Ferrari Steering Gearboxes

Earlier this year, a good customer drove to the shop in his 1967 Ferrari 330GTC for some service work and asked me to critique the way his car handles. We went for a spin and I immediately understood what he was talking about, when entering a curve it took lots of “input” in order navigate a corner and even go straight down the road. I use the word “navigate” because it handles like a boat.

We have had the suspension aligned and he had it aligned at his local shop a few times in an attempt to remedy this problem but it still steers super slowl. We compared it to a few other cars that day which validated our feelings, there was something wrong with his car.

Ferrari used ZF steering boxes in all of the cars from the mid 50′s through to the Daytona in the early 70′s.  A 1:20 ratio was chosen for the 330GTC but the 275GTB of the same year used a faster 1:17 ratio. My solution was to buy a brand new 1:17 worm gear to replace the 1:20 and see how it goes down the road.

The handling was transformed and it finally felt like a sports car. The 1:17 ratio was the perfect match for the car, even the steering effort at parking speed wasn’t compromised. I really don’t understand why the 330 got the slower steering but I have since changed the ratio in three other GTC’s. If you have a 330GTC or even a 330 GT 2+2, you’ve got to install this faster ratio steering box, you will love the transformation

Ferrari 330 Steering Box

330GTC Steering Gear Box

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Brake Fluid Reservior for 250 GTE/SWB/Lusso

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.

Brake Fluid Reservoir 250 Ferrari

Ferrari 250 Brake Fluid Bottle

Brake Fluid Can Lusso, GTE

GTE/Lusso/SWB/PF brake fluid bottle

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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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Blaupunkt Frankfurt Radio

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.

Frankfurt Blaupunkt

Frankfurt Blaupunkt

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Very Nice Looking V-12

Ferrari 250 GT 6 Carb Manifold

Ferrari 250 GT 6 Carb Manifold

TR Engine for 250

TR Engine for 250

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Ferrari 250 Engine Finished and Tested

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.

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New Water Pipe Run, Get’em While They’re Hot!

Stainless Steel Water Pipes 250, 330

Stainless Steel Water Pipes 250, 330

Tubing for Ferrari engine

Tubing for Ferrari engine

Since I have the jigs, stainless steel tubing and motivation, I decided to stock up on some commonly used water pipes for Ferrari 250′s. The top photo is a mixture of trashed original parts and my re-made parts that attach to the water pump and have a barb for the heater return and a threaded boss for the thermostat bypass. The pipe in the next photo is a custom job for a repilca 250 that was sent to me for duplication. This part doesn’t follow any of my jigs so I made a crude jig to complete this order. I’ve done 4 pipes recently for 1962 Ferrari 250′s, an early 1962 GTE, a ’62 250 PF Cab and two 1962 Short Wheelbase Berlinetta. Even though they should all be the same, all 4 of these are significantly different with barbs going in different directions and the main bend radius unique from one to the other. I’d like to know how these were made originally because there isn’t any consistency in  the style of construction or shape.

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Bench Testing a Brake Master Cylinder

We often pick on people who say “all you gotta do is”, because there’s no such thing as “all you gotta do is”…. Anyone who says “all you gotta do is” either has never done it before or is trying to beat you up on an estimate. AKA, a looser

Most of the cars we work on have brand new brake components available to purchase which allow us to slam ‘em in and ship it. Unfortunately, we have to rebuild brake components on Ferrari’s which really sucks.  All you gotta do is…  Ugh. A guy sent me a totally blown out Master cylinder for a 330 GTC, rusted and stuck, terrible, horrible, so I sent steel fittings off to be cadmium plated, sent the cylinder to have a new sleeve installed in the bore, ordered an overhaul kit and when everything returned, I put it all back together. After assembling it the I noticed that the pistons were sticking in the cylinder so I took it all apart and the wrenches scratched the fresh plating and watched as the brake fluid stripped the black paint. I honed the bore and got the pistons to move freely, assembled it again and set it up to be tested on my high tech device that you can observe in the photo below. Now I am finding that the sleeve wasn’t drilled correctly and fluid couldn’t  into the forward chamber (that goes to the rear brakes) so I had to start all over again, scratching, chipping. Now, the cylinder is all back together and working perfectly after 7 hours of labor! “All you gotta do is”! Did I mention that the rebuild kit didn’t come with the correct first seal, there was a 30mm seal included when I needed a 25mm seal so after buying 3 kits, I resorted to making my own seal.

Ferrari GTC Brake Master Cylinder

Ferrari GTC Brake Master Cylinder

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Photos From Fairfield County Concours

Over the weekend Steve and I (Bill) headed with one of our customers to the Fairfield County Concours and Bonham’s Auction. We drove from the New Paltz area early Sunday morning, the Ferraris (250 GTE and 250 PF Coupe) caravanned to the event together, with the Steve and the Freightliner in tow, figuratively of course.

Stephan was a Concours Judge, which was as I found quite an honor. He worked to rate countless beautiful cars alongside the likes of Rupert “The Hawk” Banner, Bonham’s esteemed auctioneer, McKeel Hagerty, Dave Kinney, Wayne Carini, etc. Nice work Stephan. You can now find Stephan at the shop under his Fairfield County Concours “Judge” ballcap - commemorative gift with service.

On Facebook we’ve put up a gallery of pictures that I took when I either remembered to get the camera out or when my iPhone actually had battery life. The gallery is here – and a little teaser below. Make sure to “Like” us on Facebook so that our updates show up in your feed.

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Bugatti Type 57

Wayne Carini's Leyland Bus

Wayne Carini's Leyland Bus

110918_bonhams_fcc_4058

Dial-a-boost on the RUF CTR 1. This knob actually only varies boost from 1 bar to about 1.2 - not a huge performance increase but good to adjusting to the quality of different gasoline.

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

Me with the diminutive Fiat 600 that we bought.

Me with the diminutive Fiat 600 that we bought.

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Another Jig for Stainless Steel Water Pipes

If I were making a production run of something, this isn’t how I would do it. Ferrari made thousands of “250″ series cars all with these goofy water pipes for the cooling system which vary drastically throughout the 10 year production run.  They are so complex and hard to duplicate that re-making them nearly impossible. This “J” shaped pipe has a compound curve with barbs that have to be welded on in exactly the right location even though they appear to be stitched on at random locations. If they are off one millimeter, they will hit the oil filter or run into the fan.

These pipes are for the Lusso/GTE series of 250, but I can make a number of other styles from 166 up through the 275 cars utilizing my incredible and growing stockpile of bends and flared ends. Right now I am making a short run of the water pipe that connects the thermostat housing to the engine on a 275 GTB/GTS Two-Cam engine.

Water pipe for Ferrari

Water pipe for Ferrari

Water pipe copied for Ferrari

Water pipe copied for Ferrari

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