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Discussion Starter #1
Why do the cambelts need to be changed so frequently on newer Ferraris? I would imagine that more modern materials are available to make the belts from and therefore increase the time between changes?

Or is it intentional by Ferrari to ensure that spare parts are bought more regularly?

Maybe I'm missing something.
 

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It is preventative maintainence. The Ferrari engine is an "interference" engine, meaning the valves open far enough that the piston can strike them should the belt fail. Imagine that happening at 7,000 rpm, the piston will hit the valve well over a thousand times before everything grinds to a halt. Even on "non-interference" engines they still recommend the belt be changed every 60,000 miles.

You are correct that belt technology has increased and today's belts last longer. But the consequences are so severe that Ferrari isn't taking any chances. Sure the belts might last 100,000 miles or over 15 years. MIGHT. They WILL last 30,000 miles or 5 years. So Ferrari wants to change them while they are still good. Belts don't gradually fail over time. They are either an endless loop, or a rubber strap with two jagged ends.

So you can avoid the belt change if you have confidence in the belt and feel the belts are still good. The belt manufacturer will gladly offer you a lifetime warranty on the belt, if it ever breaks they will give you a free replacement belt. The bent valves and smashed pistons are your problem and the smug folks at Ferrari will simply shake their heads and say "We told you so."
 

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Also keep in mind that some Ferrari engines are easier on the belts than others. The 12 cylinder motors don't exert the "back n forth" forces as much as 8 cylinders do. Also how many bends are involved with routing the belt to engage everything, cams, tensioners, crank? And do you suppose that most Ferrari engines see more high rpm use than a normal daily driver engine? And do you suppose that many Ferraris sit for extended periods, without activity, and the belts can take a slight "set" or get a deformation over time by having tension and bending applied in one spot? And lastly, you know that many of these engines like to leak oil which is very bad if it gets into contact with the belts. My views are just my own and not necessarily for everyone. But I feel Ferraris should be started every few weeks to keep fluids circulated and everything well oiled inside, as well as flexing the belts and keeping them pliable. Drive the car if possible, or just move it back and forth, anything to get some oil moved around and some temperature in the motor. My feeling about the belts is to replace the belts and tensioner bearings every 5 to 6 years or every 30k miles, which ever comes first. Visual inspections can only detect an obvious flaw, and will NOT tell you if a tooth is weak or the belt material is internally fractured and about to break. So that's my rule of thumb......5yrs or 30k miles. Okay, I'm putting on my flame-jacket now.
 

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carguy said:
So that's my rule of thumb......5yrs or 30k miles. Okay, I'm putting on my flame-jacket now.
No need for a fire proof jacket here. I agree with you. I've had my car for 4 years now and am planning on changing my belts and waterpump next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was always told to change every two years. It seems I have been misinformed. I was going to change the belts on my 308 in that interval (I sold it before I got there)
 

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Schumacher said:
I was always told to change every two years. It seems I have been misinformed. I was going to change the belts on my 308 in that interval (I sold it before I got there)
Two years it's really very very prudent. :eek:
Tomorrow I will have my 348 Spider (1994) back after full maintenance (Ferrari service), belts included. :)
17.000 km and 5 years, after last full maintenance. Belts substitution requires the engine out.
Reference is 30.000 km or 3 years, but I extended the time up 5 years, supported by the Ferrari mechanics. Planning the belts service now has been actually my personal choice, because I like to drive on tracks whenever possible and the belts are stressed more in this situation.
 
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