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Obsidian Black Mercedes C220 Couple Detail ***WARNING Lots of Pics***

Discussion in 'Autocare, Detailing, Valet, Product reviews' started by C350Carl, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Evening all.

    I have just spent the past 2.5 days detailing an Obsidian Black C220D Coupe.

    Car was an AMG Line spec one and had some nice options like COMAND, Harman Kardon etc.

    However the condition of the bodywork was quite bad. I've detailed a previous car for the owner of this and as he has only just collected this car (well a month ago) he asked me to detail it for him.

    I took over 200 photos so i won't upload them all just the pertinent ones for the thread.

    Equipment i used during this detail was:

    Nilfisk E140 Pressure Washer
    Autobrite Direct HD Foam Lance
    Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
    Surfex HD Cleaner & Degreaser
    Sonax Deep Gloss Shampoo
    Autosmart Tardis
    Autosmart Smart Wheels
    Car-Pro Iron-X
    Bilt Hamber Auto Clay - Medium Grade
    Auto Finesse Crystal Glass Cleaner
    Sheepskin Shop Lambswool Mitt (x2)
    Various detailing brushes
    EP 801 Rotary Polisher
    Paint Depth Gauge
    Laser Temperature Gun
    Chemical Guys Hex Logic Orange Pad
    White Compounding pad
    3M Green Compounding Pad
    3M Blue Finishing Pad
    3M Black Anti Jeweling High Gloss Finish Pad
    Menzerna FG400 Heavy Cut Compound
    3M UltraFina SE Anti Hologram polish
    Menzerna PO 85RD Super Finishing Polish
    Ultra Plush Drying Towel
    FK 2685 Pink Wax
    Wet Glaze 2.0
    Sonax X-Treme Bright Shine Detailer
    Gtechniq L1 Leather Care
    Gtechniq C6 Matte Dash
    303 Aerospace Protectant
    Nanolex Ultra Glass Sealant

    So car arrived in this condition. Doesn't look too bad from a distance.

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    But as you can see it is.

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    Interior too.

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    Dirty Engine

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    First thing was to pressure washer rinse the car for 5 mins. I do this from about 4ft back as the idea is not to blast stuff off but to soak it all to help loosen it. Didn't photograph this as we've all seen a wet car before!

    Car was then moved under cover to keep the sun from baking stuff onto it. Number plates were then removed and the car was foamed. This was using the Bilt Hamber Autofoam with some Surfex HD cleaner added. I altered the lance to make the mix more diluted than usual as i'm not trying to remove a load of winter grime. This was left to dwell for 10 mins.

    Whilst the foam was dwelling i went round and using Surfex and a detailing brush to clean in all the intricate areas.

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    Including the door shuts

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    Also the fuel filler cap.

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    Once this was done the car was then rinsed again with the pressure washer. Next was the wash. This was done with Sonax Deep Gloss shampoo, a lambswool mitt and using the 2 bucket method.

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    Once the car had been washed it was rinsed again. After this the paint work decontamination began. First i sprayed the lower half, bonnet and boot lid with Autosmart Tardis. This was left to dwell for 5 mins before the car was then washed again. Finally i then sprayed the whole car with Iron-X. This removes industrial fall out. Rinsed the car and then washed it again. Normally i would take pictures of these two stages. However being a black car you can't see the product working so i skipped the pics.

    The next stage was to Clay the car and remove any final contaminants from the paint work before polishing. This ensures that only the polish and pad was in contact with the paint work and there was no chance on any pick up, causing more damage. I use Bilt Hamber Auto Clay for this. The main reason being that it is lubricated by water only. This means no 'Clay Lube' is required. It also is the best clay I've used and i've tried quite a lot of types/makes.

    [​IMG]

    Just because a black car looks clean. Is it REALLY clean? Showing the clay in comparison to what colour it's like when new

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    Next came the wheels. I used AutoSmart Smart Wheels at a ratio of 10:1. The wheels have a fair bit of kerbing and are starting to suffer with White Worm. So i didn't want to use it at too high a concentration.

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    Getting into the intricate areas.

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    Each wheel left to dwell for 3 mins before being scrubbed with the wheel brushes, rinsed, tardis soak for 3 mins, rinse, wash, Iron-X soak for 3 mins, rinse and wash and final rinse again. Total time about 25 mins per wheel.

    Next up was the engine. First i soaked the engine with the pressure washer on low pressure spray. I then sprayed Surfex (at a ratio of 8:1) on all surfaces and left it to dwell for 10mins. Then i went round the engine with a detailing brush to get into all the intricate and hard to reach areas. This was left to dwell for another 10 mins. Rinse off and then repeat the above. Total time for this was about an hour.

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    Once finished the engine was rinsed for a final time. All excess water was removed and the engine wiped down. All surfaces where then cleaned with neat IPA and a microfibre cloth. This was to ensure they were as clean as possible for the application of 303. However this wasn't done until the next morning so that the engine had time to dry out properly.

    Now that the car was free from dirt and contaminants it was dried off using an ultra plush drying towel. It was then time to inspect the 'damage'. As you can see there were quite a lot of swirls. The average thickness was 145microns

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    Random etchings & marks

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    A not so smart, 'smart repair'! The wing is a different colour to the rest of the car. This was pointed out to the owner when he initially brought it for me to look at a few weeks ago.

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    Next the car was taped up to protect areas of trim and rubber etc from being damaged during the polishing process. Attention to detail with the taping.

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    The next lot are pics of the polishing in progress. All of these are before the refinement stage. This was done in 3 Stages. Firstly a compounding stage using a compounding pad and Menzerna FG400 Heavy Cut Compound. Once this stage was complete (9hrs) it was then washed again before moving onto a 2 stage refining process. People often ask why i wash the car again after the first stage. the reason is compounding chucks up a lots of dust residue so this needs to be removed before you can refine. Anyway back to the process. Firstly i went over the car with 3M Ultrafina SE with a Blue 3M Pad. This removes all holograms and micro marring caused by the compounding. Then it was a pure gloss enhancing stage using Menzerna PO 85RD and a Black 3M pad. Total time for these two stages was 8hrs.

    Checking the panel temp before starting

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    Immediately after polishing to ensure it's not getting too hot.

    [​IMG]

    Before

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    After

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    Once this stage was complete the car was then rinsed, washed and rinsed for a final time. For this stage i use a separate Wash Mitt. It is only ever used for this stage so there is absolutely no risk of anything being in the mitt and undoing all the work i've just done.

    [​IMG]

    Once done the car was dried with an Ultra Plush drying towel.

    Now it was time to add the protection. First the car was wiped down with Eraser and then IPA to remove any polish oils left.

    I then added 2 coats of Wet Glaze 2.0. These are put on, buffed off immediately and then left for 15mins before applying the second coat. Again buffed off immediately. What this glaze does is help improve the gloss and it also repels dust so the car stays cleaner for the wax application. I didn't photograph this stage as time was moving on (I worked on the car until 2230 the first night and 2130 the second.) After the second coat had been left for 15mins i then applied a coat of FK 2685 Pink Wax. This was buffed of after 10mins and then the bodywork was left for 12hrs.

    That was it for the second day. Next morning i started early again. Firstly i wiped the car over with Sonax X-Treme BSD to remove any surface dust that may be not the car from overnight. I then applied the second coat of Wax. This was left to dwell for 1hr before buffing off. The car was then left for 3hrs before the first coat of Sonax Xtreme BSD was applied. This was smeared on the car and left for 10 mins before buffing off. Then 2hrs later the process was repeated.

    During the wait times i tackled the interior. The car was given a good hoover out and then i cleaned and treated the interior with GTechniq L1 and C6.

    The glass was cleaned with Wire Wool and also Cerium Polish on a rayon pad with the rotary before a neat IPA wipe. The Nanolex ultra was applied.

    I also wiped the engine bay down with a microfibre cloth to ensure no surplus 303 Aerospace Protectant was left.

    Attention to detail, it makes the difference.

    [​IMG]

    So to the results. Time invested was 17hrs of polishing and 10hrs of decontamination & cleaning. This resulted in about 90% of all defects removed.

    Remember that Engine?

    [​IMG]

    The Interior (i'm not OCD honest!)

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    A little touch of my own. ;)

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    The Exterior

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    The money shot.

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    The owner was chuffed when he got it back as was i with the result. Just a shame the weather wasn't good enough to show it off properly. Comments good or bad welcomed.

    Sorry for all the pics but enjoy. :D

    Carl.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    HaydnM, m2287, Robbierob and 2 others like this.
  2. Cole@MBS

    Cole@MBS Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Think you should do mine next!!!!!
     
  3. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Thanks, would love to. If you can leave the car with me for a few days then give me a shout. :)
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Sheer dedication there :D:D yes its beautiful, the only let down is the rusty wheel bolts and disc centers, looks like new or better otherwise :D:D
     
  5. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    I've told him to get new ones and gave him the link for the centre caps on eBay.

    It's a shame they (the bolts especially) go like that so quick as this is a 62 plate car.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I have just fitted the chrome plastic bolt caps on both my cars for £10 for both
     
  7. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Got a link Malcolm?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  8. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I bought the last 2 sets from this seller cheap, as the last 2. I will find a link shortly for the same thing. I never thought that I would resort to such things, but they are rather nice once on. I will take pictures at daybreak
     
  9. Parkgate

    Parkgate Senior Member

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    Flat black paint not metaliic, any clown can do that.
     
  10. kimbos1961

    kimbos1961 Senior Member

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    well done, puts mine to shame
    when will you repeat that?
     
  11. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Lol!! Have a chat with yourself. I know i said good or bad comments but there's no need to try and be clever or offensive! It's not flat black :confused: it's Obsidian Black Metallic. Or is this not metal flake in the paint?

    [​IMG]

    Have a look at some of the other pics I post in the OP and you can quite clearly see it's metallic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  12. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    If he looks after it properly and washes like I've told him how it shouldn't need doing again for at least 18mths if not longer.

    He asked if I will do maintenance washes. So every 3mths I will give it a proper wash and decontamination for him.
     
  13. L John

    L John Senior Member

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    I look forward to photos of your car with the same level of cleaning and care with descriptions of how you did it.

    Any clown can say it's easy, I'm sure you will back your comments up with proof and look forward to seeing your own thread.

    This is a careful prep and clean, not a simple wash and wax.
     
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  14. L John

    L John Senior Member

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    He went to the wrong place.
     
  15. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    These are always good post to give members the inspiration to have a go, sure there are folk like me who never get the car into the state that this one was in, but at the same time many on here buy secondhand cars that could look 10 times better with a few hours work.
     
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  16. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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  17. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    I think what would put most people off is the level of work required. Mercedes' ceramic clear coats are extremely hard to correct. Hence this requiring 17hrs of polishing.

    I could have done less time polishing. But the owner wanted as much correction as I could possibly get in the time frame.

    A lot of cars you can get decent levels of correction with a 1 stage pass using a finishing polish that has a bit of cut to it. But the modern clear coat on most German makes are so hard you can't do anything to it without hitting hit hard (figuratively speaking).
     
  18. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Indeed the ceramic paint at the start was even harder than it is now, the early version splintered with a stone chip, making touching up very hard owing to the sharp edges of the chip holes.

    Thanks for all your post on this subject, I now have most of the things, and life is much easier as I can keep the cars clean for much less effort. :D:D
     
  19. Rotorhead500

    Rotorhead500 Senior Member

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    Top work Carl!

    Can't be easy polishing flat black into Obsidian Black! :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Arzaam

    Arzaam Senior Member

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    you always impress me with your work, especially as i love dark color cars.
     

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