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***Quality control issues on a 1979 308GTB***

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by christopher, May 17, 2004.

  1. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
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    Christopher
    Hello Again "F"-Chatters,

    Interesting to note now that I've been poking around on my car I've noticed some wierd things as in some light paint overspray as well as other things that seem out of place......

    I was wondering what other stories might be out there......

    Please let me know what you've experienced with vehicles of this era.

    Thanks,

    Chris.
     
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  3. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    I check for that type stuff before I ever buy a vehicle.
     
  4. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
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    Ya I know Dave, but they were area(s) that where 'out of view' during inspection.

    My experience has been that even after I spend several hours (this I mean- "several hours") deliberating/inspecting a vehcile, there's usually something small that will crop up while your working/poking around on it. Usually something small. I'm not dissapponted in the vehicle at all, it's just that you can notice the maybe Quality Controll may have 'suffered from the factory...........

    Thanks,

    Chris.
     
  5. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    There is inherent variance in all cars that an auto manufacturer makes more than one of.

    From what I've seen, there is more variance in the earlier cars. This probably has to do with general quality control, fabrication technique, and the fewer cars built in the early days.

    Ferrari increased build quality as time went on... How much is subject for debate of course. You see it in the 328s vs. 308s, for example, and of course the build quality, fit, and finish of the very latest cars is quite fine.

    Working on my own 78, I saw evidence of things being manually assembled, but never really saw anything I would consider horribly sloppy or negligent.

    Tell us more about what you've found?
     
  6. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
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    Christopher
    Mike,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Afew of the items I've found weren't horribly alarming, just interesting that you'd find something a car of this caliber. The car I purchased had literally been "time capsuled" and really showed evidence of being as such.

    Some of the items that I've noticed are:

    a. Small nipple drips (3-ea.) of paint inside/underneath passenger door
    bottom. Although, it's not that noticable, I fould it by probing... Also
    found a visable chalk line where door panel was to be fitted to door as
    well as some very minor paint over spray in front grill area. I've also heard
    of stories on brand new F-cars with minor overspary issues, even during
    high level concourse shows! I might also add that the car never appears
    to have been repainted. That was also confimed during a paid "pre-buy"
    inspection by a well known So Ca. Ferrari Tech.

    b. Missing screws, at least 2 or 3 ea. out the entire car. Although, its not a
    critical area where the screews would be holding something, they could
    have finished the job.

    c. '2' different styles of nuts on the carburetors. Both in fact are nylock
    style, but slightly different size, hard to notice unless you're really looking.
    (keeping an open mind-this could have been done during service).

    d. Small paint flaw on driverside headlamp closure or flat surface. Although
    very diffecult to notice, I'm very detailed person, so I detected it.

    Every thing else seems to be in place and manufactured very well, maybe I'm just to picky, I guess I expected more of a "world class" manufacturer.

    Thank you,

    Chris.
     
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  8. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
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    Mar 3, 2001
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    Is it just me or do these sound like things were probably done by previous mechanics on a 25 year old car? Maybe the paint was factory but didn't most of the paint on the early cars "crack and craze" necessitiating repaints in the last 25 years ?
     
  9. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    "I might also add that the car never appears
    to have been repainted. That was also confimed during a paid "pre-buy"
    inspection by a well known So Ca. Ferrari Tech"

    Did this well known Ferrari Tech check the paint density during the PPI?
    Over-spray would not have been on the grill from the factory...
    And many ferraris have had the front clip re-sprayed.
    For example, I have re-sprayed my euro front spoiler 5 times.
    But the only way you would know, would be to check the paint density compared to the rest of the car.

    Your car sounds like a typical hand built 308 from that era, that at some point has had other work performed to it over it's 25 year life.

    Good Luck with your new toy!
     
  10. 4re gt4

    4re gt4 Formula 3

    Apr 23, 2002
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    I've seen 1975 308GT4s whose inner door panel surface had either: 1) no paint (ie-bare metal), 2) paint, or 3) sealer and paint. And, yes, these are original unmolested cars. Mine has sealer and paint, and the only other owner confirmed that he had never done anything inside the doors.
     
  11. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    Nov 20, 2003
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    I know what you mean, Christopher. Sometimes you get a much closer look as an owner!

    Was anyone surprised by what their 308s floors were made of?

    By the way, by September of 1981 Ferrari changed paint. Any 308s earlier than this will definitely have a large amount of cracking all across the paint. If your paint doesn't look like a dried desert, then it has indeed been repainted.

    --Matt
     
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  13. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
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    I just wanted to say "Thanks' for everyone's input!!

    Everyone's opinion and expertise is very much appreciated!!!!

    Please keep em comin'......

    Thanks, Chris.
     
  14. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    I went to the factory in 1991. There were 512TR's and F40's all over the place.

    I saw 3 different guys carrying clipboards with different colour jackets on.

    The first guy would come along and notice damage done during assembly. He would put a chalk or crayon ring around it.

    The next guy would come along and inspect the spotted damage, and invariably rub away the chalk line on anything he though was not worth repairing.

    The third guy would have a go at fixing the damage, or send the car to the "touch up" shop at the end of the line!!

    There was a guy with a huge bucket of soapy water that did nothing other than rub orange peel out of the paint!!

    On one of the F40's, there was a crack in the panel near the fuel filler. A guy simply took an angle grinder to it, with no preparation or masking, until it was gone. Then filled it and lined it up by the "touch up shop"!!

    Another guy dropped a valve clearance shim under the bench while assembling a cylinder head. He looked around, wiped it on his jacket and slipped it back in!! At least he wiped it.


    Quality control in fine swing in 1991 I'd say!

    No wonder there is a "no camera" policy!!

    Part of a pre delivery check on new 512BB's was to snap off any stray bits of mig welding wire around the rear frame area.

    "Hand built by craftsmen, no two the same"
     
  15. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
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    I am going through the front suspension and was impressed to notice nearly identical shim placement on the lower a arm to chasis and upper and lower ball joint to arm assembly. with one exception, there were twop identical shims at every location. this would seem to indicate that the alignment "came in" as designed, i.e. the chasis and parts were 'right on' so shims were not adjusted around to make meet spec.
    cool.
    the car also tracks straight and shows no unusual tire wear. The factory must have got this one right.

    best,
    chris
     
  16. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    When cars were assembled, all the shims were spaced evenly, then caster is set to be symmetrical by adjusting the camber unevenly to swing the lower joint into the sweet spot.

    If you're camber shims are perfectly symmetrical, you have a truly square and well built chassis.......I've never seen one yet.
     
  17. davel

    davel Guest

    Phil..totally amazing post! Thanks for the insight to the production at that time. Thanks :)
     
  18. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    I've had to chance to view lots of early 308s and have noted minor construction differences between cars that were quite close together in VIN.

    This reconciles IMO to the economic and supply criteria of these cars.

    If a certain item wasn't available and an alternate method would suffice, I think the mechanics were free to improvise as required.

    Just the rear valence /muffler, exhaust area I have seen dozens of variations.

    If you are really uptight on fit and finish you're going to spend a lot of money reworking these cars. I'll be driving instead, my money goes for gas and beer!
     
  19. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    So Alan, does your 308 like light or dark beer?
    My fancies Ale!
     
  20. 4re gt4

    4re gt4 Formula 3

    Apr 23, 2002
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    Hans E. Hansen
    Here in the "Northwet", ale is about all you can get. But the car has a fit if I can't find Moretti.
     
  21. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    I remember the former mechanic from the authorized dealer in Montreal telling me a story of a customer that took delivery of his much anticipated F-40....with gaping holes where the side markers were supposed to be. Not bad for 400 000$CDN.
     
  22. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
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    Phill, Two shims everywhere except one camber shim on the right front - close.

    chris
     
  23. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I've seen a factory photo of about 20 F40s, completed except for one item, lined up along a wall.

    They were waiting for the headlight doors!!! They had run out!
     
  24. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Ok Chris, I don't wish to appear negative...but how is your wheel alignment?

    There's no point having symmetrical shims if you end up with bad camber and caster and uneven/toe out or off-set thrust at the rear is there??

    The cars are all hand built. The "quality" is in the skill of the assembler, not the part. Ferrari/Italian cars are greater than the sum of their parts...German cars are lesser than the sum of theirs......
     
  25. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
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    The only clue i have as to the alignment is that the tires showed no feathering, inside or outside tread wear, no abnormalities and the car has no pull on normally crowned roads. I have had the car almost three months and am in the process of replacing the a arm bushings, anti-roll bar bushings and shock bushings, ( which are a serious pita to replace without a press - I think I smoked my vise trying to use it as a press. It was hard, but I did it with one shock).
    After I have done the bushings, I will cruise it on over the the shop for an alignment.
    I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on "improved" alignment specs, given stock tire size, springs, shocks. Would the handling benefit from a bit of negative camber in front, or perhaps a reduction of the castor to ease the steering effort??
    Relating back to scrub radius, how much change would there be installing 8.5 inch 360 wheels, (in front)??

    sorry to drift off topic a bit.
    best,
    chris
     
  26. sjtom

    sjtom Karting

    Jan 5, 2004
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    One of the problems on my 80 Mondial are areas of serious rust (about 2" X 18") at the bottom front of both doors. Opening the doors up, I found no indications of anything done wrong - in fact, the application of sealer was perfect. I thought about it for a while, then looked at the door bottom - they had forgotten to make any type of drain, so the water just pooled until it got to the edge of the frame - about 2 inches. The water just stayed until it found some hole in the sealer and rusted the door skin away.

    It was worsened because the outside window weatherstrip had shrunk about 2 inches. Still, you'd think that the owner would have noticed. But maybe all that water being caught in the door kept my rocker panels from rusting out......

    Other than that no other fit issues, unless you count the excessive use of plastic in the instrument panel and console - which warps in time. Judging from the rest of the car I think this was an isolated occurrence.

    Tom
     
  27. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
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    I don't recall 'quality control' sweeping the automotive industry until the Japanese starting gobbling huge volumes of US automotive market shares. Up until that point, everyone was pretty much doing their own thing when it came to building cars - Ferrari included. Being that they were handbuilt, there was still a great deal of variation, even in assembly-line-produced cars. I read that Ferrari didn't adopt modern quality control standards until the early 1990's, when Lexus execs were brought in. Before that, cars were assembled with whatever was available in the parts bin - if a parts bin ran out, 'suitable' substitutions were often made.

    If you were expecting perfection for your money, then you want your cars built by robots, not people.
     
  28. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
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    Michael,

    Thanks for your insight!

    I guess that's what I was fishing for! I wasn't looking for perfection, just a reasonable answer for what I was seeing. So again "thanks" !!.

    Chris.
     

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