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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at a 1996 355B

I'm looking at a 1996 355B, 18k miles, full service records. I've learned on this site that the early 355's have had some problems with the valves/guides and exhaust manifolds, but that the factory solved the problem in the 1996 model run. The car experienced an exhaust manifold failure and a Tubi exhaust was installed. Can you tell by the VIN# if this car has the updated valves? The service records reflect no valve work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The problem was solved midway

The problem was solved midway during the 1998 model year by substituting sintered steel valve guides for the bronze ones used in the earlier cars. You can tell by looking at the assembly number (located on a plate on the driver's side of the engine compartment). My sources tell me that cars with assembly number 27689 and higher came from the factory with sintered steel guides. This corresponds to mid-1998 production so the car you are looking at did not have them, unless they were replaced by a prior owner.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Scott, don’t let the valve gui

Scott, don’t let the valve guide issue scare you away from this car. Many of the early 355's never had a problem. Have a competent shop/mechanic go over the motor and run a compression and leak down to see if the motor is in good shape or not. Most of the 355's were showing signs of leakage in the 20k to 30k mileage range.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[url="http://www.ferrarichat.c

http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132778

There is a big debate going on about them over on the other board.

This was discussed in the past, and I linked the original thread regarding the fact/fiction of the valve guides. JRV quickly pointed out that we should consider the source (FNA) and that they only quote warranty figures, not real world experience (which is also noted again in the thread I linked above).

Bottom line, get a good PPI done.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I happen to have a 95 F55 with

I happen to have a 95 F55 with the 'old' bronze valve guides. This car has over 50K total miles and over 4.3K miles of race track use. This car has seen 20-odd MINUTES over red line (accululated short bursts) and it still has perfect leakdown numbers for an engine of its age (50 K total miles).

This trick, is that I never go above 3K RPMs until the oil temp gets above 180dF (and the rest of the driveline is also up to temp by this point in time.

I think that the vavle guide issue is overblown; However, due to the cost of fixing the problem if and when it manifests itself, caution is in order, and a good PPI is mandatory.

On a different note, a friend of mine got an 95 F355 just after it has the valve guides replaced, and his car has been (let us say) problematic and is now showing zero compression on one cylinder and 10% on another after a single year and only 3K miles. He, unlike me, does not seem to respect the car (like waiting for the oil to get hot before going ballistic,...). He may have agrivated the problem by trying out 3 different headers and exhaust systems (for sound) and noticing that 2 of the header tubes were discoloring differently than the rest. Not surprisingly, these are the two cylinders that are now problematic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the valuable

Thank you all for the valuable information. The offer is in on the car subject to a PPI at the Ferrari Dealership of my choice. We just have to bridge the gap between asking price and offered price.

On a different note, I wish I could get such timely and valuable information for my Porsche. Thanks again.
 
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