275GTS Suspension and Engine Disassembly
7039: 275GTS Suspension and Engine Disassembly
Finally, the last piece of suspension came apart. The ball joints came out, and the front spindles were removed. To keep the dirt out of our wash tank, I scraped some of the accumulated dirt off the suspension pieces. It was amazing how much grime was on the car considering the mileage on the odometer.
The speedometer on this car was in miles per hour, and showed a total of 20,753 on the odometer. Considering this car has been parked since 1974, we guessed this was probably correct for its age, but there are signs that have been proving otherwise. Although I doubt the mileage could be 120,753, the signs show more mileage than a mere 20K miles. The first clue has been the amount of dirt and grease we found all under the car. Ferraris leak oil, and this attracts a lot of dirt, but the accumulations seems excessive. We’ll continue to look for clues, but the verdict is still out if this car is an actual low mileage car.
One of the main places to look for clues to the mileage is in the engine, so I was anxious to tear into it. With the valve covers off, I found the roller followers to be perfect without any signs of marking, but the adjuster screws were all badly worn. These two signs canceled each other out to prove the mileage on this engine.
I installed a head puller after removing the valve covers preparing for a fight. Some heads can really be stuck to the block when the head studs corrode to the aluminum head. The process involves attaching a head pulling fixture to the head, and slowly applying pressure to the the head with long bolts. Eventually, the head will release and the head will inch its way up off the head studs.
Luckily, both heads came off without a problem, and the head studs had very little corrosion. Either this engine had been apart once before, or had seen little mileage. Still no verdict on the mileage.
There was definitely rust in the cylinder walls from the long dormancy, but luckily the engine was not seized. From the look of the deposits on the pistons, this engine had smoked a lot, maybe too much for 20K mileage.
Next to come off was the oil pan. The fins on the pan often show how many miles were on the car from the amount of scars on the aluminum sump. This pan was pretty nick free much like 2259 which was definitely a low mileage survivor car.
The oil pump pickup has to be disconnected so the timing chain case can be removed. It’s connected to the pump with a soft rubber hose. In the past, Francois and other engine builders have seen the incorrect hose used at this pipe. Inexperienced or unknowing mechanics would have used a piece of heater hose for this connection. As it was submerged in oil, the hose would disintegrate and cause suction issues for the oil pump. Needless to say, loss of oil pressure can cause catastrophic engine problems. Replacing this little hose unfortunately means an engine out procedure, so using the the right hose would be a good idea for many reasons!
With the timing chest out of the way, I focused removing all the pistons. We’ll measure them to see if they’re still the original standard bore size.
By the end of a day, I had only the crank and main journals left to remove, but huge pile of parts that will need to be cleaned.
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Here is a video I shot out in Monterey with John Surtees talking about racing a GTO.
I especially liked the visit with Marshal Buck, and the visit to CMA Models. I learned a lot about the world of high end model building.
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