Pics of a Duetto racer buildup - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

  #46 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 03:55 PM
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A few more months have passed, and it's now May '09 before another flurry of activity with the racer. The engine is ready for installation, but first we're going to run new brake and clutch lines while the access is easy.

The '69 Alfa poses a special problem with the braking system in that it's master cylinder is set up for independent operation of the front and rear brakes. This dual system is a safety feature in case brake failure occurs in one system, the other is available to slow down the car. Unfortunately, this oddball brake MC is not easily rebuilt or replaced. An Alfa brake guru from this site came to the rescue in refurbishing my original MC.

The stock BPDV (brake pressure differential valve) which is known to fail was deleted and a Tilton rear brake bias valve was plumbed in with the adjustment knob located between the race seat and transmission tunnel. I'll have a pic of that later.

The brake and clutch lines are Cunifer, which is an anagram for the chemical symbols of copper, nickel, and iron. They are durable, flexible, and good enough for safety-conscious Volvos. And just plain pretty.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 04:01 PM
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Let me backtrack a moment for completion's sake and add that the transmission was rebuilt, as well:
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 04:40 PM
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It's Aug. '09, and with the hydraulic lines done, the engine can finally go in. Finally! This chassis hasn't seen an engine in at least 3 years. And this isn't the original engine.

The exhaust is custom made and uses a single Magnaflow muffler. Came out really nice. I'll need to weld in a bung for a wideband A/F meter sensor.

Beside the tailpipe you see the aluminum panel where the gas tank used to be, acting as a wind deflector off the rear valance.

I got giddy when these pics were sent to me:
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 04:57 PM
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Okay, folks. I picked up the car from my engine guy, and at this point in the thread I'm setting up to paint the exterior myself. This is a big deal for me because:
1. I've never painted a car before
2. I have a narrow one-car garage, so it'll have to be sprayed in the driveway
3. I have neighbors (who drive Priuses) with small children, so no isocyanate paint hardeners
4. This is near Seattle where weather is iffy
5. I've never painted a car before
6. I'm determined to give my funds a break by doing it on the cheap
7. My wife is literally days away from delivering our first child, time is running out!
8. I've never painted a car before

I'm going to take a breather here. The paint scheme is decided, and it turns out I have to mix colors myself to get what I want. I'll let things sink in a bit before I delve into the final chapter.

If you're wondering why I'm cheaping out at this point, the most visible part of the car, I rationalize that it's just a skin, and if I screw it up or grow tired of the scheme, I can always sand it down and start over or get a pro to do it. Besides, it's a race car, and I expect the paint to take a beating. I want to be able to touch it up easily with the tools and paint I have on hand.

Stay tuned....
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Last edited by Nader; 09-13-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 07:59 PM
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Nader,

Here is my 2 cents. First, your car is beautiful ( I have a show Duetto and a Giulia Super race car I'm just finishing ) but any paint job on a race car will get thrashed on the track, so I wouldn't spend too much.

I did the driveway paint job, with isocyanate paint. The weather here is dry and clear. I planned the mixture to paint it in the morning and for the weather to be the usual desert HOT. Just my luck it was a cool day, my wife upset me with some bad news about a friend, and the paint on all the vertical surfaces ran. I sanded and repainted - got the mixture wrong AGAIN and had it harden too fast. Painting is an ART learned over a long time. The materials can be cut rate but it is all in the painter. I think i spent about $450 on all the materials and I could have spent half that or less if I didn't have to buy a gun set and the final coat supplies.

Here is what I would suggest: Get the body right and prime it yourself in your driveway with a high build primer/surfacer. It is relatively easy and forgiving and any mistakes can be sanded and redone. It does tend to clog the gun so expect to clean after every other pot you mix. When everything is done it can be wet sanded VERY smooth. Then have the final color coat done at any inexpensive shop ( MAACO, etc ). They have the good quality guns and the experience to use them.

I don't know about your paint scheme, but here is what I did: I painted my Giulia Super white and did the graphics (contrasting nose, stripes, numbers ) in vinyl. This solves two issues: it takes the brunt of the wear on the front of the car and can be replaced in a day when it gets bad; I can change my mind and develop a whole new scheme down the road if I choose.

Good luck with whatever route you choose.

If you need some guns I can sell my stuff cheap. The primer gun is great, the finish gun is fair, and the small touch-up gun is unused. Contact me if you're interested.

Dan
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions and the offer, Dan, but here's the trick; paint is actually done!

Been done for a week.

I'll show it off, but want to build up to it. It needs a formal introduction with appropriate background and an explanation to my reasoning for choosing this particular scheme. Or else people may glance at it and think "Huh?"

Just as I was careful to explicitly show how rough and incomplete the roller was when I bought it, so no one would give me grief for converting (or rescuing, as I think of it) a Duetto into a race car.

I'm probably making too big a deal of it, but like I listed above, my first attempt at painting, especially on a project as ambitious as this, IS a big deal to me. That's why I'm sharing it with all of you .
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:34 PM
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Come on man.........your killing me here, gota see more pictures.

Love the headers!!!
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 09:19 PM
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Okay, painting.

Like I mentioned a couple pages back, I learned on motorcycles. I bought a $40 Chinese replica of a $500 Iwata spray gun. I also have a cheap Harbor Freight detail spray gun (the purple one, less than $20). I previously experimented on a bike by reducing Rustoleum with straight acetone and had surprisingly good results on a frame, gas tank, and side covers, using both guns.

In my internet research of cheap DIY paint jobs, I learned Interlux makes a polyurethane boat paint that doesn't require hardeners, and is a favorite among the $50 roll-on car paint job crowd. So I got two shades of blue to mix into the shade I wanted.

Oh, and my air compressor is a '70's vintage Ingersoll Rand Type 30 that has a steady leak and needs a rebuild.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:02 PM
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I spent an afternoon sanding the primer, then carefully masked the car. The forecast called for a welcomed stretch of hot, dry, sunny weather during one of my stretches of time off. The stars were aligned, so I cleared my driveway of extraneous vehicles, mixed my paint, fired up the old compressor, loaded the cheap spray gun, and made a lasting impression on the driveway:
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:04 PM
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Here's how it looked on the car, about two weeks ago:
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:07 PM
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Now, some of you may have an idea where I'm going with this color scheme. I mean, who paints a race car powder blue?

Unless.... it's Gulf Blue.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:19 PM
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Before I get any objections about Gulf Blue being a Porsche 917 or Ford GT-40 color scheme, I submit multiple examples of notable race cars that have also raced in that famous livery. In chronological order, we've got the Ford, Porsche, Mirage M6, McLaren F1 (pic missing), Audi R8, and most recently Aston Martin's DBR9.

Notice that all have certain characteristics that make it work; swoopy lines, sharp nose, and perspex-covered headlights. This scheme just doesn't work as well on blunt-nosed sedans. I was convinced a Duetto would make it work.
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Last edited by Nader; 09-13-2009 at 11:26 PM.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:27 PM
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So without further ado, I'm pleased to present the only Gulf-liveried Alfa round tail Spider (that I've ever seen):
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2009, 10:31 PM
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This pretty much brings me up to date. I'll post more pictures as I continue with further projects like wiring, interior and exterior trim, dash gauges, etc. Actually, there's still quite a laundry list of tasks before it hits the track, but for now, I'm taking break. I think I'll have a glass of wine.

P.S.: Painting/pinstriping isn't that hard.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 09-14-2009, 01:08 AM
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Don't take to long a break. Portland has a track day the end of Oct. I would love to see you there.
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