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1990 500SL
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The plastic cladding panels on my doors is noticably faded compared to the rear bumper (resprayed by P.O.) and front bumper (resprayed by me). Is there anything I can do to restore some of the luster/pop? Or is a respray of these parts my only option? The door cladding and the mirrors are dull and flat. I have a PC and various polishes and waxes but I supposed I don't want to get too aggressive.

Thanks, ep
 

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1984 190D 2.2
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2,458 Posts
You can try buffing, and then giving it a nice coat of wax.
 

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2004 Mercedes-Benz S55 ///AMG, 2006 Mercedes-Benz E350
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685 Posts
The bumper fading seems to be common problem with these red SL's since just about any I see on the road has a faded red bumper.
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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341 Posts
Could also try a paint cleaner combo with a blue or black pad at low speed to see if it cleans it up. Might need to step up to a light polish with just a little more bite if that does not work. Clad can be funky to work with to restore sometimes. Some pieces take correction better than others. Kinda of a learn-as-you-go process.

Always try the least abrasive method/combo first and work up.

I have had good luck with Prima Swirl for light cutting and Einszett Paint Cleaner or Optimum Poly-Seal for gentle correction on clad parts. With clad always use a low speed if using a buffer as friction builds up fast in some plastic components and can distort on occasion. Might also consider an LSP depending on the correction products you use to protect your work when complete.
 

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1990 500SL
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm seeing results

Started with Meguires 205 and a green pad, didn't see much improvement. Went to Megquires 105 with a blue pad, then a green pad and I'm seeing an improvement. It's not perfect, but better. The top of the cladding is just fadded from 20 years of California sun. The 105 also worked great on the overall paint.

I'll pick up the project again this weekend with an IPA wipe on the entire car, then a 205 with a blue pad. Planning on sealing with Menzerna Power Lock. I'll post pics when finished.
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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341 Posts
Megs 105/205 is a great combo especially since it is a non-diminishing compound so you can really work it for a long time. Granted it might not allow you to achieve complete correction with your clad, but it should make a great improvement. Powerlock will really make it shine and seal it very well.
Good choices.
 

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1990 500SL
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Cladding looks much better!

The 205/105 combo did the trick. Topped with Power Lock and a carnuba. Really happy with results to cladding and mirrors!

Here are plenty of pics and a list of the steps I took...in all it was probably 20 hours over four days, including time it took to stop and grill steaks.

[*]Ragtop Car top cleaner
[*]Citrus Orange car wash - 2 oz for 2 gal. bucket
[*]P21s on rocker panels
[*]Adams Green wheel cleaner
[*]Uber Blue Clay bar with Mequires Quick Detail for lube
[*]Meguires Scratch X 2.0 on scratches
[*]P21S Paintwork Cleanser on door jams and rocker panels
[*]Mequires 105 with Porter Cable 7424XP/Yellow pad. Progressive worked up through 205/Green, 205/Yellow, 105/Green to 105 yellow till I found the cut I liked
[*]Mequires 205 with Blue pad
[*]Menzerma Power Lock - initial coat with Lake Country black pad
[*]Menzerma Power Lock - second coat with Lake Country red pad
[*]IPA Wipe then One Grand Carnuba Wax on all paint work including jams
[*]Dress all rubber trim pieces with Adams VRT
[*]Freshen carpets with One Grand Upolustry cleaner
[*]Clean/ Condition leather with Leatherique three step process
[*]Stoners on Glass
[/LIST]

Not bad for 275,000 miles!
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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341 Posts
Very nice. You have a great car.

Red is sometimes fun to get to really shine, but yours looks great.

Adam's VRT is excellent stuff.

Do you like the Grand One? Does it attract much dust? I have heard mixed reviews. I have been interested in trying it as I hear it is a very easy on/off process, and looking at your pictures, it sure provides serious nuba shine. How durable is it for you?

Nice red car.
 

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1990 500SL
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for the compliments. I drove it to work today and I had never seen the lane markers reflect back at me on the hood. I am really surprised how much depth there is to the paint.

As for One Grand, it is a very easy on and off. Dust does seem to gather rather quickly but I've always been happy with the shine. But I have never done two cuts of polish plus two coats of power lock before. In about three months I'll refresh the wax with either the NXT synthetic or Mothers Carnuba and compare. I'm embarrassed to say I can't speak to durabilty. I just got serious about detailing in the past six to eight months. Before that I waxed the car once a year whether it needed it or not.

My allroad is in bad need of a similar detail but spending 12 hours in the garage while the inlaws are here is probably bad form.
 
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