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Thread: 1999 456M GTA - Recommission and Restoration

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Hampton, England
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    Andy Rasool
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    Update on the coolant.

    I spoke to my Ferrari dealer and they informed me the correct coolant for older cars is Petronas Paraflu. It's blue in colour and is used by Fiat and Alfa Romeo too.

    I managed to find a supplier who sells it and picked up 13L for £70.

  2. #42
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    Last week was an expensive week! I needed to order all my parts for the jobs mentioned in post 87 above and picked up a few extras on the way.

    The first of note is as well as the Tubi boxes I also ordered Bradan resonator delete pipes. I thought what the hell go the whole hog! The 456 in standard setup is too quiet and for too long has bugged me. I've read and heard many opinions saying that the 456 is a gentlemanly GT so being loud will not suit but I think the FF has changed this. It's loud from stock.

    Also I welcome the additional bhp that comes with it so as JC said more horsepower is always a good thing. One thing I will be doing is though is fitting the Tubi first and then the pipes. So I will record the before, during and after results.

    2nd item of note is I purchased a Ferrari handling pack steering ECU from Ferrari. Many will be aware that the FHP pack was originally available on the 575 and then as an upgrade option on the 550 (feel free to correct me), but was never an option for the 456m. One area I've always thought the 456M could be improved is by having sharper handling so looking to fit that.

    Incidentally the FHP ECU will not work on the earlier 456, only in the 456m.

  3. #43
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    Managed to spend sometime on the weekend to work on the car and made some progress. I'll post pics when I get home.

    Previously I had stripped the door cards so that I could change the waterproof liners on both doors. I figured while they are out let me clean them with Zymol leather cleaner. I will be doing the whole interior. The difference was immediately noticeable and probably had never previously been done.

    Sunday I returned to the workshop with Abbey to do more. I replaced the weather shields and did door cards on both sides. It's is a bit tricky if you haven't done it before but once I did one side the other was easy.

    We also changed the AC compressor and and replaced the AC dryer bottle. I was a little bit nervous as the AC had never worked on my car so I was concerned that another fault would pop up. However we connected it to the AC machine and the vacuum held for 15 mins. Test passed!

    All good so far. Next was to regas it and unfortunately the gas needed topping up in the machine so we were only able to half full the AC system in the car. However even with that the system was blowing cold. Really pleased that it all came together and the only problem was not Ferrari related!

    Next was to pressure test the coolant system. I had had a series of cooling problems over the past 12 months and was worried there was a problem lurking. Pressure held fine so we drained the coolant ready for the new correct coolant to go in.

    However it was not all good news and today is going to be interesting to say the least.

    The first problem has been known for a short while and is a leak in the rear left and front right shocks. Worst case scenario is that four shocks will need changing and at the same time I will also change all bushes.

    The real problem is the cost. My first preference was to sent my shocks to Delta Vee Motorsports in the U.S. and have them built to FHP spec. Sadly they currently have an 8 week lead time so my only real option is to buy new ones. That means total cost of parts is well over £4,500! Parts only.

    The second problem is an oil leak and if worst case scenario plays out, we will need a we will need to remove the cambelts to get to the seal. I only did the cambelts last year. Likelyhood is that I will need to get this done, it's just a question of when.

    Abbey is going to inspect both and let me know today what's recommended. I'm expecting both jobs need to be done. I've warned my wallet!

  4. #44
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    Didn't get to speak to my mechanic friend yesterday. Hopefully will catch up with him today. But I've been thinking and put this out to the forum.

    Given that my steering will now be upgraded to FHP, should I also update the damper spec to either standard 550/575 or go further to FHP spec? Currently I find the suspension too soft for my liking in sport mode and never drive in normal mode.

    It's worth knowing that the FHP also includes lower springs but not sure if I would do that.

    Earlier I was looking for what actually makes up the Fiorano Handling Pack. I managed to find this and thought I would post it:

    One example is the Fiorano handling package which, in the particular case of Michael Schumacher's personal 550 Maranello, consists of lowered (10 mm at the front, 15 mm at the back) and stiffened suspension using 25% stiffer springs and a bigger 21 mm rear anti-sway bar. That's fairly straightforward-where the Ferrari handling package differs from a normal tuner's repertoire is in the shock absorber settings. In a classical handling set-up, you'd jack the existing dampers for new ones. But as the 550 employs trick electronically-governed hydraulics to achieve its marvelously serene ride and sure-footed handling, Ferrari has turned to Bilstein to "chip" the dampers. That way you retain the switchable sport and comfort settings which adjust the damping logic on the basis of the type of compression being exerted as well as vehicle speed, steering angle, throttle opening, and brake pressure, but the response time of the new dampers is even faster, which gives it an even flatter ride.
    The same goes for the ZF Servotronic speed-sensitive steering, which has been modified to give a meatier feel in the speed range up to 55 mph.
    And who was the perpetrator of all these improvements? Michael Schumacher himself, who signed off the handling package after a series of tests around the Fiorano track.

  5. #45
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    Update on my trip and car.

    As mentioned before I was crazily trying to get my car finished for a trip to the Ferrari factory towards the end of July. Someone posted on another thread that the Factory production line is currently closed for maintenance. I checked with my dealer today and sure enough it will not be fully open until after the August holiday period. as a result I am delaying my visit until September now.

    In many ways its a blessing in diguise as it means that I can send my four shocks to Delta Vee to rebuild my suspension and also strip the engine to resolve the oil leak. This on top of the list I was already in the middle of. Obviously the cost was unexpected but Im being positive in thinking that my car will be much better for the trip and general driving as a result.

  6. #46
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    Managed to speak to Rob (Delta Vee) yesterday and discussed the shock rebuild with him. Decided to up to 550 standard spec as this will be more in line with what I am looking to achieve. Rob mentioned that he had done this for clients in the past and they were happy with the results.

    We also discussed the possibility of changing the springs to take it one stage further but decided to fit the shocks first and see how I like it. I'm sure the handling will be transformed anyway.

    Incidentally the cost of the change to 550 spec (using 456 shocks) is $50 extra per shock. Mention that just in case you wanted to do the same.

  7. #47
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    In general progress has been a little slow. We managed to strip the suspension and send the shocks off to Delta Vee in the U.S. At the same time will be changing all the bushes in the suspension.

    Decided to sort out two engine leaks to make the job more complex. Cam gaskets are leaking so changing the front seal and cam gaskets. Also will be changing the cambelts even though they were only changed last year. In addition the Rear main seal is leaking slightly so that will change too.

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