2002 reasons to save this BMW from soot and fire damage
Every now and then a lot of special cars are lost in storage fires.
Don’t you ever see the headlines? The ones that tell how many millions of euros went up in flames.
As a car enthusiast, it sometimes is very painful to read.
I was also called by a known owner of various old special cars.
“Serge we have a problem” begins the call a few months ago. “a paint wholesaler next to our warehouse went up in flames and caused massive damage to our hall and the cars inside”
“Luckily they rescued the cars and they didn’t get burned but they do have massive soot damage and a lot of fire. Can you help us?”
Well I can, but I had no idea what to expect because how bad were the cars?
And although I can help, I might not be able to do anything with the cars this time, I have no idea.
So I replied “bring it, we’ll see what we can do”
Arrival of the BMW 2002
Once inside, we first walked around the car.
The pungent burning smell soon filled the workshop, what a smell came out of this BMW.
And to make matters worse, the driver’s window had also been open during the fire, so what you saw on the outside was also on the inside of the car.
Now it is not the case that there was a BMW 2002 inside that was already in a very bad condition before the fire.
This German classic had been restored some years ago so it was really all recent pollution and maybe some dirt from an occasional road trip.
That does not alter the fact that in this condition it just looked like a barn find.
barn find? yes that is a car that has been in a shed somewhere for years and then accidentally discovered and removed from the shed.
Now the big difference was that we were dealing here with soot and not with dust.
Time to start cleaning
You will not treat an old-timer like a modern contemporary car.
It is important to work with respect and caution.
This BMW is of course already in a good restored condition and that is why we also try to maintain this condition, after all, it is all about cleaning.
If you are at the beginning of a restoration, you will work very differently.
So no high-pressure spray on the car, but first just an open hose and see what we can flush away.
After this, wash well with a washing glove and a bucket with shampoo and an added Aenso Primeuse cleaner which just strengthens the cleaning effect.
As a joke to show the difference we made a 50/50 over the entire car with one half clean and the other dirty.
Except for the hood, because I came up with the idea too late of course.
Under the hood it was just as dirty as above it was also tackled with a lot of patience, cloths, brushes, brushes etc.
It wasn’t fast but the result was very satisfying because the difference was really visible.
And of course everything with policy and care.
Clay and marring
For example, the entire exterior of the car was first cleaned in several steps.
To remove various pollution, you also need various cleaning steps, such as using steam in combination with All Purpose Cleaner.
This also applies to removing dirt with clay, which is not normal clay, but special clay made to actually pull dirt off the paint.
We did this in combination with a paint cleaner.
Only when we had cleaned a square as a test did you see how much of the black pollution had been absorbed into the paint.
The downside of clay and this pollution is that after you’re done with it you’ve caused your marring.
Clay is often sold to people to make the paint so nice and smooth, but it does not tell you that it is actually a step you take before you start polishing.
Because marring is a light haze that is caused by the clay, you can even make fine scratches with it.
Of course we will polish, so this doesn’t matter to us.
don't clay if you don't polish
Well and then the interior, that is a completely different way of cleaning.
We removed the seats and vacuumed everything thoroughly.
Afterwards, all upholstery was cleaned with a mild cleaner, steam and extractor.
Jet-black water poured out from every seat.
After almost a day of work on just the interior, everything was clean.
An ozone treatment was given to eventually remove the burning smell from the car.
And I must say the car smelled wonderfully fresh again.
The bottom of the car
The underside of the car was careful because it was completely treated with Tectyl, this is done to prevent rusting.
This is a bit difficult to clean but it is doable, you just have to make sure that you do not remove the protective layer, but because we only remove the soot deposits, this went well.
Personally, I think Tectyl is a somewhat old-fashioned way of protecting, but on the other hand, it works.
Fortunately, after removing the rims, we were able to clean all other things on the underside with the help of a powerful cleaner and steam.
Again, many hours were spent here, but the combination with steam did provide the desired results.
Polishing and paint correction
The great thing about the bumpers on this car is that we could actually polish them and the differences from before and after were huge.
But here too we first made sure that they were completely free of soot and dirt.
Especially the rear of the bumpers showed considerable contamination.
The clay and the paint cleaner had made the paintwork a huge change and it was really clean but it didn’t do the sensitive orange paint any good in terms of appearance.
there was a white haze over the entire car and there was marring and light scratches.
What was also striking is that the restoration was neatly sprayed, only everything was still covered with sanding scratches, so it was not well finished after sanding by polishing.
Because we still have to polish, we immediately solved this by starting roughly and reducing it in various polishing steps until the paint was completely corrected and tight.
Again a time-consuming job, but it is exactly what we love to do.
All used polishing pads went straight into the trash, because despite the careful cleaning of the paint, the pads were still dirty and no longer usable.
It’s actually bizarre how much dirt you can still pull out of the paint with polishing.
He does shine, really cool
The end result is often the best.
We are then all looking at the result of our hard work and the many hours we have put into it.
I always do the standard inspection round around the car and when it is perfect, the typical words always come out “it does shine, isn’t it, really cool”
Then everyone is double again because there you have him again.
I can’t help it either, I’m always proud when it worked again.
Cars that have suffered smoke damage or fire damage are by definition not immediately written off for almost everything, a solution is especially if you have a team of trained specialists who try with heart and soul to get everything original and even at a better level.
Together we have completed this project nicely and the owner? He was more than satisfied.