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Thread: reliability, Ferrari 360 and am I dropping myself in it

  1. #1
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    Default reliability, Ferrari 360 and am I dropping myself in it

    Been looking for a 360 and have got two cars on my short list. Both checked out by me and both look good and clean and clearly looked after. As part of checking them out I have got copies of their service records and invoices. They are, in my view , horrendous.

    The cars are early 2001/3 and between them they have had to have new ECUs, new clutches, numerous ball joints, new batteries, dashboard removed, mainshaft oil seal, new discs , cam seals, and literally dozens of other bits between them. Broken down on the road and towed in once. There is only a couple of service invoices where there are no extras - thats 2 out of 20 odd. And I contrast this with my wife's Smart Roadster which is 2004 and has had nothing other than a turbo under original guarantee. And the family 2009 Merc which in 110k miles has had a replacement thermostat.

    Its not an issue of the cost, though I dont like big bills. Its having a toy car which is supposed to be fun going wrong all the time,

    Am I doing something daft in thinking of buying a 360? Is it just going to be heartache?

  2. #2
    Mike01606's Avatar
    Mike01606 is offline Nowhere to put the shopping -The Ferrari F40 Club Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdseye View Post
    Been looking for a 360 and have got two cars on my short list. Both checked out by me and both look good and clean and clearly looked after. As part of checking them out I have got copies of their service records and invoices. They are, in my view , horrendous.

    The cars are early 2001/3 and between them they have had to have new ECUs, new clutches, numerous ball joints, new batteries, dashboard removed, mainshaft oil seal, new discs , cam seals, and literally dozens of other bits between them. Broken down on the road and towed in once. There is only a couple of service invoices where there are no extras - thats 2 out of 20 odd. And I contrast this with my wife's Smart Roadster which is 2004 and has had nothing other than a turbo under original guarantee. And the family 2009 Merc which in 110k miles has had a replacement thermostat.

    Its not an issue of the cost, though I dont like big bills. Its having a toy car which is supposed to be fun going wrong all the time,

    Am I doing something daft in thinking of buying a 360? Is it just going to be heartache?
    You can't compare a Ferrari (or any other car that is lightly used) with a daily driven car.....

    My view on the above...…

    Main shaft oil seal (RMS) and cam seal failures are probably down to low use cycle and the cam seals would probably be left to weep in a DD.
    Comparing the clutch life in a high revving, light flywheel car to a say a diesel saloon is not apples with apples. My 360 clutch has barely lost anything in the last 20k miles. Many low mileage cars will probably need the release bearing changing first. I believe the clutch in my car as it currently drives will last >70k (and I have a spare in the cupboard ;) ).
    Batteries! Do you really expect them to last 15 years? I change all my car batteries at 5 year intervals period. It makes me smile when people say the battery was flat so they charged it or jumped it, usually about 10 times before they get around to changing it. Car batteries go flat when not used and low voltages cause higher currents and more electronic failures.
    ECU's can fail because of jump starting. Do not jump start a 360 or if you do you risk a whole world of hate.... see flat battery above. A battery is < than a tank of fuel.
    Discs....last as long as any car I've had. My fronts are on about 23k miles with plenty left but washing cars and putting them straight in the garage will see them off PDQ.
    Suspension....well that is poorly designed for road use. It is easy to maintain but the parts are expensive. Add engine and gearbox mounts to that, but again it's a 400 BHP sports car so the mounts get a bit of stick..

    As another data point..... 7 years, 20 odd k miles, no CEL, no breakdowns, no real issues, engine seems very strong (touches wood). My services generally have no surprises and any work is usually preventative as these cars are now getting close to 20 years old.

    Again it's a 400 BHP sport car and some get driven hard on road and track. It would be really hard to under engineer for example..... a Smart Roadster.

    See Scotts video (Ratarossa on YouTube) where he's daily driven a CS and Brian (Bebs) has put well over 100k on a 360 both pretty trouble free....

    The lightly used cars where people try to cut corners (e.g running then with bad batteries) are the ones to avoid. Buy a well sorted car from a good source. Buy on condition......

    You either have to buy and relax or save yourself the worry. As others have said, I'm not sure they are for you.....which is a shame as events like next weekend's WW make all of the expense and more well worth it. The last 7 years have brought me a whole group of new friends and experiences and if the car was lost tomorrow, it will still have been great 'value'.
    Last edited by Mike01606; 05-05-2019 at 10:02 PM.

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    Agree 100% with Mike.
    As you used a Merc for comparison, I know of an E class purchased new a couple of years after I got my 355. The merc has not done huge mileage but has had intermittent use over the last 15 years so similar to a Ferrari you are likely to come across. Obviously there is an element of luck of the draw in this but it has exhibited more faults, (many of which havenít been fixed due to horrendous cost), more breakdowns and almost certainly will have cost more to run than my 355. Iím not saying a Ferrari will be more reliable than a Mercedes because on average it wonít, so if you buy one you will need to be prepared to set the extra heartache against the extra pleasure you will get.
    I have no regrets, I still get a smile when I open the garage door even after 17 years, I too have met people, been places and done things I wouldnít have otherwise. As Mike says they can be great value.

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    You have read about what can go wrong in your other thread regarding a 355, you have seen what can go wrong on a 360.

    Is it good to buy a car with little that has gone wrong in the past or one with lots of work previously done?

    Is a problematic car that has been well sorted better than one that has not gone wrong?

    A little used low miles car may be a problem but what about a higher miles car waiting for things to break due wear and tear?

    I would choose a model, know what the faults are and see if the car fits your requirements.

    As Mike says, always buy on condition but with consideration to the service history. A well maintained car is not a guarantee for a trouble free future and neither is a little used car doomed to fail.

    I once looked over a 355 that had just had a full engine rebuild by a dealer. This put off the perspective buyer as he thought it was a car with trouble, my view was that it was an advantage knowing the engine had been rebuilt to a good standard. He bought a different car.

    Lots of ways to look at things, good luck in your search.

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    I would be put off by all of those repairs. Although it does depend on whether the previous owner was a little OCD, or whether the car was serviced by a main dealer (as opposed to an independent) as main dealers tend to replace rather than repair many components.

    Iím on my 4th modern classic Ferrari. I avoid cars with low mileages as, in my experience, these cars need to be used regularly and driven more rather than less. I quite like the fascination with low miles on uk Ferrariís as it means that the regularly used ones cost less for a more reliable vehicle. I bought a lovely 60,000 mile Ferrari last year and will continue to enjoy it.

    I daily drive a Maserati QP ( engine derived from the 430 and produced in the Ferrari factory in Maranello) and I enjoy perfect reliability with a lovely engine. I drove my 360 to Modena for a service a few years ago and the less mechanically minded of my friends thought that I was crazy. I believe that 2,000 miles driving through Europe did my 360 more good than if I had left it under a cover in the garage instead. It is also more fun.

    These are just my experiences, and some will disagree. Good luck with your search just donít pay a premium for a 360 with less that 20,000 miles.

  6. #6
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    achaddy is offline Only 37 known common faults - The Ferrari 355 Club Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfry View Post
    I drove my 360 to Modena for a service a few years ago and the less mechanically minded of my friends thought that I was crazy. I believe that 2,000 miles driving through Europe did my 360 more good than if I had left it under a cover in the garage instead. It is also more fun.
    Crazy for driving 2000 miles for a service I would agree but not for driving your 360 to Modena. Did it twice in my 360 and thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the car.

    As others have said. These cars are now getting on so careful selection should get you a car which doesn't have unexpected bills every year. Over my 5 year ownership the average annual service bill was probably £1K but then there were 2 belt changes about £800-£1000 and a major 32k mile service, all at MD. I did however undertake additional work myself on the car which was mainly age related work such as suspension bushes, which eventually fail on any car that age. If you have the ability there is certainly lots of scope to save ££s in DIY jobs. Simple jobs like changing Brake pads and disks all makes a difference.
    In the 5 years and 12K I had the car the clutch wear only went down about 6% so had oodles of miles left.

    In general I found the 360 to be a very reliable car. It never failed on me although did give me a scare in France once but I overcame that minor electrical issue on the road side.
    If you accept its an ageing car that will need attention from time to time especially if driven little, then I wholeheartedly recommend getting one. Lots of fun, feels light and nimble enough, plenty fast enough for the roads, reliable, looks great and still gets lots of attention.
    If you really worry about what the next bill will be then maybe give it a miss.

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    Thanks for all the comments. I've made an offer on one of the cars so lets see what happens

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdseye View Post
    Thanks for all the comments. I've made an offer on one of the cars so lets see what happens
    Great news Howard. I hope it works out....and just enjoy the car.

    Iíve just comeback home in mine after putting the CH wheels back on and a pre WW shakedown.
    First proper drive this year and still feels awesome.

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    That deal fell through - seller went back on his offer. You need some trust in private transactions and I dont have any.

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    Until recent unfortunate events, I've always found my 360 to be very reliable. Stuff like ball joints just seem to be an expensive consumable - which is a bit unreasonable, but is something you just have to accept. But overall, servicing generally hasn't had any very nasty surprises, and - for what it is - it's been pretty reasonable to run.

    Obviously recent events tend to skew this view a tad - when it goes wrong, it appears it really goes wrong. But overall, it's been a positive experience. I haven't yet decided whether it will continue to be though.

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