308GT/4 Suspension Rebuild
I’ve got this 308GT/4 at my shop that has low mileage and shows a lot of signs of originality.
Originality is good in some parts, and not so good when it comes to suspension parts. The brakes looked like they had been serviced, but the suspension parts and bushings looked like they were over 40 years old.
One of the tie rod ends had some play, so I checked the rest of the front suspension for wear.
From the looks of the parts, finishes, and factory paint marks, were all original and one of the ball joints was showing some play as well.
When the owner bought this car, we knew the suspension bushings were worn and planned on replacing them, so now was a good time as any to rebuild the whole front suspension.
The A-arm bushings looked the same shape as the shock bushings so all the parts were ordered and I started to disassemble the front suspension.
The bushings on the A-arms were pressed into position and tack welded in place when they were manufactured, so before removing the old bushings I had to cut the welds.
I carefully cut the old welds off to release the bushing collar.
Since I don’t work on 308s that often, I had to make this tool to fit in my press so I could press out the bushings nice and straight.
The new bushings were pressed in and ready for welding
I probably over did it on my first tack weld as it doesn’t take much to keep the bushing from moving in the A-arm after it’s pressed into place.
The next job was to press the shock bushings out. I have found the shock bushings a lot harder to press out than the smaller bushings and it’s probably because of the larger surface area to overcome the friction fit.
To avoid unnecessary pressure and damage to the shock eye, I try to cut a slot in the old bushing to relieve some of the tension securing it to the shock eye. I’m very careful not to cut past the bushing collar and into the shock eye!
Some bushings require more cutting than others for the collar to finally move out of place.
Here’s the shock ready for the new bushing. The new ones press in nice and firmly after the eye is cleaned out and smooth.
The new bushings should last another 30-40 years!
This suspension came apart relatively easily compared to some of the old Ferraris I worked on, but that didn’t mean everything was easy. A couple of bolts were seized in place and required some work to get them out. These issues can turn a big job into and even bigger job, but I managed to get through it without any huge delay.
When I put everything back together, I tried to coat everything with a layer of anti-seize compound. Lately, when working on these old Ferraris, I realized that these cars may still be around long after I’m gone or stopped working on them, and a new generation of Ferrari mechanics and care takers will be wrenching on them. I can see one day in the distant future, someone will be rebuilding this suspension again, and the mechanic will thank the long ago mechanic that had the courtesy of coating the bolts with anti-seize. You’re welcome!