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348 Apprehensions, Justified or over Thought?

Discussion in '348/355' started by JCap, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. JCap

    JCap Rookie

    Apr 26, 2018
    22
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Jeffery Capezzuti
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm still contemplating picking up a 348 as noted in my earlier post; however; I'm having some apprehensions that are giving me pause. In order to pick this up I was going to trade in my Porsche 997.2 C2S Cabriolet. I don't drive it everyday, nor would I the 348.

    But, I can literally jump in the Porsche and go anywhere with virtually no concern. I don't expect that I'll be able to do that with the 348? Do you all hesitate to drive your 348's for fear that something may go wrong or put miles on the car?

    I want something that I can really go put my foot through the radiator from time to time. Can I do that with the 348? Will it be too fragile?

    I want the Ferrari as I just simply have an undying urge to have, drive, and experience one as most every other child of the 70's and 80's probably did.... I just never grew out of it. :) I like the Porsche a lot, but it just lacks something for me... I can't pinpoint it, but it just doesn't "flick my switch" all the way.

    Secondly, if something does break on the 348 how hard is it to source parts? I live in Florida and cracked windshields just seem to be par for the course.... how difficult would it be to get a replacement? What about other odds and ends pieces? If I want to replace the Water pump on my next major service, will I be able to find one? What about a clutch? etc.......

    Sorry to bomb the group, but do appreciate current / previous owners perspectives.
     
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  2. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 12, 2017
    1,748
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Steve D.
    Great questions, and I had the same feelings. READ READ READ before you buy. Surf parts pages, read the forums, read about parts interchange.

    I've only had one hard starting problem that almost left me stranded and that was cured with the added starter relay modification, after that, it has started hot or cold, no big deal.

    As for putting your foot through the radiator...(not sure I've ever heard that before)...I took mine on a little drive last weekend and had a blast. I suspect my steering rack bushing is dying, but the car was a total champ. If you've done your homework and done your maintenance, I think they're just fine as drivers. if you like your HVAC to work...well...

    Parts haven't been too hard to come by, the extra 0 on some of them has been....well, it is what it is...the price of admission. Windshields are available, Mine's been done once before I got it. Water pump is easy to come by, upgrade parts where you can (hill engineering, etc). Ricambi is a great resource for parts, as well as Superformance in the UK, i'm sure someone will mention ferrparts and eurospares.

    Do you DIY or do you have a knowledgeable mechanic?

    The only thing I've found is that some parts require more measurement and attention to detail than a Ford. It's much more "racecar" like in that regard.

    sjd
     
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  3. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    5,193
    Lake Villa IL
    Full Name:
    James Moran
    I have a 997.2 and an F355. Would have no worries driving the 355 anywhere in terms of reliability, putting miles on it or banging through gears at redline.

    (assuming that's what you meant as you won't be near the accelerator pedal if you try to put your foot through the radiator of a 348)

    What I prefer the 997 for is commuting, being parked outside all day, getting rained on, someone looking at it funny.....ah maybe I'm going too far but overall I'm much more protective of the F355, but because I absolutely love the car and want to keep it as pristine as possible, not because it -can't- be used as an every day car.

    Really any car that is mechanically sorted can be driven anywhere, anytime. I take my original carbureted, points ignition 59 Cadillac on road trips and drive it all the time.
     
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  4. barabba

    barabba Formula Junior

    Jun 7, 2007
    578
    Ticino / Zurich
    I have zero problems and worries in taking my 328 for a spin! only concern is making sure there's enough petrol in the tank. I also use it for going to work from time to time. Wouldn't do that if I was worried to be left stranded somewhere on the motorway.
     
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  5. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    26,017
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    You didn't say what year your 997.2 C2S Cabriolet is, but I'll assume it's newer than every 348. With that in mind, consider the newest 348s (last year was 1995).

    Previously, I owned a '90 ts and it was always ready to drive and never let me down. However, its HVAC controller had intermittent issues which was concerning during most of the year here in FL. After replacing the HVAC controller with one from a later car (94 Spider) I never had a problem again. Well, one other problem, the car was too pristine to drive (3 time Platinum winner - Celebration Exotic Car Festival), plus it rained every time I did. So, too much work to keep it "perfect".

    My current '92 tb has been amazingly reliable with very cold a/c as well. No issues and no worries.

    The key is to keep them exercised... smart advice for any old fogey. ;)

    Can I suggest that you stop by the Orlando Cars and Coffee? Spiro (Dohangs) heads it up and owns a beautiful red 348 Spider as well.

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/cars-and-coffee-in-orlando.418910/
     
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  6. JCap

    JCap Rookie

    Apr 26, 2018
    22
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Jeffery Capezzuti
    Thanks! Good advice. I can do a little DIY, but pretty much would have to lean on a mechanic. I don't have anyone in particular that I use at this point.... The dealer for the Porsche. I would have to assume Ferrari of Tampa Bay would be my best bet if / when needed.
     
  7. JCap

    JCap Rookie

    Apr 26, 2018
    22
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Jeffery Capezzuti
    Thanks Wade! My Porsche is an '09 so much newer than the '94 Spider I'm looking at.... Orlando at 7am! I'd have to get up too early in order to make it there from Tampa!! :)
     
  8. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    26,017
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    You can sleep in a bit... ;)

     
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  9. Robb

    Robb F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Feb 28, 2004
    10,723
    Mesa, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Robb Williamson
    The main question for you is if you want an “old classic car” or something modern... most of us have at least one of each so the question is answered with the right tool for the job.

    But yeah, owned a 911 previously and it’s just not epic. The Ferrari is generally epic. All have quirks. Once sorted, the Ferrari is dependable. If you worry too much you don’t need any older car.

    Robb
     
  10. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2018
    1,260
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    Eric
    A 348 is not fragile. The lack of electronics makes it easy to resolve problems as well Parts are pretty easy to get for the most part, many parts that fail or are consumable are made by Bosch.

    I bought a used GMC truck and went through tranny, transfer case and 1 engine in 3 years and 75m miles. Others have the same truck with 185k and never fixed a thing. What's the difference? The trucks life before I bought it. Same for any car. Get the best one you can. Do a leak down check. Check 348.com for prepurchase checklist etc.

    Personally I went through and proativly replaced a lot of parts as after 25 years sensors, pumps, seals etc dry out and wear out. To prevent a breakdown 300 miles from home for a 15dollar water temp sensor, I went through the car. Ohh that sensor is Bosch. :)

    My ignition coils have Bosch part number stamped on it. Ferrari part number is 5x the cost, nits the same coils used on the 964 cost 50 bucks each.

    Good luck. Leak down, then go. There are horror stories for every car new jags for example, but to answer your question, not warranted/justified. They were built to race.

    Sent using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  11. JCap

    JCap Rookie

    Apr 26, 2018
    22
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Jeffery Capezzuti
    That’s a good point Robb. I already have a couple of old ‘60s British Roadsters and certainly enjoy those and understand the “reliability” concerns of older cars. I’m just afraid of the ever potential catastrophic problem with the Ferrari. I’d probably keep the Porsche if I had enough room but I’ve already outgrown my garage.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
  12. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2018
    1,260
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    Eric
    There is always a chance of a blown gearbox or what not. Who knows how many 6k neutral drops we're done in a car doing donuts before you got it. It's is however not typical. Possible yes but not probable. Some guys out here have 100k on the clock. There are no guarantees though in the end you have to pay to play. I'd trust a vetted 348 over a used E46 M3.

    Sent using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  13. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,286
    Keep the Porsche. :)
     
  14. mojocoggo

    mojocoggo Rookie

    Jul 28, 2013
    28
    Livermore, CA
    Full Name:
    Dylan Leff
    The more time you spend pre-purchase doing research and vetting potential purchases, the less time you'll spend post-purchase trying to resolve issues. Find the right car from the right owner in the right condition and go for it.

    It's a nearly-30 year old car and you just need to want it badly enough to be prepared to put up the money if something unexpected happens. It's the same with any older car.

    I've only had mine for 4 months and have put 1300 miles on it in that time. So far it hasn't given me any reason to hesitate about jumping in and going for a drive. It only differs from a "normal" car in that I like to ensure the oil will reach operating temp, which typically means a 20 minute minimum drive time, so no quick runs up the road to the store and back.

    Owning one is definitely something anyone into cars should experience so if the stars align, go for it.
     
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  15. rob

    rob F1 Rookie

    May 22, 2002
    3,428
    Vt
    As a car guy if you have the means owning a Ferrari and experiencing it is something you should do at least once in your lifetime. If you buy it and you find you are too nervous about keeping it you can always sell it.
     
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  16. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    26,017
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    Speaking of research and vetting, the biggest problem I have is finding competent people to do what I can't. For example, I'd like to have the windows tinted and there's no way I'd let anyone within 50 miles do that to my 348. Repaint the front bumper? Nope, can't trust anyone within my vicinity.
     
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  17. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2018
    1,260
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    Eric
    I am not wealthy, I saved for decades to buy one, do I regret it, nope not one bit. So let's be clear, buying a 348 and having it be unreliable or brittle is not really a concern. I'd drive mine cross country tomorrow and never give it a second thought. If the weather cooperated and traffic was not such a nightmare driving into the city I would drive it every day, no problem. BUT, if a 6K-8K repair/maintenance puts you off, be aware it WILL happen, unless you do the work yourself then its a 2K problem. And that's just the planned stuff. "while we were in there we noticed..." ugh....
    Should you do it, only you can say but, we all did.

    Great one stop resource to read though:
    http://www.my348.com/

    Overview of engine service in 8 parts in case your curious and did not see any of it yet.





    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpzjkHQ6Hno
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE835tFijwk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iah5o5YxQXE


    Good luck Jeffery!
     
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  18. Berning

    Berning Karting

    Apr 14, 2016
    64
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Full Name:
    Kevin Berning
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    I have two and they definitely are not fragile. They each have there own personality. You will need to fix and repair things as you would any antique vehicle, but when you get her up to redline and make perfect shifts you will never regret a penny you spent.

    I have found getting the highest level of AAA is a good backup if any situation arises (got that tip on this site). They will tow you 100 miles gratis on a flatbed that a low car can be loaded onto. Had to use it once when my clutch release bearing went out (known problem and was replaced by better Hill engineering part).

    You will not regret getting the spider.
     
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  19. michaelz

    michaelz Rookie

    Jul 7, 2017
    14
    Melbourne Australia
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Make the swap, it'll be the most satisfying thing you've ever done but make no mistake, 911s always have been the more reliable and sensible choice. Don't expect to be using the Ferrari more than a much newer Porsche like the 997 though.

    This is purely an opinion and I'm sure there are others that will disagree and use their 348/355 in any situation, unfortunately I'm not as brave and I don't take my F355 out unless I know exactly where it can be safely parked. Prefer not to drive it when the weather is bad, traffic is heavy or when it's too hot because the AC isn't all that good.

    I find myself using my modified R34 GTR much more often which was more of a 996 Turbo competitor back in the day. It's just so usable and I keep it around because of the utility of it. Less attention (here in Australia at least), the AC is perfect, it's got great visibility out, has adult sized back seats and it doesn't seem to depreciate much. To be painfully honest it's faster than the 355 in every way too but when the weather is perfect, the traffic is good and I have a drive route in mind, the Ferrari is the only choice.
     
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  20. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    5,193
    Lake Villa IL
    Full Name:
    James Moran
    ^Surprised at the A/C comment. Mine can freeze me out of the car even on the hottest days. Would say it's on par with my 997. (Whereas I thought the A/C in my 993 was marginal)

    Also wouldn't think an R34 to be faster than an F355 unless modified. (and most probably are at this point)
     
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  21. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    912
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    I track my 348 quite a bit, and drive it hard. It is well maintained by a professional, has had the Hill Engineering upgrades in critical engine components, and has (knocking on wood) always been very reliable mechanically. Mechanical parts dont seem too bad to find.

    I resprayed the bumper covers and wrapped the whole car in protective film so I dont mess up the paint driving it on the track or the road, which gives me some peace of mind when driving it frequently without worrying about nicks and dings.

    Electrics are problematic. HVAC controller, window switches, door harness where it meets the body and pin connectors come apart, are frequent problems. Parts for these are not readily available and difficult to find.

    Car is great to drive, and I would suggest doing it. Though as others have said, I dont want to drive it in the rain for fear of getting too dirty, etc...

    Having a good local mechanic to do the requisite maintenance and PM is critical. They need to know about things like replacing OEM tensioner bearings with Hill Engineering pieces, etc...
     
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  22. cardude442

    cardude442 Karting

    Jun 5, 2019
    83
    New Hampshire, USA
    Full Name:
    Mark
    I just bought a '94 Spider with 27k miles and I did so without regret.

    Mine is getting buttoned up at Ferrari of Atlanta (major service, cam belts, etc) prior to me driving it home (1,000 miles) in the NorthEast.

    I own a lot of older classics and you just have to adjust for 'it will need basic maintenance' and 'it can break like anycar, just more expensively'. : )

    I own a '04 Mercedes SL600 V12 Bi-Turbo. About the same list price when new, but a fraction of the value retained. Sorting that when I purchased it 3 years ago was about $4k in parts and labor post-sale as normal wear and tear items. I find that the V12 intimidates most of the shops so I sorted a good mechanic (Merc dealer was too expensive).

    Wife likes the SL more than the Ferrari, but the 348 speaks to my soul (as a driver:enthusiast).

    If it's on your bucket list, as it was on mine, do your research (my348.com was excellent) and convince a friend to drive theirs (I have a friend with a 348TS Speciale that let me drive his) and see if it's the right car for you. Good luck!
     
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  23. FerMaz

    FerMaz Formula Junior

    Feb 11, 2007
    343
    So Cal
    Full Name:
    Mel
    In reading the comments of others they all seem to say the same thing in one way or another. If you really want a 348 there is something very special about the car and you probably wont be satisfied until you get one. You will be comparing every other car to the 348 and they will all fall short.

    I am 85 and have had mine for 6 1/2 years. The biggest problem is that I waited too long to get it. Dont be like me, go ahead and treat yourself to something special. Have a COMPLETE PPI including a leakdown done. Oh by the way my car just turned over 50,000 miles.

    Mel
     
  24. JCap

    JCap Rookie

    Apr 26, 2018
    22
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Jeffery Capezzuti
    Thanks Mel! I appreciate yours and everyone's comments and help! I'm glad that you finally got one; that proves that age is just a number! YOLO!!!
    I am prepared to treat myself to something very special, just want to do it the right way and ensure I can still put my kids through college! I'm not wealthy by any stretch but there's certainly something about these cars that seems to keep me up at night and prohibits me from focusing on much else!!!! :)
     
  25. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 12, 2017
    1,748
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Steve D.
    I'll add the worst part.

    Once you get one, you start thinking about another/the next one.

    sjd
    ...currently looking at 400/412 fixers, but has to sell something first.
     

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