Deck Lid Removal

Published by David Flett on

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 (on my car – see update at the end of the article).

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.

Removing Ferrari 308 decklid
Painters tape and cardboard pads to protect the paint work

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 alignment holes
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.

Ferrari 308 decklid clearance
Stable decklid sitting 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.

Ferrari 308 decklid removal
Engine cover removed

2021 UPDATE: This article generated a lot of great feedback which has been lost when the site was hacked in 2020. However, the points made in the discussion were:

  1. Some Euro cars and some US cars can remove their airbox cover without removing the deck lid. My car cannot.
  2. In the ‘yes it can camp’ were J-P, Richard G, Dave. In the no it can’t camp were me and Martin N.
  3. The reason for the differences could certainly be the difference between US and Euro deck lids and differences from year to year. My car was one of the last with the center strut support and had been converted to gas structs and then I have returned it to the central strut support, so that may be a factor. Also, there are two versions of airbox nuts… tall early ones and flat later ones. They may also be a factor. Also bear in mind the cars are hand built and they all vary a little dimensionally.
  4. Three people is optimal to remove easily and safely. Two people is also possible with some supports. I had one person (me) and I needed to support and balance the lid which adds to the risk and so that is why I took the route of excess protection.

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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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