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PPI experiences?

Discussion in '348/355' started by dlynes, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. dlynes

    dlynes Formula 3

    Oct 16, 2004
    2,428
    Augusta, Ga
    Full Name:
    Dave
    I have drooled over the 355s and been addicted to this site for some years now.

    I was wondering, through your personal experience(s):

    what has your success been on having a PPI performed?
    have most problems or warnings been red flagged upon PPI?

    In short site, obviously nothing is always or rarely ever how it seems, but by doing a PPI, will a well trusted, educated and experienced mechanic find flaws, problems, red flags, etc during/upon a PPI?
     
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  3. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 21, 2005
    14,836
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    Bill Tracy
    I couldn't say, I just saw my car and bought it after a 5 minute test ride. :D
    I think a PPI is good for finding compression and leakdown info, and possibly information about frame / body damage, but lots of times they seem really nitpicky to me. I would recommend getting a basic PPI to check the car mechanically, but if you spend a few hours with the car you should be aware of the other things.
    :)
    BT
     
  4. FullChat

    FullChat Formula Junior

    Jan 1, 2007
    339
    San Antonio, Texas
    Be careful even with a full PPI. I had a PPI done at a Ferrari dealership. They told me the compression was fine, and 7 of 8 holes were between 175 and 180. However, #2 was at 142. In my opinion, this busts both ends of the specification - all holes above 150 psi and all within 10%.

    I've often wondered what expensive problems I walked away from...
     
  5. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    8,849
    western hemisphere
    I think it's a good idea to do a PPI on the shop that will be doing your PPI!
     
  6. 97spiderman

    97spiderman Karting

    Dec 15, 2008
    107
    Sunny Buffalo, NY
    Full Name:
    JohnAG
    Yep, I agree at least 100%, and witness the compression gage as recorded. As with any performance vehicle, pay attention to detail and if you do not know, find someone you can trust.
    John G
     
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  8. TravisJ

    TravisJ Formula Junior

    Feb 9, 2008
    618
    Chicago, IL
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    Travis
    Forgive me but isn't "nitpicky" exactly what a buyer wants when making such a purchase?
     
  9. Chris Honeywell

    Chris Honeywell Karting

    Nov 11, 2007
    98
    Trowbridge UK
    Full Name:
    Chris Honeywell
    That is what a ppi should find out.
    But i think the problem is that its easy to be fussy and picky so even a real good car can have a load of "niggles" highlighted.
     
  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,127
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    You really should ask what you get for your money and ask them to be specific. We do some PPI's on a very limited basis and you get a written detailed report of EVERYTHING with pictures where appropriate. I am truly appalled at what I see as a PPI from some shops. I have also all to often seen PPIs done by (sometimes well known and well respected) shops who are really acting as an agent for the seller. That is very common when a shop is afraid of alienating an important owner or dealer. That is also the big reason so many shops do not do PPIs.

    A good PPI is expensive and should be worth every penny. It should also be nitpicky. Even if it goes into items you really do not care about those items will give you ammo to negotiate a better price.
     
  11. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Dec 31, 2003
    8,849
    western hemisphere
    Exactly.

    Let's see...your 348 needs the following:

    -30K service
    -respray
    -clutch
    -new tires
    -one new rim
    -sticky vents replaced
    -new tires


    Let's see know, according to my math, you should pay me $2,300 to take your 348. ;)
     
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  13. SonomaRik

    SonomaRik F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 15, 2006
    6,715
    Sonoma, CA
    The problem I find with a PPI, not having done many, is getting the car to a good PPI performer. Most woldn't let you ship it off to the person you trust the most, especially over 100 miles or more.

    Wouldn't mind 'shipping' [lack of better term] the trusted person to the car's site, but that is a undertaking probably not going to happen in a less than $100k car. Thus, forced to accept the best scenario near the car or only buy locally. The latter seems good, especially in CA terms, but leaves out a lot of others.

    any takes on that problem?

    r
     
  14. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,127
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    Brian Crall
    #11 Rifledriver, Feb 26, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
    People fly their mechanics around the country all the time for that purpose. Some might consider that excessive but I cannot tell you how many 5 figure mistakes I have had to fix in the last year because someone had it done locally and the car got a sharp pencil PDI. I have seen several in just the last year who really got screwed. I have 2 of those here right now that will cost 25 grand or so each to sort out. A thousand or 2 thousand bucks or so is cheap in comparison.
     
  15. SonomaRik

    SonomaRik F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 15, 2006
    6,715
    Sonoma, CA
    Good to know. Would truly make one not only sleep better, but know what they are getting into.

    rik
     
  16. dlynes

    dlynes Formula 3

    Oct 16, 2004
    2,428
    Augusta, Ga
    Full Name:
    Dave
    May I ask a ball park figure on how much PPI would cost?

    Thanks for all the replies and comments so far.
     
  17. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Dec 31, 2003
    8,849
    western hemisphere
    I guess that's debatable, depending on what all the mechanic does. My mechanic, whom I trust very much, looked over my 348 in about 30 minutes and told me it was an honest car. That cost me $50.
     
  18. F355steve

    F355steve Formula 3

    Apr 9, 2008
    2,032
    Bellingham
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    Steve
    I am very interest to know that as well.
     
  19. BLAMPEE

    BLAMPEE Man Card Status: Never Issued

    #16 BLAMPEE, Feb 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I purchased my first 355 in July 2008 from a dealer in Vegas. I live in Portland, OR.

    I had two places to choose from: Wynn Ferrari or Italy Service. Wynn wanted $950; Gary at Italy Service wanted $500.

    This was a HUGE choice because I found the 355 I wanted and prayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyed it would check out!!!!!!!

    They took the car over and Gary looked it over and test drove it then gave it to one of his mechanics. He did diagnose the problems that it had.

    1. The clutch throwout bearing was leaking and he recommended that it be replaced.

    2. The heater core was leaking coolant up front.

    3. Tires worn past the wear bars.

    4. Engine lid struts needed replaced

    Total Cost to sort her: $6000

    I asked him if he was going to do a compression leakdown and he told me that this was one of the strongest 355s he had ever come across and that he felt he didn't need to charge me the money to do so as he was confident in the car. He has been in the business for a long time.

    He did point out every minor thing that could be described as "not brand new."

    Well, I have put 4000 miles on her since July and I couldn't be happier.

    She did come with ALL service records though and had a major done in July 2005.

    I couldn't be happier with my purchase AND with Gary at Service Italy in Las Vegas for helping me blindly purchase this car without ever seeing the color in person!

    People on the board are probably sick of seeing her (lol), but I just can't help myself!!!!!!! here you goooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha! :D
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  20. Imola82

    Imola82 Formula Junior

    Oct 16, 2007
    598
    Chicago
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    Stu
    Blampee, who could get sick of that? Gorgeous color combo!
     
  21. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
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    Mar 21, 2005
    14,836
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    Bill Tracy
    Not really. Consistency is the goal, but it is currently not obtainable. I think many buyers are scared off of good / decent cars from the magnitude of a list they receive. On a 20 year old mostly original car I would be shocked if you could not fill a two page report with little glitches. I could see commonly found items such as:
    "back of driver's seat scuffed at lower left portion."
    "Targa top scratched at location of button on back of passenger seat."
    "Gravel in engine compartment near exhaust hangers"
    "Exhaust ECU not connected assumed inoperable"
    "Catalytic converters missing, currently out being tested."
    "Shift knob loose."
    "Passenger window slow."
    "Center pod gauges faded."
    These are things I would expect on a PPI if it were done on my car currently. They are also things that a buyer would readily see in person and likely not be bothered by, but in written form make the car sound uncared for.
    I still say you should go look at the car in person, drive it, and decide if you like it. Have a mechanic do compression and leakdown information and look the car over for bodywork and frame damage.
    I have seen probably about 15 348's since I bought mine, and I can honestly say it is at least as good as 13 of them!
    The two at Cavallino were in better shape, but that's about it.
    I think a PPI from one person could scare a buyer off, and a less thorough PPI from someone else on a different car that may be inferior would secure the deal. Since there is no real standard of what level of detail a PPI is supposed to be, you will invariably get different impressions that are not the true representation of the cars being considered.
    :)
    BT
     
  22. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Owner

    #19 348SStb, Feb 27, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
    Methodology also matters in how the engine testing performed.

    For example, when doing the compression test -- how many strokes of the engine will the mechanic use to measure the compression? Does he use the same # of strokes across all the cylinders? If he does, does he make a mistake and possibly mis-read or mis-remember how many strokes have passed?

    I've got to tell you. Short of having a mechanic unknown to you or with an unknown expert Ferrari reputation take video clip for each cylinder of the compression/leakage test for each cylinder depicting not only the strokes and the coressponding results on the gauge but also the portion of the engine in view to show exactly what cylinder is being tested -- my experience has frightened me into trusting mechanics I don't know and who aren't bona fide Ferrari mechanics. The numbers can not only be fudged easily, but both methodology mistakes and even honest mistakes can give spurious results. Sometimes mechanics don't even have the proper tool to insert into the cylinders to achieve a proper fit.

    From now on, I will fly my mechanic with me unless I can be there myself to oversee the engine testing. I've looked over the shoulders of mechanics doing PPIs and boy was I happy that I was there. The scientific method is an oldie but a goodie -- variables have to be isolated, idientical variables have to be considered on a level playing field, and conclusions have to be reached when all attempts have been made to ensure that the results are not spurious.
     
  23. potxoli

    potxoli Formula 3

    Mar 22, 2007
    1,716
    Washington DC
    Full Name:
    Eric B.
    I paid $400 in 2007 for a PPI. It took them a morning to do. This was in arkansas, so I'm thinking $600 is probably more like it in more expensive parts of the country. They checked out the car and performed compression/leakdown, but only later did I find out they did not do it correctly and I had some issues on one cylinder that I had to fix when I did the major. I could not see the car in person and had concerns about the condition inside and out and they did do an accurate reporting of that.

    All in all, if I had to do it over again, I'd probably just spend the $400 on roundrip airfare and go test drive the car myself like BT did now that I have a feel for what a well sorted one runs like. Especially if you know the car needs a major anyways (like mine did), a deep PPI seems to make less sense. As a further data point, due to the leakdown issue, I had to pay ~$2500 extra on the major to have the whole head pulled all valve guides replaced. While not a small chunk of change, it isn't a huge amount either when compared to the price of the car + 30K major.
     
  24. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Owner

    #21 348SStb, Feb 27, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
    Thumbs up to Italy service.

    They once saved me a bundle -- and not on my car insurance. They alerted me to a real clunker of a Ferrari that I was on the brink of purchasing for over $100K that was, as always, advertised as "excellent example."
     

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