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Old 07-08-2012   #16
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Yep - excellent.

Chris
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Old 09-08-2012   #17
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

It's a Flickr link, not sure why they do that. Anyway, if you click on the orange bar above the box where it says "all sizes... Etc etc" then you should get the link.

If anyone has any other pics of this car I'd be keen to see them, shame the wheels aren't more visible.

I am happy to be a sticky, just hope I can live up to it!
Cheers Roger
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Old 12-08-2012   #18
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

My panel work is still ticking over slowly, so in the meantime I have been working on all the various small sub-assemblies as well as stripping down the engine and gearbox. In some ways I find this the best part of a resto, taking apart various components, seeing how they work, cleaning then up, reassembling, testing etc then setting aside for later incorporation into the finished project. There is always a huge range of processes involved in renewing parts - painting, polishing, annodising, powdercoating, zincing, welding etc etc. I have used a lot of powdercoat and still more of a product called hypercoat, which is marketed by a company called HPC (High performance coatings) and is extensively used on engine and running gear parts for hot rods, drag cars and motorcycles, as well as industrial applications. It is very much thinner than powdercoat and withstands huge temperatures, oil, petrol etc. It's very satisfying to take in a rusty old part and come back in a week to collect the same part looking like new - check out m 500F swingarms, they'd been under a hedge for 10 years and came up really well. Mind you, getting the new bushes in was a hassle. If anyone else is doing this in future I strongly suggest having them put in a lathe and a small 'lead' turned in to the steel casing on one end. Only after doing this was I able to press them in straight because they are anything but perfectly round!
BTW - I used vibro-polishing to get my alloy parts like engine mount, pedal block, Idle arm block etc polished. They simply get placed in with a grainlike media and tubled until they shine. Beats the elbow grease!
Cheers Roger
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Old 12-08-2012   #19
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Also some pics of the "hammer finish" coating I used on the engine cover, thermostat housing etc...
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Old 12-08-2012   #20
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Roger,

man after my own heart. Love the work on the parts. The contast that the black and bright sets up throughout the car makes the work worth it. You will see this when you start bolting bits back onto the body.

Regards

Joe R
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Old 13-08-2012   #21
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Molto, molto bello - makes my attempt look half-baked ....

Keep the photos coming.

Chris
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Old 13-08-2012   #22
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Thanks guys. Some of my friends have less flattering ways of referring to my obsession with the small details of my car!
Glad my posts are giving enjoyment.
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Old 13-08-2012   #23
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

yep, i've not posted but been watching avidly keep it coming, many of us if not most of us have many mates that do nothing but mock little fiats, they just don't understand.
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Old 13-08-2012   #24
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Quote Originally Posted by RogerNZ View Post
Thanks guys. Some of my friends have less flattering ways of referring to my obsession with the small details of my car!
Glad my posts are giving enjoyment.
Ignore them - they are probably Australians

Chris
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Old 16-09-2012   #25
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

Hi all, well, here's an update of sorts. Panel work is going very slow as my panel beater is only working on the car in his spare time. Meanwhile I can't get on with the engine as pistons, rod, valves etc are on back order. Seems there is a shortage of 695 kits out there (maybe you've inspired too many people Chris!?). 500Ricambi could only offer me the 80mm kit with forged pistons so I bit the bullet and paid the extra 150 euro or so! Should be here in a few weeks.

Meanwhile the panel beater has got the floor in on one side, and I've asked him to reinforce the engine mount towers. A local expert here tells me the extra power of a good engine can cause these to tear away from the body on a D. I wouldn't have thought is possible myself, but my panelbeater readily agreed and showed my a late model BMW in his workshop on which he was about to replace the entire rear sub-frame. Looking underneath you could see how the entire frame had ripped free of the body. If it can happen on a new vehicle I guess it can happen to a 50 year old micro-car!

I've been getting on with a huge number of small jobs, none of which are worthy of photos. But, have also had he engine casings and gearbox/diff casings wet glass blasted (water and glass bead - they call it Vapour Blasting). Creates a nice finish which cleans easily if you get grubby fingers on it while assembling. I've attched a few pics here, including a before/after shot of the gearbox housing. Despite having only 40,000 km on tghe clock my gearbox needed new synchro's and 1st/reverse gear kit. I'm no good with gearboxes and looking at the pic here of all the parts all I can think is "The work of the devil"! Lucky I have a good friend who's a mechanic and not scared of these things!

To cheer myself up and make it feel like I am making progress I have bought a nice Nardi steering wheel and also had my seats recovered. I stripped them down and powdercoated the frames, and the used a standard cover kit and new foam, which I had fitted by a professional upholsterer. They look great.

Oh yeah, and I've also rebuilt two steering boxes (one D and one F), I'll put up a separate post about that as there is a big difference in the seals used on each and someone may oneday find the info useful.

Cheers Roger
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Old 28-09-2012   #26
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

OK, a note on steering boxes. This may be pure trainspotting, but as I have never seen this discussed before it may actually be useful to someone someday...

When I bought my car one of the first things I noticed was that the steering box had been leaking for a long time and the box was completely covered it a thick black sludge. Not long afterward a bunch of old 500 steering parts which included 3 steering boxes was listed on a local online auction site. I got the lot for $20. Two of the boxes were covered in gunk like mine, one was clean as a whistle - more on that later...

When I stripped my car I took apart the steering box out and started to strip it. First job was to take off the steering arm. This is on a tapered spline and was a tight fit to say the least. The various manuals don't mention it, but it can be VERY hard to remove. I took mine to an engineer friend who was amazed at how bound up it was. It eventually took a blow torch and a real blacksmith with a real blacksmith's hammer to separte the arm from the spline.

I ordered a new seal kit, stripped the box and after rezincing parts and vibro-polishing the body I went to reassemble. It was only then that I realised the seals in the new kit did not fit the spline layout. Digging out another steering box from my stash it appears that after the D model fiat decided to change the seal. The D has a seal that has a serated rubber section that actually seals against the spline. (photos one and two) This is clearly expensive to make and not that effective. F model boxes change to a standard type seal that seals on the shaft before the spline (photo 3). Other than that the boxes have the same internals (photos 4 and 5).

None of the parts suppliers I know could supply a D type seal, and several seemed to not know they exist. I found a crusty old one in with some parts of a local collector, but if anyone knows where new ones can be found I would be glad to hear from them.

Anyway, I have now rebuilt two boxes, one D and one F. I'll be using the F model version I think as the seal clearly is a lot better.

Now what oil to fill it with? A local mechanic who has worked on these cars for 40 years tells me all the boxes leak. "It's a good sign if it's leaking" he says "At least if it's leaking you know it's got oil in it!" Seems many ran dry in the first years of life and have run a long time since with no oil at all. And the clean one I mentioned earlier? Well when I openned it up it was packed full of thick bearing grease! Seems someone figured at least that wouldn't leak out. Mind you, if it's not packed in properly such thick grease will also form a cavity around moving parts and therefore not lubricate them.

I think the grease idea is OK, but I'll be looking to use a good semi-liquid gearbox grease.

Cheers Roger

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Old 07-10-2012   #27
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

At last my engine stuff has arrived. Id been waiting while the barrel and piston kit was on back order. The valves are now with the engineer who is reworking the head, as are the new barrels so he can overbore the engine case to fit their larger spigot size, so in the meantime I thought Id share some pics of the pistons and con rods. I bought these from 500 Ricambi and Im really happy with them. From the crown markings it seems the pistons are made by CP otherwise known as CP Carrillo, which is a good firm. They are considerably shorter than standard pistons, have a stronger mount for the wrist pin and very much thinner rings. The skirts are coated to improve oil retention. The wrist pin is closer to the crown than standard, requiring the use of longer (130mm) conrods.

The rods themselves are also very good quality. At 400 euro they werent cheap though! They are not marked but look very well made and could also be by CP Carrillo. Theyre H beam rods as opposed to the standard I beam versions.

All parts are lighter than the originals. A single 126 piston and pin weighs in at 427 grams. The new piston and pin weighs 325 grams. The standard 126 conrod weighs 425 grams. The new one weighs 391 grams. All up it looks like I am saving 16% of the original weight of the piston/pin/rod combination. I only weighed one of each, but I am guessing manufacturing tolerances on these will be pretty close. Ill find out when it comes time for balancing as soon as Ive pulled the plugs from the crank and cleaned it out.

I cant wait to put this thing together!

Cheers Roger
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Old 07-10-2012   #28
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

pure automotive pornography right there - why is shiny metal so gad damn sexy??
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Old 07-10-2012   #29
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

The great thing about shiny metal though is:- you can't get nicked for viewing pretty young bits of metal--unless the missus catches looking at pictures of it!!
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Old 22-10-2012   #30
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Re: 1963 'D' resto with 126

More automotive porno... I just got my head back from the engineer. It's awesome. I went for 36mm inlet and 29mm exhaust. As you can see from the pic that's as big as you can go without really major work. As it stand's he's had to open up the side of the combustion chamber around the inlet valve so the fuel can flow properly.
He's done a very nice job of blending the valve guides perfectly flush with the port so they don't interfere with gas or fuel flow.
One thing that is hard to see here is that he's used very deep valve seats (about 6mm) and used these to achieve a venturi effect around the inlet valves. This means the port narrows as it approaches the valve seat, creating a restriction, and then opens up again where the valve sits. In practice this will make the head suck more fuel. This will be felt when you first put your foot on the gas, and also when it gets into its sweet spot at higher revs.
The crank etc is now all away being balanced, so hopefully I'll be putting this baby back together soon.
Cheers Roger
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