Please forgive me, but it's time for me to get on my soap box! (And with my weight I hope it's a strong one!)
Recently I have received several emails from owners and enthusiasts wishing to improve the performance of their Maserati Biturbo engined cars by all manner of methods; the installation of larger roller-bearing turbochargers, replacing the 3-valve heads with 4-valve heads, porting and polishing the cylinder heads, fitting after-market pop-off/dump valves, after-market air filters, installing larger intercoolers, re-mapping the Eproms in the engine management control unit, increasing turbo boost, improved after-market exhaust system, and all manner of complex modifications. And, in some cases, the modifications made Include: "All or most those mentioned!"
To be perfectly honest, I'm not that technically minded, so the manner in which these modifications actually improve the performance of an engine is beyond me. I often hear of the benefits made by most of these modifications, but I never hear mention of the final cost, something that has always puzzled me. Maybe it's better that I don't know?
If the Maserati owner is a competent mechanic and electronics wizard (in other words, he knows exactly what he is doing!), he stands a good chance of success. If not, he will need very deep pockets! This kind of work is best left to the experts, and experts don't come cheap!
One thing I do understand. If I were a supplier of spare parts, which I am not, the prospect of an enthusiast needing parts to modify his Biturbo engine would bring music to my ears! He'd be a very good customer for a considerable period of time.
My main motivation for setting up this site was, and still is, for the enjoyment of Maseratisti, and help in keeping their standard Maseratis on the road.
At the end of the day, surely that is all we want!
I confess, when it comes to Maseratis, I'm a purist. Leave the car just as it was designed to be, i.e. well within the tolerences set by the factory. I see little point in overboosting a "Biturbo" that can often give trouble in its standard form. The Maserati has ALWAYS been a car primarily designed to transport its driver and passenger/passengers from A to B in safety and comfort. Road-going Maseratis were never designed to get from A to B in the fastest possible time. Maserati drivers aren't like that, F****** drivers might be, but not us!
On the track things are different, and Maserati's colourful race history bears witness to this. For enthusiasts wishing to modify their Maseratis for the track is fine. But the standard Maserati road car, with the exception of one or two models, was never designed for use primarily on the track.
I remember sitting next to an elderly Maserati garage owner at the Fiorano circuit last year. As the drivers left the track, following their free laps, smelling the burning clutch plate, brake pads and overworked engine, he said; "Maserati mechanics love that smell, it means business is on its way!"
My 2-litre Ghibli, for example, boasted some 306 bhp at its launch. I've no idea if it produces that power, and frankly I don't care. It's a great for journeying to the continent on holidays and, so far it has proved to be quite reliable. I've owned it now for over ten years and it has let me down on only one occasion, due to a faulty alternator.
I bought my used 1995 Ghibli MY94 in Italy in May 1998 with 25,000 Km on the clock, and a full Maserati service history.
I wanted to be sure that my engine was in tip-top condition, so before leaving Italy for the UK, I commissioned Giuseppe Candini of Modena to carry out the following major service including; cylinder heads overhaul, new head gasket kit, new timing belt and chains, new spark plugs, engine oil and oil filter change, air filter change, brake fluid change, gearbox oil change, rear differential oil change, change coolant liquid with antifreeze, re-charge air conditioning system. Clutch, brake discs and pads were fine!
I also purchased new headlights for driving on the left in the UK, and fitted a new speedometer (miles per hour). Those old left-hand drive headlights still come in handy when I take my Ghibli on the continent.
My aim was to create a starting point for a proper maintenance history.
Since that first major service, apart from the routine services recommended by the factory at the appropriate intervals, and by the way, I have the engine oil and filter changed every year, no matter what the mileage. During those ten years I have had to replace the following parts.
No 1 rear Maserati/Koni adjustable shock absorber.
No 1 handbrake lever.
No 1 reconditioned alternator.
No 1 crankshaft toothed pulley.
I've owned it now for over ten years, and apart from regular maintenance and servicing at the correct intervals, that's the only work I've had carried out on the car.
I have never made any modifications to my engine, nor do I ever want to. I'll be honest here, if I had wanted 370 bhp from my Maserati, I'd buy a used 3200 GT.
If I wanted more, I'd wait until the prices for a used GranTurismo S fall within my price range. But more power doesn't interest me, I just want to keep my Ghibli on the road. I bought it because I liked it for what it was, and still do! I suspect most Maserati owners feel the same! If I'm wrong, let me know !
I never drive my Ghibli very fast on the public roads, it's just not worth the aggravation these days, what with speed cameras, over zealous police officers, and the likes! Overtaking with a left-hand drive car on English roads, where we drive on the left, is difficult, especially when you're stuck behind a truck. Over a period of time, one gets used to travelling behind slower moving vehicles most of the time, who cares? And, it most definitely encourages slower, and often safer, driving.
And actually, I'm more interested in persuading Maserati to start re-supplying replacement headlights for the 93-98 Ghiblis! And I wouldn't complain if they only supplied them in BLACK!