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400i Your Thoughts

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by GuardsRed, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    I am exploring the idea of purchasing a 400i. What is the boards thoughts on this particular model, good and bad. I realize that it is not a popular model but I love the fact I can possibly get the kids in the back seat. Is this a good daily driver (yeah yeah yeah, I know)? What are the trouble spots?

    Anybody own one and can post some nice pics?
     
  2. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
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    Jordan Witherspoon
    Welcome to the board. While the 400/412 arent liked by some people, I love both models. I think they are a steal at the bottomed out priced they are at right now. Im not an owner, but I have heard that one of the problems with the 400s is the electrical system but I dont know any details about that. I have heard nothing but positive comments about the cars from owners though. Aparantly very reliable!
     
  3. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
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    Rob Guess
    I myself have been looking for a 400i myself. a few of the problems that i have heard about is the self leveling rear suspension can be of issue and also getting parts since they were "grey Market" cars here in the US.

    The one i am looking for is the 5 speed over a Automatic transmission just due to the fact that they are the more rare of the breed.

    Here is a picture of a 400 GT that was seen in the FCA parking lot at Indy this year.
     
  4. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
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    Sam
    Every once and a while there are a few listed on ebay. Unlike other items, I am a bit wary of sending an unknown person 30k for a car. There have been a few that were quite nice.

    I have heard about parts availability issues but the rear suspension is a new one. I didn't think they were of that configuration. Hmmm. Yeah, I would prefer a 5-Speed but they are really hard to find. Who made the auto tranny anyway?
     
  5. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
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    Yes, I have one
    It's a GM TH400 with a custom bellhousing and tailpiece. The internals of the tranny should be familar to any garage.

    There's a yellow GTA for sale at this url: http://www.tomandkarenspage.com/cars/84400ia.html
     
  6. Ike

    Ike F1 Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    3,488
    I know nothing about the cars so I can't really help you. This is a car I have always liked though. I tend to like cars that are just a little different. A local guy had a silver one I used to see every now and then. Is that the model that Tom Cuise drove in Rain Man in the begining?

    I'm not really a fan of this car in yellow. I think it looks best in dark colors, I would like to one in dark green w/tan.
     
  7. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    AS i am on this board right now ,i am watching Rain man(UK) and yes Tom was driveing a blue 400.
     
  8. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    42,442
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    Dirty Harry
    Only seen one, just a month ago on Beverly Blvd. in L.A.
    For the most minor indication as to how much of a Ferrari it is, I immediately recognized it as a Ferrari. Know what I mean?

    To see pages 2 and 3 of this enthusiastic essay/overview, simply change the "1" in the address to 2 and 3, respectively. ie - p2.htm p3.htm
    http://www.qv500.com/ferrari365&400p1.htm

    Here's qv's price guide:
    http://www.qv500.com/ferrari365&400mr.htm

    Downside: Maintenance will be the same as on a similarly-engined, more expensive car. It is up to the individual to decide if the quandary of maintenance exceeding the value of the undervalued car itself is an ends to a means, or a means to an end. Or both...

    Primarily because of it's undervalue, and the natural desire to get the most return on total investment/expense upon resale, (read: cost per mile, when all is said and done) it is perhaps even more important to get an undervalued ride that doesn't have issues, than on one that is overvalued. Therein lies the quandary. Bonkers!
     
  9. Tony Fuisz

    Tony Fuisz Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    162
    Bethesda, MD
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    Tony Fuisz
    Exactly as above! Make sure its basically solid cosmetically and mechanically, because you'll have the worlds most expensive one if it needs major work. A new engine for your 275 GTB is a pain, but a new engine for a 400i means the junkyard.
    Some of them have been maintained without regard to cost...find one of those.
    I think they're great cars though.
     
  10. JOEV

    JOEV F1 Rookie

    Aug 6, 2003
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    Joe
  11. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
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    Frank
    There are a couple with 5 speeds in this months Hemmings Motor News. Personally,I really like these cars. Seem to be underappreciated,as the other poster said,thus,a great buy. I mean,come on, a 12 cylinder FERRARI that the whole family can fit into and enjoy! Whats not to like!?
     
  12. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
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    name
    ditto red81308! its a ferrari..... and a v12 !!! the 400... the " dino 246 " the 308 gt4 all were at one time a ugly duckling( to some people) but i would love to have one at my home. good luck to you.... i have several people in several places looking for a car for me, if i see anything i will PM you asap! michael
     
  13. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Thanks to all for your great responses and links. I'll keep you posted on the results of the hunt. I have a feeling this may take a long time...good thing I am not in a hurry!

    Yeah, that is what I thought too: Seats for the family, V-12 and Ferrari good looks. Hmmm, let's see, 400i or Toyota Camry...gimmie a break.
     
  14. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jan 30, 2002
    2,873
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    rijk rietveld
    I used to have a 400i 5-speed. Great car, but since all cars were grey market, you have to be careful with the emissions test in your state. I sold the car because it would have been "impossible" to pass.

    Go for a 5-speed. The 3-speed GM auto is horrible in combination with a V12 (you can never let it rev)

    The rear shocks are self adjusting Koni's and do not exist any more. A rebuild cost $1200 per.

    I love the understated looks of the 400/412

    Rijk
     
  15. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    13,234
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    As long as you realize that maintenance is going to be more than a daily driver and you are dealing with a car that is around 20 years old at this point, you should be okay buying the best one that you can find or afford. If you have to have a manual, look for a 365 GT4 2+2, they all came that way. They are a lot of car for the money, better put together than the boxers and much better than the 308's (remember, these were the top of the line model (al a the 456, 612, etc...) and were designed for daily use.

    We drove our 365 over 530 miles to Hilton Head Island, tracked it at Roebling, and drove home with nothing more than the power steering fluild cap leaking a bit after ~5 hot laps (retighten and off again - needs a new gasket). What other Ferrari of this vintage could we have made this trip with two helmets, race gear and luggage in (with my wife not exactly being able to pack light). Everything except the cell phones, her purse and the GPS fit in the trunk.
     
  16. Ron328

    Ron328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 10, 2003
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    There's a red 412 at www.ferrariofatlanta.com. Asking $53k.
    It looks nice except that the rear suspension looks "lowered."
    Worth looking at. Good luck
     
  17. simonc

    simonc Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    850
    Herfordshire, UK
    Full Name:
    Simon Campbell
    Hi GaurdsRed

    I have a 1977 400 Auto that I have owned since 1997 and that I've been restoring.

    Have a look at my website at http://www.400register.com/ especially at the Register section and at #21557 where you will find lots of pictures of my rebuild. I think you will find that the areas that needed attention on mine are pretty standard problem areas for the model range.

    Do ask here or PM me if you need any further details.

    Simon
     
  18. andrewg

    andrewg F1 Rookie
    BANNED

    Sep 10, 2002
    4,667
    Chester, England
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    AndrewG
    One word RUST

    doesnt matter if its the body or any other parts, huge money to put right.
    Other than that great cars, especialy if you don't mind the 10-15mpg,

    Do a search on the old board lots of similar questions about them
     
  19. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,969
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    Hi Simon,
    Haven't seen you posting for a while. Since I mostly lurk in Tech Q&A it must mean that things are going well with your car.
     
  20. simonc

    simonc Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    850
    Herfordshire, UK
    Full Name:
    Simon Campbell
    Hi Verell

    I've been really busy at work since around July. I bought a 365 Boxer in April and that has kept me busy too.

    Simon
     
  21. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    27,316
    MA
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    John
    I've owned a 1983 400i 5 speed for five years and really enjoy it. My twin daughters get to come along with my wife and I, and the car has more than enough performance to get you in trouble big time on any public road in the U.S. if you're not careful.

    I specifically looked for the 5 speed for the performance reason and also because I felt that a Ferrari should have a manual transmission. They are rarer than the autos, but they are out there and worth searching for. Production of the 400 series cars was:

    400 145 5 speeds out of 500 total
    400i 424 5 speeds out of 1,308 total
    412 270 5 speeds out of 576 total

    I wanted the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection because I felt it would be easier to maintain and also would pass emissions more easily. With cats, my 400i passes CT emissions with no problems.

    Problem areas mainly are in marginal electrics and the costly rear self-leveling suspension. There is a guy in Arizona who can rebuild the Koni shocks, or some people have replaced the air suspension setup with conventional shocks. The engine is very strong and seems to be pretty durable. The main maintenance item on my car was replacing the alternators. Other than that, just normal maintenance items like oil and anti-freeze, rear brake pads etc.

    A thorough pre-purchase inspection is essential, as it would be for any Ferrari. There are lots of deferred maintenance issues out there with the 400 series because of their low purchase price.

    I really like the car and I always get a thrill every time I turn the ignition key and the engine explodes into life. The roar of the V12 as I take it up through the gears is just spectacular.

    John
     
  22. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
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    John
    There was a writeup about a 1978 400A sold at auction in the June 2003 issue of Sports Car Market magazine.
     
  23. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    John:

    Super response! You answered one of my questions concerning setting up the rear end sans the air suspension. It appears that it can be done but at what cost?

    Can you comment on parts availability? I have heard and read that parts are becoming scarce and as such routine maintenance items are getting very pricey.

    What do you think the best years are and what the appropriate price range should be?
     
  24. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    I had a 1977 400GT with a five speed and enjoyed it very much. I put about 15k miles or so on it in 2 1/2 years with no problems.
     
  25. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    27,316
    MA
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    John
    Haven't had too much difficulty in parts availability, but then all I have needed are filters and rear brake pads. I did explore getting a new coil since my has a chip out of the top part covered by the boot of the coil wire, and found that they are pretty difficult to locate. I haven't really pursued it because the coil seems to work fine as is.

    I would imagine that body and trim parts are pretty much NLA except off of a wrecked car.

    As I mentioned, I like the injected cars because of the lower maintenance. Some will prefer the carbed versions because the sound is supposed to be better. Around 1981-82 they changed the dash vents from the top of the dash to the front and "modernized" some of the switches.

    The 412 has ABS, 340 hp (vs 315 in the 400i) and a better stereo, but I didn't want to pay the higher price that was being asked for them versus the 400i. Also, I found a car that met my requirements and that passed the PPI, so that was most important to me.

    Prices? Well 400's have asking prices in low-mid 20's, same for 400iA, maybe a bit more for a 5 speed, 412 asking prices are all over the lot from mid 30's to low 50's. I know of a 400i 5 speed that sold for less than $20K, but it had more than 60K miles and ended up having the Dinoplex ignition replaced with MSD and the self-levelers replaced with air shocks. The MSD replacement (circa $600) is a reasonable substitution for the $2,000 Dinoplex. Don't know how much the suspension work cost.

    Condition is key. Really good ones sell for not much, if any, more than not so good ones. Some of the cars on the market have been passed around from dealer to dealer for the last several years, accumulating few miles and probably not receiving the service that they need.

    John
     

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