Thursday, December 30, 2010

DIY Powdercoating. Professional results with surprising control.

Knowing that we would be tackling the restoration, we chose to buy the Eastwood home powdercoating kit with the dual-voltage gun. After a little practice, the results were fantastic. By varying the static charge and the amount of powder applied, we have managed to yield results that have the high detail of spray coatings with the strength of powder coat.

Professional shops give little care to the amount of material they apply so doing it yourself not only saves a lot of money, but also the results are much more accurate when replicating factory finishes. Another cool thing is the ability to blend custom finishes. In the photos below you will see us mixing various sheens of black to achieve a finish that has a gloss consistent with what left Ferrari.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More treasures found under grime

This one took a good amount of cleaning, restoration, and investigatory work to determine the exact correct finishes but the result was well worth the effort. Here are before and after images of the valve that regulates pressure to the rear calipers.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crazy task #1: Polising away the most obscure of marks.

A new segment to the blog will be the 'Crazy task' where we chronicle some obscure job we decided to take on for no reason other than being totally crazy. Today was the tiny pin that the shift lever contacts to activate the reverse lights. In our car the pin had developed a tiny shiny spot from years of use and I just HAD to polish it even.

1 + 1 = 1

The old heater valve was not usable so we had to get another. Luckily near perfect replacements are available and because they are for Alfa Romeo's the price was not bad either. Comparing the old parts to the new ones revealed that all the differences were easily fixed with a little parts swapping and plating. In the end 2 valves gave up parts to make up one really accurate replacement.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Polishing , Plating, & a Special Pin

Today the lever to open the front hood (or bonnet for our colonial friends) was completed. As you will see from the photos it was in a sorry state. It was dis-assembled and then all the parts were polished or re-plated to exact as new condition. Even the tiny spring was plated and the whole assembly pivots on an exact replica stainless steel pin that Dad made on the lathe for us.

Back from the platers and looking fantastic

All of our parts have come back from the platers and the work looks fantastic. Our sorting system has been great as parts are easily returned with their sub assemblies. I'll let the photos tell the tale.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tech Tip: Home-made ring nut removal tool

The ring nuts used on old Italian cars can be a pain to deal with without the right tools. In an earlier post we made a special ring nut tool to remove the rear stub axle nuts. In that instance space was tight so a specialized tool was needed. In many other instances there is lots of room to move and we came up with a simple tool that can be made from an old adjustable wrench. This was made up in less than 5 mins and we have so far used it to remove 3 different size ring nuts on the Dino with no damage of any kind to the nut.

The pictures should explain the whole procedure and this tool is adjustable for many sized ring nuts.

A week of cleaning, sorting, and wiring

No-one ever said this job would be glamorous. The last week was spent cleaning and categorizing in preparation for electroplating. The better the prep the better the result so countless hours have been spent polishing bolts, nuts, and hardware. These parts are then wired together using copper wire. This procedure is often done by the platers but to save a few pennies, and to keep things in order, we decided to do all of our own wiring together. This way fasteners are grouped by sub-assembly and are easily identified when we get them back.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Spotlight: Goudey Paint Stripper

It is time to start stripping the body and chassis and we were faced with a problem. The underside of the car had lots of thick rubbery undercoating that is extremely difficult to media blast off. The media just bounces off of this surface and, when you pay a media blaster by the hour, the job of stripping the car can get super expensive. Some internet searches confirmed the problem as most people struggle terribly to remove undercoating with combinations of heat, petroleum distillates, and general back breaking labour. It looked to be a hellish job.

Enter our savior: Goudey Paint Stripper. Manufactured right here in Toronto by the John E. Goudey Corporation , this chemical stripper astounded us with its strength and effectiveness. The photos will tell the tale as the stripper soaked through rubbery surfaces that were over 1/4 of an inch thick. Removal required nothing more than a regular putty knife and minimal effort.

With results this good, we will be extending the application to the body and further minimizing our media blasting bill.