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March 2, 2012

10

Intermediate Detail: Mercedes E-Class W212 (Black)

by Kenneth Tang

A minor correction on this 6 months old E-Class, in glorious black.

When the car arrived, I was expecting to see ton of swirls, being a black car and all. To my surprise, the owner washes it really well and there was very little car wash abrasions! Look at the photos below, granted this was before washing and there is a layer of protection on the paint that may mask those scratches, but it looks swirl free, with just the odd scratch here and there.

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With the inspection done, I recommended the owner to just do some ‘light’ polishing to clean up the paint, and remove the holograms which I later found out was quite evident on the bonnet and boot. No heavy compounding will be necessary, so 1 day is allocated to complete the job.

I started with the wheels as usual;
Tires – Meguiar’s Super Degreaser diluted 4:1
Wheel arches – Osren Degreaser FX diluted 3:1
Wheels – Bilberry Wheel Cleaner diluted 3:1

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The pitted brake dust had to be removed with Osren StainX, which is a strong acid based cleaner normally used to remove watermarks from glass.

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Car body is then washed with Osren Bubble and Wax shampoo with a splash of Osren Degreaser FX to help strip off the existing coat of protection. Clayed with Soft99 Clay for Black Cars with Optimum No-Rinse Wash diluted at QD (Quick Detailer) ratio.

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Now let’s have a better look at the clean paint.

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Wow that looks pretty good, no swirls! I could escape with using an AIO and job’s a good’un. But wait…

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Can you see it?

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Ah-hah! Holograms that were not revealed by the halogen. Halogens are good for swirl spotting and showing defects over a wider area. But when it comes to finer scratches such as holograms/buffer marks, halogen lighting does not show them very well. The light source here is from a 255 lumens LED flashlight, Eagletac T10L.

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So I began by doing a test spot.
Started with Meguiar’s #105 Ultra-Cut Compound with Lake Country White Polishing Pad via Dodo Juice Das6 Dual-Action Polisher. I then inspect after wiping down 3 times with Isopropyl Alcohol diluted 1:1 to remove the polishing oils that may mask the holograms.

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Success! But wait, the after shot looks a little bit ‘hazy’. A 100% crop of the previous photo will reveal that DA micro-marring has been instilled to the paint.

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A 2nd refining step is needed. Menzerna 106FF Finishing Polish with Lake Country White Polishing via Dodo Juice Das6 Dual Action Polisher is used to follow up. Note: this was meant to be a minor correction only, odd scratches/RIDS will not be removed.

Watch the short video for a before and after. *720P HD is available*

The rear boot however had to be compounded with a wool pad as there were deep watermark etchings.

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Paint transfer removal, but couldn’t save the area where the paint has been scraped off.

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After about 6 hours of polishing, the car is rinsed down to remove polishing dust. Panel gaps, cracks an crevices where blown dry with my wet/dry vac.

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Paint looked good without wax.

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It got dark quickly and time was running up, not much photos from here on. After wiping the edges to remove polish residue, the paint is sealed with Duragloss #601 Polish Bonding Agent followed by Duragloss #105 Total Performance Polish. interior and glass were wiped down, and the front leather seats were cleaned and protected with Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard. Finally, tires dressed with ValetPro Traditional Tire Dressing.

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That’s it! Thanks for looking as always, all comments are appreciated!

Although it was a pretty straightforward detail, it still took me 12 hours(10am – 10pm).
Lesson from this detail: lighting is important, don’t depend on one light source only.

If anyone is interested in purchasing that LED flashlight, it is available from http://www.philightsophy.com/, and the link to the exact product: http://www.philightsophy.com/product.php?id_product=1

Cheers! Will be having a few details scheduled over the next weekends, so do remember to check back in a week or so, or subscribe by email to be notified of new posts! Have a great weekend!

This post is also posted on the following forums:

http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/show-n-shine/46908-minor-correction-black-mercedes-e-class-w212.html#post630085

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?p=3333832#post3333832

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. jackson
    Mar 2 2012

    wahh..until 4am uploading/updating this….dedication to your detailing work…*thumbsup*

    nice detail.

    how long it took u to just do one rim? 20-30mins? those brake dust pits are PITA to clean arent they?

    Reply
    • Mar 2 2012

      Thanks mate! Yeah I think 20-30 mins per rim is quite accurate. You’re right about those brake dust pits being PITA, furthermore it goes to the back of the spokes, and is visible! Hopefully next time won’t be so much.

      Reply
  2. izso
    Mar 2 2012

    Why do you need to wear the apron?

    Reply
    • Mar 2 2012

      Hey izso, a few functions for the apron:

      1) To hold your cloth and polish so you don’t have to place it on the ground or on the car.
      2) To protect your clothes so that polish dust and splatter don’t get onto you.
      3) To protect the car so the buttons on your shirt/pants and belt buckle has less chance of scratching the paint.
      4) Helps to advertise whatever logo that is on it too, haha…I need to get one with my own logo soon…

      Reply
  3. Mar 2 2012

    Beautiful, as always Ken!

    How come you left you rotary aside and went for a DA for the correction?
    Did you apply 601&105 by DA also or by hand?

    Reply
    • Mar 2 2012

      Thanks very much Toni!

      Because M105 with a foam pad on the rotary tends to gum up and be not so nice to work with. With a wool pad and rotary it’s fantastic. So I used it with the DA instead, which is also less stressful since it is pretty impossible to damage the paint with the DA.
      And the detail wasn’t meant to be a full correction, although there were some scratches, there’s not much point to cut the lacquer just to correct those scratches. It’s not like the paint will look less glossy with those scratches on there. Better wait for it to accumulate and then only compound, this is to help preserve clearcoat thickness.

      DG601&105 was applied by DA, very easy to apply. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jules
    Apr 13 2012

    Your detailing work never fail to impress. I just bought a rotary recently and it’s a lot harder to control than what I initially thought, I even burned through the clearcoat on the hood and left some blister marks, but I suspect the clearcoat is very thin even before I started compounding XD.

    Btw, now I’m planning to get a halogen lamp, what kind of lamp you would recommend and where can I get it? Thanks in advance =)

    Reply
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