328 Shifter Shaft Seal Replacement

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Mark 328, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Mark 328

    Mark 328 Formula Junior

    Nov 6, 2003
    Orange, Ca
    Full Name:
    Mark Foley
    Just replaced the shifter shaft seal on my 328 -- thought I would post a few notes:

    1) Prior to starting the job, from the top remove the dipstick tube bolt from the timing belt cover, the torque rod? (see below) and the battery prior to jacking car-up.

    2) Prior to removing dipstick and oil temp sending unit; use a spray cleaner in the area (prevents grime from entering hole after removal).

    3) Engine probably does not have to be lifted-up. I disconnected the cat and slightly lifted engine, but not sure if this was needed. If you do want to lift engine be sure to disconnect torque rod from rear valve cover. On my car there was interference between the shifter rod (from shifter) and the shift shaft being removed from the engine. The fuel tank cross-over tube could be pushed out of the way to allow removal and refitting of the shaft. (it would be good to include the fuel tank sleeves with this procedure) The adjustment fitting does not have to be unloosened.

    4) The shift shaft seal is a poor excuse for a seal; it looked like the OD of my seal was the weakest link; if the engine was out, I would fit a regular lip seal with a spring squeezing the lip onto the shaft.

    5) Dipstick fitting into the case was hard to access and the fitting is very tight. Tried Snap-on 6 Pt, 24mm socket and it would not clear the threaded nipple; 1” deep was unwieldy and could not get long ratchet on it. What worked well for me was a Craftsman 12 Pt 24mm, Std length socket with a extended-length Craftsman Flex ratchet. This ended-up being a very positive arrangement and the fitting just spun-out.

    6) People have said this is an approx 9 hour job—this is pretty accurate for a first time, but having the right tools for removing the dipstick fitting would probably knock-off 2 hours (and an unquantifiable gain in frustration relief).

    7) It would be best to drain the oil out of both sumps at least a day before (a week would be preferable) —the longer the better otherwise oil will keep dripping down of the gears, pickup tube, Etc.

    8) Prior to removal of dipstick tube—put a mark on it (for clocking alignment), near where it fits to the block, to facilitate installation. It is difficult to move the tube around trying to get it in the right place when you are trying to reinstall it.

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  3. phild328

    phild328 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2004
    Lebanon, PA
    After finally getting the oil pan out of the way - what an adventure. I see that the shift seals are locked into place. The casing is stamped three times around the washer at 120degrees apart. Looking for input from someone who did this before. I might try just prying the washer out? Or should I try to tap the casing back on one of them then try to pry the washer out.

    I was just complaining the other day why should Ferrari service get $109 an hour and normal cars are more like $69. I guess this is why- they have to put up with the very unfriendly serviceabilty of the cars. Ferrari knows these seals are going to fail. Ferrari knows people are going to hold onto the car for 20+ years. Why not put a retaining ring in there. Ahhh, just had to vent!
  4. ferrarioldman

    ferrarioldman Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Professional Ferrari Technician

    Jun 19, 2002
    Summerfield, NC
    Full Name:
    Tom Jones
    You don't have to remove the washer. The seal is all soft rubber so just take a pick and gently pry it out.
  5. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    It's a frustrating job the 1st time thru all right. However, there are a few things you mentioned that are generally not necessary, but aren't obvious the 1st time thru.

    I hate to break the news to you, but you do NOT need to completely remove the dipstick tube to remove the sump cover. Just loosten the bolt at the tube's top 3 or 4 turns. Then remove the nut at the bottom of the tube from the fitting in the block & swing the end of the tube out of the way so you can get to the fitting.

    The bolt up top will provide enough guidance so that the tube will be in position when you put the nut back on.

    The fitting stays in the block. What you need to remove is the flare ended extension tube that's inside the fitting & protrudes down enough to interfere with removing the sump cover.

    Usually you can stick a finger into the tube & the tube will adhere enough to it so the tube can be pulled out. Otherwise, use a ~8" long hooked piece of stiff wire (coathanger wire is fine) to fish the tube extension out of the fitting, leaving the fitting in place.

    Most of the 308s & 328s have a battery disconnect to the left of the spare tire compartment. Just pull the big red plug with braided wire to it & you've disconnected the battery's ground lead. So the battery can stay in. You don't even need to pull the spare out.

    The shaft ends do want to interfere, however, the shaft being removed can generally be coaxed into coming out, sliding along beside the other shaft. Takes a bit of force to get them to start past each other. It's awkward for 1 person to do, but manageable. 2 people can do it pretty quickly because each can get a position for max leverage on the shaft they're moving.

    If you can get the shafts to pass each other, then you don't need tilt the engine to do this job. Thus usually don't need to remove the torque rod.

    There have been reports of cars where tilting was necessary, tho. Possibly because the engine was somewhat cocked in the bay, or else the motor mounts mounts were tilting it such that the shafts couldn't pass each other, or possibly the person reporting having to do tilt the engine just didn't know that the shafts could be persuaded to pass each other.

    Hope this helps reduce the first time frustration for a future person undertaking this job.

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