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    Long-term test: Tifosi's Ferrari 360 Modena


    The Ferrari 360 Modena is a classic at Ferrari, especially for first-time buyers. It remains modern, accessible, reliable... and like any car, there are certain points that are more to watch than others. Looking back over the years, what are these points to look at if you own or plan to acquire a Ferrari 360 Modena? @tifosi101 has had one for about ten years, and as an engine engineer carrying out the maintenance himself, he has the experience to keep a Ferrari 360 Modena in top condition. Here is his exciting feedback, full of references and advice, with your Ferrari 360 Modena.




    @Franck : What is your automotive background and why did you choose this Ferrari? What is your use? Since when ?


    @tifosi101 : My journey is very quickly summarized. I have always been Ferrari by "confession" and in fact owning a Ferrari and even working for Ferrari were the driving forces of my youth and my studies.

    From my first job after finishing my engine engineering studies, I treated myself to a Porsche Boxster 986 2.5. A very affordable car, with a real engine with the typical sound of the brand, and a sporty and healthy behavior, which gave me a lot of pleasure. With her I made my first steps: access to a specific universe, rides with other prestigious GTs, circuit outings and first mechanical experiences because I am autonomous on this point.


    But as soon as the opportunity to offer me MY Ferrari presented itself then I took it immediately. It was 2012, the "good old days", when we went shopping in Italy and brought back a Ferrari 360, a Ferrari 550 and a Ferrari Testarossa for the price today of a Ferrari F430 Spider...


    My initial wish was the Ferrari F355 for its typical Ferrari line, for its F1-sounding engine and because rocked by the legendary video game "F355 Challenge". But the period also allowed me to consider a 360 so the question arose seriously and the decision was quickly made to go for the latter for the modernity of its chassis, its neo-classical line, its supercar size (which with hindsight is a constraint on small roads with its long wheelbase), its easier maintenance on the distribution side and especially its engine under the glass, which for an engine enthusiast like me was a shocking argument.


    The engine being the same as the Ferrari F355, I didn't draw a line under the F1 sound. Better still, it is the culmination of this V8 block with complications - to draw a parallel with watchmaking - which make it even more sharp and characterful. A real racing engine! You have to whip it high in the revs to take advantage of its character and its power and I love that unlike the majority, who with dieselisation, today only know how to appreciate the big torque.




    With the hindsight of the years of ownership, almost 10 years, I am a big fan of the mix between modernity and classicism that is the 360. The years go by, the generations of cars, which succeeded it, both at Ferrari and at the competition, modernize, become "sped up", become more complex, but aseptic because the very good becomes perfect and even too perfect. Coming out of a test at their steering wheels, I always end up telling myself that the Ferrari 360 still does the job very well, that of offering pleasure and sensations on all levels. Maybe also because I improved my Ferrari 360 to make it to my liking, i.e. more sporty.


    If when I started driving it, I happened to go with it to the port of Saint Tropez just for the pleasure of having a drink there after a sporty drive in the famous Dom forest, or even leaving the department with (!), today I refocused on the essentials, sport. And so I take it out only to get my adrenaline shot on a small winding road in the middle of the Var scrubland and enjoy the Formula 1 vocals, which come to my ears against the rock walls. Pure fun plus it's a Ferrari! And since racing is Ferrari's reason for existing, every year I treat myself to one or two runs on the legendary Paul Ricard circuit, which is still on the F1 world championship calendar.


    @Franck : What were your buying criteria for this Ferrari and how did you find this example?


    @tifosi101 : It was the heyday of announcements on AutoScout24.it, which made us all dream in the evening before going to sleep full of projects. I almost signed for a yellow manual Ferrari 360 in Milan. But the first Ferrari must be red! So I finally set my sights on a red 360, black leather, manual gearbox, which was on sale at Castauto, a prestige vehicle dealer located very close to the village of Don Camillo.


    My first criterion was to find a healthy, healthy and healthy Ferrari 360 because everything is repairable except the irreparable or the inconceivable. I was not fixated on the history of previous interviews, stamps, notebook. I leave that to people who don't have the option of buying this kind of car "safely". Because when I buy a used car I redo from the start the maximum of maintenance by myself to leave on a known basis and as a bonus to appropriate and understand the car in its operation and in its design.


    My second criterion was a manual gearbox to maximize reliability. My final criteria was that she would make my jaw drop with its photos on the ad! Mileage was therefore not a criterion.


    For its purchase in Italy, I took my mechanic uncle with me (talented and experienced, with whom I do the maintenance), I let him judge for himself both for the static visual checks (we put it on the bridge of the first garage nearby) and for the test drive (if the timing or another component has to give way now was the time!). I got his green light! The beautiful story could begin and dreams could come true. Before heading back to France, we stayed overnight in nearby Maranello to capture the moment forever. A big moment !




    @Franck : Immediately after the purchase, what stood out to you the most at the wheel of this Ferrari?


    @tifosi101 : First, you have to understand, even if it may seem incomprehensible, that I did not try my Ferrari 360 once before even becoming its owner. As I didn't have a cool head, I preferred to let my uncle do it during the first trip to go and see it and even when the keys were handed over during the second trip for the purchase, it was him who took the wheel.


    I took it in hand, very feverishly, only to enter in Maranello, just to mark the occasion. This car impressed me a lot, both because I was realizing MY lifelong dream and because it was very intimidating. It was very low (too low), wide and had a sound to wake up the dead with its Tubi and catalyst bypasses. An F1! I can still hear at the Stop the cries of amazement and excitement of the children in the playground on the edge of the village that we were leaving to reach Maranello... On the way back, when I was following my Modena at the wheel of my car, I was surprised by the immense yellow flames which came out of the exhausts and by the amazement of the other motorists who attended the spectacle. I was also marked by the enthusiastic solicitations of the Italians in the motorway tunnels that I guessed were saying "Forza!" raising their fist to encourage me to drop three gears and gratify them with the F1 melody. I was marked by the Carabinieri on the side of the road, at the entrance to Maranello, with a thumbs up as I passed while I felt guilty (of nothing…).


    In short, I understood very quickly that driving a Ferrari was going to be a very different experience from anything you can imagine behind the wheel of any other car brand. For some it's Italy, which passes before their eyes, for others it's a big dream toy or even the Virgin! Since then, I have not missed an opportunity to share my pleasure, such as letting the children sit behind the wheel to take the souvenir photo and reward them with a "work well at school" which always pleases the parents...! And I never have negative reactions




    @Franck : Can you tell us about the costs incurred for normal use of this Ferrari (insurance, annual maintenance, major overhaul, contingencies, etc.)?


    @tifosi101 : For insurance, I would say that it is the fairly standard rate for this type of car, around 1000 euros for 8000 km/year in all risks. But in the end, I don't do a lot of kilometers in a year because I don't need to accumulate any to be happy behind the wheel and the "pleasure" roads or circuits are in the immediate vicinity, so no or very little of what I call "useless miles" add up on the odometer.


    I'm not the best example to talk about cost because in addition to not being a big wheeler, I'm not a customer of garages since I do everything myself. This aspect is also a good point for this model because it means that it is an "accessible" Ferrari for a do-it-yourselfer. The annual or even biannual maintenance depending on the intensity of use is very reasonable and classic for this type of car. The "big overhaul", which has become technically easier compared to the F355, is a selling point so that says it all.


    Now there is all the feedback, which is by definition outside the manufacturer's schedule, but which with hindsight due to the years and kilometers accumulated by the 360 Modenas should be taken into account by the maintenance program in 2021. Ferrarista.club is very powerful for this because many are the owners of 360 and, among them, many are those who share the technical facts encountered.


    My January 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena, acquired in 2012 with 56,000 km, now totals around 75,000 km. It sleeps in a closed garage (therefore in the shade) and temperate and at each stop in the sun I install the sun visor for the leathers and it hibernates in July-August to protect it from the heat of the South (the engine compartment says thank you!).


    For the inconveniences I have experienced on the interior side, I would cite the classic sticky plastics, which can be treated very well with isopropyl alcohol, elbow grease and patience. The exterior door opening control cables (ref. 68602600) which get stuck in their sheath. The headliner peeling off. The air conditioning button that no longer held in the OFF position (repaired for zero euros). The gear lever foot ring (ref.174967) which becomes oval over time and affects the gear change manoeuvre. The plastic of the ashtray is of poor quality and becomes brittle over time. The door seals settle over time, creating a leak in the upper part of the window and air noise in the rear view mirror. The most annoying was the potentiometer of the accelerator pedal (ref. 170038), which makes the engine amorphous when the feedback of the depression of the pedal is no longer operational (unlike the F355, there is no no more connecting cable between the accelerator pedal and the throttle valves on the engine side, everything is electric like a Playstation pedalboard!), a classic fault on the 360, which is very easily repaired.


    On the engine compartment side, my only real failure was the left exhaust manifold which cracked. I had it initially re-welded by a pro but I have since switched to aftermarket collectors from the Italian specialist Supersprint, designed to last. I also experienced the classic cracking of the support brackets of the Tubistyle pot and the connecting bracket of the dual exhaust outlets. The two large water hoses (ref.181742), which carry the coolant to and from the radiators located in the front bumper, have cracked over time. I found after opening the air intake plenum for a completely different reason, the air compensation butterfly (ref. 182092) which had disappeared and fortunately the two small screws, which fix it on its axis, have not been sucked in by the cylinders! Finally, seeing frequent "slow down" alerts while it was inconsistent with the conditions of their appearance ("cold" engine for example), I replaced the two centraline (catalytic temperature control station) by the signal decoys of the catalyst thermocouples from Technistrada.


    The air conditioning compressor has died, most certainly a victim of the heat radiating from the engine, but its replacement is a formality starting from an Opel Vectra B air conditioning compressor base (ex ref. 8FK351102-001).


    On the running gear side, I experienced the suspension fault reported on the dashboard. It was the vertical acceleration sensor (ref. 232690) located in the engine compartment (also a victim of the surrounding heat).


    When I took my engine out at 67,000 km and 16 years old to give it a nice overhaul with a lot of preventive, I could see that the two engine silent blocks (ref. 182142) were in fact out of service but their configuration makes it hard to see and they know how to hide it! While the silent block of the gearbox (ref. 186698) is easily noticed when it is out of order. When the latter is replaced, I advise to insulate it thermally by offering it the dedicated heat shield (ref. 67912300). I took the opportunity to replace the clutch (which was not HS) and in fact I mounted a Hill Engineering thrust bearing. I replaced all the oil, DA, water and fuel hoses that I had the chance to do. At the same time, I took advantage of the easier access by removing the engine to thoroughly clean the engine and the engine compartment, redo the thermal insulation and add some where I thought it would be useful (DEI plates ref. 634162) and finally redo the paint (expansion tank, oil deaerator, cylinder head covers, intake plenum, etc.). The list of parts replaced during this operation was quite substantial (for around 6000 euros of parts) and justified by the combination of their age/dilapidation and their easy accessibility: universal joint boots, complete distribution, water pump, chain tensioner oil pump with its shaft (tensioner in poor condition...a recurring topic on the forum), numerous engine ball bearings, engine thrust bearing silent blocks, engine gasket kit, gearbox oil cooler (another topic recurrent on the forum), revision of the starter and the alternator by the specialist Var Electric Auto, etc. Beforehand, I had checked the compressions of the engine because if a cylinder was sick it would have been a good opportunity to take care of it!


    Before or after this major overhaul, I did preventive replacement of the thermostat style (ref. 183758), expansion tank cap (145030), richness regulation lambda probes (before catalysts) (Bosch 0 258 007 001) , catalyst efficiency diagnostic lambda probes (post catalysts) (Bosch 0 258 006 196), flow meters (Bosch 0 280 218 012), ignition coils (Bosch 0 221 504 015), spark plugs (PMR8B), battery ( Varta E44), etc.


    Finally, my last technical fact dates back to the beginning of this year when I noticed that the front right water radiator fan was out of order. I wrote a topic on the forum entitled "Fan out of order on 360 Modena" and the important thing is to remember that a small pebble can get lodged between the blades and the strapping around them and thus block the propeller and burn out the electric motor.




    @Franck : And if you had to do it over again, what would you change? What advice would you give to someone looking for this Ferrari? What are its flaws? What to pay attention to? What improvements can be made?


    @tifosi101 : Coming from an Italian family, my 360 is really considered a full member by my close family circle. Only Ferrari can do that. Hence my motto, which signs each of my posts on Ferrarista: “No man shall completely own a Ferrari. He will just be its guardian, for future generations...". So if I had to do it again, I would do it again a thousand times as this car is a source of happiness for me, my loved ones and a majority of those who will approach it or see it during its outings.


    Admittedly, this Ferrari model enjoys a reputation for reliability, but if you are a purist in its condition and/or in its operation (in the performance sense) then it is a car that requires a lot of attention. And I love it, because like other Ferrarista who will recognize themselves, I like to maintain it or even improve it when possible and justified, as much as driving it. On the other hand, it requires a lot of time and reflection by immersing myself in the various technical documents about it and the various Ferrari forums around the world. At the end, I know my Ferrari a little better each time, which is an exciting model because it was innovative for its time and still relevant in its design and architecture that is still up to date.


    So my advice for anyone looking for a Ferrari 360 goes against what is usually said because I recommend finding a mechanically sound car rather than a car with good detailing and nice stamps in the logbook. This then makes it possible to pay less to invest the savings made immediately in a major overhaul integrating everything recommended by the feedback from Ferrarista subjects. You only need to have relative confidence with the "it's been done" or "it will be done for sale"... Thus made reliable, it will be possible to use a Ferrari 360 without a second thought.


    Now, I talked about reliability and not performance, nuance... Because many 360s are in "very good condition", but do not work like when they left the factory. They say you don't see your child grow, it's the same for the power on a 360 that you don't see degrading with age (like all cars).


    I therefore strongly advise replacing the lambda probes of the richness regulation (before catalysts) (Bosch 0 258 007 001) around 50,000 km. Ditto for the ignition coils (Bosch 0 221 504 015) as long as they are hot! For spark plugs (PMR8A or better and cheaper PMR8B) I would say maximum 15000km. Finally, and because it ruined my life, I now consider the Ferrari 360 to be very sensitive to battery amperage. You therefore need a battery that is always in top shape to have a motor that performs well (unexpected complete discharges have irreversible consequences on the battery). To do this, I recommend letting your Ferrari 360 sleep on CTEK charge maintenance or failing to cut the circuit (but this resets the learning of the engine ECUs each time). For Ferrari 360s that drive too little, I recommend having the injectors serviced by a specialist (with new seals) to correct the phenomenon of lacquering of the injector nose and restore good spraying. All these initiatives will have a beneficial impact on the running of the engine and therefore on its performance.


    Because the engine compartment is a furnace, I recommend fitting a Challenge grille to evacuate the heat and opening the engine bay at every opportunity to evacuate the calories produced by the engine as quickly as possible. Otherwise the sensors, plastic parts, rubber, alternator, starter, air conditioning compressor, etc., will suffer. In the same vein, redo the thermal insulation and add wherever possible (DEI plate ref. 634162).


    Finally, I strongly recommend keeping a small ELM327 type OBD diagnostic reader in the glove box at all times, which only costs 5 euros, but which, combined with the very easy-to-use Piston smartphone application, will allow you to check the fault codes when the engine light is on on the dashboard. It is always simpler, more efficient and more pleasant to immediately know the nature of the fault and thus to be able to judge whether you are returning by your own means while driving or whether you are calling a repairman as a precaution. Much more effective than calling a friend in stress or throwing a bottle overboard at Ferrarista from the side of the road without being able to give useful technical details. At least, the response will be accurate. In addition, this small OBD reader will make it possible to control the richness corrections (LTFT and STFT), very important indicators, which reflect the proper functioning of the organs that I recommended replacing previously.


    Naturally, the Ferrari 360's 40-valve V8 is a very weather-sensitive engine. Certainly it is atmospheric but it pays the price for its high specific power and therefore its small displacement. Living in a region which can be very hot, I noticed big differences in motor character depending on the weather. In the summer when the weather is dry and hot, my engine is anemic. It always has "enough" power (according to Rolls-Royce) but for me its use is without interest, without pleasure. On the other hand, in cool weather (like 20°C) and slightly humid (the day after rain for example) my engine has lightning to the point of giving me chills! That sharpness is exactly what makes me love the Ferrari 360 but it can be a big flaw for others and that's in my opinion why Ferrari increased the engine capacity by 700cc of the V8 of the F430 when it took 20 years for the block of the 360 to go from 3.0l on the 308 to 3.6l... CQFD ("thank you" the dieselization of the car fleet).


    The 360 has few or no faults strictly speaking, it is a Ferrari and a sports car, which improves over time both in design and in driving pleasure. Nevertheless, if it is lighter than an F355, its supercar size and its long wheelbase are not the most suitable for the small roads of the Var.


    I consider there are three swords of Damocles above the engine of the Ferrari 360 Modena:

    • The inevitable death of the engine control units (ECU), which had the bad idea to lodge in the engine compartment which is a furnace. Consequence: an inoperative engine.
    • The broken oil pump chain. Consequence: an out of order engine. In reality, it is the rupture of the pawn ref. 169594, which acts as the axis of rotation of the chain tensioner. There is a reference evolution so everything is said. If it breaks, the tensioner shoe is placed across the pad, which will wear out prematurely. The chain will play until it breaks. The oil pump will no longer be driven and therefore engine lubrication will be immediately interrupted…
    • Corrosion drilling of the engine water/gearbox oil tube heat exchanger which is located in the engine V. Consequence: broken gearbox. Unlike the F355, which has the same part but not the same problem, no longer having to drop the engine to do the timing no longer necessarily involves draining the coolant. And so over the years, the latter becomes corrosive to the point of piercing one or more tubes of the exchanger and the pressure being stronger on the water side then it will pollute all the gearbox oil, making mayonnaise ( regularly check the surface of the water in the vase, drain the coolant at each distribution and replace the exchanger asap)


    On the improvement side, I adopted a philosophy for more sportiness because I wanted a more sensational Ferrari 360. Originally the 360 is a compromise between comfort and sportiness, as always with this type of car, and past the first emotions behind the wheel, I found the model too wise. To gain sensation, I opted for:

    • A geometry typed "trackday" to gain incisivity. It is successful but in return the car reads the road more.
    • Short H&R springs (ref. 29405) to firm up the damping, combined with a Ferrari Challenge Stradale height type (no problem with killer speed bumps).
    • 19-inch OZ Ultraleggera HLT rims (thanks @oliv!), stronger and lighter than Ferrari Challenge Stradale rims and yet cheaper. This gave me access to a wider range of tires on the market and I opted for the Michelin Sport Cup 2s (thanks @oliv!) for maximum grip.
    • On the braking side, grooved discs on aluminum bowl from PFC in original size to keep a hint of the vehicle's homologation... which I associated with yellow Pagid type RS29 pads (ref. 1408), avia hoses and brake fluid Motul RBF600. The result is excellent and - with my level of driving - I can testify on the track of Paul Ricard of brakes still and always on top even after 40 minutes of non-stop driving.
    • Inside, I bought the magnificent Sparco Carbon Evo monocoque bucket seats from @canadifucile's monstrous Diablo 6.0 Edo Competition. I didn't want Ferrari's "fake" optional bucket seats, I wanted monocoque to have a "rigid" connection of my buttocks with the body to better feel the movements of the car. It's successful and as a bonus, their black leather upholstery with red stitching went automatically with my cabin and the harness passages are strictly the same as those of the Ferrari bucket seats. To this, I added the red Sabelt harnesses (tribute to the F40) delivered with the seats but it is only for circuit use to gain front-rear support and even if the assembly is carried out according to ORECA specifications, I always add the seat belt ("belt and suspenders" as they say).
    • On the engine side, the reprogramming of AV Engineering catches my eye, but in the meantime I have only installed K&N sports filters for the pleasure of hearing the air intake whistle at low load. On the other hand, I am a fan of 10W60 grade oil, recommended by the manual for intensive use or in hot countries and I regret seeing 5W40 in the majority of engines (admittedly it is cheaper…).
    • Finally, last but not least, the "free" exhaust to enhance the naturally F1 sound of the 40-valve block. I would be interested in an exhaust (by abuse of language) type X-pipe but already with the Supersprint exhaust manifolds (large diameter), the bypasses and the Tubi pot, the sound is enjoyable! But tiring… And the surges of the engine at high revs even more furious, to the detriment of a degradation of the times under 4000 rpm.




    @Franck : How do you use Ferrarista for your experience with your Ferrari? What does the Ferrarista community bring you?


    @tifosi101 : Ferrarista is much more than a web forum. It is above all a virtual club where you can very quickly and very healthily make buddies and friends in real life, it's a Wikipedia of the Prancing Horse brand, it's a workshop manual with an infinite number of pages. Ferrarista is even addictive for many of us, just seeing the daily attendance. Ferrarista allows you to precisely target your need, your choice before purchase. Once implemented, Ferrarista allows you to live your passion with other Ferraris during outings but also to experience a technical problem as best you can thanks to the natural and spontaneous mutual aid that reigns there.


    Because for me, clearly the strong point of Ferrarista is the richness and technical precision of the information shared there. The experience feedback is very great on this forum, many owners share, without snobbery and without hiding, their disappointments and explain them to prevent others from suffering the same mishap. There are technicians - in the noble sense of the term - of great talent on this forum, who share their knowledge, explain and even play down to help better live with a breakdown. Others come to their senses when the quotes are crazy or offer to help in real life. It's very powerful and the amount of useful information on Ferrarista will help keep our Ferraris running for a very long time. This site should never ever close! Without forgetting the 2nd Ferrarista National Meeting, which I had the pleasure of organizing with other members of the forum with whom we formed the "Squadra du Sud" and which was a great moment of passion and sharing.


    Forza Ferrarista ! And thank you to all those who make it live whether with a simple remark, a beautiful photo or a scholarly calculation.


    @Franck : Thank you @tifosi101 for your fascinating feedback to read, a real bible! What did you learn from reading this article? What additional details would you like? If you own a Ferrari 360 Modena, what could you add?


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    Edited by Franck

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