3553: Brake Fluid Cap and Under hood Paint

Brake Fluid Cap

There are still a bunch of little things to do on the GTE before it gets sent down for the Cavallino Show in about a week, and one of them was to work on the brake reservoir cap. We sent the cap out for nickel plating, but after they sand blasted the part, they found the thin top cover was pretty rusty. It trapped a lot of moisture along with some old brake fluid, so I decided to carefully cut the piece off and replace it with a new cover. The original cover was crimped in place with a retaining ring, but a new one would have to be secured in a different manner. After removing the old piece, cleaning off the rust, and cutting a new disc to fit perfectly on the cap, I glued the piece to the cap with some epoxy. The only thing I forgot to do was to photograph the finished product!

About a week ago while I was carefully looking over the car for problems or mistakes that could cause the judges to take points away at Cavallino, I noticed a problem with the under hood paint. The only way to address the issue was to remove the hood for better access.
chipping paint

There was an adhesion problem with the paint that was applied by a previous shop and it was getting worse with each passing week. It looked like the another layer of paint was sprayed on the original paint without a primer coat, and sections of it were flaking off. The second coat of paint was pretty thick, so the parts that weren’t sticking were coming off in sheets. The right way to fix this problem was to strip all the paint off the under hood section to bare aluminum, and start from scratch, but there just wasn’t enough time to do this with the delivery date on this car in a week.

I scraped as much of the loose paint as I could and stopped at a seam that I hoped would hide well. The rest of the area was sanded to a smooth surface, and painted. Let’s hope there are no more last minute fires to put out!
polished wheels

Alvin did a spectacular job polishing the Borranis despite his sore fingers from getting between the spokes!

New tires were mounted and balanced. These are Vredestein “Sprint Classics,” and I’ll be curious to see how they feel on this GTE. Most Ferrari shows allow any type of tire as long as they are in the original size, but very few modern tires come in the original sizes. The correct size for this car was 185-15. There was no number for the aspect ratio because before the late 1960s, the sidewalls were standardized to about an 80 series tire. Finding a 185-80-15 is near impossible, so if you want a modern tire, you’ll have to juggle some of the numbers. One of the caveats is to be careful a different size does not lower the car any more than stock. Ferrari exhausts are pretty low, even with a stock size tire. Classic reproductions in the correct sizes are available, but because of their limited supply, high cost, and old technology, we chose the Vredesteins. I hope to get a full report on how these tires perform from Gary after he drives the car in Florida.

Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.

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