News

308 Turbo, sell or fix?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by 4returbo, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    I have a 1980 gtbi turbo 35K mi. The car was purchase sight unseen for $24000. This was not a good purchase (advice! never take someone's word over the phone). The car wasn't in very good shape, cosmedic or mechanic. Soon the turbo needed replaced. This led to further problems, I just had the third new turbo in less then 50 miles go out. I believe there is a serious problem with the engine including but not limited to the head gasket. My question is this; Should I (A) Keep the car and invest $10K-$12K for a rebuild of the engine and turbo system, (Norwood performance)? I would have over $35K in a daily driver type looking Ferrari. (B) Sell the car for around $15K and take a $10K loss and chalk it up to experience? (C) Take on the project of rebuilding my car myself with help of this forum and save money over having Norwood do the work? (D) Part the car? (E) Any other suggestions?

    Others have suggest converting back to normal aspiration. That seems just as expensive and with no guarantee's.
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,687
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Do it yourself! Save money, learn a lot about the car, end up not losing your shirt and a fun project in the meantime! When it's done it will be right and you will be very proud of it and yourself. Just my $.02.

    FYI, if it needs that much work (i.e. a total engine rebuild) you won't get $15K for it. I bought my '77 carb 308 for $18K running pretty well...just needed a tune up and a clutch.

    Birdman
     
  4. goyal99

    goyal99 Karting

    Mar 5, 2002
    185
    Upstate NY - USA
    Full Name:
    V K
    I agree with Birdman on trying to do the work yourself can save your big bucks and be very rewarding at the end...However, you'll need certain mechanical skills, among other things, which you have not disclosed to us...

    I would personally attempt to replace the Turbo and associated plumbing as I have done this kind of work before and it's not very difficult...I'm wondering however, WHY you've killed 3 Turbo units in the process??? Wasn't the last installation processionally done (warranty maybe)??

    Rebuilding an engine is a MAJOR undertaking and you'll need manuals, tools, expert advise and lots of beer....Doing the head gasket only, is not that traumatic....But if you've never attempted this kind of work before on ANY car, I will advise against starting now...Better hone your engine rebuilding skills on a Honda engine first and then jump into the big leagues...This forum is great in providing help and good advise but there's no subsitute for hands-on experience...

    Best of luck - VK
     
  5. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    "...However, you'll need certain mechanical skills, among other things, which you have not disclosed to us..."

    I have more experience with cars than some less then others. I have done rebuilds before (not Ferrari). I am good at taking out putting in the rest i.e. machine work and such I would leave to experts.

    I don't have much to lose. My car isn't worth much as it is.
     
  6. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    3,317
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    I agree. The turbo that was in the car when I bought it was old, a rayjay. It had symptoms of an occasional cloud of smoke and a small oil leak from all entrances and exits. When I brought it in to the shop they replaced it with a new turbo (against my wishes) and they changed the settup and I have had nothing but trouble. At least the old one was drivable. I saved it and may look into have it rebuilt.
     
  9. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,377
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    get a rebuilt motor from Trutlands and get rid of the turbo set up and keep the car. i doubt you will get much over / around 10k for it in its current state. i paid less than $10k for mine and its in overall excellent shape. good luck .
     
  10. 1975gt4don

    1975gt4don Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    662
    Peoples Rep of CA
    Full Name:
    Smog Exempt
    4returbo, that is why I will never ever own a turbocharged car---period. If you want my 2 cents, tear out the turbo and the associated plumbing, install higher comp pistons, cam it, bigger webers(46 DCNFs) and just enjoy farting around in it.

    Since mine is now smog exempt, been toying with the idea of having the best of both worlds. Can't retrofit a 4valve head to a 308 carb block, so I am keeping my eyes out for a 328 engine, rip out the FI system ala SNJ on his 328 Mondial w/modified custom made intakes with 4 webers.


     
  11. don_xvi

    don_xvi F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,920
    Outside Detroit
    Full Name:
    Don the 16th
    If I wasn't already in over my head, I'd say sell me the car!
    But I am swimming, so I say since you're mechanically inclined, if you have the time to fiddle with it, go for it!

    It is very important to diagnose the failure of the present turbo. Likely your rebuilder can provide insight into what was wrong, if it was a bearing failure, a close examination of your oiling system is called for and will provide you with a new area of expertise once you've researched it to amaze friends at partys with!

    Who designed/installed the turbo system, and how does it work? i.e. does it use the Bosch injection or aftermarket electronic injection or a carb?
    Subscribe so you can post pics for us! :)

    Good luck, let us know.
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,814
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    About the only thing you can do with the car the way it is is part it out. You'll get more for it that way than selling it not running.

    But to your problems. Have you done compression and more importantly leak-down tests on the engine (you really need to do bothe test warm)? That will give you a pretty good idea of the over-all condition of the engine.

    That said, I don't see how a bad head gasket is going to damage the turbo...unless maybe coolant is pooring into it. It sound more like the shop that did the work totally screwed it up. What is failing in the turbo?

    A 308 with hp is just a wondful car. Words just can't describe how much I enjoy taking mine out and just plain abusing it, an at about 500 hp abuse might bo an understatement . BUT custom stuff can be hard to get right...I've sure struggled with mine. So the question you need to ask yourself is "what are you looking for for a car"? I suggest you make a wish list of what your ideal car would be, and BE HONEST. If you say track car, do you really mean about 1 event every 2 years or every other weekend? Do you want to take it on trips ? If so how far? Will you be doing your own work? Comuting? Autocross? Dragstrip? Shows? Then take a good honest look at what the buget is. Once you have the list and the budget, it's much easier to decide if a turbo 308 is a car you would even want to own and that should help make deciding what to do with it a little more clear.
     
  14. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    Thanks ALL!
    As for rebuilding as non-turbo, I could stomach the loss of the turbo even thought it’s a very exciting drive. However, it worries me because not having been part of the initial conversion, I am afraid of over looking a turbo feature i.e. did they change the compression ratio, and how? thicker cooper head gasket or did they used custom forged pistons. Off the top of my head I can thing of some of the obvious features that would have to be reversed; new exhaust, cats, air/fuel injection box will all have to be replaced. I am not all that familiar with stock set up of 1980 GTBi so a careful study of the part book would be in order. If I can’t pin point the trouble I am having with the current turbo set up then I have to play it safe and convert back to N/A 308. After all driving a N/A Ferrari is much better then looking at a 300 hp turbo Ferrari on blocks. If I can get good pictures I will supply pictures tonight of the current set up.
     
  15. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    The original set up was done by Action Turbos out of CO. It's uses Bosch injection. The exhaust join into a single CAT. The cat is empty, just a steel box. The tubo is attached to the cat at the bottom of the car under the trunk compartment. The oil fed line comes from the Oil filter housing and the oil drain is lateral to the oil pan. Yes, I will try and take some good pictures tonight.
     
  16. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    Yes, I have been wanting to do these test. The car was running with a fast idle at start up 5-6K I suspect a leak at the intake manifold was the cause of this. Other then that the car was running fine. Until it came to operating temp. Then all hell would break loose. The car would smoke, run rough, have a coolant leak under the intake manifold. I didn't run the car very much because of these symtoms. However, I recently replaced the oil pressure sending unit because the gage wasn't working and when I started the car it was spraying a milky oil out the tail pipe. Tale tale signs of a bad turbo OR is there a headgasket leak watering down the oil making it flow past the seals? Can/should I do these test with the car spraying oil and leaking coolant? OR should I just start my rebuild/investigating knowing I have a problem that will be revealed?
     
  17. don_xvi

    don_xvi F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,920
    Outside Detroit
    Full Name:
    Don the 16th
    Interesting, so you're saying the exhaust comes, presumably somewhat like in the original setup, together behind the engine and into the catalyst first, then to the turbo!?!?
    The horizontal oil drain isn't a best practice, but obviously the system worked for some time, so we can move on from that.
    I'm assuming that your turbo is water cooled based on your comments about expecting this to be the problem area. Can you verify that the turbo is water cooled? I don't think the cooling jacket should be able to contaminate your oil system in the turbo. I don't recall that the passages are separated by a seal anywhere in my experience, more like separate cast passages. Perhaps the turbo isn't wasted! Or I understand now that you suspect the milky oil coming out the tailpipe would have been introduced to the intake/exhaust stream through the seals of the turbo. What do you get if you drain the oil? I suspect the oil may be contaminated with coolant and entering the combustion stream pre-mixed.
    It does sound like you may have mechanical engine problems. I assume the smoke you mentioned it blew was white? I'd pursue looking for head gasket/head/block leaks.
    It may be worth dragging it to, say, Lingenfelter or someone with lots of turbo system experience that could diagnose your situation for a couple hundred bucks. They may also be a viable alternative to Norwood for any possible major mechanical as they have good experience with designing turbo systems and genuine engineers on staff. If they'd touch a prancing horse that wasn't wearing a bowtie!

    Or... sell off all the turbosystem stuff cheap to me!
    Keep us posted. If you get those pics of the system, go ahead and PM or email them to me if you can!
     
  18. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    #15 4returbo, Aug 2, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Yes, If I ever get the damn thing running I am investigating a saveger oil pump to assist the oil drain. I think this would improve the set up but I don't know if it the #1. As you said it worked before... I think?

    Water cooled? No, I don't think so. There aren't any water lines that feed it, that I know for sure. As you can see in my pictures. The top line is oil feed. The bottom is the drain. The large rusty item is a muffler and the empty cat is just before the turbo. The waste gate is attached to the muffler.


    Good advice I know someone that works at Lingenfelter. I should give him a call!

    Does anyone see any obvious "smoking gun">??
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  19. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,814
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    Run the compression test cold. The number will be lower, but your looking for something gross, so it will definately turn up. a compression tester is about $20 at sears. Get one and get the engine checked.

    It sounds to me like you have several small problems that are acting like one big problem. If it runs good cold there is probably nothing seriously wrong with it.

    The coolant leak is either a bad gasket or a bad hose. It leaks when the engine is hot because that is when the system comes up to pressure.

    The high idle is an air leak somewhere. It could also be a bad manifold or throttle body gasket.

    It wouldn't hurt to replace the engine oil. If there is an internal coolant leak, you should find coolant in the oil, it will be a milky mess.

    So, if it were my car, after I did the compression test and it was good (and I think it will be), I would buy a set of intake manifold gaskets and all the hoses under the intake and replace everything.

    Then, get the turbo fixed. Before installing it, remove the oil line from the turbo and crank the engine to make certain oil is flowing. If it is, blow throught the return line to be sure it is alway clear. In the picture it looks like the oil feed line is bent pretty tight, is it kinked?
     
  20. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    I'm at work so I can't for sure say if the inlet line is kinked I know it's a tight turn. I will check it. I will do a compression test cold. I did one early (before the 2nd tubo was replaced) and it did show anything big. I was getting number like 170-180. I have change the oil twice in the last six months and never noticed anything obviously wrong in terms of coolant. I switch to Mobil 1 syn. Before I reinstalled the second turbo, I did a complete oil change and tried to flushed the system by; draining, refilling with cheap 10w-40, ran for 2 minets, then drained and refilled with the mobil 1. The only thing that alarmed me was I found metal at the bottom of the oil pan. I use that oil pan for all my cars so I wasn't sure if it came from a Ferrari. All my other cars are healthy so...? I'm thinking the metal bits could be from the first or second turbo going bad. Here's a good question. Do I have contaminated oil and that's why turbos keep dying? Even if I did wouldn't my filter catch it?
     
  21. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,814
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    Good, those are the results I expected, there appears to be nothing wrong inside the engine. There is just no way you'll see 170-180 in a cylinder with a blown head gasket. I don't see any reason to repeat the tests unless the cars symptoms have changes since then.

    The metal in the oil...how much metal? Some metal is normal for a trans oil, did you change the trans oil recently and that is what was in the pan? The filter should pull out anything before it gets to the turbo...unless they put the oil feed line before the filter, where it it attached? Picture?

    Pull the intake, replace the gaskets and hoses and it will probably be fixed. If coolant was leaking into the intake, I would just that could ruin a turbo. I always start slow and work up, bad thinks usually don't happen at low rpm. So if you start the engine and it's running 6K, trun it off until you find the air leak.
     
  22. brian.s

    brian.s F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 3, 2003
    3,761
    Midwest
    Full Name:
    Brian
    The conversion seems to be a common one made in the early 80s to make the car perform better, they are dogs in standard form. The RayJay was used, some did have a scavenge pump (every one through here has had one fitted) but some may not have. The oil feed comes off the oil pressure switch hole. There were not normally other changes internally to my knowledge.
    There would appear to be several issues on this car, some or all may be related. A cylinder leakage will show far more than a comp test.
    The metal in the pan, if from the 308 is not good, the turbo may have been the cause. I do not understand the timeline of events, have you been doing the work or a shop?

    Brian
     
  23. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    24,972
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Dindu Nuffin
    Compression, fuel, air, spark == bang

    The numbers you posted look OK, assuming that they're all pretty much the same. I agree that a leakdown test would tell you more about the base condition of the motor.

    6K RPM on idle(!) indicate that the fuel delivery must be fine. I agree with Mike, there's most likely an air leak in the intake somewhere.

    I would suggest taking a sample of oil and sending it off for an analysis. That will tell you if there's antifreeze, gasoline, shavings, etc in the oil.

    Has this car ever run right since you owned it? If so, what changed first? Why specifically do you suspect the turbo is bad?

    Also, I'm not familiar with turbos, but is it possible to disconnect the turbo from the intake of the car, slap on an intake tube/filter, and see if there's any behaviour changes? Looking at the pics, it seems that you could do that and maybe eliminate the turbo/boost as a culprit.
     
  24. 4returbo

    4returbo Karting

    Oct 14, 2003
    60
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    Rick Oliver
    Yes, I did change the trans before the oil, good point.

    Has this car ever run right since you owned it?
    Yes. I had oil leaks under the someone said typical of F cars. However, it turned out to be from the turbo. So, I decide to have it fixed. A local perfomance shop replaced the rayjay with a new tubo changing the set up slightly. If so, what changed first? New turbo. This is also when the high idle started/air leak. The shop also fussed with the throttle position screw.
    Why specifically do you suspect the turbo is bad? Oil spraying out... lots of it. If I have the oil tested, do use oil from drain plug, dip stick, or where it's leaking from the turbo/tale pipe. The oil on the dip stick looks healthy. The oil coming from the pipe is a mess.
    Could lack of scavenger be why the newer turbos are going out after a few hours of opeation? I found this on rayjay. Maybe I should looking to the original set up/turbo? After all other issues are resolved?

    http://www.turboneticsinc.com/rajay.html

    RAJAY successfully combines a lightweight, compact design with rugged construction for relieable service under the most rigorous operating conditions. Significant among the design features of the RAJAY series turbochargers is its patented, one-piece semi-floating aluminum bearing design. Oil pressure virtually suspends the bearing on a film of oil while permitting oil to pass through the radial holes to the turbine shaft. This bearing design has proved so durable that other turbocharger manufacturers have used it, under license, for heavy-duty truck applications where a 5000 hour service life is quite common.
     
  25. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    7,000
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Yes, your filter should catch any metal debris in the oil. Also, the 308 sump plug has a magnet in it that will catch any ferrous metal particles. Won't pick up Al, brass, etc. of course.

    It's very unlikely that turbo problems will put metal into the oil, unless the turbo bearings are grinding themselves to pieces.

    Here's a thought:
    308s run much higher oil pressure than most other cars. Could it be too high for the turbo's oil seals?
     
  26. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,814
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    Add put the old turbo back on to your to-do list. Once all the othe rproblems are resolved, then maybe upgrade it or just rebuild it to fix the oil leak you started with.

    I think that although the problem seems serious, it will turn out to be a collection of a few small things. If it makes you feel any better, I had a fuel mixture problem on my car which turned out to be caused by 8 or 10 seperate little things adding together and making a mess...it took me months to finally get it straightened out. It doesn't sound like you are anywhere near as bad off.....
     
  27. brian.s

    brian.s F1 Rookie
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 3, 2003
    3,761
    Midwest
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Since your local "performance shop" didn't do too good, I would go back to square one. have the RayJay rebuilt, then refit adding a scavenge pump (a Tilton diff pump works great) in place of the straight scavenge back to the oil pan. Make sure that the pressure hose is not kinked supplying the turbo. FWIW the turbo can be bypassed on the intake side but it probably not significant to show anything. The basic idle speed/throttle plate settings should be checked and have a CO meter handy also. Sometimes people richen the crap out of the idle because of the turbo, I like to do the opposite so that the car will shoot flames on overrun!

    good luck, Brian
    www.autocarsports.com
     
  28. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    24,972
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Dindu Nuffin

    Well, where I was going with that is that 4returbo was thinking the oil was being pumped into the intake air flow by a leaking(?) turbo. If you remove the turbo from the intake path and it's still blowing oily smoke, you can most likely eliminate the turbo itself as a cause.
     

Share This Page