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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
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Talking Orkney Cinq

Hey folks,

One or two of you may know me from the 126 community. I've grabbed myself a cracking little Cinq that was owned by a retired gentleman for all but the last year of its life thus far. He seems to have averaged at least 2000 miles a year and faithfully taken it to a handful of Fiat garages in Surrey and the surrounding area. I spotted it on eBay and bought it from the second owner (semi-related I think) who had taken ownership when the first couldn't drive any more.

Picked it up in Cambridgeshire and drove it all the way back to where I currently live: the Orkney Islands off the top of Scotland! So much quieter than a 126, I'll give it that. Although strangely not as comfy. I do prefer the Cinq to the Sei, nice and boxy!

There are two 126s in Orkney, my watercooled and an aircooled on one of the smaller isles. Now there are two 'centos, the other is a Seicento which always parks in the same spot at Tesco. One day I decided to roll up next to it for comparison...

I have a few questions, which I'll highlight in orange. The first being are there any 'centos in Shetland? If not I may very well be the most northerly Cinq here in Orkney!


On the drive up the Cinq performed flawlessly, and I reluctantly had to bomb up the A9 faster than normal when there was massive diversion threatening me missing the ferry. It still made it. What a contrast to what it was probably used to, I covered about 700 miles bringing it up here!

The Essentials

Once back I set about giving it the basics:

an oil change (I'm glad I checked the oil shortly after buying the car before the long trip... it was too low, and presumably the wrong grade as the previous owner had left an empty 1L bottle in the boot)


air filter change, before and after


flooding...
The most concerning problem was a slushing liquid noise when I engaged first gear and drove off. I removed the seats and carpet to find the driver's side underlays completely soaked with water.

Dried it out and tried finding the source, to no avail. So for a couple of days I drove about with no carpet to see. Nothing. With the underlay dry, I put it back in, put the carpet back on and drove about for another few days. The theory being that once it rained I'd check the underlay again and see where it was coming from. The plan kinda worked, this is what I saw:


it looked like it came from the centre. But the centre underlay (thick black bits) were dry and looking under them I could see no way of it coming from there. I figured it was a red herring and that it only looked like that because perhaps my foot pressed the underlay into the puddle when I stepped into the car?

After researching leaks on this forum I removed everything again and decided to investigate the sunroof gutters. I'm quite surprised by the design, why don't the pipes coming from the sunroof go out of the car, rather than drain water into the sills? Is that asking for the sills to rust!

I couldn't remove the sunroof pane, so carefully poured water whilst the car was parked on a slope. All the pipes were fine, however the drain hole on the driver's side front was sealed... presumably by the car being hoisted there by a jack or a garage's lifting equipment.

Had to take a small screwdriver and mallet to it, hammering the screwdriver upwards into the drain hole to recreate the hole. Eventually I got the water to flow sufficiently at a rate not quite as fast as the other side, but fast enough that subsequent tests (and driving since) have proved it fine.

I took the opportunity to replace the underlay... perhaps a bit liberally but the carpet still sits fine.


Finally I flushed the coolant which was very dirty. The expansion tank was filthy and yellowed, you couldn't see the level. After a good flush I refilled it and then when I flushed the system again the next lot of coolant came out 95% clean.
A few weeks later Tesco had Prestone coolant on clearance so I flushed it again, 97% clean.

Today I flushed it a final time, since I was replacing the expansion tank with a new one. When I flushed it this time it was pretty much clean despite the tank still being filthy.

The new tank isn't that see-through, but you can now just-about see the coolant level which is better than nothing. Plus it's clean. Here's a before and after:


Still to-do
The car seems in good shape and there's only three mechanical things left to consider:
  • Clunking from the rear
    Sounds like my bushes have gone. Probably more, since I sometimes notice one side of the car sits higher than the other.
  • Tapping from the engine
    Occurs on idle only when cold. Once warm you only hear it when the revs are slightly above idle but any lower or higher they disappear (so when warm I only hear it driving 30-40 in fifth for example). I read on here this is a common occurence on the 899cc engines. What do you recommend doing, is it urgent to replace/adjust the tappets or am I safe to accept it as a quirk of the engine?
  • The fuel gauge
    When I fill the car, the guage only goes up to about 35% on the dial. When the actual fuel gets to 35% and lower the gauge follows and goes down. The low fuel light doesn't seem to work. I've currently decided to fill up once the gauge sits just below the second last line, which so far is at least 350 miles in a tank. I'm guessing the float in the tank is stuck and can't float higher for some reason, but I can't get to it. Will probably ask a Fiat garage to sort that eventually.
So this post was an introduction and mechanical service, the next update will be cosmetic!
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Last edited by Xylaquin; 4 Weeks Ago at 21:22.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Top job..and a nice find
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Xylaquin!!!!

I saw you last weekend!! (not content with having photographed your 126 outside Bayview last year!)

I was in Kirkwall last weekend and saw your Cinq from behind going up 'near' the Willows, near the Wellpark garden centre

I just saw it from behind- and mentioned it to an Alfa chum of mine who stays in Tankerness; he said he hadn't seen it but thought it must be unique on the island!

I've seen that Sei (which you've parked next to) in the Tesco carpark for a while; sort of abandoned near the delivery van parking- do you know the owner? There's something not quite right about the exhaust on that car, I've noticed!

I can't believe you've sourced a Cinq to keep up there; that's so exciting to me; we've got to meet up when I'm next up...
I am trying to source one myself for my monthly commute.

I can tell you- having just spent a week on Shetland; that I saw no Cinq's or Sei's at all!

JimP
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by dante giacosa View Post
do you know the owner? There's something not quite right about the exhaust on that car, I've noticed!
I don't. I'm sure I spotted it a while back in Stromness, maybe it lives there. Given the P plate I imagine it's someone's first cheap car and they won't be bothered by that exhaust lol

I was going to say the Cinq's an odd choice to do A9 commutes in. But I've previously been doing my monthly trips in a 126, so fair play What do you currently drive?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Orkney Cinq

I'm currently splitting the commute between my Alfa 146 (NOT 145) and my FIAT Coupé (NON turbo)

But I've become obsessed by doing it with the cheapest possible fuel cost! The Cinq' is something I've always fancied, and suddenly I can now really see an application for it.
I'd be driving a bit slower I think; not that there's any speeding on the A9 now, of course; to be kinder to the engine.
I'm holding out for the 1.1 preferably in Imola blue- but I'll have to see what comes around.

I'd love to see your stable. are you in Harray did you say?

JimP
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: Orkney Cinq

I'd like to amend the above post; which I have been thinking about- and can't see a way to edit...

I don't see an application for a Cinq' as a serious long-term commuter car; that would be insane; they are nearly classics now; and it would be a travesty to drive-one-into-the-ground in any manner; let alone on the A9.

These shapes take years to mature in my mind; and the Cinq' has now landed in my 'most desired' list.

With enough preventative maintenance (I don't use a car on a daily basis) and with the right weather- I would be interested to see how it would do on that run.

I drive up about eight times a year...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Orkney Cinq

I used my Cinq Sporting as a daily when i had a 80 mile round trip work commute. Put 50.000 miles on it over 3 years, only let me down once when the alternator seized. Finally changing it for a lower miles Sei when i got to 128.000 miles
It was also to keep the miles off my Alfa, regular maintenance is key with these old cars but they are so basic and easy to fix and everything seems to cost no more than £30.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
[*]Clunking from the rear
Sounds like my bushes have gone. Probably more, since I sometimes notice one side of the car sits higher than the other.
Pretty common occurance. Doesn't get picked up at MOT as the bushes aren't parallel so in droop they tighten up. Powerflex if you don't want to be doing them regularly.

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
[*]Tapping from the engine
Occurs on idle only when cold. Once warm you only hear it when the revs are slightly above idle but any lower or higher they disappear (so when warm I only hear it driving 30-40 in fifth for example). I read on here this is a common occurence on the 899cc engines. What do you recommend doing, is it urgent to replace/adjust the tappets or am I safe to accept it as a quirk of the engine?
Drain oil. Change filter. Fill sump to level with Diesel. Run engine at fast idle till fully warm. Drain sump, change filter. Fill sump to level with correct grade oil.

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
[*]The fuel gauge
When I fill the car, the guage only goes up to about 35% on the dial. When the actual fuel gets to 35% and lower the gauge follows and goes down. The low fuel light doesn't seem to work. I've currently decided to fill up once the gauge sits just below the second last line, which so far is at least 350 miles in a tank. I'm guessing the float in the tank is stuck and can't float higher for some reason, but I can't get to it. Will probably ask a Fiat garage to sort that eventually.[/list]
Dead easy to get at the level indicator, it's under that diamond shaped plate under the rear seat. Less than a quarter of turn gets it out.

D
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by rallycinq View Post
Fill sump to level with Diesel.
Really?! Fill it up with diesel fuel... you'll need to explain this one to me, that sounds crazy and dangerous.


Got a bigger problem at the moment:



The earth wire has snapped. Anyone know the part number?
It connects to the earth point between the expansion tank and battery, but also goes on to connect the battery. In the photo on the right you can see the earth point bridges the cable in the middle:
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
Really?! Fill it up with diesel fuel... you'll need to explain this one to me, that sounds crazy and dangerous.
Diesel is a light oil with detergents added. At fast idle there is enough pressure to keep the bearings apart while forcing the cleaning effect through the oilways.

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
Got a bigger problem at the moment:



The earth wire has snapped. Anyone know the part number?
It connects to the earth point between the expansion tank and battery, but also goes on to connect the battery. In the photo on the right you can see the earth point bridges the cable in the middle:
Just add earths. You can never have too many earths.

D
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by Xylaquin View Post
.... I may very well be the most northerly Cinq here in Orkney!
Yes, you beat me here in Thurso
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Ha!

when I finally get mine; we'll have a little North-of-Scotland posse going on!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Quote Originally Posted by dante giacosa View Post
Ha!

when I finally get mine; we'll have a little North-of-Scotland posse going on!
And so the uprising begins...
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: Orkney Cinq

Hey Xylaquin-

my gf spotted you on Ayre Rd this morning!

You must have nailed that grounding-bond, then?!
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