New V12 Daily Driver (Ferrari 550 Maranello)

The 1UZFE EGR Delete Kit is available for sale here.

spf_lexus

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Murrieta California
A stock one was already 4" lower than your Lexus? Wow. Mine has been lowered about 1 1/4", so I wonder if I could drive it under your Lexus!

It was sort of funny looking "down" at him hah. I sat in a Ferrari once and it was like I just sat down on the pavement due to the extremely low center of gravity. I treat my cars like 1st girlfirends... always attached and hard to let go of. If I had a high end exotic such as the Maranello i'm quite sure I would be similar to Cameron's dad from Ferris Bueller's day off... "He doesnt drive it.. he just rubs it a diaper".. except I would drive it like those 2 parking attendants from the movie! :)
 

cribbj

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Here's some pics of a boosted Maranello racecar. The engine bay is a dead giveaway that a Japanese tuner did the work.

I have to say that only a few months of ownership have changed my perspective on engine appearances, and I think this engine bay looks too gaudy.

If I had twinturbo'd this motor, I probably would have kept the red, silver & black crinkle finishes and colors exactly as per Ferrari, and also gone with heat shielded piping in black, with black silicone couplers and SS hose clamps. Or possibly a mix of black & silver piping, but not polished. The blue & red reuseable bling fittings & SS hoses would be gone, and permanently swaged fittings on black hoses would be there instead.

Ferrari engine bays are just naturally beautiful, and don't need all this extra bling. Sort of like women who are naturally beautiful, vs those that have been "enhanced" everywhere. All that silicone gives them a bling look - but they also lose their natural beauty because of it :D
 

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stevechumo

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3,054
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OC, City of Sunshine
Boosted! Very nice. I'm positive that car doesn't have less than 600 rwhp. It wouldn't have any turbo lag either. I agree with you that those colorful hoses should be covered. I'd only show the valve covers, turbos, and may be the pipes.
 

spf_lexus

Active Member
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2,266
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Murrieta California
I like it a lot but your both right, the level of "class" just isnt there. I wonder how well the Top Secret Supra V12 would do against this modded maranello?
 

hungryforinfo

New Member
Messages
368
Location
brisvegas
I cant beleive how similar it looks to a Supra... incredible....

Cribb, you said independent fuel rails, but that twin turbo one looks to have a joining pipe, so effectively 1 rail? (Modified?)

You think this would be less effective?

Also, love the COP work, neat, tidy, effective, cost saving (If you did it for under $900), time saving... How can you go wrong. Looks fantastic!
 

WDoherty

New Member
Messages
888
Location
Alpine, TX
I agree, it looks like an early 2000's supra tuner engine bay. Kinda like something you'd expect to see on an old Mitsubishi eclipse


Here's some pics of a boosted Maranello racecar. The engine bay is a dead giveaway that a Japanese tuner did the work.

I have to say that only a few months of ownership have changed my perspective on engine appearances, and I think this engine bay looks too gaudy.

If I had twinturbo'd this motor, I probably would have kept the red, silver & black crinkle finishes and colors exactly as per Ferrari, and also gone with heat shielded piping in black, with black silicone couplers and SS hose clamps. Or possibly a mix of black & silver piping, but not polished. The blue & red reuseable bling fittings & SS hoses would be gone, and permanently swaged fittings on black hoses would be there instead.

Ferrari engine bays are just naturally beautiful, and don't need all this extra bling. Sort of like women who are naturally beautiful, vs those that have been "enhanced" everywhere. All that silicone gives them a bling look - but they also lose their natural beauty because of it :D
 

cribbj

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Houston, TX
The stock 550 fuel system has dual rails, with dual feeds & returns, and dual pumps in the tank. Completely separated. The Japanese must have (wisely) decided this was OTT and combined them into a single system for the turbo car.

Yes, this car bears a strong resemblance to the Supra. Its later sibling, the 599 even more so. Here's a pic of the 599, and a Supra with a body kit and some aftermarket rims. If it weren't for the wing, would you know which one was which?
 

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cribbj

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COP Conversion

I’ve been a little concerned about posting more Ferrari content for fear it would detract from the purpose of the site and its Lexus and UZ content, however David (Lextreme) encouraged me to add to the thread, so I’ll be putting up a couple writeups on some mods that I’ve done recently.

The first mod I’ve carried out was converting the Ferrari’s ignition from twin coilpacks and bundled secondary leads to a COP (Coil on Plug) system. The goals were to replace a not very well designed, and very expensive (maintenance wise) OEM setup, with a better designed, and much less expensive system that used more contemporary technology, and performed better. Plus, I simply like COP technology ;-). For the OEM system, Ferrari bundled all the secondary leads together in a plastic manifold to try to make the system more pleasing aesthetically, however the “bundling” encourages crossfire and lead failure, plus once a single lead starts having problems, because the bundling can’t be separated, all six leads on that bank must be replaced, to the tune of about $900. Yikes!

This mod was carried out over the period from December to April, after extensive testing, and the results were excellent, and it was far easier than I would have believed possible. The best thing about this mod is that the car harness was not modified in any way, no holes were drilled and nothing was done that couldn't be undone, and the car returned to the stock system in less than a day.

The Ferrari 550’s stock ignition is very similar to the Ford EDIS4/6/8 which I’ve worked with previously for the 1UZ. For the V12, each bank of the engine has a six tower dumb coilpack, which receives three ignitor based, wasted spark signals from the ECU and generates sparks for the six cylinders.

The stock coilpacks produce a very nice primary ignition waveform, with a charge (dwell) time of some 3.2msec and a spark duration of 1.8-1.9 msec (this is just to get a baseline for the system):

FerrariCoilpackPrimaryCustom.png


I did some initial fitment testing of various COP’s in the Maranello heads. The first coil to try, of course, was the 575 Maranello’s coil, but it just didn’t fit. The 575 Maranello is an updated version of my car, the 550 Maranello, and several of the 550’s shortcomings, including the ignition system, were upgraded in the 575 version. However, the 575’s ignition, unfortunately, isn’t backwardly compatible with the earlier car. The 575 valve covers are different enough from the 550’s that it was like trying to force a square coil into a round hole (literally). A pity, because it would have been good to have a 100% Ferrari solution, but the mods necessary to the 550’s valve covers, not only to fit the coil into the plug well, but to hold it down afterward, would have been prohibitive:

IMG_2393Custom.jpg


So on to some others. Here’s a Toyota coil on the left and a Chrysler 300M coil on the right. Both are popular choices in the COP retrofit aftermarket, but neither fit very well.

IMG_2455Custom.jpg


And some more; these are the 300M coils which fit well into the plug wells, but are standing too tall:

IMG_2462Custom.jpg


They (the 300M coils) also fouled the throttle linkage. Good coils, but we can’t have this:

IMG_2460Custom.jpg


I even tried some Accel coils, but they were way too big too:

IMG_2456Custom.jpg


Here are some low profile Chrysler Sebring coils. They fit well, and once turned a bit, they didn’t foul the throttle linkage. These coils would have worked OK, and I actually ran one bank of the engine on them for a test:

IMG_2487.jpg


But then things got ugly when it was time to hold them down. Ugh, we can’t have this in a Ferrari engine bay:

IMG_2492Custom.jpg


So then it was time to try some motorcycle pencil coils. Here’s one on the right with the Chrysler 300m coil on the left:

IMG_2463Custom.jpg


Much shorter than the 300M:

IMG_2464Custom.jpg


I think we have a winner:

IMG_2479Custom.jpg


Then I calculated what the performance would be of various coils - this spreadsheet shows that the pencil coils are very sensitive to charging voltage, but have the capability to put out more than sufficient energy. (Not quite as much as the stock coilpack, but then each coilpack winding is firing 2 cylinders, where each pencil coil will only be firing 1 cylinder).

Calcs.jpg


I then built a dummy load bank array of Zener diodes with a breakdown voltage of 760 volts and fired the various coils into this bank. By measuring the secondary current of the spark, and its duration, I was able to then calculate the energy of the spark in millijoules. Energy output was measured from each coil, singly, then with two coils wired in series, then with them wired in parallel (the last two being the typical waste spark configurations). Then finally, all measurements were repeated using an HKS Twinpower DLI ignition booster. The HKS box is a highly regarded booster which is commonly used to assist stock ignitions on boosted cars, and I felt it could be useful in this situation. As can be seen, the pencil coils really responded to it, and produced even more spark energy than the OEM coilpack system.

Measurements.jpg


Here’s the same primary waveform as before, but with the Hayabusa coils, assisted by the HKS box. As you can see, the discharge times are much shorter on these coils than with the OEM coilpacks, and this was one of my concerns. Here are the Hayabusa’s in parallel:

DualParallelHKSLarge.jpg


And in series:

DualSeriesHKSLarge.jpg


You can see that the charge times in parallel were extremely short, and this concerned me, as I felt the coils might be entering their saturation region and would be overheating, so although the charge times in series were longer than the coilpacks, I felt we had enough RPM “headroom” to accommodate them, and the coils seemed happy, and there were no signs of overheating.

So, based on these energy measurements, I chose the Hayabusa coils, wired in series, with the HKS box, as the optimum system. Both the coils and the plugs required a few small mods for good fitment, but we got there in the end.


So, off with the old:

IMG_2610Custom.jpg


And on with the new:

IMG_2510Custom.jpg


And how does it run? Very well, thank you! The idle is very good, response is excellent, and the engine pulls strongly to redline without a hint of a misfire. There are no CEL’s, and the car passed the TX emissions inspection with no measureable change from the stock ignition. (N.B.: Prior to emissions testing, I put a set of Bradan straight pipes on the exhaust to keep the right & left banks completely separated from each other, and had the COP system on the right bank, and the OEM coilpack on the left) The HKS box did not seem to make a measureable difference in the ignition, however I’m keeping it in the system for insurance.

The only issues encountered so far are:

1) The pencil coils use internal teeth to grip the top terminal of the spark plug (after the spark plug nut is unscrewed). This top terminal is fairly soft metal, and after several install/remove operations, the gripper teeth tend to smooth down the threads and no longer grip them tightly. Since this is the sole means to “hold down” these coils, it was rectified by adding a short extension to the top of the plug, made of harder metal. This necessitated adding a longer boot onto the coil, and now there is a requirement for a deeper well spark plug socket.

2) The initial type of sleeving used for the harness did not withstand being near the exhaust manifolds and melted. This sleeving was rated for 260 degrees F, but fortunately, the conductors within were rated for 392 degrees F, and they were fine. I’ve now switched to a 1200 degree rated sleeving, and it should be fine.

IMG_2559Custom.jpg


3) Several types of heat shrink tubing have been tried, and most shrink too much, then embrittle and split due to the extremely high temps near the exhaust manifolds. I’m currently trying out some high temperature heat shrink which is both softer and thinner than that used here, and the results look promising.

IMG_2583Custom.jpg


4) Next round of testing will be putting the system on either a Leonardo or ST-5 diagnostic scanner to see if either of these tools picks up any errors.

Once I get a bit more hardware built, I intend to start testing "smart" coils as well (those with onboard ignitors). Although they won't work with the Ferrari's ECU, which has its own ignitors, the testing will be useful for my 1UZ project, as well as for others here who are using COP's.
 

cribbj

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Steve, thanks, and yes I'm looking forward to getting it on a dyno soon. I really should have baselined it before doing this COP mod, but frankly I don't know that this added any HP.

Eventually the stock ignition was going to start causing problems (some owners of earlier cars than mine have already had to bite the bullet and replace one or both sets of leads.) So I decided to be proactive and sort it out before it became a problem.

Now the worst that can happen (I think) is losing a coil, which can be easily replaced in 5 minutes for less than $50, and in fact, I carry 2 spares in the car, just in case.
 

cribbj

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My ace harness builder just finished the new COP harnesses and IMO they're gorgeous! But then I really like geeky stuff like this.

The top two are obviously the main coil harnesses that can connect directly into the car's main harness. The bottom four harnesses are the ones required to connect the HKS TwinPower DLI booster box into the system.

These are all done with 1200 degree F Techflex heat shielded sleeving, and 400 degree F conductors. All connectors have had high temp heat shrink tubing put on them for weatherproofing and strain relief, using thin wall polyolefin tubing. Where the coil runners break out of the main loom, that area has been silicone sealed as well, then heat shrink put over it.

So if anyone needs some custom harness work done like this, or custom length pigtails made for your sensors, injectors, etc. this gentleman is an ace, very fast, and not that expensive: Bill at AutoWiring Solutions: autowiringsolutionsATsatxDOTrrDOTcom.

I can't wait to get home and get these installed and get some pics of them on the engine.
 

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cribbj

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Hehehe Sean, they weren't intended to be MilSpec, just very high quality.

And as far as Ferrari quality goes - these are head & shoulders above any other wiring on that car. I've learned that the Italians are not known for their quality of wiring. I'll snap some pics of their idea of fusebox/main panel wiring and you'll be shocked. It looks like something that someone with no background at all in electrical wiring would do. And their wiring diagrams are as bad or worse. It really makes me appreciate the "true" quality of Toyota's construction, and their documentation.

Thanks Ryan, this guy Bill was a real "find". With all the challenges you've faced on your project, you'll know exactly what I mean. He's fast, honest, communicates very well, is very flexible, and can build nearly anything with wires that you can conceive and design for him. Probably he can design also, but I've not had the need for him to do that. I'm not "too" bad with wiring myself, but after seeing & experiencing Bill's work, it's just in another universe compared to mine, so from now on I'll do the design, he'll build it, then I'll install it.
 
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hungryforinfo

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368
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brisvegas
Now Im getting inspired... But the Supra project is obviously needing some wiring solutions too!! ;)

Great write-up and good tech too.... Only wish I had a 550 Maranello to copy your work onto!!!

Fantastic looking loom, in fact all the work is so neat, the uneducated would not know the difference.
 

cribbj

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Houston, TX
Now Im getting inspired... But the Supra project is obviously needing some wiring solutions too!! ;)

Great write-up and good tech too.... Only wish I had a 550 Maranello to copy your work onto!!!

Fantastic looking loom, in fact all the work is so neat, the uneducated would not know the difference.

Too true about the Supra. I've had a devil of a time finding SS braided hose with the short bend radius that I needed for the injectors and coils on the 1UZ, so I'm probably going to change to this TechFlex sleeving for all the sensor leads on that engine. I'll still plan to keep my two connector "manifolds" on top of the engine and we'll see how it all comes together soon. I think the sensor leads will will look really good in this TechFlex, with the milspec circular connectors and adapters on one end, and the OEM plastic connectors on the other.
 
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