Load Leveler Shocks, and Black Oxide

During test drives of a 365GT 2+2, we noticed the rear of the car sagging lower and lower. This is the classic symptom of a Koni Load Leveler shock failure. For four Ferrari 2+2 models, 365GT 2+2, 365GTC/4, 365GT/4 2+2, and the 400 2+2, Ferrari installed a special self leveling shock that would adjust the ride height automatically when heavy loads or passengers were put in the back of the car. As these shocks aged, the seals leaked and the load leveling shock failed.
Ferraris are already low to the ground, but this car had about 3 inches of ground clearance! Not only was this a risk to tearing out an exhaust system, we recently had a C/4 crack it's bodywork when the rear tire hit the inner fender!
load leveler
There are two solutions to fixing this problem, rebuild or replace. The load leveler (on the left) can be disassembled and new seals can be installed, but unfortunately Koni no longer rebuilds them. (Hmm, I wonder why?) There are only a couple of people I know who have done this successfully, but they both admit they don't know how long their rebuilds will last. I suspect there is a design flaw and despite new seals, the shock will eventually fail again. The second solution it to replace the shock all together. Koni makes an update coil over shock that has an adjustment so the user can manually adjust the ride height. It's a compromise of reliability over convenience, but I think this is the best way to go.
It didn't take long to pop out the old shock, and install the new unit, and soon the fear of the scraping exhaust pipes was gone!
Here's the before picture.
correct ride height
Here's the after. The difference is subtle, but that extra inch or two of height will save the owner from some expensive repairs in the future, let alone the embarrassment of scraping the bottom of his car when visiting friends!
black oxide
The batch of black oxide came back from the plater and I sorted out all the little bits and pieces for the 275GTB/4.
throttle rod
I carefully followed my notes and drawings to reassemble the throttle linkages. I'm using regular cotter pins to hold the pieces in place, but eventually will be installing correctly finished black oxide cotter pins.
valve cover bolts
The valve cover bolts were correctly finished in black oxide. Each bolt received a flat washer and o-ring. With over 50 of these guys to put together, it was a little fiddly.
Installed, these valve cover bolts seal the oil in with the o-ring that sits in a groove in the valve cover so you can torque down on the bolt without completely smashing the o-ring.

I wanted to give everyone advance warning: This website is getting an update!!!
Since last summer, I've been working with a web design company to revamp tomyang.net, and it's very close to a relaunch. I know this change will he met with mixed opinions from "Finally!" to "... but what was wrong with the old version?"
I'm not one that believes in "change for the sake of change," but I think this redesign will help make access to the information easier and help anchor the Vintage Ferrari community to Tomyang.net. When will this change happen? When it's ready. It's been a lot of work to transfer nearly 7 gigabytes of data, pictures and 15 years of blog posts over to a new format, and collate it into a user friendly website. I'm hoping we're a week or so away. You'll know when you see it! Thanks.


Reminder: If you have a Ferrari related project, car, or idea you'd like to explore, I'd love to talk to you. I can also help if you're thinking of buying or selling. This website represents what I love to do, and now it's how I make a living, so if you'd like to do something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!

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