Cost of owning 355

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by 9software, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. 9software

    9software Karting

    Mar 31, 2004
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Full Name:
    I've been reading a lot about the 355's. It seems they are prone to exhaust manifold issues, valve burning issues, and cat problems.
    Just curious, but how much do you guys spend to maintain your 355's? How much does it cost to replace a manifold?
    I was looking at getting a 355 but the reliability is troubling (especially after reading these posts about people replacing manifolds 6 times).
    Any comments are welcome.
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  3. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    Manifold replacement depends on how you do it. You can go tubi, which is the most expensive at 4k+, OEM, which is the most stupid unless you are covered by the federal exhaust/emission warrenty, or upgraded/rebuilt by a UK company, which is the most cost effective option. Tubi or rebuilt both will not need to be replaced for a long time to come.

    As for value guides, I am sure a tuner can get you a set of upgraded guides that are better then OEM. (ie higher spec) they will cost more but once done, you will have no issues (in theory)

    Cats can be replaced with high flow cat or test pipes for far less then oem. Mind you many cars are still under the federal mandated warrenty for cat-convertors, so this is a mute point in those cars.
  4. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2003
    Wine Country
    Full Name:

    When looking for your car try and find one where all of these issues: manifolds, valve guides have been adressed. They are major issues. I have not had mine for very long so I do not have personal long term ownership costs, but it is my understanding that the 355 is one of the better ones as far as reliability. I still would budget 1 to 2k a year for maintenance, this should get you through regular oil changes, annual brake fluid changes, pad and rotor wear, tires and some odds and ends. Assuming that you drive the car 5 to 6k miles a year. If you track it expect some of your consumable costs to go up.
  5. Tom Larkins

    Tom Larkins Formula Junior


    Do a search, (Flatoutracing I think) started an excellent thread several months ago about the valve guide issue that corrected alot of mis-information. It was by far the most thourough research anyone had done I had seen on Fchat. I'm still on the fence w/355 ownership myself.

    ENZOFORZA Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    Full Name:
    any Ferrari is expensive to maintain. The parts a very expensive compared to a Ford or Chevy. If your smart, you can find new and used parts from Sodamcoms, ebay etc for much less $$. The valve guide issue has been discussed at length already. As far as the headers and cats go, buy a car with good headers (or recently replaced) and replace the cats with bypass pipes (best option) or High Flows. A common Theory is that the cats operate at a very high temp The headers are bolted directly to the cats and combine the hot gasses coming out of the engine with the restriction and tremendous heat of the cat itself, you can see that the headers are also exposed to very high temps. The headers are only about 1.2 MM thick. You can see why they are burning up. I think that the cats are the problem, loose the cats. My '95 355B has new headers (ansa OEM) + a tubi. Im taking the cats out this weekend. Im betting that I wont have to replace any part of the exaust system again for as long as I own the car. This is just my opinion. I may be a complete idiot, as a matter of fact im pretty shure I am.
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  8. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    Part of the answer depends on where you are ...
    Routine maintenance is not horrible, I paid around 1 to 1.2K$ for yearly service (oil, filters, spark plugs), very comparable to any sports car, even much less exotic (BMW or Porsche).
    The famed timing belts cost a bunch to replace, but finding a competent independent can get you down to around 2-2.5K$ including non-OEM tensioner bearing replacement, not that bad if you don't get paranoid about it and refrain from doing it every other year.
    I am well placed to testify that exhaust manifolds are a major flaw in the 355, but I did not paid a cent for them (yet), all warranty (thanks to my dealer). At least, there seems to be a definitive cure (non-OEM parts).
    I believe that the valve guide issues are much less frequent than header problems, but i have no data to substantiate.

    In summary, not a big budget story, but you must be ready to swallow pretty steep amounts if you get unlucky. No clue what things become when the car gets 10yo, '95 models are not even there yet.
  9. Gregg Willhoit

    Nov 1, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Gregg Willhoit
    It has been my experience here in Houston (read Hot!), that removing the Ferrari cats has had several benefits, 1-better upper RPM performance, 2- no more check engine lights, but most importantly 3 - much lower operating temperature.

  10. MY355

    MY355 Formula Junior

    Feb 4, 2004
    NYC and AZ
    @ 15k miles / year My 355 cost $3500.00/year incudes......
    -major services
    -brake pads (if need be)
    -tires (if need be)
    -misc. fluids (if need be)
    -clutch if need be .(my F-1 is still original clutch w/ 47k on it)

    The car is extremely reliable and AND i MAKE SURE i TAKE THE CAR OUT MINIMUM ONCE A WEEK FOR A RUN .
    These cars HATE to sit and will make you pay for this .(THOUSANDS!!)

    IMO The best car used to purchase is one who has been run weekly w/ owners records of this.For instance a 99 355 w/ 12 thousand miles on it.

    Thats 50 miles each weekend HOPEFULLY and NOT sitting for months and months now all bushings arte dried out and all gasket leak.NIGHTMARE AS WELL AS DANGEROUS "Can you say FIRE!!"

    MY355 leaks NOTHING and NEVER HAS w/ 48,000 miles on it 18,000 were put there by me!

    Hope this helps.
  11. plapham

    plapham Rookie

    Nov 28, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have owned a '98 355 for 2-1/2 years. Bought with 9,400 miles and currently have 12,900 miles. Have had no problems to date. Replaced the battery. New tires - Bridgestone S03's. Replaced the exhaust with a Capristo (my choice), sounds awesome. Oil and filter maintenance was done by Fdealer upon purchase (as well as a thorough check over). I have changed the oil last month for the first time @ 12,500 miles. Using Mobil 1 syn. Drive (more enjoyable) or start in the winter at least every two weeks. Conclude: personal experience to date is very dependable, reliable, fast and fun!
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  13. DodgeViper01

    DodgeViper01 F1 Veteran

    Oct 1, 2003
    Sounds like you really drive your car. It is nice to hear some about some people that drive them everyday!
  14. jakermc

    jakermc Formula 3

    Jan 17, 2004
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Even synthetic oil should be changed every year regardless of mileage. Its not a good idea to go as long as you did.

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