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I am close to pulling the trigger on a 1987 GTS with approx. 19K miles. My last concern with the car is the lack of full service records. The seller has some records but not all. In asking about the 30K service, he indicated that he had it completed but not all at the same time. Some items were changed and addressed over time. The belts were changed approx. 4-5 years ago so it sounds like they may need to be done soon. How critical is it to have the full set of records and should I be concerned that the full 30K was not all completed at the same time? Should I just be concerned over the belts at this time if most of the other work was performed more recently than 4-5 years ago? According to his mechanic, the car is tight and could most likely go another year but I am extremely concerned that due to the age of the belts, I may have a major problem. This definitely will play into what I offer for the car. Thanks for the advice and if anyone knows of a great place that works on Ferrari's in Arizona other than the dealer, please let me know. Thanks.
 

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madmap, Suggest you take a look at the 328 Buyers Guide in the Members Section.

The belts definitely need to be changed and I would get a full PPI done by an independent mechanic, especially given the lack of complete service records.
 

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328 purchase concerns

A must do before purchase: a full Pre-Purchase Inspection.
A must do as part of the sale: all the Belts changed (I don't know about this one, but my '87 Mondi Cabio can have its belts changed without having to take the engine out for $1,100.)
A should do as needed: the real engine out major service to take care of the leaking seals, valve adjustments, rebuild the water pump, etc. These issues tend to build up over time and coincides with the recommended service intervals. An engine out major for mine is around $6k every 5 years with belts being changed in between every 3 years or 30K miles.
 

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Re: 328 purchase concerns

BluTan87Mondi said:
A must do before purchase: a full Pre-Purchase Inspection.
A must do as part of the sale: all the Belts changed (I don't know about this one, but my '87 Mondi Cabio can have its belts changed without having to take the engine out for $1,100.)
A should do as needed: the real engine out major service to take care of the leaking seals, valve adjustments, rebuild the water pump, etc. These issues tend to build up over time and coincides with the recommended service intervals. An engine out major for mine is around $6k every 5 years with belts being changed in between every 3 years or 30K miles.

An engine out service for a V8 Ferrari is only for the models with longtitudinally mounted engines - 288 GTO, F40, 348 and 355 (360 has a panel that comes out) in the V8 class. There is no need to do an engine out service on any transversely mounted V8 Ferrari. There are few isolated incidents where the engine may need to be removed but in no way would it be part of a routine or thorough service.

Furthermore, the major service of a Ferrari IS the belt service, which is 5 years or 30k. There is no 3 years then change belts, then two years and then REMOVE THE ENGINE ???? to do what?? on a tranversely mounted V8 Ferrari. Absolutely do not do that. The major is engine in on a 328 and in between the major services (again, where the belts are changed), there may be something that comes up like an oil leak from a cam seal or water pump breakage and if that happens, you may want to move up the major service as it would become more cost effective to it at the same time.

After owning several V8 Ferraris, including a 355 and 360, I sold them all except for the 328, which I will never sell. It is a very reliable, very fun car. It's easy to live with and easy to own. To that end, IMO, you don't need all of service records IF you can get an experienced Ferrari mechanic to give you a very careful PPI. It needs to be a good mechanic and a meticulous PPI. Then, you don't necessarily need all of the records.

However, form the sound of it, the previous owner may not have had the necessary money to own a Ferrari (service wise) and maybe tried to skimp a little on servicing. This may or may not be a big deal but usually these are the cars with numerous "deferred maintenance" issues. A complete new service with hoses, injectors, fuel cross over hoses, etc. would probably be in order (again it should NOT be engine out) and you can expect to pay around $5k or so if nothing else (water pump, etc.) is wrong with the car.

Here's my advice: unless you're looking at a GTB, which is a rare car, then you can afford to pass this one up and look at another 328 on the market. If there are any hiccups with the PPI or in your research of the car, just walk. There are plenty out there. If it a GTB, let me know. I have a register of all the 328 GTB's brought into the US. I might have some history on the car that you're looking at.
 

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328 purchase

Oops! I confess. I got some of my info crossed up. I'm new to Ferrari's so apologies. Yes, the major is 5 years or 30k miles and it is THE changing of the belts, however, do not set yourself up for an unpleasant suprise. Based on my conversations with V8 owners and mechanics, most EXPECT that you will want/need to take the engine out about every 5 years. Budget for it ($1,500 p/yr). If you only need belts then you lucked out. If you enjoy your car regularly and are around the 30k interval, leaks, adjustments, failures will coincide with the changing of the belts. Now don't kill the messenger. It's not all that bad.

When I bought my Mondi Cabrio, I negotiated a 30k (engine out) major into the price of the car. The strategy was that while the PPI was normal, I wanted an opportunity to make sure that everything was as it should be given that I also did not have a complete service history of the car. This then is the up-side of finding a car that has the major yet to be done- you have a chance to set realistic expectations going forward.

Not-so smarty, but done a few things right, Al.
 

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Re: 328 purchase concerns

Smarty Jones said:
However, form the sound of it, the previous owner may not have had the necessary money to own a Ferrari (service wise) and maybe tried to skimp a little on servicing. This may or may not be a big deal but usually these are the cars with numerous "deferred maintenance" issues. A complete new service with hoses, injectors, fuel cross over hoses, etc. would probably be in order (again it should NOT be engine out) and you can expect to pay around $5k or so if nothing else (water pump, etc.) is wrong with the car.
Question

What if you buy a Ferrari from someone who is mechanically inclined and does the servicing themselves ? Has the bills and recorded all intervals of servicing that was done ?

When I find a good one (328 or 348) I plan to work on mine. I used to be a mechanic (Domestic/Japanese import) My daily driver I want it to be new and someone else's responsibility but my Ferrari will be my toy. Now im not going to be stupid, if its something I cant do because I dont have a specific tools/proper equipment I will bring it to a Ferrari shop in my area and get it done. Will this make my car worthless if I decide to sell later on to upgrade the model ?
 

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Re: 328 purchase concerns

magnum6464 said:
Smarty Jones said:
However, form the sound of it, the previous owner may not have had the necessary money to own a Ferrari (service wise) and maybe tried to skimp a little on servicing. This may or may not be a big deal but usually these are the cars with numerous "deferred maintenance" issues. A complete new service with hoses, injectors, fuel cross over hoses, etc. would probably be in order (again it should NOT be engine out) and you can expect to pay around $5k or so if nothing else (water pump, etc.) is wrong with the car.
Question

What if you buy a Ferrari from someone who is mechanically inclined and does the servicing themselves ? Has the bills and recorded all intervals of servicing that was done ?

When I find a good one (328 or 348) I plan to work on mine. I used to be a mechanic (Domestic/Japanese import) My daily driver I want it to be new and someone else's responsibility but my Ferrari will be my toy. Now im not going to be stupid, if its something I cant do because I dont have a specific tools/proper equipment I will bring it to a Ferrari shop in my area and get it done. Will this make my car worthless if I decide to sell later on to upgrade the model ?
"Deferred maintenance" is not the same "do it yourself" maintenance. 328s are pretty easy to work on (348s are not). I have a friend with a 328 that does everything himself. Even changing the belts. I would buy his car in a heartbeat, if I were in the market. Furthermore, anyone who does a PPI and looks at the car will see that the car was meticulously cared for.

Bottom line: Doing a major service over several years is an issue; doing it properly yourself (provided you have the skill) at one time is not. Again, it's not difficult on a 328, it's much more complicated on a 348 and if I were in the market for a 348, I wouldn't want a DIY'er doing a major belt service. Those cars are finicky enough with everything done perfectly. 308 QV's are also great cars for DIY'ers and fun little cars.

Now, let's say that you do get a Ferrari and you do all the work yourself. If the timing belts are due on the car when you decide to sell, I would advise not doing something like that yourself. The new owner is going to want to develop a relationship with his or her mechanic and wants the work done by someone they choose. It's almost always that way. You sell for a lttle less because the service is due but you'll sell for less if you spent the time and money doing the service yourself, too.

By the way, unless there is something majorly wrong with the engine, an engine out service on a transversely mounted Ferrari V8 is not the right thing to do. It's not more thorough, it's not better, it's only complicating matters further (and more expensive). It's not that every time you take the engine out, something's going to go wrong, it's that every time you take the engine out you're inviting one more piece of trouble into the equation. Of course, if there's an issue and the only way to address is engine out, then do it but realize that it should not be part of normal servicing on a transversely mounted V8 F-car. One of the reasons that I like the transverse V8s so much is that the engine does not come out for service.

If you're going to let them yank the engine out every few years, you might want to look at buying a 512TR (although they like drive shafts and bell housings for breakfast). Great cars if you don't mind the maintenance.
 
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