An existing client contacted us about their Ferrari 458 Italia which they were looking to have revived to a condition worth of supercar status. The client previously had their race-tuned Jaguar E-Type V12 detailed and ceramic coated one year before carrying out the same work on the Ferrari in this feature (a year to the day infact). Like the Jaguar, the Ferrari is stored in a humidity controlled CarCoon but is used on a regular basis which also means it is washed regularly. After having our professional ceramic coatings installed upon the E-Type the owner decided that the Ferrari deserved the same treatment too alongside some interior treatments.
To begin the Ferrari we carefully raised each corner with our low entry trolley jack so that a clear access could be achieved whilst cleaning surface build up from the under arches. An all-purpose cleaner (APC) and a long reach brush agitated as much build up as possible before a rinse with the pressure washer. The Ferrari was then lowered from the trolley jack slowly and we continued this process until all four corners were complete. We would normally clean the wheels at this point but as they will be removed later in the service we moved straight on to the engine compartment.
Similarly to the arches, an APC was used in conjunction with an assortment of brushes to lift away a generous build up of dust, grit and other soiling accumulated during the vehicles regular usage. A thorough pressure rinse ensured the harder to reach areas were cleared of any loose debris whilst being careful not to soak any electrical components. Once complete the rear clam was closed to begin work on the ‘Rosso Corsa’ bodywork.
As per all our wash procedures a two bucket method is undertaken following a foam pre-wash and thorough pressure rinse to remove any loose surface particles. During the time dwelling of the foam, a soft detailing brush was used to clean any tight areas, badges, grills and other intricate areas of dust and build up. Carefully washing the car with a soft microfiber wash mitt, the remaining soiling was gently removed by working a panel at a time before rinsing the mitt and moving on to the next (rinsing the mitt in a bucket of clean water before dunking in the shampoo bucket reduced the chance of swirls by the grit particles collected by the mitt being deposited into the rinse bucket). The car was rinsed regularly throughout the wash process.
Tar spotting and adhesive remains that were present were treated with a solvent-based Tar & Glue Remover over the entire vehicle before the car was then given a liberal application of an Iron Remover. The purpose of the Iron Remover is to breakdown any metallic-based contamination that embeds into the paint and over time begins to corrode. The Iron Remover indicates any metallic particles being present with a change in colour where any chemical reactions are occurring. Allowing the product to work for approximately 10 minutes the final pressure rinse was carried out with particular attention being given to areas that may collect residues.
The Ferrari was then moved indoors to receive its third and final decontamination step using a claybar, which will physically remove any remaining contaminants still stubbornly bonded to the paintwork. As our claybar of choice only requires water as a lubricant, the car was towel dried once the entire clay process had been completed, warm filtered air was then used to blow out any trapped water from grills, badges, door shuts and even the engine compartment. With the preparation stage complete the Ferrari was then carefully manoeuvred onto our scissor lift.
The car was raised slightly off the floor and the wheels were carefully removed using our alignment tool to ensure that the wheels did not drop onto the expensive carbon ceramic brakes when removing the bolts. With minimal clearance of the front callipers these inexpensive tools are an absolute must.
The wheels were taken outside and given a deep clean, removing tar spotting and general road soiling from both the inner and outer faces. As the carbon ceramic brakes produce minimal (if any) brake dust there was almost no iron contamination present meaning the wheels could now be taken back inside and dried off. A degrease using Q2MPrep panel wipe ensured the wheels were ready and waiting for their ceramic coating application later. The brake callipers were cleaned of any soiling and also given a panel wipe with Q2MPrep.
After spending some time masking off any delicate trim, areas that may collect dust and some panel edges the car was ready to begin its paint correction, at this point we carefully removed the ‘Ferrari’ lettering from the engine cover to gain the most consistent finish of both correction and protection. The Ferrari was scheduled for our Enhancement Detail which would see the vehicle undergo many hours of machine polishing through two polishing stages; stage one being the abrasive cut and the second being the fine abrasive refinement. Swirling, surface defects and some sanding defects remaining from the manufacture process (that’s right, Ferrari’s don’t come as perfect as you may think) were found across the entire vehicle and were in need of removal or improvements where possible.
A paint thickness gauge was used to assess the paint depth prior to commencing any polishing, any thin areas would then be worked upon with extra care whilst still achieving the desired result. The aim of the Enhancement detail is to return the vehicle to a very presentable condition without necessarily aiming to achieve a perfect finish, some deeper defects may still remain but a considerable improvement would be made where possible – normally aiming for a correction of approximately 75-80%. As the front bumper had previously been protected with a Paint Protection Film (PPF) the cutting stage was skipped on this panel as to avoid compromising the top surface of the film with heavy abrasives. Instead, the front bumper was only refined using Gyeon Q2PPF Renew on a fine polishing pad to cleanse and restore the surface without causing damage. Each panel was then degreased of polishing oils with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) to reveal the true condition of the paint.
After approximately 20+ hours of machine polishing, both polishing steps were completed and the car was then removed of all masking tape and coverings before using warm filtered air to blow away any dust laying on the surface prior to a full panel wipe using Q2MPrep in readiness for the ceramic coating. The engine compartment was dressed just before the panel wipe to ensure that any residues would be removed before coatings were applied.
The coating of choice for the 458 was to be Gyeon’s certified detailer only treatment, Q2DuraFlex. We installed this treatment on this very same client’s Jaguar E-Type V12 exactly one year previous (to the day in fact!) and he decided he would like the same treatment on his other vehicle. The two-layer system is constructed of Q2Base and Q2Flexi which creates the super slick and durable Q2DuraFlex package – offering a full five years of protection against the elements. All paint was protected with Q2DuraFlex whilst the satin rear diffuser, side sections and also the front mouth were protected with Q2Matte, a dedicated ceramic coating for matte & satin finishes.
All exterior plastic trim, including the plastic surrounding the frontal storage area were protected with Q2Trim which restores the colour of the plastic back to factory new, whilst preserving it for years to come. Exterior glass was prepared with Q2Cleanse via a dual action polisher to remove any previous rain repellents and ensuring the glass was as clean as possible for the most superior bond of the Q2Repel to be applied. Q2View offers the unparalleled visibility in wet driving conditions were at higher speeds wiper usage can be minimised.
The wheels, brake callipers and exhaust tips were protected with Q2Rim, Gyeon’s heat resistant ceramic coating more designed for surfaces exposed to higher temperatures whilst still offering superb water repellency, gloss and ease of cleaning. The tyres were then dressed with Q2MTire before the wheels were left for a few hours whilst we continued with the remaining areas of the vehicle. After the said few hours, the wheels were wiped down with Q2MCure before they were carefully refitted to the car, once again using our alignment tools and torqueing the wheel bolts to the desired tightness.
The cream and red interior of the Ferrari was next, where the customer had concern for the slight build up of soiling on the drivers seat from entering and exiting the vehicle. We cleansed the leather surfaces including the seats, dashboard trim and door upholstery with a safe leather cleanser and some warm water to rinse away any residues. Once dried completely, Q2LeatherShield was applied evenly but generously to all leather upholstery to offer protection against spills, excess denim dye transfer & soiling build up as well as protection against UV fading that some leather can be subject to over time. The switchgear was blown out of dust and accumulated crumbs before a wipe of the interior trim using Auto Finesse Spritz collected the dust and left a natural, non-greasy look to the interior. The red floor mats were given a light surface cleanse and dried before Q2FabricCoat was applied to protect against any spills. The interior glass was then cleaned to finalise this area before turning our attention back to finishing the exterior.
To remove any dust that had accumulated on the surface since applying the coating, filtered air was used to blow away any particles before the paint was given a final wipe over with Q2MQuick Detailer. All exterior glass (including engine compartment glass) was then cleaned with Gyeon’s Q2MGlass to provide a perfectly streak free finish without damaging the freshly applied Q2View Coating. The Matte sections were buffed over with Q2MCure Matte and the door shuts were given a boost of protection using Q2Cure. A final check over to ensure all was completed, we finalized the Ferrari 458 Italia’s Enhancement Detail and All Surface Protection by carefully re-fitting the rear ‘Ferrari’ badge onto the rear hatch. One superb and deeply ‘Rosso Corsa’ Ferrari ready to be enjoyed.
Thank You - Aaron
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