My Khamsin isn't feeling very well.
Can you help? Please!

Any owner having a problem with their Maserati can send me details and I will publish these, together with any subsequent advice I receive, on this page.

Just drop me a line at


Even if I don't succeed in helping you with your problems; and I do try, it would help other Maserati owners a great deal if you could let me know how you managed to solve your problems. THANK YOU!


Steve in the USA writes:


"Hi Enrico,

I have heard many complaints and many solutions to problems with exhaust fumes in Khamsins. Problems causing exhaust fumes in the cockpit with the windows open seem to be:

1.) exhaust tips too short

2.) leakage at exhaust connections w/ headers

3.) rear compartment seals around body/frame intersection

4.) poor aerodynamics of rear underbody

5.) deteriorated gasket at fresh air intake under hood

I've repaired 2, 3, & 5, and problem is reduced, but not eliminated. Is this problem simply endemic, and should I stop throwing money around, or is there a final solution.




Reply from David:-

Re: Khamsin exhaust fumes.

"Hi Enrico,

I have a '77 five-speed Khamsin and was having the same strong exhaust and fuel smell in the cabin as mentioned in one of your enquiries. I would smell of exhaust and fuel while driving the car. It was both dangerous and limited my driving. It was so bad that when I walked back into the house my wife mentioned that I smelling of exhaust every time I drove the car. I have now traced what caused mine exhaust smell. I went through the under side, the rear glass etc, etc, all to no avail.

Then I discovered that at sometimes in the past the small soft seal between the intake box which is mounted to the underside of the hood has been removed by a previous owner. When the hood is closed there is a positive pressure under the hood which allows engine bay air into the A/C intake if there are no seals. I have now resealed the fiberglas box with expanding runner tape and I no-longer have the problem.

I love your very helpful column and hope this might be of help.



Reply from Andy:-

Re: Khamsin exhaust fumes.

"Number 3 is usually the route cause of this problem. It is not easy to see where the problem lies when the car is complete, but basically, the area between the rear of the boot floor and the outer panelling of the car is open and this allows air/gas to circulate around the inside of the rear panel. There are two things that you can do to eliminate it. One is to fill the area with expanded foam (although this does nothing for the longevity of the panels) and the other is to re-trim the alcantara area that is on the inside of this area (i.e. all the way round the boot slam panel from the boot lid aperture to the perspex window) and make sure that there is a good seal between everything. We believe that this is all Maserati did to get rid of the problem but as cars get older, they tend to have breaks/cracks/missing pieces of trim. We have successfully eliminated the problem on a number of cars by doing this.



Stephen in the UK writes:


"Hi Henry,

Stephen with the yellow Khamsin here. Can you ask the world via your excellent website whether anyone knows how to disconnect the gearbox end of the speedo cable.

It seems the only option is to remove the exhausts and cross member supporting the gearbox to gain access to the take-off point. Maybe Andrea has some advice before we dismantle the car any further. The cable has snapped, by the way, about 6 inches into the outer sheath from the instrument end.

Best regards,



Bal in the UK writes:



I'd like to start by saying you have a great site. Been a frequent visitor since last year when I was about to buy a Khamsin.

I have a question to put out regarding possible alternate wheels for a Khamsin. Does anyone know if there are any currently available that would fit the Khasmin, especially in the UK?




David in the USA writes:



I am rebuilding the front calipers on my Khamsin I have the parts and the process looks easy enough my only problem is getting the calipers off. I can see the 4 socket head screw but it does not look like they need to be removed to get the caliper off which is good because they are impossible to loosen. I can feel a pair of bolts on the back of the caliper that are very difficult to get to I guess I am just stupid but any help would be appreciated.



Reply from Andrea:-

Re: Khamsin brake calipers

"The calipers are held on with two bolts on either side, the ones on the back that you have found. Originally, these would also have had lock tabs as well.

I have to say that if you can't work out how to get the calipers off then you shouldn’t be rebuilding them yourself…




Tom in the UK writes:


"Dear Enrico,

I wonder if you would be so kind as to help me. I have a black Khamsin with white leather interior, however the carpets and carpeting are beige. I would like to replace these carpets with black carpeting. Do you know of any stockists or anyone who makes these items?

Many thanks,

Tom Downes."


Reply from Andrea:-

Re: Khamsin carpets

"It is no longer possible to get the original type of carpet that Maserati used. However, a decent coachtrimmer will be able to make you a set of carpets (made to measure) using proprietary ‘car’ carpet (i.e. rubber backed) or Wilton (which some prestige brands use)."


Paul in the UK writes:


"Hi Enrico,

I've recently purchased a 1979 RHD Khamsin (known at McGrath's) and is now about to enter the body shop!!!

I would like to return her to her original colour "Oro Longchamp Met.". Firstly Is this paint easily obtainable?

And secondly I have no pictures of any vehicles in this colour, so I'm not even sure to what it looks like - GOLD?

Any help would of course, be fully appreciated.

Thank you,



Reply from Enrico:-

Re: Khamsin "Oro Longchamps Met."

"Hi Paul,

Yes, the colour is a deep metallic gold.

PPG paint code for 1975:

ORO LONGCHAMPS - OEM code 2463553 - PPG code MAS2463553.




Jonas in Sweden writes:



I have a 1977 Maserati Khamsin the America model, and on the dashboard there is a switch to adjust the intervalls of the windscreen wipers. Problem is that mine is broken and has short circuited the wipers, so I am looking for a new switch to replace the old one. I have checked ansor but they don't have one. Got any ideas?

Greetings from Sweden."


Reply from Enrico:-

Re: Khamsin switch.


Bill McGrath Maserati at have this switch in stock.

It costs £59.45 + VAT.



Ian in the UK writes:


"Dear Enrico,

Can you help me with some hydraulic problems?

First of all, on turning the ignition key there is a constant whirring and clicking from the right hand/passenger side footwell/lower 'A' pillar (this being a left hand drive car, AM 120*052). I had presumed that this was the petrol pump, since it never stops - hopefully it is not the pump for the hydraulics?

I have some small leaks/wetness around the green spheres, top of resevoir tank, under dash junction for headlamps when actuated, and at rubber junction to rear axle steering regulator - so where can I get a set of new seals and rubber sleeves/pipes?

I did the raising headlamp test without the engine running, which is when the dashboard leak first occurred, although I have since noted that the handbook specifically forbids actuating the above without the engine running!

I have only had my Khamsin since the end of last year, so I am still learning!




Reply from Ivan:-

Re: Khamsin hydraulics.


The noise you hear when the ignition is on (the engine still off) is indeed the electric fuel (petrol) pump located on the right hand below the battery. In that general area the hydraulic pressure relief valve is located. You should be able to hear the an occasional "clunk" while the engine is running. This is the valve opening and closing to maintain the pressure. This noise is normal.

Having brake pressure, even when the engine is off, is critical. Let's face it, if your engine was to stop while you were motoring at speed raising and lowering the headlamps will be the last thing on your mind ... the real question is, will this beast stop! To test; run the engine until pressure builds up, then stop the engine. Now press on the brake pedal. You should feel and hear the brakes engaging. Count the number of times you are able to do this ... this will be the number of times you will be able to actuate the brakes in an emergency. Repeat the same test but this time wait 5 minutes after you turn the engine off. If the number of pumps is about the same, your system is tight. If there was no pressure after 5 minutes there is an internal leak somewhere.

To fix the leaks from the switch which actuates the headlamps you will need to replace the three sealing o-rings. First make sure the system has no pressure by opening the relief valve located on the pressure regulator, using a 12mm wrench, and then pumping the brake pedal until all the pressure is released. Disconnect the two black plastic high pressure hydraulic lines which are held by U shaped clips, and also disconnect the return line. Remove the switch from the car. To access the o-rings you will now need to extract the brass spacers that holds the o-ring in place. Run a small tap down the center hole and using a small bolt pull the spacer out. Make sure to carefully clean all metal shavings. Barry Barisic ( in the USA sells a kit with the spacer and o-ring, you will need 3 kits to do this switch. While you can probably find a replacement o-ring locally, the spacer's thickness is critical. MIE does not carry the spacers but perhaps Bill McGrath does. Once you drop the new o-ring in place the new spacer needs to be pressed to the proper depth. The best way of pressing the spacer and not overloading the o-ring is to use the return line adapter as a dowel. Using a vise, press on the adapter until it sits flush, the spacer will now be at the proper depth.



Nick in Malaysia writes:


"Dear Enrico,

I purchased a 1982 Khamsin (53,000km) some weeks ago. Your site and Andy’s informations were very helpful for me, because I am quite new in this business. But now I think I have a problem with my gearbox. The gearbox works on the one hand very well but on the other hand I hear a strange loud rattle noise when driving comfortable between acceleration and deceleration. I was told this should be normal for this kind of gearbox, but I didn’t hear the noise when I purchased the car. I read in your site that the ZF gearbox should be very strong, or comes the noise from the differential?

Any info would be appreciated.

I've made a small VIDEO for explaning my problem.

Kind regards,



Reply from Andy:-

Re: Khamsin brake accumulators.


Difficult to tell exactly what you mean from this information. The only 'normal' noise from the ZF box is a little rattle when the engine is idling - which will go away when the clutch is depressed. You should not experience any rattling from the gearbox when the car is being driven. If you have noise from the differential, this will either be a humming type noise or a clonk when you take up drive. Have you checked that your exhaust system is not loose?



Nick in Malaysia writes:



Re: Brake accumulators.

We just opened up two for the Maserati Khamsin's accumulators to change the diaphragm inside it. Now, do these accumulators need to be filled with nitrogen? If so, which is the entry point of the Nitrogen Gas? (A diagram would be much help).

We have a local company here who services brake accumlators for Rolls Royce And Bentleys. By the way, we're back in Malaysia.



Reply from Andy:-

Re: Khamsin brake accumulators.


To be honest, we get them overhauled by a Citroen hydraulic specialist. You could try contacting them on 0044 1487 831239 - they are called Pleiades.



Matt in the USA writes:


"After a long attraction to American muscle and classic English cars (I don't understand the mix either), I have recently discovered several beautiful Maserati automobiles. It started with the 3500GT, grew into the Ghibli and of late the Khamsin. Without out doubt, I will someday own a Ghibli. While searching for the first two cars, I found a Khamsin or sale. It appears to be in very good original shape, has complete documentation and an interesting ownership history. Obviously, I would have a competent mechanic thoroughly review the car before any purchase is made. However, there is one component that frightens me. The Citroen Hydraulic system. Is this system as complex and cost prohibited as rumored? Are parts available without refinancing my house? Finally, are all the other positive aspects of running and owning this car worth the potential hydraulic challenges?

Thank you,



Reply from Andy:-

Re: Khamsin hydraulics.

"The LHM system uses an engine driven pump to provide hydraulic pressure to operate the brakes, the clutch, the steering, the drivers seat adjustment and the headlamp pod raising. Most of the components are not available new any more but the majority can be overhauled successfully. Costs per item are not excessive but a system that requires a major overhaul can soon add up.

From the pump, pressure is first regulated and then fed through three 'accumulators'. These are nitrogen filled spheres which 'store' pressure in the event of a failure of the pump or indeed engine (two are for brakes, the other for the remaining functions). These lose their effectiveness over time, but again can be re-charged and overhauled effectively.

The LHM fluid is not compatible with any normal kind of brake fluid and is also hygroscopic. The system operating pressure is also high at 2500psi. Any leaks therefore can cause problems with either water getting in or fluid getting out.

If there is a system failure, i.e. the pump stops or there is a major leak, the accumulators should provide enough pressure for use of the brakes to stop the car from maximum speed.

The above are the critical things to remember about the system which is actually very reliable when serviced and understood correctly - and that is where the problems lie. A few of the more common problems are as follows:

1. As the LHM fluid is green, errant mechanic assumed it was antifreeze and diluted the entire system requiring a complete flush. Or put normal brake fluid in which has the same consequence.

2. The reservoir for fluid sits in the engine bay under a grille in the bonnet. The neck of the reservoir is delicate and breaks easily allowing collected water to enter the system.

3. Every Citroen with this system has service intervals for getting spheres recharged etc. Because this was not the case with Maserati, owners assume that it is not the case. It is, spheres should be re-charged at least every four years.

4. Check for low accumulator pressure by running the engine and then stopping it. Now raise and lower the headlamps until the pressure runs out. 12 times is good, 6 is the minimum. Less and the car is dangerous.

5. The brakes are very sharp but you get used to it. On some cars, there is almost a delayed reaction when pressing the pedal. It is amazing how many owners get used to this but it is not right, merely a symptom of air in the system.

6. Do not expect that a car that has been standing for years will not require a major overhaul.

7. The steering is very direct but should become heavier as speed rises. There is a belt driven hardener pump attached to the rear axle which carries out this function. If the car still has feather light steering on the motorway then the hardener is not working.

8. It is possible to hear the regulator charging and then cutting out as pressure is reached. This manifests itself as a peculiar 'whirr - click' which on normal running should be every minute or so - more regular with heavy use of brakes, steering etc. If the whirr-click is happening constantly then either the pump performance is down or there is an internal leak in the system which is diverting pressure.

Unless you are starting with a project, it is unusual to need a complete hydraulic overhaul (which could be circa £5K). It is amazing though, how many cars are unsafe.

My advice would be not to worry unduly about the hydraulics on a Khamsin - millions of Citroens out there are similarly complicated (and they have LHM suspension too!). In the overall scheme of Khamsin buying, it is only one aspect (!!) I would worry more that you satisfy yourself that you enjoy driving this car because the LHM parts do make a difference. Most say that if you only have one car, then it is fine, but coming back to a Khamsin after driving other cars requires a period of adjustment. Some love it but equal numbers hate them! Compared to a Ghibli though, they do feel much more modern and very easy to manoeuvre.

If you are buying, then get a professional inspection carried out. It can save you thousands. If you want to take a 'pet' mechanic with you to look at a car, then make sure he is au fait with Citroens. Above all, Good Luck!



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