Fuel Pump, and Steering Wheel

7/14/00 Fuel Pump and Steering Wheel

The fuel pump rebuild kit came from Partsource. It came in two parts. One was the Italian made rebuild kit, and the other was replacement gaskets to allow the kit to work with reformulated gasoline. From what I’ve been told by Geoff, of Partsource, the gaskets for the pump body and check valves will begin to deteriorate over time and lose their effectiveness when exposed to some of the components found in the American reformulated gasoline. The Italian made rubber does not account for these changes, so are made of a slightly different material. Whatever the case, Geoff convinced me to shell out the extra money for this extra gasket set. François also felt that this would be a wise choice, and felt the extra expense was well worth the security of not having to rebuild the fuel pump again, or worse have an engine fire due to a leaking fuel pump. Advice taken!

I’ve reached the final stage of my steering wheel restoration. I wet sanded the final coats of varnish between coats to insure a smooth finish, and used 1500 grit for the final sanding. Eliminating the dust particles from falling on the wet varnish is all but impossible, so sanding and buffing will be my only alternative. I carefully wrapped the wheel and took the hour ride up to the shop for buffing. I installed the loose string buffing wheel I used to buff plastic lenses, and loaded the buff with the plastic rouge that came with the buffing kit. I wrapped the aluminum spokes in newspaper to prevent damaging the soft aluminum while I maneuvered the wheel around the buffing wheel. Buffing was a very quick and careful process. The varnish would heat up very quickly, and could scorch if I wasn’t careful, but soon the wheel began to shine with a high gloss. I could see the end of this steering wheel restoration!

As the whole wheel began to shine, I discovered some runs from excess varnish. I decided to stop buffing and return to wet sand these problem areas. This alternating process continued until I didn’t find anymore imperfections in the varnish. I buffed the whole wheel one more time to make sure the buffing was even, and stepped back to admire my work. François had another Ferrari sitting at his shop, so I looked inside to look at the steering wheel. After becoming so intimate with my wheel, I needed to look at another example to compare finishes. I was very pleased to see that my wheel looked as good, if not better than another restored steering wheel!

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