Deck Lid Removal

Fitting a new throttle cable requires removal of the air box from a 308 engine which requires removal of the decklid… this is like your Ford dealer having to remove your entire hood to change your spark plugs. Ridiculous but unfortunately necessary.

Ferrari 308 airbox
Deck lid blocking removal of the airbox

The deck lid is a US term for the hinged cover over the trunk or boot of a vehicle. It seems to me a more agreeable term than trunk or boot (the engine is in there so is it still a boot/trunk?) or bonnet (UK-specific and normally at the front of the car) for the panel you lift up to gain access to the engine compartment on a 308.

Removal of the deck lid is a pain (refitting is even more of a pain than removal) but allows glorious access to parts of the engine normally rendered nearly impossible to access… such as the oil dipstick! 😉 

It is surprisingly heavy for a start. Something like 30kg (60lbs) of sheet metal and supporting framework meaning it is bulky, heavy and unwieldy. My old mechanic worked out of a repurposed stone factory. He used to lift the deck lids off the cars using the old gantry crane in the ceiling that in a previous life used to transfer 20 ton slabs of granite around. If you don’t have a handy gantry crane, and I don’t, removal is best done with two people to avoid dropping the loose lid on your pristine paintwork.

Ferrari 308 deck lid removal
Painters tape and cardboard pads helps protect the bodywork

I prefer to not take chances damaging the bodywork during removal so I tape up the edges with blue masking tape. I make a couple of thick cardboard pads and tape them to rear corners of the roof.

There are three adjustable bolts each side connecting the lid to the hinges. The alignment holes are there to help line everything up when re-attaching… The observant reader will notice that my holes don’t line up.

Ferrari 308 decklid hinge
Hinge and alignment holes

As soon as the hinge bolts are loosened, the lid drops vertically down under gravity onto the edge of the roof. The cardboard pads catch the lid once bolts are loosened and stop it hitting the bodywork.

Decklid resting on bodywork
Stable decklid resting on cardboard pad

With the rear of the lid supported on jack stands and the front of the lid resting on the cardboard pads, the deck lid is actually quite stable and can be removed straight up and off.

Engine cover removed
Engine cover removed

Disclaimer: 308restoration.com describes the restoration work I perform on my car and only my car. I am not a professional mechanic. The website content is presented for entertainment purposes only and should not by seen as any kind of advice, information, instruction or guidance for working on any other car. The opinions stated here are my own and no-one else’s.

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10 Responses

  1. Richard Guerra says:

    David,
    The airbox can be removed by removing the cotter pin from the rear strut supporting the deck lid and then lifting the decklid a couple o inches. This will allow you to raise the deck lid to allow the airbox to be removed. I install a 1×2 piece of wood to keep the lid open without touching the body. I have done it many times when working on the carbs.

    • David says:

      Hi Richard. Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure why my car is different but my airbox does not have enough space to clear the back of the deck lid even with it pushed up all the way. Is yours a US car? As the air boxes on the US cars are different to the rest of the world.

  2. Martin N. says:

    I have a late steel Euro-drysump car and can’t even remove the airfilter without removal of the decklid.
    But after 22 years of ownership and maintenance it got easy. I can understand being a bit nervous when performing it for the first time, but it gets a routine thing over time. Meanwhile I team up with my wife and it takes 5-10 minutes to remove the decklid and almost as fast refitting it (my alignment bores line up). For protection of the bodywork I simply put a thick blanket between decklid and roof.
    And BTW. When they switched from glass cars to steel cars, they altered the hinge design. Maybe this means, that on the early cars it could be possible to push the hood further up.
    A great site for such details is: 308-328.com (switch to english language)

    Best from German
    Martin
    (FChat: Martin308GTB)

  3. Hi David,
    You have to be 3 people to do it with no effort, one on each side and the lucky one with the wrench…
    I confirm on Euro standard, air box is removable by closing the lid a little so the angle of the front give the space to remove it….

    • Martin N. says:

      Hi JP,

      “I confirm on Euro standard, air box is removable by closing the lid a little so the angle of the front give the space to remove it…”

      Not on my car. Maybe tolerances regarding frame height and engine supports also matter.

      “You have to be 3 people to do it with no effort”

      Two people is perfectly sufficient, if you support the decklid with a piece of wood of the correct (!) length, so that it’s balanced that way after loosening the hinges, that it just slightly touches the roof.
      We do it that way since 22 years without the slightest paintwork damage.
      It interested, I could forward the correct length of the wooden helper support I approached with some try-and-error.

      Best from Germany
      Martin

  4. David says:

    Balance is key when using fewer people as Martin says. I put two axle stands in the luggage compartment that support the two diagonal cross-members and this balances the lid fore and almost perfectly. I could do it on my own using this method… if I had too.

    Regards
    David

  5. Dave says:

    David
    I have a US 1978 gts- i have removed the air box many times without have to remove the engine compartment hood. I resealed both side manifolds without removing the hood.
    It takes a little finesse, but it is very do-able

  6. Dave says:

    David-
    Is the problem just getting a small socket or better a small box wrentch on those nuts holding the carb towers? Once the nuts come off, the towers lift off. Then the box just lifts off. It could be that you have the wrong size studs where you don’t have enough room to lift the towers off the studs because they are too long.
    COVER THE OPENINGS- the box has a rubber seal around each carb that also holds a metal spacer for each stud.

    If the rubber seal is old, the metal spacer can fall off as you lift the bottom air box off—- put a rag or tape up each carb throat.

    • David says:

      Hi Dave. Thanks for your input. There were two problems. First the cover would not clear the lid. I eventually managed to finagle that off after removing the struts but It our up quite the struggle. The second problem would have been getting a bit spinner on I think but I did not have to find out. The deck lid is safely off now and allowing me easier access to many other parts of the engine bay. The airbox is also off now sitting on the bench as I have plans for that very soon.

      Regards
      David

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