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169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - a big black bus here for your viewing pleasure.. Grab a cuppa; it's a long one!

Mercedes-Benz GL 420 CDi. '4MATIC' - Enhance and Protect with Interior and LTT leather care

Oh my! What a vehicle. This is about the size of my house.. It's ginormous! With that in mind though, I was fortunate to have an excellent environment to work from; it makes SUCH a difference if you're able to keep warm(ish) clean, dry and out of the sun/wind.


• 303 Aerospace Protectant
• AutoGlym FastGlass
• AutoSmart G101
• AutoSmart Bio-Brisk
• AutoSmart Tardis
• AutoSol
• BelGOM Alu
• Chemical Guys JetSEAL901
• Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild
• Dodo Juice Limeprime
• Dodo Juice Supernatural
• Jeffs Werkstat Prime
• Meguiars Last Touch
• Meguiars All-Season Dressing
• Meguiars Super-Degreaser
• Meguiars Wheel Brightener
• Sonus Green Mild Clay
• Zaino Z8 Grand Finale



Upon arrival and after greetings, the first thing I like to do is setup base! Five hours in, there is nothing worse than having kit all over the place…

Inspection shots:

Not looking forward to having to work on these:

Interior not too bad; leather just needs a gentle clean and protecting.

Wheels first-up;

Megs Super-Degreaser on the tyres, APC up into the arches and Wheel Brightener allowed to dwell on the alloy. Tyres scrubbed with a stiff brush, arches cleaned with a Vikan long-reach brush and alloys attacked with various mitts/tools. Last but not least, I went at them with Tardis to try and remove some pretty bad staining on the inner rim (Was unable top full remove; wheels would require coming off for a proper deep clean)

I thought I'd try something new today (..big mistake). Snowfoam the car and then run round the doorshuts and sills with APC and a few brushes whilst the foam was dwelling... This just doesn't allow enough time to thoroughly clean the shuts. I will definitely stick to my usual method which is wheels > shuts > foam.

Suns out, heh, who'd of thought!

Vehicle washed with Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild shampoo and the two buckets.

"TWO buckets.. Why two?!"

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this approach, read on:

Logic: Dirt is picked up off your car when the washmit moves over the paints surface. Usually, this will go straight back to the single bucket for more suds and immediately back onto the paintwork, grit/dirt included. Introducing a second 'rinse' bucket allows these foreign particles to be freed prior to touching your paintwork (thus, reducing the chance of inflicting damage).

If washing a relatively dirty car, the difference in the rinse/solution water can be quite something!

And the grit that was released in doing-so..

(….remember, this would otherwise be on your paintwork (scratchy scratchy!)

Mercedes was pulled into the garage for claying stages (sun was beaming down by now)

Now, I recently learnt that the last time this car was clayed/cleansed, was April 2007. (By me!)

General pick-up from the front end and bonnet:

O/S rear wing:

Rear window:

Rear bumper/Tailgate:


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And finally, below the bumpstrips (Which had already been wiped down with Tardis to remove the 'bulk of')

Good. A 'clean' car!

(….minus the running boards)

A quick run round checking the paint:

This one looks a little nasty - not sure what's gone on here. "Rubbing" of some sort..

Under the brinkman:

Bonnet not looking too bad: this massive bird etching!

Another etching seen here - N/S front door: (just to the right of the light; a runny poo!)

Levels were all OK:

With that in mind, I jumped in with a 3M polishing pad and my usual Limeprime combo.



Not amazing, but, certainly lifted the surface 'wash hazes'. Deeper marks remained; requiring more aggressive polishing.

O/S below bump strip:

50/50 on the N/S rear pillar: (a good amount of 'black' being returned!)

I'm used to working alongside the usual cats and dogs etc.. Sometimes even horses! But this is a little different:

I never knew chickens could make so much noise! Nosey buggers, too. One of them took a fancy to Limeprime. "*shoo!*"

N/S rear pillar after:

50/50s on the drivers' side:


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some interesting sanding marks found here, O/S join between the front door and the wing:

All lifted OK:

Work on the A-pillar up to the roofline:

Machine wise, this was about it for day 1. Leaving the roof and the two bumpers to complete in the morning.

Over the years, lots of gunk had gathered around the Merc badges on the back - Prime and a cotton bud was put to work:




…not perfect. Very fiddly and ideally would require taking the badges off completely!

Supernatural wax layed down..

Exhaust after an AutoSol session: (Tar deposit currently breaking down from Tardis application)

50/50 on shiny running boards:




Again, would need to remove 'bobbles' to clean fully; lots of stubborn engrained dirt wedged to the side of the plastics.

I called it here for day 1. Left around 6.30pm. Day 2, back on site for 9 and back to it..

Owner was interested to see what the paint COULD come up like (if put through appropriate detail)

I did a little test spot on the tailgate with a sfx2 spot pad and Menzerna Intensive Polish. (Menz 203s wasn't cutting it!)

As opposed to the 'enhanced' area:

Same area after:

Possible, but, on a vehicle this size I can imagine it to be very time consuming!

It was here that my rotary blew up. Fail. That can be tomorrow's job after an Interior Detail on an e46 328 BMW.

From here on, it was a case of tidying up the Britework, sealing the alloys, dressing tyres/arches, cleaning the glass, and, the complete interior.

Britework coming up nicely with Jeffs Werkstat Prime:

Front chrome 'lip' before:

And after:

It was here I pulled my back - not good. Still suffering now..

Britework around the spotlights were pretty tarnished, too:

As was the rear chrome 'lip':

After elbow grease and Prime:


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
See the stubborn bits at the bottom? Yeah, they weren't going anywhere.

Up and onto the roof to finish the machine work off:

Exterior trim dressed and protected with 303 Aerospace Protectant:

Shuts and sills polished and protected with Jeffs Werkstat Prime:

Glass cleaned with FastGlass:

The car is used to transport animal feed from time to time.. Occasionally, the load-liner isn't used. (There was hay/straw everywhere!)

It was a long slog with the hoover.., working out how the rear 2 seats went up/down, picking away at pieces caught in the pile and generally battling with it in every way, shape and form.

Plastics were eventually wiped down with a mild G101 mix. Occasionally using the Megs Triple-Duty brush to dislodge some of the engrained stuff... Wooden inserts polished and protected with Jeffs Prime.

The leather was initially cleaned with LTT Auto Ultra Foam. Later, it was given a good wipedown with a damp microfibre to re-hydrate. A spot-clean with the Step 1 "Jean and Dye Transfer Removal Kit" was needed to lift a darkened section on the driver's lower lumbar; worked a treat!

Finally, all leather protected with LTT Auto Ultra Protect.

It'd been a good few hours since the wax was removed, so, a final wipedown with Zaino's Z8 Grand Finale was given to add to the gloss, and, to remove any possible wax holograms.

After photos: (assisted by the sun for once!)

Obligatory 'thumbs-up' photo which I keep forgetting about:

And my favourite from the day:

And lurking over in the background was our next project!

A stunning 650i.

Overall time? Around 17 hours (lots of tea breaks with the builder & gardener that were based just around the corner!)

Many thanks for taking the time to read; it's a long one!


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still pulling! :( Interior detail on a minging biege 328 BMW today too.

If you want to talk options for your car chap, give me a bell.


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fail. I've just been told off by the owner of these two.. The BMW's a 650, not a 635! *oops*! hehe.

Still, we have dates pencilled in, so, watch this 'ere space!
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