1995 456gt cam belt change | FerrariChat

1995 456gt cam belt change

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by GTB4NART, Jan 18, 2004.

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    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    I was thinking of doing a DIY cam belt change on my 456 - belts are original and mileage is 15,000. Unlike my old TR where the engine had to be removed, shouldn't the 456 belts be easy to change? There's quite a bit of room in there. Has anybody done this? I think it's pretty unnecessary to do all of the other 30k stuff, I just want to change the belts due to age. If I pull the old belts off and put the new ones on with everything in the same position, I won't have to worry about TDC pistons, etc. right? My only real concern is getting the correct tension.

    I'm 300 miles from the nearest Ferrari mechanic and bored this winter so I'd like to try.

    Any recommendations on where to buy the belts?
  2. BrentC

    BrentC Formula Junior

    Aug 13, 2003
    Please keep everyone here informed as to your experience if you decide to go ahead with it. I for one am always interested in things like this when weighing car choices. If you do it and feel it's an easy DIY project for a reasonably competent mechanic, that has a big impact on cost of ownership, etc. Anxiously awaiting more news...
  3. KMS

    KMS Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2003
    With the help of a friend I twice did my own belt change on my old 928S4. For TDC MARK EVERYTHING. Then triple check it. I've never done a belt change on a Ferrari, nor do I know what the front end looks like with the covers off. I do know that the Audi S4, previous gen Nissan Z and 928S4 all share the same basic design (where the T belt is concerned) and I have seen it go horribly wrong on all three with the result being valve to piston kissing. Shop mechanics were involved in those cases too.

    Otherwise, change whatever else needs to be changed while you're in there since having to go in twice would be a waste.

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    I'll be sure to take detailed pictures of the process. The 456 doesn't scare me like the TR. In the TR, everything was so difficult to access so I never did anything to it. I've got a few local friends I can call if I get stuck so it's not a big worry. I've done water pumps and clutches and head gaskets on BMWs and Mercedes without concern but I've always steered clear of working on the Ferrari for fear of damaging the paint or body while climbing around the engine bay!

  5. sunburn

    sunburn Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
    Dawsonville, GA
    Full Name:
    Rick R.

    I have the shop manual for my 456 and the job doesn't look too bad. You have to have 2 STAEGER tensiometers and the key is the belts can only be stretched once so make sure the first time.

    I can fax you the pages if you want.
  6. Onlinesys

    Onlinesys Formula Junior

    May 1, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I can't wait to see the result as it will be a very valuable information.
    As you might realize, at least in the F-chat, there seems no one one on earth going DIY on their Ferrari 456 as compared to any other F-car models.


    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    The fax would be great - please email me at [email protected] with you email address and I'll email you my fax# (I just don't want to post it here).


  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    Oh this will be great information for the board. It will also be very helpful for the 550 and 575 guys. Do it man, do it.

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    I am going to start in about two weeks, I didn't even think about the Maranello application but it would be the same. If it's not too tough of a job, a person could do a cam belt change every three years and drive without this silly fear of belt breakage ( I know some of the belts break prematurely....). The cost is a factor but what really eats me is the down time and the distance I have to travel for service.

  10. Dutchman

    Dutchman F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 4, 2002
    Full Name:
    I am standing by!
    This is great info! If it is a succes I will consider buying a 456 GT (as a second Fcar). I have always been reluctant of doing so because of the high maintenance costs.

    Good luck!

  11. GTB4NART

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    I spoke with the guys at Autogallery in Woodland Hills, CA today and they said for a cam belt change alone it would be $2,000. They said that the job isn't too tough because access is very good. Occasionally they see a coolant hose failure and they have NEVER seen a belt failure on a 456 or Maranello. They did, however, say that the recommended change is 3 years regardless of mileage. I plan on ordering the belts this week, anyone have a good source?

  12. smg2

    smg2 F1 World Champ

    Apr 1, 2004
    Dumpster Fire #31
    Full Name:
    looking to see if there is an update, one of my choices right now is between the 456/maser and mostly based on servicability.
  13. GTB4NART

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    I decided that I'm going to do the job next fall. I'm in the process of tracking down a Staeger tensiometer - it turns out that it's needed to do the job correctly. Even at $2000 dealer price, the cambelt change should not be a major financial concern regarding purchase. In my opinion, why would you buy a Maserati over a Ferrari? The Ferrari was $220k new and you actually get quite a bit of beauty, refinement and exclusivity for that as well as the Ferrari badge. The Maserati will be just another used car in a few years.

  14. Diablo

    Diablo Formula Junior

    Watch out for bending the intakes on cyl 6......

    A lot of money if you do....
  15. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    I am very curious about the outcome, as it would be the same for us 550 folks. Please provide as detailed a write-up as you can. If you need help hosting the pictures / write-up, I'd be more than happy to help.


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