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Has anyone heard of premature valve guide wear in 550s?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Spinto, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Spinto

    Spinto Rookie

    Apr 19, 2009
    41
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm selling my 550 and the potential purchaser is concerned about premature valve guide wear. The car has 12,000 miles, and he wants to have a compression/leakdown test performed because he's concerned about an apparently common problem with early 550s (my car's a 1999) in which they wear out the valve guides prematurely, but I had never heard of such a thing. Apparently the labor to do a compression/leakdown test is huge, I was quoted $1500 by someone who is extremely reputable and whom I trust implicitly!!

    Thanks much.
     
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  3. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    11,180
    South East
    Full Name:
    Jimmie
    The quick answer is that if it was a frequent issue there'd be a thread here - is there ?

    Beyond that if the guy wants to spend USD 1500 for peace of mind surely its his concern !
     
  4. mont

    mont Formula 3

    Sep 16, 2004
    1,551
    Portugal
    First. Never worry for something not present. Do you feel or felt any kind of loss of power, oil consumption, dirt around intake manifold? If not, probably your Maranello is nice and strong as most are. There were indeed some issues related with the valve guides both on the 456/550 but unless proved otherwise, were mainly derived from bad use...wrong oil, elapsed times for heating and cooling... etc...

    Obviously, a new buyer should be able to do all tests... but a $1500 figure is very high... a leak test is easy and fast to do even in a V12. But I would go first to the compression test. More reliable and you get the picture of how the cylinders and rings are as well as valves sitting. DO IT COLD!

    If you suspect of something wrong... than a leak test with the cooling expansion tank open, admisssion free and some paper soft towels on the pipes... easy and funny...

    Cheers,
     
  5. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,593
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Spinto- From what we have seen here, the problem mainly exists on 456s. When the 550 engine was built, they completely redesigned the head. Brian Crall (Rifledriver) answered this question earlier and said the 456/M head design may have caused some local heating issues on the 456 heads not present on the 550. Of note is that the parts catalog for the 456/M shows sintered steel valve guides as the only replacements available or recommended. The 550 parts catalog still shows bronze guides as the replacements, indicating they caused no problems.

    My personal opinion is the potential buyer is wasting his money doing the test on a low mileage 550. There are owners here who have gone 50,000+ miles (some many more) with no valve guide problems. Ask him where he heard 550s had valve guide problems. Many people do not seem to realize the 456/M (Type 116 engine) and 550/575M/SA/612 (Type 133) are completely different engine designs, with lessons learned from the Type 116 applied to the Type 133, and with new technologies, like hydraulic valve lifters and variable length intake runners, incorporated.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,141
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    #5 Rifledriver, Apr 6, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
    A. I would never ever skip a compression and leak down test. So what if it is not a known problem for all 550's. You do not care about averages, you care about that car. Test it.


    B. $1500?????? Boy are you getting screwed or what? I don't care if his shop is on 5th F'n avenue and he uses solid gold tools, he is screwing you. Extremely reputable my white ass. He's a crook and you trust him? I've got a bridge for sale. Take a drive to San Francisco and head North. You can't miss it, it's orange. Make me an offer.
     
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  8. Spinto

    Spinto Rookie

    Apr 19, 2009
    41
    San Francisco, CA
    How much do you want for the bridge? I think I know the one you're talking about; it's good looking for sure.

    How many hours would you bill for a compression and leakdown test?
     
  9. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,593
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Spinto- Now you have a real expert's opinion.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  10. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 10, 2003
    18,337
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Juan Sánchez Villa-L
    brian, WTF, we agreed on a price and i wired you the money yesterday.
     
  11. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,141
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    #9 Rifledriver, Apr 6, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
    Deed is in the mail.


    BTW, I forgot to mention that the Northern and Southern ancorages just so happen to be sitting on my land. I'll be sending over a lease agreement for your approval.
     
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  13. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,593
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Brian- Is shipping to my choice of location included? We could use a couple more bridges in New Mexico.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  14. ddnguyen

    ddnguyen Karting

    Aug 11, 2005
    236
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Duane
    Compression / leakdown test was included in my full PPI that cost much less than 1/2 that amount.
     
  15. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Owner

    #12 348SStb, Apr 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
    A compression test should be about 2.5 hours and the leak test is just a little extra time since all the spark plugs are already out. Figure 3-3.5 hours billed for the whole job. Four hours would be generous.

    I've had this done many times. I've even done it myself. Whoever has quoted $1500 deserves to never ever hear from you again. Seriously.

    A compression test is a piece of cake. I know you are getting grilled on this -- and your mechanic is getting hammered also -- but really, I've heard a lot of outlandish rip-off price quotes; but I think $1500 for a compression and leak-down test takes the cake. Trust us on this one.

    By the way, would you care to share with us your name and location and perhaps also would you consider filling out your profile?
     
  16. JF308

    JF308 Formula 3

    Jan 17, 2007
    1,262
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    John Feeney
    $1500. You guys are being so unfair. Have you even stopped to consider that this poor bloke may have lost his shop and tools due to the economy, and has to buy some new tools and rent a space to do the work? $1500, in that scenario, is very reasonable.

    pls have some compassion. the economy is impacting all of us.
     
  17. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005
    4,310
    VA
    Just had a leakdown and compression done after header failure on my 355 (which is prone to issues) and it was something like $100.

    Do the test, but go someplace else to have it done. And I'd probably not go back.
     
  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,141
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    As is where is. I do have some friends in the heavy lifting and heavy drayage biz. Good bridge creds. I can give you a number.
     

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