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My Brera's first detail

Hi guys.

Picked up my 56 plate 2.2 JTS last week. As always with 2nd hand cars from a garage, it was clean but nowhere near clean enough for me. So today I set about giving it a proper once over. Didn't go so far as using a machine polisher, but fully intend getting one this year!

Brief overview:

- wheels cleaned with APC and various brushes
- badges, door shuts etc. cleaned with dilute APC - about 10:1. They were pretty clean already TBH.
- bodywork shampooed with hot water/Fairy/Megs wool mitt (before you all faint over my use of Fairy , it's a one off to get rid of the wax and has never done any harm on other cars I've had)
- 2 bucket method, obviously. No grit guard, I have to admit.
- clayed using Halfords stuff. Not bad at all I have to say. Easy and effective.
- Rinsed off with PW.
- Dried with MF towels, Megs I think.
- Bilt Hamber Auto balm. A real knack to applying this. Very, very sparing use and quick removal seems to be the key. First coat was my learning curve and quite difficult at times TBH, but it went on/off beautifully on the 2nd coat. Excellent stuff. Used it on all the windows and windscreen (as picked up on another forum).
- Wheel done with AG alloy wheel sealant.
- Tyres dressed with AG Tyre/trim stuff.
- Exhaust cleaned (as much as possible) with some Autosol type stuff. Might be AG metal polish, can't remember.


Looks immeasurably better than when purchased and I'm really pleased with it. Super happy with the Autobalm, too.

No before pictures I'm afraid and no interior pics as I didn't do that today. I have, however, given the leather seats, armrest, steering wheel and other surfaces a light wipe down with a magic sponge, and the leather looks nearly brand new! All matt, no shininess.

Here are some pics - be kind, please!
Attached Images
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Last edited by Senocular; 22-03-10 at 00:05.
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super stuff mate! looks lovely; looks lower at the rear than standard to my eyes - maybe it's just my eyes though
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Wonderful looking car. Red cars are always very rewarding to detail
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Top notch sir.
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Superb, what a stunner. My next Alfa WILL be red!!

When buying a new/used car it's always nice spending a day cleaning, waxing, tinkering with it as it gives you the opportunity to really get to know it as well as sort of "taking ownership".
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The back definitely looks lower?
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Lovely stuff mate.

That red looks absolutely superb.

Both my Alfa's have been black but looking at those photos, I agree with others here that if I buy another Alfa, it may well be red.
 
(Post Link) post #8 of 39 Old 22-03-10 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

The rear. Hmm, does look low, doesn't it? I'd check it right now if I could, except my wife has nabbed the car for the umpteenth time. And to think she was initially dead against this purchase - she loves the attention she gets in the Brera more than me!

Right, dry with light cloud today - perfect weather to try out the Bilt Hamber on my X5. Something tells me this is going to be quite a long day.
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Looks awesome.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 39 Old 22-03-10 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalel View Post
Lovely stuff mate.

That red looks absolutely superb.

Both my Alfa's have been black but looking at those photos, I agree with others here that if I buy another Alfa, it may well be red.
When I was on the lookout for a Brera, I told all the dealers I was in contact with, NOT to shortlist red cars, as I just 'wasn't interested.' I've had one red car in the past and wasn't in a mad rush to have another, TBH. Then, on my millionth time on Autotrader, I decided to look at a red one because it was in my budget range. There was something about the lines and the colour that made me have a second thought. The more I looked at it, the more I felt the Brera was meant to be red (you can tell I'm good at rationalising my purchases ) and I bought it! The only thing about Alfa Red, though, is it seems to be softer nowadays and therefore more prone to chipping.

The Bilt Hamber has made it so much glossier and deeper, it's untrue - and covered loads of swirls into the bargain. Only 15, too (what am I going to do with the barely used AG HD wax? - more stockpiling in the garage, it seems!)


Edited to add: looking at my posts, they seem like an advert for BH! No link to the company in any way, just utterly blown away at the results of what can be achieved compared to some other, much more expensive, waxes. The filling ability on its own, is a godsend to me.

Last edited by Senocular; 22-03-10 at 10:13. Reason: Disclaimer!
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Great results, love the Brera, great looking car. So did the Bilt Hamber fill in more swirls compared to AG SRP?
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(Post Link) post #12 of 39 Old 22-03-10 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpoolck View Post
Great results, love the Brera, great looking car. So did the Bilt Hamber fill in more swirls compared to AG SRP?
Thanks!

In my opinion, and I'm not alone in this, the filling capabilities of this are nothing short of crazily good - AG SRP has had it's place but I'm afraid it is now completely redundant, for me. The only downsides I can think of with BH are that it smells very chemically and there is a learning curve to the application. If you put tiny, and I do mean tiny, amounts of it on, spread it thinly (and I do mean thinly!), and wipe it off almost straight away, it's easy! As said above , progressive coats are even easier.

Other reasons why my AG SRP will never be used again:

- You can use Autobalm everywhere, including windows and windscreen.
- At the rate I used it yesterday, I can't see myself buying another tub of Autobalm for years!
- There is no - nothing, nada, zip - white residue with BH and it can be used on black plastics with no fear.
- AG SRP has mild correction abilities but, given the masking abilities of BH, I'd take the latter over SRP any day and get a proper machine polish when the time comes for a quick correction. With BH though, I can see the day when I need that full correction, as being more distant than it was before I used it.

There are loads of threads dotted around the Interweb about this stuff with some quite amazing pictures. It is honestly the first car product that I've used that I feel almost evangelical about (apart from the Magic sponge, but that'll be another thread! )
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I did buy a Magic Sponge, but lost it before I could get a chance of using it, going to buy one tomorrow when I see the Autoglym Rep for my area.
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I agree on the B and H stuff.
It is a real pain to get right! I had a black car last time round, and when done properly with the resin is looked almost liquid like.
And it really does keep it easier to clean for a while after, the muck just doesn't stick.

Great looking car, keep up the effort!
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Minty fresh probably better than when Alfa painted originally.
 
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Nice one lovely car and best color . I wana detail mine now
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Very very Nice
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Brera's look better in red dress
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Beautiful!

Where did you get the BH from?
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(Post Link) post #22 of 39 Old 22-03-10 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyRules View Post
Beautiful!

Where did you get the BH from?
Thanks!

I bought it on Ebay for 15 delivered. I think you can get it cheaper but I wasn't fussed over a couple of quid and I got it next day by recorded mail.

Did my X5 today - Monaco Blue with loads of swirls.

O....M....G.

It makes swirls and lights scratches disappear before your eyes! Phenomenal stuff, and the correction I had planned for summer is now indefinitely postponed.
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Thats a lovely example mate and I would die for a Brera! I have BH Auto balm and i have to agree on the finish which was sublime but it was a pain to apply! I only did half panels then buffed off but when it wained i found i had marring which i put down to the pressure needed to remove it. That said though i had cleansed with Zymol HD Cleanse which is also a pig to remove (well it was that day!) I didnt know you could use it on glass mind so thats one to keep in the memory banks! It does look like poo aswell haha
Once again great work! If it aint black its red for sure.



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(Post Link) post #24 of 39 Old 22-03-10 Thread Starter
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Hi Gizto! many thanks for the compliments! Re, the Brera, I always wanted one but settled on the Mito 155 Veloce. This year I was on the lookout and I ended up doing a straight swap for a (much older, obviously) Brera.

I've followed your growing obsession with detailing over your ownership (used to own a Mito like your's and I'm sure you're on DW?) and have been trying to emulate you somewhat! I was really proud of my Mito and apart from correction, I didn't feel I could get it any better.

Having now done my 2nd car with BH, I think I've got the application sussed. I keep the applicator (I use a sponge) slightly more than damp - if that makes sense - and also spritz the panel with water. I find that this makes it much easier for that otherwise difficult first layer go on thinner, consequently being much easier to buff off. Then I do the second layer which is just so easy. Again, I stress, you need tiny amounts of this stuff. I did 2 coats on the X5 in less time than it took me to do the Brera yesterday, so I'd confidently say technique is key.

The way this stuff covers swirls, with none of the "5-hits" business of AG SRP has to be seen to be believed.

Re. the glass, it was raining today and I realised that it's fine for the windows, but it's no real match for Rain-X, though it did work quite well.

Last edited by Senocular; 22-03-10 at 23:06.
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That is a seriously sexy car
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