Enjoy some raw, detail-focused footage of a raw (and rare) driver-focused Civic Mugen RR.
The plan was to slap the GoPro on my head, hit record and crack on with a clean capturing the raw footage in the process and while that’s what I did, it didn’t quite work out as well as I’d hoped mostly due to me forgetting to adjust the field of view but still, I’d travelled a fair distance to be here and figured you’d still rather see some half-cocked, out of frame footage of a rare car being given a good clean than nothing at all, so just try your best to enjoy what I’ve managed to stitch together.
Quickly for the non Honda fan boy’s then, this purposeful looking Mugen RR, despite being ten years old still pretty much represents the ultimate Civic. Just 300 were produced by Mugen in Japan and they feature a raucous two litre naturally aspirated engine that revs to 9k and produces just shy of 240 bhp. Couple that with weight saving carbon fibre bumpers, an aluminium bonnet and forged wheels and it makes for a pretty nippy four door saloon, even by today’s standards.
Stats aside, first things first for the wash was to rinse out my buckets to remove any dirt left over from the previous day’s foray on the NSX-R before refilling and refrothing them in preparation for the next red-hot Honda.
The dirty gloss black wheels got seen to first and were given a pre-soak in the same citrus degreaser used in the last video. While you could just pre-rinse to knock the loose dirt off then go straight to a dedicated wheel cleaner, if you carry bulk products and pump sprays like this then it makes sense to give wheels, tyres and arches a good soak first to ensure that you’re pushing around as little dirt as possible when it comes to the subsequent contact clean.
Once the pre-clean was complete a liberal application of Bilberry wheel cleaner then helped to quickly cut through whatever dirt remained on the surface. Having already been soaked in degreaser I didn’t bother leaving this to soak and instead got straight to work with a varied selection of soft bristled brushes. And yes, I really need a ‘Buckanizer’ to save me blindly swishing around in the suds so I’ll put it on my Christmas list and see if Santa can ship me one over from the States!
In an ideal world rare, forged gloss black wheels like this would call for an in-depth up front clean and decontamination off the car, a correction to remove any swirls then a nice durable scratch resistant coating which would allow for subsequent super-soft maintenance cleaning but again with this car having not yet been treated to a full detail and me as always being pushed for time, I just treated them the best I could to remove the bulk of the dirt in a relatively safe manner.
Wheels cleaned, the lower sills and bumpers of the Mugen were then also sprayed with some citrus pre-wash to help cut through any heavier traffic film. Once that had been applied, some nice thick bubble gum-scented super foam was layered over it before being left to soak in for a few minutes to give the Milano Red paintwork and it’s corresponding exterior components a deep, contactless pre-clean.
It was then of course rinsed off from top to bottom with the pressure washer in a methodical and thorough manner as I believe this to be one of, if not the most important parts of the wash process as it’s the last chance you get to safely remove dirt before making physical contact with the car, so it makes sense to try and remove as much of it as you can here.
Once thoroughly pre-rinsed I then went onto contact washing the car with a freshly machine washed microfibre mitt which was flipped following the initial section of contact washing before being rubbed against the grit guard at the bottom of the rinse bucket to release any dirt particles, dunked in the wash bucket to reload it with fresh suds then placed back on the car to clean the next section.
It makes sense to wash the glass directly before cleaning the mitt out as the paintwork is the priority in terms of avoiding swirl marks therefore there’s no real benefit to reloading your mitt then going straight to a generally un-swirlable window. So painted panels first with a freshly sudsed-up mitt then finish off with a section of glass before cleaning it out and repeating the process if possible.
Again I apologise for some of these shots being frustratingly just out of frame, I did have to overlook some of the footage so just remain conscious of that fact as what you’re seeing here it isn’t necessarily the exact manner in which the car was washed but still, hopefully you get the general gist.
So with the car washed it was onto one final rinse off to remove the soaked in suds and while I said earlier that you should spend more time on the pre-rinse there’s obviously still going to be stray dirt particles encapsulated in the suds here so it makes sense to employ a certain level of detail before you go on to touch the car with a towel.
Talking of towels it was then time to dry the car in a similar manner to how I contact washed it with a fresh item taken from my travelling bag of tricks. Again, because the paintwork hadn’t been corrected and there were swirls already present I wasn’t too concerned about overly pampering it but still tried to be as gentle as realistically possible.
If the car is relatively well kept then after initially drying it off, providing the towel isn’t too dirty (which it shouldn’t be if you’ve properly washed the car) then I thoroughly wring it out so it’s just slightly damp, flip it to the finer pile that these blue ones I use feature and re-wipe the windows to remove any streaks. Obviously if you’re going to be properly cleaning them this isn’t necessary but if you don’t plan or have the time to, then this in my experience can get the exterior of the glass 95% clean and streak free.
It was at this stage the menacing grey clouds were getting ready to pee on my freshly dried Mugen bonfire, so I quickly finished off and got the car repositioned undercover for some further fettling.
The first thing I did once indoors then (aside from sticking a big middle finger up to the overcast sky outside) was to blow the gloss black wheels off with my Metro Sidekick to remove any remaining trapped water and eliminate the need to wipe them over and potentially inflict more marks.
I then opened up and wiped down the door shuts one by one with a clean general purpose towel to remove any standing water and residual dirt and it’s probably worth mentioning at this point that this was filmed following a hectic working week at Minutia with two all-nighters having been previously pulled, so although we’d quickly tidied around, just bear in mind that this is a working unit and not a museum.
The original Bridgestone Potenza tyres which unfortunately aren’t available in the UK anymore were then treated to a liberal application of CarPro PERL, which was worked over the surface with a fresh Tuf Shine applicator sponge and left to soak for a minute or two before being buffed over with a dry towel to remove any excess and leave a nice rich satin finish.
The final part of the process was to treat the Milano Red paintwork to some Koch Chemie FSE to knock back the unsightly water spots you may have seen during the drying process as well as to add an extra bit of pep to the Mugen RR’s step.
The limonine-based formulation was lightly sprayed over each section of the Civic in a nice controlled manner to prevent cross contaminating corresponding panels before being spread over the surface and subsequently buffed off with some nice new CarPro edgeless orange towels.
While you probably can’t appreciate the finish the FSE gives on this grainy GoPro footage, it really does leave even relatively poor, still somewhat contaminated or swirly surfaces looking and feeling super-slick, and the fact it eats up most forms of water spotting and streaking in the process is a major bonus!
As with most car cleaning and detailing processes you should generally try and work from top to bottom to prevent cross contamination and introducing fresh swirls, especially if the car hasn’t been fully decontaminated and of course if you have enough of them, swap your towels out every few panels if possible to keep things clean and fresh.
While we’re on the subject of towels, a fair few people posted comments on the last video asking if and how I wash mine and while that’s really a separate video in itself the answer is yes I generally machine wash all my towels; I put the polish and wax ones in together with the usually dirtier drying and general purpose towels being treated to a separate cycle.
Once all areas of the car had been detail sprayed, wiped and buffed I downed tools (or should that be towels) and took advantage of a sustained break in the clouds to pull the Mugen back out for some swift after shots.
Obviously I would have liked to have embarked on something a bit more in-depth but with visitors on the way to Minutia HQ and five hours worth of the abysmal UK motorway network still to navigate, I ultimately decided to keep it simple.
I’m still glad I got hands-on with the Mugen though as it looked super cool in the low-lying autumnal sun and even though much of the action was half-cocked it just wouldn’t have been right of me to tease you with a sneaky shot of it in the background of the last video and not go ahead and get it on film.
Hopefully I did it some justice and helped showcase the rare, razor-edged Katana of a car that it is and while it was only really a wash and a wipe, I am aiming to get something much more in-depth and correction-based filmed with my own motor before Christmas so stay tuned for that!