275GTS Tweaking as Seals on a 330
Installing the grille on the 275GTS has been a struggle. Rubber profiles have definitely changed through the years since these cars were new, and we’ve even seen them change in the years I’ve been installing them. One set of gaskets will fit fine, but when you order a new set a couple of years later, the fit is all off! It’s just another struggle we face when working on low production Italian cars that were hand made. With a couple tricks up Francois’ sleeve, he’s managed to get it to look perfect.
When Francois test drove the car last week, he noticed the brakes were not feeling right. The front calipers were dragging a little bit after the drive, and we needed to find out the problem. I hate working on brakes after a car has been restored. I know there are some shops that use DOT 5 brake fluid to eliminate the corrosive nature of DOT 4 brake fluid, but we find the original fluid less problematic with seals and trapped air.
We believed we isolated the problem to the adjustment in the push rod inside the booster, which meant the brake master cylinder had to be removed to access the push rod. Yikes! I covered every painted surface that could get brake fluid on it carefully drained and removed the M/C. The adjustment of about .5mm was all it needed to fix the problem, but man was that a lot of stress!
This situation reminded me of a time about 10 years ago when I was working at another shop restoring a 275GTB. That car had exactly the same brake set up, and we had issues as well with the master cylinder. The M/C booster set up was removed at least 6 times trying to find the problem. Nobby Clark, a legendary motorcycle mechanic working at this shop at the time, was put on the task of removing the brake system, but he never complained once. A true professional, and with all our efforts, we eventually found the problem. What was it? A slight variation in the seals blocked the inlet hole to the reservoir in the M/C, causing the brakes to not release. Just another wacky problem we find working on these old cars!
It’s a little freaky that I was writing about Nobby Clark and I find out he passed away just days after I started composing this blog post. Rest in Peace my friend.
The center console on this car needed some tweaking as well. We found the shifter rod that passes through the center console in the car would rub against the edge of the console whenever the seat was pushed to the furthest point of adjustment, causing the shifter to bind. This was obviously a problem from the day this car left the factory since we didn’t change the mounting points of these pieces, but since the owner of this car is tall, we had to make an adjustment. With new upholstery already installed on the console, I had to peel it back, trim the steel substructure, and carefully re-glue the vinyl back onto the console.
Although a lot of attention is focused on the 275GTS, we still have other projects in the shop that needs tending. I was waiting for a speedi sleeve to arrive in the mail for the 330 driveshaft I’ve been working on. It installed without a problem, and looks like it will solve the leaking pinion shaft seal leak. Time will tell!
Here’s a photo of Francois tweaking the fit of the grille on this 275GTS. He’s a true perfectionist and wants it to fit to his liking. As I watch him work, I can see over 50 years of experience pass through his hands. Although we’ve worked on many cars together, and I’ve helped him restore several cars in the past several years, this 275GTS is the first car we worked on from start to finish. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to do this car with my mentor, and I hope it lives up to my expectations when we show it at Cavallino!
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