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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping to reach as many Maserati Coupe/Spyder owners with Cambiocorsa (F1) transmission, as possible, and would like to hear your experiences, with the aim of summarizing the info for Maserati in Italy.

A number of us have encountered problems with the latest software update - loss of power, engine no longer matches revs during downshifts, etc, particularly for 2002 cars using updated software.

Among the changes myself and Brad have noticed after the upgrade:
- Creep Mode is gone (no more beep when you pull Down in 1st)
- Modulated (limited) engine torque and clutch engagement on launch
- Sport Mode shift speed is slower
- Engine no longer pulls strong past 7,000 RPM
- Engine revs more slowly, takes longer to reach top RPM range, especially in 1st and 2nd gear
- Engine cut-out is 7400 rpm now, which is below the redline. Used to be higher.
- Does not always blip to match RPM on downshifts, especially at high RPM (e.g. 5000), even in Sport Mode. On occasion, rear wheels lock.
- Dyno showed a drop from 335RWHP to 316RWHP


For background info on the above issues, refer to this thread on FerrariChat:
http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21209

And these 2 threads on MaseratiForum.Net
http://maseratiforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=129&sid=faee3957b51fc109b2bd47f544742e05
http://maseratiforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=178&sid=faee3957b51fc109b2bd47f544742e05

I already have my own info, and Brad’s. It would be tremendously helpful, if all owners post a brief note indicating their experience with regard to the above.

The more data that I can gather, the better. I will be summarizing the problems with the software upgrade and sending this off to Maserati in Italy via my dealer. The idea is to help Maserati understand as much of the specifics of the problem as possible.

Please help by sharing your experiences.

Thanks!

- Jon
 

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2002 cambio trans

Have read prior posts re. shift up-date for the 2002. Just talked to my dealer. He said some of the up-dates are not reversable! scary! some are. Their experience is that most folks who have had the up date are less than satisified and often return to stock. Dealer claims that it does cure the slow engagement of 1 St gear but hampers other shifts and high end torque. Also claims that the faster engagement of 1 St can be a detriment when parking as the car has a tendency to "leap" a problem in a small garage like mine!
I elected to stay with the orig. shift program untill such time as the factory fully refines the up-dates.
Cliff, Prescott, Arizona
 

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I own an 02 Spyder CC and according to my dealer I have the latest update.

However, I still have:
- Creep Mode
- Blip on downshifts in Sport Mode

So I think one confusion among owners is to tell which updates they have, which can be reversed (from a particular version), and what the updates are supposed to feature.

Cheers,

Dietrich, Miami Beach
 

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Does anyone know if the performance ECU chip upgrade from Powerchip reverses or replaces the software upgrades that everyone is complaining about?

Marc
 

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Not 100% sure but I doubt it, The chip seems strictly for engine management while the upgrade from Maserati is for transmission
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, PowerChip will not "reverse" the changes done by Maserati.

The Cambiocorsa cars have 2 drivetrain management chips, an ECU - engine control unit, and a TCU - transmission control unit.

The technical details that I got from PowerChip indicate that the main thing PowerChip does - is modify the ECU with a different spark advance curve optimized for 93 Octane fuel for a claimed 19 hp increase. Given that PowerChip does not touch the TCU, there should be no changes to how the car shifts gears.

All of the upgrades supplied by Maserati are applied to both the ECU and TCU as a "matched set"

- Jon
 

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Jon,

This morning I took our Spyder back to the dealer for a couple of niggles left over from the June visit.

I spoke to the Service Advisor about my dissatisfaction with the apparent power reduction following the update they applied in June. We reviewed the printouts of the dyno runs showing a drop from 335RWHP down to 316RWHP.

My experience with this dealer (and this individual in particular) has been great thus far. True to form, he didn't make any attempt to deny the problem nor explain it away - he simply stated that Maserati's goal with the update was to bring all cars up to 2004 operating specs.

He thanked me for bringing along objective data for him to review with the mechanic and said they'd look for any additional updates that Maserati may have available. I truly believe that if Maserati has any information, my dealer will let me know. At the very least, I feel better that objective information is now in Maser's hands.

The car should be finished on Wednesday. I'll update here if there's any new information.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Brad

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that your dealer is being responsive. My dealer has been pretty helpful too. They had Maserati NA

I sent off the info that I gathered, to Maserati Italy, about 2 weeks ago. I have not heard anything since. I am guessing that most of Italy is on holiday in August!

I will post an update as soon as I hear anything from my dealer or Maserati.

Best

- Jon
 

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My experience with the Cambiocorsa software is horrendous. (Ps, I owned a 456GTA and have taken my son to the facility in Modena so I am definately a fan and wanted this experience to work) I bought the car for my wife last Christmas and she likes the way it drives and the styling - except for all the transmission problems.

From the first drive on Christmas day she noticed the car hesitating/stalling on launch. We contacted our dealer in Dallas immediately after purchase and they kept assuring us the problems would be fixed. So, we waited patiently. Big mistake - now, 8 months later and at least 5 visits to the shop seems to have only traded some F1 problems for new ones while the launch issue is still unaddressed.

Problems:

Launch (normal): car hesitates/stalls until 2000 rpms are reached. At least 4 friends have driven the car and without prompting, each one asked what was wrong with it when leaving from a stop sign or light.

Launch (full throttle): car jerked drastically (finally fixed after 3 or 4 visits to dealer and a part sent to Maserati NA for replacement)

Shifting: Maserati technician tweaked this summer and now the clutch slips when accelerating hard and shifting at 4000-5000 rpms. It also is worse when down shifting. I took it back and they said it is in spec!!!

Check engine light: came on several times. Dealer even returned the car once with this light lit in their parking lot

ODBCII (sp?) light: on once or twice and car idled very roughly

Convertible top: frayed and tearing at the fold point

Convertible deck piece rubbing and leather worn off - been on order for over 4 months

2 recalls

AC unit fix

Several other misc. issues (a lot in total for a brand new car)

I drove the car with a Maserati North America employee and he literally counted 2 seconds each time we launched from a stop sign or light before the car reached 2000 rpms and then took off strongly. When he could not adjust this long lag away he took the position that this is not a design defect but rather a "feature." I asked why the 575M F1 didn't have this "feature", or any other sports car I have ever driven. He said this car can't be compared to others. . . etc. because of the transmission. My BMW and Cayene Turbo have the shift/automatic option and they take off perfectly normal from a stop when driving in manual shift mode.

My dealer has been sold but before the sale their service person told me that many of their customers have complained about this and brought their cars back. He said Maserati told him they are working on a "fix" but they won't give him a date. I asked Maserati about this and they told me there is not a problem to fix. Based on our experience and these postings from a lot of other owners they shouldn't deny there is a problem.

I wonder if Maserati NA's internal technical documents and engineering documents will show there is a problem? Telling their service reps they will fix it later, but denying this to the customers who dropped $100,000 is unacceptable.

Any advice on how to fix the F1 issues will be GREATLY appreciated!

Rich
 

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Jon,

No hard information from Maserati to my dealer, at least while my car was in the shop. I'll be mentioning the power loss (and my desire to have this resolved) in the Customer Survey that typically is sent following each dealer visit.

He did keep copies of my before/after dyno runs to share with Maserati.

BTW, my dealer says Maserati is fanatical about follow-up on those surveys. He's always contacted if anything is marked less than Excellent by a customer.

Brad
 

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Rich,
Sory to hear about your problems. I know this may not make you feel any better, but I have a 2003 Cambio Spyder and have had Zero problems with it. I've had it for 4 months now, drive it almost everyday, and it keeps getting better. One of these days I am not going to make it home after work since me drive has been getting longer and longer. :)

I'm not saying you don't have some mysterious mechanical problems, especially since you are getting the trouble lights. Something isn't right.

If they do get your car to a mechanically sound condition, I know that the best improvement my car has made in shift smoothness and launching came from me getting to know the car and working with it. I too took my car back to the dealer the day after taking delivery because of the delay at launch. I found that double stabbing the throttle gets it off the line much quicker. By double stabbing, I mean tipping in the throttle momentarily at about 25% to 2000rpm (tires just start to move), then flooring it. By doing this, I can roast the tires from a stop.

By just punching it, I too have to wait (maybe 1 second) before the car gets going. That 1 second can seem like an eternity. And if MSP is ON, then it will jerk, hesitate, go, hesitate, etc trying NOT to spin the tires. It's horrible - so I don't floor it from a stop or I turn MSP OFF before aggressive launches.

Keep in mind that I don't have the software upgrade, my dealer actually recommended that I did not update it, stating that being an aggressive driver that I am I'd like the car better without it. They were right.

Sounds like you have some mechanical problems that need to get sorted out, and I hope it turns out for you. I'm also afraid of what the dealer might have done. Ever try to tweak something only to make it worse, and deviate so far from your starting point that you can't get back to where you started? Happens to me frequently in setting up my race car. Finally I get to the point where I have to consult my notes and re-set the entire suspension geometry to base line and start over. I don't think dealerships take great notes on where they started before tweaking sensors and adjusting clutch slippage. They may have made a small problem worse.

Best of luck!
 

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Thanks for your help Jon,

My wife's car does take off strong when she floors it and the traction control is off. It is the driving around town without having to floor the gas that is very frustrating combined now with the odd shift slippage.

Best regards,

Rich
 

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I am a little nervous that Maserati might go the way some others seem to be heading with not having a traditional Manual even being offered on some sports cars. Have written a couple of letters to Maserati NA about this as I am very interested in getting the next generation Spyder in 06. So what I was wondering is for you people with Cambio would you stick with that type of transmission for your next car or would you go back to a 3rd pedal? After my experience driving my M3 SMG, Even though liking it, I still went with the GT when I ordered my Spyder
 

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Drove a stick for the last 20 years and thought I always would but the F1 convinced me to buy the Cambiocorsa. Yes, it's not perfect or as smooth as having a third pedal but when you want to step on it, it outperforms a normal clutch. I don't regret getting the CC.
 

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I loved the stick in my Acura NSX. however I would still choose the F1 paddle shifters now that I've spent a couple months with my 04 coupe. It's definitely a little quirkier at low speeds and you can't really coast like you can by pressing in the clutch on a manual. On the other hand, I find it easier to stay in the powerband since all it takes is one finger.

The nice thing is that you get faster and more reliable manual shifting with the CC. Learn to use your left foot to brake. It makes transitions much quicker.

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update

Performance with Updated Software

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just an update in case this info helps other Maserati owners...on performance with updated software:

Clutch engagement from a stop is much better. The car is vastly improved for stop/start driving. I no longer dread getting stuck in a traffic jam.

My dealer and Ferrari/Maserati North America have both gone over my car now. Careful adjustment of Cambiocorsa parameters (incl. POS - Point of Slip) helped both clutch engagement from a stop, and blipping when downshifting. Basically, they hooked up a data acquisition laptop to the car, and then drove it a bit. Then they used the gathered data to recalibrate parameters relating to both clutch engagement, and blipping.

Now, the car does not blip as heartily as it did with the original 2002 software, but blips enough to match rpm to road speed in most situations. Also, the new software is much, much, kinder to the clutch.

As for power/torque curves...my sense (along with Brad) is that the latest software reduced "over-rev" power. I.e., power drops off more quickly beyond the 7000 rpm peak. But I am not too concerned as the power curve up to 7000 rpm is still as strong as ever.

A couple of impromptu comparisons with a strong running Ferrari 355 GTB (w/Tubi) revealed that the Maserati (stock exhaust) had similar to slightly better acceleration through 2nd-3rd-4th gears. Also, the Maserati walked away from a Testarossa on full chat in 2nd-3rd gear acceleration.

So the car is definately performing up to par.
I can't wait to get it back from storage in April!

- Jon
 

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Jon, Glad to see you have gotten things straightened out with your car. Also sure looks like Maserati NA and dealership has been very helpfull. I have yet to be back there since the day I met you when I picked up my car, Can still hear that Porsche salesman warning me that I will be making frequent trips back for all the problems I was suppose to have. As of now looks like I will just be going back for oil change and sticker when this dam winter nears an end. Since you track your car have you considered the Power Chip? I was not planning on it as usually by now I would already be thinking of my next car but I see nothing coming out that I would rather have at this point. So figure I will look into the Chip. Would love to hear from anyone who has gone with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
scott said:
Since you track your car have you considered the Power Chip? I was not planning on it as usually by now I would already be thinking of my next car but I see nothing coming out that I would rather have at this point. So figure I will look into the Chip. Would love to hear from anyone who has gone with it.
No PowerChip for me. Too many negatives for my liking:
- They do not supply a replacement chip that *I* can simply swap. The way I understand it is that I need to send them the current chip/computer and they will mount a new chip. My car is under warranty and I am not too keen to send off my engine electronics to them for modification.
- No independent verification of power gains.
- Way too expensive at approx. $2K. I can get a chip for most cars, e.g. a F355 for around $600.
- The power gain is from 2 things - more aggressive ignition advance, and optimized air/fuel ratio. This will make the car more sensitive to fuel quality, engine temperature, and will make the car run hotter at high RPM (from leaner mixture). A lot of trade offs for a claimed 25hp gain on a 400hp car.

I would get a Tubi before I got a Powerchip. The only tradeoff there is noise and $3K cost - and many people prefer the Tubi noise!

My 2 cents

- Jon
 

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Jon-

I had my car in for a check-up in mid-January and the dealer adjusted my clutch/CC software as well. I notice significant improvement off of the line with respect to clutch engagement and I am very pleased with it.

I, too, share some hesitation with respect to "chipping" a normally aspirated car. From what I have read, the performance gains from chipping a normally aspirated car are far smaller than for a supercharged or turbocharged engine. Plus, the stock Maser gets me in enough trouble on the road as it is!
 

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I just bought a 2002 CC (w/Tubi) and picked it up 3 days ago. Love the car and have noticed nothing out of the ordinary (but don't have much backgroud to go on). I did have my service advisor print out all the previous maintenance records and the last ECU software update was in 7/30/2004 under Campaign #90. Is there a newer one than this? Better yet, is there a list of all the "Campaign's" there have been thus far? My up-shifts and down-shifts are crisp in Sport mode. Non-sport mode is a different story, noticable lag, especially down-shifting.

Tom, Alexandria, VA
 
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