All serviced and good to go

The F355 has returned from it’s annual service, all raring to go. With four new tyres, grip shouldn’t be an issue for a while. A broken water tank cap was also replaced along with some touch up for minor paint chips on the nose were also completed during it’s time away. News is that it’ll soon be needing a new clutch, which has been deferred until next year’s service, given that it is easier to access then when the engine is out. Hopefully, the current clutch will last another twelve months with careful driving.

So next year’s service is going to be a large one with an engine out, re-conditioned springs and a new clutch for starters. Time to start saving the pennies! All of these are not a surprise, given the age of the car and are simply components that require work over time. Doing them all when the engine is out makes the most sense as it makes them all easier to get to as well.

With the service complete I also took the opportunity to give the car a good wash and polish as I typically do around this time of the year. Doing so ensures that the paint and finish remain good for twelve months and any dirt normally just hoses off. Given the current summer heat, it is quite an arduous task to give the car a complete once over but in the end there is nothing more stratifying than to have a fully serviced and clean car now parked away.

Phew. So that is 2019 done and dusted. Roll on 2020.

Service time

So it is again time for the F355 to head over to Sal at Racing Red for the annual service. No belts this time, but there are few things that probably need doing.

The first is the annoying flakes that have started to appear at the front of car. I think that the whole bar needs to be removed and repainted as the flakes just seem to re-occur.

Another item is probably a complete set of new tyres. The rears have diminished tread and the fronts are getting a little old, so maybe now is a good time for a complete set?

As always, there is rego to do as well. So nothing major, just some tidy up before the New Year. The fun part is always mixing with the day time traffic but hopefully, that won’t be too bad. We’ll see.

Project 458 continues with biggest challenge being strangely, power. The issue is that where the F355 lives, there is currently no power point. For the F355 this really isn’t an issue but for a more modern car, this a big problem as it needs to be plugged it when stationery. The major reason for this, apparently, is that the battery is small to save weight. This means it doesn’t hold charge for long periods. This means it needs to be constantly trickle charged when stationery. This means it is a problem.

I have tried to find some sort of battery arrangement that I can charge elsewhere and then store in the car, but haven’t had much luck. If you know of something, let me know. This limitation therefore kind of rules out my current location for another car. The challenge then becomes where to storage it?

The further away I store another car the less likely I am to drive it. That would be rather a waste of money now wouldn’t it? Then there is also the additional cost of storage. This isn’t a deal breaker but it does start to add up. I also don’t like not having full control of the location where the car is stored. If that now means I need to buy something just to garage another car, that also seems like a waste of money.

Things to ponder.

The seven year anniversary

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Here’s the summary of another year’s ownership of a F355. You may want to catch up on previous episodes:

One Year Anniversary

Two Year Anniversary

Three Year Anniversary

Four Year Anniversary

Five Year Anniversary

Sixth year Anniversary

The seventh year they say is woollen

I am happy to say that this year there has been no major issues at all. The biggest one was the replacement of the intermittent wiper timer, which was taken car of at the annual service. A very trouble free year indeed.

Costs

Total expenses for the car this year were around the $8,500 mark. The majority of that cost is the comprehensive insurance, which again was around the $3,000 mark.

The car is due for an engine out service in December 2020 (i.e. not this year), so it is time to start saving because I’ll probably take the chance then to get the springs re-conditioned and the geometry reset. At this year’s service I’ll need to address the recent pain flakes that have started to occur at the front of the car. That will probably mean removing the front car and getting the whole thing resprayed. We’ll see.

Travel

The car has just crossed the 80,000 kilometre mark and is now heading towards 90,000. I have enjoyed some really great runs this year including to Bathurst and Mudgee.

Low Points

As I was returning home from a drive and making the turn off the main road I noticed some large obstruction on the road. In retrospect (which is always great eh?), I should have kept going straight on, made a left and come back around avoiding the object totally. I didn’t however and the object turned out to be a block of course concrete, which I only identified as the car was passing over it. Due to it’s size and low clearance of the nose I heard a loud scrape as I passed over it. The good news is that it didn’t do any other damage to the under side of the car or the mechanics (which it could have) but it did leave a very nasty gouge under the nose. The good thing is that you really couldn’t see the mark. The problem is, it was quite large and I knew it was there.

A few months later I finally got around to at least painting over the mark so it won’t annoy me as much and one day I’m going to need to get the whole bumper re-sprayed. However, until then, the patching is fine.

High Points

The car has performed pretty much faultlessly this year. It has been a joy to drive at all time, especially on country roads. I always look forward to driving it.

Value

The value of F355’s has come off a little in the last 12 months but still remains around the $260K – $280K mark, depending on the model. I expect it to continue to stay around that mark.

Summary

Another magic year with the F355. It is magic to drive every time and I’ve been lucky enough to do some great drives this year. There are few maintenance issues on the horizon, with an engine out service being the main one in about 15 months. I wonder whether I’ll cross the 100,000 kilometre mark by this time next year? Time will tell!

Annoying paint chips

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An annoying item I noted on the front of the car recently was a paint chip, just where the bonnet meets the bumper. It wasn’t really a chip, more like a flake that had broken off exposing the metal. Really annoying.

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After a good clean I was able to dab some paint over the offending mark to at least protect it before taking the car for it’s normal repair. However, almost immediately after patching the original spot, another another appeared in the same area, just a few centimetres away. Annoying. Easy enough to cover up with paint on the next wash but it kind of seems like the whole area on the front there needs to be taken off and resprayed.

For now, I’m adding that to the list of items to attend to during the nest major service.

Normal transmission to resume

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It’s been a long while between posts here. That in part has been due some technical frustrations with the previous blogging platform. That has facilitated a migration of the content now to WordPress, which should hopefully provide a better and easier platform going forward.

It is about time for me to an annual ownership update as well as bring you up to date as to what has been happening since the last post. Hopefully, the technical demons have been slayed and I can get on with all the latest plus my new exciting focus! Project 458!