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Newbie 308/328 project car

Discussion in '308/328' started by wareaglescott, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    Hello
    I am new to the forum. First post actually. Long time car guy. I enjoy building/ working on my own cars. I am an airline pilot with plenty of time off to work on cars. I actually despise traveling on my off days so nothing better than working in the garage for me!
    Currently have a 2018 911C2S, 1979 911 SC that I just completed a full restoration and custom build on, and a Factory Five Cobra I built.

    Honestly I enjoy working on cars as much as driving them. As I have recently completed the 1979 911 I am looking towards my next project. I have taken on another car project I am completing for a friend (1973 240z) and am about 6-12 months from acquiring my next project.

    A 308/328 project really appeals to me. I like to do a ton of research and learning about the cars before jumping in. Plan to do a ton of reading here but was looking for a little feedback if anyone is willing. I know on the other builds I have done how valuable forum members can be offering assistance and experience.

    I learned from the 911 project that a good starting point is important and follow the theory of buying the best car you can afford for what you want to do. As I said I enjoy the mechanical work and that is as enjoyable as the driving. I have 3 other fun cars to drive so a purchase that goes into my shop and wont be ready for driving for some time is not out of the question. My rough thoughts are along the line of around a 50k purchase price with another 50k to put into it as I see fit to make it mine. As I mentioned I don't like to travel so I look at my car projects like an entertainment expense. Doesn't bother me at all to have more in the car than it is worth. Just like it to be unique to what I like. They way I see it is if I own a car for 3-4 years and lose 30k that is no different than spending 10k a year on travel so that is how I approach my car builds.

    A few questions if anyone has any feedback:
    1. How are these cars to work on?
    2. What is parts availability like and who are some good suppliers? (going from the Cobra to the Porsche I learned a lot about crazy parts prices. I can only imagine the Ferrari parts take it to an entirely new level. My main concern is availability)
    3. Anyone have any books they would recommend for someone looking to restore/maintain one of these? (Air cooled porsche world has some great books. Would love to find some good resources for Ferrari)
    4. Please add anything at all you might think would be useful for a newbie to know

    I Appreciate any feedback anyone has to offer.
    If there are any instagram users here I document all my car projects there @scottsrides if anyone wants to see the other cars look me up there and say hello please.

    Thanks
    Scott
     
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  3. cls

    cls Formula 3

    Jun 12, 2007
    1,605
    Los Angeles/Montreal
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Welcome to the forum, some of us likely know your build on Pelican.

    The 308 / 328 are easy to work on with a few caveats. It seems that Ferrari thought it was no problem to just pull the engine for a lot of tasks. The alternator is maddening, cam belt changes are tight, getting at air rails just about impossible, AC hoses are through a frame rail, and even spark plug changes require some dexterity and probably removing the engine lid.

    Parts availability is great (relatively speaking) It's a Ferrari, so you can't compare them to Porsches for availability or price, but the 308/328 (for a Ferrari) has parts readily available through dismantlers, Superformance, Eurospares, Ricambi, Mr Fiat, and more. Pricing is a differnt story, there's no URO equivalent for Ferraris and while parts are comparitively low for the 308/328 (that is compared to other Ferraris) they will cost quite a bit more than a 911.

    The only book I know of for 308/328 restoration is Keith Bluemel "Original Ferrari V8," but IMO it's not that good and sometimes inaccurate. Your best resource will be this forum.

    As far as useful advice, don't be afraid of a 308 or 328. They're the easiest in the lineup to work on and still at an accessible price point.
    FWIW, I have restored / worked on a 308, 246, 456, and 612 as well as quite a few Porsches.
     
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  4. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    Thank you CLS
    Same username for me over on Pelican. Did a pretty large build thread there.
    Great info, particularly about the no URO equivalent thought. That is a little scary. haha
     
  5. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,519
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    A $50K 308 won't need much...
     
  6. cls

    cls Formula 3

    Jun 12, 2007
    1,605
    Los Angeles/Montreal
    Full Name:
    Chris
    I know your build, I'm salayc over there.
    I'm sure you will be fine with whatever a Ferrari can throw at you.
     
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  8. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    Good to know. I like to do custom stuff on my builds which always gets pricey. I really am not educated on the market yet so just sort of threw 50k out there.
     
  9. A12pilot

    A12pilot Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 11, 2018
    145
    Glen Rose area of TX
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Ditto, Scott. Same job as you, same addiction as you, and I’m finishing up a 70 Cuda for someone that I sold the car too and am also scratch building a BMW 507. I do all my mechanics, paint, etc. I just bought an 86 328 GTS and have had it a few months and this car appealed to me because it had a few issues that needed attention, yet mechanics were all done. What appealed to me about these is that guys like us can still work on them. This forum has been great for parts leads, how-to instructions, and trouble shooting. I even learned my high idle was just the stupid floor mat!:p The bad part is now I’m craving a 458. These things are addicting!

    cheers
    Dave
     
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  10. Brian A

    Brian A Formula 3

    Dec 21, 2012
    2,353
    SanFrancisco BayArea
    Full Name:
    1983 US 308 GTS QV
    Answers (In my opinion...):
    1. From your perspective, as a patient experienced builder, you will find nothing much surprising working on the Ferrari. Fundamentally, it is just a car. It will depend on what your build goals are. If you are okay/enjoy part substitution, you'll find lots of threads here on EFI, pistons and crankshafts, shock absorbers, etc. That makes the problem solving on the 3x8 very ordinary. If you like to restore cars to concours quality, that is different. Buy a very intact car; there is unobtanium on these cars. Get a PPI by a concours judge.

    The complaint about working on the cars is the difficulty of routine maintenance. The classic example is that the a/c system needs to be evacuated and the compressor removed in order to service the timing belts. Dumb, dumb, dumb. However, if you pull the engine (and I have helped 3 people pull their engines) major work is just like any other engine although there are some 3x8-specific issues such as corrosion of the cylinder head studs. I presume any major project car has its "surprises".

    2. I have an antique BMW as well so can compare to Pelican Parts. While not that same level, I have really been surprised at the availability of parts for the 308. So far, I have never hit a dead end. There are probably 10 suppliers listed on the various webpages here.

    3. There are no thorough Service Manuals like those published by third parties such as Bentley Publishers. There are the Factory "Workshop Manuals" which are fraught with weirdness and there are the superb Factory "Spare Parts Catalogs" which show exploded diagrams of the entire car. Formally that is about all you get. Informally, there is this website. I also have a close group of 3x8 friends who I can resource when I can't figure things out myself.

    4. Because of item 3 above, everyone in the 3x8 community really needs each other. The friendship that came with buying a 308 was a surprise to me; I worried that Ferrari owners would be an aloof bunch. I learned that 3x8 folks are exactly the opposite. The bonds friendship among Ferrari owners is stronger than other marques.
     
  11. J-P

    J-P Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 15, 2007
    126
    Another airline guy here on the hunt for a project. What part of the country is everyone in?
     
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  13. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    Appreciate everyone responding.
    Great info Brian. I am not into concours type builds. I intend to drive anything I buy a lot and enjoy working on them.
    One thing I have enjoyed about my other builds is the friendships made. Seem to have a bunch of forum buddies all around the country that I will likely never meet in person. Glad to hear of the same community here!

    J-P I am Atlanta based which probably gives away my airline. haha How about you?
     
  14. J-P

    J-P Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 15, 2007
    126
    DFW area, but NOT the obvious choice! I have to commute:cool:
     
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  15. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula 3

    Apr 17, 2014
    1,161
    California SF area
    Full Name:
    Paul
    Welcome Scott

    Another pilot here and an airline employee but not an airline pilot. I'm also a hopeless gearhead who likes working on cars (and airplanes) as much as driving them. In regards to Ferrari vs Porsche well it is sort of a different ball game. I think there were about 12,000 308's made from '76 to '85 and maybe around 7,000 328,s from '86 to '89 so compare that to what? maybe a billion 911's? (exaggerating for effect) So the whole infrastructure in regards to DIY support and aftermarket parts is scaled down accordingly. The good news is that the 3x8 probably has the biggest and most active DIY community of all the Ferraris so you can find support even if you have to dig a little. I graduated from the Alfa Romeo world which is a brand that was orphaned in the U.S. from 1995 on so I was already used to such things.

    I had a leaking head gasket so I pulled my engine and took it apart and while I did at times feel like I was kinda out there on my own there is really nothing extraordinarily different about it so you can figure it out. The shop manual is not bad but both highly condensed and let's say terse as well as being in three languages and at times spread across a number of models. You might find yourself perusing the GT4 manual for some things or perhaps the Mondial manual for the CIS stuff. It's definitely not the type of manual that is gonna hold your hand through the process but overall all of the pertinent data and information is in there.

    As far as parts the same cautions in regards to the quality of aftermarket stuff should be followed just as with any other make. Do the research and contribute feedback to the community when you have either good or bad experiences.

    If you have a lift, even a half or quarter height like a MaxJax or QuickJack It will make working on the car an enjoyable experience. A scissor lift will work as well as there really is nothing in the center under body that you need to access.

    If you're like me I think you will find working on a 308 quite satisfying and oh yea, they are a blast to drive flat out on a nice twisty canyon road.

    Best of luck with your search
     
  16. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    Thanks! I have two four post lifts in my upstairs garage and a 2 post in my basement workshop garage so i will be covered there. Good point about the number of cars produced. Appreciate the feedback.
     
  17. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,519
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Excuse me, upstairs garage and downstairs workshops both with lifts? You are in a different league, sir. I would say in the league of Mitt Romney.
     
  18. Talon38

    Talon38 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2012
    19
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    Mike Lambert
     
  19. Talon38

    Talon38 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2012
    19
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    Mike Lambert
    Hi, Scott! Long time car guy here as well. I've been on Ferrari Chat for a long time, but only have posted once. I've restored cars including a '55 Chevy in HS, a Nissan Fairlady Z, a '52 MG-TD, etc. Had a 328, 355, 550, 575 and still have a SuperAmerica and was once the VP of the FCA. I've never restored a Ferrari, however, until four months ago. I purchased a 328 GTS to do just that. It's completely dismantled (the interior, "trunk", etc., and I've spent basically three months figuring it out). I haven't found a good book on how to do it so have survived on folks like Brian Crall here in Austin or figuring it out myself. Taking photos along the way and hope to post all here when I'm done. As you can tell, I never do the same car. Anyway, for a 328 GTS I've found all the parts, but have spent many more hours finding them than working on the car. Happy to share if you pick a 328. Anyway, it's much fun!! Mike
     
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  20. Ferraridoc

    Ferraridoc F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2012
    9,210
    Gold Coast, Aust.
    Full Name:
    Patrick
    A man can't have too many hoists... or garages... or cars.
     
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  21. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    17
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    haha it’s not like that. I just needed the 4 post in my upstairs to make my 2 car garage a 4 car. The basement garage is my workshop and has the 2 post. The only reason I have a basement garage is because it was cheaper than finishing the entire basement when we built the house. I self installed all 3 lifts and have prob about 10k total in all of them. (All bendpak products). Much cheaper than building a bigger garage. When the 3rd lift came my wife knew I was crazy. She had suspected for a long time.
     
  22. smg2

    smg2 F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    Apr 1, 2004
    11,731
    Dumpster Fire #31
    Full Name:
    SMG
    This can't be over emphasised... Buy the best example you can find.
    Fixer uppers might hold some interest but will cost more then just paying upfront for good condition example.
    Parts... Ok here's where it gets tricky, service items are not hard to get. Replacement parts, they are becoming scarce and very expensive.

    They are simple cars to work on, no real mystery. Frustrating for some things, I'll never understand Italian thought process on the A/C lines or the the heater and vacuum lines.. All of which run thru the rockers... Heater core servicing... And the worst hands down... Brake booster...

    Regardless of age be aware that the early 2V will have an engine life of roughly 70k miles +-10k depending on service and the later QV can get another 20k beyond that. Then it's time for a teardown and rebuild.. rings, valve guides etc.. most opt to replace pistons for better options and more power to CR above the 8:1 mark. Figure a complete engine rebuild to run $10k min best case and you doing all the labor.

    I'll add this as well, make sure the gearbox is in top condition, last couple yrs parts are becoming NLA and what's left is eye watering expensive. Rebuilt a later QV gearbox 3yrs ago.. parts alone was $15k.. upside.. They are tough boxes and will go longer then the engine, provided they are maintained and not abused. Regular oil flushes and keep up on clutch adjustment. Clutch is cable operated, no automatic adjustment like hydrolic systems. BIG oil sump also means it needs time to warm up before getting frisky.

    They are great cars, loads of fun and the best is the mechanical feedback. They just need lots of attention.. Like any hot girlfriend, ignore at your own peril.
     
  23. jjeffries

    jjeffries Karting

    Sep 4, 2012
    220
    Connecticut
    Full Name:
    John Jeffries
    Scott’s 911 is really nice; I’ve followed his Pelican thread.
    John
     
  24. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,519
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    which thread is that ?
     
  25. kiwiokie

    kiwiokie Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2013
    1,009
    Tulsa, OK
    Nice, clean SC build!


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
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  26. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,918
    While I have no mechanic skills, I can only offer advice on the many types of 308s out there. In general, there are very few $100k 308s so as you said, you are prepared to lose money.

    The 3 main types are carb, 2 valve, and 4 valve cars.....almost everyone would advise to skip the 2 valve for restoration purposes.

    My advice would be to find the earliest carb coupe you can find and fit within your budget constraints . In addition, if you can find a rough Euro carb coupe, you may not lose any money at all.

    Good luck!
     
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