Suspension 5: Sprint Speciale Differential housing clean up

Having this blog to look back on is pretty neat – I get to revisit my younger self, see what I thought about stuff, and reflect on what’s changed.  Most people can probably relate to how it feels when they discover an old essay they wrote for school, or a set of pictures from some big event in their life – a very human mix of nostalgia, slightly embarrassed introspection and my-god-where-has-the-time-gone reflection on changing priorities.  Anyway, I was doing some house keeping and found this post.  I think it is as useful now as it was then.


Me in a younger mans clothes – a few days before I wrote this post.  How’s the Sprint Veloce doing Corey?

From July 30, 2008:  Cleaning up the differential housing was one of those jobs I resisted doing for a while.  Every time I looked at it the 2 hours of scraping, solvent bathing and degreaser scrubbing I would have to do flashed before my eyes and I found something else to do.  Last week I rearranged a lot of my stuff to fit the Berlina in my space and found myself once again faced with this greasy lump in a tray sitting on my bench top waiting for me to clean it.  It was time to face the subject of so much procrastination.

The housing was covered in a thick coating of dirt that had bonded with oil and built up over the years.  To save time and solvent I used a small scraper to remove the big stuff.  By the time I was done I had removed probably three pounds of the caked oily dirt.


Greasy oily goo scraped off easily, but there was so much of it that it took about an hour to get it ready for a solvent bath.

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Sprint 10105 20379: an update and a plan

Yesterday I watched Sprint 20379 get winched up on to a flat-bed truck and then slowly disappear from sight around a corner.  No, I didn’t sell my old friend, it is just going south for a few weeks/months of residency in the garage of Tom Sahines for an engine rebuild and a few other much needed and overdue remediations.  Didn’t I just rebuild the engine you ask?  Well, the answer to that depends on your definition of “just”.  I did rebuild the engine in the last 5 years, but I also drove the car daily on my commute for at least 6 months – not an exceptional feat for a Giulietta until you consider my commute was 70 miles each way, and I also drove it on all my incidental trips in between, probably totaling 20000 – 25000 miles in just those 6 months, but it’s not really the miles that has me rebuilding it.


On its way to the spa. Continue reading

Spider tri-gauge cleaned up

I have had a gauge restoration kit from David at Parts Correct on my shelf for a while, and today I got to install some of the parts in the tri-gauge destined for my Spider.  The gauge that came with the car had some dings in the trim ring and was missing a calibration screw so I dug into my gauge box for a better one to rebuild.  Ended up putting together a ‘best from several’ gauge.  The hardest part of the job was getting all the parts clean enough – especially keeping lint off the black tri-gauge faces.  Lint-free wippes and Isopropyl Alcohol work wonders.  The easy part was fitting David’s parts.  The rubber ring that fits in the chrome trim ring fit perfectly, the insert needed no ‘adjustment’ to have the gauge fit back together perfectly.  Absolutely spot-on fitting parts.



Ha!  I didn’t realize I restored a metric gauge until right now.  Might have to swap the business end of things tomorrow – or just deal with it – all my engineering and chemistry homework was in metric units so I’m comfortable enough in C rather than F.  In my defense, I did this in about 15 minutes tonight.  Big difference can be seen between the ‘usual’ old gauge and one with the dust removed, glass cleaned, the trim ring polished and a new insert.

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Giulietta 750 Spider parts wanted

I’ve got the Spider at a shop getting the brakes done with some rebuild kits that Classic Alfa managed to get to me in two days from England, then it’s getting the wrinkly-under-bondo nose straightened out, the little bit of rust repaired and some other little stuff done.  Andrew is putting a 1600 from a Super together for me to run until the 750 gets rebuilt.  Anyway, I have some parts I need to source.  I have some stuff to trade if there’s anything you need.  Fair market gladly paid!

  • Outer exhaust manifold piece (1 and 4) for 4 bolt 750 (see picture)
  • Lucas tail light trim ring
  • 750 water pump aluminum fan or complete rebuildable unit
  • front center grill with some ‘character’, but not too much
  • spare tire hold down hook and fancy screw (new will look too weird)
  • tunnel case gear shift lever that’s not all scaled over with rust
  • Little front Lucas clear turn signal lens and trim ring
  • Alfetta oil pan and pump
  • set of 165 SR 15 tires for my Healey (these get pulled of Giuliettas no?)
  • I’ll start pulling the 750 engine apart soon and will have more.


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For you originality guys who have been wondering about the exact correct way to plumb a head mounted fuel pump.  Do you get these lines dull cad plated?

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The part of the header that goes to 1 and 4 is broken, so I need one – this is fairly urgent because I need it to put the 1600 in the car.



Serendipity Distraction Collection part 2

Never underestimate.  Avoid gift horse mouth looking.  Roll with punches.  Say what you will.  Ellipsis.  I wont apologize, but dammit, I’m all full up with cool cars that came a-knocking and were almost entirely unlooked for.  I created a vacuum by selling everything but the Sprint last spring, and nature being nature threw some cars at me to fill the hole in my garage.  It’s my fault, I should have bought that SWB series Land Rover to strap an aluminum canoe on top of, pack some fishing poles and camping gear in and take Rufus out into the trees, but I didn’t -not yet anyway (anyone have a SWB series Land Rover to add to this tale?).  I know, get on with it – what did I get?

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As found…

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Ramble 1: Parallel universes

1/4/13:  Brad sent me this picture of his Gilera and Spiders.  Nice!  He also has a Honda CL77 Scrambler.


There’s some serious Italian metal in this garage!

12/27/12: Craig sent me this picture of part of his fleet -a very nice duo I think.  Anyone else want to share a picture?

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Color coordinated, technically interesting and neat!  I’ve been looking longingly at /2’s for years.  Thanks for sharing Craig.

12/23/12: I spent some time looking at Paul’s blog Vintagent the other evening, reminiscing about the days when I was all about motorcycles.  Motorcycles are my first vehicular love, and my first love seems to be experiencing a revival, as I suddenly have slightly more than a few right now crowding my work space. I remember riding in front of my dad on his Triumph to preschool without a helmet -it was the mid-70’s, so I guess I was about 4 – must have stuck as great fun.  I inherited that motorcycle for a few years (1991 – 2011 then gave it back), did a few miles on it and, most importantly, figured out how a lot of stuff, like brakes, clutches, electrons etc worked, and had some adventures.  Alas for the near absence of pictures from the pre-cellphone days! IMG_5053 1961 Honda CB72 13393, a rare thing, along the lines of a ’56 Sprint sort of rare, with lots of ‘early, one year only’ parts, and a 1964 CL72, somewhat like a ’59-’61 Spider sort of rare.  I’ve rebuilt a few of these engines over the years.  State of the art superb mechanicals with poor-ish chrome and paint applied over bare metal.  Sound familiar?  In a weird way Honda of 1962 is a lot like Alfa of 1962, though a case can be made that Ducati is the Alfa of motorbikes.   Continue reading