355 seat potentiometers

Discussion in '348/355' started by 44014, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. 44014

    44014 Rookie

    Dec 15, 2014
    Afternoon Lads, I have in my possession 2x repaired seat potentiometers for a 355 spider. What is a fair price for these things? I needed one and ended up buying multiple used ones trying to get my roof working and ended up with three broken one before I decided to get them repaired opposed to trying to find another one and forking out $500 for another broken part. I found a guy who engineered some small aluminium components inside them so the clutch and calibrating mechanism would work this took him about 3 month to r&d the correct tension and to make these tint alloy bits to repair them as they all had the same problem.

    What is a fair asking price for these now? i was paying $500ish for them about 3 years ago and they were all broken and hard to find..
    I'm located in Australia.

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  3. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    My experience with this POS is it is not worth even $100 to me. I would never ever pay $500 for that POS pot. The system is an absolute joke that only Jaguar and Ferrari engineers have enough stupid sense to adopt. No other Japanese electronic engineers have done the same. The only reason to have that potentiometer is for the ECU to be able to return the seat to the position before the top is activated. How about design the cabin so that the seats don't have to move at all?

    Even if you found one that works, you need an SD1 (not 2 or 3, but a 1) to relearn the limits again. For my car, I have hanged the potentiometer off to the side at a fixed value and then I just manually move the seat all the way up before the top is activated. If and when it breaks, I will convert it to full manual top and toss out the hydraulics.

    Did I adequately convey my absolute hatred for the spider overly complicated and stupidly designed system? I like to meet that designer in a dark alley one day, I'll bring my baseball bat.
    WATSON likes this.
  4. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 14, 2011
    SoCal LA/OC
    Full Name:
    Tim Dee

    How do you really feel? LOL
    Dave rocks likes this.

    WATSON F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 9, 2010
    Let me know where and when. I would love to get a hold of the drunk Italian engineer that burped up this mess and kick him / her square in the ass.

    I used the blank hole in my console next to the ashtray and placed a rocker switch in it. Pulled the wires from the emergency switch to it. Forward is up. Backwards is down. I move the seats and windows manually before moving the top.

    Much like drinking a few warm stouts before working on my Triumph TR8, I find that drinking a bottle of cheap Brunello seems to get me into the mindset of the engineering team of my Ferrari.
    ducrob likes this.
  6. emac

    emac Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 14, 2014
    upstate SC
    Full Name:
    my pots are working fine at the moment, but I do recall a thread that described repairing them as well as getting them dialed in for the ecu without having to have an SD recalibration. So, I considered the pot issue a DIY project when the day comes. Did I miss something and just dream this?
    drbob101 likes this.
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  8. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Full Name:
    Brian Brown
    You don't need an SD to recalibrate the system. That is why the potentiometers had the clutch mechanism in them in the first place. Just running the seat all the way forward and backward sets the potentiometer in the center position. Rather that try and find potentiometers that have unbroken coupings, I would just apply Wurth rubber glue to the coupling and set it in the center position when the seat was centered. It takes some patience and time measuring the resistances. But you can fix the potentiometer for no parts cost, just labor. I have also purchased NOS Jaguar seat potentiometers on ebay for under $100 each. Even though they were new in the box, some were already broken? I think that there is a previous thread on the glue trick, just have to do a search.
    emac likes this.
  9. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    I drove my friend's 997 cabriolet. It is warm, I pull off to the side, press a button, klick klak and ten seconds later the top is down. I get home, pull into the driveway, push a button, klick klak, 10 seconds later the top is up. No drama.

    On the 355, three out of four spiders I know have the fork misalignment problems with no known cures. One has a dead hydraulic pump. One has a dead ECU board where the seats cannot move at all and nobody rebuilds these ECUs. My spider windows do not work if the top is down.

    So, window operation and seat operation are tied to the top functionality and the whole thing goes to hell when the top malfunctions and it does that every other Sunday. I was a MSEE when I got out of school and did engineering design for a living. I would be embarrassed if I designed a system like that.
  10. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran

    Jun 11, 2004
    Over 5 summers I have had zero problems with my spider top. I haven't read about that many top problems here and when I have it's usually elastic straps, a seat pot, of a window sensor; none of which are a big deal. Seems again, an over stated problem of the 355. Personally I'd rather have a minor problem with a spider top than body seams at the read fender/buttress cracking/rusting as frequently happens on the couples.
  11. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ

    Nov 23, 2012
    Orchard Park, NY
    Full Name:
    Dave Lelonek
    Coz the top's been down since you got the car and you have never tried to put it up :D ;)

    We need DrBob to post that video he made again putting the top up and down like 5 times in a row...We also need the one of his neighbors faces when he was doing it :D

    All joking aside - I'm with you, John. If it breaks, just fix it.
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  13. emac

    emac Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 14, 2014
    upstate SC
    Full Name:
    I put the 355 top in the same class as the Self leveling suspension in my e28 m5. Elegant system that requires some finesse to keep it working. Everyone swapped out the SLS for a bilstein suspension, but I was determined to keep mine working. Just wish I had been determined to keep the whole car! Their prices have really gone up.
  14. drbob101

    drbob101 F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Full Name:
    Bob Ferraris
    I recently acquired a Lexus LX470 that has the hydraulic AHC system and went through some initial issues with it related to a corroded hydraulic line. In the process I found myself immersed in the minutia of this system and on the boards for the vehicle there are tons of threads on it and many have ripped it out and replaced it with the basic LC shock system.

    Like you Earnest , I fixed mine and am planning on keeping it because when you do understand it and are willing to deal with the repairs if needed its not so terrible. Now if you just through up your hands and hand it over to the Lexus dealer the fixes are in the order of $8000.

    This system consists of actuators and accumulators, sensors, etc. Lots of parts to go wrong. Happily, no issues on my 355 top but I will fix it if it comes to that.
    emac and Dave rocks like this.

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