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Last week was such a great week. I got to meet the infamous Papajam and his wife, Jaci. We worked our hinnies off the entire time they were here. Each night, we went to bed exhausted.

We started off the first day by looking things over and outlining the plan. Brakes were to be completed first because we didn’t want to have to deal with any issues with the brake lines once the engine was installed. Next, we would get the engine and transmission installed then deal with any wiring issues. I had replaced several wires on the harness and was concerned that I may have gotten a few of them out of place.

Jim checked the calipers and installed the brake pads while I ran back and forth to the basement to bring everything up we needed. I disassembled the hand brake mechanism, cleaned it, added fresh lithium grease and reassembled it. We used one of IAP’s pressure bleeders to bleed the brake system. It’s a great tool that should be used in conjunction with good old fashioned foot pumping. We left the pressure bleeder hooked up all night with the brake pedal depressed to allow any air bubbles to work their way up and out.
 

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Getting the engine and tranny ready

Next, Jim had me running back down to the basement to haul up the bits we needed to put on the engine. This was the easiest time to set the bell crank and pump gap. Jim also showed me how to synchronize the butterflies without the aid of an expensive tool. Next came the exhaust manifold that I had painted with Eastwood’s manifold paint. They look like new. After that was done, we mated the tranny to the back of the engine. In the pictures you can see that the bearing, retainer and folk are put together and then slid over the input shaft. A small amount of lithium grease was applied to the shaft splines. Jim took great care to make sure that the fork engaged the pivot.
 

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Engine installation

We put the front of the car on some two by sixes to gain some clearance for the engine hoist. Then, we raised the back of the car as far as we could. Even then, it wasn’t quite enough, but we made it work. We raised the engine up and that’s when the fun began. The scariest part of installing an engine is when it is dangling over the expensive body work. Once we got it down into the engine bay, we ran into a few things that I should not have installed until after the engine was in. We, we removed those items and eventually wrestled the engine and transmission in. On it’ way in, it bounced off the lower radiator cross member. A little touchup paint fixed that. Once the radiator was installed and hooked up, the chipped paint seemed to have disappeared. While we were wrestling with the engine, Jaci was snapping pictures and keeping a sharp eye out. She was a great help.
 

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Exhaust system

Next we installed an IMASAF three piece exhaust system from Centerline. Apparently, Centerline purchases one front section to use on more than one car. We found out that 25 centimeters had to be removed from the back of the front part. It seems like a pretty cheesey to me. See the picture of Papajam with the wheelie cutter. Long after I got the system, a buddy of mine warned me that this brand of exhaust fit poorly at the manifold. Had we not known about this, we could have cracked the manifold when we tightened up the bolts. Even installing two copper gaskets wasn’t enough to stop it from leaking. The system is going in the trash and I will be purchasing a quality CISAM exhaust system from Conti or IAP. :(
 

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Hooking up the wires

After those were assembled, I got after the fuse box. I cleaned all of the contacts and installed some new fueses. I had already added a wire for the cut-off solenoid, but I needed to wire it to the fues box. I made a jumper wire to get power to the auxiliary fuse panel and used the slot for the fog lights.
 

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It runs!

All this time we had been working on the car, I wasn’t very excited. It has been such a long tough road that it was going to take a lot to get me excited. We were having a great time, but the excitement was lacking, until I had to add gasoline to the gas tank. It was a moment I had been waiting for 13 years. We hooked up the battery and the ignition switch. I turned the switch, expecting to hear the fuel pump whir. Crap, the fuel pump was dead. No worries, I’ve got one “one the shelf”. The new fuel pump whirred to life and we checked for leaks. After tightening up some of the fittings, Jim removed the spark plugs. We cranked the engine to build up the oil pressure. It seemed to take for ever, but it finally came up. For some strange reason the words “go for throttle up” popped in my head. Jim put the plugs in and hooked up the wires. I turned the ignition and the engine popped right off. It was a great moment and I almost cried. Even Jim lit up. After running the engine and look for more leaks, Jim torqued the head nuts (not to be confused with hot nuts – that’s an inside joke).

Papajam and Jaci were more than a tremendous help. It was more than apparant that Jaci had been watching Papa work on cars and paying attention. On numerous occasions she would make comments or correct something I was doing wrong. Without their help, I would have been floundering for months on this. I am so grateful for their help. Thank you Papa and Jaci. :)
 

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This is great. The car is beautiful. Its always great to take a week off and work on your car, but to get a guru to come help? It doesnt get any better than that.
 

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Incredible, inspiring, unbelievable....

Two big thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!

What an exciting day it must have been to finally drop that beautiful lump of a motor into that spotless engine bay!! I must admit that those pictures of the engine/tranny dangling over the car made my palms sweat.

Great update. Bring on more!
 

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SNIP.....

Papajam and Jaci were more than a tremendous help. It was more than apparant that Jaci had been watching Papa work on cars and paying attention. On numerous occasions she would make comments or correct something I was doing wrong. Without their help, I would have been floundering for months on this. I am so grateful for their help. Thank you Papa and Jaci. :)
Common Osso....you floundering for months! Give yourself a huge pat on the back too! Most impressive Alfa restoration I have seen! Enjoy your NEW car!

Oh and since Papa and Jaci are on a road tour....let them know that I have a SS in need of some body work and complete rebuild!!!!:D

Best Regards,
John M
 

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As long as Jim is making house calls, tell him to swing by my place up here in Rapid City. I need new syncros in my transmission!:D

That engine looks like a piece of art. Decided to put a later model injection pump in I see.

Keep the pictures coming.
 

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Magnificent. This car is so beautiful, so unbelievably clean. We've all been waiting a long time to know that it was on the road.

I raise a beer to the first time you drive the snot out of it!



 

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Did someone say Papajam's on tour with Jaci? Heck, if that's the case, I can arrange some cases of beer if they would like to help me with my brakes this weekend. ha!

What a great guy for taking some time off to help you Osso. 13 years, eh? That be a long time, but it's finally here. Can't wait to see the finished product in the near future, especially at the pace you're rippin' through it!
 

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Simply fantastic!!

Osso - You already know that you probably have the best duetto in the world - all of us are in awe of your attention to detail, your tenaciousness and your sheer bloody mindedness in seeing this project through.

It must be so inspiring for you not only to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but also now to hear the engine roar echoing off the tunnel walls.

And you, in turn, are inspiring alfisti the world over.

Well done. Do medals exist for this sort of project?

G
 

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Awesome!

That is the cleanest Spica I have ever seen....:D
 

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Osso,
So this is how one builds a NEW car!!

This has been an amazing story, following your trials and tribulations over the years. I am in awe of your talents, skills and tenacity, and I can see it is paying off. I am so happy for you and hope to meet you one day and view this incredible work of heart in person.

I am raising my coffee mug (at work) and toasting to you achievement.
Thank you for sharing with all of us. It has been an inspiration for me and one day I would like to do the same...only not as long. ;)
I sincerely hope she drives as good as she looks.

Congratulations again,
Bill
 

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:eek: I know your supposed to drive 'em and all but HOLY SMOKES everything is so nice, clean and shiny:) :cool: :D
:eek: I say keep it trailer queen:) You guys are always welcome in my garage.
 

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osso,

amazing resto.... glade to hear u got her purring


as for jim, he was instrumental in answering all my obscure questions on my 69 gtv rebuild. ...the man is a true godsend.

job well done guys


davbert
 
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