News

456 power loss and oil thrown out - any guesses? Plus Ferrari specialists in Spain

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Granada456, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    Can anyone hazard a guess as to what has happened with my 1994 456?

    I was returning home this afternoon, engine fully warmed up, on the motorway. I accelerated and changed up from 4th to 5th at about 100 kmh, when I heard something - not quite sure what- and I felt the engine lose power. The car continued to run, but with very little power, and didn't want to rev above about 2000 rpm. No warning lights appeared, and oil pressure and temperature and water temperature all remained normal. The car began to smoke very badly, so I pulled over and found that the smoke was coming from a large amount of oil spread over the left hand side of the engine (looking from the front) that had covered the exhaust and was burning off. I could not discern where the oil had come from and moreover the engine did not want to restart. So I had the car transported off the road.

    Now I could understand a power loss as a electronics issue, and I could understand an oil loss if some pipe has broken, but a power loss with an oil loss has me confused. The best idea I have right now is perhaps some oil pipe has broken and in covering part of the engine with oil has affected some electronic module. Does that seem possible or does anyone have a better idea?

    I've had this car about 2 1/2 months now, and I was thinking to take it for a service to a Ferrari specialist, because someone familiar with 456s will be able to spot issues that I don't, this being my first time with the car. It seems to me from the few hundred km I've put on the car that it's basically sound but has been little used in the past years. The failure today has me worried, but if it is a burst oil pipe that has in turn affected an electronic module, that is not too bad.

    Anyway, this issue has forced my hand and I think I'll have GT Stradale in Madrid look at it (www.gtstradale.com). They come recommended as very good Ferrari specialists; has anyone here used them? (Perhaps not, since I don't know of anyone else here in Spain.)
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. franschman

    franschman Karting

    Dec 18, 2017
    184
    Holland
    Full Name:
    Bart Boosman
    I think you must be lucky that your car didn't burn to the ground!

    Oil leak from the side of the engine, above the level of the exhausts, can realistically only be the valve covers. It may have blown a gasket. But the question is, why? It sounds like a serious mechanical engine problem. Belt snapped, valves bent/broken, conrod broken, or worse... Hopefully not, but worth a thorough investigation!
    The good news is that these engines are a joy to work on. But I guess your mood is slightly different at the moment. Time for a drink.
     
  4. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    Thanks for the reply, a drink has been drunk! The engine didn't stop when this issue occurred, it kept running, with no strange noises and only a loss of power. Is that possible with belt snapped, valves bent/broken, conrod broken, or worse? Not on engines I'm familiar with where those would stop the engine. [When I bought the car I was told the belts had been done (by mechanics at a private racing circuit, so no bill to prove that). I looked at them and they looked new.] I haven't checked them after the problem today.

    A bit more data: the oil was mostly towards the back of the engine, on and near to the coolant tank on the left. I should have taken a photo, but didn't. And no, no fire. I've had oil coat hot engines before, and I've never had it catch fire, have you? When I was a student, many years ago, I raced another chap down the Pennine hills in the UK in my Fiat 126 until crankcase pressure blew a great amount of oil out of the dipstick hole. I was doing about 85 mph, I think, which was rather faster than that car had any right to be doing... That was extremely impressive when viewed in my rear view mirror, as the oil vapourized off the hot exhaust, but there was no fire. Another time I had an oil pressure sender fail on a car and again plenty of oil landed on the exhaust, and there was plenty of smoke but no fire. So I've always thought that a fire isn't very likely with oil leaks. Perhaps I've simply been lucky? I always carry a fire extinguisher in my classics and have never had to use one yet - touch wood.
     
  5. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 20, 2015
    4,867
    Sydney
    Full Name:
    Ian Riddell
    There are a lot of things which would cause a bank to shut down. A Ferrari specialist might point you in the right direction if he/she has an SD1 tool. This will tell you what sensor/s were affected. I assume your car is too early to have an OBD2 port.
     
  6. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    Thanks. Yes, it doesn't seem to have an OBD2 port. I suppose they came later than 1994. I'm still confused about the mechanical issue that led to the oil blowout. I will report back when I have more information.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Salami

    Salami Karting

    Oct 31, 2020
    126
    Oregon
    Well it doesn’t sound good that’s certain, but I agree with you that it’s strange the two symptoms of oil loss and power loss without evil noises. I do not think oil can cause electrical problem, however maybe oil soaking one MAF could shut down one bank and cause a symptom you describe?

    yes you are lucky it didn’t poof into flames, I’ve seen it happen and my friends diesel truck just burned to the ground from a turbo oil hose that sprung a leak
     
  9. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    I decided on Friday that it was best to have the car sent directly to a Ferrari specialist in Madrid, for several reasons, including that my breakdown cover would do that but might not have covered me if I had had the car brought home first and had only later decided to get it sent. And the chap I have spoken to who runs GT Stradale seems very familiar with 456s. The downside of my decision is that I don't have the car to check what has happened. I will have to wait for later in the week when I'll get news. When I look at diagrams of the engine I don't see so many options for where oil could come from near to the coolant reservoir.
     
  10. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    By the way, about fire extinguishers, just a couple of weeks ago I bought two new fire extinguishers, one of which I put into the glove box of the Ferrari. I have been impressed by this new technology that uses chemistry rather than a compressed gas, which means that a fire extinguisher lasting 50 seconds weighs just a few hundred grams and fits into the glove box:
    http://www.fss-esp.com/index.html
    I don't have any link with this company except as a customer who hopes never to have to use one of their products.
     
  11. Salami

    Salami Karting

    Oct 31, 2020
    126
    Oregon
    Wow those are cool, haven’t known about that tech. I also put a big one in my trunk, but the trunk on 456 opens only with the electric switch which leaves me a little uneasy for obvious reasons. I might pick up one of these too.
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Granada456

    Granada456 Karting

    Dec 8, 2020
    51
    Granada
    Full Name:
    Julyan
    Exactly. I've never had the occasion to use one, but having one in the glove box or door pocket means it's available straight away.
     
  14. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    4,033
    Bay Area Calif.
    Full Name:
    Dave
    See this thread
    Element Fire Extinguisher | FerrariChat
     
    Salami likes this.
  15. Salami

    Salami Karting

    Oct 31, 2020
    126
    Oregon
  16. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 20, 2015
    4,867
    Sydney
    Full Name:
    Ian Riddell
  17. franschman

    franschman Karting

    Dec 18, 2017
    184
    Holland
    Full Name:
    Bart Boosman
    Back to the original topic; has the problem been diagnosed?
     
  18. Gated V12

    Gated V12 Rookie

    Jan 6, 2019
    44
    Full Name:
    Adam
    Wow, sorry to hear that happened! I'm also very interested in hearing what the shop's diagnosis as well. Spain is a left-hand drive setup (same as US cars) so I'd imagine the oil line setup is the same as well...I went out and checked my car for reference and couldn't' find any oil lines that are relatively close to the coolant expansion tank. I'd tend to agree with Franschman in thinking it could be a bank 1 blown head gasket (or valve cover gasket failure but that seems much less likely). The weird part is the oil pressure gauge was still showing normal pressure after an oil loss....I would think with a large oil leak you experienced, the oil pressure would be far lower than normal range.

    I agree, glad your car didn't catch fire! It doesn't take much for those headers to ignite whatever touches them, especially when they're at full operating temps. I seem to remember oil has a flash point above 300 degrees F but still, could've been much worse!

    Keep us updated! Hoping for the best.
     

Share This Page