Engine damaged whilst mechanic test drove car. - Buspass
I have received the following in a message from a lady friend:-

"The always dependable Bora went into the garage for a good service. It was agreed the cam belt needed changing. On Thursday there was a telephone call to say they had completed the service and it was being test driven by a mechanic when there was a very loud bang and it shuddered to a halt.

Apparently you have to be precise with the cam belt and it had sheared the valves. It had to be low loaded back to the garage. Very decent of them to say we could keep the dinky toy.. sorry courtesy car....they also said THERE WOULD BE NO CHARGE FOR THE EXTRA WORK". Are they mad. Confused

It would be back on Friday. Friday came and went and they said it would be back on Monday. Monday came and now its going to be Wednesday "But don't worry Sir, you can keep the courtesy car"... Well thanks.....

It is being said that the car will never be the same again. I don't know about that."

What does the Backroom make of this saga, and particularly the (OK -- unidentified) garage's story? And what advice can I give her?

Header given a more meaningful title

Edited by Pugugly on 21/04/2009 at 16:53

What's going on? - boxsterboy

Edited by PoloGirl on 21/04/2009 at 00:13

What's going on? - PoloGirl
Sorry folks - my fault. Completely messed up the thread trying to sort out the mistake in the title. Apologies if any helpful replies got lost. Feel free to repost.
What's going on? - Stuartli
What engine was involved?


What is a "good service"? ..:-)

Edited by Stuartli on 21/04/2009 at 00:49

What's going on? - craig-pd130

Depends what remedial work the garage is doing. Really, after a valve tangle, the only sure remedy is a replacement, reconditioned engine.

The tangle could have cracked pistons, bent conrods, put swarf round the sump, anything.

If they are just swapping cylinder heads then your friend needs a guarantee of some sort that if any further engine problems, they will fix for free etc etc.

What's going on? - b308
Agreed Craig, I'd want some sort of warranty on the engine, minimum 12 months, and I was also wondering what a "good service" is as well!
What's going on? - Buspass
Thanks fellers -- my feelings exactly. And thank you Polo Girl for sorting out the original post.

Can anyone help with the legal side of this -- is a County Court judge likely to place any credence at all on the laughable 'no charge for the extra work' offer?#

StuartLi, I'll identify the engine and get back.

Edited by Buspass on 21/04/2009 at 12:33

What's going on? - Bill Payer
Can anyone help with the legal side of this --

What legal side - they broke the car and now they're fixing it. Presumeably it'll be covered by the garages normal repair guarantee.

My first reaction to the story is that she's lucky the garage didn't blame something else and try and sting her for the cost.
What's going on? - Buspass
Apparently it's a Maserati Bora,though that doesn't mean a lot to me apart from sounding expensive. I'm told it was 'running like a dream' before this service (which was by a main agent, incidentally).

Yes Bill Payer, it's an open-and-shut case to some extent but to what extent? Just stuff in new valves or consider, and check for, consequential damage to pistons, the bottom end, con rods, etc? The garage will want to get away with the minimum possible but the owner has to consider, and pursue, the long term.

Edited by Buspass on 21/04/2009 at 12:56

What's going on? - Statistical outlier
I don't quite understand what's laughable about their approach. She has a courtesy car, and they are repairing it free of charge. As long as they warranty their repair and the car runs fine, where's the problem?
What's going on? - Buspass
What's laughable is that they won't charge her for the 'extra work'.
What's going on? - SteVee
>>Apparently it's a Maserati Bora<<
I hope you're joking !

The Maserati Bora is a classic 'supercar'. A repair is going to be very,very expensive.
At least the garage are not arguing over the repair cost and I very much doubt that anyone is laughing.
I can well imagine why someone took it for a test drive - but I bet they're regretting it now.

Can you get confirmation that it is a Maserati ?
What's going on? - Buspass
No SteVee, I jest not.It's a Maserati Bora. As the lady herself puts it, 'we don't do things by halves'.
What's going on? - SteVee
The Maserati Bora is a 1970s supercar - with a midengined DOHC V8.
repairs are going to be very expensive. If I were her, I would be very pleased that this happened while the garage had the car and they have taken full responsibility to fix a 30+ year old car.

Lucky her, I would suggest.
What's going on? - Buspass
As I've just discovered for myself. . . it was only when I enquired about the engine (in response to SteVee above) that this little bit of information was slipped in. VW indeed!!!

Edited by Buspass on 21/04/2009 at 13:27

What's going on? - bell boy
so its now a maserati not a vw
you want money from a county court judge ruling
you are neither the owner or custodian of the vehicle
your lady friend has some kind of second rate wheels to tide her by

what exactly are you wanting bagpus in simple terms on behalf of this lady friend that can afford a £10,000 old car but cannot get her butler to get the soliciters in

Edited by bell boy on 21/04/2009 at 13:33

What's going on? - boxsterboy
This will be very very expensive for the garage.

Oh, and it's time for a thread title change. Again!
What's going on? - craig-pd130

ooh lordy, if it's a Maser then it's either a twin-turbo V6 or V8 motor. That puts a whole new complexion on things ...

You don't get recon engines for those from the local engine factors, that's for sure :¬)

I believe a court would say that as long as the owner is put back in the original position (i.e. before the engine went bang), that's all the garage has to do.

I wonder how much a cambelt service is on a Bora?
What's going on? - Altea Ego
So its a Maseratti Bora.

that explains the

"It would be back on Friday. Friday came and went and they said it would be back on Monday. Monday came and now its going to be Wednesday"

This is not an 8 hour jobbie by any stretch of the imagination. A lot of highly skilled man hours will be required to resolve this one.
What's going on? - Stuartli
>>I wonder how much a cambelt service is on a Bora?>>

On mine it's just under £200 including parts and labour...:-)
What's going on? - craig-pd130


you know what I mean ;)

I seem to remember that a cambelt on the Ferrari V8 in the Mondial / 308 etc is every 24,000 miles and is £1250 ... hopefully it's a bit cheaper on the Maser with it being front-engined etc
What's going on? - Alanovich
what exactly are you wanting bagpus

This isn't Bagpuss, don't recall seeing him for a while. This is "Buspass".
What's going on? - bell boy
so i see Alanovich thanks,ive just had a troll
through buspasses previous posts
What's going on? - Buspass
>>so i see Alanovich thanks,ive just had a troll
>>through buspasses previous posts

Where did you find the troll? :-)
What's going on? - Buspass
Thank you, Alanovich.

Edited by Buspass on 21/04/2009 at 14:15

What's going on? - SteVee
Is the car RHD (Right Hand Drive) ?
The Bora (always a V8 - the Merak was a V6) is very,very rare. I can't recall ever seeing one in RHD.

I don't know if the engine has cam belts or chains. I would have presumed cam-chain.
I would guess that the garage have taken one head off and inspected the damage. Hopefully, they can repair in situ. Taking the engine out is time-consuming on these supercars.

She could get an independent engineer to check out the repair before final assembly - but she will have to pay for this. I would consider that reasonable from both her and the garage's perpective. Let the garage take their time in repairing it.
I'd also be asking for a ride in it sometime :-)
What's going on? - Armitage Shanks {p}
I am 99% sure that if this car IS a Maserati engined Bora it won't even have a cambelt! It was built in the days of proper engineering and cam chains.Standing by for correction naturally.
What's going on? - Buspass
Many thanks for the informed posts from what are clearly knowledgeable contributors.

Edited by Buspass on 21/04/2009 at 15:17

What's going on? - doctorchris
Various sources suggest that only 42 RHD Maserati Boras were imported into the UK and as few as 30 still exist.
They seem to be on offer from £25,000 to nearly £60,000, the latter is being restored up here in Beamish, in the North East. Not at the museum but at a car restorers.
I suspect that engine components are a bit tricky to source for the rebuild that this vehicle may require.
Can't find a reference as to whether the car has a cambelt or chain.
What's going on? - Rattle
Give these people a ring

Autosheild - 0161 881 1515

They are a masserati specialist and do a lot of work on old italian supercars. I am sure they wouldn't mind answering the question about if it has a camshaft or not. They have a few old engines in their window and I am sure one of them is driven by a belt.

What's going on? - Old Navy
I am sure they wouldn't mind answering the question about if it has a camshaft
or not.

Eh ??????
What's going on? - Rattle
Meant cambelt :). The later apart of the discussion is about if this engine is belt or chain driven.

Edited by Rattle on 21/04/2009 at 16:32

What's going on? - Armitage Shanks {p}
I had a Citroen SM which used a V6 2.6 litre version of the Maserati V8 and that certainly had a cam chain. In fact that was the problem - it only had one chain, which may have been duplex, but it went from the crankshaft up to the two/four camshafts and it was so long that it was prone to stretching and/or jumping a tooth on one of the sprockets thus causing expensive damage to the engine. This may have been what happened in the scenario described above.
What's going on? - Alanovich
In the original post, I am really taken aback by the statement "the ever dependable Bora". Never heard a 1970s car of any descrption called that, let alone an Italian one, let alone a notoriously unreliable exotic Italian one!
What's going on? - Pugugly
There must have been something extra in that flapjack I had at lunchtime - given the surreal turn of events.

Drop down menu thingy adjusted to reflect the surrealness of things.

Edited by Pugugly on 21/04/2009 at 16:53

What's going on? - SteVee
wow - that sounds complex. It would also mean that both banks would be affected by any change in valve timing.

I'm not sure how significant that would be to the Bora engine. It has quite low compression - only 8.5 to one. As such, it may be a non-interference engine.

Hopefully, the test driver stopped the engine immediately the car went wrong - we know it was then recovered and the garage are fixing it. The problem may well be in getting spares for such a rare car (the engine is Maserati's own - not a US engine, as in the De Tomaso Pantera).

BusPass - please get a ride and report back !
What's going on? - Stuartli
According to the specs, it's mid-engined:



I bought a Vauxhall Magnum 1800 in the late 1970s which had a camshaft belt - I know because it snapped shortly after I got it with just over 13k on the clock...:-( Fortunately no internal damage though.
What's going on? - Rattle
Wasn't that Vauxhall unit the first ever mass produced engine with a cambelt in the UK? Introduced in 1960's for the Viva? I know a lot of the later 8v engines could snap their belts and still be ok.
What's going on? - ForumNeedsModerating
Sorry, I may be being dimwitted here - but they said the cambelt broke, it sheared valves (& goodness knows what else..) - they told your friend on Thursday it would be back by Friday?? What with all that damage? Getting spare parts, checking over for any consequential damage, testing it properly A 1970's exotic supercar with no handy 'Partco' around the corner... why would they even consider telling your friend they could do all that in one day?

Something doesn't add up.
What's going on? - TheOilBurner
Quite. I'd be checking the mileage very carefully when it finally comes back...

Quick trip to the Med anyone?
What's going on? - NARU
Wasn't that Vauxhall unit the first ever mass produced engine with a cambelt in the
UK? Introduced in 1960's for the Viva? I know a lot of the later 8v
engines could snap their belts and still be ok.

It came out in the Victor FD as 1600 or 2000cc. I snapped the belt on my 1600 [my first car] pulling out a rose bush. I can confirm that there was no piston to valve contact. Just as well - I did have lots of problems putting the new belt on - the camshaft timing mark was 180 degress out so it took me a while to get the engine running right. The same engine became the 1800 and 2300 in the victor FE, Magnum, Viva 1800 etc.
What's going on? - Rattle
Great engines thouse old VX's. On the Corsa site there are people running 1.2 8v B's with over 130,000 miles on the clock! I cannot imagine my 1.2 16v ever doing that sort of the milelage, the chain will snap before then but at the same time I am glad I have 21bhp more power!

Personaly I think all engines should have a chain with a good oil supply which is easy to monitor, I guess they used to make engines like this but they would be far too inefficient for modern emissions.

If anybody is ever int he south Manchester are and has an interest in Masserati the Autosheild place is well worth a look in, lovely V8s in the window all stripped down.

Maserati Bora - Picture - Armitage Shanks {p}

Maserati Bora - Picture - TimOrridge
The engine cover looks like its made out of lego
Engine damaged whilst mechanic test drove car. - teabelly
Would expect the garage to do a full top end rebuild and make very, very sure no bits of damaged valves remained within any part of the engine. At a minimum I'd want a very, very detailed report of exactly what work was done, with photos of inside of engine before and after while they were rebuilding it to prove the condition.

Garage mucked up the cambelt change so it is entirely their responsibility to fix the car and get it back as it was before (or better). It can happen. Sometimes belts get contaminated or the mechanic doesn't get the right tension which can make the belt slip or fly off or snap.

If the rebuild is done properly then the car will be as good as before.
Engine damaged whilst mechanic test drove car. - Mapmaker
What is it about these Boras? There was a very similar thread on here yesterday about a VW Bora...

Engine damaged whilst mechanic test drove car. - Dynamic Dave
Mapmaker, I think you'll find it's the same thread. There was some confusion over whether this was a VW Bora or Maserati Bora - which has now been cleared up.