- GASKETS AND BITS - Head gaskets have been remade, and are readily available. Some prefer the older copper type, which can be reused.
- PUSH RODS - There are two different lengths, one from s. 1-4 and then from s. 5-6. If you change to the later lifters (without the hole in the center) for use on an earlier car, make sure to shorten the pushrods about 1/8”.
- FLYWHEELS - weights vary but are typically stock around 19lbs. It can be reasonably lightened to 15lbs, which gives smoother shifts (from better alignment) in a 6th s. B24. Flywheels on early 2 liter cars do not need lightening. Sergio Allais (sergioallais.com) makes a very light competition flywheel, as well as cams and crankshafts.
- CON RODS- Early conrods are delicate looking, but gorgeous. I replaced mine with rods made by Cunningham here in the US, and went to shell bearings, which required changing the oil pump.Later conrods are quite robust. Aurelia bottom ends, especially those with shell bearings, are very solid.
- OIL FILTER - If the engine has a higher pressure pump (s.3-6), consider fitting a spin-on oil filter, attached via a removable adapter. A few of these were made, probably obtainable through Omicron.
- CRANKSHAFTS - The Aurelia crank is best used as designed. If possible, match the conrod and piston weights to the original, so nothing need to be done. In the case of rebalancing, needed for example with newly made rods and pistons, with different mass, the balancing of the crank must be done with bobweights. Their size is calculated by a knowledgeable shop. This is now conventional wisdom: if you change conrod or piston weights, you will need to rebalance the crank. Also take care to match the weights of all the conrods and pistons to each other (very important).
- PISTONS- These are available remade in Italy, or in the US - J&E pistons from California have made pistons for both 2 and 2.5 liter motors, which can be done with either standard or raised compression, using modern ring sets. Note that use of a good ring set is key for a good engine - too often, people source pistons and rings separately, and rings can fail to seat. For the 2.5 liter motor, ask them to look at order # JE 423 639.
- CAMSHAFTS - Best is to use a stock cam, designed for your engine. Although five different cams were made for the Aurelia, most were based on the original B10 lobe profile, with timing changed. The hottest factory cam was a bit different for the B22 with 5.5mm lift instead of the stock 5mm. It can be provided by Cavalitto, who can also supply other cams remade in Italy. Another source is Sergio Allais, (sergioallais.com) who make cams to whatever design is desired. The best high-performance setup in the US comes from Megacycle, their 90199 cam - if they will still make it. Additional info can be found at What Cam to Use.
Fuel and Cooling Systems
- CARBURETORS AND FUEL - Generally, people feel that performance gains with the Nardi setup are not worth the tradeoff in usability. However, this has a lot to do with how the engine is set up, which cam is used, and the overall condition of the carburetors. A well-setup Nardi carb kit can pull from idle and give a level of zest that the stock carburetor cannot. On the other hand, Tim Burrett has been racing in Europe for years successfully with an enlarged single 2 barrel carb, with simplicity of installation and good performance.
Check jet sizes by measurement, as they may have been reamed and no longer accurate. For carb rebuilding (and the all-important butterfly shaft rebushing), consider Pierce Manifold in California.
- FUEL PUMP - Check the pressure coming off the mechanical pump - it should be between 2.5 and 4 psi. The pump is extremely sensitive to rod length and shimming. Too much pressure will quite likely push fuel through the carbs and can wash out cylinder bores.
To cure vaporlock and ease cold starting, fit an electric pump (preferably back by tank where it won’t be seen). Hide a switch under the dash. There is no need for high pressure - keep to the 2.5-4 PSI range. To cure hot starting issues, especially in hot summer heat and with a Nardi kit, consider fitting a fuel return line (see Fulvias, for example). This takes expanded and hot gasoline back to the fuel tank, rather than it pushing past the carburetor jets and flooding the car. It makes very hot starts easy.
- COOLING - Radiator caps on early Aurelias (B20 s. 1-4) were not pressurized, s. 5-6 were - at 1/2 bar, or with 7 psi caps. For thermostats - some of the remade ones flow differently than original older types; Classic Tuning (Netherlands) has remade the original type in bronze.
- ELECTRONIC IGNITION - there are a few ways to do this. One is to get from Huib the 1-2-3 distributor, which includes different mapping profiles for advance curves. My experience has been with Crane’s Fireball XR700-023 (www.cranecams.com) makes an optical trigger that fits well, gives better starting, and better top end as well. One little wire from the distributor to a box hidden below the dash. If necessary, the points can be readily re-installed at a later date. Make sure you have a good rotor and cap.
- TRANSMISSION - First gear clusters have been remade and can be found in Italy. Third gears are tricky: from the 1st to the 4th series, three (!) different third gears were used. The first was originally used in the B10, then there was a changearound the middle of the first series B20, and another in the middle of the fourth series. - Consider changing the hydraulic clutch in the later cars to a manual clutch from the earlier cars. This requires changing some parts of the pedal box as well as the clutch release rod off the transmission, but long-term worries of hydraulic failure are over.
- DRIVE SHAFT - Balancing the driveshaft takes time. For the earlier cars (s. 1-4), it takes patience too. A process is well described in the LMC manual. I’ve also had good luck with Driveline of Portland (Roger Vrilikas). They take the time to align all the pieces to very tight centerlines, and then balance the whole shaft. They found that the splines in the early driveshaft get a wee bit cocked, and the aluminum paddles get a bit out of perpendicularity - so they heat up the ends of the shafts and re-aligned the splined ends. As a last resort, check the alignment of the engine centerline (along the crankshaft axis) to the center of the transmission input. They should be straight in line with each other. If the car has had an accident, or the motor mounts moved, they can be out of alignment.
- SUSPENSION - By now, it is worthwhile rebuilding the entire suspension on your Aurelia. The front is a complicated assembly and needs a specialist. The rear can be done locally: take the leaf springs apart, clean them, and replace the rubber interleaving (avail. from Omicron). There will be reduced stiction and you will get a much more supple ride.Look at reinforcing the suspension mounting points, especially at rear leaf spring mounts. Over the years, these attachments have weakened, and should be rewelded.
- BRAKES - To avoid the shimmy common to Aurelias, all the suspension bits must be in good order. Brake drums need to be balanced as well. Some cut the drums to accept the shoes without shimmy, but others grind them - to take less off and get a better fit. Different series B20’s have different brake drums, as for example, the brake drums (and shoes) for the s. 2 B20 are in fact wider than in the B12 (which is a later car) .
- WHEELS - The two basic wheel types are the rolled rim (earlier type) and the later stamped rim (easier). Bill Stebbins has documented the varied different rolled rims (no, there is not just one!). Borrani made wire wheels (unattractive), aluminum wheels with steel hubs (neat, very rare!) and even steel wheels for Aurelias. The early Lancia steel wheels with the rolled rims weigh about 18# apiece. The steel Borranis, with a better rim profile, are not any lighter.
- TIRES - only use 165x400. Michelin X stops can be found from Coker Tire in the US or Longstreet in England. They are also now marketing Pirelli tires of the right size. Order tubes as well.
Body anD Trim
- BODY - PAINT COLORS - Original paint colors are known, but it is very difficult to match these to current paints by number. Lechler reissued these paint colors with modern paint numbers but only in Europe. Best is to find a piece of the original paint somewhere on the car and match it.
- BODY - CHROME - Current chrome is done to meet environmental standards, and tends to have a brightness, or bluish quality to it that takes away from the character of the cars. It is possible, by fiddling with the chroming process, to get the more yellowish chrome color of the older car, but very hard to find people who will do that.
- INTERIOR - came in either cloth or leather. Hirsch (in the US) supplies very good English wool in many colors. Trinchero has remade the grey and nocciolo (dark hazelnut brown) cloth for older cars as well. For the vinyl, use Italian vinyl where possible, as it thinner and holds the lines better in the installation. Keep the welting very thin, to match original.
Cloth interior looks great - headliners now have to be made of the same material as the seats - the original cars had a lighter weight cloth which is not findable today in the colors used in these cars. Cloth sun visors are tricky to make.
- RUBBER - Cicognani has remade weatherstripping and the interior rubber mats for the cars. They used the original molds, but the rubber mats are a bit thicker. Not any real options there. The weatherstripping is decent, but not great.
- WINDSCREENS - Omicron has remade a number of the windscreens in England. The quality is good, and they fit. Omicron packs them well for shipping.
- INSTRUMENTS - In the US, Palo Alto Speedometer does good work in restoring instruments. Best to make one’s own cables, as getting the right length and fittings from overseas is a bit like gambling, but you rarely win.
- STEERING WHEELS - original ones were typically in plastic. The early ones are prone to cracking and are difficult to restore properly. Jean-Marie Levallois has made very good reproductions.