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Viper Guy Asking Ferrari 355 questions, Please Help.

Discussion in '348/355' started by 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR

    Mar 11, 2004
    20
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Hello Fellow Great Sport Car owners,


    A friend of mine called me tonight out of the blue, and its been a while since we chatted, so I know he needed some help on something if he called. He is trying to make a decision on what model/version of the 355 he should buy. I race my Viper and have had numerous Porsche's before it, but I have not had the fortune of owning such a fine Italian automobile such as the Ferrari. He asked if I could help him find out what years are the best, what issues/concerns one might have with getting that model, and any other relevant information that will help him become an educated Ferrari 355 buyer.

    An example I can give of the information I am looking for will come from my current Marquee (Viper, GTS):

    1996-1997 the most powerful Generation II Vipers (GTS), engines produce roughly 20-30hp more dyno proven then later years.
    1996-1999 the best performance cam shaft
    1996-1999 Forged Pistons
    2000-2002 Hypereutectic Pistons
    2001-2002 Only years to have ABS on GTS

    So in this example, it means if you want the strongest car, but you don't get ABS, then you get 1996-1997 GTS. If you want ABS, and can stand to not have forged pistons, you get a 2001-2002. In my opinion the year to avoid is 2000, as you do not get forged pistons, and you do not get ABS.

    This is the type of insight, along with maintenance issues, etc, that I am looking for. Thanks in advance for everyone's help.

    Jon
     
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  3. 96 R/T 10

    96 R/T 10 Rookie

    Mar 11, 2004
    1
    Why are you telling them this info on the Viper?! You're giving away all our great secrets! :D, :)
     
  4. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    51,217
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    He should come here and do a search as these questions have been answered before. If still questions he can ask them.

    1995 is known for most HP, but since it was first year some are leary. Need to see if valve guide updates have been done for the earlier years.

    I really think it will be hard to come up with a list like yours. I think your friend can do fine with any year 355 if it has records and the PPI checks out. How price sensitive is your friend? I would love a Fiorano version if I could afford it.
     
  5. 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR

    Mar 11, 2004
    20
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Thanks Rob,

    But the question becomes, WHAT questions do I ask ? So if I was knowledgeable about the Ferraris, or he was, we would know what to "search for." I understand and appreciate the "search etiquette", but I tried to pose search questions that would direct me towards the results I wanted, but with 250+ results from "355" I was a bit bewildered. Then zero results from "355 Best year." That's when I posted.

    The Fiorano would be nice, but when only 100 were produced, its probably going to be outside his price range. He was thinking 60k-80k.
     
  6. Tom Larkins

    Tom Larkins Formula Junior

    Even w/the search it takes time to read through all the info about the 355. I've been on this site for 1/2 a years and only recently feel like I have covered the bases. Flatout racing had about the best post relative to mis-conceptions about the 355 and it is the most informative post I saw. I will see if I can find it and put it up.
     
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  8. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,842
    Singapore
    The one thing to keep in mind is that the search function is not compatible between versions. We recently upgraded to a new software, and while there is a wealth of information on the 355 in the old forum, you will need to specifically search there on it. In order to do so, go to the main FerrariChat.com page, and then scroll down to the bottom to where it says "Old FerrariChat.com Archives." Once there, click on the Search function.

    It's a little late right now, and I'm a little tired, but if you haven't had any luck by tomorrow, I can certainly lead you through some 355-specific issues that you need to know when thinking about these cars, since I just bought one.
     
  9. 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR

    Mar 11, 2004
    20
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Jon
    So this thread was most informative:
    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5554&highlight=355

    Now, my only question now is, if there are other "355-specific issues that you need to know when thinking about these cars" that you can enlighten me on, that would be GREAT !! Thanks for the support !!
     
  10. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,842
    Singapore
    Definitely one of the most informative posts on FerrariChat.com period. Other issues include:

    (1) Oxygen sensors (on '95 cars) because the ECUs had problems
    (2) Faulty cylinder liners
    (3) Valve guides being worn out - check the thread you reference
    (4) Exhaust manifold failure or leaky intake manifolds
    (5) Leaky clutch slave cylinders
    (6) Leaky shock absorbers
    (7) Steering rack mounts that can crack

    Many of these problems are rare, but you asked for something comprehensive, so this is what is in my book. Others can obviously weight in with their own thoughts for additional stuff to keep an eye out for.

    Time to go to bed.
     
  11. rcallahan

    rcallahan F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jul 15, 2002
    3,307
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Bob Callahan
    I've got a MY99 spider.

    The basics are this...the 95's (the first year) are the best for HP but you have to look out for the valve guides (some of them could be weak). All others have the same issues (mostly the possibility of cracked headers). Other than the cracked header and valve guide issues on the '95's they are tremendous cars!

    Bob
     
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  13. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    7,163
    Never heard this one; however there are numerout issues on the 95s with thermocouples and the exhaust computer throwing "slow down" indications.

    Never heard this one on street cars. Some challenge cars that are routinely reved over redline can and do get scuffing issues in the upper cylinder area.

    known years of issue 95-98, thats right only the 99s have not shown this issue. In my opinion, its overblown, as I have a 95 that has had the snot run out of it on the track 31 times and still get perfect leakdown numbers for a 40K mile car.

    Headers from all years are known to fracture, 95 are the worst here, however, there is an upgraded 95 header that has better materials. At least on challenge car made a hanger to hold the weight of the y-pipe and Cats and apparently this took a lot of stress of the headers and they lasted longer. For track-like uses, expect to change the headers every couple of years.

    Mainly from disuse (e.g. insufficient miles) and not enough bleading (it uses brake fluid). There is an upgraded throwout assembly developed for the F1 tranny that is smoother than the original. Once you pay the guy to get at the clutch, upgrade the slave cylinder.

    Never heard this one; however the electronics on the shocks give some issues. Once again, the less a car has been used, the more prevelent this issue.

    Never heard this one, however, the Viper guys will recognize a major issue with Viper steering rack mounts.
     
  14. 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR

    Mar 11, 2004
    20
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Hey, leave the viper guys outta this. lol. Yeah, the 96-00 had a recall that reinforced some areas known to potentially have stress cracks when put on a road course w sticky tires. Few Steet cars ever faced this issue, as regular street tires had trouble producing enough grip to create the issue, but dodge reinforced all of those model years as a just-in-case measure. 2001+ from the factory they were reinforced to avoid all this.

    Com on over to viper club, and you'll see we are just as open to discussing our issues as you guys are. Thank you very much. Lots of great information.

    Jon
     
  15. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,867
    Northern NJ
    Thanks for the link to the prior thread 2002viper... so much useful info here (on FerrariChat). I'm printing that thread now, and will keep it in my 355 "due diligence/info" folder...
     
  16. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,842
    Singapore
    The list I posted was based on the Forza 355 Buyer's Guide and the numerous comments provided by others as they searched for their 355's. But I defer to Mitch, with his extensive time/track experience with the 355.

    Hey, look on the bright side: at least he didn't add anything! :D:D:D
     

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