Friday, July 29, 2011

Restoration tip: Prepare complete sub-assemblies

When doing a restoration some things are immediately obvious and others are obvious once they have been pointed out a first time. I believe that the latter applies to this tip. The tip is to prepare all of your assemblies AS COMPLETE AS POSSIBLE in preparation for future installation. This includes all the hardware down to the smallest detail. There are three main reasons for this:

1. It reduces the number of stray parts awaiting assembly that can become lost.
2. It allows for better visualization of built assemblies
3. It allows time to source out missing hardware

Expanding on the 3rd point, you would be amazed how much time is lost looking for hardware during re-assembly. It is the #1 reason for loosing momentum and really slows a project down. By preparing sub-assemblies with all the hardware, the final assembly will go much faster with less stress all around.

Here is a photo of the steering parts all prepped and ready to go. Before this photo was taken, the parts were scattered over 6 bags with no real feel for how the finished assemblies look. Now they look just like the parts diagram and will install in minutes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A little Le Mans for the Dino

Well this installment is about a little part supplied by the 10 time Le Mans champions Audi.

Turns out that Audi gets their brake calipers from ATE which is the same supplier that Ferrari used for the Dino. As such all new Audi's are fitted with the correct ATE rubber dust caps that go on the brake caliper bleeder nipples. Our caps were too old and damaged to properly restore so a quick trip to the local Audi dealer sorted us out with 4 fresh ATE dust caps. Concours perfect and another detail off the list. Ask nice and they may even give them to you for free.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Continuing to restore rather than replace

As mentioned in a previous entry, we always do our best to restore parts rather than replace them even if it means an increased investment in effort, time, and money. The original parts are what make the car unique and special and too often they are replaced by mechanics and 'restorers' who place speed at a priority to originality.

Today's example are nothing more than two grounding wires for the radiator cooling fans. Despite a large coating of oil, grease, and paint over spray, we felt that there was an original part just waiting to go back on the Dino. Sure enough after about an hour of cleaning, polishing, and (most importantly) testing we discovered unexpected manufacturer markings of 'Cavis' on the wire. A really cool find that made all of the effort worthwhile.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Special visit gives the project a 'boost'

Today our other 'Dino' came by to inspect the work and he seemed pleased with our progress. His timing could not be better as today we completed the brake booster, master cylinder, and brake/clutch pedal assembly. Much like the accelerator pedal we profiled before, this assembly started the project in a very original and tired state. With a lot of cleaning, testing, plating, and painting it is now ready for re-installation on 01464.

This is one project I took particular interest in and it is a great satisfaction to see the final product as good as it turned out. Too bad that it goes all but covered up when installed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final details complete the shifter assembly

As with any Ferrari the famed gated shifter is a centerpiece in the interior. Ours was a little tired and the reverse lockout was worn to the point that it no longer prevented its accidental engagement. A quick TIG weld and plenty of detail filing before chrome and the gate is as good as new.

In addition there was a few other things missing:

1. We did the crazy task of polishing the head of the shift gate screws. When they are made there is a slight deformation because of the striking that makes the Phillips head depression. This flaw is magnified when polished so we first sanded the head of the screw to a perfect convex and then polished it to a mirror finish.

2. The shift knob received a fresh coat of white in the letters and a mirror polish to the plastic knob.

3. The original shift knob lock screw that was badly scratched and marred from years of butchery has been lovingly re-shaped and chromed to look as new.

Lots of time spent on details that will likely never be noticed but we just can't help ourselves and are having fun being crazy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fuel tank leak test. No bubbles, no troubles.

Before re-finishing the fuel tanks we decided it would be wise to leak test them first. The best way to do this is to seal off all of the openings, fill the tank with some air under light pressure, and then dunk the tank in a large container filled with water. Any leaks will immediately show themselves as bubbles in the water.

With dad in town for a few days this was a job that was perfectly suited to his masterful skills of ingenuity. Needless to say he did not disappoint as he cleverly used an old bicycle inner tube to not only seal the tank, but he also took advantage of the air valve to give us a place to pressurize the tank from. Simple, effective, and cheap we had the tanks tested in no time and are happy to report that there were no bubbles so we have no troubles.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Completing the wiper motor with help from a friend and a wrecked Lamborghini

Some time ago we posted photos of the completed wiper motor. We had removed all of the parts and restored them to as new condition but a discolouration on the assembly made me think that something was missing. Sure enough some more research revealed a missing rubber boot that covers the drive assembly.

Now the wiper assembly is rare enough but where on earth will we find just the rubber boot? Lucky for us my friend Aaron in California was in the process of restoring an old Lamborghini Espada and happened to have a parts car. Turns out that the Espada has the same wiper motor assembly and Aaron was kind enough to give us the missing part. After a little restoration it is installed on the NOW completed wiper motor assembly.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

'Shocking' discovery leads to a slight change of plan

Today while disassembling the shock / spring assemblies we made an interesting discovery. After separating the spring from the shock, and cleaning away the grime, we unearthed the original date stamp of 1970 on the shock bodies. This means that these are the original shock absorbers the car was delivered with! Instead of replacing them for new ones we will now undertake the re-build and restoration of the original shock absorbers. Sure it will be more work than just replacing them but it will be one more (or rather 4 more) original parts that will make it back on the Dino. Regrettably the springs were not as lucky as they have worn to uneven lengths and one was even broken at the base.

The pictures will show the grime however, despite the terrible looking shock bushings, the shocks themselves felt pretty good. Either way at this stage they will be re-built and likely dynoed to ensure their proper operation.

Friday, July 1, 2011

'Braking' news! We are back on track.

It is amazing how many people are following our progress. Yesterday at a car show I was asked when the blog was going to be updated. Truth is that in the last month the need to earn a living took over a bit so the Dino to a back seat and only minimal progress was made. Now we are back on track and hope to make steady advancements.

The first task was to re-build the brake calipers. As you will see from the photos they started rough and are now better than new. Special thanks goes out to Eric at PMB Performance for his excellent advice and parts. If you do not feel like doing this task yourself Eric does a fine job and can be reached at

For those more adventurous, Eric posed an excellent thread on Ferrari Chat where he documented a full re-build of the extremely complicated rear calipers. The thread link is: and there are tons more photos there of a caliper re-build that started off much worse than ours.

Now for the photos: