Paint Problem on 355

Discussion in '348/355' started by redjeeper, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. redjeeper

    redjeeper Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    Flowood, MS
    Full Name:
    Anthony Griffin
    I remember reading in the old board about a paint cracking problem on 355 Berlinettas. Can someone either tell me what causes it or find a link? I am going to be looking for a 355 in the future and want to know if I should consider the Berlinetta or the Spyder. Thanks.

    Also what kind of problems will I have with the top on the Spyder? I live in the south so I can potentially keep the top down any time of year.
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  3. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    There are two common paint issues on the F355. 1) the front facia gets hit by road stones and slowly deteriorates. A fresh spray every other year aleviates this problem. 2) If the car takes lots of hard impacts* at the rear wheels, cracks can begin to form along the butresses.

    * track use that includes hitting curbs or off track 'events', and non track use that includes pot holes at speed induce enough forces into the rear subframe to stress these butresses.
  4. rossi

    rossi Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    I had a paint problem at the back bumper of my 355. It was a small blister, appr. 3 cm long, located at one of the air outlets beneath the numberplate. Obviously due to hot engine temperatures.
    Bumber was repainted, blisters never occurred again, nor any other paint problems.
  5. Ferrari_tech

    Ferrari_tech Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    Malcolm W
    Some suffer from "rear wing stress splits", this is where the rear wing is joined to the side pillars.

  6. redjeeper

    redjeeper Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    Flowood, MS
    Full Name:
    Anthony Griffin
    If I don't track my car, will I have to worry about this?
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  8. fasthound

    fasthound Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2003
    While washing the car this past weekend, noticed paint crack at the intersection of the rear fender and the roof buttress. These parts are steel (according to the magnet) so rust will eventually be aproblem. Anyone had this problem and if so how do you affect repair and what was the outcome. IF you had it fixed, has it reoccurred? These sure seem like damn fragile cars. My 993 was tracked over 25 days in one year and NOTHING went wrong with it.
  9. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    The cracking that Malcolm is talking about is the most common paint cracking when people discuss this issue with regard to the 355. As Malcolm rightly points out, the cracking is where the C-Piller (the back end of your roof) connects to the main body. The most common reason cited for this is engine heat, as unlike with more recent Ferraris, the C-pillers for the 355 are welded at the point. This makes the paint application less "cohesive" (for lack of a better word) than on a smooth one-piece surface. Consequently, the paint in that area is subject to cracking due to constant exposure to engine heat. I would also venture to say the general stresses the car is exposed to contributes to it as well (again, due to the weak adhesion of paint to surface), but to a lesser degree. Keep in mind, this is a cosmetic issue more so than a structural one.

    The other examples of paint cracking listed on this thread seem to be unique examples, and are probably car specific.
  10. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    Have also read the same in second hand inspection guides and witnessed that on dealer's cars. Starts with bubbles around the lower edge of the C-pillar.
    Seemingly more frequent on early cars, driven hard on bumpy roads with the sport suspension set on.
    One problem I've been spared of ... so far.
  11. fasthound

    fasthound Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2003
    Mine is happening at the leading edge of the c-pillar (on the outside edge of the air inlet at the intersection of of the buttress and the rear fender). Question still does one repair this area?
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  13. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    My mechanic says there is a structural support from the frame to that c-pillar, and seems to be transfering some of the load, causing the cracking. Tracking, or driving on rough roads seems to increase the severity and on set of the problem. Though I have seen cars that have had a relatively "gentle" life suffer these cracks. I have also seem a couple cars that had the area refinished, but they subsequently cracked again. Seems a crappy design by Ferrari. I have not seen anyone figure out a permanent fix.

    Getting a spider eliminates the issue....

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