Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a miserable but satisfying day!

I spent the whole day under the car scraping and cleaning...
Crap flying everywhere, nasty, nasty, nasty!! But, I made a lot of progress and only have a little more to do. I have a very hard time finding the motivation to do this part of a project but I do know that it is necessary! In the process I uncovered a good bunch of rust holes hiding beneath the undercoat. Having spent the day lying in my back under the car, with everything falling on me or shooting at me, I have decided that I can't do it like that any more. I cleaned up the garage and strapped the car to my cart. Then I dragged the engine hoist around and lifted one side of the car. I have it at 45 degrees right now and am sure I can get to 60. This way, I will be able to sit and weld patches almost vertical instead of over my head. Some of the fixes can be done from inside the car but unless I remove cross beams and seat rails, some of it will have to be done from underneath. In any case, I felt good about things at days end, knowing that I am doing a complete job and not leaving stuff that will bite me in the end. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Booster and master cylinder in

I got the rest of the booster parts cleaned up and mounted it to the fire wall. Then I painted the new master cylinder, since they rust in the blink of an eye, and installed it as well. I can't describe how good it feels putting parts back into the car!! A year ago I was thrilled to be taking stuff out but... That was nothing compared to this!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Big brakes

Didn't feel like crawling under the car for the available hour today so I cleaned up and painted part of the brake booster. Maybe the motivation came from the set of Fiat 500 calipers I found... Yep, the calipers from the new 500 fit the old spider, only much better. Vented rotors and bigger caliper pistons. I mentioned in an earlier post that I already have the bigger brakes from an 85.5 spider but since I found these for such a good deal, I'm running with it! I will use the 85.5 brakes on my 1977 which will maintain a more stock engine. 

Oh yea... Boring!!!

Not much time lately but a hour under the car scraping is really boring... I told you so!! Had to say it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Air box finished

Engine bay paint dried and I installed the lid on my air box.
Still have to build the box for the top of the carbs but that is a ways out till I get the engine in the car and verify the space under the hood.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Painting the engine bay

Remember that stuff about not being a perfectionist? I'll show you...
I did hit some places with seam sealer but this engine bay will never be straight and perfect. It's going to be very functional and organized which is what matters to me.

Air box cont.

I've been making a little progress this last week and did get some stuff done this weekend. I finished the air box deciding that a flat lid with two thumb screws was the best way. The lid will get some weather strip under it. I painted it before I got pictures of the lid so stay tuned. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meet the Beek

I took the day off from my crazy work schedule and drove up to the Orlando area with Michael, a local fellow spider owner. We went to deliver my cylinder head and parts to Randy Beeken who has been building, fixing, restoring and racing Fiats, and Lancias, for over 25 years. Randy will be rebuilding the cylinder head with bigger valves, triple springs and assembling the head with cam boxes using my 42-82/82-42 cams. These numbers designate the duration of lift in the cam which opens and closes the valves. 
I have had many phone conversations with Randy so it was great to finally meet him and get this part of my project moving forward. 
We also picked up a bunch of parts which were brought down from Steve in the great white north, by our friend Jim who was delivering his 69 from Minnesota to Randy's shop. It's an interesting community of spider owners spread across this country and the world over, united by the internet and one common interest, keeping another spider on the road.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Air box

Started working in the engine bay again, sorting out my air filter housing. First I tacked a screen over the intake just in case a rat tries to crawl up there. Then I fabricated some brackets to hold the filter. The filter will slide in from the top under a removable lid. Still have to finish an enclosure with the outlet tube. 

Final decision!

I made a design decision on my emblem and will have a few of these made...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How about more inconspicuous?

I have been playing with fun ideas today and think something along the lines of this would be the ticket.
So now I'm playing up the idea that this cobbled together car is an actual model produced. The script and number are a play on the original badging which said Pininfarina 2000. 
This should be fun to explain!! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

People keep saying it but I'm not really a perfectionist!

I just don't want to be labeled as such since that inevitably leads to picking the car apart...
I'll say it now, this car will not be perfect!! But, what is perfect anyway? It's never going to be 100% Fiat again, it wasn't when I got it! It's going to be what I want it to be and that is perfect for me!
That said, I cut my grill surround apart since one side didn't match the other! Hmmm!! Don't say it!!!
I think when I welded in my latest fog light buckets I may have heated up the passengers side too much and after I spent so much time lining the two buckets up, they were way off. I'm not sure why the length of the grill surround sections were different since I followed exactly what was there. The only thing I can think is that maybe those front ends changed over the years and when the drivers fender was replaced, it didn't match the passengers. In any case, it is close enough for my kind of perfect now. I also changed out my front plate to match the numbered Florida plate I have reserved for the back. I will find another more conspicuous way to have Miscuglio on the car somewhere. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I told you this was going to get boring!

Scraping undercoating and cleaning the underside of the car is nothing but boring!! I did get the drivers side wheel well cleaned up, welded some support for the top unibody frame and also along the sway bar mount.  Finished up the exterior parts of my cold air intake. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cold air intake

I went around in circles trying different things and decided on an air box inside the drivers fender well. I went about locating a duct in the front valance which would work with what I already have going on and fabricated a cone to take it from an oval to a 3" tube. This leads into the wheel well and will duct into the fender where I will build an air filter box. From this box I will have another 3" tube running up to a box on the carbs. This should work out very well to get fresh cold air to the carbs!

Making progress on last and final fog lights!

They are not so different except in size and my welding skills. Yep, I have worked my way around the car enough times to have a pretty decent grip on this welding stuff. Much cleaner install this time!

Sexy carbs!!

I received my pair of Weber IDF 44s with the new intake manifold this week and immediately started thinking about cold air intakes... More on that soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Going backwards again

I think I am on attempt #5 for getting my fog lights right. At least what I consider right! I decided to use my bracket mounted Hella lights behind the grill and finally found some 5 3/4" H3 lights to bucket into the lower valance. Sadly, my buckets where too small so I cut them out and am working on fabricating new ones to fit the lights. Lots of trouble but it will be worth it!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Painted dog house

I had to explain to my daughter that cars have a dog house...
I have been continuing my engine bay clean up and worked my way into the dog house. I removed all the old dealer sprayed undercoat and cleaned up a couple bad spots, then finished up with some glossy white. I also got the sway bar painted. Went with a yellow to match the koni shocks. I'll have red springs around yellow shocks and thought it would look good to bring that yellow into other suspension parts.