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Discussion Starter #1
Shopping for my first Ferrari. Always was attacted to the 308/328 series. Concentrating my efforts towards a 1989 328. Would love to hear some pros and cons of this car.
 

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Good choice, if...

this is your first entry level. Excellent size, beautiful proportions, my favorite. However, there's several drawbacks. If you are tall & big, interior size may be a problem. If you are in to SPEED and must have it FAST, probably 328 would disappoint you. Let's see what others have to say. Good luck. Jimmy
 

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pyroguy said:
Shopping for my first Ferrari. Always was attacted to the 308/328 series. Concentrating my efforts towards a 1989 328. Would love to hear some pros and cons of this car.
Personally - I think this is the best 1st Ferrari to ever buy...They one of Pinifarinas best looking cars, they are old enough now to have all the depreciation gone, they are mechnically very strong, I agree with Jimmy's comment regarding size, although I'm 6'0" and I never had a problem, as for speed, depends what you've been driving, a 328 maybe the quickest thing you've ever sat in? - But I'll bet very few will match the handling or the sense of occasion when you fire that V8 up?
2 Questions pose from your original post, GTS V's GTB, and you realise that all '89's are ABS equipped?

Good Luck in your search,

Argento
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guys. As for me, I'm only 5'8" so I'm not Tom Selleck proportions. Never owned a particularly fast car and was a Harley guy in my younger days. Just want a fun car for the wife and I.

I picked the 89 year for the ABS and antidive. Was at the Concorso Italiano in August and there appears to be quite a bit of aftermarket parts and products available.

I'm open to either a GTS or GTB. GTS is a little sexier but the GTB is probably stronger frame/body overall. Probably end up with a GTS since there are a lot more out there.

My only problem is I live in Minnesota. Not an abundance of Ferrari mechanics near by. However I hope to do some of the maintenance myself. That's half the fun in my opinion.
 

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Smarty Jones

Thanks for the referrral Boxer. If anyone has an e-mail address for SJ I would appreciate it.
 

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The 328 is an excellent choice to get your feet wet with Ferrari ownership. Most reliable and refined of the 3x8 series. The most "driveable" also. At 5' 8" the car should fit you like a glove.

You are right about the GTB having a stiffer body/frame but I've never had any issues with the GTS, pretty tight car. Unless you plan on routinely driving the car at it's upper limits I doubt you'd notice any benefit of the added stiffness of a GTB. Go for the "sexy" GTS, you will notice a benefit on those sunny days when you take the top off and stuff it behind the seats to enjoy some open air driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
More on the 328

Dear Pete,

I'm sure I'll probably end up with the GTS. Agree with the top off in sumertime.

Boxer - Found the address as suggested. Waiting for a reply.

Do 89' 328s have a computer diagnostic connection and is "after market" diagnostic software available?
 

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328

Gee, thanks, Boxer. I guess it is time I responded to Pyroguy.

I agree with everything everyone else has said. I do feel some frame twist in the GTS, but the car is so much fun to drive in nice weather that I don't care.

There is a diagnostic connector on 328s, but I don't believe there is any software available to mortals. After 1996, OBDII made it mandatory to be able to read at least basic computer I/O, but before that, it was proprietary. It is more challenging to figure out stuff on our 328 models.

As for doing the work yourself, it's all a matter of patience. There is a big difference in being difficult, and being time consuming. The 328 is definitely time consuming, but if you aren't hassled by time, it is not that difficult. (Try doing a timing belt on a late model Mitsubishi V-6 if you want difficult). There are lots of experienced people on this forum that are willing to help out, so you don't have to learn stuff the hard way. Occassionally, you do have to buy a special tool, but it sure beats paying someone else to do the work. Just take your time. I say go for it.

I have owned four Ferraris including a Testarossa, and this 328 is more fun than the others. Makes me smile every time I drive it. -Steve
 

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Dear WhiteNSX,

Thanks for the reply. Started seriously looking the past 6 months or so. Hope to have one picked out by next year. Gives my wife and I a chance to take some weekend getaways to look at the vehicles. I would like to do what I can on the car. Good to know people are willing to share their knowledge.

What are some of the problem issues with 328s that I should keep my eyes open for when looking? Not surprising it seems that price seems to follow the East/West coast higher prices as opposed to the slightly lower prices I've seen for a midwest 328. Anything worth my attention appears to be in the $40k to $60k price range
 

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Watch out for.....

The number one issue by far is RUST. Don't even think of buying one that's been in snow/salt country. Ferrari uses lots of small bolts and nuts (4mm). You'll break them off and be really sorry. There are so many 328s for sale from California, Arizona, Nevada, and other dry climates that it's not worth messing around with rust, at any price.

Other than that, most of the cars I see have oil leaks. I HATE oil leaks, but they are fixable. Trans shifter shaft seals are a weak spot, but doable. Make sure you try out all the transmission synchronizers. All seem to be stiff going into second gear when cold, but should smooth out once warmed up. If not, you can expect a huge repair bill. Weatherstripping is easily available, but quite expensive, if you choose to replace it. Make sure you get a good maintenance history on the car, especially, of course, on the timing belts. The belts themselves are cheap, and can be replaced in the car. Valve adjustment is tough to do, but is possible. If the belts and valve adjustment haven't been done recently, deduct a bunch from the price you are willing to pay. Let's see, what else. Try out the heater controls. There are separate controls for driver and passenger. Each has a small control panel that cost several hundred dollars to replace if defective. Air conditioning seems to lose charge, but is no more difficult to repair than any other car.

Don't forget that these cars are 17 to 20 years old. Every gasket, seal, and hose probably needs to be replaced, even if the mileage is low.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Just remember, every thing is easy to fix except rust. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Where do you live? -Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dear WhiteNSX,

Thanks for the tips.

I llive in Minnesota. Not the end of the earth, but you can see it from here! Ha Ha!

I'm used to oil leaks, wrenched on Harleys in my younger days. Appreciate the rust issue. I intend to crawl under all the cars I look at. Sync ros could be an issue if I can't actually drive the vehicle myself to get the feel of the shifter.
I have heated storage for the winter months. Currently looking at cars in Atlanta, Naples and Springfield, MO. Not too interested in CA cars with all the extra PC crap.
 

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Having been a Harley guy you probably know that the only time they stop leaking is when they are out of oil. :)

Steve gave some excellent advice. You would do well to heed by it. As for the second gear issue, that's a well known problem on the 308, doesn't want to go into second gear when cold, I didn't realize it was still an issue on the 328. However, all you have to do is switch to the Redline synthetic gear oil and all shifting problems go away. Trust me on that one.

(There's a hint for you Steve - put the Redline synthetic gear oil in your car and that second gear hard shift issue will go away.)

I wouldn't discount the California cars, unless you are getting a Euro car, all the cars coming to the US met California emissions.
 

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pyroguy said:
Dear WhiteNSX,

Thanks for the reply. Started seriously looking the past 6 months or so. Hope to have one picked out by next year. Gives my wife and I a chance to take some weekend getaways to look at the vehicles. I would like to do what I can on the car. Good to know people are willing to share their knowledge.

What are some of the problem issues with 328s that I should keep my eyes open for when looking? Not surprising it seems that price seems to follow the East/West coast higher prices as opposed to the slightly lower prices I've seen for a midwest 328. Anything worth my attention appears to be in the $40k to $60k price range
Have you taken a look at our Buyers Guide for the 328 ?

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

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Red Line

Sorry, Capt. Pete, Red Line did not fix second gear. Neither did a new blocker ring ($257). Works real well when warmed up, though. For more details, see my thread "328 Transmission". -Steve
 
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