F355 Big service! - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-14-2013, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Big service!

Ok lads, the nightmare has happened. I have a '96 F355 Berlinetta which has done 71,000 km (a lot yes but I like to drive it) which had near normal compression 8 months ago. Just had it repeated and there is now a 50% loss of compression in cyclinder 4 ��...we all know what that means! It had been running smooth as silk it's whole life, and actually still feels good. Annoyingly, local Ferrari dealership weren't going to do test the compression-I had to push them for it (my ongoing paranoia about the valve guides). Buggar.

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post #2 of 23 Old 12-14-2013, 06:00 AM
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Rotti, tell Santa you want your heads rebuilt for Christmas

BTW, what does Santa drive in Australia when it's 40C on Christmas Day? Somehow sleighs, snow & reindeer don't work very well for Christmas in the southern hemisphere do they?

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #3 of 23 Old 12-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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Rotti- Sad days for Australian car manufacturing since both GM and Ford have said they will stop manufacturing cars in Australia in the 16-17 timeframe. Shame because some really good hot-rod V8s have come out of those factories and some, GTO, SS, etc came to the US.

Sorry to hear about your valve guides. Unlucky you got one of the bad sets. John has had a spot of bother with his lately.

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post #4 of 23 Old 12-16-2013, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Tell me about it Taz. The news is full of personal stories from the workers that will be affected. The government refuses to help, but is happy to give the reserve bank $9b!
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-16-2013, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hey cribbj, the mechanic says its a problem at the exhaust side of things, whether its the valves, guides or seats he cant tell till he pulls it all apart. But he also wants to machine the heads...you mention this..why? why not jus replace the parts that are defunct? can you explain. Ive decided to get all valves, guides and seats replaced new...no short cuts with these cars.

And yes it has been 40 degrees here in Perth...drive a Jeep Wrangler with top off and the dogs in the back...Hoff eat your heart out lol
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-16-2013, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
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Hey cribbj, the mechanic says its a problem at the exhaust side of things, whether its the valves, guides or seats he cant tell till he pulls it all apart. But he also wants to machine the heads...you mention this..why? why not jus replace the parts that are defunct? can you explain. Ive decided to get all valves, guides and seats replaced new...no short cuts with these cars.

And yes it has been 40 degrees here in Perth...drive a Jeep Wrangler with top off and the dogs in the back...Hoff eat your heart out lol
I'm no 355 expert, but there shouldn't be anything wrong with your valves and seats, unless they've really been beaten up by the slop caused by bad guides? If your machine shop or mechanic is honest & trustworthy, he'll advise you whether the valves and seats need replacing or not. In my case, we caught the problem before the valves beat themselves up and so they just needed to be refaced, as well as the seats, and things were golden. To be sure, the guides were worn and had to be replaced, as were the stem seals, but the rest was fine.

About skimming the heads; I'm just not a fan of skimming if the heads are measured and proven to be flat and true, and we're not using MLS type gaskets (Cometic). Engine builders and machine shops like to skim, as they can then be sure they've done everything possible to ensure a good tight seal, and there won't be any come-backs.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #7 of 23 Old 12-16-2013, 10:00 PM
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Rotti- Like John said, about all you can do is wait intil she is stripped and hope maybe only one valve and seat need to be replaced and just the guides and seals on the other ones.

John- I forget, but did you have any symptoms on yours before you found the worn guides?

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post #8 of 23 Old 12-17-2013, 02:48 AM
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Taz, I felt my oil consumption was high at 1qt per 500-750 miles, but IIRC, it was on the high side of what Ferrari say is acceptable. Too, I'd recently changed to a lighter multi-vis oil and I'm sure that increased the consumption.

But what prompted me to pull the heads for a deeper investigation was the leakdown that I ran with the cams out. #6 had over 50% leakage from the intake valves, and initially I thought I'd bent its valves while removing the intake cam. Then, after pulling the head and doing a much closer inspection, I could see that it, and most of the other intakes were really coked up, so I decided to have the heads reconditioned.

It wasn't until the machinist pulled the head down and measured the guide to stem clearance that he called me and said "Are you SURE this motor only has 15,0000 miles on it? Some of these exhaust guides have three times the allowable wear on them, and the intakes aren't far behind!"

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #9 of 23 Old 12-17-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks lads for the input. Ill let you know what they find. For the record there were no symptoms, no increase oil use, no engine troubles. I asked them to do the compression test off a hunch..all were 200-205 except cylinder 4 which was 95! Lucky I checked.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-04-2014, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Update: Went around to the dealership the other day to find my engine on the blocks and the dismantled heads on the bench...a view of a F355 Berlinetta you don`t see everyday. Anyway, the problem with cylinder 4 is the valve not sealing properly...you can see light around the seal. Further, now the heads are dismantled I can see the valve guides and they look bronze. So, with the engine out its a good opportunity to get things done once and for all...valve guides will be replaced with steel ones, all valves will be replaced. Some may suggest that replacing only the bad valve is necessary, or that just getting the valves cleaned and reseated is all thats required. I think you could argue either way but I`ve decided to replace the lot. Also getting the exhaust manifold replaced so at the end all the major bugs of the 355 will be dealt with in one fell swoop.

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post #11 of 23 Old 01-04-2014, 08:57 PM
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Rotti- Are you talking about the oil control seal on the valve stem or the clearance (seal) between the valve and seat?

There are perfectly good bronze valve guides out there that will perform at least as well as sintered steel. Ferrari just got some inferior sets of guides that had too high a copper content and were soft. Then they did not trust their suppliers, so went to sintered steel on the 360 and 575M.

You are going whole hog replacing 40 valves. Usually only done when they are bent by a broken belt or some other major catastrophe.

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post #12 of 23 Old 01-04-2014, 09:46 PM
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Sounds like there's light between the seats and the valves in #4, and that's probably because the guides are shot and allowed the valves to beat themselves up on the seats.

If this is correct then you may have just avoided some catastrophic damage to your engine, and you should be congratulated for not ignoring the symptoms (low compression). It'll be a bit dear to sort out, but nothing compared to what it might have been, had one or more of those valves gotten wedged, bent, then broken.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #13 of 23 Old 01-05-2014, 07:48 AM
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Another F355 under the knife....
Short story; A recent engine rebuild where the head work turned out to be less than perfect. The exhaust valves were not closing, resulting in higher than expected leakage... Due to the small size of the valves and material science involved with their manufacturer, coupled with the goal of longevity, it is always prudent to replace the exhaust valves versus re-cutting. Frankly, there's just not a lot of material to work with...
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-05-2014, 12:33 PM
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David- Good info, thanks.

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post #15 of 23 Old 01-05-2014, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Rotti- Are you talking about the oil control seal on the valve stem or the clearance (seal) between the valve and seat?
Its the clearance between the valve and seat. Still could argue either way about what to do. The total bill will be around $30k Australian to replace everything which is a lot. It just seems the sensible thing to do. Im treating the one problem valve as a warning.

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post #16 of 23 Old 01-05-2014, 09:35 PM
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Rotti- Considering the price of Ferraris in Oz, probably the smart thing to do. Then she should be good forever with normal maintenance.

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

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post #17 of 23 Old 01-06-2014, 05:10 AM
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It's the clearance between the valve and seat...
As it normally is. Typically, the valves are replaced (or refaced, if possible) the valve seats are ground. The is standard procedure on all valve jobs. It is unusual and highly suspected that all 40, nevermind any valve seats would need replacement at such low miles. Keep in mind that the seats are much, much harder than the valves.

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post #18 of 23 Old 01-07-2014, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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As it normally is. Typically, the valves are replaced (or refaced, if possible) the valve seats are ground. The is standard procedure on all valve jobs. It is unusual and highly suspected that all 40, nevermind any valve seats would need replacement at such low miles. Keep in mind that the seats are much, much harder than the valves.
Cheers David. The attached picture pretty much sums it up..you can see a big gap letting light through! Strange that the compressions were normal only 8 months earlier. Not sure why the valve got so beaten out of shape so quickly.
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-07-2014, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
Another F355 under the knife....
Short story; A recent engine rebuild where the head work turned out to be less than perfect. The exhaust valves were not closing, resulting in higher than expected leakage... Due to the small size of the valves and material science involved with their manufacturer, coupled with the goal of longevity, it is always prudent to replace the exhaust valves versus re-cutting. Frankly, there's just not a lot of material to work with...
Do you ever consider applying a coating to any of the engine parts - crankshaft etc?
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-08-2014, 02:59 AM
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Cheers David. The attached picture pretty much sums it up..you can see a big gap letting light through! Strange that the compressions were normal only 8 months earlier. Not sure why the valve got so beaten out of shape so quickly.
Cheers,

Wow, that's sure is a big gap! I would suspect that once the valve guide exceeded the wear limit, that valve was moving around considerably, hence the accelerated valve face and possible seat wear. Keep in mind that the guide is both short and just 6mm nominal in i.d.

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