F12 trip Chicago to Berkeley - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #46 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 06:35 PM
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I just discovered this thread today. As previous owner of this F-12 prior to Vince, the furthest I ever drove it was about 150 miles round trip. Even with ear plugs the sound was hard to handle! I never used first gear except to test it--slow and strong--could haul a load of pig iron up Mount Whitney!

I had the original Italian registration on the front window. The van was from Brescia. When I went to the Mille Miglia in Italy in 2001 I visited its home--an old Alfa parts store. The lot was vacant--it had been torn down!!

My previous top speed in this racing machine was 100--kph, of course.

Quite an adventure, Andrew! Good job!

Timothy
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post #47 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 07:50 PM
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Those narrow tires would probably be more expensive and harder to find than having the wheels widened, the guys in 02 vintage race world get it done rather inexpensively down in LA. I've seen a cool video on how it's done. Sounds like you keep the oil and filter fresh that motor will last forever.

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post #48 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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I was just reading on some boat sites; this engine is very common in 30-40 ft sailboats. Some guys getting literally 4000+ hours out of them, longer than they (the sailors) expect to live in normal use. Perkins engines are alleged to leak, but to work reliably. This one doesn't really leak, I credit the builder as much as the design.

Can't wait to poke into the injection some, it's a rotary injection pump rather than a plunger type like Spica, apparently smoother in operation and fuel delivery. So what diesel engine did the Spica pump derive from, as the legend goes? A bigger Alfa truck?

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post #49 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Got the caliper and it's close, not exact, will see if it'll work. Might have to rebuild what I have.

Found British Marine on the Estuary in Oakland has Perkins 4.108 parts, so off to get a valve cover gasket today ($7). Cool.

Totaled up the fuel, 70 gallons to go 2225 miles, so just under 32 MPG. Haven't added up the odometer kilometers yet to see how inaccurate it is.

At $4 per gallon, that's $280 in fuel. Not bad. Diesel was generally 20/40 cents more than gasoline. Used to be cheaper and nowadays its price seems to fluctuate more than gasoline. Is it more $$ due to refining required for UL sulfur? Why does it fluctuate so?

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post #50 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Schlepped the F12 around Berkeley today and got a VIN inspection from a Berkeley PD officer who'd never done one before. She was happy to defer to me. What do I write and where? No problem.

Cruised by Patrick Otis and Laurence Anderson. My luck holds on tires. I bought a set of Firestone Cavallino 185-16 radials a couple years ago, confused and thinking they were 185-15. 16s were not use to me, so I gave them to Laurence, who deals with ACs, Bentleys, and the like, in the thought that he might have a customer who could use them. They've sat in his loft, unused and unsold, and he gave them back to me today! Perfect for the F12, and soooooo sporty. So I'll put them on maybe this week. Anyone need a set of 215/65-16? For your offroad E36 328i perhaps?

Conrad checked it out, and said while the basic body is essentially the same as his Romeo 2, in detail it's utterly different, and the F12 seems so much more modern and "of a piece." He says the Romeo is a challenge to use, all 1100cc two-stroke supercharged diesel, drum brakes, fuel cutoff as part of the accelerator pedal, etc. We drove around a few blocks and he dug it. He describes the Romeo as really pre-war in feel and detail, in spite of being from the Giulietta era, with 6C 2500 pieces and the like on it. I will hope to compare up close.

Check out the cavernous flat-floor rear, and all the primary colors parked in our street today (the Penske truck is not mine).

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post #51 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 12:03 AM
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you can never be tired of good carma! the SPICA was derived from the Bosch diesel pump, similar to the pump on old Mercedes 180/190 diesels. Maybe research the patent numbers for more clarification. In the late eighties I looked at an Alfa truck being sold by the Philadelphia Motor car Co in NJ. It was a ten wheel, stake bed, cab-over, sleeper, very cool door handles (kinda like a refridgerator pull) it had a diesel engine with a Bosch style diesel pump, don't remember how it was marked. Story was a NJ Alfa dealer bought it in the fifties to haul parts from the dock to his establishment, unfortunately can't find the photo I took.
Diesel fuel has been more expensive than gas probably since the peak energy crisis 79-80. I bought a new Isuzu NP turbo diesel '85 in New York and at that time diesel was about $.20 - $.30 a gallon more than regular gas. It seems, having had several VW Diesels since here in CA, that premium for diesel has continued.

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post #52 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed a ton of small items today. Changed out the flasher unit I took to IL for one that doesn't keep the dashboard light "on" when it's off.

Fixed the license plate light, swapped in one off a beige Berlina with better wires than the black one on the car and ran a ground wire to the body instead of the door, which doesn't really ground.

Checked the steering, there's a big drag line that connects the mondo steering box arm and idler arm, and it appears to have slop on one side. No idea if I'll be able to find a suitable part. It's not that bad, so I'll live with it for now. Filled the steering box with 90W, will adjust out as much play as I can.

Fixed the LF turn signal, which had some sketchy wiring and two broken mounting studs. All good now. It looks like 2000 US Berlina/GTV/Spider, but in fact is a bit bigger, and has only one light in it. Turn signal only, no running light.

Put in a couple bumper stand-off mounts Vince included in a bag, and pulled out the diesel tank fill hose, which is quite cracked and leaked. Hoping a Bosch Spider one will fit from Jon Norman; it looks the same diameter.

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post #53 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Saw it in the owner's and parts manuals but didn't believe it til I saw it on the F12 today. With big ATE front disks, you need power brakes; it has a standard single Lockheed booster like on a Euro Berlina to go with the Giulia TI master cylinder. The diesel doesn't create much/any vacuum, so there's a small belt-driven vacuum pump on the engine below the alternator to supply the booster. Crazy!
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post #54 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 09:43 PM
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Probably not useful, but I have a spare Milano filler hose if you want to try it out - someone sent it to me when I was trying to find one for the Alfetta.

Glad the trip went well - I walked by the van Saturday while killing time before my daughter's music class.

Chris Keen / Rusty But Trusty - http://rustybuttrusty.com
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post #55 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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If it's about 2.25" ID and maybe 6-8" long, could work. I can measure exactly this afternoon. I 'spect a new Spider one from Norman is going to be expensive.
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post #56 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Digging in a little. Matched up the brake caliper I got and it's not close enough. Among other things, attaching bolt centers are about an inch different. I worked the existing caliper some more, took the pads out, cleaned them up; all four pistons are free, move with moderate sized channellock pliers. So maybe it's OK now.

Adjusted the steering box a quarter turn. The main slop in the steering is in the big drag link that crosses from one idler box to the other. The link itself is OK, but the Pitman-type arms on the idler boxes have a heim-type ball joint that the link attaches to, which allows some rotational movement, like a 105 lower A-arm bushing, though it's a different size from that. The ball on the right side is very sloppy, on the left less so. But it gives probably a half inch of play at the right wheel. Pulled off the link and one idler box, will see if Norman Racing can come up with something to fit. They're all at Monterey this week.

In other pics, see the familiar Giulia heater box and water valve, and a standard Alfa fuse box. Also see the carburetor, um, I mean the air intake and fuel filter that's quite similar to a Spica canister filter. Last, the brake booster under the right seat and the vacuum pump for it 'neath the alternator. Unique part on an Alfa I'd think.

Andrew
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post #57 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Got both steering idler boxes out. The heim joints/balls in each that attaches to the fixed drag link (see above) are quite worn and sloppy, the right especially. I'd hoped a 105 lower A-arm bushing would fit; it's in the ballpark, but really too big around, too thick, and has too big a bolt hole. So Dan and I at Norman came up with using an standard 105 center drag link with tie rod ends, under the idlers. It'll stick down a bit, but other stuff hangs down farther. Dan will press out the heim joints, turn up a couple taper inserts on the lathe, and have Dennis weld them in. Then I can install a regular 105 center link, set to the right length. Coincidentally or not, this fixed center drag link is exactly the same length as the link on my 85 Spider, 22" center to center. Imagine.

While that's out, took off some of the access plates and looked at all the hardware. Check out the side-by-side mounting of the brake and clutch MC, the transaxle (101 synchros inside), and the many-leafed front spring, which doubles as the upper front suspension arm.

Got the instrument binnacle out to sort the wipers. It's all very simple, and the steering wheel bolts to a three-stub hub, no taper or spline. So that's easy.

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post #58 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Rite-Way is backed up and hasn't gotten to the wiper motor yet.

Norman got the new bushing inserts done, we tacked them in place today and I brought it home to dummy up, making sure nothing hit. It all looks good, Dennis will final-weld the inserts. Got the 115 center link from APE over the weekend.

Got the Firestone Cavallinos mounted essentially for free because I gave the old 215s, which had 4500 miles on them, to the tire shop to sell. They can get like $35 apiece for them. Andale Hermanos Orozco! Sporty, no?

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post #59 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Final TIG welding done, it's art; got the idler boxes back, left side is in, right side tomorrow.
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post #60 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Back on the road today. Everything's back in, checked the alignment (with a tape measure). It calls for 1mm toe-in, I can't really measure that precisely with the tools I have, but front and rear seem with 1/16" of each other, and it drives fine, so I'll leave it. The steering wheel adjusts on the hub, and have a drag link from the steering box to the idler arms, you can center the wheel two differen ways!

Got the wiper motor in too, works like a champ. So everything functions. I took it by Norman Racing just now so they could drop less important projects and admire their engineering handiwork. All over town at 50 KPH.

Check out that VIN on the RF frame and all those unused digits. I guess Alfa had big plans about how many of these they were going to make? If only it had an F for Veloce.

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