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New to Forum, need Testarossa Advise PLEASE!


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Old 10-31-2008, 05:22 AM   #1
 
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Default New to Forum, need Testarossa Advise PLEASE!

Hello all!

First I must introduce myself, my name is Jay and I'm from Oklahoma. I currently look after a garage of vehicles, and one is a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa. The person that was previously in my position recently left the company, and I am trying to chase down a few issues, to ensure the owner can come in and drive at his leisure.

The car is all original motor and body wise, but it does have a few modifications. The wheels have been updated, and the body has a vinyl wrap on it to really make it look custom, but the major changes are in the interior. Before I had the privilege to look after these cars, this one had a full custom interior and stereo system installed. And I think this may be the cause of one of it's issues.

Lets get to the issues.

#1. The battery light on the dash is now on when the car is running. This is new, as it was not a problem until recently. The stereo has been in the car for about 2 months now, and this issue started about 2 weeks ago. My thoughts are that this car was never intended to have 2 stereo amplifiers installed and subwoofers, and the factory alternator cannot charge the battery with such a load. Has anyone run into a similar problem or have any thoughts about it?

#2. Something I noticed while driving as well, the "SLOW DOWN 7-12 CYL." light and buzzer comes on quite often. Now this might just be coincidence, but during the cars warm-up, before driving to get it up to temperature, I do notice moisture coming out of the left tailpipe, like water and oil, slightly sputts out the back. It is not a whole lot, but our shop has painted white floors, so it's noticeable.

Now, as of right now, I am not driving the car, I do have it scheduled for a diagnostic. The last thing I want to see happen is something go wrong because the alt. is not charging the battery, so that issue we are working on. The Slow Down censor though, I have worked here 1 year, and the previous care taker never had that looked into, so I would like to get it resolved.

Sorry for my first post being a novel, but please understand, I have the utmost respect for all vehicles, especially the Italians, and I want to do the owner proud by keeping his cars ready for him at the drop of a hat. I really do consider my job a privilege and look forward to the upkeep of this vehicle in paticular.

Thank You in advance!

Jay
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to Ferrari Life Jay !!

Battery Light: I tend to agree with you about the possibility of the charging system being overloaded. Very often aftermarket stereos and alarm systems cause problems. Another major area of concern is the mother board located in the trunk. Over time the white connectors at the bottom of the board become burnt and discolored, specifically the terminals for the fuel pumps, and cooling fans. So it's a good idea to periodically pull and inspect the connections. If by chance the Alternator is going bad, it can be rebuilt. The good thing is....I believe that year of TR uses a Delco unit, so any competant shop can do the work.

Slow Down Light / Buzzer: This is triggered because the Catalyst ECU thinks there is an overheating problem. There are 2 thermocouples located at each "precat" pipe, that signal the Cat ECU. There may or may not actually be a problem, as they are known to give false alarms. The damp/oily discharge out the tailpipe may be due to an incorrect fuel mixture, moisture condensation, or a head gasket issue - but don't get too worried about it just yet. I would guess it's more of an fuel adjustment issue. However...if the cat is getting hot, it's probably deteriorated inside and will need replacement or removal. It's common for some owners to simply hollow out the precats and cats. Sometimes with the car running, you can hear rattles or noises if a precat or cat is bad. Keep in mind that the TR exhaust system crosses over, so the right side tail pipes are from the left side cylinder head and visa versa.

Let us know the results of the diagnostic checks - this may be helpful to other TR owners out there.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:18 AM   #3
 
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Definitely going to keep everyone posted on this, and also going to be looking into the motherboard issues as well. Thanks for the response and help so far!
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:49 AM   #4
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Biggest problems w TR are the output shaft that takes power from engine to trans can snap leaving you coasting so you want to to if and when it was changed, the later the better

The starter motors are prone to fail every few years for some reason

Look for rust bubbles around the windshield, Ive had 1 crack my winshield once

with all older Ferraris you want to have your mechanic take a look at the printed circuit board to see what kind of shape that is in

you HAVE to get a Pre Purchase Inspection to see if the car is in good shape bcus restoring 1 of these is pricey

if the owner says no PPI then walk away
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:00 AM   #5
 
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Well, I have got the Ferrari back in our shop, and it infact is the alternator that is faulty. We have it scheduled in for replacement and an oil change as well.

I am worried that even after the new alternator is installed, we still may have issue with it, due to the stereo that is installed in it. I have installed a battery tender in the mean time, in hopes that what does not get charged during driving and stereo usage, may be made up during it's down time on the charger.

Any thoughts, opinions, adivice on this idea?

Thanks again!

Jay
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:42 AM   #6
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Take things one step at a time, perhaps the new or rebuilt alternator will do the trick. As for a battery tender - they certainly can't hurt. A car that is not driven frequently will always benefit from a battery tender.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay*doc View Post
---it infact is the alternator that is faulty.--- I have installed a battery tender in the mean time, ---
Jay,

Welcome to the forum.

It is possible that the load drawn by the stereo may be exceeding the charging capacity of the alternator, but my guess is that the car is not driven enough between starts to fully charge the battery.

Replace or rebuild the alternator and then put a tender on that battery.

The tender may run "red" for a few days but that's normal for initial tender charges.

I would also check the battery for its life. If it's about 5 years replace with a suitable Interstate, keep the tender on it, and it will then spin that engine like a rocket.

You might also want to post the mechanical questions in the appropriate Testaross- 512R section in the Ferrari Owners area.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:47 AM   #8
 
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Thanks again guys for all the help. She is back in the shop, getting the alternator put in, Oil changed and brakes all around. I had the battery tender on it since my last post, got in it this morning and it fired right over!

Then I backed it out and found a big oil spot in front of me.

Anyone have an idea of common areas to check out for leaks? I mentioned it to the repair shop, so I am hoping they locate it while on the lift, but I was just curious in the meantime.

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Lots of possibilities for oil leaks. Could be a cam seal, crankshaft seal, oil return hose, one of the oil pump braided steel line fittings, oil filter o-ring, or a cam cover.....I think that about covers it. I would imagine the repair shop should be able to find the leak....

Let us know if you have more questions.....
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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Since you just had the oil changed I'd start looking there.

It is critical that the oil filter seal is lubed before tightening and that the filter is properly torqued.

Check this first.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:57 AM   #11
 
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Hello again all. Got the car back yesterday (in the ice and snow), but it seems to be doing much better. Only drove it for a few minutes to get it back in the garage, but no battery light, brakes felt much better and in fixing the alternator another issue was resolved.

Since I've been taking care of it, the slow down 7-12 light and buzzer kept coming on randomly. It turns out it was just a voltage issue and the alternator being replaced is keeping voltage more regular, so the light stays off. I thought it was wierd how the 2 are connected, but it was.

Thanks again!

Talk to you all soon.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:55 PM   #12
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Ferrari's are tricky cars.

Everyone finds that out one way or another!

Glad to hear you are back on the road.
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