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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A new 550 owner approached me the other day and asked "What exactly does a 550 major consist of, and why are the prices for this service all over the map?"

It was a great question, and those of us who've been "stung" by a cheap price and very little actual work done can well understand his confusion. Too, those shops who do a "proper" service, and charge a proper price for it, can appreciate that most owners are probably clueless what they're getting themselves into with a $2000 "major".

I had the basis already written for a 550 "super major", so I prettied it up a bit, and solicited comments from my good friends David Feinberg (Ferrari Service of Bedford) and Josh Hill (ECS of Virginia), who added and commented on several items.

Understand, the attached list is not written with the intention to fix or sort everything that's wrong with a car, it's to draw a line in the sand, and give you, the owner, something to discuss with your service provider. You can go through this and tick the boxes you want done, then see approximately what your shop will charge to do a specified Scope of Work, instead of dropping the car off to get a $2000 totally undefined "Major".

But owners, PLEASE don't hold your providers' feet to the fire on pricing, as there are sooooo many unknowns that can be found once the covers start coming off. Shoot, even getting the covers off can be an adventure when previous providers have epoxied them on to "fix" an oil leak.

If you have any constructive comments, or wish to see anything added, please suggest it here, and I'll incorporate it and I'll try to keep the file updated with the latest version.

Thanks to both Ferrari Service of Bedford & ECS of Virginia for their invaluable assistance, and we hope you find it useful.
 

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What an excellent reference guide for all the 550 owners here. Proof again of the value of F Life.
Many thanks for sharing John.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Barry, thanks for the kind words.

It should help the owners to know what they're getting for their money, and hopefully level the playing field a bit better between the quality shops and the "super discount special" shops.
 

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John- That is a really comprehensive list and could be done in chunks instead of all at the same time. Nice job.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Taz, yes and it could even lend itself well to developing a long term plan for "sorting" a car that has had a lot of deferred maintenance.

I believe most owners have a close working relationship with their service providers, so they're already on the same page about how the work should be done, so after that, it's just a matter of timing (and cash flow :)).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
:thumbsup: A great idea .
Cheers Bernard :)

great idea john.i hope to one day own a 550. when I get old. :crowngrin:
Watch it Peter Pan, it sneaks up on you; one day you're taking the p*ss out of us old f*rts, and the next day, you're one of us :)
 
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John,
compliments you done a great work, a table list is better way, you have analized all important things to be check (or make) on 550.
I don't know how this things are in USA but in Italy about the world of cars service what can listen is everything .... too various the services for the same car ..... and rarely is possible to know exactly what the shop done, this last thing cause the low involvement of owner that only complain about the price.
Personally I would added a check with eventual repair of sticky switches and other inner sticky things, problem of all 550.
I detest the sticky problems and I would that my Shop repair this thing during service, major or not.
Bravo John !
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John,
compliments you done a great work, a table list is better way, you have analized all important things to be check (or make) on 550.
I don't know how this things are in USA but in Italy about the world of cars service what can listen is everything .... too various the services for the same car ..... and rarely is possible to know exactly what the shop done, this last thing cause the low involvement of owner that only complain about the price.
Personally I would added a check with eventual repair of sticky switches and other inner sticky things, problem of all 550.
I detest the sticky problems and I would that my Shop repair this thing during service, major or not.
Bravo John !
Thanks Fabio; this table was only intended to be a checklist for a "major", but you've just given me an idea for a "550 Maranello Sorting" list and the two would complement each other :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys, I've compiled this list of "sorting issues". If you want to see any more on this list, please offer your comments. I realise we'll probably not agree on everything (for example, those of you in cooler climates probably have no issues with the 550's cooling system, but many of us in warmer climates do.)

I'll start putting together more detail on these, and their resolutions, and will post it in the same final format as the SOW for the major.

Engine
Fuel System
Fuel Odor in Trunk
Degradation of Pump Rubber Isolators
Cracked Plastic Pump Covers
Injector Cleaning

Valve Guides
Premature Guide Wear

Mounts
Failure of Early Type Mount

Oil System
Exposed Contacts on Oil Sensor
Abnormally High Cold Oil Pressure
Oil Leak at Front Timing Cover

Intake System
Intake Manifold Gaskets

Ignition System
Worn/Aged HT Wires

Blowby System
Oil Passage into Intake Manifold

Coolant System
Coolant Hoses
Thermostat Issues
Temperature Sensor Issues
Expansion Tank Cap
Water Pump Rebuild
Radiator Issues

Steering
Rack Seals
Pump
Hoses

Powertrain
Premature Clutch Wear
Gearbox Pops Out of Gear

Air Conditioning
Compressor Front Seal
Schrader Valves
Hoses

Suspension
Front Actuator Twist
Suspension Alarm
Worn Bushings
Leaking Shocks

Exhaust
Slow Down Alarms
Broken Hangers/Insulators

Interior
Shrinking leather
Sticky Buttons & Controls
HVAC Panel Overlay Replacement
Alarm System Battery Failure
Handbrake Release

Coachwork
Poor Window Sealing
Headlight Gaskets Torn/Worn
Gas Struts Not Holding

Electrical Issues
Overloaded Fuse/Relay Box
Alternator
Relay Replacement
Clean Engine Wiring Contacts / Replace Boots
 

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And for those bargain hunters....
I've got one set left of the OE Ferrari 575 mounts, complete with the new lower mount spacers that you'll need to complete this upgrade. And if you happen to have a 360, I've got the upgrade mounts (both engine and transaxle) as well.

And, for the 550 only, I've got a few good, used genuine "Horsey" badged ignition wire ends for the plug side. If you've ever broken one, you know that they are no available anywhere....
 

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My contribution to the thread would be for owners and how they approach their service shop. As opposed to dictating what you want to do, use this as knowledge so when your car goes in for service you both know what to expect, know why it's being recommended and know what questions to ask.

In my shop, I dictate how much of this list is required, in what order and in what chunks. Some things just aren't up for debate.

None of us know what a car needs from this list until we have dug into it. Sometimes we can see most of it, but will find more after we dig in as well.

I don't do listed directed services. I fix batter, abused and neglected cars, however they dictate that needs to be done. Becoming familiar with a bullet point list like this will help you enter the shop with the right state of mind though. All too often owners bring cars in for a "major" out of obligation, thinking they pay for the list service and motor on. Instead, people should understand what these cars require to be kept at their best and come in prepared to allow us to make sure the car leaves in that condition, not the same as it arrived but accompanied by a bill of some sort and a subsequent list of excuses.

Just my .02.
 

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Hi John,


Fantastic initiative !! Perhaps an idea to add somewhere to the list is to check the suspension wishbones for corrosion and potentially sandblast and respray. Could be done together with checking/replacing the bushings. I have seen a number of 550's (including mine) of which one or more of the wishbones show signs of corrosion. Just a suggestion of course !


Regards, Bert
 

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John,
Great list passes my first inspection. Few suggestions:

1. cooling system - blocked return hoses, leaks in bottom of radiator (pressure test), bleed out air bubbles in coolant
2. electrical - relays - a/c relay failing intermittently is a good example
3. change engine and transmission oils
4. cam cover oil leaks front and back lower corners
5. check brake pads and replace if necessary
6. replace all belts not just timing belts
7. on completion, run in then multiple acceleration tests, repeat until satisfied

Regards,
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi John,


Fantastic initiative !! Perhaps an idea to add somewhere to the list is to check the suspension wishbones for corrosion and potentially sandblast and respray. Could be done together with checking/replacing the bushings. I have seen a number of 550's (including mine) of which one or more of the wishbones show signs of corrosion. Just a suggestion of course !


Regards, Bert
John,
Great list passes my first inspection. Few suggestions:

1. cooling system - blocked return hoses, leaks in bottom of radiator (pressure test), bleed out air bubbles in coolant
2. electrical - relays - a/c relay failing intermittently is a good example
3. change engine and transmission oils
4. cam cover oil leaks front and back lower corners
5. check brake pads and replace if necessary
6. replace all belts not just timing belts
7. on completion, run in then multiple acceleration tests, repeat until satisfied

Regards,
Ron
Bert, Ron, thanks for your input, I'll take onboard your suggestions.

Ron, you just had to change your avatar to show off that new paint job, didn't you? :)

I feel my resolve weakening every time I see it........
 

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John, Ron- Makes me think of Giallo Triplo Strato for mine.
 

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John,
Yes, updated the avatar to show the Rosso Fuoco respray, its the only way I can afford a 599 "look and feel". Since my "super major" replaced so many parts I feel I am getting close to having a new car.
Agree with Bertt on suspension checks - maybe someone can add more details on bushings, creaky ball joints etc
Taz - wil you have to respray your new calipers to match the Giallo?
Regards,
Ron
 

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Ron- Will be a long way in the future, but the calipers will probably stay Giallo Modena.
 
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