Update 1/23/12: In the spirit of taking one for the team -you kind reader being ‘the team’, and the ‘taking one’ is me in the form of admitting to not fully considering this subject before I wrote about it, I am writing this update. It will be open ended and hopefully draw further discussion…
The result I was hoping for has finally happened: those with more knowledge/experience than me (Tom, Rick -thanks) have chimed in in the comments section -(though Tom, I think ‘inexperienced’ is a better word than ‘sloppy’). The question of the cam timing had been bothering me since I wrote the first draft of this post -I even made a table to try and figure out what I was missing, but now it seems to be approaching the obvious. For those that are spectators, or as inexperienced as me, this is what I have been thinking and why I have been thinking it.
Background on the subject:
This is the valve timing chart from the factory printed Giulietta Technical Specifications book. Note that this timing is always based on crank position. There are many versions of this chart for the many models over the years.
It has been a long winter -this very morning it was cold and even my modern car (a full on spaceship compared to the Sprint) was somewhat inhospitable for the first 10 minutes of my drive to work as dewy windows, fogged mirrors and cold leather slowly came around. About 6-8 weeks ago, when we had our first ‘hey it’s spring!’ weekend I decided it was time to dust the Sprint off, charge the battery, and start using it again. Everything was going fine -it cranked over nice and fast, the carb was atomizing fuel, it had spark but it wouldn’t start. I ended up bump starting it on my long steep driveway. This was the first bump in a somewhat long, thoroughly bumpy road that only recently smoothed.
Starting at the happy ending… Me and the Mrs. in our Sprint on the track at Sears Point. Thanks for the picture Greg!
I was checking out if Jaan made an update to his fantastic website Eddins Moto and what should I find but a pretty in depth write-up of what he did to my Sprint the week before the California Melee. Check it out here. You have to scroll down some, but you’ll find it starting with the picture I posted below. The attention he gave it must have worked because I’ve been driving it to work every day without any trouble -well, a headlight burned out recently, but that’s not really trouble.
Sprint hanging around the shop waiting for some attention.
Do you ever get the feeling that somehow the powers that be have conspired against us to take away free time and purify the cycle of sleeper/worker/consumer, gleaning the little joy that used to lubricate the cycle? Well, I’ve been busy like never before and thus I am writing a post at least two days after it was thought of.
There it is, returned from professional care, the Weber 28/36 DCD mounted at last, and with the airbox to boot! Yes, it now idles when warm, yes it is faster.
First off, to address some comments: I do have the original air filter assembly, the problem is, the Solex I am using is the later type that doesn’t clear the airbox. I suppose the correct Solex could fix the lack of an air cleaner problem too.
So, Sumday (thanks Grandaddy for coming up with that one) is the day I add it all up. It may be premature since I haven’t fixed the possibly low oil pressure or settled on a carb, but I think I am close. Below is a tally of work done and how much it cost. I am presenting this as educational material for those who, like me at the outset, think they can cut corners and save some cash. I honestly thought this would cost “about $3000″. Pictures have little to do with this post.
I had lunch with Laurence on Friday and he thought a side-by-side of our semi-significant others would be fun and informative. His is a Sprint Veloce made 3/58, mines a Sprint made 10/59. Both are long term Bay Area cars with similar patina, though his is nicer in most ways.
I drove the Sprint to work this morning, 29 miles one way in moderate 6:30am traffic. It still has some wrinkles to iron out but all in all it is pretty good. A 101 1300 has to be driven to be believed. I have been spoiled by 1750 power over the last 6 months in the Berlina and with the 1300 powered Sprint I was expecting a noticably slower car, but honestly, other than having to adjust from the ‘power anywhere’ torque curve of the 1750 to a tendancy to stumble below about 3000 rpm in the 1300, the 1300 holds its own and is turbine smooth.
Since my last report on this car I have done a lot of work but I didn’t have the camera so it didn’t get documented.
Here it is in the parking lot at work. There is a hint of coolant under the nose so I’ll have to tighten the hose clamps when it cools down, but other than that, no problem.
I know, you’ve all grown bored with my never ending engine rebuild. Well, let me tell you, no one is as tired of it as my back and shoulders! I wonder how Sisyfus would have felt about a never ending series of installation and removals of an Alfa transmission. Yeah yeah, boo hoo your thinking, I deserve all I get if I keep making these rookie moves.
Achem, okay, enough about that. In a mere 5 hours, spread out over three days, I managed to swap out the friction disk with a NEW one that I sourced from Glenn late Saturday afternoon while couch shopping. Now, once again I am on to the next thing and the next thing is on new ground, but first a short recap.
Old disk is .33665 inches or about 8.5mm. The shop manual says 6mm is the limit of wear. The linings were a little loose on the metal part of the disk so I suspect I could have compressed the disk a little more, maybe to 8mm. It’s possible a pressure plate adjustment to account for the springs settling over the years would have made this disk useable to 6mm. I’m not going to find out.
Even though I haven’t mentioned it in a while I am continuing on with the Sprint. This Saturday I got back around to the Weber vacuum leak work. I installed the DCD again with the newly lapped mounting base and hooked it all back up, the car still refused to idle and runs rougher than it should off idle. Needing a reality check I decided to install the Solex that came with my old TI. It had been off the road for several years and looked bad on the outside but it was clean on the inside and I knew it worked since I drove the TI with this carb installed for 20,000 or more miles.
The Solex bolted into place. It’s hard to see but the PO spray painted the carb silver, screws, washers, springs, levers and all.
I keep thinking it’s time to write the epilogue, you know, with a final tweak or two to the Weber or ignition described, a break down of what it ended up costing and some video at 80 mph on a nice long back-road sweeper after the exhaust system is welded up. Well, it’s not that time yet. I keep having to revisit things I was taking for granted as done.
I guess the big lesson for me is that when rebuilding and installing the whole drive train, a bunch of the parts of which have never met before, there will always be one more thing to do before it’s done.
As usual- my teaser picture. I took this last week after I had just come down from my parts loft. As much as I am enjoying the challenge I would rather be getting on with the SS rebuild. Continue reading
Goodness I’m tired! Saturday was a long day but I got close to being back where I should be. Let’s see, where to begin. So I got the piston/connecting rod that was in backward out and took it to Norman Racing Group on Thursday afternoon. Dan Marvin agreed to check the rod for straightness and pointed out that the piston was making contact with the head, something Tom Sahines told me to look for. I brought the head along too so they could tell me if there were problems with valve clearances etc which was a good thing as it was needed to cut the pistons down to clear the head. I asked if they could do a one day turn around on Friday so I could reassemble everything this weekend if I got the other three pistons to them first thing Friday morning. They said they would try.
I left their shop and pulled the other three pistons. I can’t complement Norman Racing Group and Dan enough. I had my wife drop the pistons off on Friday morning about 10am and they were ready when I got there at 430 to pick them up. I guess the bag of pastries she brought them probably helped but I doubt they were necessary. He gave the backward connecting rod a clean bill of health. I bought a new head gasket and set of Viton oil passage seals and away I went.
I guess you can’t really see the orientation in the manual, but I can tell you the offset goes toward the center on 2 and 3. Continue reading
I’m usually pretty good at analogies. I am thinking maybe my current situation is like flying to Italy and finding out you have to fly home to San Francisco, turn off the oven and then fly back to Italy to get on with your vacation.
Okay, what did I do that is so bad? A total rookie move so it’s a good thing I’m a rookie. I put the number three connecting rod in backward. The Engine ran with a not terminal sounding but noteworthy knock. “The engine ran???” the attentive reader will ask.
It goes something like this…
I’m not sure why but it is somehow immediately apparent that this engine runs. This was right before the steps back announced in the title began.