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What's the worst case scenario with a TR?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by JeffMN, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. JeffMN

    JeffMN Rookie

    Jan 18, 2004
    28
    I've been looking around for one for quite some time.

    Just for the sake of argument..

    ..let's say I locate what I think is the perfect TR. I buy it, park it. About 100 miles later I'm driving and start to hear a little too much clanking from the engine and BOOM! Connecting rod through the case, broken crank, cracked block.

    How much can I expect to spend for a new/rebuilt/used engine? Transmission?

    Are these type of failures common? I've read soooo much about the belt replacement and I've encountered quite a few cars without adequate (complete!) maintenance records. I've basically ruled them out as being too risky. I'm paranoid to very near the point of dysfunction when it comes to expensive toys. I want to get something I won't be afraid to drive every once in awhile!

    -Jeff
     
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  3. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,025
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    do a PPI, factor in a major service as part of the buy price, drive the crap out of it with a big smile on your face and post lots of pics so people like me will stay focused! seriously, if you can get one at a price point that you are ok with !!and!!! you do the major service AS SOON AS YOU BUY IT! then you should be fine. perhaps some of the TR guys will chime in, as my profile says i am not an owner yet, but there are many great threads in the archives about this so i feel ' enlighted" enough to at least try to help. best of luck and happy hunting. michael
     
  4. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    15,162
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom
    The engines in the TR's are pretty strong..very rare to hear of one have a rod through the block unless a complete fool is at the wheel.
    The transmissions are the weak point in the TR's mainly the differential. The carriers come apart and blow out the side covers of the trans. This is a very expensive repair..but you can upgrade the unit with one from Modena Engineering or use the 91 and up 512TR diffs. Ferrari knew there was a problem so they fixed it with the 512TR series car. I have personaly seen 4 and repaired 2 TR's with this problem. Look to spend in the aera of 10-15k for the repair(mind you I'm pricing this in Canadian funds).

    If a timing belt snaps and you kiss all the valves(which will happen) your looking at about a 15-20k repair bill. To do the job right which will inclued removing the pistons to check to see if a ring land has been crushed ,if so the prices goes up from there.
    If they hit real bad say at high rpms..then you are into machine work for the heads if a valve got sideways and was rammed into the combustion chamber..and at the worst a new head will be required.

    Testa's are also a little finicky with electrical stuff,mostly it's the fuse panel that is a problem..and it can be reapired for a reasonalbe sum.


    These are not cheap cars by any means to run. In fact the TR is one of the most expensive Ferrari's to maintain. The cost to buy one is cheap. The cost to maintain it is very expensive. It's almost worth it if something really bad happends to the car to just write it off and go buy another one..and use the wreaked one for parts. It's too bad because the are really nice cars.
     
  5. BWS550

    BWS550 Wants to be a mod

    Apr 1, 2002
    8,933
    NEW JERSEY
    Full Name:
    BRUCE WELLINGTON
    I AGREE WITH TOM 100%...CAM AND TIMING BELTS...IF IT SNAPS....GOODBYE.......

    MY EXPERIENCE WITH TRS..........

    GOOD LUCK,

    BRUCE
     
  6. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    479
    Door County, WI
    I really like, and agree to the part tb refers to when he states that one should just keep the TR as a "spare parts car" for the next one bought.

    If something happens to mine, while I own it, that is what I will do.

    Mine is only worth $30K on trade, per the dealer..........why trade???????........trade for what, an OVERPRICED 308?........NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  8. 92_348ts

    92_348ts Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2002
    282
    Boise, Idaho
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Jeff-Get your hands on a copy of Forza Magazine with the Testarossa buyers guide (I would give you the exact issue number, however I am currently 3000 miles from home.)

    They had price breakdowns of the engine rebuild, transmission rebuild, and several misc. services.
     
  9. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    15,162
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom
    Just a little note about Forza pricing..their stuff seems to be always on the high side of things...they said that a mondial trans rebuild would cost 20k..yea right!! If you made all the molds from scratch!!

    But at the sametime it will give you an idea of what things cost although not one I would call gosspal.

    Tom
     
  10. JeffMN

    JeffMN Rookie

    Jan 18, 2004
    28
    I've read about the maintenance on TRs over and over. I think I've done the 30K major in my mind several times. :p

    It all seems quite straightforward. In way, I think 1/2 the reason I want a TR is to work on one.

    One last question if you don't mind. Compared to a 308 is there much more room in the driver's seat? I'm 6'4, 330lbs. I'm easy to see from the cheap seats.

    -Jeff
     
  11. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    No, from my experience the TR is much more cramped inside than a 308. Now I will say it depends on your proportions. I am 6'4" and a TR is way too tight for me. YMMV.
     
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  13. colo348

    colo348 Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    141
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Hey Jeff,
    I just bought a 1991 TR with 14532 miles on it. Some good data is to be found at http://www.red-headed.com . Has a lot of information and prepurchased information. I would say if you do not do your home work your scenario may come true. But check out the car you want to buy, get a Prepurchase inspection at a Ferrari dealer, get the service history, see if you can talk to the previous owner or the mechanic, see if you can get a car that has had a recent engine out service (will save $5 to $7K in up front cost), '89 - '91 years better than older years, since ungrades done, longer track record in manufacturing.
    Do not go cheap, if cheap then buy another car else spend a few bucks and save a lot of head aches in the future. Even though I did all this I still had to pay for some leaky value cover caskets (car driven 3000 mile in the last two years). Pros and cons on low milage cars.
    Good luck,
    Jim
     
  14. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    25,110
    Full Name:
    Avvocato
    Hi Jeff,
    Ley me tell you the goods on the TR from an 86 TR owner. Tom had mentioned some good information on TRs and respect his advise, since he is my new mechanic for my car.

    My car has 50k on the clock and have it for 4 yrs now.I bought it from its second owner who serviced the car himself and ran out of money and could not do the major service.WHen I bought in 2000 it had 40k, did the major service and drove it every weekend, to the store, yorkville and the likes. The car has never in 4 yrs had any hiccups that you read or hear about. I have heard nothing but negative stories of the 84-88.5 cars but mine runs better than my buddies 348, and 360..why? you ask? Because my car is not a garage queen.

    Buy the best you can afford, and if you find a good used one with mileage, don't be afraid of it, have it inspected and drive a few yourself to see the difference. Alot some money for the service if it has not been done, and be sensible. Its just a car, drive it weekly, let the engine and transmission warm up before you blast off.

    Most ferrari problems occur because of a uneducated owner, not a week model, or particular car. Even a story car can be fixed back to spec and be dream.

    Just remeber exotic, not daily commuter, if you respect the car, it will respect you. Think of it this way, when you first get out of bed would you run a marathon....NO. If your Ferrari sits for 3 weeks it also needs proper warm up. If you would like to know more, id be happy to share my input....The Testarossa is a fantastic ride !!
     
  15. rudy

    rudy Formula Junior

    Jan 13, 2004
    360
    Los Angeles California
    Full Name:
    Rudy Hassen
    I wish you would convince my cars of that. 5 cars, 4 in the shop. Only the Chwvy Suburban is running right. Of course, that's after losing it's brakes on the Freeway a few months ago.

    Piece-of-S....................

    Grrumble.
     
  16. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    I drove mine 115K miles before the chassis rusted out. Mine was a daily driver, rain, snow, NYC. Timing belt broke under warrantee-42K. Did several major services no more broke. Trans broke as Tom described at 85K miles. Great cars. Very expensive to keep running. You must do majors. If a belt goes you've got a parts car, BUT if you do majors it probably won't.
     
  17. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    25,110
    Full Name:
    Avvocato
    Rudy,
    You mean your F-car crapped out?? What is it? As for the Chey, hey its a GM.
     
  18. Ingenere

    Ingenere F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 11, 2001
    5,909
    On the Limit
    Full Name:
    Dino
    I've had my 87 TR for 10 years and it has been a great car. I have done 2 majors (one myself and one at Scottsdale Ferrari...BIG mistake).

    Other than fuse board issues and a couple of replaced ignition coils it has been trouble free.

    The only time the car had REAL ISSUES was when Scottsdale Ferrari screwed up a $5300 major which they subsequently charged me and additional $8K to fix their mistake.....STAY AWAY from SCOTTSDALE FERRARI.....and do your own work!

    Ciao

    Dino
     
  19. rudy

    rudy Formula Junior

    Jan 13, 2004
    360
    Los Angeles California
    Full Name:
    Rudy Hassen
    On the 550 the check engine light came on. No big deal. The mechanic did me a "favor" and put colder plugs in it. That caused an imperceptible cold miss that was triggering the check light. The 330 has a leaking rear axle seal. The 280sl broke an exhaust hanger. The 2004 CLK 500 is just a piece of junk. 2000 miles and 14 days in the shop. Thanks Mercedes. The Suburban is acting well to get me to relax before it springs it's next trap trying to kill me. Sneaky thing it is.
     
  20. stuart

    stuart Karting

    Aug 13, 2003
    100
    Hidden Hills.CA
    Full Name:
    Stuart Siegel
    I sold my 87 TR and purchased a 512TR. I had all the bad minor electrical/mechanical problems and it just made the TR a pain in the ass car which I loved to drive. The 512 is faster, much much better to drive and more reliable. The bad news is that you need to spend $90-100K for the 512.
     
  21. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    25,110
    Full Name:
    Avvocato
    Hey Rudy,
    Im on my last Benz...hunk of junk. My first C220 trany came apat at 60k, wife pregnant and stuck of the highway, they fixed it under warranty and never drove the same, trade in. My next one was a new 320s 99, same thing, all electrical and trany toastat 30k. Traded after a yr to get a 2000 e55 which I still have. At 2ok all electrical, sunroof one day during the rain decides to open and stay that way for the ride home. No shower needed after work, this past May rust on the passenger door, free paintjob. Now the last two months starting to burn oil in between oil changes at 60k. Never will I buy one of these again for sure. Oh yeah, Benz no longer give loner cars !!
    Im getting the new Ford F150...going back to American made !!
     
  22. steveirl

    steveirl Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2003
    1,156
    ireland
    Full Name:
    steve
    I am currently looking to but a boxer 512i and since starting my search have decided to consider the 512tr also. however some of the possts here would put me off buying a flat 12 engined f car!!
    Am I being paranoid, plan to look at a 1993 512tr next week, 34k miles, full history, just had belts, and trans overhaul inc new 1st and 2nd gears.
    steve
     
  23. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    479
    Door County, WI
    Steve: 34,000 miles and the trans had to be rebuilt!!!!!!!!!!.............be VERY cautious!

    This is NOT normal for a 512! It probably also needs a new clutch, and a brake job.
     
  24. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler
    Great advice from all here. Buy the best you can afford, drive it often, do the majors.

    The 512TR is significantly better if you plan to track it.

    Personally, I wouldn't let it sit 3 weeks between driving it. These things get more reliable the more you use them. Ferraris like to be driven.

    Rudy, agree, the new benzes are junk.

    Big red, the new F150 is a wonderful truck and makes the perfect choice to tow the TR to the track. :)
     
  25. GRIESDALE

    GRIESDALE Karting

    Nov 12, 2001
    149
    Lions Bay, B.C. Canada
    Full Name:
    Donald Griesdale
    I have a perfect 91 TR with 25000 miles on it. Annual maitenence costs $900.00 CDN. (all fluids and filters, brake wear check etc.) Second major service planned in 2006 at est. 31000 miles. I run the car every 2 weeks in the winter for at least 20 miles. No problems at all. These cars are meant to be driven!! Water doesn't hurt F-cars, inactivity does!! Don.
     
  26. plip

    plip Karting

    Aug 25, 2003
    242
    Switzerland
    Full Name:
    Gianni Olivieri
    Hi,

    got my 87TR in June 1998 with abt 21kmile on it. Done twice major and no problem whatsoever. I enjoy any minute in it. As a measure of precaution i DO NOT drive the car until the water gauge temp has started to move and DO NOT go over 3000 RPMS until oil gauge temp move above 60 deg C.

    Have fun.

    Plip
     
  27. ChalStrad

    ChalStrad Formula 3

    Jan 22, 2004
    2,249
    Lausanne Switzerland
    Full Name:
    Peter Mann
    Jeff
    Are you looking for a Testarossa or a 512TR? A 512TR will cost a little more but is a far superior car in every department. I had a 512TR in France for 11 years and did 45 000 miles in it of which 17000 miles were track miles. This is the equivalent of a total of 95 000 road miles. Furthermore a friend of mine sold his with 186000 miles on the clock and the engine had never been opened!

    The most important aspect is that the car you choose has a full service history. Belts must be changed according to the book! In addition, if you buy a car from a dealer you can get a factory-backed warranty, today.

    Cars that have too FEW miles should be avoided. A '92 with 5000 miles is proboably bad news because the fact that it has never really been driven means that bearings, cv joints etc have sat for too long without moving. Also you can get oil deposits on the piston O rings which can create a major problem the first time the car is revved hard. Early 512TRs ('92s) had a "weaker" differential. This is a problem in a car that has been used on a race track a lot. I had to change mine after 9 years.

    All 512 TRs and Testarossas (and most Ferraris of that period) had weak 2nd gear synchros. Over 11 years changed mine 2 or 3 times.

    Otherwise basically troublefree motoring and a truly great car with soul. In my opinion a real Ferrari unlike a Maranello which is way too asceptisized.

    It will be the only car in which I went from Modena to Courmayeur at an average of 160 mph............................

    Good luck
     
  28. steveirl

    steveirl Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2003
    1,156
    ireland
    Full Name:
    steve
    The car is being sold by Kent in the UK, one of the most respected specialists here, the major service has just been done along with the trans, and they say the car will need nothing for the next year of use. Still not sure whether to chase a tr or boxer though, wont be able to decide until i drive both, only ever driven 328 and 348 fcars, i wouldnt buy a 348, but the 328 was wonderful. to me the boxer is a classic and beautiful shape but apparently the tr is quite durable. The more you learn the harder the search becomes as you gain more knowledge a greater degree of caution sets in!!
    steve
     

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