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I'm thinking about buying a 328 or a 308--HELP??

Discussion in '308/328' started by Ersel, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Ersel

    Ersel Rookie

    Dec 16, 2003
    3
    I was tossing the idea around of buying a red 328 GTS or maybe a 308, but I don't know much mechanically about these cars. I do prefer the 328 GTS, but I do not know what years to look at & which ones to avoid. My questions...

    * What year(s) 328 GTS are the most trouble-free or best?
    * What things would I look for when buying one of these cars?
    * When are the major (expensive) tune-ups and how much do they run approx? I've heard I should look at ones that just had their 20k tune-up, assuming the car has somewhere around 20kish miles.
    * Are these cars known to have "issues" at certain miles--hence cost BIG money at the Ferrari dealer?
    * How are the 308's vs. the 328's? I really prefer the look of the 328's buy was curious which was a better mechanical car.

    Thanks all in advance for answering my questions!
    Bay Area, CA
    Eric
     
  2. abarre

    abarre Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    295
    Welcome to FerrariChat!

    Make sure you run searches on this, as this is a very popular topic and there are tons of threads on these questions.

    * What year(s) 328 GTS are the most trouble-free or best?

    Consensus is that 89 was the best - they just got better and more reliable as they went along. Some people prefer the pre-ABS cars though.

    * What things would I look for when buying one of these cars?

    Get a pre-purchase from someone that KNOWS Ferraris. Look for one that has been driven regularly. Low mileage "museum pieces" are usually great looking, but have lots of reconditioning in store for their new owner.

    * When are the major (expensive) tune-ups and how much do they run approx? I've heard I should look at ones that just had their 20k tune-up, assuming the car has somewhere around 20kish miles.

    Big issue is the timing belts and tensioners and water pumps. These need to be done every 5 years or 30K. Belt breaking = $10-15K of damage. Belt service at a Ferrari dealer will be around $4000, less at a good independent. If you are patient and mechanically inclined, it is possible to do it yourself.

    * Are these cars known to have "issues" at certain miles--hence cost BIG money at the Ferrari dealer?

    Most Ferraris seem to be driven less than your average car, so time really factors the most. Belts and water pumps are the biggest issue really. Most people advise changing all fluids once per year as well. Otherwise, they tend to be pretty reliable if driven regularly and warmed up before "letting it out". Electrical problems tend to crop up from time to time. I've never had any, but I'm told the fuse box is the source of most of these.

    Another tip. Disconnecting an odometer on a Ferrari is dirt-simple. As such, odometer fraud seems to be a common problem. Make sure you check a car over thoroughly, don't take the mileage for granted.

    * How are the 308's vs. the 328's? I really prefer the look of the 328's buy was curious which was a better mechanical car.

    I can't really say on this. The 328 is widely regarded as the most reliable car Ferrari even built.

    Others on this list can probably recommend a good Ferrari shop in the Bay Area. I've gotten lots of advice and even a few parts from Mark at Veloce Speedesign in Campbell. But I can't say how he compares to anyone else out there....

    Look around and get yourself an F-car. You won't regret it! Good luck.
     
  3. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    21,746
    Dallas, TX
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    Jim E
    I think Abarre summed it up pretty well, but I'd add that there are no years of 328 to avoid. All of the 328's are great cars from a model year perspective. It has more to do with getting a good car, than buying the correct year. Not so the 308's, most pretty well agree to avoid the 80-82 cars.
     
  4. Ersel

    Ersel Rookie

    Dec 16, 2003
    3
    Thanks for the quick responses!
    Couple more questions...

    *What is an F-car?
    *So it sounds like the key is to buy one that just had its belts replaced and somone who has all the documented receipts to verify mileage etc.
    *Typically how long(mileage) does the water pump last?
    *Any other "issues" you can think of for the 328? Seems like a lot of the ones with higher miles have ratty looking leather seats.

    Thanks again!
    Eric
     
  5. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2003
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    PeterS
    Ersel...Go to Borders or B&N and buy The Complete Ferrari V8. Its a great book for you to have if you are going to be an owner.
     
  6. abarre

    abarre Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    295
    *What is an F-car?

    Short, less "flashy" way of saying Ferrari

    *So it sounds like the key is to buy one that just had its belts replaced and somone who has all the documented receipts to verify mileage etc.

    That would be good if you can verify that the work has been done by someone reputable. Good independent or Ferrari dealer.

    *Typically how long(mileage) does the water pump last?

    Not sure. The usual issue is that they start leaking at the seals. Not a catastrophic failure.

    *Any other "issues" you can think of for the 328? Seems like a lot of the ones with higher miles have ratty looking leather seats.

    None that get a lot of discussion. Of course every car is different and ANYTHING mechanical can and will eventually fail - even on a Honda Accord. With Ferraris, it just usually means shelling out some $$ to fix.

    As for the leather, don't let it stop you. Check out www.leatherique.com I've never used their products but people universally RAVE about them. And they give discounts to F-chat members....
     
  7. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    33,608
    MidTN
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    DGS
    Ferraris often don't get driven much -- especially by people who are about to sell their cars. So "just serviced" may be a subjective appraisal. It might have "just" been serviced only three or four years ago.

    There are two approaches to buying a used Ferrari: You can pay a premium for one that just came from a major service, or you can discount (e.g. talk the owner down) one and have your mechanic do the service. Unless you're having the same shop do the work, there's a learning curve as your mechanic explores the car to find its condition, so your first service tends to be more expensive than most. Especially as you'll probably be fixing things that the previous owner no longer noticed, but annoy you.

    That's another reason to have an independent pre-purchase inspection: to find the things the previous owner forgot to mention. (Not just the rip-offs, but things the P.O. just got used to.)

    My advice, though, is to find a good local mechanic first, and only then go looking for the car. If you can't find a reliable mechanic, ownership will be painful. Italian cars are not Toyotas. You can't let the service "slide". If the service is done badly, you're going to have a lot of headaches.

    And a good mechanic might know of a good car for sale, too. ;)
     
  8. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    I have both for sale:

    1989 Ferrari 328GTS in red
    and
    1983 Ferrari 308 GTS QV in red.

    www.4Ferrari.com

    Martin
    Cavallino Motors
    you can also find me in the Ferrari-Chat Advertisement section.
     
  9. Phildo

    Phildo Karting

    Aug 23, 2002
    150
    Buy a copy of "The Ferrari V8" by Keith Blumehl (sp?). It's the bible for information on these vehicles and highlights the differences in detail.
     
  10. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    11,211
    Colorado
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    Dave
    I have had 3 308's (77,84&85) and 2 328's (87&89) I still have the 89. Here is the real poop.
    First. no Ferrari would ever make JD Powers list of reliable cars.
    In the 308 vs 328 debate, the 328 is just plain better built. Many think it is the best built Ferrari. I can't argue. 328's had most of the 308 bugs and weaknesses worked out. For outright coolness, carbureted 308's beat out all the injected cars, but they are needier, less reliable than newer cars. If you are mechanically inclined they can be wonderful. For those who are not, the 328 is a great choice. Even the quatrovalve 308's are considerably needier and some parts are getting hard to find.
    Any year 328 is good. There were updates done throughout the years but none really serious. Early cars had recalls for oil lines and lower A arm forks so you would want to document that this work was done, buit o/w an 86 is just fine. Beginning in late 88 cars, there was a major susupension change which I think is worth the premium (I have had both) but others do not. 89 had ABS brakes and some other minor changes/upgrades.
    A Ferrari water pump with 30K on it should be considered as being on borrowed time. However as noted above they usually give plenty of notice of trouble by leaking very minutely at first. Most owners get them rebuilt at major service time since you have to remove it anyway.

    As others have mentioned a really good PPI on any car is worth the price many times over.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  11. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Sep 5, 2001
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    Panther City, Texas
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    Will
    >>>First. no Ferrari would ever make JD Powers list of reliable cars.<<<

    LMAO!!

    I'm a fan of the ol' 77 B cars myself, there is something about the 2 valves. Seems hard top is right on the money about his cars. In the shrort time that I worked at a Ferrari repair shop, I learned alot about these cars & what to look for as for problem cars.
     
  12. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    16,562
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    WOW, "Hardtop" (Dave) you made short, sweet, and perfect statement on the 308, 328 series....Reader's Digest couldn't have done it better!

    Well done!

    I have only owned a 78 308 GTS and (currently) a 87 328 GTS, but my impressions follow Hardtop to a "T".
     
  13. speeder37

    speeder37 Karting

    Nov 18, 2003
    91
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Matt
    Eric
    Check the ads section of F-Chat. There are a few excellent examples posted. The 328 is by far the right way to go.
    Hakuna Matata----No Worries
     
  14. Sophia

    Sophia Formula Junior

    Aug 17, 2003
    298
    Dash Point/Federal W
    Full Name:
    Peter Barbin
    Ersel, I was in your position a year ago. I wanted a 328, Grigo or silver with a tan interior. What I came across during my search was a '78 carbed 308 with my desired color combo & 28K on the meter. Okay, I was specific about my color combo, and this limited me to a flood of Red/Tan cars out there. I ended up purchasing the 308...It saved me $20K and its been a great way to get into the Ferrari world. Sure, its slower, primitive in many respects, but also it's technologically simple. In time I'd like to add a 328 to the collection, but my wife is liking the lines of the 360...too bad for me huh?

    The 328 is the pinnacle of the 3XX cars, yet a carbed 308 in a loved and driven condition might be something to consider too. I paid $32K for mine at a dealer which included new belts/cam seals/etc...they covered the big points of the 30K service. Mine was properly repainted due to the early 308's lacquer paint jobs crazing up badly. The dealer told me the paint was original, which I the sucker bought off on...After a month at home and some investigative looking, (I was suspicious), I finally found the reveals of the repaint. Yet I'm happy that it isn't original due to the crazing issue...a one of the finer Puget Sound Body shops that works on Ferrari's couldn't knock the quality or find repaint evidence until I pointed out the tell-tale, and well hidden reveals.

    I've replaced the shocks with new Koni's and OEM bushings, changed the gearbox/drop gear oil, the oil/filter once so far, cleaned up wiring from a sloppy stereo install and added a new CD/MP3 player, new door speakers in the stock holes, removed and lubed all 10 of the power window pulleys (major PITA), aligned the door windows properly and started the degrease/detail job of the engine bay and under-carriage....All done myself except the shock job...I've got a set of 5 16" QV wheels for $2K, tires to go...

    In all, I'll have about $36K in the car which will be fairly well sorted out with the 16" wheel addition. Other 308 owners who paid $26K for their cars, or so, commented that $32K from a dealer considering the condition of the car and the work the dealer did was perfectly in line considering the condition of their cars and the work they had yet to do.

    Good Luck!~
     
  15. Ersel

    Ersel Rookie

    Dec 16, 2003
    3
    Thanks for all the responses. I will print all this info and save it when I'm ready to buy a 328--yeah I prefer the 328's look, so I would go with that. Maybe I'll eventually find a red one here in Northern, CA that needs a new home and was treated nice.
    Cheers,
    Eric
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

     
  16. jbrosseau

    jbrosseau Karting

    Nov 26, 2003
    182
    kirkland,wa
    Full Name:
    joe brosseau
    i bought a 79' gts back in late january. the car had 63k miles showing and was in need of mostly a good cleaning and detail work. it started, drove, and sounded wonderful. no rattles,shakes, or shimies. motor pulled hard and was in tune. it had been repainted and it needed new driver side tail lights. a desk cracked the lenses. the dealer paid for them. it had a set of 17" speedline "288 style" wheels and bridgestone rubber. 225 front and 255 rear. the interior was near perfect, just needed a good conditioning. since bought it spent the first few weeks torn apart and being cleaned in places that had probably never been thought of. took the interior out and shampooed the carpet and cleaned and conditioned the leather. cleaned and detailed the chassis and engine compartment. detailed the paint and in the end the car turned into a beaut. i payed 23k and at a saturday night cruise in this summer was offered $40k by a couple who had wanted a 308 badly and were willing to spend well over "book" price to get one. they said they wanted the best they could find and complimented me on the work i did. i turned it down mostly because i have wanted a ferrari since i was 5. now at 22 i have one and am not gonna let it go so fast. not with the time spent in the garage. btw , if you have any mech. skills i would get a carbed 308. the sound of the 4 webers really makes this V8 sound like a ferrari should. the 308i's and QV's just dont match the sound. but if you are not confident at turning wrenches on a ferrari then i would seriously look at a 328. much more user friendly on the road, in the garage, and in the pocketbook. either car will make a excellent first ferrari.
     

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