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Discussion Starter #1
New to me 1988 560SL (107) with Artic White paint. What I've used very successfully on my 03 Tahoe is Auto Magic products.

1) Claybar the exterior
2) Clearcoat
3) Wax

Question. Does the 1988 have clearcoat? Do I clearcoat or after claybar go directly to wax?
 

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1991 560 SEL / 1991 300te 4matic / 2000 e320 4matic wagon
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I'm Pretty sure that your 560sl does have a clear coat. You can check by taking a cloth that is not the color of your car using a little cleaner wax or light polish and if it looks like the paint is coming off onto the cloth, than you don't have a clear coat.

The correct process would be to wash, clay, paint correction (polishing), and then wax. The paint correction part is optional. If you just want to wax i would highly recommend claying before applying wax.
 

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89 BMW E34 ///M20 525i
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New to me 1988 560SL (107) with Artic White paint. What I've used very successfully on my 03 Tahoe is Auto Magic products.

1) Claybar the exterior
2) Clearcoat
3) Wax

Question. Does the 1988 have clearcoat? Do I clearcoat or after claybar go directly to wax?
What do you mean by "clearcoat?" The term is an actual layer of the paint, there is no procedure called, "clearcoat" unless you are painting a vehicle, or applying a touch-up clearcoat.

Don't spray any paints on your vehicle.
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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There is no such step as "clearcoat" unless you are at a body shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, maybe I miss-stated step 2 as clearcoat. Here's what the bottle for step two is titled.

Auto Magic
BC-2
Basecoat / Clearcoat Finish
#78A

And the bottle says in the instructions "BC-2 Basecoat/Clearcoat Finish is the second step in reviving the original beauty to clearcoat and conventional paint finishes."

I'm not debating if this is a clearcoat, just asking is it okay to use on an 88 560SL?
 

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89 BMW E34 ///M20 525i
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Okay, maybe I miss-stated step 2 as clearcoat. Here's what the bottle for step two is titled.

Auto Magic
BC-2
Basecoat / Clearcoat Finish
#78A

And the bottle says in the instructions "BC-2 Basecoat/Clearcoat Finish is the second step in reviving the original beauty to clearcoat and conventional paint finishes."

I'm not debating if this is a clearcoat, just asking is it okay to use on an 88 560SL?
It's a polish, not a clearcoat paint.
It's number 78 here...
Auto Magic Car Care Auto Detailing Products - Car Wax, Polymers and Paint Sealants
 

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1999 SLK230 Sport
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I can see it coming...here we go again... :bash:
 

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97'C280
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I can see it coming...here we go again... :bash:

I hear you. but what's puzzling is, when I ask people what they use as the very first step, it always comes back to Ajax or Dawn. it's truly the only way to get your paint "clean" before you delve into your detail routine in my humble opinion. That's my final answer and I'm sticking to it. :D :thumbsup:
 

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1999 SLK230 Sport
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I only use Dawn on rare occasions (no more than once yearly) when I want to strip the wax from the paint. It is NOT something I would ever consider on a regular basis. For my weekly detail routine I use a soap specifically formulated for automobile care like Adam's Car Wash.

I use Dawn (7.44) over Ajax (7.8) because it is less alkaline.
 

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97'C280
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I only use Dawn on rare occasions (no more than once yearly) when I want to strip the wax from the paint. It is NOT something I would ever consider on a regular basis. For my weekly detail routine I use a soap specifically formulated for automobile care like Adam's Car Wash.

I use Dawn (7.44) over Ajax (7.8) because it is less alkaline.

I see. but let me ask you this, are you sure you're getting the car as clean as it can be using the market soaps between details? we've already established that the market soaps are not that strong. and as for alkalinity of Dawn and Ajax, I agree that they are strong, but not strong enough to strip the paint or clearcoat off.
 

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1999 SLK230 Sport
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I am ABSOLUTELY sure I am getting the car clean. Why in the world would I ever want to use something like Dawn or Ajax on every wash to strip off the protective wax coat? That would be crazy. It is not the fact that market soaps are "not that strong". Soaps are all essentially the same thing...surfactants. If you dont know what a surfactant is, look it up. The difference in soaps designed for dishwashing and soaps designed for automotive care is that soaps for dishwashing, in addition to being a surfactant, contain compounds to dissolve grease. Wax, is in the simplest terms, sort of like a grease compound. Once you put it on, you certainly dont want to strip it off next weekend. If you were going to do that, why in the world would you take all your time and effort to apply and buff off the wax in the first place?
 

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97'C280
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From a logical standpoint, you want to keep from putting new wax on top of old wax since car shampoos are designed to "lift" away dirt and not harm the old wax underneath. but it's not 110% effective in my opinion.
 

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1999 SLK230 Sport
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From a logical standpoint, you want to keep from putting new wax on top of old wax since car shampoos are designed to "lift" away dirt and not harm the old wax underneath. but it's not 110% effective in my opinion.
"lifting" away dirt is the primary function of any surfactant. Surfactants enable the water to spread out over the surface enabling it to flush away the grime. Thats why when you soap your car, it doesnt bead until you rinse the surfactant (soap) off. And from a purely logical standpoint, nothing is "110%" effective.

And asofar as layering wax goes....I disagree. Layered wax gives more shine and depth to the paint. I see this with my own eyes everytime I look at my SLK.
 

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00 SL500 SOLD, 05 SL600 Sport, 09 Silverado 4x4 LTZ,SOLD '15Silverado LTZ 6.2 8Speed John Deere 318
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Having set back, and TRYING to be good, I gotta say that I could not agree more with BBAP on this one!!!! Dish soap is for DISHES!!! PERIOD!!!!!!!! If thats what you use Benz Rider then thats OK, Dosen't make it right, But thats OK. I've read posts for years on guys using dish soap or floor cleaner on cars, They make CAR WASH SOAP for a reason, and if you or someone you know wants to use that method to clean your car thats fine. What the both of you have to remember is that other untrained eyes read this and put the finish on their cars at risk,GOOD advice is hard to find at times, Please see that that is what someone gets from reading this post!!! Thanks!!!
 

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89 BMW E34 ///M20 525i
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"lifting" away dirt is the primary function of any surfactant. Surfactants enable the water to spread out over the surface enabling it to flush away the grime. Thats why when you soap your car, it doesnt bead until you rinse the surfactant (soap) off. And from a purely logical standpoint, nothing is "110%" effective.

And asofar as layering wax goes....I disagree. Layered wax gives more shine and depth to the paint. I see this with my own eyes everytime I look at my SLK.
Your guidance is very much appreciated! If there are any new users reading this thread, take the previous statements by this user into account, as it is very good advice, just like all of the guidance this user posts.
Thanks again! Props on the great facts.

By the one, that car of yours - absolutely gorgeous doesn't even come close. If you ever have to part with that car for whatever reason(you'll probably say from y cold dead hands) regardless, that's going to be one of the most well treated SLKs around.

Stunning!
 

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1999 SLK230 Sport
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Charles, thank you for your kind compliments. While I, by no means, consider myself an expert, I do try to read as many things as I can from as many sources as I can in order to learn the finer points of detailing. I have been at this for many years and I can truthfully say I do not know anywhere near, it all. But I do thank you again for your compliments and faith in my posts. I am always open to different ideas within reason.

Some more of shine for you....no dish soap...layered wax...

Not bad for a 9 year old car huh? :D
 

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97'C280
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:thumbsup:great shine no doubt. I'm impressed. most garage queens I've worked on keep a shine like that too. only difference is I refuse to layer the wax and still get similar results.
But I want to make sure that any new people reading this thread seriously understands that you should never use Ajax or Dawn at all when you wash your car prior to any type of wash or detail, ever. <-- this is my disclaimer because I've been doing details and doing em' well for over 15 years. don't try this at home. PLEASE!

:surrender:
 

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97'C280
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Here's an old pic of my C280 where as I just did a "quick detail" on. Ajax/Clay/Ajax/Nu Finish. results were amazing. this was when all I used was Ajax as my car soap. Nowadays I still use Ajax but ONLY as the very 1st step. I just can't leave it alone. stuff works:D
 

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