Ferrari 512BBi Major Service

512BBi Major Service


François was out of town, but he left me and Alvin a huge project to tackle. A 512BBi was in for a major service, which includes camshaft belt replacement, cam tensioner bearing replacement, water pump rebuild, valve adjustment, and anything else that could use cleaning and painting while the engine is out of the car. At the very least, François wanted us to remove the engine from the car, and to get as far as we could until he returned. I wanted to prove to my boss that I was up to the task and was not going to let him down. The biggest fear I had was hitting up against a glitch that would prevent us from proceeding with the engine removal, stopping all work for the rest of the week. Alvin and I took a deep breath and diligently got to work.
input shaft

Boxers seem to be all engine behind the rear window, and pulling the engine seems easy except for one problem. The clutch cover tends to get hung up on the rearmost cross brace, so removing the clutch cover alleviates most of the clearance issues. Only the input shaft to the transmission needs to be cleared once the cover is removed.

Of course before hoisting the engine out here’s a short list of things to do:
Drain oil from sump and oil tank
Drain coolant
Drain gearbox
Remove exhaust system
Remove headers
Disconnect all fuel lines to engine
Disconnect A/C hoses
Remove passenger  side alternator and lay to side
Disconnect electrical connections to  Driver’s side alternator
Disconnect multipin connector to engine wiring
Disconnect throttle linkage
Disconnect coolant hoses
Disconnect shifter linkage after transmission is set in 2nd gear.
Disconnect oil lines to engine…
Disconnect oil lines to engine….uh we had a problem

The pressure fittings on the oil lines for the dry sump oiling system were huge. 46 mm to be exact, and no amount of hunting around the shop turned up a wrench that would fit this nut. My worst fears were coming true, and I was trying to figure out what to do when by chance, I got a call from François. He forgot about this nut, and usually borrows a wrench from a friend of his. Just short of buying a wrench for this procedure, I decided to call Bill Pollard at Sport Auto to bail me out.

Bill had three Boxers at his shop in various states of repair, and was all too familiar with the humongus nut for the oil tank. With the amount of times he needed the large wrench, he bought one off the Snap-On truck just for working on Boxers. It has the right offset to reach up inside the car to break the fitting loose. After a ride up to his shop, I was back in business!
engine out

After some discussions and maneuvering, we figured out the best way for the engine to come out was straight and level until the input shaft of the transmission came into contact with the rear cross member, then it was simply a matter of turing the engine slightly and guiding the shaft gently around the cross bar, all the while watching for clearance of the A/C compressor at the back window.
512BBi engine

I was very proud of me and Alvin that by the end of our first day, the Boxer engine was on the floor, but it probably had something to do with a good teacher! The next step is to get the cam and belt covers off, and start checking the valve lash. Alvin’s going to start cleaning the intake runners, and vacuuming the inevitable mouse poop on top of the cylinders, and we’ll be well on our way to completing this full service when François returns!

Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.

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