Sunday. The word for today is HOT. Tolerably cool until El Paso, amazingly hot through Tucson. (Turns out it was their first 100+ day of the year.) The A/C couldn?t keep up during the worst of the afternoon, but we were glad to have it. Wish the windows were tinted even a little bit; the huge greenhouse and the black interior aren?t helping. That and I?m getting outside air at my feet. Temps pushed up past 190, fuel pump has started drooling a bit at shutdown. We spent 16 hours on the road today, made it to Yuma, AZ, almost 700 miles. We?re beat, but that was environmental more than the car - a smooth comfortable ride. Making about 18mpg today, two quarts of oil.
Monday. A day of contrasts. We leave Yuma early to cross the desert while it?s cool - don?t even switch on the AC. Sand dunes - I don?t think I?ve ever seen them on an inland desert. Shortly thereafter, Alpine hills/mountains - Pat says that the only thing missing to make it seem like we?re in Switzerland is cows in the pastures. Heavy winds during the climb, temperatures are almost too low - probably need a warmer thermostat. Drag our way through San Diego and hit midday traffic in Los Angeles. Breathe a big sigh as we turn off onto Highway 1 and head north. Make a short day, stop in Morro Bay. Power steering isn?t great for the twisties, almost too light - until you start pushing hard, at which point the steering is great but the tires really aren?t up to it. In fact, the handling is as good as my autocross car (modulo the rotten tires) - despite the fact that it weighs 75% more! Only 11 hours today, 540 miles, about 15 mpg and two quarts.
Tuesday. Morning inspection shows that the radiator is seeping and the power steering reservoir is quite low. Sure enough, there?s fluid under and around. Sigh. But it?s a gorgeous day to see San Simeon and head up the coast to Pacific Grove. A driving day - third and fourth gear through the twisties all day, concentrating on the road and trying to see the ocean. Down into the 14s for mpg today.
Wednesday. An easy drive home to Palo Alto. Overall, 1967 miles, 16.3mpg, 6 quarts of oil. That?s maybe a little high, but we were expecting 500 miles/quart, so I?m not too worried - there are certainly still some leaks!
Since then, we?ve done lots of more-or-less minor repairs. Pulled the radiator (boy is that a job!) to get the leaks resoldered, and realized that someone had installed the wrong cap, causing it to overpressurize. Fixing that fixed the leaks (we had a nasty little episode where she overheated and blew her coolant just as we drove in to get an estimate for insurance purposes.) While the radiator was out, I replaced the front crank shaft seal, which was the major remaining oil leak. And had the alternator rebuilt, which solved all the charging system problems.
I fixed some misconnected wiring that prevented the interior lights from working. There were several other electrical oddities as well.
After about a month of searching, I determined that yes, the power steering pump was a ZF copy of a GM part (or vice versa) and found a rebuild kit. That solved the shaft seal leak, and we?ve chased down a couple other leaks in the p/s plumbing so it now doesn?t leak at all.
Much phoning and faxing located an extra set of seat rails . We decided not to undo the original work from the factory, so we pulled off the modified bits from the seat and put on stock ones; all the original fitting holes were still there. So now Pat can drive the car comfortably.
Other than that, we?ve gone over the interior several times with Lexol and Hide Food. I pulled the rear shocks and stiffened them a bit. I put Redline MTL into the tranny to ease the shifting a bit. We spent a while f
For a complete look at Sempre Ferrari, you may want to check out the rest of the articles from Volume 3, Issue 5 - August/September 1996