So often we try to repair old parts to maintain originality or because new stuff isn’t available and if I tallied up the hours spent patching the often rusted and mangled brake fluid reservoirs for Ferrari 250′s I’d get really depressed. I found a few of these New Old Stock reservoirs with the correct caps and quickly bought them all! Since I have a few more than I need, I’ll sell a few.
What makes antifreeze go from alkaline to acidic? Does combustion gas leak from the head gasket and contaminate it or is it the heating and cooling process? Regardless, we have had two corrosion situations from acidic coolant recently, a pair of 330 cylinder heads and the core plugs in a 365 GTB/4 Daytona. To be fair, the core plugs are very soft alloy in comparison to the engine block so they are kind of sacrificial, unfortunately they are difficult to change. These plugs were so delicate that just by scraping the crusty coolant off to find the source of the leak, the screwdriver poked right through them like they were made from waxed paper.
The 330 heads are a combination of a bad casting and corrosive coolant. I saw a youtube video showing the process of building a modern Ferrari 612 engine where an MRI test was used to determine the thickness and integrity of a cylinder head casting. They didn’t have this technology in 1966 and this is the evidence of it! The deep pores in the exhaust port aren’t from corrosive coolant, it’s from a horrible casting. The pitted areas around the water passages are due to corrosive coolant rotting the material away.
Like a dentist, I drilled and scraped the corrosive material out so I could weld the holes that were leaking coolant into the exhaust and intake ports. I don’t often remove valve seats and realize what a difficult job it is but I found a great way to get them out easily. I take a valve with the same size stem as the original (8mm for Ferrari) but has a slightly smaller head. I weld the head to the seat and drive the valve and seat out with a hammer from the back side!
Anyhow, after welding, grinding, pressure testing a number times, I finally have the heads sealed up and looking great. After grinding and cutting the core plugs out of the Daytona block, we installed the new ones and sent the car home.
I’m not feeling too inspired to write on the blog but thought I’d try to make a photo look like it was taken years ago. Not that successful. These are two cars that I really like, the convertible is an outstanding original example of a Pininfarina Cabriolet and the other car is Ian’s 330 2+2 that we just finished re-upholstering.
The Lusso engine is finished and running well. Nate did a nice job detailing it and once we take it off the stand we’ll do some more work to make it look super sharp. Mickey refinished the fuel rail that was mixed in with a huge order of 330 GTC and Maserati Ghibli parts and forgotten about for months but its all together now, making steam
This is a very nice Blaupunkt Radio that is period correct for late 50′s to early 60′s European Cars. It has all the little details such as the knobs, facia panel and amplifier. If you are interested in purchasing it let me know.
Here are a series of photos of the block sanding process on the Ferrari 166 Touring Berlinetta. The sheet metal is all sorted and gaps are perfect but the body needs hundreds of hours of serious elbow grease (sanding) to make sure it is all straight as an arrow. Syl isn’t scared of the “mud”, he completely fills in all of the door and hood gaps allowing him to block sand right across them so when the light hits the highly polished top coat you won’t see any waves or change in reflection.
Even though the grill we made fit the opening in bare aluminum, Syl spends hours making it perfect with skim coats of body filler and attacks the headlight rim contact areas with the same level of perfection. There isn’t any room for error when working with super fine trim that is used all over this car like the delicate headlight rings and the low profile windshield and rear glass surrounds. Imagine these surrounds, start with a long section of 1/4″ aluminum rod and whittle it down so only a quarter of it is used. We re-made this trim because the delicate original material was destroyed when the car was disassembled.
Right now, the car is sealed up in high build primer with a blue tinted epoxy primer that seals the polyester filler from moisture and greasy finger prints. Now we have some more fitting here and there before it goes back to Syl’s shop to work out some more details such as the incredibly complex belt-line crown that goes from the headlight to the tail light..
We’ll probably have more hours in sanding and painting the dashboard that it would take to paint an entire late model car like a Mercedes or Honda. The dash on this car is a thing of beauty but it requires a perfectionist sicko to finish it because like the rest of the car, the trim that surrounds the gauges and switches are like string bikinis
This is so cool, it must be some sort of World War II Aircraft Manufacturing technique for welding aluminum by smashing it together that was used for cars. This trunk lid was made by Carrozzeria Touring in the late 1940′s and as much as I curse the way they build cars, this is some of the most amazing craftsmanship I have seen. Since it isn’t adding any new material its keeps the panel very light and super strong and without the heat of welding, the panel doesn’t warp and distort. I’m guessing that the force of smashing the two aluminum pieces together in a focused area causes enough heat to melt and stick them tight.
I’d like to see other examples of this attachment procedure and find out what it’s called.
Casey just finished assembling this engine after all kinds of people blessed it to make sure everything is in the required specification. The reason it came apart is because the valve guides were loose in the heads and allowing oil to flow right into the exhaust and eventually fouling out the spark plug. When we disassembled the engine we found that the cylinders were polished to a very high level of shine and couldn’t imagine that the piston rings would ever seat. In conversations with Hastings Piston Ring Company it was learned that the cylinders needed to be honed to a coarse 280 grit rather than the ultra smooth mirror polish. Since the engine was apart, we decided to have a specialist cut the rear “slinger” off the back of the crankshaft so we could install a conventional lip seal to prevent oil leaks.
The engine is running great and just today we took the car out for a drive in the Arctic Cold air where it performed perfectly.
Here are some photos for Derek who seems to get very turned on by Ferrari engine photos, mostly the “basamento” which translates to “base” and in this context it stands for Engine Block.
Here is a early Porsche 911 Engine that Casey has finished and will hopefully be running later this week.