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Old 03-09-2019   #1
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Questions about my Fiat 500

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully this is the right place to post this!

I've finally been able to buy my very own Fiat 500 and couldn't be happier. I've been reading through the owners manual, shop manual, maintenance manuals, etc to answer a few questions and haven't had too much luck so I thought I would try here. There are photos included to make life easier.

I'm in Canada, and my ownership shows this car as a 1972, however when I reference the chassis number against the Nuova 500 Site posted in the "Useful information for new users" thread, it appears I have a 1973, and a Rinnovata at that.

From what I can tell, the 500R had the larger 595CC engine from the 126, but I've read conflicting reports about the gearbox, mine is synchronized, should that be the case?

I've also found no mention of the ignition system on this car anywhere, however through some digging, it looks like it's a wasted spark ignition system. Is this a good reliable system, or would I be better off looking at a more modern solution (i.e. 123ignition)? Interestingly enough, on a somewhat related note, the starter is engaged via the key, not the lever between the seats.

I also can't seem to find the location to connect the interior heater ducts to the engine. Under the car at the back of the rear floorboards, I see the inlet where I would connect the system from the engine outlet, but I can't seem to find that outlet, is it possible that my car has been modified and thus doesn't have this?

The engine seems to have some modifications such as the carburetor, intake manifold, oil pan, exhaust, among other things. I can say that it runs fantastic and is a dream to drive. I've been working on cars as a hobby for years so none of this is too intimidating, however I'm not 100% sure what I've got here as it doesn't match up to what I would have expected or have read about.

If anyone can shed some light on this car it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-09-2019   #2
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Re: Questions about my Fiat 500

By the looks of that vin plate I would check all parts of the car very carefully. It could be a cut and shut car.
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Old 03-09-2019   #3
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Re: Questions about my Fiat 500

The chassis is, going by the vin plate a 500R,which were only made in LHD format---they were never imported into the UK. If the engine number is '126A' then it IS a 594cc engine, which in your case would seem to have been well 'enhanced'! The 500R also used the 126 gearbox with synchro on 2nd/3rd/top.
The 'wasted-spark' ignition is fine---basically the spark production is not limited to 1 cylinder at a time--both plugs spark, just one,on the exhaust stroke not being required is----wasted. I am told that you can fit one of the 'Hall effect' ignitions into your distributor (accuspark, powerspark etc). One thing that I would do is get rid of that fuel filter over the alternator---not a wise move to have a plastic container of fuel hanging over an electrical device--it is NOT required.
The 500R was the last of the 500s and to a degree was built to use up remaining 500 bodies, but with the mechanicals of the 'new' 126. It sounds as if you might just have fallen on your feet with this one---use it and enjoy it!
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Old 03-09-2019   #4
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Re: Questions about my Fiat 500

Thanks very much for the input. Regarding the fuel filter, is it not required at all, otherwise I can just relocate out of the engine bay and up front instead.
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Old 03-09-2019   #5
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Re: Questions about my Fiat 500

Quote Originally Posted by ilgrilleto View Post
Thanks very much for the input. Regarding the fuel filter, is it not required at all, otherwise I can just relocate out of the engine bay and up front instead.
Your car already has 3 filters that should be cleaned as part of the service, one in the tank, fuel pump and carb..
If they are blocked then your fuel supply has a problem.. could be an old pipe breaking down or crud in the tank...
Modern Fuel pumps in garages have huge filters as modern injection engines have much higher tolerances so the fuel supplied must be better than ye olden days...
So a blocked jet etc points to something in the chain not the actual fuel... so worth sorting or it will happen again...
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Old 03-09-2019   #6
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Re: Questions about my Fiat 500

Excellent thanks, I wasn't aware of the various fuel filter locations. When I picked up the car it already had the fuel filter installed inline, and I haven't seen any indication of anything other than fuel in the lines so I'll go ahead and remove it.
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