So the fun begins! I pulled out the smog pump today to replace the pump and all of the lines. I was able to find a replacement air pump at NAPA. For anyone looking for a replacement air pump this is a great option, part #NAP 51212. When I removed the air pump it was identical to this one, so Ferrari must buy their smog pumps from NAPA! (or it has already been replaced) If you do get the part from NAPA though make sure the back is stamped with the number 7817872. My replacement looked identical but had a different number stamped on the back. The only difference was that the pulley bolts and air outlet fitting bolts were a size larger, minor inconvenience, but annoying still. Ferrari wants over $800 for the air pump and $750 for the lines and metal t-fitting (the t-fitting is $475 alone). Needless to say I am going to try to source some cheaper parts!
Since we live in Colorado I unfortunately have to have the car pass emissions. In order for this to happen the carbs have to be re-jetted for altitude and tuned. Also the smog pump seized on the car so that will have to be replaced also. I also want to do a compression check, cylinder leak down test, and fine tune the timing before I tackle the carbs.
When the car was sold to Grand Prix Classics the owner drove the car for fun. The only change he made was to the wheels. He installed the current Etoile wheels on the car since the previous set was cracked (probably from racing!) He sold the car to purchase an offshore boat. The car, with 58,032 miles, was off to the fifth owner…in Michigan. The car was given a major service in June of 1999 and at 61,929 miles the car was sold again and resided in Wisconsin. The owner in Wisconsin did not drive the car often and put about 500 miles on the car before selling the car to me. So that leaves me as the seventh owner of this beautiful car. The car has been well cared for and always kept garaged. This is evident by the fact that it still has the original paint and interior.
My assistant mechanic John stopped by for a spin in the car, since they were somewhat disappointed during the original unveiling. We drove the car around the neighborhood and filled her with fuel. She drove quite nicely minus running rich and some hiccups at 3000 RPM which should be worked out during the tuning and re-jetting of the carbs.
As I wrote about earlier the car came with a “baby book” including all records and repairs. The car was purchased in January of 1980 from Ferrari of San Diego and was delivered in March of 1980. At 11,000 miles the car was sold through Ferrari of La Jolla. The second owner added the front spoiler to make the car look like a Euro version. He also installed the rear spoiler, which was a factory option. The engine was given new cams and re-jetted to european specs. The suspension was also stiffened. A custom Alpine stereo was installed, and a Harris Alfa-Telephone (which is still in the car) was added. The phone at that time cost $3450! All work was done at Bobileff Motorcar Company in San Diego. At 23,000 miles the car was sold to the service manager of Ferrari of La Jolla. The car was reworked and toured at track events with the local Ferrari Club. During this time the car received the fastest car of the day at Riverside Raceway during one event. Everything on the car is original except the grill, bumper, rear spoiler, and the wheels. There were approximately six other cars in the La Jolla area that were customized in a similar manner. In 1986 with 37,565 miles on the car it was sold to Grand Prix Classics.
My head Ferrari mechanic, Tommy (my brother-in-law), stopped by today and we were able to give the car a once over. We noticed that the timing marks on the distributors were not lined up. The 1976-79 308’s used a 2-valve OHC V8 set-up with two distributors and utilizes four Weber 40 DCNF carburetors, making things a little complicated. Tommy is a heavy diesel mechanic and I also have most of my background in diesel also, so there is going to be a bit of a learning curve. After some adjusting we were able to bring the car back to life. This was definitely a relief to myself…and my wife. We of course proceeded to take the car around the neighborhood. As you can see the boys are very excited about the new toy. The car is running a little rich, but this is expected at this altitude…time for some tuning.
With a touch of disappointment the Prancing Horse Arrived. After almost a month of waiting the car finished it’s trip from Milwaukee to Denver. I was prepared for some performance issues due to the altitude here, however the car barely started. During a pouring rain storm, which is rare for these parts, we limped her into the garage. My Assistant Ferrari Mechanic, John, was here with his wife to welcome our new arrival. The night was bitter sweet since the car was finally here, but there was obviously some work ahead of me.
The “baby book”, as my wife refers to it, arrived today. This book has all of the purchase and repair records for the car since it was purchased. I will post an installment or two about the history of this car later.