At the helm
by Dave Helms
Summer checklist, Ferrari style.
The following are a few suggestions to keep your Ferrari in good running order in the summer heat.
Cooling fan checks should be a regular routine for every Ferrari. On the 308 – 328 series one can reach through the grill and give the blades a spin. Look for a “stiff” fan motor comparing the coast of one fan to the other.
A quick check of the drivers handbook will show if your model is one with cooling system bleed screws. These screws are located in the high parts of the cooling system that have a tendency to trap air. Due to the design of most Ferrari cooling systems they require that no air be in the system to work at their full capacity. Top the coolant reservoir to the top, run the engine for 5 minutes to build a small amount of pressure in the system and crack the bleeder screws open until no more air comes out.
There are still a few cars out there that are running the .9 bar pressure radiator caps. These should be changed to the updated 1.1 bar caps to eliminate premature release of coolant from the reservoir.
While on the 308 – 328 series a mention of checking the fuse box is in order. Remove the plastic covers of the fuse box and check the fuel pump fuse and related wiring for any signs of melting or heat discoloration. This is a common problem as the plastic fuse box will warp and loose the tension on the fuse, creating resistance in the connection that leads to yet more heat and melting of the plastic. For those that have a Mondial, consider running without the cover on the fuse box to allow some airflow to the connections. Tests have shown that running the TR with the fuse box cover open has aided in keeping them a bit cooler as well.
Sunscreen is a must! The Colorado sun is playing havoc with both the leather and vinyl dashboards. Invest in a windshield sunscreen to prevent the leather dashboard material from shrinking, and the vinyl from out gassing and fogging the windshield.
-- dave helms --