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New Ferrari 308 questions.

6155 Views 23 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RCPEAK

Good evening. This is my first post here with Ferrari.Forums. I'm not new to sports cars but am new to Ferraris. I've just purchased a 1982 308 GTSi. I have a few questions I'm hoping might be answered.
1. The car seems to run rich, however I suspect the the thermostate is bad as the operating temperature never exceeds 140 degress on the gauge. Is this possibly the reason for the richness?
2. Is it possible to otherwise adjust the misture and dare I do so?
3. What is a good place to purchase ignition parts (plug wires, points, condenser, etc.)
4. Does the 30,000 check really cost $5,000.00 or is that an high estimate?
I've ordered a shop manual so once I receive it I'll go from there.

Thamks in advance for the replies.
Steve Schroeder
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1982 GTSi

Seschroeder, First of all it sounds like your sending unit or temp guage is bad because unless you were in a frigid climate the operating temps eventually would go up to at least 195 or in the low 200 range . Second I have a carb model 308 but in my opinion there is something else causing your rich problem like a bad oxygen sensor. The best place with the best prices on parts is G.T. Car Parts. I've tried them all. 623-780-2200 ask for Bill or Dave. As far as the 30,000 mile inspection, Yes it can go that high depending where you take it. But that is a major inspection and all Ferrari dealers get a premium for the service. It ain't no check. Glad to see you are one of us. The car is something you will fall in love with and you will find the "Ferrari Passion". Stay in touch and if we can help out anytime just give a holler. BRGDS Magoo
Seschroeder, according to my temp gauge in my GT4, the first mark is 140*F, you should reach this temperature just warming up on the drive-way! The gauge in my car was replaced by the previous owner as it was bad and these units do fail. But they are very expensive. To try to fix this problem, I'd suggest to replace the temp sending unit first, which is located underneath the pipe that connects the two cylinder heads and the thermostat. This sending unit is cheap and readily avaliable. With your fuel-injected 308, it'll be difficult to reach it as this pipe is located under the intake plenum, but this should be your first check. If its still doesn't work, then yes, it is probably the gauge (check the electrical connections to the gauge, they may be loose or corroded).

You can only tell if your car is running rich by analyzing the exhaust gas for CO, HC and N2O levels (this can be done at inspection stations or reputable garages, not necessarily Ferrari). I'd doubt you'd see a difference checking spark plugs, but you can look there first. The Bosch K-Jetronic is not really a Do-It-Yourself system, be careful what adjustments you make only after you recieve the proper manuals.

Your injected car has NO points or condensors. If you want to freshen up the ignition system, all you can do is replace spark-plug wires and spark-plugs. Aftermarket 8mm wires can fit in the caps if you trim the wire a bit, but its best to use 7mm. Most auto-parts stores should have this and the correct heat-range plugs (look in your Owner's Manual). You can replace the caps as well, but they are very expensive... :(

I agree with Magoo. $5000 is typical for a Ferrari DEALER. You may find a better rate at an independant shop (whose specialty is Italian cars).

Oh, by the way, welcome to Ferrari Forum! :D
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Thanks for the replies. I've ordered a Workshop Manual and reaaly do not intend to do a thing until that arrives. I rather suspect that the suggestion to replave the oxygen senser is correct - I'll do that.
The first thing is to replace the cam belts and do the valves.
With regard to the temperature - first I was wrong about the temp it runs at, actually it sets right on the mark between 140 and 195. If the cars sits the temperature will come up to 195 and the fans come on. When I drive the car it drop to 160 or so. Sounds like a stuck tempostat to me.
If I put a vaccum gauge on the vehicle it reads a rock seady 5". I believe this might indicate a intake manifold leak or a stuck heater valve. The vehicle starts right up, hot or cold so I do not believe too much is amiss.
I'll keep you posted on my progress and again thanks for the replies and welcome.
Since you corrected your temp statements, that sounds normal! In the worst grid-locked traffic (the very first day I bought my car, driving it home! :D ) I saw temps into the 200*F range. As soon as traffic cleared, it dropped. I've been stuck a few more times after that and it'll get to those temps (with the fans running), but again, as soon as I drive away, it drops. This is normal, no sticking 'stat.
Temp guage

Peter I agree after reading his last post. Seems normal to me. Magoo
Hi Magoo, Peter and Seschroeder,

I've been wondering about the operation of my oil temperature guage as well. I've had my 1976 308 GTB since January. My oil temp guage also has 140 degrees as its first mark. It takes about 5 minutes of driving to get there. With normal city and highway driving, it stays pegged at 160 degrees, just about matching the water temperature guage reading, which is about 10 degrees higher. The car hasn't been driven hard yet and the outside temperature has been in the 40s or 50s on days I've driven it. I suspect that all that will change once it gets warm around here.

Congratulations, Seschroeder.

I noticed Barry, that it takes longer for my oil to warm up than the coolant.

Ideally, oil should always be 10-20*F warmer than the coolant, but Ferrari's system is very efficiant and is usually always the same temp.
OIL temps

My oil temp guage runs 10 degrees diff with the water temp guage after normal engine temps have been reached. However it takes a little bit longer for the oil temp to get there then the coolant temp. Magoo
seschroeder said:

I've just purchased a 1982 308 GTSi. I have a few questions I'm hoping might be answered.
When will we see some pictures of this in the Garage section? I'm not an expert on the 308 but as you can already see there are a few here that are. Ask away and we'll do our best to answer any question you have. Welcome to the forums.
Thanks Peter and Magoo. It was 80 degrees yesterday and I have a better idea now as to operating temperatures. Water temp goes up faster than oil temp. They both top out at 160 or so. No hard driving yet. I'm getting new XWXs put on tomorrow. then I'll get the chance to let it run a bit.

It was the first time I could check out the AC. It works. I'll have to put a temp probe at the vents and check. It probably needs recharging as the previous owner seldom used it the past 5 years.

Barry, are you getting your XWX's from Coker Tire?

Yes, I ordered them from Coker and had them put on this morning. What a difference!!! I've been waiting for this day and I am now able to drive this car the way it's supposed to be driven. I learned a lot today.

Three of the tires were 1986 vintage and one was an original 1976 vintage hockey puck.

There are other sources for XWXs, both here in the US and abroad. They all quote the same price - $263 US. I asked Coker to send their freshest four XWXs. They sent tires manufactured in October, 2000 which I found to be acceptable. I always seem to get tires about that old with every tire change I do.

The alternative was Pirelli P4000 VR Supertourings which my regular tire place could have acquired for me from Europe ($93 each). I elected to go with the XWXs, my rationale being:

1. My car came fully and recently serviced and lacking only new tires, and
2. This was the car's original equipment and it was balanced and tuned for

Sadly, I can offer no comparison to other tires as I can't recall what were on the few carbed 308s I test drove. Anyway, those 308s were all badly in need of carburettor work which overshadowed all else.
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Barry, My A/C runs 58 degrees at the center vents but as I said to you previously the blower needs to put out more volume to cool the cockpit down better. I intend to modify it. Your system is obviously R 12 . Now you can buy Freeze 12 which is compatible with R 12 and cost about $6.00 bucks a can. So you might want to consider that when you go to add to the R 12. R 12 will cost you a arm and a leg.
OK, it was 96 degrees here yesterday. The XWXs were on and I had the chance to see what this baby could do. I did some typical winding country road driving and was very pleased. Rural highway driving to speed and the car wanted to go faster. I loved the sound it made going through a long tunnel. I got off at the next exit to go back and do that a few more times!

So far, no real oversteer problems. I learned mid-engine characteristics years ago on a Fiero V6.. I'll know to be careful in the rain.

The AC was marginal. The air coming in was cooler than the outside air, but not enough to really matter. This means that there's freon in the system and the system works. It needs to be recharged. Magoo, I'll be thinking about that Freeze-12. That is, if I can find the valve.

I actually do want to learn some of this self-servicing. I do have the 308 service manual and I don't mind getting my hands greasy. (It actually feels kind of good!)


Barry, The suction valve is the one you want. It is on the compressor which is located just inside the rt. rear 1/4 panel close to the forward engine head. There will be a large"S" stamped on the head of the compressor near the valve. Now take the spare tire out and remove the black fiberglass cover at the firewall which also goes down into the spare tire well. In there you will find the dryer for the A/C and in the top of the dryer you will see a sight glass. Start the engine and have some one rev the engine as you look at the sight glass. If you see white bubbles you need to add freon. Add only until the white bubbles dissappear. Do not overload the system you will cause too much head pressure on the compressor. You will be ok just keep a check on the sight class every minute or so as you add the freeze 12. Your temps. at the center vents should read any where from 56 to 62 degrees. Magoo
Thank you, Magoo. Hopefully it won't be too much of a job getting to the dryer.

With an outside temperature of 95, I noticed definite cool air coming from the center vents. I didn't use a temperature probe, but I'm sure the system can do better. I know that the previous owner used the AC rarely for the past five years. The last time the AC system was serviced was in 1992. Hopefully this means that the system should be able to hold a charge for quite a while.

Thanks for the advice you have given to date. I've gotten the parts required to do the belts/plug wires/valve clearance, etc..
However when I put a vaccum gauge on the car in shows a steady 5". This could be a leaking intake (which I doubt) or perhaps a stuck manifold heat valve. The car starts immediately, cold or hot, and idles well at 900 RPM and seems to make reasonable power, never a misfire. Any advice/thoughts on this?

Steve Schroeder
Steve, If you had a intake leak I doubt if your car would be a steady 900 rpms at idle. You know Peter GT4 and I have heard pros and cons on replacing the valve shims. There are those pros who say they don't wear and there are those who say they like the insurance and replace them. It is a "FUN" job, engine in the car, especially on the forward bank. Peter will post here shortly. He had his engine out and replaced the shims because he had the engine down. You could ask him his opinion and go from there. I haven't been there yet since my car is a low mileage car.
Schroeder, where have you hooked up this vacuum gauge to?

The valve shims do last a long time, with 46000+ mi on my engine, they were only a few thousands-of-an-inch off. No big deal, but as I had my engine apart (and I did have to replace some valves, which automatically needs new adjustments), I figured I'd do it all.

If you do decide to change valve shims, you'll need special tools (depressor, hold-open tool and a small pick) to remove and install. The shims are the same as Fiat Twin-Cam (Lampredi type) and Volvo 240.

From the sounds of it though, you should wait longer to adjust valves, from your description, your car looks like it's running very well...
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