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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 7 months ago
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  •   C Gooch reacted to this post about 7 months ago
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  •   MaxNew reacted to this post about 7 months ago
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  •   Harry Metcalfe reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Getting off lightly
    CAR: 1970 Lamborghini Espada
    OWNER: Harry Metcalfe

    / #1970-Lamborghini-Espada / #1970 / #Lamborghini-Espada / #Lamborghini

    With the Espada’s engine out and on the bench (see last month’s), it’s time to delve inside and finally discover why it had an unsustainable appetite for coolant and why its crankcase was breathing so heavily.

    First job is to remove the cylinder heads. These have a habit of being sticky on a #Lamborghini-V12 of this vintage but we’re in luck because, when this engine was last rebuilt in the mid-’80s, all the cylinder studs had been liberally wiped in copper grease. So the heads slip off with little effort. It soon becomes clear that both head-gaskets are knackered, which is the cause of all the coolant issues. But instead of coolant leaking into the cylinder, combustion gases were leaking into the coolant passages under compression. That’s why the system was getting overpressurised and coolant was bubbling past the radiator cap. Weirdly, this is good news as it’s an easy fix, but it doesn’t fully explain the low compression readings. So the next job is to remove a couple of pistons. Cylinders nine and ten had the worst leak-down results, so these pistons are removed first. I’m hugely relieved to discover that the big-end shells show little wear, but the less-good news is that as each piston comes clear of the block, the piston’s top compression ring drops to the floor because they are broken in half. The middle oilscraper rings are very worn, too.

    It’s the same story on ten of the twelve pistons: no wonder the engine breather was puffing so heavily at tickover.
    Again, this is actually good news because we have the answers to all of the engine’s ailments and none of the causes are very serious. It looks as though new piston rings were fitted to the old pistons the last time this engine was rebuilt, but either they weren’t matched exactly or the ring grooves in the pistons have worn. Iain Tyrrell measures the top compression rings at 1.55mm thick while the groove in the pistons is 1.66mm, so each ring has been oscillating up and down at high frequency in the piston and eventually breaking up.

    There are no more surprises inside. A bit of wear in the valve guides needs attention, and all the valves had been fitted with rubber valve-guide seals from a Ford Pinto during the last rebuild. These look as if they have been capturing oil and then leaking it down the guide, making oil consumption worse, rather than better as the previous engine builder must have hoped.

    So I’m finding that, far from being the nightmare it could have been, this whole engine-rebuild process is enthralling. The next job is to extract the cylinder liners from the block and send them off for a slight overbore to 88.5mm (88mm is standard). New forged pistons are on order and the beautiful steel crankshaft, milled from a single billet, will be polished and balanced.

    I’ll report back once the rebuild begins but, for now, I’m just happy that the Espada engine is in such good hands. I look forward to its return, probably even better than it was when new way back in 1970.

    From top A big space where the engine used to be; stripdown begins with removal of front-end drives; coolant loss was down to leaking head gaskets but head castings are fine; top piston rings had broken.
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  •   Alastair Clements reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video in Lamborghini Miura
    What I’m about to tell you is a good example of why you should never give up on a project. Back in the early ’80s a friend of mine had a sports car he wanted to get rid of. It was a #1967-Lamborghini-Miura . It had been pretty well thrashed and the engine needed a bit of work. Fortunately it had never been crashed, just used hard and put away wet. It was an extremely early car with wind-up windows and a wooden steering wheel.

    the car also had a fascinating provenance. It had been bought new by the famous singer Dean Martin, the story goes that Martin bought it for his teenage son to drive to school. To the boy’s credit he never hit anything, but apparently he went over some speed bumps way too enthusiastically, cracked the sump, the oil drained out and you can imagine the rest.

    My friend, a teacher at the time, picked up the car for next to nothing, hoping to repair it and put it back on the road. Reality set in when he realised it would cost more to fix than it was worth. In the early ’80s there was no internet and parts for a 15-year-old handmade Italian sports car were not easy to find.

    Crazy as it sounds today, there was talk of swapping the V12 engine for a Chevy small-block. Don’t laugh. It was actually done in at least one case. Years later I even bought the blown #V12 engine from the Miura that the V8 was put into.

    So the Miura sat in my friend’s garage, depression set in and he gave me the car. It was the first Miura I had seen in person. I’d seen them in Road & Track and read of #LJK-Setrights epic journeys across Europe in Car, but they just didn’t exist here. At least, not where I lived.

    When we got it to my house, I did something I don’t think anyone would contemplate doing to a Miura today: I started restoring it myself. Remember, this was before I had my workshop and we were doing this in my domestic garage. We got it running and did all the sanding and prep work before we gave it to a friend to paint. We chose Fly Yellow because of the way it looked on a Ferrari Daytona I had seen in a magazine.

    When the Miura was finished, I took it on its maiden voyage on #Mulholland-Drive above Los Angeles. I was looking in the rear-view mirror at the window above the engine compartment, disappointed that it was beginning to rain, then I looked through the windscreen and thought: it’s not raining at the front of the car, so why is it raining at the back? I realised the fuel line had popped off and was spraying the rear window with gasoline. I quickly pulled over, shut off the engine and raised the engine cover. And as I stood there at the ready with my ridiculous 12-year-old fire extinguisher, no bigger than a Coke can, I could hear gasoline dripping over the headers, making a hissing sound each time a drop landed. Luckily no fire started, so I fixed the fuel line and was on my way.

    As the years passed there were other problems, things such as slave cylinders and the electric motors that raise the headlights, then, in 1988,1 had the chance to buy a #Lamborghini-Miura S for $80,000, a far sturdier, better-built car than the P400, so my P400 got parked and somewhat neglected, then my good friend Andrew Romanowski, from the #Lamborghini Club, stopped by. It’s a support group, much like Alcoholics Anonymous: the club sits with you until the urge to sell your Lamborghini passes.

    Noticing that the #Lamborghini-Miura-P400SV had not moved since the last time he was there, he said, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ Slave cylinder, I replied. He asked me, ‘Is that a big deal?’ No, I said, looking at the ground like a five-year-old who had failed to clean up his room. As soon as Andrew left we dragged the #Lamborghini-Miura-P400 over to the shop, replaced the slave cylinder, put a new set of Michelins on it, changed all the fluids, checked the magnesium wheels to make sure they were still structurally sound, then we waxed and polished the whole car. It was like that scene in Rocky where he takes off the girl’s glasses and suddenly she’s beautiful.

    These early #Lamborghini-Miura Miuras are different from the later cars, they’re not as structurally sound as the newer ones, but they’re also much lighter. And there’s a rawness to them that I find appealing.

    they’re much better as a classic car than they ever were as a new car. By that I mean they’re more fun to drive swiftly than they are to drive fast. You never power shift a Miura; double de-clutching and rev-matching is the way to go. It’s a car that captivates all your senses. Luckily Andrew helped me regain mine.

    'IT'S NOT RAINING IN FRONT, SO WHY IS IT RAINING AT THE BAGK? THE FUEL LINE WAS SPRAYING THE REAR WINDOW'
    1969 Lamborghini Miura S - Jay Leno's Garage
    1969 Lamborghini Miura S. The world's first supercar.
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  •   James Elliott reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    ESPADA AT ABBEY ROAD

    Lamborghini has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Espada by taking a 1976 example on a tour to London. The Series III Espada visited the HQ of the RAC before travelling to Abbey-Road where, 50 years ago, the Beatles recorded Hey Jude at the famous Abbey Road Studios.

    / #Lamborghini-Espada-Series-III / #Lamborghini-Espada / #Lamborghini / #1976 / #1976-Lamborghini-Espada-Series-III / #Abbey-Road / #Abbey-Road-Studios
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