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Detailing guide: a day on the CSL (56k unfriendly)


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Right then, having recently bought a M3 CSL I needed to get it up to my standard, particularly as I’d taken to a trackday and it was covered in brake dust, rubber from track and worst of all molten brake pad deposits!

So this detailing session is not major on paintwork, but about attention to detail and returning the car as close to factory cleanliness as possible.

So set aside Sunday and laid out my weapons of choice.




Megs NXT Metal Polish

Steel Wool, fine

Cotton cloth

Megs MF



Toilet Brush!!!

AG Intense Tar Remover

AG Vinyl/Rubber Care



AG Super Resin Polish

NXT Tech Wax Spray

Megs Wheel Brush

Cotton cloth

Megs Water Magnet (an old one)

Comma Tyre Black

1 x Clear Bucket


Compressed air cleaner

AG Interior Shampoo

Paint Brush

Lint free wipes

Megs NXT Glass Cleaner

Lint roll (not pictured)


Johnson’s Baby Bath…YES Baby Bath

2 x Clear Bucket

1 x Megs MF Wash Mitt – new for above rub-strip

1 x Megs MF Wash Mitt – older for below rub-strip, rear & front bumper and general ‘bug’ work (windscreen and wing mirrors)

1 x Megs MF Wash Mitt – really old for under sills, front splitter and rear splitter

3 x Megs Water Magnet for the above

1 x Megs Chamois to draw water out from gathering points; inside wing mirrors, wing vents, between rear bumper and quarter panels etc


Megs Bug/Tar Remover

3 x Megs Clay bars for various parts of car (as above)

Lubricant – Baby Bath 1:20 mix

Megs MF cloth for wiping of lubricant mix post clay bar

HD Cleanse

Megs Applicator Pad

Ettore MF cloth


Zymol Titanium Wax

Megs Applicator Pad


First of all the car is in mint condition. It’s a 2004 CSL with 7k on the clock. Been garaged most of its life and armourfended front bumper and wing mirrors. That said, most of the miles are track miles, Nurburgring and Spa. Track work brings with it high temps, lots of debris, mostly very sticky stuff.

There is no corrective work to be done on the car, just a lot of stubborn barnacle like ‘attachments’


Exhaust first.


Loads of Autosol applied with the Fine Steel Wool. The outer cleans up straight away, but the inner is left to ‘soak’.


Leave that and move onto WHEELS


Virosol doing its magic. Fantastic stuff, citrus based so no damage to wheels. I use it neat as it is so cheap.


Then the wheels have to come off. The track work leaves lots of debris on them. Hot brake pad deposits and tyre rubber really bonds itself on. So after Virosol and Megs Tar remover, its clay bar then finally AG Super Resin Polish.


The tyres have recently been replaced so its time to get rid of the adhesive patches left by the removed wheel weights. I use a vinyl sticker ‘smoother’ to do this to avoid scratching the wheel paintwork.


Then another jetwash blast and drying, finishing with Megs NXT Spray Wax and tyre black



These need a good scrub for the usual road grime, but also to remove rubber from trackdays. So liberal amounts of Virosol and scrubbing with bog brush!


There were lots of patches of oxidation in the arches. AG Intense Tar Remover sorted them, then a good scrub, dry and finishing with AG Vinyl & Rubber Care.


All brake and suspension parts degreased and dressed.



All that x 4 and wheels back on…nice…..



First off all it was addressing all of the rubber marks left from track rubber flying up and hitting the car.



Then its washing….usual two bucket method, but I use 3 different Megs MF Wash Mitts. Basically I have them aged/graded per area of the car; working down to grimmest area last. Using the foam function of Karcher jetwash, then on with the wash mitts. Usual straight lines only, two bucket rinse and regular change of water. Finish with nozzle off hose rinse.



Then drying with similar grading of Megs Water Magnet, newest on bodywork, mid on all inner sills/seams and oldest on engine bay and wheels.

Megs Chamois is used to draw out water from seams and detailed bits like wing vents, under rear light clusters etc.



After drying with oldest Megs Water Magnet it’s a wipe down of all components with Armor All Car Wash Wipes. Then the carbon fibre induction intake is finished with Zymol Titanium wax. The carbon fibre really seems to love the Zymol…



So onto the paintwork.

Same approach with the claybars, based on age of clay bar and area of car.


No pics of process, but it took about 1.5 hours. The benefit of the Steel Grey is it shows every single tar spot. Believe me there were lots and I got every single last one of them; a painstaking process.

Worthy of a mention is the Supaguard film on the bumpers and wing mirrors. The edges really grab the claybar and you have to keep stopping and using you fingernail to gently remove the claybar ‘grabbed’ by the edges of the film.

Then Zymol HD-Cleanse on every panel. Despite the car being in shade it seems to dry extremely quickly and proved hard to get off. The finish was very smooth thought.


I am still doing this by hand as there is no corrective work on this car. But I think I will invest in a PC as it will save time and cleanse better than hand job! Ooo errr ;-p

A final wipe down with a clean MF cloth to ensure I have got all the HD-Cleanse off and prepared the surface for the wax.


Zymol Titanium is my first venture into anything other than the Halfords Megs range.


Applied with a foam applicator rather than by hand (my neighbours think I am barmy already without them seeing me rubbing the car with my hands!!!).

Once again the carbon fibre comes up a treat…



Finally all external glass is finished with Megs NXT Glass Cleaner


Then a final rub down off all surfaces using a MF cloth and she’s finished. It took 10 hours start to finish and the car now looks like new.

The final pics are in fading light. The second set are the next morning after a night of dust (house on a very busy road) and morning’s dew had evaporated, but the light is good and provides the best before v’s after comparision I could get due to the late finish on Sunday night.







Next day



Check out the clouds :nice:




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Mate the bar has been raised...oh god, i'm gonna have to get my wheels off now and clean the arch interiors ..haha. Love cleaning the wheels , but never take em off, get them looking great from the outside.. but no longer...must go to the next level...arrrghhh!!! That's a great job mate, lovely looking car 169144-ok.gif

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Seem to have seen this before wink.gif. One of the best details I have seen and on a quality car.

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Yep been pimped around a few forums, but can you deny me that after such a day smile.gif

Which forum btw?

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IM guessing detailingworld.co.uk

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Omen666, as I've said above the car looks absolutely stunning - but can I ask why you used Zymol Titanium? I came across it on Clean And Shiny's site and it was referred to as being specifically developed for Vans & Trucks! It certainly looks the part on a CSL though!

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So set aside Sunday and laid out my weapons of choice.

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Nice collection - complete with table and radio - and stunning results Damon. Are all those available off-the-shelf from Halfords btw? (bar the bog brush of course!) A similar Sunday blitz is going to be necessary when I pick up my next car up....


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