Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whoa Spidey! Checking brake pads on the 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider

This morning's garage time entailed checking the brake pads on my 1986 Alfa Spider for wear. A simple job, one must just jack up the car at each corner, removing the wheel and visually inspecting the brake caliper and brake pads.

Each set of pads looked fine, with the from ones more worn than the rear, but still with loads of pad material left for many thousands more miles of use.

Here are some extremely exciting pics of the process. Note the axle limiting straps on the rear of the car, which keep the axle from traveling too far. Interesting design.

I can hardly contain myself while posting these photos thinking about the throngs of folks who will be smiling and giggling as they view these intoxicating photos :=0


Saturday, June 27, 2009


Of the many things I get ridiculed about on a daily basis, perhaps the most ridicule comes my way due to my faithful companion, my Nokia 9500, aka "The Big Phone", aka "BP".

Rarely does a day go by that someone doesn't make a remark about BP, usually a mocking remark about the sheer size or weight of BP. When I was in Pennsylvania recently for work, BP and me got it big time from the tellers at a bank branch I was visiting, as I was peppered with "questions" about whether I had a holster for BP or wondering where was the bag that BP was supposed to come with (a suggestion that BP was akin to the old-fashioned first generation cell phones that came in zippered pouches the size of hand bags).

Well I let all this business roll of my back like so much water. These turkeys don't understand the power of BP. BP is not a mere cell phone but is a hand held computing device/pda/camera/phone all in one tidy bundle.

Now, BP's silver case was starting to show a lot of wear and had developed a few cracks over the past 2-3 years. So I decided to procure a sleek and stealthy new BLACK case for BP from my supplier in the orient (Hong Kong).

Today the new case arrived and I endeavored to give my buddy BP a new skin. It took a couple hours but I am all done now. Here are some pics before, during and after. Long live BP!

Grand Funk Railroad Tune O' The Day

Today's Grand Funk Railroad tune is "I Come Tumblin'", a great rocking tune off the "E Pluribus Funk" album.

E Pluribus Funk was released in 1971 and featured a very unique album cover, shaped like a silver coin with the faces of Farner/Brewer/Schacher embossed upon it.

Crank it up, kick back and listen to rollicking rock n roll of Grand Funk Railroad, circa 1971!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Visit to RML Automotive...the Alfa King in Daytona Beach!

I had the day off today (comp day) so I decided to hop in the Alfa Spider and take a drive up to Daytona Beach and visit the newly relocated shop of RML Automotive, owned by Alfa Romeo guru Ric Lovecchio and his lovely wife Rose.

The new shop, located just a couple blocks from the old one, is at least twice as big as the old one. Ric and his wife Rose are still moving in and getting the new shop set up. What a change from the old place. What was once cramped is now wide open and spacious. Ric has a good number of his collection of Alfas out on display. I am particularly enamored of the white Alfetta Sports Sedan. Man I would love to have that baby! He also had a really neat and rare little Crosley pickup truck he is going to get running someday for use as a shop truck.

After my visit with Ric I headed over the Zeno's candy shop and bought some of their famous homemade saltwater taffy. Mmmm, excellent! A nice, relaxing day off for me and the Alfa Spider :0)


Monday, June 22, 2009

Hittin' the ton, still a lot of fun!

Back in the old days, "hittin' the ton" was a big deal on a motorcycle. That is, hitting 100 mph. Nowadays it isn't a big deal, but it can still be a bit of a rush.

Let's go Breva, it's time for "hittin' the ton!"

Click to enlarge!

p.s yeah it is hot here, especially in my garage! 121 degrees! Also, the good ol' Breva has about 31k on her now. I had the whole instrument cluster replaced under warranty at 17,999 miles :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A walk on the beach in Port Orange, FL

This afternoon I drove the Spider over to Ponce Inlet, FL for a walk on the beach and a stop at a beach bar/grill for a couple ales.

'Twas a hot day, with temps in the mid 90's and a good deal of sun. The place I stopped at to cool down is called Racing's North Turn, so named because it is considered to be where NASCAR racing started in Florida. Part of the race track used to be the beach, and the location of this bar/grill is at the north turn of that old race track location.

I enjoyed a couple ShockTop wheat ales after my walk and then headed home in the Spider. A nice way to spend a few weekend hours.

click pic to enlarge....


To all of the fathers out there and especially to my dad, Tom Galardi, have a happy and relaxing Father's Day!

Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 gearbox/shaft drive fluid change

My last bit of maintenance for the weekend on the Guzzi Breva was changing the gear oil in the gearbox and shaft drive.

This is a simple procedure. I have been using Redline Heavy Shockproof gear oil in my Guzzis for years and I love the stuff. Oddly it is pink in color, looking a lot like Pepto Bismol.

The Breva gearbox takes 500cc of the stuff. The drain bolt is located on the right side of the bike, near the foot brake lever. I fashion a ramp made of aluminum foil for the oil to run down into a drain pan, keeping the mess at a minimum. The fill bolt is an allen headed bolt on the side of the transmission case. Fill 'er up, 500cc please.

The CARC(shaft)drive drain plug is located on the underside of the shaft drive housing at the rear tire. Again I fashion a little ramp of aluminum foil to keep the oil from messing up the rim and such. The fill bolt is located on the back side of the shaft drive housing. DO NOT attempt to remove the mushroom shaped breather cap on top of the shaft drive housing to fill from there. There is a good likelihood it will shear and break if you do. A lesson learned a couple years ago.

The CARC takes 380cc of the pink stuff. I fashion a little funnel out of aluminum foil. As I am drizzling the gear oil into the filler hole I rotate the rear tire and it helps to suck the oil into the nooks and crannys inside the housing, making filling quicker and easier.

All in all a quick and easy job, prolly 45-60 minutes start to finish.