A short while ago I mentioned that it was time once more to roll out the Fanalone for another season. The owner prefers not to run the car in the winter – especially here in Haute Savoie where so much salt is put down on the roads.
I began with a road test as is traditional in all servicing procedures. Whilst the car went quite well I thought that it was perhaps not “au point”.
First move some cars!
I removed the cam cover (I regularly check the torque setting of the head bolts with the engine warmed up) and noticed damage to one of the lobes on the exhaust camshaft. Turning the engine revealed damage to a lobe on the inlet camshaft too.
The two damaged lobes may be clearly seen here
With an invitation to open the Rallye Beaufortain for this weekend, action had to be taken.
The camshafts were special ones – the ex-works profile that Barry Waterhouse used to offer at Evolution Engineering. These are quite fierce with 100° of overlap and 11.3mm lift (4.3mm at TDC) and it has to be said that they are a bit brutal with the valve springs, although I ran a set for some years with no problems. The carburettor jetting is modified to take account of the camshafts of course. The only option was to remove the camshafts from my own car. These are not quite as extreme as the originals but have 86° overlap and 10.5mm lift (3.8mm at TDC).
On dismantling, the cause of the trouble was quickly found: the hardening had failed on some of the rocker faces. More dismantling was necessary: this time the spare Fanalone engine was “visited” and some of its rockers removed to replace the damaged ones.
With all re-assembled, the engine fired eagerly and immediately, always very satisfying. After warm-up, only very minor adjustments were required to the idle settings. The subsequent road test showed the car to be smooth and with good torque and willing to rev quickly to 7000. There is evidence that the valve springs are reaching the end of their life making a built-in mechanical rev-limiterJ. They will have to be replaced providing an opportunity to lap the valves and have a look around – after all the valves have not been touched for six years and 22 rallies!
As I write, the owner is at Beaufort for the rally and as the 'phone has not rung, I assume that all is well… Incidentally, the rally is for modern cars only, but the French club La Scuderia Lancia was invited to provide cars for opening and “sweeping up” (voiture balai). Amongst those providing these services apart from the Fanalone, are some Evos and an 037 stradale, a touch of class amongst all the moderns I think.