Ferrari Life Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It has now been a few years since we put together our original F355 Buyers Guide. Hence we believe it is now time to revise, update, and expand the guide.

As part of this process, we would appreciate it if you could review and comment on the original guide (attached).

We would also appreciate suggestions (and volunteers to write) new sections. Several ideas for additions are:

expanded Maintenance section
add DIY projects (example how to fix a Sticky Center Consul)
add suggestions on modifications
add Running Reports from 1-2 owners
add section on where to get parts
add a few road trip/drive stories

and please add to the above.

I look forward to receiving everyones input.

Please let me know if you would like to contribute a section to the update.

Thanks:steeringwheel:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
What is your understanding on the Valve Guide Issue? It seems to be the hottest most sensitive subject when it comes to F355s.
they're crap!

for the last 10 years i've been happily believing it was a myth, or maybe just happens to some. my car went from perfect compression/leak down to not so perfect within 1500km.

you could actually wriggle the valves in the guides.

Car's done 18,000km...but some track work. '96 model.

there is no doubt cars up to and including '98 have had premature valve guide wear.

the only real issue i had with the article was when it said something along the lines of "they will all have been done by now" Mine only happened last year at the car age of 11 years.

it'll (almost) never happen again. much better valve guide material and much less track work will ensure that.

If i were buying one today, i'd treat it like sodium valves in a carby 308....if the guides on a 355 haven't been done, i'd want it discounted....but that's just me.

definitely SOME have never had the problem....again, from all years. go figure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Bloody strange phenomenon this valve guide thing. I think it was down to a bad batch of valve guides personally.
let me tell you why.... My own 13 year old 1995 spider has done 5 times the mileage of your car:yikes:. Takes two trips at high speed across Europe each year, as well as track days ect with out a murmur. The car runs like a watch (I only wear Brietlings:smug:) and is just as fast and just as powerful as it ever been. And it still has the same standard valves in it that it left the factory with. I have all the detailed paper work for this car since it was brand new. And the compression that was checked last winter was perfect. Yep go figure, i just got lucky with my designated batch:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Bloody strange phenomenon this valve guide thing. I think it was down to a bad batch of valve guides personally.
let me tell you why.... My own 13 year old 1995 spider has done 5 times the mileage of your car:yikes:. Takes two trips at high speed across Europe each year, as well as track days ect with out a murmur. The car runs like a watch (I only wear Brietlings:smug:) and is just as fast and just as powerful as it ever been. And it still has the same standard valves in it that it left the factory with. I have all the detailed paper work for this car since it was brand new. And the compression that was checked last winter was perfect. Yep go figure, i just got lucky with my designated batch:thumbsup:
i've heard the same story plenty of times.

i think it's the luck of the draw..must have been more than one bad batch though to have spread over all those years

...but it's happened in all year models as far as i can tell. it was just thatreading in that article that they'd all have done it by now if it was going to happen was perhaps someone's wishful thinking. if i'd one more km, it would have happened earlier, if i'd done less, and plenty have, then it wouldn't have happened yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Regarding the single batch argument, heres my theory. I would imagine that when ferrari ordered there valve guides, from an out side source as they were getting the 355 ready for production. Lets say for argument sake that there was 300,000 guides in each batch and they ordered 3 batches to cover there predicted entire 355 production run for 5 years. Then they would just dip into the valve guides when ever they were building an engine, not knowing that they were unavoidably putting guides in from the bad batch.
Thats one possibility isnt it?
Take the 360 for instance. Some early 1999-2000 models had a problem with the big end shells that did not allow the oil to flow around the crank adequately. This of course caused some of the engines to knock at very low miles and very early, Ferrari identified it as a problem. They very quickly discarded all the big end shells for other specs. It was not all the shells that were at fault but they could not identify the problem ones so they scraped them all and started again. This problem by the way was not a recall and the problem hit cars in both the UK and America, even now some 1999-200 360s are developing the problem today because they were fitted with the bad shells and it was only a matter of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Regarding the single batch argument, heres my theory. I would imagine that when ferrari ordered there valve guides, from an out side source as they were getting the 355 ready for production. Lets say for argument sake that there was 300,000 guides in each batch and they ordered 3 batches to cover there predicted entire 355 production run for 5 years. Then they would just dip into the valve guides when ever they were building an engine, not knowing that they were unavoidably putting guides in from the bad batch.
Thats one possibility isnt it?
Take the 360 for instance. Some early 1999-2000 models had a problem with the big end shells that did not allow the oil to flow around the crank adequately. This of course caused some of the engines to knock at very low miles and very early, Ferrari identified it as a problem. They very quickly discarded all the big end shells for other specs. It was not all the shells that were at fault but they could not identify the problem ones so they scraped them all and started again. This problem by the way was not a recall and the problem hit cars in both the UK and America, even now some 1999-200 360s are developing the problem today because they were fitted with the bad shells and it was only a matter of time.
we'll never know, probably, but that theory is as good as any other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Ah the valve guide discussion...I just can't resist offering my theory. I've personally analyzed valve guides from many Ferrari models, checking actual chemistry as well as hardness. The guides used in early model 355's were as good as anything used by Ferrari up to that date (all various copper base alloys / bronzes). However the 355 proved a unique challenge - the tiny valve stem (6mm I believe) has much less bearing surface and can 'cut' through guides easier than a larger valve stem. This is combined with the 355 heat issue...i.e. it likes to create lots of heat! So the higher temp makes the guide a bit softer than engineers hoped and the narrow guide is more aggressive.

It's not surprising that this issue hasn't affected all cars. That's how pretty much all mechanical / material issues progress. For example from a batch of poorly shot peened valve springs, not every one will fail. Same here...maybe some cars don't get as hot (due to driving style or other variable), or maybe you need many cycles above 8k rpm to really induce a guide failure.


Unfortunately the issue wasn't caught in development (again not uncommon), it took many cars accumulating miles to really reveal the problem. So they upgraded the guide materials to a still higher hardness iron based composition (I still haven't gotten my hands on one of these to analyze yet...send me a PM if anyone has a spare!).

Feel free to disagree, this is a hotly debated issue with many opinions. This is just the conclusion I've reached. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
I believe most supercars have these kind of problems, my mechanic told me if the F1 clutch pump goes it would cost close to USD20,000 to replace, now what i want to know is, F355 owners get the chance to do it again would they buy a F355 if we knew the kind of problems a F355 have and the cost to fix? yes or no?
D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,209 Posts
Ah the valve guide discussion...I just can't resist offering my theory. I've personally analyzed valve guides from many Ferrari models, checking actual chemistry as well as hardness. The guides used in early model 355's were as good as anything used by Ferrari up to that date (all various copper base alloys / bronzes). However the 355 proved a unique challenge - the tiny valve stem (6mm I believe) has much less bearing surface and can 'cut' through guides easier than a larger valve stem. This is combined with the 355 heat issue...i.e. it likes to create lots of heat! So the higher temp makes the guide a bit softer than engineers hoped and the narrow guide is more aggressive.

It's not surprising that this issue hasn't affected all cars. That's how pretty much all mechanical / material issues progress. For example from a batch of poorly shot peened valve springs, not every one will fail. Same here...maybe some cars don't get as hot (due to driving style or other variable), or maybe you need many cycles above 8k rpm to really induce a guide failure.


Unfortunately the issue wasn't caught in development (again not uncommon), it took many cars accumulating miles to really reveal the problem. So they upgraded the guide materials to a still higher hardness iron based composition (I still haven't gotten my hands on one of these to analyze yet...send me a PM if anyone has a spare!).

Feel free to disagree, this is a hotly debated issue with many opinions. This is just the conclusion I've reached. :D

+1

I believe it was the outsourced suppliers which is ALWAYS Ferrari's problem. Luigi is the cousin of so and so and there it goes.

Ferrari does great engine design and such, but seem at times to either fill their quality product with 2nd hand sourced products from the local shops or just don't go the extra mile.

Look at the 'problem' of the 348 transmission getting trashed on some models. Best that can be determined was not a bad design, but a change in the manner in which they were put together.

The VALVE guide issue is also found on the 456 GT, and like the OP< I am just waiting for the day to rebuild the entire engine :(

The replacement guides are better than OEM and should not be an issue.

ON THE 355: Remember to include a paragraph on the exhaust manifolds!!!!

and -- that same manifold problem exists on the 456 and now the 550 series as we are finding: Ask me how I know :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Regarding the single batch argument, heres my theory. I would imagine that when ferrari ordered there valve guides, from an out side source as they were getting the 355 ready for production. Lets say for argument sake that there was 300,000 guides in each batch and they ordered 3 batches to cover there predicted entire 355 production run for 5 years. Then they would just dip into the valve guides when ever they were building an engine, not knowing that they were unavoidably putting guides in from the bad batch.
Thats one possibility isnt it?.
This would help explain why the majority of the problems were with the early F355s but a few later ones were also randomly effected.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top