A Problem with "D" - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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A Problem with "D"

I attended a 4 day Rally from Switzerland to Paris with "D". The driving and the different stages within those days was extremely nice. Overall, we drove on yellow and white indicate French roads only with about 200 cars participating. (Probably 30 of them blew off because of the tremendeous heat situation wheterwise). Anyway the whole rally lastet for about 1800km, including the return back home. It included many inbetween phases to recalculate your way and arrival time as usual on such happenings. Over time, one had to stay in line to approach the next test and thats were most cars blew off.

Anyway, "D" behaved as usual flawless until the start of the last rally, which started at the old Reims racing circuit. When I drove away, some small "explosion" noise from the engine occured and suddenly the car was not running on all 12 anymore. After some 10 minutes into my carefull (or better frightfull) running, the engine came better again but not perfect. I mobiled the supporting mechanics to make sure that after the following 200 km run they would prepare everything to support any findouts at the end of the rally.
5 hours later when arriving in the finishing zone the righ away checked the car and found out, that 1 spark plug was wet/fouling and not functioning. They checked all ignition cables, made compression tests and found out that the compression was 10 on the cylinders and 8.5 one the "fouling spark plug" cylinder. But they also said that this difference may well come from the fact that this lower pression cylinder is now full of unburned mixture and therefore less compressing (which should be o.k. again by now). So they change the spark plug and "D" runned again on all 12. But they found blue smoke on the exhaust from the "fouling cylinder" and asked me to stop right away the engine and suggested to load "D" on the transporter and not drive it home again as any possible and serious problem could be the reason fro the blue smoke.
I asked them then if the smoke could not come from the unburned fuel micture which needs to be blowed off first ? They said that this is quite possible but it also could come from a partial distruction of a valve . By now my heart fell to my toes.....
To make a long story short, I did not believed them and suggested that I start the engine again, make some round around the mechanics car and if o.k. drive to the hotel (20km's) in Paris. Already after the rounds done the smoke was gone and I drove to Paris, checking the smoke again and everything seemed o.k. Finally I decided to drive the 600km's back to Switzerland the next day. The car runed on all 12 all day long whereas I never exceeded 4000 rpm's.
After driving for about 2 hours the engine "spit" sometimes little "blows". On such occasions, the Anameter (electricity gauge) shortly and wildly moved away from the normal "0" line. These spits came every minute for an hour or so but then ceased for another hour before it happened again. Temperature of Oil and Water never exceeded 70 Celsius degrees and Oil pressure was always normal.
After I came back my mechanic told me that this may come from a carburator setup which may be a little to tiny (the opposite of a fat micture) but it may aslo be because of the great heat as well as the micture in the carburator almost vaporises. Well I have no idea but any experience of you mechanic guys out there are very welcome !! Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 06:35 AM
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detonation? vapor lock? maybe run a gas treatment through it?



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post #3 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 09:47 AM
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I hate to argue with a mechanic, because I am not very knowledgeable on cars, but IMHO it will definitely not be vapour lock: this means that gasoline is vaporising in the carbs before it hits the cylinders. If this was the case, then all 12 cylinders would stop running, and it only occurs when the engine is very, very hot (like on FLED2 in my 330GTC, which engine temp exceeded 120 degrees C). 212 reports that the engine temperature was quite low, and in any case fixing vapour lock is quite simple: you just wait for an hour to let the engine cool down and the car will run fine again.

It would seem very illogical to me, as well, that the issue reported on the drive home doesn't have anything to do with the low compression on 1 cylinder the day before. It is clear that the car was fine until you heard something happen in the engine, after which it didn't run on 12 cylinders anymore. From an engineering point of view, I would suggest that hearing something that you're not supposed to hear is never a good thing. It likely indicates we have metal hitting metal that it is not supposed to hit. A loose valve seat or broken valve could very well be the issue. It would give uneven flagragation in the cylinder, so I would not be surprised if petrol vapour would end up in the exhaust causing backfires. The accompanying increase in amps I can't explain.

If it was my car, I would let my mechanic take a camera and do an internal investigation of the engine, to see if he can detect anything out of the ordinary.

I hope everything works out fine, 212, and that I'm just overcautious! But please have it thoroughly checked - a rebuild of one of these engines is very expensive indeed.


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post #4 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 09:56 AM
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 10:36 AM
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A single and repetitive cylinder being the indication does not suggest Vapor lock. Detonation may be possible but only if the electronics controlling that cylinder have somehow slipped out of time, highly unlikely. I'd suggest something along the lines of a valve seating issue or possible piston ring issue. Both have diagnostic support by the reduced compression for that cylinder. Check the valve system for that cylinder closely. A broken spring, disrupted keeper, bent valve or rocker issue would be the first place to start looking. Other less expensive possibilities exist if that cylinder is served by a dedicated carb but are not supported with the explosion sound.

I'm no mechanic either..

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post #6 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your thoughts and explanations. I may need to get more precise: The "explosion" sound occured just once and after that when the mechanic checked they realized that one spark plug was wet and they checked that spark plug and found out that it did not worked anymore (or better said it destroyed itself by by channeling the elictricity somewhere else, as we say here it got short struck, most likely due to some water sitting in the alloy heads hole where you screw the spark plug in)

But of course, my mechanic will go step by step now to check everything, starting also with the carburator setup to see if under trottle the carbs open their liners (plates?) correctly, fully and synchronized thru the ignition system on which the mechanic told that sometimes parts within the distributer fall apart which gives kind of missfiring (he said he often experienced that on preparing and changing distributer metal elemnts on the competition cars)

Whatever, will let you know what happens.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-22-2011, 11:36 AM
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I am no mechanic. believe me...
I meant 212's mechanic, who also mentioned vapour lock.

It will be very interesting to find out what the problem was. I am always keen to learn something.

Best of luck!


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post #8 of 26 Old 08-27-2011, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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By now the findout is that some water retention was in the one double carburator, which did not fire correctly. Especially when ckecking how strongly the jets were pushing the gaz out on accelerator movement, that one carburator almost did not work. Therefore all carburators are now compleately taken apart and being cleaned including the different jets etc.. It seems that the one carburator has some thin inside corrosion on some surfaces which hints to water within it. At the same moment, the gaz tanks will be emptied to fin out if any water comes from there (over time).

At the beginning a "cold" compression test was done between all cylinders again with a reading of 8.5 to 9.5 including all. The mechanic told me that this does not links to any serious engine internal problems. He'll do the compression test again after all work done under hot engine conditions.

Will inform again.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-27-2011, 04:25 AM
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You seem to have competent and devoted mechanics, 212, thus all is well. Waiting for the good news. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-27-2011, 05:06 AM
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that certainly is good news...the way it sounded I thought you had a serious problem.

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post #11 of 26 Old 08-27-2011, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the update! Glad to hear it seems relatively minor.


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post #12 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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I picked up "D" just before. A was kind of "breathless" how the car runs now....incredible ! All jets have been cleaned, all carburators have been taken totally apart and cleaned, all gaskets on the carbs have been changed and the carbs were realigned again. The whole ignition system has been readjusted, and the valves timing adjusted.....a dream to drive. The car hangs on the accelerator like never before. Impressive. I'm very happy about the fact that "D" runs so fantastic now and most of all that the "problem" was nothing serious (i.e. valves etc.).

I have driven "D" now for more than 25'000km's in the last 28 months, obviously after all that driving, some replacements and adjustments needed to be done.
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
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I have driven "D" now for more than 25'000km's in the last 28 months, obviously after all that driving, some replacements and adjustments needed to be done.
It's fantastic to hear that you have enjoyed D so much in those 2 yrs, 212. It was a pleasure to share some of those kms with you.

Glad to hear all problems are resolved and were relatively minor.

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post #14 of 26 Old 09-10-2011, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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It's fantastic to hear that you have enjoyed D so much in those 2 yrs, 212. It was a pleasure to share some of those kms with you.

Glad to hear all problems are resolved and were relatively minor.
Thanks Barry, same to you. Should meet up again these days ! Have done another 2'000km's now and "D" sings nicely.

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post #15 of 26 Old 09-10-2011, 10:52 PM
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So good to hear the great news, 212, and even better than before !!! How wonderful to hear that your D is back to what it ought to be. If you say it is running great, then there is no doubt about it. Impressive that routine maintenance can make such a difference. With all those regular work out, your D must be coming alive to her inherent potential. Congratulations and I am so happy for you that you are happy with your D (and your wife too, of course). w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-10-2011, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
So good to hear the great news, 212, and even better than before !!! How wonderful to hear that your D is back to what it ought to be. If you say it is running great, then there is no doubt about it. Impressive that routine maintenance can make such a difference. With all those regular work out, your D must be coming alive to her inherent potential. Congratulations and I am so happy for you that you are happy with your D (and your wife too, of course). w/ smiles Jimmy
Thank you Jimmy for your kind words. I'm very happy with "D" indeed.

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post #17 of 26 Old 09-11-2011, 09:56 AM
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Thanks Barry, same to you. Should meet up again these days ! Have done another 2'000km's now and "D" sings nicely.
How many KMs have you now put on "D" during your ownership?
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-11-2011, 01:29 PM
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How many KMs have you now put on "D" during your ownership?
Boxer, I believe 212 mentioned over 25,000km in post #12. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-11-2011, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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How many KMs have you now put on "D" during your ownership?
25' and about 3' will be added over the long UK weekend in 10 days if everything works out as planned.

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post #20 of 26 Old 09-11-2011, 10:04 PM
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25' and about 3' will be added over the long UK weekend in 10 days if everything works out as planned.
Amazingly impressive.
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