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Old 30-08-2017   #1
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126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Hi all, well after a 3 year rollercoaster love affair with my 126 Bis, over the last few months i have completed a FIRE 999 engine conversion. Just a few small loose ends to tidy up looks wise, but all legal and registered as a 999cc and MOT'd. After 30 miles of testing its developed a misfire so am currently in the process of sorting that. Is anyone interested in me posting pics and info on here? I know the engine conversion subject is rather contentious but i can confirm that it can be completed sensibly and legally.
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Old 30-08-2017   #2
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Yes please, was looking into this myself, would love some photos!!!
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Old 30-08-2017   #3
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Ok cool. I'll put something together over the next week. Although its not necessarily 'easy', its easier than you might think.
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Old 15-09-2017   #4
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Firstly i purchased an adaptor plate on eBay. Then i hunted for a donor car. I've had a lot of experience with the FIRE engine so after the nightmare i had with the Bis (2 years rebuilding the engine including fitting Abarth internals and egnineering improvements, 11 miles into the first drive and the NEW rear crank bearing failed...it actually crumbled to pieces due to a manufacturing flaw. I was so upset that i garaged the car for 6 months.), i decided to fit a FIRE motor to avoid buying more faulty parts.
I didnt want to fit a 999, 1108 or 1242 at first as i was concerned about the torque through the gearbox, after all, the priority of this build was reliability not performance. However after struggling to locate a complete and running 750 Panda that would be a suitable donor (they were all to nice to break and also expensive), i began searching for a 999cc which is obviously far more common and more available as a carburettor power unit which lends itself to the age and style of the 126 quite nicely. I wanted a running car so i could try the engine out before the build. I found a 1990 UNO with 80k on the clock for a good price. I trailered it home from purchase.....and im so glad i did. The engine ran beautifully, but the front o/s wheel was spaced about 10mm wider than the left, the rear turrets had rust burst under the carpet trim and i counted 4 fuel leaks including petrol oozing through the layers of rust in the tank! It had just passed an 'MOT' too....anyway, the engine was a gem. And so began the build:
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Old 15-09-2017   #5
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

The adaptor plates are available for the aircooled 126 models so the quickest and easiest course seemed to be to purchase an aircooled bellhousing and fit that to the Bis gearbox. I bought a used one for 20 (again, thanks ebay). In these pics you can see the adaptor plate fitted to the bellhousing and then all three parts together.
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Old 15-09-2017   #6
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

The adaptor plate is a good template to add to. We added a top fixing point (under the thermostat) to the plate to support the top of the bell housing and then welded thin fillets all the way round the plate to protect the flywheel when fitted. The original aircooled lower flywheel cover also fits with this install. As an aside, the flywheel needed about 50 thou skimmed off the rear in order to clear the adaptor plate. I'm lucky, as although i am a mechanic my father is an engineer so he has done the bulk of the fabrication.
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Last edited by elbandito472; 15-09-2017 at 21:28.
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Old 15-09-2017   #7
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Bell housing fitting
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Old 15-09-2017   #8
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Cutting the chassis and first trial install minus flywheel and clutch.
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Old 15-09-2017   #9
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Measurements were taken before and after cutting and the chassis didn't even spring a millimetre. Clearly the distributor didnt fit, so we braced the middle of the car with a steel tube across the rear of the seat line, also down into the box section either side of the dizzy. Next we cut (after taking measurements) the box section that was fouling the dizzy and welded in some channelling. This left plenty of room for the dizzy and for an inspection panel.
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Last edited by elbandito472; 15-09-2017 at 21:38.
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Old 15-09-2017   #10
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Next came the design of the rear subframe. There is lots of inspiration available on the net. I wanted this project to be reasonably quick and easy. Also i was aware of weight factors. I also wanted the project to include as many standard parts as possible (cables/mounts/hoses etc), whether 126 or Uno i didn't mind but i wanted to stay away from custom parts as much as possible to aid with future maintenance.
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Old 15-09-2017   #11
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

We boxed the open rear chassis member ends and machined up some threaded inserts which were welded in to enable the subframe to act as a brace.
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Old 15-09-2017   #12
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Here you can see the braces on the subframe and the firewall.
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Old 15-09-2017   #13
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Here you can see the braces on the subframe and the firewall installed
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Old 15-09-2017   #14
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Top engine cover and sound deadening
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Old 15-09-2017   #15
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Re: 126 Bis FIRE engine conversion.

Subframe painted, numberplate, foglight etc. this is where im up to to date.
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