Looking to buy a 308 (carbureted)- need your comments - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-22-2002, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Looking to buy a 308 (carbureted)- need your comments

Okay, I'm looking at purchasing a '79 308 GTB. I'm hoping that some of you 308 owners will chime in and give me a good education, before I make this move.

A little about me: somewhat well versed mechanically. I have a couple of '65 Stingrays that keep me busy, and can do most basic-moderate repairs (e.g., valve adjustment, carb cleaning, water pump......I just stay away from anything where the heads come off, and leave that for the pro).

Questions:

1) What things break / need repairing most often on these car? I understand that they have hydrolic lifters; so, there shouldn't be any maint. there. I keep hearing timing belt/chain??

2) Can I do these repairs myself (remember, it'll be carbureted)?

2 a. How much can I expect to spend per year to keep it running?

3) How often do these things go bad?

4) 308 block- aluminum w/sleeves or iron? how many miles are they good for?

5) Pistons and rods- cast or forged?

6) Rust- where do I look for rust?

7) Anything else to keep in mind?

I think that the 308 and 328 styles are examples of the best sports car bodies ever made.

I hope you'll be able to help me out.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-23-2002, 03:00 PM
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Max,
I bought my car back in May and the only serious problem I have had is the low speed points set failed causing the car to backfire. I got advice from the guys on this website to merely disconnect the low speed points. I did this and the car runs fine now. Other things I have done - Cleaned the spark plugs, changed the oil, replaced the oil pressure sending unit, replaced the speedometer sending unit, and replaced the coolant expansion tank mounts. All the jobs were relatively easy and completed with common hand tools.

I really haven't had any major problems with the car (other than the backfiring but that turned out to be minor). Andrew is going to have the service manual and parts manual available for download on this website (if he hasn't already done so).

I have two minor rust "bubbles" on my car, one is on the driver's side down low in front of the rear tire; the other is on the passenger side all the way at the rear of the car, again, down low. I would pay particular attention to the bottoms of the doors. I have heard that this is a problem area.

I don't know any of the "hard data" on the engine. The timing belts are supposed to be changed every 30k miles. If the belt should fail when the engine is running, the pistons will strike any valves that are open. The timing belt and water pump had just been changed on my car before I got it and the receipt for the work (I have it somewhere) was like $450 (including parts). There are no lifters. The cam lobes act directly on the valves (overhead camshafts) There is an adjustment, the clearance needs to be checked and adjusted every 30k miles. Adjustment is made by shimming the springs. doesn't look like too bad of a job but it will require the manual, the shims and some special tools. When you look for a 308, the words "30k mile service recently performed" would be a good selling point.

Hope this helps you and feel free to ask anything. I'm sure the other guys here will chime in with their tips. There are a bunch of 308 owners here wth quite a knowledge base.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-24-2002, 06:28 AM
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Maximilian,

Pete hit in right on the head as far I'm concerned. A fairly fresh 30K or major service is key. Be weary of very, very low mileage cars (sub-1K). I'll take a 60K 308 that's been maintained over a garage queen with less than 600 miles. It's all in how they've been maintained. Period. In my opinion, these carb'd 308's are tough and reliable if not totally neglected. A common question (one of mine as well) was how consistent is the carburetor synchronization. Very consistent once done.

I have a 1977 308GTB (you can see the little avatar to the left). I love it. I love the sound that the Weber's produce and the reactions I get when people discover there's four of them. 8) It really is a great, great little car. If you're looking for shear bhp for the money, look at a Pontiac Firebird with Ram Air Induction (most around 23K USD). However, if you're looking for a car that is great fun to drive, somewhat inexpensive, very addicting (that's a BIG "very") and is just spectacular to the human eye, my vote's a mid-to late 70's 308. Also, don't forget the GT4's as well. Same great engine (the first of the series) and even less expensive on average.

Above all, have the car(s) inspected by a mechanic. Period. I had an 81 GTSi and my 77 checked. It cost me $350USD. Best money this kid's ever spent. The Si didn't come back with the bill of health I wanted but the 77 did. Most mechanics will cut you a deal on multiple car checks.

Good luck and let us know how the search goes.

Forza,

Dane
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-24-2002, 06:31 AM
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Maximilian,

Just remembered. Take a look at www.Ferrari308.com. Awesome site with another great founder; same as here. In the resources section of 308.com there's a Q and A sheet about buying 308's. I found it very, very helpful. It covers the questions you're asking and more such as maintenance and care.

Forza,

Dane
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-27-2002, 09:10 AM
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Hi, I too am completely and utterly addicted to my 308. Unfortunately, my car does not have the lucious Webers, but my car still sounds lovely. To me, and several others on this site, a 308 is the most gorgeous automobile ever made. I mean that. Every single time I look at my car, I see a new part of it, or a new angle of it that I love. My 308 has never broken down on me, it is easy to replace parts and do minor repairs, an oil change on my car is $40. To this day, people ask me if its a brand new Ferrari! A well maintained 308 is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Show me another car that evokes such feelings, makes its driver feel like Mario Andretti...even if you go to the store!! I will never, ever be without a Ferrari again in my life. Just get one, and thank us later!
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-27-2002, 03:33 PM
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4re308,
Same thing happens to me. People will ask me if it is new and are shocked when I tell them its a 23 year old car.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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