88 Testarossa, new owner - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-14-2011, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
OptimusPrime's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Ferrari Life Posts: 11
88 Testarossa, new owner

I'm new to this forum and just purchased a testarossa. I'm not bad with the tools and rebuilt an LT1 engine last year. I'm looking foreward to taking care of as much repair and maintenace as I can. I was hoping some of you could let me know a few things to look for or watch for as I study the car. I have some simple questions:
What oil do you recommend?
Do you use octane boost in the gas?
I can hear a lifter or something when it is cold started for about first 2 minutes then gone..anything I should do or add to oil?
What does a typical tune up involve.Oil, filters, plugs,???
Feels a little loose in front a higher speed..how to tell if rubber parts or something else needs replacing.

Thanks and I look foreward to your help in learning about this car...it is black with black leather interior and up north where I live it sure gets the looks...police stopped me the first time I drove it just to look at it..no ticket..lol
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-27-2011, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Michigan
Ferrari Life Posts: 308
Excellent choice in getting a Testarossa!

If you plan on doing any wrenching on your TR, I recommend getting a service manual and a parts manual. These are available in book form or on CD from a variety of sources. The manuals will give you "mostly" good information, although there are some occasional discrepancies...so having good mechanical skills, knowledge, and common sense is also a necessity.

As for engine oil, many owners use synthetic 15W50. I have heard of some using 10W40...but I don't recommend that. The TR takes about 14 quarts for an oil change.

That "clatter" your hearing during the first couple of minutes running may be the air injector pump (emissions equipment). This pump injects air into the exhaust stream to help clean up emissions during cold running. The pump's clutch is deactivated after a couple of minutes. Can't say for sure though.....

As for gasoline...the TR has low compression so mid-grade or higher should be fine. I run Shell premium...probably overkill on my part...but oh well.

As for a "tune-up" on a Testarossa...this could be anything from plug and oil changes to fuel injection system adjustments, which requires some special equipment.

One of the major worries for TR owners is the electrical system, mainly the circuits for the fuel pumps, cooling fans, and AC. The main "mother board" located up in the trunk tends to overheat at the white terminal connector strips for those circuits.

The main service job for TRs is the engine-out timing belt service, which should be done approximately every 5 years or 30k miles, which ever occurs first. Also at this time all other suspect items should be replaced, and all fluids changed...etc...etc...

TRs are wonderful cars and can be very reliable when treated right. Black on Black Testarossas are awesome...kinda like Darth Vader on wheels.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-28-2011, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Ferrari Life Posts: 11
Thanks for the tips

Tried to send a PM but it did not work. Thanks for the suggestions. I have a few more questions if you would be so kind to answer. Where is the best place to buy parts? the car last had an engine out 2,500 miles and 7 years ago...is there a way to check timing belt or is it best to do engine out now? Thanks again.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-28-2011, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Michigan
Ferrari Life Posts: 308
There is no "best place" to buy parts from, there are several places like Ted Rutlands, Ricambi America, Ferrparts, or a dealer if there is no other choice. We are starting to see some fake parts out there now, mainly tensioner bearings and such....but you have to buy from a reputable source or it's a roll of the dice.

As for checking the condition of the timing belts (there are 2), can only do a visual check. If there is any oil film or coolant on the belts then you have to change them out as soon as you can. You also must change out the timing belt tensioner bearings also. There is no hard fast rule about changing timing belts, but I stick by the 30k mile/5 years rule. Ferrari recently changed their standard to 36k miles/3 years for belt change intervals.
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