Help with front cam cover removal '79 308GTS | FerrariChat

Help with front cam cover removal '79 308GTS

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Mhampson, Dec 16, 2003.

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  1. Mhampson

    Mhampson Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    Marietta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Hampson

    I was able to replace the rear cam belt/tensioner bearing with no troubles at all (about an hour of work), but I am stuck on the front belt. I cannot see any way to get the A/C compressor out without removing the passenger fuel tank, and I don't see any way to get the cam cover off (obviously) without removal of the AC compressor and all it's related bracketry. The compressor hangs up on the various studs sticking out of the belt cover, and I don't think it will come out that way at all because of the coolant pipe in the way.

    Do I have to remove the tank or is there another way around the problem?

    The second question is if I have to remove the tank, do I have to remove anything else, or does the tank slide out without having to remove any of the suspension or anything. It seems like everything I take off requires me to take something else off. It's a domino effect!

    Thanks for your help! I would appreciate any pointers. I'm to the point of wanting to button everything back up and just put the car up for sale. Anyone want a 308 cheap?

    Confused and frustrated in Georgia,
  2. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Compressor removal trick is to:
    0) Unplug the A/C electric clutch (Small connector on wire coming out of the top of the A/C bracket & going to the engine.)
    1) Remove the A/C belt tensioner
    2) Undo the metal clip that's holding the A/C hoses up against a small box frame member so they can be moved. Check to make sure that the A/C hose fittings are not cutting into the fuel line that's routed close to them.
    4) remove the 3 nuts from the studs that mount the compressor. The nuts are on TOP of the mounting bracket. You have to use a ratchet with a short socket. After you've backed the nut out a bit, you may find that you don't have space to get the ratchet off. Screw the nut on a bit & use a box wrench (or a GearWrench ratchet end if you've got one.)
    Believe the nuts are 17mm. There is a washer & a rubber bushing under the nut.

    This should let you work the compressor down & out of the bracket. You can then hang the compressor over the fuel tank by the hoses.

    Once the compressor is hanging over the fuel tank, you've got enough room to remove the compressor mounting bracket from the cam cover, then remove the cam cover. Except for the earliest cars there's a fibreglass dust cover on the back of the cam cover that has to be removed. It's got a lot of 6mm

    You're going to have to move the large coolant pipe that comes down diagonally across the front of the engine. Remove the coolant fill cap & then drain about 2 to 2.5 gallons of coolant out. Remove the top of the pipe from the hose, & loosten the hose clamp for the pipe's bottom end just enough so that the pipe will pivot on the host. Swing the pipe down slowly. If you get a gush of coolant before it's down,then drain some more out. Saves completely draining the system.

    Hope this gets you going.
  3. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    Some people just hang the AC compressor but I take mine out. I did not need to remove the gas tank. Need to remove all of the brackets that support the AC and then take the studs out of the block that hold the belt cover. I would double nut them to remove.Also need to remove the AC belt tensioner and push the Alt. aside. If you have the engine cover off you can snake out the AC unit from the top or bottom through the wheel well.Also take all of the brackets off of the AC compressor. Watch out for the spacers. Just need to ake it one step at a time and don't get to frustrated.
  4. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Consultant Professional Ferrari Technician

    Sep 18, 2002
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Ha..Welcome to the world of the 308 a/c compressor!! These are a pain to remove. I have done a bunch so there not so bad now. But I'll never forget the fist one I did!!

    You do not have to remove the fuel tank to do this. The water pipe is in the way slightly but you can work around it. But if you feel it is easier to remove it then go ahead.

    First you want to remove the the water pump belt and loosen the alternator belt. You won't beable to remove it because the a/c belt will be in the way.

    Remove the a/c belt tensioner.

    Remove the lower a/c bracket ( the 2 large 17mm bolts. careful of the washers so they don't roll away and hide on you)

    I assume you have the intake air duct removed.

    Working in the the wheel well undo the a/c lines from the compressor at the lines. (1 1/16 and 7/8 wrench sizes i think) If the system is full remove them SLOWLY!! and let the refrigerant seep out. Once removed put some tape over the open ends of the compressor and the lines.

    Working from up top in the engine bay remove the 2 17mm nuts from the compressor studs. Leave the forward most nut in place. Be very careful of the little "U" shapes spacers that they don't fall out and hide. Note how many are on each stud for reassembly.

    Once the 2 17mm nuts are off, use 2 standard (none nylock) nuts of the same thread and put both on one stud. Using 2 wrenches tighten both the nuts thight together. Once tight trun the bottom nut of the 2 only. This will trun the stud out of the compressor. Do the same for the other stud as well. Once it's low enough remove the belt along with the others.

    Now once both the rear studs are removed from the compressor lossen the front nut. The compressor will start to come down. As it coming down support it with you free hand so it just doesn't fall out.

    Once it's free rest it between the gas tank and alternator.

    Now you can remove the upper bracket. There are 3 nuts that hold it in place. 2 17mm and one 13mm.

    The compressor comes out the top. You will have to remove some studs in the timing cover itself using the method described above. I beleive the studs that hold the a/c belt tentioner an one other must be removed to clear the compressor clutch assembly.

    It's a tight fit coming out so be careful and just wiggle and adjust the compressor until it pops out. Careful the unit is kinda heavy so watch you're back.

    Go have a beer and remove for sale sign from car.

    I hope I didn't leave anything out.
  5. Mhampson

    Mhampson Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    Marietta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Hampson
    Thanks everybody!!!!! Got it off and replaced the belt / tensioner bearing on that side, put it all back together, and I'm DONE!!!!

    I did drain the freon (because I have a tank and gauges to recharge) and removed the compressor and that helped a ton.

    I still think I'm going to sell it, though. Time for a new toy.
  6. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    I'll Email you privately for details on the car.
  7. Mhampson

    Mhampson Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    Marietta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Hampson
    OK, I'm selling. My wife and talked about it and with a baby due next summer, I'll be selling soon anyway. Here are some details:

    '79 308GTS, Gold exterior (very pretty), Black Interior. Original colors.

    New timing belt and tensioner bearings, new seat leather (original style), new door panel vinyl. Everything works. A/C needs freon but doesn't leak. Carpet good with some wear. Very new paint. Original spare, manual w/leather booklet. Bumpers near perfect. Runs great. A little hard to start when cold. Non-original radio works fine. Power antenna works fine. leaks a little oil here and there. 88,000 miles.

    The dash vinyl is cracked a little in one spot. All gauges work. The tires have a lot of tread but are new. I've got maintenance records from 1979 to 1995, but the car was hardly driven from 1995 to now.

    I'm going off the deep end here and taking the first $15,000. That I think is way under its value, but I hate "negotiating" and waiting for the right guy. Money is not as important to me as avoiding the bickering and waiting for the "right guy".

    I'll send photos to anyone interested.

  8. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 27, 2003

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