Acura Integra Type-R exterior detailing

The Acura Integra Type-R is almost a cult classic in the import world. A street car with race inspired suspension, brakes, engine, and styling that is hard to find anymore in decent condition. This Integra Type-R had been sitting for years in a somewhat poor state of condition, both cosmetically and mechanically. It was recently purchased by an old friend of mine and he brought it to me to get properly cleaned up visually, while he took care of the mechanical side of things. The car had a number of issues; stains in the seats, a huge key scratch, paint transfer scuffs, and a swirled and scratched black metallic paint surface that hardly looked black anymore. Read on to get the scoop on how I used my Level 3 Exterior detail package, along with some custom processes and techniques, to bring this fantastic car back to life!

As usual, I started off by cleaning the interior of the car. There were a number of minor stains and the interior carpet and seats were just dirty in general. After vacuuming the entire interior of the car, I went to work with my steam cleaner and steamed every carpet surface as well as the seats and mats. Steam cleaning not only cleans, but it disinfects the surfaces as well, a plus for a car that had been sitting as long as it had. The dash, doors, and interior plastic panels were all cleaned and then protected using 303 Aerospace Protectant. The pictures below show the before and after shot, as well as the dirt and grime picked up by the microfiber used in conjunction with the steam cleaner.

IMG_6307 IMG_6313 IMG_6311

Once the interior was good to go, it was time to move on to the outside of the car. A 2-bucket hand wash and paint decontamination process was completed using a number of high quality products such as Chemical Guys Citrus WashCarPro Iron X, and Clay Magic detailing clay, among others.

Once the car was thoroughly dried, I tackled the defect areas by first starting with the rear bumper. It had looked like the car was either hit by another car, or hit some sort of pole or curb that was painted white. At any rate, using some advanced wet sanding techniques, followed by compounding and polishing using my Rupes 21ES and PC 7424XP dual action polishers, I was able to remove most of the defects and make the bumper presentable.

IMG_6318 IMG_6319 IMG_6320

Next up was probably the biggest task of the job, which took a number of hours to complete. The car was mercilessly keyed on the drivers side rear quarter panel. About 8″-10″ of the scratch was so deep that it was through to the metal of the panel. I prepped the panel by lightly wet sanding the area and polishing it to get it good and clean. The deep areas of the scratch were then filled with touch up paint and let to dry.

IMG_6323 IMG_6324 IMG_6326 IMG_6328

Once the touch paint had dried, it was on to the finishing steps. The scratch area was masked so the initial heavy wet sanding only took down the touch up paint, and not the clear coat. After the touch paint was knocked down to the clear coat level, another careful wet sanding session was applied to smooth everything out. To complete the process, the area was compounded and then polished to a mirror finish. The end result was a key mark that was no longer a giant eyesore, but only noticeable to the keen eye looking for a blemish. Mission accomplished!

IMG_6352 IMG_6357 IMG_6358 IMG_6359 IMG_6360

Now the fun part of my Level 3 Exterior detail was to begin! I brought out my Rupes 21ES Big Foot polisher and went to work with Rupes yellow polishing pads, and Sonax Perfect Finish polish. This combination yields fantastic swirl and scratch removal results, while creating a mirror like polished finish to the paint. The pictures below showcase a number of polished areas next to their pre-polish state. Pretty good results for black paint, considering this was only a 1-step polishing process!

IMG_6334 IMG_6338 IMG_6339 IMG_6340 IMG_6343

Just for a frame of reference, below are a number of photos from when the car first came to be. Dirty and in dire need of a wash, the paint hardly looked black, but more like a dull, dark grey, from some angles!

IMG_6305 IMG_6300 IMG_6301 IMG_6304

The final steps were to apply one of my favorite paint sealants, Blackfire Wet Diamond, and then touch up the rest of the exterior bits like the exhaust tip and tire sidewalls. I like Chemical Guys Metal Wax for the chrome bits and in my opinion, it is hard to beat Meguiar’s Hyper Dressing for the tires. Absolutely saving the best pictures for last, below you will see the finished product, looking like a proper Integra Type-R 🙂

IMG_6378 IMG_6380 IMG_6381 IMG_6374 IMG_6375
IMG_6386 IMG_6387 IMG_6388 IMG_6385

See below for a full list of products used in this custom detail:

  1. Grit Guards
  2. Chemical Guys Citrus Wash
  3. Sheepskin wash mitts
  4. DI Brushes EZ Detail Brush
  5. CarPro Iron X
  6. Clay Magic detailing clay
  7. 303 Aerospace Protectant
  8. Microfiber waffle weave drying towels
  9. Microfiber all purpose towel
  10. Microfiber applicator
  11. Rupes LHR 21ES
  12. Porter Cable 7424XP
  13. Rupes Yellow polishing pads
  14. Lake Country Orange cutting pad
  15. Sonax Perfect Finish
  16. Meguiar’s Ultra-Cut M105
  17. Lake Country black finishing pads
  18. Blackfire Wet Diamond paint sealant
  19. Meguiar’s Hyper Dressing
  20. Chemical Guys Metal Wax