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Road trip! Driving a Mondial 3.2 Coupe to FCA Nationals in Scottsdale, AZ

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by M. Brandon Motorcars, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    #1 M. Brandon Motorcars, Nov 2, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
    A couple of months ago, I purchased a 1986 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Coupe from Mark Harvey ("Mark C Harvey" here on FChat). He had purchased the car about a year prior from its original owner in California, drove it cross-country to CT, and wrote about his trip here.

    I already own a 1988 3.2 Coupe, with 4500 miles, in utterly factory-new condition, that I love dearly. Problem is, as with all perfect low mile cars, I don't want to drive it, even though I have done a few hundred miles since I bought it. Certainly, though, not a car to take on an almost-3,000 mile road trip. But I dearly love the 3.2 Coupe, so when I saw Mark's post about his higher mileage car, even though he had later decided not to sell it, I couldn't resist trying to pry it from his hands.

    When the car arrived, it was exactly as Mark had described it to be, and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. The paint is all original except for the passenger door. AC compressor wasn't installed but was included. General condition was what you would expect for a California-kept 58K mile Mondial; it's certainly not a concours queen, but that's also not what I wanted. Lots of rock chips on the front, some dents, etc. meant this was a car that I could drive without worry.

    Because I share space with a top-notch service facility for these cars, Specialty Car Solutions, I couldn't resist going through the car and making it as good as I could, both mechanically and cosmetically, as well as taking care of issues that needed to be resolved before the trip to Scottsdale. I stripped the seats and carpets out of the interior. Full Leatherique treatment on the seats and all leather in the cockpit. Carpets were steam cleaned. Every nook and cranny was cleaned.

    SCS went through the entire AC system, got a new compressor (but used the pulley from the original one), new receiver/dryer, made sure the system held vacuum, and charged it up. Blows ice cold (38 degrees at the vents) now. I repaired the fan speed switch; had to pull apart the entire center console to get to the little 1A fuse on the control, but now it works perfectly. ALL fluids were changed: oil, transmission, coolant flush, brake fluid flush/bleed, etc. Replace brake flex hoses. Tested charging system. Replaced leaking oil cooler hose. New O2 sensor.

    And, because I've had multiple Mondials, I headed off electrical issues by replacing all fuses and relays, cleaning the fusebox thoroughly, tightening the pins in the connectors, cleaning all ground points, and installed a relay next to the starter. Yes, I know a new fusebox is the way to go, but everything was working just fine, so I'll do that at a later point.
     
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  2. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    I've been driving the car for the last week, and it's a very strong car. Frankly, feels a bit quicker than my 88; these cars do run better after some mileage, things seem to "loosen" up. Went on a "shakedown" trip to see my parents a couple hours away, and the car was flawless. I figured I was ready to go.

    Last night, I drove the car home, in preparation for leaving on Sunday. Sitting in traffic, the temp gauge started to climb, but came down when moving. Got home without incident, and as I expected, neither radiator fan was working. After checking fuses, relays, and verifying that the fans DID come on when the wires to the radiator fan temp switch were shorted together, I cleaned the temp switch terminals thoroughly, plugged it back in, and the fans worked perfectly. Whew. As they say in Apollo 13, hopefully I just had my "glitch for the mission".

    So, today, I've been packing, and bright and early tomorrow I will head out. I removed the spare from the front well, to give me some more space for tools, fluids, etc. I have a couple of bottles of tire slime that I can use in an emergency; that will work better than the original 33 year old tire on the spare.

    The plan is to stay off of the Interstates (namely I-10) as much as possible. I hope to get to Marathon, TX tomorrow, close to Big Bend National Park, about 8.5 hours away, and will stay at the famous Gage Hotel. I'll stop in Marfa for some photo ops, then see where I make it that day. In New Mexico, I'll head northwest through the Native American reservations and get into the mountains, before finally making it to Scottsdale hopefully on Tuesday. My only "deadline" is that I have to be in Scottsdale by Wednesday evening, because I will be judging the Concours as well as Coppa Bella Machina on Thursday.

    I'll update this thread with a trip report and photos... onward to the Wild West!
     
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  3. M. Brandon Motorcars

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  4. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Very cool. 3.2 coupe is a great car. See you there.
     
  5. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
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    Well that would explain why Mark hasn't been posting lately! ;)

    Congrats on the car! It looks like you've done a great job with it. I'd love to see the before/after pics of your interior/seat work.

    Have fun on the trip!

    2cam
     
  6. Mark C Harvey

    Mark C Harvey Karting
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    So glad to hear that my baby is in such great hands. I have just gotten home from a drive into NYC in my - sigh - Prius. Driving those parkways had me thinking about galloping along in that sweet V8 Ferrari, 80 - 90 mph in 4th or 5th is where it is at! Michael I look forward to updates. From my experience she just runs better after a good run on the open road.
     
  7. Robb

    Robb Moderator
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    Look forward to seeing you there. Will follow your posts on your drive.

    Robb
     
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  8. audi_328

    audi_328 Formula Junior
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    Nothing better than a road trip thread. Thanks for documenting it & looking forward to updates. Safe travels!
     
  9. cnpapa24

    cnpapa24 F1 Rookie
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    Looking forward to the updates. And remember without pics, it didn’t happen! :)
     
  10. Dino2400

    Dino2400 Formula 3
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    Feb 21, 2009
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    No better car for a road trip than a 3.2 Mondial Coupe...

    (but i might be a little biased... ;) )
     
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  11. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 31, 2006
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    At the time, my little grandsons were'nt interested in cars at all. So I seriously considered re-configuring the aft cockpit as "seat-delete". Much like they did with the 308GT/4 and the old Lusso.

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/posts/145126168/

    [​IMG]


    Too much effort to re-create the Cab's capabilities. ;)


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  12. MvT

    MvT F1 Rookie
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    Looking great! you will have a nice trip ahead! One tip if I may as I am a road trip guy myself and put at least 20.ooo miles on it of trips like this. Put a black towel on your cockpit as the reflection can take away your sight if the angle is, right (unlucky is what I really mean) :) It's just for safety and you can take it away when you park it. The reflection is much more then a 3x8.

    Have fun! Drive it like you stole it and be safe! Looking forward to read your trip story(ies).
     
  13. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    I left Houston at 6:20 am Sunday morning, and started the drive on I-10 to San Antonio. Didn't take long for the sun to rise and start warming things up, and I was glad that the AC was blowing some cold air, and that fan speed control was working. Once I got to San Antonio, I got on US-90 instead staying on I-10, which took me to Uvalde and Del Rio, right on the border with Mexico. Doesn't take long for the terrain to start changing once you're west of San Antonio; green starts giving way to browns and tans, hills start appearing to the north and then mesas to the west, and a gentle climb begins.

    Stopped for lunch in Del Rio at a great pizza place, and then headed out of town to the Amistad Reservoir. Strange to see so much water in the middle of the desert. After that, it's really a whole lot of nothing. And when I say nothing, I mean it. Often I would go 30 minutes without seeing another car. I can confirm that the Mondial is quite stable at 130 mph indicated. :)

    I wanted to stop in Langtry, to see where Judge Roy Bean had the Jersey Lilly bar/courtroom, where he dispensed the "law west of the Pecos". Quite interesting, a neat part of Texas history. Back on the road, driving in literally the middle of nowhere, I finally hit that point of relaxation that I look for on a good road trip, and really began to enjoy the landscape. Cactus started appearing, lots of scrub brush, every now and then a railroad track or a small ranch entrance, and even the road started to climb and dip with some curves as well. This was true West Texas, and while I was tired from the long drive, the Mondial and I were truly in our element.

    Finally, after 9 hours of driving, I made it to Marathon, TX, where my reservation at the Gage Hotel awaited me. The word "oasis" perfectly describes this place; a beautiful historic hotel in the middle of the desert. I got my room, unpacked, and wandered over to the White Buffalo Cantina, where I enjoyed their famous margarita on the rocks topped with Topo Chico. It was the perfect ending to a long day of driving.

    As for the Mondial, it performed perfectly. It takes a while to bond with a car, and while I've driven Mondials long distances before (a few years ago, I drove a Mondial QV coupe to the FCA Nationals in Columbus, OH), each one is different with its own "personality". This 3.2 coupe is a good one, and we're both ready for another day of driving.
     
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  14. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

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    That's really cool! The Gage is such a cool place. We need to get our "twin" Mondials together for a photo opp sometime soon. Mine now has about 2500 more miles on it than your car does. I had it out early yesterday morning for a drive on roads West of Austin. The car is just a blast to drive.

    2cam

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  15. Temple

    Temple Formula Junior

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    What a great shot Mike!! My God, the sky looks gorgeous!!

    Temple
     
  16. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    Sep 4, 2007
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    Bad news. Made it to Deming, NM and spotted what looked like a small oil or grease leak under the car. Upon inspection, the LH inner axle boot had split.

    Now, this boot was just changed before I left, because it was split before. (Why was it split again? Michael at SCS thinks maybe bad motor mounts. But that will require more investigation...)

    But, now I’ve got a problem. So, I went to an auto parts store and bought one of those universal axle split boot kits and a couple of tubes of grease. Tried two service shops, but none of them wanted to touch the car. Finally, I pulled into a tire place, and said I’ve got $100 cash for the tech that will install this for me. (I would have done it myself, but I don’t have a jack; and it would be much easier on a lift.)

    Well, it got installed, but slipped off on the way back to the hotel. Back to the shop, tightened it up, back to the hotel, and the entire boot was split and trashed. So now I have no axle boot on that inner joint. And a big mess where the grease has been flung out.

    Instead of trying another split boot kit, after consultation with Michael at SCS on the phone, I’m going to buy a couple more tubes of CV joint grease and just keep driving. I’ll keep an eye on it and repack the joint with grease if necessary. All I need to do is make it another 330 miles. I’m going to stay on the interstates, though, in case I break down. Better to be where there are other cars in case I break down rather than go on deserted secondary roads in the middle of nowhere.

    Of course, this ruins my plans to go on the pleasure drives at the FCA meet, at least with the Mondial, and I’ll have to ship the car home, but I really want to make it to Scottsdale. Wish me luck...
     
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  17. audi_328

    audi_328 Formula Junior
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    Sorry to hear this...

    Any chance on calling ahead to the dealer or a knowledgeable shop in/around Scottsdale, give them a heads up and maybe they can take a quick look once you get into town? Would be too bad to miss out on everything if it isn't too bad of a fix.

    Hope there's a way to get this resolved quickly.
     
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  18. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    Given that a brand new axle boot split in just the distance on this trip so far, I don’t think it’s a good idea to take the axle off again and install a new boot. It will almost certainly fail again. The root cause needs to be investigated as to why that LH side boot keeps splitting, and I have a feeling that’s not going to be a simple fix.

    I will rent a car once I get to Scottsdale, and if I want, I can still go on the pleasure drives. Just won’t be driving a Ferrari. :-(

    OTOH, who knows. Maybe I’ll make it to Scottsdale, there won’t be any symptoms of a failing axle, and I’ll just keep driving the Mondial...
     
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  19. MvT

    MvT F1 Rookie
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    Oh my! Sorry to hear!

    Which boot is split? At the diff side or the wheel side? I need to say the cv joints are not the best on these models. My guess is that the cv joint itself is on its end of life cycle and creates metal debris of rough edges. I'm on the third CV joint :)

    On the wheel side a really bad wheel bearing could be a cause. It would make the axle swing. Unlikely IMO as you would notice sooner that your wheel bearing is bad, noise and stability when driving.

    IMHO, it could be still an option to pop out the cv joint at the dealer and put in a new to be sure, if no metal rods are sticking out around the diff or wheel. It's an easy repair.
     
  20. M. Brandon Motorcars

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    It’s on the diff side. Inner LH.
     
  21. copterjon

    copterjon Formula 3
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    Lets assume you can get the car to Scottsdale with a bit of a mess and nothing broken. Give Alex Traverso a call at 480-241-8877 and see if he can get it up in the air and maybe do an emergency repair. He's usually pretty busy but being you're making this trip he might take some pity and squeek you in. He's good guy and is right around the corner from GT Car Parts so he has a wide array of bits and pieces new and used within walking distance.
     
  22. MvT

    MvT F1 Rookie
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    Some more details :) Love his email address :cool:

    Alex Treverso Email link: ferrarihelp@gmail.com
    (480) 241-8877
    702 W Melinda Ln, Phoenix, AZ. 85027
     

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