Overdrive, and a %* Fuel Leak!

Overdrive, and a $#%* Fuel Leak!

Sometimes I wonder if my car will ever get done! It’s been two weeks since I tried the new fix for the overdrive unit, only have the weather forecast show rain all weekend. Most of you think Ferrari owners never drive their cars in bad weather, but I hope this picture proves I’m getting over my fear of a little rain and mud. I was determined to test the car; rain, snow, or whatever, so I coated the windshield with rain-X, and took the previously shiny and clean 330 America out of the garage for a test drive….AND THE OVERDRIVE DOES NOT WORK!

So it wasn’t a bad ground. I re-grouped, and decided to make sure the solenoid was getting voltage, so I rigged up a test light to show the circuit was hot when I was driving the car, and it worked. The solenoid was getting juice, but it wasn’t enough to kick the overdrive in gear. Now I wanted to double check if the overdrive worked at all. I checked it once before, but I wanted to make sure. With a toggle switch in place, the overdrive worked fine, so for some reason, the circuit was not providing enough current to power the solenoid. I suspected the old wiring to be at fault, so I decided to replace it with new wire.

Several weeks ago, I suspected a voltage drop in the old wiring, so I ordered some new wire from “Painless Wiring.” It wasn’t cheap stuff, but if you’ve seen the imported wire from Taiwan or China available from the auto parts stores or Radio Shack, this stuff is much better. Now, I don’t believe in wasting my money on “Monster Cable” for home stereos (Don’t get me started on their marketing), but the insulation and strand count was much better in the Painless wire than the crap you can buy locally. In the extreme heat, and chemical environments of a car, I figure it’s worth it.

I decided to work on one section at a time, and start with the supply line from the fuse panel to the relay. The fuse panel had to be removed, and the wiring has to be traced through the car. Wiring is not my favorite activity, but I’ve found if you go slow, and pay attention, it will be over soon!

After getting the first circuit replaced, I decided to take the car out for another test drive. It was now dark, but the rain had stopped. Finally getting the car up to fourth gear, I flipped the overdrive switch, and nothing happend….but then, I felt a lurch into 5th! I was so startled, I took her out of overdrive. For some reason, the overdrive would only engage sporadically, but I felt I was on the right track. Restoring the current needed to the overdrive unit with new wire was probably going to work! Now all I have to do is figure out why it was working intermittently.

I stopped by the gas station to get some gas, and call it a night, but on my return, I smelled gasoline. Looking under the car, I could see my old nemesis, the fuel leak had returned! The car was dry all winter, but I could see the same area leaking again!

Fuel was weeping at the yellow hose by the banjo fitting. I was so pissed off about the leak, I had to walk away from the car for a few minutes or else I would have tossed a match on the puddle of gasoline forming under the car! I thought I solved the fuel leak once and for all last summer. There have been no leaks all winter, and now with some fresh fuel in the tank, the leaks have returned. There can only be two things that are causing this leak. One of them is a cracked fitting, and the second is a failure in the yellow hose that is specific to these Vintage Ferraris. The rumors are that the American gasoline formulations are corroding the rubber inside these hoses, and causing leaks.

I’m so fed up with this yellow hose and these persistent leaks that I’ve decided to use a modern replacement. This small section is well hidden under the car that only if you crawl under the car to look could you see the errant hose. It’s just not worth trying the make this crap work in an area that is not easily monitored, or repaired. The consensus is to use regular rubber fuel line with hose clamps to replace this yellow hose and be done with it! 

I’ll still have to get new washers to replace the ones I took off. Considering I’ve been using this website for my notes, the two sizes I’ll need are:
fuel filter: 20 mm outer diameter, 14.3 inner diameter
electric fuel pump:18mm outer diameter, 12.4 inner diameter

After having a pretty trying day with so much failure, I decided to do something that would make me feel good. I mounted the hood badge on my car! I have a hood badge on order from Black Barts, but every time I call him to ask where it is, he says “two weeks.” I decided not to count on him to deliver the badge on time, and called Tom Shaughnessy. Tom is in the business of finding old Ferraris, and selling them to buyers all over the world. Often, these cars are not sold intact, with engines going one way, and the bodies going another. I try my best not to get into a conversation about what he does, but have found him useful in getting parts for my car when no other place would have it, even a nose badge. So where ever this badge came from, I don’t know, but it is being proudly worn by my 330 America! Thanks Tom!

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