355 Spyder Soft-Top Help Needed

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by TheOriginalJimC!, May 5, 2004.

  1. Hi Guys:

    I sold the 328 earlier this year and finally bought the 355 Spyder I've desired for so long. The car is a 1998 with a bit over 3k miles on it, and I can assume the top was stored folded for some time. The car is, more or less, like new. The top operation (unfortunately) is somewhat "funky."

    When lifting or lower the top, the motor noise is not even. When the noise sort of "gurgles" the operation slows or stops until I help.


    1. Is bleeding of the hydraulic system possible, and does anyone have a reference on how to perform the task?

    2. When topping off the reservoir between the seats, should the top be up or down to avoid overfilling?

    3. When doing a search on this topic, someone mentioned pumping up the air pressure in some of the cylinders... Is this true? Are there air cylinders as well as the hydraulic system?

    Any help would be very much appreciated. See you guys at CI in August!

    Jim Christian
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  3. malibumk

    malibumk Karting

    May 14, 2002
    Malibu, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike Klein
    Your experience is quite common. They don't seem to leak, so I've concluded that the oil film on the several actuator rods evaporates over time. The reservoir goes "low" on a very small amount....1-2 oz.

    To fill it you remove the electro valve block off the front of the reservoir housing with the 2, 6mm allen screws....under that you'll find a brass fill plug.

    I can't recall weather you top it up with the top open or closed and as I recall it's hard to tell the difference....and there is a lot of air space.

    To bleed it, use the emergency switch to cycle the top....because with this switch you can run the pump after the top has bottomed in both/either direction and blow a few more bubbles into the reservoir past the pressure relief valve.

    Pay attension to the temp. of the elect. pump motor....because it gets too hot pretty fast.

    Also, because the air goes into the reservoir in the form of foam, I find it best to bleed it over several days....or at least go back after a few days and re-check the reservoir level after the foam has settled.

    There has been a lot of talk about what oil to use....but I'm convinced that any very light mineral based hydraulic oil is fine. Castrol sells one (green color) that's popular with the Rolls's fine, and Audi sells one for their hydralic brakes/steering etc. ( not brake fluid !!) and others over the counter. The Ferrari oil I'm told is mega bucks....have never used it.

    Good Luck.
  4. Hi Mike:

    Thanks for the advice. I'll pull the cover off the reservoir tomorrow and take a good look. I have to run up to the valley in the afternoon and will see if I can pick up some of the hydraulic fluid from M. Spencer at Veloce. It sounds like there is not much to bleeding the system other than making sure the fluid level is up and then cycling the top a few times over a few days to drive the air out of the lines and back into the reservoir.

    Funny running into you here. I used to be pretty active on the board but have been so busy over the last 6-months that I've had little time for much of anything fun. You know the story...

    I'll drop you a private email with some photos of the new ride.

  5. Ade

    Ade Formula 3

    Jan 31, 2004
    On relatively the same subject... but not quite.
    Has anyone got any 'wear' mark on their 355 fabric hood? I have a small mark appearing just above the driver's head position. This is where the fabric folds and rubs when in the down position. Has anyone thought up a good fix for this.... that doesn't look too unprofessional? I tried a plaster (band aid) that I coloured black... it looked OK, but wore off after a while leaving a sticky mess..
    Thanks in advance

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