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What Aluminum Alloy Did Ferrari Use for 308 Louvers?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by SEAN@TEAM AI, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. SEAN@TEAM AI

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    #1 SEAN@TEAM AI, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
    Can anyone ad insight on what grade aluminum alloy Ferrari use for the engine cover louvers and front windscreen trim?

    I have contacted a number of anodizing services about refinishing these parts on a 78 308, the first question always relates to the alloy used 6xxx, 7xxx, etc.

    I am told the process of anodizing will differ between the alloys.


    So far i believe it is probably in the 6xxx family perhaps 6063?
     
  2. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Are the louvers machined or cast? Suspect they are cast from that era, which points you to completely different alloys.
     
  3. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    If these are sheet material and formed, likely 3003 or 5052 (or the equivalent euro spec) 6xxx and 7xxxx are not good forming series aluminum.
     
  4. finnerty

    finnerty F1 World Champ
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    #4 finnerty, Jul 26, 2018
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    My guess is that it's 2024.

    Depending on temper, it is very amenable to sheet and thin cross-section forming as well as easily and typically anodized --- as it has somewhat low surface corrosion resistance.

    Also, 2024 was one of the most widely available and cheapest of the Al alloys back in the 70's & 80"s when these cars were built.......and that would have been right up Ferrari's alley ;).

    6061 is the other most likely possibility, as it has a better finish to it making it nicer for the appearance of trim applications.
     
  5. finnerty

    finnerty F1 World Champ
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    At the OP, take it into a local place that buys scrap gold, silver, and other precious metals ---- they should be able to assay it for chemical composition if they have an x-ray spectrometer. Depending upon the caliber of their equipment, this may be accurate enough to determine alloy species.
     
  6. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    6061 cracks when bending. Yes, you can bend it a bit but if you bend too much you get stress cracks. I used to built dragsters back in the day ;)
     
  7. finnerty

    finnerty F1 World Champ
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    #7 finnerty, Jul 26, 2018
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    Not if you form it first in the fully annealed state, then heat treat for temper afterward.

    If you look at the parts on the 308, however it is doubtful they were formed from highly formable sheet stock like 5052.

    The alloy used, particularly on the louvers, is too hard and stiff in its final form ---- even with tempering you can't get 5052 there.

    That said, again, I highly doubt cheapo Ferrari would have spent the extra cost to form then heat treat these parts......... so, that leads me back to 2024 as it would been the cheapest and easiest alloy to produce these parts with cold forming and no heat treat needed.
     
  8. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    Good point. We probably had T6 in house back then. The real issue came from 90 degrees or more. Less than that on thinner stock was not an issue.
     
  9. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    I would guess 3003, just because it's so workable and weldable. It's good, old-fashioned aluminum.

    Anodizing is a pretty thin coating. How about powder coating?

    Matt
     
  10. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    It's not really a coating. 50% will impregnate into the material and 50% build up. General anodize is only .0002"-.0004" thick (total per surface).
     
  11. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    Before you go to refinish it try polishing it. My engine cover vents were looking pretty bad, all discolored and faded. I made a slurry of Comet cleanser and water and lightly scrubbed the vent elements and they came out looking like new (you could probably use rubbing compound). Windshield trim something different as mine is more of a gloss finish where as the engine cover is flat.
     

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