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PPI and the Odometer??

Discussion in '308/328' started by PittsS2APilot, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. PittsS2APilot

    PittsS2APilot Formula Junior

    Jun 29, 2007
    857
    Gulfport MS
    Full Name:
    Joe
    If someone were looking at doing a PPI on a very low mileage 308 I would think there would be an assumtion of at least a possibility of a speedo disconnect sometime in it's lifetime? I would think the "simplest" place to make this disconnect is at the sender on the engine? Perhaps at the odometer itself but I think that would be harder to do? So if you were doing a PPI what would be some things to look for as evidence of an odometer disconnect? I was thinking there may be dirt and grime "inside" the connection socket that was exposed to the elements while disconnected? Joe
     
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  3. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
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    Dave
    Honestly, I wouldn't PPI a car where I thought someone was being dishonest about the mileage and I suspected something like a speedo disconnect.
     
  4. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
    17,176
    USA
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    Hugh G. Rection
    Could have happened by a previous owner, not the current one...you never know.
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
    17,176
    USA
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    Hugh G. Rection
    I think a better way is during the overall inspection. In other words a skilled Ferrari tech will take the totality of the inspection to determine if the mileage makes sense. If the mileage is very low, then things like the pedal pads, seat bolsters, car mats, brake pad wear and other various items should all match for that approximate mileage.
     
  6. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
    Fullerton, California
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    Jon
    The longer I'm involved with these cars, the more I think you have to personally know the history of the car to assign it anything other than a 'TMU' (true mileage unknown) designation.

    I've had phone or email conversations with my car's previous two long-term owners, after I had already bought the car from a dealer, and they confirmed their use of the car -- i.e., they told me how many miles they put on it. Both guys strike me as very honest. At the time of purchase, I put my faith in the compression test results, which were quite good.

    If you want to do detective work to see if it's been disconnected, one place to check is the connector to the speedo unit itself in the instrument cluster. Maybe you could see some signs of disturbance. But a real fraudster could probably figure out how to deceive you anyway.

    Bottom line is this: There's an unhealthy fixation in the Ferrari community with odometer readings. If a 10,000-mile 328 is worth $5K more than a 20,000-mile 328, you will get fraud because it pays. The smartest thing you can do, IMO, is to avoid buying stupidly low-mile 20-year old cars, because the value isn't there.

    Side story: There's a 300-mile black/black '89 328 that pops up for sale now and then, always with an asking price >$80K. It's a stunning car (except for the convex wheels ;)) and a time capsule. But I can't help thinking that if you bought a 'saleproof' 50,000-mile 328 for $45K and rebuilt the engine/differential, you would have a fresher and safer car mechanically, for less money, and you could put miles on it without fear.
     
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  8. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
    Fullerton, California
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    Jon
    These are all good clues, but bolster wear varies depending on the entry/exit skill, and a** size, of the owner.

    Pedal pads are easy to replace (my car had 355 pedals by the time I got it).

    My OEM mats sat under the owner's bed for years because he used Keith Collins mats.

    Brake pads wear at various rates, so unless you're looking at a time capsule I wouldn't count on the pads to tell the story.

    I think the suspension can be more telling, actually, but a skilled tech would look for any clues.
     
  9. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    May 21, 2005
    66,145
    Vegas+Alabama
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    Mr. Sideways
    I've got to side with BullFighter above.

    Ferraris aren't killed by miles, anyway. When was the last time that you saw a worn out Ferrari engine or tranny?!

    A concours condition Ferrari is great if you want to do the car show scene, but is completely inappropriate if your intended use is for daily driving. Well, the same holds true for a low mileage, 30 year old Ferrari.

    If you want low miles on the car, does that mean that you aren't going to put any on it?

    And if you are going to put miles on it, then what matters is current condition (engine compression, interior wear) instead of current mileage.


    Where this doesn't apply would be on investment Ferraris.
     
  10. spiderseeker

    spiderseeker Formula 3

    Jul 22, 2005
    1,708
    Colorado
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    Steve
    If the owner cannot DOCUMENT the mileage, assume it's incorrect.
     
  11. SonomaRik

    SonomaRik F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 15, 2006
    6,709
    Sonoma, CA
    My first Ferrari was an 11 year old, with an average of 700miles per year, two owners, and bought from a Ferrari dealership: the miles were not well documented, but the work done shown well. I've owned the car for the last six years and over doubled that mileage and can document it well, but I still consider the mileage low for a 17+ year old. I don't assume mileage is incorrect nor does it matter. What the car checks out today for and what price I'm willing to pay does.

    Like previous statements, if you want a show car, then perhaps very important, but probably will be carted to events and left in the garage as a show piece for what? Nothing of use.

    If you are looking for a smoking gun to devalue the car, well, an honest PPI will tell the condition and that's where it stands for the moment.
     
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  13. bill brooks

    bill brooks F1 Rookie
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    Jul 30, 2007
    3,427
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    bill brooks



    as always, i find it hard to argue with you.
    how did you find out the previous owners' phone numbers?
    i had a license plate # from wa dmv and still got nowhere.
    i've sorta gave up the search. afterall, it's not like gabriella is an orphan.
    i sleep ok at nite.
     
  14. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Like the original poster, I am interested to know specifically what would be the things to look for underneath the car where the odometer connection is.
     
  15. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
    5,379
    NWA
    Full Name:
    Paul
    First you need history. Guys my Dads age (80's and such) can tell you a lot of old war stories. Cars were generally sold off before they were three years old or had 30K miles because that was the impression of how long a car lasted. 100K was so unheard of, most any car would be junked before ever reaching it. But if you seen what went on at the car lots it was a much different story, generally the roll back. Turn the miles back below 30K, put some new pads on the pedals, clean it up, all the cars on the used car lots had mileages of 29XXX miles. Coincidence??? And these were all Fords and Chevys, stuff worth veritable peanuts. When people right here in Fchat have repeatedly made statements that a Ferrari over 60K miles is virtually unsellable, and when such remarkable variations in values hang in the balance of low mileage above all else, the traps are set. Now add in a design where disconnecting the speedo is as simple as pulling a plug, and Caveat Emptor of the worst possible outcomes can result. Assume they are ALL in error. The most honest owner in the world cant stop the unscrupulous shop owners employee from running up 1500 miles on a weekend when no one is watching. Hence, records dont mean much, especially old records.

    Whats funny is to see all the muscle cars for sale today with 30K miles. What a joke, those cars ALL were over 100K 40 years ago, where did all those cars go?? Oh, they drove em over to 30K once or twice and you get what you see? I cant tell you all how many cars we knew went around once that someone resold as accurate indicated mileage. The truth is, cars are pretty robust. Engines last much longer than most people realise. I would look at things like the steering shaft u-joints for tightness, door hinges, window frame to glass loosness, and try to let the car tell you its secrets. A true 10K mile car should be as tight as the day it left the factory, regardless of who made it. So in the end you really have to go more on condition than mileage. If all you want is a garage queen concourse show car youll never drive, buy with documented mileage. If you want a real driver, buy purely on condition. As far as the PPI, dont expect it to guarantee anything. I have a motor apart right now with slightly worn engine bearings that had a broken piston ring. It would have past the most detailed engine inspection anyone could have thrown at it. Perfect compression/leakage, didnt use oil, super oil pressure, it ran like a dream. So use the PPI only as a tool to help you weed out the dogs, and assume youll be spending money later on for one thing or another.
     
  16. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    74,113
    Houston, Texas
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    Bubba
    The speedo/odometer fails by ITSELF, without tampering....there's a place in the Owner's Manual to carry the mileage forward.

    No kidding.
     
  17. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
    Fullerton, California
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    Jon
    Steve Barney, at Sport Auto (where I bought the car), put me in touch with the most recent long-term owner -- who also happens to be on FChat. Then the car passed to another FChat'er, who had it serviced at Sport Auto and soon traded it on a Boxer. Then to me.

    As another option, you can often find the original registered owner by opening the owner's manual and writing him a letter.
     
  18. robbie

    robbie F1 Rookie

    Aug 26, 2005
    3,015
    Los Gatos, CA
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    Robert
    I was looking at a low mileage 308 a few years ago in CA. I ran a CarfAX check on it and saw a string of smog tests .. many where it failed the test. Each test had a mileage. I reconstructed the years of tests and associated miles and had to conclude someone was running disconnected. No one in SoCal puts 12 miles per year (for only one example) with a GTS. No sale. I did the same for my 328 and the CarFax miles matched the records 100%. Bingo.
     
  19. bill brooks

    bill brooks F1 Rookie
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    Jul 30, 2007
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    yeah......if i had one.
     
  20. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    May 4, 2001
    31,327
    Birmingham, AL
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    Tommy
    You MUST assume that any of these Ferraris from this era will have inaccurate milage. TOO many examples to list here. The sending unit will fail even if it has never been disconnected. It WILL fail. Am I clear? There is no way on this planet earth that a Ferrari sending unit will NOT eventually fail. The only factor is time.

    Check the records, PPI it and buy on condition but don't pay extra for any 308 that you want to drive that has "low" milage. Want a good running 308? look for one that has 60-70K showing with new belts. You will get a car that has (most likely) had many problems sorted and the owner has used the car AND you will pay less. Mine had 57,000 when I bought it in 97 and she has 100,400 now. Runs like a honda
     
  21. Signor Ferrari

    Feb 6, 2008
    7
    Houston
    I am considering purchasing a 308 from an individual (who purchased it from a dealer). The car is being advertised as a 44K mile car. When the dealer received the car into inventory, it had 48K miles. When the dealer later sold it to this individual, it had 38K miles. Hmmm. The individual who now owns the car never ran a Carfax or researched the car's history before purchasing it from this dealer.

    As far as I can tell, the first 48K miles on the car looks legit (but who knows). The dealer decided that he wanted a 38K car, rather than a 48K mile car.
     
  22. PittsS2APilot

    PittsS2APilot Formula Junior

    Jun 29, 2007
    857
    Gulfport MS
    Full Name:
    Joe
    So how was the dealer able to do this? Can the odometer be "adjusted" inhouse or would he have to send it off and have it set at whatever mileage he wanted? What would a buyer look for on the speedo as a clue its been opened or tampered? J
     
  23. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    31,327
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    Tommy
    Interesting. Especially when you consider the value difference between 48 and 38 is practically nothing vs a felony charge.
     
  24. irondogmike

    irondogmike Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2006
    2,170
    San Diego area
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    Michael Tucker
    and if someone did this to the spedo that explains why there might not have any records of services of maintance,who ever buys a car knowing this is stupid on buying the car...............my 2cents
     
  25. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
    5,379
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    Originally Posted by Signor Ferrari
    "I am considering purchasing a 308 from an individual (who purchased it from a dealer). The car is being advertised as a 44K mile car. When the dealer received the car into inventory, it had 48K miles. When the dealer later sold it to this individual, it had 38K miles."


    BS or not BS? You decide. When I bought 21645, it read 44469 miles. After the first really long trip I took in the 308, over 400 miles in one afternoon on my 48 birthday, I recall mentally noting the mileage when I parked the car in the garage that evening, and I was POSITIVE it was over 46XXX miles. The next day I was trying to recall exactly how many miles I drove and went out and looked at the miles. I swear, the miles were less. Not just less than what I recalled after getting home, but less than what I thought it read before I ever left! I remember specifically the point where I had driven the car 1000 miles, when it passed 45469, and I am positive that was LONG before I took that 400 mile birthday trip. I dont know how the damned thing works, maybe what im suggesting is totally impossible and maybe I was smoking crack, but I still believe it rolled itself back somehow. I feel that as many as 600 to 1000 miles could be missing, and disappeared in only one night. Maybe they unwind after long trips? Now that I watch it it has never read any different. Maybe it knows im watching it. Let me in Hal. Sorry Dave, I cant do that.
     

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