550 service: Say it ain't so!

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by drive4fun, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Robbe

    Robbe Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 22, 2013
    The Netherlands
    I had a leaking heater radiator on my Maserati 3200 a few years back. The part was also used in a Saab, at 75 usd.
    But indeed I had to take the whole dashboard apart (steering wheel, airbags, the works), took me at least 15 -20 hours (did not count).
    So be prepared for at least 3000 usd labour bill at a normal garage...but that still is not 15000...
    Qavion likes this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. 2HotShoes

    2HotShoes Karting

    Sep 2, 2015
    Chicago, IL USA
    Full Name:
    Tal & Beryl
  4. 2HotShoes

    2HotShoes Karting

    Sep 2, 2015
    Chicago, IL USA
    Full Name:
    Tal & Beryl
    I once had to get inside the heater box of our trusty 550. I concluded that when they assembled the car at the factory they started with the heater box and built the rest of the car AROUND it. That should put things in perspective...
    4rextc, rubenpadron and Qavion like this.
  5. 2HotShoes

    2HotShoes Karting

    Sep 2, 2015
    Chicago, IL USA
    Full Name:
    Tal & Beryl
    I'll second this comment on Reina in the Milwaukee area. He's amazing. Savant is an appropriate word. I'm not the only Chicago area Ferrari owner that makes the drive up to Lorenzo. I've never heard a negative comment.
  6. Christopher Whipps

    Jul 5, 2018
    Full Name:
    Christopher Whipps
    I had the same problem with my 512, if the fan only runs in the fast position, there is a faulty "capacitor thing". in one of the inlet ducts (placed here to keep it cool) as when in the slow fan function, it gets hot !.. and the only way to access this is to remove the dash and drill a large hole at the point this is located in the duct.
    Cost me £2,400 to fix, and replace the blocked Air Con expansion valve at the same time, located on the left hand side, and only possible with heater / A/C box out !
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Bradley123

    Bradley123 Rookie

    Feb 25, 2020
    Full Name:
    Brad Kansas Long
    I may need your help too, brand new here, just bought a 1985 Mondial, shipping it to me next week. Dealer says his mechanic couldn’t get AC/Heater fan to work...
  9. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    You probably should re-think your position then. You WILL get a 5 figure repair bill on a 20 year old Italian exotic, the only variables are when and how many. I'm currently on my 2nd with my 1999 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster in 7 years of ownership. You have to account for that if the car is that special to you (the Diablo is definately special). I passed on buying a Ferrai Boxer earlier this year because every car in my price range ($200k) needed $30-40k of work. It wasn't worth it to me.

    BLACK CARS Rookie

    Sep 23, 2016
    Don't really know why service is so expensive. Lets say it takes 10 hours to pull the dash (which I doubt). At $150 per hour (remember the mechanics is getting $30 per) that is only $1,500. Lets say replacement is the same 10 hours, so that give only $3,000. In the good days for grey market cars in the early 1980s, often the cars did not have factory air. I bought several of these, was much younger and installed after market air units in a day which meant pulling the entire dash on an S class Mercedes, modifying the fan housing to accept the evaporator, etc., and would finish the job on a Saturday,
  11. yellowtoy

    yellowtoy Rookie

    Jun 27, 2016
    Full Name:
    Unfortunately the attitude is "you own a Ferrari, you can afford it"
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. drive4fun

    drive4fun Rookie

    Jan 19, 2005
    any suggestions on a good shop on eastern LI in NY would be appreciated; otherwise I was going to wait till next major service and fold it into that labor effort. they have to access via engine bay with a lot of labor....this is the kind of thing that destroys Ferrari loyalty.... there are other cars that dont come with this kind of craziness.
    Ferrar55whoa likes this.
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    Personally I could not deal with a repair bill 20% the value of the car. I would be selling it or racing it. That's how my perfect "looking" 348 became a track car then racecar. The electronics were so bad in it I decided to tear the electronics out and track the car. Once the electronics were just to make the engine run everything was happy. It made a darn fun racecar too and ignited a multi decades long amateur racing passion that is still with me today.
    Ferrar55whoa likes this.
  15. asgor

    asgor Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    Isn't Bradan near (or close enough to) your location?

    They also are a sponsor here and they are generally recommended by the Fchat community
  16. vlamgat

    vlamgat Formula Junior

    Jan 9, 2004
    Its not so much that they and independents don't want to work on it but that unless they have someone who has done a dash removal for this or a 456, they are going to have to learn as they go. The workshop manuals provide very limited help (as in "remove all dash components; remove fan assemble, replace fan assembly; replace dash") so the owner has to pay the for the learning curve. $15,000 at $165 per hour is 91 hours. Or one tech working non stop for 11 days. Allowing for parts procurement research; parts breakage upon removal because of age and poor quality from the factory, probably 5 to 10 hours is attributable resulting in about 9 or 10 days of work by this tech. That's a reasonable number in my experience. Independents do nothave to recover 100% of their available hours and may swallow the difference between a reasonable (in readers minds number of hours and this 91 effective cost, just for the work. Dealers generally will not and have more on their plate than they can handle.

    With the decline in interest in working on cars at all, I can see the eventual demise of all the pre 2010 model Ferraris without independents willing to do it for an effective yield of $50 to $75 per hour; or about half their posted rate.

    Just ask about a 456 GTA transmission overhaul; 458 transmission overhaul; 456 self leveling suspension overhaul as 3 examples.
    Ferrar55whoa likes this.
  17. I looked at the whole concept of a transmission rebuild for my 456 (entirely from a theoretical perspective) and concluded it was easier/cheaper/better just to buy a whole new car.
    Ferrar55whoa likes this.
  18. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 20, 2015
    Full Name:
    Ian Riddell
    Sounds like the 550 has a similar device, but looking at previous posts on the 456/550 forum, you only need to take the glovebox out to access this fan controller (it's on the right hand side on these cars).
    When you had your problem, would the fan operate at high speed in all positions or only in the max position?

    , does your fan work in the max position?

    I would spend a few dollars on a screwdriver and multimeter before going down this path. I would at least confirm there is power going to the fan. How flexible are you? It may require some contortions to get to the wires.
  19. rolvail

    rolvail Rookie

    Jan 4, 2009
  20. rolvail

    rolvail Rookie

    Jan 4, 2009
    Try going to a radio shop. I had the same response from Porsche on a 928; a radio shop fixed it for $150. No need to remove the whole dash as Porsche said.
    Or, you can ship it to Modena where they know what they are doing and it'll still be a whole lot cheaper. Then drive around Italy for six months!
    Laserguru likes this.
  21. ixlr8

    ixlr8 Karting

    Aug 24, 2015
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Full Name:
    As others have said, if I were you I would be giving a call to Bradan in West Babylon, NY. There is not much they haven't done to a 550 and I think they could give you a fairly accurate price.
  22. rolvail

    rolvail Rookie

    Jan 4, 2009
    I have had a 550 for 20 years and 78,000 miles and have never experienced anything like this!
    Right now it is being refurbished in Modena. A fabulous car; and I have three other recent models. If you are still interested in a 550 in the spring, contact me at
  23. severtecher

    severtecher Karting

    May 1, 2004
    Tucson AZ USA
    Full Name:
    Kevin Fox
    It's always best to find "the guy" who has done the job in the past. That's hard to do on any car for a specific job, and I'm sure more so on a Ferrari. That's one reason I bought a new RX7 in 1995 rather than buying a 1979 308GTB. The RX7 was about 10K more to purchase but I figured I'd save that in 2 or 3 years of standard maintenance. Plus the Mazda would run circles around the 308 and at the time I still drove like a sports car driver.
    I worked at the Learjet factory as an engine mechanic and my partner and I could pull an engine clear of the airplane in under an hour. But, we did it every week, knew exactly what tool to get, had all the spare hardware in case something broke, and technical support in house or a phone call away. I'm sure Lear charged twice what an independent shop would per hour but those guys have to work on airplanes from 7 different manufacturers.
    Hard to find "that guy" in your state in most cases unless you've dealt with Ferraris for 20 plus years. It's always sumthin! Scuze my ramblin'.
  24. franschman

    franschman Karting

    Dec 18, 2017
    Full Name:
    Dash removal (and re-installation) isn't particularly difficult. I just did it. Everything was out in a moning's work, though I must say it helped that the windscreen was still out. You need two persons to lift out the dash and be very careful not to crask the flimsy polyester/fiberglass that links the bit outside of the steering column to the rest. The most difficult part when installing the dash again is to fit the rubber hoses that provide ventilation to the outside of the dash.

    The biggest risk is what to do 'while at it'. Once out, you can repair the leather on the dash which is probably in need of work. And tackle any stickies. And so on.
  25. jaisharma

    jaisharma Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 4, 2011
    South east, UK
    Full Name:
    Jai Sharma
    If the car has low miles the fan motor surely is likely to be o.k. and it is more likely a connection/power issue?
    Qavion likes this.
  26. Tiph206

    Tiph206 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 16, 2020
  27. Tiph206

    Tiph206 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 16, 2020
    Call Tommy at P1 Motors in Stamford, CT One of the most knowledgeable and fair techs around. Extremely honest.
  28. Tiph206

    Tiph206 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 16, 2020

Share This Page