A car restoration can be looked at from a lot of perspectives -some with blind trust through a pen writing checks, some like a soccer coach all passionate on the sidelines cajoling the players, but for me it’s all a hands on, do it yourself deal involving my time, hands and some percentage of my processing power at any given time with the intended consequence of improving things and learning. That and the occasional trip to the powder-coaters.
Some days I am enthusiastic because I genuinely enjoy the challenge of taking a neglected mechanism, unable to fulfill it’s intended function and cosmetically challenged, and making it work and look good. Other days I keep my enthusiasm up by imagining driving the finished product and saying without much conviction ‘it just a bunch of nuts and bolts holding a few special brackets in between together’. I wrote a post about this ‘nuts and bolts’ approach when I was working on the Sprint Speciale, early in the life of this blog. That post was concerned with process and finish, this one is more a study of psychology psychosis or whatever -from a pscientific perspective
Intake parts here, the duplex fuel pump again, a good portion of the remote float bowl, one of the chokes, booth accelerator pump covers and a hose clamp. In this orientation and state, they are little more than intricately beautiful mechanical objects sitting near each other on a tray. Put them together with the rest of their coterie in a particular way and they precisely pump and meter fuel.
Ah -the bright stuff. Here we have a lot of bits that have been tumbled, plated and polished or just cleaned if appropriate. That big bracket is the bottom mount that joins the transmission to the engine. The cog beside it is the crank pulley for the timing belt. The red thing is a tail light lens, the long screws hold the starter together, the big clamp ring is part of the generator belt tensioning system etc. My favorite -the toothed lock washers at the top of the picture. I don’t know it is about the toothed lock washers, but off all the common parts they have the most personality.
Much of the fun of this project is exploring the back country of this new continent called Glas 1700 GT. I pick a part from a box or bag, figure out what it is, then figure out why it was made the way it was. Some parts are tractor simple, like the big transmission to engine bracket, some are overly complicated like the two fan-to-pulley-to-waterpump aluminum split clamps in the lower left hand corner. Once I establish the what it is and how was it made part, I decide on an appropriate finish for the part based on what it might have looked like in the lights of the showroom. I think if I was wildly (or even mildly) wealthy I would pay to do this. I kind of imagine a pursuit of the well healed might me assembling cars as though big metal jigsaw puzzles -if all the pieces were clean, finished and ready for assembly -could even be a team sport.
Here is a good bit of parts just entering the processing queue. Some just out of the tumbler including a lot of nuts, bolts and washers, and some not suitable for it like the distributor and accelerator pump diaphragms. The tumbler is a sweet parts cleaner. You load it and leave it. The next morning you unload it, rinse and dry the parts and think about the next step. Check out the motor mounts in the upper right hand corner.
I have a lot of duplicates from the parts car, the good car and Norm’s car that has the BMW transplant. It seems like a good idea to try and restore the worst example of a particular part -the distributor above is a good example, before taking on the good one. Next thing you know I will be the expert… or have a bunch of beautiful mechanisms that don’t work! I’ll tackle the good set of Solex’s after the set that’s all apart above goes together…
And here’s another little job… I tore the one of gaskets that hold the fuel in the pumps when I took them apart, so I needed to buy or make replacements. I noticed that the ID of 40DCOE-to-airbox gaskets from an Alfa Giulia set were about the same as that of the torn gaskets and had this idea.
The bell is the cover for the fuel pump -there are two of them. Fuel flows in under it and it needs to hold it there, to keep the rest of the cosmo’s fuel-free. A thick paper gasket is just the thing. I was going to struggle free-hand but Jaan, with his usual deadpan practicality suggested I take this aluminum plate with a hole in it, screw the bell down hard to it then cut it out with an exacto knife. Was a bit more work than I anticipated, mainly due to the thickness of the paper, but probably hugely easier than doing it freehand. It sort of came out okay.
Yes, the two circles are not concentric, but the concour judge will not likely look inside the fuel pump to make sure they are -she’ll be on her iPhone trying to figure out what a Glas 1700 GT is supposed to look like and find this post and know I made substandard fuel pump gaskets and ding me a point for it without needing to pull it apart, risking the cosmo’s with fuel smell for all. Voila! Gaskets.
I was tempted to write that with a restoration you have three paths, you can leave it alone, make it how you want it, or make it how it was -but I realized there is a fourth, the most common path -you can fail to do any one of the three or a combination there-of. I intend to toe the line between failing making it how it was and making it work.
Up next, failing making it roll how it used to.