550 Buying Advice ?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Boxer 512, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Boxer 512

    Boxer 512 Formula Junior

    May 5, 2004
    London, UK
    Full Name:
    Seb King

    I did a search, which didn't yield much information ?

    If I'm repeating something please point me in the right direction ?

    I've been a mid engined V8 F-car fan for a long time, then I progressed to a Flat 12 Boxer, and now I want to try a V12 Front Engineed GT and the 550 or 575 seem to be the sensible choice, but I'd like to gather some owner's views and advice (Particyularly on the 550), 575 maybe out of my price range.

    I know it will be a different experience to the car's I'm used to but I'd like some detailed driving experience's and ownership problems or highlights before I take the plunge. (I'm going for a test drive) in 9 days time, until then I'd like to know what to look for and what to ask ???

    Thanks in advance,

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  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    seb - there's a ton of data in the archives (remember to check the old board too).

    do you have any specific questions?

  4. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    Commendable choice ! Fantastic car. Welcome to the shark club.

    As Doody says, some homework on the archives will be time well invested. As a primer:
    - be patient. My own quest taught me that 2nd hand V12s are nowhere as well maintained (in average) than V8s. Different customers I guess. Sloppy maintenance intervals, questionable car condition (leather, rims, ....).
    - be very thorough in your PPI. These cars seem to have lots of minor yet annoying gremlins or silly issues which will spoil your experience.
    - loads of torque means that careless clutch usage could result in premature wear. The car is not a clutch eater like 360F1s by design though. Likewise, scrutinize gearbox synchros when cold, especially 2nd.
    - loads of horses and weight are very hard on brakes. Warped discs are not unfrequent. A high speed stint and breaking test during your test drive is advisable.
    - front geometry and suspension tend to be delicate, make sure to manoeuver the car at low speeds, at max steering angle and over speed bumps, listen to any evidence of cracks/squeeks in the suspension travel. Sideways ripping an evidence of badly adjusted geometry. Uneven front tires tread wear a bad sign as well (obviously).
    - there were issues with motor mounts on early models as well
    - some water hoses clamp failures
    - check that both windows slide in nicely in the door seals, don't leak under pressure wash, and don't make wind noise at highway speed.
    - out of curiosity, take a peek at the rear wheel wells and check of any evidence of encounter with the rear tires (my car had the damper rubber cushions missing, what are the odds it's the only one ...)
    - there was a factory recall for rims on early cars, check archives for VINs
    - moisture tends to build up in the AC system, and the filter for the condensing water can get clogged, resulting in passenger side foot well crpet to be moist.
    - 550s have a reputation for electrical gremlins, spurious warning lights or ... real warnings. Suspension actuators tearing their wire harnesses apart, defective O2 sensors and thermocouplers, etc ...
    - I understand that a factory replacement is under way for front stabilizing bar mounts.
    - finally, unlike V8s, OEM sound is downright bland. I am not a fan of tuned exhausts, but it's almost a must on Maranellos.
    As you can see, mostly secondary yet annoying stuff. Never heard of real costly disasters or radical reliability problems.

    A couple valuable links:
  5. Boxer 512

    Boxer 512 Formula Junior

    May 5, 2004
    London, UK
    Full Name:
    Seb King

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