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Old 11-20-2005, 12:16 PM
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1984 300SD, Marred Finish - HELP!

I have a 1984 300SD with the original anthracite silver paint finish, that until recently was absolutely beautiful, particularly considering it is 20+ years old. I had to park the car just after last Christmas (2004) and it stayed park until recently (long story for another forum involving deferred maintenance to replace a cracked cylinder head.) Anyway, it mostly sat in a parking lot exposed to the elements for that period of time and when I brought it back home and attempted to wash it a bit prior to bringing it to a friends garage where we would replace the afortementioned cylinder head, I found that what I thought to be road grime and nine months worth of dirt, was actually something more. Either this is a new breed of grime that is impervious to any type of cleaner I can think of, or perhaps the car caught some overspray from being parked to close to another being painted. I did not have it parked at a body shop, but who knows what may have occurred while my car was in the garage at this establishment (idots who shall remain nameless.) So while the overspray idea is purely speculation, it does appear as though it could be grey primer. I attempted to use laquer thinner on the windows and after being unsuccessful, was able to get it off all of the glass using a super fine grade of steel wool. I've attempted 3M's rubbing compound on small section of the paint and it doesn't seem to do anything.

Would a body shop likely be able to buff this out? I'm desperate and pissed off at this point and had actually considered taking the aforementioned establishment to court. Any ideas would be appreciated?

Thanks in Advance,
Old 11-21-2005, 10:58 AM
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Problem Solved...Happy Again!

Well, apparently this forum doesn't see near the action as the Diesel discussion forum or I surely would've had umpteen responses by now. No matter though as I stumbled upon the answer to my problem shortly after posting the on if you're interested (or just bored)...

As previously stated, the car sat for nine months... As I was working to service the tranny yesterday in my driveway, my neighbor walked over to see what I was doing. We started discussing the car including how sick I was about the finish when he made the observation that the place where the car sat was located in front of a large cement plant. Sure enough, it was cement dust. A 50/50 solution of vinegar & water applied to the entire car followed by a vigorously thorough going over at a local coin wash seems to have restored my finish. Nothing else would touch it. Aint that a *****? I'll now hit it her some finishing compound to address the swirling that was there already as well as that introduced by the removal of the cement dust; wax her up, and she'll be good as new. Anyway, it was a learning experienace, the immediate problem is solved and I'll definitely be putting the vinegar/water idea in the old memory banks...

1984 300SD
Old 11-21-2005, 11:43 AM
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Location: Southeastern PA
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Ken, I recommend using machine polish with a ROB to remove the swirl marks. Start with the finest polish. If that doesn't remove the swirl marks use a slightly more abrasive polish then use the fine polish before applying a coat of premium carnauba wax. Also, you could use Meguiar's Swirl Remover before using the fine polish and carnauba wax.
Fred Hoelzle
Old 11-23-2005, 11:37 PM
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Machine versus By Hand


You would recommend doing this by machine and not by hand?

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