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308 Electrical Help Requested

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by robertgarven, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    I was stranded today in my 1975 308gt4 fo rht efirst time in ten years! I was out running errands and when I went to start the car the car would not turn over, my radio, fan, hoirn and windows seemed to work fine. I tried to push the car down a slight incline and bump start it to no avail. I called AAA and the guy came out and with a jump the car started. I have been told it is not good to jump start the cars but I was not looking forward to a tow! On the way home the radio started breaking up and when I pulled in the garage and shut the car off the windows would not even go up.

    I took the battery to Sears and they said it was very low. I am pretty sure all my ground straps are on tight.

    *battery was 3 years old
    *I have never had a battery drainage problem on the car
    * my alternator light only comes on a real low idle
    *belt is new and tight

    I am getting ready for Monterey and last time i was going to go I lost a timing gear bearing. I am not the smartest when it come to electrical stuff. I do have a multimeter, is there any way I can check if their is a drain on the battery, or does any one else have any suggestions. I am hoping it is not the alternator or the starter solinoid as I don't have much time left to get my car ready with work and stuff!!
     
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  3. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
    825
    The Hub City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Steven D
    Sounds to me like your alternator has taken a powder. Use your multimeter across the positive and negative battery terminals. With the engine idling you see between 13.2-14.8 volts. At 2000rpm, 14.2-14.8 is normal. Anything over 15 volts will cook the electrolite in your battery. Less than 13 volts and your charging system can't keep up with accessories such as headlights, a/c, etc.

    Your alternator light should not light up at idle. Even a slow idle (600rpm) should be enough to field the alternator and it should produce enough voltage to keep the light off, depending on the condition of your regulator.

    good luck
     
  4. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
    2,149
    way north california
    Full Name:
    chris morse
    Robert,

    I agree with steven, the alt isn't alting. Your attempt at bump starting the car did not spin the alternator fast enough to generate enough juice to fire the ignition - so no start.
    The jump start put a bit of juice into the batery and provided enough to crank the engine - vroom.
    On the trip home, you used up what little juice you had in the battery and the accessories started flaking out.
    Mu guess is that a rebuilt unit and a new belt will do the trick, along with a battery charge. (I have always been a bit underwhelmed by the thin wterpump/alt belt, so will replace it frequently).

    luck,
    chris
     
  5. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    Thanks Guys,

    I went back to Sears and they said after charging the battery it was fine. I brought it home and put it back started the car and the G light is staying on all the way up to 300rpms. I just took my car off stands after adjusting the clutch, changing oil etc. I will check it tommorrow with the meter but I think you guys are probably right, just glad it is not the starter!!!

    I had the alternator off last year and had it tested after I cleaned it up, but being an idiot I should have had the bearings and brushes and diodes or whatever the hell is in there replaced. Of course I spent hours polishing up. LOL I have read some of the other threads but is there anything I should tell the guy to do when he rebuilds it and are there any NOS ones available??
     
  6. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    Even though I have done it several times before, It took me about 2 hours to loosen the dipstick tube just to get the bolt that holds the alternator out. I am thinking of putting the bolt in the other way, that way you dont have to remove the dipstick tube to remove the alternator, it is only a bolt on one side and a thick washer and locking nut on the belt side. What do you guys think?? I can even get a torque wrench on the inside.

    I also forgot you have to drain all the coolant out to remove the coolant pipe and alternator! :p So altogether I spent about 8 hours. I work pretty methodically and I think that slows me down.

    I am debating having a local shop fix the alt. or getting a rebuilt one, has any of you got a rebuilt one, and from where? I hate the idea of someone without any F experience working on this, I also heard that the voltage regulator was special for the 308, would hate to see them put in a wrong replacement....

    PS on a side note, I have beeen using the Dexcool coolant and distilled water for about 10 years changing it yearly, I have heard many horror stories about it destroying engines and radiators etc. I also heard if you are using it whatever you do dont switch back, as the green stuff will cause the coating the red stuff coats the inside of all the parts to chip off and clog your radiator tubes. Well it always comes out clear and the inside of the aluminum tube was smooth and rubbing it caused no residue to come off. I am not sure what the problem it caused inother cars but it seems to be working for me.
     
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  8. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 5, 2002
    7,811
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Dom V.
    Hi Rob,

    When my voltage regulator went bad about a year ago, I had my Alfa mechanic repair it. (Alfa Performance Connection, in Orange, CA). The alternator is the same as some model fiats or alfas, if I recall correctly. Since we needed to get the regulator replaced, I decided to go ahead and get the alternator rebuilt as well. My mechanic sent it out for the rebuild. The total cost was a little under $200 for the rebuild, and about $400-500 for the labor. Not cheap, but I understand that there is alot of labor involved in removal of the alternator. I think he did a few other things as well, but I'd have to look at my invoice.

    If you want, I can get you my mechanics number. I know it is a ways out from where you are, but if you don't have any other options...

    P.S.- How was your birthday? I was out of town, otherwise I would have loved to come up and visit your shrine.

    Dom
     
  9. 1975gt4don

    1975gt4don Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    662
    Peoples Rep of CA
    Full Name:
    Smog Exempt
    OUCH! 400-500 for the labor? Oh my may. I need to quit my day job to become a F-car mechanic.

    I use A&A auto electric in San Diego, $85 parts and labor. Voltage regulator is a standard Bosch part #, nothing strange or exotic about it. Just look in your yellow pages for an electric shop that rebuilds starters and alternators. There are probably many in L.A. I would rebuild it and not waste money on a new one. That is unnecessary.


     
  10. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    Thanks Guys,

    I just dropped my alternator off a the local shop, the guys was so rude I am going back tomorrow on my lunch and getting it. I love my car too much to have some guy who wont even talk to me about it. I heard some good stuff about a place in berkely who does the work for the F guys up there called select electric, I dont care how much it cost as long as someone shows some respect for either me or the car!
     
  11. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    15,115
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom
    As far as I can remember (been awhile since I had a GT4 in the shop) The alternator bolt will not go in from the other side because of the gas tank. The bolt is just too long. I find the easiest way is to remove the heat sheilds that are near the front manifold. Once these guys are out of the way you can get an open end 19mm wrench in there fairly easily.

    The alternator should be able to be rebuilt for about $100 depending on whats wrong. These alternators were used in all kinds of cars. It's a generic part.
     
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  13. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
    825
    The Hub City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Steven D
    Robert

    Don't take any crap whatsoever from some guy that rebuilds alternators. This is a job a well trained monkey can perform. Alternators are not an exotic piece of equipment. They all work the same. A Ferrari alternator is no more special than a Ford Escort alternator. Screw that little Cretin and find someone that wants your business.

    As far as Dexcool goes, I find it dreadful. It is overpriced and underperforming. If you change it every year, you won't have any problems. It is using it as it is recommended that causes problems. It WILL NOT last 100,000 miles as advertised. The way I see it, why spend the extra money if you have to change it just as often as regular ethylene-glycol?

    As for changing over, I would just keep using the Dexcool since you already have it your system. There are some jelling problems when mixing ethylene-glycol with Dexcool. It usually only occurs when Dexcool is the predominate coolant in the system and ethylene-glycol is added unknowingly. Just to be sure...stick with the Dexcool, it won't hurt anything but your pocketbook.
     
  14. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,951
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I have been using Select Electrics in Berkeley for twenty years and she is very good but has gone to part time and is not taking any new customers. SDUKE is right, the alt. in your 308 especially is not out of the ordinary and any good rebuilder can handle it. Ask around the local quality repair shops and see who they use.
     
  15. ham308

    ham308 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    358
    NE Switzerland
    Full Name:
    Richard Ham
    Robert, on my GTB the bolt goes in fine from the other side and I found it cheaper to get a brand new replacement alternator (Magneti Marelli) from a local car parts supplier (about $150.)

    The alternator seems to be fairly standard...

    good luck
     
  16. bill308

    bill308 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    May 13, 2001
    1,080
    Windsor, CT
    Full Name:
    Bill Sebestyen
    I the alternator rebuilt on my 308 by an automotive electrical shop when I bought it 4-years ago. They upgraded the unit to 85 amps and replaced the bearings for about $100. It's been fine ever since the rebuild. There is nothing special about these Bosch alternators.
     
  17. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    I cant believe they are different but on the 308 gt4 the bolt slides out until about 2" is still in the alternator and bracket and hits the dipstick tube, I have done this several time and trust me with the bolt in from the back on my car alternator cannot be removed unless you take off the dipstick tube. After 2 days of freaking out I ordered a supposedly NOS alternator from Ferrari UK. Should be here in 4 days will update you on what happens. I am trying to get ready for monterey......... And Dom is right I spent about 8+ hour removing it and another 10 on the phone trying to get it fixed/replaced......
     
  18. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    ITS ALIVE.... ITS ALIVE

    Thanks to Steve M. and Keith and Jeff at Ferrari UK (I got a new, well rebuilt by Bosch alternator, got to go back to work now!!!!

    more to follow!
     
  19. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 24, 2002
    5,082
    Ventura, California
    Full Name:
    Robert Garven
    Guys,

    here is a picture of the alternator from Ferrari UK. All it needed was to replace the pulley and modify the heat shield a little. They have 3 in stock seems to be working OK, looks like I will make Monterey now!!! Thanks again to all who helped!!!!!!!

    Rob
     

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