US homologation test: 120Kmi w/o cam belt change ?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by ze_shark, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    This month's Evo features an article about the process to get a car US street legal (the Lotus Elise). This is said to include a 120'000 miles durability test to demonstrate that the engine still meets emissions laws after that. No servicing allowed, "not even a cam belt change".

    Question: how does Ferrari manage to pass this test, and still requires us to change belts every 25k miles ? If the cars can pass this durability test, I'd expect that the belts can at least be guaranteed to last half that mileage ?
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  3. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    Maybe they simulate 120k miles. Just like they simulate paints and such. I know they beat the hell out of cars to get them approved, but I can not believe they put that many miles on one. The gas alone wasted without me getting any of those miles under my belt starts to upset me.

    How do I get a job with the governement to put that many miles on all the new cars Manufacturers are wanting to bring to market?
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Because these tests, like the crash test, are one time events.

    Usually sacrificial to the machine involved! IMO one wouldn't want to replicate either one with their personal car!

    Anyone else have better info?

    Glad to see the Elise finally make it over!
  5. jpl

    jpl Formula Junior

    Dec 4, 2003
    Full Name:
    JP Lavigne
    I think you will find that there is a big difference between how long a belt will really last and how long a manufacturer will warranty a belt to last.

    Ferrari recommends that the belt be changed every X # of months or X# of miles and if you do that Ferrari will warrant the engine/or parts there of, however you can drive it for the next 10, 20 or 30 years if you want and put 100,000 miles on the belt and it may never go bad, howeve if it does, it is your responsibility, not Ferrari's.

    This is the same with anything, oil changes, spark-plugs, etc. The difference is, that when a belt goes on a highly stressed engine with lots of valves and moving get's pretty expensive to fix.

    Don't confuse warranty with Guarentee
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    Ferrari considers belt changes part of "standard" maintanence.
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  8. ColaGuy

    ColaGuy Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Full Name:
    Joel White
    I would also guess that going 120K (exact same/simulated) miles would be very different from how an average Fcar driver might drive their car. That 120K mile car probably never saw redline, a trackday, or comute traffic in hot sun, cold rainy days etc.

    my .02
  9. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    western hemisphere
    Somebody told me Ferrari was now recommending a cam belt change every 3,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes sooner. Furthermore, this can only be done by an authorized Ferrari dealership because the work is so difficult. My rule of thumb, just to be on the safe side, is have the cam belts, tensioner bearings, and water pump replaced every time I fill up with gas. Since a re-build costs upwards of $20,000 in the event of cam belt failure, it makes good sense to spend $5 to $10K once in a while to avoid that.
  10. Joe G.

    Joe G. Formula 3

    Dec 9, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Joe Gazzani
    what does a 120k mile emissions durability test have to do with how long the timing belts will last ?
  11. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    I could see the 120k being done on a dyno in 5th or 6th at 2500rpm with no disturbances, weather or throttle variations. This gentle behavior repeated for dozens of sessions. I could see a Ferrari engine doing that.

    I wish Ferrari would just go with chains though.
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  13. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    If someone with factual knowledge on the actual federal process could shed some light on the topic, this would move the topic from speculation to facts.

    I remain fairly skeptical that the this 120Kmiles federal standard was defined on the basis of a test procedure which involves gentle dyno runs. The article was saying that federalizing the Elise cost Lotus several dozen million bucks, that's an order of magnitude more than the 20 cars they destroyed in crash tests.

    I am not implying that this demonstrates that all cam belts can last that long, but a 4x safety margin sounds rather large from an engineering standpoint.

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