355 leakdown test - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-30-2007, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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355 leakdown test

Ok, I just had a mechanic at a well known exotic car shop on the West coast tell me that leakdown tests don't give the true picture. He is of the opinion that all 355s have the valve guide issue and need to be redone. His rationale is that the air pressure in a leakdown test is not a good indicator of actual running forces exerted.

This seems to go against the buyers guide (around 20%, mostly 95s were affected). Also that the leakdown test is a valid indicator of valve issues.

I'm looking at a 1996 355 GTS with 22K on it. Am I taking a big risk even with the full PPI/leakdown test?

Dazed and usually Confused,

Steve
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-30-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Hi Steve - My understanding of the 355 valve guide issue is that the ones that had the problem clearly had a PROBLEM. Oil consumption and/or smoke. I'm sure if the problem was endemic to the model, we'd still have lots of owners getting theirs redone. A PPI by a Ferrari mechanic or dealer is always a good idea, and I'd never buy a Ferrari without having one done.

As far as leakdown, it does have value in finding real problems... worn cylinders or leaking rings, damaged pistons, ill-sealing valves, and valve stems, etc. So you can definitely find problems from a leakdown test. Also, if one or more cylinders are a lot different (lower) than the others, that indicates a probable problem of some type. May require more detailed teardown to ID the actual problem. The mechanic may theoretically be correct, but it does have real-world value in my view! But still get a PPI done.

Best of luck finding a car...
Rick
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-30-2007, 11:38 AM
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I would get the leakdown test done. It is a good indicator of a multitude of potential problems. On the valve guides, it really depend on who you talk to. The figures I have seen indicate that 20% were affected and the problem woudl have come to light a long time ago. Whether or not it has been fixed is another issue but most should have been.

I have also heard of one well know west coast shop that fails just about every modern Ferrari on compression. They then tell you that the engine needs to be rebuilt at a cost of $20k and up.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-30-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Seems like there is no real agreement on the valve issue. I still think a complete PPI is warranted regardless since F cars are a high maintenance toy.

Appreciate the input. If I pull the triggger on this one I'll let everyone know how it goes.


Steve
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-30-2007, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyroguy View Post
Seems like there is no real agreement on the valve issue. I still think a complete PPI is warranted regardless since F cars are a high maintenance toy.

Appreciate the input. If I pull the triggger on this one I'll let everyone know how it goes.


Steve
If you have found a car that you are really interested in buying, than a PPI is money well spent.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-31-2007, 04:46 AM
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Pyro, go for the PPI especially leak down tests. You don't want to be sorry trying to save hundreds as oposed to finding out later and spending thousands. Good Luck.

Remember before pulling the trigger, set the target on the sights and make sure you are lock and loaded.

Chicago_Pete
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-31-2007, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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cocked the hammer

Well my friend in PA gave it a positive review after doing an extensive visual inspection and listening to the engine,. Took lots of pictures of all the flaws.
Going for the in depth PPI and flying out for a visual and test drive myself this weekend. If all systems are a "go" then I'll pull the trigger.

Heres hoping my "practical conservative side" doesn't kick in at the last minute!

Steve
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 12:40 AM
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At a minimum, the PPI will give you a good 3rd party generated list of issues which can be used in the price negotiatiations. If the car is in good shape, I normally total up the cost of the issues and offer to split it with the seller.
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