Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Restoration tip: Playing the detective game

When restoring a car it is important to bring everything back as close as possible to the way it left the factory. The colours of nuts, bolts, and other hardware is often hidden under layers of dirt. This dirt will often affect the original colour making it difficult to be sure of what goes what.  Also the cleaning process will often strip away old platings and finishes making the identifying task harder.When taking a component apart, you should always look in areas that are the most protected from the elements to determine what the original finish may have been. As such the backside of washers, bottom of nuts, and hidden areas of hardware will often give the best clues.

Below are some photos of this process. A jewlers loupe can be a big help and the most important thing is to document EVERYTHING. These notes will be invaluable when putting things back together and the time invested in making notes will be more than made up with a savings in assembly time. In the end we will have almost every part of the Dino documented with its correct finish; a valuable resource to future restorers, that is to be made available on Dino246.com when complete.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Treasures hiding under decades of grime

As cleaning and categorizing continue, new surprises seem to hide under the grease and grime. A little gem was this simple brake line distribution block. Once the dirt was cleaned away, it revealed a beautiful brass casting that carries the name of brake manufacturer ATE. We expect every part to be this clean when the car is put back together.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Cubans help the Italians

Although it is a little early to think about putting the engine back in, my dad enlisted the help of some Cuban artisans on his recent trip to Havana to fabricate a special engine mount that allows for much more angle when installing or removing the powerplant from a Dino.

What these guys lack for in tools they more than make up for in skill as this ingenious adjustable mount proves. Adjustable nuts that adjust the travel of sleeved shackles allows for much greater adjustment than is possible with just a plain tilting engine crane.

After its first test it has left us eager for the re-install and saying 'Muy Bueno' to the design.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Product spotlight: PB Blaster

Before you can restore you must first remove. With old cars this is often easier said than done as rusted fasteners weld themselves together with a shear strength that goes well beyond using just brute force for removal. Over the years I have used all kinds of penetrating oils, applications of heat, and general prayer to help get fasteners to come loose. Despite all of this experience I never used a product that has been around for over 50 years! PB Blaster. I had heard about it but never gave it a second thought until one day I saw it in the store and picked up a can. Upon using it first on the Dino I could not believe how well it worked to loosen rusty nuts and bolts. Now every fastener gets a shot of PB before removal and extra tough ones get a pre-treating of 10 minutes or so.

At under $10 this is one of the cheapest and most valuable tools you will ever use.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun on the mill and lathe

Ferrari insists on using odd round ring nuts that require special tools not available at your local tool shop. The solution comes in making tools yourself. Here is one of these ring nuts in a removal tool made from a steel impact socket. This was my first time making anything on the lathe so my 5 hours of machining was more learning time than anything else. I'm sure the next one will go faster but I'm quite pleased with the result of this first attempt.

Endless categorizing

With the car now fully stripped the process of categorizing sub-assemblies is in full swing. Each assembly is placed it its own box until it is ready for categorizing. At that time the component is disassembled and a detailed work list is compiled. Each individual part is inspected and notes are taken with the following criteria:

1. Whether the part needs replacing or not
2. What repairs are needed
3. What is the correct finish (plating colour, paint colour / sheen. etc.)
4. General assembly notes

As you can imagine carry this process out on every nut and bolt and the hours pile up fast. That said it is the only way to ensure total accuracy when restoring the car. Notes like this are invaluable months down the road when re-assembly needs to be done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A colourful past

Dino guru Matthias recently informed us that Dino 01464 was originally manufactured on January 26th 1971 and finished in white with black interior. We knew the car to be previously painted black and gold (a true crime) but now we were on a mission to find some traces of the original white paint. Futher dis-assembly revealed our Dino's original livery confirming the masters data.

As an added plus a fellow Toronto F-Chatter remembers our Dino parked in front of Yonge Steeles Motors back in 1971 and confirmed it as being the LAST pre-smog car sold by them. As we track down more history we'll post it as it materializes.

Now for some photos of the original white...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dino comes to inspect the work

Before the car came the dog and our beloved beagle Dino (born at 2:46pm!) came to inspect the dis-assembly work. We hope that he approves.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Engine removal with some experienced help

Dad came by to help with the engine removal. Years of experience working on cars came in handy when removing the motor from the Dino.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some before pictures and the teardown begins

The Dino looked great in the final drive photos but a closer look shows that a restoration was in order. Here are some photos of what we had to start with. No surprises yet :)