Finally something broke

I was discussing my car with another Ferrari owner this weekend and when I closed the engine cover the rear light fell apart  🙁

Ferrari 308 taillight missing lens

This is the first time something has broken on the car since the day I took delivery years ago. On that day, the engine cover release cable broke while I was showing people the engine.

Ferrari 308 broken taillight

The lens for the reversing light cracked and fell out after the jolt from closing the engine cover above it. The reversing lights are inset into the center of the indicator lights on this model of 308. Looking at the remains, the glue used has turned to a white dust in the 37 intervening years. I suspect the crack is due to a combination of old, brittle plastic and the heat from incandescent bulbs. I knew the indicators were in fairly bad shape so I already have replacements on the shelf in their smart yellow boxes.

Ferrari original parts

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4 Responses

  1. Todd says:

    Do you have a Delorean? I see a DMC box on the shelf

    • 26359 says:

      No DMC-12 here I am afraid. The 308 and DMC-12 share the same seatbelts produced by Klippan, an Australian company. When the original DMC went bankrupt, they had only produced 9,000 cars but had stockpiled spares for around 30,000 cars. This spare part inventory, including the seatbelts, is managed and sold by a regenerated DMC, now located in Texas. I ordered new seatbelts for the 308 from them a couple of years ago. The originals are now in the DMC boxes you see on the shelf.

  2. Alan newland says:

    How do you open the engine cover if the release cables are both broken ? Thanks Alan.

    • 26359 says:

      Hi Alan. The cable from the lever in the door jamb goes first to the latch on that side where there is a screw attachment. The cable then continues to the latch on the opposite side where it terminates in another screw attachment. (On my LHD US car the lever and first latch are on the left/drivers side of the car and I assume on a RHD car they will be on the right as the RHD is typically a mirror images of the LHD). When you pull the lever, the effect is that the cable pulls both latches at the same time. The cable normally breaks at the lever due to a combination of metal fatigue and/or corrosion. The emergency cable goes only to the first latch (it then relies on the main cable to pull the opposite side).

      The first thing to do is remove the lever and housing. If the cable has corroded/broken immediately behind it, then you may still be able to grab the cable with pliers and pull it enough to open both latches.

      If that does not work, you are going to need to get access to the underside of the first latch in order to pull the cable as it enters the latch. This will also pull the second latch on the opposite side and open the engine cover. I have heard that it can be accessed from the wheel well if you remove the fibreglass liner but I’m not sure. It seems a long stretch around the trunk liner.

      Otherwise, I’m afraid you are going to have to break and remove the inner light (brake light) on the lever side. Once that is removed you will have access to the underside of the latch directly above it.

      I hope that helps.

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