Archive for 330 GTC

Plastic Parts Made for Ferrari and Lamborghini

There were few replacement parts made for Ferrari and other Italian cars because the production numbers were so minimal and any stock was exhausted long ago. Many of the mechanical components for Ferrari’s are common to most models but the body and trim parts are getting hard to find.

I have taken it upon myself to make some parts. Long ago I made Air Conditioning vents, knobs, and little parts for 330GTC/GTS’s and 365′s. Every 330/365 at our shop is missing the alternator junction block cover and knob so I have re-made these parts. Often, the junction block itself is melted from years of engine bay heat and electrical heat so I make the complete units too.

Awhile ago, I made the thumb screws for Lamborghini air cleaner lids with the FIAMM logo.

Now, I am working on making some shift knobs, interior knobs and trying to make the vent window knob for the 330GTC so let me know if you need any of these parts.

If you need a part made, please let me know. Its easier to make a copy from an original part but I can make a part from a mechanical drawing as well. I am learning the techniques to make the molds, hard point holders and account for the shrinkage of the liquid plastic as it sets up.

Here are some of the parts I am making so far.

Plastic Reproduction Ferrari parts

Ferrari replacement parts, Plastic reproduction

Alternator Junction block Ferrari

Ferrari 330GTC Junction block

 

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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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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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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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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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Nice looking GTC from archive photos

Nice looking GTC in blue

Nice looking GTC in blue

I was organizing my photo program a few days ago and found this photo of a nice looking GTC to share with you.
We had 3 dark blue GTC’s at this time and I think this car was sold to a guy in Switzerland.

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330 GTC Restoration

Over the last Month I’ve been disassembling a dark blue1967 Ferrari 330 GTC to re-finish the paint, chrome and interior. Even though Pininfarina did a spectacular job building these beautiful Ferrari Coupe’s, there are some things that I can’t live with. These photos show the fit between the “B” pillar cover trim and the “C” pillar window surround trim just behind the door. The gap was enormous on both sides and was filled in with black urethane rubber from the factory. I ground off the chrome and copper and welded some new brass on the trim (which is made of brass) to tighten up the gap.

Trim on GTC Ferrari

Trim on GTC Ferrari

Ferrari Pininfarina detail

Ferrari Pininfarina detail

Brass welding and fitting

Brass welding and fitting

Another area that bothers me on the most of the Ferrari GTC’s that I have seen is the fit of the center console at the shifter opening. Like the other cars I have looked at, the shifter isn’t centered in the opening so naturally, I have to adjust this area too. This GTC used to have an odd reverse lockout tab like some of the 60′s race cars, but it didn’t fit so someone bent up the sheet metal in the opening on the left side of the opening.

GTC Interior

GTC Interior

Now it fits properly

Now it fits properly

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A GTC

GTC for Sale 330

GTC for Sale 330

Here is a Super nice 330 GTC that a customer of ours is interested in selling. We’ve gone through all of the mechanical components within the last two years such as the engine, transmission and numerous other details. This car is outstanding and is ready to light ‘em up for 2012!

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