308 New owner with ?'s - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-25-2003, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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308 New owner with ?'s

Hey there - I am a soon to be Ferrari owner (long time dream coming true!!) I pick up my 1980 308 GTSi in a few weeks, it only has 25,000 miles, and seems to be in great shape. I'm wondering about upgrading the ignition system, what is the best system out there to improve the performance of this car? I've heard that an ignition upgrade is a fairly "easy" way to improve performance and regain some of the famous lost horsepower on the injected 308's. BTW great site/forum I'm a member on many M-B/BMW sites, great to find a Ferrari site! Job well done!

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-25-2003, 10:23 PM
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The injected cars like the one you're about to get use the Digiplex ignition system from Magneti Marelli and have no performance upgrade capability. Best to use a direct fire set-up (see the other, recent thread in this Tech Q&A section for details...).

FWIW, its a costly mod for moderate gain in power. The main benefit is near-zero maintenance. You also need to understand how to program it...
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-26-2003, 06:35 AM
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What M-B sites do you visit? We just got a E300 TD last month. I haven't found any decent websites or forums.

BTW - had the ole diesel up to a buck thirty on the highway last night. Ultra smooth, ultra quiet. Really a nice car.

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'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-26-2003, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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I like www.mercedesshop.com, It has parts, service, help, and a lot of guys who know a boat-load about Benz's. Nearly identical forums to this one. Check it out... If you like your diesel Benz, get your hands on an AMG model of your liking and hold on!!! Good Luck

Also to GT4 Peter- thanks for the input, after spending some time looking through other threads, looks like the Crane system might be what I'm looking for. After visiting the Crane website system seems pretty straight forward. Thanks for the help.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-26-2003, 09:51 PM
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Actually, Crane makes systems that are essentially piggy-backs to mechanical, breaker-type ignition systems. If Crane offers a completely seperate, stand-alone ignition system, then you'll be fine. Otherwise, you can't mix-and-match or plug-and-play components with the Digiplex. All, or nothing...
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-27-2003, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Right- the Crane XR3000 piggyback system is what I had looked at, seems pretty good, any opinons? What about the distibutorless systems? Are they good? How many $$$'s? I guess I'm asking what is the best system to invest in, for reliability and performance? Thanks in advance...

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-27-2003, 11:46 PM
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A distributorless system can run you about $1000 - $1500USD.

Considering that the Marelli distributor caps can set you back around $280 EACH and rotors about $30 each, its not that far off...

Electromotive has a nice DIY kit, but there are others out there too (MOTEC, Omex, Weber-Alpha, DTA, etc...).
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-28-2003, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Which system/method is the best way to improve reliability, the piggy-back style or the distributorless? Is there any obvious gains either system provides vs. the other? The Crane system is less expensive, will it provide roughly the same result, minus the fact one could still need dist. caps and rotors someday? How DIY are the distributorless systems, what could I screw up? I am reasonably mechanically inclined, work in a mechanical/technical field... for whatever that is worth!!! Again thanks for the input.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-03-2003, 11:10 PM
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Sorry for the late reply to your questions.

Simply put, the piggy-back systems will NOT work on this style of ignition system. The Digiplex calculates spark intensity and timing based on TDC sensors, as well as the engine-speed-pick-up sensor mounted on the bellhousing, plus vacuum from the intake. The Cranes use a single signal generated and collected from a distributor (a dist. that has an advance mechanism - the Digiplex dist. doesn't have it as the computer does that calculation by the above methods), which then simply generate a high-intensity, multiple-spark discharge. Two different ways of igniting the fuel-mixture...

The Electromotive kit would require some mods to install the trigger sensor and wheel to the front pulley of the engine, plus you must calculate and program the timing of the system. If you say you're mechanically-inclined, then I guess it wouldn't be hard at all... :wink:
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-04-2003, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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You say the Crane XR3000 system won't work? I'm confused, the Crane website specifies it for a 1980 GTSi... and others on this forum have posted pics of it on their 308's??? Is there some big difference between the carb'ed, and injected 308 ignition system???

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-05-2003, 11:38 AM
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Yes, there is a difference. The carbed 308's use mechanical, breaker points. The Crane system replaces the breaker points with Infrared optical triggers. The injected 308's use computer-controlled ignition, which uses sensors on the bellhousing to signal to the computers, when to fire the coils.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-05-2003, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, I did not realize the difference, I had done more research on carb'ed models than on injected ones. So a completely new question is the GTSi inginition system good? Does it even need improvement? I feel like I've really been barking up the wrong tree here!! Apparently I need to do some moreresearch on the injected models.

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