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E-Z Timing Belt Swap?

Discussion in '348/355' started by pnicholasen, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. pnicholasen

    pnicholasen Formula 3

    Jan 14, 2011
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    I can hear the chorus of derisive laughter already, but hear me out for 60 seconds: I figure what scares folks the most about buying a 348 is the future cash outlay for those pesky "majors". I've done 2 on my car myself, so I know it's not all that hard, and I realize the advantages of access once the engine is out.
    My question is; as the whole rear subframe is held in by only 20 bolts, has anyone ever contemplated the idea of making a portion of the cross brace between the gas (petrol) tank and the engine removable with a few bolts? Seems slicing a section out, closing the cut ends with steel plates, then putting it back together with reinforced steel plates bolted to the top and bottom of the beam wouldn't be too difficult or structurably questionable. Then a belt change would be dead simple: pop out the fuel tank, remove the beam section and get to work. I'm not sure how good the water pump access would be...
    Ok, you can laugh now.

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  2. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2018
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    Seems like a good idea actually..
    You can loosten engine then lower the rear and raise the front and clear the pulley. I saw that outside fchat a while back. But if you can do it without any of that, not even break motor loose or disconnect anything, just remove the cross bar.. Yeah...

    The cross bar would need an inside flange to connect to the sides then be through bolted with a backing plate. The holes for the bolts would need to be sleeved. Frankly it's basic Fab 101 thinking about it. Need to see it but I like it.

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  3. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3

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    I need to replace leaking seals cam a shop botched. This would be perfect for that. Although that could be done without removable bar just need to release tensioner I think...

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  4. radlu

    radlu Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2005
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    Great Idea.
     
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  5. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    Great idea... you first.
     
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  6. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
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    One of my 355s has a fuel cell under the hood with gas tank removed. I rather just drop the motor. Much more working room as intended by design
     
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  7. pnicholasen

    pnicholasen Formula 3

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    I totally agree dropping the motor is superior, but I'm doing it myself. For those looking to pay someone else the price can be sobering. It seems if with a modification like this we could make, say, every other " major " a $2K procedure instead of $5K experience, it could make the possibility of owning a 348 or 355 less daunting. Just me throwing thoughts in the air... Image Unavailable, Please Login

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  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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  9. Meister

    Meister F1 Rookie
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    keeping it difficult (engine out) keeps out the riff-raff ;)
     
  10. pnicholasen

    pnicholasen Formula 3

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  11. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I understand where you are going. You are just trying to see if you can figure out a way to keep the belt change cost down, and possibly simplify it.
     
  12. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #12 ernie, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
    I honestly believe that is true. I also believe it is designed that way to generate perpetual income from the service.

    Not Ferrari related but, I recently had to tear apart the entire intake system of a Mercedes just to get to 1 bolt, ONE BOLT! The oil separator for the crank case ventilation went bad and the engine was ingesting oil = throwing multiple check engine codes and blowing white smoke out the tail pipe. I could get to the 3 of the 4 bolts that held the oil separator in place. The 4th bolt was inaccessible because the secondary high pressure fuel pump was preventing any access to the head of the bolt. So I had to tear apart the entire intake system and the fuel lines just to get to 1 ONE bolt. (I have the tip of the screwdriver on the bolt I couldn’t get to easily). I am convinced it was engineered that way on purpose. The oil separator was a $54 part you could buy on Amazon, and the dealership wanted over $1,100 to do the job. I know why, because it was all laybor. Believe me I was weaving a tapestry of cus words when I was working on it.
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  13. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    I don't think Mercedes does that on purpose. German cars eat AOS for breakfast and the replacement of said component is almost always stupid. Porsche 996 AOS is hidden in the corner of the engine that is most difficult to get to. The AOS on the Mini Cooper requires replacement of the entire valve cover ($500 part). Gone are the days when you can change the two-dollar PCV valve in five minutes.
     
  14. pnicholasen

    pnicholasen Formula 3

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    Exactly! I consider it to be the Achillies heel of the 348 and 355. No engine drop for 308/328, and the 360 has the panel behind the seats for access. I think the cars would be held in higher esteem if that one issue could be at least diminished in inconvenience/ expense.

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  15. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    People just like to pick on the 348/355 for that "feature," that is all. The Mondial has the same feature as well as the Testarossa and they don't get mentioned as much.
     
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  16. pnicholasen

    pnicholasen Formula 3

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  17. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3

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    It would need flanges for the inserted bar. So the bar and cradle flanges face each other and the flanges bolt together. Deals with the latteral push pull force. You don't want forces on the bolt holes.

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  18. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
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    like taking the engine out of a Miura is any fun...



    sjd
     
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  19. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
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    I fail to see what all the fuss is about. It's just taking the engine out of a car, and the subframe makes it so easy.

    sjd
    100% biased from the latter 2000s taking the engine out of the Lola -- usually late at night and last minute.
     
  20. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3

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    Ya but a the fluids just suck and add to work. It's not just remove cradle and replace cradle. Brakes, clutch, coolant, bleeding, AC, etc. Removal is an issue, so much so Ferrari engineered the need away after all. No one does a 360 service and says geez I wish we needed to remove this. But when they do the clutch they say geez we have to remove this.

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  21. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    Did you do any work on a 360, especially the cam timing part?
     
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  22. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #22 ernie, Jan 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
    I disagree.
    They could very well engineer the car to be easily serviceable and mechanic friendly. But they don't. They sure do it on races cars, for quick changes during 24hr endurance races, so why not on a street car? Profit that's why. Can't make any money selling an easy to replace $54 part versus $1100 in labor to change that inexpensive part placed in a difficult to get to location. So they make it a pain in the ass to change = more money too do the job.

    A $100 timing belt on a Ferrari that you need to remove the entire rear drive train to change???? Cummon..............
    You know it has to be to make money.
     
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  23. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
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    But who is really making the money on the labor? They're definitley making money on the parts.
     
  24. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    The dealership/shop
     
  25. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    I would much rather do a service on a 348/355 than a 360 if anything more than swapping belts is involved. The engine on a stand (not that hard if you're set up to do it) makes replacing seals and gaskets and cleaning and inspecting everything, pretty easy. Not to mention getting cam timing dialed in, which is pretty difficult, working through that access panel. Some 360s suffer from differed maintenance because of this.

    The idea of re-engineering the car's frame (butchering) to accommodate easier (in your opinion) maintenance is a good brain exercise, but not Real World friendly.
     

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