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1977 308 GT4

Discussion in '308/328' started by Michael Keathley, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. Michael Keathley

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Michael Keathley
    Sooooooo... today would have been my father’s 73rd birthday.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD MAN!!! I love and miss you terribly.

    I inherited my father’s 1977 Ferrari 308 GT4 this past summer. It’s a car that’s been in my family for about 15 years. My mom and I flew to Manhattan from Houston, Texas and drove that car home. It was near perfect and absolutely gorgeous. She bought it for him as a surprise. While he -loved- the car... he absolutely hated the attention that came with it. People would always be snapping pictures or approach him when he drove it. So he eventually stopped driving it and left it parked in his front yard, he left it there for about five years. I mean literally in his front yard smack dab in the middle of Pasadena, TX. We’re talking a city full of factory workers and a dominant middle class Hispanic community. It was sooooooo out of place there.

    It’s ironic though. When he left it parked it in the front yard... people knocked on his door allllll the time. I think he really enjoyed the company by then. He was alone for a long time. My mom died 10 years ago. Here’s a photo of it at their house from Apple maps... you can see it under the carport but it eventually made its way to the front yard where he had parked it for several years.

    On July 22, 2019, the day my dad died (hence the police cars in the photo)... the car is right out the front door. As you can see... it’s just a regular neighborhood. They weren’t rich or nothing. Just a factory worker who saved their hard-earned money for it.

    As you can see... being left under the Texas sun did not do it good. Also, there’s some rust on the chassis. I’m full bent on restoring it and also am full bent on driving her. Cars are not meant to be left sitting so I’m going to enjoy it to its fullest.

    :)

    Anyway, I’ve had it in the shop since it came home seven months ago. I’m full bent on restoring it. My mechanic has been working hard on it and he’s replaced a lot of things to get it running smooth again. He’s been having trouble with it lately though... specifically the carbs. We need parts. LOL. He’s trying though. Maybe someone here can point us in the right direction? I’ll try researching this forum but can’t post in the “wanted to buy” section of this board as I don’t have enough posts.

    Anyway... that’s our story. Here are the photos. Enjoy!

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  3. dinogt4guy

    dinogt4guy F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2004
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    Dino Tifosi
    Great story! Enjoy the restoration!
     
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  4. 19633500GT

    19633500GT F1 Veteran
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    Nov 9, 2010
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    Mike, great story and sorry to hear about your father. He had great taste, that I know without even knowing him :)

    I tend to use these guys, really for their prices: https://www.awitalian.com/shop?swoof=0&product_cat=ferrari&show_model

    Also, Superformance in the UK is also a great source.

    A few things that will likely hang up those carbs (I assume he has or will be fully rebuilding them, which isn't terribly expensive, but should be done for sure), what type of ignition source is it running? Some convert over to electronic from single/double distributors. Also, plenty of good youtube videos out there too on tuning 40 DCNF's.

    I HIGHLY recommend changing ALL fuel lines on this car before working towards any extended run times. You really don't want a fire, and as someone who worked to bring back a 10 year "sitter" it can be detrimental to many parts in there as the rubber deteriorates rather quickly when sitting (and if the fuel tanks had gas in them, these can rust too, I had a quarter sized hole in my left tank).

    Beyond that, a basic belt service, water pump etc. should be done (if your mechanic can, go for the "full major" and tackle all seals, gaskets etc. it'll be worth it in the long run). THEN, you can focus on the outside/interior/etc.

    Enjoy man, and keep this thread updated! Would love to see your progress with sentimental value.
     
  5. kiwiokie

    kiwiokie Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2013
    1,009
    Tulsa, OK
    Cool that you want to restore the car. It will be a great way to remember your Dad. Pierce Manifolds in CA do a great job with rebuilding the carbs to like new condition. There was a thread recently that listed all the parts suppliers so worth checking that out. Most parts are not that hard to come by new or used unless you need body panels.


    Sent from my iPad using FerrariChat
     
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  6. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Mitchell Le
    Buy Weber parts from Pierce Manifolds in Gilroy, CA.
    Whatever you do, change the rubber hoses and do not buy a fuel pressure regulator from Napa. That is how I got my GT4 car fire.
     
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  8. Brian Harper

    Brian Harper F1 Rookie
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    Feb 17, 2006
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    That is a worthwhile restoration for sure! I hope that it brings back fond memories every time you drive it.

    It was mentioned above, but I'll just reinforce: check all of the ignition stuff. Just replace everything expendable. So many fuel problems are really ignition, and the ignition systems on these cars are complicated, have many failure points (!), and many failure modes. Just be 100% sure you have super solid spark on all 8 plugs at the right time.
     
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  9. sltillim

    sltillim Formula 3
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    I’m sorry for your loss and I hope you can carry on part of him in your Dino. I have very much the same story with how I got my Dino eight years ago. It probably needs lots of work but if you’re willing and dedicated you can get it running again. Enjoy and think about him every time you sit in that seat and see life how he did!!!
     
  10. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    I was in Pasadena/Deer Park/LaPorte the other day....some guy came bombing up the On Ramp in a 355 Spider, it looked a little scruffy paint wise but he was driving it.

    Got some good posts here on the carbs, and drop back in as you have problems.
    I have the (very similar) 1977 308GTB.

    I also moved from Texas City to the Heights!
    :D :D :D

    Hourly wage earners can make it to a Ferrari, if you are careful.
     
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  11. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    Luckily from the Factory AC you have tinted glass there....
     
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  13. Michael Keathley

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Michael Keathley
    Thank you, BigTex! I grew up in Pasadena. The car is now with me in a small town called La Vernia near the San Antonio area.

    Our mechanic shipped the carbs off to Pierce in California earlier this week so we’re waiting to hear back on what they have to say about them. Hopefully the damage won’t be too severe but I’m prepared for it.

    Additionally, my mechanic also noticed some rust towards the front of the chassis. Said it was a concern. That’s not good.
     
  14. Michael Keathley

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Ferrari is now running smooth.

    Mike from Pierce rebuilt the carbs to the tube of $2400. All rubber has been replaced. Fuel lines, timing belt, hoses, etc. She’s running great. I’m super stoked.

    Unfortunately it seems the girl is having transmission issues. Pops out of 2nd gear. Any advice on what to do? Are there transmission rebuild kits available?
     
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  15. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Nothing wrong with the gears, I think an adjustment of your selector forks is in order!
     
  16. Michael Keathley

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    The mechanic ”pulled out” a broken piece from the transmission an he claims that its popping out of second. I drove the car and it didn't but I didn’t drive it far.

    To make a long story short, we had a bad falling out with that mechanic. I don't really want to get into it too much but he was constantly was not being honest regarding repairing our vehicles. We ultimately fired him once we picked up this car.
     
  17. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Well hopefully that WAS a tang from the selector fork......there's not much else but fractured teeth that can come adrift, in there....you are in the Austin area??

    Hill Country Exotic Service is very good.

    Moorespeed has also worked on my cars..
     
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  18. Michael Keathley

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    I'm in the San Antonio area. I would love to take it to them. Turns out the car is popping BADLY... quite possibly worse than ever.

    LMAOOOOO.

    Thank you for the referral.

    Mechanic told me it was running great. P.S. I’m a culturally Deaf person if I didn't mention that in my post above.
     
  19. Michael Keathley

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    Michael Keathley
    The drive from the mechanic shop to my house.

     
  20. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

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    Wow! That’s hard to listen to. It almost sounds like a timing issue to me. Your mechanic replaced the timing belts as well, right?

    2cam
     
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  21. Michael Keathley

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Michael Keathley
    He sure did.
     
  22. Michael Keathley

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    Michael Keathley
    And here's the rebuilt carbs. He originally told me the popping was from the carbs hence me sending them off to Pierce.
     
  23. miketuason

    miketuason F1 World Champ
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    Michael I sent you PM
     
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  24. CAM-79

    CAM-79 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2004
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    England, UK
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    Brent
    A great story, and great to hear about the restoration! Whatever you do, don't strip the car like I did for my now 'complete' restoration. After 10 years, I still haven't driven it, a serious amount of money has been invested into it, and I'm still miles off. I need to restore everything and rebuild it on my lack of photos!

    Look forward to reading your progress..
     
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  25. kryten2001

    kryten2001 Formula Junior
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    Love stories like this. Good luck with the restoration. It's going to try your patience and test your resolve, but once done you'll have a piece of your families history to cherish for years to come.

    My car carries a similar story, except I didn't need to do very much resto on mine at all. I'll be trying to hang onto it for my boy one day.
     
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  26. Michael Keathley

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Michael Keathley
    She’s scheduled to go in with Brian Crall as recommended by Big Tex on July 6th. That’s the earliest he can fit me in. Thank you, Big Tex. I’m glad it’ll be seen by someone who knows what he’s doing. I just hope the previous mechanic didn’t destroy too much.

    *sigh*
     
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  27. simchanova

    simchanova Formula Junior
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  28. simchanova

    simchanova Formula Junior
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    ...you’re in OUTSTANDING hands...Brian is one of the best in the WORLD...you won’t need it with Brian but best of luck anyways...please keep us posted,Stuart
     
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