Update from the Shop: June 2021

Since the last update, work finished on the shop infrastructure (for now- more shop work later this month) and work began on the Alfa disassembly.

The shop lighting circuit #1 was finished. I now have a bright U shaped bowl of light on the car. It was the first time I ran conduit, and the results were very good.

The older I get, the more wonky my eyes are. Having good light is terribly important to me. Just as important as these fixed lights, I purchased two rechargeable light wands from Harbor Freight. With a rotating and adjustable angle head, and a magnetic base, these are very helpful and allow me to see the fine details.

On May 24, 2021 the first part was removed from the car and the Capstone Project began. The first part removed? The hood. Getting the weight off the car and getting it stripped down is what I want to accomplish first. It’s tempting to start working on pieces like this hood or tearing into the engine, but there will be time for that. There is no project if the car’s bones aren’t sound, so all effort and resources are going into ensuring that the car is a rebuildable platform. My initial inspections of the suspension mounting points, front and rear, and cross members, are that they are sound. The sheet metal around them may be trash, but the bones seem to have maintained shape and strength. Even the inner sills and in pretty good shape compared to the outer and middle sheet metal. I’ve jacked the car now in a few spots (you’ll notice the front driver side suspension has failed and it droops) and no creaking and moaning.

The chassis is phase one of this project, and without a doubt the most complex and time consuming. Not a panel on this car isn’t affected by rust. A combination of repair panels and fabricated pieces will be fitted and the car given a sturdy but not concours fit and finish. My order of operations is along these lines:

  • Remove the Engine and Transmission and Set Aside: Target Date 31 August
  • Remove the Bonnet, Trunk Lid, Doors
  • Remove the Front and Rear Glass
  • Strip the Interior.
  • Brace the chassis and install and lift onto Rotisserie by 31 January 2022
  • Strip suspension, Front and Rear.
  • Chassis Repairs and Sheet Metal Repair and Replace.

I’m not going to set a date for Phase 1 to be complete. I am after all a 60+ hour per week working class stiff, and the work will be detail intensive and cannot be rushed. What I can say is when Phase 1 is done, the build truly begins. It allows me time to think about the design:

  • Fuel Cell: Safe, modern, high capacity with advanced fuel filtration system.
  • To accommodate this, a redesigned trunk with spare tire moved to roof rack. Jack Points, Tow Hooks and hi-lift jack storage.
  • What spares and supplies with purpose built storage as well as onboard tooling for rally/overlands?
  • Lighting.
  • Bumpers/Skid Plates.
  • Roll Bar: Most likely single hoop.

That’s nowhere near a complete list but it gives you an idea of the direction of this project, which again is to build a rock solid and reliable long distance driver capable of navigating and self rescue in all types of terrains. It will only be as capable as my imagination.

“Everybody wants to have the party but nobody wants to clean up” is an old saying a mentor of mine was fond of, the implication being that it takes discipline and focus to stick to the plan and the less than sexy work required to prepare. Right now, that’s disassembly and prepping for engine removal.

Engine Bay Starting Place May 24, 2021
Progress to date

The first engine bay photo was as it came to me. Note the aftermarket air conditioning and the poor hose and wire management. I’ve removed most of the hoses, the inlet air and filter, the radiator, the coil and distributor cap, and I’ve daylighted the SPICA system. As well, I stripped the grill, the headlamps and the front bumper.

Grill and Bumper Removed

The remaining portions of the air conditioning will come out soon, almost assuredly never to be installed again. I’m not a fan of A/C in general, especially shoehorned in aftermarket. I’ll find better uses for the weight and horsepower losses.

Some interesting finds, the Maserati horn for example.

I guess I never really put anytime into thinking about the horn or researching it. This one won’t go back in, a couple of outrageously loud 118 db Hella’s will, but it is fascinating.

I’m a note taker. While I may be older than the youngsters doing this sort of work these days, I like to think my tech keeps up with them. I use an app called Day One to capture words and images, mostly taken with an iPhone and annotated using Markup.

The Coil: Notes, arrows, highlighting- I’m a note takin’ nerd.
Large Wiring Diagram I mark up as I go. Ebay but pretty good!

I love how companies find ways to monetize their products while still making them useful to the consumer. I keep exacting notes in Day One and then with the push of a button I can bundle the notes into a book-like layout and send to a printer, all within the app. I will send my Phase 1 books off when the car is up on the rotisserie and they should be very valuable to me as I start the harder process of rebuilding.

Type 11501

I hope by the end of June to have all the remaining removable objects out of the engine bay so I can turn my attention to breaking the engine and transmission away from the cross members.

Published by Anthony

My name is Anthony and I was born in Niagara Falls, NY in December 1966. Life is short: We live, we love, we die. Make the most of it. I came to this reality, you can say a sudden awakening (a zen concept called Satori!) or an ah-ha moment in 2019, upon the death of my dog and a reality check about my own mortality. I am exploring the last years of my life in a blog, where I pursue the Capstone projects of my life, the tasks and adventures that required a lifetime to prepare for.

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