11 Dec The Dark Light Rises
We’re sticking with the paint theme for today as we bring a silver Mercedes S65 AMG to the blog.
You’ve probably seen this gentleman’s car before; it was the car we used to create two custom S65 AMG exhausts for clients earlier in the year, and we tuned his car shortly thereafter. That piano black grill is hard to miss, after all. Now, though, he’s back for a bit of aesthetic refreshment. With the paint booth empty after the C300, it’s time to start disassembling the pieces we need to paint, since it’s impossible to paint them on the vehicle and have it look good and cover every angle. There are three main pieces we’ll be removing in order to paint them — the headlights, the taillights and the turn signals in the side mirrors. The front and back were easy enough to remove (although we had to take off the bumper to get at the headlights), but the turn signal markers required us to remove the entire mirror from the vehicle, which we taped off to make sure we didn’t have a stray harness end smacking against the paint.
With the lights removed, the next step (aside from shooting them in various places) is to clean them up and prepare the surfaces for paint, much like any other piece. Since we’re re-tinting the taillights to match the new headlight tint, we had to remove the first layer of tint and start with a clean slate.
After the surfaces are prepped and ready for paint, we take them into the paint booth where we apply a thin layer of paint to tint the lights. Once that paint is dry, it’s time to fine-tune the level of tint while addressing the clarity of the lamps themselves. How do we do that? Why, buffing is the answer! We’ll hand-buff each light until the tints are uniform and at the right shade to look menacing yet mitigate the reduction of light passing through the tint. It’s a little time-consuming, but this way we’re able to get everything to match, and nobody will forget to turn on the highway and drive off a cliff. Everybody benefits!
And how, you may ask, did the results turn out? Well, we’re still finishing up the taillights, but we have the headlights and mirror markers reinstalled and ready to go. The headlight tint varies in how dark it looks based on the location, camera settings and how liberally we apply Photoshop to it, so it’s tough to approximate what you’d see in real life with the camera. That said, we think it adds a little extra aggressiveness to the S65’s aesthetic, playing off the piano black grille and roof quite nicely.
We’re moving from paint to powdercoat tomorrow, so come on back to the FMU website around this time for even more new, original content! Have a great day!