Carbureted 308 owners: choke problem

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by marks308GTB, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. marks308GTB

    marks308GTB Karting

    Jun 6, 2004
    Los Altos Hills, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark S.
    Hi all,

    The manual choke control on my 1976 glass 308GTB is stuck. It only moves a short way then stops. I can see that the actual choke (cold start) cable mechanism on the carbs moves a short way and then stops before the lever on the carb ever moves.

    The Ferrari mechanic, who has worked on these for at least the last 25 years,
    says that something is jamming the cable up under the center console and wants to pull it all apart.

    On the other hand, he also says that you never need the choke to start the car anyway. So don't bother to repair it, just use as is.

    So, question: What is your experience with this? Can you start your car without the use of the choke in cold weather?? (The car starts perfectly in warm weather). Lowest temps where I live are in the range of 40 degrees in the winter.

    Anyone had experience with fixing this problem?

  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    NEVER use the choke unless you really like changing spark plugs, IMO.

    Per owners manual, fuel pump runs 30 seconds, pump gas peddle two to three times, and crank that baby up!

    You can fix it someday, if it costs you points at a Concours or something...

    Never use it....ever......;)
  4. AFire

    AFire Karting

    Jun 1, 2004
    Dear Mark,

    normally the 308 don't need the choke. My car starts perfectly at hot and cold weather without it.

    Best regards,

  5. Ferrari_tech

    Ferrari_tech Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    Malcolm W

    Same here in the UK, never need to use the choke - just a couple of "pumps" of the throttle pedal when cold starting and off you go.

    If you have tried using the choke and then fully returned the choke lever you must make sure that the choke levers on the carbs have returned fully to their rest position.
  6. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Most people use the "manual choke" method of dumping raw fuel into the intake manifolds by pumping the gas pedal a couple times before starting. Pretty much accomplishes the same thing.

    If you only use your choke to start the car and then immediately shut it off once the car is running, it does not foul your plugs any more than pumping the gas--they accomplish the same thing. However some people have experienced sticking chokes where the choke never fully disengages, thus making the engine run rich and that fouls the plugs, among other things.

    I use my choke to start in cold weather, just to keep it working (use it or lose it) but the car can be started just as well with a few pumps of the gas.

    Fixing/adjusting the choke cable is no big deal. You have to pull the airbox to get under there, but that is simple, and so is pulling the center console cover. Probably just needs to have the slack adjusted.

  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. gerritv

    gerritv Formula 3

    Jun 18, 2001
    St Catharines
    Full Name:
    Besides the (good) advice to not use the choke, I would disconnect the cable at the carbs to isolate if the problem is the cable from lever or something on one of the carbs. It is simple enough to play binary search to narrow down the cause.

    I start my GT4 by letting the fuel pump run for a while, then start cranking. While cranking start pressing down on the accelerator. I no longer use the 'pump 3 times' method to avoid having a lot of fuel washing the cylinders at start up.

  9. cavallo_nero

    cavallo_nero Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    Full Name:
    Giovanni Pasquale
    I disconnected my choke cables long ago, and the 308 fires up even on the colder mornings in the colorado high country (7000 feet and 10 degrees).
    78 308 GTS euro
  10. Barnone 308

    Barnone 308 Formula Junior

    Mar 22, 2004
    Like all of you have been saying, and I agree, never use the Choke,, let the fuel pump fill up those tubes for a minute, a couple of pumps, and turn it over...
  11. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    Never used it on my 78 308 GTS, mechanic said I'd just foul the plugs....worked fine without for the three years I had the car.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    Never use it and disconnected it under the center console. Temps here range from -10 to +90 winter to summer. Still starts ok just need to feather the gas on start.
  14. marks308GTB

    marks308GTB Karting

    Jun 6, 2004
    Los Altos Hills, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark S.
    OK, OK. Almost unanimous response on this choke question. Thank you all very much for quick and consistent response.

    Now that I know that the engine will start without the choke operative, I'll just leave things alone. Sounds like the cold start method is pretty much the same as what I do now during the summer months.

    I do plan to pull the airbox cover for some other work and will check that end of the cable when I do that. Also have to pull the center console for a different reason and will check that. But won't do much on the choke cable unless it is real easy and very obvious. And no urgency, either. Based on what you all said, even if the choke cable was to be fixed, I probably wont even use it!

    Thanks, again

  15. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    The classic problem with the choke is that they can stick in the open position which will result in excess fuel after the motor has started. Washdown is not a good thing!
  16. Mike Florio

    Mike Florio Formula Junior

    Jun 19, 2003
    NW Rural Nevada
    Full Name:
    Mike Florio
    As you can tell from the responses, which I agree with, don't use the "fuel enrichment device." However, while you have the air cleaner assembly off you should check that all the levers on the carbs are firmly seated in the off position. I installed a small spring on each bank of carbs to hold the levers off. Prevents the inadvertent enrichment from vibration-induced activation. I have even heard of guys removing the little enrichment assembly cover and filling them with epoxy so they can never come on or leak air or fuel.

Share This Page