One thing I love about Ferrari of course is their relative rarity:
Here is production numbers for all models of Mondials:
8 (1980-1982) : 703
QV Coupe (1982-1984) : 1,145
QV Cabriolet (1983-1985) : 629
3.2 Coupe (1985-1988) : 987
3.2 Cabriolet (1985-1988) : 810
t Coupe (1988-1993): 858
t Cabriolet (1989-1993): 1,017
Of the 1,017 Mondial Ts ever made – ONLY 379 were imported into the United States/Canada
And that is why I will probably it would be more likely for me to see a Yeti then another Mondial (but being the Bay Area, I’ll probably see at least 1 or 2) – I’ll take that.
One of the reasons I love being a Ferrari owner – being able to chat/meet fellow folks that want to help one another out simply because of a shared love for the marque, as well as a common understanding why we love these cars so…
Today I was invited by a “Fog” (Bay Area “Ferreri Owners Group”) member, Mitchell, to his garage. He lives about 15 minutes from me so it was a quick and easy drive. I repeated the same ritual from eariler (checked levels, visual inspection for leaks, let the car warm up, took it easy on the car) and headed out.
No smoke, power is good, no strange sounds (exhaust even sounds the same again) – I pull up to an open garage and see a red 328, yellow 348 Challenge, blue 355, and a red 911 GT3 to top it off! I’m thinking this guy is serious about his cars, and I’ve come to the right person/place.
After some initial greetings – we get right to it – pop open the engine latch, in less thann5 minutes – boom – the first thing Mitchel saw was the oil cap was leaking oil right onto the engine and exhaust manifold cover – He notices the oil cap is missing the gasket (did it fall into the oil well?)
We see some oil residue all on the side of the engine – I think this explains the white smoke – oil smell – plus the fact that the problems magically fix themselves after the oil burned off. We took a quick spin around town for Mitchell to do a quick diagnosis and other than a ticking (valve timing is off) – he gave the car/engine a passing grade. Extremely relieved, I can’t say how thankful I was for his generosity in time and knowledge.
We exchanged a few laughs on what previous owners have done to molest the car (botched interior redo, useless electronic do-dad add ons, things I’m in the process of correcting/removing)
Can’t thank Mitchell enough for his kindness and time.
So my new to-do list
1) Get new oil cap (with gasket)
2) Order new fuse box (hopefully that fixes sub problems)
a) headlight is stuck in open position
b) Instrument Cluster does not light up
c) Gas door switch does not work
d) strange hi pitched ringing in fuse box after I shut off the car
3) New Tires
4) Clean engine bay/confirm no oil leaking from valve cover
5) Re-do interior carpeting
6) Fixed failed leather restoration project
7) Confirm no exhaust leak
So against better judgement — I decided to open up the garage, check the water level (looks good), check the oil level (in line), check for leaks (none), visual inspection of the engine/bay (everything looks in order)….
So I pull the baby out — took a few spins around town – did a couple loops around Stanford….seems to be performing well – no issues – power is back – not a single puff of smoke – this is with about an hour of driving as well!
The only thing that seems to be a bit off – is the muffler sounds a bit odd (like a exhaust leak or something)
The previous owner was pretty shoddy in all his “upgrades” – could the smoke/etc been caused by something that broke along the exhaust system? (I’ll find out tomorrow as I’m taking her in to a personal shop for a quick inspection)
So when I got my car, it came with this ill-fitting (though good quality) wooden shift knob – it was made for levers that were supposed to be much thicker. My mechanic had put this really ugly FIAT shift knob that was super loose (but butter then the wooden one)Shopping around eBay – I didn’t really see anything that I liked – Ricambi America to the rescue – I bought their Hill Engineering gear shift knob – I am very pleased – was about $80
Fits really snugly and has a nice feel/look to it.
So took the horsey up a popular road in the Bay Area in Woodside (Woodside/La Honda Road) and I came to wide open stretch of road. I’ve been driving pretty conservatively so I felt the car was ready to stretch its legs a bit. Floored it in 3rd gear around 6-7K and about 5 seconds I feel a noticeable loss of power and I start pluming a huge cloud of white smoke. (Insert all the worst fears of Ferrari ownership here)
I see that the oil pressure gauge goes down and I step off the gas and coast a bit. I am still pluming white smoke like that car in Spy Hunter. I pull off to the side of the road and turn off the car. I exit the car and white smoke is billowing from the engine compartment, with the familiar smell of burning oil. At this point I’m looking for my cell phone expecting to call AAA to tow back to the repair show. I wait about 5 minutes, say a little prayer, and turn the key. The car starts right up, but no more smoke. I turn around and (all the while praying) hope to get home.
The strange thing is – no more smoke, but I notice the engine sounds different (a lot less loud) and it feels noticeably weaker.
I’m going to be calling up Brian Crall a very highly recommended Ferrari Mechanic in San Ramon.
These old Ferrari have electrical gremlins everywhere.
1) Headlights will open/close spontaneously
2) Tach is slow
3) Side Marker lights won’t work
4) Radio stopped working
5) Antenna won’t go up and down
6) Fog Lights won’t work
Other than these problems – everything is working great (so far)
I bought a bunch of relays and fuses on Amazon, I’m hoping it fixes some of these issues…
So – they fixed the seat belt mice, the side vent, gave me a free fiat shifter, fixed the hood latch!
But in the process they broke the parking lights (not working, and the Radio)
I plan on upgrading the radio anyway so that’s fine! I noticed while driving the light housings will open and close by themselves…(more electrical gremlins) – Still need to fix Antenna and lap belts – re-paint some poorly done interior “refreshing” done by the previous owner!
The car is exhilerating to drive though – especially after driving more modern and very insulated vehicles.