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Considering a 3200GT purchase

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by rumen1, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. rumen1

    rumen1 Formula 3
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    Jun 23, 2012
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    Hi guys, I am considering a purchase of a 1999 3200GT for a daily driver. I already saw and heard the car, but I want to know what should I expect. Is this a problem model after all? Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. red27

    red27 Formula Junior

    Sep 7, 2010
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    London UK
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    Mark Oliver
  3. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    Great cars, nice looking and the rear boomerang lights are to die for.

    But, not worth as a daily driver, the engine is not as reliable as you'd like in this situation, plus some electrical problems that will give you a headache.

    As an alternative, I suggest a 4200 Manual Coupe, which doesn't have the engine issues of the 3200 (or any electrical ones) and it is a rock solid machine. Also quite comfortable (soft suspension) and if you find a manual then you avoid all the clutch problems of the F1 version. Quite good daily driver.
     
  4. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Jarle Adolfsen
    3200 GT can definately be used as a daily driver.
    The quirks are well known, and anyone with a bit of experience with these cars can help you out. David Askew in UK for instance can supply parts and is very helpfull.

    I know several using their cars a lot on a daily basis.
    The 4200 Coupe engine is a nice engine, but personally I find the mid range punch of the 3200 GT vastly superior to the 4200 GT engine. My personal opinion though.
     
  5. rumen1

    rumen1 Formula 3
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    Jun 23, 2012
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    Thanks guys. I have already saw the Pistonheads buyers guide and actually they describe the engine and the gearbox as not such problematic segments.

    About the electric problems - can someone show some links with the main ones?

    Actually I am only considering the purchase of 1 particular car. I live in Bulgaria and right now here there is only 1 for sale. It is a 3200GT with a manual gearbox. Everything looks fine on it at the moment, the engine runs good. The only problem is, that the front window needs to be replaced.

    As for the electrics - I expected that, to be honest. For sure I know about the electronic suspension, but I already know how to deal with that, since my F355 has the same system.

    I also have a concern, that because my daily trips are short, the engine may not get to its working temperature every time, especially on the winter. Also - do the back seats fall down on this car?
     
  6. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Rumen, I think the major electrical problem is the throttlebody.
    It's not really the electrics that cause the problem, but the cogs inside are apparantly plastic. When the throttlebody get's dirty it does not turn freely and the cogs loose teeth.
    The remedy is to clean the throttlebody on a yearly basis, or swap to a better type.

    The Biturbo engines of that era get up to working temp quite fast. Same with the 3200 GT.
     
  7. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    One word: belts


    Unless your cousin is a mechanic... or owns his own Maserati dealership and allows you to service your car every few months and you are willing to spend a small fortune per year in maintenance, then sure, it can be a daily driver...

    Sure, there are a few dedicated people who use their 3200 daily, but you should probably ask them what it has cost them to do so, not just in financial terms, but psychological stress...

    One last word of warning: Spare parts for the 3200 have been officially CANCELLED by Maserati. Yes, thats right, no more official spare parts for the 3200 are being made anymore. In other words, your spare parts are either old stock or shared parts with the 4200 model, or you are out of luck.

    So probably not a great idea to use a 3200 as a daily driver...
     
  8. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Jarle Adolfsen
    I don't agree, the belts will need to be changed every three year or 50 000kmtrs.
    People rarely drive that much a year, unless if you are a salesman but then you should drive a Skoda Diesel or something ;)

    I drive a Quattroporte 3 daily (rain, snow or shine), so I probably fall into the dedicated category. I've also driven my 2.24v 20 000kmtrs a year (rain, snow or shine), no official parts made for that car anymore, still works like a charm. Many parts are interchangable from other cars anyway. Wheel bearings, diff, gearboxes, alternators, power steering pump etc. You'd probably say that this is impossible without going mental, well I have proven otherwise since early 2000.

    And then you have people like David Askew in the UK, which helps people keep these cars on the road and in use. He can source most 3200 GT parts new or used.

    If one take into consideration that this is a rather rare exotic car, get a workshop manual, get some contacts(David Askew or similar) including a good relationship with a local workshop there is no reason not use a 3200 GT as a daily driver. And those I know are actually quite happy with their cars. Any decent mechanic can wrench these if they have a proper workshop manual.

    Certainly more demanding than a VW Golf, but come on, what did you expect??
     
  9. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    The QP3 is not a Biturbo engine, it is a lot more reliable than a 3200.

    Based on what you wrote, the owner of a daily driver 3200 must be best friends with a mechanic, or he must learn to be a mechanic himself, with a workshop manual in one hand and a bucket load of spare parts in the other?

    What you managed, is to tell us that a 3200 is possible to be driven as a daily driver. But lets face it, it is nowhere near a real daily driver.

    We agree that we disagree :)
     
  10. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Jarle Adolfsen
    I think you are twisting my words here. To run any exotic car, wether it being an Aston Martin or a 3200 GT you should do your homework. This doesn't mean you can't use them daily, like I said you are twisting my words.

    According to you, it would have been impossible for me to drive 100 000kmtrs in my two Biturbo's. It wasn't. My 2.24v is probably one of the most reliable cars I've had. I've owned Toyota's as well just to state that. The first 3-4 years I did NO work myself either. I bet it was cheaper than your annual service anyway.

    Do your homework, get yourself some contacts and you can basically run most cars daily including a 3200 GT. But if you expect it to be a Golf, well it isn't.

    A lot of people write a lot of BS about the Biturbo(3200 GT included) engines, and have never wrenched one. I have(a lot) and know what they're good for, and take it from someone who knows them, they are very robust and nice engines if taken care of.

    I do find it strange though that you have so many negative opinions of these engines but have no clue about how they are built.

    Agree to disagree, sounds like a plan!
     
  11. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Jarle, Maserati blue has an extreme dislike for anything Detomaso related (except his Merak SS) and LHM.

    As you may know a pair of 3200GTs ran the Alaska highway and ended up in Monterey California in August of 2000 for the annual car bash that is Monterey.

    They looked just fine to me. I think you have it about right.

    That being said, clearly the later cars will make for an easier service requiremts excvept for that flapping paddle box POS tranny.

    You don't change belts every year on the Biturbo engines but when you have to change the rear cam chains - lookout. So finding out about the status of those chains on a 3200GT is probably a very good idea. I've never worked on the V8 but it's my understanding that you don't have to pull the cams for valve lash adjustment??? That's isn't something that's required very often either.
     
  12. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Jarle Adolfsen
    Bob, some people have extreme dislike for anything they don't own, and ofcourse thinks very highly about whatever they have. Not saying that's the case here though.

    I've had the pleasure of seing the insides and details of 3200 GT's and they are well built machines.

    I do agree though, wip off those cam lids, check the rear chains.
    You can change these without removing the engine, did that on my 2.24v.
    Same principle.

    Like I also said, the later cars have a service apparatus in play at Maserati, and a more active factory behind them. So if you service your car at dealerships, I certainly see that point.

    I am seriously considering a 1998 QP V8 as a daily driver this summer. We'll see.
    Love my QP3 as well though!
     
  13. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Well he does or did own a late Ghibli GT but says he hates them so I dunno.

     
  14. rumen1

    rumen1 Formula 3
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    Jun 23, 2012
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    lol guys, before staring this thread I was 50/50 to buy the car. And now, after your answers, I am absolutely... 50/50 again :)

    Can anyone tell me if the back seats can fall down for a little more luggage space?
     
  15. CharlieA

    CharlieA Karting

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Jarle Adolfsen
    Rumen, I am not 100% sure about this, but usually the Biturbo cars have the fuel tank behind the rear seats. Meaning they do not fold. I have not been able to confirm this with a quick search on the 3200 GT.

    I have been contemplating a 3200 GT as a daily driver myself, but will probably go for a QP V8 3.2 instead we'll see! I see no reason why you shouldn't use a 3200 GT as daily driver if you do your homework. Which it seems like you are interrested in doing.

    Why do you need the rear seats to fold? Worst case, I'm sure there are ski racks or similar ;)
     
  16. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
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    No, the seats do not fold down.
     
  17. rumen1

    rumen1 Formula 3
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    Jun 23, 2012
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    OK, got it. Well, I don't really need that, but you know... sometimes it happens that you need to put something bigger in the car right at the moment. But we'll see :)
     
  18. Doc_Dent

    Doc_Dent Karting

    Mar 2, 2015
    111
    Read UR post just right now @rumen1
    Very old I know:D
    But I am seriously considering 1 at the moment.
    So did U get the car anyway? any feedback U can share?
    THX
     
  19. rumen1

    rumen1 Formula 3
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    Jun 23, 2012
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    Got it, kept it for 3 years and sold it. It was a nice car, some electronic gremlins as you may expect, but it's a good car, as long as it's a manual. Other than that you need to rebuild the throttle body if it hasn't been done already and the other potential problem may be the shock absorber actuators, which are the same as on the 456/F355s.
     

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