1998 BMW M3. Polished & leather restoration. TSC17! - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community



1998 BMW M3. Polished & leather restoration. TSC17!

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Old 10-12-2008, 07:32 PM   #1
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1998 BMW M3. Polished & leather restoration. TSC17!

BMW's M3 is a classic regardless of the year, and this 1998 model was in exceptional condition for a 10 year old vehicle. The owner of this car has another '98 M3 in Purple (Techno Violet I believe it's officially called) that I will be working on in a few weeks...then comes his brand new Z06 after that!

The paint was in pretty good condition. It had its fair share of swirls, but still had a lot of gloss to it as the owner does a great job of keeping it clean. We opted for a more simple polish on the exterior instead of going for full correction. This way I could dedicate more time on the interior.

The past 10 years hadn't been as forgiving on the interior as the exterior. The leather is (very) light grey...almost white. There was a tremendous amount of staining, and built up dirt and grime that I knew wouldn't come out with the standard chemicals. After my initial meeting with the owner, we opted for a restoration package on all leather surfaces courtesy of Leatherique. I haven't found another product that does as good of a job bringing life back to neglected or aging leather as Leatherique does...it's expensive, but it's worth it.

In the end, the exterior had a beautiful glow to it and it was smooth and slick (thanks to Optimum). The interior went through a complete transformation, and the owner couldn't believe how nice it now looked. Another satisfied customer!

Total time: 8 hours

Exterior Cleaning:
Wash with Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Clear at paint prep ratio (for stripping any wax)
Clay with Chemical Guys fine clay and ONR lube
Wheels washed with P21S Wheel Gel
Engine cleaned with Megs APC+
Door shuts cleaned with ONR
Tires dressed with Sonus Tire Gel

Polishing:
Menzerna SIP with white pad. Rotary
Optimum Poli-Seal with white pad. PC

Sealed with Optimum Opti-Seal for long term durability
Waxed with Optimum Car Wax

Interior Cleaning:
Vacuum interior and trunk
Clean all surfaces with Woolite/water
Optimum Protectant Plus
Megs Interior Detailer
Leatherique leather restoration system (Rejuvenator + Prestine Clean)

Tools:
Makita 9227c rotary polisher w/Megs W66 backing plate
Porter Cable D/A polisher
Blaster Sidekick blow dryer
Canon Rebel Xsi with 18/55mm lense

First to the interior.

As you can see, there's a tremendous amount of buildup on the leather surfaces. This is the armrest area in the backseat passenger side.


The driver's seat was the worst as would be expected.





The backseats were very dirty as well. Some of the label from the seat belts had even transferred onto the seating surfaces and were difficult to remove.



10 years of armrest grime!



Closeup



And on the passenger side as well



The armrest was showing some dirt and wear as well



Leatherique to the rescue!

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Old 10-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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When using Leatherique, you need time and heat. First you apply the Rejuvinator liberally to all surfaces. This is a deep conditioner and it soaks into the leather and brings all of the dirt to the surface. The best way to do it is to apply, and then let the car sit in the sun with the windows up to create a steamroom effect. If the temperatures are cooler out, you can cover the surfaces in plastic and then heat it up with a blow dryer. You can leave it on for 4 or 5 hours if there's a lot of heat, or you can do like I did and also let it work its magic overnight.

After the Rejuvinator has worked, then you clean the residue and dirt off with the second step (Prestine Clean). Spray it on, buff it off, and then go back and wipe it all down with a damp towel.

Applying the Rejuvinator with a foam brush:



Here's what it looked like with it soaking in:



I put plastic on the seats to protect the seat belts



This shot shows just how dirty the leather was



After. What a huge difference!!











Remember how nasty that armrest area was?

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Old 10-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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The backs of the seats were plastic, and were beat up badly from years of shoes. They cleaned up nicely with Megs APC+ at 10:1









And now for the exteriors. I didn't take before shots because it was pretty clean.







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Old 10-12-2008, 07:34 PM   #4
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for looking!
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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Great job!
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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wow, it looked almost brand new afterwards... great job dude
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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that leather cleaner is amazing!!! i may have to invest in some. where exactly did you get it from?
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:05 PM   #9
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What he said ^^. Where did you get it.

I have some pics of a 1995 BMW I recently "restored" appearance-wise. However, I don't have before pics so it just looks like a well preserved 14 year old Bimmer. (mine)

You did a superb job, Todd, -judging from the pics. It's a beautiful car. One of the finest, meticulous detail jobs I have seen. You've found your true calling.



Dave
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #10
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now its time to grab the credit card and order leatherique... This is the first time I've seen it in action, but its been recommenced by many. You did an excellent job on it I think you can buy leatherique at autogeek, i wish patrick would stock it...
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:22 PM   #11
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And here's a clue for all the Acura owners who bitch about getting wrinkles in their leather seats after a few months:

Hello? It's skin, Dood. It stretches and shrinks to fit your ass which is why it's so comfortable.

I recently looked at M-B McClaren and also Rolls-Royce on their respective showroom floors. New.

They all had "wrinkles" in the driver's seat.

My TL is 4 1/2 years old now. I keep the leather conditioned with Zaino Leather in a Bottle every few months. The wrinkles are barely perceptible.

Csmeance and ggesq have both seen it and can vouch for that.

With fine, quality autos, the key is to get them right and keep them there.

Interestingly, in the new 4th generation TL, you get plain leather and the perforated glove leather that we got standard on the 3rd generation is part of the optional, extra cost Tech Package. That's typical in M-B and BMW also. The perforated, soft leather is an extra cost option.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:31 PM   #12
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amazing job on the interior... great overall!!!

...thanks for all the good pics
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:41 PM   #13
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Beautiful work!!!

I have those exact same wheels. Never used P21S before, but does it work well keeping the lip clean on these wheels?
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:44 AM   #14
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Leatherique is a miracle worker
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:25 AM   #15
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Great job Todd, you and Leatherique made a huge improvement!
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusTracker View Post
Great job!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01_CL-S_Dominic View Post
wow, it looked almost brand new afterwards... great job dude
Huge transformation on the interior for sure! Thanks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm982 View Post
that leather cleaner is amazing!!! i may have to invest in some. where exactly did you get it from?
You can get it from several places, but the best "deal" on it currently is directly through www.leatherique.com. Deal is a relative term because it's $65.00 for the kit PLUS shipping. Use it a few times a year though and your leather surfaces will stay soft and supple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpditor View Post
What he said ^^. Where did you get it.

I have some pics of a 1995 BMW I recently "restored" appearance-wise. However, I don't have before pics so it just looks like a well preserved 14 year old Bimmer. (mine)

You did a superb job, Todd, -judging from the pics. It's a beautiful car. One of the finest, meticulous detail jobs I have seen. You've found your true calling.



Dave
Thank you for such kind words. Not bad for a Regional Sales Manager by trade, and part-time detailer by weekend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
now its time to grab the credit card and order leatherique... This is the first time I've seen it in action, but its been recommenced by many. You did an excellent job on it I think you can buy leatherique at autogeek, i wish patrick would stock it...
Thanks. If you use it, just be patient and it will net stellar results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSithCL View Post
amazing job on the interior... great overall!!!

...thanks for all the good pics
Thanks. Sometimes I get carried away on the photos, but I'm glad you appreciate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MD03CL-S View Post
Beautiful work!!!

I have those exact same wheels. Never used P21S before, but does it work well keeping the lip clean on these wheels?
P21S is a gentle cleaner that does a great job with brake dust and overall grime. You probably would want to use another light polish afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denzil View Post
Great job Todd, you and Leatherique made a huge improvement!
Thanks Denzil!
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:30 AM   #17
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Beautiful work as usual! Have you ever had to use multiple coats of leatherique to get the softness back into the leather? I have yet to try leatherique but have been meaning to for some time now. How much of the product did you use on that bimmer? I have read that you have to use it quite liberally and one bottle only will do one or two applications? any comment? thanks! and again awesome turn around and post.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by conan777 View Post
Beautiful work as usual! Have you ever had to use multiple coats of leatherique to get the softness back into the leather? I have yet to try leatherique but have been meaning to for some time now. How much of the product did you use on that bimmer? I have read that you have to use it quite liberally and one bottle only will do one or two applications? any comment? thanks! and again awesome turn around and post.
Thanks Conan!

I used far less than the recommended amount. Quite frankly, I don't see how you could use that much since it will eventually run on vertical surfaces. I probably used only 4 ounces of the Rejuvenator on the entire car...less than that on the Prestine Clean. One of the big keys is time and allowing the first stage to completely soak in, penetrate, and condition the leather.

If it were very old leather, or stuff in just horrible shape, I could see the need to do it twice to get it nice and soft. After that, you'd probably want to do it a couple of times per year to keep it that way.

Oh, and I bought the big 32 oz kit, so it should last me a while.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:24 PM   #19
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You did a simply brilliant job on the exterior. It's been a while since I've seen a silver car have such a mirror finish like that. Fantastic work!
As for the interior, well I believe the pictures speak for themselves, especially the driver's seat. One word...stunning.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:57 PM   #20
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You did a simply brilliant job on the exterior. It's been a while since I've seen a silver car have such a mirror finish like that. Fantastic work!
As for the interior, well I believe the pictures speak for themselves, especially the driver's seat. One word...stunning.
Hey thanks! I certainly appreciate you taking the time to comment on my work.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:42 PM   #21
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Hey Todd!
Unbelievably GREAT job on the leather! I actually was linked here from the Leatherique site...

Is that euro-pile still running now, 8 years later?! (You know BMW and Honda are mortal enemies right?)

Cheers!
Tosh
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