101 1300 20: the home stretch

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.

sprint-at-workHere 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.

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101 1300 19: made it through another recession…

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-discOld 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.

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101 1300 18: more slow progress

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.

sprint-solexThe Solex bolted into place. It’s hard to see but the PO spray painted the carb silver, screws, washers, springs, levers and all.

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101 1300 17: It ain’t over…

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.

img_7895As 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

101 1300 rebuild 15: almost back together

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.

img_7882I 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

101 1300 part 14: two steps forward and, er, 10 steps back

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…

img_7866I’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.

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