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We are now relocated and set up in Ewen, Cirencester as UK Detailing Ltd.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with any enquiries on 01285 770090, or email info@ukdetailing.com

 

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Noble M400, Pre-Sale Detail - May 2013

We get a variety of vehicles coming through our specialist detailing unit, but as a pure, edge of your seat driving machine, nothing screams “Trackday Fun!” as much as the British engineered Noble M12.

 

The M400 was a limited edition of the M12, and every angle makes it look like a speed machine made for any race circuit. Unfortunately, “race” does mean their looks can get a little on the worn side, just like this M400 we had in, which the owner wanted to sell.

 

In addition to the lighter day-to-day scratches and fade, the car lived on a working farm and as such had developed a bit of a smell inside. Coupled with a few deeper scratches, paint chipped front mesh, scratched and misty headlights, corroding rear wing struts and flat looking paint, this was going to be a slightly longer than usual job…

 

We started with the interior smell. The owner had occasionally brought dogs into the vehicle with him and this was the main odour along with a bit of damp, so we began by vacuuming and steam cleaning the interior carpets and headlining before doing a complete wet extraction with a biocidal shampoo on the carpets and finally, with the windows down and a de-humidifier on, left to dry in our secure workshop overnight.

 

The next day, with the smell much improved, the car was brought outside and snow foamed both on the paintwork and under BOTH of the clam shell bonnets. An accumulation of mud was jet-washed out from all angles and crevices within the shell and around the suspension, and the engine bay rinsed to aid later cleaning. A two bucket grit-guarded wash with Dodo Juice Supernatural Shampoo, ultra safe lambs-wool wash mitts and a variety of detailing brushes, followed by an all over clay bar surface cleaning treatment, left us a contaminant free and clean paint surface, which we could then assess for correction work.

 

In addition to a variety of depth scratches, the paintwork had a large number of tiny “bubbles” on the surface, this is quite common on composite materials, but can occur on any paintwork and is usually down to a non-breathable car cover being used. With nowhere else to go the water “evaporates” under the paint (slightly simplified but you can get the gist). The paint then heats up when subsequently hit by the sun, the water then tries to escape causing bubbles. Unfortunately the only solution currently available is to sand back and re-spray the affected area.

With the bonnet re-attached to the car we moved onto the engine bay at the rear. With the V6 Ford engine surrounded on the body by various vents, there was a lot of dust and muck around which had come up from the road and through the grills on the rear of the shell, however there was very little in the way of oil and running grease. As we had already rinsed the area, we used a spray cleaner and detail brush to treat the engine bay and, by using low pressure steam and microfibre towels, thoroughly cleaned the plastics and surfaces. The plastic and rubber were treated with engine bay dressing and the gloss painted surfaces with wax. We also used a vacuum to clean the floor pan tray and compressed air to blast dirt out of harder to reach areas.

 

Once we closed up both clams, we were able to begin on the paint correction process.

 

Removing the rear wing helped us a great deal with access and using a light combination of Meguiar’s and 3M polishes we cut back an ultra-fine amount of the surface layer of coating to remove the minor scratches and add a deep shine to the finish. We then went back over the entire surface with a hand glaze to enhance gloss and instil a mirror finish to the blemish-free paintwork.

 

Once completed, we applied a layer of high quality Dodo Juice carnauba wax to the surface to protect the finish, dressed the door handles with a colour enhanced plastic dressing and thoroughly cleaned all the glass with an alcohol based glass cleaner for perfect clarity and a streak free finish.  

 

Reattaching the rear strut mounts and wing was the final job, before pulling her into the sun for final inspection and some photos…

 

Total time: 21 hours over 3 days

The wheels were removed from the vehicle and assessed on both sides with no obvious damage found. Whilst there was one minor kerb mark and a hint of corrosion on the face of one of the alloys, the cost of re-finishing the split rims was prohibitive to the value placed on the vehicle so the client opted for a deep clean inside and out to remove all brake dust and old balance-weight adhesive, before sealing in the shine with a specialist wheel wax. Whilst the wheels were out we also gave the brake calipers, struts and suspension a deep clean.

The front clam bonnet was removed in order to re-paint the wire mesh, which had become peppered in stone chips. Removal of just the mesh was not an option as it was secured in place with various amounts of glue, silicone and resins. With the inside and outside of the bonnet masked up the area was keyed with sandpaper before receiving several coats of high-strength satin black paint.

The scratched and hazed headlights were sealed-in units which we were able to restore on the vehicle by wet sanding, then progressively polishing the plastic lenses. Staged sanding work starting with 1200 grit wet and dry sandpaper and working up to 3000 grit before compound polishing by machine then hand until perfect clarity was achieved.

 

The interior of the headlamp had a degree of condensation which could usually be rectified by removal and dehumidifying with absorption crystals, however as the unit was non-removable we had no way of accessing the inside of the unit to complete this.

The rear wings end plates were showing signs of corrosion due to the steel bolts holding them in place – aluminium is more reactive than the iron in steel, therefore all the corrosion leapt from the un-treated bolts, through the screw thread and onto the more reactive base metal and began to oxidise. Once the massive wing was removed, it was clear the mounting struts holding it onto the body were also suffering the same issue so both were disassembled, (with the adjustable bolts marked for accurate re-assembly) chemically stripped and sandblasted ready for powder coating in a clear-coated Anthracite finish to match the wheels.