79 308 restoration - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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79 308 restoration

Back in november 2003 I decided to take my 308 apart to repaint it. I bought the car in 2001 which was my first ferrari after getting out of mopar muscle cars and I havent looked back! The car was originally grigio on burgandy, had been painted a few times, seats were tired and it was unloved. I bought it not caring about all those important details and enjoyed it for 2 years before deciding paint was much needed. One thing lead to another (which usually happens with me) because to do a proper repaint on a 308 you have to take apart half the car. I thought if I paint it and see a tired interior thats no good. The suspension bushings were dry, 3rd syncro (not 2nd) was tired, the list goes on. I wanted more power too, so I took it apart completely.

Ive restored cars before but this was different. Ive never restored a car that had so many rivets and so much lead as this car did. It was very complicated and it took way too long. I didnt work on it non-stop since 03. Ive moved 3 times during the restoration and hauled it in bins and baskets, divorced once (not over the car but I got to keep it!) re-married once, bought a boxer which slowed the progress of the 308 and the winters here kill motivation. Needless to say the car is basically done now. Ill post pics and add comments here and there.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Paul.
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post #2 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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moving right along. I continued to take it apart. I filled so many plastic rubbermaid bins of 308 parts I needed a special rack to hold it all. A car takes up so much space when its apart. As I took the car apart I carefully looked at every fastener, measured its dimensions, markings such as "lobo" on a bolt, the colour of the fastener and its related washers, nuts or clips, its location then threw it in a pail marked silver gold or black. I plated all hardware and brackets. I broke it up into 3 batches to keep my sanity and to lessen the chace of losing things. It cost a few hundred bucks instead of 100 for a one shot deal but it was worth it. I purchased NOS parts where possible, mostly from ferrariUK which was a great place to deal with.
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post #3 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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more parts come off.....what a mess. I cant begin to explain how much I learned about the marque after going through this project. There were things that made me shake my head in disbelief. One thing in particular was ferrari's use of dum-dum like material in the corners of the engine compartment, the corners of the dash/firewall under the dash and the front inner fender wells. They used this play-doh stuff where ever they could then painted over it to fill gaps. It was funny to see but I took a different approach as I reassembled it by using seam sealer instead. Sorry Enzo.
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post #4 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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more and more parts then the cutting begins....I had a decision to make. I hated the rear diaper on the car, prefered the euro look and since this cars smog devices were long gone why strive to make it 100% stock? If Trutlands had this car it would be in car heaven by now so how bad could it be to make some changes but still staying true to the design and using ferrari parts? I ordered a rear valance from ferrariUK and removed the US spec rear frame section. There was rust yes, the rock wool ferrari uses along with boxed in sheet metal around the rear frame rails combined with no provisions from keeping water out equals rust. Anyone with a US spec 308 that actually gets the car wet will have rust inside the trunk under the sub-floor. The forward ends of the boxed sections are open at the front just below the rear firewall in the engine compartment. The Euro cars have no boxed sections, no rock wool and a lower trunk floor so the rear frame section had to go or the new valance I got wouldnt fit. The bonus is my trunk is 4" deeper than a US spec car and IMO it looks nicer plus the car will be under 3000LBS when im done!
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post #5 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I had access to a euro 308 so measuring and duplicating the rear frame section was easy. After that I rolled it out and had a guy come and soda blast the car. I used soda on the body panels except the aluminum hood and a lime based material for the frame. It was more agressive and made short work of the frame/chassis. It would have been to harsh for the panels though. The lead was untouched and was left there. I was pleased to see the car had never been hit - not even a parking lot ding. The door skins were replaced with NOS ones from ferrariUK and the lower quarters were replaced where the side marker lamps once were. I left the markers off and went with a euro repeater on the front fenders. I moved the hole for the repeater back 5" from the US location which is the correct Euro location for the lamp.
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post #6 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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stripped body, frame wasnt stripped at this time.
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post #7 of 120 Old 01-28-2009, 06:48 PM
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Awesome project! Great photos, too.

Did you stick with the American federalized rectangle side marker lights, or did you go with the Euro round side marker lights? If you went with the Euro lights, would you mind revealing your source? I'm looking to change mine back. Thanks.

Please post more pictures when you can.
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post #8 of 120 Old 01-29-2009, 11:57 AM
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I've said it before Paul, but I'll say it again, awesome work! I can appreciate and understand as I'm currently tackling the running gear of my GT4 and I can't believe how monumentally-sized the project really is... And you've done the entire car! Wow.

Congrats

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post #9 of 120 Old 01-29-2009, 12:53 PM
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I love these threads....another well done, and rightly deserved re-do....

3 years in the making, Taj Mahal was faster

BTW, SN?

rik

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post #10 of 120 Old 01-29-2009, 02:21 PM
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Holy smokes Newman, you get the thread of month award! Awesome job on the 308.
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post #11 of 120 Old 01-29-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, chassis number 29007. Hi Peter, yeah its a huge job which I didnt really grasp until I was up to my eyeballs. It was tough to keep motivated and im finally there. It was 5 years in the making!

The doors were a real sore spot. Common problem to have rot at the bottom of the skin from water drainage issues. The inside of the door has seam sealer and goo to keep water out and head for the drain holes. The problem is the skin extends much further down than the door shell bottom so when the seal sealer dries up and cracks like mine did, the water goes to the unprotected bare metal skin where it folds around the door shell. I couldnt find NOS 308 skins at the time so I went with NOS 328 skins and simply eliminated the handle hole. The lower fender heels were another typical issue which I cut out prior to blasting to get all the area clean then in went the new piece. It was an interesting piece to make and I discovered something cool. When you take a piece of metal, fold it as I did then make the curve, it naturally forms the other curve that duplicated the wheel opening curve perfectly. If you make the outside curve first, the second curve just happens as you bend the metal.

A few shots of the engine and gearbox.
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post #12 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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more shots, some I used for reference such as the wiring in the console, the routing of the coolant hoses and all the other stuff under the bonnet.

I had custom 10.5:1 pistons made during the rebuild of the engine and the gearbox got new syncros.

Because the euro valance required a lower trunk floor and different rear frame section I also had to fabricate the forward trunk firewall. The wall is 4" deeper now. I discovered that ferrari didnt use a totally different frame for a euro vs US car, they just changed the rear tubing behind the suspension and ahead of the front suspension. Its not like the entire frame was lighter or radically different. They started with the same basic frame and addded extra stuff to the extreme ends. Ill go into more detail on the frame later.

forgive the crappy quality of the last two pics, different camera, wasnt digital so the pics were scanned.
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post #13 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 10:22 AM
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was that corner 'clipon' galvi? or stainless or something special.. IF so, isn't that going to be a problem over time in temp/weathering differences.

rik

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post #14 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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was that corner 'clipon' galvi? or stainless or something special.. IF so, isn't that going to be a problem over time in temp/weathering differences.

rik
if you mean the fender heel, no, its mild steel so no problems later plus its seam sealed on the inside and painted on the back side.
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post #15 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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the wiring harness had no issues other than it was rock hard and had no flexibility to it anymore. The portion inside the cabin was still soft but the outside ends of it were done. When I took the harness out pieces of hard plastic would shatter and fly across the garage exposing the wiring inside. I ordered rolls of sheathing that matched the original size and look, took the hard shell connectors off the terminals and slid new covering over the harness. I used brake clean and paint reducers at times to remove over-spray from previous paint jobs. That was a major PITA but worth the trouble. All the terminals were cleaned and put back together, the harness looks mint now and its soft and flexible again.

All the hardware was replated, seemed like a lot more to put on than I took off. I remembered most of the stuff but after a while you do forget some things. The notes I took were a god-send when I needed them. No matter how many pics I took I still didnt cover all the angles needed and I found myself looking at other cars and through books to get certian details, minor stuff but important to me.

I bought 5 OEM QV rims with raised lettering. One of the fronts was NOS and still in the box. Im using it as the spare and the other 4 I had refinished. I bought them from TRutlands a number of years back.
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post #16 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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The exterior trim on my 79 was anodized aluminum and started to fade a bit, some parts had a purple tint to them and they just had to be redone....along with EVERY part on this car. I sent them out, they strip them, polish them then anodize them. That way they have a nice shine like original. I provided an NOS a-pillar trim piece as a sample and they duplicated it perfectly.

The original wheel bolts were stripped and rechromed.

Speedo face was anodized as well.

Stainless trim was polished, door edge lamp o-rings replaced, new bulbs and a polished bezzel (with finger prints on it).
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post #17 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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The carbs had the correct numbers on them for my car and the location of the carb on the engine. The engine and gearbox also match according to the heritage certificate I got a few years back from ferrari.

I sent the hardware out for the carbs, ordered kits to overhaul them. Pretty straight forward stuff.

I updated my fuse blocks in both the 308 and boxer to this new design a friend of mine made in Alberta Canada. These upgraded blocks are way better than need be, they take blade style fuses and the fuse block covers fit so they look stock. Some replacement blocks take glass fuses which is better than stock but the factory covers dont fit them, I didnt want that.
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post #18 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 05:38 PM
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You posted pictures here, of the round red door lights. Are these like the amber side marker lights? I want to replace my US Federalized rectangle lights with the original Euro amber side marker lights, but don't know where to get them. If anyone else knows, please PM me. Thanks. Michael

Newman, you are the man! This car project is fun to view, and unbelievable! That car must be worth quite a bit now.
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post #19 of 120 Old 01-30-2009, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neonzapper View Post
You posted pictures here, of the round red door lights. Are these like the amber side marker lights? I want to replace my US Federalized rectangle lights with the original Euro amber side marker lights, but don't know where to get them. If anyone else knows, please PM me. Thanks. Michael

Newman, you are the man! This car project is fun to view, and unbelievable! That car must be worth quite a bit now.

The door lights are smaller than the repeaters. The repeaters I bought new from a friend. Im not sure where you can get them, try the usual places like ferrariUK. I know the ones on my boxer are similar but not the same as a 308 one. The boxer ones are flattened a bit rather than pointed. There were some boxer ones on ebay this week and chances are someone wouldnt really pick up on the differences unless they're really anal like me!
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post #20 of 120 Old 01-31-2009, 07:55 AM
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what are the screw with lock nuts and the spring things in this photo? never even noticed them before, to be honest.
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