With the front bank timing cover out of the way you can now see both timing belts. You can also see the water pump in the center of the picture. Since everything feels tight in the water pump and since it was rebuilt recently I am going to leave the water pump alone…but this would be an excellent time to do any maintenance that is required on it.
Moving the AC compressor is essential to creating access to the front bank timing belt. Now this is easier said than done! This portion took me several hours and reminded me of one of those wire puzzles. You have to manipulate the AC compressor through the small space between the passenger side fuel tank and the timing belt cover. This is made immensely more difficult because of the fact that the water pump pulley and crank are in the way. You also have to remove the lines to the vapor recovery canister in order to allow the AC lines to go up and over the fuel tank. Be very careful as you do this because the three pipes that lead from the gas tank to the canister are aluminum and bend very easily and would be next to impossible to repair.
After wrestling with the AC pump for quite awhile I finally had an epiphany and figured out if you face the pulley towards the front of the vehicle it will allow the pump to slip between the tank and timing cover and allow you to hang the compressor out of the way.
The first step after moving the coolant pipe is to remove the rear bank timing belt cover and the water pump/alternator belt. Here you can see the rear bank timing belt and tensioner bearing. The front bank timing belt cover is still in place since the AC compressor needs to be moved before the front timing belt cover can be removed. You can see the AC compressor in the top right corner of the photo. You can also see that my engine desperately needs a detailing!
In order to proceed with changing the timing belts I had to drain the coolant system. It is necessary to drain the coolant system since there is a coolant pipe that goes across the area where the timing belt covers and accessory belts are located. There is a coolant petcock located on the underside of the engine near the rear exhaust manifold. The timing belt write-up from Birdman says to drain the coolant from here or from the front of the car. Since I do not have easy access to the front underside of the car I opted for the drain in the rear. The photo of the petcock is a little hard to see but there is a drain. Upon first glance it is really hard to find but it is there. In order to minimize the mess I used a funnel and hose to help coax the coolant into the container. Once the coolant was drained I was able to loosen the bottom of the coolant pipe and remove the top clamp and swing the pipe down out of the way. During the filling process you need to bleed the coolant system. In order to do this properly and without scalding yourself I would highly recommend replacing the bleeder with an EZ Bleed from Verell at Unobtainium Supply. I installed the EZ Bleed in order to make removing the air from the system much easier.
Part of getting the car ready is to replace the timing belts. The timing belts were done on the car about 500 miles ago, however it has been ten years since that happened. The belts do have a “shelf life” so I am replacing them so that I know what condition the belts are in. The service should also include adjusting the valves but since the valves were adjusted with the last major they should not have changed significantly in the last 500 miles, so I will fore go that part. Birdman has written an excellent step by step process for replacing the belts, you can find it on his service procedure page. The car is on jack stands and ready for new timing belts!
Since the weather is warming up the project is back in full swing. The first step is to remove the air filter, air cleaner, and plenum. One key item that needs to be addressed at this point is the carb spacers. There are sixteen spacers that help hold the gasket in place at the base of the air cleaner. These spacers sit on the studs that are set in the top of each carb. These little spacers need to be accounted for as you remove the air cleaner in order to ensure that none of them drop into the carb throats. To help ensure this I set the choke on full which helps reduce the chance of the spacers falling all the way through to the intake. I then checked and made sure each spacer remained on the stud as the air cleaner was removed. If you are not removing the deck lid then you have to take care when removing the air cleaner to ensure that you don’t scratch it. It is difficult to get the air cleaner out without removing the deck lid, but not impossible. At this point I realized that two spacers were missing from the previous owner. I made sure to check that all the spacers were clear before I removed the air cleaner, but just to be on the safe side I used a bore scope to check each throat and choke plate to ensure that nothing dropped inside the car. I then proceeded to design and build throat covers. I placed these on each carb to ensure nothing falls into the carburetor while the air cleaner assembly is off. I fashioned them out of wood so they would not scratch the carbs. They will provide some piece of mind that nothing will inadvertently fall into the carb while I am working. When I removed the rubber boot that goes between the plenum and the air cleaner I noticed that it was torn so I ordered a replacement from T. Rutlands. I also went to Ferrari of Denver to pick up the two spacers that were missing.
I have been thinking of a name for the new car and I came up with Bella. A great Italian name for a great Italian car. Due to other projects around the house I have not found much time to sit down and tune Bella. Since I have been neglecting her I bought a few “presents”. At T. Rutlands Ferrari parts I found some Pommello Fissaggio Coperchio and Fascetta. That is Italian for Air Box Nuts and fuel/vacuum line clamps. Sounds much better in Italian! The air box nuts are often lost and the car arrived with only one of the original fasteners. Also since I plan on going through the fuel and vacuum system I will replace worn clamps as I go with original replacements.
The Italian references you see throughout the site are due to the fact that Ferrari’s are Italian (duh!) and to illustrate the fun involved with translating the owners manual, shop manual, and parts diagram. Luckily all these were included with the car. The owners manual is actually the original with the original binder that came with the car! The books are translations from Italian, and sometimes the translations are a little rough. More reason to learn Italian! It will also come in handy when I go visit Bella’s homeland.
I took my youngest son Tyler out for a spin in the car today and we stopped by the Cars and Coffee at The Great Indoors at Park Meadows. There was two other Ferrari owners there and one brought his 328. Several people checked out the car and were impressed, especially with the condition of the paint and the leather interior. After we had coffee and checked out the cars we headed over to GiGi’s (great grandmother) house and showed her the new car. She has been looking forward to getting to ride in the car and even dressed up in her Sunday finest for the occasion!
The first stop on my search for parts was Scuderia Rampante in Boulder. I found the smog pump line here for a third the price and they are going to be able to fabricate the t-fitting (for a lot less than $475). If you are a Ferrari owner this place is the real deal. If your Prancing Horse is sick or in need of TLC they know what to do.