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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 Spyder Cambo and since day one, it has had a serious vibration problem. It is more pronounced during the first 10 minutes of driving but never goes away.

The dealer replaced the front tires but it did no good. Now they have replaced the wheels and tires. It still is present.

This is not a normal vibration as I have a 2003 M3 with the same tires and it doesn't vibrate although the suspension is probably heavier than on the Spyder. I actually put the original Maserati Michelins on the M3 as they were virtually the same size and type of Pilot Sports and there was no problem on the M3 so it could not have been the tires.

Maserati wants to rebalance the tires but this has already been done several times in the past with no problem.
Has anybody else had this problem and what was the solution? I like the car but it the vibration makes using the rear view mirror nearly impossible.
 

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first of all, i apologize if this is a little bit scattered, i get that way sometimes.

you said they replaced the front wheels and tires, but what about the rear? how was this isolated to the front wheels? is the vibration strongest in the steering wheel, and less pronounced in the rest of the car, or vice-versa?

i would think they should stop trying to blame the tires after putting new ones on.. replacing the wheels shouldnt have been necessary if they were able to balance them with the new tires.. and after both of those things having been done, unless they didnt balance the new tires on the new wheels, there should be no reason that this is even still considered as a reason for a vibration.

anything that is so bad that it makes the rearview mirrror unusable without heavy shake in the steering wheel should have been ruled out as wheels or tires right away as well. (at least the fronts)

if it is heaviest in the steering wheel, than i would check front rotors for an out of round situation, or just general inspection to make sure everything is within tolerances for wear, and installed properly.

i would suspect something in the driveline. does the vibration change pitch with engine speed or road speed? if engine speed, then it is probably before the gear box, and you should start with the clutch and related bearings, which are at the front of the car. the driveshaft is encased in a loadbearing tube (because of the clutch being up front), which would be the next piece to check. i have heard some concerns about a bearing within this tube going bad, so definately have that checked out. (this is presuming engine is sound, which their magic software would be able to diagnose in a few minutes at most)

the transmission is a possibility, but i would go to it last.

if it varies with roadspeed, it is most likely post gearbox. that would mean brakes, or axle shafts, or again wheels. i would suspect that since it changes after the car has been running for 10 minutes (running or driving?) that it probably changes with heat expansion, so that would be another factor to consider.


let me know if any of this applies, and i would be happy to help try to diagnose the problem
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I apprciate the input and will pursue your ideas with Maserati in NJ and the dealer. I was also wondering if other owners had similar problems.

The wheels were replaced as they were found to have a minor rim bend. (all four of them). Several months ago, they replaced the front tires but now all four tires were replaced at one time (i. e. the fronts are on their 3rd set and the rears on their 2nd).

The orginial change in the front matched the Michelin Pilot Sports that came with the car but now I have Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position S-3s on the car upon the recommendation of Tire Rack.

Thanks again for the input.
 

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Is the vibration you are referring to simply cowl shake? My 04 Spyder CC has pronounced cowl shake (which I assume means the vibration of the steering wheel as well as shaking of the entire front end of the car which I notice most as vibration of the rear view mirror) over rough pavement but it smooths out on more even pavement.

If this is something else, then please igonre this post. :)

D.Min
Tulsa, OK
04 Porsche 911 GT3
04 Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa
05 Hummer H2 (supercharged!)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Normal cowl shake is understandable with a convertible. The problem is excessive cowl shake throughout the car when cold for the first few miles in the morning. I have since found out that there were changes to the '03 and later models. I've driven both an '03 and an '04 and yes they have some cowl shake but when cold, the amount is about the same as when the '02 is hot.

The key term is EXCESSIVE cowl shake.

It is interesting that you have a GT3. I had one on order but cancelled it for the Maserati.
 

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Sarasota-

Sorry if I came across as Captain Obvious; I was trying to figure out the nature of the vibration to which you were referring. I have heard that the cowl shake for the 02 model was indeed excessive, but I am not sure if what you are experiencing is "normal" for the 02's or if there is indeed a problem. The cowl shake in my 04 is still quite a bit more than I am used to in a convertible (having previously owned an BMW M Roadster, Z4 and Z8) and the first time I drove the Maser it was a bit disconcerting. I can see how even more vibration would be quite irritating.

The GT3 is a fantastic car.... But, and it is a big, round, full-bodied but, it is a focused track car that is drivable on the street. It is quite rough on rough pavement and can really punish you on rough city streets. It accelerates like nothing I've ever driven (although I can't say that I've driven many of the high-end sports cars). On a twisty 1.8 mile track, I was turning laps about 4 seconds faster in the GT3 than the Maserati. Having said that, the Maserati (and H2) are what I use as daily drivers. The H2 is a business vehicle, so I use it for work. But the Maser is pure joy to drive even on rough city streets. The suspension, even in sport mode, is what I consider very soft (after riding in the GT3).

I am considering purchasing a Carrera GT from the local dealer that is getting one in June '05. If I do get that one, it should prove to be an other-worldly experience.

D.Min
Tulsa, OK
04 Porsche 911 GT3
04 Maserati Spyder CC
05 Hummer H2 (supercharged!)
 

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Vibration

I had a similar promlem on my 3200GT. It seemed like a badly out of balance tire.

It turned out to be a suspension alignement problem.

With the tracking slightly out the wheels were "shimmying" as the tires scuffed the road.

Not only did the vibration go away after a good alignement check, the handling and comfort improved amazingly.

I have found that after changing tires a complete adjustment is essential. Otherwise, that car often handles like a pig.

Unfortunately, very few tire dealers have the equipment to do a proper 3D adjustment. Even some Maserati/Ferrari maintenance specialists are using equipment of dubious capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 3200GT was not imported to my knowledge into the USA but I believe it is a similar car to the current series. It is quite interesting that you blame the problem on alignment. I don't see the scuffing marks on the tires but will check this out.

The feeling when the car is cold is one of extreme out of balance (of the tires/wheels). As this goes away after a few miles, I now believe (with the local dealers confirmation) that these are due to flat spots from sitting.

The problem is that this is causing excessive shaking/vibration and that it is being transmitted through the car. I've now come to the conclusion that it occurs in all 2002 Spyders but that Maserati corrected the problem in later vehicles. Evidnetly, they are aware of the problem but I did not buy a Beta version to get out the bugs.
 
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