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Old 15-05-2019   #631
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

I have a good friend who lives just outside Senigalia, in the Marche region on the Adriatic coast. Every time I visit him I am surprised how many 500s I see being driven around, by people of all ages. Their 'Radunos' regularly pull in 100+ Cinquecentos! (but the restaurant meal at the end of the day may have something to do with it!---no tucker-vans). I have been asked to try and get my car down to them so that it can attend a Raduno---any body able to recommend a reliable transport company?--getting too old to drive 2,300km each way (Ann doesn't drive).
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Old 16-05-2019   #632
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
I think that I might have unintentionally deceived you Rob; it is a road trip but only from Naples airport and in.a Kia hire car. That's not to say that it isn't s recce for future travels in Murf. Tomorrow we're heading for the Amalfi coast and will get to see Positano, which is named after the best colour that you can paint a Fiat 500 (don't tell Murf). What I've learned about Italy is that I won't be bringing him in May...the weather is significantly more Italian back home this week than it is down here!
I've been sucker punched Ha, OK Peter, I misread that one.Its a long way to go. As you may remember my car was restored in Italy. I did consider driving it back but in the end, opted for transportation. As could not take the time. Would have taken a few days to say the least.

Enjoy the trip. I'm out to Amalfi and the island of Ischia in June. Love it there.

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Old 16-05-2019   #633
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by the hobbler View Post
I have a good friend who lives just outside Senigalia, in the Marche region on the Adriatic coast. Every time I visit him I am surprised how many 500s I see being driven around, by people of all ages. Their 'Radunos' regularly pull in 100+ Cinquecentos! (but the restaurant meal at the end of the day may have something to do with it!---no tucker-vans). I have been asked to try and get my car down to them so that it can attend a Raduno---any body able to recommend a reliable transport company?--getting too old to drive 2,300km each way (Ann doesn't drive).
Tom, I've used the "shipley" website for transportation quotes. They have reviews of the vendors and you get multiple quotes too.

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Old 29-05-2019   #634
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Murf's been grounded for a few days; more accurately, he's been raised in the air (on axle-stands). After the corrosion I recently found and dealt with on the driver's side I'd had been hoping that the passenger side would give me fewer problems as I carried on with a bit of "summer?" tidying. But it has given me the same amount of work despite not all of the corrosion being in exactly the same places.
I've had to make new and weld-in most of the longitudinal, top-hat section support-rails, a couple of the ends of the under-seat rails, the splash-zone at the back-edge of the front wheel-arch, the lower-back edge of the front outer-wing, the leading edge of the outer-sill and various other bits and pieces.
It's all in the traditional rot-zones as evidenced by the fact that there is even an off-the-shelf repair-panel which I could have bought which covers the wing and sill rot!
I think this is going to be an ongoing job as I will not be desisting from hammering Murf in all weathers and I'm sure some people will think it's proof that I'm stupid to try to use him as a car rather than the weekend toy that he should be.
The positive thing is that the corrosion has only eaten into a bit of my previous repairs and has not spread to the good parts of the original panelwork. Even so, at five years and 30,000 miles it's a bit of an awakening as to the level of maintenance needed if you want to use one of these cars properly. I'm pretty sure it would have been scrapped had it got this bad back in the '70s because so far that's three days' work and it still needs the welds tidying and everything priming and putting back to rights.
In the photos you can see that I've put in some captive-nuts in preparation for my next modification, which I hope will help to reduce the effects of the water and dirt from the road.
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Last edited by fiat500; 29-05-2019 at 22:19.
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Old 29-05-2019   #635
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

I think itís proof that little cars werenít expected to have a very long life. I would imagine that some of your repairs 5 years ago probably ended up with better rust protection than it left the factory with?

Murph only had pretty low mileage on him 5 years ago didnít he? I wouldnít have expected most UK based 500ís didnít last much more than 7 or 8 years back in the day, maybe less? They would have just disappeared into a pile of rust.
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Old 30-05-2019   #636
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
I would imagine that some of your repairs 5 years ago probably ended up with better rust protection than it left the factory with?
(
The bulk of the repairs were done ten years ago!! There was a house restoration in the middle of the job. I can clearly remember the hot and sunny summer (those were the days) when I did it. You're right...I did take pains to paint-protect and then Waxoyl everything. But there's mainly no trace of this or it's still there but hanging in layers and detached from the "metal".

All of the Fiats I had dealings with in the 80's were about ten years old, had between 30 and 40,000 miles on the clock and needed new sills and floors.....hence they were at the auctions reaching £50 to £100 a time.

For some people this would be the end of their use of the car as the professional repairs would be too expensive and with current attitudes to "classic" cars you'd be recommended to fit entire sills and floor panels etc.
But for Murf it's just a little hiatus as I could never bear him having another big-time resto unless there was another Fiat 500 who could be a temporary stand-in....Sheila's still asking for one of her own.

As an aside, which may be relevant to someone, after sitting for a few days I usually need a few pulls of the starter to pump through fresh petrol. With Murf having been tilted backwards on the stands all day, first pull and he was away...... must have helps the fuel to siphon down to the pump.
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Last edited by fiat500; 30-05-2019 at 07:30.
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Old 13-06-2019   #637
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Over the last month, in between showers of rain and harsh winds, I have been drawn into an unplanned series of repairs to Murf which have been more stringent and thorough than I think any MOT inspection has ever thrown at me.

The floor and sills have had a lot of careful reconstruction and I suspect there is a little bit more to do around one of the rear jacking-points. I've fitted a new horn, completely replenished the brake-fluid and I have four new tyres awaiting fitment. Now, having already noted that the toe-in had become upset, I have fitted a complete new set of steering balljoints and rods.

The ones fitted are the originals and when I restored the car I was able to re-use them, fitting new dust-covers after regreasing the balls. But as soon as I tried to adjust the rods I could see that they were badly seized and weakened through corrosion; one of them started to twist! and this is probably what put the toe-in out in the first place. The balljoints themselves appeared to be unworn but they're being thrown away in any case. So, after 50 years, I decided that I'd had my moneysworth and stumped up for new ones from the fantastic "Auto-Bella" via eBay....fast delivery and very competitive pricing. Incidentally, I noticed that I have acquire three balljoint removal options over the years; the one in the centre of the image is by far the best.

In order to get things as accurate as possible I loaded the car with approximately 110 Kg of blocks to simulate the actual weight when driving; that's a good 30% more than I weigh and flattened the front spring, which I assume is the intention in the instructions that toe-in should be checked with the car loaded. By good fortune (or maybe by being very methodical) the steering wheel has stayed nicely central and the car certainly drives well.

The key thing is that I have avoided the temptation to go further than necessary and kept the car within a day's work of becoming mobile again at all times; thus avoiding the "trap" into which I think that many classic-car owners fall and which often leads to the cars being unroadworthy for many years.

So for all of those people who in the past have implied that the MOT exemption might lead to cars becoming neglected and unsafe, here's one vehicle that definitely breaks that hypothetical pattern. Those track-rods and the rotten floor were passed as OK by the professionals a bit more than a year ago.
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Last edited by fiat500; 13-06-2019 at 15:40.
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Old 13-06-2019   #638
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

EFA ďIn order to get things as accurate as possible I loaded the car with approximately 110 Kg of blocks to simulate the actual weight when driving; that's a good 30% less than I weighĒ.

Crikey what have you been doing to that poor car? I donít think I have seen track rods that badly corroded before. Iím surprised the MoT tester didnít pick up on them. In fairness he probably didnít know why they were .

Iíve used Autobella before they are very competitive and swift delivery.
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Old 13-06-2019   #639
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
that's a good 30% less than I weighĒ.


.....37.5% MORE than my weight (of course)....
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Old 13-06-2019   #640
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@fiat500 Are you a mechanic by trade or is this is all self taught knowledge and skills from years owning Murphio (and others?)
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Old 13-06-2019   #641
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by Bubins View Post
@fiat500 Are you a mechanic by trade or is this is all self taught knowledge and skills from years owning Murphio (and others?)
Hi @Bubins, in common with many of the people who contribute here, my knowledge of the fixes for the Fiat 500 are largely gained from experience with the car and with others makes and models over many years. But I've also gained lots of useful knowledge from the other contributors here and elsewhere on the Internet.

Apart from their multiple abilities with the repairs and maintenance on the car, you will often find that Forum members will also have specialist skills because of the trade they work or have worked in. In my case, for several years, I did work as a fitter doing plant maintenance, and I think this gave me confidence in undertaking complex, mechanical tasks. It certainly gave me the opportunity to learn about MIG-welding at the council-tax-payers' expense, which has become very useful since I use the car so frequently in such hostile conditions here in the North.
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Old 14-06-2019   #642
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

It finally stopped raining, so perversely, we set off today to test out Murf's new mudflaps. I bought these a few years ago intending to fit them at the back of the car. I couldn't work out an easy way to fit them but with all the welding i've done in the front wheelarches it was very easy to install some welded-on nuts and then trim the flaps to fit. I did all this with the car off the ground and now I find that at slower speeds and uneven ground, they are catching slightly on the road-surface. It won't take long to let them wear to a perfect fit and although Murf now has a bit of a Dumbo appearance and looks even more like a cartoon attempt at a rally-car, it will be a very practical improvement.....he's going to fly....
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Old 14-06-2019   #643
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
It finally stopped raining, so perversely, we set off today to test out Murf's new mudflaps..................
Not sure why.. but they don't look right..... perhaps the size.. but then if they were "to scale" they would not do the job....

Have you not considered fitting an all round skirt.. like the "Ground effect" ones used in F1 which were designed to wear away as the race progressed as the suspension actually lowered as the race progressed...

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Last edited by Bigvtwin996; 14-06-2019 at 21:21.
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Old 14-06-2019   #644
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

Quote Originally Posted by Bigvtwin996 View Post
Not sure why.. but they don't look right..... perhaps the size.. but then if they were "to scale" they would not do the job....

Have you not considered fitting an all round skirt.. like the "Ground effect" ones used in F1 which were designed to wear away as the race progressed as the suspension actually lowered as the race progressed...
I take your point; they weren't designed to be there, but I did buy them on the understanding that they were designed for the 500, albeit at the rear.

In any case, if I was that bothered about looks I would never leave the house! I had them anyway and they should perform a very useful function. I'd rip them back off again if I found them that offensive...would that certain others would do the same with the plastic bits they've stuck on their 500s.

It's good to know that I've accidentally come up with an F1 concept but if it extended to the sides I think I would have a chubby hovercraft rather than a 200mph supercar.
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Old 28-06-2019   #645
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Re: Murphio's Meanderings

With temperatures promised to be in the mid-20's and sun all day, I had to have programmed one of my work excursions, didn't I?



So away to Glenelg with a visit to the 2,000 year-old brochs. ....



....and then across to the Isle of Skye aboard a tiny ferry which still crosses, despite there being a bridge to the island. It's mainly for tourists and what better than a 1969 car on a 1969 ferry. It has a turn-table so that the cars are physically turned to face the off-ramp.





On the way back there was a section of steep downhill for a quarter of a mile where I used third and then second gear to avoid the car over-running with speed. Shortly afterwards the engine started to stutter and I had to crawl along for a mile or so, stopping to clean the main jet, but with no improvement. I figured that it had developed a serious vapour-lock because of the fuel being static in the pipe for so long whilst going downhill in the great heat. So by chugging along in low gear for a while, with the heater on inside , eventually the liquid fuel made it through and away we went without a stutter for the next 70 miles.



As it happens, I have some new copper fuel-pipe and 6mm fuel-hose, which was ordered to fit-out my campervan. I deliberately got a bit too much as I had it in mind to plumb-in a proper return pipe from the carb. overflow to the tank as was described so well by @ricambiFiat500

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricamb...57622038829612

We've discussed this before but now I'm sure this is why Fiat went to the trouble of fitting a return-line to let the fuel continuously pump back to the tank instead of stagnating in the pipe in situations like this.
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Last edited by fiat500; 28-06-2019 at 21:33.
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