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355 Interiors Melting ! What's wrong ?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by gary308gtb, May 19, 2004.

  1. gary308gtb

    gary308gtb Rookie

    Oct 9, 2003
    41
    My friend has a 98 F355 F1. I inspected his car's interiors and to my surprise, his interiors (all black) were melting ! I don't know if you would call it plastic, but the surface of the aircon vents were peeling, the console in the middle with the small lever and ashtray cover were also getting deformed and kinda melted. I held the base of the steering wheel and my fingers actually got imbedded on the steering wheel column, it was like a touched wet paint. I now have my fingerprint on the steering column.

    I live in a warm country in Asia where the temperatures reach 100 degrees Farenheit on hot summer days. Are Ferrari interiors not built for tropical countries ? My old 308's interiors are perfectly fine. What's the difference with the 70's and late 90's interiors ?
     
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  3. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    This is pretty common with the 348 and 355 - the rubber/Crap they use on the interior often bubbles, turns to goop, peels, etc.

    At this point not much he can do if it is peeling off... However I believe the thing NOT to do is used silicon based cleaners/agents on the surfaces - which there are many threads on this (Interior Bubbleing) (355 Interior) - for your searching pleasure.

    My 1995 Spider has almost no sign of it - but it is an Ohio car - not much like the pacific rim temps :)

    Rich
     
  4. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
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    Mr. Doody
    the 355 in particular seems to be susceptible to this "black plastic rot".

    martin has dealt with it before. search the archives (including the old board) for plastic cleaning 355 melting or whatnot and you'll find a step-by-step i think of what martin did on one.

    it's fixable.

    the operating theroy seems to be that humidity is a factor - not just heat. sea salt air has also been suggested as a factor. this seems to be most common FL here in the US.

    fwiw,
    doody
     
  5. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
    3,458
    potomac
    this is a 355 problem... esp hot humid areas... when i was looking for 355s, i saw a lot of this... very common... esp with florida cars..also the leather dash strinks with heat!!!!it is very expensive to get new parts for this and the console!!!
     
  6. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    You can fix most of it. I'm painfully going through the interior of my car by stripping with Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Home Depot/Lowes etc). The process stinks, is messy ... I re-spray with a good quality black sheen paint. I could buy new parts ... apart from being expensive .. it'll happen again.

    The only thing I can't fix is the bubbling/sticky mess on the A/c controls etc.

    I have the JPEG of the template kindly supplied by another FChatter and am looking into getting it 'printed' on some type of acceptable medium that will let the dial illuminations shine through.
     
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  8. gary308gtb

    gary308gtb Rookie

    Oct 9, 2003
    41
    Boy! I didn't know that was a common problem with 355 interiors. When this melting condition occurs, when you are inside the car, it doesn't feel like you are in a luxurious modern day Ferrari. I wonder why Ferrari Italy thought of using this rubber like materials. Was it to be cost effective ? Well in the long run for the owners who are dealing with this problem, it isn't.
     
  9. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Seriously - if you do this for the temp control area - I am starting to get one or two little bubble areas - I am interested in the results and can help fund to get a few copies made to get these out - of all the 355 owners - I know few who don't need this area "redone"... Keep us posted. I think it will be tricky to make it look "original" but do-able. Has anyone heard of carbonfiber with the graphics on them? or any other substitute that is non factory (which as mention will just do it again...)
     
  10. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    Richard .. my center console is bubbling and sticky ... let's put 'sticky' in perspective ... when a pidgeon landed on my console it couldn't fly off!

    I've started looking for a 'printer' who can create decal type work. I reckon having the JPEG file printed on some type of plastic ... about the thickness of a playing card .... plastic with a slight green tinge to match the other interior switches ... so the illuminated bits look greenish. I can't see it costing all that much, but I may have to have 50 - 100 printed to make it cost effective ... don't know yet. I thought using the thickness of a playing card would help in its placement ... maybe I can also get a 'peel off' glue back.

    Does anyone out there have an opinion/advice before I move on this project?


    Regards,


    Pete
     
  11. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Pete - Now that is sticky... I am calling PITA :) Mine just has a little bubble - but that is how they all start ;-)

    Have you thought about thin Aluminium with silk screened graphics and black (I guess it could also be chrome colored for a little Bling Bling)- that would be durable as all get out... Can we get the font that they use on the controls wording?

    I am in for one - for sure. Let me know cause if you make 100 - I am sure you will sell them out on e-bay - and make enough to cover your cost - plus make a little - but it will have to look really good - the CF stuff is selling like crazy - and costs a lot... Why has no one come up with a CF replacement yet?

    Let me know if you want me to pitch in to help fund the development..

    As a side note - you know the protective guards under the car by the back wheels (one on each side). Those things are crap as well - I have had mine replace a few times. I am thinking about having some of these fabricated in Aluminium with Rubber Grommets as fasteners to make sure they have the same flex as the fiberglass originals. I was thinking offering them in Powder coated black, red, yellow, etc. to match the cars - since you can see the very edge of them from the back of the car... The Stock originals sell for 400+ per pair - I can do aluminium ones (with quantity) for around 350 a pair - and with custom colors...

    Ok now that we have started our little F-Car parts store - what else should we offer :)

    Rich
     
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  13. k wright

    k wright Formula 3
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    Feb 4, 2004
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    I think the acceptable medium would be clear plastic that could then be fixed to the panel.

    What kind of paint are you using in the interior. I will do the same thing.

    Thanks,

    ken
     
  14. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
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    Wayne
    This melting rubber also occurs on the 550, not just 348 and 355. No fix other than strip and repaint as some of you have recommended.
     
  15. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    PETER DELANEY
    Paint ... plain good quality Rustoleum 'sheen'.

    It takes a lot of effort .. plain grunt work ... soak in Methyl Ethyl ketone, rub, soak, rub soak, under the tap with fine grade abrasive paper. Spray .. sand ... spray sand etc. The knobs .. be careful .. I sanded through one and had to repair it.

    So far I've done the door handles, everything on the center console except the bubble bit (including the ashtray). The upper and lower shroud on the steering column. With effort it actually looks pretty good .. but hell is it messy and time consuming.

    ..I had the ashtray perfect ... then screwed the flags on upside down!


    PRINTING NEW CENTER CONSOLE BITS.
    Talked to a printer who does a lot of panels for car restorers. He suggests 'lexon' ... and he has thicknesses of a playing card. He can also produce it in decal format with a sticky back. Costs ..... about $25 for 1, or $15 or so for 50. Not bad when you think FNA want ~$1350 for a new one .. plus a few knobs and electronic bits. Whatever it looks like it can't be worse than what I have now.

    I'm visiting with the guy over the weekend and see if I can get an example of the product. I'll post the file.
     
  16. fazzaz1

    fazzaz1 Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Mississippi
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    Sam Scott
    Count me in as a buyer. so far the only problem I have is the A/C panel on my 98. How many of you are also having exhaust manifold problems?
     
  17. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    Mine (headers) were renewed under warranty about 2 years ago.

    My cats were done under warranty about 2 months ago.
     
  18. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Nov 19, 2001
    22,062
    The Brickyard
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    The Bad Guy
    I was just cleaning off that crap on the center vents, in my 348 yesterday. Guess what I found out takes that gunk off the fastest? A razor blade. Then you can use the soak and scrub method to clean off the little bit that is left. One word of caution. When you pop out the directional vents, the ones that move up and down/side to side, make sure that you don't loose the little clips that are on the inside walls. They are not attached and come loose. I'm still missing one and can't find it yet. If you don't have those, the air directors can't be clipped back in place.
     
  19. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    I met with the printer guy. The 'Lexon' is clear plastic and it is about the thickness of a playng card. The print will be on the opposite surface to the one you can touch when the piece is in place .... I was worried that print would wear off after a time ... not worried now. I've ordered only 2 to start with, but the price will be adjusted if I go get more.

    I measured the center piece, but have asked he makes the 'black' border piece about 1 cm. wider in both length and width to accomodate cars that aren't exactly the same as mine. Simple to cut with a pair of scissors ..or even better a small guillotine. The 'holes' where the knobs stick through will all be black, and he's cutting ~ 3/8" hole at the center's to accomodate the knobs.

    The only tricky bit will be parting the center piece to get to the circlips holding the knobs on ... the knobs just don't pull off like normal ones .. they're held by circlips .. so you have to part the piece .. and there are some real delicate bulbs in there.

    I should have the piece on ~ Wednesday and I'll post a picture and my assessment of whether it's worth moving ahead.

    ..... next is the dash!


    Regards,


    Pete
     
  20. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Awesome Pete - keep us posted and some pics... Let us know how the nob movements are after as well - with that thin should be plenty of room - but you never know once it is on there...

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  21. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    The printer guy would like to see the original piece so he gets the dimensions perfect. So, tonight I took a real sharp blade a sliced around the perimeter of the sticky mess. To my delight it came off WITHOUT having to dismantle the box ... unlike I said in one of my previous notes. So, the new piece will go on also without messing with those delicate bulbs I mentioned.

    Also, it seems the green tinge is achieved by painting some type of paint over the backside of the numbers .. so when the bulbs light up ... the numbers look ...... green!

    Now I'm at the point of no return.
     
  22. 355Aloha

    355Aloha Karting

    Feb 15, 2004
    118
    Honolulu Hawaii
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    John N
    Let me know if it works. I will buy one cover as well.
     
  23. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    We are all appreciating you being the scraficial lamb on this one... And we are pulling for you and the car... :)

    I assume you had to send it in between Wax Paper - so it would not stick to the envelope ... :)

    Rich
     
  24. resnow

    resnow Formula Junior

    May 21, 2001
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    Bob Snow
  25. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Sure did .. hardest part was getting the pidgeon feathers off :))))
     
  26. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    Just a quick up-date of what's going on.

    I got the 'lexon' piece back from the printer .... it's a 1st pass trial.

    a)The fit is good, the surface is not perfect .. it's got the texture of the mirror adjustment control.

    b) The resolution of the numbers etc ... OK .. but not perfect.

    c) When I placed it on the unit, you can see the lights at the back .. just a little.

    So, what's next:

    a) Don't know what to do about the texture. It's not bad .. just not OEM .. and actually blends with the mirror control unit. The printer says he can use decal 'stuff' ... but this may be too shiny .. i prefer the texture.

    b) The resolution issue can be fixed if I can get a higher resolution image. Does anyone recall the name of the original Fchatter that posted the art work .. it was a jpeg ... maybe he has a hgher resolution image. If not, I know enough 355 owners here in Houston to go a photo a perfect one.

    c) This is an easy fix ... I can put a blank behind the actual printed effort .. or even just put a couple of black discs over the bulbs to disperse their 'shine'.

    In any event, I'm pretty pleased with the results so far. Now it's just a case of fine tuning. I'll post some pics. when it's all done ... probably a couple of weeks.

    Regards,


    Pete
     
  27. jeffdavison

    jeffdavison F1 Rookie
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    Jul 29, 2002
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    I d'loaded it for future use. Here it is. (hope it posts)

    Count me in fo one when you go to finished product.

    Jeff Davison


     
  28. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    PETER DELANEY
    Jeff,

    Thanks for the post .. unfortunately this is the one I already have and it's pretty low resolution .. it has to be to allow the post.

    I was wondering if anyone could remember the name of the Fchatter who did the original post ... he's probably got a much higher resolution image.


    Regards,


    Pete
     

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