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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC Coupe - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating





    So my friend Joe calls me and lets me know he just purchased a low mileage, mint condition Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC Coupe for a killer deal out of Texas and was having it shipped directly to Autogeek for a thorough and full detail inside and outside. These cars sold new for around $121,000.00 and the S-class line are the Flagship of Mercedes-Benz brand.

    Here's the pictures of the car in Texas...




    After it was delivered I inspected the car for any issues. The first thing my eyes were drawn to was the rubber seal under the anodized aluminum trim. In a few places on both sides of the car a previously detailer had creamed-over this trim with some kind of compound or polish and stained it. To me it stood out like a sore thumb.





    The below is actually a white residue impacted into the material.





    Here's a section just down a few inches from the stained area - it almost looks like a CLOTH impregnated with rubber. You can see a "weave" in the surface. IF this is so, the staining is impacted into this weave and scrubbing with a brush, like a toothbrush will tear-up the surface. So whatever I do to try to clean it - I'll have to be careful.

    I'll share a tip below on a super simple way to avoid this problem if you ever detail a Mercedes-Benz with this type of trim.





    Baggie Test = Utter FAIL

    After washing the car I did a baggie test over all the major body panels. All of the horizontal panels including the glass had bumps indicating bonded contaminants. Later I found there was a film of contaminants all over the horizontal surfaces. I used 2 pieces of clay to clay this car and threw them both away after the process.





    Swirl Finder = Light Swirls and RIDS

    The good news is the paint only has light swirls with some random, isolated deeper scratches here and there. The bad news is, after doing my first Test Spot I found the paint to be on the hard side of the Hard Paint/Soft Paint Spectrum.







    Paint Correction Process

    I compounded the entire car including all the glass using the Wolfgang Uber Compound. I used the FLEX Supa Beast on speed 6 for the entire buff-out. For pads I hit the hood and trunk lid, (the panels with the most swirls and scratches), first with the RUPES Coarse Wool Pad followed by the RUPES 180mm Yellow Foam CP Pad and again with the Uber Compound.









    How to avoid staining plastic, vinyl and rubber trim

    It's real simple - cover over the trim with some quality painter's tape. In this example I'm using the green 3M Brand.











    Wiping off the compound residue with a TRC FTW orange microfiber towel revealed a rich, dark clear looking finish perfect for the next step of installing the Wolfgang Profi Ceramic Coating.





    This is the same swirl finder light in the same place I took the pictures of the swirls towards the beginning of this article.





    Here's the results...












    Here's a low-down shot showing the aerodynamic lines famous to Mercedes-Benz high-end coupes..
    .






    Here's an even lower shot sans the windshield...






    Ready for it's new home...


    This car will be parked outside 7 days a week, 24 hours a day because the 2-car garage is home to a Resto-Rod Camaro and a 1966 Ferrari owned by George Harrison of the Beatles.





    Here's what it took me to go from neglected to respected...





    Wolfgang Uber Compound for the entire car and glass. Wolfgang Perfect Finish Paint Prep, this is a "panel wipe" to strip off any oils left by the Uber Compound. Wolfgang Profi Ceramic Coating. The word Profi means professional in the German language. This coating is a 9H rated ceramic coating. Because this car is going to be parked outside in South Florida Sun & Rain - the owner requested in install two layers.





    The FLEX Supa BEAST!

    As of now, this is my favorite tool for doing paint correction. This is German engineering at its finest. This is an 8mm gear-driven orbital polisher. It will make fast work of removing paint defects without leaving swirls or holograms. Because it's gear-driven, there is never any pad stalling. It's a beast... or as I call it... a Supa BEAST! The son of the original BEAST the FLEX XC 3401 VRG.







    RUPES new DA System Pads

    I really love the new pads RUPES introduced as a part of their new RUPES D-A Polishing System. After reading comments by others on the forum, I know it can be confusing to find this new system on the Autogeek.com store page, so here's the link

    RUPES D-A Polishing System

    I primarily like the fiber and foam pads you see in the picture below but also like the 180mm white CP foam pads too for final work when needed. On the Autogeek store they refer to the 180mm pads as a 7" pad but metric is more precise and thus the reason RUPES uses metric measurement to describe their pads instead of U.S. Standard. Apologies for any confusion. Me? I've switched over to the metric system when talking and typing about RUPES pads.






    Speed Master Coating Applicator

    These applicator's have a plastic liner behind the microfiber so they won't soak up and simply waster coating.





    Two of my favorite microfiber towels

    The Rag Company FTW Premium Orange Microfiber Towel

    Cobra Forrest Green Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloths - 12 Pack




    And of course, Wolfgang Profi Ceramic Coating





    My comments...

    Rock hard paint
    As we all know paint hardness or paint softness varies among manufacture and can even vary among models and years. The only way to now if a paint is hard or soft is to first have experience, (this means you need to have buffed out dozens and actually hundreds of cars), and of course by doing a Test Spot. So while the swirls were shallow, it still required a compound to remove them and restore a crystal clear finish to the clearcoat.


    RIDS
    There were some random isolated scratches throughout the finish. My normal protocol is once I dial in my test spot, whatever comes out - comes out. If it doesn't come out then I let them ride. The factory clearcoat on new cars is thin to start with, chasing each and every scratch out of the finish may satisfy the OCD inside of you, but it's not worth it for a daily driver, especially a daily driver that's going to be outside 24 x 7 under harsh South Florida weather conditions.


    Lots of glass
    The glass had the same film on it that the paint had but it was easily removed via the Uber Compound. I also applied the Wolfgang Profi Ceramic Coating to the roof glass and all the side glass but not the windshield.


    Full size car
    If you're going to take these types of cars on for detail jobs, be sure you're charging enough. This ain't no Mazda Miata, it's a full size car and this means hours of buffing.


    Follow-up
    I'll touch bases with the owner from time to time to see how the Woflgang Profi Ceramic Coating is holding up. Upon picking up the car he asked me the normal question.

    How do I take care of it?


    For most of my customers I like to keep it as simple as possible. Wash with a quality car wash and clean wash mitt. If you have a leaf blower or some type of car dryer, use it to remove the water and/or make sure your drying towels are clean and un-contaminated. This guy just bought the EGO 650 CFM Leaf Blower and I'm confident it, together with the very hydrophobic Profi Ceramic Coating, will be a breeze, no pun intended, to blast all the rinse water off the car.





    On Autogeek.com


    Wolfgang Uber Compound 3.0 - 16 oz.

    Wolfgang Perfekt Finish Paint Prep

    Wolfgang PROFI Ceramic Coating

    Speed Master Coating Applicator

    7 inch RUPES Coarse Wool Polishing Pad

    Rupes DA Yellow Fine Foam Pad - 7 Inch

    FLEX Supa BEAST - Part number# XCE 10-8 125 Corded Polisher




    Optional FLEX Backing Plate
    In order to turn and churn the larger 180mm/7" RUPES pads you need the optional FLEX backing plate. (I recommend this backing plate swap)

    FLEX Multi-Polisher 6 inch Backing Plate




    You need a great hand held light

    If you don't own a great hand-held light and you plan on installing ceramic, graphene, quartz, polymer, etc. coatings, then read my article here and it will SCARE you into buying a good swirl finder light.

    Installing a Ceramic Paint Coating? You MUST have a GREAT hand held light to avoid high spots!


    I used the below Speed Master Swirl Finder Light to inspect my work for this detailing job. As I type on Tuesday, May 18th in the year 2021 - the price is $115.00 - If you think that's expensive - wait until you have to go around a car and using compound to remove all the "high spots" you missed because you didn't have a great hand-held light.

    Speed Master Swirl Finder Detailer Light




    LOTS of TOWELS!

    In my experience, most enthusiast don't have near enough towels to detail their own car and that's just doing basic tasks. As soon as you move up to doing paint correction and ceramic coatings, you need even MORE towels. So if you're reading this and you want to get into paint correction and ceramic coatings - be sure to factor in not just the chemicals you need but the towels you'll need. And then put a process into place to take care of your towels. See my article here.


    I love these towels "The Rag Company" positions as a "Glass Towel" for paint care. They are fairly stout is the word I use to describe them. They have a closed loop nap like your average bath towel but the softness of microfiber. This "nap" helps them to SLICE into compound, polish and AIO films on your car's paint (after buffing a section), better than individual fiber naps, (no closed loop), as well as flat weave towels, which I'm a fan of, it's just the stoutness and nap of the Rag Company Glass Towel works so great when doing "paint related work".

    As I type, Autogeek only offers these towels as "singles". You really want to purchase at a minimum a dozen and I recommend 2 dozen. See my article here.

    The Rag Company FTW Premium Orange Microfiber Towel



    Flat Weave Towels
    I love these towels too and you can get them in multiple colors. I show green but they are available in


    Cobra Forrest Green Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloths - 12 Pack





    This looks tight and right...





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  3. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    More...


    Tire Dressing

    Most of you know I machine scrub tires. Once you clean by machine... there's no going back. I also machine apply tire dressing. Same reason, the machine always outperforms the human.

    I train my customers to hate greasy, oily long lasting tire dressings. Why? Because it's a fact your tires are going to get dirty, actually turn brown and become grimy from road film. So what you want is a tire dressing that's EASY to get off. Why? Because like I just said, you're now smart enough to know your tires are going to get gross. You don't want a long lasting tire dressing - you want a tire dressing that's easy to get off SO YOU CAN EASILY REPLACE IT.

    Make sense?

    If yes, then good for you. If no, detail a few thousand cars and pay attention to the tire dressings that are a mess and difficult to remove and the tire dressing that are easy to get off and --> replace.


    For now, this is what I'm using and machine applying with the FLEX Cordless PE14 with a 1 1/2" Heavy Duty DA Brush attached to 4 7/8" backing plate. It's truly the only way to fly through grunt work.















  4. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Continued...

    How to Machine Scrub Carpets with the FLEX Cordless PE14 Rotary Polisher

    The carpets were in good condition except for some normal wear-n-tear to the driver's front and for some reason, both the rear carpets.

    If you've been trying to find a great reason to purchase a cordless FLEX PE14 Rotary Polisher besides using it the conventional way for paint correction, here's your reason. There's no replacement for machine scrubbing carpet.


    Here's driver's side carpet. To be honest, I didn't think the dirt and stains would come out as well as they did. The end results look like the carpets were never dirty. And this light, almond color shows everything. It's not like I'm cleaning black or dark colored carpet where if you don't get everything out the color of the fabric will hide a lot.









    Here I'm using the Cordless FLEX PE14 with a Heavy-Duty DA Carpet Brush – Long Bristles and 303 Multi-Surface Cleaner.








    Not pictured is the passenger side carpet. It was still clean and vibrant, so I only vacuumed it and also blew it out with the Tornador Blow Out Gun. The other three carpets were machine scrubbed.




    After machine scrubbing I used a strong spray of water to flush the carpets out until the water ran clear.






    Then while the carpets were on a flat surface, I used my hand like a squeegee to press most of the excess water out.






    It was hot and sunny outside so I trapped the smaller carpets under the wiper blades of my Honda after first wiping the wiper blades clean - of course.




    The driver's side carpet was hung to the side of a Grit Guard Cart and then air-blasted the rest of the day and overnight using a Shop-Vac Air Mover.







    The next day I sprayed all the carpets down with 303 Fabric Guard.




    Instead of letting the Fabric Guard just sit on the fibers I dawned some nitrile gloves and massaged the product into the fibers and then let the carpets dry.





    Check this out. Spraying an average paper towel with the Fabric Guard and then letting it dry.




    Here's all carpets and paper towel drying.





    Here's some normal H2O





    The 303 Fabric Guard waterproofs the surface...






    The carpets remained out of the car until a few hours before the owner picked up the car. Sorry no pictures.



    Here's all the stuff I used...

    Prices fluctuate over time so I don't normally include prices since the links will take you to the product on the AG store, but as I type on Wednesday, May 19th, in the year 2021 - the price without taxes and shipping for the cordless FLEX PE14 shows to be $597.99 - let's just call it $600.00 and this includes two 5 amp rechargeable batteries and the charger. But yeah, that's what it cost to get into a cordless PE14.

    FLEX PE-150 Cordless Rotary Polisher


    There's a short 1" bristle version but you don't want that one, you want this longer 1.5" bristle brush.

    Heavy-Duty DA Carpet Brush – Long Bristles



    303 Products

    Note larger size bottles of both are available. See here.

    303 Multi-Surface Cleaner 16 oz.

    303 Fabric Guard 16 oz.




    Tornador Blow Out Gun

    Here's the link to the Tornador Blow Out Gun "white". At the time I'm writing this, the "black" version you see in the picture is not available.

    Tornador Air Blow Out Gun


    Sorry to say but the Shop-Vac Professional Air Mover you see being used is according to the Autogeek store - Discontinued. A normal box fan can get the job done.

    Shop-Vac Professional Air Mover





  5. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Here's a few other areas of this car I detailed and then created hopefully helpful content for.


    15 Minutes Kosmetic Engine Detail - With 303 - Wheel Woolies and Metro-Vac


    From this...





    To this....







    And...


    Perforated Leather - How to clean, condition and protect - 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe


    Here's the secret to working on perforations - massage whatever product you're using INTO your applicator. Don't let it simply sit on top. This will load up all the holes or perforations with product. Duh.





    Now this looks comfy....










  6. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Continued...

    These are intelligent coating applicators.


    Speed Master Coating Applicator

    These applicator's have a plastic liner behind the microfiber so they won't soak up and simply waster coating.






    Here, allow me to use some scissors to show you what I'm talking about...



    Here I've cut an applicator in half.






    I've removed the microfiber outside off of the foam block found in the inside. SEE the plastic film?










    With an applicator like this, the plastic film prevents your expensive coating from simply soaking PAST the microfiber and into the FOAM block where it's wasted.


    Smart huh?


    Get your here,

    Speed Master Coating Applicator



    Also available in bulk order options...

    Speed Master Coating Applicator - 3-Pack

    Speed Master Coating Applicator - 6-Pack

    Speed Master Coating Applicator - 12-Pack




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  8. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    More...

    Here's the colors these edgeless towels are available in. I don't recommend the black or the white, they will drive you crazy trying to keep them perfect and uncontaminated. Also - the "white" towel, even though it's supposed to be the same as the rest, it feels more limp to me and I don't really like it. Best bet is to simply stick with the Forrest Green like I show and use myself. FWIW







    Links to each color in the order I show them in this picture




    Carbon Black Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloth

    Forrest Green Edgeless Polishing Cloth

    Sky Blue Edgeless Polishing Cloth

    Crimson Red Edgeless Polishing Cloth

    Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloth

    Storm Gray Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloth

    Arctic White Edgeless Microfiber Polishing Cloth




  9. #7
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Mike, were you able to restore the rubber trim? If so, do you mind mentioning how you did it?

  10. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by muaddba View Post

    Mike, were you able to restore the rubber trim? If so, do you mind mentioning how you did it?
    Apologies - I thought I did include this info?

    After cleaning really well using a panel wipe, I rubbed it down with Pinnacle Black Label Ceramic Trim Restorer. Worked pretty well.

    Here's my review from when this product first launched.

    Review: Pinnacle Black Label Ceramic Trim Restorer



    Pinnacle Black Label Ceramic Trim Restorer





    Good questions, thanks for asking.







  11. #9
    Super Member mbkite's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    That was an awesome job..... as usual.... thanks.
    But it’s not like you to not follow it up with a finishing polish..
    Although I can see it is perfect

  12. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 - Wolfgang Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by mbkite View Post

    But it’s not like you to not follow it up with a finishing polish.
    Copy that. Hard paint plus I used "polishing" pads instead of cutting pads, this reduced the cut of the compound.

    I did use a microfiber pad on the hood and trunk lid for extra correction.



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