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Lowering and Alignment Cost

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by mdrums, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    My 2019 488GTB is at the local dealer for its oil change and brake fluid flush. While there I asked them to let me know what it would cost to get the stock alignment numbers, then lower the car on stock springs 20mm, check corner balance ride height which is part of lowering the car and to align it to some specs I gave them.

    My indy euro shop that does this and does a ton of GT Cup cars etc quoted me just under $2k...Ferrari comes back with $4100.

    Anyone that has done this work before let me know why you paid. I've had this type of work done before on my Porsche GT3's which honestly amounts to basically the same labor and it's always been around $1000.

    My local dealer charges $700 just for an alignment!!! Local euro race car shop is $175-$200.
     
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  3. SoCal to az

    SoCal to az F1 World Champ
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    I was quoted $3500 by the dealer for my Pista and around 2k from a local indy shop.
     
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  4. Gh21631

    Gh21631 F1 Veteran
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    There's your answer but there is always a Ferrari tax.
     
  5. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    My shop just charges hourly. No "FAVT" or other bull. It does not matter if they work on clio Cup car, a Ferrari street car or a 3000 hp drag monster. It's hourly rate. In many ways our cars are simple to work on. You might need to remove a strut for initial loosening to not damage threads, but that's 10-15 min. After that they reinstall but don't tighten things till done. My guy Robin has done quite a few 458's and 488's, so he knows how to go about it.
    The process is simple.
    Measure the allignment prior to lowering and balancing. That's pretty quick.
    Then he does all the lowering. If the balance just has to be within stock specs, it is less than two hours. If you want it down to within a 1-3 kg total, he can do that, but it is a lot of wheels on and off.

    Then he finishes off by aligning. If it's just a normal road driven car, toe will be set to factory spec, and the camber will be left alone. Lowering adds a bit, but not much. So unless something is outta whack, it's quick to just set toe.

    If you want the big deal with camber, it can take more or less time depending on whether or not the upper shims are removed. Those aren't horse shoes so you need to pull the studs to get those out. It's not huge, but it all adds up.

    I got new pads, tyre change, full setup for about 1300 Euro. That's labour only as I had the pads and shoes with me.
    2100 usd seems high. Ask them what their expected time is. Then ask them to see the listed hourly rate. 6-8 hours total tops for the full Monty with precision balance. There is a lot of wheels off and on when not picking. A simple balance/lowering should not be more than 2-3 hours. Then add what ever allignment you want on top. If you just want toe, that's quickly done.

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  6. white out

    white out Formula Junior
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    GT3 (and most cars) can be adjusted without removing the coilovers. 458/488 often require the coilover to be removed and the collars unlocked on a bench, then reinstalled. Explains the price difference.
     
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  8. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    No it does not, because that does not take that long to do..if you're used to it, 10 mins per strut out and in. Then after that you can make adjustments and lock them when you are done. Each strut does not need to come out for each little adjustment.

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  9. OSUferrari

    OSUferrari Formula Junior
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    My dealership did my F8 for $2200
     
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  10. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    Thanks I figured I was getting ripped off here in Tampa. Jeez...$4100 is insane. Hourly rate is $175 so that's not the issue...the issue is they want to charge $350 just to put on align rack and get number...that takes all of 15-20 min....then $2400 to lower car quoting 10hr labor time....then they want...get this...$700 to do the actual alignment.

    I am honestly so sick of this BS. I tried to buy a car from them...that was a bunch or lies and BS with the sales guy and now I am trying to give them some service business and the pricing is just insane. To take coilers out is 4 freaking bolts, simple spring compressor, drop perches down 10mm each...put back on car. Measure ride heigh from frame points per service manual and maybe adjust, add a shim if needed and set toe.

    I asked for -1.5 camber per side front and rear, minimal front toe out setting with in stock spec (trying to take out high speed twitch) and stock toe rear toe which is 2 degree toe in per side. This is slightly less aggressive than Robert M and Manthey Racing did on his Pista for the Nurburgring.

    I plan on doing minimum track days on MPSC2 tires. I instruct for a few track organizations and plan on a fun day instructing my student and doing 1/2 a session before lunch and 1/2 a session after is all. I just want a slightly lower car and to fix the front toe setting a little.
     
  11. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    Don't take the rear camber down to 1.5. It will be at around 2 if you drop it 20 mm and that is very stable with the toe and castor.
    Try and keep front toe at least 0.5 degrees out if you stick to out. Less than that and you start to get into the same kind of instability you get from zero toe setups. 0.5 per side is a lot less darty than the stock 1 degree but it retains straight line stability. If that is still too darty for you, try 0.5 toe in. Tried the 1 degree in and that was just too slow and had too much delay in the response.

    1.5 camber is definitely better, but you can easily go bigger. I have 1 degree and 45 minutes per side and will be adding 20-25 mins.
    Yes if on a track like Nordschleife, the slower input and lesser camber is fine. But that track is long fast sweepers and it does not favour the same setups most GP style tracks like. Don't be afraid to get the front camber up between 1.75 and 2 in the front, especially on a car that is softer than a Pista. It will try and roll to the outside more, so camber is needed.

    Make sure you have your wheels checked prior to allignment. If they are even slightly out, you cannot align properly. Same goes if your tyres are beat to hell. Best to align on new shoes - but round straight wheels is a must.

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  13. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    Thanks! Yes .5 degree out in front toe per side no less. I was thinking about -1.7 or 2 degree camber per side up front and -1.7 rear but car will be mostly street and 2 track days a tear...so keep it conservative.

    wheels are straight and tires like new no track days on them. Car drives smooth and straight right now as it sits stock.
     
  14. RayJohns

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    Over $4000 seems a bit excessive to me, but if the dealer you are using doesn't routinely lower cars, then they probably aren't used to doing it all that often (and thus it's a slower job for them). For that money, I think I'd ask them how many 488's they have actually lowered and if they are actually do the job onsite themselves or if they are farming it out to some other local shop (and then just marking it up).

    Anyway, it's easy to sit at your desk and talk about how easy a job is - or what it should or shouldn't cost - especially if you have never actually had to do the job yourself.

    I've removed the struts front struts on my 458 myself and lowered the car 15mm in front. Yes, it's just a few bolts to remove the coil-over assembly from the frame of the car. However, once it's free, at least on one of the sides, it has no place to go. In order to actually get it out from where it's hanging, you have to take apart lot more of the car (front compartment panels, wiper motor, etc.). So while technically it's correct that it's just a couple bolts, that isn't really the full story.

    Also, once it's off, it's no cake walk to break free the lower collar lock nut. Doing so can also damage the threads, if you don't know what you are doing (as everything is aluminum). A lot of people talk about how you can just zip down the lower spring perch while the coil over is still on the car (and under some residual tension from the spring). However, a lot of people (even Ferrari dealerships) have gone this route with disastrous results also. At least one person here on Ferrari chat attempted this method and ended up shopping for a replacement coilover due to seized aluminum threads. So, again, until you have actually done the job yourself, be careful jumping to a lot of conclusions about how "easy" it is.

    20mm on stock coils is pretty aggressive in my opinion. Yes, it can be done (as there is room on the threaded part of the coil-over to go 20mm). However, keep in mind that for each 1mm you lower the car, you are losing 1mm of suspension travel as far as the strut is concerned. On my car, I was originally going to do 20mm, but once I got into it, I opted for 15mm instead. That proved to be the perfect amount for the front and I ended up leaving the rear of the car at stock height. It definitely improved the look and handling (and also the stability of the car at higher speeds). I was going to also do my own front alignment (just to change the toe-in/out to +/- 0mm from the factory -1mm - but I never got around to it and never felt it was necessary).

    Just a quick final question with regard to handling: before going out and making a lot of changes to the factory suspension settings, have you considered playing around with front vs. rear tire pressures? You'd be surprised how much you can fine tune the handling of the car just by varying the tire pressures a few PSI front or rear). Just a thought.

    Ray
     
  15. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    Hi Ray, yes I play with pressures...running 1psi down from stock now. That did help with grip. If I go lower than 28 psi on front the check tire light comes on. 29 30 front is stock pressure. Unlike Porsche GT cars, Ferrari doesn’t give you a track pressure setting to avoid low pressure light as you possibly know.

    20mm is max from what I hear to lower on stock springs And is almost 1”. I am considering 12 to 15mm as well.

    To remove the coil over on a 488...do you have to remove the same stuff as a 458 that you talk about? I can’t find any info on line, video of work being done , shop manual and so forth on the 488.

    My local Ferrari dealer does do the work in house. Nothing is farmed out. They showed me the alignment rack and scales and so forth and I talked with them the specs I was seeking and why I wanted to do this. I even told them if they thought Novitec springs would be better I’d do that but with aftermarket springs Ferrari will void suspension warranty, and other things connect to suspension like rear axles and possibly f1 transmission. We decided that is not a good way to go especially since I have Ferrari warranty till 2025.

     
  16. RayJohns

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    I believe you should be able to avoid that tire pressure warning light by resetting the tire pressure monitoring system. That should give you a new base line.

    I have a brief video on my YouTube channel from when I did it on my 458. It's not extensive, but it does show a little bit from while I was working.

    On the 488, I would guess you have to remove the panel which goes over the suspension area, yes. The issue is that - while it's relatively easy to unbolt the coil over from the frame of the car - you'll quickly find it then has no place to go; it's sort of held hostage by the avoid between the A-arm casting as I remember. So the panels around the wheel wells have to come out as I remember. I think on one side, you can ease it out, but I could be mistaken (i.e. you need to remove panels above everything on each side). It's been a few years. I do remember I had to monkey around with the wiper motor also; I think I had to unbolt it and push it out of the way in order to gain some clearance when pulling the strut out. As I said before, it's not just 2 bolts and it pops out in your hands.

    Another thing, if you go much beyond 15mm in front, you might want to also invest in a good front skid plate. Even if you have a front lift, it's easy to forget to activate it and think "oh, this bump isn't too bad" and then end up scraping off the paint under the front nose area (or on the further back section especially). Frankly, as someone who grew up driving nothing but lowered cars, my advice is to tread lightly when it comes to lowering your car too much and/or modifying your suspension too far beyond what the factory has setup. Unless you really know what you are doing, it can quickly turn into a pandoras box situation. It's also very easy to quickly make your car a nightmare to drive on anything but ultra smooth race tracks if you aren't careful.

    Anyway, here's that video:

     
  17. white out

    white out Formula Junior
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    For initially breaking the spring perch loose, on a Ferrari, the coilover has to come out most of the time . . . even when you don't give a fk and hit it with a torch. Once it's loose, reinstall and counter-balance away.
     
  18. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    Thanks Ray.... I don’t have front lift in my car so I have to be careful.

    My Ferrari dealer here has done this work and I’d rather have them do it...but there pricing is over $4k and seems excessive time me. I’m having pause on turning the car over to my euro Indy shop....they’ve done tons of Porsche race car work but just don’t want anything broke or messed up and having to deal with that.
     
  19. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    That's what I said. You take them out to loosen them and then yoy can adjust as per usual. Taking the four struts out for this task f
    Doe not add up to an extra 1100 bucks. It takes less than an hour.for all four.

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  20. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    My shop did it recently and it was pretty easy to get them out.
    I have also seen some that just removed the brake disc and slid it out that way, and that is very easy to do.

    My guy used the same method as you have used on your 458, he told me it was the exact same procedure.

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  21. ntatfas

    ntatfas Karting
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    Speaking as someone who does not track his cars and typically does not adjust, unless it is out of spec, the alignment...

    These threads pop up so often its a wonder somebody at Ferrari have not noticed and decided to add a "Custom alignment", "Custom drop" to the options list for new build cars where people intend tracking them or just want a different ride. It would also enable them to specify maximum adjustments from a safety perspective and in such I suppose I have just answered my question, zero change is their safety limit!

    I appreciate that many will want to drive their specific car before deciding on the values but if Ferrari did offer those build services then they will have to train their dealers on how to check & adjust as part of the PDI and make a standard price for later adjustments.
     
  22. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    Ferrari should not offer a custom setup. If anything, they could offer a "fixed" performance option.

    Fact is that if you opened up a personalized setup option, way too many who haven't got the faintest idea would start asking for things they don't need.

    Problem is that a lot of these cars are driven by people who aren't good performance drivers, so Ferrari feels compelled to cater to this majority. Imagine the daily grind in Beverly Hills if all the 458 Spiders and 488 Spiders were set up for neutral handling. All the housewives would be climbing lamp posts and trees left and right.

    What they could offer was a performance setup as part of Corse Pilota. Then you limit who has access to it.

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  23. ntatfas

    ntatfas Karting
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    Yes that makes more sense, I often forget a number of customers have little/no high performance driving experience or "feel" for car setup. Cannot have the marque ruined by news of housewives/husbands/youtubers wrapping theirs cars round trees.
     
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  24. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

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    Thing is...most all drivers THINK they know how to drive fast.....They have not a clue.

    I started AutoX back in the 90's then hit the track in 2005...I am still learning...that is the fun!
     
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