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Old 17-10-2017   #1
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France 
Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

Ok, so I bought myself an Uno for EUR100.

She, as yet unamed, is a 1988 Uno 45, with the 999cc FIRE engine.

I saw the ad online, rang and arranged to view the next morning (I was
working afternoons that week). Normally when I call from an ad, I find that
the car is already sold, or, having arranged to go and collect it, find that
the seller has sold it to someone else whilest waiting for me to arrive.

Anyway, so with L driving the Panda like a woman posessed and myself on GPS
duty, we set off in search of the Uno, only 25 km or so from home. 45
minutes, several phone calls and stopping to ask an old lady for directions,
we finally found it (GPS is ok in the city, but only good for a "ballpark"
location in the country).

It turned out that everything was for sale, not just the Uno, the AX next to
it (clutch gone and a big impact in the side), EUR30, the house, make an
offer. I think we were witnessing the end of the "rural dream".

Upon opening the bonnet and seeing a FIRE engine, my choice was made, cash
and parerwork changed hands and we were off.

Well, almost. Previous owner had explained that the brakes were poor, the
CT(MOT) man had said something about a master cylinder, but he hadn't
understood (seals were gone) and pointed at the (shiney, new) vacuum unit on
the distributor, which he said was causing a problem. Reconnected the vacuum
line to the distributor (even if it was knackered, better than having it
floating around the engine bay), pulled the choke, turned the key and she
burst into life. Closed the bonnet, blokey at this point wished me luck and
beat a hastey retreat.

I selected what I thought was reverse (later found that the gear linkage
consisted mostly of cable ties), let the handbrake off... and promptly
stalled.

In my defence, I cite a cold engine, the timing being about 8 degrees out, a lack of experience with chokes, carbs
or petrol engines in general and a very tight space to reverse out of, with
no passenger mirror (optional on cars in France at the time). I must have
stalled it half a dozen times.

Finally got it out of the driveway (with lots of revs) and set off in search
of my partner, who was waiting at the top of the hill. Umm, did I mention
the gearlinkage, first has to be here somewhere... and my right foot is
sinking to the floor, that'll be the brakes then.

Once we were moving, things didn't seem so bad, she was rolling along nicely
enough, there were some brakes, if you gave them written notice and pumped,
the sun was shining and the cows were looking on in that mildly curious but
deeply uninterested fashion.

Anyway, we got home without incident, parked at the top of our track,
grabbed a few photos and then it was time for work.

First parts to be ordered, a new master cylinder (EUR20), plugs, leads and a
new coil (keep the old ones as spares), air and oil filters, service stuff
mostly.
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Old 17-10-2017   #2
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France 
Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

So, fast forward a few weeks to the beginning of my summer holidays...

A more detailed inspection revealed no rust in the bodywork, tailgate is
rusting nicely under the rear window and isn't the original.

Previous owner must have smoked two packets of Gauloises a day, interior is
rough, drivers seat is from a mk2 or a better specced mk1 (how to tell?).

Engine is drenched in oil from the typical rocker cover leak.

Replaced the master cylinder, bled the brakes (one dust cap missing on the
rear, but I've ordered a pair of rear cylinders EUR6 each).

Decided that the vacuum advance was ok (it looks brand new), but the timing
was way out, reset to 3 degrees, changed plugs, leads and coil, new rocker
cover gasket sorted the oil leak. Replaced the fuel lines in the engine bay
as they'd gone brittle and cracked.

Still got a bit of a missfire, but running better.

Noticed oil in the distributor cap, so internal seals must be leaking, found
a new Magneti Marelli dizzy at my usual parts supplier, EUR90, that's about
the cost of a new cap, rotor and electronic control, so at that price I
grabbed it, now showing as EUR280 and out of stock, so I guess I got the last
one.

Changed the oil for some cheap 15W40 "diesel" oil I had leftover from a
previous car, hopefully the high detergent load should clean things out a
bit. Left the old filter on for the moment as I'll be changing oil again in
a few km.

Ripped the sound proofing from under the bonnet, it was a fire risk and
beyond saving.

Replaced the bushings in the gear linkage, much better.

After a couple of test runs, decided to go for the CT (MOT), she passed, but
the brake flexibles need replacing and the engine mounts have had it, the
rearmost has no rubber left.
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Old 17-10-2017   #3
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France 
Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

New dizzy arrived, so fitted that, along with an oil change, this time for
10W40 semi-synth and a new filter, old oil, which had done maybe 300 km,
came out black, so it must have done some cleaning, I think I'll do the same
on her Panda at it's next oil change, as the oil in that was like treacle
when we got it.

Had a fair bit of trouble getting the timing set, it looked right, checked
the next morning after warming the engine up and it was at 0 degrees, so
reset it back to 3 degrees, does engine temperature make a big difference?

Still feels a bit "lumpy", particularly on part throttle, now I'm thinking
carb needs a good clean.

Valve clearences (checked when I had the rocker cover off) were set at 0.40
throughout, not quite ideal?

Will check the timing is correct at the cambelt side of things, a new belt
and water pump will be going on sometime, maybe soon depending on what I
find.

I have a 1108 cc head pulled from the breakers yard, with the "176" cam,
thinking I might refurbish this over the winter then stick it on when I do
the cambelt, just need to sort out an electric fuel pump.

Complete brake overhaul is next up, new pads, discs, shoes, cylinders,
flexies, springs and clips have been ordered, along with new engine mounts
(about another EUR140).

After that, some new tyres, I'm thinking 155/70R13 Uniroyal RainExpert, and
a complete suspension overhaul, new springs, shocks, wishbones and bushings.

Then once we've got her driving like new (or better), we'll have a look at
the interior and the paint, though I quite like the fact that she looks like
a shed, but drives like new.

I love that parts for these cars are so cheap, the large engine bay makes
working on the tiny FIRE engine a pleasure, particularly compared to my
Citroen Evasion (Ulysee), where every procedure in the manual begins with
"put the vehicle on a lift and remove the engine".
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Old 17-10-2017   #4
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France 
I will add some photos, she's polished up ok, but I'm currently posting from a text-only browser (lynx, via cygwin, don't ask), so that'll have to wait.
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Old 17-10-2017   #5
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Czech Republic 
Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

IIRC, the engine is built to run on 15W40 API SG engine oil.
Ah, sweet memories... I had two Mk1 45s, first (1987) succumbed to rust, the second (1989, some sort of special edition - Scala?) was scrapped 10 yrs ago after collision with a van.
Secret tip: Should you need replacement brake pipes, those for Skoda Favorit are almost exact fit.
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Old 06-11-2017   #6
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Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

Had a long weekend, so a bit of time to work on the Uno.

Overhauled the front brakes. New discs and pads (Brembo), new flexi hoses (TRW). Cleaned everything up and refitted. The piston protective boots on both calipers are damaged, so that's another item to go on the shopping list. I like this brake system, with it's sliding wedges, simple and easy to work on, better than the later system fitted to the 169 Panda?

Couldn't get the hose clips refitted with their locking tab in position without putting a great deal of strain on the hoses, so I reversed them and fitted with an angle rather than horizontal. Maybe the new brake hoses are slightly shorter?

Removed the rear drums to find fairly new looking ATE shoes, no signs of any leaks and all working as it should, so left well alone. Due to mistakenly ordering two sets of shoes, I now have enough spares to last a very long time, what else will these fit?

Swapped the front gearbox mount, not been able to find a rear mount yet, but tightened up the old one, got rid of the vibrations I had when off the throttle, so an improvement. I think this car may have been rebuilt from a big box of parts some time in the past, so I'm not sure I have the right engine mounts, still some work to be done there. Must replace the 6.8 bolt I used in the gearbox mount with an 8.8 (all I had that fitted).


Took her out for a test run and to bed-in the new brakes. I favour the "race method" - a series of near-stops from increasing speeds to get the brakes stinking hot, then a long run on the motorway to cool everything down, helps that I have some nice quiet stretches of road near to home. Pulled up at the end of the motorway run, nice even temperature on all four wheels, a little colour in the discs, nothing binding, brakes work well, pull up nice and evenly, powerful enough for normal driving. They're not 280mm vented discs with a massive servo, but the car only weighs 700 kilos, so good enough.

I think it's really important to have confidence in the braking system, so it's always one of the first things I go over on any car, regardless of whether or not it passed the CT/MOT.


So we're on the road, new tyres to be fitted this week funds permitting, or after payday (have the tyres, but fitting is another 50)

Next up is a carb overhaul (and to replace those caliper boots).


I think I slightly perturbed the BMW I was following on the motorway, I don't think they were accustomed to having a little boxy car with yellow headlights stuck to their tail at 130km/h. Need to get a rev counter and temperature gauge.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

New tyres fitted, straight away noticed an improvement in the ride, not as harsh. Will see how she corners once the "newness" has scrubbed off.

Carb definately needs attention, there's a lack of power at low revs and "lumpiness" on anything other than full throttle, so I'm assuming idle circuit.

I suspect someone has messed with it in the past, given how badly messed up the timing was when I got the car.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Steve145's EUR100 Uno 45 FIRE

New tyres are a massive improvement and I will reccomend the Uniroyal RainExperts (155/70R13 for me) to anyone looking for a cheap tyre that grips. I'd say they're almost as good as the RainSports I have on the Alfa.

Carb fiddling continues, as I suspected, the anti-tamper plug has been removed from the mixture screw, so someone has been at it in the past.

So far I've brought the idle up a bit and attempted to set the mixture by ear and by learning the noble art of plug reading (slightly more scientific than tea leaves).

It's going better, but still a little lumpy, will order a carb kit and rebuild some time around the new year I think.
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