458 Italia. Let’s build the engine

engine assembly; photo Neil Bridge

With the assembled and painted frame and the engine parts perfectly prepared, it is now time for the mechanical part. At the engine assembly we meet men who seem to be building models, which in our case are on a scale of 1:1.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Engine Assembly

Now all the components are ready, it is time put them together to create the heart of our Ferrari: the engine. Visiting this part of the factory is like visiting a clockmaker in Geneva. There is a line that produces the eight-cylinder engines, towards which we are headed, and another for the 12-cylinder engines. From this moment, every productive detail of the vehicle is monitored. The engine is identified with a barcode and every operation is recorded electronically on an identity-type card.
Having mounted the engine block on an automatic support that will carry it up to final assembly, the lubrication oil jets and the crankshaft are fitted. Then, with the aid of a sleeve, the pistons. There are manual operations that enable us to feel the excitement of contributing personally. piece by piece the engine takes shape.
The quality system, with the electronic support reading off the engine card,assists the operators. Since the engines mounted on the line are different, if the selected component – for instance a valve spring – is wrong a red light and an alarm immediately signal the error.

One of the most delicate operations of the engine assembly is setting the valve timing. With the timing adjusters loose the camshafts are positioned correctly. A further manual check is carried out on the 458 engine with the manual comparator.

Plugs, coils (one per cylinder, as in Formula One), expansion chambers and cabling are fitted and the engine goes to the test bench. After a running-in phase, when we enter the great hall of the bodyshop, designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the sensation is like being in a cathedral the torque and power curve up to 5000rpm is carried out. If any anomalies are encountered (the percentage of cases is 2 in 1000), it is returned to assembly to check for the cause. Once the checks are completed, the engine is attached to the gearbox and differential unit and sent for final assembly. Tomorrow morning we will find it where it should be on the line.

To be continued…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/vienkjohn ShihaKewan Tafuanchi

     i really love ferrari it is because they build car with there heart and i interested to get job of there company…. i hope… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Owen-Hamilton/100002654404130 Owen Hamilton

    So did the engine he helped build pass?

  • Anonymous

    Its Gr8 to see the passion that everyone at Ferrari has for the work the do. Its not just a job.Its the Passion and Soul and a bit of everyone’s Love that goes Out the Door of the Factory

  • Anonymous

    The 12 cylinder engines are sand cast in the foundry individually. Are the 8 cylinder engines made any differently since there are more 8 cylinder engines manufactured?

  • http://magazine.ferrari.com Antonio Ghini

    There are two substantial differences: the V12 engine is highly complex.
    Just think of the dimensions of the camshaft and the connection rods,
    where you also have a different and longer process regarding the
    assembly. Furthermore the V12 is fitted into vehicles, which are usually
    more expensive than 8-cylinders. This determines a much lower
    production quantity compared to the V8s.

    Regarding quality and the handling of the assembly process, there aren’t
    any differences, while the operations are different indeed and
    specialised in the case of the V8. For example the workers responsible
    for the set ups, a very delicate step, have a very specific and
    extremely advanced experience.

    There is also a very important point to be considered: all Ferrari
    engines, once completely assembled, are always tested on the test bench
    to verify the data regarding torque and power outlet. In case they don’t
    comply to the standards they are taken back to the assembly line, where
    every single detail is checked to resolve the cause.

  • Anonymous


    Thanks for your reply. My question is are the V8 engines sand cast at the Ferrari foundry in the same facility that the V12s are. Or are the castings done in an outside location. I have no doubt about the level of quality and care given to all Ferraris. It just seems hard for me to believe that the sheer volume of V8 engines required could be sand cast and assembled in the same manner and fashion at the factory. The factory has grown substantially since my visit in June of 1983.

    Thank you


  • http://magazine.ferrari.com Antonio Ghini

    I confirm you that all Ferrari engines, V8 and V12 are sand cast in the foundry at Maranello. The capacity of our foundry is sufficient for both productions.

  • Dennis Burnside

    Do you retorque the head gaskets after the engine has been ‘run-in’ or tested?