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Thread: F430 New owner diary inc. maintenance & upgrades

  1. #1011
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Var, S.E. France
    Name
    Ronald Brown
    Posts
    905

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    This year we were based in Pienza, which is less of a challenge on the knees than Montepulciano, our previous location - so, as you know, just west of the area you mention. Always a delight and, from many years of experience, mid to end May a great time to be there.

  2. #1012
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    London
    Name
    Mark
    Posts
    1,061

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    This post is part one of a two part maintenance log that was performed ahead of my recent trip. Without fail there is always something to attend to on this car.

    AC Service
    During the last road trip I noticed that vent temperature was not as low as it should be, so I decided to have the A/C system serviced with new gas, lubricant, and receiver/dryer. The OEM part is cheap at 25, but a quick browse on the Internet revealed that it looks to be the same unit used in some Land Rover models with alternative part number JRJ100550, so there should be an alternative source if ever Ferrari discontinue the part.
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    I use a local F1 Autocentre for tracking & A/C as I've always found them to be very good; they were kind enough to disrupt the refill cycle to let me fit the new dryer, which took only five minutes because I'd removed the wipers and scuttle panel prior to arriving at F1.
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    The owners manual lists the R 134 A capacity as 800 30 g, and mine was down to 536 - so no surprise that the system wasn't cooling as effectively as it should. The system passed the vac test and was refilled with 800g.
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    AC Compressor Engagement Issue
    I had an intermittent A/C compressor engagement issue. The electronics side is simple to diagnose with two main circuits:

    1) Control
    The HVAC panel is the control source, with a 12v switched live output passing through a combination high pressure/low pressure switch to pin 40 on the right-hand-side engine ECU.

    2) Load
    If the right-hand-side engine ECU is satisfied that the correct engine operating conditions exist for compressor activation i.e. not at WOT etc. then pin 22 is earthed, which is wired to the earth side of the compressor activation relay (PSR1) in the left hand side central junction box (CBL9). The coil is fed from fuse PDF12 in the right hand side central junction box (CBR9), but jointly it supplies other key components which were OK in my car therefore I skipped a check. The load side of the relay is fed from 15a fuse PSF19 in the left hand side central junction box (CBL9)

    In my case the fuses and relay were fine. I tested compressor activation at idle by briefly earthing the compressor relay coil, knowing that the issue was very unlikely to lie within the engine ECU itself - the compressor clutch clicked on. I knew that the load side of the circuit was OK so next I turned my attention to the pressure switch behind the access panel in the front luggage compartment, as that's a point where I could test for the incoming switched live from the HAC panel - which could be a possible root case - and check status of the switch; if pressure is either too high or too low then the switch will remain open and prevent compressor engagement.

    I found the root cause to be something unexpected: the locking barb for the electrical connector had obviously weakened over time and had allowed the connector to migrate away from the switch body, leading to a poor connection. I fixed this by packing the connector body with a piece of plastic which forced the locking barb onto the switch, but later on when I have more time I shall replace the connector with a new part.
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    Becker Aux Lead
    My car had the optional iPod interface which I used for a couple of years but lately it wasn't of any use to me. I removed the interface to swap with a simple 3.5mm input aux cable which would provide more flexibility.

    The Becker head units uses the old mini ISO connectors for the various auxiliary functions that may be added. As my car was optioned with sat nav, I found that the powered GPS antenna was wired to the 'powered radio aerial' pins on the blue connector, so I used some cheap Chinese pin extraction tools to add the GPS antennae power wires to the new blue aux plug.
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    A small cable tie to protect the wires from being pulled out of the housing, and the new aux lead was good to go.
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    Brakes
    Whilst cleaning and inspecting the brakes I noticed an issue: the masking for the powder coat job I had done during the last refurb had missed the 4mm bare metal area around the circumference of the pistons. The new powder coat was too close to the piston bores, had begun to deteriorate, and would very likely lead to a future issue. This was an unwanted discovery, but despite limited time left before the trip I decided to strip and rebuild the front calipers.
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    I used a Dremel to remove the unwanted powder coat, and thoroughly cleaned out the calipers with brake cleaner. New seals, naturally. My Dad very kindly re-polished all of the pistons.
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    I use a pressure bleeder to refresh the fluid, and here is the business end of the operation. Previously I used a piece of tube pushed over the bleed nipple but it was always prone to weeping, so I've upgraded to a moulded rubber push on fitting which works perfectly - now the whole operation is completely dry.
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    I took the opportunity to de-glaze the pads with some 80 grit wet-and-dry paper.
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  3. #1013
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    London
    Name
    Mark
    Posts
    1,061

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    Trip prep part two of two.

    Water Pump
    This car has a penchant for providing surprises at inopportune times, which in fairness may sometimes be attributed to a lack of use, and this was likely one of those cases: a small pool of antifreeze on the inside of under tray one week before we were due to leave. Coolant was visibly seeping from the join between the two sections of water pump.
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    The next morning I went back to the car expecting to find another pool, but it was dry. I ran the engine up to temp, and still no further sign of a leak which was quite fortuitous. I spoke to a chap called Joel who provides rebuild kits for these pumps and he reported not seeing any catastrophic failures, so I was happy to proceed with the trip.
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    The problem hasn't occurred since but I've taken it as a cue to rebuild the water & dry sump pump over winter using one of Joel's kits.

    Rear Bumper
    One part of the Scuderia rear bumper design that I've never really been happy with is the black grille area above the diffuser and around the exhaust tips. If like in my case the rear diffuser is carbon then the whole area becomes a little bit featureless. To provide a better demarcation between the carbon diffuser and the rest of the bumper I had omitted the black grille, but I still wasn't completely happy with the look, so I've now had all of the mounting holes for the grille filled with epoxy and I've painted the area in grey.
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    Fluid Service
    I've changed the antifreeze, brake fluid, and cabin air filter. From memory I managed to remove 11 litres of antifreeze after leaving the car on an incline to drain overnight.
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    PAS Reservoir Cap
    Oil mist was emanating from the power steering reservoir and making its way to the top of the gearbox. I don't like oil mist anywhere in the engine bay of this car, so I replaced the cap ring with one for a BMW after observing that the reservoir was a generic ZF item that is used on various cars - Ferrari sell only the complete reservoir.
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    Steering Rack
    Ferrari had noted in my last service that the power steering rack was leaking and recommended that it was replaced. I suspected that wasn't the case, and it was in fact silicone lubricant on the gaiter from where I had adjusted the coilovers. I investigated and found the steering rack to be perfectly fine.
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    Suspension Service
    I've applied silicone to all anodised components in order to preserve them. I've also sprayed PTFE into the suspension flamblocs, and various joints in the Spider roof assembly.
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    Scuderia Undertray
    I had the bodyshop refurbish the front Scuderia undertray because it had a few scuffs. The painter thought that I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic
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    Whilst on the subject of undertrays...the Scuderia rear undertray saves additional weight by incorporating mounting bosses for two fastening locations which on the F430 are made up with steel brackets. I didn't take this into account in my previous weight saving calculations. It just goes to show the lengths that Ferrari went to.
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    Cleaning
    The rest of the prep was cleaning and checking various fastenings around the car - the flat plane crank causes a lot of vibration. I steam cleaned behind the rear bumper and other hidden areas.
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    And finally, thanks to my friend Carlo in Italy for kindly donating some Scuderia seat fabric to enable me to retrim my bulkhead luggage nets, some spare market lights, and a paint code decal for my carbon bonnet.
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  4. #1014
    Modificato is offline Nowhere to put the shopping -The Ferrari F40 Club Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    north west
    Name
    CPD
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    As always, great updates.

    Looking forward to the trip report

  5. #1015
    Nosevi's Avatar
    Nosevi is offline Post whore with no life, no friends, and a problem fitting into normal social circles Committee Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modificato View Post
    As always, great updates.

    Looking forward to the trip report
    +1.

  6. #1016
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
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    Frankfurt
    Name
    Shirley
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    1

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    I've just binged through this whole thread... very exciting!

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