Election Day is Ferrari Day!

Election Day Means Ferrari Day!

The television show I work on was preempted  for Election Day coverage, so the second I heard we may not have to work, I made plans to put a day in with my Ferrari! I was blessed with a beautiful day in the 50s (10+ C.), with rain only arriving later in the evening. As you can see from this picture, the leaves in the Northeast are falling, and soon these leaves may be replaced with snow! My Mustang sits quietly next to the Ferrari waiting to be used, but unfortunately, she’ll have to wait a little longer.

As I lifted the garage door, I smelled the distinct odor of gasoline. The area by the rear fuel filter was still leaking, so I knew this would be the first project of the day. Once I got it up on jack stands at François’ shop, I cleaned the area with some rags, and blew it all out with the air hose. Some of the banjo fittings were still leaking, but the main source of leaking gasoline was coming from the top of the filter assembly. It seems that I forgot to change three gaskets when I changed the filter years ago. Unfortunately, to install new gaskets, the fuel line has to be removed, and most of the fuel has to be removed from the gas tank. Needless to say, I just filled the tank last week!

The fuel leak wasn’t too bad, so I decided to try running the tank dry as opposed to draining it. I figured the V-12 probably gets about 10 miles to the gallon, and with a 19 gallon tank, it wouldn’t take too long to use up some gas! The filter assembly is higher than the pickup in the tank, so anything less than half a tank would be fine, so I got moving!

I picked Route 7 north, a two lane road that gets pretty empty north of New Milford, Connecticut. It’s a road I often take to Lime Rock, a racetrack in the north west corner of CT. The Litchfield Hills are beautiful this time of year showing all the fall colors. The air was cool, and the Ferrari was happy. It’s a good third and fourth gear road that snakes through the hills. If you don’t get caught behind a truck, you can have some fun.

I spent three hours behind the wheel of my Ferrari, getting acquainted with a new aspect of this car. I realized that Ferrari, or Pininfarina, must not have spent much time worrying about how the interior was laid out. The gauges and switches were strewn all over the place. Almost every gauge is partially obscured most of the time by the spokes of the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is so large, and upright, that it infringes on the driver’s forward view. Although the seats in my car are sagging, I still don’t see how to improve the driver’s position. It’s not uncomfortable, but barely meant for driving this car hard! I think there was one person at the Pininfarina factory, that this car fit perfectly. Let’s call him Guiseppe.  When Guiseppe sat in this car, he could see every gauge, and had a commanding view of the road. The pedals were the perfect distance for his legs, and the angles were just right. Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to learn how to be more like Guiseppe! In a modern car, these faults would have never made it off the CAD program, but with a car built over 30 years ago, these traits are endearing! After putting 140 miles on the car today, my muscles were a little sore from conforming to Guiseppe’s shape, but they’re learning!

Thankfully, very little fuel was lost removing the filter assembly. You can now see the three offending bolts on the top of the filter housing.

The original gaskets were aluminum, but I’ll be replacing them with copper. Why? Because I have copper gaskets!

While I was under the car, I measured, and fabricated some exhaust brackets. You may remember that some of these brackets were missing from the frame of the car, but that didn’t stop me from using what was there to hang the exhaust. Now that the car is driveable, I can take it to my friend’s shop and have these brackets TIG welded so the whole exhaust is supported by its hangers.

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