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My first 900 F355 miles....impressions

Discussion in '348/355' started by L8APEXER, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. L8APEXER

    L8APEXER Rookie

    Feb 22, 2009
    32
    Annapolis, MD
    Now that I have over month under the belt with the my F355 Spider and a lot of the F-chatters here wanted me to report back...here we go, I'll give my impressions over the the past six weeks which I surprisingly put about 900mi on the car:

    The cons for the car I'm sure are not a surprise to any:

    1) all of the previous F355s I have driven have been GTB or GTS'; it is amazing how much heat that this car can generate and throw into the cabin in a spider.
    2) 3rd gear sucks until it's warmed up
    3) The nose will scrape on an ant hill
    4) Throttle modulation in the first half inch of travel just plain sucks

    Pros
    1) It is incredible how easy it is to deal with on a daily driver basis. The dampening is better than a 3 series...actually far better
    2) It is so amazing that you can have a motor that feels like velvet yet sounds like it is scorching earth at the same time.
    3) Dials, dials, dials! The F355 drives like a truly modern car but doesn't have any of the video game **** going on in your peripheral vision. No buttons on your steering wheel except the horn. I'm a junkie for analog instrumentation.
    4) Gated shifter...makes me smile whenever I get in the car. Smiles get bigger when I am rowing it.
    5) The sound
    6) The sound

    Just took a 300mi trip with it through the mid-Atlantic with one of my good friends that is a prominent automotive writer. The only Ferrari that he hasn't driven from the past 35 years is the 355. He was blown away and said, "Now I understand why people fall in love with this car. It's amazing."

    Best automotive purchase I have ever made....by far!
     
  2. Drock28

    Drock28 Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2013
    1,351
    Montreal
    Full Name:
    Tony
    nothing like getting a feel for the car.
    I'm still fairly new owner of my 97gtb with about 2000 miles under the belt.

    regarding spider, my cousin had one and definitely felt heat transfer into the cabin.

    usually it's 2nd gear that's stiff until warm as is on my car.
    but your saying 3rd gear is stiff until warm?

    what I've learnt to provide I little relief from cold before driving away.
    put the clutch in, and do a few shifts from neutral to 3rd.
    In my case I do it into 2nd a few times.
    that first shift into 2nd after rolling away is improved
     
  3. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nice writeup! Congrats!

    I will say that during cool nights and cooler weather in general you will think the heat thing is one of the coolest features of the car. The car features a natural "air scarf" of warm air :)

    I haven't noticed the third gear thing at all. Maybe you meant second gear? Either way - try executing double clutch upshifts when cold and you might find the gearbox performs very well when the syncros are not being asked to work under cold conditions.

    The sticky pedal thing is something we all deal with. Annoying but a little quirk that you will eventually embrace!

    Try being extra careful with the front, proceed on angles, etc. You know the drill. I never ever scrape mine. I think the 355 is very moderate in this regard as compared with other F-cars.

    Love the positives in your writeup. Hard to put it into words better than the way you did.

    All the best!
     
  4. bballto

    bballto Karting

    Mar 10, 2014
    155
    Congratulations on your car. Have you had to do any minor repairs during the 900 miles?
     
  5. L8APEXER

    L8APEXER Rookie

    Feb 22, 2009
    32
    Annapolis, MD
    Thanks 348SSTB,

    The pros outweigh the cons so much that it is not even close :)

    I have become a pro at attacking any parking situation (garage or driveway) at an 85 degree angle.

    I now refer to the heat blast as the Mediterranean breeze option.
     
  6. L8APEXER

    L8APEXER Rookie

    Feb 22, 2009
    32
    Annapolis, MD
    Thanks...I've have nothing over the past 900 miles
     
  7. lotusk

    lotusk Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,840
    London UK
    Fill the transmission with Redline oil
    This helps the cold 2nd gear shift
     
  8. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,969
    New England/FL
    #8 johnk..., Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    I have found that after two years some of the cons just detract from enjoying the car in certain instances. That amazing sound with a Tubi has become obnoxious and annoying. I will be putting a stock muffler back on the car in hopes of quieting it down somewhat. The sticky throttle makes modulating the speed to match traffic a similar annoyance. Steering? The car goes where you point it but with so little feel and feedback you mine as well shoot you arms up with Novocain. Overly heavy clutch without progressive feel. Fine on the track, not so much for a GT/touring car. Spider seats aren't that great either. Mine as well have a board for a seat back. I'm not saying I don't enjoy driving my 355 but it is one of the few cars for which I find that the whole does not exceed the sum of the parts. It's just that I don't find the parts as seamlessly integrated into the whole as I do with other cars I've owned or driven. Both my 308 QV and my Porsche Boxster are much better integrated. The 308 in particular has a number of idiosyncrasies, but they all work together with none detracting from the overall driving experience. I find myself driving the 308 more often than I used to. Actually, since I bought the 355 I started driving the 308 more than I did before I had the 355 because the 355 has shown me just how good a sports car the 308 is. In a word the 308 is smooth. The 355 is crude.
     
  9. drbob101

    drbob101 F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Nov 26, 2012
    3,736
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Full Name:
    Bob Ferraris
    I'm totally confused about the heat build up in a spider vs the others. I mostly dtive my car with the top down so maybe I never experienced it but what would it be in the body style that supports this statement anyway?

    Edit: I think I understand what you mean. With the top down your feeling heat?
     
  10. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

    Sep 27, 2002
    1,525
    PA
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    Right on schedule with your negative comments! Curious why you come here...
     
  11. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 1, 2004
    1,773
    Golden, Colorado
    Was wondering the same thing, sounds like a blue F355 should be for sale soon. I have loved my 1995 F355 for 9 years and don't have issues with sticky throttle. I never understood people who are always negative, life is a gift and way too short to be miserable, I relish everyday.
     
  12. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,969
    New England/FL
    Please do not confuse my opinion of where the 355 has flaws with my outlook on life.
     
  13. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,866
    Northern NJ
    #13 andrew911, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    On your con #2- I'd have your mechanic check the linkage adjustment- my 355 shifts perfectly and I have a receipt that the linkage was adjusted just a few hundred miles before my purchase. In fact, my 355 shifts smoother and easier than my prior 360 modena (21K miles on the 355, maybe 24K miles on the 360 before I sold it). The 360 shifted well, just not as broken in feeling as my 355 (maybe my 360 could have used a little adjustment but it wasn't bad at all so I never touched it).

    con #4- my throttle stuck open (!) when I first bought the car in January of this year- I lubed the lower pedal with good lubricant (Wurth HHS 3000) and it stopped sticking- the car was sitting largely unused for almost a year while getting valve guides done and then sitting in dealer inventory before my purchase. I still had a little notchyness in the throttle that got better as I drove the car, and when I finally got the car to my mechanic for some work he lubed all the throttle linkages. It's very good now- the ever so slight throttle notchiness is not bad or annoying anymore. I think there is a little bit of notchiness since it's a mechanical linkage opening 8 throttle butterflies (part of why you get that great sound :) ) vs my 360 which was drive by wire. In short, see if your mechanic can lube all the moving parts.

    Pro #3- agree 1000%. The manittino and all the other switches ferrari puts on the wheel is absurd. I drove a 458 a couple of times and the biggest and possibly only complaint I had on that beautiful car is the crap on the steering wheel- driving and trying to find the freaking blinker...or windshield wiper? Almost causes an accident. It is all a gimmick- there is no need for a starter button on a steering wheel. The best steering wheel in a modern ferrari to me is the 360 steering wheel- 3 spoke, smaller diameter and nothing but the horn buttons and cavillino in the middle. The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principal applies here. Regarding the instruments- I love the classic look of the Veglia gauges. I do miss the prominent tach located clearly in the center of the dash of the 360- that location and design was quite useful, but I love the 355 placement of the primary gauges front and center and 3 dials on the center consol- Classic Ferrari!

    Congrats on your new car! I'm almost done getting mine sorted- car at the shop getting the crap OEM cats swapped out for hyperflows...hope to pick up later this week!
     
  14. Enzojr

    Enzojr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2013
    13,833
    West of PDX
    Full Name:
    Tomy
    Strange, after 16 months and over 4000 miles I think I may have had some of those issues. But my 355 has the unique ability to wipe my memory clean of ALL negative thoughts when the tach hits 8000 Rpm. Yes I have spent money on it, more than I would like (It is not a Honda) but my memory of how much seems to also fade away right at 6500 rpm.
    Must be that loud obnoxious growl and Banshee scream coming out of the car that does it ;)
    Enjoy the drive, you only live once.
     
  15. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,969
    New England/FL
    Well, let me balance my "negativity" with a couple of positives. Styling second to none. 2 years, no problems other than a bad O2 sensor. Biggest related expenses, gas and lunches.
     
  16. Enzojr

    Enzojr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2013
    13,833
    West of PDX
    Full Name:
    Tomy
    Damn ......
    I still have O2 sensor issues, time to wipe the memory again lol
     
  17. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Karting

    Jul 15, 2014
    221
    Sweden
    Full Name:
    Dayan
    From my limited time and experience with mine so far, I'd say 'spot on'.

    Except it is 2nd gear that needs time and warming up on my car ;)
     
  18. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,866
    Northern NJ
    Correction from my earlier post- I meant Wurth HHS 2000 lubricant spray (not 3000).

    John touches on my biggest complaint on the 355 (well, not including the thousands I spent getting my car fixed up with regards to sticky parts, crappy cats, CV boots etc)- the steering. The ratio isn't quite quick enough (the 355 fiorano cars actually had a quicker ratio), and more importantly my complaint is with the overboosted feel. The 360 had a better steering setup. Overall however, the 355 spider is more engaging to me than my prior 360 coupe (I learned that for my weekend car I need to have an open top- coupes don't do it for me :) )

    I love driving the 355 barefoot (when warm if I'm wearing flip flops I don't have a choice :) )- metal pedals are set up perfectly for heel and toe and, like the 360 stick I had, very rewarding to be able to execute these shifts and always work on smoothness. I find the 355 a little easier to match revs than the 360 for some reason (maybe the 360 had a lighter flywheel which made the revs drop a little quicker between shifts)?

    Anyway, I can't wait to drive my car again (and to hear the hyperflow/tubi combination- will sound better in situations before the bypass valve opens I think!) L8APEXER- get those throttle pivot points/linkages lubricated, drive another 900 miles and report back!
     
  19. lotusk

    lotusk Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,840
    London UK
    308 smooth
    355 crude

    This reveals your driver ignorance
    Try pushing the 355
    Clean out your gummed up throttle bodies all 8 of them to ease the sticky throttle and balance the vacuum.

    355 crude....jeez I heard it all now!
    Oh...now the seats are uncomfortable!
     
  20. RSO1091

    RSO1091 Formula 3

    Mar 31, 2012
    1,547
    Idyllwild, CA.
    Full Name:
    Henry S.
    I love hearing people's impressions of their cars, especially when it's new to them. Thanks for the great write-up. And John, I appreciate your input as well. This would be a boring forum with one-sided feedback and I consider yours just as important (whether negative or not).

    Cheers, Henry
     
  21. L8APEXER

    L8APEXER Rookie

    Feb 22, 2009
    32
    Annapolis, MD
    Thanks for the tips...I will have my mechanic check the linkages. Hope you get your car back soon. The 355 has made my summer so much better!
     
  22. L8APEXER

    L8APEXER Rookie

    Feb 22, 2009
    32
    Annapolis, MD
    Agreed...I forget about all of the cons when I drop the top and get out on the road!
     
  23. phrogs

    phrogs F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 13, 2004
    6,189
    Wyoming/Michigan
    Full Name:
    Johnny
    #23 phrogs, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    My new GTS gas pedal is a little sticky In the first half inch of travel. I figured it needs some lube, figured I knock it out after camping.
     
  24. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,969
    New England/FL
    I'm glad you are entertained.

    FIY, I have planed to look at the TB balance.
     
  25. lotusk

    lotusk Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,840
    London UK
    Leave the sarcasm to us Brits
    It don't work for you mate

    Oh, and learn to spell
     

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