Yannis Tzavaras (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and checked by :
[email@example.com] (CJ’s notes are in italic as - CJ)
[Christian.Shenberger@unisys.com] (Chris’s notes are in italic as –SC)
I decided to get this work done as the car was getting on a
bit ( ~ 20 years) and after a peek underneath it was obvious that bits of rust
were everywhere and that the rubber in the bushings was in none too good a
shape. I am an electronics engineer by training with just common sense when it
comes to mechanical work. I was however assisted greatly by Carl Jones and Mike
Elliot from superformance. Carl is an unofficial authority on the 308 and he was
kind enough to edit this document so it should be reasonably free from errors. I
found that common sense and having lots of time always solved some –quite
tricky- problems that I came across.
Overall, I would say that this is a straight forward job,
will improve the car’s feel greatly and is well worth doing. Plan on about ~
2months of work. Good luck and I would appreciate your comments/suggestion or
experiences that can be added to this document
It should be noted that there is no workshop manual for the
308QV as such. Instead there exists a 308GT4 workshop manual, a Mondial workshop
manual and a 308QV/328 workshop supplement manual. Practically this means
that you have to scrounge around to get at the right information. The 308 parts
manuals are also helpful as they show a blow-up of the dismantled suspension.
For the manuals also check Steve Jenkins’ site at http://ferrari.stevejenkins.com/books/
Suspend the rear of the car on two jack stands (make
sure that you chock the front wheels!) and start removing everything in sight (J)
(! well almost - CJ). I
chose to suspend the car on the chassis rails close to the suspension. Place the
jacks so that they do not restrict access to the suspension bolts. I assume that
an electric lifter that does not lift the wheels can also b
Begin disassembly with 1) the wheels, 2) fiberglass
covers, 3) brake lines, 4)
handbrake cables, 5) anti-roll bar, 6) coil spring and shock (there is no need
for a spring compressor, the coil and the shock come off as a single unit, but
be prepared to suspend the hub assembly as it will sag), 6) the outer half –
shaft boot and bearing assembly (see below for details) and 7)
the wishbones. Have something handy to plug the brake (SP Brake - CJ)
lines as they will leak once disconnected.
Note that the lower A-arms (or wishbones) are
removed by loosening the bolts from within the chassis rails and not from
the two bolts that are visible from within the wheel well. I.e. you’ll have to
crawl underneath the engine.
(Or you can slacken the wishbone “U” supports
and move them out a cm or so then undo them from the wishbone side - CJ)
I chose to use new nuts and bolts everywhere from superformance.co.uk. If you decide differently remember to label while removing!
(another source is http://www.mcmaster.com/,
I got enough new locknuts for both the front and back suspension for about $30
When removing the lower wishbones
you’ll come across the camber and toe adjustment shims. They are right next to
the chassis rails and are squeezed in by the “U” supports of the lower
wishbone. You can disassemble them, as the suspension will need a total
adjustment once you are finished, but I suggest that you measure their thickness
so that you have a guideline for re-assembly.
(I have seen cars incorrectly set up out of the factory so make sure
your alignment is done by a competent shop that can align all 4 wheels - CJ)
Note that if you plan on removing the hubs for
either bearing or caliper maintenance you can remove them with the wishbones,
otherwise you can leave the hubs and half shafts in place.
However, you must support the hubs on a stand.
Never let then hang, loading the CV joints and especially never support
them by the brake lines. Note that
the hubs will tend to fall towards the caliper if you decide to leave the
attached to the half shafts - CJ
These photos show the state of the suspension before
I touched anything and yes the work was done in the open !
Remove the 6+6 bolts and castle nuts from the half-shaft.
This is a lot harder than it sounds. On my car the castle locking nuts
would not budge, period... It seems that exhaust heat and rust freezes the nuts,
anyway they were totally stuck solid …
In the end, hard, sharp hits with a hammer and chisel split
the bolts. Alternatively, snap-on, make a bolt splitting tool that should fit.
Other bolt splitting tools will NOT work as they need to wrap around the bolt
and the flange of the hub prevents this. In
the photo you can see the Allen side of the bolts and the bearing before and
after disassembly. Once the universal joint is split, have some old towels to
wipe the grease with (Yes, but make sure you replace the grease with some
molybdium dIsulphide grease, the QV manual states MOLYCOTE BR2 - CJ ) and
then wrap the joint with a plastic bag and rubber bands so that any remaining
grease will be contained. You should not need to remove the rubber boot clips.
I had a hell of a time
with this. Both inner and outer bushes had excessive rust on mine and were
really jammed solid. The car had
been kept in the UK for about 9 years and even though well cared for, this is
what wet weather, salt spray etc can do. Most of the rubber was crumbling away
as well. The chrome bearings inside the outer bushings were again worn away with
the chrome having flaked mostly off.
Note that the inner bushings have
two spot welds that have to be ground off. I used a Dremel mini drill, which
worked fine. Be careful to totally remove the welds even so far as to grind down
the bushing because as the bushing will be pushed out of the wishbone, any
remaining weld material will tend to scrape away at the bushing seating area,
which is not good…
After a lot of experiments, the best approach for removing
the bushings (inner and outer) seemed to be:
Make a jig from a steel tube to
support the A-arms. Apparently a (Well that’s nice, I bashed mine out with
a hammer! - CJ) socket from a wrench set will also do nicely but I had one
made especially at a machine shop. An easy job on a lathe apparently from any
machine shop. Check the photo, it is simply a hollowed cylinder that will
support the wishbone while allowing the bushing to slide out inside the
Spray the bushings with WD-40 or similar and let soak
Press the bushings out using a nut and a bolt as a
specialized vice. Check photo. Use at least 10mm bolt thickness as the pressure
is such that it will either break or the threads will strip. Be prepared to use
a lot of force. The squeaks and groans were horrendous….
Get a totally new set of inner and outer bushings. Do not
neglect the outer ones. I got mine from Mike Elliott at www.superformance.co.uk
, and I can thoroughly recommend them for their expertise and pricing.
Apparently they also supply Ferrari with parts.
Superformance recommend that you use the same type for front and rear
even though the workshop manuals say otherwise. Superformance will also sell you
different bushing hardness if you are so inclined.
Also you may want to consider other than rubber bushings,
especially if you want to do a lot of track time.
Apparently the KONI shock absorbers
can be rebuilt and even modified to have adjustable ride height. I personally
chose simply to buy new ones.
The springs were sand blasted and powder coated
professionally. The reason was that I found it impossible to do the job
manually. I also got new bushes for the shocks from superformance as the old
ones were really messed up. I neglected however to get a set of rubber pads for
the springs, this is where the springs attach to the shocks.
I had the disassembly and assembly done professionally as
apparently you can easily kill yourself if one of those springs comes loose.
Another niggle is that as you can
see if you watch the photo carefully enough is that the spring is not 100%
straight. Apparently and according to CJ this is no big deal and most 308
springs are like this and won’t get worse. Anyway replacements are not
expensive. Also remember to measure the spring length before assembly so that
you can verify that the springs are in a good state.
Enjoy photos of the coils and shocks before and after. (!)
After the bushings were removed I
had the A-arms sand blasted while covering the seating area (SP Area) of the
bushes with plastic putty (children’s version of). The bushing seating areas
were cleaned superficially with sand paper and painted with a simple anti-rust
primer as were the bushings in the spots where they would be seated on the
In the photos are the wishbones before and after
sandblasting. After sandblasting, go to the next stages quickly as the wishbones
are made of mild steel and will pick up rust immediately.
Again as for removal I had a
special cylinder made to press the bushings in with the bolt and nut vice (see
photo). Note that you’ll need two drilled aluminum plates to serve as guides
and platforms for the nut and bolt vice. Also note that you’ll need to drill a
small hole in the case of the inner side of the outer bushings (Not really,
the dowel pin is removable with a pair of pliers. Note it’s really important to make sure the bearing surface
is not damaged during insertion so use the old Teflon washer as a sacrificial
surface- CJ) so as not to crush the small dowel pin that will hold the
Teflon coated washer in place. It’ll be obvious when you try and do it. Make
sure that the aluminum (or other material) plates remain parallel during the
whole insertion process as the forces are quite high and the bushing may go in
The inner bushings were then argon
welded. (It is absolutely necessary to have the bushes sit absolutely flush
with the wishbone. Any gap will
allow axial movement of the bush within the wishbone and eventually the locating
welds will crack and the bush may damage the wishbone to the point where the
wishbone fails. I have seen this
happen - CJ) I took special care to make sure that the bushings did not move
and that the welding was done quickly so as to minimize any damage to the
rubber. I placed 3 welds per bushing compare to the original two. (see photo)
Apparently that is not too important as the welds are only there to prevent
rotation of the inner bushing in relation to the wishbone.
Note that the insertion force was
in my case –much- smaller than the force used in the extraction.
In addition, when
inserting the outer Teflon bushes I suggest that you remove the inner Teflon
coated bearing and then wrap the bolt used as a vice in paper tape as to prevent damage to the Teflon coating.
Once the main body of the bushing is in then you can insert the inner one.
The pressures were such that the inner Teflon coated bearing
(I installed the Teflon lined bushes in the larger bush before
installation - CJ) was harder to insert after the outer bushing was pressed
in the wishbone as apparently the whole outer bushing was being squeezed –
slightly- radially, but enough to change the tolerances. Impressive !
(I again used the 1.5”
conduit coupler as a backing plate and used a 5” bench vice (the flat surfaces
keep everything straight) to push the bushings in (applying a lot of
lubrication). I did this for the
front, I do not know if the back is the same or not. – SC)
As I mentioned I had primed with
anti rust paint the seating areas of the bushings and the bushings before
insertion. The inserted bushings were then wrapped carefully in paper tape to
prevent paint from reaching the Teflon bearings. 4 coats of satin finish
Hammerite, painted in 6-8 hour intervals and finally given a coat of hammerite
spray paint. The results as per the photos including assistant... In addition
and as a final touch up the visible seating areas of the wishbones and the
bushings were given a spray of elasticized paint to totally prevent water
6.1 Powder coating
you may want to powder coat the wishbones. I had heard a number of opinions on
this and no clear winner. According to CJ at least, the wishbones will flex
during driving and he has seen powder coating flake off, so it’s really up to
you to choose
Since these were totally free to
work on I decide to have a go at cleaning them. This again proved hard due to
all the grime and grease that had accumulated. On the QV the uprights are alloy
but I heard that on GT4’s at least they are cast iron so the cleaning method
may be different. I first removed the short brake line, and plugged the brake
fluid inlet with putty. I also taped up with paper tape the brake pad slot and
the CV joint attachment. I then sprayed the whole upright (not the disc) with a
mild oven cleaner and let it stand for ~ 20 minutes and then wiped with a damp
cloth and repeated several times. Then I used a mild wire brush on a drill and a
mini wire brush on a Dremel mini drill to totally clean all areas.
The results were not perfect but luckily the bit that is
visible, i.e the outer part of the brake caliper came out shiny. In any case as
CJ says why bother as the whole thing will be looking like sh.. in two months
7.2 Brake Pads
7.2.1 Screw plug removal problems
the uprights were cleaned up the logical thing was to replace the pads. Again
more trouble here than anticipated. The reason is that to get the new pads on,
and this apparently is only true for the rear pads, the pistons have to be
retracted via two embedded Allen screws. The outer one was no problem, I just
removed the plastic cup. The inner one was a bummer. The problem was that the
Allen cover screw would not budge. My efforts led to a destroyed allen recess,
and no amount of simple pliers work would free it (this would have been
impossible with the calipers in place though…..). I decided not to drill it
out. The method I used and hope that no-one has to repeat this was –very-
carefully to mark and cut the sides of the allen screw plug and basically turn
it from a circle into a hexagon. Once that was done it was simple to use a
socket wrench to turn the screw. However now I had a plug that maybe would not
seal 100%. In the end, I decided to take it to a machine shop and have a
replacement made that hopefully will do the job.
Now the pistons can be retracted by turning the outer and
inner allen screws respectively. I heard that this must be done very slowly and
carefully. Detailed descriptions on
how to do this for the specific ATE rear calipers are also found in the Mondial
(!) workshop manual, (God or Enzo only knows why.) Once the pistons are
retracted it is simple to remove the pads, pins and paraphernalia.
7.2.2 Pad replacement and pad area cleaning
Once the pads and paraphernalia were removed I had a go at
cleaning the pad area. That has to be done carefully with alcohol solvent and
compressed air only as the rubber seals are sensitive. Also remember to wear a
mask as asbestos is sometimes used in pads and may be present in the dust.
Replace the pads, noting the mark that has to be aligned with
the direction of rotation and expand the pistons until there is 0.1mm of
clearance between the pad and the disk. Apparently this clearance has to be
reset after the car has been driven a while.
7.3 Brake lines
To get the old rubber lines out you need to remove the two
clips that hold the ends in place
I replaced the old rubber lines with stainless steel Teflon
lined ones again from www.superformance.co.uk. Apparently these will improve the
feel and definitely the look of the suspension. I got rid of the clips used to
hold the old rubber lines in place.
Cleaning and painting of the
anti-roll bar was pretty straightforward. It was a bit of a pain getting the
steel/rubber bushings out though. The old trusted method of using a bolt vice
and a set of hex sockets of the right size did the trick. In the photos you can
see the condition of the roll-bar links before and after and of the vice used to
insert the new steel/rubber bushings in place. Pretty straightforward if
you’ve already done the A-arms.
9. Preparation for assembly
9.1 The calipers and hubs were
cleaned thoroughly in preparation for assembly. I used a simple oven cleaner to
get rid of accumulated grease, etc followed by a high temperature lacquer paint
on the brake calipers (after taping off sensitive areas) in the hope that they
would look better and that they would be less prone to attracting brake dust.
9.2 The arms were then connected to
the hub with the Teflon coated inner bushings. This is pretty straightforward
but be careful to put everything in its place and – very important- note that
the Teflon coated washers with the hole for the dowel pin have to go in with the
Teflon coated side (the blackish side) looking towards the hub and not the
A-Arm. This is where all the rubbing will take place. The bolt needed a bit of
persuasion with a rubber hammer before it would go in. Finally tighten both
upper and lower bushings to their final torque values (7kgm as per the manuals).
9.3. Also connect the new brake line as it will be easier to
do this on the bench rather than in situ and then tape up with paper tape the
A-arms and the brake line ready for transport (if needed) to the car.
9.4 In my case I needed to prepare the lock nuts that would
hold the CV joint in place. Mine were wider than normal and one side had to be
ground off and checked with the flange to make sure that it would sit properly.
This may not be necessary in your case.
9.5 Divide the suspension adjustment shims in 4 equal width
parts and place on lower forks. This is just so that you’ll be able to drive
the car to the wheel alignment shop, do not leave in permanently !!
The blow-up of the suspension in the 308 parts manual is
useful in this process.
I assume that the hubs are
connected to the A-arms (wishbones). Have someone on hand to assist by taking
the weight off of the suspension while you do the insertion, placement of bolts,
See photo (the right suspension has been inserted, the left
is ready to be put in)
It is important to get the order right for re-assembly. The
recommended order is :
Done ! Now you are ready for brake bleeding, putting on the
fiberglass covers, the wheels, and heading for the alignment shop.
P.S. The alignment values are available in the 308GT4 manual
and in the 308/328 owners manuals.
disassembly of the front suspension is in many respects similar to the rear, but
easier in many respects. The manuals suggested in section 1.1 are still
relevant. Differences consist of the need to remove the steering arms from the
hub and the different shims and universal joints. On the other hand, not having
to remove drive shafts is great !!
are some photos from what I found underneath my car…….