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Even Crazier - 400i Daily Driver in Manhattan!

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by aleventhal, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    #1 aleventhal, Nov 10, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I hope nobody thinks this is a waste of bandwidth, but several people asked for updates on my 400i daily driver adventure - so here it goes.

    -I have traced the fuse box / fuel pump problem to the large connector with the spade lugs and spring loaded terminals that plugs into the side of the circuit board - the terminal things have apparently loosened over time, and the heat has melted the plug - going to see if Stabilant 22 does the trick, otherwise going to cut off the plug and crimp on individual slide on terminal thingys.

    -this car runs great, and does not foul plugs, but does use oil and smoke - engine rebuild in my future...

    -for the first time, i drove the car from my country house in Columbia County, NY into NYC where my office and apartment are. The car was very comfortable on the trip down, rode nice, ran great, everything works, and did not get at all hot even sitting in rush hour traffic on the west side highway to get all the way down to wall street where my office is. Only complain is that the car is a bit loud - it has a stainless timevalve exhaust, which is good for longevity but much louder than stock - too loud in my opinion. All in all a good trip, though. I may look into adding cruise control - that would be nice. I did pull over a couple of times for pics - once just off the west side highway in battery park city, and once on south street at the foot of wall street for photos. Sorry they they a little dark - the clouds seemed to confuse the flash.

    Let me know what you guys think!

    Alex

    Dino #10704
    365BB #18265
    400i #049773
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  2. BigAl

    BigAl F1 Veteran

    Mar 17, 2002
    6,146
    TX
    Full Name:
    GSgt Hartman
    really nice looking 400i Alex, thnx for sharing and keeping us updated.
     
  3. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    28,388
    MA
    Full Name:
    John
    Alex

    Great pix and good story! My office is at 375 Hudson St. so maybe I'll hear or see you blasting up the West Side Highway sometime!

    I generally try to stay out of Manhattan with my 400i. One scorching hot summer day a few years ago my family and I were heading from CT to NJ for the Garden State Ferrari Festival and cut through Manhattan and the Lincoln Tunnel because of heavy traffic going over the GW bridge. It wasn't much better down there and it seemed like it took forever to wait for the Lincoln Tunnel when I was working on the fairly stiff clutch of the 400i.

    I was very proud of the 400i because it kept its cool throughout and I was even able to keep the a/c on without overheating. My wife and twin daughters would have lynched me otherwise!

    Back in the late 90's a guy named Ben Kao used to keep a 1983 400i 5 speed in a garage in lower Manhattan. He used to drive it pretty regularly too.

    Best of luck with your 400i Manhattan commuter car!

    John
     
  4. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,015
    The Brickyard
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    The Bad Guy
    Thanks for the update. How many miles do you think you'll get on the car before the rebuild?
     
  5. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    This is a tough question to answer - I think the truth is that the car would run like this more or less indefinetely, if you kept adding oil. It pulls very stong, runs smooth, etc., and the problem is NOT getting worse with miles. That being said, I don't like the black soot buildup on the back of the car from buring oil, and the smoke at WOT is somewhat embarassing, at least to me. So, I think the answer is that I *could* just live with it basically for ever, but I do not plan to. :)

    Alex
     
  6. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
  7. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 5, 2002
    19,325
    Portland, Oregon
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    Don
    That's great!
     
  8. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    5,973
    Central NJ
    Alex,

    Consider taking it to Francois Sicard. In my opinion he is the best for V-12 stuff. He has a soft spot for people that actually drive these cars. He also may be able to address the smoke without a total rebuild.

    Good luck with your adventure! I drive mine regularly but its not yet my primary mode of transport.

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
  9. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    Art:

    I have only heard good things about Francois. That being said I am a looong term (going on 10 years) customer of Bill Pollard, also in CT, and I strongly believe he is the best F mechanic in the world - IMHO - he is rebuilding my 365 Boxer motor as we speak - and he is a true guru with the carb and CIS cars. Unfortunately for me, it is his opinion after thoroughly examining the car that a total rebuild is the way to go - once the motor is out and apart, might as well do it right, he thinks - and i wholeheartedly agree. Anyway, thanks for the reference, and please understand I mean NO disrespect to Francois, who I DO believe is excellent as well (In fact Bill speaks highly of him).

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  10. sjmst

    sjmst F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 31, 2003
    9,787
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Sam
    This is great. Please do keep us updated!
     
  11. Beau365

    Beau365 Formula 3

    Feb 27, 2005
    1,083
    Congested London
    Full Name:
    Beau
    Good to see an Italian thoroughbred cutting a dash through NYC. Sure stands out from all those horrible american designs shuffling through town.
     
  12. rush109

    rush109 F1 Veteran

    May 26, 2005
    8,069
    Montreal, Quebec
    Full Name:
    Josh McRae
    wow, real nice pics Alex, glad to see you driving such a beauty everyday instead of making it a garager...
     
  13. NYCFERRARIS

    NYCFERRARIS Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2004
    981
    I love these crazy things...you are actuall using a 22 yo car for a daily commute in one of the harshest commutes in the nation..I love it...I used to do a similar daily commute into manhattan in a 1969 XKE roadster and it was wild! Peole thought I was crazy too but the best description came from the tow truck driver Igot to know pretty well in the mornings...he said " you're not crazy to drive that thing in here mister....you got courage!"

    Here is to you Alex the "brave" ! Please keep us updated onthe reports...after many many years of 8cyl ferraris, I am ready to go 4 more to a "real" ferrari 12 cyl. I am dead set on the 400 series to use a daily driver ( I know everyone is so hot now for the 8 cyl mondial coupes for daily drivers but I already have a mondial T cab) so I am particularly interested in the real world "road warrior " capabiliites of the 400.
     
  14. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    I've driven my Europa to work in downtown Chicago occasionally; not a fun car in traffic or heat so I rarely do it. But it's always a blast to see all the heads turning and the day just flies by for me knowing I'll have a fun drive home.

    Ken
     
  15. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    I think the 400 is a better choice for a daily than a Mondial, at least in NY. The power steering, auto trans, dual ac, huge trunk, and self levelling suspension are all huge assets for real world use. I also find that much more sedate look of the 400 to be an assett, particularly in baby poop brown like mine :)

    That being said, anyone who would use a Mondial for a daily in NY is braver than me - and should be commended!!!!!
     
  16. BigAl

    BigAl F1 Veteran

    Mar 17, 2002
    6,146
    TX
    Full Name:
    GSgt Hartman
    Alex, would love to see more pics of the 400i in action!
     
  17. Dutchman

    Dutchman F1 Veteran
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 4, 2002
    6,180
    EU
    Full Name:
    Ton
    Me too! :)
    That is a very nice 400i. Congrats!
     
  18. indaville

    indaville Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 6, 2005
    2,275
    Louisville, KY
    Great looking 400, how was it on the NYC streets? Too rough???
     
  19. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    Rough? Not at all....the car is actually very comfortable - it is a little loud (timevalve stainless exhaust - good for durability, but loud) but it rides very smoothly without alot of impact harshness, etc. Truth be told, it rides better than my wife's audi allroad quattro (but not as well as my former daily audi a8l)...
     
  20. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    Great car, glad you drive it.

    The license plate is outstanding!!
     
  21. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 14, 2003
    21,614
    Montreal Canada
    Full Name:
    Bernie
    You're nuts!!!!!! But I like the cut cut of your jig.

    I always loved NYC, and have never turned down any opportunity to visit. However, I've always preferred to travel by subway within Manhattan, rather than drive. It gives me a different perspective on the city.

    Plus...I can't stand traffic.
     
  22. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    5,973
    Central NJ
    Alex,

    I swear by Francois like you swear by Bill. If you have a mechanic who you consider to be excellent and you trust, you would be foolish to switch.

    On another note, I would recommend that you keep a diary of your association with the car (pictures included of course). I'd be willing to bet that the first year will be a bit bumpy considering the impending rebuild and relatively unknown condition of the subsystems. However, if you get through it,the car should become bomb-proof.

    Good luck,

    Art S.
     
  23. barchetta

    barchetta Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    632
    I think it would be fair to say that Bill Pollard and Francois Sicard are BOTH world-class mechanics!
     
  24. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    974
    Berlin, Germany
    I perfectly understand the rational behind using a F-car as daily driver. If one has to spend 1 or 2 hours per day in a car, the smartest thing to do is to use a car that actually puts FUN into that exercise. Which is the reason why I use mine also as a daily driver.
     
  25. 328Matt

    328Matt Karting

    Dec 3, 2003
    222
    Lymm,Cheshire
    Full Name:
    Matt
    Please keep us all informed of your progress. Its great to hear about a car being used daily....i would if i could afford to! Nice one mate!
     

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