Mondial T Maintenance Costs and DIY | FerrariChat

Mondial T Maintenance Costs and DIY

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by amuraivel, Oct 9, 2022.

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  1. amuraivel

    amuraivel Rookie

    Oct 9, 2022
    Dear Ferrari Mondial T owners,

    I've been considering getting a Mondial T cabriolet -- I like the rear engine V8 and wedge styling along with 4 seats that seem to offer something truly unique, brand heritage aside.

    The thing that is a big question mark for me is the maintenance costs of the Ferrari cars is whether than can be maintained reasonably by a home mechanic. I have restored an MR2, and engine swapped it and have basic mechanics skills -- it was a great starter car, but probably a poor choice since the cars aren't worth much, and I'm a professional where my time is a cost, and I realized I probably should be working on a more expensive car.

    But unlike 911s and other enthusiast vehicles, there is not too much information on maintaining these cars as there doesn't seem to be a large group of home mechanics (given the low production numbers), or much DIY information.

    While the Mondial T is probably one of the only Ferrari's I'd consider, the comparatively low entry price is a red flag that the maintenance costs could be the main driver.

    Are parts readily available for this car? Porsche still maintains a roster of producers for the classics, and I think this is one of the reasons they fetch decent prices.

    For MR2s and 911s there are whole cottage industries devoted to keeping them on the road with new after market parts, but is this the case for a classic Ferrari?

    Is the information available, such as mechanics handbooks and wiring diagrams?

    Is the car hard to work on?

    Does it require lots of specialized tools?

    Is it hard to diagnose without specialized computers and/or scan tools?

    Is it just maintance cost fear that keep these cars cheap, or is it one of those things that if you have to ask -- it's just far to expensive?

    What are your thoughts and experiences maintaining these?
    paulchua likes this.
  2. Cantering1

    Cantering1 Karting

    Mar 11, 2021
    Full Name:
    Miguel A Serrano
    I love mine for the same reasons more... NOT an aircooled 911 for sure. German engineers craft more elfficient designs and easier to DYI like the VWs; that was the goal.

    This said, Ferraris are more of an object of mechanical art, with ease if maintenance not even in their checklist. Some parts are easy, some are nonexistent, most are pricey.

    The trick is recognizing what the car needs; if it needs $30k to get all done, and you do it, your experience will be very different from those that go at it $3k at a time. Protracting needed maintenance would extend into a decade long endeavour, robbing you of total enjoyment, and some times deffered itmes could compound to more complicated major problems.

    I feel this is why some ownerz will love ownership and others will always be in a constant state of mixex feelings or outrigh deception. Like aviation, this cars "run" (perform) at the speed of money (put into it).

    I'd say if the whole budget is not available, financing the whole deal could be well worth it. And buying a car that needs major services is a good thing, as you will surely know what and how it was done to it, and drive it confidently and total enjoyment.

    But sure love the car, its quite unique and can only appreciate in the future. Its investment grade. Remember those 246 Dinos were $40k underdogs back in the 90's, and look now...

    Like Nikes motto; Just Do It...
  3. JLF

    JLF Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2009
    Mine has been pretty much trouble free for 4 years. I just turn the key and it goes.
    The last owner spent a lot of money on it to make it right so my experience has been great.
    They can get expensive really quick though if something breaks or they have been neglected.
  4. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    South East
    Full Name:
    Take a look at all the previous experience here of maintaining these cars along with the technical thread sticky post at the top - then look at some of the 348 threads as they have similar running gear and more data given there are more of them
  5. pinefieldmoose@gmail. com

    May 2, 2022
    Full Name:
    John Hasty
    I’ve had my ‘89 t for 3 yrs & after about 4K miles have had no problems. Be sure to get a t and make sure the out of car belt etc has been done within 1 year, even if you do it, it’s expensive. Parts are expensive for instance an oil filter is $70. The former owner’s care for the car is key, if you get a “fixer upper” be prepared to spend thousands.
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Karting

    Feb 11, 2005
    Corolla, NC
    Owning a Ferrari, maybe even driving it once in awhile, is not about the money. That being said, if you have, say, $100,000 sitting somewhere and want a Ferrari,
    just buy one. Keep the leftover "change" for future repairs. If the money set aside is ehausted after 5 years, then it is a $20,000 a year car. Ten years?
    My 1990 Mondial t has been @ a $5,000 a year car, total, including the purchase and repairs. I've enjoyed it for 19 years now. Still loving it!
  7. greatscott73

    greatscott73 Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2017
    Eastern Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Howard Scott
    If you like to wrench on your own cars, the 3.2 version of the Mondial will be much more user friendly. For instance, you can do belts in the car instead of dropping the engine, which is required on the T. Parts are generally not a problem, unless its some obscure trim piece that may have only been used for a year or two. There are plenty of vendors for both new and used pieces all over the world. Several parts also are shared with other models such as Fiat or BMW and so can be purchased without paying the Ferrari tax. Lots of Bosch pieces on the car.
    I've owned mine almost four years and done everything it has needed (and a few things it hasn't, lol) in my own garage without any exotic tools, with the exception of a particular socket needed to deal with a ring nut the factory used in a few places.
    Things like the K Jet fuel injection system or 30+ year old tired fuse boxes can be troublesome, but not unsurmountable. The Mondial group here on FChat is a friendly and knowledgeable group willing to help with just about whatever comes along. Hope this helps.
    ellum, Norseman, Edgewood121 and 3 others like this.
  8. schelle_pelle

    schelle_pelle Karting

    Oct 22, 2021
    Berlin, Germany
    An UFI oil filter for the 3.2 is about 20-25€... Is it really that more expensive for the T?
  9. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    While the 3.2 is more maintenance friendly, the best of the breed is the 300 HP 3.4L Mondial T. You seem to be mechanically inclined. An engine out service is not beyond your mechanical abilities. A couple thousand dollars every five years for service is not overly expensive. Hell, I just spend $1000 a month for the last three months on a lousy Audi A3 that is worth no more than $5K. Piece of **** of a car.
    Norseman and JLF like this.
  10. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Yes. There is only one choice for that filter which is used on all 348/355/360 and it's $70.
    paulchua likes this.
  11. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    Menlo Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Paul Chua
    It's more difficult to come out ahead now since I last posted this "My Mondial is more affordable than a brand new Toyota"

    I've updated it with another engine out and some other ancillary stuff.

    So total cost to me so far 60K.

    I can easily sell for 40K, so my 10-year cost would $20K

    If I bought a 86' 10 years ago, I could probably sell it for 18K (with, say 30K miles) - with, say 5K in the maintenance of the year.

    So still slightly ahead for choosing a vintage Ferrari over a brand-spanking new Toyota 10 years ago.

    Thank you, Enzo.
  12. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    Menlo Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Paul Chua
    Spent about 30K last 10 years to give you an idea.


    Some parts


    If you have a lift and lots of time, I will say no. If not - yes



    Stigma and poor maintenance, though stigma is quickly fading.

    No regrets, but not everyone is comfortable ponying up an average of 3K every year.
  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Or $41 from AW.
    76Steel and paulchua like this.
  14. moysiuan

    moysiuan F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2005
    I have been self maintaining a 3.2 for more than 15 years. It helps that I had an excellent example when I started with it.

    Many things these old cars need are because they are old and need, eg. things dismantled, cleaned an lubricated to make for a reliable car. Doing this proactively makes it more of a rolling restoration, but over the years I have a superb car that runs as reliably as my daily drivers.

    The 3.2 is definitely more suited to a home maintainer than the t. I have never had the engine out of my 3.2.

    Parts are not always available, at least not without some extensive searching. There is no Haynes manual. I could not be doing this without Fchat.

    I am far from an marque expert, and spent many hours more than a pro would doing a task they were familiar with. But I get things done, on my own timetable and after making mistakes, to a standard of perfection even pros would respect.

    The 3.2 is well designed and built, not really that exotic, and many subsystems and parts are shared with Mercedes of the period, or in some cases Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Parts prices can be high, but go see what a brake disc goes for for eg. a new Mercedes AMG and you will feel better about it.

    If you want to wrench on a car with less hassle and exceptional support, the classic Porsche 911's win hands down. Might even be better investments too. But they are not Ferrari's. And frankly they don't really drive that well by my experience, overrated cars actually, and many engineering flaws especially in early versions. Getting a 993 would be the pick for me, it took years for that 911 idea to be perfected, and that was the pinnacle.

    The t does require engine out, and I found it drove differently, but not better, than the 3.2 when I test drove both at the time I was making my decision. It felt more modern, in both good and bad ways. I preferred the outside gills and and the interior seats of the 3.2, and found the engine sound more to my liking. The t was faster and torquier, the 3.2 is best kept on the boil. The 3.2 shifted with more connection feel, albeit a bit agricultural. The power steering on the t had appeal. But the 3.2 steering is light, and there is an aftermarket electric steering kit available.

    From your mechanical experience, I say go for it. I can't really imagine how people who don't work on their own cars can actually keep these cars reliable, there are so many small tasks which involve labour rather than any real special skill that a well maintained home hobby, even higher mialge example is probably in better shape than those with wads of professional service bills on file.
    ellum, paulchua and Eddie.h like this.
  15. Eddie.h

    Eddie.h Karting

    Mar 30, 2015
    Houston, Tx
    Full Name:
    Just make sure you have a good set of wiring diagrams. I would say most of the issues my 83 QV has are related to loose wires and bad connections. Right now the cabin air system has quit working on a regular basis so the “hobby” keeps on giving. Cheers and enjoy.

    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat

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