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Old 15-08-2012   #1
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Charmain's Bravo.

My Daughter Charmain has been borrowing one of my Pandas since Christmas, but finally she's in a position (500 budget) to buy her own car again.

So after hunting around for a few weeks I finally end up winning this on eBay....






It's been sat under a tree since it failed it's mot back in June so is covered in crud.......



I can see a little dent in the n/s rear wing.........



Hopefully, after I've cleaned it, there won't be anything else bodywise.

I haven't driven it yet as the owner had no insurance on it, so it could be hiding all sorts of mechanical horrors too. We shall see.

I do know from the failure sheet that it needs a little welding on the floor pan but that's all it failed on so a new mot shouldn't be far off in the future.

Charmain had one of these as her second car eight years ago and loved it, this is why it was on the short list this time. They are really good value, and cheap to insure in 1.4 form. I guess this thread will come up in the classic Bravo section so I'm mostly preaching to the converted.

Will keep everyone up to date on it's progress.
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Old 15-08-2012   #2
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Looks to be a pretty decent car. One thing to check on a 1.4 is the state of the oil tubes to the camrods. On badly looked after 1.4's (Infrequent or not often enough oil and filter change) the oil tubes to the cams tend to clog up, leading to one or more cams running dry, getting eaten away and the engine failing. Simplest way to check is just to pull the oil plug off with the engine running, if there's oil happily splashing about inside things should be ok. To be very sure you can pull off the cover altogether and crank the engine over a few times to see if all cams get oil.

Ohh and, I just forgot, if you want to be sure, add a splash of ATF II transmission fluid to the oil, run it for a while, then give it clean oil and a new filter. ATF tends to be very good at unclogging built up crud. You just don't want to leave it in the engine for a very long time.
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Last edited by Gregovic; 15-08-2012 at 20:16. Reason: Splelling, and I forgot something
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Old 15-08-2012   #3
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Thanks for the info on the oil supply, will have a look. Engine sounds quiet and healthy, has done 66,000m so I'm expecting to find all is ok.

Have given it a wash, all looks to be very good. The bonnet has been re-painted at some point, not very well, and there's some marks on the roof that look like glue left from tape. I think the previous owners left it dirty to hide this, but really it's not that bad and would have been better clean. Their loss my gain.

I know the 1.4 is not highly regarded and I was hoping for a 1.2 16v, but beggars can't be choosers, and we had no problems with the previous one in the two years Charmain had it.

I read that mpg is poor on the 1.4, what can we expect?
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Old 16-08-2012   #4
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Looks like a really nice car... even got the original wheel trims! There's something to be said for keeping a 1.4 going despite the few negatives, it was potentially a good engine that never quite made it.

If you're giving it a good going-over, get it right up on ramps or jacks and check the underneath very carefully - the underseal fails and lets water rot away at the sills and floorpan. Expect to strip it right back and rustproof it properly. It can be worth removing bumpers and splashguards etc to give it a proper clean and check. Front subframes can rot away also, and rear subframe bushes can give trouble. Rear brakelines are notorious for rotting and failing.

Speakers can be upgraded easily with 5 1/4 units (plus adaptor panels for the doors).

Enjoy!
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Old 19-08-2012   #5
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Quote Originally Posted by bluejohn125 View Post
Looks like a really nice car... even got the original wheel trims! There's something to be said for keeping a 1.4 going despite the few negatives, it was potentially a good engine that never quite made it.

If you're giving it a good going-over, get it right up on ramps or jacks and check the underneath very carefully - the underseal fails and lets water rot away at the sills and floorpan. Expect to strip it right back and rustproof it properly. It can be worth removing bumpers and splashguards etc to give it a proper clean and check. Front subframes can rot away also, and rear subframe bushes can give trouble. Rear brakelines are notorious for rotting and failing.

Speakers can be upgraded easily with 5 1/4 units (plus adaptor panels for the doors).

Enjoy!
Thanks for that bluejohn.

I bought it without an mot because it had failed on rust in the floorpans exactly where you say, but the vendors had the failure sheet and that was the only issue. I checked the extent of the rust before putting in my bid and it was nowhere near as bad as the testing station's description would have you believe.

I ended up being the only bidder and won it for 150 .

I welded on three small patches (100mm x 35mm) on Thursday and it passed the mot on Friday, so including the cost of the mot it's cost 195 and a little time. This allowed us to tax it for a year and cover the increase in the insurance with change to spare from the original budget. One happy Daughter .

After welding I thoroughly waxoiled and sealed the sill/floor area to make sure the same work would not be needed next year.

Last edited by VmanC; 19-08-2012 at 12:02.
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Old 20-08-2012   #6
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Bravo was collected today by one happy new owner. Not sure if she was happy about owning the Bravo or not having to drive one of my Pandas any more.

Anyway, I spent Saturday cleaning the interior and polishing the bodywork so here's the final pics...........













One thing I noticed when I took the front seats out is that they use the same subframes as the Alfa 156/147, I've fitted Alfa seats into Pandas and had to make certain mods to get the front ones to fit then have the back seats covered to match, looks like an easier job with a Bravo.
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Old 20-08-2012   #7
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

You made good use of that Trailer you borrowed Vern

Did you get all 3 keys with the Bravo?
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Old 20-08-2012   #8
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
You made good use of that Trailer you borrowed Vern

Did you get all 3 keys with the Bravo?
Borrowed? Hired, 42 a day! You've got to make good use of it at that price.

Yes Jon, one red, one blue, and one black.
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Old 20-08-2012   #9
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Black one is the odd one out, but as long as it works and you've got the red you can't go wrong Would have been 1 red, and 2 blue when new.
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Old 20-08-2012   #10
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Thats a good looking car! Lets hope its new owner takes good car of it.
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Old 20-08-2012   #11
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Black one is the odd one out, but as long as it works and you've got the red you can't go wrong Would have been 1 red, and 2 blue when new.
I learned about the keys the hard way about seven years ago.

I bought a Brava 1.6 with a broken cambelt thinking I could fix it and make a little profit, only to find that after doing the work it wouldn't start and I only had one blue key.

Ended up scrapping it to get most of my money back.
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Old 22-08-2012   #12
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

That cleaned up nicely looks like that car not been messed about in its past, its all very original. Looking forward to any updates.
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Old 22-08-2012   #13
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Bravo View Post
That cleaned up nicely looks like that car not been messed about in its past, its all very original. Looking forward to any updates.
Thanks, yes it all looks to be as Fiat intended. Now it's 130 miles from me I'm hoping there's nothing to update for a while as updates usually mean repairs.
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Old 24-08-2012   #14
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

It's turned out a really nice example of an unmodified, unabused original 90's Fiat! Well done... the interior is very typical of the time and suitably "girly" - so don't bother with Alfa seats etc!

Quite a funky little machine.
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Old 24-08-2012   #15
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Re: Charmain's Bravo.

Quote Originally Posted by bluejohn125 View Post
so don't bother with Alfa seats etc!
You obviously haven't seen what Vern can do with Alfa seats I take it
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