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Can the replacement parts be done before the variators fail for less money, for exame can the cam coves be changed for the ones with the check valve etx be fitted, without the retiming of the engine which seems to be the fiddly expensive part of the job?
 

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If it were me with that diagnosis, I would ask the shop for a quote to do the variator upgrade & check valves at the same time. When the covers for the cams and front of the engine are removed enough to expose the solenoids, the variator is right there also. So if the variators are not replaced then, all that same labor will have to be paid again if the variators have to be replaced later. The variator parts are not cheap, but the labor is what drives the total cost. Could also depend upon how long you wish to keep the car: it might go quite a way with only the solenoid work before the variators start acting up.

I have a pic of what this much disassembly looks like, if you are interested.
Wait, are you absolutely sure that you have to remove the front to access the solenoids?
 

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I'm pretty sure someone like Jason will say for sure, but take a look & see what you think. Solenoids directly rear of the variators, right? So maybe for solenoids-only repair just removing the cam covers would suffice. Disclaimer, I am just going by what I see in this pic and what I see peering with a scope down into the oil filler hole in mine's cam cover; I have never done this repair like the pro's have.

Most of my comment was meant for variator replacement. Without removing the front cover, how would you get to all the variator fasteners without rotating the cam?

Thanks for calling me out on this.
 

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That image is off a dry sump...You have to remove the front cover to replace the variators wet or dry sump....You can replace the solenoids in either wet or dry sump by just removing the cam cover..Replacing just the solenoid is not the proper repair in either case...Jason
 

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Sorry to ask again but... is there a cheaper preventative way of stopping this problem happening, for example if the new cam covers are fitted before the rattle starts to appear, can it be done without having to change parts that require the engine to be retimed as this seems to be a big part of the labour bill and cost of the job
 
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No, you would really need to just do the complete job...I can tell you that this thread is entirely screwed up because people are posting about wet and dry sump cars together and we keep going back and forth...Each one is different with different problems and repair solution...Jason
 

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Just responding back from earlier comments on issues I believe may be related to the variators/solenoids but not sure. Likely going to the dealer this week. As a few others have said, I have only had rattle on start-up a few times in almost 3 years. But started getting a lower-volume fluttering sound coming from the engine at low RPM range as I decelerate to a light while driving or after I rev the engine in P or N and the car returns to idle. The car now will also stumble as the idle settles and you can hear the fluttering increase in volume if the revs are higher. If you rev high enough - the engine will die as it tries to return back to idle. Note no codes were thrown - i did this yesterday and it stumbled and died twice upon trying to return to idle - and no error codes thrown.

Just commenting as others tie the variator issue to the rattle on start-up. I believe this is related but I almost never get the rattle on start-up. I'll learn more from the dealer but I'm sure they will tell me it needs the variator job unless something else could cause this.

I'll also try and post up a sound/audio file so others can hear this as well.

'08 QP Automatica so wet sump 4.2L V8. 38K Miles. Not a daily driver for me. Garage kept and garage is heated.

AndrewT
 

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Car is back from the dealer - they didn't determine a diagnosis and wanted $3200 to get one!! That would be to remove the front cover and inspect and try and figure out whats wrong. I take that as "we don't know what we're doing because it didn't throw a code so we have no computer to check". I asked for an estimate to repair assuming it was the variators and they quoted 40+hrs labor and over $9K all in. Ridiculous.

Assuming its the variators, I've seen bills closer to $4K to have independents simply replace the components (no sending out to machining for the check valve install - I'm not sure if only dealers have access to that fix or if others can?). At this point I'm thinking thats the better path - if it lasts another 7-8 years and then happens again I'm still ahead from the dealership estimates (this is the second one I've received - the first was slightly lower but still above $8K).

We need a dealership to specialize in this service and then run promotions at a reasonable rate to cater to this repair - they would get all the business. You could even afford to have cars shipped in with the savings people would have from these higher estimates from some dealerships who don't seem to even know what they are doing (or are good at playing dumb when you mention the variator issues). And I have no trust with any of the dealerships I've been to with this car. I can't believe they are all bad but maybe they are.....

AndrewT
 

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The part about 40 hours of labor is about right, from what I have read here. I guess some dealers want to move past the risk of a fix needing re-do's for a discontinued model QP. I say not all dealers are like this, maybe only those with limited tech experience on this issue.

Some independents can do the full repair. Check this forum.

Second opinions are always a good idea.

If you are serious about shipment, the best ones to use are: Reliable, Horseless Carriage, or Intercity.

KTBD
 

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Certainly in the UK independents can do the full repair. I've had it done.

Personally I'd not go for a replacement. Not even sure if the parts are available. I had a quick look and all I could find was the complete head. If I was buying another car in the range that is prone to this fault, I'd want a full document of the repair, and / or be negotiating the price to include one. The failure does not seem to be particularly milage related (mine didn't fail until they were about 80k miles)

And I've probably just increased the screwedup factor of the thread. Sorry, Jason
C
 
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Catman,,lol....An independent can do the job...We charge about $5500.00 for all the updated parts and machine work....About 20 hours labor...Once the parts are updated you should not have the problem again...Please note is this for wet sump car.. Jason
 

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Thx Jason - your rate is reasonable and I'd pay that. Your labor hours is half the dealer estimate which is what i don't get. Maybe I see them charging a higher labor rate but how can they say its twice as much work/time?

BTW - does anyone have the contact info for the place that does the machining for Maserati? I think it is Napa area if I recall? I'm wondering if my local independent could do the replacement work and have the cam cap sent to them directly for the machining and check valve install??

AndrewT
 
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Honestly, if you have to give all that information to your local place than you are off to a bad start...They should know all that if they have done one before...Jason
 
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Guys, if you want to see what makes a wet sump car make noise on start up, then here you go..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZbaDZPrl_0

The locking plunger is not locking...Therefore, when you start the car the stator (120 degree) piece is rocking about, in that chamber until it gets oil pressure..The factory fix is to fix the cam caps to keep oil in the VVT unit and revised VVT(Variator) with a large spring to make sure the unit goes back to the base position so the plunger can lock the unit until the next start.. Jason
 
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