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Down the Homestretch

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Cleaning the Cobalt: Day 11.

That's not a typo and it's not over.

I put in another eight hours today. That makes 54 – with another day to go.

I'm coming down the homestretch and I do have one single day left before I have to be completely finished. That means compromise time.

Thankfully, I don't have much to compromise.

Today I finished the waxing, cleaned the trim, repaired the faded plastic cowl vent, jammed the trunk opening, finished detailing the engine bay, and cleaned some of the exterior glass.

The waxing didn't go off without a hitch. It wasn't the Mothers Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax, though, it was the idiot doing things like overspraying detailer and dressing on the wax, smearing it with sweaty body parts, and such that caused the problems. That's okay, it was surprisingly easy to fix the wax by applying some more and buffing it out.

Cleaning the trim took a good chunk of the day. I didn't follow Mothers' advice to use a protectant on the trim before polishing, glazing, and waxing, though, so I only had myself to blame. Honestly, I thought it was a little sketchy. I figured I might contaminate the wax and have to start over. However, I'll test it in the future, because that was an ass eater.

The faded plastic cowl vent was surprisingly easy, as well. Once I cleaned it with the Mothers Back-to-Black Heavy Duty Trim Cleaner, I used some house-grade 3M General Purpose Masking Paper to mask the paint, and hit it with the Mothers Back-to-Black Trim and Plastic Restorer Aerosol and I was done. I even included the faded windshield wipers and they turned out just as good. It's almost like their all brand new and it only took one coat.

After that, I jammed the trunk opening in a multi-step process. It was pretty dirty again from the washing, and I didn't have time to deal with cleaning, rinsing, and drying again, so I used Sprayway Glass Cleaner and a Scott's Shop Towel to wipe it down, then I followed up with Mothers' Professional Instant Detailer and it looked shiny and new. Then I turned to the trunk seal. It's still in great shape, so it didn't need to be resuscitated, but I do want to keep the seals that way, so I treat them. Believe it or not, Chevrolet recommends using dialectric grease in the owner's manual. I've done it and I won't do it again. Instead, I use Meguiar's M40 Mirror Glaze Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner & Conditioner. Awesome stuff. I used to pre-clean the seals with either GreaseMaster, then rinse, or Meguiar's M39 Mirror Glaze Heavy Duty Vinyl Cleaner, but I've come to appreciate the dual action cleaning and conditioning of the Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner & Conditioner, and now I just use that. It also works well on plastic – at least in my experience – so I dressed a plastic panel in the trunk with it as well.

Detailing the engine bay was as simple as grabbing the Mothers Professional Silicone-Free Dressing, spraying the bay down and rubbing it in with a Scott's Shop Towel and a Mothers Wheel Brush. It really turned out great. In fact, you can see it in the title image for this post.

I finished up by trying to clean the windshield, the interior and exterior of the driver's side window, and driver's side quarter glass. That happened in the last dregs of dusk, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how it turned out. On the positive side, I managed to toss the new wiper blades on before I quit for the evening, so that's one less thing to get done tomorrow.

All right, that's it for today. Tomorrow is the final push for the finish line. Hopefully I won't have to compromise too much – I only have to clean off the wheels and tires (they got gunk on them during the rest of the cleaning), finish the glass inside and out (which may or may not include shining them up with Mothers' Chrome Polish, one of those compromise things), jam the driver's and passenger's side door openings, and cleaning and detailing the interior.

Until next time.

Ryan

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