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360 variator issue

Discussion in '360/430' started by southpaw802000, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. southpaw802000

    southpaw802000 Karting

    Sep 7, 2011
    118
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Lee
    My 04 360 Modena with 7700 miles on it threw a code last week so I dropped it off at the dealer. They hooked it up to a diagnostic computer and told me that the variator had gotten hung up and messed with the timing and threw the code but then starting performing fine. Got the car back after the code was reset and the part was tested and functioning properly. Now on the second drive after the service it throws another cel. So back to the dealer again, thinking they need to replace the variator. The head tech told me that the variator are very expensive to replace and that they are part that is never changed out. I always thought they were changed during a major. Has anyone experienced this and any idea what it cost to replace the variator?
     
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  3. mike01606

    mike01606 Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2012
    794
    Cheshire UK
    Full Name:
    Mike M
    The part is inexpensive in the UK (120 GBP) but as it is located between the cam drive pulley and cam and it is difficult to remove, labour could be significant. You may also want to replace the belts and tensioner bearings if required whilst in there.
    I'm not aware of it being replaced during a major service once the updated part has been fitted. Lots of variator debate on here.
     
  4. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
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    Dec 13, 2009
    14,552
    Charleston, SC
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    Curt
    You guys all want these low mileage cars, I don't get it...

    The variator was updated to a part number:190042 $431.79
    Unfortunately to replace this part the tech has to open up the panel behind the seats, remove the cover on the side of the engine, get access to the timing belt, remove the timing belt from that side of the car. At that point the valve cover has to be removed from that bank of the engine. The exhaust camshaft has to be removed from the car (!) placed in a vise and the variator removed with a pipe wrench per the WSM. The new one then has to be screwed on and replaced back in the car with the exhaust camshaft. At that point the timing is set and it is replaced. Everything put back.. voila! I'd expect 8-16 hours.. 1 or two days with a tech on it.. Labor more expensive than part as previously stated.

    Depending on the code that was spit out.. did you ask them if it was the variator solenoid?
    If it sticks and doesn't open (from sitting of course), then one banks variator doesn't advance. This replacement is alot cheaper but still tricky. Get the access panel open, use the special wrench, remove and twist it on... Are you SURE it's not the timing solenoid??? pn: 195086
     
  5. Ingpr

    Ingpr F1 Rookie

    Jun 30, 2009
    2,577
    PR
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    David
    Did you guys ever change one of those before?
    It's no just take the variator out and put a new one in! You can actually break the camshaft applying torque to it so that means that this job is risky and the dealer charge for it.
    I changed mine two weeks ago and I saw how the camshaft suffer!
    At least I have a set of extra cams on my other engine but nothing happened.
     
  6. mikeyr

    mikeyr Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    2,155
    Santa Barbara, CA.
    Full Name:
    Mike Rambour
    My 99 went through the variator recall back in 2000 and the tech at the time broke the cam (damaged it beyond use but they used the work "broke") and had to put in a new cam.
     
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  8. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
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    Dec 13, 2009
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    Have not done it yet/had it done yet.... the WSM makes it look so easy. You put the camshaft in the vice and just turn. Voila! ;) OTOH the WSM doesn't have any dust, dirt or rust on any of the parts they work on.
     
  9. southpaw802000

    southpaw802000 Karting

    Sep 7, 2011
    118
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Lee
    Just took the car back to the dealer this morning and oddly enough both variator a were showing errors. I'm not having any issues idling or stalling which is what I'm being told would happen if the variator a were not adjusting the timing correctly. They are now tearing the car apart to dig deeper into what is causing the cel. Oddly enough the car began smoking a bit from the engine compartment and then just stopped smoking. It was very brief and could be unrelated I guess. This really sucks, I love this car but I'm questioning if its worth keeping. I've spent more money in repairs than miles I've driven it.
     
  10. rustybits

    rustybits F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Jan 28, 2007
    2,505
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    Eddie B
    Have you had the belts done recently? If the timings been screwed up you can get variator issues. What error codes did they have?

    And yes, i've changed a few failed variators.
     
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  11. azcarguy

    azcarguy Formula Junior

    Nov 21, 2003
    453
    AZ
    Full Name:
    Marc
    I previously owned a Euro `99 car and the variator was changed during a belt service with the part mentioned by vrsurgeon. Just the cost of doing business, so don't sweat it and get it done.
     
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  13. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    7,330
    Campbell, CA
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    John Zornes
    I had my variators done last year. They had to pull the cams and machine the bolt heads off. Then the variator came off and the bolts could be removed easily. Of course you then need to reassemble the entire thing, time the cams, etc. Oh yea, in a Spider you don't get the cams out without pulling the top. A ball of fun.

    Curt, on early cars they often over torqued the bolts so you really can't get them off without machining.
     
  14. rustybits

    rustybits F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Jan 28, 2007
    2,505
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    Eddie B
    The issue is normaly the point where the variator screws directly into the cam. It has a reverse thread, so really binds itself up tight in there with normal engine operation. During the first round of variator replacements way back Ferrari issued us with a jig that bolted to the rear of the cams to lock them for variator removal without having to re-time the cams. It was useless and we still had issues with the variators getting stuck in the cam from the factory. I've had to cut into them before to avoid damaging the cam. You also need a special ring-nut type tool to remove and fit it, plus an SD2 to set it up.
     
  15. slracing

    slracing Formula Junior

    Jan 13, 2011
    410
    Europe
    Personally I would change the variators... A good friend of mine dealing with Fcars recently had a 2000 360 with variator failure in the workshop. Since this was a recall from Ferrari(that had not been completed) the customer ended up with a huge bill due to damaged cylinderhead, cams, lifters etc. Ferrari agreed to pay for the variators eventually, but not the labor and other parts needed.
    Sadly the owner got to drive just a few miles with his "new 360" before it all happened.
     
  16. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 13, 2009
    14,552
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    Curt
    Thanks guys. Kinda Makes sense given the design.

    Bust out that dremel with the cutting wheel...

    So it's basically like doing any job whatsosever on my 79 928! Every single nut and bolt on the car is welded with 30 years of rust so you have to cut it off. Sounds like fun! ;)
     
  17. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
    6,816
    Jupiter, FL
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    Paul Bianco
    the variators had a recall in earlier production 360's. I have the tech bulletin that shows the motor numbers and the vin numbers that were affected. if anyone wants a copy, PM to me your email address and I will send to you.
     
  18. E60 M5

    E60 M5 Moderator
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    #15 E60 M5, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  19. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
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    Aug 25, 2005
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    Good information and thanks. My independent has an SD and di the job but it wasn't simple. And yes, I still had gen 1 variators.

    Not a reacall, it was a campaign. There is a difference. Recalls are mandated by the fereal goverment and campaigns are voluntary. In other words, campaigns are at Ferrari's discretion and campaigns are required by law.
     
  20. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
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    I stand corrected.
     
  21. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
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    Aug 25, 2005
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    Sorry, a pet peeve. Too many don't know the difference and insist that they are the same.
     
  22. southpaw802000

    southpaw802000 Karting

    Sep 7, 2011
    118
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Lee
    The belts were done 1.5 years ago so not sure if its belts stretching and causing the timing to be off a bit and throwing the cel. They reported to me that the variator a have been tested and performing just fine.
     
  23. cb2me

    cb2me Rookie

    Mar 12, 2021
    14
    Central PA
    Hi - brand new here and looking to purchase a Euro spec 360 with a VIN within the range of the recall. However, closest Ferrari dealer tells me they have looked up the VIN in their database and this particular car wasn't recalled. Is it possible the Euro models had different variators installed and not affected? Currently with 4th owner who doesn't know and car has 30K+ miles on it. Not sure what to do.....any suggestions appreciated. Thanks
     
  24. ItalGerBrit

    ItalGerBrit Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    588
    Swamp
     
  25. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
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    Aug 25, 2005
    7,330
    Campbell, CA
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    It wasn't a recall, it was a campaign. AND FNA won't show any campaigns for euro cars, nor would they cover the campaign. That means you have a couple of options: 1) have someone who knows how do the replacement (there are only a few I would trust) 2) live with it since it already has 30K miles. An no, they are not easy to do and yes you can damage the cams if you don't know exactly what you are doing. The WSM makes it look easy but it is not.
     
  26. cb2me

    cb2me Rookie

    Mar 12, 2021
    14
    Central PA
    Right - I haven't bought the car (yet). If I do, then I would definitely take it to a Ferrari dealership to either 1) confirm or not that the upgraded variator is installed; and/or 2) have them make the repair. Any idea what I would expect to pay for either 1) or 2)? Thanks for the advice....
     
  27. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    7,330
    Campbell, CA
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    I don't really trust my local dealer, their work isn't up to par. I would stick to a good independent. Many could probably make a suggestion someone if we know your location. My understanding is to get them off, you often need to machine them off and that is particularly true in the earlier cars. When I had mine done it was in conjunction with a bunch of other work, and a long time ago, so it is hard to say now. If I just picked a number out of the air I would say 5K plus or minus 20% but that is really a wild guess.
     
  28. cb2me

    cb2me Rookie

    Mar 12, 2021
    14
    Central PA
    I hear ya - I'm in central PA so in the middle of nowhere, really. Closest dealership is in Philly. About $5k was what I was thinking, too, so will probably just try to negotiate that off the asking price. Of course, the more I watch these videos of the 360 the more I want one....so, will probably just take the deep dive!
     

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