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Failed variator on one bank, replace both?

Discussion in '360/430' started by away, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    Not my car (yet) fortunately, but a car I've been looking at quite seriously just had the left bank variator fail. I'm assuming it must done at least some damage as the work order listed all the valves being replaced as well as the variator and timing belt among many other small items. I'm told the bill was roughly $11k.

    My question is though, would logic dictate replacing both variators at the same time even if just the one failed? I know it means double the work as they're obviously on separate cylinder banks, but it would seem it one failed, the other was more than likely from the same batch. I just get a ticking time bomb feeling as if the other bank variator is destined to fail after I purchase the car.

    Mind you this car had already had the variator campaign performed in late 2004, so this is a replacement part that failed.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. E60 M5

    E60 M5 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Jan 2, 2006
    6,794
    Wash DC area
    Full Name:
    Robert
    First what year car?? Second, no way I buy this car when the market is saturated with other no "story" cars. Third, if the variators were replaced in '04 they are only 3 years LATE on replacement. Belts are supposed to be every 3 years according to FNA and you should replace the tensioners, bearings and variators at this time of service. Some will say you can stretch 5 years, but why wait?? Pay $3k for preventive maintenance or $11k+ to re-build an engine??
     
  4. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    It's a 2000. Yes, not sure why the variator campaign wasn't performed earlier on this car. Other service history is good with proper maintenance. Newer clutch, fluids and obviously belts now as well.

    This recent variator mishap is a bummer though and I'm trying to decide my next course of action. I know there's plenty of fish in the sea...

    I appreciate the comments.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,157
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I still see cars with the 1st version variators. Lots of cars out there going for low budget servicing and being maintained by shops that have no knowledge of the variator campaign. Lots of even Ferrari shops in that catagory.
     
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,157
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall

    That depends on whether you feel it is a strict design flaw or a manufacturing flaw. If it is a manufacturing flaw you migh be taking out a good one and replacing it with a bad one.
     
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  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,157
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I would strongly disagree. If the shop did not suggest replacement of the variators (it really should be shown in writing in the paperwork if they have half a clue) they are not knowlegeable enough to properly maintain a 360. If the owner chose not to do them he was a corner cutter. In my professional opinion it calls into serious question the entire service history of the car. When there is one very big thing that wrong, there are many more that have so far escaped discovery.
     
  9. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow F1 Rookie

    Sep 25, 2006
    3,646
    Txass
    Full Name:
    Bill
    #7 brokenarrow, Dec 22, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
    Cheap bastrd. Walk away...

    Lesson 1. NEVER buy a high-end sports car from a penny pinching idiot.

    Save a penny, spend a dollar.
     
  10. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    11,253
    Colorado
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    Dave
    +1 run away and be glad you found out in time.

    Dave
     
  11. raywong

    raywong Formula Junior

    Aug 29, 2004
    661
    Hong Kong
    Full Name:
    Raymond
    My car still has the 1st generation variator, the dealer said the campaign is too long ago and no longer free. They said the 1st gen will not fail unless I track my car, and try to convince me to leave it. It is really strange, I have never heard about the 1st generation variator failing. All the failure cases are the updated variator.
     
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  13. MalibuGuy

    MalibuGuy F1 Veteran

    Sep 18, 2007
    5,061
    I am a bit confused. What do you mean when you say first Variator campaign?

    The cars before 2004, had a design defect which required corrective action with a campaign.

    Are you saying that there was a second campaign after the first replacement campaign?
     
  14. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    Perhaps I should have mentioned it's a dealer car. The car is from NY and was previously serviced by FoLI, including the campaigns. It was traded in to another dealer about a year ago where it underwent the recent stuff, clutch, belts, fluids, etc. The car was and is in the dealers possession when the variator failed just now. Not sure how it happened at this point, whether it was on a test drive, random starting/moving of the car.

    I plan to investigate further today.
     
  15. RayJohns

    RayJohns F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 21, 2006
    6,459
    West Coast
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    Ray Johns
    Move on and find a car which hasn't had a failure of this magnitude.

    Ray
     
  16. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    In some ways I agree to move on, but on the other hand what makes any other car less prone to these variators failing? These variator failures are, for lack of a better term "freak" occurences, correct? Having them fail isn't necessarily indicative of the car being abused or improperly maintained IMO. Again, this was an updated variator that went bad.

    Who's to say buying "xyz's" car won't have the same random failure 10 miles down the road?

    I wonder if there's any bright side to it just having failed and been repaired? Fresh parts, longer timeline expected before another issue with them?

    Just thinking out loud here, trying to feel out the situation. My main question/concern was should they have replaced the other one preventatively at the same time?
     
  17. forgeahead

    forgeahead F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Sep 16, 2008
    4,326
    Rocky Mount, NC
    Full Name:
    Ray
    Sorry in advance for my ignorance. What is a variator, and what does it do?

    Ray
     
  18. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    So, if you drive on track, slowly, it will fail? If you go on a mountain run rowing through the gears really hard, it won't fail? Hmmmm.

    It's certainly not "new" news, but the TSB/SC is linked on this page: 190042
     
  19. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

    Sep 25, 2006
    23,267
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    Ian Anderson
    I was also thinking of throwing the BS flag on that one!..... Is there an "expiration" on service campaigns?

    I gotta be honest, I shat myself when I first read that! - It's dated 2004, but fortunately my VIN # is a little higher than those mentioned - Phew! - I think Brian checked a long time ago, but I still breathed a sigh of relief ;)

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  20. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    What is the sigh of relief for- the newer variators can also fail. The chance is likely low and thus I don't think about it, but I do realize it's something that can happen and is not fixed by the part being updated....
     
  21. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    #18 andrew911, Dec 23, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
    Well, the only unfortunate thing with the fresh parts theory is that is it seems they only replaced one variator...unless there is a chance they did both- you confirmed the they did only the one side (probably is my guess since that was the only part that was broken)...
     
  22. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    Yes, just the one side for sure. The repair order has the all the parts and quantities listed.

    And it's the same car I've been looking at Andrew. Back for sale again!
     
  23. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,157
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Your dealer is screwing you.
     
  24. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    PM sent!
     
  25. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,157
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    We check every car, 1st visit for outstanding recalls and campaigns.
     
  26. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    Brian I wish you were located out here in NJ as I'd love to have you service my car....sure I can't tempt you to move the business out by me? It's a balmy 25 degrees out today :)
     
  27. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

    Sep 25, 2006
    23,267
    Campbell, CA
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    Ian Anderson
    That's what I thought - Thanks! ;)
     
  28. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

    Sep 25, 2006
    23,267
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    Ian Anderson
    Hey! - Attempts to hijack Brian are met with significant wrath by us left coasters! :D

    Plus, I think he might be a little like The Stig - Doesn't function too well in those temps! :)

    Cheers,
    Ian
     

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