Presentation: New 308 GT4 out there

Discussion in '308/328' started by dino1971, May 13, 2021.

  1. dino1971

    dino1971 Rookie

    Sep 24, 2013
    Hi everyone,
    It's taken a while, but a bright yellow (repaint) 308GT4 just found itself a new caretaker! I bough it unseen, unsmelt, and unfelt due to the pandemic and travel restrictions. Thanks to a lot of helpful info on this site, I felt that the downside was not too great considering that I will be doing as much work as possible myself. The car needs some bodywork but it's mostly bumps here and there with nothing major rust-wise except the bottom of the doors. The suspensions were totally redone and powder coated, and a few pleasant surprises came along (new starter, no corrosion around the water pump, radiator and tubes are new, etc). On the negative side, the advance curve on one of the distributors was totally off and both were far too advanced which, along with the too lean idle, had the car running like a potato. I had a couple of springs lying around from my last project (a Fiat Dino) which almost got it to spec. I'll button it up tomorrow and go for a drive to see if things improved.

    There is some drama-to-be with the front engine head, which is weeping oil at the head gasket. Also, it has low compression on two of the four cylinders (7 bar vs. 10). Could be the valves or seats, or a leaky head gasket or (lets hope not) a crack. There was also oil in the distributor flange, which could simply suggest that the head was reinstalled without taking the engine out and that things did not go well after spending a bunch of hours lying on the engine. I'm mentally preparing for removing the engine this winter for a complete rebuild (no significant history). Lots of reading to do!

    Speaking of which, I am wondering if there were some selection rules at Ferrari back in the 70's: Did all mechanics have arms like gorillas? how did they reach into the engine bay?
    Here are some pics, thanks to all that have posted their restorations, it's a life-saver!

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    The front suspension: yum, new disk rotors!

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    The water pump, nice and clean (and dry!)

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    Carbs, before cleaning the jets and setting the float heights:
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    And the bad news, oil around the front head. Let's hope it's not cracked...

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    Lots of work on the inside as well, and removing the awful sunroof! Did anyone know that these things are electric? Who would have guessed!

    Stay tuned!
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    JuLiTrO, gt4me, Patrick Dixon and 5 others like this.
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  3. kiwiokie

    kiwiokie Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2013
    Tulsa, OK
    Nice car! Love the giallo.

    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
  4. miked

    miked Formula Junior

    Feb 7, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Mike Dawson
    Nice car, glad to see that you will be doing your own wrenching, a true car guy.

    Needless to say that is an after market sunroof. The factory sunroof is a hard steel panel flush with the rest of the roof. They are operated manually, flip a lever above the rear view mirror and the panel drops down then slides back into a "garage" over the rear seat. The headliner area over the rear seat is just above the rear window which negates an interior light there.

    I don't know if the factory offered the sunroof from the first GT4 or added it sometime during the production run, my 1977 GT4 is equipped with the option. It seems to be more prevalent in the later cars.
  5. classicalfas

    classicalfas Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 5, 2012
    Gardiner, NY
    Full Name:
    Peter D
    Congratulations on your new GT4. I was in the same position as you. I wasn't able to cross the Canadian border from the US, and I purchased my GT4 sight unseen too. I did see restoration photos from 12 years ago and only 4K miles were driven so I figured it couldn't be that bad, I rolled the dice and believe I was rewarded. The car actually exceeded my expectations. Good luck with your new car. Peter.
  6. dino1971

    dino1971 Rookie

    Sep 24, 2013
    Yes, the roof is aftermarket, as previously point out on this same forum when I first looked at the car. At that time, the asking price was way too high, and I turned away. Then, a few months later the car was still there and the seller called me back. Made me an offer I couldn't refuse...

    I priced in its deletion, but I am wondering if it could not be acceptable on a darker body color, where it would blend in (like a wart). Strangely, it doesn't leak. This is more than can be said for many sun roofs, factory or not!

    Peter, congratulations on your beautiful grigio argento Dino, it looks stunning! I guess we'll be both having fun discovering our new cars and the hidden joys that they bring. I saw that you have no rust in the doors, that's really good for a car so far up north. I guess they only drove it once the snow melted, between july an august ;)
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  8. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 9, 2016
    I give anyone credit who buys a Ferrari in this present condition, and has the know how and confidence to bring it back to life . I will be looking forward to your pics as you move through this restoration. I love the 308 GT4, I just wish Ferrari would have made them along with the rest of the 3x8s with a much more powerful motor. Just the other day, i cant remember where, but I saw a red one parked , it looked really nice.

    Thank you
  9. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Formula Junior

    Mar 27, 2012
    You have to remember that these are vintage cars. In 1974 a 3 litre V8 with 250hp was pretty powerful and the gt4 was a pretty fast car compared to what else was around.

    I bought mine in 1985 and it was pretty quick compared to my previous cars and the other traffic. Now it keeps up just fine but you are not going to leave everyone else for dead.

    Today cars are stupidly fast and there is too much traffic and policing to use them properly on the road.
    ginoBBi512 likes this.
  10. dino1971

    dino1971 Rookie

    Sep 24, 2013
    The last few days have been fun! After checking out the distributors, it turns out one was clocked at +40° advance! When I took it apart, one of the advance springs was missing and everything was off. With luck, I had some leftover springs from adjusting the one on our previous Dino (a Fiat!) and managed to get an advance curve that almost matched the factory spec and that was not too far off from the other distributor (yes, it's a two-distributor machine for added fun). Following that, the carbs had to be tuned to bring the engine back to life. And what a life! I went for a small test drive, then a longer one in the vignards... What a blast! Yes, these are not powerful cars by today's standards, but who cares! The car handles really well, it feels so rigid and responsive, without being uncomfortable. Poking around some more, I found that the leak from the camshaft where the distributor is connected could be the culprit for the oil on the head gasket. Also, while taking off the front hood, the hinges have bordeaux red paint under the black, but there seems to be some yellow under the red. The plot thickens on the mystery of the car's original color!

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