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Mechanical Knowledge Enough?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Ken, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    How much can I expect to be able to do myself on a Mondial QV? On my Lotus I've learned to change the master cylinder and boosters, time the engine, find electrical faults, check valve clearences and moot items like rebuild and balance the carbs. Plus hang the doors, fix the blinker return, etc. etc. ....I've never torn into the engine itself.

    Is that enough of a grounding to be reasonably able to learn how to fix all those small things that inevitably pop up on an old car? Something breaks on my Lotus every month and I've become really good at fixing them, but a Ferrari is a lot more complicated, isn't it.

    Not that I'm selling my Lotus yet, but if I do I think I want to try a Mondial QV for a while, and I would have to do all my own work except for the belts.

    Ken
     
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  3. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    3,317
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
    No, it's not that much more complicated. And from what you've listed above I'd say you could do the belts yourself. Just remember to swap out the fuse box if it already hasn't been done to the QV. Other than that I'd say QVs are fairly bullet proof, as far as Ferraris go. :) As long as it's been well cared for and the oil been changed with a proper synthetic I'd say you wouldn't have to "tear" in to the engine until, at least, the 150k mark.

    I'm sure others here would argue with that. I think you're fine to go ahead with it all.
     
  4. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    15,115
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom
    GO FOR IT DUDE!! You have more then enough skills to tackel this car. In the end..it is JUST A CAR no matter what symbol is on the hood.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,951
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    If you're good enough to keep the electricals running on a Lotus I think you are a perfect candidate for a Mondial. Mechanically they are pretty bulletproof, electricals are their weak spot. Also the factory manuals for that car are pretty good, just be advised that the shop man and elec. man. are different books. I would have both esp. the elec man. and it is btw the cheaper of the two.
     
  6. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    13,234
    Never home
    Full Name:
    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Shouldn't be an issue. Go for it.
     
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  8. Matt Morgan, "Kermit"

    Matt Morgan, "Kermit" Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    405
    Ferndale, WA
    I would very muchtend to agree withthe other posters. GO FOR IT
    There are some tools that you will need, starting with a rack if at all possible. getting into the "deeper" parts, as in more that tune up, etc. is without a doub the best way to learn your car on the inside as well. From what I glean from your post, IMO you allrady have some considerable aptitude for this sort of thing. Manuals are your best friend as is this section of F-chat. If you get stuck, take a look in archives, chances are good that whatever issue you are on, somebody else has allready asked the questions before, as they were unsure. "It is only nuts and bolts" is a good attitude to keep in the back of your mind. Expect to get frustrated. It is often part of working on Ferraris. When you get frustrated, step back for a bit, reread the manual, and go for it. As to the level of complication, every car has it's own "quirks" Working on the Lotus has probably shown you that. Pay attention to details, and you will find it an experience, that while at times makes you want to scream, when it is all done, and runs better, the feeling of accomplishment is worth all of the headaches combined.
    Best of luck!
    Kermit
     
  9. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    6,006
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Peter
    Ken, if you buy a well-sorted QV, you won't know what to do with your spare time. The ignition and fuel system are electronic, so there is really no tinkering required. I've owned a Mondial 3.2 for 2 years and there has been nothing required mechanically other than standard maintenance. If you've maintained an older Lotus for a few years, you're ready to work at NASA. BTW, I'm a big fan of the Europa and Lotus in general, but I never bought one because of reliability concerns. I think reliability was a real issue on the early cars, but the feedback I've read on Fchat indicates that the later Esprits (V8's and late 4 cyl) are fairly reliable.
     
  10. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    5,844
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
    Full Name:
    Steve W.
    As a fairly recent entrant to the Ferrari world, having bought an '84 Mondial QV just this past spring, I'd say it is more than do-able. I've been a Jaguar owner for many years ('89 XJS, '72 V-12 E-type, '70 XKE FHC, and now a '69 XKE OTS). I've always worked on my own cars, but stayed away from the big jobs like engine tear-downs, tranmission rebuilds. From what I've seen so far, the car is a lot easier to work on than my old XJS was. That V-12 engine was so complex and crammed into a tight space that the engine bay on the Mondial seems cavernous and simple by comparison.

    One suggestion though -- get a car that recently had the belts done. Although it may be a project that you'll feel comfortable with eventually, once you get to know the car, I don't think you want to mess with that right out of the box. I've been spending time sorting electrical glitches and minor mechanical things, nothing that is that difficult in comparison to the Jags. If you work on your Lotus, the Mondial will be a piece of cake.

    BTW, I really am enjoying the car so far. It is a blast to drive. Mine had only 19K miles when I got it, and I'm close to 21K already. Ferraris are definitely fun cars to drive and to work on.

    My biggest problem so far has been locating the manuals. I really need them -- parts, workshop and electrical. If anyone can help, please!!!!! Plus, if anyone can recommend a good, reliable and reasonably priced source for parts......

    Regards,
    Steve W.
     
  11. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    9,380
    predestined
    Full Name:
    Scott
    You are certainly more than qualified. I'd like to be able to handle the jobs you have. I've done lots of work myself on my 330 2+2, but I put the carbs, suspension bushings, brake rebuild, etc. in the hands of the pros.

    The earlier cars without all the high tech junk are likely easiest for the weekend mechanics like myself.
     
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  13. TOM B

    TOM B Formula 3

    Jul 24, 2003
    1,038
    Orange County, NY
    Full Name:
    Thomas Buckley

    I see that you're the owner of "Prunella". I'm the guy who almost bought her 4 years ago. We met at the last two "Tech Days" at Wide World of Cars". Welcome to FerrariChat.
     
  14. Philjay50

    Philjay50 Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2003
    587
    Chester, England
    Full Name:
    Philip
    Do you have a book on the electrics ? if so where did you get it from ? I have been looking for one for ages.
     
  15. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    6,006
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Peter
    Hey Tom, I've actually been on Fchat for since I bought my car, I just don't have enough time to be on nearly as often as I like. Hope to see you at the Florham park show in mid-September (I think you were there last year).
     
  16. TOM B

    TOM B Formula 3

    Jul 24, 2003
    1,038
    Orange County, NY
    Full Name:
    Thomas Buckley
    I'll be there. Looking forward to seeing you and Prunella again.
     
  17. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth

    The Europa really is a blast to drive! But it's true that something seems to need attention almost weekly. That's part of the the fun; the car is always driveable (almost always!) so I enjoy the car on the road while making it better. I have a hunch a Mondial will seem like a Honda for reliability. I'm NOT any kind of expert mechanic; all I know is my Europa in fact. But I think when I take the Ferrari plunge I should be okay.

    Ken
     
  18. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    24,096
    E ' ' '/ F
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    Dindu Nuffin

    Well, I don't know about Mondials, but the 328 is a pretty basic car, with the exception of the motor. Actually, crude is a better way to describe the construction :) The motor itself isn't really all that complicated either, it's just dang pricey if you make a mistake...
     
  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,951
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall


    Yes I do. Worked in dealers for many years and they were cheap. Might just try ordering one, and I wouldn't hold out for the correct year. Any year of the same generation should be ok. If not avail from Ferrari here or UK try Ferraribooks .com or ebay.
     
  20. Fiat Dino 206

    Fiat Dino 206 Karting

    Apr 19, 2004
    144
    Mississippi
    Full Name:
    David
    PM'ed you with some information regarding a manual for electrics on 84 QV that is for sale.

    electrics manuals for some of the vehicles are still around in the system, but some other of the manuals are nearly impossible to find for some reason?

    Naturally I pm'de you the wrong link the first time ... I'm an idiot! So check you other PM ... sorry!

    Best wishes
     

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