The Ferrari 360 is a very tough, impressive and convincing performance driving machine.

360 Buying Guide

Models There are two main models of the 360 these are;

1) Modena 2 seater fixed roof

2) Spider 2 seater full convertible

I have not based this guide with regard to the Challenge Stradale.

Both models are available as either;

1) 6 speed manual

2) F1 paddle shift 6 speed

Before we get started The Ferrari 360 is a very technical car, It would be fair to say that unless you plug into it with either an SD2 or SD3 Ferrari computer you really will not know anything about the car. It has very advanced ECU's (Engine Control Units) which is able to record, monitor and adjust the engine with exacting detail, it can record engine advance, emissions, timing, temperatures, oil pressure, rev range duration (handy to see if a car has been on a track) Fault logging and error codes plus lots lots more. The TCU (Transmission Control Unit) is a sealed read only control system for the clutch and gearbox which also logs mileage in addition to the dash board, obviously any variation between these 2 logging systems should start the alarm bells ringing that the car is not genuine, both units should be matched, the car will run if a different engine control unit is fitted but it will be flagged as an imposter. 

Engine The 360 engine is very tough, 400BHP of high reving Ferrari magic, they can have some problems of which these ones are the most common;

1) Running a bearing - This is very very rare but like all high performance engines the 360 unit requires regular servicing and oil changes, we have seen a few times that they can run a bearing on the crank, The titanium rods are replacement only and engine rebuilds can cost between £5000 and £12000 easily. These engines can still run ok and sound 95% correct so make sure you have a long test drive and listen carefully.

2) Tappets noise // Butterfly rattle - No two engines actually sound the same, some are very smooth & quiet and others seem to have a noisy chatter to them, Butterfly rattle is quite common but can also be a sign that the car has done track work or had a hard life but its not a cause for concern unless its very excessive then it will need to be dealt with as parts eventually work free. 

There was a variator recall for early models (changes the valve lift on banks 1 & 3) Please check this modification has been carried out. Variator failure can be very expensive as the valves will hit the pistons.

All in all they are a tough unit which should pull strongly from low revs with plently of torque and no vibration, if the engine feels a little tinny and vibrates when driven hard then this car has not had the care it should have had and walk away, The nice thing about 360's is that theirs plenty to choose from we have seen cars with 80k miles on them which run lovely, as always however try to buy the lowest mileage car you can to protect your residual value. Cam Belt servicing is relatively cheap as unlike the 348 /355 there is an access panel so the engine does not have to be removed, recent costs vary around £400 - £500.

Clutch The manual gearbox clutch can last between 28 and 34k Miles without problem, however the F1 depends how you use it, In the cars with an F1 clutch that are driven around a town / city almost of its life may have a shockingly low range as little as 8k miles, in comparision the same F1 car driven on mainly A and B roads can last around 18k to 24k miles. The TCU was updated (reprogrammed) in 2003 to give a better change and longer clutch life, these cars carry a slight premium over the early cars (however clutch life is almost identical), personally I love the early 360's and have no problem in recomending the early cars. You can update the TCU to the Challenge Stradale unit (but as mentioned before it will show a compatability flag and your car will no longer be original or be totally able to verify mileage) Clutch replacement is quite costly however and can cost upto £2000 if you car has not had the 6 bolt ring gear upgrade.

Gearbox is a very tough unit, The manual version of this has a cable linkage, this can sometimes be slighly difficult to get into gear (coming down the gearbox from 3rd to 2nd sometimes requires you to lift off the clutch and press it down again) This can either be a lubrication issue as the linkage runs next to the catalyst or in more worn linkages a bush may need replacing under the gearstick but all in all both systems are good. Try a couple of fast changes down the box especially 2nd and 3rd just in case a syncro has a fault.

Interior on both Modena and Spider are basically the same, There are three basic seat options, Manual Daytona these do not have an adjustable under leg support, Electric daytona these are the most comfortable seats in a 360 and carbon sports seats which are harder wearing than the daytona seats but are not as adjustable but give more support and driver feedback, I like all three but you need to try them to see which is for you. please note that if you have a flat battery and you have the electric daytona seats you will not be able to get to the correct jumping point for the car (see jump starting). Usual suspects to be aware of;

1) Bolster wear from either lots of getting in and out or lazy entry and exit of the car, can be reconnailised but try to buy well in the first instance, once a seat has been reconnalised its very difficult to do it again as nicely. Also some cars have optional beeding on the seats, this can tear very easily, please check condition carefully as they can be repaired well only once.

2) Grime in the metal trim areas or the early cars can be difficult to clean correctly - please contact us for help, the later cars had smooth finish interior panels which are very easy to maintain.

3) Door handles are famed for the outer operation cables popping off or retaining clip breaking as the cable seizes or gets tight, easy repair, (pending availability of the cables, sometimes its the inner door handle cable but mainly its the door handle, just get them fixed as they pop off or get stiff. Its better than being locked out of your own car.

4) All cars should have complete tool kits, and most have tyre inflator packs, space saver spare wheels are very rare on 360's, watch the front boot compartment for mold as they dont seal all that well, if a car has been kept outside the carpet will have mold particules in it.

Brakes 360 brakes are excellent, they should be convincing, not judder - even when hot and brake in a very controllable manner, Brakes are expensive but on cars like these you should take no chances. Make sure the servicing work has been done buy a reputable Ferrari dealer / specialist  as we have seen cars where short cuts have been taken and the brake fluid has not been bled through, this causes a blockage to form in the brake lines which could be very dangerous, and resulting in brake line replacement if we cannot clear the pipes.

Suspension The suspension has two settings Normal and 'Sport', the sport mode firms the damping of the shock absorber which can make the front end jump about a bit on rough surfaces, however it is excellent on very smooth surfaces. There should be no knocking noises when travelling over rough or poor surfaces, this sound is very metalic and is easy to spot on test drive, however if the car has been sitting for some time it may take a while to show this fault, this is due to the ball joints which hold the hubs top and bottom, They are a wearing item and are replaced around every 10k miles, they cost around £120 each (each hub has two) and need to be pressed in. It is very rare that we do not replace at least two ball joints on every car we see, but very rare that we need to replace both on each hub. If in doubt remove the wheel and check for lift within the ball joint physically.

Exterior The 360 has excellent panel fit and shut lines, these should be correct and the paint finish should be very smooth. The front bumper attracts most stone chips leaving the bonnet mostly unscaved, expect to see refurbished bumpers on most cars with 10k plus miles, check underneath the front bumper as they do get knocked about by speed humps, this should also be a good sign for the type of life the car has lead. The rear of the wheel arches and lower scoops have impact protection stickers (often turns a bit yellow) check that any remedial paint has not been put over the top of them, and they should be replaced with new after painting. There should be no signs of overspray on a Ferrari 360, paint finish and edging are very good.

All 360's have Aluminium panels which can corrode, this is shown by a slight bubbling in the paint or faint hairline cracks in the paintwork, most older cars will have very minor marks but if you come accoss several this car has been outside a lot, you also need to check the front scuttle panel, if the car has been damp for a while or left outside a lot this panel will be bubbling and cracks showing a white powder underneath, this needs to be dealt with asap correctly, but first check how bad it is, minor and early stages are not a main worry - but anything more will need proper refurbishment.

Jump starting Be very carefull, do not jump a 360 from its battery as you can cuase a lot of damage which will cost ££££'s to repair, behind the passenger seat is a cover which when removed has a chassis earth and live points (three main battery cables in red) - jump from here only! Call us for details.

Service History and HPI Checks Please read the 328 buying guide also as the same applies across the model range.

Alarm and Keys The 360 is supplied with two black alarm / entry fobs for regular use and a red master for reprogramming new fobs, If you have your alarm antivol booklet in the history it should have a small white folder with the alarm and radio codes inside, from these numbers you can also have new fobs programmed. If you have neither red fob or the code the alarm unit will have to be changed which is expensive as it has to be mated to the ecu again. try to get the spare ones if you can. When you sit in the 360 (rhd cars only lhd is opposite) their is a row of switches on the right hand side with ASR, sport etc etc written, underneath is a small led light - this is the alarm siren light if when the car starts and runs it stays on constantly the alarm battery is dead (usually from the car having a flat battery and also draining the alarm battery) this alarm battery will need to be replaced which officially has to be an alarm battery unit however a quick look on the internet will show you how to replace the batteries.

Roof Mechanism Spider only, the roof is a very neat total fold away system that works and fits very well. If a roof has been used a lot it can get a little slack, which can buffet, wear marks on the roof need to be looked at with detail as the material replacment costs around £7k alone. Most Roof faults are sensor related - usually incorrect positioning and may need the SD2 / SD3 to be plugged in to sort out. There was an update to the mechanism but most have been carried out by now on the early cars, check the roof cover panel when the roof is down for any scratches (centre line) that may point to a previous problem and check the cars history to see what was done.

Wheels are Magnesium, and can be quite costly to repair curb damage, if the rims have been damaged they need to be repaired quite quickly as Magnesuim is hygroscopic and will absorb water, this then causes the powder coating to come off the rim and start throwing wheel weights off as you drive down the road! we have an excellent company that can refurbish Magnesium wheels, powder coat and bake them for around £100 - £120 per rim.

Catalytic converters These are quite expensive items for any car, they need checking as a car with either poor cats or cats removed will fail an MOT, however we have also had reports on cars that run without the cats fitted may not be insured as they are not road legal, for the potential 5bhp of extra breathing capacity - its just not worth it.

Accident Damage make sure that you carry out a HPI check on Finance outstanding and any insurance accident payouts, if a Ferrari has a CAT C or D rating it will considerably affect its value, if you are considering a damaged repaired car it is essential that a Ferrari professional inspects the car for you.

Driving Experience Their has never been a Ferrari which you could jump into and drive so easily before, As I always say to our customers - if I am going for a drive in north Wales I will take a 355 because I will be in the right frame of mind and want to drive a rewarding car without loosing my licence, if I am going on a trip where I may encounter some traffic but still want to have 90% of the fun of a 355 I will jump into a 360 without question. but its not as straight forward as that, I love all Ferrari's but I have the luxury of being able to choose the right car for the mood and route. The 360 is a very fast car, very tough, reliable and special which is easy to get on with no matter what the circumstances are around you. They really are the best of both worlds.

WalkerSport will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this guide, please remember that this is a basic guide and not an manual, WalkerSport cannot be held liable for any omissions or incorrect advice given as this is our personal opinion, when WalkerSport purchase a car we carryout a thorough inspection followed up by a major mechanical check over.

360 Buying Guide

360 Buying Guide