Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beauty resides below: Battery and horn installation

This cover lives in a pretty obscure place. It is under the front hood (or bonnet to our UK readers) and below the spare tire. Regardless it was the subject of some pretty substantial straightening and restoration work.

It is below this cover where some real beauty lives. Some of you may remember our horn restoration:

Now it was time to install the horn along with our battery and freshly made battery hold down that Dad helped make a few days ago. While we were at it we gave the battery its own facelift by stripping off all contemporary markings and replacing them with period FIAMM decals and painting the chamber covers white to more match a new battery of the time.

Sure it is all well hidden and out of view but what a pleasant surprise for when the cover comes off.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lighting the way: Installing exterior lights

The installation of the exterior lights is a big step in making the Dino look finished. No longer are there big gaping holes in the bodywork but now they are replaced with bright and clean assemblies.

Here are past links to some of the restorations:

Finding NOS headlights:

Taillight restoration:

Headlight bucket restoration:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad! A family effort on a special day fabricates a new battery hold down

Friday was a special day indeed for it was my father's 75th birthday and we all spent it together working on the Dino. Let's start with a picture of the birthday boy decked out in his original Ferrari mechanics overalls that we profiled here:

The festivities kicked off with a project to make a new battery hold down from scratch. After reviewing photos of an original part we got to work. Dad did the measuring, cutting, and placement of the parts on a specially made jig.


Once everything was ready. 'The Mig' came in to do all the welding. For those who don't remember him his introduction is here:

Lastly Paul took care of powder coating and final finishing.

I took the photos and told the tale and it was a great day all around.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Warming up to brighter days: Heater core and ducting installation

The heater core and ventilation ducting were some of the next parts to go on. As always it is fun to remember where we came from before looking to where we now are.

Restoring the heater core:

Restoring the heater valve:

Restoring the brake reservoir bottles:

Increasing airflow:

Now for the installed pics:

Lastly came the install of the fiberglass panel that seals up the area under the dash. Luckily we took advantage of the access having this part missing afforded us and now it was time to close things up and move on.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wipeout! Installing the wiper assembly

It feels like ages ago when we restored the wiper assembly but they are finally back on the car. Again here are the posts of the restoration which some will remember was done in two parts:

The restoration:

The missing part:

Now it is all installed and looking great but before putting it in we had to index the wiper system so that the blades change direction at the correct times. This is done by turning the motor by hand and observing the movement of the system at various points. In the end we found that the system makes 2 turns when changing direction in which the arm is stationary. To this end we set the assembly in the middle (1 turn) and did the same with the extension for the passenger side. This way we could be 100% sure of proper alignment.

And here it is installed:

Also we installed the original Transparmatic windshield washer pump. These are long since NLA so finding one was a bit of a challenge.

Lastly is one detail that Paul should be particularly proud of. The original angled plastic spacers where the wiper arms go was badly scratched and weathered from 40+ years of use. In order to bring them back he spent many hours wet sanding and polishing the plastic back to an as new finish. I left the shop at 9 pm and got knows when he left because the next morning I was just blown away with how perfect they looked. To look at them you would think they were made yesterday let alone be plastic that is pushing a half century in age.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brake...for lines: Fabricating new brake lines

One of the jobs that I did not much look forward to doing was fabricating the hard brake lines that feed the individual calipers. Of course the ones that came off the car were old and tired so new lines were the only option. In fact the photo below shows just how ugly the lines were.

The procedure for making new lines is pretty straightforward but there are some tricks to consider along the way. First of all is using a high grade of line. We chose premium line with a copper/nickel blend for outstanding durability. It comes in a roll and needs to be straightened first. A trick for this is to roll it out on a flat table rather than freehand in the air. This results is a much straighter line.

To make the flares proper tools make all the difference. We invested in a Mastercool hydraulic flaring tool and could not be happier. Having struggled with budget tools in the past the Mastercool worked so well that its cost was soon forgotten.

Finished lines are compared to fitting templates made from thin wire. Wire works well and is cheaper than scrapping a bunch of line to get your patterns correct.

And now for the finished product. We are well pleased with the result.

One last tip is in ensuring that the lines have adequate flex to avoid breakage. This is achieved by placing gentle radius bends and 's' shapes in the line to act as a natural spring that absorb movement. Lines that are too stiff or run straight between points are prone to breakage.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crazy task #6: Powder coating pop rivets

Faithful blog followers are well familiar with our 'crazy task' segment where we profile some obscure job that we do that has little place in the rational world. Today we show us powder coating pop rivets from silver to black.

'Just buy black pop rivets!' you say. Yes but the problem with those is that when installed on a black painted surface they look different because they are not painted but blacked in finish. Painting the rivet will not stand up to the installation so tough powder coating is used. This way when the rivet is installed, it matches its surrounding perfectly and will look like it was painted in place.

We did save some sanity and saved this laborious process to only the visible rivets. Rivets that live their life under carpet or vinyl get to stay natural in finish but we have a lot of powder coating to do when it comes time to do the rivets on the under tray.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reassembly begins: Pedals and steering are fitted.

After several days of detail work on the interior fiberglass panels, it came time to start installing some parts on the car. One of the advantages of having a fully disassembled car is that you can choose the order of parts installation. Old Italian cars were never made to be worked on so one of the many challenges is figuring out the exact order of installation to keep other assemblies from interfering with your progress. In the case of the Dino the very first part to go on is the brake and clutch pedal assemblies. The photos will show what great access there is when the dash and windshield are not there. It would be a nightmare fitting these parts to a finished car.

Here is a link to what this assembly looked like when we started:

With the pedals in, we had to re-fabricate some trim panels and fit them in place. Fabrication is always a slow process where days pass and it appears nothing gets done. 

After the pedals are installed the next step is the steering column and steering rack. Again the order counts for a lot here as, you can see in the photos, a little final carpet and vinyl trim had to be installed before sliding the column through the bulkhead. For the observant (and for those who actually read the posts rather than just skim the photos and judge from there) the brown/gold material you see on the splines is not rust but rather anti-seize compound used during installation. 

Again here are some more photos of these parts before restoration:

Lastly Paul in this image is not making engine sounds and visualizing a trip in the Dolomites. Rather he is demonstrating an important technique for assembling the steering components. With everything in the steering system just a little loose, the wheel is taken several times through its full 3 turns of travel. This settles light tight spots by 'centering' the system. This procedure is repeated several times as all of the components in the steering system are torqued down. Following this practice will ensure that the steering is light and free of any tight spots.