308 Major Service

Belt Service Ferrari 308

Ferrari Belt Service

The Ferrari “Major Service” is super contentious and I am about to add another wrinkle to it all. In most Ferrari owner handbooks, the “Major Serivice” for Ferrari’s with Cam Belts is due every 10 years or 30,000 miles. Most cars with rubber timing belts use 80-100,000 mile service intervals but the belts Ferrari sourced only last for a 1/4 of those miles.

In order for dealers to sell Authorized Used Ferrari’s, they need to perform a thorough check over and if the belts have not been replaced within the last 5 years, they have to replace them. This has gotten many people to believe that the belts have to be replaced every 5 years. Dealers probably like customers sticking to the 5 year interval because belts services are good profit jobs. You don’t have to diagnose anything and are replacing parts which often don’t even need replacement.

We used to do belt services on 308′s, BB’s and TR’s for a relative set price but lately it seems that things have changed. We did a “Major” on a TR this spring that required so many other repairs. The brakes were leaking, shock bushings were toasted and many other items were just worn out and deteriorated.

We just finished another service on a 308 and many things that we never had to address were in desperate need of repair or rebuild. The lower timing belt drive pulley bearings are bad, the shocks all need an overhaul and the suspension bushings are all dried out and falling apart. The distributor advance mechanisms were worn and even the pin that the ignition points pivot on is broken and loose. The radiator was removed to be checked and a bunch of tubes were plugged so we had to re-core it.

So, what we have discovered is that a good running  and driving rubber timing belt car can have many more needs than just a valve lash and water pump. If you go by a 10-12 year interval, I almost guarantee that an oil leak, water pump leak or some other problem will require an engine out or a need to access part of the engine where it makes sense to replace the belts and do other services. So, don’t get caught up in timing belt interval timing but when it is the right time to service your car, be prepared for a heavier cost.

Leave a Comment

1977 Ferrari 308 GTB Carter Secco (Dry Sump)

Ferrari 308GTB Dry Sump

Dry Sump 308GTB Ferrari

A week ago I pulled the trigger and bought this really nice 1977 Ferrari 308GTB Carter Secco. Carter Secco literally translates to “Dry Frame” but we use the term “Dry Sump” here in the US. Most of the Carter Secco’s are for European Delivery which is where I got this car. Notice the larger front spoiler, small fiberglass bumpers and the lack of rectangular side markers? Its so pretty this way. This car is super nice and sorted, has all the books and tools and was recently serviced. In a few weeks the car will be here with the early Lambo LP400.

The other Dry Sump 308GTB I purchased months ago should be here soon, it arrived in the US on December 31st but has been locked up in Customs for an Agricultural Inspection for weeks which really bothers me. I need the car here to inspect, photograph and resell, so many people are interested in the car and I need the cash! Keep an eye out for photos of that red/black car.

Here are more photos of the red/tan car

308GTB Dry Sump Carter Secco

308GTB Carter Secco

308GTB Dry Sump Engine

Dry Sump engine 308 GTB

Leave a Comment

Late Production Ferrari 308GTB

Even though this is a 1979 Ferrari 308GTB, it has the next series GTBi (fuel injected) type of interior. At first I though it may have been changed to the more contemporary pattern but I thought that with the low miles, it was likely original. I bought the car from a guy in Kansas and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived because it had a super complete book and tool pouch. When I opened the warranty book, I found that it was sold new to Francis Tarkenton! Kind of cool even though I am not into football. Why didn’t I keep this car?

Original owner Fran Tarkington

Francis Tarkenton Warranty Card

1980 carburettor 308GTB

308GTB 1980

Later model 308GTB interior in a 1980

308GTB Interior

Comments (1)

Ferrari Window Regulators

Since I was old enough to hold a wrench, I have been repairing Ferrari cable operated window regulators and have tons of scars on my hands to prove it! Like the Bizarre-O cable operated Maserati Ghibli Water Pump design, this is an equally offbeat way to make a window go up and down. My rant is “these guys has no right building cars”. Whats the deal with Italians and cables?

This cable has to “spool up” and “un-spool” around a drum simultaneously as an electric motor turns it.  If the cable isn’t in perfect condition, it can fall off the pulleys or make a horrible grinding noise when operating. The smallest bend, kink or fray makes the whole system come to a stop. You can get complete new assemblies but often the cable is wound tightly during shipping that it  causes problems so I rebuild them with new cable that I have in massive quantities here at the shop.

Window Regulator Ferrari 308

Ferrari Cable Window Regulator

A frequent problem with these systems is super slow motion of the window glass barely making it to the closed position.  People have all sorts of hair-brained ideas on how to fix this problem but the issue is simple. The green grease in the gearbox gets hard like wax and the motor can’t overcome the resistance. If the cables, pulleys and channel is in good shape simply zip tie the cable to the assembly which maintains the tension and remove the assembly from the door. Remove the 3 screws to the hold the gearbox together and chip out the green wax (that used to be grease).  If you are lucky, you won’t kink or loose the orientation of the cable and can get it all working in 20 minutes!

Cable Operated Window Regulator

Waxy Green Grease to Chip Out

I use a synthetic grease that won’t hurt the plastic housing but make sure it has decent rust preventative, there is a ton of moisture that builds up in these doors that will seize the gearbox as well.

Leave a Comment

Ferrari 308 GTB 1977

Rosso Rubino 308 GTB

1977 Ferrari 308 GTB Rosso Rubino

Since my daughter is named Ruby, I had to have this “Rosso Rubino” 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB. I was in Tacoma WA. last month for a car tour and to look at some cars that are for sale with my friend Branden. He located this super original, one owner 308 that just had a Major Service and tons of work to make it totally ready to go car. The car has all books, tools and lots of records signifying its single (careful) ownership status.

At first glance, the car doesn’t impress, but as you poke your head into the corners and hidden areas you can see how immaculate and totally rust free this thing is. The engine is so clean and leak free that it looks like it just rolled out of the factory, and the tray under the radiator, the undercarriage, above the muffler… all immaculate.

One of my favorite details is the interior, it is so clean and has that unique smell that is so specific to 308 GTB’s, I don’t think the GTS’ smell the same!  I have a very keen sense of smell so sitting in this car brings me back to my youth when I was first around 308′s way way back in the mid 80′s! We had a few very low miles 308′s in the shop back then and I distinctly remember the smell of the leather, the carpeting and whatever else made that vapor cocktail.

Original Interior Ferrari 308

Ferrari 308 GTB Interior Original

Engine Ferrari 308 GTB

1977 Ferrari 308 Engine

 

 

Comments (3)

Super Low Miles on a 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole

1985 Ferrari 308 GTS

1985 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV

308 GTSiQV LR

308 GTSi Quattrovalvole LR

Interior 308 GTSiQV

GTSi QV interior from the Top

For the ultimate Ferrari 308 enthusiast, I have located and purchased this spectacular 1985 Ferrari 308 GTSiQV with only 5600 miles for re-sale. It is totally complete with hand books, tools, jack roll, trouble light and often missing boot for the removable top. It even has the original Goodyear NC/T Tires!  This car is truly amazing and needs nothing to be shown or driven, except maybe tires that aren’t 25 years old!

Comments (1)

308 GT/4 Dino

My plan was to remove the engine and perform a “major service” on the ’79 Ferrari 308 GT/4 but after a leak down test revealed that a few cylinders were weak, I decided to break it down. The combustion chamber leak was from a few valves that weren’t closing so I knew it needed a full valve job. When removing the main bearing caps to inspect the bearings, we found evidence of an improper line hone or some major grit which scratched the journal. It’s irritating because main and rod bearings are super expensive and I was hoping that we could just re-coat them for a fraction of the cost. The machine shop will check the cylinders and hopefully we wont need new pistons!

Nate inspected the transmission and found that 3 of the 5 synchros are worn to the limit so we need to spend another $2000 on the transmission! Yuck, why do I think I can purchase and make money on re-selling these cars?

Engine Ferrari 3.0

Engine Ferrari 3.0

BLock for Ferrari GT/4

308 GT/4 crankshaft

308 GT/4 crankshaft

Comments (1)

308 GT/4 Ferrari

308 GT/4 Ferrari Dino

308 GT/4 Ferrari Dino

We just bought this 1979 Ferrari 308 GT/4 and are going to go through the entire car to make sure it performs perfectly for 2012. These 308′s are sleepers, even though they are less sexy than the GTB and GTS’s, the consensus is that they are a much better driving experience. Since Bertone built this series the craftsmanship is much better as well.

This car is cool because it’s in European Specification model with single distributor, small bumpers and doesn’t have the ugly USDOT mandated rectangular side markers. It’s also cool because it’s so original and has a super clean interior and undercarriage.

More on this car later!

Comments (2)

Practice Using My New Canon G10 Camera

Since the color of this car makes me weak in the knees, I have enjoyed testing my new camera in different light situations. These are some very different locations to photograph the car, the photo of the right front is in a dark shadow right next to the building. The car is in the same location in the photo of the left front but with much different lighting and lots of color from the late afternoon sun. Even the photo of the car under florescent lights in the building came out well with some random knobs twisted and adjusted.

Right Front Ferrari 308 GTSi

Right Front Ferrari 308 GTSi

Left front photo of the 308

Left front photo of the 308

In the shop

In the shop

Comments (1)

Composite Component Engineering

Steve Maxwell “Max” works in the “second building” next door to our main shop and makes spectacular parts out of Carbon Fiber, Kevlar and other composite materials. This is a complete front clip to a Triumph Spitfire, one of many body panels he’s made molds for. He makes tons of body panels for Datsun 510 Race Cars as well as Formula Ford’s, Hyundai and Subaru  Rally Cars and the occasional Classic Italian parts for me. I’m always blown away with the quality of work that Max churns out and amazed at his attention to detail to make the parts very rugged while staying extremely light weight.

Later this week I’m going to show you photos of brake cooling ducts that he makes for a major Catalog that sells race car parts so stay posted for these incredibly light weight and rigid examples of “black art”.

Body parts for Triumph Carbon Fiber

Body parts for Triumph Carbon Fiber

English Sports Car body panels

Comments (2)