: Detroit's Finest: CTS-V rejuvenated



MuttGrunt
03-07-10, 07:49 PM
The Cadillac CTS-V has grown in popularity and gained quite a following since it came out featuring an LS-series engine and 400hp in an entry luxury sedan. I'm personally a fan of not only the engine, but the comfortable interior and subtle exterior changes - the front grill is the hallmark of the "V-series" look and transforms the CTS from an ordinary ho-hum look to a force to be reckoned with: luxury mixed with Motor-City Muscle.

This owner purchased his V used last fall, and with the Spring quickly approaching, was looking to bring it back to its former glory. In addition to the work performed, the owner will be bringing it back within the next two months for a touch-up and a clear-bra application to the front end.

The owner brought it over and before we wanted to begin the clean-up, we wanted to ensure the wheels and brake components were cool enough to work on.

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01817.jpg


Mid 60's - so everything is ok. Next we walked around to check out the work we had in store for us.

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Headlamp housings weren't too bad, but could certainly use some love

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01835.jpg


Jacob continued the inspection process with the dual-LED Brinkmann while I got the wheels prepped with some CG Sticky Gel: no acidic wheel cleaners being used on these.

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01836.jpg


The Xenon and LED Brinkmann's are both great... but excel in different areas. The exact reason we use both.

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Nothing too bad, but in need of a little love

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Getting the party started

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After using a combo of the Zymol Wheel Brush, EZ Detail Brush, and a general purpose brush on the wheels, Jacob hit the wells with APC and a black Shmitt before I hit everything with the pressure washer

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Bring on the foam!

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01869.jpg

MuttGrunt
03-08-10, 01:45 PM
...and then I washed

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01872.jpg


Following the rinse, Dodo Juice born Slippery was used with Meg's clay to take care of surface contamination.

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01884.jpg


Finally prepped, we could take a look at what we truly had to work with. No more hidding. The results weren't good with some mystery nasty spots and a swirled-up car in general.

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Our goal was a quality two-step process to bring back the finish to a like-new state. Jacob started with the heavy polishing step using the limited edition Makita and Meguiar's 105

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01901.jpg


I followed with the PC using Meguiar's 205. Yup... that works:

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01902.jpg


Xenon Brinkmann

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01904.jpg


Indirect light:

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01908.jpg


I was able to get the chance to tape of the headlamp assemblies and show them a little love. To see how much of a difference there is - look at the difference in the reflection of me taking the picture:

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Polishing finished, we started to see the result of the work we put in

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I used the break from the action to catch up on my scholarly duties as shown in this reflection shot:

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01938.jpg

MuttGrunt
03-09-10, 02:27 AM
Even the formerly dull tail-lamp housings had a big turn-around

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01845.jpg

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As did the exhaust tips

http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr220/jacobbunyan/2006%20Cadillac%20CTS-V%20Detail/DSC01827.jpg

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The true final results were captured almost two weeks later when we paired up with up-and-coming local photographer Steven Pham to truly capture the timeless beauty of this Cadillac. While I think our photo's are fine, when you bring in an artist with the proper equipment, you can often get much more dramatic results.

Once everything was set to go, we headed out to a coin-op Do-it-Yourself car wash. I prepped all the detailing supplies I would need both at the wash and at various locations to keep the car in proper order. Two 5-gallon buckets with Grit guards and sealable lids filled with hot water were brought to the car wash bay, as were mitts to wash, drying towels, quick detailer, wheel cleaner, wheel cleaning brushes, plush microfiber towels, diluted ONR in a chemical sprayer, gloves, tire dressing, etc.
Once arrived, I got busy and Steven got to take a few shots to show the transformation.


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At this point I am beginning to see the changes. At first the car had salt all around car which made it look dull and very much dirty.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4409669998_3ab864640a_b.jpg



Now generally when my parents or friends would take their car to a self wash, they would never wash it by hand nor do such a thorough job. The whole car was already sprayed down but Marc hand washed the the car starting at the top showing how much it can make a difference. He saved the lower portions, which were dirtiest, for last.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4004/4408906729_30274c05d2_b.jpg



At this point I was really amazed and could see the difference in how the detailig work affected the look of the CTS. The car was beginning to literally look like a mirror. It was glossy enough to see yourself clearly in.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4409677172_aecc7245d3_b.jpg


Here are some of my favorite shots Steven took at the car wash - such tight and zoomed-in images capture how clean the surface really was.

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MuttGrunt
03-09-10, 10:27 PM
The following photo's were all taken in Detroit, Mi. Below shows the beastly CTS-V at the Packard Plant. Established in 1907, this plant produced some of the most early luxury vehicles at the time. During its peak, close the 40,000 workers would come in on one day. The company ended around the late 1950's and the entire nearly 40 acre building was left abandoned.

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This is my favorite shot of the day. It was simple and provided an excellent view of the Renaissance Center: a building owned by GM that also serves as General Motors Headquarters as well.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2751/4410451278_3ae7ab192d_b.jpg



This last shot was also at Belle Isle, which is a little island which is mostly a park in Detroit. I used a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide angle lens for the shot as I wanted to get the structure in the background while showing the entire car.

The other shots were all taken with a Nikon D90 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. No filters were used as I wanted to show the reflections that the car can produce. The last three shots were edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. I enhanced the colors, edited poles and wires that were sticking out,and added a watermark.

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Some of Steven's personal favorite shots can be seen at stevenphamphotoDOTcom

You can check out his other random photos at flickr: sil3ntp8nd8

For additional questions or comments, please contact Steven directly: stevenphamphotoATgmailDOTcom


Thanks for looking!!!



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dirt_cheap_fleetwood
03-10-10, 12:08 AM
Those are AMAZING. Props to you.

Jesda
03-10-10, 02:18 AM
Wow!!!

thebigjimsho
03-10-10, 09:13 PM
This thread started off fail and is now full of WIN!!!

Oleksakjr
03-14-10, 12:17 PM
wow! cool