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Feasible project?

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by preston400i, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
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    SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON THE COLD HARD TRUTH....

    You will in all likelyhood spend $30K before your car runs and looks as well as a $20K car (without a salvage title).
     
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  3. vvassallo

    vvassallo F1 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2006
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    Preston, go back and reread the thread starting with your first. You will simply have to reach the obvious conclusion - this is a too-costly project that will end where? With a salvage car that sucked up enough capital to buy you something really decent in Ferrari-ville.

    There is no shame in parting it out. It's not like it's a collectable Ferrari (well, not yet). I would carefully inventory all the major parts that may have some value, then do the same for the miscellaneous little parts that no one ever thinks about until they try to find one (fasteners, clamps, etc.). Next make a detailed list of what you have to sell and post it. I am sure you will have people coming out of the woodwork to buy stuff. What's a genuine alternator worth? How about a water pump? Before you sink anymore cash into this, consider the honorable and sensible exit strategy - part it out without guilt. The life you sacrifice will help others live on! :)
     
  4. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    Probably a true story.
     
  5. preston400i

    preston400i Karting

    Dec 26, 2006
    131
    I know, I know. I could own a nice F-car for considerably less than I'll end up spending on this one. The best case scenario, if the leak turns out to be minor and there are no other major problems lurking, is probably break-even. And that is highly doubtful at this stage. But I absolutely hate to give up on something like this. I mean, this is a low-production, high-performance exotic car that SHOULD be worth enough to fix. It's the last Ferrari model to use the classic V12 with chain-driven cams, and it's a car that was obviously designed and built by craftsmen who cared about, and took pride in, the cars they were producing. It absolutely dumbfounds me that muscle cars sell on Barrett-Jackson for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not that I have anything against those cars, but they were designed to go fast in a straight line with cost-cutting compromises everywhere else, built by surly UAW types and sold as fast as mass production could crank them out. And they sell for ten times the price of many handcrafted exotics. What gives? I guess the entry-level Ferraris are set to remain a thinking man's bargain. Sorry, got kind of off-topic there.

    When I first bought the car I thought that even if it turned out to be a lemon, I could come out OK financially by parting it out. And parting it out would help others keep theirs going, so it may be somewhat noble. But what a pain.
     
  6. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
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    Nov 11, 2003
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    I re-read some of the posts. Frankly, considering the majority is suggesting parting the car out, why not poor that radiator sealer crap into the system and see if the leaks go away. If the engine fails, there is no loss over the current situation.

    As this was bought as a toy to fiddle with, why not cut a few corners and have some fun!

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
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  8. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
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    Just my opinion Art. Nothing against yours.
    If he does part it out I think he'll want to keep that engine as pure as possible. I'll bet that v12 brings pretty big bucks even if it does have some head trouble which, even after reading his description, frankly I doubt it does.
     
  9. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
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    Nov 11, 2003
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    I don't think pouring oatmeal, or whatever that stuff is, is going to hurt the situation all that much. You cannot use logic and reason to fix this car. If the sealer temporarily (or permanemtly) fixes the leak, then it will make sense for the current owner to continue along his original course. Who knows, if he fixes the main problems and gets the car roadworthy, maybe over time and with use, it has a cance of being a reliable car. In any case, the owner can have fun.

    If, on the other hand, the engine deteriorates further as a result of the 'magic potion' then the owner withh have a Ferrari with a caved in roof, electical problems, differed mantenance and in need of major engine work - kind of like the situation at the moment.

    Therefore, I see the idea as a potential up-side and little downside.

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
  10. Davidindallas

    Davidindallas Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    343
    To borrow from today's headlines, I think there's an apt analogy here to Barbaro. You need to put your hand over your eyes, extend your right hand, raise the pistol and pull the trigger. Pull the motor and the tranny and put them on ebay for 10k. Then take the interior out and the gauges. You'll be making money and learning how to restore the next one in the process.
     
  11. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Part out??? HOGWASH. Do you guys really care about Ferrari cars, or are you all just investment speculators who will slaughter their cash cow the minute she stops producing Grade A milk? I've seen more courtesy extended to a ratty 62 Chevy than you guys extend toward a Ferrari that is 100 times rarer. Forget about the dollar value. If you're that strapped for cash, why did you/anybody buy a Ferrari project to begin with? Push it into a barn, wait 5 years, and then it will become the subject of a new "barn find" thread. Offers will pour in and another horse will be saved from the slaughter house.
     
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  13. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
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    Why don't you buy it then Arlie?

    Plus, If he parts it out and sells the engine, frame, and tranny separately, there can be 3 more "original cars" 100 years from now!!! ;) (Only sort of winking)
     
  14. jacques

    jacques Formula Junior

    May 23, 2006
    836
    Los Angeles/Florida
    Part it...or rstore it..it's your car..I've owned my 400i for 10 years and have paid thousands into it..I love it but would NEVER do it again..on this model, you fix one thing and another entire system goes south..Simon's post is rather self rightous and rude to you and all of the rest of us who truly love our cars..but when a horse breaks his leg in Montana where I'm from...you must make decisions..also speaking from experience...DO NOT store a 400 and let it sit for 2 years...when you open the closet...well..we've all seen the scene in "psycho"...when you open the closet door...you will just HATE the smell....
    these horses love to be ridden..when you don't ride them..they're like your wives ..(according to my married friends) they hate you...Jacques...over
     
  15. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

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    Too far away. Besides, my question from post #6 still remains unanswered?!

     
  16. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
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    Sorry you interpret it that way. That was in know way my intent.

    The OP clearly states he was trying to get an exotic on the cheap. As he learned more it became apparant that this project was going to cost him much more than he anticipated.

    I was attempting to be very blunt, but my purpose was to prevent someone from pursuing a project that they may not be able to afford. The opinion I expressed only applies to this poster in this scenario (notice I didn't even say to this car...)

    My posts were in no way intended to imply anything about the 400 not being worthy of love...

    If the OP had said, " I am looking for a project that I can work on over time, and have some fun with, and take pride in when it's done, and I'm not so concerned about the cost"... I would have said go fo it. But remember, the OP's main focus has been cost and finances, so that is what I based my responses on.

    If I offended you, or others, I am sorry. But if you reflect upon what I am saying here, I hope you will agree with my premise. Was I too blunt,... perhaps.

    Simon
     
  17. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
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    I agree with Arlie. There are guys who have put more heart and soul into rusted out Chevies, spent thousands trying to cobble things together. It all works out in the end. If guys had not broke thier backs fixing the ancient Ferrari's, which were actually depreciating all long the way I might add, very few examples would be left.
     
  18. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
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    Electrical system is very basic...power and ground..just becarful around the enigne electrical stuff Mv are present and don't take kindly to a "test" light (death light as I like to call them some times) Simple system overall.

    Engine..hummm..if you can hold yourself back from the "while were in there" issue..and it does indeed turn out to be bad head gaskets (but check everything as best you can before removing the heads) then you could do it for a fairly reasonable price if you do the work yourself. BUT the unknowen is the over condition of the heads themselves. You will have to send them out to a machine shop to have them checked for cracks and to make sure they are still straight (not warped). Any good machine shop should be able to do this for you with out any difficulty..heck a Toyota or Ford head is a far more complex cast then these are. It is not a job for the weak kneed however.

    Body..to get it right with no rain leaks and so the doors windsheild, sideglass etc, all line up as they should, will take a really good bodyshop..that will not be cheap to do if its done right. Weather stripping, trim peices etc..will set you back a large amount of cash.

    It will be quite a project to take on. I bid on this car when it was on ebay..I wanted the engine and would have scrapped the rest (well sold it off for parts). I looking into building a street rod powered by a 400 engine maybe a 32 3 window coupe or somthing. then sell it a Barret jackson for 1 million dollars LOL;)
     
  19. preston400i

    preston400i Karting

    Dec 26, 2006
    131
    The body doesn't concern me so much. I knew about that all along. Getting a windshield is tougher than I thought, but sheet metal is sheet metal. Chopping the roof shouldn't be any trickier on this than anything else. I'm also reasonably convinced that I can re-use most if not all of the weatherstripping and trim. I have thought about getting a hot rod shop to do the roof graft, but I'm not afraid of bodywork.

    A head gasket replacement isn't that intimidating, but there sure is a lot of wiring and plumbing to undo before I could get to the heads. And, the way the engine seems to be mounted back under the firewall, I wouldn't be surprised if I'd have to pull the engine to get the heads off. Long story short, I can replace headgaskets, but pulling the entire engine in a car with such crowded engine bay is not an appealing proposition. My only 'while we're at it' thought was about valve clearance, which will need doing anyway.

    I can muddle through electrical problems, but like the head gasket thing, it's a lot harder in such a sophisticated car. It might be one bad plug, and I might pull a lot of hair out tracing circuits. There's really no way of knowing.

    I guess my ultimate question is this: If these are the problems that are surfacing NOW, am I dealing with a poorly-kept car that will only fail regularly in the future? A 400i needing bodywork at the price I paid was a financially sound proposition. A 400i needing bodywork, electrical work, and a few other parts was still OK. The same car needing all that plus a complicated head gasket replacement is probably break-even at best. And a car that has more problems than that lurking will be a sinkhole of expense. I would love to save it, but I'm not sure I can afford to be an automotive missionary.
     
  20. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Ok, this car isn't worth restoring...yet. Why not make it into a cool one-off type car? Its not like you are destroying a future collectible.

    Chop the top, make it into a convertible. Shave the handles, flare it, give it a killer paint job, and enjoy...

    Thats probably better than parting it out...
     
  21. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
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    Preston,

    There are only so many systems on the car. If you are not concerned with what you listed in your last post go for it! Besides, everyone on here loves quixotic projects. I suspect you will get a lot of support if you chose to dive in!

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
  22. ricar116

    ricar116 Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2005
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    It's your car and your life. Don't put yourself under any undo pressure, this is supposed to be a hobby... a positive experience in your life have fun. I will have over twice what the average asking price in my 365GT4 2+2 when I am done. Smart ? Guess the jury is still out. However it is mine and I know what I will have, and it will be gorgeous. Eurospares will have you a windshield in a week maybe a week and a half from the UK, but yes it will be about $1500 for freight and all. Maybe order a few other items you will need anyway. They will probably be cheaper than from domestic vendors, but if you do decide to part out or sell at least offer it to this forum first. Good luck these cars rock!
    Rick
     
  23. moserpe

    moserpe Karting

    Jul 20, 2006
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    Preston,

    so far there were not many answers referencing to the electrical problems. As a new owner of a 400i, i have learned that the electrical systems seem to be the weak point of many Ferraris. Unfortunately some of these problems are getting "fixed" in a non professional way and time over time it is gettin worse. Therefore i have removed all unnecessary electrical installations from my car which had been added by previous owners first an then i have started from scratch with the repair of electrical problems.
    If you have the ressources to fix the body, i would say that the electrical things are peanuts in comparison! The wiring diagramme is available in the owners manual or e.g. from the 400 register as a pdf file http://www.400register.com/. This is a big help in problem investigation. I asssume that you have alredy checked the fuses before digging deeper into the problems! My experience is that the original wiring is questionable in some aspects. Have a look at the experience report in the Ferrari section of my homepage http://homepage.hispeed.ch/Cavalli/. This may give you some hints as well.

    By the way: to me, it sounds unlikely that both cylinder head gaskets are leaking outwards without being burnt. Before you can positively confirm that it is the head gaskets, you should definitely not consider to get rid of the car! What is the mileage of your car?
    And you should not believe that any other 400 which is for sale at 20k is flawless! Here in Switzerland the real good 400's are sold at 28 to 40k USD.
    A 365 is now on the market for 65k which is definitely too much - but let's see how it goes.

    regards

    Peter
     
  24. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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  25. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
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    Preston, Any update?
     
  26. preston400i

    preston400i Karting

    Dec 26, 2006
    131
    Sorry, no updates to speak of. It hasn't been leaking like it did, but it's marginally warmer than it was when it was leaking badly. I really haven't had the time lately to dig into anything to make further diagnoses. I've ordered a workshop manual from Eurospares so I'll at least have some specs to check.

    I have basically decided that if the head gasket thing is minor (confined to an external leak with no oil/water mixing and no compression issues) then I will go forward with the project. Does anyone have any idea what a head gasket set costs?

    Couple of other random questions since I'm thinking about it:

    Did the 400i ever come with a rear spoiler? I've never seen another one. It looks good IMO, but if it's not factory then I'll ditch it.

    Good place to get a windshield? T Rutlands said no dice and Eurospares is out of stock until the glassmaker makes more.
     
  27. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
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  28. ricar116

    ricar116 Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2005
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    I have a cracked windshield from my 365 GT4 2+2 lower left corner out of view. Currently have it setting in the car for final fit up. If you need one for the body shop to fit the roof you are welcome to it when I am done. I have a new one, but I don't want to use it until it goes in for good. You would need to pay for freight. I am located in Southwest Missouri. Drop me an E-mail at ricar116@hotmail.com if you are interested.
    Rick
     

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