Ferrari 365GTC Interesting Photo

After a massive amount of work, I brought this 1969 Ferrari 365GTC out for photographs and caught this Barn Swallow in the image!  Photo Bomb! If I new how to edit this image you would see that the bird is very well focused and clear.

Bird caught in the image of a Ferrari 365

Ferrari 365GTC with bird

 

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Ferrari 275GTB/4

We had some magnificent cars at the shop this fall and broke out our video gear to film the cars going down the road. When filming, the motto is “hurry up and wait” so I had some time to take photos of the cars.

Ferrari 275 and 330's

Ferraris from the 60′s

Ferrari 275 GTB/4

GTB/4 Ferrari

 

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Ferrari Window Regulators

Since I was old enough to hold a wrench, I have been repairing Ferrari cable operated window regulators and have tons of scars on my hands to prove it! Like the Bizarre-O cable operated Maserati Ghibli Water Pump design, this is an equally offbeat way to make a window go up and down. My rant is “these guys has no right building cars”. Whats the deal with Italians and cables?

This cable has to “spool up” and “un-spool” around a drum simultaneously as an electric motor turns it.  If the cable isn’t in perfect condition, it can fall off the pulleys or make a horrible grinding noise when operating. The smallest bend, kink or fray makes the whole system come to a stop. You can get complete new assemblies but often the cable is wound tightly during shipping that it  causes problems so I rebuild them with new cable that I have in massive quantities here at the shop.

Window Regulator Ferrari 308

Ferrari Cable Window Regulator

A frequent problem with these systems is super slow motion of the window glass barely making it to the closed position.  People have all sorts of hair-brained ideas on how to fix this problem but the issue is simple. The green grease in the gearbox gets hard like wax and the motor can’t overcome the resistance. If the cables, pulleys and channel is in good shape simply zip tie the cable to the assembly which maintains the tension and remove the assembly from the door. Remove the 3 screws to the hold the gearbox together and chip out the green wax (that used to be grease).  If you are lucky, you won’t kink or loose the orientation of the cable and can get it all working in 20 minutes!

Cable Operated Window Regulator

Waxy Green Grease to Chip Out

I use a synthetic grease that won’t hurt the plastic housing but make sure it has decent rust preventative, there is a ton of moisture that builds up in these doors that will seize the gearbox as well.

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Ferrari 330 and 365 Wheel Restoration

Lets see if I can describe this story so its understandable…. In the mid 1960′s, Ferrari was drifting away from Borrani wire wheels on their street cars and started using Campagnolo cast alloy wheels. The first style was the heavily ribbed and complex “starburst” wheel used on the early 275 GTB and GTS, followed by the smooth and sculpted “10 hole” wheel shown in the photo below. A 14″ size was used on the 330 GTC and later 275′s and a 15″ version was used on the 330 and 365 GT 2+2. The offset was different on the 330 and 365′s but they are identical otherwise. In this photo, the 365 wheel is to the left and 330 to the right. The 330 Rim edge is much deeper than on the 365 wheel but otherwise they are very similar.

365/330 Wheels Campagnolo

330/365 Ferrari 15″ wheels

A man in Texas asked for my help to find a set of 5 cast wheels and straight ear center lock nuts for his 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. I called my usual contacts and realized very quickly that these are extremely rare parts and the center lock nuts were simply no longer available.

I did find a complete set of 365 wheels with the more “shallow” rim section but nothing for the 330 type wheel, however, the 365 GT 2+2 at our shop was rolling on the wheels that belong on a 330! I sent my customer a proposal that if he wants wheels for his 330, he’ll have to buy the five 365 type wheels that I found which would be fitted to our 365. He would have to pay me to crack test and refinish all 10 wheels which is a huge job because all of the wheels need welding and cleaning up and go through the process of preparing Magnesium Alloy for painting. After a huge sigh of relief, I just finished packing and shipping the 5 perfectly re-painted wheels to Texas with brand new looking cad plated hubs and original style valve stems and tires.

Since the stars were aligned just right, I found a set of 4 totally ratty straight ear lock nuts a little later in the project.  I welded and straightened the bent and smashed knock off ears in preparation for re-chrome plating and when Mickey sent them back all shiny, they looked just like jewelery. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of them all glossy and perfect.

Ferrari 330 Knock off

Ferrari 330, 365 GT Knock Off Nut

330/365 Straight Ear Wheel Nut

Knock off Nut for Ferrari 330

Repainted Ferrari 330 Wheel

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Repainted Wheel

Re-Painted Wheels

330 GT 2+2 15″ Wheels Painted

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Ferrari 330 and 365 A/C Vents

Ferrari 330/365 A/C Vent

Ferrari Air Conditioning

Awhile back I published a post on reproducing the often broken or missing vents and knobs for the Ferrari 330 and 365′s that showed the  prototype to review before the final production. The final order of vents have arrived in a box and I challenged myself to make the delicate and finely detailed knobs that go in the middle of them.

Late production 330 GT 2+2′s had optional Air Conditioning with 3 louvered vents in the middle of the dash with little thimble sized knobs that you twist to both direct the air flow and operate the fan speed and temperature of the A/C system. The middle vent had a blank knob and the outer vents said “aria” I II III (for the three speed fan motor) and the other outer vent had a knob that had the script “freddo” that controls the temperature of the air outlet. I found some very good original knobs and cleaned them up, chipped the white paint out of the script and sanded the delicate fluted lines on them to make a good mold. Then I made tooling to make consistent parts time after time to fit the “D” shaped switch shafts. The results are amazing, I am so impressed at how great everything came out.

I didn’t make the louvered vents, these parts were extremely complicated because the outer cylinder of the vent is on a different angle than the louvered slats, how do you make a mold that not only pulls apart straight but allows the louvers to be on a 45 degree angle! Since I paid the big bucks, I own the multiple piece mold and may tell you the secret someday.

The only part I have not made are the chrome trim rings that go on the outer edge of the vent. Later this month the tooling will be finished up to stamp them out of brass and have them chrome plated to match the rest of these lovely little parts.

In this photo you can see the simple little tool to make the fluted knobs. I can only make one at a time but the same tool makes the “Aria”, the “Freddo” and the blank knob. Since I am using the slow cure plastic, I can only make two knobs per day but will experiment with faster cure resins to churn them out a little more rapidly. (if anyone actually orders them)

A/C vents for Ferrari's

330 or 365 Air Conditioning vents

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Antifreeze Doesn’t Last Forever

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.

Daytona engine block

Ferrari 365 Daytona Engine repair

Core Plugs for Daytona Ferrari 365

Ferrari 365 Core Plugs

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.

330 Head Gasket leak

Head Gasket leaking on Ferrari 330

Cylinder head Leaking on 330 Ferrari

Welding holes in Ferrari 330 V-12

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!

Ferrari 330 GTC Head Repair

Repairing 330 GTC Heads

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.

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Dash Vents for Ferrari 330 and 365′s

Vents for Ferrari 330, 365

Ferrari A/C Vents for sale

In 1966 Ferrari began installing Air Conditioning as a factory option in the 330 GTC and 330 2+2 using many U.S. sourced parts such as York Compressors and Aeroquip hose and fittings. Since the cosmetic appearance matters as much as physical appearance, I have gone through great lengths to find the original specification parts to repair A/C systems in factory equipped cars and to assemble kits to sell to people wishing to install A/C in their car.

I have jigs to make the evaporator housing  under the dash and have patterns to make the compressor brackets. There are thousands of different drier bottles available but the style used on Ferrari’s is the hardest to find and I have a little stash of them to make the system look just right. The Pressure switch was a total pain to locate because it isn’t a automotive A/C part, it is a commercial refrigeration part so after a bunch of research, I have these parts too.

The last part that I am struggling with are the cold air vents that have a opening in the center for the fan speed and temperature switches. I have decided to re-make these vents to sell with the kits and to have them available for sale separately because the originals are brittle and break easily. To make the louvered vent set complete, I am making the chrome plated trim and “Aria” and “Freddo” knobs to fit on the switches.

These photos are the prototypes that need to be reviewed before final production and other than one minor change, they look fantastic. In the next month I will finish the trim parts and knobs and I will have car sets available for sale.

A/C vent for Ferrari 330

330 GT, GTC A/C vent

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330 GTC Rust repair

The GTC project is getting some attention after sitting idle for a few weeks. The car is very solid but suffers from the same problem as all Ferraris which is water getting trapped between layers of unprotected steel and corroding it away. The GTC has a very elegant circular vent in the “C” pillar to let air pressure out of the cabin when the doors are closed and when the vent system is used. Since this vent is an open hole into the interior, a little catch tray with a drain pipe is attached to the inside of the pillar so water doesn’t ruin the headliner and flood into the interior. A hose that can be seen under the car allows this tray to drain onto the ground but over time it plugs with debris and the water builds up and leaks inside the rear fender arch making the car disappear into a cloud of brown dust.

Understanding that this car is 45 years old, the bodywork is in amazing condition but you can see the concentrated rust damage connection to the leaking “drip tray”. The front of the rocker panels is rotten away which makes sense because of all the water spray getting inside while driving in the rain. Pininfarina did a great job sealing these car up when new and we will follow their technique so when we’re done, we’ll use the same super thick and rugged seam sealer (that smells like Star Wars Action Figures) allowing the car to last another 50 years when we finish with it.

Rear fender arches GTC

Remaking fender arches Ferrari GTC

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Air Conditioning for 330 GTC

The orders keep coming in for A/C systems for 330′s so here are some photos of the process. The top photo shows the fabrication of the compressor brackets which use extremely thick steel as a substitute for proper engineering. We joke that well before the brackets are going to flex or distort, the studs that secure them to engine will break off. Anyhow, we copy parts accurately but can see that they are way overbuilt.

We also make the evaporator housing which holds a very dense core and squirrel cage fan. The original housing is made from steel but we make it from aluminum since it’s so much easier to work with and the part has a bunch of bends and needs huge holes drilled in the sides.  Since the part is buried under the dash, no one will ever know the difference especially if we give it a coat of light gold paint.

I have all the other parts coming in soon like the condenser, the compressor, drier bottle and all the fittings to complete the kit. It’s such a huge collection of parts and I have lots of stuff in stock but there is always one things that is missing. When its all together I will take a photo of the complete set up. I have a higher amperage alternator to send off with this kit, it’s an 80 amp unit from a 365 GT 2+2 but the 330′s with A/C originally came with Lucas 60 amp alternators

Ferrari 330 GTC A/C system

A/C System 330 GTC Evaporator

A/C Brackets for Ferrari 330 GTC

Ferrari Air Conditioning system

Interior Evaporator Housing

Housing for A/C Evaporator

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Rust in the Rocker Panels

Our customer wanted us to re-paint this 330 GTC because the paint was faded and cracking but the car appeared to be very straight and showed no signs of rust or accident damage. As we exposed the bare steel under layers of blue and red paint we found some minor accident damage at the left front headlight that was expertly fixed years ago. The other damage was from the infamous “rust worm” slithering about the rocker panels and rear wheel arches. There wasn’t any bubbling in the paint because someone (expertly) applied stainless steel tape over some perforations in the bodywork which did a great job sealing water from behind and lift the finish.

I cut away the rocker panels and cut the inner structure from behind the rear fender arches so I can properly fix and seal the panels so they’ll last at least another 45 years. Water can get into the rocker panel area but there are many areas for it to leak out but there were these big sand bricks trapped inside which allowed the water to linger in there for a long time which caused the most damage. As bad as it looks, there won’t be any major re-construction other than a few new inner sill struts and new rocker panels.

Refinishing a Ferrari 330 GTC

Refinishing a Ferrari 330 GTC

Rocker panel Ferrari

Rocker panel Ferrari

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