Seals, Starters, and Lights


I’ve been trying my best to get the work done to get some of the cars out of the shop, but it seems everything seems to take longer than expected with new issues rising at every turn. An example was the SI 330 I was working on with a mysterious light bulb wired into the engine compartment. As I was tuning the engine I discovered the ignition switch wouldn’t turn the engine off anymore. On closer inspection, the elimination of this light bulb caused the replacement alternator to back feed current through the electrical system.


A previous shop installed a light bulb in series with voltage regulator, but the better way was to install a diode to allow current to flow only in one direction. Luckily, my local Radio Shack had these in stock, so the fix was relatively easy!


On another 330, the engine was on our engine stand waiting for assembly. Everything came to a halt when we realized the previous shop that machined the rear main seal did not use the standard Ferrari seal. Early 330 engines came with a slinger seal, so a common modification was to install a modern lip seal by machining the block and and the crankshaft to accept the modern seal. All Ferraris from late 330 to 365s use this modern seal, but whoever did the work on this engine, chose a different seal! Since this engine came to us disassembled, we didn’t think to check the size of the seal. The standard Ferrari seal didn’t quite fit, so we had to find which seal was actually used. Without the original seal, and with a strange measurement, we had a lot of trouble finding the right seal. After several weeks of searching with our supplier, I finally tracked down the shop that did the machine work a few years ago, and they actually had a part number to order a seal. Finally, the @*%# seal arrived. Now we could move forward again with the rebuild!


The owner wanted to install a high torque starter in his engine, but it didn’t quite fit quite right either.


Like I said, this engine has seen a lot of different shops, and there was a little bit of welding done near the starter mount, so something might not have been perfectly round.


I looked for the high spots on the starter and carefully filed off the areas that were too tight. Eventually, everything went in nice and smoothly.


With the rear main seal installed, I could install the oil pan, and finish up the engine assembly. This engine is getting close to firing up!


I took the interior out of the SII 330 to bring down to my upholsterer’s shop. He too is jammed up with too many cars, but said he could start work on the interior if I brought it down before sending down the car. Trying anything to expedite the process, I drove the pieces down to his shop, hoping the car will be down there in a couple of weeks for installation!


The Dino we have at the shop was missing a marker light in the door. Looking inside the hole, I found the light inside the door.


The lens of the light had melted and fallen away, leaving just the collar inside the door.


I found the bulb installed on this light too strong, and was the reason why the lens melted. I replaced the bulb with a lower wattage unit and worked on a plan for a new lens.


Our supplier was looking for a replacement lens, but I found a red plastic bar at Francois’ shop that I could turn into a lens.


Using the left one as a guide, I fashioned a new one from scratch, and I think it looks pretty good. It won’t fool an eagle-eyed judge at a Ferrari show, but is better than a gaping hole in the door without a marker light lens. If we find a new replacement lens, great, but until then, we at least have a light! Fall Party!

October 3rd, 2015

Westbrook, CT


The Greenspans have generously offered to host another Fall Party at their house in Westbook, CT to celebrate the Platinum Preservation Award their 330 America won at the Ferrari Club National event this past August in Monterey. Please contact me for more information and join us for a day of good food, good conversation, and of course Vintage Ferraris!