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Thank you European Auto Group for my F1-Manual F430 Conversion

Discussion in '360/430' started by catdog, May 14, 2020.

  1. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    #1 catdog, May 14, 2020
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
    Got my beautiful 2007 F430 Rosso Corsa/Tan with CF interior/Engine bay in May 2019 and enjoyed it for 6 months. It had 20k miles and was a driver, really enjoyed every aspect of it, including the snappy F1 shifts. I am a big fan of single-clutch transmission, such as the SMG in the 2004 BMW M3 and 2006 and 2008 M5 V10. You can modulate them in very interesting ways, including throttle position at shift-up or down. The F1 in the F430 was darn good and I loved it except for its tendency to slip clutch when cold and on reverse. My clutch had >85% left so wasn't worried.

    Sometimes over last summer I bought the upgraded solenoid from Scud Ing Swiss and installed it in my F430; worked nicely but failed suddenly one day and so I went back to my conventional F1 solenoid. Car ran great for another 2 months then one day, I got the dreaded F1 pump light of doom on my instrument cluster. It was disheartening... I checked the F1 pump fluid level and it was fine, then sent the car to my local official Ferrari dealer (which will remain unnamed...). Initial thought they said I had a low battery level because I didn't have my car on a trickle charger even though I drove it once a week. They did a PIS calibration and said I was good to go then on the day I was supposed to pick up the car, F1 pump came back on again... another 2 weeks later, during which they supposedly had to wait to send diagnostic files to Italy and they again could not reproduce the problem which was not intermittent. At this point, I had had my car at the Ferrari dealer's without definite resolution for over 3 weeks, and without the sense of what was needed to fix the problem. I got frustrated and started computing the cost of replacing the F1 pump etc. and I remembered a conversation I had had with Art Bertosik of European Auto Group/San Antonio TX when I was looking at F430 regarding F1 to manual conversion. I had watched the many videos of the 430 Scuderia he had converted to manual, and he said he had available a kit for OEM conversion from F1 to Manual except for a few parts linkages/grommets that he had improved. After having lost confidence with the local official Ferrari dealership, I decided to pull the plug and had the F430 shipped from my dealer to Art's garage in San Antonio.

    After a number of months, and a little more time than I had initially hoped for, Art and his amazing team at European Auto Group came through and I got my car back yesterday on a beautiful New England sunny evening. All I can say is wow... I am absolutely blown away by the workmanship and the quality of the execution. The mechanical action of the gearbox is literally rifle bolt action... positive and crisp. The gate and shifter and pedal assembly are perfect. Art also did some maintenance on the engine, changed spark plugs, fixed a leaking vacuum line, replaced the serpentine belt, and changed engine and transmission mounts. The car is absolutely delicious to drive, it's more mechanical and involving than in its F1 guise, but very satisfying, tactile, and mechanical. It's a bit of a different car no doubt. As much as I loved it with the F1, it is a bit more retro now, and reminds me of the many 308/328/348 manuals I heard growing up with their gated shifters, The snappy throttle response of the F430 and its light flywheel enhance the entire experience.

    I apologize to all Ferrari classiche snobs, and realize my F430 will never have the value or cachet of a factory manual but Art used >95% OEM parts and the car feels amazing and the quality of the work and execution beyond reproach. I will enjoy the car and don't care about resale value, at least I won't have to see that dreaded F1 pump sign every again (I hope). Also Art and his group did a fabulous job with the software reprogramming; my center display has the upshift arrows functional and the mannetino works perfectly changing the damping and traction controls as expected.

    So just wanted to share my experience, and so grateful to Art and this forum, and many Ferrari friends along the way, I am blessed to have the chance to enjoy this manual mid-engined flat-plane crank Ferrari V8, and thanks again to EAG and their dedicated workers who made this happen and for completing the job in these difficult times for everyone.

    I hope that Ferrari brings back a normally aspirated V8 mid-engine car, even if its' not the fastest, it will be a amazing addition that many purists would enjoy; something like the 911R, with a manual transmission.
     
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  3. Eric C

    Eric C F1 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2009
    5,420
    St. Louis, MO
    Full Name:
    Eric
    How much did they charge for the conversion?
     
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  4. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    Two times and a half what it would have cost to change the F1 pump at your Ferrari dealer...
    Worth every penny, call Art, some parts are becoming very difficult to source...
     
  5. CarAholic

    CarAholic Formula Junior

    May 10, 2016
    413
    That could be a big range depending on the dealer. Congrats though I’m sure it’s a blast.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. ItalienCar

    ItalienCar Karting

    Nov 12, 2016
    52
    California
    Great story. I think that as more and more of the F1 transmissions are getting a older, people are seeing more radical or frequent failures in these which makes you rethink the Total Cost of Ownership for F1 vs converting to manual.
    I’m hearing that parts are getting harder to source, but if the interest grows there might be alternate sources propping up.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
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  8. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    Things could have turned out differently If I had access to a local F1 specialist who could have pinpointed the issue and provided resolution at a reasonable cost ... in my case seemed to be heading down a rabbit hole...
     
  9. brookliner7

    brookliner7 Formula Junior

    May 5, 2018
    552
    San Antonio, TX
    Full Name:
    Hans
    Did I miss what kind of mechanical problem you were having with the F1? You just said the light came on. What was it doing?
     
  10. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    It wouldn't shift beyond 2nd gear. It was not driveavle...
     
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  12. SRLC716

    SRLC716 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 15, 2019
    133
    Buffalo
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Thanks for sharing your experience. The gated shifter is a special thing to experience!


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
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  13. rsmitchell10

    rsmitchell10 Karting

    Aug 21, 2016
    53
    Atlanta
    #11 rsmitchell10, May 14, 2020
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
    Was so glad to see this story posted as I spoke to Art today who relayed that this one had just been completed and delivered. Mine (same color combo but spyder) is currently at his shop for conversion and should be shipped back to me by first week of June. It's been there a little longer than planned but only because of some of the shutdown associated with the current environment. Art's been great in helping me start and navigate the process and I'm very much looking forward to getting mine out and feeling the manual shifts. My F1 had no issues but I've loved manuals since my 308 and through several Vipers and other models so it's something I just wanted. I also like the idea of driving something that is different than most others. Can't wait for the fun! Thanks for posting.
     
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  14. one4torque

    one4torque Formula 3

    May 20, 2018
    2,010
    Houston
    Full Name:
    One4torque
    Thanks for sharing!

    never heard of anyone swapping a gated shifter for f1 :) Will never happen.


    Enjoy
     
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  15. veilstylez

    veilstylez Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2005
    430
    SoCal
    Love it! I would love to buy a nice F1 and do this conversion. makes me think.....
     
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  16. PCarRI

    PCarRI Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 23, 2020
    172
    Rhode island, USA
    You mentioned you’re in New England. RI here, would love to check out the work sometime, just a plain ole 430 spider here... lol
     
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  17. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    Sure thing, please DM me and happy to show you the car anytime!
     
  18. Completely Lawless

    Feb 3, 2019
    8
    Hoboken, NJ
    Full Name:
    Michael Lawless
    I am happy to see this post because I too have an F430 and was talking to Art about the conversion and am quite tempted. I've always wanted a manual Ferrari.

    I'm curious though, what effect do you think this will have on resale value? I'd have to imagine that it certainly wouldn't hurt the value. Do you think you'll recoup the cost of the conversion on top of the price of the car when it was an F1 transmission. So say a $100K car + (making this up) $25-30K conversion = $130K?

    I guess it does look like that's about the case as this one traded on BAT not too long ago:
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2007-ferrari-f430-10/
     
  19. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    The resale value did enter into my mind for a while in both positive and negative ways.

    First, given the Vin# on the car showing it is originally an F1 transmission, I don't assume it will ever be as desirable as an original manual 6-spd from the factory to collectors and rightly so. I feel bad if any owners of original 6-spd feel slighted or if they are concerned it will rob them of the car's exclusivity or decrease demand.
    The truth is the F1 F430 is an amazing beast, and I actually love its functionality and response; I think it marries well with the engine's response. However for me, growing up, I first became enamored with a Dino 206 at age of 5, then got interested in the Dino GT, 308 and its derivatives and listening to their being driven always involved a symphony of gear shifting double clutching etc.

    After watching Martchettino's YouTube video on the F430 manual, David's Cironi's video on the 360 manual, and Smoking Tire's video on the F430 also, I started thinking of a creative way to avoid spending $10k to fix the F1 pump failure and time wasted dealing with what had become imperfect. Prior to that, I loved the F1 for what it was and it was working fine; after 3 weeks worrying and no time horizon or budget estimate for resolution I changed my approach out of impatience.
    I realized that I would be getting a different car after the conversion and that started to appeal to me. I imagined a more involved drive and a more engaging experience but a different one nonetheless.

    I am very happy with result and I suspect the car should have a higher resale value compared to before. One recent conversion sold for $135k but a more recent one only managed $115k likely because of timing and the current state of car sales.

    One big factor is that the F430 came in both versions from the factory and the car is setup for both, unlike something like the 458 or newer cars.

    Hope that helps ...
     
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  20. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 24, 2012
    854
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Any feel for how many conversions EAG has done to date? Hard to split the myth from fact on this, but it does sound from this thread that he's a busy boy converting F1's to gated. And you think thats him running close to dry on original parts?
     
  21. one4torque

    one4torque Formula 3

    May 20, 2018
    2,010
    Houston
    Full Name:
    One4torque
    Whenever I visited their shop last summer it was always pretty fully of swap cars. Like an f430 cars and coffee.

    pretty sure people are making the repo parts now for gated.

    cool business imho
     
  22. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    Hi, not sure but I'm sure he can tell you; definitely more than a handful
     
  23. kes7u

    kes7u Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2017
    640
    Shorewood, MN
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    HA!! You have NO IDEA!!!:confused: Mine's already been there a month longer than yours. I won't even speak for the OP....

    But it'll be worth the wait!!!
    Kevin
     
  24. 360+Volt=Prius

    360+Volt=Prius Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 1, 2013
    1,379
    Western Mass
    Full Name:
    Raimondo
    I actually did! Remember that salvage copart CS? I had an inspection done by a collision shop near the salvage yard that picked it up from copart before the auction. Made the mistake of not Putting a deposit on it, and they sold it between Friday when I had the inspection done, and Monday when I called to put a deposit. With the money I have lost in equities from covid would have been free (including the repairs!). Win some ... lose some (in my case more).

    My plan was to swap the 3pedal system from my 360 with the f1 from the CS. My high mileage 360 would have suffered relatively less of a loss in value and I would have had a MT CS.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  25. catdog

    catdog Karting

    Aug 18, 2010
    136
    Art and EAG are involved in a number of interesting projects centering on 'saving the manual' and these include a manual transmission for the new Toyota Supra, which they have already achieved, and others such as a manual Huracan and also researching a possible manual 458. In addition, they have their usual business of service European cars for their local market. Art has been very responsive to queries but because of EAG's popularity and the various projects, completion of the conversion can take longer than a few weeks or a couple of months. That said, the pandemic certainly hasn't helped, But the final product is impressive and Kudos to his team to keep this going.
     
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  26. one4torque

    one4torque Formula 3

    May 20, 2018
    2,010
    Houston
    Full Name:
    One4torque
    Cool story 360+!

    yeah I sometimes wonder about my equity investments..... my gated 360 seems to have held up better than my retirement managed by hired ‘experts’ who manage my future.....
     
  27. 360+Volt=Prius

    360+Volt=Prius Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 1, 2013
    1,379
    Western Mass
    Full Name:
    Raimondo
    Failed to mention you were responsible for me almost having a MT CS!

    Funny about the cars as investments. I’ve lusted over various cars for years. Prices are down. May consider pulling trigger on something as an investment.

    No idea where the car market is going, suspect down at least for the near future. Almost has a smell of deflation which is scary. Holding off because I think prices will drop. Lower prices reinforce waiting for further drops.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     

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