Buying a F355 - anything missing from my checkist?

Discussion in '348/355' started by saiid, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. saiid

    saiid Karting

    Jan 6, 2004
    London, UK
    I've finally decided to go with the 355. I saw one yesterday and that just made up my mind. Its so gorgeous! So, this is all the information I've gathered. If anyone can add anything to this or clarify any of the points, please let me know! Hope to be joining the owner's club within the next 3 months. Sorry for the massive list, but I thought it would be better than starting hundreds of threads!

    1. There are 5 and 6 speed variants. Not sure when this changed..?
    2. Berlinetta, Spyder or GTS should be written on the dash (but not on early models - which year did this change?)
    3. GTS should have a matching top.
    4. 30,000km is the big service (timing belt)
    5. Am I right in thinking that the GTS is the least popular? It also often leaks?
    6. I read lots of referenced to the 355 GTB butress problem that requires a rear quarter repaint every 2 years?! What is this exactly? Is this the same as the cracked C-pillar problem?
    7. Power steering was an option for UK cars?
    8. When is end-of-life for these engines? How many miles can you realistically do before a rebuild is required?
    9. Majors should be every 3, but can be stretched to every 5-6 years?
    10. Do a leak down and compression test.
    11. What are all the problems with exhaust/cats/manifolds/etc? I couldn't find any specifics. If a car has a full Tubi system, is this still an issue?
    12. Clutch is good for ...?
    13. Dash board shrinks? How/what to check for here?
    14. Seats can wear -check for dye?
    15. Check inside trunk for moisture. If heater pump is somehow damaged, you'll feel some dumpness there.
    16. Electric fan is weak point for 355. Check it during the idling.
    17. Check for rock chips in side sills, front bumper, & side air intake area. Unless it was repainted, there should be some chips comparable to mileage & use.
    18. Look under the car. If some part of panel is new or too clean, more likely it was replaced.
    19. Oil leaks on dumpers. You may have to remove the cover for both side to see this, and I don't know the dealer will let you... (what are dumpers please?)
    20. If I get a warranty, what exclusions should I be wary of?
    21. Problems with connecting rods/valve guides/cracked headers on earlier cars. However, if a car has covered say 50, 0000 km, is it safe to assume these problems would have been rectified?
    22. Faulty cylinder liners?
    23. Leaky clutch slave cylinders?
    24. Leaky shock absorbers
    25. Steering rack mounts crack?

    Obviously a PPI is a must, right? And most of this would be covered in a PPI? TIA :)
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  3. stevep

    stevep F1 Veteran

    Jan 19, 2004
    Geordie Land
    Full Name:

    only ever had six gears didnt it
  4. Scuderia_Ferrari

    Scuderia_Ferrari Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Full Name:
    Are you sure? I thought they all came in 6-speeds?
  5. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    i've never heard of a 5-speed 355 - any year or model.

    not sure how to measure "popularity" but wordwide production was approximately 5,100 GTB, 3,500 Spider, and 2,700 GTS.

    i thought they all had power assisted steering. 95s maybe? dunno.

    the conventional wisdom is that the belts should be changed out every five years. us dealers often used to say this 'cuz for a while there were no time-vs-mileage numbers put out by FNA. it might have been "3" in other parts of the world. if you're not putting the miles on, you're just playing a wear game. people push to six or seven years or more - whether you want to or not is a matter of your risk tolerance. CW is five.

    look at the leather around the hvac vents near the windshield. it'll be pretty obvious if the leather is pulling back.

    also check the rocker panels on each side - they can get cracked on speed bumps such that you won't notice until it's on a lift.

    be aware of the cracked header problem on early cars (maybe later ones too?).

    check the alarm - the red light on the dash should go out when the alarm is off. if it doesn't, or if it doesn't do the one-beep on on and two-beeps on off then the alarm unit battery might be dying.


  6. saiid

    saiid Karting

    Jan 6, 2004
    London, UK
    Thanks for the feedback. Now onto a test drive :)
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