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Discussion Starter #1
hi everyone, i am a new forum member :D
i am planning (once the right kidney finds a happy new home) to join the wonderful world of Ferrari owners. combing the net thus far i have realized that with a budget of up to 40k i have quite a selection of 308s and Mondials. however, this range also includes the 400s, which i find rather pleasing visually. here are my questions placed at the steps of your temple of knowledge:
1. is it inherently more expensive to maintain a 12 cylinder car than one with 8?
2. are it other aspects of the 400 itself that makes it costly to have?
3. i believe it was made in much smaller numbers than the 308/Mondials; does it mean it will spend alot more time in the garage while i beg, borrow, or steal parts?
4. if your info are persuasive against having a 400 (mechanically), i will narrow my search accordingly; because i don't have the resources to have that particular car-and at any cost.
5. lastly, but perhaps most importantly, should the lack of a qualified or certified Ferrari mechanic in my immediate area preclude the ownership of one? you know, not every Ferrari enthusiast gets to live in southern Cal or CT. how would i go about finding the "nearest" mechanic and contribute to his children's college fund?

looking forward to your replies :roll: [/b]
 

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I don't have a 400, but I really like them and would plan to have one as a next Ferrari. Here's what I've learnt about them and it'll answer a few of your questions:

1- It is more expensive as you have four more cylinders to add to the total than an 8. But here's the catch: with the timing chains on the engine, you'll eliminate the multi-services (ie: timing belt jobs) of the "8" cars. Chains do stretch and they can go beyond the limits of the tensioner systems (which are manually adjustable if I remember correctly), but expect that on poorly maintained cars.

2- The self-leveling rear shock absorbers will drain a bank account in an instant if they're shot. This is the only major item that comes to mind. There are small trim pieces which are obsolete, but expect that with any old Italian car.

3- Finding the best example will reduce visits to the mechanic. This has been proven time and time again. Parts are only a bit harder to come by than a 308, but its a lot better than some other "12" cars.

4- I can reccomend having a 400. Preferably an injected car (and it'll be easier to find as many were built). Preferably a 5-speed (not so many built).

5- An injected car will require less service and if it fails, it's Bosch Jetronic, a Mercedes shop are very familiar with those systems and can help. If you run into glitches, post a question in the Tech section here and one of us can help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
400 info

Peter
thanks for your input. i will take all this into consideration and build up my knowledge base. please address again my biggest concern about potentially not having a local mechanic to service a specialty car and how i could go about finding one. would a Mercedes dealership be able to work on other aspects of the car besides the injection system?
 

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In respect to troubles of servicing, a car is a car, I don't see how this could be any different than an old SL450 or others like it. But that's what I've seen after working on my own, there still is out there in the real world, this misconception that only Italians must work on Ferraris. They (the Mercedes shops) may be a little hesitant in working on one. This is a tough choice, you must scope out all of the specialty-auto service shops in your area to see if they're competent to take a car like this, before taking the plunge. You didn't post your general location, so its hard to point you in the right direction, but try local car clubs for suggestions.

Don't think for a minute though it'll be any easier with a V-8 Ferrari. Like I've said before, their build quality is the same and they do need frequent belt servicing (max. every 5 years). They are just as finiky as a "12".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
mechanics

Peter
Thank you. will keep you updated on my quest.
 
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