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post #1 of 46 Old 01-05-2013, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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New member with performance questions

Now that one child is in college and the second will be joining her this fall, I will have a lot of time on my hands. These last few years I have barely put 500 miles a year on my Dino, but I'd like to start participating in some of the rallies held each year for cars of this age (New England 1000, Texas Mille, etc.). I have a friend who has been doing this for years in his 330GTC and loves it.

I have never driven a rally, although I have raced and tracked my 360 and 355 Challenge cars for over 10 years, but I understand that preparing a car for a rally is different than for a road race. I will not need to fit a roll cage-these are fairly laid back events.

I apologize if this has been covered in another thread, but I am looking to boost performance (more torque, more horsepower), as well as beefing up any inherently weak areas (brakes, etc.) on the car. It is a 1974 246 GTS, and had a year-long mechanical (engine out) and cosmetic restoration in 2008. All cylinders have excellent compression, the gearbox was rebuilt, carbs were rebuilt, brand new suspension including new A-arms and a rebuild of the shocks plus a dozen other items, so it's in good condition to start with. May need to go to 16" wheels though. More choice of tires and more room for bigger brakes.

How can I liberate another 50 or so ponies while keeping the car fairly stock? What other areas should I concentrate on? I have already removed the air pump and fitted a modern alternator and electronic ignition and replaced the voltage regulator with a solid state unit.

One concern-with values of these cars going through the roof I would not want to do anything that would decrease the value.

I realize I could buy a cheaper car that has already been prepped for rallying like a Lancia Delta or similar, but I really want to enjoy the Dino while I'm still able to. I'm 55 and by 65 I won't even be able to get in and out of the car.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 46 Old 01-05-2013, 06:23 PM
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50 is a lot to ask for. There is a lot to be gained by re-porting the heads then add a modern cam and a free flowing exhaust and you'll probably get what you're after....but it ain't cheap.
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post #3 of 46 Old 01-05-2013, 11:29 PM
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It may be cheaper to keep the 246 GTS stock and to acquire Euro 308 GTB or GTS. That way you would have an instant 50 hp gain with the same chassis as the Dino, without spending money that may hurt the value and change the sweet, tractable character of the Dino.

If you could find fiberglass 308 GTB, you would not only gain 50 hp, it would also weigh less than the 246 GTS. With the bonus that the fiberglass 308 GTB could go
up in value nicely.

Please post pics of the Dino, they are gorgeous!

David

Current: 365BB, 550 bluebird and a few 911's
Past: 246gt, 512BB, 308 GTB "Michalone" and a few 911's
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post #4 of 46 Old 01-05-2013, 11:59 PM
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What events are these? I have never heard of a rallye where you would participate in a GTC or Dino and benefit from upgrading the car. There tend to be two classes of rallying with classic cars: 1) historic rallying with former rally cars suc as Escorts, Saab 93's and so on and 2) average speed rallies where hp has nothing to do with getting on the podium, it is all down to map reading and some sporty driving (enough to enjoy the car but not take any risks). Are you talking of the latter?

I personally would never mess with your lovely Dino after its restoration. Leave it stock. If you need a better bhp/weight ratio, then I would enter a different car or I would enter the stock Dino into different events.


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post #5 of 46 Old 01-06-2013, 10:06 AM
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Onno- I was thinking the exact same thing. Most of those rallies are just for fun and even if you want a trophy, speed has little to do with it.

Taz
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post #6 of 46 Old 01-06-2013, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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some pics

A few pics of 08038
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post #7 of 46 Old 01-06-2013, 01:39 PM
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Gorgeous 246 GTS! I would keep her as stock and as period correct as possible. The black with tan interior looks great on the Dino.

David

Current: 365BB, 550 bluebird and a few 911's
Past: 246gt, 512BB, 308 GTB "Michalone" and a few 911's
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post #8 of 46 Old 01-06-2013, 01:44 PM
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Beautiful!
I wouldn't touch a mouse-hair fiber on her.

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post #9 of 46 Old 01-06-2013, 08:14 PM
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Steven- Very nice and too valuable to monkey about. She will have no trouble keeping up on any of the rallies. If you want to hotrod a Ferrari, consider one of the 308s where plenty of parts are available to get hp up over 300 if you want.

Have seen a Dino 246 with a Stratos racing engine installed, but the engine cover had to be modified, I believe.

Taz
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post #10 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 02:24 PM
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My experience is that the Vintage Road Rallies are more touring for gentlemen folks than All-out-racing so I think reliability would be more important than adding 50 hp. The Dino is a great road car that is balanced and wonderful for such adventures.

If I have that assumption correct, then I would recommend not searching for 50 more hp but:

1) Confirm your ignition system is up to par - I have an MSD spark box in my Euro Dino and absolutely love it. Plugs last forever and it never has problems, provides great spark and I have gotten 22mpg as my best.

2) Change the starter to a Gear Reduction Unit - Martin's are great, but be wary there are some others which are cobbled together and give problems.

3) Ceramic coat your headers to reduce engine bay temperatures.

4) Inspect all gaskets and seals to ensure there are no leaks prior to venturing out. Oil leaking onto the alternator is a typical way to kill the Alt, I have seen 10+ failures on Dinos due to alternator getting soaked by engine oil intrusion.

5) SWAP that old style alternator fuse box for a modern one. When the alternator fries it usually takes the expensive fuse box with it as the old fuse is NOT fast acting and the box will have melted, which is expensive to replace. You can retain the original one, just move the 2 Alternator line connections from it to the modern fuse box.

6) Carry a set of spares for long road trips; waterpump belt, ignition key electric switch (Bosch), tools
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post #11 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 02:27 PM
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A good idea to bring along a spare throttle cable, too. Voice of experience.

Taz
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Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

Every day I look around, and if nobody is shooting at me, it is a pretty good day.
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post #12 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 03:07 PM
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Steven

That's a good looking Dino!

I am of the belief do what you want and modify her

Even 30 hp will make a huge difference.
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post #13 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 06:25 PM
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Steven!

What a lovely GTS!

Here are my very humble views from my Dino ownership experience.

SCM 246's list is highly interesting. I will most definitely apply it to my GTS. Thanks, SCM! This will make for a very good start when going long distances at a good pace. Terry's advice on the accelerator spare wire is also spot on for any classic (been there too).

Mind you, I did 10.000km at very high pace mostly in the mountains, in three and a half weeks without any of these clever little upgrades, just a very thoroughly checked and refreshed original 58.000km Dino before I set off.

Going through and refreshing the car also encompassed hard testing on my back roads which triggered two additional garage visits for corrections, adjustments and one tiny repair work. Later, on my 10.000km tour I had no issues apart from a burnt radiator fan which caused no disruption.

I did one point on SCM's list when going through the car after purchase and that was checking for oil drippage on the alternator and it's not yet an issue but will be.

Also check the fuel line which interconnects the tanks. It rots and must be replaced!

I am occasionally thinking of power upgrades for my Dino but it always ends with a sensible nothing. I use my 308 for such perversions. I have taken my Dino to the test in the company of modern Ferraris and on the most curvy roads it can hold up quite well! Never forget it is a very well conceived car capable of surprisingly high pace if everything on the car is 100% in order. Few classics can outpace it when the road gets really twisty, my word.

I would absolutely not drive more than 50.000km without overhauling the steering, shocks and changing the springs and bushings. If you almost only drive it hard I would bring that interval down to 30.000km as an absolute maximum. It is my humble view that a perfect steering is key to make a Dino go fast. The steering is its major way of telling you what it needs to go fast and boy does it have a good steering!! If you concentrate on setting up these simple road holding points to 100% you will not need the extra power, trust me. A good thing to do as well is to pair the road holding setup with hard track time.

Performance Upgrades

You have great knowledge I'm sure from your track time in your 355 and 360 Challenge so forgive me if I'm stating obvious information. Anyway, here go my views.

If you put 16" wheels and modern tyres on you must upgrade the brakes and you must absolutely make sure the whole suspension is up for it. In fact you'd probably have to take it to the next level by installing modern shocks, stiffer and lower springs and move to semi-hard bushings. This will likely make it faster than with a 30hp upgrade and no road holding upgrades.

My new Dino specialist in Vevey builds racing Dinos and racing 308s. He does the porting job on the heads with cam upgrades but like Terry says, now you're moving into big money territory. It certainly makes the car go and according to this guy in Vevey it actually runs better all trough the rev range but of course it needs to be paired with a carburettor upgrade and an exhaust upgrade. The Stratos carb upgrade has such tall intakes that you can't close the hood without mods or leaving it half open for better air evacuation. The Stratos setup has a huge advantage however; you get totally rid of the fuel starvation at constant mid throttle during high speed left cornering. Apparently the stock engine works fine in the Fiat Dino due to its longitudinal position where this highly annoying syndrome doesn't come into effect.

The a/m power upgrade is surely great but for constant high pace it's worth little without the road holding upgrade. But let's not kid ourselves, with both upgrades the Dino becomes a very sharp track and hill climb tool. The question is: Are you prepared to part with the money required and are you prepared to part that much from the original Dino with all its charms?

Perhaps buying a second Dino in a sorry state and turning it into your hill climb racer is the way forward? That has certainly gone through my mind but right now I let that modification yearning go into my 308. Funnily, also on the 308 I more and more see no point in power upgrading apart from the high compression pistons it already had when I purchased it. What comes next on the 308 are the a/m road holding upgrades and little else, which should make the car very fast on the mountain roads!

Good luck!

Salve,
Capo

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The good news: I'm the pilot

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post #14 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by il Capolino View Post
Steven!
What a lovely GTS!
......

Terry's advice on the accelerator spare wire is also spot on for any classic (been there too).
......

Also check the fuel line which interconnects the tanks. It rots and must be replaced!

......
Accelerator cable:
http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/di...celerator.html

Fuel crossover hoses:
http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/di...ing-hoses.html
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post #15 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 10:22 PM
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Welcome to Flife, Steven!
That ia a gorgious Dino....love the tan under black, suits her very well!

Jeroen

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post #16 of 46 Old 01-11-2013, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solly123 View Post
A few pics of 08038
steven
here you see how your car can look, chassinumber 7066 1973 GTS
update your Dino, you will never regret it, its so fun to drive with stratos engine and F40 size brakes
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post #17 of 46 Old 01-11-2013, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dino246gts View Post
steven
here you see how your car can look, chassinumber 7066 1973 GTS
update your Dino, you will never regret it, its so fun to drive with stratos engine and F40 size brakes
Wow!!

I am amazed, it looks stunning! Please let me ask a few questions:

What springs and shocks did you install?

Did you lift the original engine out to spare it and put a complete Stratos engine in?

Must you drive without an air filter in order to close the bonnet or is there somehow a way to squeeze in an air filter and fully close the bonnet?

Are those brakes real F40 brakes?

Is your turning radius reduced because of the front wheels sitting deeper into the wheel arches after lowering the body?

What other weight saving measures have you taken apart from ditching the bumpers?

Does the roofless GTS disposition handle the increased suspension stiffness and grip or do you experience a lot of torsional squirming of body/chassis?

If you ever want to sell it please let me know.

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #18 of 46 Old 01-12-2013, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCM246 View Post
My experience is that the Vintage Road Rallies are more touring for gentlemen folks than All-out-racing so I think reliability would be more important than adding 50 hp. The Dino is a great road car that is balanced and wonderful for such adventures.

If I have that assumption correct, then I would recommend not searching for 50 more hp but:

1) Confirm your ignition system is up to par - I have an MSD spark box in my Euro Dino and absolutely love it. Plugs last forever and it never has problems, provides great spark and I have gotten 22mpg as my best.

2) Change the starter to a Gear Reduction Unit - Martin's are great, but be wary there are some others which are cobbled together and give problems.

3) Ceramic coat your headers to reduce engine bay temperatures.

4) Inspect all gaskets and seals to ensure there are no leaks prior to venturing out. Oil leaking onto the alternator is a typical way to kill the Alt, I have seen 10+ failures on Dinos due to alternator getting soaked by engine oil intrusion.

5) SWAP that old style alternator fuse box for a modern one. When the alternator fries it usually takes the expensive fuse box with it as the old fuse is NOT fast acting and the box will have melted, which is expensive to replace. You can retain the original one, just move the 2 Alternator line connections from it to the modern fuse box.

6) Carry a set of spares for long road trips; waterpump belt, ignition key electric switch (Bosch), tools
Point 2:
Is the stock starter prone to fail? I've been lucky with mine so far...

Point 6:
Do you have a permanently installed electrical bypass switch in case the ignition key switch fails? Again I've been lucky so far...

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #19 of 46 Old 01-12-2013, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitalone View Post
Gorgeous 246 GTS! I would keep her as stock and as period correct as possible. The black with tan interior looks great on the Dino.
Fully agree. It is stunning and I would not mess with the originality.
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post #20 of 46 Old 01-13-2013, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by il Capolino View Post
Wow!!

I am amazed, it looks stunning!1 Please let me ask a few questions:

What springs and shocks did you install?

Did you lift the original engine out to spare it and put a complete Stratos engine in?

Must you drive without an air filter in order to close the bonnet or is there somehow a way to squeeze in an air filter and fully close the bonnet?

Are those brakes real F40 brakes?

Is your turning radius reduced because of the front wheels sitting deeper into the wheel arches after lowering the body?

What other weight saving measures have you taken apart from ditching the bumpers?

Does the roofless GTS disposition handle the increased suspension stiffness and grip or do you experience a lot of torsional squirming of body/chassis?

If you ever want to sell it please let me know.
I Run a company restoring Dinos for long long time,/ Rosso Corsa Motorsport

everybody that see this car in real are amazed, its sounds very very different from original Dino, still nothing have been done to the body i would never cut in the body, i can replace all back to original car in less than 1 day
a Dino can do so much if update brakes and suspension.and engine
i use coilover dampers with 500 front and 550 rear, ground clearance is about 6,5 to 7cm
on this car im using the original engine, but upgraded the day i sell the car i return it to original spec with the original color

on this car i made a higther aluminium lid, but i did do one other car for a customer with the original engine lid, with airfilter under the closed lid
the brakes are same size as F-40 but not from that car, the stopping power is amazed, i stop from 250 to zero like a modern car,
its so fun to drive and know i just have to hit the brake to stop it fast
i have not done any weight savings exept for the engine lid and trunk
the chassi works very good no torsional squirming of body
i have one other 72GT that is for sale when i have finish restoration, i can make that car for you with all this spec including one race engine and one STD fully reubilt with only the best parts inside
that car will be special with removable adjustable doorhinges (nobody else do that) no deep bodyfiller i use tin intstead of plastic bodyfiller
Motor sound ringtones for your mobile phone recorded from cars, motorcycles and aeroplane engines
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