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Replacing plug clips - how to get broken the bases out!

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by Alden, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Alden

    Alden F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2010
    2,706
    Central Florida
    I have seen this question asked a lot on the forum with no definative answer given.

    I set out to replace a few of my plug wire clips that were broken or missing.

    The first thing you need to know is that there is no way to remove the clips from the cam cover without breaking them off. Why? Because the way they are installed is that the clip is pushed into the hole then a solid plastic "plug" is driven thru the base of the clip to expand the part that rests in the cam cover.

    So, how do you get the broken bits out of the cover?

    Drill? No, you may drill thru your cover, some have done this.

    Pick or other tool to cram into the plastic and remove it? No, won't work, the plastic is too pliable and will not come out that way.

    Someone mentioned heat: A torch or soldering iron.

    I tried the soldering iron, thinking that open flames around the engine/fuel lines was probably not a good idea.

    I jammed the hot iron into the plastic in the hole, all the way to the bottom (it is about 1/4" deep) moved it around a bit, let it stay there for about 15 seconds. This was enough to crystallize the plastic and make it brittle. A few swipes with a sharp screwdriver and an awl did the trick. I am making this part sound easier than it really was - it took about 20 minutes per hole to get all the bits of plastic out.

    The inside of the hole is ribbed to hold the clip in place, the ribs made it difficult to get the pieces out. If it was smooth, I would have been much easier.

    I had a shop vac nearby to catch the pieces as they came out so I wouldn't be smelling burning plastic on my hot exhaust.

    Put the new clips in place, taking note of how they go - all in a line, check some pics on the forum if you are not sure. Once they are installed, you will have to break them off, remove the plastic in the hole and replace them if you screw this up.

    Once the clips are in place, set the plastic "keeper" plug in place and seat it with a large drift that will fit between the arms of the clips and a small hammer. It will go all the way flush to the base, although you may not think so after the first few whacks.

    Now you can site back and enjoy your new, neatly routed plug wires!

    I did the front side of the engine first, from inside the car thru the access hatch. I will try to add some pics for clarity when I do the back plug wire clips.
    Alden
     
  2. PV Dirk

    PV Dirk F1 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2009
    5,401
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Hi Alden,

    I went through the same mess. I'd heard from a tech to use a reverse cut drill bit. Didn't know why that was suggested. I spent a lot of time digging out the bases and tried different methods. Until..... I discovered it appears they aren't ribbed, they are threaded. The remaining few I rotated anti-clockwise and they threaded right out. I felt like a fool but was very happy they came out without all the effort. I did this when there was still some top available to turn it with. So, I'd never heard of a reverse cut drill bit but now I understand why that it the answer. It should bite into the stump of the clip and wind it right out. Someone give it a try and confirm.
     
  3. Alden

    Alden F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2010
    2,706
    Central Florida
    Awesome! Still have one of 8 left to do, at least I learned before I was finished, lol!

    Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Alden

    Alden F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2010
    2,706
    Central Florida
    Tried the reverse cut drill bit trick and it was no go, still had to heat, crystalize, break and remove the pieces left in the hole.
    Alden
     
  5. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    14,948
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom
    I drill them out. You honestly have to be completelly dumb to drill through the cover. I use a step size smaller bit then the plug, the use a pick to get the rest out.

    Somtimes you can just spin them out and no tools are needed. Just snap the locating prongs off, and unscrew them.
     
  6. Alden

    Alden F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2010
    2,706
    Central Florida
    I thought so too, and I could probably drill them out with no trouble. My mechanic told me he has seen 3 cars with holes in the cam covers from just such an adventure.
    Alden
     
  7. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2005
    1,828
    Toronto, Canada
    Full Name:
    Andy
    Any reason to not use a stainless allen set screw to fasten the new clip, maybe the plug wire would arc unless its all plastic?
     
  8. Alden

    Alden F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2010
    2,706
    Central Florida
    The way the clips are made, I do not think that would work, unless you want to modify the base of the clip. Screwing steel into an aluminum cam cover would scare me too.

    The OEM system is OK, just a bit difficult to get to with tools and also to figure out how it works in the beginning.
    Alden
     
  9. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 9, 2003
    11,756
    wisconsin/chicago
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    bo
    Soldering iron works great. Jab it in, it melts it, comes out when you pull it out. What remains, if anything, easily pops out. No risk to the case...
     
  10. Pero

    Pero Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 22, 2011
    749
    Sweden
    Full Name:
    Peter R
    I drill them out, carefully, no problem.
    /Peter
     
  11. Mark C Harvey

    Mark C Harvey Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 17, 2018
    133
    West Hartford, Connecticut
    Full Name:
    Mark C Harvey
    Just finished my first tough DIY - servicing the axle CV joints after I noticed one of the rubber boots had split.

    Actually I heard it could be tough to remove the axle bolts so I gave the job to a local Ferrari garage. However they could not budge them and gave me the car back. Long story short, on passenger side I soaked the bolts for 1 day in penetrating oil, then used a blow torch to heat them. The bolts came free after this, but it still took a bit of muscle on a breaker bar. The bolts on the other side came free much easier after 2 days of soaking with penetrating oil - no torch needed. Once off, I serviced the CV joints following Birdman’s procedure and a cv boot kit I purchased (fluentinferrari.com) - I.e. disassemble, clean, regrease and reassemble with new boots.

    I had never done this job before on any car, and it was not too complicated, but quite physical at times. The CV joints are a bit of a puzzle to reassemble, but kind of fun (Birdman gives great hints). Putting the drivers side axle back in today was a slow process, trying to torque up the outer axle bolts - very confined, only able to torque about 15 degrees at a time before having to adjust the hex key to allow another 15 degrees of tightening!! I suspect a lift would have made things easier, accessing from underneath. Anyway all done now, I estimate 16 hours over 3 weeks. My first time so pretty slow, but apparently stripping the bolts is a royal PITA, so I really did take my time to do it carefully.
     
  12. mike32

    mike32 F1 Rookie

    May 13, 2016
    2,615
    Uk
    If you want to limit the depth the drill goes, then you make a sleeve to go around the drill and hold it in place with a small allen grub screw.
    The reverse drill you refer to is called a left hand drill by the way
     

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