(This is a reprint from my first blog, Sept 2007, of one of Massimo’s most memorable Ferrari stories and one of my favorites as well since I was around and actually saw what had happened, it was fascinating and I thought it was time for a re-share.)
MIA or Missing In Action
A client came in with a blown head gasket due to over heating, on a 1985 308 4 valve Ferrari. Massimo pulled the engine out, pulled the heads off, replaced the head gasket and thermostat. He than checked the water pump and looked through the water pump housing pipe as well, everything appeared fine, no leaks..,
So why had it overheated?
Massimo is meticulous and always double checks everything. And on a hunch, he pulled the water pump cover, but again no obvious reason for the trouble, the shaft had no play on the bearing, seals looked recently done, no problems right?
When he tried to turn the shaft by hand the shaft would spin without consistently engaging the gear. In other words the shaft is supposed to be locked onto the gear so that it doesn’t move at all! First thing he thought of was that the Woodruff key notch, a piece that sits on the key and fits into a spot on the gear wheel, was completely worn out. But when he pulled the front engine cover off and saw the gear bouncing on the shaft he was intrigued.
Moving? He thought, this thing wasn’t suppose to be moving around at all!
After getting down to the Woodruf key itself he saw clearly that there was no notch at all! As you can see in the photo there is nothing attached to the shaft! Instead, the Woodruff key had been pressed in. It is very likely that the shaft came like that from the factory, hard to tell, but because the notch wasn’t milled onto the shaft, the water pump circulated sporadically, which in turn caused over heating and finally catastrophic failure.
So Massimo replaced the water pump shaft and the problem was solved.
But he later confided to me that this was really strange and he’d never seen anything like this in all of his years working.
We got up early this morning to attend the Cars and Coffee in Alisa Viejo, and boy was it a blast! We brought a Ferrari work in progress to show, but were surprised that almost every vehicle imagined was represented, from Fiat 500 to Rolls Royce! People were laid back and friendly as they sipped coffee and chatted about of course, cars, theirs and others. All the makes and models presented a perfect photo opportunity so we snapped quite a few shots; a riot of color and shape. We’ve uploaded what we saw, including our artistic attempts, so you could see them too! We love Cars and Coffee event in Aliso Viejo, (and anywhere else for that matter,) what a seriously cool way to spend a leisurely Saturday morning!
Once you’ve pulled an engine out of a car you can have unforeseen and new sets of problems, especially for a 1964 330 Ferrari engine, one of these problems being how to hold it? Of course, back in the day, there were engine stands to hold these and other types of exotic engines but today.., eh, not too easy to find, actually lets just say impossible to find. So what do you do when you need an epic engine stand to not only hold, but manipulate this magnificent engine in order to work on it?
If you build it…!
But how to build this specific stand? Thinking it out, we realized it would have to be flexible, able to hold different models of vintage engines, not just this one in particular. We didn’t want to end up having engine stands lining our walls we just needed one all purpose one. It would also have to be able to hold an extensive amount of weight. Additionally it had to hold the engine stable and in certain positions where we needed it to be, and it had to able to rotate 360 degrees so we could work on any part of it as the project progressed.
We envisioned it in our heads, and drew it out, several times, on paper. When we were satisfied we hit the metal yard and bought steel cut to our measurements. We than brought the pieces back to the shop and had them welded together. Then we held our breaths, would the stand be substantial enough? Would the welds hold? Would the engine fit?
When put to the test, the stand functioned perfectly and as a final touch we painted it, Ferrari yellow! Below are photos of our stand project and the final results.
First look at the 330 shows lots of wear. It was running poorly and smoking. A leak down was performed with the results of 40% leakage with possible cracked rings in cylinders 3 and 4..
With the engine out and disassembled we found in the #3 cylinder with a broken piston ring and the number 4 showed damaged rings. This happened because the car sat for a long time with no oil lubrication, the liner built rust and by running the engine again, the rust caused the damage.
Aside from that the engine obviously needs extensive work to bring it back to working condition. Here are some photos of what the engine initially looked like and what we’ll have to work with.
Recent work at ItalTech GT includes a vintage 1964 330 Ferrari Series 1, (On the lift) a 1997 456 GT Ferrari and of course the 1997 355 Spyder with the 330 being the most extensive work we are looking forward to. The 330 has been sitting for a long time and to begin and we were told initially to do a engine reseal. However once inside the engine it is apparent it needs a lot more than that! Photos coming next post, stay tuned…