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Critical things to know in buying or owning a Mondial

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by snj5, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Russ Turner
    With a couple of threads about buying Mondials, and just what exactly makes a 'good one', maybe it is a good time to re-state the very Mondial-specific issues that a well informed buyer or current owner should know to help make having this wonderful Ferrari more fun. While all of the usual 308/328 belts, inspection schedules and all apply, this list will have two parts: Mondial things that are likely to break and little things to make it better.

    THINGS LIKELY TO BREAK.
    1A. Fusebox. Mondials have a reputation of being more persnickity electrically. This is mostly due to two things: Fuseboxes and switchgear. Like the contemporary TR and 400 which also suffer similarly, the FUSEBOX has a multilayer circuit board that will delaminate over time and cause all kinds of weird electrical cross connections. You will hear people say "this Mondial has an upgraded fuse box", but what that typically means is the car has a later fusebox featuring the blade type fuses over the ceramic bullet type. While this is a nice to have, the fusebox WILL someday delaminate causing problems. Fortunately THERE ARE at least two PERMANENT FIXES now out or coming out. GT Auto Parts in Arizona offers rebuilt fuseboxes with a newer technology circuit board for Mondials (as well as TRs) taking your old box in exchange. This box comes with old relays, so I would suggest going ahead and getting all new relays when you buy the box. A NEW MANUFACTURE box is also being made by FChatter Clive ('Zertec') which will be available shortly. This neat little piece of kit comes with all new relays so it is plug-n-play. Also watch out especially for connector burn-out where the white vertical connector plugs into the most inward side of the box. The connectors for the fuel pump are here which draw a LOT of amperage and can easily burn out.

    1B. Switches. The contacts in the center switch gear will sometimes develop a light surface corroision and not work. Instead of buying new switches - and they are HARD to find - disconnect the battery and spray electrical contact cleaner (I like Radio Shack's product) into the sides of the switch and cycle it 30-50 times to clean the contacts. It sounds silly, but it works.

    2. Center switch panel delamination. Ferrari started using more plastic in the 80s and they never got it right on any of their cars. With the Mondial, the center console switch panel will delaminateor start to warp with time and look stupid. These panels are back-lit and very hard to find, close to impossible. While not back-lit, I have had black anodized aluminum replacements made with the original markings as a permanent fix. Despite the lack of lighting I think they look great, and there are about 10 cars with these out there. If you need one just PM me.

    3. The Sunroof Drive Cable. This whole contraption that opens and closes really is a POS (ask anyone that has worked on it) that will break after even a little usage. Replacement parts are impossible to find, and when you do they are incredibly expensive. My advice: if the car has a sunroof, make sure it is closed well and never open it. I may change my tune if someone comes up with a replacement cable, but that's the reality.

    4. Cabriolet top latches. They break. I understand there is a newer and improved replacement for them, so perhaps a cab guy can chime in

    THINGS THAT REALLY IMPROVE THE CAR
    1. Tires. Mondials originally came with metric 390mm wheels and Michelin TRX tirs, changing to 16" wheels and Goodyear 'Gatorbacks' in the mid Mondial 3.2 line. while you will get some argument, I say both of these tire types are total poop. Many Mondial owners upgrade their metric wheels to 16" or 17" wheels (or larger) allowing a better selection of tires. I cannot stress enough the FANTASTIC difference a set of newer technology tires makes on every Mondial: Better ride, easier steering, better handling, quieter...everything. There are lots of wheel options, the most basic being using later 16" Mondial wheels or a 16" replica of the earlier wheel by Superformance in England sold in America by TRutlands.Another common and surprisingly inexpensive and nice looking upgrade are 17" 348 wheels which only requite the longer 348 bolts to make them fit. There are many aftermarket applications, with the best being the OEM Speedine who made the original wheels for the car.
    2. Exhaust. Every stock exhaust is a bit restrictive and tinny sounding, and a new exhaust really makes a big difference. There are numerous options here as well, from the Haute' Couture fashion brands such as Tubi and Capristo to the custom exhausts made by fabricating shops. Most all work fine. THE rule is, buy an exhaust for the sound that YOU like, NOT for any expectations of power gain.
    3. Optima Battery - Mondials have a reputation for going through batteries. Well, they certainly go through cheap batteries. The solid core high drain Optimas tend to service the Mondials electrical needs better than the usual lead/acid batteries.
    4. Gustafson High Torque Starter - doesn't really sound like a Ferrari, but it has a lifetime guarantee and will ALWAYS start. If you ever need to replace ypur starter, get one of these.

    There are some other things that are super-rare that are also super-great in what they do for the car (e.g. STCorsa a/c vents), but that's the advanced stuff - Other Mondial owners please feel free to add and maybe the Mods can put this in a sticky.
    best
    rt
     
  2. smg2

    smg2 F1 Veteran
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    I'll have to sit and make up a list for you Russ, but the electricals really are a black spot on these great cars, one reason I went with an after market stand alone engine ECU, at least it will run even if the windows don't work or the lights flicker ;D


    there are some suspension issues too...
     
  3. enzo360

    enzo360 F1 Veteran
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    Aug 1, 2004
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    Russ, many thanks for posting this.
    I'm currently looking for a 8 or QV and this will sure come in handy.
    One stupid thing: I've been looking at a QV (the owner wasn't present and the guy where the car was stored couldn't help me either) how do you open the glove compariment box?
    Best
    Jurgen
     
  4. smg2

    smg2 F1 Veteran
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    ahh yes, the glove is opened by a button just under the dash below the glove box, the key must also be on to power the switch. just like the fuel filler flap on the 348's -key on to operate-.
     
    rdamfr likes this.
  5. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    and on a QV it is on the center console panel with a pictogram of the glovebox door...

    Of course the big thing many Mondial drivers/owners NEVER discover are the manually operated footwell vents just out of sight under the dash....
     
  6. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #6 snj5, Jul 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  7. SonomaRik

    SonomaRik F1 Veteran

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    Taco Bell.............I love Taco Bell
     
  8. Irishman

    Irishman F1 Rookie

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  9. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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  10. ronfrohock

    ronfrohock F1 Rookie
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    Sience SNJ5 brought it up, I have designed and produced a new toggle that many fellow F-Chatters have purchsed. I still have a number of them available. The cost is $85.00 each. Everyone that has purchased them has been pleased.
    Send me a PM if you are interested.
    Thanks
    - Ron Frohock
     
  11. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Ron makes a good point - several Mondial owners mow offer products to the community as a whole.
    In addition to Ron's popular toggles, I have a replacement switch panel and cup-holder in aluminum shown below, and Zertec is offering a replacement fusebox.
     
  12. AMA328

    AMA328 F1 Rookie

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    where would one purchase the 'Gustafson High Torque Starter' ??
     
  13. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    the Gustafson dealer I used is at www.ferraristarters.com
     
  14. jeffQV

    jeffQV F1 Rookie

    Feb 13, 2004
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    Great idea this post. Agree with all so far and would add upgrading the alternator helps electrics, TRX are a joke! The cupholder works really well too! I've spot welded the sunroof in as lost two in a year, apparently due to driving at warp speed and having the nerve to drop the windows, this causes huge pressure change and POP! out goes the roof! Got the last roof form Ferrari UK about four years ago. I'm in the process of replacing the rear trunk floor as its rusted out, what a drama! never seen such a complicated structure. I would advise all Mondi owners to remove the floor of the rear trunk (its only rivets) and remove the matting underneath and replace with modern non-absorbent material. A common reason for rot here is the antenna drain pipe being blocked and so water soaks into the matting and with the exhaust under................(cr*p steel also doesn't help either!)

    I'm sorting out the rear suspension, does anyone know the correct Koni part number or that of any compatible? (I took them off and sand blasted the rust off and they started leaking!!!!)

    I've owned my QV for nine years, never let me down and the grin just keeps getting wider :)
     
  15. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    great thread!
     
  16. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #16 snj5, Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Mondial shocks have different tops than most of their Ferrari brothers. One option that I used was through FChat sponsor Carobu Engineering (talk to Tate Casey) where they make a top plate that adapts Koni height and stiffness adjustable shocks. This also allows you to use standard springs such as Eibach if you wish to adjust the suspension. Shown here is the Koni shock installed.
    They have some other solutions as well - they are quite good at this.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  17. AMA328

    AMA328 F1 Rookie

    Nov 12, 2002
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    Thanks for the pointer to the starter url.

    Little vague on website, does swapping out the starter also replace the solenoid? Think that may be
    what's gone on out my wheels, but won't have time to get under the car for another couple of weeks
    (at least).
     
  18. smg2

    smg2 F1 Veteran
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    good point, they're shared with the testarossa. I designed new 'hats' to hold the coilovers Nick sells, i'm using a spherical bearing for the next design. the mondial shock rotates thru 10* when cycling, hence why there is a HUGE rubber bushing.
     
  19. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    yes - the high torque starter is complete with solenoid and just bolts in and wires up.
     
  20. jeffQV

    jeffQV F1 Rookie

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    I've now taken both off and going to see a local rebuilder, they are so rusty I'd be amazed if they can be done, fingers crossed! Glad in a way that they started leaking when I wire brushed the rust off and not when hooning it down the road!! Thanks for the advice too!
     
  21. jeffQV

    jeffQV F1 Rookie

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    Bad news, can't be rebuilt. Need alternatives!
     
  22. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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  23. jeffQV

    jeffQV F1 Rookie

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    You are the man! Thanks
     
  24. hugh717

    hugh717 Rookie

    Mar 6, 2007
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    I note that you state you make available a replacement for switch plate center plate in 1987 Mondial. If that is the case, could you let me know how much and how difficult an "operation"?
    Thanks.

    hugh simpson
     
  25. davemqv

    davemqv F1 Rookie

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