After being a good little boy for the year I decided that a Christmas present was in order. i therefore purchased a Random Orbital polisher to attempt paint correction and polishing of my cars.


I figured the best way to get started was to purchase a kit that included all the basics. I went with the:

Car Care Products RO polisher DAS6-Pro kit plus

The only question when you purchase this kit is what sort of pads you want? Figuring that Merzerna polish was included I went with the Merzerna pads.

As you can see from the above image, the package includes a polisher, 3 x polishes (500, 2,500, 4,000), a number of polishing and cutting pads as well as 2 x backing plates. Everything you need to take your detailing to the next level.

Before polishing my daily drive, which I am practicing on before I get ANYWHERE near the F355, I washed the car and clay barred the area that I planned to polish to ensure it was as clean as possible.

Now after watching plenty of detailing videos I knew that my first attempt should be using the least aggressive option. I therefore went for a polishing pad and the 2,500 polish. I knew this wasn’t probably going to take out any defects in the paintwork but it would give me experience using the machine. As expected it took out some minor defects and gave the surface a nice polish but I needed to go a little more aggressive.

My nest step was to move to a foam cutting pad with the 2,500 polish. I did this on my bonnet and saw that it removed all the swirl marks and light scratches that I had put into the paint work over the years by using incorrect washing methods. However, it still left some water stains, which meant It would need to even more aggressive.


Rather than re-doing the bonnet I decided to try a more aggressive cut on a rather large scratch I’d had for a long time on my passengers fender as you can see in the above image (just above the wheel).


This time I used a micro fibre cutting pad (a little bit more aggressive than a foam cutting pad) and the 2,500 polish. Once I had completed the area with the 2,500 I reworked the area with the 4,000 to remove any fine scratches I may have put into the paintwork using the 2,500.

As you can see from the above photo I was able to completely remove the scratch. If you look very closely in the light you can see where the scratch was, but to the naked eye it is pretty much invisible. It is pretty impressive the result you get when done correctly. The panel now had no scratches or swirl marks at all!

Of course, once you have completed polishing you need to seal the area to protect it. For this I used Permanon.

Thus, my test polishes have been successful. I am happy with the combination of the micro fibre cutting pad and the 2,500 polish to tackle deeper imperfection. My next challenge is going to be the roof (which will difficult to access with a polisher) since it contains similar water stains that I failed to remove from the bonnet on my test runs. Also being a large flat area I’ll get a better idea if my combination of pad and polish (followed up by a finishing polish) really work as well as I think.

The results soon.

My car has no engine

Every year around this time the F355 has to go in for its regular annual service and registration. Over the past few years I have a number of issue taken care of at this time as well. Last year it was the CV boots which you can read about here:

This year was going to be different because it is now time for the belts to be changed for the first time under my ownership.

Every 3 years or 15,0000 kms it is strongly recommended that the timing belts be changes on the F355. This is not so much to do with belt wear but more to do with the fact that they stretch. When this becomes extreme the belts can slip a cog which could mean the timing valves (running off the belts) get out of whack which is very bad for the engine.


Here’s the view looking at the engine from the seats back. Wheels 1 and 5 are for the inlet valves and 2 and 6 are for the exhaust valves. Both of these run off a separate belt as you can see.

So there are three belts that need to be changed along with generally wheels 4 (idler) which provide tension on the belts. These idler wheels tend to wear over time and should also be replaced as part of the service.

You now need to remember that the above view is looking at the engine from the cabin. This means the belts are effectively right behind the seats. Thus, the only way to change these components is to drop the whole engine out of the car.

Most people are horrified when you tell them that the service requires this, and it can be a nasty surprise to a new owners who doesn’t know but luckily I was well aware of this fact. Dropping the whole engine out does have plenty of benefits in that it allows to examine and access every area of the engine quite easily. Given that basically with a Ferrari you a paying for an engine and getting a car thrown in, it makes perfect sense.


So, it was off to Racing Red to let Sal work his magic on the car. However, before the engine could be removed I also wanted to shock absorbers reconditioned.

nsr shock1

NSR shock

if you look at the photos taken during the pre-purchase inspection you will see that the shock absorber was leaking at the top. This was evident on the right rear and luckily had not deteriorated further but now was the time to get it sorted. This meant the shocks needed to be removed and repaired first.


With that done, up on the hoist went the F355 and out came the engine. Well, there was a lot more to it than that but it really didn’t take Sal that long to free the engine (with me as an interested spectator).


Engine from left rear.


Engine from right rear


Right side of engine.


The good news is after removing the covers and inspecting the engine everything was good and in fact quite clean. There are few extra minor things that need to done such as remove an unused hose clip and fixing the handbrake bracket (which had been reversed) but all in all nothing untoward which is a relief.

The only surprise turned out to be the insides of the airboxes where the paint had bubbled away from the surface and simply flaked off. That would mean cleaning as much off as possible, priming and respraying the inside of the airboxes prior to re-assembly. Not a big deal but now is the best time to take care of this.

When I last left the car the engine was still out waiting to returned to the car. Once that is complete all the fluid need to be replenished as well as everything reconnected and checked. There are also a number of smaller hoses that Sal changes because after a number of years they perish and having them do so as you are driving home is no fun. Better to change these before they become an issue!

I plan to pick up the car early next week when there less traffic. Yes, this service will be expensive but normal standards but changing the belts every three years is required to keep the car running optimally, prevent premature failure and above all maintain its value. I therefore have no issues with having this service carried out every three years as required.

So with re-conditioned shocks and a full serviced engine I am looking forward to the drive improvements and I’ll post all the details when I know shortly.

Nanolex vs Permanon–further info


I posted recently comparing Nanolex to Permanon 4 months after application here:

Given a spate of really wet whether recently I took this opportunity to take a photo of my bonnet from dead centre after teh car had braved the weather. The left hand side of the above photo has been treated with Nanonlex 4 months ago and the right Permanon also 4 months ago. Today, as you can see from from the photo, much of a muchness. No real discernable difference.

The next challenge I have set myself when it comes to detailing is paint correction! More on that very soon, so stay tuned as I think there will be plenty of learnings.

Nanolex vs Permanon–4 months on

About 4 months ago I applied both Nanolex and Permanon to the bonnet of my day to day road car. I recorded a video of the water shedding ability and then posted about it here.

In essence, at initial application, Nanolex had a greater water shedding ability.

At the point of application that is all well and good but what about over time? It has now been over 4 months since I did the initial application. Since then the car has been driven every day through rain and shine, washed regularly but with nothing else done to the bonnet.

The above video shows the water shedding capabilities of both products after this time period. What the video perhaps doesn’t show well is the fact that both sides of the bonnet now (unsurprisingly) don’t shed water as well and in fact shed it at about the same rate.

If you compare that to the original video above you can see the difference 4 months of wear and tear produce.

My conclusion is that after an extended period of time both Nanolex and Permanon end up at the same location when it comes to protection. Nanolex is certainly produces a much more noticeable result initially but in the long run tends to same result.

Given that similarity I have to say that my preference is still for Permanon as it is much easier and quicker to apply than Nanolex. You also don’t need to let it ‘set’ like you do Nanolex. The Nanolex treatment requires application of a cleaner and the gel which takes longer and requires more ‘stuff’. All you do with Permanon is dilute some of the concentrate with water and spray it on. You can also use Permanon on any external surface on the car, where Nanolex is limited to the paintwork.

Typically, after washing and rinsing the car I spray it with Permanon and then use a micro fibre towel to dry the surface while also applying the Permanon. Once the surface is buffed dry you are good to go. Nanolex requires the surface to be dry first and then the treatment applied, then needs to be left for 30 minutes or so. Although it produces great results, this simply takes longer and over the long run doesn’t seem to provide any major benefits over Permanon.

So there you have it. In my testing after 4 months of normal usage both Nanolex and Permanon produce the same results when it comes to protection. However, my preference is for Permanon because it is an easier and quick product to apply while effectively doing the same job,