Campagnolo Record Brake Arm

Campagnolo Record Brake Arm

When I bought my De Rosa frame in the early 80’s, I built it with Campagnolo Record and Super Record components. When the new C-Record group came out, I upgraded some of the components piecemeal – cranks, Delta brakes and derailleurs. I’ve been riding the same bike all these years and time has transformed it into a “classic,” according to a guy who rode up next to me.

I had the chain off the other day for its paraffin treatment and when I turned the cranks, I heard grinding. I pulled out my Campagnolo bottom bracket wrenches, removed the bottom bracket and saw that the grease had dried out and one of the cup races and one of the axle races had been scored. Deferred maintenance isn’t good.

Rusty De Rosa fork crown

Instead of buying 20 year-old NOS bottom bracket cups and an axle on eBay, I bought a modern, sealed bearing, Chorus bottom bracket. I just want it to work.

I took a close look at my 28 year old De Rosa, which I had been avoiding for years, and saw the corrosion, rust and scratches that have taken their toll. The chrome on the the drop-outs and the fork crown were now rust. The stainless steel hardware on the brakes and derailleurs had rust. The chrome on the quick release skewers sprouted rust. The braze-on top tube cable guides were rusty.

I disassembled the entire bike and cleaned every part with a wire brush and solvent. I even replaced the bearings in the freewheel. I used Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease in all the ball bearings, because that’s what I had but he viscosity might be a little too high for the freewheel.

Campagnolo Record Brake Caliper Parts

I’m not interested in a restoration, so re-chroming wasn’t an option. I just want to do preservation, so I can ride my bike. I used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on the large areas of rust. It’s not pretty but as on my Alfa Romeo, it has been effective in stopping rust from spreading. It’s also a little easier to use than POR-15. For the small parts, I’ve been using Boeshield T-9 for rust prevention. I don’t know yet how effectively Boeshield stops the rust (on the small steel parts) and the corrosion on the anodized aluminum – I live less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean.

Update July 7, 2019: I’ve recently switched to Pro Gold ProLink Chain Lube since I no longer live so close to the Pacific Ocean. Either way, I don’t use Boeshield or Pro Gold on my chain, only on the pivot points of brakes, derailleurs, etc.

Alfa Romeo Rust Repair

Alfetta Sprint Veloce in primer

The body shop called today to point out some rust they found when they removed the rear bumper (like I didn’t know about this). I guess what they really wanted to tell me was that it was going to cost more money.

I had ladled POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint on the sheet metal above the left bumper shock six years ago when I saw it looking not so good. I tried to put out of my mind the rust that I could see inside the bumper where the rubber had split.

Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money…

So far the body shop has repaired rust in the front rocker panels, around the base of the windshield on the passenger side (without removing the glass), around the right windshield wiper drive shaft, on the door under the driver’s side window, around the rear bumper shock, below the bottom edge of the rear window and the trailing edge of the trunk lid.

Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce less attractive higher angle

Over the years I had treated those areas with POR-15 and/or Eastwood Rust Encapsulator Paint and that seemed to slow the oxidation down almost completely.

I’d previously done my bush league repair work on the rust on the inner front fender wells and a large hole in the spare tire well – my first attempts at using fiberglass. Those repairs look great if you don’t look at them.

Alfetta in the Body Shop

Alfetta Sprint Veloce with Screaming Chicken

After haggling with State Farm Insurance over the value of my car, they agreed to pay for the repairs caused by their insured, errant driver.

Since the front end was being worked on, I decided to pay the body shop for some additional work, mainly replacing the Swiss-cheesed rocker panels behind the front wheel wells. Wolf Steel actually sells the lower front fender repair panels, but when I called them, they said it’d take at 3 weeks to get them. J & J Autobody in Monterey, where the car is being repaired, fabricated the panels and also replaced some of the rusted inner wheel well.

I was also lucky enough to find some Euro bumpers, so I thought it would be a good time to put them on too. Someone had made a bracket for the front that attached to the existing bumper shocks. Unfortunately, they were pop riveted together, so the shop took it apart and put in bolts. I guess the Euro bumper mounts lower so they used snips to remove some metal from the top outer corners so it would clear the front fender a little better.

The body shop also pointed out that the door panels were rusting at the bottom. I’m already spending more than the insurance company paid (and more money than I have) so I told them that was a back burner operation. It’s polyester resin (Bondo) time, for now. That started me thinking about taking off the inner door panels and going at it with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator.

I also have to give a plug to Larry Jr, at Alfa Parts Exchange for going the extra distance to help me with replacement parts. When the body shop told me the car needed a RF fender, the front upper and lower valence, Larry went out an procured an Alfetta for the parts.

Broke Booster

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce Brake Master Cylinder, brake reservoir and brake booster

The brake pedal went hard on the Alfa, indicating that something with the brake booster (servo) wasn’t working. I removed the vacuum hose from the booster and there seemed to be enough suction.

I know there are some Alfa owners that drive without their boosters but it felt like I really had to stand on the pedal if I wanted to get close to locking up the brakes.

I replaced the brake master cylinder a few years ago when brake fluid started leaking into the booster, so I guess five more years was a pretty good deal. The brake fluid that leaks into the booster is sucked into the intake manifold and on deceleration, a smoke screen ensues that would make James Bond proud.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce Brake Master Cylinder, Clutch Master Cylinder, Booster and Pedal Box

I called Alfa Parts in Berkeley and talked to Ruth Ann. The next day UPS delivered (non expedited!) my new rebuilt booster. It was painted silver and a little rust was already starting to show through. I had an open can of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator that I’ve been using on the BMW so I put on two coats.

The job went more easily than I thought. Drain the fluid out of the brake and clutch reservoirs; disconnect the brake and clutch lines; remove the steering column covers (so the column can be lowered out of the way), remove five bolts holding the pedal box and it all pulls out forward through the engine compartment.

Putting it back together wasn’t too difficult either. The Motive Power Bleeder I bought a few years ago was a good investment. I had tried Speed Bleeders but the Power Bleeder made it even easier.

Where the Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce Brake Master Cylinder, Clutch Master Cylinder, Booster and Pedal Box usually is

In fact, the hardest thing was trying to get the two holes in the rear top half of the cheap plastic steering column cover line up with holes in the steering column and the bottom half of the cover. It took me 20 minutes. I guess something always has to be a pain in the ass.