The first step of the paint correction detail was to thoroughly wash the
Ferrari and remove any previously applied products (such as waxes,
glazes, or sealants) that could interfere with the leveling and polishing
process. The body was washed using a pH neutral car soap. Mild detailer’s
clay was carefully rubbed over the painted surfaces to remove any
embedded contamination from the surface. A solution was then applied
that would neutralize and remove any iron fallout that had penetrated into
microscopic openings in the paint. All of the paint work, including the jambs
were blown out and wiped dry. A final wipedown with diluted isopropyl
alcohol left the paint surgically clean and ready for heavy correction.
The wheels and brake calipers were sprayed with a pH neutral cleaning
solution selected to be gentle to the massive (and expensive) carbon
ceramic brake rotors. The tires were stripped of the previously applied
greasy dressing and the wheel arches, jambs, and under trays were
cleaned and degreased.
Gentle cleaners were used to safely
clean any grime from the carbon
The 458 Italia had a fair amount of
contamination embedded on its
It is imperative to thoroughly detail the
paint and automobile prior to
correcting the paint to reduce the risk
of dirt contaminating any surface.
A strong cleaner was needed to remove
the greasy dressing from the tires.
Stripping the Ferrari’s finish removed any products that could give a false
impression of the paint’s condition. In the case of this 458, the paint’s
condition was poor. Inspecting the Ferrari in direct sunlight revealed a
surface that was scarred with microscopic scratches and machine
polishing marring know as holograms. Compound splatter was visible in
some of the vents, which confirmed that this Ferrari had been (poorly)
machine polished at the factory.
Also visible was heavy amounts of paint texture, giving the surface the
appearance of an orange’s skin. Luckily there was no evidence of spot
repairs; all of the defects could be refined and corrected.
Through out the paint correction process, the Ferrari 458’s paint was
continuously measured for thickness. To my knowledge and research this
was the first Ferrari 458 that has benefited from such an extensive
refinement of the factory finish; no previous information was available. It
was necessary to document any changes in the paint thickness during
various stages for information on how the paint responds to different levels
of paint leveling. Constant measuring of the paint thickness also provides
an invaluable safe guard against removing too much paint.
The charts are for reference only. Upon initial measurement, prior to any
correction, there was noticeable changes of paint thickness in area’s close
to each other. After leveling it was found to have a much more uniform
thickness. The graphs below illustrated the total thickness of the paint
system in mils (each mil isequally to 1/1000 on an inch). The clear coat only
makes up a noticeable fraction of the total thickness. Each number is only
an average of the surrounding area. Areas marked NR (non readable) were
areas where accurate measurements were not possible, either because of
the substrate (body material) or because of a clear bra protective film.
Visible paint surface scratches,
known as swirl marks, covered the
458’s surface when viewed in
DA Sanding Scratches (also known
as pig tails) were visible using
halogen inspection lamps
Ultra fine marring, caused by poor
polishing techniques, was visible
with a halogen lamp.
The marring was so severe that it
was visible when the sun was
blocked by the clouds.
The heavy texture of the paint really subtracted
from the black Ferrari’s potential beauty.
Page 2) Inspection and Pre Cleaning
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