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Lamborghini Urraco Engine Out Belt Service

While the Lamborghini Urraco didn’t overwhelm anyone in any way, be it journalists or sales numbers, I think they’re outstanding cars. Its fun to think of cars that were total flops to the general public but mechanics and engineers appreciate beyond reason.

The Urraco is my favorite car. I love the strange Bertone styled body and the crazy blocky seats, deep dish steering wheel and extremely user friendly interior. People compare it to the Ferrari 308GT/4 but I know better! Its just as ugly (or uglier) than the GT/4 but its better engineered with a lightweight unit-body and simple and lightweight McPherson struts on each corner. The Ferrari is a super heavy unit-body welded to a heavy tube frame and has unbelievably heavy and complicated suspension corners. The Ferrari 308 and Urraco both have 14″ wheels but they beautiful Lambo wheels are 1/3 the weight.

There are few jobs worse than removing an engine on a Ferrari 308, you’ve got to pull it up and twist and pitch it to keep from breaking the back window. On the Urraco, you just remove a few bolts and the rear subframe drops out with the engine directly in front of you on its own stand! This isn’t Lamborghini’s invention, I’ve seen this awesome design on Lancia from the late 1950s but Ferrari didn’t incorporate this design until 10 years later on the Testarossa.

I’ve always liked how Lamborghini  designed the layout of the engine and transmissions on their cars. The Miura copied the Mini Cooper where the transmission housing is cast into the side of the engine block to make an ultra compact unit and short unit. The Urraco is like a VW Rabbit where the transmission is off to the side all in an effort to keep the center of gravity low and everything accessible.  The Countach is like nothing else where the transmission is under your elbow as you drive the car and there’s a shaft that runs at an angle back to a differential deep under the front of the engine. Maybe not the best design but super cool! Lamborghini’s are fantastic.

I’m sorry about the dark and lame photos, I can email clearer photos if you request them.

Engine and transmission Lambo Urraco

Lambo Urraco engine on sub-frame

Subframe and engine P250 Urraco

P250 Urraco Engine Subframe

Block style upholstery on a Lambo Urraco

Lamborghini 4 seater, blocky upholstery

Urraco Suspension

Very simple and effective McPherson Strut suspension

 

 

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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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1984 Porsche 911 Carrera “M491″

I was wondering what the “M” in “M491″ “Turbo Look” meant.  This Carrera has all the paperwork showing the $11,390 option “Turbo Look” which is described the same way on the Certificate of Authenticity. On the underside of the front hood, it shows the sticker with options showing 491 as one of the option codes. Option translated into German is “Option”. It does say M_Ausst but I don’t know what this translates into. Any hints anyone?

Turbo Look Carrera Coupe Option

Porsche Turbo Look Option

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Photos of Tool Kit for 330GT 2+2

Most Ferrari’s of the 60′s had tool kits that were very similar so if you want to see some photos of a 275/330 or late 250, here are some images. This 330 has a remarkably complete kit with some of the little juicy bit like the Dunlop brake bleeder tin and the small tin box with spare tire valve cores and caps. Its crazy to see how well preserved and vivid the colors are. Typically, the tin containers are dented from rolling around in the trunk but these items are nearly as perfect as are the rest of the tools.

Ferrari tool kit valves

Ferrari tool kit bleeder tube

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Here are some more photos of the tool kit. The adjustable wrench isn’t supposed to be there.  “King Dick”.

Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Tool Wrap Kit

Ferrari 330GT2+2 tool wrap

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More Photos of 330GT 2+2 Details

I used an example in the previous post of the subjective nature of how bright a Borrani wheel should be. Borrani was an industrial supply company so I doubt the chrome was highly polished nor was the alloy rim. The rest of the chrome on Ferrari’s was similarly dull in comparison to the super straight and mirror like chrome on restored cars.  In my personal opinion, when you are restoring a very expensive car, the chrome and paint should be brilliant. The body work should be laser straight, the panel fit excellent and interior perfect.

When you look at an original Ferrari, you can see so much bare steel and layers of bodywork sandwiched together without any protective coatings or seam sealer. A recently restored Ferrari should restored where everything should be sealed up to be preserved for much longer than originally intended.

I should say that the body on this car is incredible. The door gaps and shut lines are perfect. The paint looks good from the top but there are many ugly areas down low at the rocker panels. There are many touched up areas on this car that I believe to be done at the factory. However, if Pininfarina spent some more time sealing up the nooks and crannies, fewer of these cars would have rusted into the storm drains of Paris and Milano.

Ferrari Paint Orignal details

Ferrari 330 Pininfarina Nocciola

Notice the light application of paint under the rocker panel trim.

Ferrari Pininfarina 330 2+2

Bottom of the door showing primer on a Pininfarina Ferrari 330

Pretty scary finish details on this door. Mostly primer protects this door.

 

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BMW 3.0CS Fjord Blue

Over the last few weeks, we have had three BMW E9 3.0CS’s in the shop. A silver CSi was here for service, a green CS just sold and this blue car is still looking for a new home. This is a very clean CA car with all records from new. It has all 3 sets of keys which is a blessing as they are so hard to duplicate.

1972 BMW 3.0 CS

BMW CS 1972

The car has some tasteful modifications like Weber Carbs, tube headers and Alpina wheels. The interior is extremely nice and appears to be original but I can’t tell for sure if its been re-upholstered. The carpeting is original brown loop and the trunk lid mounted took kit is complete and nearly perfect.

Original BMW Toolkit

BMW 3.0CS Toolkit

Having lived in dry climates, this car is extremely solid. The front fenders were repainted but the rest of the paint is faded original and considering the age, its really nice. BMW E9′s were built by Karmann Coachworks and had a tendency to rust away very quickly. There is a cavity in the front fender area that fills with debris and moisture causing massive structural damage to the car. Using a mirror and flashlight, this area is solid on the car. It appears that other problem areas are clean and solid except for some rust caused by abrasion from the wheels on the rocker panel covers.

BMW E9 on the lift

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Interior on BMW 3.0CS Leather

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Tube Headers, 3.0 6 cylinder

 

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Porsche 356SC Cabriolet

We have had this 1964 Porsche 356SC Cabriolet at the shop for nearly a year and just got word from the owner that the car is for sale. There is a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity verifying that it is matching numbers and was finished in the same colors as you see here, Slate Gray with Fawn Leather.

The SC is the final evolution to the 356 lineup and is very collectible. This car is a very solid and straight example that needs some time to get it running after many years of storage. In the next few weeks we will drain the gas and fluids, bleed the brakes and get her going.

Please let me know if you want first dibs on this treasure, we are asking $185,000 in running condition.

Porsche Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Fawn

356SC Cab Interior Fawn

Porsche 356 Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Engine, Solex Carburetors

 

 

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308 Major Service

Belt Service Ferrari 308

Ferrari Belt Service

The Ferrari “Major Service” is super contentious and I am about to add another wrinkle to it all. In most Ferrari owner handbooks, the “Major Serivice” for Ferrari’s with Cam Belts is due every 10 years or 30,000 miles. Most cars with rubber timing belts use 80-100,000 mile service intervals but the belts Ferrari sourced only last for a 1/4 of those miles.

In order for dealers to sell Authorized Used Ferrari’s, they need to perform a thorough check over and if the belts have not been replaced within the last 5 years, they have to replace them. This has gotten many people to believe that the belts have to be replaced every 5 years. Dealers probably like customers sticking to the 5 year interval because belts services are good profit jobs. You don’t have to diagnose anything and are replacing parts which often don’t even need replacement.

We used to do belt services on 308′s, BB’s and TR’s for a relative set price but lately it seems that things have changed. We did a “Major” on a TR this spring that required so many other repairs. The brakes were leaking, shock bushings were toasted and many other items were just worn out and deteriorated.

We just finished another service on a 308 and many things that we never had to address were in desperate need of repair or rebuild. The lower timing belt drive pulley bearings are bad, the shocks all need an overhaul and the suspension bushings are all dried out and falling apart. The distributor advance mechanisms were worn and even the pin that the ignition points pivot on is broken and loose. The radiator was removed to be checked and a bunch of tubes were plugged so we had to re-core it.

So, what we have discovered is that a good running  and driving rubber timing belt car can have many more needs than just a valve lash and water pump. If you go by a 10-12 year interval, I almost guarantee that an oil leak, water pump leak or some other problem will require an engine out or a need to access part of the engine where it makes sense to replace the belts and do other services. So, don’t get caught up in timing belt interval timing but when it is the right time to service your car, be prepared for a heavier cost.

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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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1991 BMW M5

BMW came out with the E34 M5 when I was in those impressionable teenage years, unknowingly lusting for cars I would buy 25 years later!  Well, here I am, have the M5 and now looking to re-sell it. This car is truly outstanding and I really like it but it doesn’t fit into my life very well right now. With two kids, 3 dogs, lots of sports cars and pickup trucks at my disposal, I never use this car. Its so outstanding to drive and behold that it should be used more frequently.

This example is a late production car with the cool 5 star twist wheels and shows 116,000 miles on the odometer. The interior is in amazing condition without the door panel problems or major scuffs and rips.  The rear “shelf” under the rear window is a little wrinkly and the drivers door has been re-painted but the rest of the car is in immaculate original condition. This car has to be seen and driven to understand how special and robust a hand built BMW can be.

E34 BMW M5 for sale

BMW M5 1991 for sale

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