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Was the cam variators issue ever solved?

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by 2000 456M, May 9, 2015.

  1. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
    12,458
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Allan
    Thinking of getting a used quattroporte, but after doing the valve guides in my 456M, I'm looking to avoid another maintenance disaster. What's the earliest year without the variators problem?
     
  2. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
    12,458
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Allan
    124 views and no one can say "20__" or "still a problem?" Only the F360, which was replaced by the F430 in 2004 has much discussion of the cam variator problem. However, the F430 which shares the F136 engine with Maseratis, doesn't seem to have had the problem, and that makes it all the more strange to me. Any insights would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  3. TBigs

    TBigs Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2010
    465
    NW Ohio
    Full Name:
    Terry
    A quick search of the other Maserati forum turned up some info. Apparently this can still be an issue but I get the impression that it is not as common as with the earlier engines. The fact that I, as a 4200 owner, had to search for the info tells you something.

    Regarding your concern about a maintenance disaster, this powertrain seems to be pretty bulletproof and free of 5 figure maintenance bills. One can always be unlucky, of course, but to me the risks were low enough that they didn't keep me from buying a 4200.....whereas I passed right on by the 355 and a couple other F cars of the same era for maintenance reasons. I hope that helps.
     
  4. malcolmb

    malcolmb Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 17, 2002
    934
    San diego
    Full Name:
    Malcolm Barksdale
    My 2009 QP required variator replacement at around 40,000 miles, it wasn't all that expensive as these things go. I get the impression that it is a design defect and that most will fail eventually. The repair involves sending the parts to a machine shop to be modified, as I recall.
    Other than that the car has been trouble free, now at 50,000 miles.
    Malcolm
     
  5. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
    12,458
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Allan
    Terry, Malcomb, thank you both. That helps a lot.
     
  6. JB7

    JB7 Rookie

    Apr 19, 2007
    3
    Rye, NH
    Full Name:
    Jon Bowers
    I have done a bit of research on this as well. Just sold my 07 QP and looking for a new one. I have been told by a service manager at a local high end service shop that works on Astons, Ferraris, Maseratis, etc. that the 4.7 that is in the 09 "S" and "GTS" does not have the variator issue and as a whole is a next step up in finicky issues with the 4.2 QP.
     
  7. mambodave

    mambodave Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2005
    528
    Charlotte NC
    Full Name:
    Dave
    No, my 08 had both sides go out. The left side was a good will repair just after the warranty expired at 52k. When the right went, I traded it in at the dealer.
     
  8. mypowey

    mypowey Rookie

    Jun 8, 2015
    1
    hiya, malcomb - i am looking for an indy mechanic to do my 2007 QP cam varistors and noticed you're somewhat close and had yours done at a decent price - can you please recommend your mechanic?
    i am in los angeles but willing to go to san diego (and anywhere else within about a 2 hour drive) if the price is better than what i've found in LA.
    many thanks!
     
  9. malcolmb

    malcolmb Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 17, 2002
    934
    San diego
    Full Name:
    Malcolm Barksdale
    Mine was done at the San Diego ferrari dealer, MNA kicked in about half as a goodwill gesture so the price was fair enough.
    I think most "exotic" car mechanics can do this kind of repair, however i suspect the price won't vary much.
    Malcolm
     
  10. 104OCTANOS

    104OCTANOS Rookie

    May 16, 2013
    5
    Hello everyone, I'm new here and I want to ask you a question about this matter.
    What a bug the phase variators have given you
    I have an F430 with a very loud noise in the front and the right stock at the height of the phase inverter.
    Have you only been given malfunctions or have you also changed them for noise?
    thanks
     
  11. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,308
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    Maserati eventually fixed the variator issue, I think that engines from October 2011 and later are okay. Normally when the variators are going bad, they will rattle at cold start-up, and eventually if not changed, will start affecting cam timing, etc.
     
  12. 104OCTANOS

    104OCTANOS Rookie

    May 16, 2013
    5
    Hi Carguy, thank you. This car is from 2007, only the engine from the upper right area above the phase converters makes noise, but it doesn't memorize failures in the ECU.
    The timing chain and tensioners have been checked and it's fine, the camshafts are also fine
     
  13. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,308
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    The variator would have to get pretty bad mechanically to affect the timing enough for the ECU to notice. Is the 2007 QP an auotmatic or the duo-select? The duo-select cars don't suffer as many variator issues as the automatics do.
     
  14. eyeman1234

    eyeman1234 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 25, 2006
    1,682
    Boca Raton, FL
    My friend's 2006 QP with duo-select is getting variators now...(32K mi.) o_O It "rattled on cold start-up."
     
  15. bergxu

    bergxu Formula 3

    Aug 16, 2005
    1,302
    OnTheSerpentMound
    Full Name:
    Aaron
    Hope I may be able to be of some help as I work for a Mas dealer as a master mechanic; The mid-2010 and later engines had the updated variators and modified cam caps from the get go, so anything pre 2011, you'll want to have a Maserati dealer run the VIN of any car in question on the Modis CS (Maserati internal) site and check the warranty tab so see if the repair has been done, as MNA tracked all variator jobs up till about 2017 or thereabouts (10 years from the intro of the wet sump engine). But if you go for a 2011 forward car, you needn't worry.

    My own DD, a 2007 Quattroporte Automatica Sport GT, had the variators done at 45K miles under the original factory warranty. As of today, the car is just about to turn over 142K miles and still runs like a dream.

    The above poster is correct in that the dry sump engines do not suffer the same frequency of failure as the wet sump engines do, but with that said, don't let that scare you away from getting an '07-'10 QP or GT as the cars are otherwise quite bulletproof and the variator issue isn't necessarily going to affect every car, it's kind of a hit or miss type of issue. I think a lot of it has to do with the way the car was used--lots of poky around town driving isn't good but neither is excessive hardcore driving. Also, it is my personal opinion that the factory advised oil service interval of 12.5K miles should be ignored and the oil service done every 5K miles, as I have always done on my own cars. Oil is cheap insurance as we all know.

    Good luck and let me know if I can be of any further help!
     
  16. eyeman1234

    eyeman1234 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 25, 2006
    1,682
    Boca Raton, FL
    Thanks. Aaron, do these early QP cars still get variators done free under warrant, if not previously done?
     

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