Buying first Ferrari - advice please! - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-05-2009, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Buying first Ferrari - advice please!

Hi Guys,

Contemplating my first Ferarri. I have decided on an F430. I enjoy cars and am looking to keep the car for the rest of my life. I plan on DRIVING the car (e.g. 7k miles a year). It will be one of several collector cars that I already own. I am mechanically inclined/skilled (I have restored and refursbished numerous vehicles to show car quality) so I am undaunted by any "technical" challenges or maintence... but would like to make a wise purchasing decision. Any thoughts on:

1. Which year is best for a F430? Why?
2. Options? Which ones do you like/dislike - and why?
3. Things to look for in a used F430. Common problem areas?
4. What are maintence issues/concerns?
5. Any advice for drving an F430 on a regular basis in CA on 91 octane Obama Pelosi fuel? Concerns about detonation?
6. I insure my cars with Hagerty. How do you insure yours?
7. Do you let the valet park your car?

Appreciate your thoughts.

cheers,
Coffeeis4closers
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-06-2009, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeeis4closers View Post
Hi Guys,

Contemplating my first Ferarri. I have decided on an F430. I enjoy cars and am looking to keep the car for the rest of my life. I plan on DRIVING the car (e.g. 7k miles a year). It will be one of several collector cars that I already own. I am mechanically inclined/skilled (I have restored and refursbished numerous vehicles to show car quality) so I am undaunted by any "technical" challenges or maintence... but would like to make a wise purchasing decision. Any thoughts on:

1. Which year is best for a F430? Why?
2. Options? Which ones do you like/dislike - and why?
3. Things to look for in a used F430. Common problem areas?
4. What are maintence issues/concerns?
5. Any advice for drving an F430 on a regular basis in CA on 91 octane Obama Pelosi fuel? Concerns about detonation?
6. I insure my cars with Hagerty. How do you insure yours?
7. Do you let the valet park your car?

Appreciate your thoughts.

cheers,
Coffeeis4closers
Which 430 are you interested is:

430 Coupe
430 Spider
430 Scuderia
430 16M Scud

and definitely not on the valet (made that mistake once with the 456GT, never again)
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-06-2009, 12:50 AM
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Which 430 are you interested is:

430 Coupe
430 Spider
430 Scuderia
430 16M Scud

and definitely not on the valet (made that mistake once with the 456GT, never again)
Care to elaborate what happened at the valet, Boxer ? w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-06-2009, 09:23 AM
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Care to elaborate what happened at the valet, Boxer ? w/ smiles Jimmy
I could smell the clutch when the car came back.
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-06-2009, 09:26 AM
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If you want to let a valet park your car you might want to consider another make. That's a receipe for disaster. Ever see Ferris Beuller's Day Off?

All 430's are fine; little differences between model years but find a 6 speed if you want few problems.

No major maintenance issues. No timing belts with which to deal; they are now chains.

You may find insurance is less with conventional insurers.

CA fuel is no issue especially for republicans!

What detonation? Not an issue wth Ferrari's.

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post #6 of 22 Old 12-07-2009, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thx Guys.

I will be looking for either a 430 Coupe or Spider. Wife prefers Spider - I prefer Coupe. Question is - what will I have to barter with the Mrs. in order to get the coupe?!

Why are F1 paddles a problem? Seem so attractive from a performance perspective... All my other sports cars have 6 speeds. would be cool to get the paddles.

As for the valet - gotcha. I don't valet my other cars either.

Maintenance - so... timing chains = good. But are there other maintence factors unique to the 430 that I should be aware of? The Ferrari ain't a Buick... so I am expecting higher cost of maint/operation. Do you guys proceed with any Ferrari recommended maintenance at regulkar intervals (e.g. changing transmission fluid, various engine/tranny seals, etc.)? Are there any problem areas? e.g. My Porsches have consistently had rear main seal problems.

cheers,
coffeeis4closers
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-07-2009, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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One more - are there any cool options that differentiate the 2007s from the 2006s, etc.? Which year do you prefer? Why?

-coffeeis4closers
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-07-2009, 01:03 PM
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I could smell the clutch when the car came back.
Well it seems at least there was some of it left then...

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister F.
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-07-2009, 05:30 PM
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You won't think those paddles are cool when the tranny goes into neutral by itself which signals a new clutch! F1 clutches do not last as long as those in 6 speed models.

Spider is a neat car but you can occasionally have top issues.

Years don't make much difference.

There are carbon fiber accessories on some models from factory which you can add aftermarket as well.

There have been a few issues with headers and with cracking muffler support brackets. So best to check if this has been done.

Rare to have rear main seal probs. The Ferrari crankcase is quite different from that of Porsche.

Expect average $2K-$3K per year maintenance issues which includes reserves for tires.

Oil changes run about $400-$500 depending on where done.

All fluids must be changed every two years min; oil should be done yearly min or 5K miles max.
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thx Gcalo. Been reading the other posts on F1 vs. Manual. Some good things to consider. Curious... it seems to me that if proper use of the F1 is employed (e.g parking in neutral, not using Auto mode, driving appropriately - not granny footing it off the line so that there is excessive featherig of the clutch - etc.) that reasonable life (e.g. 40k miles) can be obtained from F1. Since I am looking to acquire the car and own it for the rest of my life - I am curious what the cost to replace a F430 clutch is in F1 vs. manual. As for cracked headers and brackets... seems very odd. I wonder if this is due to the flat plane crankshaft?

Best practices for F1 clutch life and performance?

cheers,
coffeeis4closers
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 10:55 AM
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40K miles on an F1 clutch is Disney dreaming!

The F1 and 6 speed are identical gearboxes and clutches. It's just the mechanism that's different.

Somewhat current replacement clutch costs are around $6K+.

F1's are fun until then do not work!
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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$6k for manual clutch replacement or for F1? So - can I expect 5K miles from an F1? 10K? 30K? I know that a "wisely" driven 6 speed/normal clutch can last quite a long time (the clutch in one of my sports cars has nearly 100k miles on it with no sign that it needs replacement).

cheers,
coffeeis4closers

Last edited by coffeeis4closers; 12-10-2009 at 03:18 PM.
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeeis4closers View Post
$6k for manual clutch replacement or for F1? So - can I expect 5K miles from an F1? 10K? 30K? I know that a "wisely" driven 6 speed/normal clutch can last quite a long time (the clutch in one of my sports cars has nearly 100k miles on it with no sign that it needs replacement).

cheers,
coffeeis4closers

Others, like GCalo will state better, and my experience with F1 is limited to friend's cars. I've actually seen someone [no names] burn out a new clutch after just installing one on his F1 in less that two days: Then again, he didn't know how to use it properly.

I'm guessing with enough skill/practice and conservative use, you will have 10k+ easy. But, don't be driving in SF on its hills, try not to park other than straight in-out, and if into burnouts, then not good idea.

Personally, I like the stick. Would I take an F1, ya' would. why, well haven't had one and would like to shell out even more dollars for my Ferrari [KIDDING]. Honestly, I would like to get familiar with the F1 more than the typical chances I get, but that's about it...I don't track cars, which is where the F1 can better shine in quick shifts.

In my case, I'm keeping my cars.....so, I'm looking at an easier maintenance over the long haul...that's just me.

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post #14 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 03:38 PM
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Ferrari clutches are smaller in diameter than most others so that the rotating mass is kept low. Flywheels are lighter as well, and, as a result, susceptible to warpage, etc.

Thus, the Ferrari clutches will not take quite the abuse of other cars, and since many folks like to drive their Ferrari's to redline limits there's a whole of "shakin' goin' on" in that bell housing!!!

Clutch life is always driver dependant minus rear main seal leakages or F1 fluid leakages.

However, remember that Lamborghini started his car business in a dispute with Enzo over a bad clutch in Larborghini's new Ferrari! How long ago was that?

So, you can see that clutches are issues at times on Ferrari's.

With all the manual trannys I have owned I have never replaced a clutch. I have not on my 360 either. Who knows!

However, don't expect the mileage figure you stated as a gen rule for expected Ferrari clutch life. What the actual mileage is at this point a guess.

As Rik stated, he prefers manuals. Many of us do.

Dave Helms can draw from his vast experience here as well to help out.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-10-2009, 03:42 PM
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aw, ya' never replaced a clutch.....you need to quite driving like a g'ma and/or keep them longer

However, still begs to ask, what are your specs on a typical life for a modest driver. No quick starts for still. Normal shifting on windy roads [pick one] and such?

I'm saying 10K isn't bad, and North to 15k+ not unreasonable...what say ye' ?

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post #16 of 22 Old 12-11-2009, 03:33 AM
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F1 clutch life estimates are an ever moving target for many reasons, there is no one line answer.

The 360 has a self learning capability in regards to the Motronic engine management system that is easily influenced by minor "Glitches" it picks up over time....touch the throttle when cranking the car, hit a pot hole under accel where the system thinks it is detonation..... and in time the operating parameters will self adapt. This is why we are so focused on the finite minor details of this operating system, the small details make a difference.

As a rule we keep a printed file of every set parameter (as well as the radio code) on every car we service and when we hit one that has Great results it gets highlighted in the file. At every oil change we relearn all of the Motronic parameters and reset the Marelli F1 parameters back to what we liked in the past. The change in operation of the systems is so slow most owners do not realize it has happened....and this affects clutch wear and driveability a great deal! Why do some clutch's last so long? Some of it has to do with how the cars are set up and maintained. A driver with the best intension's will not be able to optimize the clutch life in a car with the operating parameters outside of where they should be.

Being pro active in the case of the 360 maintaince pays back over time. Why does it run so different after an oil change? If it doesn't, ask what the oil change service includes, there are differences that involves more than dropping a drain plug. We just see the oil change interval as the one done often enough that it allows us to stay on top of the set ups. Feel a delay in throttle response in the drive by wire cars? Time for an oil change???! The proper equipment is a MUST on these cars along with a solid working knowledge of the systems. An extra 20 minutes spent at each oil change can prove to be quite a good value and surely makes the car more enjoyable.

The other thing to remember....the F1 cars are not a dragster and first gear is there only to get you started moving...the fun starts once you are in second gear. The "reverse" software was designed with job security in mind for the mechanics and to prevent nature from weeding out the stupid ones that want to do burn outs going backwards. If you can smell it, your doing something wrong.

Last edited by davehelms; 12-11-2009 at 03:42 AM.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-11-2009, 06:28 AM
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Ok now you have the "abbreviated" version from Dave.

He surely knows well.

You now have a good overall view of the situation. Find a 6 speed!
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-12-2009, 12:01 AM
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Dave's knowledge is highly impressive. Great to have him here.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-12-2009, 02:30 AM
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Dave's knowledge is highly impressive. Great to have him here.
+1. If this were England, I suppose he deserves to be named as Lord Dave ? w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-12-2009, 03:30 AM
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Hardly, just one dirtball's opinion.

Years in Racing has me wanting to find out how good these cars can be, very few left the factory Optimized. Having spent a week at the factory for 360 training after being in the business for decades, trained by what I consider the best of the best, I was able to watch how things were done... unfortunately 'Consumer Acceptable' plays a part in what we receive.

Doing PDI's at the dealership, I would rate the cars as part of the final report into one of three categories, Rocket, OK and a Dog. Then you step back and figure that those were the ones that passed the factory dyno test...there was a row on the engine stands outside the dyno cell's that for one reason or another did not. Usually it is nothing more than attention to the small details that separates the 4 categories. The up side to that is they are so well designed it is fairly easy to correct them all into the first category, it only takes the want to do so, hard knowledge of the systems, patience and attention to details. True satisfaction comes when finding more performance on completely stock, as delivered special cars like the F40/50. It speaks volumes to the genius behind the design of all these cars.

A quick re read of my prior post....the procedure I spoke of applies to all of the 360 models, not just the F1's. When the discussion revolves around clutch wear of the 6 spd v F1 it is just a bit more critical.
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