My Ferrari F430 Spider F1 Ownership Diary

Discussion in 'Others' started by The CO, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. zarnd
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    zarnd

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    Good to see your wife has had a go. Mine has driven them all apart from the Caterham and I think the SL. She likes the M5 once it’s moving as is a bit sceptical of the gearbox at slow speeds as she can’t get her head round what it should be doing and what she should be doing in it


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  2. Jonnyg123
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    Jonnyg123 Site Supporter

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    I always like seeing people get the things they want out of life
    Congrats that’s one stunning car
     
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  3. The CO
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    The CO Admin

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    A small update with a big bill.

    As I bought the car privately there was always a question about provenance, inspections, work done (or to be done) and whether the car would stand up to scrutiny. The sort of peace of mind you would get if bought from a dealer. Given the length of time we (me and the owner) discussed the car and my calls with Dick Lovett Ferrari I was reasonably confident I wasn't buying an absolute lemon. I was also buying well, so well in fact that when I told AV (more later) how much I paid for it he expressed some surprise so I had a buffer zone of £x to account for no warranty and any unseen horrors. With all that in mind, I wanted to get a thorough inspection done, up on the ramp type of thing. I know some of you will think I was mad not to do it before I bought but hey ho. Did some online research and settled on AV Engineering in Kent. Good reputation but 112 miles away from me - d'oh. Transport companies wanted stupid money to move it so decided to take it myself and get the train back.

    The route was M4, A329, M25, M20 and last leg on an A road. Roof up, in Wet mode on the mannetino and off we go and it's a complete doddle. I hovered around 75mph all the way and whilst you notice the drone from the exhaust to begin with you eventually just forget about it, it really isn't that bad at all. Besides, turn up the volume on the admittedly crap stereo and you can just relax into it. Predictably, the concrete section around Cobham is horrendous, bad enough in the RRS but horrible in the 430. It's not so bad that you want to rip your ears off but even so. The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful.

    Met up with Aldous and explained that there was a rattle in the back and that I also wanted to bluetooth the stereo so I could stream my music, he knew about these things anyway so no bother. Left it with him on Sat and he said he would call Monday for an update. Fast forward to Monday and get the call/video. Now, the one thing I was really worried about was the manifolds, a known weak spot. They crack over time but the real danger is that there are pre-cats in them that might disintegrate and be ingested into the engine. The only way to resolve it is rip them out and replace with aftermarkets or OEM Challenge headers but any way you look at it it's going to be bloody expensive. Mine are fine, thank God! The way to test them is to carry out a smoke test by blowing smoke up the exhaust and seeing if it comes out of the manifolds and mine were smoke-free. Excellent.

    However, there is always a list of stuff and my issues were suspension related, bushes and ball joints. Again, I knew these were 'weak' points on a 430 so no real surprise. The slightly worrying thing is that I have a leaky release bearing on the clutch/gearbox shaft. Rather than a conventional lever that operates a clutch albeit hydraulically assisted, the F1 system is entirely hydraulic so if it stands around for yonks the seals dry up and harden and leakage occurs. It's a gearbox out job and one of those that if you replace the bearing you might as well do the clutch at the same time. Trouble is my clutch is only 46% worn so a bit stuck. That said, it's not causing issues right now and AV did say I'll know when it's playing up with clutch engagement issues. We're just going to monitor it for now and hopefully it'll last until the clutch needs doing.

    All in I had the inspection, bluetooth adaptor, USB power in the glovebox, repair to outer tail light (it was loose, common problem again), repair to loose exhaust tip, two ball joints plus kits, one tie rod and various wiring bits. Final bill came to £1700. Not an insubstantial sum of money but money well spent and I always knew I was going to have to dig deep every now and then but I'm ok with it, it is what it is. At least I have complete peace of mind and know that the car is in fine shape and will withstand a Euro trip - when it happens. Picked it up today and the drive home was uneventful. I had the roof down for a little while but stopped at Cobham services for some scran and put it up for the rest of the journey home.

    Not surprisingly, the car still attracts a lot of attention. To be fair I'd be the same, you just don't see Ferraris that often so it's always a bit of an event when you do see one. I know I said before that I was a bit uncomfortable with being stared at but now I'm not bothered in the slightest, after all it's the car people are looking at and not me. On the roads I never get tailgated (although I did today on the A329 by some tit in his lowered Astra Asbo) like I do in the RRS but you do get people sitting off your rear quarter just staring at the car. If the car is two-up with a couple you can always see the bloke getting animated and pointing at the car explaining various bits and pieces whereas the wife/girlfriend just looks bored senseless. :hehe: Other times you can be drawing up slowly to a car on the left and the driver's window will drop a fraction so they can hear it go past. Naturally I oblige and give it some welly! I did this with an SLS AMG thingy the other day, he went past me on the A34, moved over to the left and slowed right down. As I came up alongside he dropped his window by a couple of inches so I duly obliged by sticking it in sport and flooring it. I then slowed down and he came past and his teenage son in the passenger seat was all grins and thumbs up!

    In summary, great car still but it's going to cost me but then I knew this. It's no GT but you could happily while away some miles in it so entirely suitable for a long trip, looking forward to that. It's still a pig to drive sensibly and you can't (legally anyway) really use all of its power meaningfully because there's just so bloody much of it. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it of course but it's tricky. The funny thing is that I use the 2cv to pick it from storage and when I dropped it back off last week and drove The Slug home wringing its neck all the way I suddenly realised which car was more fun to drive and guess what? It's probably the 2cv..!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  4. zarnd
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    zarnd

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    £1700 is not that expensive to be honest for what is being worked on.

    My Mums A45, the Range Rover, SL55 and the M5 have all had services in the last three months as well as repairs. Total bill for them all was £9,500.

    I always find my Caterham with a 1.6 litre Ford Sigma engine great fun to drive. Something about to going the neck of something with low power is more enjoyable than big power stuff a lot of the time.

    Cheers


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  5. 535i MSport
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    That’s a good point about the Caterham. Also there’s something appealing about a simpler car without multiple computers that you can actually work on.

    If I had more storage space, I might be tempted!


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  6. The CO
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    Fascinating clip from the chap who designed the F430, Frank Stephenson. If you don't know what a tumblehome is you do now:

     
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