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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101 1300 rebuild part #13: Weber 28/36 DCD

It was a tough decision, but after weeks of debating, test fitting, consulting experts and looking for patterns in tea leaves I decided to go with a Weber 28/36 DCD that I got from Conrad in exchange for some valuable emergency brake components as used on cars with the big Veloce gas tank. One local expert posited that a 1300 normale with this carb and ‘decent’ cams will out perform the stock Veloce set up of 1959. We shall see. In the interest of thoroughly documenting this rebuild I plan on running this thing on a dyno to dial the carb in and try out a few cam options I have. Anyone care to donate a little dyno time to a good cause? I’ll give you endless accolades in my write ups.

img_7719As always, the teaser picture is actually the near final product. This carb looks pretty good but required $130 in new parts from my local Weber parts dealer. With the phenolic insulator block taking up about 6mm you can see the mounting nuts don’t fully engage the studs. Oh well, this is not a suspension component.

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101 1300 rebuild part #12: The devil in the ongoing details

The build goes ever on. I had been resisting working on the Sprint for the last two weeks and concentrated on organizing and consolidating my parts, tools and the like. Yesterday I had a surprise few hours of freedom so I decided to run to the shop and get back on the Sprint. The first order of business was hooking up the new exhaust front section I got in the mail a few weeks ago. I used M8 x 1.25 stainless socket head cap screws with flat and lock washers I had laying around to bolt the exhaust to the manifold with an NOS copper gasket in between sourced locally. I needed help supporting the exhaust to get the bolts started but after that it was easy. The pipe is closer to the floor than I like so I will have to see if it’s a motor mount, engine mount or pipe bend problem once everything is installed.

img_7741Here’s the new pipe mounted to the manifold with the asbestos heat shield bent out of the way. The oil pressure line is very close to the header with the heat shield in between. I plan on seeing if the pressure line can be bent or turned on the banjo bolt.

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Market #92: Red Sprint Three-fer in Italy

Giulietta Sprints 1493*26018, 1493*26085 and a 1965 Giulietta 1300.  These three cars are all in Italy, all about 25,000 Euro’s, all red and all in pretty nice shape.  I have them arranged in the chronological order outlined above for each group of common view pictures.  26018 and 26085 are from the 1960 interim series that ends at 26200 in Fusi.  The 1965 Giulietta 1300 represents the last gasp for the classic Giulietta Sprint and they only made 428 if Fusi’s numbers are accurate.  Giulietta Sprint production spanned 11 years and if you look at the Sprints contemporaries at the beginning and end of its run you see a great leap forward in automobile design and technology that was just catching up in the early 1960’s to the standard of robustness, reliability and style set by the Sprint.

3396f5be3a1493*26018 is not only 67 cars older than the next car, it is photographed in the same spot.  There are some event stickers on the quarter window which if nothing else indicate this car drives well enough to do a few hundred miles.

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101 1300 rebuild part #11: Marelli Veloce distributor set up

You may remember I earlier wrote about distributors and what I should do for one for this engine rebuild. I had the Lucas unit that was originally in this car in a box so I assumed I would just get it re-bushed, put new points, condenser etc in it and use it. I dropped it off a Jaan’s shop and a few days later he called me to tell me the shaft and drive section was all home-made and that it would not be cost effective to fix it, and that at its best it still wouldn’t be as good as a Bosch or Marelli unit. The next day I started pulling the 1600 apart that is going in the SS and I realized the Marelli distributor installed on it would be perfect for the 1300 rebuild, especially if I ever went with a Veloce spec conversion as it is a 750/101 spec unit.

dirty-marelliHere it is, fresh off the 00121 engine I am going to start rebuilding soon for the SS. It doesn’t look like much but the shaft spins nicely without having any side to side play. I am told these are pretty hard to find and expensive, so I will be careful.

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101 1300 rebuild part #10: hooking it up

I spent rainy Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the shop this weekend working on all the little loose ends that need to be tied in order to start the engine for the first time.  I started out with painting and installing the starter.  Once I had the starter bolted up and looking good I found the gasket and all the fasteners I set aside for the intake manifold and went to mount it.  The height of the engine didn’t allow the manifold to clear the rail in the engine bay so I had to jack the engine up about an inch on the passenger side and this allowed it to slip by.  Once the manifold was on I found the new thermostat and gasket along with the used thermostat housing I bought from Glenn a few weeks back.  This was all straight forward to install.

img_7638As usual, the finished picture first.  The red in the engine compartment came out good.  Not great, just good.  I think the level of finish in the engine compartment will match the rest of the car if I leave the valve cover alone.

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101 1300 rebuild part 9: It’s in there.

Tonight on my way home from work I made a spur-of-the-moment decision. I decided the engine was going in the Sprint. I have spent 3 weeks talking about it, worrying over getting help, clearing the headers, centering the lot on the engine mounts and a thousand other things, it was time to put it in and tonight was the night.

The catalyst was Conrad telling me he usually put the engine and trans in Sprints separately, that it really ended up being about the same amount of work. I got to the shop, unbolted the transmission from the engine, hoisted it up and dropped it in. It took maybe 15 minutes and I had the motor mounts resting in their cut outs. The only hard part of putting the engine in was I had to remove and then reinstall the exhaust side motor mount to clear the headers.

img_7622Here it goes. A good quality hoist is key so you can lower it really slowly, allowing you to check clearances and guide it. Note the engine mount on the head.

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101 1300 rebuild part 8: back on track

I mentioned in my last post in this series that I broke a motor mount boss stud off, well, it turned out to be a pretty involved process to get it repaired.  When I mentioned the problem to ‘expert’ friends they all said ‘Oh, those studs never want to come out’ well, I broke it off installing  a new one, not removing the old, bent stripped stud.  I’ve broken studs off before on other rebuilds and was ready with the usual arsenal of tricks.

First I tried simply grabbing the remaining piece with Vise-grips, no good.  Then I drilled it out and used an easy out seen below, I couldn’t get a grip on it so I welded a nut to the easy out, the easy out broke at the weld.  I got a bigger easy out and tried to turn it, it was resistant despite a lot of force.  I heated the boss and tried again, this time the corner of the boss cracked.

easy-out-stageHere I am at the first attempt, the easy out wasn’t so easy and even with a nut welded to the end it wouldn’t turn.

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101 1300 engine rebuild part 7: even closer

I had a lot of time this weekend to work on the Sprint engine rebuild and I got a lot done.  I had been stressing out about getting the cam timing set but it turned out to be an easy process.  I still need to get a dial indicator to find TDC perfectly, but it is very close right now.  All I did to set the cam timing is I pulled the adjustment lock bolts out, loosened the vernier adjusters, connected the timing chain and tensioned it, verified TDC and cam marks again then tightened the lot up and reinstalled the adjustment lock bolts.  I put a little red locktite on the big cam nuts and bent the lock tabs over.  I still need to install new cotter pins in the adjustment lock bolts.  Once that was done it was a downhill coast until I broke a stud off …

cam-timing-doneHere it is, cam timing adjusted, everything torqued and cam chain tensioned.  I plan on dousing this all with oil before the initial start-up, probably a few weeks away.

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101 1300 rebuild part 6: getting close

Here it is, probably my last post of 2008. I might have squeezed one more in and wrote about one of the Sprint Veloce Lightweights for sale in Europe right now but I have been busy keeping up the usual holiday schedule and another post doesn’t seem likely.

This post is mainly to catch up on two busy days at the shop trying to get as close as possible to having the Sprint on the road before the end of the year. The first picture in the series is a teaser and should be farther along in the series, but I like it since the Sprint can be seen watching my progress in the background.

img_7036I suppose the color of the turn signal lens could be called ‘impatient Orange’. When this was taken I had just made all the head nuts finger tight after fishing the timing chain up through the timing case.

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Giulietta Sprint 101 1300 engine rebuild part 5: Waterpump

Another pretty part ready for installation.  As with just about everything else relating to this 101 1300 rebuild, the waterpump is not just an off the shelf purchased part that gets to be bolted on.  Theoretically the waterpump is an owner servicable part and rebuild kits are available, but years in a hostile environment means the average, or even above average DIY Alfa owner is going to need help.

I pressed the impeller out of the bearings and found it to be in good shape with little corrosion or wear on the bearing and sealing surfaces.  Once the impeller was out I removed the snap ring that positioned the outer bearing and that is where I got hung up.  I wasn’t sure which way to try and press the bearings out and the special seal with the toleranced mounting flange and spring was all corroded.  At this point I decided I could irrepairably damage the pump if I wasn’t careful so I put all the parts in a plastic bag and delivered it, along with my rod bearings to John Norman Racing where Dan Marvin rebuilt it.

water-pump-rebuilt101 1300 waterpumps are no longer available, so if yours has a problem treat it gently, don’t assume you can buy a new one.

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