Ferrari 360 Spider – Pre-Sale Vehicle Preparation And Protection
For most people, when buying a Ferrari, they’re buying into an idea, a legacy. How that legacy is presented to them makes all the difference. If you are selling a Ferrari, the preparation and eventual cosmetic appearance are particularly important. A thoroughbred has to look the part, after all!
So when a well-known independent Ferrari specialist recently acquired a 2001 360 Spider in need of a spruce up, it was delivered to UF’s Brands Hatch Detailing Studio for preparation prior to advertising it for sale.
The first stage was to ensure the car was completely clean, with all contamination, old wax, polish and other dressing residues removed.
Enthusiasts enjoy taking care of their cars and often will have used shampoos with additives and gloss enhancers, as well as waxes or sealants to enhance the finish. Whilst these work in the short term, they leave residues which need removing before anything new is added, otherwise, you end up with a product build-up which actually detracts from the gloss of the paintwork. In addition, many popular tyre dressings are silicon-based and these will turn tyres from a healthy black colour to a tarnished brown. Therefore, every inch of the vehicle needs thorough cleaning to strip everything back, allowing the true colours to shine through! – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The first step was to degrease the brake calipers, wheels and tyres using a solution of Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD, a biodegradable, water-based degreaser. The tyres were scrubbed to remove the heavy accumulation of tyre dressing. The wheels were cleaned using Wheel Woolies to get into the corners of the alloy spokes and to the rear of the rims and Wheel Woolies Caliper Brushes made it easy to access the calipers. After rinsing, the wheels were treated for iron contamination using Nanolex Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover.
The primary source of iron contamination is brake pads which shred when the brakes are applied. The particles become airborne and, as they’re hot, bond immediately with the first substrate they come into contact with. They’re very small, so hard to notice and removing them with a wash mitt will damage the finish. Even if some are dislodged, you run the risk of them then scratching the wheel lacquer or clearcoat. Nanolex Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover has an active ingredient that reacts chemically with the particles, causing them to break their bond with the clearcoat. The active ingredient also changes colour on contact with ferrous particles and when the colour change effect no longer progresses, the solution and the contamination are ready to be rinsed away. It is suitable for use on the paintwork too. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
After the tyres and wheels were clean, attention turned to the wheel arches which had collected road grime and dirt. Surfex HD was applied and allowed to dwell before being jet washed away. Ultimate Snow Foam was applied and the arches were cleaned using Wheel Woolies Wheel Brushes and a soft sponge. Care was taken to ensure the lip on the inside of the wheel arch, a natural trap for dirt, was also thoroughly cleaned. The wheel arches were then rinsed.
With wheels, wheel arches and tyres taken care of, attention turned to the bodywork. First, this was degreased with a solution of Surfex HD to clean the bottom of the panels and underneath the sills. A wash mitt was used to get into the deep recesses of the diffuser. The bonnet, boot and door shuts were carefully cleaned using a detailing brush to agitate the degreasing solution around the catches which act as dirt and grease traps. Then, Nanolex Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover was sprayed onto the surfaces to eliminate ferrous contamination. After rinsing, Ultimate Snow Foam was applied through a Kranzle adapted foam lance attached to a Kranzle K-1152 pressure washer. The soapy solution under high pressure creates a thick foam that gets into the nooks and crannies on the bodywork and clings, even to vertical surfaces. A soft detailing brush was used to ensure dirt was removed from all tight areas that act as natural traps, such as around badges and emblems, grille, around head and taillights and under the number plate lights. The foam was then rinsed away taking with it larger particles of dirt and grit.
Ultimate Snow Foam was applied to the fabric roof and agitated with a soft bristled brush to ensure all traces of dirt, mildew, and other residues were completely removed. The hood was rinsed using the Kranzle pressure washer on its lowest setting, using straight lines to move the suds and dirt outwards and away from the hood.
Cleaning the fabric is an important part of the upkeep process and eliminating the suds is just as important as removing the contamination. Any element left in the fabric mesh will eventually act as a nucleating point for mildew and will encourage water to wick through the lining, even if a water proofer has been applied. It’s worth taking the extra time to ensure the hood is absolutely clean to really get the benefit from the reproofing. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
With all surfaces decontaminated, the 360 Spider was washed with a solution of the additive and gloss enhancer free Nanolex Pure Shampoo to ensure a clean rinse without residues. The wash was carried out using an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and employing the Two Bucket Method. This method comprises of keep Wash and Rinse water in separate buckets, both of which have Grit Guards in the bottom. The wash mitt is loaded with soapy wash water, a section of the car cleaned, then the mitt is rinsed in the clean Rinse water, the mitt brushed across the Grit Guard to dislodge dirt and grit particles. The mitt is then wrung out before being dunked back into the soapy wash water. The process is repeated until the car is completely clean. Washing a vehicle this way helps prevent swirls and scratches being put into the clearcoat – the leading cause of tired, dull paintwork.
The 360 Spider was rinsed clear of suds before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was connected in-line with a hose pipe to give the car a final pure water rinse. Quick detailer was sprayed onto the paintwork to aid the drying process, allowing the soft microfibre towels to glide over the surface and helping water to bead off the paintwork. The 360 Spider was brought into the detailing studio where it was raised on a pneumatic ramp. An air blower was used to speed up the drying of the fabric roof and to force remaining water out of the nooks and crannies on the bodywork. Using high-intensity lighting, the paintwork was inspected for damage such as swirls, random deep scratches (RDS), staining or etching from environmental or industrial fallout. Blemishes were noted on the Vehicle Appraisal Sheet so they could be addressed during the machine polishing stage.
In this instance, the SCANGRIP Sunmatch 2 light revealed a myriad of heavy swirls and many random deep scratches (RDS), although these were concentrated in specific areas.
To tackle the RDS, a Meguiar’s Soft Buff Red Foam Cutting Disc was affixed to a RUPES BigFoot LHR 12E Duetto dual action polisher. Using Menzerna Heavy Cut 400 compound, the relatively aggressive combination eliminated the deeper scratches quickly.
The paintwork was then enhanced using RUPES Yellow Foam Polishing Pad and Menzerna Medium Cut Polish 2400, still on the Duetto, as the smaller throw of the machine allows for better polishing over the curved surfaces of the Ferrari.
With the clarity of the paint restored, the 360 Spider was given a final, light polish by hand using Swissvax Cleaner Fluid, to give the paintwork the best possible glow before a layer of Swissvax Scuderia Wax was applied. This exclusive, hand-poured wax contains a high percentage of carnauba by volume, imparting a deep, wet-look, reflective shine to the red paintwork.
Carnauba wax works really well with warm coloured vehicles as it really brings out that extra depth of shine. Scuderia has been specifically formulated with softer, Italian paint finishes in mind and contains around 40% by volume of premium grade carnauba. This helps protect the paintwork from UV, chemical and environmental fallout. It really does deliver the most amazing finish. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The cream and red leather interior had sustained some damage with use and in addition to requiring cleaning and protecting, many areas on the driver’s seat also needed recolouring. To restore the leather, Colourlock Leather Care & Repair products were used.
Initially, the leather was cleaned using Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner. The foam was applied to the leather and worked into the grain using a leather brush, drawing out the dirt and discolouration.
The seats were wiped clean and then degreased using Colourlock Leather Cleaning Spirit to draw out remnants of old leather care products, along with residues of sun creams and body oils. The damaged areas were gently sanded using a sanding pad, levelling out the surfaces and preparing it for the dye.
The (optional, colour-coded) red piping was protected with detailing film and tape, the cream coloured Leather Fresh loaded into the air gun and lightly sprayed onto the faded, worn areas.
The edges were feathered outwards to blend seamlessly to the existing seat colour, so as to effectively disguise the repair.
Once the dye was dry, the leather was protected from dye transfer, staining and UV damage using Colourlock’s abrasion resistant coating, Leather Shield.
Having been cleaned and now thoroughly dry, the fabric roof required recolouring and then re-weatherproofing. Detailing film was used to protect the paintwork and the edges sealed with detailing tape. Renovo Cabriolet Roof Reviver was applied using a brush in a series of overlapping panels to ensure uniform coverage, starting in the middle of the hood and working towards the outside. The dye was then left overnight to dry.
The following morning, Renovo Ultra Proofer was applied, its advanced formulation re-establishes the original “as new” waterproof weather barrier and helps prevent the harmful deep penetration of road grime, salt, tree sap and bird droppings into the fibres of the soft top material. Mould and mildew resistant, Ultra Proofer contains a unique UV inhibitor for preserving colour and therefore helps to prolong the life of the fabric roof.
Now finished, the 360 Spider was ready to go back into the showroom and, looking this good, it won’t be there long!
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements.