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Old 23-06-2019   #91
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I've been doing a bit of tinkering with the electrics today (I'll share photos when I've progressed a little further). I also fired Connie up today for the first time in a few weeks (see notes on electronic ignition thread).

One area of concern is that there is a strong smell of petrol inside the van above the fuel tank. This only happens when the engine has been running for a little while.

I can't locate any leaks from the fuel lines however, the only way to get to the ones that go into the the fuel tank is to drop the tank - not a job that I'm looking forward to as a real pain. Especially if there is no leak and the time is wasted looking for a non-existent problem.

Anyone else come across a similar problem?
And if yes, was there a simple solution?
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Old 10-08-2019   #92
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I've turned my attention to some of the smaller (and more irritating) jobs. These are quite time consuming relative to the outcome but are necessary. High on the list are the windows - the windscreen was refitted not long after the respray (with a new seal) but fitting the side windows are long over due.

The drivers side quarter light frame was badly rusted at the bottom around the bracket for the quarter light glass but generally sound.



As you won't see this once the new rubber seals are fitted I opted for simplicity - pop-rivets (my welding skills are rubbish).



The old & new metal was cleaned up (sandblasted) and painted with POR15 prior to riveting together - so future rust shouldn't be a problem.



The bottom bracket was quite brittle so I used a couple of washers to even out the pressure from the new pop-rivets (and a dab of Gorilla glue to stick the broken bit back).

The rubber seals are proving quite fiddly to fit - I'll add photo's later once fitted and back in the van.

In the meantime I'm experimenting with how to bond the metal hinges to the glass quarter lights. These have been glued several times in the past but haven't lasted - luckily I managed to catch the glass as it fell out.

Gorilla glue seems pretty good, albeit somewhat messy if you use to much. However, I've come across some waterproof double-sided tape that looks very promising. If it works it should make fitting the glass much easier as it provides instant bonding.

I've taken a template of the quarter light glass - just in case. If they do fall out again I think I'll go for 5mm perspex, as this is easy to drill and can be screwed to the hinges (assuming these don't get lost).
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Old 11-08-2019   #93
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

After much trial and error the passenger door windows are back in.



You have to put the 'winder' window in before fitting the quarter light assembly and then you have about 2mm clearance to squeeze the assembly in. I tried the fitting before gluing the quarter light glass in place and opted to fit the glass last - makes it much easier to fit the rubber seals etc.

I've used double sided water proof tape to secure the quarter light glass, which made it easy to fit as no clamping required. However, the tape seems a little flexible at the moment so I'm not sure how long it will last (Hopefully it will harden once fully cured).

Although I've used new quarter light rubber seals the fit isn't great as there are still quite a few gaps - some black mastic will be needed to stop water getting in.
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Old 07-09-2019   #94
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I've turned my attention to upgrading the front drum brakes to discs.
Some time (a few years) ago I bought a set of disc assemblies (including stub axles) of Ebay. The seller claimed they came from a 850 Spider but I have no way of verifying this or know how old they are.

Most parts seem to be easy to obtain e.g. the discs are standard 227mm diameter versions.

However, the callipers are a little more problematic, part numbers are 4169090 and 4169091 (n/s and o/s). Assuming that I can free the pistons one of the piston and seal service kits may suffice.

They are seized solid so I don't hold out much hope. In this case does anyone know where I can find replacements or an alternative? (the usual suspects, Ebay, etc.) haven't thrown anything up.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-09-2019   #95
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post

However, the callipers are a little more problematic, part numbers are 4169090 and 4169091 (n/s and o/s). .

For the proper calipers I'm reading 440393 and 440394 from the parts lists that I've been given. I've done some searching on my favourite site and unfortunately I've found nothing that helps.
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Old 08-09-2019   #96
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi Peter
Thanks for the additional part numbers but like you they didn't throw up anything in a search. I have found an O/S calliper on Ebay but it isn't cheap and of little use without the matching one to make the pair.

Also before shelling out the money I need to check that the brake pads are easy to obtain - pads for standard 850/900 callipers are around the 20 mark and are in reasonable supply. I don't want to go to the time and expense of replacing/restoring the callipers only to find that the brake pads are silly money or not available - reconditioned aluminium shoes for the 900T are pushing the 150 mark (the later steel self-adjusting versions are sub 20 for a set).

Once I've resolved the front brakes I want to convert the rear ones to self-adjusting versions for ease of maintenance and cost of shoes. Has anyone done this before and if so what parts are needed - I doubt that it's a simple case of swapping the aluminium shoes for the steel versions.
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Old 08-09-2019   #97
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)



850 stub axles/steering knuckles are incompatible with 850T/900T/E



The stub axles from the donor are totally seized so rather than spend time trying to free them I thought I'd see if I could just swap the back plates over to Connie.

I expected to do a bit of fettling to make them fit but they are totally miss-matched and not a chance of them fitting.

Back to searching Ebay in the hope that a set of discs from a 900E turn up. There have been a few in the last couple of years but I passed these over as I thought I had a set to swap over
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Old 09-09-2019   #98
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post

850 stub axles/steering knuckles are incompatible with 850T/900T/E

The stub axles from the donor are totally seized so rather than spend time trying to free them I thought I'd see if I could just swap the back plates over to Connie.
Any chance of some pics?

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Old 09-09-2019   #99
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

This is an old drum backplate (kept for possible spares), this is a rear one but the front is pretty similar.



The backplate for the front discs is:



In addition to the mounting hole positions being different the centre hole of the disc backplate is significantly smaller.

The hub bits (not sure of the proper name) are different sizes, with the disc version being smaller to allow the disc to fit over it. (the wheel bolt patterns are the same.)

As the wheel bearings for the 850 and 850T/900T are different I'm assuming that the spindle size will be different and therefore not interchangeable.

The different stub axles/steering knuckles are shown on the Ricambio website.

850: https://www.ricambio.co.uk/set-of-st...ckles-fiat-850

850T/900T: https://www.ricambio.co.uk/stub-axle...00t-e-multipla

And you can see, it doesn't look like any of the parts are interchangeable.

Looks like if I want to carry out a disc brake upgrade I'll have to look out for 900E parts - hopefully I can get the self-adjusting rear drums as well.

If anyone knows of where I could find any of these I would be very interested.
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Old 10-09-2019   #100
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Excellent, thanks.

Looking at your top picture of the backplate with the 4 equally spaced holes looks very like a Cinq/Sei backplate.

There are caliper plates available for putting discs on the rear of a Cinq/sei. They accept a number of Fiat Calipers and use Cinq/Sei front discs, which will fit under 13 inch wheels.

Might be a line of enquiry.

Bear in mind that putting calipers on will require a different master cylinder.

Cheers

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Old 11-09-2019   #101
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi
I suspected there would be Fiats around the same age (give or take a few years) that share a common parts bin with parts that can be swapped out - it was just a case of working out which ones. I'll investigate the Cinq/Sei options and report back when I find out more. With a bit of luck I may be able to have discs all-round (rather than just upgrade the front) - although balancing the front/rear braking should prove interesting if I go for all-round discs.

I've just replaced the master cylinder, after a few attempts to get the right one it turns out that I have the later version as fitted to the 900E. As the 900E has front discs therefore I'm assuming that this will be up to the job (at least for the front disc upgrade - discs all-round may require a bit more thought).

I need to swap the current 12" wheels regardless of what brakes I eventually end up with. Two of my wheels require inner tubes to keep them inflated - not good. I'm probably going to go for 14" as this will allow more flexibility on the brake front plus reduce the 'bounce' a little by having lower profile tyres. There is a useful website for comparing rolling circumference and wheel offsets see: https://www.carbibles.com/calculators/ This helps to get the right combination so the speedo doesn't need recalibrating and the wheels don't foul the body.
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Old 11-09-2019   #102
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

You'll need to watch 14 inch tyre availability, lower profile 14s are very difficult (and usually expensive) if you can find them.

Rear discs are easily do-able using Alfa Handbrake Calipers. I think the Cinq section has a guide for the rear disc conversion. You'd need the same/similar caliper mounts for the front.

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Old 12-09-2019   #103
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Tyre choice and availability is a big reason for the wheel size choice... irrespective of upgrading the brakes. Getting hold of tyres (155/80) for the 12" wheels is somewhat limited and invariably you have to pre-order them.

I'm most likely to go for either 155/65R14 or 165/60R14 tyres - there is plenty of choice at the main high street tyre depots from around the 30 mark.

Assuming the Carbibles website is correct the with the above tyres fitted the van will be doing 70.55mph when the speedo reads 70mph - one can dream

There is also very little chance of the new tyres fouling the arches or making the steering heavier.

In a perfect world I would love a set of period Wolfrace Slots but for now I'll settle for standard steel rims - the new wheel & tyre combo is little more than buying 12" tyres.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #104
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

For the DIY mechanic I think that working on vehicle brakes has got to be the most frustrating and sole destroying job on the planet - add a few expletives and you may get some idea of my frustration following today's efforts.

After weighing up all the brake upgrade suggestions I've decided to put it on hold - it's become far too distracting and is slowing down the overall rebuild. Once Connie is back on the road and useable again I'll return to the brakes.

Biting the bullet and with new (reconditioned) aluminium shoes and correctly sized brake cylinders (I had fitted 850T ones by mistake earlier - these are smaller than the 900T versions), I had hoped the fitting of the new parts would be a doddle and only take a couple of hours (as everything had been stripped down only a few months ago) - how wrong

6 hours later I now have brakes again - not perfect or MOT ready but they will stop Connie with a couple of pumps on the brake pedal. I need to bleed the brakes again but the bleed nipples are so small trying to keep the bleed pipe on is an art form in itself.

The big problem I've encountered is a seized snail cam adjuster. They are not the easiest to get a spanner on (due to being recessed into the back plates). One of them already had a slightly rounded head - it's now completely round

Using a pair of molegrips I managed to turn the snail cam just enough to get clearance to fit the drum back over the shoes. With a bit of trial and error I've managed to adjust the snail cam, drum on and off several times to set the shoe to drum clearance reasonably close to the required tolerance.

However, the snail cam is pretty narled up now (due to the molegrips).

As I've discovered getting hold of any of the brake parts is like searching for a Unicorn.

Has anyone carried out a snail cam replacement before?
And if yes, how did you do it?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #105
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Has anyone carried out a snail cam replacement before?
After a bit of searching the web I found a snail-cam repair kit for the Ford 100E see: https://www.smallfordspares.co.uk/pr...ter-repair-kit that looked like it will do the job.

As luck would have it when I picked up the spare backplates again to compare the fitting I've found that one of the snail cams has been previously been repaired and replaced - this simply un-bolts (using two nuts to lock in place).

As you can see from the photo, the Ford 100E snail cam is almost a perfect match size wise. The only difference is the hole size required is 9mm - instead of the Fiat 8mm.



As I have it I'll use the snail cam from the spare back plate but the ones from the 100E will be good to keep as spares - I expect that one or more of the snail cams will go the same way in the future.

All that should be required is to grind off the rivet head of the damaged snail cam and knock out the centre bit. I'm expecting that this can be done in situ without having to remove the back plate etc. I'll post photos when I do the work.

Hopefully, if some else gets the same problem the 100E repair kit will help.
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