Archive for engine

Another Ferrari V-12 in for an Overhaul

Cracked cylinder head

Welding a crack on a Ferrari 330 Cylinder head

 

Ferrari 330 Cylinder head repair

Welding a Cylinder head where it was broken
Cylinder head repair on Ferrari V-12

Welding a casting on a Ferrari V-12 engine

A friend of ours was interested in overhauling his Ferrari 330 GTC engine himself but after he called me a bunch of times for advice, he realized that it was best left to someone who has experience with this type of project.

The engine hadn’t been apart before so the cylinder heads were frozen to the block and to the head studs. Not knowing how delicate the castings are, the owner got a little over-zealous with a hammer to remove the heads and cracked a section on the head which moved the sealing surface about 1/8 inch. Instead of chopping that section out of the head, I drilled it so I could lightly hammer it back into position and to allow my weld to penetrate thoroughly for a strong weld. It cleaned up good and came out well. I machined the valve cover sealing surface about .005” just  to even things out. I also installed a half-dozen time-sert threaded repair kits while the part was on the milling machine.

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It Takes Tons of Patience to Finish Things

Operations at the shop have been very slow for the last few weeks, after blasting things apart last fall we now have to put them back together which gets very tedious. No matter how much we try to account for every little detail, there are always a host of things that slip through the cracks. The Ford Tractor project has been halted until we make a new sewing thimble sized bushing for the distributor and the Lusso engine was nearly complete until Nate told me we were missing the fuel rail. It turns out that it had been at the chrome shop for the last 6 months, slamming on the brakes.

About 2 years ago a guy called me to ask how much I charge to overhaul a Porsche 356 engine. I gave him some rough estimates and didn’t hear from him for 2 years. In October he called me to say he was on his way up with the car to drop it off for the job!

A 356 engine is straightforward enough but nothing is ever simple at our shop. The car is a 1956 356 “A” Coupe the serial number on the engine timing cover revealed that it was from a 1962 356 “B”. I ordered all kinds of parts for the overhaul procedure but when it came to assembly time, the crankshaft main and rod bearings were incorrect. It turns out that the timing cover was from a “B” but the two case halves were the original 356 “A” parts that have many little but significant differences.

With a great deal of patience and tenacity, Casey has gotten the engine together and it will be ready for a test run soon. This engine needed everything, the sheet metal was rusted and the complete exhaust from the “J” pipes back was deteriorated beyond usefulness. While not detailed to a super high standard, the engine looks great

Overhauled Porsche 356 engine

Porsche 356 engine rebuilt

 

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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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Ferrari 275 GTB/GTS Water Pipes

Water Pipe for 2 cam 275 Ferrari

Water Pipe for 2 cam 275 Ferrari

Water Pipe for 275 GTB, GTS

Water Pipe for 275 GTB, GTS

Here are some water pipes I just finished making for Ferrari 275 GTB and GTS, they fit all of the 275 series of cars except for the GTB/4′s. This piece connects the long pipe that runs under the exhaust header to the thermostat housing that’s bolted to the radiator header tank. Like all of the other pipes I make, these are 304 Stainless Steel so they will last forever!

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Do We Make Parts

People frequently ask me if we have to make lots of parts to keep old cars operating like new. We end up making things here and there but it’s amazing how much is available from very organized parts suppliers and places that make reproduction items. This is a part that we just couldn’t find, it’s a oil pump pick-up to a front wheel drive V-8 Cord 810. The original part was bashed up, the screen was missing and the little elbow pipe was kinked so we made an entire new part. The copper screen came from a local art store, I guess they use it for making sculptures that are covered with clay or paper mache.
This part is identical to the original with silver solder attaching the tubing and screen.

Oil Pump Pickup for Cord 810

Oil Pump Pickup for Cord 810

Oil Pump Pickup Copper Screen

Oil Pump Pickup Copper Screen

Cord V-8 oil pump screen

Cord V-8 oil pump screen

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Thrilling

I know, this is such a thrilling topic. I had to make brackets to attach a modern cooling fan to the radiator of a 250 Pininfarina Cabriolet. The part that’s the most exciting to me is that box board material for making templates, I love this stuff because it’s easy to cut while being rigid enough to handle bends and maintain shape. Whenever I get FedEx envelops or a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche (which is where this box board material came from) I save it in a secret location so no one else can steal it from me. When you combine this box board with a sharpie marker and sharp scissors, anything is possible.
The box board template is a mirror image (fits left and right) so I sandwiched it on the top of two sheets of 12 gauge steel and traced the pattern with the plasma cutter for the final piece.

Ferrari Radiator Cooling fan

Ferrari Radiator Cooling fan


Ferrari 250 Radiator Cooling fan

Ferrari 250 Radiator Cooling fan

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Porsche 911 Engine Finished, Other Photos Too

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.

Testa Normal

Testa Normal

Bassimento 250 GT Ferrari

Bassimento 250 GT Ferrari

Early Porsche 911 overhaul

Here is a early Porsche 911 Engine that Casey has finished and will hopefully be running later this week.

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Gasket Sealers

Want to seal an Italian car? Treat it like a German car.

Want to seal an Italian car? Treat it like a German car.

Rob is a frequent visitor to the blog and asked a great question on what we use to seal up Ferrari engines.  As far as I’m concerned there aren’t any mysteries to assembling a Ferrari engine, the tolerances like piston clearance, valve lash and cam timing are very similar to other engines. Like all engines, cleanliness is close to holiness when putting them together, something we have seen countless times is an engine that is assembled without cleaning the crankshaft passages or bead blast abrasive that hasn’t been cleaned out thoroughly.

The real magic in assembling these cast aluminum engines is sealing them up to prevent leaks. We have come up with some great techniques mixed with praiseworthy products to make these engines tight. One technique is to have the early engines modified to use a lip seal instead of the “slinger” at the back of the crankshaft and another is to assemble the engine and let it sit on the bell housing overnight with red ATF or Marvel oil to check for leaks at the rear rope seal area the next morning.

Rob asked what we use for sealers and commented that he purchased “Hylomar” from his Harley Davidson dealer. Hylomar is made under license of Rolls Royce and is a waxy material that can fill voids and remain flexible. I’ve never been overly impressed with this product but it’s probably because I think Rolls Royce’s cars are a total joke and anything affiliated with them must suck.

We use a product from ELRING called Dirko (http://www.elring.de/index_en.php), lame name, amazing product. Like Hylomar, stays pliable to maintain a seal as castings move as they heat and cool but unlike Hylomar, it’s more of a silicone RTV that can fill large gaps easily which is necessary at the timing chain cover area. Hylomar is great in allowing you to reuse gaskets and the Dirko isn’t so sticky that it tears gasket paper but we never reuse gaskets anyhow. I guess if you were stranded it may be necessary to reuse.

Typically, you don’t need to coat the surfaces of the gaskets with a sealer, just hit the corners. On 308′s and 512′s they have a bunch of blunt ends of the gaskets at the cam covers that need a good smear of sealer similar but the main runs of paper are fine to leave without extra sealer. But, since we run a shop and hate to do things twice or have someone unhappy with a leak who is 8 hours away, we put a light smear on the entire gasket to be safe.

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Jaguar XKE Series II Fans

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Reversing direction of Jaguar XKE cooling fan motors

With a test light and a few long leads, I can diagnose most electrical problems on old cars without too much drama since they have very basic relays, lighting systems and motors. Figuring out electrical problems empowers me since there aren’t many places for gremlins to hide. This keeps me feeling productive.

A 1968 Jaguar XKE came in with worn out radiator cooling fan motors so I sent the old motors to a supplier as cores and they promptly sent me a pair of overhauled ones. When we plugged them in, they turned the wrong way. So, I called the supplier who apologized for the error and then regretfully informed me that the correct rotation motors are on back-order for months or more! The owner wanted the car ready for a show in a few days so we switched the wires thinking that they would turn counter-clockwise rather than clockwise but they didn’t! I disassembled the motors thinking that if I changed the magnet, maybe I would get the favorable result but it isn’t a permanent magnet, its an electro-magnet, the motor continued to spin clockwise.

After some head scratching, I realized that I had to reverse the wires internally to send current both through the armature and the magnet in the same direction. This got me out of hot water by cooling the old cat’s engine just the way she likes it. It took me some time to find the solution because I couldn’t believe that a simple motor like this needed internal modifications to change direction. Learning all the time…

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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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