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Would you describe the F355 as "fragile"

Discussion in '348/355' started by RonHoward, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. RonHoward

    RonHoward Rookie

    Dec 7, 2018
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    Not sure my search will ever end for the right car (manual, berlinetta, not-red, preferably blue).

    As this search continues I keep reading more. I've now read a few comments here and there describing the F355 as feeling "fragile". Some people are afraid to track it, afraid to daily drive it, claim it feels "loosely held together".

    I'm not at all concerned about the maintenance, and I would imagine some of these comments stem from people who are afraid of the maintenance, but would you say it feels fragile or like you have to be careful with it? Could anyone expand on what some of these people might be talking about? I very likely wont get to drive one until I buy one.
     
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  3. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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  4. RonHoward

    RonHoward Rookie

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    Yes, I'm aware of how beat up challenge cars get. Theres a lot of differences between the challenge and the regular car, though.
     
  5. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

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    There is?
     
  6. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
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    No
     
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  8. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Veteran
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    Horses for courses... Do you intend to track your future purchase?

    I'm sure Ferrari designed their cars robust enough to go at 295 kph on the street.

    I'm afraid of the maintenance because I have had something break and have had to wait 3 months for a new part to appear. The same part is now in plentiful supply. Opinions may vary because of varying experiences. I see you owned a 360 for a couple of years and didn't need to come to FerrariChat for any help. I imagine the 360 was more robust than the 355 because of technology improvements, but without reliable statistics, you couldn't say how much more fragile the 355 is. Of course, older cars will break more often. "Ye cannae change the laws of physics".

    If you've based your 355 opinions on YouTube videos and the comments in the peanut gallery there, then you probably have the wrong impression.
     
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  9. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
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    If properly maintained, it is not fragile. Mine starts right up, has no issue going all the way up the RPM range, and feels comfortably planted in corners.

    If it's broken or poorly maintained (like when I originally bought mine), you need to be careful... as you would have to be careful with any 20+ year old car with bad brakes, a corroded throttle, bad tires, and frayed wires behind the dash.


    I'm 5'9" and my helmet hits the roof in a GTB while in a comfortable driving position. This is why it is not tracked. If I was tracking, I'd upgrade the brakes, technology has come a long way in 27 years. Rest is good to go.
     
  10. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
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  11. mclaudio

    mclaudio Formula 3

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    #9 mclaudio, Jan 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    Not fragile. Even gets to play with other non-fragile cars. Though it may look fragile in size compared to newer ones.
     

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  13. jdlegg

    jdlegg Karting

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    I owned a '95 355 Berlinetta for ~7.5yrs (sold it in '06) and put ~10K mostly track miles on it. It was NOT fragile by any means. Just be sure & do regular maintenance and it'll be a solid choice.
     
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  14. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    They seem to be more fragile if you don’t drive them much in my experience
     
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  15. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    That dirt at button willow eats paint. That was the final straw that got me to convert my 348 into a racecar only.
     
  16. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    Ya when we were all at chuckwalla I had a few but it was easy on the paint
     
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  17. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    Good times fbb
     
  18. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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    Far from fragile. Mine had nearly 70k miles and drove it to and from track days.
     
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  19. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Disuse atrophy.
     
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  20. michaelz

    michaelz Rookie

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    #17 michaelz, Jan 24, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
    Not fragile, I use mine 2-3 days a week just going to work. Start stop traffic and lots of heat cycles.

    However it's costly when something needs replacing as Ferrari genuine parts are overpriced and there's not as much aftermarket choice compared to something Japanese.

    In terms of build quality, it's early 90s Italian build quality, don't expect too much. The advantage is that it's fairly basic that most small issues can be easily sorted. Mine had been sitting for 2-3 years and sorted out most of the small issues and got it back on the road with just some basic servicing at home. Nothing that couldn't wait until the engine out major.

    There's also the issue of having to use a reputable Ferrari specialist for major servicing as that cost and the papertrail pays for itself the day you need to sell the car.

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    The above are 3 dearest to my heart and most would describe the RX7 as fragile but a rotary engine rebuild is about the same cost as a 355 engine out belt service. To be fair the rotary has had one rebuild but but hasn't need any other attention since, the internet is just spreading opinions of those whom haven't owned the car but "heard" from their uncle's friend's dog. The GTR needs nothing more than regular oil changes which I do at home and currently is serving as a daily driver. Will go back to a few days a week once my 355 is back from the timing belt service. Nothing beats the sound and the sense of occasion behind the wheel of a 355.
     
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  21. GTO Joe

    GTO Joe Formula Junior
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    Best sentence in the entire thread. Applies to the 348 as well.
     
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  22. KevZep

    KevZep Formula Junior

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    Well, this is what I think. Applies to the 348 too.
    Perhaps some of the plastic switch-gear and so forth can be fragile if they have had a heavy hand over the years, but as far as mechanically, they are as solid and "NOT" fragile as they come.
    Drive them hard!! They love it!!
    I drive my 348 hard, it never feels fragile, neither does my friend's 355........
    Just more myths circulating.......
     
  23. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
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    Yeah, dont you love spinning it then soon as you stop a bucket of dirt comes through the window LOL. I keep a leaf blower in the truck now for easy cleanup
    I love that track 13 CW.
    Was going this upcoming weekend, with all the rain this week it will be a mudhole. As much as Im off track 2-3 time MINIMUM per day I might as well use the 4WD truck. LOL :)
     
  24. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    next time you go let me know. 550M needs exercise. In May we get to be the first to race the new track there.
     
  25. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
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    Yeah looks pretty good right a long side the HWY
    Sure will shoot you a text next time I go. Long as the infield is dry Im good :)
     
  26. kenneyd

    kenneyd Formula 3
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  27. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    #24 308 GTB, Jan 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
    I can't say I've had zero failures in the nine years I've had my F355 Challenge. My alternator failed at Daytona and I now carry a spare alternator to track events. I've also had an oil leak at the oil cooler which sidelined my car at Pocono Raceway. It was an easy repair when the car got back to the shop...


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    Some welding and a new fitting.


    At Watkins Glen International, my rear clutch shaft bearing failed. All the ball bearings came out of the cage...


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    What a racket that made! :D



    Alternator cable connectors get dirty and have to be cleaned...


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    In this case it was a broken wire in the harness which was spliced.
     
  28. kryten2001

    kryten2001 Formula Junior

    #25 kryten2001, Jan 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
    Not particularly fragile at all, but can just be a bit expensive to fix. Some parts are getting tougher to track down and can be expensive, especially the 94/95 cars.

    Mine's never skipped a beat in its life, however it has had a fair bit of stuff fixed to keep it in tip top shape.

    Don't let it put you off, they're great cars. Just make yourself aware of the usual failure points..

    Headers, alternators, valve guides (for very few) and MAF/O2 sensors are common failure points. If you have a 94/95 car, make sure the electrics and ABS/Brake Circuits are in good working order.

    Things like radiators can sometimes go prematurely because the originals are made with plastic end caps. All easily resolved though, and not crazy expensive.

    They are also very easy cars to work on.

    The engine if properly maintained is bullet proof.
     

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