Home » My Ferrari Broke Down And Left Me Stranded Almost Exactly A Year After It Did The Last Time

My Ferrari Broke Down And Left Me Stranded Almost Exactly A Year After It Did The Last Time

Broken Mondial Ts2
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I swear to God, Gaydon is cursed. For background, Gaydon in Warwickshire is home to both Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin’s design and development centers. It’s also the site of the British Motor Museum. Documenting the rise and fall of the UK’s motor industry, I call it the Cathedral of Failure. Nonetheless it’s a central location with a lot of history and more importantly, acres of car parking, making the cathedral… sorry, the museum the perfect venue for car gatherings throughout the less wet months of the year.

A long time ago I went to a car show there in my Plymouth Duster and it rewarded my grandstanding by blowing a piston. Two decades or so later, I spent three years stalking through the corridors of Land Rover like Darth Vader, unfucking things that shouldn’t have been fucked up in the first place. For my efforts, I was rewarded with a boot to the ass at the start of the pandemic via email. So yeah, Gaydon and I have history. Then the week before last when I was going to meet up with the owner of the Multipla I just wrote about, the curse struck again. It’s that or there’s a hex that affects only me when I get to within a mile or two of the place. I’m convinced it’s built on the grounds of a derelict Victorian insane asylum.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Unlike its owner, the Ferrari does not like sitting around doing nothing. Any classic car needs regular exercise. It seems unfair to subject the Mondial to a regimen I don’t do myself, but entering my fifties kicking and screaming means I’ve gone from earning a living on my back (lying under clay models, prepping them for review, what did you think I meant?), to earning a living sitting on my ass, which suits me just fine thanks. These exertions usually happen every two to three weeks. If there’s no particular journey planned, I just take it to get groceries for the week.

Wake Me Up

The Ferrari waking procedure is as follows: Open the front hood and turn the battery isolation switch to the on position. Now there’s 12 volts in the nervous system, pop the engine cover and check the oil and coolant levels. Top up if necessary. Satisfied everything is as it should be squeeze into the driver’s seat. This is an extremely undignified operation because the garage where I store it is only fractionally bigger than the car itself, so I can’t fully open the door. Once in, make sure it’s in neutral, press the clutch and turn the key. A few seconds delay as fuel is dragged from the huge tank into the mechanical injection system, and then three liters worth of 32-valve Italian V8 roars into life with the merest hint of oil haze out of the thundering tailpipes. Shove the lever left and forwards for reverse, release the flyoff handbrake located between the driver’s seat and the rocker, slowly back out.

Ferrari10

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Like myself, the Mondial is moody and uncooperative when first woken up. It emits strange rattles and is stiff to operate. Having not moved for a fortnight the steering squeaks when making the four-point turn to get it pointed in the right direction. I reacquaint myself to having my butt six inches off the tarmac and no power steering, but it usually only takes until the end of the road for the muscle memory to return. However, there are still foibles to contend with.

Let me walk you through the idiosyncrasies of the Mondial gear change. The lever is a foot high chrome stick with a black plastic 8 ball screwed on the top. There is a metal gate at the base with fingers for guidance but not precise location. The shift pattern is a dogleg first with gears two through five in a normal H pattern. The idea is that once you’ve pulled away from a standstill, first is no longer needed until you come to a complete stop and need to pull away again. Shift quality depends on two things. How warm the gearbox is and what side of bed it got out of. Forcing the issue when cold and the box registers protest with a loud metallic clang and the lever springing back to neutral, 8-ball painfully whacking your hand.

Img 5410

So take your time. Shift with the shoulder, not the wrist. Arm and leg movements need decisive coordination – do not attempt a change of gear until the clutch is fully on the floor. Don’t try and be clever and heel and toe it on the way down the box, it doesn’t like it. No second for a few miles until the gearbox is warmed up, so shift straight from first to third at the start of a journey. The gearing is short enough for this not to be a problem – despite the Mondial’s wide rev band you can’t hit sixty until third. Until the water and oil temperature gauges get out of bed I keep the revs below three and half thousand. This is mildly tormenting because everything about this car, gearchange included, feels better with more revs through the drive train.

Rush Hour

There are two routes to Gaydon from my house. The quicker, easier route involves the A46 Coventry bypass dual carriageway to the M40. The M40 links Birmingham to London and I am convinced is the fastest road in the country; partly because it’s usually lightly trafficked but also because it passes through rural Northamptonshire – the UK’s motorsport valley. This was my commuting route as it was just easier when I was half asleep and operating on minimal caffeine first thing in the morning.

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The second route involves taking the A452 through Royal Leamington Spa, coming out the other side through a minor wasteland of industrial premises including the Vitsoe designer furniture factory and some horrid new build housing of no architectural merit whatsoever. You then join the A4100, about five or six miles of brilliantly winding road that runs parallel to the M40 and deposits you nicely right outside Gaydon. Because the Leamington Spa option involves stop-start driving through the center of town and I’m an incorrigible show off, you can guess which route I took to meet up with Glyn and the Multipla. Not only would it satisfy my insatiable need for attention, it would be better exercise for the Ferrari.

Ferrari13

Bimbling over the speed humps and sitting at traffic lights gazing at the Mondial’s reflection in the shop windows everything was fine. The oil and water were slowly warming up and second gear was now ready for use. As I blatted out the other side of Leamington, away from a set of lights where two lanes became one, an upshift to third elicited a minor crunch. Maybe I had rushed it, maybe I was being a bit clumsy because of my dyspraxia. Coming up to the big roundabout onto the A4100 it wouldn’t go into second. The clutch was definitely all the way on the floor and I was off the gas, what the hell? Try again. No dice. Slot back into third and pull out slowly, hope the motor doesn’t bog and die leaving me stranded. I have visions of a JLR development driver hustling a camouflaged SUV on his way back to base for lunch, coming around the corner all crossed up and spearing me in the driver’s door.

Goodbye Horses

All gearchanges are now getting a bit recalcitrant. I begin double-pumping the clutch in a vain attempt to get some pressure into the hydraulic line. The pedal doesn’t sink to the floor, but it’s getting softer. My predicament becomes clear: I have no chance of turning around and getting back home. But if I can keep moving I can get to Gaydon, park it up and consider my options. I don’t want to let Glyn down, I’d still be able to drive the Fiat and get a Ferrari breakdown story out of it as well. It’s a couple of miles; by carefully approaching the roundabouts between where I am and there, I won’t have to stop. If I have to take it out of gear I almost certainly won’t be able to get going again.

Changing gears has become an impossibility. I attempt a third to second down change and have to abort, stuck in a neutral no man’s land while rolling helplessly ever more slowly, a column of traffic beginning to snarl up behind me. Hazard warning lights on, I attempt to wave people past with my right hand, find a gear with my left hand, while pumping the clutch and feathering the throttle. Eventually, the lever reluctantly slots into third and we’re moving. I won’t be trying that again. I’ll have to stay in third all the way.

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But Gaydon isn’t quite finished with me yet. The approach road to the museum is a right-hand turn with a set of traffic lights. As they get closer I’m willing them to change to green. They don’t. I knock the Mondial out of gear to come to a complete stop. By this point, I have no clutch at all. Whatever I do with the pedal has no impact whatsoever inside the bell housing. Years ago, I was a dispatch rider in London (ask your parents). One day the Honda CG125 I was riding snapped its clutch cable, and I had to get away from a standstill by paddling the thing moving with both feet, and then once rolling cramming the bike into first with a hefty stamp of my left boot. I made a few pathetic impromptu wheelies but despite the best efforts of central London traffic survived to get back to the office in one piece. This wouldn’t work with 3000lbs of Ferrari. As the lights went green I pumped the clutch pedal furiously while attempting first gear. KLAANNNNNG! Ok maybe second? KERLAAAAANG! Fucking hell. The lights returned to red. Maybe third? The lever didn’t go all the way in but there was the merest hint of forward movement. After what felt like a lifetime the lights went green again. Another attempt at getting third. Definite forward movement. The lever is still baulking, but more momentum is being obtained.  I am now crossing over the wrong side of the road at walking pace, but at least I’m moving.

Perhaps the synchro on third is just a bit more forgiving. Rolling off the camber of the road provides a bit more speed. Constant forward pressure on the gear lever and third finally crunches in. Marvelous. A man in a hi-vis vest beckons me to stop. Not on your life mate.

“Exhibiting or visiting?” he says. There’s a bloody show on today.

“Visiting and I can’t stop the clutch has gone!” I yell out the window as I drive past, definitely not intending to stop.

“Staff car park round the back!” he gesticulates.

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Yeah, I know exactly where it is thanks very fucking much. I used to work here. In a rare display of me thinking a couple of moves ahead, I aim for an empty row so there’s plenty of room for the inevitable recovery truck. Almost exactly a year ago the Ferrari shit the bed when the water pump seized. That happened just outside of London, and I was stranded at a gas station for hours when I should have been at Brands Hatch drinking beer and watching historic racing cars. My breakdown service membership only gives you one recovery per breakdown, so because that incident happened on a holiday weekend I could only get the Ferrari recovered back to my house. A few days later I had to pay out the ass to get it taken to the specialist who looks after it for me, Migliore Cars in Bromsgrove.

Ferrari6

This wasn’t a holiday weekend, but it was a Saturday and Migliore was closed. I could leave the Ferrari in situ, secure in the JLR staff car park, get an Uber home and then return on Monday in the Mini and get it recovered. Best of all I wouldn’t have to rearrange meeting up with Glyn and the Multipla, which was the whole point in the first place. As I waited for his arrival, I texted my best friend to tell him what happened. Not because he’d get a cheap laugh out of it like you lot but because we always do this in times of automotive strife, to offer advice and moral support. He advised checking the clutch master cylinder, which of course I hadn’t thought of. Unsurprisingly, it was emptier than David’s wallet.

Ferrari2

After a few hours driving the Multipla, buggering about taking photos and a leisurely lunch that involved swapping auto industry war stories, I got an Uber home and did what I always do in times of Ferrari crisis: head to the pages of Superformance UK to scare myself at the cost of replacement parts. The thing is, one of the constant joys of Mondial ownership is that their age, analog nature and commonality with other seventies and eighties mid-engined Ferraris means that parts prices are pretty reasonable. When the water pump went last year the replacement was less than £200. The final bill did end up being quite a lot more than that because it was serviced at the same time, and I had a couple of other little jobs done.

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Ferrari9

A replacement master cylinder was £124. There were two slave cylinders listed, for £100 and £200. It didn’t specify what the difference was, although I would later discover the cheap one was a pattern part and the dearer one a genuine Maranello item. Perhaps the extra pays for a yellow cardboard box with black horses on it. But until I got the Mondial recovered and the reason for the lack of fluid in the system investigated I wouldn’t know.

Haunted When The Minutes Drag

Monday morning I found myself back in the staff car park at Gaydon waiting for the AA to turn up. The standard AA procedure is to send a patrol out first to ascertain the nature of the breakdown. I had already informed them via the app the car was immobile and the clutch had failed, but they wanted me to phone them anyway. Despite my telling them a patrol wouldn’t be able to recover it because I had been through this dog and pony show a year ago, they insisted on sending a Transit van with towing apparatus out anyway.

“What size wheels are these, mate? They’re not 14” or 15” are they?” said the AA guy.

“No. They’re metric. 390mm”

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“What’s the PCD size?”

Fucked if I know.

“I don’t know”

“Yeah. I can’t recover it because I’d have to lift the back and the front overhang is too long. I’ll have to get a flat bed sent out”

Well no fucking shit sherlock. That’s two hours of both our lives wasted.

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Ferrari1

The patrol man informs me the recovery driver will call me when he’s twenty minutes or so out. Perfect. I can go home, have a bite of lunch, and call Migliore to let them know the car is on its way. Glancing at the time, to my horror it is now getting towards 2pm. Last year, it took about five hours for the recovery truck to arrive. Migliore closes at five and is an hour away. If I don’t get a call by about half three I’ll have to call the whole thing off and repeat the entire ridiculous exercise on Tuesday, making a big hole in my working week below the waterline. Back home at 3pm I get a phone call.

“Hello Mr. Clarke? I’m in the south car park at Gaydon but I can’t find your Porsche”

“Umm, that’s because it’s not a Porsche. It’s a bright red Ferrari. It shouldn’t be hard to spot. Are you there now?”

“Yes”

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Shitting hell.

“I’m at home, I’ll be there in twenty minutes”. Needless to say, this time I did not take the scenic route through Leamington town center. Twenty five minutes later I was watching the Mondial being winched onto a flat bed truck. The gymnastics the bed of a modern recovery truck can perform are nothing short of amazing. The whole bed hydraulically manipulates to a position where it’s almost flat on the tarmac, allowing broken vehicles to be hauled on easily. Satisfied my beloved Mondial was on its way to being cared for by someone who knows what they’re doing, I took some pictures (because Matt would never forgive me if I didn’t) and handed the recovery guy the keys, wondering how much the incoming bill would be this time.Ferrari4

Ferrari3

The garage called me on Wednesday. The owner informed me they got it moving by topping up the master cylinder reservoir, but that wasn’t a long-term solution. They traced the leak to the slave cylinder, which had failed simply due to age. Did I want the pattern or the genuine part? At a difference of £100 you better believe I went aftermarket. Including labor the total bill was £340 and it would be ready Friday. All that stood between me and getting my car back was a pain in the ass journey on Britain’s ramshackle railway system.

Ferrari5

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Strange Kind Of Love

This is the thing about owning an old Ferrari – the costs can be manageable if you’re clever. Not long after I got the car a trip to the local hand car wash place revealed both doors were leaking and needed new seals – £336 to you squire. I bought ten meters of generic door seal that matched the profile for £40 from eBay and fitted it myself. The Veglia digital clock had some dead segments. I naively thought this might have been shared with some Fiat or other. They’re no longer available, and if you can find one second hand it will be eye-wateringly expensive. Someone on the FerrariChat  forums had taken one apart and soldered new seven segment LED components in. I found some by looking up the part numbers and got a friendly electronics firm in Sheffield to solder them in for me. They also repaired the original dealer-fit Pioneer stereo at the same time. The total cost including postage was £100.

So if you were expecting another £1800 bill like last year’s big breakdown, I’m sorry to disappoint you. For that you’ll have to wait until I get the air conditioning fixed. It needs a new compressor, but surprise surprise they’re no longer available either. Although I have found a place that can rebuild it locally, I expect the bill will be pretty ruinous, but I will get it sorted because although even when working it’s pretty ineffectual, things not working correctly kinda bug me. Maybe I should fix the electric antenna first.

Ferrari8

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Phuzz
Phuzz
24 days ago

I was stranded at a gas station for hours

Adrian, do you deliberately translate ‘petrol station’ for the yanks, or is it an editorial thing?

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
24 days ago

I once limped a friends 85 Firebird home for them with no clutch (they had just bought it for the princely sum of $500 and were yet to learn to drive stick). That was quite an experience.

GirchyGirchy
GirchyGirchy
23 days ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

I had to hold a coworker’s Saturn SL1’s shift linkage in place on the way to work one day. It was pure karma, we’d just been making fun of the Beretta in front of us when all shifting was lost. Thank god cheap cars come apart in seconds with a Phillips screwdriver and pry tool, aka the multitool I had on my belt.

Zip ties got us home!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
25 days ago

The real nugget here is the $20 retaining clip.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
25 days ago

> I was rewarded with a boot to the ass at the start of the pandemic via email.

Those wankers don’t deserve you.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
23 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Funny how that translates to dysfunctional vehicles…in terms of reliability at least.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
25 days ago

Gaydon… giggle-giggle 😉

Robert Stanley McLaughlin
Robert Stanley McLaughlin
25 days ago

This story surprised me. I’m not a big fan of big dollar sports cars since I’ll never own one. But the way that car behaves like a temperamental stallion is very relatable to me. I’ve spent a lot of time on small engines and I think that connection to the engine is lost to modern drivers. Old time drivers must have had a much finer connection to their engines since a lot of tech we expect today didn’t exist. Without automation of spark and fuel, old engines felt like living things instead of robots. Not necessarily better but fun somehow.

Cerberus
Cerberus
25 days ago

I’m surprised they didn’t just send a flatbed to begin with. Here in New England, I almost never even see Jesus wreckers anymore and for the few times I needed one with my old Subarus, they always sent a flatbed as they assumed AWD (they were wrong, but no objection). Now, with just about everything being AWD or too valuable and low to drag, flatbeds seem to be the default. The wreckers are pretty cool, too, though. I had a parts Legacy turbo behind my apartment and my patient landlord finally made me get rid of it, but it had no wheels (locked up from a frozen auto transmission, anyway—I just got it for the engine and ECU) and the flatbed couldn’t get around the tight corner. He came back with a dragger and with some careful geometry and grabbing with the cables, he was able to pull, reposition, pull, reposition, until it was in accessible for a flatbed to retrieve (the mk1 Legacys also had a lot of tie downs, which made it easier). The cables yanked that thing around like it was no heavier than a bicycle.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
25 days ago

Damn, what a handsome car. Even on a flat bed it doesn’t look broken, it looks like it’s being transported to an important event. Sometimes looks are everything.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
25 days ago

“Attitude determines Altitude” Zig Ziglar
Twenty some years ago, my career was rocking, driving my seven year old mustang GT convertible w/ top down some 500 mi. to the outer banks for a week long vacation with friends(20 of us rented a 3 story new house with a private beach, and in-ground pool, cheap when divided up). About half way, I noticed the volt meter dropping(sonova), got off the highway to a parallel road and she died. I had a spare belt and some tools with me, but the alternator was toast. Called AAA and asked if they could pick up an alternator at a local pep-boys and drop it to me. The operator said that’s an unusual request, but she’ll check with the drivers in the area. A driver calls me back 15 min. later and said he was heading to a pep-boys and gave me their # so I could call and give my CC and specs. and tell them AAA driver would be there to pick up. An hour later, many thanks and a generous tip I resumed the route.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
25 days ago

I am absolutely *shocked* that you could get a slave cylinder changed at a specialist garage for a high-end marque like Ferrari for USD450. Around here, I’d pay more than that for a generalist shop to change a slave cylinder on a Toyota pickup.

RayJay
RayJay
25 days ago

If the clutch slave cylinder failed due to age, the master cylinder must be living on borrowed time…

Adam Cofer
Adam Cofer
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Don’t break, master cylinder.

JumboG
JumboG
25 days ago
Reply to  RayJay

The slave cylinders typically exist in a much higher heat environment than the masters. So I’ll change out just a slave cylinder, but the the master cylinder fails I change both.

R Rr
R Rr
25 days ago
Reply to  JumboG

When I was a poor college student driving old & barely alive italian cars I would always buy the gasket kits and rebuild the clutch or brake cylinders myself, the kits were never more than a few bucks.

I remember one time the car parts shop had to order my kit and I had to drive with no clutch for a couple of days: at lights I’d stop the engine, get in first, then start in gear, after which I’d be rev-matching with gentle pressure on the shifter until it slotted in. It was beyond terrible, but it (mostly) worked. I think my car being a turbodiesel with low revs and torque down low made this work a lot better than a revvy gas engine (like Adrian’s Mondial).

Last edited 25 days ago by R Rr
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
25 days ago
Reply to  RayJay

I try not to be too precious about these things, but I really do wish the motor industry would use different words than master and slave (cylinder).

How about main+auxiliary or primary+secondary?

Last edited 25 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
24 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

It’s a lot like life

… For a Ferrari owner.

Last edited 24 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
GirchyGirchy
GirchyGirchy
23 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

There’s a new game I’d like to play you see
A game called fixing my old Ferrari
I treat it nicely but
it gets me down on my knees

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
25 days ago

This is the kind of thing that makes me stick with Austin Rover Group vehicles.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
25 days ago

 I’ve gone from earning a living on my back (lying under clay models, prepping them for review, what did you think I meant?)”

Porn.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
StancedBronco
StancedBronco
25 days ago

Just saw an article on msn about exotics you can own with out being rich. The cover car was a Mondial, which having read this article earlier, gave me a nice chuckle.

Buddy Repperton's Sideburns
Buddy Repperton's Sideburns
25 days ago

It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one stowing a precious machine in tiny dungeon unfit zombie prisoners.

86-GL
86-GL
25 days ago

If you ever want to scrap it, the wheels should fit on a Volvo 240 😉

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
25 days ago

Adrian, Were you not aware that the entirety of Gaydon is built upon ancient Native American Burial Grounds?

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
25 days ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

As is the story at the Talladega track. There have been some truly strange things happen there. Makes me wonder at times. But I have always had a great time there.

Art of the Bodge
Art of the Bodge
25 days ago

I’ve also experienced the delights of the AA recently, but only with a Toyota. That took a full day to get from Southampton to Herefordshire including a very long wait in a services to swap between vans.

Oh, and the M50 at night is the fastest motorway.

Art of the Bodge
Art of the Bodge
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I’ve heard good things about Autoaid, but it’s all contracted out to local garages so I imagine it varies. I get the AA cover as part of my Nationwide account, which is a great deal as it includes European cover with no age limits.

No complaints about either of the guys in the vans, it seems like they have to battle with the office to get stuff done.

FloridaNative
FloridaNative
25 days ago

You still have not convinced me to not want a Mondial.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
25 days ago
Reply to  FloridaNative

Same. Those are beautiful.

Citrus
Citrus
25 days ago

I feel like one of the questions on the Autopian application is “how many cars do you own that will definitely be broken at least once a year.”

Hey Bim!
Hey Bim!
25 days ago

Thanks Adrian! Always enjoy your writing.

Mortalcombatant
Mortalcombatant
25 days ago

When you found the master cylinder empty why didn’t you top it up yourself first and check if the clutch starts working again saving bunch of time at the same time?

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
25 days ago

So, like any genuine Italian, your Mondial loves aniversaries, uh?
Good that it won’t break your wallet (this week).

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago

So if you were expecting another £1800 bill like last year’s big breakdown, I’m sorry to disappoint you. For that you’ll have to wait until I get the air conditioning fixed. It needs a new compressor, but surprise surprise they’re no longer available either. Although I have found a place that can rebuild it locally, I expect the bill will be pretty ruinous, but I will get it sorted because although even when working it’s pretty ineffectual, things not working correctly kinda bug me.

That is an R-12 system so its going to be extra fun. Do you know what happened to the compressor? Are you sure that is the problem? I ask because I just had my own A/C system fail and it turned out not to be the compressor as I had feared but just the Schrader valves which were a super easy $10 DIY fix.

Assuming it is the compressor I don’t know if its as unobtainium as all that. It looks like Ferrari used either a York or a Sanden compressor both of which were (IIRC) also used by VW.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Not sure why an overheating engine would cause it to seize. It’s not cooled by the engine and I think an engine hot enough to affect the compressor like that would be your bigger problem. Were you running the A/C when the water pump failed?

Based on my admittedly limited knowledge I’m wondering if maybe what happened was your system iced up. Has the system ever been serviced? Water can get in there and unless it’s isolated by the dryer it can freeze, hydrolocking the system. If so and if you are very lucky the belt was loose enough to slip which may have prevented permanent damage.

I’d start by taking a good look at the A/C pump – is there any evidence the seals failed? Hopefully someone somewhere along the way put in some dye that will help see that. Assuming nothing is obviously wrong then I’d try turning the pump by hand. If it spins pay attention for bad bearings.

What is the switch you bypassed? The system pressure switch? If you had to bypass that you should still have pressure in the system. That’s a good sign.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

If its been recharged there’s also the chance whoever did it overfilled the system with either freon or oil and that is what locked up the compressor.

Even so it’s worth investigating whether the pump is OK after all. If it’s not then see if you can get away with a cheap aftermarket compressor. Those can be had for $120 USD or so.

If you’re putting in a new compressor you’ll probably need to retrofit to R-134 or R1234yf which I don’t think you can do with an R-12 compressor. You would also need to put in a bigger condenser to account for the lower efficiency of those refrigerants. That shouldn’t be a big deal as long as you can find one that fits.

Good luck!

Last edited 25 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

When the R-12 AC in my Honda Today failed I was able to buy a compressor and some other bits and bobs from a much newer Honda kei car; it was largely a bolt in (aside from a single pipe of a different diameter). Does Ferrari operate in the like manner? Couldn’t you just get the A/C compressor from, say, a 355?

Ha hahahah aha haha!

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
25 days ago

I guess you should treat your Ferrari like I treat my Series, keep a tub of fluids in the back. Bottle of brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, coolant and oil. If something shits the bed you’re at least able to limp home.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Life experience has taught me to carry all the fluids because, well… Old Land Rovers… I even have gear oil which I can also use for diff fluid in a pinch.

James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Sealed unopened bottles only as brake fluid is hydroscopic (absorbs water) which will render it useless. During my Triumph ownership days I had to keep an onboard supply of oil, coolant, distilled water, belts, contact cleaner, points. condensors, plugs, wire and connectors, fuses and a small toolkit for those rare instances of breakdown

Last edited 25 days ago by James Carson
James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Regular and special events?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

Sealed unopened bottles only as brake fluid is hydroscopic (absorbs water) which will render it useless.

You could also just boil off the water.

James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Oh bother, where’s my credit card.

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