Alfa Romeo Forums banner

21 - 40 of 764 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
While the body was getting straightened at the shop, I turned my attention to the engine. I don't have a picture of the lump, but it was your average everyday ratty and seized 1750 with a questionable SPICA.

I hauled it up to my engine builder, who took two hours to remove the exhaust manifolds and gave up. He told me I could save a lot of money if I did the dirty work of disassembly and cleaning myself. It would also be a good learning experience for me to dissect the engine. My own suspicion is that my engine guy, being very neat and meticulous (his shop is spotless), didn't want to soil his work area with such a sad excuse of a motor.

I have a lot of experience with rusted, seized vintage bits as I've built up several vintage race motorcycles from rotting hulks. So I used a lot of alternating cycles of heat and PB-Blaster to loosen things without breaking studs or stripping threads.

And it worked:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
In the previous pics the all important crank and transmission were in excellent condition. Only the pistons were seized in the liners, which was of no consequence since race pistons and fancy rods were on the spec sheet. I took the disassembled engine to my builder and he stored it in his loft until it was my turn. He was busy at the time building some fancy Pan-Americana Alfa racer's engine. I think that fella ultimately won his class or something.

Fast forward 5 months to Jan '08. Now it's time for shiny bits. Here's a pic of the engine starting to take shape, clean and fancy. Here we see the block and crank, along with a new aluminum fly wheel:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
All the usual race engine tricks were employed (cross-drilling, plugging, baffling, windage traying, etc). Happily, I was finally able to use the titanium valve spring keepers that I bought on a lark from APE several years ago. My little contribution of unobtanium to the engine project. Also, there was some experimentation with new pistons. This is called a "Stage 3" head. Not sure why. I just write the checks in this department.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Thanks for sharing this; it's great fun to read about.

A couple of background questions:

Post #14 in the last picture beyond the forklift there's a yellow (single?) vintage racebike...more info???

In post #20 there's a GTV (?) undergoing some sort of work...any info on this one?

This thread is like reading a good book where you can't wait to see how it all turns out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
this is a fun thread to keep up with. I can appreciate the pistons in the Tiffany grade presentation box LOL. Your car certainly looked like a challenge cosmetically and even structurally. Building a racer: It is so much easier not to have to fix/source every little cosmetic part!

As it appears time in the thread for cage and cell work: With the fuel cell: I know at one point a spare tire well cell was marketed - still is I think - and I think Spruell sold it. Any consideration for that? I personally like the idea - some people like the ATL or Fuel Safe box showing from the rear I guess - and I would think that the location would be good for weight distribution, although maybe not as low as it could be. What type and capacity will you use, and where will you put it?

I have seen some dual purpose cars at SVRA events - ie. street legal but fun and reasonably competitive on the track. Then again, some guys build what in effect are cheater prod cars (way more displacement than the car came with) lacking only fender flares, air dams and slicks. What rules are you building to - pre 70 production car rules regarding equipment vary I know - and any thought on being "street legal" - at least tagable.

Thanks for posting!

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Hi Jeff, you are correct in that we're nearing the time to install a cage. I'm holding off on the fuel cell as a final item for when the race car is ready to go on track, as it's a relatively expensive item with a short lifespan as monitored by racing organizations. I'll likely go with ATL's 12 gallon spare tire cell for which I'll need to fabricate a housing (it comes as a hard rubber bladder).

The car is being built as a dedicated racer yet compliant with our relatively stringent SOVREN rules. So it'll have a modern SCCA ITA cage, but 1750cc displacement and as much of the interior retained or recreated as possible.

Speaking of cages, I wanted to be well protected with the afore-mentioned modern SCCA ITA specs. It's kind of nutty to see vintage racers in their fancy nomex suits and SA-2005 full-faced helmets while running this dinky roll hoop several inches below the top of their head.

I'll be racing at PRI, which is a fun, challenging, and picturesque track, but also obsolete from a safety standpoint and rather dangerous in some sections. The surface is literally crumbling away in some areas, which is an extra challenge on vintage racebikes with their skinny tires. I've seen multiple cars flip over when overshooting two particular turns. And you may have heard about the vintage weekend at this track when the rescue truck managed to flip a stranded Alfa when it got tangled up in the tow strap?

Sooo, I wanted a safer, taller cage with decent NASCAR bars. And here it is:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Okay, so the body is pretty straight, and it's been dropped off at the chassis shop to get its cage and suspension sorted. This is about June '08.

The car's been there for a couple of months as suspension bits are sent off to be powdercoated and new springs, shocks and PU bushings installed. Brakes are rebuilt, and a seat is purchased. The gas tank is removed and a blank panel fitted (fuel cell will be in the spare well). A limited-slip differential is sourced and completely rebuilt. Everything is new or refreshed!

Better pics of the underside will be coming when we install the brake lines and exhaust...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
While the chassis is refreshed and upgraded, the engine is being assembled. I was instructed by my engine builder to ditch the SPICA and use Weber 45s, so I was lucky to find a nice pair on Ebay off a BMW 2002, and these were the older units when they were still made in Italy.

Not knowing the carbs' history, my builder demanded we send them off to a specialist to be completely cleaned, rebuilt, and refitted with the appropriate starting point for chokes and jets. My engine guy is a fastidious sort, which is an excellent trait in an area where cleanliness, minute tolerances, and attention to detail are key. That's why I was willing to wait over a year for him to put this thing together.

My only input was to change the valve cover from red to black :).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Love the headers. Got the valve cover in black wrinkle, probably good for a couple more h.p.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Now those are intrusion bars, big time!

There was a discussion on another thread about roll cages - yours is a good illustration on mounting pads for the main hoop. SCCA rules have a rule about max square inches for those, doesn't matter as much if they tie into those beams. You can see where the strength is. Cage looks very strong, and that's a good thing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Now it's latter June of '08, and the chassis is shipped back from the suspension shop to the body shop. I scored a good deal on some used 14" Panasports (they weigh 11.5 lbs) from the suspension guys which I'll have the body guys paint.

Body shop tells me I need to have the tank panel ribbed for rigidity or else it'll pop with chassis flex. So it gets worked over for a second time before being spot-welded back in for paint.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,928 Posts
Ohh Man...............Black Panasports those will make your race car faster forsure. Whatever you do don't paint it white.................Those white Spiders are just plan slow.:D:D:D

Great thread BTW!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
Someone suggested earlier in the thread to paint the car black. Like I said, there will be some black, but it's only part of the overall scheme. It'll be special, just wait and see...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
A month and half later (8/08), there's a flurry of activity for my car at the body shop. A door panel is fabricated out of aluminum to fit around the NASCAR bars, and it's finished off in black vinyl.

I'm also informed that the stock dash won't fit around the roll cage bars. I really don't want to cut up a nice stock dash (it's one of the few stock bits that cleaned up nicely), so a new dash is fabricated out of sheet metal. I'll have to cut holes for gauges, and probably upholster it in black padded vinyl to get closer to a stock appearance.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
Be careful! If blacks part have to pull the slower white ones you will develop undue stress!:eek:

Ditto on the great thread. A fast forward on a slow process!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
Couple more pics of the new dash.

Also had some new shock tower access panels made out of paper thin aluminum. They scissor around the cage's rear supports.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
A month later (9/08), we're in primer. The holes in the corners of the trunk lid are for the external fastening pins. In case the car is clobbered from the rear, I should still be able to access the trunk without dealing with a bent internal latch.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Another month goes by, and the trunk, engine bay, and cage/cabin get painted. I'm amazed by my own patience.

White is used in areas where the car will be serviced. It brightens up the area for general visibility and you're able to better see oil or other fluid leaks. Functionality is key, and most serious race cars follow that rule. Besides, the car's original color was white, so this just fits.

The cage (and eventually the cabin) are sprayed in black because there's nothing much in the ****pit that will need the high visibility paint for regular servicing. Also, I don't want the glare of a white ****pit in an open car. Finally, black fits in with my future color scheme.

All this paint is DuPont's tough Imron. I'll save the fancier paint colors for the exterior skin. Keep in mind I'll be doing that myself, and I've never painted a car before. Motorcycles, yes. But no cars. I intend to prove a point (mainly to myself but also to all of you) that a person can prep and paint a car in one or two days using cheap equipment and still get decent results.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,660 Posts
Heck you must be tall ... I, myself, would try and setup the seat in more of a single seater position so your head (and importantly body weight) is as low as possible for aero reasons (and handling reasons).

If necessary relocate pedals, etc.

Anyway, keep having fun.
Pete
 
21 - 40 of 764 Posts
Top