All posts for the month March, 2014

Quinlisk targa web

© 2008 Jerry Quinlisk. Used with permission.

Setting up your carbs

Dave Andrews has written an absolutely wonderful explanation of how to select the right Weber carbs and how to tune them.  You can read it all here:  Weber Carb Selection and Tuning

He has also created easy to use software.  When you do run it, it will open a window that asks for the size of engine you’re working with.  It also asks at what rpm you make peak power (be realistic), and if you are tuning for power or flexibility.  Then it gives you typical settings you can use as a baseline for setting up your carbs.  When adjusting my new DCOE 45’s, I paid for the assistance of a Weber expert, then put the car on a dyno.  Later, I checked our results against Mr. Andrews’ recommendations and found that the little software program was spot on.

I don’t know if this old DOS program will work on your computer, but I can use it on my Thinkpad.  If you want to give it a try, please send a note to SNO at gwandrw dot com and ask for the jetting software.  I tried to make it downloadable.  Unfortunately, because it’s an exe file, Norton and other anti-virus software blocked my page and labeled me a threat.

Cylinder Head Repair Warning

Below is the illustration Alfa Parts sends out with the 2-liter Victor Reinz head gaskets they sell.  The drawing is used with the permission of Jon Norman, of Alfa Parts.  His number is 1-800-890-2532.  I don’t know if other engine sizes are at risk; that’s a question for Jon.If you don’t understand why this diagram could save you time and money, do a search of the Alfa Digest or

The quick version of the story is this: Older 2-liter motors have oil galleys at the back of the block. Newer 2-liter motors don’t.  Reinz — and some other gasket manufacturers — stopped putting sealant around the oil galley holes, probably when the newer motors came out, and now older engines are at risk of oil and coolant mixing if Jon’s diagram is not followed when installing these head gaskets.

I know this from first-hand experience and have corresponded with several others who’ve suffered the same ugly fate. Alfa Parts was the first company I’m aware of that understood the problem and offered help before their customers found out the hard way.  Jon’s website  I understand from Centerline that now they also offer this advice to Reinz purchasers.The sealant referred to in the diagram is Permatex Ultra Grey.

ultra grey the dark area


Weber carb backing plate; make your own

I did not like the flimsy backing plate that was sold by PiperCross, so I had one cut from a template made from an ITG backing plate.  Mine is slightly modified to fit my 1967 with 2L motor.  If you download my pattern, I suggest you make a paper or card pattern to test the fit on your car before going to the time and expense of creating one out of metal.  I used stainless steel that was cut by a friend’s waterjet machine.

Download an Illustrator ai file here

ram pipes b 72


Safety wire (spring) your O170 cap to prevent it from working loose …
Okay, okay. It’s really an Olio cap, if you insist on reading it right side up!


papajam quinlisk web

Who better to preside over anything to do with Alfa technical info than Jim Neill, aka: Papajam? This art is copyrighted by Jerry Quinlisk. May not be used without permission.


Cam Timing

Below are a pair of vintage templates that came with Shankle cams purchased in the early 1980’s. Note the greasy finger smudges. To use them, copy the images to your computer, scale them to accurately match the rulers (try reducing them to 65% of actual for starters), then print them on heavy paper and cut around the black outline. Presto! You’ve got cam timing templates.

 Shankle intake newest Shankle exhaust newest



Valve Shim Adjustment Calculator

Click the link to open an Excel sheet that will help you calculate shim sizes needed to adjust your valves.  I found this fine little tool on AlfaBB, posted there by Paul, aka: 67Coinhole (Don’t ask me what it means, I only report the news).  Paul writes in his post:  “I tried to make it simple and easy to use. It includes a page from the Giulia 1600 Shop Manual and sheets in both mm and inches. After entering your current gaps and shim sizes, you can enter correct gaps to find out the shim sizes you will need, and/or you can enter replacement shim sizes to see what the resulting gaps will be. (Yeah, I know it’s not brain surgery or even a tonsilectomy, but maybe it’ll save someone a little time when they need it.) DISCLAIMER: I MAKE NO CLAIMS OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY OR CORRECTNESS OF THE SPREADSHEET AND ITS CONTENTS AND ACCEPT NO LIABLITY FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ITS USE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK AND OF COURSE, MEASURE TWICE.”  All I can add is that I used Paul’s calculator and found it handy.   Thanks, Paul!

Click to Download: Valve Shim Calculator