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DIY Instructions: 360 Spider cracked convertible top frame

Discussion in '360/430' started by Thinwingflyer, May 18, 2017.

  1. Thinwingflyer

    Thinwingflyer Rookie

    Mar 11, 2015
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    Rob Gontarek
    #1 Thinwingflyer, May 18, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    My '04 Spider suffered the dreaded cracked convertible top frame, so it was time to figure out a way to fix it. I've been the beneficiary of everyone else's wisdom on this site so I took the plunge and documented the procedure to remove and replace the cracked component.

    This repair is actually pretty easy, and is probably a 5 on a scale of 1 - 10. The difficult part is finding (and paying for) the replacement part.

    Attached is a PDF file that fully documents the procedure, including photographs. Hope this helps the community.
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  2. jrcdds

    jrcdds Rookie

    Nov 16, 2014
    32
    Nice work! Just got my replacement part ordered! This will come in handy!!
     
  3. jjsaustin

    jjsaustin Formula Junior
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    May 11, 2008
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    Jim
    Great write up.

    I will have to fix mine. I'm just wondering what the root cause is that actually causes it to break in the first place.

    I would hate to replace the part only to find it snapped in the first few uses.

    Defective part to begin with? Top alignment issue? Middle bar weak elastic issue?

    Anyone have any guesses?

    Are most of the broken parts on the driver's side?
     
  4. Thinwingflyer

    Thinwingflyer Rookie

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    Rob Gontarek
  5. jjsaustin

    jjsaustin Formula Junior
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    I would like to think it is the elastic, but I have owned my car 9 years, and it came with that piece cracked. I never had any closing issues with the elastic until about a year ago.

    Maybe other people who have a cracked piece can chime in how theirs broke.

    Do people initially have the elastic issue and THEN noticed the piece was cracked?

    Does anybody have a cracked piece that never had an elastic issue?
     
  6. HIO Silver

    HIO Silver Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2016
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    Alonso C.
    It's aluminum, right?

    My TIG welder will be standing by....
     
  7. whatheheck

    whatheheck F1 Rookie
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    Excellent! Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. mwstewart

    mwstewart Formula 3

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    Thank you.
     
  9. billy.gif

    billy.gif Karting

    Mar 9, 2017
    244
    Finland
    Good one.
     
  10. Bigilo

    Bigilo Karting

    Sep 28, 2013
    221
    San Antonio, Texas
    Wow, what an excellent write up, thank you for doing this. The last 20% of the 2004 Spider Workshop Manual is dedicated to the roof mechanism, which says a lot about how complex it is.
     
  11. jjsaustin

    jjsaustin Formula Junior
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    #11 jjsaustin, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I decided to fix my top and followed the directions step by step.

    I had the original piece welded back together at a local shop. They welded both sides and add a backing plate for added strength. They grinded the front smooth and even painted it (I wasn't expecting that). They charged me $100. The sheen was off just a little, so I put another light coat of paint to match better.

    All in all, everything works fine and the directions were excellent!

    Thank you OP !!
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  12. jjsaustin

    jjsaustin Formula Junior
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    #12 jjsaustin, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  13. MKTViper

    MKTViper Karting
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    Oct 9, 2018
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    Bumping this thread...

    Its been a few years, but looks like I have the same cracked issue. Anyone have luck with this? I think I'll go down the path of removing the part and having it welded/reinforced.
     
  14. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    May 25, 2019
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    If you carefully clean everything and grind all surfaces that touch glue, this repair can be done with a strong, long setting epoxy with a doubler in back. I fixed mine that way successfully. A very common failure.
     
  15. MKTViper

    MKTViper Karting
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    How difficult was the removal and installation? Thinwingflyer's DIY looks pretty thorough, but any gotchas?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
  16. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    648
    St Petersburg, FL
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    PETER DELANEY
    Mine cracked twice, then had the elastic bits replaced and no more trouble. Fixed using a welder guy who charged me $40. Sprayed with satin black and you can’t tell from original.

    Mine was also drivers side.

    Can’t recall any removal problems, but I did take lots of photos. To remove/replace probably took ~ 1 1/2 hrs working at a non hurried pace.
     
  17. MKTViper

    MKTViper Karting
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    Thanks...I plan to have mine welded as well. Looks like a got a project for this weekend!

    Cheers

    Sent from my SM-G950U using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
  18. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
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    Darius
    I have a 430 Spider (same top) and while I haven’t had any issues I appreciate this thread. But which bit, exactly, cracks? I don’t get that from these posts. Then I will take a look at mine. Thank you.
     
  19. MKTViper

    MKTViper Karting
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    Sit inside the car with the top up. Look at the upper frame. It's usually the forward pieces on the side that crack longitudinally. It'd be very obvious. There's a good picture of the piece in question in the DIY posted by the OP.
     
  20. Apollo 11

    Apollo 11 Karting
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  21. mwstewart

    mwstewart Formula 3

    Feb 5, 2014
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    It's worth bearing in mind that normally this is a symptom of an alignment issue: usually weak elastic straps.

    Personally, I would prefer the expoxy approach so that this part can be sacrificial again in protecting the rest of the roof assembly from being overloaded, assuming that the original issue persists or was fixed but returns later.
     
  22. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    Talking about alignment. I did have the elastic replaced, but also the slave cylinders that ultimately raise and lower the top. If those cylinders or worn unevenly, then I think this would also contribute to misalignment. Check the cylinders for any small leakage.
     
  23. Tschmidt016

    Tschmidt016 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2018
    3
    Washington, DC
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    Tim Schmidt
    Hi all, I had the same issue on my 2003 360 Spider. Researched all over creation and found out that while the 360 Parts Catalog doesn't list individual parts for the Capote Frame, the one for the 430 does. That said, also found out that the tops for both 360 and 430 are identical (at least as far as the frame goes). Found the part at Scuderia Car Parts. Prices are in USD. Order was made 12 Dec 2019; part was delivered 10 Jan 2020 (I believe that they probably sourced it from their UK operations or something similar). The part arrived in original Ferrari packaging and had all of the same markings as the broken piece when I did a visual inspection of the parts, so I am confident that the part is genuine. I took the following directly from the invoice that Scuderia provided me so that the community can benchmark quotes they might get for this part going forward. Also, for the RH, the pricing was identical.
    (the table info below may not be terribly legible on a mobile device, but should read OK on a laptop type screen)
    Part No Desc Qty Unit Price Total Sales Tax
    81096000 LH DARA1 KIT 1 $791.88 $791.88 -
    Delivery $25.09 -
    Freight Insurance $10.88 -
    Duties and Taxes $55.93 -

    Subtotal $883.78
    Sales Tax Total -
    Total $883.78

    While I wanted to follow the DIY instructions provided on one of the related posts to FC, I am still a newbie and dont yet have the confidence (or frankly the garage space [I had to purchase a spot at a nearby condo as I live in Downtown DC and don't have a garage - different story there]) to effect the replacement, so Fernando and Richard up at Competizione did a professional replacement of the part for me)

    That said, I still have the cracked (replaced) part(s) that was(were) pulled off the car and am considering having it(them) welded back together or selling them off to one who would like to do so to fix a similar issue. I got a quote of around slightly north of $350 to do a weld and refinishing job on the part, but I thought that price might have been a bit high. Anybody have thoughts or suggestions about the courses of action I have laid out here?

    One last tidbit, the crack is almost certainly caused by the elastic straps in the interior section of the Capote materials that pull the "bow" frame back getting worn and not doing their job (i.e. pulling the "bow frame" back just as the Capote lifts off the Windshield frame), thus allowing the "bow frame" to push on the "frame hinge" as the entire contraption is going through the opening process and thus cracking the "wing" portion of the "frame hinge"
     
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  24. MKTViper

    MKTViper Karting
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    Oct 9, 2018
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    Mike
    FYSA, Greg at LoCo Exotics had his guy do the welding for $100. I did a little touch paint, but otherwise ready to reinstall. I did all the labor myself (I do have a garage). Just curious, but how much are you asking to sell as is?
     
  25. Tschmidt016

    Tschmidt016 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2018
    3
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    Tim Schmidt
    MKTViper. Name a price and I am sure we can work something out. My hope is that it can find its way into someone's hands that can make use of it and not jack up the price to sell on the open market. The new part I got ran $883 (incl s&h), so if you back out the $100 (let's call it $150 to be conservative) and then add some paint and elbow grease (say $50) to get the part into shape for installation, that would back $200 off of the price I paid for the new piece - $683. Take off half or so of the remaining $683 for the part being "repaired" rather than new and that comes to around $340. So, something reasonable under that number would probably be something that would work. If you think I am out of my mind, throw out a number and we can go from there. Any other comments/analyses from the peanut gallery would also be welcome. I am certainly not trying to make a profit here, but rather trying to make at least a little lemonade out of a lemon that I stepped in.
     

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