Lamborghini 400GT Islero

As mentioned in a previous post, early production Lamborghini’s really impress me. This Islero is part of a large collection of cars that lives at our shop and it didn’t get the memo that Italian Sports Cars are problematic. Its not like the car has never needed anything, about 4 years ago the entire suspension was overhauled as was the transmission. A few years ago we replaced the clutch and fixed an oil leak but at this time, it starts easily, runs great and goes down the road like a champion.

The car makes a great visual impression with good paint and an outstanding orignal interior but the hidden areas are more impressive. The undercarriage is immaculate and detailed nicely with plated hardware and powder coated components. The shocks are overhauled and all wheels are in excellent condition. The engine is amazing with no smoke or leaks and you can lug in 4th and feel it pull seamlessly to redline. Speaking of that, the huge dial tach and speedo are so cool, this car is awesome.

The seller is not thrilled about selling this car but he needs to free up some space for an upcoming project. He drove the car a lot and never worried of problems when he was behind the wheel.

Lamborghini Islero

1969 Lamborghini 400GT Islero For Sale

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Ferrari 250GT Lusso Job

This magnificent Lusso came in for some work a year ago after a very nice restoration. The owner has had the car forever and had it restored to a high standard. He asked us for some help sorting the car after the restoration so I happily accepted. I really like these jobs because all the difficult body and cosmetic work was done and its up to us to get things working as they should.

The rear axle wasn’t assembled properly so we did a full overhaul with our tapered bearing conversion. We changed the ratio from 7-32 to 8-34 to make the car more user friendly on bigger American roads.  We have a few little tricks to make sure these axles are dead quiet when going down the road and this one is silent. You can see in this photo how the front of the pinion teeth were grinding against the bearing. Also note the bearing race was crudely ground to remove it from the pinion.

Ferrari Lusso Pinion Gear

Pinion Gear for Ferrrari Lusso

Ferrari rear axle gear ratio chart

Rear axle gear ratio Ferrari

IMG_2509

Once we got the car on the road after the axle job, we found the engine to be running poorly and had strange oil pressure so we broke it down to find improperly installed main bearings, rough looking cams and some strange ignition “updates” which really never seem to work as well as the original set up.

Type 168 Ferrari 250 Engine

250GT Lusso Engine type 168

When we finally got the car on the road, the brakes pulled hard to the right because caliper jump line was crushed for some strange reason. After replacing a few front end components, we aligned the suspension and started driving the car for weeks to correct all of the little details that rear their ugly head in the worst possible situations! I drove it home on cool nights to make sure the heat and defrost worked. I filled it with gas to make sure it didn’t leak when full. It takes a team to shake down these cars. After I put 200 miles on the car, Nate drives it and finds that the cooling fan isn’t working properly. I was so happy with how this car came out.

Brake Caliper Jump Line Ferrari 250GT Dunlop

Brake System Ferrari 250 GT

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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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1977 Ford F-250 Pickup

Ford High Boy Pickup

1977 Ford F-250 Pickup

Branden found this 1977 Ford F250 Pickup for me a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking for another truck to replace the 1968 F250 that I sold this summer. This truck is super clean and solid and I am looking forward to getting it here so I can make sure everything works properly and use it next summer. Thanks again Branden!

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Jaguar XKE Engine Overhaul

4.2 Liter XKE

Overhauled Jaguar XKE Engine

Its been years since we have overhauled a Jaguar engine and are pleasantly surprised at how many high quality parts are available for reasonable prices with instant availability. We have been struggling to get parts for Ferrari engines over the years, each piston set has to be custom made which takes 10 weeks, hardware isn’t available, what a pain to keep the motivation. The only thing that takes time on the Jaguar engine is scheduling time with a machine shop to hone the block, perform a valve job, and grind the crankshaft.

The shop that sold us the parts had Mahle Pistons sitting on the shelf and kits to replace all of the hardware, core plugs, sealing washers, lock tabs and timing chain guides and sprockets. We were all blown away at how little clearance needed for these Mahle pistons to fit into the block, only .02″!

Of course there is the labor at our shop, first removing the engine and breaking it down which makes a huge mess, then cleaning all of the parts in our awesome new hot water dunk tank. With Ferrari engines, we have to drill out (destroy) the crankshaft plugs in order to clean the passages but on the Jag, the plugs are re-usable. Plus the passages are huge and easy to clean, have a look at all the metallic sludge built up in there. We also removed the engine block core plugs and got the huge amount of rusty crud out of there.

The engine is almost finished now, probably by the end of next week it will be finished up and ready to test run. I’m excited to hear it run again.

Plugs in Jaguar Crank

Crankshaft full of Sludge

Block for Jaguar

XKE 4.2 Engine block

 

 

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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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Maserati Ghibli Project #2

Hi Jack, to answer your question, the car came to us as you see it and was transported by our creative and hard working friend Tom Munier from Exotic Car Transport in Orlando Florida. He and his driver are Saints for dealing with this move which as you can see is bulky and cumbersome with two 4″ by 8″ by 4″ tall crates and one slightly smaller crate. The car was on the “rotisserie” which seems like a well made unit but is the most awkward and impossible thing I have ever tried to move. Tom’s Car Transportation Company is one of the best in the business and I recommend everyone call him if you need a car moved (after you call me first).

We have to repair some things on the body and address every little part that bolts to this car. One of the guys spent the week categorizing many worn and broken parts and it seems that we have nearly everything especially the hard to find stuff like castings and interior trim. Some of the exterior trim is a little trashed but overall, we are starting from a complete deck of cards.

I have always liked the appearance of Maserati Castings because they looked like they were inspired by the human skeletal system. We had a Maserati A6GCS at the shop awhile ago and the rear axle center section casting looked like head protection for a man in armor. The A/C compressor bracket is a light and amazingly strong aluminum piece of beauty with rib like reinforcements and an odd use of negative space to keep things interesting.

Engine Block Casting Maserati V-8

Maserati V8 engine block

Sleeves for 4.9 Ghibli Spyder

Ghibli Spyder sleeves and crankshafts

Engine Parts for Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder

Ghibli SS engine parts

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Overhauled Porsche 911 Engine

A very good customer showed up last fall with one of my favorite cars, an early Porsche 911 Coupe. While the car did run and propel itself down the road, it needed lots of mechanical attention to remedy oil leaks, weak compression on a few cylinders and a huge list of other things. We decided that in order to enjoy the car in the future, we needed to go through the engine, transmission, brakes, clutch and other less dramatic things such as the heat and vent controls and … windshield wiper blades!

Here is a video of the engine running on the test stand to check for leaks and the adjustment of the ignition system and carburetors. This engine has German made Solex/Zenith carburetors, an Italian produced Magnetti Marelli distributor in combination with a French S.E.V Marchal Alternator.

Early Porsche 911 Engine Test After Overhaul

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365 GTC/4 KONI Shocks

KONI gas charged self leveling shocks were installed in later production 4 seat Ferrari’s starting out at the 365 GT 2+2 up to the 400′s. Later 400′s and 412′s had hydraulic controlled self leveling shocks that adjusted by a little valve attached to the rear sway bar. KONI doesn’t make any parts to overhaul these self leveling shocks and rumor is that don’t even admit to having made them! We convert the rear shocks to adjustable ride height coil over units which takes away all the mystery because rebuild parts are available for these generic series 82 KONI’s.

365 GTC/4 KONI Shocks

365 GTC/4 KONI Shocks

Self Leveling rear shocks gas charged

Self Leveling rear shocks gas charged

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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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