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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could use some advice, opinions, and guidance to car care it seems. At least when it comes to this car in particular. Its a babied but driven 2001 SL500 in what MB calls Black Opal but in reality its a metallic pearlescent dark blue.

Swirl marks developed over time so I took her to a detailer who was highly recommended by my bodyshop (who did a great job on the front bumper). He explained that he was going to use this polish and that polish and the marks would disappear. Well, sort of. She looked great when I picked her up, but I could still see a few hints of swirls. About a month later more swirls appeared, eventually looking like no work was actually done. Being touted as the number one detailer outside of Boston, I began to feel like there is actually no such thing as a professional detail shop.

So naturally I thought I would take maters into my own hands. Enter Griot's Garage and lots of fancy bottles of car care products I never knew existed but desperately needed. Here is my cleaning arsenal:

Griot's Garage: 6" random orbital, Machine Polish 3, Best in Show Wax, red pad, orange pad, microfiber wax removal pads, chrome polish, cotton pads, interior cleaner (absolute junk) clay bar, & speed shine.

Autogeek.net: Cobra "Guzzler" microfiber drying towels, P21S bodywork auto shampoo (smells better than mine), & DP interior cleaner (smells like sickly bubblegum but does a darn good job).

I watched the G. Garage DVD, followed instructions, took my time, and finished with swirl marks (found by Maglite not the harsh reality of the Sun yet) in places that didn't have swirl marks before. Some areas look more like haze or grime than a traditional swirl, but they are still new.

So what might I have done wrong? Is it possible for mere mortals following directions and common sense to actually remove swirl marks? Should I try Machine Polish 2? Is this weirdly soft paint that will always be easily marked? Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

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Haven't watched the G. Garage DVD, but can tell you the following the "proper process" is critical.

It's possible that the GG Machine Polish 3 just didn't do the job. Have you looked a Mazerna's tri-pack. It is three different polishes, each with various cutting abilities (severe, medium, and mild) I believe its specifically formulated for euro cars, includings mbs.

Basically, you need to get your paint perfectly clean before you start any paint correction.

Check out my thread on my last winter prep. http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?165306-My-2010-XC90-Winter-Prep

That is the process that I used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Lefty. That is a great write up with some good points that I didn't know about. Your XC90 looks wonderful. A foam gun and a leaf blower- great idea. I always wanted to try out a leaf blower but I was worried it would suck in and spit out airborne dust a high velocity. Have you ever encountered a problem drying your car with one? Also, in your write up- what are grit guards?

I think you're right- Polish 3 is probably not abrasive enough. Its description made it seem like it would be just right for light swirls. Clearly did didn't work and it makes me wonder just what kind of scratch its made for. I have never tried Mazerna products before. I think I also need a better clay bar technique. There were large chunks of asphalt that wouldn't come out with the G. Garage clay, only with gentle prodding by hand. Even then the clay wouldn't pull off the hardened junk, even with liberal Speed Shine (the bar lubrication).

The bar has been raised. I can't wait to detail the cars again.
 

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No worries. Always willing to help a mate in need.

I never had any issues with the leaf blower. But I primarily use it to blow water out of wheels, tires, crevices, mouldings, lights, etc. Never on panels.

Grit Guards are guards that you place in your wash buckets. Do a youtube search and look for Junkman Detailing Wash Technique.. That's where I learned my technique.
 

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The previous "detailer" used products that had heavy filling capabilities. It looked decent at first but, after several washes the fillers were washed out.

The groits 6" da is a great machine. The griots polishes leave much to be desired.

I would get some 5.5" Meguiars micro fiber cutting discs. I would pair that with Meguiars 105 compound.In the name of simplicity, I would then follow up with Meguiars 205 polish with an orange lake country HYDRO (H20) polishing pad. Merc paint tends to be on the hard side so that should finish down pretty well.

Feel free to PM me with any questions... And just so you gain confidence in my advice, click on the below google search link using my company name "Deep Gloss Auto Salon" - You will see many articles on various different types/calibers of autos.


https://www.google.com/search?q="De...-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1
 
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