Decklid Support Rod and Spool

My 308 is serial number 26359, which means, being a GTB built before 27581, my decklid is not supposed to have gas struts. Instead, it is supposed to have the central support rod that was fitted to all early cars:

Early Ferrari 308 decklid raising/lowering mechanism
Decklid raising/lowering mechanism

Most of my mechanism is long gone with only the horizontal track remaining. Since I bought the car I have been wanting to restore the mechanism to its original functionality.

My remaining horizontal track

The parts I needed were a universal joint attached to the decklid itself, a metal rod with a wheel at the bottom that slides in a track, a cable attached to the wheel and a spool that winds up the cable when the lid is closed.  

Ferrari 308 decklid spool holes
Missing spool

The spool should be mounted using the three mystery holes above. I have never seen such a contraption on any other car. It seems gloriously over-engineered and I’d love to know if any other Italian cars of the period had such a mechanism (if anyone knows of one please leave a comment). With early 308s, Ferrari went to a lot of trouble to ensure their owners would not have to touch anything greasy or grimy.

Hill Engineering replacement universal joint for Ferrari 308
Hill Engineering replacement universal joint

Reproduction upper universal joints have been available for a number of years in either original plastic or uprated aluminium.  It is all the other parts that have been the problem. Since I bought this car in 2010 a complete support rod (60073905) has never been available and I last saw the spool (60108206) in stock in 2011.

OEM part number 60108206
Fuzzy photo of the last OEM spool I saw for sale

I’ve known the dimensions of the spool cover for a while. The intention was always to 3D print a cover when I found a suitable replacement spool. I never bothered seriously looking for such a spool because the support rod was not available. One without the other makes no sense. A few years ago I got hold of an old support rod, but alas, the wheel at the bottom was missing so the project stayed on the back burner.

But recently Superformance in the UK started selling reproduction support rods.… my decklid support project was back on!

Reproduction Superformance support rod (60073905)

The first job was to find something to put in the spool cover. The Ferrari version was a crude affair with a coil of spring steel in a rough plastic molding that had a tendency to spit.

I found a manufacturer of industrial spring reels – the mechanisms that assist you when opening and closing the overhead luggage compartments on aircraft. They had a reel that looked like it would work so I ordered a prototype.

While waiting for a test spring reel to arrive, I started modeling the cover to hold the spool. I have never seen one of these spool covers in person but armed with some measurements taken by Wade, another 308 owner, I designed what I thought was a good approximation of the outside of the spool. 

Reproduction Ferrari 308 Bonnet Support Spool Cover
3D CAD model

The design for the inside of the spool cover had to wait until I got the sample spool in the post. Only then could I work out how it needed to attach to the cover. Some sort of mounting plate inside the cover is what I expected would be needed and that proved to be the case when the spool arrived. Both cover and mounting plate CAD designs have been successfully printed so now I will fit them to the car to see how well it all works.

3D Printed Ferrari 308 Bonnet Spool Cover
3D-printed spool cover

My dream of replacing my incorrect gas struts with a correct spring-loaded, central rod support is now alot closer to reality.

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 be 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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