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Old 17-06-2019   #391
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I had a look at the alternator and decided it was worth stripping it down because the bearings felt a bit rough. I also found that the brushes were worn unevenly, but visually, everything else looks good. I'll have to test the electrical parts and then it will take a bit of detective work to track down the spares I will need.

The undertrays etc. all now have a shiny coat of Tesco paint and I'm now homing-in on a load of little jobs that have come to light as I stripped it down. One of the stud-threads for the starter-motor has obviously been stripped for ages and another was looking dodgy, so both now have shiny, new helicoils fitted. I'm not sure if all three fixings were originally studs because non-original setscrews were fitted to the damaged holes. I might as well refurbish the starter-motor whilst I'm here so that's the next job.
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Old 29-06-2019   #392
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I've had a successful week of achieving bits and pieces. I worked out that the roof hinges which I had condemned were just slightly distorted; so I tweaked them. One is broken but I'm adapting a new steel one to fit.



They fix into fibreglass and the original rivet-holes were damaged, but then I realised that the glass was reinforced with an aluminium plate. So I've tapped into that, fitted Helicoils and the hinge problem is over. A few holes wouldn't co-operate so I've obtained some excellent rubber inserts with brass threads at the bottom which act as hollow-fixings.

I gave up trying to find new replacements for the two heater hoses of which the hot water feed is a real one-off. So I've cleaned them and then wrapped tightly in amalgamating tape, which bonds to make a leakproof and protective layer. I've used this as chafing protection on the two new solid pipes I've fitted where they pass through the "chassis". I've copied @Vin 's idea but adapted it to use a couple of 15mm compression fittings I had lying about and I fitted solder-ring fittings to the ends which gives me a nice grippable spigot for the rubber pipe.





The alternator is rebuilt and fitted. The slip-ring was a perfect fit and although fittng it to the shaft and solder it was nerve-racking it's another job well done.





So the engine is coming together now and I have the carburettor in bits (so simple ) and the derusted fuel-tank's ready to seal inside and paint outside. I will be going to town with the prep because the tank is such a rare item and so easily corroded, being just behind the rear wheel splash-zone.

It's funny with the restoration, that I go from being stymied by lack of inspiration and ideas of how to go forward to a situation where there are loads of things to fit and it's all fallling into place; it really is like a jigsaw-puzzle.
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Last edited by fiat500; 29-06-2019 at 22:59.
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Old 30-06-2019   #393
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Before you refit the fuel tank I highly recommend cutting an inspection hatch in the van floor directly above the sender unit. This will make refitting the fuel lines much easier and if you need to change the fuel sender in the future you won't need to drop the tank.

Unfortunately, I didn't do this and I'm now faced with having to drop the tank again to make sure the fuel line connections aren't leaking. There is a strong smell of petrol in the van when the engine is running and the smell appears to be coming from the fuel tank area. However, there is no obvious fuel spillage on the ground but I need to check to make sure and eliminate the risk... I don't want all my hard work going up in flames.
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Old 04-07-2019   #394
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Before you refit the fuel tank I highly recommend cutting an inspection hatch in the van floor directly above the sender unit. This will make refitting the fuel lines much easier and if you need to change the fuel sender in the future you won't need to drop the tank.
Good advice which I will follow. I am now ready to paint the tank and seal it but have encountered a hitch as the van has an incorrect carb without the return pipe for fuel. I do have a spare which looks more likely to be the right one but as the van is converted to a flat air-filter I want to avoid the effort of fitting the big, remote, cylindrical job.

I've been held up by the diversion of sorting out the radiator and coolant pipes. I also found I had a leak from the gasket and one of the M10 setscrews securing the water-pump. So forget the gasket and I will be using my old Permatite favourite instant gasket material. I've also got some fibre-washers which will go under the steel-washers and I hope this will stop the leak.

Taking the pump off allowed me to try to modify the cooling-fan shroud to stop it catching. One of the things I tried was to move the position of the fan on its spindle slightly, which didn't work. Ithink it has just been mishandled and needs some carefull bending. I wasn't 100% happy that the securing nut was tight so by using a spare pulley-spacer welded to a handle I was able to lock it all up in the vice and put on the full torque. Without this I had to hold the fan itself or use another spanner on the opposite nut; this is not conducive to accuracy. You can see that my special tool is setup for the same job on my Fiat 500.

With a bit of luck I'll have the thing running again by the weekend.
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Old 08-07-2019   #395
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I finally got all the loose ends sorted and fired-up the engine. It kicked into life the moment that fuel got through to the carb and quickly settled-down with no further adjustments needed and a nice healthy charge from the alternator


So now it needs the air-filter assembly and I have to work on painting the fuel tank and its location under the van so that I finally have a plumbed-in fuel system. Although the engine was one of the high points of the van as collected, because it did actually work. But the external refurbishment revealed so many things which were on their last legs and it now sounds smoother and has instant starting.

There is an annoying leak from the water-pump despite this having new seals etc., but I hope this just needs time for the carbon-seals to settle down.
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Old 15-07-2019   #396
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The next time you fire her up any chance that you could time how long it takes for her to get up to normal operating temperature? Ideally with no more choke than absolutely needed and no load/revving.

The reason I ask is that I'd like to get a bench mark to compare Connie's warm up time with (now she has an electric fan). Weather permitting, I'll time Connie's warm up time this weekend and share.
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Old 16-07-2019   #397
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
The next time you fire her up any chance that you could time how long it takes for her to get up to normal operating temperature? Ideally with no more choke than absolutely needed and no load/revving.

The reason I ask is that I'd like to get a bench mark to compare Connie's warm up time with (now she has an electric fan). Weather permitting, I'll time Connie's warm up time this weekend and share.
I'll give that a try but first I'll need to temporarily wire in the gauges. I think your warm-up will be the same as ever because it will be dependent on the thermostat. I've put a new one in and it takes ages before the water actually starts to flow to the radiator and by that time it must be up to optimum temperature.

Is your fan on permanently or do you have a sender-switch. With a good thermostat and if the fan is very efficient you might not need it running all the time.
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Old 17-07-2019   #398
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
I think your warm-up will be the same as ever because it will be dependent on the thermostat.
Good point about the thermostat, I'd forgotten about that.

The electric fan has a sensor stuck to the top of the radiator, just above the fins. Ideally, it should be inserted between the rad core fins but it is to long (the chap a Merlin Motorsport recommended the alternative position).

The sensor links to a control box, this gives the temperature readout and you can set what temperature you want/need the fan to come on/off. At the moment it's set at the default 85C which puts the dashboard temperature gauge steady at mid-way.

Note: As the sensor is not in the optimal position it will be reading a little on the low side - the 123-Ignition Conversion also has a temperature gauge which reads different again.

I've hooked up a light on the dashboard to tell me when the fan is running. I'm hoping that the ducting I've put in will help draw the hot air out the back reducing the need for the fan to be running (when moving forward). I won't be able to test this theory until the van is back on the road though.
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Old 19-07-2019   #399
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I can time it to when thermostat opens: you system sounds good.
Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Good point about the thermostat, I'd forgotten about that.

The electric fan has a sensor stuck to the top of the radiator, just above the fins. Ideally, it should be inserted between the rad core fins but it is to long (the chap a Merlin Motorsport recommended the alternative position).

The sensor links to a control box, this gives the temperature readout and you can set what temperature you want/need the fan to come on/off. At the moment it's set at the default 85C which puts the dashboard temperature gauge steady at mid-way.

Note: As the sensor is not in the optimal position it will be reading a little on the low side - the 123-Ignition Conversion also has a temperature gauge which reads different again.

I've hooked up a light on the dashboard to tell me when the fan is running. I'm hoping that the ducting I've put in will help draw the hot air out the back reducing the need for the fan to be running (when moving forward). I won't be able to test this theory until the van is back on the road though.
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Old 19-07-2019   #400
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

If you are using an electric fan, can you use the more compact (and possibly more available) Front wheel drive water pump?

Cheers

D
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Old 19-07-2019   #401
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by rallycinq View Post
If you are using an electric fan, can you use the more compact (and possibly more available) Front wheel drive water pump?
I've not heard of the front wheel drive water pump... can you provide a bit more information?

Myy water pump is a bit noisy (whiney). I'm not sure if this is due to not being used for over 13 years or whether the bearings are on the way out

I expect that it will need replacing before I take Connie out on a long journey, so I want to investigate alternatives - hopefully cheaper and easier to obtain.
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Old 19-07-2019   #402
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

A long time ago I saw a photo of a 850T/900T that had small air ducts fitted over the side engine bay louvres. I suspect that these were an attempt to help direct the airflow into the engine bay when moving forward.

Has anybody tried this?
And if yes does it work?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #403
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
I've not heard of the front wheel drive water pump... can you provide a bit more information?

Myy water pump is a bit noisy (whiney). I'm not sure if this is due to not being used for over 13 years or whether the bearings are on the way out

I expect that it will need replacing before I take Connie out on a long journey, so I want to investigate alternatives - hopefully cheaper and easier to obtain.
The front wheel drive water pump doesn't have the big extension with the fan on the other side of it. It sits tight up against the engine.

See attached picture.

Cheers

D
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #404
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Checking on Wikipedia it appears that the Fiat 100 series engine in 903cc version (front wheel drive) was fitted to the 127, Panda 45 Mk1, Uno 45 Mk1 and a few others.

Checking online, although the water pumps are around the 30 mark they all appear to be the 3-bolt variety I need the 4-bolt version. Plus Once the bolt pattern is correct the next bit will be to make sure the pulleys line up.

I'll investigate further and let you know how I get on.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #405
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Checking on Wikipedia it appears that the Fiat 100 series engine in 903cc version (front wheel drive) was fitted to the 127, Panda 45 Mk1, Uno 45 Mk1 and a few others.

Checking online, although the water pumps are around the 30 mark they all appear to be the 3-bolt variety I need the 4-bolt version. Plus Once the bolt pattern is correct the next bit will be to make sure the pulleys line up.

I'll investigate further and let you know how I get on.
and in 899 form in the Cinq and Sei.

D
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