A Little Bit of Everything

A little bit of Everything

The first thing I did today was check the fit of my newly cut rear panel. The fit was pretty good, but was a little too snug for my taste. I wanted to make allowances for the thickness of the leather, and the expansion of the piece as the weather got warmer. If these considerations are not taken, the panel was buckle when it runs out of room to move.

I also took some time to lay out some panel paper to make some templates for the new door panels. I used my old panels, along with some other ones Frank had at the shop to check for fit. I corrected some areas of the templates for a better fit, and then checked it for the other side. The template fit surprisingly well for the other side, so I can use the same panel shape for both doors. This photo is for me to look at when it comes time to figure out where the mounting tabs and clips go.

It’s been almost four months to the day since I last drove the Ferrari. The snow had finally melted, and the salt has been washed away by the recent rains, so I started the 330 America and took her out for a spin. When I first started the engine, the center carburetor float stuck open, and tried to flood the engine. With the other cylinders firing away, a ton of unburned gas fumes came out of the exhaust pipes. I quickly shut her down, opened some windows in the garage, and pushed the Ferrari out into the fresh air. I tapped the float with the handle of a screwdriver, and tried to start her again. This time, the center cylinders fired away, and the idle soon became steady. The carb float began shutting off the excess fuel, and I got ready for the first drive in Spring.

A thirty minute drive was enough for me to get reacquainted with a car that I was just beginning to get used to in the Fall. Although the weather was perfect for a drive, there was still a bunch of work to do today, so I didn’t spend the day playing.

With the back deck getting ready for leather, I needed to prep the other elements that go on that panel. The speaker grille needed to be sandblasted, primed and painted, so I took it over to François’ for sandblasting.

After sandblasting, I painted it with some primer. I’m going to try to find a spray can color that closely matches the leather. If I have no luck, I can always have Wayne, my painter, mix up a custom batch, but I’ll try the easy/cheap way first!

Since I had the car out, I decided to remove the paint in the areas I want to weld the seatbelt brackets Mike made up over the Winter.

I had a 5 inch sanding disc, so it didn’t get to all the paint off, but it’s at least a start. I’ll try to borrow a sander with a smaller head for the rest of the paint removal. I’m actually glad the paint is difficult to remove because it shows whoever painted this car used the right formula to make a strong paint mix.

The right side cleaned up about the same way.

I needed to drill some pretty big holes in the rockers to make room for the nuts that are welded to the back of the plates. François has a tool to enlarge the hole, but it started to bottom out on another panel behind the rocker. It seems that the rocker is not hollow as originally suspected.

The right side is even worse. There seems to be panel directly behind the outer one. Who knows what the person did with the metal work on these rockers! I decided to do some more head scratching on this project before doing any more work. If worse comes to worse, I can get some kind of grinding stone, and grind my way to the size I need. Any ideas guys?

I’ve been carrying these swatches around for several days so I could set them on the car to see how everything will look together. This is the carpet I’m going with to compliment the rest of the car. It’s a little darker to hide the milkshake stains and dirty foot prints!

My final project of the day was to continue sanding the grille pieces for the eventual polishing. This is messy work, and aluminum dust is not good to have in my apartment, so I set up a little area at François’ for an hour or so to finish up the sanding with the palm sander. I started a little of this last week during my lunch hour at work. I started with 320 grit to knock down the “tooth” of the aluminum from the manufacturing process. Then it was onto 600 grit to lose the sanding marks of the 320. After some tests, I decided final sanding at 1000+ will have to be done by hand to get the buffing to be perfect. The machine leaves little swirls. no matter what grit you use, and these marks show up in the polishing. I’ll also be wet sanding the final stage to keep the paper from “loading up.” This can be done at home!

My last post mentioned an Upholsterer in Ontario that is experienced in Ferrari seats, and it is only fair for me to shamelessly plug my upholsterer, East Coast Auto Trim. Frank, the owner, has done everything from motorcycle seats, to boat interiors, and has been upholstering all of François’ Ferrari restorations for at least 15 years. Even though he’ll take his time with an interior and drive François nuts, he finds Francois returning for the quality. His work is top notch, and although it took a while for him to get around to my seats, I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d go to in the area either.
East Coast Auto Trim, Inc.
35 Grand St.
New Rochelle, NY 10801
(914) 632-5858

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page