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355 hard to start engine.

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by blkhorse, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    Hi, My 1995, 355 Engine is hard to start for the first start "cold engine" every time. On the second try, it starts ok every time.
    The idol is a little rough after the engine has warmed up. Driving is fine.
    so I changed the spark plugs, but this did not help.

    Can anyone give me some advise on what to check next??? I live in Macau near Hong kong and do not have a Ferrari service center in this city.
     
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  3. zan

    zan Formula Junior

    Nov 15, 2002
    537
    Boston
    Full Name:
    Mark M
    To cold start my 95 355 I would crank for a second or two, stop, then it would fire instantly on second attempt. It would rarely start first time.
    Use some injector cleaner for the idle, it may help. Also rough idle is a symptom of valve guide failure.
    Mark
     
  4. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    OK thanks.
    valve guide failure dosent sount good.
     
  5. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    From my friend Al Chelini:

    >I can't guarantee that this will work for your car - you may have fouled plugs, etc...; however, I've had luck eliminating this cold cranking problem from several F355s.

    The common problem is that the ECU computers have lost the baseline readings, probably due to a battery disconnect.

    In order to reestablish a baseline, one needs to warm up the engine to normal operating temp, THEN turn off all electrical loads, and let the car just idle for at least 10 minutes without disturbing it. This data collection process is described in the Ferrari tech literature. Mine starts on the first cold cranking after this setup.

    Another hint: On starting, turn the ignition switch to the position where the dashboard idiot lights come on (but not yet cranking the starter), floor the throttle (to index the potentiometer), completely release the throttle, and then crank the engine. This is all empirical technique, but seems to work.
    _____

    Worked great for me. Try it and let us know.

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
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  6. Mickey

    Mickey Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    409
    Linnet Drive
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Just curious, if there is no Ferrari dealer in your place, then where do you go to service your car ???
     
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  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,028
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    I second the part about what BigHead posted, about letting the computer calibrate itself. Anytime you disconnect the battery you have to let the computer get the readings from the engine sensors. Try this. Disconnect the battery. Wait about 1 minute. Then reconnect it. As stated earlier, turn the ingition to the possition were the system light come on, but do not turn the car over. What you are waiting for is the fuel pumps to fully pressurize in injection system. Once you hear them stop then turn the car on. After the car has started DO NOT touch the throttle for at least 10 minutes. A good indicator is when the radiator fans turn on. But none the less let it idle for no less than 10 minutes WITHOUT touching the throttle. Good luck hope this helps.
     
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  9. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    All great ideas thanks.
    and yes I had a flat battery last month, so ill try the methods above
    and see what happens.
    Do I have to disconect the battery at the terminals, or can I turn the battery
    disconnector switch off then on again?????

    Service, Yes Hmmm
    Alot of problems for me in this area, usually I have to call Italian Motors in HK, they are the Ferrari agents and very helpfull, but its $$$ to get them over to Macau for a small job.
    Ive only had the car for 6 months so im learning as I go.
     
  10. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
    Ft Laud
    Full Name:
    Frank Lipinski
    BLKHORSE - You can turn the knob to shut down the battery.

    ERNIE - Is 100% correct...just want to add - make sure electric accesories are Off (A/C, radio, etc are) when system is relearning during that 10 minute restart.

    Is the rough idle constant? Because it is not unusual to feel a slight rough idle when the rad fans kick on due to increased elec load, but then after a few seconds, it will compensate.

    With respect to your other post on the shocks, no you will not hear them switch. While driving switch it to comfort and you will feel a softer ride..not much and I don't think anyone uses that mode except when on uneven roads.
     
  11. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    7,058
    Mine used to do this until I started (sic) to wait untill all the idiot lights went off before cranking. THis gives the fuel pump time to establish pressure. Now it lights after 3/4 of a second.
     
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  13. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    Thanks Everyone.
    I will try the reset the compter later this week and let you all know the outcome, its raining and foggy here in Macau right now Im trying to keep the blkhorse under cover.
     
  14. Mickey

    Mickey Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    409
    Linnet Drive
    Full Name:
    Mike
    post some pics if you could.

    It would be nice to see your 355.
     
  15. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,156
    socal
    You have proper recal of the ecu when you start with a cold engine. then disconnect battery then start car with no accessories then let run 10 minutes. also fuel pumps do not run with key on. Only after you crank car and motor runs. this is an ECU thing and safety thing. You may be hearing the abs pump comming up to pressure. letting lights go out before cranking lets ferrari crappy electrical system loads leave more power for starting. That is why that works.
     
  16. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    Today I reset the ECU computer to see if my car would idle a bit better
    but NO luck, the engine is rough at idle, getting worse as the engine warms up. any ideas what this could be???
    I have checked the spark plug leads with a meter and cleaned the terminals plus 8 new plugs. aslo new fuel filters, HP hoses and Fuel rails 6 months ago.
    When driving all seems ok, normal power from the engine no strange sounds. yet!!
     
  17. zan

    zan Formula Junior

    Nov 15, 2002
    537
    Boston
    Full Name:
    Mark M
    I suggest a compression and leakdown test, look for cylinder variations
     
  18. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,156
    socal
    You need to start with spark or fuel as a diagnosis problem. Take your car to a cheapy $50 tune place that can put your car on a scope and find which cylinders are dropping out. That gives you lots of electrical information as to where to look. To check fuel start by placing inline fuel guages before the fuel rail (I run them 100% of the time) . Your fuel regulators need to function per your WSM at idle and under throttle. The easist way is to get to a Ferrari facility with the SD2 tester. It can find things like bad or partly functioning electronics to the injectors. Weird things can happen like good fuel to the rails and good electronics on the scope which would poiint to an injector itself that can get fouled by crap in the fuel lines that can get free during fuel filter changes. The SD2 could finger one or more poor wirings to an injector. Fuel pressure guage test could finger a poorly functioning fuel regulator at idle. A simple cheap scope test may reveal bad scondary sparkplug wire. So you see you have to diagnose not just guess at parts. It is actually cheaper to fix that way especially when Ferrari wants 200 bucks a spark plug wire! Don't forget you have 8 smooth cylinders of 375HP. Your car many feel ok under power but you can still be missing and not feel it like when you do at idle. So your problem may not really be gone under power.
     
  19. blkhorse

    blkhorse Rookie

    Mar 27, 2004
    17
    Macau
    Full Name:
    Reuben
    Great advise and info thanks,
    Its hard not having a ferrari dealer in Macau and only around 10 cars in total. looks like I should get the SD2 over from HK.
    thanks.
     
  20. F355Bob

    F355Bob Formula 3

    Check the idle bypass valve. I heard these can go bad and get stuck open and make the engine idle rough and the car run lean.
     

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