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Discussion Starter #1
I am buying a 1975, January registered Dino 308 GT4, could somebody give me some info in relation to what to expect with the oil pressure guage - the "expert" who looked at the car for me says that the guage goes down to almost zero when at idle with the engine at normal operating temperature.
Is the guage a problem at this age?
What should the guage register at the various temps?
Any other points I should look out for would be gratefully received.
Only just discovered this forum to night and am impressed
 

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Hi "Jasper"

It depends what conditions the engine/car is running in to reach that low a pressure.

On my car, if I've driven it for sustained periods at reasonable speed and the outside temps are warm (say, summertime afternoon), if I stop at a traffic light, the oil pressure will drop down to what I gather it to be on the gauge, anywhere between 15-20 psi (small gauge doesn't have room for all pressure "numbers" so a guess is needed between the first line and the half-way line).

Same situation above, but colder winter-weather driving and the pressures will be higher (since the oil is a wee bit thicker due to the colder outside temps).

Keeping that in mind, don't rule out faulty electronics too - they are the weak-point on cars like this. The lubrication system on a Ferrari is over-engineered to the extreme, so have your mechanic attach a certified, calibrated mechanical pressure gauge in the oiling system circuit (preferably where the electronic sensor hooks up to - below the oil filter) to confirm readings. This will determine if the sensor is defective (most likely), or not. Take it from there as a starting point in diagnosing.

But yes, oil pressure at idle with a very warm engine will be low (average: 30-40psi).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Peter,
Thank you for that. I am to settle the porchase next week in England, have not seen the car as yet but had an independent assessor check it out. His assessment of the oil pressure levels was that the guage is usually at fault in Ferraris of this age.
What else should I look out for in this car?
Regards
Jasper
 

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Make sure it has had all of the usual maintenance up-to-date, this will include timing belts & tensioners, valve adjustment, water-pump, fluids, ignition, carb tune-up, etc...

I don't know if Ireland has the same MOT system as the UK, but if it does and the car passes, then you'll be fine.

Things to look out for would be rust on the body, especially in the trunk(boot), bottom of doors, windscreen pillars (especially if it has a sunroof). The electric windows will be slow (happens on all of them. I mean ALL). Trim pieces are hard to come by and are expensive if you find them, so make sure the car is intact. Pay attention to how the car shifts, especially into second and sometimes forth gears. Sometimes crunching is due to misalignment of the shifting mechanism - easy fix. If that doesn't work, well, the engine must come out and gearbox seperated in order to fix (big$$$). Etc...

The typical advice normally used for all classic cars applies to this one. Just make sure the mechanics are good on the car, the rest of it is easy (cheap).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Peter,
Thank you for the help - much appreciated. Will let you know how the car turns out.
Jasper
 

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Discussion Starter #6
:( Hi Pete, Well I bought it and 277 miles later the same day it threw a cam bearing - two valves bent but no head damage. Being repaired at the moment, having all belts and bearings replaced.
Quite a fantastic car to drive, bit like having a wildcat on your back - love the sound, beats the hell out of my Porsche.
Seeing that the door handles come from a Fiat X19, where do the plastic items (lights, brake lights and indicators come from, presumably from similar humble origins) ??
Where is the best pplace to get a 308 GT4 hand book?
Jasper
 
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