330 Drivers

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Texas Forever, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    I have this friend... He is actually thinking about buying one of these old pieces of crap and then driving it cross country. Imagine that!

    My friend's question is this. Aside from the obvious things, such as blown rings or leaky values or out-of-sync carbs, what breaks on a 330 GTC?

    1. Are there notorious cooling issues?
    2. Do brakes simply fade away?
    3. Do distributors stop distributing?
    4. Do windshields leak?
    5. Do these cars blow heat through the firewalls?
    6. Do CV joints come undone?
    7. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Here is what I have alreadly told my friend --

    1. Replace every rubber fuel line and hose on the car.
    2. Get rid of that points crap and install electronic ingnition.
    3. Redo the brakes.
    4. Check all the running gear and replace anything that even looks suspicious.
    5. Boil out the radiator and use the spiffy new fuilds.
    6. Rebuild the A/C and convert to whatever.
    7. Go over all the window rubber and replace.

    What else would you suggest before taking a 2,000 trip in a 40-year old car?

    Dr "Friends? I ain't got no friends" Who
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  3. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    Central NJ
    Get a AAA plus card and a cell phone. Oh, and get the carbs and valves adjusted! Otherwise, if its a decent driver, go for it! Mine has held up just fine on some long trips.


    Art S.
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    What about overheating? My friend is actually thinking about a western road trip... this Summer. Does the 330 motor run hot?
  5. wolfchen75

    wolfchen75 Karting

    Aug 7, 2004
    forget the electronic ignition, points,condensor work fine and are very reliable
    plus spares can fit in a small box. Give the 330 a good full service and
    tune up and go for it. IME, older ferrari that are regualrily driven are very reliable
    in every important part like engine,drivetrain,brakes, etc. What usually fails are
    trim and accessory items that are all sourced from other Italian suppliers.

    I have only had one towed breakdown in 15 years of driving various 212/250/330 cars and most of those were already well abused when I got
  6. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    You haven't lived until you have gapped points in the middle of the night with cigarette papers and matches for a flashlight. :)

    Frankly, though, I have found that switching to electronic really makes these old engines run very smoothly. I have never done this on a Ferrari, but have on several Triumphs and a Porsche. The only problem is that you need to upgrade everything, including the wiring. That, and you need to carry a spare black box. :)

    Thanks for the tips, Dale
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  8. Tony Fuisz

    Tony Fuisz Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    Bethesda, MD
    Full Name:
    Tony Fuisz
    Mine does run hot in traffic, but cool while moving regardless of the temp outside(but it has no electric fans...I'd add some if you were going to travel to areas that might be congested, or just pull over and have a drink somewhere).
    I'd check the wheel bearings too-mine needed 4 new ones, and others have had similar experiences.
    Lastly, putting new tie-rods on made the car much nicer to drive on the highway.
    My 330 is great on the highway-nice ride and stable at 80 plus. If I could ever get more than a week off at a time I'd try a cross-country trip too.
  9. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:

    I switched from points on my 72 Lotus and it starts better in cold weather, never misses all the way to reline (6800 RPMs), and you can run a hotter coil and thus get a hotter spark. You regap from .025" to .035" (on my TC engine at least) and it won't foul like it can in stop and go.

    All for $100 and 10 minutes to install. I'd say that's a good deal.

  10. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    Pretty close. It radiates from the engine and exhaust. It can get pretty hot. I suggest a thin modern insulation under the carpet and (as you said) a properly working AC system.

    Are you your friend's mechanic? ;)

    When was the last time the car was serviced? Most of the above, and more, should have ben recently inspected, adjusted, or replaced as necessary.

    Inspect the hoses; don't replace them all unless the visible ones are going bad. Hose is available everywhere.

    Don't replace the points with electronic items unless the points need to be replaced anyway. Electronic points rarely fail, but when they do, they fail completely. Traditional points can still get you home.

    Finally, have your friend take a long weekend trip first, in order to shake down any other potential problems.

  11. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    What about clutch cables and such? I don't think that the 330 GTC had a hydraulic clutch did it?
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  13. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    I've been told that the largest expense in doing electronic ignition on a V12 is far and away labor. The shop I talked to about it says they bench disassemble/rebuild the distributors completely when installing the replacement components. Makes sense yet I question that approach as absolutely necessary, but at 2 grand I'll pass anyway for now.

    Regarding reliable running:

    -I had my cooling system reconditioned and get it flushed and pressure tested every year.

    -I get oil, coolant, and brake fluid changed every year and driveline and steering fluids checked and topped off.

    -I installed a thermostatic auxiliary radiator fan that kicks on at 193F. My water temp has never gone above about 210F even at 100F in city traffic, but I don't make it a practice to drive in that kind of heat.

    -I always disconnect the shutoff on the battery if the car is going to sit longer than one hour.

    -When restarting after running up to full op temps. especially in 80F plus weather, I never just jump in, start, and immediately drive off being parked for awhile. A couple of instances of vapor lock will convince you real fast on that. At any time, I give it at least 30 seconds running time on a restart before driving off.

    -My in-car toolkit includes a very sturdy scissors jack and a hand tire pump, and I've got a knockoff socket and 3/4" drive torque wrench on order.

    -Necessary at all times are a cell phone and some kind of 24 hr. road service deal that guarantees flat bed towing. My $1k fried starter on a busy Dallas street in summer '03 made the good sense of that obvious.
  14. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    I recall Tom Yang had lots of motor oil for his 330 America's maiden voyage.
  15. 67GTC

    67GTC Karting

    Dec 30, 2003
    Westchester, CA
    The GTCs all had hydraulic clutches up till some time in early to mid-1968. Then they went to a cable-activated clutch. Mine's a mid-1967 (S/N 10539) and has the hydraulic clutch.

  16. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
    Full Name:
    Internet Poseur
    What cha doing with cigarette papers there Dale?? :)
  17. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    Central NJ

    My car didn't run hot before I had the cooling system redone and it's even better now. That said, things get pretty toasty if you are driving hard for extended periods.

    Also, my 2+2 has a hydraulic clutch.


    Art S.
  18. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3

    Jan 28, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Full Name:
    David Castelhano
    I have found that 330s are particularly sensitive to ignition timing. This is often the cause of overheating. A properly maintained car is a blast to drive and should be reliable anywhere. They are fun to drive and as mentioned before get better the more they are used.
  19. wmuno

    wmuno Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 24, 2007
    Wilmette, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Bill Muno
    I've owned my 330 GTC for 35 years and have had almost no problems in hot weather. The 2 cooling fans kick-in around 190 F and do a good job of keeping the water temperature under control. I did have the radiator recored several years ago and replaced all the hoses at that time. I change the antifreeze about ever 10 years. Overall, the cooling system can handle the summer weather in the Chicago area.

    However, the fuel system can be a problem in very hot weather, In 2004 I was in stop and go traffic trying to get into Laguna Seca. It's always a good idea to turn on the electric fuel pump under these conditions, Even with the electric pump on, I had vapor lock. I had to pull to side of the road, open the hood, and let the engine cool for about 10 minutes. No permanent damage. As long as the car is moving, air flow through the grill and out the side vents keeps the engine compartment temperature under control. When the car is running but stopped, the two electric fans don't create enough air flow on very hot days. It goes without saying that you need to have the two heat shields on the exhaust manifolds in place.
  20. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    Good point, Bill.

    Welcome to F-Chat!!
  21. SCantera

    SCantera F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 4, 2004
    Living Falls NC
    #18 SCantera, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I just drove the GTC from FL to NC. Outside temps were 95-100 F for much of the sunny 13 hour drive. I only stopped for fuel. For the most part the coolant temp was 88-92 C, oil was between 90 and 100 C. Only when traffic came to a stop on I-95 [and later I-26] did the engine temps climb to 110 C for coolant and 103 C for oil. Even with the upgraded Spal fans and clean as a whistle radiator stop and go traffic on a blistering humid afternoon would raise the engine temps. I would then exit off the interstate and run the parallel roads where it would cool down quickly. I think the design of the nose and grill limit the airflow where even the better fans were barely enough.

    Inside I was cool as a cucumber. I replaced the York compressor with a Sanden rotary, installed a larger condensing unit and swapped the Lucas blower motor with a Mercedes motor from an EClass. This car has one well-functioning air conditioner system.

    Shouldn't be a cooling issue now that the s/n 9593 has relocated to the mountains.
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  22. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 13, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    slightly off-topic, Steve, but how much does the Sanden weigh compared to the York boat-anchor? significantly less? or about the same?
  23. furmano

    furmano Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    Full Name:
    Love the 330. Such a great car. Maybe one day...

  24. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2011
    replace the ball swege on the throttle cable where it attaches to carb linkage

    years of flex will break cable strands at the swege until it parts

    a piece of string or line can be lead back to driver, operate throttle by hand

    warning... you will look like a dork driving the car with a piece of line :=)

    better than being stranded roadside with a Ferrari looking like a dork :=)
  25. drake123

    drake123 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 22, 2012
    Full Name:
    40 years ago I owned a 330 2+2 and in the 6 years I had it the only problem was a broken throttle cable. Fortunately it broke backing out of the garage. The fix back then was an exact replacement cable from McMaster Carr. It I remember correctly I had to silver solder a square or rectangular block to it. Does that sound correct? I never had any heating problems and it didn't have AC.
    I always wondered what happened to it and just this year through the registry I found it's still alive and well.
  26. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2011
    it sounds like the same failure... the fix is to replace the ball with another compression fitting (any thing to keep it from pulling through the yoke / attachment ), usually there is enough adjustment to accept a new ball, the loss is less than 1cm (1/2 inch )
  27. 330Guy

    330Guy Karting

    Jan 9, 2009
    Union City, CA.
    Full Name:
    Dana Edward Layton
    Forgive me my two cents worth but in addition to above, providing I didn't miss someone already sure both fuel pumps (electric and mechanical) are functioning perfectly. In traffic it tends to get very hot in the valley of the carbs and fuel heating can cause a stumble or two. I often find a temporary fuel boost of running the electric for 10 or twenty seconds while the mechanical is doing its thing cools the fuel by return to tank via return line.
  28. JazzyO

    JazzyO F1 World Champ

    Jan 14, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Full Name:
    The only time I had vapour lock was when I didn't know my car very well. It is was in my first week of ownership, I had taken the GTC up a Swiss mountain pass, it was a hot day with a lot of slow holiday traffic. The engine ran to 120 deg C (250F). I didn't fully understand how the electrical pump set-up worked, either. Not sure if I switched it on.

    Later, we found out that one of the fans wasn't working.

    Since we fixed the fans, I have never seen more than 100 deg (210F) on the engine, and occasions above 90 deg (190F) are very very rare. True, Europe is not Arizona but I think she'd be fine especially if you're not sat in traffic.

    I have taken my GTC all over Europe and I have absolute faith in her. To be true, we had a couple of breakdowns in early ownership (1 faulty battery, 1 failed Lucas switch) on long trips. A bit irritating, but not the end of the world. She has gotten me home on her own power every time in 10,000 miles, even in 11 hours of apocalyptic rain.


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