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What do you have to look out for when buying a Ferrari 512TR ?

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by cosworth350, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. cosworth350

    cosworth350 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2020
    13
    Germany
    Full Name:
    Florian
    First of all I would like to introduce myself.

    My Name is Florian. I am a Ferrari enthusiast since my childhood. A Ferrari Testarossa is my dream car since I first looked at it.
    Now the time has come to hopefully fulfill this dream!
    I decided to look at the 512 TR for various reasons like Motronic instead of K Jetronic and the better handling and looks.

    I have a meeting to look at one at saturday in one week! :rolleyes:

    Its a red one from march 1993 with 88.000Km. Timing belts are new, gearbox is reworked completely. The car stays by an oldtimer dealer in germany who has many years of experience in repair and selling Ferraris.

    I read some buyers guides in the internet, but its mainly the timing belts, gearbox, differentil and the history to look at.

    I think there are some more thinks to look, but you probably only get to know these over the years as a long-time owner.

    And thats why I hope you guys can help me to buy one of theses beauties!

    Many thanks ahead!!! :)

    Florian
     
  2. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    2,737
    I put this together with a focus on the 360 - but it applies here as well. Plus the issues you already noted.
     

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  3. EZORED

    EZORED Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 24, 2007
    501
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    Fuse box, is very important. An easy early assessment, is just set in the car and test every switch and button. Note: switches can work but the little internal lighting in the switch can be burned out, so if you are anal like me you want to check that out in a dark area. To replace an interior is $15 to $18 K so once again its a personal desire. Tan interior repairs are hard to match, black is much easier. Many have broken lenses on the fog lamps, $1400 +? each if you can find one. On a high mileage car, it may needs brakes. The front rotors are $1000 each if you can find. However, its all worth it! They are great cars!!!
     
  4. MisterT

    MisterT Karting

    Feb 2, 2011
    87
    Fleet, Hampshire, UK
    Full Name:
    Simon Taylor
    just buy it, enjoy it, and live a dream :)
     
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  5. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    2,737
    Or perhaps....
    ...a nightmare.

    The most expensive Ferrari you can buy is likely the one with a low purchase price.


     
  6. cosworth350

    cosworth350 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2020
    13
    Germany
    Full Name:
    Florian
    Thank you for the fast replies!

    @EZORED These are the things I need to know! I get this on my list! The interior by the way is complete black. Black carpet, black leather seats, black leather cockpit!

    @vincenzo The buying price is around 120k $. I think this is fair if everything works fine and the major service is done recently.

    The thing is. I know that the spare parts are expensive and that doesn't scare me because a lot of things can be replaced differently or with better parts so far, but I don't want to buy a car that I still have to repair. Not this time and not a Ferrari!

    So please tell me more about the "hidden defects" on the car, so I can buy a real dream... :)
     
  7. MM355

    MM355 Formula 3

    Apr 7, 2008
    1,119
    GMT + 3
    Check the front fog lamps and rear lights.

    If there is yellowing on the front fog lamps its an easy repair by opening the lenses and cleaning. The rear lights are very hard to find make sure the lamps are not cracked ie loose lens covers (over tightening screws).
     
  8. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    2,737
    The car is relatively bullet proof. The diff can break.... but is impractical to inspect. If it is a high mileage car that may have been abused - then change out the diff at the next major. A PPI will catch relatively minor issues. Things like a fan speed switch failure. It is a fairly common issue, but not terribly expensive to fix.
     
  9. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    512 is famous not only for breaking differentials but also transmission main shafts and 1st and 2nd gears too. Replacing a main shaft is very expensive. Most easily said is the entire transaxle is fragile and expensive. You do not want one that has been driven hard.

    Dont worry about fog lights reasonably priced reproductions are available.
     
  10. Zeff

    Zeff Formula Junior

    Oct 8, 2018
    520
    Cupertino, Ca
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    Get a PPI done on the car and get a list of what it needs if anything. That’s the best thing you can do here. If there are many things wrong with it just wait for a better one if you don’t want to do the repairs. Always buy the best car you can as this will be your best bet in the long run.
     
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  11. EZORED

    EZORED Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 24, 2007
    501
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    Talking to many owners, the glove box release motor does not work, and is a bear to fix. Parts are unobtainium! I posted a work around a few weeks ago but it is not easy!
     
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  12. cosworth350

    cosworth350 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2020
    13
    Germany
    Full Name:
    Florian
    First I want to thank you for your help!

    More helpful tips are on my checklist now! The more the better!

    I have a few questions.

    Where can I find the vin and drivetrain numbers?

    Are there any common problems with the motronic like problems with the mass flow meters?

    Did the 512 TR have the same problems with the extra thermal sensors (that no one needs) in the kats as the 355?

    @Zeff I hope I can do the most of it myself, because I'm a mechanic myself for about 15 years now and I worked with Ferraris as well but much more with Porsches.

    Maybe somebody can send me a real PPI checklist from a 512TR? Of course without personal data or vins.This maybe can be helpful.

    I know that some things are not possible to check for myself, like the compression of the engine, or not possible to check anyway. But on the other hand compression tests for example are nice to look at, if they are all the same on all cylinders but it dont say much about the engine. If there is no compression or much lower on one cylinder then the others, yes. But this should also results in smoke, misfires, bad sound, powerloss and vibrations in most cases (On a V12 a little less).
    But the compression can also be good even though the valves are not 100% closed cause of defect valves, valve seats, valve liners or just valve clearance. So you have to do a pressure test on each cylinder. The compression can also be good on cold, and bad on hot engines! Or it can be better if somebody sprays some engine oil inside the combustion chamber before the test... ;) But this also says nothing about the condition of the cylinder walls or the piston walls so you have to inspect them with an endoscope respectively disasseble the pistons... and so on.
    What I want to say with this, even with a PPI you cannot be sure that everything is 100%.

    I will check the car as good as I can, and if the results and the feelings of the engine and the drivetrain are good I will take it, I think.

    I'm very helpful for the such things like the tips about defects on the glovebox motor or the lamps that are expensive but nobody talks about it normaly. Even it is a not so necessary part it should work in first place.

    So please tell me all you know!!! Many many thanks!
     
  13. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 29, 2008
    4,873
    Madison Ohio
    Full Name:
    David A.
    Listen for unusual noise in 1st gear, Indicator 1st gear going bad. Not the exception in the gear box! Have the PPI check the magnet gearbox drain plugs.
     
  14. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    There are not that many at 120k in good shape with major done. Closest I have seen is 150 but major not done and issues to address.
    I would follow rifledriver expertise and plan to put a new diff when u get one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    Yeah in my TR the mechanic wanted like 1k for that simple fix, the hood and trunk releases are also not super strong;)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. cosworth350

    cosworth350 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2020
    13
    Germany
    Full Name:
    Florian
    In europe are actually around 10 cars at this price with major done availible! Or they said that it is done. Maybe the price tag is a little lower as in the us?

    @Natkingcolebasket69 Oh boy! Now that is a price!
     
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  17. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    All the 1st and 2nd gear failures I have seen were sudden and catastrophic with no noise in advance.
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    Attached Files:

  18. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    2,737
    That car was thrashed like a recalcitrant mule!
     

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  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    3 different cars picked out of the many I have fixed.
     
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  20. Zeff

    Zeff Formula Junior

    Oct 8, 2018
    520
    Cupertino, Ca
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    Experience tells all!! Enough said
     
  21. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 29, 2008
    4,873
    Madison Ohio
    Full Name:
    David A.
    Mine was noisy in 1st gear. Pulled the magnetic drain plugs! Three little bits of gear teeth. Pulled it down and replaced 1st and 2nd gear and diff. Caught it just in time before major damage.
     
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  22. cosworth350

    cosworth350 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2020
    13
    Germany
    Full Name:
    Florian
    @Rifledriver Are that gearbox parts from a Testarossa or a 512tr?

    I dont want to drive the Ferrari hard. For that I have other cars. I hope in my case the gearbox and differential will last long!

    But thanks for the help. I will pay attention to suspicious noises from the gearbox!
     
  23. Veedub00

    Veedub00 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 30, 2006
    3,616
    Troy, Michigan
    Full Name:
    James
    what's the root cause of the 1st and 2nd gear failures?
     
  24. Veedub00

    Veedub00 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 30, 2006
    3,616
    Troy, Michigan
    Full Name:
    James
    "Many Testarossa and 512 BB transmissions have issues with the first and second gears wearing prematurely. Because these gears are located at the upper rear corner of the gearbox, they undergo oil starvation during hard acceleration. This often results in accelerated wear of gear surfaces, damage and eventually complete failure of the first and second gears. The Ferrari factory attempted to solve this problem by revising the gear design during production. Ferrari made four revisions to the original design, ending with the final revision used in the F512M. These included changes to the helix angle of the gears and the supplier of the gears. Our reproduction gear sets are based on the final factory revision and incorporate additional changes and manufacturing improvements to ensure their longevity in demanding service."

    from GT Carparts website.
     
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  25. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Glad to hear. That makes a good case for high quality gear oils and more frequent changes. Many of the important additives degrade from age and just are not capable of lasting for 15000 miles.
     

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