Last last week I was able to get my instrument surround back from media blasting. Honestly, AlpinA did quite a bit of work fabricating that item, much more than just some sheet metal slammed together. I re-coated it with black wrinkle paint (which is similar to what was on it before). I let the paint dry for 24 hours and then baked it in the oven at 200 deg for 1 hour (that was an early Sunday morning operation conducted while my wife was still sleeping!). The heat helps cure the paint and at the same time tightens up the "wrinkle" in the paint. Hartmut at Palo Alto Speedometer (Palo Alto, CA) restored ALL of the gauges, several needed the internals re-built as they were not displaying accurate numbers. The SMITHS 10,000 RPM chronometric tacho also needed attention with some new internals as well as needles etc., The housings were all refurbished, bezels, o-rings etc., I had a number of the support brackets re-plated in gold zinc with a bunch of other parts that were being plated. I completely went through the wiring and cleaned all the connectors and wires with DW40, new zip ties etc., When I took everything apart several months ago I took 2o or so images of that process - glad I did. It isn't super complicated, yet had I not done that I am nearly certain something would have been not been hooked up correctly. Really pleased with the final product. This project is pretty much done, just one minor detail to wrap up...more on that later.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Sunday, May 22, 2016
My limited slip differential is undergoing a rebuild operation at the moment. The diff has a 75% Limited Slip and had a 5.86 gear set left over from the old days from Ricciardo Ricci and the hillclimb days in sicily. I was able to pry a 4.10 ring and pinion out of the claws of my friend Ken, so out with the 5.86 and in with the 4.10. The AlpinA unit is really simple, a steel casing that houses a set of gears, small drive gear ... oil in ... oil out. I liked the bare steel look so I used some Naval Jelly to strip the surface rust off and then a wire wheel. So that we don't repeat history with the rust, the exterior is sealed with some satin clear. Gears back in and then sealed back up with some RTV silicone. The fittings were all re-plated (I always try to use the original parts when I can), new Aeroquip hose and correct 'Norma' hose clamps. The mounting plate and the pair of long 8mm socket head bolts were plated in black zinc. I will have the whole thing (with diff) back together in the next couple of weeks.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
These are the last two things that needed doing before the motor goes on the Dyno. Fuel injection lines and spark plug wires. The injection lines came out really nice - I will take them up to Gus at Pacific Fuel Injection later this week to have them tested. The old lines had a mish-mash of fittings, were bent funny and had some cracks that were suspect. Better safe than sorry, so we have new now. I also dropped off a box with new Magnecor 7mm wire and grommets correctly sized to fit around the spark plug lead and opening in the valve cover. Happy.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
I was down in Southern California on Saturday taking care of some family business, had a late afternoon flight back to the SF Bay Area and had some time to kill so I sought out the local Barnes & Noble for some reading material. Grabbed the latest copy of ' Octane ' magazine (good read most of the time). Short flight to S.F. found a nice five page article they had on an Alfa Romeo T33/2. Work of art really. As I was studying the full pager they had on the motor and transmission I couldn't help but notice the (seemingly) familiarity of the alternator. Whomever made it, wherever it comes from - same one. I was discussing this alternator with my friend Jeff a few weeks back - for endurance race cars (like my AlpinA Gr. 2 car) that ran in 4/6/12 hour races this item and its reliability was the difference between winning and or finishing and not.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
IMPRESSIVE. That is the work that Hartmut and his crew do at Palo Alto Speedometer. As he (Hartmut) told me these are all ultra-rare ' unobtanium ' now >although the Smiths Chronometric Tacho is probably easier to find<. Based in Palo Alto, California they have to be one of the top shops anywhere to repair VDO and Smiths instruments. I really hesitated in taking any of them out of the bags but photography no good through bag.... In all there is a Fuel Pressure, Engine Coolant (Yellow Bezel), Smiths Chronometric Tacho, Engine Oil Temp (Yellow Bezel), Engine Oil Pressure (Yellow Bezel), and Oil Temp - Differential. All of them were taken apart and inspected. Two needed new internals as they were not reading accurately. Apparently someone had gotten into the back of the Tacho and either tried to repair or modify it in some fashion. I didn't see the inside, but I am told it is sort of like looking inside a Rolex watch (basically don't mess unless you know what you are doing). Also, if you look at some of the before pictures it looks like they let their 3 year old play with the needles - all bent up and ugly. New bezels including fresh color on the yellow bezels, lenses and the bodies completely restored. The old lenses were anti-glare (Dieter Quester doesn't want glare driving at 150 mph at the Österreichring !!) After cleaning and 40 or so odd years some of the anti-glare coating came off and really didn't look great....so new lenses. Once I get the AlpinA gauge cluster back (bead blasting) all of these guys will find their homes (and then I get to have fun wiring it back up >not fun<).
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Some images of some of the displays AlpinA has put together for their 5o year anniversary last year. A friend sent along some of these, as you would expect perfectly executed. At the base of the mannequin (above pic) you can see an image of my AlpinA Gr. 2 car - not 100 percent sure but I believe Harald Grohs was behind the wheel in this race. Pretty nice looking CS/CSL in the top image as well.....and their "display" A4 motor on the far left.