My first European car...

Discussion in 'Non-Z Related' started by MikeZ32, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    and dream car! Due to the image count I will spread this over 2 posts.

    Firstly, thanks to AndyMac for providing advice on investing in supercars. Watching you build your ridiculous collection gave me the courage to also follow my passion these past few years.

    Some of you have already seen the photos but at least here on forums we can talk more technical stuff.

    1994-06 built Ferrari F355 in "Resale Red" aka Rosso Corsa , cream interior, non airbag 350mm wheel, proper gated manual, genuine Challenge rear grill.

    This has been my dream car since I was a kid. Before the JDM scene, like any other child, I wanted a Ferrari and specifically this one because of the noise it makes.

    Fast forward to 2016 and I started to look more seriously into getting one. Didn't quite have the funds back then but needed to have a game plan if I was ever going to make it happen. Thankfully the career supported the hobby, made smart investments along the way and followed a strict savings plan to get me close.

    They were at half today's prices back then and I was too fussy and didn't want the F1 version. In hindsight I do regret not buying a black F1 Spider that was going at bargain basement prices. Had I done so I could have flipped it last year which would have paid for this one.

    Here she is back home in the garage with my other humble dream car:

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  2. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Part 2

    I had Kristian from Iron Chef Imports keep a lookout for me these last few years. With the price of RHD versions going nutty locally, I was nearly going to give up and look for a LHD version to import when the market opens up despite Andy advising against this as the resale value is poor in Aus.

    Kristian came across this unregistered right hooker going in an online auction in Sydney and passed me the link 2 days before it ended. Here are some photos from that listing:

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  3. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Part 3

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    The bastards at the auction company weren't very helpful. I could have sent someone to look at it for me but they refused to let anyone drive it and I could only go off the info they provided along with the photos. Thankfully the car did have history books from new and they said engine runs without strange noises but they weren't mechanics and I'd have to buy it as is, no cooling off on just their word.

    I did some more research behind the scenes based on what I was given and made calls to the import company that brought it in. Have dealt with them in the past thankfully and they gave me a no bullshit review on the car stating definitely not been in a massive accident.

    I also managed to convince them to give me the original Australian owner's email and proceeded to send him questions hoping he would respond in time. He was kind enough to call me direct 1 day before the auction ended and informed the car was sold to a friend of his and didn't even know the friend was moving it on. Assured me the history of the car is all documented in the folders as the photos show.

    So armed with all this info, thought bugger it, if I was ever going to own one, this one might be the chance since it's within budget and spec'd exactly like I wanted. Was sitting in traffic on a Wednesday night coming back from work, watching my phone, put in my maximum bid and I ended up winning the auction. Didn't really know what to think because I had no idea if it even ran properly or not so was a couple of weeks of nail biting suspense until it finally arrived last Saturday and it was unloaded it off the trailer.

    She has a slight miss at idle, I can only assume due to old shitty fuel or been started and moved so many times without being driven. Drove it around the block and gave it a few revs and she revs cleanly under load.



    Only just finished looking through the thick folder that came with it and thankfully, timing belt was done NOV 2017!!! Fantastic, I get another 3 years of driving before that engine needs to come out again.

    Since it's a 1994 car, once I'm done cleaning it up a bit, I'll get it ready for RWC and will be putting this car on club in June when it qualifies. Can't believe it still, felt excited like it was buying my first car when I sat in it. You can probably see in the video, I was having a crisis.
     
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  4. MagicMike

    MagicMike Mod and Event Coord [QLD] Staff Member

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    A$$hole Mike! Totally jealous
     
  5. lidz

    lidz Well-Known Member

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    Awesome story Mike, super happy for you mate (& jealous as I've said...) Talk about living the dream mate.
    Still got the rest of the fleet or has there been a shuffle? Be up to 8+ by now yeah?

    I think I need one of these plans in place stat!
     
  6. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Love you Mike, thanks Tim.

    Still got the whole fleet. This would be #9 and the only non Japanese car. There's a lot of shuffling but have sorted out the storage issue.

    I do property sales so that's helped tremendously in finding the right investments along the way to pay for the car hobby. I don't particularly love property, happily sell something to buy another car.

    Buying property is similar in some ways to buying cars. One thing I learnt is that I needed to take calculated risks outside of my comfort zone. None of them were the sure shot buys and most normal people wouldn't consider them acceptable risk but if you get it right, rewards are there.
     
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  7. lidz

    lidz Well-Known Member

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    Must say Mike probably most looking forward to the "Shoestring Build Thread V.2" haha!

    It looks fairly good in the photos mate, other than a good clean is there much that needs doing to it or just fill it up & enjoy?
     
  8. stumagoo

    stumagoo Active Member

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    awesome car.... a garage to turely be envious of lol...... and finaly a car here that "Should" have those tail lights...... :D
     
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  9. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Gave the car a good once over yesterday and looks like it just needs some fluids changed and clean up some wiring. The UK is terrible with their insurance companies wanting all sorts of alarms installed which is what ruined Jeremy Clarkson's Ford GT ownership experience.

    This car has a tracker in it which obviously doesn't work in Aus and 2 alarm systems... factory one and the dreaded aftermarekt one which is definitely not needed so I'll try and get that one removed.

    Weirdly it has adjustable coilovers in it. The shocks all have adjustable spring perches. I have no idea whether that's factory, F355 Challenge part or custom. There is an invoice for 1600 UK pounds for suspension in the invoices but doesn't go into any detail. Doesn't leak at least so I might give it an adjustment to get the ride height perfect.
     
  10. lidz

    lidz Well-Known Member

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    hmmm well quick look on yahoo auctions & these coilovers pop up, standard shocks per description with the ferrari logo on them, just with after market springs.

    https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/l499716656

    Had missed it was a UK import, all in all though sounds in good condition for 25 years old!
     
  11. Chrispy

    Chrispy Pretentious Upstart

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    Looks pretty good for a 90's Ferrari! They're normally rough as guts inside with bits falling off. Doesn't even look like it's got sticky plastic disease. I really regret not buying one 5 years ago :( Out of reach for me now :(
     
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  12. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Just about all of the plastics seems to be ok, the only parts that are sticky are the air vents themselves on either side of the dash. Those are on my list of jobs to do.

    So 1 week in, tackled the most daunting problem that isn't my forte, wiring.

    According to an invoice in the service folder, for insurance purposes in the UK, this thing had a GPS tracker fitted and since it doesn't even work here, it basically just drains the battery so it had to go.

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    While I was in there I also got rid of other parasitic items that no longer works but leeching power like hard wired voice command gate opener - some fancy pants thing that uses laser to open and close the big gates to a presumably large property the UK owner had. At least Ferraris from this era are pretty basic and put together with minimal bolts that are easily accessible. Gauge cluster came off with only 2 bolts.

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    In the end, the amount of parasitic wiring that came out of this car along with all the random little black boxes weighs in just under 5kg. Most of it was badly spliced no surprise it kept killing batteries. I've checked with the multimeter and there is no longer any current flow when the car is shut down and to my great relief the car still starts up as normal.

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    Gave the leather a good clean too, thankfully just about all the little black marks in the leather came off and tidied up the interior in general.

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    Now that the wiring is fixed, brand new battery went in and while I was there, gave the coilovers an adjustment to get her sitting nicer. Turns out the adjustable spring perch is stock from factory. Surprising for 1994.

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    Not really sure what's the best way to adjust these older coilovers which don't change in shock length, only spring perch.. Would you:
    A) just compress the spring to lower it? This seems like it would just pretension it making it stiffer and actually prop the car up more.
    Or:
    B) drop the spring as much as possible and remove all pretension so it's actually softer and will naturally sit lower?

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    The final problem I'm deciding on whether I need to change are the braided oil cooler lines. They appear to be weeping a bit of oil. Oil pressure is perfect and I checked all the unions and they are all fine. Started the car up and no leaks at all from the fittings so I suspect all the residual oil may be leaking from behind the braid and firesleeve.

    Is this a common issue from when the braided lines get old? I can only guess lines from Ferrai would cost thousands to buy new so would it be worth taking them off and getting Pirtek or Enzed to remanufacture them? I was thinking getting them to replace only the braided section and keep using the factory fittings but scared of the old mistake of fixing something that isn't broken.

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  13. MagicMike

    MagicMike Mod and Event Coord [QLD] Staff Member

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    Nice job mate! Re springs, lower the perch, lower the car. Careful not to unseat the top though, looks like quite a lot of thread available, dont want to unseat the top. If so get some helper springs.

    Cant imagine you want to dump it! Maybe just for some pics ;)
     
  14. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Cheers Mike, I dropped it just a tad and the spring is still seated with the collar half way down.

    5.5cm gap from front guard to tyre and 4cm gap in the rear. Very conservative compared to the Z which has 2cm at the front and 1cm at the rear. It's got 13cm ground clearance below the car which has worked so far for the rest of the fleet without scraping.
     
  15. Chrispy

    Chrispy Pretentious Upstart

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    Looking good!

    I'd be replacing the oil cooler hoses. Similar issues on the Exige's which have lead to some cooked engines... Looks like your oil coolers need a good degrease and wash too, bit icky.
     
  16. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

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    Gorgeous car.
    Great work removing all that superfluous electrical stuff.
     
  17. AndyMac

    AndyMac Better than you

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    MikeyMiiiiike!!!

    I was watching this auction, that's not a bad buy at all. Hell of lot of service history and overall the cars in good nick. Congrats!

    re: Coilovers, don't go too low, you'll loose shock travel and soften the ride. Maximum low = neutral pre-load on the spring.

    Braided lines, etc you can get custom made up that's fine, but anything serious, OEM only. Otherwise resale is going to suffer. 355's are going into a market where mods are not cool.

    Triple and quadruple check for rust. I think that car is ex UK and also ex Singapore? Anyway, key area's are weld's on the front part of the chassis and behind the carpet in the boot, around the brake and clutch reservoirs, etc.

    Otherwise, keep the service history up to date by someone recognised. Regardless of km, your next buyer will want to see annual checks by a man with a stamp. Price you pay for an exotic ;)

    I do a lot of work on the cars myself (all photographed, documented and receipts)...but they still go in for the annual service for the stamp.

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    Anyway...enjoy!! 355's sound amazing!
     
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  18. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    Cheers Andy, I spy LP640 exhaust, very tasty.
     
  19. ugame

    ugame user #1

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    Mother fuc....... :D ;)

    Only kidding!

    Congrats man! That's is one hell of a car!

    And +1 for Andy Mac. He's the man with the knowledge and helped heaps with my to and fro on many a car.

    Stoked for you man! ....a little green? Perhaps :D But more happy for you than green.

    Still loving the Cayman, but you know me. I'll always love Ferrari. Always.

    Right back to my new cheaper hobby....retro computers lol.
     
  20. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    So a quick update. Used a glue remover and fixed the two sticky vents. Wow the stuff is nasty.

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    Added some trickle charging wires near the factory kill switch.

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    Finally I had the oil cooler lines refurbished at Norden Hydraulics. Still the factory end fittings and kept an eye on them, no more oil weep. Only cost $93 as opposed to $1200 USD for a pair of new ones from Ferrari.

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    Did a bit more troubleshooting and every single clamp in the engine bay is too loose. Car obviously has not been heat cycled since the last engine out so tightened up everything and seems to be holding all the fluids in now.

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    Biggest problem the car has is a exhaust leak, it smells and sounds like the driver's side manifold has cracked behind the heatshielding.

    Pretty much a 100% fail rate with factory headers so moved the modding plans forward.

    Originally planned to do headers and new exhaust when the engine comes out for the next timing belt service but since I don't want to drive around with that big exhaust leak, mods have now arrived. Capristo sound3 catback. Also got test pipes and Fabspeed headers which are currently away for HPC coating.

    Oh and just doing a turbo swap on the RX7 on the side. Once that's done make the 355 sound like a F1 car.

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    Took the car in for a paint correction and had the 9 year paint protection coating applied. Ended up meeting another 355 owner there.

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