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Help needed: 348ts engine problems

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Husker, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Dec 31, 2003
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    I have a 1990 TS. Here's the facts:

    This afternoon I started the car to go for a drive. On start-up, something (waterpump?) was squealing/screaming very loudly, so I waited for 30-45 seconds and it suddenly quit squealing.

    I left for a drive and everything was operating normally, except the squealing/screaming did start up again twice during the drive and spontaneously and then quit within a few (5-10 seconds). Water/oil temps normal were right in the middle of the gauges - (12'oclock)

    I drove the car 20 or so minutes. Within a mile of my house, I was in 2nd gear and the car seemed to lose almost all of its power and the "Check Engine 5/8" light came on and stayed. I gently drove the car home and it died while I was pulling up in my driveway. Would start just barely and then die. Again, normal operating temperatures, although I was alarmed that my fans weren't coming on to cool the engine when the car died.

    I pushed it into my garage and left it for 10 minutes. No leaks. Attempted a start and it started fine, but again with the squealing/screaming.

    Questions:

    Is this probably the water pump going out?
    Have I done damage to my car without knowing it?

    ANY HELP ON THIS IS MOST APPRECIATED. THANKS IN ADVANCE.
     
  2. Just_some_dude

    Just_some_dude Karting

    Apr 1, 2004
    114
    It sounds to me like a bad alternator with bad bearings. That would explain the noises and the car stalling since the battery wasn't being charged properly. Check to see if your lights come on and that battery is charged. I do not own a Ferrari but that is what I would check first.
     
  3. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Well, judging from the lack of responses, I'm not too encouraged so far. :(
     
  4. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Tell us where the noise is? Use a long screwdriver and touch the metal end to various not-rotating parts on the engine and the other end near your ear. Go for where it is the loudest and tell us where it is.
     
  5. Dr_ferrari

    Dr_ferrari Formula 3
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    sounds like you may have a few problems, I don`t believe that all your symptoms are rooted in the failure of one component.
    the squealing could just be a loose or poor condition belt, maybe a bearing but i doubt it due to the fact it comes and goes.

    The engine loosing power with the check light coming on could be possibly a crank sensor, possibly an catyl converter ecu failure, ?? or maybe connections, Grounds? ......

    this is a 1990...have all updates to the car been done? there were a few.

    sounds like time to call your local trusted ferrari technician.



    best regards, Jim
     
  6. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    OK, I'm forming a hypothesis:

    Car starts fine now, with no "Check Engine" lights on. BUT...the squealing is a constant.

    My theory is that the squealing could be a "loose" belt that is slipping - probably on the water pump, and so the water pump isn't functioning as it should. Thus, the car may have gotten a tad bit "hot" on cylinders 5-8 and so Mr. Motronic said "no more" to those cylinders and alerted me with the light, and proceeded to shut down that side, hence the sudden loss of power after the car was good and warmed up.

    If it is not a belt, then it is a water pump bearing, which again, would cause the car to run hot if the water pump is having difficulty turning.

    How long do water pumps last on 348's? It was NOT replaced/rebuilt at the 30K two years ago.

    My only other idea is that it is an alternator bearing, but I don't think it's that, because such would not have caused the car to display a "check engine" light and proceed to lose a great deal of power and then later fail to start, period.

    So my first job will be to look at the water pump belt and see if it is loose.

    Does anyone know if the waterpump shares a belt with the alternator?

    I will keep everyone posted.
     
  7. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

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    The belt squealing should have nothing to do with the bank shutting down. It sounds like you have two unrelated issues there. The water pump drive belt is the cam belt - take a look at the pics in my "engine out" thread and you'll see the water pump pulley is at the top center of the train. You cannot readily inspect that belt as it is under a cover and besides it is pretty robust and I doubt prone to failure unless you actually see coolant leaking. I would first suspect the alternator belt pulley first which fortunately you can see, touch and remove easily from underneath the car, on the driver's side. If the pulleys have any play the bearings are probably bad and need to be replaced.

    As far as the banks shutting down, from what I have learned it is usually the exhaust ecu/thermocouple that causes the shut down as the ECU thinks that cat is overheating. In my case the same thing happened (intermittent shutdown bank 5-8) - I found the catalyst had all broken apart and was clogging the cat outlets. Then the loose, hot material directly touched the thermocouple and was fooling the ECU, causing shutdown. My car is a late 90 like yours (Motronic 2.7) with 30K miles - and basically my catalyst was TOAST! I would be willing to bet yours may be as well. Check the archives as I posted pics of the inside of my cat for comparison. Keep in mind you'll need to take the bumper off to get the exhaust out (to inspect the cats) if you decide to check but it's really not that difficult. Hope that helps.
     
  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    First I would check to make sure the the tentioner bearing for the alternator belt is tightend properly against the belt. The bearing sits between the crank pully and the alternator. You can get to it from the bottom of the car. If it is loose, you will need to loosen the bolt on the front of the bearing, and then tighten the bolt on the bottm to get the proper tention, then retighten the bolt on the front to hold it in place. Also while you are checking the tention, I would loosen up the belt until you can take it off, then spin the alternator pully by hand. It should spin effortlessly. If it doesn't then I would say the alternator needs a rebuild. The other thing you can look for is built up rubber on the aternator bearing or the pully of the alternator. The one that has build up on it is probably the one that is going out.

    Now if both of those check out okay, then it is either your water pump going south, or worse the bearing for the timing chain getting ready to take a dump. If it is either of the two, you are gonna have to pull the engine to remedy the problem. The water pump runs off of the cam belt, and the only way to get to the bearing for the timing chain is to have the timing belt off. Either way the engine will have to be pulled, if that is what it turns out to be.

    But lets just check the alternator belt first.

    Also since the check engine light came on, you will want to pull the codes from the ECU's. That will give you a better idea of what caused the engine to shut down one bank.
     
  9. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

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    Ernie's right - I forgot to mention the cam belt tensioner bearings. I still think the alternator would go first though. Anyway, here's a picture that may help give you some perspective on how things are arranged in that small dark hole behind your firewall. Keep in mind the things at the bottom (alternator & a/c components) are all reachable from below. Everything else is completely covered up (and basically untouchable) with the engine in the car. Fortunately those untouchable components seem to be the best built:
     
  10. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Shan and Ernie: THANK YOU. I think it could be the alternator after reading what you guys posted. There could be a correlation between the alternator and/or alt. belt problem and the "check engine" light too, as when the car died I don't think the electric fans were running. Could have been from the alt. situation and caused the car to get on the hot side (although the gauges certainly didn't show it). Thoughts?

    I look at it this way: it's either the alternator or an early 30K service! It could be worse!


    Thanks again. I will keep you posted as I do more checking tomorrow.
     
  11. jimangle

    jimangle Formula 3

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    It could be the alternator belt being loose, and then your battery running down, and that in-turn is causing your other problems. A weak battery will make an ecu run screwy.

    Jim
     
  12. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    Maybe your A/C compressor is seizing? When the compressor cycles on, the belt squeels????? Does the A/C seem to be working OK?
     
  13. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    I believe it is completely unrelated to the A/C - I haven't run the A/C in weeks and it wasn't running when the first squealing occurred. In all likelihood it is the alternator (bad bearing) or loose alternator belt.

    In the unlikely event it was the waterpump pulley seizing (the cam belt drives the waterpump), I'm assuming I would have been hearing a great deal more racket and the car wouldn't have run worth a hoot right from the start; such wasn't the case - the car ran perfectly -even with the squealing- for a good 20 minutes.

    I suppose it could be a waterpump bearing, but that is usually preceded by coolant leaking out of the pump and onto the ground. None of that.

    I really appreciate you guys trying to help me out on this. I will keep you posted.
     
  14. 348uk

    348uk Karting

    Feb 1, 2004
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    An alternator fault, a belt slip especially, wouldn't stop your fans coming on and so wouldn't be responsible for the shut down of the cylinder bank. As long as there was power in the battery all systems should function, although at a weaker pace as the battery discharged. (This assuming that the alternator isn't kicking out a charge at all)

    If the alternator had failed and the car was running on the battery alone then the car would eventually die as the battery totally discharged, but it wouldn't restart again until it had been charged up.

    I'd be surprised if your 2 faults are related. Personally I'd remove the alternator belt and then start her up, if the squeal has gone then you've isolated the fault to that area, if it continues then you've eliminated all bearings and components related to the drive from that belt.

    Let us know how you get on.
     
  15. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    UPDATE:

    The loud squealing/screaming is NOT coming from the alternator or alt. belt, and NOT the a/c or a/c belt.

    My next best guess is the water pump bearing. Today when I started the car, at first no squealing, then it started within 10 seconds and is constant.

    Other observations:

    I was afraid of a rod bearing or cam bearing failure, but the oil is clear as a bell - no metal in it.

    No leakage of any kind.

    So...my theory is that the water pump bearing has either seized or is making a lot of racket. If it has seized, that means the cam belt is spinning 'round the seized pulley and that's the source of the squeal. But...if this was the case, I almost thing I would have had the smell of burning rubber from the cam belt being overheated.

    So my best guess is that the water pump bearing is going out.

    Any other potential areas that I have missed? Thanks everyone!
     
  16. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Husker

    Don't start the car anymore. If the cam belt snaps your SCREWED! You can look to see the top of the cam belt by taking off the cam cover tops. There are four allen screws that hold each top on. Remove the four screws and lift the cover off. You will be able to see the belt and the cam pullies. You should be able to see that the belts is wearing out. But what ever you do DON'T TURN THE ENGINE ON! You don't wanna chance the belt taking a dump, and grenading the engine. My guess is that your water pump is history, or one of the tentioner bearings has had it. It is not uncommon for either one of these to go bad.
     
  17. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    You know now that I think of it, your right, you would smell burning rubber. Either way, it is the water pump, or one of the tentioner bearings. So your gonna have to pull the engine.
     
  18. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Ernie, I'm with you. Ernie, I live in Amarillo, TX. There are a number of good Ferrari-inclined independent shops in Dallas area - about 350 miles from here. There are several top-notch independent shops in Amarillo, too, but of course, Ferrari work is a rarity. Two fellows I know here work extensively on Porsche, Audi, VW, BMW, MB, and Jag though. Am I taking much of a risk allowing one of these to do the work, or should I ship my car to Dallas for the work? What is your opinion?
     
  19. RAYMAN

    RAYMAN Formula Junior
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    I've been follwing this thread, and If I may but in. I have a 348 here in Oklahoma. Dallas is the closest place to me too. I also have a XJS Jag, but theres no way I'd let the Jag dealership work on my 348. Other than being European, there's nothing in common.

    I feel for ya though. I know one day I'm going to be faced with the same situation.
     
  20. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Rayman, as big as OKC is, there's not a Ferrari mechanic in the whole town? This entire episode is a real stroke of bad luck for me. I bought my beautiful 348 about 6 weeks ago and it is an awesome car. That old rule of thumb that you replace the water pump at the 30K is a good one to follow, as I am finding out right now. Oh well, that's the breaks, huh?
     
  21. RAYMAN

    RAYMAN Formula Junior
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    Well lets just say, i would'nt trust anyone here to pull the engine. I've had mine about 4 weeks, but before I took posestion, I had the 15K service done, cam belts too. I know you didn't ask, but it should cost you around $4,000.00 here in the midwest. for 30K service.

    Good luck!
     
  22. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

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    Husker - sounds like you've checked the obvious things and it's now time to pull the engine and have a look. These engines are not all that complicated so it's something very simple (one bad pulley bearing) but there's no way to see that stuff with the engine in place. I'd trust a good independent with Ferrari experience over a dealer. Actually, I trust myself first (because I can take my time) but I don't know how mechanically inclined you are so that may not be an option for you. Sounds like it's time to trailer it to Norwood's (or other mechanic of choice) for some diagnostics. As you said, best to replace all these little items during the major so things like this don't crop up. Don't feel bad though - this is not tragic, just inconvenient. Fix it right and then enjoy driving the heck out of it!

    By the way, I had the same thing happen to me with my 328 a few years ago - the major was done and the dealer forgot the water pump (although they charged for it) - guess what blew three weeks later on the highway? Live and learn.
     
  23. Terry

    Terry Formula Junior

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    I had the same noise on my Mondial t. I know you said you have eliminated belt noise but just in case....
    My high pitched sqeeling was coming from the altenator tensioner pulley. The bearing was turning inside the pulley housing hence the loud high pitch noise. I was able to confirm this with WD40 before removing anything. A good shot with the extension tube from underneath the car on the pulley stopped the noise for a couple of seconds.
    A new bearing, re-plated pulley and assembled with anti-slip bearing compound fixed it.
     
  24. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
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    Ernie.
    Good replies here and a nice illustration to boot.
    I couldn't agree with you more. I'd take my best look at a diagnosis at home, then I'd call Norwoods and chat with them. They may be able to give you one or two more self diagnosis suggestions. If you rule out a DIY fix, just send it to them. They do quality work, (their rep is well known in the Dallas area at least), and theri prices are reasonable. They stand behind their work too. They are also an F-chat sponsor. Let them know you are an F-chatter when you call.
    Another plug for Ernie: I agree, it is time to stop runing the motor now. Cam belt failures are BAD. Best of luck and let us knwo what happens.
     
  25. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    I just talked with Shade Tree Enginetrics where my car is, and they said that this mysterious noise was indeed a throw-out bearing. I didn't inquire as to how much $$ to fix but I'm figuring it will be considerably less than any "engine out" procedure. Thought I would close this thread, and thank all of you for posting your thoughts!
     

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