the car since May except for driving it several times a month. The doors, front fenders, hood, and front bumper were all done with the typical Zaino process (countless layers over the past two years), everything behind the doors has been Meguiars #26 without much else. The last layer of Z2 was added 6 months prior to this session and I didn't go out of my way to remove it - I'm trying to keep that in mind with comparisons of the products I put on top. This is a base/clearcoat paint that was finished in the early '90s:


Before I started working on the paint I pulled the window cranks, inner door panels (vinyl covered hardboard), and top door rails (vinyl covered wood) - polished the metal window frames, and chrome cranks/trim with Flitz. I cleaned the vinyl then doused it with a heavy coat of 303 - wiped the remaining 303 away after 10 minutes and let the parts sit overnight. The vinyl went from looking really good to looking new, without any greasy protectant on top:


The Wash:

The wash started with a very diluted Ultra Dawn solution to strip oil and wax off the car. While the rinse should have been enough I rewashed the car with Meguiars Gold Class car wash - that always seems to help keep the water spots down with my relatively hard Florida water:

Washed w/Dawn then Meguiar's Gold Class

At this point I stopped and thought long and hard about doing anything more than cleaning the rest of the car and putting the cover back on...but I'd already Dawned it, might as well go on...so back into the garage it went!


[ 08-09-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]

[ 08-09-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

08-09-2003, 11:45 AM

Partly because I thought it might cut the Zaino, and partly because I thought I just should, I decided to go over the paint with Meguiars Paint Cleaner from the 3-step process:


Meguiar's #7:

I don't recall seeing anyone actually advise for or against using #7 before #20/26 - I decided to use it partly because I've been considering just using a glaze for shows anyway - and partly to see how it would work with the other products:


Meguiar's #20:

Using Mosca's posts as a guide I applied a thin coat of Meguiar's #20 Poly Sealant, let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then wiped off. #20 was easy to put on and extraordinarily easy to wipe off. The end result with no sprays, etc, was an extra slick shiny reflective surface. I'd be happy with it as a final coat I think:


Meguiar's #26:

#20 was left to sit for a day then topped with #26 paste. This is #26 after about an hour on the car, although other threads say it might actually look better after a day or so:


When I took my first set of #26 pictures I was shocked at the difference...then I noticed the difference was some reflected light splashed up on the ceiling that made the color wash out in the paint (lots of reflections). I closed the garage door and moved around a little to minimize the ceiling reflections, but it's worth showing the original photo:


I don't have any end-result full-car photos yet - I've yet to do the tires, interior, top, and some other minor details I'll have finished by mid-week. So far I'm very impressed with the way this is coming out!

08-09-2003, 11:55 AM
Looking good, Scott!! The car looked great before you started, so can this be considered "gilding the lily"?

I will be interested to find out your conclusions. I am going to try a head-to-head comparison between Griot's Garage products and Zaino, so together We will have the nicer products just about covered. images/icons/grin.gif

08-09-2003, 11:59 AM
Thanks Steve!

Like I said, I almost just stopped after the wash, but I'd have had to rewax the rear of the car anyway. Pulling the door panels to clean them gave me a chance to waxoyl the doors and lube the locks and windows mechanisms.

You can compare the overall appearance of conventional waxes and products like Zaino, but they're still very different products. I'd love to hear about the differences you see. Zaino simply was the very best product for maintaining some black painted plastic I had on the Saturn. I'm learning that every good product has it's own good traits, we'll see how this combination works. I wanted to give the #20 a shot anyway.

[ 08-09-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

08-09-2003, 06:00 PM
Thanks Henri... I'm using all Meguiar's products now on this project - but the beginning pictures of Zaino were nice, as they should be.

Some of the Klasse products look excellent too but I can't get any locally and I had a lot of the Meguiar's stuff already.

Some people try Zaino and love it, other hate it. If you follow their directions to the letter, and the paint likes the Zaino then you'll be in business - otherwise it's back to the "conventional" stuff. For what it's worth, I've found Meguiar's #20 to be as close to Zaino as I've seen.

08-09-2003, 06:01 PM
Part 3:

The Trunk:

I'm working my way back, from the inside out. Right or wrong I'm doing a section at a time. I'm doing this project by hand so it isn't really causing me any problems.

Even though only part of this will be visible at the show(s), I decided to pull the spare tire, insulation strips, and carpet out of the trunk. The floor is the only part that will be completely covered, but the wheel arches and structural supports will be open for the public to see and deserve to be polished up like the rest of the car. The bulkhead is also exposed, but my awards and "dash plaques" go there for display.

The metal surfaces aren't quite to the standard that the exterior metalwork is - but close. The structural elements of the trunk are very reflective, and although they didn't photograph well they're like a mirror. I've tried polishing the trunk support without much luck - I think a chromed one would be a bit too much for the car so I'll leave it be for now.

I used the Meguiar's 3-step Paint Cleaner on just about everything in the trunk and under the trunk lid, then used Meguiar's #20. Again, I'm very impressed with the final results with #20 but I'm also very happy with how easily it comes off - that made reaching into all the corners pretty easy as it just wipes away!

I'll be leaving this part with just #20 I think:


...and the finished result:

[ 08-09-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

08-09-2003, 10:36 PM
There's a piece of lint on your spare tire cover! And you actually drive that car too! Amazing! coolgleam.gif

08-09-2003, 10:43 PM
There's more than one piece -- stupid carpet!

It won't look that way for long -- took me quite awhile just to get all the sand out of the trunk before I waxed it images/icons/grin.gif

Joe Reed
08-10-2003, 12:05 AM
Jeez....the parts of your car that are covered with carpet look better than the outside of mine!! graemlins/cryin.gif

tony barnhill
08-10-2003, 01:09 AM
Scott...I'd love to publish that entire series as a tech tip....if you want to, contact me off-bbs....that car is primo! You need to teach all of us hoew to do that....

08-10-2003, 03:27 AM
Scott...nice shine...looks like I need to invest in some of that Zaino stuff myself...I've been using Klasse...and getting good results...I wonder how it would compare...thanks for the details...looks cool... coolgleam.gif

08-10-2003, 08:26 AM
Thanks Tony, I'll put something together when it's done. I've been doing an hour at a time, it's HOT out there!

[ 08-10-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

tony barnhill
08-11-2003, 03:06 AM
Scott....we'll do a whole section on it like JDW's 'Painting 101' article!...by the way, he sent that to me a little at a time over a couple of weeks!

10-19-2003, 11:10 PM
Update on the MGB detailing...

First: Finishing off the trunk. I gave the carpeting a good vacuum using a dirt devil hand vac (the kind with carpet beater brush), including the spare tire cover.

The "dash plaques" have a magnetic lining on the back and are just stuck on (the magnets are self-stick, designed for business cards - stick them on and trim any excess with a razor blade). My "awards list" is made up of individual small placards made up on photoshop, printed on glossy photo paper, and stuck with the same magnets.


The window-sign is also made up with photoshop, printed on "white window decals" with a light coat of clear laquer for weather proofing. The decals are reuseable and just cling to the glass.


Finally - In September took 2nd place in a regional British car show in Titusville FL, and 2nd place in the American MGB Association show. This weekend the car took first place in another regional show at Safety Harbor(near Tampa) Florida.


tony barnhill
10-20-2003, 09:50 AM
aerog...I was just in Titusville a week or so ago (down visiting Roly of British American)..wish I'd known you were also there....now, if you'd just join "theMGList" over on my web page, I'd be able to find you when I travel...

10-20-2003, 10:19 AM
Hi Tony - when you came down here I was in the Bahamas working... can't tell where I'll end up from day to day anymore it seems.

Hope you had a nice trip!

[ 10-20-2003: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

10-20-2003, 07:48 PM
Car's looking good, Scott! Congratulations on the win!!

10-20-2003, 09:49 PM
Thanks Steve... one more Brit-car show this year, and another AACA one to go. Too bad too, the weather is just starting to get nice!

10-20-2003, 11:39 PM
Lucky man! Weather here is about to get miserable for the duration.....Summer was all too breif this year.

10-21-2003, 09:18 AM
I don't know about luck; fact is I look at summer the way you look at winter I think - I stay inside and "hibernate" in the A/C the best I can. Even at the show the other day the temperatures were in the low to mid 80s, but a lot of people were complaining about how hot the sun was. The dripping wet humidity didn't help much either, but at least there was a breeze images/icons/smile.gif

tony barnhill
10-21-2003, 09:43 AM
aerog....that's one of the things I noticed about the Cocoa area: humidity....say, do you have AC in that beautiful wine MGB?

10-21-2003, 04:30 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tony barnhill:
aerog....that's one of the things I noticed about the Cocoa area: humidity....say, do you have AC in that beautiful wine MGB?<hr></blockquote>

No A/C in the MG. I've thought about it, but I really don't drive it enough for me to go to the trouble, and I only really want to drive it when it's nice enough to have the top down. The MX5 takes care of my daily A/C driving and the top comes down easily for early morning and late evening rides when the sun isn't too hot.

Florida in general is humid. There are a few areas where it's more dry than others, but for the most part it's a huge sopping wet swamp. "Sunshine state" is also a misleading farce, but that's a discussion for another time images/icons/smile.gif

10-21-2003, 10:04 PM
I rather get the impression that Scott doesn't want us to figure out how good he's got it down there........each time I have been down to Florida it has been gorgeous!

Just kidding Scott images/icons/wink.gif

10-21-2003, 11:22 PM
I know you're kidding Steve but...seriously, work has a lot of influence here but otherwise - if I weren't near the ocean I'd have moved further north long ago (I recently explored the possibilities of eastern West VA or the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, but to no avail).


10-22-2003, 06:53 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Steve:
Isn't it funny? People in the more miserable climates........such as myself........yearn to move to the tropics. Those of us in Florida want to move north........Let's all go to Kansas!!!!!<hr></blockquote>

I don't think I mentioned it but... there has always been a huge influx of people from northern climates (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New England, etc) to Florida, particularly south Florida. Now - I can't quite figure out why people who get a small taste of oppressive heat every year think they want to experience it the majority of the time, but nevertheless they do move way down south.

Here's the interesting part: in the past several years Florida has seen a lot of those same people leave for northern Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, etc. I know several people in our club have left for good, a few others still come down here for a couple of months a year. Clever name for them: halfbacks, because they move half-way back images/icons/grin.gif

I don't care what people say, the weather is still annoying here. Today was the first completely clear day I've seen since spring.

John Moore
10-22-2003, 08:22 PM
I grew up in Georgia. I spent 7 years in Virginia Beach and have been in Upstate NY for a little over two years. While it's nice here, the winters are cold, long and tough on my cars. My wife has always wanted to move to Florida, but always thought it was too hot and humid! I've not spent too much time in California, but that looks like my kind of weather! coolgleam.gif

MGA Steve
10-22-2003, 08:35 PM

There should be plenty of room in California for you to move into. The Californians have all been moving to Colorado, Oregon, and Washington for the past few years.


10-23-2003, 03:32 AM
Isn't it funny? People in the more miserable climates........such as myself........yearn to move to the tropics. Those of us in Florida want to move north........Let's all go to Kansas!!!!!

John Moore
10-23-2003, 12:32 PM
That is true! I don't know, I like warm, dry and 70-80 degrees. Maybe Upstate NY in the summer and Florida during the winter. I think a few million old people and Canadians have already figured that one out already!

Forgot to mention, NICE WAX job Aerog! I wish my car looked 1/2 that nice!

10-23-2003, 02:18 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by MGA Steve:

There should be plenty of room in California for you to move into. The Californians have all been moving to Colorado, Oregon, and Washington for the past few years.



Each one of those Californians you see moved out because of 100 people who move in around them from outside. It's crowded!

John, we'd love to have you here. If you do come I beg you please, toss somebody out when get here, preferably one of those people who moved here and constantly complains about how much better it is "back home".


10-23-2003, 02:38 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John Moore:
That is true! I don't know, I like warm, dry and 70-80 degrees. Maybe Upstate NY in the summer and Florida during the winter. I think a few million old people and Canadians have already figured that one out already!

Forgot to mention, NICE WAX job Aerog! I wish my car looked 1/2 that nice!<hr></blockquote>


To be fair, the weather the past week has been fantastic here.

Usually the winter-crowd starts to trickle in about between now and Thanksgiving, then they're here in force until about March. Jacksonville through about Daytona is usually nice, further south just gets more muggy and hot.

It's not really as bad as I've rambled on about - just the summers are. I look at summer here like winter is up north, and vice versa.

10-23-2003, 05:18 PM
You make up for it with deoderant and A/C bills.

If I could find somewhere that was 65 all year I'd be happy I think images/icons/smile.gif

10-24-2003, 12:00 AM
Okay, 15-all. Who's serve is it? graemlins/crazy.gif

10-24-2003, 12:31 AM
I dunno, but I think I found your marbles!

10-24-2003, 03:16 AM
But shorts, sandals and t-shirts are cheaper than heavy boots and coats. images/icons/tongue.gif

10-24-2003, 11:22 AM
Oh goody! Oh yes, I know what I was going to counter with......have you ever seen a central-heating bill? Man!!!!!!!!! Natural gas is expensive.

10-24-2003, 01:52 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Steve:
have you ever seen a central-heating bill? Man!!!!!!!!! <hr></blockquote>

Yup, sure have images/icons/smile.gif

Have to face it - no matter where people live there will be good and bad things to comment on.

With that said, I sure don't miss yearly emissions and "safety" inspections - and car taxes images/icons/grin.gif