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Old 16-08-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
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1987 300 SL Detailed by Auto Finesse (200+ pics)

Ok this car came to us after a recommendation from Carlson Collins (thanks mate) the owner wanted some life brought back in to the paint, car was dropped to us and left for 2 weeks so plenty of time to work on it and we had a cancellation early last week so gave us even more time.

Here is how it came to us :

First job was to get the wheels off to clean the inner rims and arches:

The wheel nuts where Looking tiered so i gave them a clean up with wire wool & then a coat of Silver paint (mixed to match wheel colour)

To clean these wheels i needed some thing stronger than AS smart wheels (our usual weapon of choice) now dont get me wrong acid based cleaners are not ideal but in some situations they are the only thing that will do the job and once done right as long as you keep on top of thing hopfuly you wont need them again, so Acid based wheel cleaner (our own stuff from a local company excuse the Smart wheels tub) brushed on (dont spray acid its not good for any one) and agitated.

Rinsed off with Hose and then repeated for the fronts:

The tyres where sprayed and scrubbed with AS G101 and a stiff brush:

Tardis was then used to remove and remaining tar deposits:

Rinsed once again and clayed with Sonus Green:

Before being sealed with Poorboys wheel sealant :

Next job was the wheel arches, i did not want to remove all teh waxoil as this car is used and dose need the protection, but a good clean up with G101 and a soft brush:

The next stage was to clean the engine bay, Auto Smart G101 mxed 5-1 and a long reach brush was used:

Door shuts where treated the same:

We now moved on to the wash stage, lowwer half treated with citrus de-greaser and agitated with soft wash brush in some areas:

Whole car rinsed down and then foamed with Citrus snow foam and power max 3 mix:

The soft top was scrubbed with a fabric brush, and all panel gaps and trim gaps cleaned out with a detail brush:

Re-foamed and washed TBM with Dodo BTM wash:

Open end hose rinsed and dried off With a WW towel :

Panel gaps, badges & engine bay dried off with the air line:

Rolled indoors and clayed with yellow poly clay and megs last touch as lube:

This removed a fair bit of bonded contaminants:

Door shuts and chrome also clayed:

Once i was happy with the cleaning stage, we set about the first steps of paint correction, the whole car was masked off including soft top) then some paint depth readings where taken over the whole car to check for any areas that may need special care taken on or around them, this car was pretty good with any painted areas full panel jobs, so no "blow ins"

The general condition of the paint was not great but having said that its 21 years old so IMO Not bad for the age, some fading on the boot was quite bad however the rest of the car was only slightly oxidised, But it was VERY! swirled

So heres the line up (all exept a little FCP throwen in for a few RDS latter) :

A sample area was taped off and i began correction work with 3M ultrafine compound and a 3M black polishing pad (this car wrecked a few pads ) finshed down with 3M ultrafina and megs 7 mixed in to nourish the paint and replace some oils:

Not bad?

Correction work continued around the car:

Badges cleaned out with UFC on a Zymo! detail brush (great little trick this )

Paint between the the badges polished up with UFC on a Edge stick:

Finished (but needs refining with UF)

All these correction shots are just corrected not refined (yet )

A deep RDS just under the light:

Wet sanded with 4000:

And polished up with 3M UFC:

The lowers:

The bonnet had some staining and many swirls, however 3 hits and 5Microns later it came good:

I then went back and finished down with 3M Ultrafina on a Lcc finishing pad, while mike went around and worked on some remaining RDS (not all came out as its over 20years old its not going to be 100% but its as close as we could safely get to it :

Door shuts where corrected:

And then a final dusting down and masking removed:

Paint work correction was nearly done all that was left was to prepair the paint of the LSPs, we dont usually use a pre cleanser before sealant but as the car was faded we need to put as much oils down as posible to stop the paint drying out again so Dodo Lime prime Lite was used, before we applied the first (3 in total) coat of Finish care PW, then toped with 2 coats of Dodo Super natural:

Trim and rubber treated with CG new look trim gel:

The roof was then dropped for us to clean all the workings and gain better accesses to the interior,

Next job was the interior.
The before's:

A good vacuuming out first:

Carpets cleaned with AS Brisc via pump sprayer:

Fire extinguisher and holder cleaned up:

Carpets removed and floor pan cleaned :

Plastics and leather cleaned with UAPC

Tool kit cleaned:

And all chrome (interior and exterior) cleaned with Peak:

Trim treated with 1zs:

Wood per cleansed and waxed with Dodo:

Interior finished:

So we both spent 4 days on this car and in all honesty it was a great car to work on for two reasons, 1 being i really like these cars and 2 it was a great transformation IMO, see for your self:

The finished shots :

Thanks for taking the time to read through that lot i hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions on the methods or products used, fire away.

All comments and questions welcome

James B
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Old 16-08-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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nice work looks great
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
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fantastic turnaround. looks great
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Fantastic work, looks great. But why are you shaving the grill? lol

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Old 16-08-2008, 04:04 PM   #5
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You know James, you'd think doing this day in day out would make these kind of things boring reading (afterall, it's not really a hobby anymore!) But your details are the exception for me. A great read, and as usual, a cracking standard of work. I bet the owner was over the moon.
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Fantastic work there James, great write-up, very informative.
Bet the owner was well chuffed.
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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That was a very enjoyable write up and detail. Your work is fantastic and my hats off to you for the time and effort put it. The 300 looks as it should now. top job guys
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:34 PM   #8
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i am a mercedes enthusiast since i was a boy. and the sl was my all time favourite.

i feel sooo good seeing a mercedes treated how it should and i would just like to salute you and all that helped bring that icon to its former glory!!

what exactly did you use on the inner of the alloys? mighty impressive stuff. [ i have a set of G wagen alloys of 96 vintage that could do with that treatment. did it break down the brake dust easily, or was there alot of elbow grease involved?]

not much else to say really other than well done!
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:39 PM   #9
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Lovely looking SL, excellent very high quality detailing too
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Old 16-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #10
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VERY nice! I enjoyed reading that, maybe because I love they cars too, when I was an apprentice the boss's wife had one the exact same and I loved driving it.

Cracking job! One day I will be half as good!
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