355 cooling & engine compartment

Discussion in '348/355' started by Steve R, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Steve R

    Steve R F1 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2004
    MeSoNeedy, CA
    Full Name:
    TorQ Master
    Not so much a question but more of a thought.....

    Not long after getting my 355 I started going on drives with other Ferrari owners. At one point I came to the top of a hill where many of the guys had pulled over and were checking-out the view. A few of the 355's had their rear engine decks first thought was that something was wrong. Turns out many owners tend to open the rear to let the engine cool during breaks. Seems like a good idea, couldn't I followed their lead.

    When you look at the back of the 355 there's no mistaking the vast amount of ventillation...the whole deck lid is a giant vent. When I bought my challenge grill one of the selling points, beyond looks, was the increased ventillation. So one would have to figure these things run hot and need the ventillation. You can also feel the heat when the top is come to a stop and if the wind is right you can feel the wave of hot air come over ya. No arguing there's a lot of heat back there..but then I got thinking......

    This thing is a water-cooled engine, not air-cooled. And When you look at the 360, it has comparatively a mere fraction the ventillation that the 355's rear deck has. I'm inclined to think all those vents are more for looks and so much about letting the air out as one might suspect. The 360 is making more horsepower and it doesn't have the huge square-inches of air vents?

    I'm thinking the engine was designed to run at a certain temperature and that's more regulated with the thermostat, size of radiators and other designs for cooling. Opening the deck up while at a stop/break overall couldn't make all that much of a difference when the engine has no air-cooling fins (like an air-cooled engine) or any real means of displacing it's heat other then the radiators. Sure, some heat gets out, but in the grand scheme of things the opening the deck while at a break must be for fun & just playin' up the whole experience...

    Any thoughts???.....
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  3. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    On the 355 the radiators are back there so it needs quite a bit of flow thru ventilation. Not so on the 360, the radiators are in front. Also the bottom of a 360 is sealed, not so on a 355.

    You are correct though about the motor needing ventilation otherwise, that is the job of the water cooling system.

    Opening the hood at stops can't hurt but it doesn't help much either. All the cars have very high underhood temps and that does cause more rapid deterioration of rubber and plastic parts but that heat is generated when the car is running and under load. When stopped even though it is still hot to us the temp subsides very rapidly when the motor no longer under load. Even at idle the compartment cools pretty quick.

    Under load the exhaust temp before the cat will get as high as 15-1600 F. At idle that is about halved.
  4. SEAL2CC

    SEAL2CC Formula Junior

    Jan 19, 2005
    I open mine but as much to try to keep heat away from the paint on the hood..just my little procedure that is probably for naught but it's easy to do though, so why not..

  5. BH1

    BH1 Formula Junior

    Nov 14, 2005
    NSB, Fl & Aspen, Co
    Full Name:
    I have never even thought about lifting the hood. I cant imagine a great deal of damage occurs from the heat.
  6. Steve R

    Steve R F1 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2004
    MeSoNeedy, CA
    Full Name:
    TorQ Master
    The first time I saw deck-lids open, I asked the owerns "what's wrong????"...and their reply was that nothing was wrong and they were just letting the engine cool down. Rifle had it doesn't hurt but very likely makes little to no difference in the grand scheme of things.

    My own hunch, the guys just like admiring the engines and it's something to do. The only thing that bothers me is that some passerby's occassionally point & laugh thinking it's hilarious that a Ferrari is broken-down (the appearance that something is wrong and the hood is open).

    Suddenly I realize where a bad reputation for reliability could have stemmed from? ;)
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  8. Ricard

    Ricard Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2004
    Donington Park
    Full Name:
    Richard C
    Given the ratio of nothing:material in the engine cover I doubt opening it has much of an effect. The engine is water cooled but everything else isnt! (read exhaust system), thats one of the disadvantages of a mid-engined car, all the heat is generated in the same place - hence the requirement for lots of vents.

    I work on "Ferrari Experience Days" where people buy a few laps around a circuit in 355's as a gift for their loved ones (usually) and rather than shout the group together to brief them I just open one of the 355's engine covers and wait - great to gather a crowd together :)

    One of my plus points about the heat is when sitting in traffic and look through the rear view mirror, all that heat haze - mega! (as long as the temp gauges keep going up & down, up & down, up & down of course! ;)
  9. kev 355

    kev 355 Formula Junior

    Jul 26, 2005
    Burbank, CA
    Full Name:
    I used to open the engine compartment when I came home from a run. I'd let it sit open in my garage for a few hours and then close it. What I didn't realize was that a side effect of keeping the door open caused the hydraulic jacks that open the door to lose their "opening power." What I mean by that is that the door no longer stays open; it slowly shuts. I'll probably have to have them replaced now.
  10. spidey

    spidey Karting

    I still leave it open, and use two small fans to blow into the side openings. Small things but it makes me feel like it helps with the cooling !!
  11. twoferraristom

    Apr 2, 2004
    I started seeing the engine compartment doors opened after runs with the 308s in the 1980s. I do it with my 355 to help with the cooling but mainly to keep from cooking the paint on the door.
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  13. CCentore

    CCentore Rookie

    Sep 16, 2004
    Concord, MA
    Full Name:
    Charlie C
    Heat is not your friend nor is it your 355's. The heat generated in the engine compartment is more from the headers than the engine block.

    The block runs at 190 to 210 F when measured with a thermal temp sensor. Tis is fairly well controllerd by your cars cooling system.

    If you read the temps on the headers, you'll see that they are sometimes over 500F.

    There in lies the problem. Everything under that lid is baking with this heat. Boots for your outdrives, wiring, plumbing. Everything cooks.

    I think that a little relief by way of lifting the lid is a good habit to get into as iit helps cool it down a little quicker.

    just my two cents.

  14. life@8500

    life@8500 Karting

    Feb 22, 2005
    Full Name:
    C Ryan Ramotar
    i leave mine up as cooling is by convection less impediment to the rising hot air the better.

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