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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not an F car owner (just y

Not an F car owner (just yet), but have owned high performance cars in the past. Really like the 328 cars and 355. My question is, with all this talk about belts and service and all the expense involved...just how many have actually experienced belt failure?

Routine maintence is always good, do not get me wrong. But belts that last less than 15K miles and or less than 3 years? Could this really be necessary? Is there an epidemic of belt failures out there? Most other brands go for 45 to 60K miles if I am not mistaken.

Any insight appreciated.

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I think we all have had troubl

I think we all have had trouble understanding the belt service issue at one time or another. What you have to rember is that Ferraris aren't a normal car. That said, they aren't driven like normal cars. Ferraris, if driven correctly
are driven hard. My other cars have never seen 7500 RPM, but my Ferrari does regularly. Due to this fact, belt failure, or any component failure, is increased almost exponentially. So it is preventative maintenance, not to mention much much cheaper, to change the belts and make sure that all of the other components are sill in good shape every few years. Break one belt and it can cost you two or three major services (depending on the model). You can go 60k miles in the Honda, hell I went 165k miles in our honda before I changed the TB
but due to the treatment the Ferraris get it is a little like comparing apples and oranges.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pretty much agree with Jeremy

Pretty much agree with Jeremy . It is mostly for insurance. The normal Fcar tune up is to red line the motor at least once while you have it out. So you do stress the belts. If you drive it like a Honda then I believe the belts would last for 60-90K miles. Also the tensioner bearings spin pretty fast if you rev it hard. So it is cheaper to do belts at 30k or 3-4 years. The cost of the repairs of a belt break is extremely high ($5000 ?) so the change is cheap. Now I have a 308 and the 328 has the same belt arangement. So if you DIY it only costs the belts ($75 pair) and tensioner bearings ($300 pair) and time. If you can't DIY it will cost between $1000-$1500. If you get a 355 then it requires an engine out service which will go you a min. of $4000. So pick your poison. Hope this helps.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John, It is not only the belts

John, It is not only the belts but the tensioners and the bearings that need to be checked and or replaced. Like has been said, it is mostly insurance, so you can drive the next 30k miles in peace

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dear all,

I have just purch

Dear all,

I have just purchased a 91 model Testarossa that came with no service records.I have been warned not to take the car for a drive until I am sure in regard to the belt service job.The trader that sold me the car said that he had imported the car from Japan.I contacted the Ferrari club in Japan and the Cornes dealer there and they didnt seem to have any idea about the car?. Can anyone help in investigating this issue for me ? All comments are welcome and will be appreciated ( I would apprecited some comments on the drive belt service also)

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I sure do appreciate all the r

I sure do appreciate all the replies. Again, taking good care of these treasures will not get you an argument from me.


While no Ferrari expert by far, I have read about these car extensively and I am beginning to think there is a lot of drama behind this whole belt issue.

Yeah, I know, who would want to take the chance? But really, new belts in 15K miles? I would have to be convinced that someone ran the hell of a car.

I really expected to hear horror stories from those who short-changed the belt service, but that did not happen at all. Best of luck to all.

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
John it sound like you are wil

John it sound like you are willing to test the limits. There is always a huge discussion on this subject so it would be nice to have someone provide the data. When you get your Fcar please clock the milage and give us an update every 10K miles until something fails. That way we can start a data base that the Ferrari community can build on. Maybe we'll find out that the "safe" zone is 60K miles in 5 years or even better the 90K Honda recommendation. Please let us know. Thanks

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
John, this topic has been talk

John, this topic has been talked to death on several forums and many before you have challenged those that had failures to come forward. From time to time they do come forward and the story is almost invariably sad. As many times as not it costs the owner his car because he cannot afford to fix it.

I have been working on these things for over 30 years and have seen many belt failures and those failures are the reason Ferrari has adjusted the life of the belts downward to the current 3 years and 30,000 miles. If the car was actually driven an average number of miles 30k would come along before the 3 years and I doubt many would even think twice but through no fault of Ferrari's the cars get driven far less that the norm so everyone wants to find a shortcut on the service requirements. When it comes to service requirements almost every aspect of servicing these cars has been simplified, stretched out made easier or eliminated completely yet no one ever mentioned those areas where Ferrari through technology or design has drastically reduced the real life inflation adjusted cost of owning one of these cars. Everyone focuses on the belts, more now than when they were switched to in the mid 70's. It is especially funny when you consider they began a movement to eliminate the belts several years ago and hardly anybody mentions that.

Discussion Starter · #10 ·


QUESTION PRESENTED: "Do you subscribe to the "3 year belt change" rule?"

ANSWER: "As I have seen and said before, we here on FChat have seen examples of 20 + years on the same belts (308 series, at least 1 GT4 recently advertised as original owner/original belts)."

Additional research seems to support the notion that there is no dead certain answer, but simply a risk tolerence factor that will forever remain, subjective not objective.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome Brian....this is where

Welcome Brian....this is where you need to be my brudda!

The knowledgable Voice of Experience that once manned the site is gone....and I sure miss him.

Glad to see you here.

As noted the Belt Change Issue effects different models in a different manner. The 308/328 series is the easiest and is a chore many owners have mastered.

The 355 and TR IIRC are more extensive operations and should be adhered to in accordance with the Owner's Manual, and as the poster with the TR has said, if any questions as the previous service exist you pretty much are forced to restart the clock under your ownership!

The only reason for debate and confusion with the 308/328 Series is that the V8 has been used a loooooooooooong time now and the Original Manuals, starting in 1975 with very long intervals, have been superseeded by later ones and finally the FNA Tech Bulletin that shortens it to 3 modern F430 type intervals.

I think the older cars especially those without catalyst converters under the hood are able to last l;onoger due to reduced heat.

I have belts that would be considered ancient, still spinning happily around, but the cost of this gamble could exceed $10K if I lose!


Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry Tex but don't expect

Sorry Tex but don't expect to see me often. I just don't do stupid well and there is far too much of it on the internet.

It's like the comedian said "You can't fix stupid".

Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I cautioned John Vallandingham

I cautioned John Vallandingham of much the same thing! LOL!

*picturing him typing furiously, as well as furious, at the keyboard*

Good to know you know how to find us here, though.

"Real people.... fixing real cars." as he used to say!

Stay well!

Discussion Starter · #14 ·
BTW Talk to my brother lately?

BTW Talk to my brother lately?

How is he?

You don't happen to be going to Monterey are you?

Napolis invited me to a dinner while there. I am looking forward to meeting him. To bad he is on the wrong coast, I bet he would be a good guy to work for. I had to sneak in to that other place to communicate with him. Yuck glad I'm gone.

Would be cool if you came out. I think we could manage to find a place that served the appropriate beverages.

Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't travel much, and w

I don't travel much, and without boring you let's just say a LOT is going on at the Top Secret Race Shop!!!

I certainly appreciate the invitation though.

I have Mr. G's phone number...straight line in, no receptionist, he answers it himself!

"This is Glick......." I was pretty amazed the first time, like calling Batman in the cave or something.......

I'd let him hold my bag of money, anytime and there's not too many folks left I'd say that about..

You'll note his P4 Restoration page is here also, down below.

Your bro is good! I am urging him to meet me at Franco's New Orleans Party! See the 'Red Girls Thread' in Off Topic for samples of the zany stuff at the Ferrari French Quarter Classic!

Discussion Starter · #16 ·
He used to live in Baton Rouge

He used to live in Baton Rouge so he should be able to find it.

Heck we even have a Parish named after the family.

Our great great great grandaddy was the first Governor of that place.

I am certain it is he who is responsible for the long standing tradition of government corruption in LA.

Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We gonna go down 'dere, an

We gonna go down 'dere, an' pass a good time, yea!


Early November........check it out!

My Mom and Dad both graduated from LSU, after WW2 before coming on down to Texas.

Raced the karts in Lafayette once, with only Valeria in a mini skirt as a Pit Crew!!!

Good Times...REALLY good times......

· Registered
5 Posts
I bought my 1983 308 QV last November. It had 57,000 miles on it and good service records. But the records never showed a service of the belts. I drove the car easy till I had the service done this past summer. If it never had the belts done, that means it went almost 60,000 miles and 25 years with out it. I guess I got lucky or the service records didn't show it. My wife used to have a Ford Escort that broke the timing belt. Nothing happened to that car. I just put another belt on it. No big deal. But throwing a belt at 7,700 RPM could create one of the most horrifically expensive sounds known to man! Bent valves, smashed pistons, bent rods, broken crank shaft. Oh yeah, lots of fun there!
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