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TR cam belt service?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by grantb, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. grantb

    grantb Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    Columbia SC
    Full Name:
    Danny Burnstein
    What is the consensus out there regarding the necessity of a cam belt change every 5 years, regardless of the miles. Has anyone ever experienced a broken belt?
     
  2. Ron328

    Ron328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 10, 2003
    2,487
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Ron
    I don't own a Testarossa. In general, this is what I've heard and read.
    Some think every 5 years is an overkill. So between 5-8 years is acceptable. "Every 5 years" may apply to garage queens bec. of belt/t-bearing problem as a result of disuse. One of the most experienced guys
    here, Mr Glickenhaus, I recall had a broken belt at 6k miles (anymore
    TR owners w/ similar experience?). This topic is probably one of the most "controversial" issues in maintaining an f-car.
     
  3. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    The prob. is if it breaks the damage can be very expensive. (Mine was a 42K warrantee claim in 88) IMHO it depends on use, storage conditions, and luck. Mine was a daily driver. I changed mine every 3 years which was 30K miles. I wouldn't go more than 30K miles without doing it.
     
  4. sjmst

    sjmst F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 31, 2003
    9,761
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Sam
    READ THIS:
    Everyone who says change the belts every 5 years regardless of mileage is RIGHT. By going through the archives and after careful research, I have found that the Belts in our cars are susceptible to a design defect that causes spontaneous and unpredictable breakage. This is part of a systemic problem that is known as the “Thisllubsi” defect. It affects not only the belts but numerous other components in the car.

    Thisllubsi will cause your belts to break if not changed every 5 years. It will also re-write your computer programs in later models. Not only that, but it will scramble any CD’s that are even close to your car’s computers. It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream goes melty. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, screw up the tracking on your television and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you try to play.

    It will give your ex-girlfriend your new phone number. It
    will mix Kool-aid into your fishtank. It will drink all your beer and
    leave its socks out on the coffee table when there's company coming
    over. It will put a dead kitten in the back pocket of your good suit
    pants and hide your car keys when you are late for work.

    Thisllubsi will make you fall in love with a penguin. It will
    give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will pour sugar in your
    gas tank and shave off both your eyebrows while dating your
    girlfriend behind your back and billing the dinner and hotel room to
    your Discover card.

    It moves your car randomly around parking lots so you can't
    find it. It will kick your dog. It will leave libidinous messages on
    your boss's voice mail… in your voice! It is insidious and subtle. It
    is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather
    interesting shade of mauve.

    Thisllubsi will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the
    toilet seat up. It will make a batch of Methanphedime in your bathtub
    and then leave bacon cooking on the stove while it goes out to chase
    gradeschoolers with your new snowblower.

    So, CHANGE THE BELTS early and change the Belts Often!!!!

    (with all due credit to the author of the “goodtimes” spoof)

    ANYWAY...I haven't been around f cars that long, but I have yet to hear of a single person say "MY belt broke." (Sometimes we get "I have heard" or "I read" or even "I fixed"). When we get a couple of people who step up and say it happened to them PERSONALLY, we can ask how and why. I simply have not seen or heard any data that says this is a real problem when manufacturer's specs are followed. Just "urban legends"
    Bottom line: Follow what the manual says and common sense, IMHO.
     
  5. sjmst

    sjmst F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 31, 2003
    9,761
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Whoops, OK the post here said his broke. Rare. I agree with what he says. Lots to do with luck. I still say follow the manual. I am more likely to let the belt go longer in my lower valued Mondial than if I had a 360, etc...
     
  6. LP400S

    LP400S Formula 3

    May 18, 2002
    1,221
    West Coast
    FWIW,
    I just changed my 12 year old timing belts and tensioners. They had about 3k miles on them. To my suprise they looked almost new. No dry rot, cracks etc.. Take a look.
     
  7. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    What part of my timing belt broke at 6K miles and it was a 42K warrantee claim in 88 don't you understand?
     
  8. sjmst

    sjmst F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 31, 2003
    9,761
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Sam
    "Whoops, OK the post here said his broke. Rare. I agree with what he says. Lots to do with luck. I still say follow the manual. I am more likely to let the belt go longer in my lower valued Mondial than if I had a 360, etc..."

    Did the same thing I did ?...posted before reading what was above...mea culpa, it happens.

    Still rare, as far as I can tell.
     
  9. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,849
    Napolis - this is the part that I do not understand.

    It appears to be a numbers game, that is, a cost/benefit analysis issue. I have changed belts on my Boxer and TR after 20 years and 17 years, respectively. Both looked as new, as did the tensioner bearings. I have spent $25k on the combined major services (lots of ancillary issues addressed at the time of service).

    While there are occasional anecdotal accounts of failure, (I shall explain my use of the word anecdotal in a moment), the number of dollars spent by this population of flat 12 cylinder owners performing prophylactic belt service FAR exceeds the number of dollars spent fixing catastrophic failures due to belt failure. I have owned two 12 cylinder F-cars with combined age of 37 years. Following the recommended intervals, I would have changed belts 7 times (dictated by age, not miles). I have yet to experience an engine failure despite only changing the belts once in each car. At an average of $10k per change, I would have spent far more changing belts than if I have suffered a catastrophic failure.

    I suggest that these are anecdotal accounts because there are many variables that can lead to belt failure and engine self-destruct. I include in the concept of belt failure tensioner bearing failure. These include, but are not limited to:

    1) Engine abuse - over revving
    2) Strategic oil leak onto belts
    3) Piston or valve train failure leading to seizure and belt failure (being misinterpreted as belt failure)
    4) Ice on belts (Yes, someone's suggestion that this can be a cause of slippage or failure)
    5) Improper installation of previous belt (knick in belt, inadequate tension, etc.)

    and many more.

    Thus, while I do not doubt that your belt failed to the dismay and chagrin of Ferrari North America, without technical and engineering observation and measurement, there is at least the possibility that the failure was not belt related.

    I simply believe that the recommendation is a method by which the manufacture shifts the cost of maintenance and embarrassment associated with failure to the customer, rather than to themselves. Should a belt fail while under warranty, this is FNAs problem. If it fails 1 year beyond maintenance, it’s FNAs embarrassment and your cost. To prevent this, you do routine maintenance; it’s your cost.

    My thoughts.

    Jim S.
     
  10. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    The belt doesn't usually break. The teeth shear off of the belt. Anyway, I change mine every 3 years or 30K whichever comes first. I do it myself so for the price it isn't too bad.
     
  11. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2003
    3,001
    Kansas
    Full Name:
    Sean F
    Bill Burdurski (sp?), the FCA tech. guru recenly commented in the club newsletter that the FACTORY says to change TR belts at 52,000 miles, with no age limit.
     
  12. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus

    James
    My failure was belt failure. Ferrari studied my car and changed the design of the belts slightly afterwards. BTW they also changed the design of the stub axles after I lost a wheel nut at speed and replaced all four cornors.
    My car was a daily driver. I used it in the rain, sleet and snow, and also drove it on 100 deg days in bumper to bumper. It was run up to red line every day but it wasn't ever abused. I never needed a clutch change even after 115K miles.
    I changed the belts and did a major every 30K miles which was about every 3 years.
    The problem today is the cost of a belt failure vrs the value of a TR today. A major costs 8K. I think if you do one every 30 K miles you also get to drive a well maintained car. To me that alone is worth a major every 30K.
    Best
    James
     
  13. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,849
    James - sounds like you really enjoy your workhorse (the TR). I drive one of mine every day. I've had the Dino out the past couple of days, and after driving the 12s, the Dino really is a great deal of fun.

    You mention the cost of service versus the value of the car. Very important observation, as it changes the dynamic of the discussion. It is pride of ownership, it would appear, that brings you to religiously change belts. It certainly is not the economic equation. One could take the approach of purchasing a Testarossa, never changing belts, and throwing the car away should they (the belts) fail. It becomes a statistical (some might say gamble) exercise.

    Redline every day? Hmmm. I tend to appreciate the engineering and art for what they are, not necessarily what they will do. Perhaps that is why I worry less about belts.

    Thanks for the accurate reports on your belts.

    Jim S.
     
  14. coachi

    coachi Formula 3

    May 1, 2002
    2,108
    SC USA
    Actually I heard that Ferrari says you need to change your TR belts every 52,500 miles, with no time constraints. I believe Bill Badurski, FCA tech advisor, mentioned that in one of the threads. I examine mine and if I suspect any deterioration, then I act. My 2 c worth.
     
  15. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    Redlining goes back to the days of my 275 GTB. If you didn't run that car at redline for a few minutes (You could do it in a lower gear) you couldn't get it to run properly. First black soot would pour out, then the soot would turn to flames, then the flames would turn to a nice shade of grey and the car would really starrt to pull.
     
  16. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
    2,327
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    BobD
    <<< Redlining goes back to the days of my 275 GTB. If you didn't run that car at redline for a few minutes (You could do it in a lower gear) you couldn't get it to run properly. First black soot would pour out, then the soot would turn to flames, then the flames would turn to a nice shade of grey and the car would really starrt to pull. >>>

    Now that's some real Itailian Engineering!
     
  17. grantb

    grantb Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    Columbia SC
    Full Name:
    Danny Burnstein
    Has anyone ever contacted Pirelli, as the manufacturer of these belts, it's possbile they may have some insight. There is a large Pirelli cable
    facility, and a number of offices quite close to me. I am going to try to contact them and see what happens.
    Thanks for all you insight, I am going to use the photos posted to get
    part numbers.
     
  18. LP400S

    LP400S Formula 3

    May 18, 2002
    1,221
    West Coast
    The belts nowadys are made by Dayco I believe.Those are old belts off of a 308.
     
  19. tr328

    tr328 Formula Junior

    Jun 19, 2003
    877
    Pacifica, California
    Full Name:
    Darryl
    The cost of a major service at $6,000 to $7,500 is easier to come up than $20,000 which is the cost I know someone paid to have their engine rebuilt. I am not one of those people that are mechanically inclined enough to pull my engine out the bottom and change the belts. If I could I would and save the money and take the wife on vacation, puchase a plasma tv, buy a boat, get a new presidential rolex (just joking around here). I just had a major service done in August and my transmission rebuilt, so I am ready to DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE!
     
  20. GRIESDALE

    GRIESDALE Karting

    Nov 12, 2001
    149
    Lions Bay, B.C. Canada
    Full Name:
    Donald Griesdale
    This has been a very useful discussion for me as I've read a lot of conflicting info on this topic over the years. My 91 TR had it's belts changed in 1999 after 8 years use at 18000 miles. It now has 24500 miles and if I follow the "5 year rule", then I should change them again in 2004 at about 28000 miles!! I cannot believe that a TR belt will not last for longer than 10000 miles. The serpentine belt in my old '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee is changed every 60000 miles.
    I think that jseleven's post is very thoughtful.and as agracer and Bill Badurski point out, "the Factory recommended interval is 52500 miles WITHOUT TIME LIMITS". (News Bulletin FCA, Nov 2003). Bill also states that his 89 TR has it's original belts at 13 years and 15000 miles!
    I've decided to do my next belt change about 2006 and ?35000 miles.
     

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