Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

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Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:37 pm

Some Non-Audi Content!

So, my wife has been angry with me since I converted the cabriolet to a 5 speed since she can't drive a manual.

This car showed up on the facebook group "Obscure Cars for Sale" and it was about 10 minutes from me so I figured I'd check it out.
It's an auto and a convertible and it was cheap so I figured what the hell.

I bought it earlier this week and brought it home last night.

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The story is this: I bought it from a Maserati tech who bought it from a guy about 3 years ago. The car was that guy's dad's for a long time but he died I think and the son ended up with it. The car wasn't running right so he brought it to the dealership here. They don't work on this era Maserati but one of the techs bought the car.

It had a stuck choke and wasn't running quite right. The tech took the Carb out and sent it away for rebuild but never did anything more with the car.

I got it with the freshly rebuilt carb and a spare "bad" carb as well. Apparently the issue was a sticking choke.

These were the first production cars to come with two turbos. This is a 2.5L V6 twin turbo with about 190 HP. Nothing crazy but a rare car and kinda fun

Overall the car is pretty nice. About 36,000 miles. The interior is really cushy. Soft nice leather. The top is new which was a big plus for me having gone through replacement with my cabriolet before. A few dings in the doors but overall the paint is good. A little rust right at the headlights but nothing crazy.
We'll see if this was a huge mistake - it didn't cost too much so I should be okay I hope!
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby scubagli » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:01 pm

The newest Grand tour they get three of these, pretty funny. Cool car btw.

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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:59 pm

Yeah I saw that. It was great

I started digging into the car yesterday and I'm going to start with replacing all the vacuum lines first. There has to be 30' of vac lines and half of them are cracked.
Silicone hoses to the rescue!
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Aktapod » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:07 am

Nice! I also saw this crop up on that FB page and briefly daydreamed about it. Super rad, man.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby gabriel.b » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:15 am

Found this

http://www.auto-italia.com/Maserati/

the only place I could find with parts for this car (That has a website at least)
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:36 am

Aktapod wrote:Nice! I also saw this crop up on that FB page and briefly daydreamed about it. Super rad, man.


Yeah, for $1000 why not right?
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:37 am

gabriel.b wrote:Found this

http://www.auto-italia.com/Maserati/

the only place I could find with parts for this car (That has a website at least)


I saw them too. I have an email in to the guy about timing belt kits. I want to do that soon.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby A1QSHIP » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:20 pm

8-) I was a service manager for these cars back in The Day. Replace all the fuel lines & carry a fire extinguisher with you. Other than that these are cool cars.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:17 pm

I've already put a big puddle of gas on the driveway!
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby AudiSport4000 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:52 pm

scubagli wrote:The newest Grand tour they get three of these, pretty funny. Cool car btw.

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lol, thats the first thing I thought of when I saw this. Awesome!
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Silverswift85 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:57 pm

Good luck on your project. Looks like its gonna be expensive.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby gabriel.b » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:26 pm

A1QSHIP wrote:8-) I was a service manager for these cars back in The Day. Replace all the fuel lines & carry a fire extinguisher with you. Other than that these are cool cars.


Well, that kinda kills the appeal. lol
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:33 pm

I had a fire extinguisher in the V8 coupe at all times - I'll move it to this car
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby A1QSHIP » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:14 pm

Grillage wrote:I had a fire extinguisher in the V8 coupe at all times - I'll move it to this car

I keep one in my Coupe, my S6 & my truck.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:48 pm

I did some digging in the engine today and found a major problem.

The intake passages were totally full of coolant!

Image
In the pic the intake is the two passages on the left. The spark plug goes in the hole on the right - which is also full

The choke on this car has coolant running through it and the carb had been disconnected from the car. The two hoses had bolts in them presumably to keep coolant from leaking out and they didn't work. I had noticed some coolant on the intake manifold when I would open the car after a day or so. There was coolant totally pooled up on both sides where the intake hits the heads so I am assuming the coolant seeped past the intake manifold gaskets and filled them and the cylinders up.

Is this game over for an engine? I've never dealt with anything like this before.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Sparkyjack » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:20 pm

Okay what fits?
1.8t, 07k
Another v8?
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:35 pm

I had the same evil thought.
It has to stay automatic. Maybe 1.8 with an auto? I think it might still be okay. We'll see.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby ChrisAudi80 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:46 am

:shame:
I can remember any time I mentioned Maseratis are cool (the Quattroporte or the Ghibli :drool: )that everybody said stayTF away from the Biturbos. Complete disaster cases.

Anyway, you found the fuel leak, a coolant leak (the first of many?) and the problem with the carb. I would have thought these were injected though...

Anyway, have fun. It's something different.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby gabriel.b » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:29 am

ChrisAudi80 wrote:Anyway, you found the fuel leak, a coolant leak (the first of many?) and the problem with the carb. I would have thought these were injected though...


The later ('89 and on I believe) were injected. And looks like thats the only motor swap that would be easy
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:39 am

'87 forward were fuel injected

However, I've made a bunch of progress the last couple weeks.

I was able to confirm that there is VERY minimal mixing of coolant and oil. It's clear that the coolant came through the intake manifold.
I cleaned out the cylinders as much as I could and ran a boroscope in there. No visible issues at all. So I am putting it together as is and giving it a shot.

I am eliminating the extremely complicated EGR system entirely as well as the other EPA mods to bring this back to the Italian version of the engine.

The Carb is the least desirable version with the coolant choke but I'm going to make sure it runs at all before I mess with swapping that out for the 84/85 version with a manual choke.

I did the timing belt service yesterday and timed the distributor as well.
Image

Now cleaning everything up, waiting on a new thermostat and a couple coolant hoses that broke, and will put it all back together next weekend to try and start it up!

Worst case scenario from the Coolant intrusion was that it would rust the crank and bearings but the oil was coolant free so I'm good there. The remaining threat (which is real) is that the rings could be rusted or compromised and will break. That would destroy the cylinder walls and likely be game over. I'm rolling the dice but I think I'll be okay. Got all liquid out and put a bit of Marvel Mystery Oil in each spark plug hole to help lube everything.

If all else fails, I'll find a later FI engine
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:02 am

Got everything back together this weekend and tried to get it to run. The good news is that all the electronics work. starter, etc. I have spark.

However it wouldn't quite turn over even with starter fluid for more than a second or so.

Also I had a backfire back up through the carb which is obviously an issue.
I did a compression test and found cylinder #6 (it's always the last one you test) had low compression. A leak down test revealed that both intake valves are leaking. they are both opened and closed from a single lifter (cups that sit on the end of the valves rather than hydraulic lifters. weird design)

So now I'm going to pull the heads after all and see what's up.
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1994 Cabriolet - 5 speed

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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby elaw » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:29 pm

Grillage wrote:A leak down test revealed that both intake valves are leaking.

Maybe they were open while the engine sat for X years, and there's some rust on the seat and mating surface of the valves?

If that's the case it should be an easy fix... a little work with a wire wheel and lap them.
Be alert! America needs more lerts.
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:40 pm

I sure hope it's that simple. It's clear now that the best way to get the heads off is with the engine out of the car... :bangshead:
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby Grillage » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:15 pm

I got everything loose but the head is stuck on there. This is driving me freaking crazy!
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Re: Ben's Maserati Biturbo Spyder

Postby themagellan » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:55 am

came into this thread.

god help you


:huh:
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