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355 modification
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Posts: 1Registered: Sep 2014
Cappy
Junior Member


Monday, September 01, 2014 12:23 PM

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Anyone know if the 355 can be modified with the engine access panel of the 360, for access to the timing belts, etc.?
Thanks,

Cappy



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Posts: 1Registered: Oct 2014
davisath
Junior Member


Tuesday, October 07, 2014 10:50 AM

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Diagrams of the 360 design aspect you are inquiring about:

Chassis-

http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=618

Insulation-
http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=623

Fuel tanks-
http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=566

Interior-
http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=624

Shields (inspection panel #43)-
http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=648

First thing you should notice is that what you call an access panel is actually called an inspection panel, which may imply it's not a service panel either. If you look at the design around the inspection panel you can see that the entire central design around the car accommodates this design feature. It's an integral part of the overall design.

So you would need more than just the inspection panel. You would also likely have to relocate existing components to integrate these new components.

I have read a lot of posts over the years over the discussion of how to complete the full service on a F355 with convenience in mind. It's my opinion, but convenience is a relative and ambiguous term. I think owners that are looking for an easy and affordable service method are not seeing the big picture. A 355 that is in need of a major service right now is worth around $45K. If you have a completely serviced 355 that is highly maintained you have a car that has a potential market price of around $90K. The question I would be asking myself at this point would be, does it cost more than twice the value of the car to hack a hole in the firewall so that I can change the timing belts? Then the next thing I might think about is even if this were possible, would this really be an advantage considering that it is far easier to service the power assembly once out of the car. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that technicians encourage pulling the engine out of the 360 as well in spite of having an inspection panel.

I suppose what I'm saying is for the investment of integrating an inspection panel you could probably afford one of two options easily, the first being a 360 which as we know comes with an inspection panel, the second being many engine-out full services for your 355. Personally, I hate to see people that don't tend to these cars as I do, but at the same time do what you will to your 355 because in all likelihood that would make mine a little more valuable. You should always look to the end game the fewer premium condition 355's there are in the world, the better investment it is to maintain the car as it was designed and sold. Hope this helps.


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