360 Spyder-getting closer and many questions - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-29-2012, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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360 Spyder-getting closer and many questions

Hello y'all:
I have lined up a 04 360 Spyder. Grigio Titanio over black. Mostly well cared for with some records. 15 K miles. I drove it twice, getting a PPI July 9th. Other issues include missing wind deflecting, aftermarket stereo/speakers ( not my taste but I can revert the system), missing cover and tools (not all). Car needs a new battery ( presumably lack of use) and the air conditioning did not immediately blow cold and after driving did but really mediocre. The windows are tinted ( which will have to go).

Some background:
Had an 2002 360 Blu Pozzi/ Cuoio coupe lined up a year ago and it failed PPI- and on further review, too many "stories." Things came up and now got around to looking again.

I am not a Spyder person, but when I saw this one I loved it. I drove it and it was fantastic (to me). So we are walking down the path = one I have aborted before due to PPI.

1) Car is F1. I am paranoid about the catastrophic loss ( repair 17-20K). How does one prohylactically prevent this event? Routine service of what? I asked about transmission service but my mechanic said there is none, just fluids and replace the clutch? Are there truly horror stories or is it the boogeyman in the closet? The dealer offered to obtain a warranty at my cost. Should I pursue this option?

2) What should I make sure they check on the PPI ? Look at the SD3? Clutch, etc. I am in St Louis and and using GLB- I cannot get in to STL Motorsports and have used GLB before but welcome other suggestions from Doug and others.

3) This car has been sold before from this dealer and traded back in. The dealer knows the car and swears they have serviced it with a "Ferrari certified mechanic" but cannot verify s major with belts has been done recently. The manager told me the belts were fine so they did not do them. The records do not indicate that it has been done. Aside from walking away, I would plan on doing this service after taking possession (if). How should I factor in on the deal?

4) I could definitely walk on this car if there are issues. I am not sure about long distance purchase but I've looked. I have a line on a 360 coupe and a 430 coupe. The 430 would be okay but more than I want to spend. My assumption is that just because the car is newer and less miles, does not remove the possibility of having less issues proportionately.

5) What range would y'all put on 04 360 spyders? I know it's like asking how tall are people. But some guidelines would be helpful.

6) The dealer has promised as a condition of sale to 1) replace the battery 2) replace the tools, wind deflector and cover 3) remove the tint 4)recharge the air and ensure it is functioning well.

I know that many would simply walk away from this car. It seems like someone had taken care of this car but not driven it. The carfax is clean but for F cars, that is virtually meaningless.

General question for all 360 Can you put a booster in the front? I would be trading my 911 in and could not face not letting my little guys( 3 and 1/2 and 5 1/2) ride in this car at all? Is there a way to turn off the passenger airbag? I would not be comfortable without doing so for my guys. If not, I'll have to step up to a 612. That would involve paring my p cars significantly which I hoped to avoid. But doable.

Thank you for any and all suggestions.

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-30-2012, 12:22 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: England
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I bought a 360 Spider F1 in January so may be able to assist a bit.

From what I understand belts are simply a 'must do' when due, no negotiation, so if there is no record of them being done in last 3 years they definitely need doing. I'd insist on them being done before you take the car by someone proper in case other nasties are found at the same time.

Can't help on the booster, my kids are older but hadn't thought about the airbag... would be interested to know on that.

F1 failure - news to me at that level of cost, its only a clutch at the end of the day so $17-20K ?? For what ?

Warranty - not sure on legal position there but here any dealer has to give 6 months warranty. Seek your own quotes for third party independent warranty to compare and read small print very carefully.

Mileage - I wouldn't get too hung up on low miles btw - these cars are better if used regularly - how was the mileage accumulated - largely early on then just stored ? That could be bad news for you on seals, rubbers etc once you have done 3-400 miles.

Some US input needed here but hope this helps a bit - I always get a gut feel about a car or dealer so if yours isn't good and the PPI isn't glowing, walk.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-30-2012, 01:11 PM
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Scott- A bunch of 360 F1 problems were caused by an undersized, 30 amp F1 pump relay. This relay overheated, fused, and kept the F1 pump turning continuously, which burned it out. That relay was replaced in the 360, CS, and 575M with a 50 amp relay early in the 04 MY around November/December 03. Other than that, the system has been pretty reliable.

The 360 can be analyzed with an SD3, but the SD2 is superior for the cars prior to the F430 and 612, when the SD3 was introduced. The SD3 has an SD2 emulation mode, which is not as good as the SD2 for all funcions. Ask if they have an SD2.

Belt change interval is every three years. Hard to believe it was serviced by a Ferrari dealer continuously and they cannot verify a belt change. Anyone who says they can look at the cambelts and tell they do not need to be changed is an idiot, so do not trust him. Get all those promised additions like tools, etc in writing or it will never happen.

On the PPI, whoever does it for you should be somewhat of an expert and know what to inspect. Clutch life remaining is an important thing to know. Read the buyers guide in the members section since you already signed up as an Elite member.

The F1 software was updated a couple of times on the 360 and the MY 04s have the latest software. This extends clutch wear, makes for easier starts, and smooths out the shifts. That and the 50 amp relay should keep most F1 problems at bay.

On the A/C, Ferrari was a bit behind the latest from the US and Germany. The air conditioning receiver/filter/dryer should be changed every two years, along with an R134 refreshing.

Ben Deetman has a website, ferraridatabase.com, where you can download a Spider workshop manual, 360 owners manuals, and much other technical data. Might as well learn as much as you can before buying the car. The owners manuals have a maintenance schedule you can use to figure out what you need to do.

With as little info as you have on the car, I would want to change all fluids and filters before taking delivery. This includes oil, transaxle oil, power steering fluid, cooling system coolant, and brake fluid. Plus air and environmental filters. Then you will know where your starting position is.

Sounds like a nice car. Hope she checks out for you.

Terry Phillips

Present: 575M 135171
Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

Every day I look around, and if nobody is shooting at me, it is a pretty good day.

Last edited by tazandjan; 06-30-2012 at 03:29 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-30-2012, 03:26 PM
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Hey Scott,
I hope the PPI goes in your favor. It sounds like a very nice car. As usual, Terry's responses are spot on target. I have a few comments:
1. Don't be paranoid about the gearbox. Provided it has a clutch changed (if/when needed) and the pump relay was corrected, I believe you'll be in for plenty of problem free miles. My hardest part (since I'm searching for "Miss Right" 360 Spider right now) is having people tell me anything about the clutch. Don't listen to heresay. The only good way to know is through SD2, so insist upon that before committing. If you assume it's good, and it's not, guess what? You're $7,000 poorer. Conversely, if you know it needs work, adjust your offering price accordingly.
2. PPI: A lot of folks recommend Mike Sheehan as someone who knows the cars. I'm not to the point yet where I NEED to consult him, but I may be soon. He seems like a reasonable source for PPI answers. Also, just about any Ferrari dealer or GOOD Ferrari Indie worth his salt will know exactly what to do for PPI. Basically, you want someone to tell you if it has had any accidents, the condition of the fluids, belts, clutch, brakes, and tires. Those are probably the biggest sources of unknown expenses.
5. I'm looking exactly at the 2004-2005 360 Spiders, and for 2004, I'm guessing the range is from $90k - $100k, and the 2005's are just a couple grand more (though people are trying for a MAJOR price premium, but they're not selling). It's hard to say because SO much of it depends on the service history and the overall condition of the car. There are bargains out there, but you have to ask yourself "is this too good to be true?" And, there are some that are priced unreasonably. It's like anything else I guess. EDIT: My pricing is probably generous. *no flames please!*

Child Seat: I'll be in the same boat, except mine is still in a front-facing car seat. So, I might have to import that from Europe from a relative in England, from what I've heard. There is a Britax model sold over there which is really good in terms of fit, but we don't get it in the US. As far as the airbag goes, I DO NOT believe there is a way to disable this. However, I may be wrong. The general opinion is push the seat all the way back / down and it will be fine, because the kids will be out of the airbag blast range. That's what I'll do. Well, that and not getting into any accidents. Seems like it would be too much of a liability for them to give us an "off" switch for that passenger airbag. That's sort of why they went the route of having "babysmart" seats where the car automatically senses a special seat and disables the airbag.

Good luck, keep us all in the loop because we DO care! I'd be especially interested in the numbers / terms / concessions of your deal.

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-30-2012, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

I'll let y'all know. Its been a lot of sleepless nights but I know if this doesn't work out I'll keep at it this time.

Speaking of seats- I'm 6 foot (5 11 3/4). The car has power seats- but I can't seem to get them low enough. I feel like I'm sitting with my head above the windshield. Is that simply not being used to the SPIDER ( note spelling, geez, I'm an idiot)?
To me, as too others it seems, this purchase is almost mythical. My father was a Ferrari guy ( 330 GTC, 308, Mondial, Dino ) and there has been an almost silent barrier to purchase- not financial but still. I can't tell you all ( because you know) how it felt to test drive this car and how it just felt like I was coming home, finally.

Thank you for your feedback. I know I'm skirting a couple of amber signals but I'll walk if the PPI is not perfect. As they say- if you can't afford a good Ferrari, you definetly cannot afford a bad one. But there are clearly fringes in value and a smart purchase will be a good value for me- whatever I buy, this purchase is a keeper. But again the only difference between foolish and courageous is the ending.....

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-30-2012, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scotts View Post
I'll let y'all know. Its been a lot of sleepless nights but I know if this doesn't work out I'll keep at it this time.

Speaking of seats- I'm 6 foot (5 11 3/4). The car has power seats- but I can't seem to get them low enough. I feel like I'm sitting with my head above the windshield. Is that simply not being used to the SPIDER ( note spelling, geez, I'm an idiot)?

Scott I am 6'1 - had a tough time with the 360 / 430 site.

Some people remove part of the cushion others remove the visor.

Sport seats lower your height about 3 inches which for me was enough to feel comfortable.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-01-2012, 12:46 AM
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I was 6'2" but chopped 3" off my backside and can see perfectly now..seriously, I'm still 6-2 with manual seats and just have to lean back a bit, not perfect but worth the compromise.
Will check the visor idea, good call.
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