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Old 21-08-2016   #1
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Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hello all,

I have just purchased my first fiat 500 and first classic car. It is a 1969 500L (named Buzz, given its year of registration) which was imported from Italy early this year. The car has little history but from what I can gather it appears to have been off the road for some time. It has had a bad respray in Italy but I wanted a car to restore, I'm just hoping there isn't anything sinister hiding under the paint! I have no previous experience so I think I'll be relying heavily on the extensive info in this forum. I've read lots of useful threads already!

So far I have removed the interior to clean as it's covered in sticky gunk. The floor pan doesn't look too bad. I am struggling to get the back fold down section of the seats out though. Does anyone have any tips for this?
Also I've noticed the passenger inner wheel arch looks different to the drivers side and I'm wondering if it's maybe had an impact.

Attached are some pics of Buzz.

Katie
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Old 21-08-2016   #2
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Rear seat partway through a good clean
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Old 21-08-2016   #3
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'Creased' inner wheel arch?
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Old 21-08-2016   #4
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

What part are you saying is possibly creased?
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Old 21-08-2016   #5
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hi Sean,

Hopefully this picture shows the crease better...

Thanks,

Katie
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Old 21-08-2016   #6
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hi Katie welcome to the forum.

It does look like it has had some sort of impact, possibly from the front that may have forced that crease on the inner arch. Does it show any signs of having the front panel or wings replaced? You will probably be alright as the front suspension mounts don't appear to have been damaged or distorted at all. Does the car drive ok and not pull to one side or anything?

To remove the rear fold down seat, you fold the seat down and lift the rubber cover and on each side you will see two bolts where it bolts through the hinge and into the rear of the seat. I can't remember I think they are 13mm???

Tony
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Old 21-08-2016   #7
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hi Tony,

From what I can tell there is no sign of the front panel or wing being replaced and no other obvious impact damage. I guess once I get started on stripping it down more clues may be revealed.
It drives ok and doesn't pull to one side.

Great thanks! I'd read some threads saying it just lifted out but I guess they may refer to a different model.
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Old 21-08-2016   #8
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hi Katie,
I see what you mean now.
Yes that does appear to be creased. This could be as Tony said, previous damage from the front. It could also be damaged if it has been jacked up in the wrong place on the front x member.
Its rather difficult to advise with out further close up photos of the underneath, inner panels and front panels.
If the steering is ok then you may be able to just straighten it with a block and hammer.


this is the best photo I have to show what it should be like. Damian (Paolo66) might be able to assist in a close up as his 500 is currently in shell form.


Welcome to the forum. Don't be too concerned as you will be hard pushed to find meant 500's that haven't at some time been damaged within their 40+ years on the road.
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Last edited by Franko500; 21-08-2016 at 20:44.
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Old 21-08-2016   #9
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Thanks Sean. I hadn't considered It may have been jacked up badly.
I plan to use the car for the last remaining weeks of summer then strip it down fully so I'll see what is revealed and post what I find.
Talking of jacks, mine was missing along with the tool kit. Do you know where I can source a jack? They seem to be harder to come across than the toolkits.
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Old 21-08-2016   #10
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

I think that's had a side impact on the right hand wheel. I've jacked and supported the shell all over the place and you'd never cause that. It looks like there's some misshaping to the footwell bulkhead. If it is that then the worst would be the camber angle messed up a bit. Don't worry Katie, compared to many cars, yours is in great condition.
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Old 21-08-2016   #11
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
I think that's had a side impact on the right hand wheel. I've jacked and supported the shell all over the place and you'd never cause that. It looks like there's some misshaping to the footwell bulkhead. If it is that then the worst would be the camber angle messed up a bit. Don't worry Katie, compared to many cars, yours is in great condition.
Oh yeah it does a bit Peter, now I have taken a closer look, you can see a bit of distortion.

As others have said I don't think it is anything to worry about because the front suspension mounts seem to be in the right place.

I would be more concerned about what beast took a lump out of the heater tube, it looks like it had big teeth.
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Old 22-08-2016   #12
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

This is one of my footwells, prerestoration. Plenty of old sealant and paint but no crease.

Chris
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Old 22-08-2016   #13
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Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
Oh yeah it does a bit Peter, now I have taken a closer look, you can see a bit of distortion.

As others have said I don't think it is anything to worry about because the front suspension mounts seem to be in the right place.

I would be more concerned about what beast took a lump out of the heater tube, it looks like it had big teeth.
Haha yes it does look like it's had a bite taken out of it!
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Old 22-08-2016   #14
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Thanks for all the replies, it's much appreciated!

The only other thing I have found so far which supports it having had an impact is the caster, if that's the correct term, (position of the wheels inside the arches front to back) on the front wheels is different on both sides, not hugely but definitely noticeable by eye. I assume it's not meant to be that way, but being used to more modern cars I'm not sure if it's my expectations that are out a little! It drives well though so hopefully this is something that just needs adjusting
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Old 23-08-2016   #15
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Re: Introduction and my new 1969 500L

Hi K B,

All of the steering geometry angles should be the same side to side otherwise your tyres will wear prematurely and the steering will not perform correctly.

The angles are

Caster 9deg (+/- 1deg)
Camber 1deg (+/- 0.33deg)

Toe-in is adjusted by linear measurement.

The caster and camber angles can be adjusted by removing or replacing shims though if too far out, you might have bent or worn suspension components that need replacing. All measurements are made with the car sitting on the ground and loaded with the equivalent weight of four Italian adults ...

Do you have a Workshop Manual? A copy is invaluable when tinkering with these old cars.

Chris
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