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Thread: F355 GTS

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    Default F355 GTS

    In my so far unsuccessful hunt for a nice 360 manual spider, I was shown yesterday a nice 355 GTS that has rather caught my eye. A short drive in it confirmed that it would do what I want so how about some practical day to day issues. In particular, are they water tight with the targa top, and what are servicing costs like with the engine removal for belts. The latter seems to me to offer some advantages in terms of other engine and engine bay work whilst the engine is out. What are the weaknesses in this model and what should I watch out for?

    How would a 355 compare with a 360 as a fun at sensible speeds car? How useable is it for touring? Reliability?
    Last edited by birdseye; 28-04-2019 at 08:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdseye View Post
    What are the weaknesses in this model and what should I watch out for?

    How would a 355 compare with a 360 as a fun at sensible speeds car? How useable is it for touring? Reliability?


    I don't recall any other member here ever mentioning 355 ownership but I found this on another site https://www.pistonheads.com/features...m_medium=forum

    Oh I've just looked: perhaps some of the 250 threads with 355 or F355 in the title might offer some guidance ?
    Last edited by jos; 28-04-2019 at 09:43 AM.

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    Owned one for 4 Years and tbh given many of your past posts and fear of ownership/ costs I'm not sure it's for you

    They're expensive to maintain with proper engine out services compared to a 360

    Weaknesses are valve guides, front hubs cracking, manifolds, suspension activators, clutch slave cylinder, gearbox triple seals, exhaust ECU's, aircon pipes corroding, dash leather shrinking, airbag cover going baggy, some had over length rod bolts causing engine failure (including mine with an £11k bill and that was in 2003 so probably twice that now))

    Roof is a bit of a nightmare, it's heavy and you have to turn it through 180 degrees to drop it behind the seats which you will need to have tipped forward as well, you also need to remember to drop the windows a little for rood on/off - think about doing that when it's raining!

    With roof off there is some air turbulence, worse if windows are down where the seat belt over your shoulder will flail about in the wind, with roof up it's a nice place but they will leak a bit at front corners and it'll probably squeak a lot which people say to put silicone grease on the rubbers but most of the problem is the locking leavers rubbing

    Even 18 Years ago the budget was around £3k for service items inc service, tyres, saving a bit for clutch other issues etc and then it was wise to allow another £3k for cosmetics an keeping it looking 100% ie wheel refurb, re-connolise interior, sticky bits, leather bits, paint, trims, seals etc

    I reckon they're all over priced at the moment, in the US you can get them from $50k (£40k) yet a similar car here, even LHD is twice that at least, of all the models I reckon they'll correct the most and of course if you use it it'll be worthless in the current market

    Plus points

    Look stunning and keep the pure Berlinetta shape compared to the Spider
    Sound amazing with a Capristo

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    Should have added they handle well and go plenty quick enough but needs lots of revs to achieve it

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    Quote Originally Posted by F355GTS View Post
    Plus points Look stunning


    Also no-one seems to reliably refurbish the wheels
    Last edited by jos; 28-04-2019 at 09:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post


    Also no-one seems to reliably refurbish the wheels
    Magnesium! Seems a nightmare to keep them looking good and once they’re gone it seems impossible to bring them back.

    The 355 is a really cohesive design with the nicest looking rear end since the 288 GTO....and still not bettered IMO.
    I really wanted a 355 but Mrs M wasn’t impressed. Thought it felt old.

    Really strange how they’ve climbed here and not the US. Probably due to their silly service costs.
    Most engine out belt changes here are not much more than a 360 major but I would guess that there’s a lot of ‘whilst we’re in there’ work.
    Now the 360 fleet is getting towards 20 years old, I’m not sure they’re any cheaper to maintain properly than a 355.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F355GTS View Post
    Owned one for 4 Years and tbh given many of your past posts and fear of ownership/ costs I'm not sure it's for you

    They're expensive to maintain with proper engine out services compared to a 360

    Weaknesses are valve guides, front hubs cracking, manifolds, suspension activators, clutch slave cylinder, gearbox triple seals, exhaust ECU's, aircon pipes corroding, dash leather shrinking, airbag cover going baggy, some had over length rod bolts causing engine failure (including mine with an £11k bill and that was in 2003 so probably twice that now))

    Roof is a bit of a nightmare, it's heavy and you have to turn it through 180 degrees to drop it behind the seats which you will need to have tipped forward as well, you also need to remember to drop the windows a little for rood on/off - think about doing that when it's raining!

    With roof off there is some air turbulence, worse if windows are down where the seat belt over your shoulder will flail about in the wind, with roof up it's a nice place but they will leak a bit at front corners and it'll probably squeak a lot which people say to put silicone grease on the rubbers but most of the problem is the locking leavers rubbing

    Even 18 Years ago the budget was around £3k for service items inc service, tyres, saving a bit for clutch other issues etc and then it was wise to allow another £3k for cosmetics an keeping it looking 100% ie wheel refurb, re-connolise interior, sticky bits, leather bits, paint, trims, seals etc

    I reckon they're all over priced at the moment, in the US you can get them from $50k (£40k) yet a similar car here, even LHD is twice that at least, of all the models I reckon they'll correct the most and of course if you use it it'll be worthless in the current market

    Plus points

    Look stunning and keep the pure Berlinetta shape compared to the Spider
    Sound amazing with a Capristo
    Now if that doesn't put him off.........

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post
    Oh I've just looked: perhaps some of the 250 threads with 355 or F355 in the title might offer some guidance ?
    I would miss Jos if he wasn't here

    I quite like the 355 but I'm not convinced I'd ever buy one. If I wanted an older car I'd get something that felt a bit more raw like a 348 or earlier, if I wanted a newer car I'd get a 360 or newer. I've heard the older cars referred to as "bulletproof", the newer ones as "more reliable" but I've never heard anyone use those terms for a 355. It almost seems like they pushed what was achievable engineering wise at the time just the wrong side of sensible and the list above of what seems to go wrong with them is the result.

    If you really want one then crack on but I think it would be a 'heart ruling head' sort of decision and my feeling is you're very much a 'head ruling heart' sort of person. As an aside that may be contributing to you struggling to find a car - none of them are really all that sensible and if you wait until the numbers add up rather than simply getting one because you want to, I think you may be looking for a very long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike01606 View Post
    Magnesium! Seems a nightmare to keep them looking good and once they’re gone it seems impossible to bring them back.

    The 355 is a really cohesive design with the nicest looking rear end since the 288 GTO....and still not bettered IMO.
    I really wanted a 355 but Mrs M wasn’t impressed. Thought it felt old.

    Really strange how they’ve climbed here and not the US. Probably due to their silly service costs.
    Most engine out belt changes here are not much more than a 360 major but I would guess that there’s a lot of ‘whilst we’re in there’ work.
    Now the 360 fleet is getting towards 20 years old, I’m not sure they’re any cheaper to maintain properly than a 355.
    I'm sure you're right re the servicing Mike, there are one or two people that can do the wheels properly assuming there's no historic bodging but it's not cheap

    I've tried on a number of occasions to buy back my Black/ Tan spider but currently to no avail, I'd love to own one again but very much going in with my eyes and wallet open

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Now if that doesn't put him off.........

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