308 Purchase - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-23-2006, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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308 Purchase

Hello, I'm looking for some information! I want to purchase a 308 GT4 or 308 GTB, but I would like to know what are the faults in each car. In my search I have found that the 2nd gear syncro's are a weak spot, the timing belts are a must change item and what else do I need to know? I realy would like an early carb model if I opt for the GTB so is it a pain to keep the carbs working properly? I have had hot rods and such most of my life so I can tackle just about anything as far as the mechanics. I'm looking at the 308's because any of the older carb cars are just way beyond my price range. My dream is a 250 Lusso. Any info would be great, Thank you.

Last edited by jwstevens; 08-23-2006 at 01:13 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-23-2006, 10:48 AM
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It is hard to shift into second until the car is warmed up, but switching to a synthetic gear oil cures that. I used Redline synthetic.

The point-type 308 ignition is a weak spot. It has two dual point distributors and the point sets are like $75 each and you have to remove the distributors to change them. I swapped them out with a crane cams Fireball XR-3000 electronic ignition, PS-60 high-power coils, new magnacor plug wires and NGK plugs and did the whole job myself for under $500.

You'll find the power windows are deathly slow, don't let that dissuade you, they're all like that. You can take the doors apart, clean and lube the cables and put it back together in a weekend.

I had the carbs synchronized around 3 years ago. Haven't had to touch them since.

The entire electrical system is fairly weak. Usually just changing out the fuse box cures most of the woes. You can make one yourself or buy a plug-and-play one from Birdman for $100. http://www.birdmanferrari.com/

Speedometer failure is common also. The impulse generator is in a poor spot as it picks up a lot of the water and dirt from the road. A new one of those is like $130.

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. If you like to turn wrenches you'll find the 308 relatively easy to work on. It's a pretty simple machine. In the 4 1/2 years I've had my car I've spent about $1,500 in maintenance. Heck, I've spent more than that maintaining my truck. The belts were done when I bought the car. I'm planning on doing the belts, idler pulleys and waterpump this winter, haven't looked up all the prices but it will probably run me about a grand to do it right.

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 16 Old 08-23-2006, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much, Ive read that the the 308's are a pretty good car even for an every day ride if you keep the maintenance up. I have read that becareful of extreemly low milage cars because it is easy to disconect the odometer and run the piss out of it and if it is a real low milage car it might need a lot of attention due to the car just sitting idle and the deterioration of the rubber parts (belts, hoses and such). So i will be looking for a well documented car that has been taken care of.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-23-2006, 11:29 AM
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Good luck on your search. We have both Buyers Guides and a number of articles on both models. The links are:

Buyers Guides
http://www.ferrarilife.com/members/guides.php

Owners Manual
http://www.ferrarilife.com/members/manuals.php

Sales Brochures
http://www.ferrarilife.com/members/brochures.php

General Articles
http://www.ferrarilife.com/library/list_articles.php

Tech Articles
http://www.ferrarilife.com/tech/

and a few for sale:
http://www.ferrarilife.com/classified/list.php

Resources: Parts List | Buyer's Guides
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-24-2006, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwstevens
Thank you very much, Ive read that the the 308's are a pretty good car even for an every day ride if you keep the maintenance up. I have read that becareful of extreemly low milage cars because it is easy to disconect the odometer and run the piss out of it and if it is a real low milage car it might need a lot of attention due to the car just sitting idle and the deterioration of the rubber parts (belts, hoses and such). So i will be looking for a well documented car that has been taken care of.
Yes, all you do is take off the right rear tire and unplug the impulse generator. Even if not done intentionally, as I said it is a common failure so it may have gone unrepaired also. For a 25+ year old car I really don't even care what the mileage is; judge the car by condition. Have a pre-purchase inspection by a 3rd party technician.

As far as "well documented" expect to pay top dollar for an antique auto that has a fully documented service history. That would be a single owner car that has been the owner's pride and joy and he doesn't want to part with it for less than full "museum piece" price. You do need to be reasonable on that issue as you are pretty much going to be looking at cars that have had multiple owners and documentation does get lost or failed to be kept up. My car was not well documented when I bought it, all it had was a reciept for a recent cam belt change and it was in good shape at a good price. I bought it and changed all the fluids.

We've talked about documentation on vintage cars here before. Really, do you care if the car has documentation that the brake pads were changed in 1985? Also, if the car has 60k on the odometer, does it really matter if the 30k service was done? All I'd really care about would be documentation of recent service rather than a full service history. Doesn't matter how well the past maintenance was if the car has had nothing done to it in the past 3-4 years.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-24-2006, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, I just don't want to purchase a piece of garbage. I have been used to messing around with old muscle cars that are relatively cheap to repair and I dont want to buy a financial nightmare so I'm being cautious, I might be overly cautious! The timing belts are a concern to me what would be the rule of thumb of a timeline they need to be replaced, for example a car has 34k miles on it and a complete service was done at 30k but it was done 4 years ago, what would be the length of time the belts need to be replaced to safely keep from breaking them and having to rebuild the motor?
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-24-2006, 10:58 AM
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When you really need to change the cambelts is a topic that can be debated well into next week without a definitive answer ever emerging. The standard recommendation is every four years (mileage is fairly irrelevant given the factory guideline of between 25-37k, which is more than many 308s have been driven to date). The only thing I can add to this debate is I do not know of anyone who has had a belt break who adhered to the four year replacement schedule.

Per Pete's comments on service history, I completely agree. It is the last 4-5 years that are relevant. Prior to this it is interesting but will not tell you much about the current condition of the car.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-24-2006, 11:10 AM
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I understand your concern, you are venturing into the unknown and don't want to be taken for a ride (pardon the pun).

The belts are a 30k or 4 year recommended change interval. If you find the car you described above, I'd use the time interval as a bargaining chip to knock the price of the car down a couple thousand. You seem like a guy who's pretty saavy with a wrench and the belts on a 308 can be changed without removing the engine. (don't tell the seller that).

I'd say look for a car that has no dents, no rust, shiney paint, a nice interior and it starts and runs good at the time of purchase. Forget all the "Well, when was the last time the oil was changed?" Plan on changing all the fluids as soon as you buy the car. You will come across some electrical gremlins but you can deal with those. On a Ferrari the cosmetics cost more than the mechanics so worry about those first. A faded interior costs more to repair than a cylinder head.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-24-2006, 03:55 PM
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Belts

Pete is correct about the belts. They cost about $22 a piece and are not that hard to change in the car. The biggest PITA is that you have to remove the A/C compressor, but is otherwise a straightforward job. You can do it in a day or two. -Steve

Last edited by Ferrari328GT; 08-24-2006 at 04:04 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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308

I want to thank everyone for all of the information you have been most insightful and I deeply appreciate everything. Does anyone have their opinion on the best repair manual for the 308 models? I would like to purchase one to look through before I make the plunge! Also, what is the lifespan of a 308 engine under normal conditions? I know that's a loaded question but just a ballpark figure.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwstevens
I want to thank everyone for all of the information you have been most insightful and I deeply appreciate everything.
Glad we could help! Knowledge is power and you are definately going into the purchase of a Ferrari with both eyes wide open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwstevens
Does anyone have their opinion on the best repair manual for the 308 models? I would like to purchase one to look through before I make the plunge!
HAHAHA! That's a good one!! There is no good repair manual for the 308. The only one I know of that is out there is the factory one. Not a very good "step by step" book (translated from Italian) but it does have all the specs, settings and torque values. As far as buying one, you don't have to. Since you coughed up a few bucks to become an elite member of Ferrari Life, you can download the manual here for free. Click on the "My Ferrari Life" tab at the top, select workshop manuals on the left and download the manual for the 308 GT4. The GT4, GTB and GTS are all mechanically identical cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwstevens
Also, what is the lifespan of a 308 engine under normal conditions? I know that's a loaded question but just a ballpark figure.
I've never heard of one failing due to "old age". Then again, you don't find many 308s that have over 100k miles on them anyway. The highest mileage one I ever heard of was 130k. I would think if you follow the old "Clean air, clean oil, clean fuel" advice there would be no reason why the engine wouldn't go over 200k. The few major engine failures I've heard of were due to cambelt failure. They are an interference engine meaning the piston can strike the valves if they are open.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 07:55 AM
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Oh, the parts manual is extremely useful. It has good illustrations and it lists every part, nut and bolt on the car and how they fit together. The part names are all in Italian but you can go to http://www.allferrariparts.com/home.html, enter the part number and it will give you the name of the part in English. Good guy to do business with also. He's usually got the best prices.

I lost the link to where to find this manual online but I have a copy of it electronically. I'd be glad to email it to you. It's a 4.3 Mb file if your email can handle it.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 08:19 AM
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Parts Manual

I think this is the web site Capt. Pete is referring to, that has the parts manual, for free:

http://ferrari.jenkins.org/books/

It is probably more useful than the service manual. This forum is a great place to ask for help on service procedures. -Steve
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 10:52 AM
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You can also get the 308 QV Workshop Manual here:

http://www.ferrarilife.com/members/workshop.php

Resources: Parts List | Buyer's Guides
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-25-2006, 02:23 PM
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That is the website I was thinking of and yes, this forum is a great place to ask about service procedures. I'm willing to help on any job I've done before on my 308.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 01:07 AM
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If it's handy and any use, all the manuals can be accessed from my site www.maranellohouse.com Just down on the left of the front page (Owners and workshop manuals for various Ferrari models) just click it.
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