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Old 04-02-2017, 02:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston
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Remove the Clam Shell for Better Engine Access

As some may have noticed I've been working on my Box and posting a lot lately. Must be spring. Anyway I'm chasing down a persistent SAI code that's been dogging me for years as well as a new CEL on the Bank 2 Cam Position sensor. Both of these CELs have multiple possible causes. Looks like I may be in for a deep dive to figure it out. This does not quite rise to the occasion of dropping the engine, but it will take quite a bit of contortion (and vocabulary) to get down to the SAI should I have to go that far. Cirque du soleil once saw me twisting around the clam shell taking out a manifold and asked me to join the show.

I've always worked around the clam shell treating it like it was gravity, it's there and you just have to deal with it.

While visiting Woody, he showed me how to remove the clam shell, six #10 bolts. Three per side - super easy.

After that its a matter of putting down the clam shell arms by popping the ball joint, this is good to know anyway as part of freeing a stuck top (the procedure is in the owners manual to raise and lower the top if the motor or transmission breaks).

The result is undreamed of (by me anyway) space to work.

The one down side is the factory paint between the nut and the clam shell will end up cracked. That's a trade I'm willing to make.

2003 S manual
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:41 PM   #2
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I have the clam shell off and the trunk lid out.Kneel in the trunk and reach in.Amazing what improved visibility can do for problem diagnosis ! And a powerful LED Inspection light on a gooseneck.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
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I've removed it once for service, but you can also undo 1 bolt on each side, and fold it forward to make some room.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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as Alm says, you can also just pop off the little clip on each side at the join on the other end of the push rod where your screwdriver is in the photo above, then push the whole clamshell up and towards the front of the car until it's just about touching the canvas of the top, you'll then find there's a 2 small holes in the clamshell arm that line up and you can stick a small screwdriver etc through to lock into place. I find this even quicker.

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