The Start-Up Procedure

The Start Up Procedure

I didn’t work on the car today. That’s right, no work. Instead, I took my 330 America out on this fabulous Fall day for a drive! We both deserved it, and it was well worth the day off.

A lot of you have asked me to share my impressions of driving my car, and I’ve been collecting my experiences and thoughts for this website. I guess the best way to start is with the start-up procedure for a Vintage Ferrari. I’ve created a MP3 file for you to download so you can hear the sound of a Vintage Ferrari firing up to life on a cool Autumn Morning. Click here to download it.

In the first 18 seconds, you hear the electric fuel pump priming the carburetors.
After pumping the accelerator pedal three times, I press down on the ignition switch.
You hear the familiar Ferrari starter-groan, as it spins the twelve cylinders to life.
She catches pretty quickly at 20 seconds because the ignition system is pretty new, and in good working order.
At 25 seconds, I can see the oil pressure is up, and healthy, but it’s too cold for her to want to idle, so I give a little more throttle.
I keep the throttle feathered at about 2000 rpm, high enough to keep her lit, but low enough not to stress the cold engine.
At 54 seconds, I lower the revs to see if she’ll idle, but it’s still a little cold, so I bring the revs back up.
By 1:06 seconds, she’s warmed up, so I let her down to a gentle idle.
You can just hear the electric fuel pump clicking in the backround, but once the engine is running, the pump can be turned off to let the mechanical pump, driven off the engine, do the fuel delivery.

There has been some discussion among Ferrari owners whether to use the choke, but I’ve been advised by Francois not to. The control cable and linkages that choke the three carburetors often go out of adjustment, and cause the engine to run poorly when the choke is no longer needed, so using the choke for the short period of warm up and risking a poor mixture the rest of the time doesn’t seem worth it. My engine didn’t take too long to settle down to an idle on this 45 degree day, so it works for me without a choke.

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