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The Dreaded 30K Service

Discussion in '308/328' started by D-348, May 21, 2004.

  1. D-348

    D-348 Karting

    May 6, 2004
    179
    Full Name:
    Dave Cochran
    Hi All,

    My '94 348 Spider is scheduled to go in for it's 30K service next week. It has only 22K miles, but is way past due based on years. Anyway, I've been told by the dealer that the service runs an average of $6K and includes a detailed inspection of the car, after which they will let me know if anything else needs attention. My car runs like a dream right now, but I certainly don't want any problems popping up down the road, so I decided to have the service done.

    What is everybody's experience with this service? Does anyone have advice for me that might help keep the cost down? I've asked them to go over with me everything they are going to do when I drop off the car so that I can understand the process, but I wanted to get fellow F-Chatters' advice on the matter.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    73,152
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    The service if done correctly, includes all kinds of preventive maintenance items. Replacement of many rubber seals, tubes, lines and hoses is basically the renewal of lots of things that COULD give you trouble, simultaneously.

    It's not black magic, just a compilation of things that could leave you on the side of the road or on fire further on in life.

    It will run find afterwards as well, with added peace of mind!!
     
  3. RAYMAN

    RAYMAN Formula Junior
    BANNED

    Mar 10, 2004
    315
    Oklahoma
    Full Name:
    Raymond Santilli
    $6K is kinda high, but your in high priced territory.

    I paid $4k from GLB Motors in St. Louis a couple months ago, they did a fine job...as far as I know. It took about a week, after they schedueled it.
     
  4. davel

    davel Guest

    I see you mentioned the dealer. Thats fine but you live in a city that has some very good independent mechs. Carlo at Alfa-Tacoma is one of them. Compare and get a feel for what you can expect. Id personally take it to him based on some experiences Im aware of. Overall your car is 10 yrs old and its simply gonna need a few things above and beyond what is required. Just get it done right and keep driving it and above all...enjoying it...
     
  5. julian_blk348

    julian_blk348 Karting

    Nov 21, 2003
    112
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Julian
    One hidden cost of the 30K service is the water pump, which should always be replaced since the engine is already out. water pump alone runs about $700-$1200 depending where you get it. Just make sure that $6K also includes water pump replacement and not in addition to.

    Get the print out of what they're going to do and look over carefully to avoid any future mis-understanding. Good luck!
     
  6. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,022
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    Yes you do need the water pump changed. Make sure that they also change out the thermostat. There is a clip on the top of the thermostat that has a week spot. The clip is held in place by two ears that are pinched in place. Over time these can break, and the clip will go into one of the radiators. I know this first hand. It is a pain to get out because you don't know what radiator it is in. When it happened to me I found it in the radiator just above the oil cooler. Make sure that they change the straight hose that runs from the water pump to the cross over pipe, that is under the intake plenum. Have them give you a copy of the measurements of the valve clearances, before and after they adjust them. You want this so that they don't charge you for adjusting 32 valves when, let's say, only 9 valves really needed adjusting.

    I have to agree with what some others have said. $6,000 is too much for an engine out service. It would be worth your while to shop around. I would say a fair price would be $3,500 - $4,000 maximum. Anything more than that, and you are getting burned. Or you could come play with the big boys and do it yourself.

    Oh yeah one last thing. Keep your ALL of your old parts. EVERYTHING! The old seals, old valve shims, tensioner bearings, and especially the water pump.
     
  7. D-348

    D-348 Karting

    May 6, 2004
    179
    Full Name:
    Dave Cochran
    Thanks for all the input. It is very helpful. I agree that $6K seems pretty high, but that is what was quoted by Ferrari of Seattle. I'd love to be able to keep a couple grand in my pocket, but I want to make sure the job is done right. Someone mentioned that there are some great techs in the Seattle area other than the dealer. Does anyone have first or second hand experience with someone like this? I'd love to shop around, but I've heard plenty of horror stories, so I don't want to have to take someone at face value.

    I also wouldn't mind doing it myself, as I already do all the easy stuff like brakes, plugs, electrical system work (harness troubleshooting and repair) and I've got a lot of experience working on previous engines. But I've not ever done anything remotely serious on my car, and I wouldn't know where to begin with valve timing, etc. Not to mention, I don't have access to a lift, so it would be a little tricky to drop the engine out. Maybe someday I'll graduate, but for now I'll have to remain some other tech's beeaatch.

    Any leads on other places to check in my area would be great. Someone mentioned Carlo at Tacoma Alfa. Anyone else I should check with?
     
  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,022
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    Hey Dave,

    Do the 30k sevice yourself. It really isn't that hard. You can take the engine out using two floor jacks. If you need advice on what to do, me and a few other guys on here have already done our own 30k's. It really isn't that hard, all it takes is patience, guidance, and tools. That's it. If you have done the other stuff you mentioned, you'll have no problem doing the 30k.
     
  9. D-348

    D-348 Karting

    May 6, 2004
    179
    Full Name:
    Dave Cochran
    It sounds really tempting to do it myself and I like the idea of knowing that everything is done right, but I don't totally trust myself with this task just yet. People have already mentioned a lot of things I would never have thought of to check (water pump, etc.) and I'd not know how to be sure what the signs of impending failure of a particular component are. I just feel I need to be a little more educated before I attempt this task.

    However, thanks for everyone's input. I called Carlo at Alfa of Tacoma, and he seemed really knowledgeable. He quoted me a price of between $4200 and $5200 depending on what additional items needed attention. This compares to Ferrari of Seattle's $6000 for the basic service plus whatever else is needed. I get the feeling that the dealer service could end up much higher. So I cancelled with them and rebooked with Carlo.

    I do intend to go down and check it out when he has the engine out - I think this would help me understand the layout much better so that if, in the future, I have a problem with a component such as the water pump (assuming it's not replaced during the service) or alternator, I'd be able to do it myself. Maybe then I'll be ready to attempt the service myself next time it comes around, because there's no greater satisfaction than pulling an engine apart, wondering if you'll ever get it back together, putting it back together, and turning the key to be rewarded with that familiar rumble.

    Thanks for all the help. I probably owe everyone a beer at least, since I'll probably save a ton on this service compared to the direction I was going. I'll post back my experience with Carlo and Alfa of Tacoma for the benefit of others in the area.
     
  10. spider348

    spider348 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,136
    MA
    Full Name:
    John
    To be honest, the quote from Carlo is quite reasonable, in my humble opinion. I just completed a major on my 348 spider, as well as a gearbox rebuild(ouch!).
    If the major is done correctly, all belts, hoses, tensioners, waterpump, etc etc etc the parts cost is well over $2000 with discount(>$3000 without?). I am slow but the labor is quite extensive to do the service correctly. For a dealer, with the additional overhead and liability, $6000 is not out of line.
    Again, just my opinion, worth precisely what you paid for it.
     
  11. NYJETSFAN

    NYJETSFAN Formula 3

    May 11, 2001
    1,093
    Kalifornia
    Full Name:
    Jr
    WOW, I wish I can find someone around here! its almost worth driving it that far for the savings...
     
  12. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,883
    western hemisphere
    Arie...your best bet for the 30K service in So Cal is Modern Auto Technology in Pasadena. They did a comprehensive on my 348 for $3600 and some change.
     
  13. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,022
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    PUT THE PIPE DOWN!!! There is no waaaay what the dealers charge can be fair. NO FREEKIN WAY! Especially since they have all of the parts at hand, and have done these things many times before. The laybor rate is way too high, and the amount of hours they charge is an out right LIE! It cost me about $3,000 to do the major on my 348. That included buying the parts for the major, and ALL of the tools I needed. Floors jacks, air compressor, impact wreches, micrometer, feeler gages, jack stands, engine dolly, torque wrench, EVERYTHING. Not too mention getting a whole bunch of extras done. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY on earth is what the dealers charge fair! The dealers wanna charge 18 to 20 hours to R&R the engine. I used two floor jacks and it only took me FOUR HOURS out, and FOUR hours in. These guys have a shop lift and that makes the job way easier. The dealers are a bunch of crooks, plain and simple.
     
  14. D-348

    D-348 Karting

    May 6, 2004
    179
    Full Name:
    Dave Cochran
    Math for the dealer is simple: $100/hr is their labor rate x 40 hrs for the basic service labor. Then add parts. You get to $6000 pretty fast. Add a couple of extra days labor and the price shoots up fast. Highway robbery? You bet. That's why my car will be down with Carlo instead.

    Ernie, I've got to admit it still sounds tempting to do it myself. I just don't have the time to give it what it deserves right now. For future reference though, how do you drop the engine with two jackstands? Do you support the engine from the top or the bottom when lowering it out? Can you get the engine completely out in the open or do you have to work under the jacked-up car?

    Your guidance would be really appreciated since I'll probably find myself under there eventually.

    Thanks.
     
  15. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    I agree with Ernie 100%. My 348 was easy to get around. The hardest thing on the 348 is diagnosing a Motronic issue IMO or ignition issue. Dealers rob people blind IMO too. I have a few 308s and what many charge for the 30K on these cars is crazy. Ernie 4 hours is fast man. WoW!!!! It takes me around 6-7 but hey I take my time. Save yourself money and Do it yourself plus you know what was done. Plus I have heard of many dealers performing less than adequate work. For the money they charge every part should be cleaned thoroughly, etc.
     
  16. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,022
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    To take out the engine using two floor jacks you have to removed the rear bumper. Then you lift the car up using the floor jacks, and the engine rolls COMPLETELY out.

    Do it yourself bro. You will save THOU$AND$! You'll still have ALL of the tools you need to work on the car, and the knowledge of how to do it. It isn't that hard. I'm not saying that there won't be times when you get frustrated, cause that happens with any car, but it really isn't difficult. If you look throught the archives there is loads of info on how to do it. If you need advice I have no problem with giving it out for not $120/hr, not $100/hr, not even $75/hr, but for FREE. Yes that's right FREE. Can't get any cheaper than that.
     
  17. JonnyT

    JonnyT Karting

    Jan 21, 2004
    106
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Jean-Paul
    I have a place for you pretty close by...in Rocklin. PM me and I will give you the details.
     
  18. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    974
    Berlin, Germany
    To all that are so enthusiastic about servicing their car by themselves:

    Friday I was at my garage as they had just removed the engine. This allowed me to have a thorough look at everything. Of course it´s not rocket science but IMO it takes a lot of patience, general knowlegde of engineering and scrutiny to get the engine in and out w/o accidents. Not to forget equipment. Just one example: You need some special equipment to evacuate the A/C if you don´t want to feed the ozone whole. (I decided to remove the A/C: A/C in a Ferrari cabrio is pointless and power consuming :) )

    I can very well imagine that it is fun to enjoy the machine and to be sure that everything is done the right way.

    But since I left University I haven´t serviced my cars anymore by myself. It would be tempting with the Ferrari but I lack the time, the patience and the guts to do it. Maybe when I am older I will try it with an expert by my side which is really experienced with F-cars.
     
  19. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    547
    Tejas/Europe/Desert
    Full Name:
    shanb
    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10655
    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11927&page=1&pp=20
    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11829
     
  20. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,854
    If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

    If it ain't leaking, don't plug it.

    If it ain't running rough, don't smooth it.

    If it aint running hot, don't cool it.

    If the water pump is pumping, don't replace it.

    If any of these things occur, then fix them all at the same time.

    If you want to spend $6,000 to "feel good," send it to me.

    Jim S.
     
  21. D-348

    D-348 Karting

    May 6, 2004
    179
    Full Name:
    Dave Cochran
    Here's the funny thing - I AM a rocket scientist (seriously)! However, I think I'm going to have to punt on this one just because of lack of time. I've got a stinkin' hunch, though, that that I'll be pulling the engine sooner or later to fix something. I'm going to learn what I can as it goes through the process this time so if I've got the free time, I'll be ready the next time.
     
  22. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,441
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    Having just had the 30K treatment, I'm glad I didn't try it myself. It took them forever and they had all the parts, tools and training. You also have to consider what a do-it-yourself service will do to the resale value of your car.
     
  23. abarre

    abarre Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    295
    Don't know about a 3.4, but when we did the major on my 3.2, we resealed the water pump for about $150. Much cheaper and just as effective as new.
     
  24. Vlad328

    Vlad328 Formula Junior

    Mar 16, 2004
    279
    New Orleans, LA
    Full Name:
    Vladimir Zuzukin
    Why keep the old replaced parts like seals, tensioners, and water pump? Will you actually consider putting these back into your car later?
     
  25. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,022
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    I could care less what it will do to the resale. I'm fixxing it up for ME to drive and enjoy, not the next guy. So long as everything is documented, and it is obvious that the job was done right whats the difference. I can tell you that the valve adjustment that was done on my car before I owned it was CRAP! They had the clearances all over the place. I took my time and was very meticulous about what I did on the valve adjustment. But hey some people can spend their money how they want. A Ferrari is a big boy toy, but it takes a MAN to work on one.
     

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