Mercedes CLS Car Body Repairs and Body Kit - RT Performance
Sometimes it is difficult to identify when a spray job becomes a larger scale project, but in a case of this CLS Mercedes we knew from a very start it will be an interesting one. The owner came to our accident repair centre initially to discuss doing a crash repair to the front end of his CLS.
When he had hit the car in front, CLS’s bonnet and front wings got deformed, headlight and front grille damaged, the front bumper cover somewhat destroyed. Since this CLS has had an AMG style package, we found that getting hold of a bumper at a reasonable price is a rare phenomenon. Price of dealership-supplied AMG bumper allows good budgeting for some better alternatives and even other spare parts we needed for the job. Soon after, we found ourselves discussing with the owner what he sees missing in the design of his CLS and how does he see it looking for complete satisfaction. The more we discussed and researched the bigger our job list became.
Some difficulties with car body repairs
Car body repairs to the front end damage is never easy. There are many body panels involved when it comes to alignment and eventually all gaps between those panels must be even. After most mid-heavy impact we find that internal fixing brackets, cross bars, headlight brackets, radiator panels or even engine and suspension parts are also damaged. They would either cause the car to drive with a fault or not allow align the body panels properly. We always provide a full list of needed parts on the first day of inspection, it is impossible to provide accurate estimates not know the complete picture. In addition, CLS required new bumper bracket, headlight housing because plastic welding would not work due to a vital piece of plastic missing, and few other small plastics. We also found the front radiator panel to be deformed, which cause the bonnet shutting/opening issues. Luckily, it was made of steel and could straighten it. When the new headlight arrived and the bumper was off a car for crash, we installed 7000k HID kit to give that fresh look lighting. It is impossible to install HID kit on these cars with a bumper on.
Which body kit to suit this project?
Next step was to contact few body kit manufacturers in Germany. Specifically, we liked front bumper by “Prior” and rear bumper from “MEC Design”. These don’t come cheap by the way but the fitment quality reflected in the price. Bumpers also came with all necessary accessories, grilles, fog lights, etc. The only modification to this body kit that we saw necessary was rear exhaust. The bumper from Prior was made for CLS63 model, which came with twin tips on each side. We have two more AMG tips ordered and installed them by welding in a correct spot. Exhaust fabrication and exhaust modification is another line of activity along car bodywork repairs. Completing the body kit were AMG boot spoiler and two-fin front grille in gloss black, which gave the CLS more aggressive look it needed.
When bumpers were aligned, prepped, sprayed and fitted, we were dazzled by the successful match of body kit. The CLS did no longer look like a 320D, so we have the badges removed. Any mean machine needs some privacy and style, which can be easily achieved by our professional window tinting service. Llumar tinting film went on nicely onto CLS windows, complementing the rest of the car.
Other customisation and car modifications
The biggest let down so far were 18″ alloys that were fitted on the CLS. Poor thing screamed for 20’s, so that what we went and bought! New wheels and low profile tyres greatly improved the stance of the CLS yet keeping its drivability.
These wheels had silver front and black backing, which matched the chrome window trims and door handles of a black CLS. However we strongly felt there was not enough silver on the car… Owner agreed. We went back researching and came across some pictures of Maybach, that had different colour on side panels. Since CLS has very distinctive body lines, we were sure similar approach can be applied too. A quick photoshop mock-up proved us right! We ordered some stainless steel look 3M vinyl and had the sides of CLS wrapped in it. Of course, an introduction like this is a personal choice but we felt strongly it suited that particular car. Vinyl wrapping is a skill when it comes to trimming off using your hands and sight as only guidance. Luckily, at RT Performance we have many years of practice doing that and CLS was done perfectly.
To complete the project, we installed an iPod integration device to allow playback and control from any modern device that plays music. Something that Mercedes should have done as a standard feature but never the less.
It also appeared that DPF filter was blocked on this CLS. Something, which happens to most modern diesel cars and unfortunately replacement comes at great expense. We suggested complete removal of filter elements, as it doesn’t effect MOT and the car would still be compliant according to most driving standards. DPF filter removed, computer re-programmed and out diagnostics specialist even upped a power output through a re-map.
Now this CLS not only looked like no other but it was quick too!