Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Beast of Turin - 1911 Fiat S76

This recently restored 1911 Fiat S76 has four valve-per-cylinder, multi-spark, overhead cam technology and a displacement of 28.5 litres. Here's a video of this massive engine being started for the first time.

Two of these record breaking cars were built. This is the only one left. Want more info?
Fiat S76 record breaker

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Annoying trunk lid problem fixed

With the help of a neighbour I finally figured out a problem that has annoyed me for years. When I closed the trunk lid the left hinge felt as though it was binding - there was always a small 'thud' sound and a shudder. This never happened when I opened the trunk lid. I checked the hinges up close: they're the same and not bent. The tension rod/spring was installed correctly.

As it turns out the problem is the angle between the torsion spring and left hinge. This angle is too shallow compared to the right hinge which functions normally. To be specific, it's where the U-shaped part of the torsion bar fits into the slotted piece of the hinge assembly. This shallow angle causes the two pieces to bind - resulting in the thud sound and shudder

It seems a previous owner tried to solve the same problem by welding a small rod in the U-shaped part of the torsion bar. I did solve it by placing a 3mm shim in the slotted piece of the hinge assembly (piece of tubing cut lengthwise). This created more distance between the spring and hinge resulting in a steeper angle.

The trunk lid now not only closes as it should but also opens wider (a good 4"). 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Roof Doctor Will See Your Lincoln Now

Here's a nice article in this weeks NYT about John Cashman - slabside Guru:
The Roof Doctor Will See Your Lincoln Now 

John C. Cashman with a 1961 Lincoln Continental in Seattle. Credit Terry Parkhurst

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wheeler Dealers - 1963 Lincoln Continental (full episode)

It's a good episode, they have lots of good things to say about the car.
But I dislike the wheels and paint they chose.

Trunk restoration (part 3)

I ordered plenty of extra trunk liner material along with the trunk kit from Leather Restorations in order to sew together pieces for the LPG covers. I used cardboard to make templates, transferred those to the trunk liner material and had lots of help sewing it all together. A common sewing machine can just handle the material.  

The job´s nearly finished (still need to attach the spare tire cover flap). It came out pretty well although the two black LPG vent hoses look rather stupid. There's little more I can do about that than place a large, old leather travel suitcase or trunk in there. That'll hide those hoses a bit and provide space for the emergency crap I carry.

The covers are stiff enough to hold themselves in place. The trunk liner material added to the stiffness once it was glued in place (I used 3M) but I also added a second sheet of hardboard on the inside of the covers to stiffen them up so they would hold their shape and not sag.

From start to finish:

(Artificial light)


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lincoln Continental Test Drive - Wheeler Dealers (New Series - Sneak Peak)

After 11 years there's a 1963 Continental on Wheeler Dealers... fantastic! I've been waiting for that. Easily the most important American car design from the early 1960's (I'm not at all biased).

Looking forward to seeing Mike emptying his wallet for parts at Lincoln Land or Bakers Auto & watch Ed deal with the silly crank shaft mounted power steering pump, the nylon aluminium cam shaft gear, the over-designed steering gear mounts etc. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Trunk restoration (part 2)

Picking up where I left off with the trunk,

I used a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust and sand that was in the wheel wells and behind the rear quarters. Reason for doing this was the rust prevention product I was going to spray with an air gun next. It's important that the spray reaches (or seeps into) all nooks and crannies. Dust and sand get in the way and soak up the product. 

The product I used is Caprotech RX5, "a transparent product with a strong penetrating formula, penetrates through existing rust and bonds to the metal, completely isolating existing rust". The air gun is intended to be used with undercoating and rust prevention products (not with paint). It came with two nylon hoses about 2.5 feet long; one has a tip that sprays 360 degrees, the other one has a grip and nozzle that's at an 90 degrees angle. The two 55 litre LPG made it a bit difficult to see if I had reached everywhere so I simply sprayed until drips were forming at the lowest points on the outside of the car (doglegs, rear wheel arch etc.) 

Next I doubled-up on the sticky-back asphaltic sound deadening material where the factory placed it but I also stuck it on the trunk floor and the flat pieces that go over the 'frame' rails. If you knock in different areas you get a very good idea where you do and don't need to put this stuff. I'm not going to place additional sound deadening material because that was already done in the passenger compartment when a PO had the interior redone. 

So far I was only able to fit the first five pieces of the trunk kit from Leather Restorations/Jim Wallace. They cover the upright area in front of the rear bumper and tail lights. It took a bit of trying because I had to take into account the hoses, lines and cables from the LPG installation. It covered up 90% of that mess, which is better than I had expected. In a normal trunk the kit would fit no problem. Good stuff. Though it a good idea to test fit everything before you start spraying glue. 

At first I thought to cover-up the two LPG tanks with old leather travelling bags or suitcases. But this called for using parts of the trunk kit that just don't fit right or look presentable. Instead I opted to build covers for both tanks that - as luck would have it - fit very nicely with the trunk kit pieces I still can use. They line-up with the largest piece in the trunk kit - the one that covers the floor and gas tank.

I used hard-board, duct tape, bendy plastic and PVC pipe (for the rounded edges). It's a cheap and effective solution but it takes a few hours of cutting and fitting and cutting and fitting and cutting and fitting etc. It doesn't look like much now but wait until they're covered with the extra trunk liner material I ordered with the trunk kit.