Originally Posted by BluTan87Mondi
A must do before purchase: a full Pre-Purchase Inspection.
A must do as part of the sale: all the Belts changed (I don't know about this one, but my '87 Mondi Cabio can have its belts changed without having to take the engine out for $1,100.)
A should do as needed: the real engine out major service to take care of the leaking seals, valve adjustments, rebuild the water pump, etc. These issues tend to build up over time and coincides with the recommended service intervals. An engine out major for mine is around $6k every 5 years with belts being changed in between every 3 years or 30K miles.
An engine out service for a V8 Ferrari is only for the models with longtitudinally mounted engines - 288 GTO, F40, 348 and 355 (360 has a panel that comes out) in the V8 class. There is no need to do an engine out service on any transversely mounted V8 Ferrari. There are few isolated incidents where the engine may need to be removed but in no way would it be part of a routine or thorough service.
Furthermore, the major service of a Ferrari IS the belt service, which is 5 years or 30k. There is no 3 years then change belts, then two years and then REMOVE THE ENGINE ???? to do what?? on a tranversely mounted V8 Ferrari. Absolutely do not do that. The major is engine in on a 328 and in between the major services (again, where the belts are changed), there may be something that comes up like an oil leak from a cam seal or water pump breakage and if that happens, you may want to move up the major service as it would become more cost effective to it at the same time.
After owning several V8 Ferraris, including a 355 and 360, I sold them all except for the 328, which I will never sell. It is a very reliable, very fun car. It's easy to live with and easy to own. To that end, IMO, you don't need all of service records IF you can get an experienced Ferrari mechanic to give you a very careful PPI. It needs to be a good mechanic and a meticulous PPI. Then, you don't necessarily need all of the records.
However, form the sound of it, the previous owner may not have had the necessary money to own a Ferrari (service wise) and maybe tried to skimp a little on servicing. This may or may not be a big deal but usually these are the cars with numerous "deferred maintenance" issues. A complete new service with hoses, injectors, fuel cross over hoses, etc. would probably be in order (again it should NOT be engine out) and you can expect to pay around $5k or so if nothing else (water pump, etc.) is wrong with the car.
Here's my advice: unless you're looking at a GTB, which is a rare car, then you can afford to pass this one up and look at another 328 on the market. If there are any hiccups with the PPI or in your research of the car, just walk. There are plenty out there. If it a GTB, let me know. I have a register of all the 328 GTB's brought into the US. I might have some history on the car that you're looking at.