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355 electrical system/engine shutdown

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by RichardGilmore, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. RichardGilmore

    RichardGilmore Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    57
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Richard Gilmore
    Hi Everyone,

    I was taking my spouse to dinner last night and was in 3rd gear and the car totally shut down. All the electricals shut down and stayed down. I faintly remember lights coming on at the bottom of the dash as it was going into dead mode. Thankfully no cars were around and I had a long hill to deadstick it to a safe place (Ironically right where I got nailed with a motorcycle cop 3 weeks ago w/Laser and my V-one failed me- not my fav spot on earth!) I checked every fuse under the bonnett and in the fuse box in the passenger footwell.I will have it towed to FOA this am. I just pray I have not somehow fried the brainbox. Any ideas?
     
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  3. RichardGilmore

    RichardGilmore Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    57
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Richard Gilmore
    Well I got in it this am and it fired right up. I took her home and put her in the garage for now. Demons in the electrics - scary stuff. Any ideas?
     
  4. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Sep 5, 2001
    5,382
    texas
    Full Name:
    Tom D
    hard to tell, did you check all the alternator and battery connections?
     
  5. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    You left your baby on the side of the road overnight? Shame on you!

    :)
     
  6. RichardGilmore

    RichardGilmore Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    57
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Richard Gilmore

    No - I know better - I had it towed to the local Exxon station and slipped the 24 hr attendant a fin to watch it! He put cones all around it!

    Can't check the battery w/out jacking her up and removing the wheel - hard to do w/ no jack/lug wrench supplied. Alternator connections I can check - good idea.I will drive her to the dealer the next non-rainy day as my left side radiator fan is out anyway.
     
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  8. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,404
    socal
    Check your grounds. Check the crappy positive side in line connecotors/switches comming off the battery
     
  9. 512Professore

    512Professore Karting

    Feb 3, 2004
    145
    USA, GA.
    Full Name:
    Brian Strasburg
    The thermocouple electronics(monitors overtemp condition in exhaust) can cause the problem. But, I have never seen a case in which both of them failed, or sensed an overtemp condition at the exact same time. Check all the connectors, clean them, ect., for the thermocouple electronics, located in the engine bay. It is also possible that the fuel pump relay is acting up, and I believe there is also a main relay that can cause the problem. These relays should be located in the passenger side footwell.

    Did you try to crank the car after it died ?? IF so, would the engine turn over, but no "fire in the hole" ?? This would provide more clues as to what the actual issue really is.

    Ha, where is a freaken' cop when you need one ?? LOL.
     
  10. RichardGilmore

    RichardGilmore Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    57
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Richard Gilmore
    Yes I did try to crank and al systems were still dead about 2 hrs later. It was not till this am that I tried again and - boom - came to life. FOA said they have no idea. Guess I will fuhgettaboutit and pray it does not happen again.
     
  11. 512Professore

    512Professore Karting

    Feb 3, 2004
    145
    USA, GA.
    Full Name:
    Brian Strasburg
    Not surprised that FoA had no idea about your problem. It sounds like a F__cked up relay, which overheated, and once cooled down, it started to function again. Perhaps you could try to repeat the problem by simply starting the car and let it run in the garage for awhile and see if the problem returns. While it is running in the garage, perhaps you could also lightly tap on the relays and see if they crap-out. IF the problem occurred once, it will most likely happen again. I had a similar problem with the 512TR, in that on occasion(randomly) it would not kick-in the starter solenoid, and FoA just wanted to replace the starter motor, which of course didn't help the problem a single bit. I finally got sick of the problem, and tracked it down myself, armed with only a VOM meter. It turned out to be the high-beam headlight relay, which was factory wired to the main key services relay for the purpose of killing the hi-beams when starting the car. The hi-beam relay went "south" internally, which in turn drew the current/voltage, instead of going to the starter solenoid wire. A $12 relay, plus contact cleaning fixed the problem.
     
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  13. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,404
    socal
     
  14. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,116
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    WOW, 512PROF. that must have been a real adventure to find!!!! i am guessing one would start with the " key wire " that energizes the starter and see what is in the pathway on either side on the ignition circuit??? current loves the " least path of resistance" so a bad relay will usually suck up amps and get really hot before you know its good and toast!!! i detest electrical gremlins, especially when a proper wiring diagram is no where to be found!!! a belated great job to you, hope our thread starters problem is something simple!!!! michael
     
  15. 512Professore

    512Professore Karting

    Feb 3, 2004
    145
    USA, GA.
    Full Name:
    Brian Strasburg
    For sure, Ferrari electrics, or most cars for that matter, tend to be "mysterious" and somewhat convoluted, but they are all basically rather simple, becasue its just a DC voltage system that follows the simple Ohm's Law in most cases. Fortunately, I have a personal advantage because of my degrees/background in electrical engineering.

    The owner's manual has a nice section on the fuses and relays which documents all the relays and their placement, so while tracing the wire for the starter solenoid, it was found to also have a connection to the hi-beam relay on the relay/fuse circuit board itself, and the VOM meter indicated a hi-impedance short to ground within the hi-beam realy, and since this was connected to the starter wire - BINGO. Relays can fail in different modes, which always adds to the trouble shooting mess, but after removing the hi-beam relay, all measurements were normal, and then I decided to open up the relay to confirm. Yup, there was corrosion inside which bridged the internal coil to the relay case. As a follow-up, one of the mechanics at FoA(a real nice guy) let me borrow the shop manual to confirm my findings, and sure enough, that was how Ferrari designed it.
     

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