Ferrari Brick Brack


I started putting the front of the engine together on the SI 330 and I saw something I hadn’t seen before.


Ferrari cast in the housing which oil filter fit on the oil filter stand. A Fram PH3 fits and I’m sure FRAMS were good back then, but we prefer to use Baldwins today.


You’re probably tired of looking at brakes, but I love looking at nice clean newly assembled brakes! Here are the SI 330 brakes ready to go back on the car. I counted the parts and there are about 34 pieces in the front calipers and about 51 pieces in the rear calipers!


There are slight differences in plating between my local plater and the plating done by my caliper rebuilder. I thought about sending them out to one plater and having my caliper resleever do his job afterwards, but it would only add to the expense. After a few miles, the plating will hopefully age and even out. Bob Smith at Coachworks in Texas built his own plating shop to get more consistency in his plating for this reason. Although plating is expensive, a lot of it’s due to the many hours of labor it takes to clean and polish the parts before the process of electroplating is performed. The actual electroplating process is done in a few hours, and never more than a day’s work, but it’s the countless hours of preparation that often costs so much. Even with the cadmium plating you see here, the old parts have to cleaned, degreased, bead blasted, and super clean before dipping them in to a plating tank. Any dirt or grease left on the cast iron pieces will affect the plating. We spend time at our shop taking as much of the dirt and grease off the parts, and our plater continues the process at his shop. Before any plating is applied, he’ll run the parts in an acid bath to take the microscopic dirt out of the pores of the metal. Half of the results of good plating is from cleanliness, the other half are trade secrets that the plater knows. Through the years, I’ve learned some of them, but they keep this information close to their chest. The time in the tanks, the temperature, the duration, and even voltage will affect the results. On a visit to Coachwork’s facility several years ago, I was amazed the expense Bob Smith went through to condition the power running his plating operation! Bob’s facility serves only high end plating, and provides perfection at a qualified price. When I take my plating to a local guy, his shop works on a different client base. His tanks will see a lot of industrial plating that requires a different level of quality. His profit is based on volume, and makes less money if he has to slow down and pay attention. This is especially true when it comes to pieces that take the white cad plating on the brakes. I’ve gotten around this dilemma by having my independent plater rent the tanks at a facility, but he manages the cleaning and the process for my batch. It’s the quality control that’s crucial. The final finishes will change from shop to shop, and even from day to day. Getting consistency is a struggle, and keeping costs to reasonable level for my customers is always about the compromise.


The SI 330 was missing a battery hold down rod that needed to be fabricated. Here’s a picture of the one on the SII car. I had to special order 6mm rod because metric rod is not readily available at the local hardware store!


The loop at the end of the rod has to be formed with a torch. The curve is too tight of a bend, so I did a little bit of “black smithing” at the shop.


I’ve been waiting for a nice hot day at the shop to wrinkle paint the valve covers for the SI car. We have an oven set up inside the shop with heat lamps, but nothing works as nice as the even heat from sun. I preheated the parts and the rattle can of wrinkle paint and laid down a heavy coat of paint. It goes on thick, but magically after a few minutes, it starts to wrinkle.


A customer of mine needed a set of straight eared knock off for his Campagnolo wheels on his GTB, and Francois had a decent set of cores in his stash of parts. This set had been rechromed before, and the previous job left the centers all but buffed away. Luckily, these re-embossed centers are available in reproduction, but will add an extra step to the process of refurbishing these knock offs.


The old centers will have to removed, the plating stripped, the knock off ears straightened and repaired, the new center filed and fitted, and then silver soldered in place before everything is plated. This kind of work requires a lot of attention and care not to screw things up because any mistake could be disastrous!