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General and numbers

As their Ferrari 308 cousins Ferrari 328s are reliable cars with reasonable maintenance costs for this brand if maintenance is performed correctly and according to the period manufacturer's recommendations. In all cases, priority should be given to a car with a clear history that can trace its maintenance history for the past 10 years at least. Then it will be possible to appreciate whether the maintenance has been thoroughly done or not, because for a car that is now approaching 30 years of age, some restoration can be expected to have taken place on most of the car unless you find a model in an exemplary condition. Such cars do exists indeed, but are becoming scarce. Cosmetically, if there is hope for finding a nice car, caution must be exercised for the engine and all undercarriage parts, seals and bushings do not have an infinite life. Life begins at 30? Yes, but not for rubber! If the car still has its warranty book, the chassis’ number is printed on the first page, it is also engraved on the rear right side of the engine compartment ,on the nameplate at the same location, and also on the top of the steering wheel column. On most Ferrari 328 (except the very first cars), it is further repeated in etching on the windows of the car, followed by three letters. Engine and the chassis numbers are not related, but, contrary to the first 308s, the original engine number is also printed on the first page of the warranty book. If the warranty book is not available, given today’s communication policy of Ferrari SpA, it would be difficult to ascertain if the engine in the car is the original engine mounted in this car by the factory or not. We must be content with a plausibility ... good or bad! There is also another number stamped generally on the oil cooler bracket on the left of the engine compartment which indicates the number in the order of assembly or «Assembly number». It shows specifically the car's output order of the production line and this order is not strictly linked to its chassis numbers.

Identification 1- Nameplate and numbers:

- Nameplate on the right side of the engine compartment, VIN casted onto the chassis bar.

- Identification on the steering column plate.

- Label on the door jamb for import safety standards conformity on US and Middle East cars.

- On US cars, the emissions information label is located in the engine compartment near the «High Voltage» label, opposite of the chassis number plate.

- On the Australian market version, the importation plate is riveted beside the chassis number stamp.

- «Assembly sequence number», first at the same place of the Quattrovalvole, then printed upside-down on the chassis, upper left strut in the engine compartment, near the oil cooler.

- Engine number on top of the block, beneath the fourth injector, F105C «W» type for European models except for Swiss and Sweden from 1988 F105C046 «C» type. For all US models, F105C040 «X» type.

- Gearbox identification F106MB for European models and F108/40 for other market including Swiss and Sweden.

- US version receives a plate with the chassis number riveted at the bottom of the engine block at the rear of the gearbox in October, 1986.

2- Stickers and labels: 2-1 Tyres pressure:

- 328s have a sticker indicating the recommended tyre pressures, which is 33 lb/sq in. for the front and 36 lb/sq in. for the rear. It is glued beneath glove box lid.

2-2 Paint code label:

- Glasurit paint label is located under the right rear edge of the engine hood (which becomes high rear edge when the engine hood is open).

Known issues of the Ferrari 328

Engine: The engine of the 328 is robust, and if the maintenance was carried out according to the factory recommendation, it should reach 100 000 Miles before requiring reconstruction. Oil consumption should be monitored; it should not be above the manufacturer's recommendations; the engine block should be inspected for leaks. The K-Jetronic Bosch injection is generally reliable if the circuit is clean and not clogged with impurities (a risk with cars stopped for a long time with their fuel in their tanks, which may decompose). Exhaust manifolds can crack or break, they should be inspected from time to time. If looking for a car, it would be, as usually preferable to choose a car with an engine that has been run regularly. A car that has just been re-started after a long sleep may appear capricious. In conclusion, during the search of a vehicle, cars with an engine that has been regularly run should be favored (long immobilization can be very expensive) and has been well maintained. Frame: The carrier trellis, made up of large tubes is very strong and resists corrosion rather well. A review on a lift will allow detection of major repairs consecutive to an accident. Anyway, during the road test, you have to be careful (and suspicious!) of any path deviation. Ignition: The leads and extensions have to be checked to avoid «hot spots», burns (blackened extensions). Some 328 can be moisture sensitive. Clutch: It is relatively robust, the change occurs in principle «about 40,000 Miles». Transmission: The box is deemed reluctant to engage the 2nd gear when cold, although it may depend form car to car, the second gear should not be engaged by force as long as the gearbox oil is cold this will destroy the synchros; go from first directly to third if the gearbox oil is not hot. There is no known real improvement available other than using a more suitable oil. Cooling: Cooling of the 328 has been improved compared to its cousins / predecessors, and whatever the traffic conditions, a healthy 328 does not heat at all. The cooling circuit is notoriously difficult to bleed fully, as «air pockets» or «bubbles» form in the high points; this can cause coolant «spurts» through the overflow tube of the expansion tank. It is always advised before bleeding the coolant circuit, and after completing coolant, or when retrieving the car after revision, to run the first few tens kilometers with the heater circuit fully open, because this «parallel circuit» often retains air pockets. The water pump must be monitored regularly because it is fragile on these cars. Air Conditioning: Air conditioning is generally marginal on these cars; it was also originally designed for Freon or R-12 which is now prohibited; adaptation to R134a is usually less effective in providing cold air, and the hoses originally designed for R-12 are not perfectly sealed to the smaller R-134a molecules. In contrast, as the car produces large quantities of hot air, in winter heating is very effective. Efficient use of the windows and windshield defrost through hot air, however, requires some practise. Suspension: Original rubber suspension bushings and dampers must be changed every 30 000 Miles. Check if cracked or chipped. This is a very common problem. Body: The first 328s left the production chain a year and a half after adoption of the «Zincrox» rust-proofing process; their steel panels are therefore protected against corrosion; this does not preclude that some points should be monitored, as the folded «lip» around the semi-circle of the wheel arch in the fenders. As for the 308, water may tend to accumulate in the doors; make sure that the two drain holes in the bottom of each door are open (thereby also check for the presence of the door seal, frequently absent or sagging). Electricity: The electrical system is not generally the highlight of a Ferrari from this period, but that of the 328 is «relatively satisfactory»; power windows are not very fast, but motivate less complaints than 308. However, it must: - Check the control stalks for headlights and wipers: not only should these be fully functional make sure there are not too «loose» with too much play and that the bakelite not turn freely on the stalk. - Check electric mirrors servomotors; note that new switches are very difficult to find; check the operation of all electrical controls in the center console and in particular the illumination of the «LEDs» for ventilation and heating. - It is essential to check very closely and with great care both front fog lights (the two optical blocks that are at the left and right of the front grill and serve as flashing lights) and make sure they are not broken or cracked, as these fog light are now very difficult to find and therefore very expensive to replace. Interior and tools: Make sure the car is complete: with spare wheel («pancake» on European cars, full size wheel on some exports), its hold-down bolt; the jack kit (3 parts), including the small magnetic lamp, tool roll (including the 14mm combination wrench to fit the 12mm spark plug wrench (and not 14mm plug as for 308), gauges, lights, owner’s pouch with manuals. For GTS, roof cover. Check the large zippered canvas that protects the luggage compartment and its long zipper.

Customers changes on Ferrari 308

- Exhaust, manifolds (originally stainless steel) and silencer (originally stainless steel). - Wheel 17" and 18" from Compomotive, depending on the suspension (series 1/series 2). - Carburetors kits for nostalgic. - Transparent roof for GTS called Saratoga Top.

Checklist for your visit

Checking the numbers - Chassis number (is the one on the right rear engine bay strut identical to the one on the steering column plate and those etched on the windows?): - Engine number: - Paint color label at the right (passenger side) of the rear hood: Checking dates - Last belt replacement (particularly timing belts): - Last oil replacement, spark plugs change: - Geometry adjustment: - Full service history, invoices: - Consistency between warranty card/maintenance bills/odometer mileage: Interior control - Headliner: - Imitation leather of the dashboard: - Floor Mats and rear bulkhead (lift carpets): - Seats: - Trunk zipper: - Rubber on doors and windows (supple and not damaged?): - Comprehensive test of all electrics (especially power windows and headlights pods): - Test the air conditioning: - Check the fuse table: - Check seat belts: - Antenna on the rear right fender and radio equipment: - Spare wheel: - Tools within two kits: - Tool roll, set of 8 wrenches (6 to 22) pliers (180 mm), two 220 mm screwdrivers, two 180 mm screwdrivers (one Phillips, one flat blade each pair) spark plug wrench: - Bag: Black parallelogram jack, wheel bolts wrench, ratchet, alternator belt, compressor belt AC, warning triangle, set of fuses, light bulbs game 2 spark plugs: - Emergency light: - Key locking doors: - Opening of the hood: - Shock traces inside the front hood: - Oil in Water: - Water in oil: Control from outside - Alignment of the doors: - Check the wear on door hinges, their frictionless operation: - Verification of the opening of front and rear hoods. Ensure that the main system and the backup work both (each hood has a backup loop/handle in case the main cable breaks; these loops are under the left edge of the dashboard for the front hood and behind the upper part of the driver’s seat beltfor the rear one: - Inspection of the body in search for rust bubbles (doors, rocker panels, waistline, under the seal of the windshield, around the front hood cover where aluminum is mounted on a steel frame): - Is the car still in its original paint or not: - Wheels, check the condition of the rims for scratches or bumps, some are now hard to find and therefore expensive, especially the front wheels of the «series 2» 328 (buylged, or convex): - Wheel bolts, look carefully if they are bitten by rust, or if the chromium is not chipped; if it is, it will be changed, which means finding a new set (expensive, especially in original parts) or used (rare) or have them re-chromed: - Tires (check for symmetry of wear?): - Scratch on the windows: - Inspection of rubber: - Badges: Control of the underside - Signs of re-paint, beware of any chassis said to have been supposedly newly treated and protected , it can hide a major repair: - Check corrosion one door sills and wheel arches: - Drips of oil, water, brake fluid (check calipers), oil loss from the shock absorbers: - Control the front and rear «cradles» of the chassis: Accident symptoms: Welding of tubes, difference in paint: - Shock absorbers + running gear: rubber seals control of the ball joints / joints: - Play in the wheels: - Brake discs condition: - Exhaust: - Water hoses: - Leaks of the water pump: Checking the engine bay - Condition of all hoses: - Check the play and the condition of belts: - Check for signs of leaks on the expansion tank: - Check for leaks on the radiator (front hood): - Engine cleanliness: Driving - Before starting, check that the oil pressure warning lamp lights at start, and that the alternator warning light shuts down off above 2000 rpm: - Can all the gears be easily engaged without hearing crunches?: - Start, cut and easy re-start: - Test the parking brake (usually not very effective): - Operation of the fuel gauge: - Smoke at startup: - Hot smoke: - Is the idle stable?: - Do brake and clutch pedals after being depressed return to their level before beingwhen released: - Second gear synchro lazy general, especially in the cold: - Course and noise of the clutch: - Does the car dart left or right spontaneously: - Braking behavior: - Make two ful 360° turns on each direction and pay attention to any unusual noises: - Driving along a wall, note the unusual noises: - Steering play (dead center?): - At a 80 MpH speed, the engine has to run without a hitch: - Check noise and vibration when freewheeling: - Oil pressure >= 6 bar at 5000 rpm: - White smoke during acceleration (a little brown smoke is normal)?: - Operation of fans (starting and shutdown): - Check exhaust smell, oil smell or coolant smell after driving:

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