400GT Tune Up

400GT Tune Up


I started work on the 400GT this week. It’s a new customer and it’s a car I found for him in Texas.
400GT engine

Although the valve covers are incorrectly painted red, the engine compartment looks complete. The car was running a little rough at startup, so I decided to start with a quick tune up by checking the ignition system.

These cars are notoriously tight with space in the engine compartment, and the distributors are stuffed pretty far under the windshield. Getting them out past the linkages was like getting a square peg through a round hole!

After the points were changed due to some minor pitting, I moved onto the spark plugs. A couple of the plugs were fuel fouled, so I’m sure this added to the rough running. The soft rubber sheathing Ferrari used to cover the ignition wires on this era of Ferrari gets dirty pretty quickly. The soft rubber on these white covers is almost porus and seems to stain easily. A good scrubbing will get the dirt out, but everyone with these wires struggles to keep them clean!

The brakes were a little spongy and the pads were a little worn, so new pads and a thorough brake bleeding restored the pedal feel.

These cars had the notorious Koni “Load Leveler” shocks. Ferrari installed them on all the 2+2s of this era, but these shocks were prone to leaks and failures. Koni no longer rebuilds these shocks and I only know John Bishop in Australia that rebuilds them. Luckily, there are a couple of other options. One is to install Gabriel Air shocks with a schrader valve to add air to change the ride height. The second choice is to buy a pair of Koni adjustable coil over shocks which this car already had installed. It’s an expensive update, but luckily it was done by the previous owner.

With the ignition system finished, I turned my attention to the carburetors. Like I said, the clearance on these cars is very tight and Francois has an elbow adapter just for this car.
air cleaner

Although I may have an adapter to check the balance of the carbs, I don’t have an easy way to remove the air cleaner on this engine! The only way to take one out or install one intact is to remove each velocity stack first! Luckily, these elements look pretty clean, so I won’t mess with them, but who would have believed changing an air filter on this Ferrari would take an hour!


Reminder: If you have a Ferrari related project, car, or idea you’d like to explore, I’d love to talk to you. I can also help if you’re thinking of buying or selling. This website represents what I love to do, and now it’s how I make a living, so if you’d like to do something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!

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