[MR2] MR2 news from Top Gear
nitrusmr2 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 25 09:27:17 EST 2010
The floor mat issue is extremely common on Ferrari 308's. We call it "Italian Cruise Control"
My 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS makes a 1985 MKI seem like a current model Mercedes S class.
The A/C is almost non functional. There are only two vents in the center of the car. It can keep my right knee kinda cool. You can redirect some of the A/C air to the defroster vents on top of the dash, but that doesn't directly blow on you so it's kind of pointless.
The power windows are a pulley and cable system. The electric motor moves a cable that makes kind of an X inside the door. The windows attach to the cable. The electrical system can't carry enough load to fully actuate the windows with the doors shut (the resistance of the glass against the weatherstripping is too much to bare). I have to rev the engine up to get more voltage from the tiny alternator (and sometimes pull up on the window with my hand) to get them to return. In the winter the grease is harder making the problem worse.
You can't run the A/C and the headlights at the same time. Too much electrical load. The alternator will shut off and refuse to charge again until you cycle the ignition on and off.
It's carbureted with 4 two barrel Webers. The engine starting procedure is so complicated that no alarm or anti-theft system is required. There is a choke cable, but that is just a diversion. If you pull it the engine will immediately flood and possibly catch fire (I've only set it on fire once).
When you initially sit in a 308 you realize Ferrari could not care less about driving position. As you line your feet up in the cramped pedal tunnel you THINK you are hovering over the gas pedal, but that is the brake. The gas pedal is almost underneath the brake pedal. In fact on longer trips that is my cruise control. I wedge my shoe under the brake pedal and it hold the gas pedal well enough to maintain highway speed. To slow down I have to rotate my right foot clockwise to free it from underneath the brake pedal. I often have to change to special shoes before driving the 308.
The pedals are very far towards the center of the car, you almost sit diagonal with your head against the outside door glass. with the roof on it is very claustrophobic the first few times (this coming from a guy who has driven MR2's for 12 years).
The control arms are shaped so they can actually hold water. Excellent for accelerating rust. Many of the 4 seat version (Dino GT4) were sold pre-rusty to save the owner time in achieving that swiss cheese look. sales were slow, and Ferrari outsourced the frames. So when production slowed the bare metal frames sat outside in the rain.
I still love it though. It competes with my green turbo MR2 for driving time.
Aaron Bunch ATS Racing http://www.atsracing.net
91 2.2 GT35R ATS Turbo MR2 - 607 rwhp @ 34psi
93 SMG Turbo MR2 291 rwhp @ 20.5 psi spare car
07 Tundra DC 5.7
"Just because you have the money to buy one, doesn't mean
you have the skill to drive one." Steve Neese
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