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1995 F355 GTS: Restoration and Major Service

Discussion in '348/355' started by MAD828, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    #1 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hi everyone, earlier this year I had finally found an F355 that I could call my own. I sold my very clean Manual 2004 360 Spider the year prior and had been on the hunt for a 355 as it proved to be an itch I could not resist scratching.

    I won't compare the two cars here in detail, but I much prefer the F355 for many reasons and I love the fact that its not for the faint of heart and suits an owner who either has really deep pockets (not me) or who likes to get his hands dirty and is passionate about driving as much as wrenching (me).

    Having wanted an F355 since they were first released, turning 30 this year it was great to close out this goal and I intend to keep this car forever.

    The car is a great example that needed a bit of love to get it up to the level that I desire. I did all the wrong things in purchasing this car, no PPI, no test drive, no visual inspection until I drove interstate to pick it up with the bank cheque in hand.

    It helped knowing the car had 1 owner for 19 years prior, and fell into the hands of FCA member (a good friend of the original owner) with a collection of F cars I asked if he would consider selling, he named a price and I went ahead with my gut. I knew the bones were here and that the car had no stories and was in the correct specification for me. Everything else I could sort out.

    The car although having complete service history with Authorised Ferrari Dealer, had not had its engine out major service in almost 7 years. I still drove the car back with a friend in tow the 300kms to Sydney which was enjoyable and a little bit anxious.

    And here we are. Over the last 4 months I have sourced parts from all over the globe, including sponsors like Ricambi (multiple shopping cart trips) and from awesome members of Fchat.

    This thread will document the restoration process as many have done prior to me. It helps when people document their cars journeys and I have taken notes from many prior examples and developed a plan to get this car up to speed. I hope this will be informative and inspirational for those looking to do the same to their F355's.

    Attached are three pictures of the collection of the car, the trip back and getting stuck behind a bus with the route number 355! More to follow.
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    Fenz and 13DM like this.
  2. drbob101

    drbob101 F1 Rookie
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    Great intro and welcome!
     
  3. k17har

    k17har Karting

    Sep 3, 2009
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    beautiful car and lookforward to the restoration. i too will be restoring my gts soon, as its an exciting project and a rewarding 1 :)
     
  4. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    #4 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Car was purchased with 49000 kilometres on the dial - roughly 30k miles. All original paint and a very honest well cared for and well driven car.

    It came with radio delete plate, car covers with bag, full log books and delivery documentation, tool kit and the OEM catalyst and stock exhaust.

    Noted missing items were the factory radio (although I have read the 95's may have been delivered without any radio and they were optioned later at the dealer) and the GTS roof cover and pouch which I have since sourced.

    The car had been recently fitted with a few tasty options which saved me the trouble, namely a Tubi Evolution exhaust system, Tubi test pipes and a OEM Challenge grill.

    On initial going over of the car it would require:

    -A major engine out service
    -Repaint of valve covers
    -New tyres (were dated 2008 as the oldest) and incorrectly sized with 295 rear and 225 front
    -Wheel refurbishment from gutter rash
    -New front clear lenses
    -Bumper respray
    -Skid plates
    -Interior de-sticky
    -Leather clean and condition

    As I got working on the car more and more items were added to the list and attended too. The parts list has ended up being quite extensive but I have enjoyed working on the car and bringing up to a like new standard where possible.

    I have been steadily progressing through the list of to do's and I can say I'm 80% there, hence starting this thread with some momentum and hope to document the entire journey here including the finished product which should be to a concours condition F355.

    Attached are some photos the previous owner had sent me, prior to any work done. It was a highlight the interior and it has now been made even better!
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  5. kalinsd

    kalinsd Formula Junior

    Apr 14, 2010
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    Think you will find the 355 GTS market to be gaining in popularity. In the not too distant future, these cars will be held in high regard even with their service needs.

    Beautiful car and great color combo along with 3 pedals. Nice!
     
  6. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
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    Congrats, she looks really nice!
     
  7. WATSON

    WATSON F1 Veteran
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    Sep 9, 2010
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    Nice story
    Nice car
    Lovely steering wheel! What make is that?
     
  8. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
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    Wow! A factory non-airbag 355!!!

    That steering wheel is a factory steering wheel delivered on early 1995 and 1994 model year 355s for non-US markets.
     
  9. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    Correct, it is a rare find an early 2.7 car with no airbags. I love the wheel, no immobiliser and the ease of running test pipes without a CEL.
     
  10. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    Thanks!

    I think the ship is sailing for F355's there are only 2 in the whole country (Australia) advertised for sale. They are sitting at around 140-150k AUD.

    I did not buy the car as investment, I always wanted one and if they go the way of the other F cars like 308's and Dinos in the future I will be glad I jumped on to mine whilst the prices were flat.
     
  11. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    #11 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
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  12. Eric C

    Eric C F1 Rookie
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    Nice shoes. What are they?
     
  13. MAD828

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    #13 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Whilst the carpets were drying I worked on removing and refinishing the sticky parts myself.

    Parts needing de sticky:
    -All buttons
    -HVAC control unit
    -Ash tray surround
    -Shifter surround
    -Steering column cover
    -Door handles
    -Window button frames
    -Hand brake

    In the past the radio surround, a/c vents, ash tray cover, gauge surround all had been replaced as they appear to be like new. I also think at one stage the dash has been professionally recovered as it is very good condition and not as dry as the speedometer gauge pod surround.
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  14. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    Thanks, they are Aquilla suede driving shoes. I just checked their website the same shoes in a different color are called Zain Tan, they are Italian made.
     
  15. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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  16. MAD828

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    #16 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I followed freaky1's thread on do it yourself de sticky (I would post a link to his thread, however my browser wont let me cut and paste for some reason??) It was very helpful in selection of a safe non corrosive sticky removal product - hand antiseptic cleaner and I used Tamiya acrylic paint in semi gloss black for an OEM like colour finish. I could not be happier with how they came out.

    Here are some in progress pics of the sticky removal process, it was time consuming but now when I look inside the car it gives me greta pride I did the work myself.
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  17. MAD828

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  18. WATSON

    WATSON F1 Veteran
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    Now there we go. Dig in and have at it.

    I love it.... Carry on!
     
  19. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    Thanks Watson, this thread is just getting started! I have personally been heavily involved in the engine out major and will start posting that journey soon.
     
  20. waynef355

    waynef355 Karting

    Jan 3, 2015
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    Great car. I know exactly how you feel. I too just picked up my dream GTS 6 months ago.
     
  21. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    #21 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
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  22. Drock28

    Drock28 Formula 3

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    congrats on the car. wish I could be more hands on like you !
    I neither have deep pockets, but I have very good and very fair mechanic
    I would not have bought my 97 Berlinetta if I didn't know him.

    you can keep the 295's in the rear, as long as they are 295/35/18
    this is a common rear tire alternate setup
    and 225 in front is indeed correct oem size
     
  23. MAD828

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    #23 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
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  24. MAD828

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    #24 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
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  25. MAD828

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    #25 MAD828, Jul 15, 2015
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