Upholstery IV, Ferrari Mystery Part V

Upholstery IV, Ferrari Mystery Part V

…continued from the last post.

The rear panel is the next order of business to get started. It holds the rear speaker grille, and a fan motor for the rear window defogger.

At some point after this panel was removed from the car, it must have gotten wet because the leather covering shrunk badly. It pulled and warped the masonite backing board like a potato chip. Frank’s instruction is to disassemble the panel down to the masonite, and wet the it down. He’ll then get some weights, and weigh the panel down overnight to dry, and the panel should return flat enough to make a template for a new panel.

The first step was to remove the various brackets and trim pieces that hold the defogger motor in place. I’ll use these pictures for reference when it all goes back together. I should have used some of these pictures for a “Ferrari Mystery Part!”

There’s no heating element in this device, so all it does is circulate the air around the rear window. It must not be very effective, especially since it’s mounted on one side of the window, and exhausts the air out of that small slot in the bottom of the vent.

Here’s the shape of the defogger unit in the panel.

The panel was stapled all the way around the masonite, so once all the staples were removed, I was able to take all the parts off and cleaned.

The remnants of foam shows that it was about 1/4 inch thick, and was glued to the backing board. I could also see that the glue was haphazardly brushed on the board from the brush marks still in the masonite. The old foam crumbled off easily to the touch, and soon the masonite board was ready for wetting and pressing.

Frank and I discussed what the next step would be. Depending on how well the panel flattens, I will take either the original panel or a template up to the car and check it for fit. Once I’m happy with the way it fits, we’ll move forward with cutting out a new panel. We talked about what material to use, and Frank showed me some black cardboard they use for door panels, but he gets in 40X30 inch lengths. I’m sure we could get it a size that will cover the 52 inch span of my back panel, but I’d have to order it. Then he mentioned that making it in steel or aluminum would be even better. Fiberboard, or anything similar, warps with moisture, metal does not. It also provides a nice strong surface to glue to. The only real disadvantage is that it can rattle, but Frank glues a thin layer of foam, or cloth to the contact surface to stop it from rattling against the car.

Although I’ve got “Doran Manufacturing” pretty busy with my grille fabrication, I couldn’t think of a better facility to make this panel. If I can get an accurate template made up, scanning it in their parts scanner would make the CAD drawings that could then be fed to the machine that can laser cut not only the panel, but also the all the holes and screw holes! When I described what “Doran” could do to Frank, he suggested I do the same for my door panels. The beauty of all this is that if I make these panels for this car in aluminum, they’ll last the life of the car. Even if the leather gets worn out 20-30 years from now, a future restorer (if not me) can simply recover the aluminum panels that will be perfectly fine.

I contacted Mike about the panels, and he agreed to the work saying that it would be easy, but I hope he doesn’t regret offering to help! Next week, I’ll strip the door panels and get them up to my car for measuring. Frank insists I make sure they fit because on a 275GTB he recently reupholstered, there was an 1-1/2 inch difference in door panel length from one side to the other! Ah, the joys of a hand made car!

Ferrari Mystery Part IV

It looks like Kerry and I stumped everyone except one viewer on this Ferrari Mystery Part! Here are two more pictures to give you another shot at it before reading the other submissions.

does it have something to do with an engine breather system?   Pete

Well, I looked in my library, and could not find the proper complete definitive answer to mystery part 3.  No answers in my books on the shelf, alas.
Anyway, the current part is truly a mystery!
If it’s small, it could be an emulsion tube from deep in the carbs.  If its big, perhaps the exhaust (although unlikely imho).  If its medium sized, perhaps from the transmission, of from the water or engine oil sump or distribution system:
The holes look like fluid control of some sort – not a bearing surface.  Good one.   Jon

Don’t think the tube with the perforations in either end is a part from a 128F.  As you know, mine’s all apart, and that looks like nothing I’ve ever seen.   David

I believe that the round tube with the small holes that you show in your picture of 3/15/02  is an inner tube for the passenger seat regulators. I restored a 250 Pf coupe and remembered rebuilding this. The small holes are to retain ball bearings and this slides into an outer tube that bolts to the seat bottom and floorboard.  Ron

I forwarded Ron’s e-mail to Kerry, and here’s what Kerry found:

I was in the shop tonight showing the car to a friend.  We were looking at a cutout section of the floor (been replaced in the car due to rust).  There were holes that matched the tubes with the flanges.  So then I got the seat frames and the parts from the pictures and put them all together to mount the seat frame to the floor and slide.  But there was lots of play that we couldn’t understand.  In the same box was a spray paint lid full of ball bearings.  So the picture is now complete with this final information.  The bearings will take up the play and make for a easy motion.

However, I think that putting this together will be like one of those games where you have to roll one ball bearing into a hole while not disturbing the ones that you have already done.  However, some heavy grease should help hold them in place as you fill in each row and slide the tube a little farther in.  Now the question is how many bearings are missing.  I picked out a half dozen loose in the bottom of the box.

Ferrari Mystery Part V

This one is a little easier than the last one. If you know what it is, let me know what model/year they started using it.

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page