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Old 14-03-2020   #16
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Hi Andrew,

I found a couple of steering wheels (124 Coupe CC, 3rd series with black imitation leather rim and an 850 Sport Coupe with imitation wood rim) and have posted pictures of the front and rear of these wheels, along with a pic comparing the rear of both st. wheels.

As you can see, the 124CC has a spring-loaded pin adjacent to the brass horn contact ring, I've put a paper arrow to show where it's at.

The 'wood' rim steering wheel show the older indicator cancelling arrangement where 3 bumps on the column switch assembly engage with 3 recesses on the rear of the st. wheel. (apology, in my earlier post #14 , I said 2 recesses ).

I hope this helps you in your search for a suitable replacement steering wheel.

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 14-03-2020 at 03:29.
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Old 14-03-2020   #17
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

That's a great help Al. A local Fiat parts man has sold me a 128SL wheel that needs some tidying up (it has the little spring loaded pin I believe). I have found it hard to find the diameters of these wheels but the SL wheel looks a bit smaller. The standard wheel is 40cm and on a spirited drive, like I had yesterday, it feels like you're steering a bus. I'm guessing the SL is 37cm but I'll know when it shows up next week.
However, I think my preference, as far as looks go, is the 124cc wheel which seems very similar to the 128 Rally wheel. It looks 40cm though. I have an old 850 Sport coupe wheel on my garage wall (incomplete) like the one in your photos and it's 40cm too.
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Old 14-03-2020   #18
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Had a great long run in the Fiat yesterday with a bunch of friendly (mostly Ford) Folk. There were a few surprised Cortina and Escort drivers that were a little taken back by the 128's performance. It goes very well, especially when we hustled through the twisty bits, and the ride quality is very good.
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Old 15-03-2020   #19
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

That's great news, Andrew, that wheel should clean up nicely.

The 124CC st. wheel is the same size as the 850 Sport Coupe one, both c. 38cm (I used a tape measure ).

The large size of the steering wheel was sometimes criticised in car mag road tests of the day (there wasn't much else to criticise on the model ), which is probably why some enthusiasts fitted an aftermarket smaller diameter/chunkier rim steering wheel.

Don't forget (as in, lose any opportunity) to remind the Cortina and Escort owners that your 128 handles better because it has Independent Rear Suspension (like all proper sports cars) and it goes so well because it has an Overhead Camshaft fitted atop an Aluminium Alloy Cylinder Head (like all proper sports cars). You might also casually mention that the 128 engine was designed by that very famous engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, (ex. Ferrari engine designer!)

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 15-03-2020 at 04:08.
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Old 15-03-2020   #20
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Quote Originally Posted by F123C View Post

Don't forget (as in, lose any opportunity) to remind the Cortina and Escort owners that your 128 handles better because it has Independent Rear Suspension (like all proper sports cars) and it goes so well because it has an Overhead Camshaft fitted atop an Aluminium Alloy Cylinder Head (like all proper sports cars). You might also casually mention that the 128 engine was designed by that very famous engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, (ex. Ferrari engine designer!)

Al.
And they always hit back with "but it's front wheel drive" or say it's pretty quick for a Lada. We know better though.
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Old 07-04-2020   #21
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Well, finally, after a ridiculous amount of effort, I removed the old, broken steering wheel. We are obviously in total lockdown here so had to make a puller tool (not strong enough) and a second puller tool (just strong enough and no more) and it finally came with an almighty bang.
I can't get the self cancelling indicators to work though. The ring with the hole in it just spins and only very occasionally catches so I'm assuming some sort of adjustment is required.
New 128SL wheel fitted and, if we ever get out of lockdown, I reckon it'll be nicer to use.

Also my mechanic fitted a water temp gauge and my brother in-law and I made a new dash panel as the original one had been cut to fit a tiny speaker and looked awful. You may notice the high temp reading which is not right. So we have a new Celsius gauge on order.
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Old 07-04-2020   #22
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Quote Originally Posted by Fayray View Post
Well, finally, after a ridiculous amount of effort, I removed the old, broken steering wheel. We are obviously in total lockdown here so had to make a puller tool (not strong enough) and a second puller tool (just strong enough and no more) and it finally came with an almighty bang.
I can't get the self cancelling indicators to work though. The ring with the hole in it just spins and only very occasionally catches so I'm assuming some sort of adjustment is required.
New 128SL wheel fitted and, if we ever get out of lockdown, I reckon it'll be nicer to use.

Also my mechanic fitted a water temp gauge and my brother in-law and I made a new dash panel as the original one had been cut to fit a tiny speaker and looked awful. You may notice the high temp reading which is not right. So we have a new Celsius gauge on order.
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the pics, the 'new' steering wheel looks great.

Yeah, those st. wheels can be difficult to remove, sometimes

There are proper st. wheel removal tools but I never had one - if my trick of manually rocking the wheel failed, I loosened the centre nut a few turns, placed a length of 10mm flat bar across the wheel spokes with a socket as a spacer underneath bearing on the nut, then squeezed the bar towards the wheel using 2 large G clamps, (the reason for not removing the nut is to prevent the wheel hitting you in the face if it was on very tight).

The ring just spins freely unless you move the indicator stalk to the left or right, underneath are 2 little plastic catches (one for left turn, one for right turn) that pop up and iirc get caught by the ring when it is turned by the steering wheel. I'm sure you'll figure out how it works by having a good look at the indicator switch/stalk unit. Sometimes the little plastic catches get broken, there's also little springs on each that allow the plastic catch to move down out of the way if e.g. you steer right with the indicator stalk set to indicate right and vice-versa. The only adjustment is the gap between the rear of the st. wheel and the ring you mentioned, this is adjusted by loosening the clamp at the bottom of the column switch assembly (I mentioned this in an earlier post). The column switch assembly needs to be adjusted so that the little pin on the rear of the st. wheel engages with the hole in the ring - so that the ring moves in unison with the st. wheel. I can't remember with certainty, but it might be this st. wheel pin that actually cancels the indicators?

Nice job on the dash panel It's probably a very good idea to have a water temperature gauge on a 128. If I might make a suggestion - whenever I've fitted accessory gauges, I try to angle them towards the driver if possible. You might be able to cut a short length of black pvc? plumbing pipe at an angle to fit between the gauge and the dash panel i.e. straight cut end fits against the gauge, angled cut against the dash panel, might have to slightly 'ovalise' the dash panel hole to suit.

Great to see you're making progress. Over here (Ireland) we're in lockdown also, everything (car parts wise) is shut - fortunately, I'm a bit of a hoarder or there'd be no work being done.

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 07-04-2020 at 22:30.
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Old 08-04-2020   #23
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

good idea about angling the gauge toward the driver. I will do that.

With the wheel off and spinning the indicator cancelling wheel manually I was able to get it to occasionally cancel in one direction only. I'll take another look - I've got time after all.

With the s-wheel removal I think it had been over-torqued and there was some surface rust on the spline. The amount of pressure we had to exert was pretty amazing. The damage done previously to the s-wheel probably happened when someone tried to remove it. We had to drill a hole each side of the centre to create a pull. If we'd had a couple of large U bolts I reckon we could've done it without drilling. But as the S-wheel was already badly cracked we sacrificed it. All the large bolts and steel bar used in our puller tool got bent up. Quite amazing really
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Old 09-04-2020   #24
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Well I pulled the wheel off again and discovered one part of the mechanism that appears to be missing a spring or the spring is broken. I pulled the whole unit off the column but couldn't immediately see a way of dismantling the unit. Is it possible to dismantle it?
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Old 09-04-2020   #25
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Hi Andrew,

I dug out an old column switch which I think is from the last of the 128's (it has coloured tips on the ends of each stalk - yellow for wipers, blue for headlights, green for indicators) to refresh my memory of this type of column switch unit.

Looking at the parts circled in your pic. above, I'm sorry to have to tell you that the white part of the self-cancelling mechanism appears to be broken - it should look the same as the black part just above it.

I've had a look at my column switch unit and the little spring (there's only one) fits between those 2 parts (the white and the black part above) and holds them apart. When you select left indicator, the white part should move up towards the plastic ring (the one that the pin on the steering wheel engages with), the steering wheel can be turned to the left but if you turn it to the right or back off the amount of steering lock, one of 2 'V' shaped bumps on the underside of the plastic ring will catch on the white part and cancel the indicator. I'm guessing that it's your left indicator isn't cancelling - because the white part is raised when left indicator is selected and the black part is raised when right indicator is selected.

These column switches can be dismantled. If you look at the back/bottom of the switch assembly where the wires enter, you'll see 2 brass? rivets. Drill these out and you can separate the different sections of the assembly. I repaired a few of these column switches 'back in the day' (apprentice mechanic - so wasn't earning much money). If you can get another column switch of the same type, you might be able to swap over the part/s you need. Assembling the column switch is simply a reversal of the steps taken to dismantle it (as all good workshop manuals are fond of saying ). To hold it together, I was unable to find any short enough pop rivets so I shortened a couple of pop-rivets so that when fitted they didn't protrude to far into the centre hole. To shorten a pop rivet, knock out the pin (mandrel), cut rivet with a junior hacksaw then re-insert pin and install as normal - you might get lucky and find pop rivets short enough to do the job.

Hth,

Al.
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Old 09-04-2020   #26
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

thanks Al, it's as I suspected. You are right about the left indicator not cancelling but the right one only does occasionally if the black part falls into place (rarely).
I have already put in a request to the parts supplier who sold me the s-wheel and I'm fairly confident he'll have what i need. In the meantime I can't drive it anyway but when I was the lack of self cancelling wasn't a big issue as the indicators make a nice audible click sound in the cabin. Would be nice to fix it though
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Old 15-04-2020   #27
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Well my local supplier not only supplied a complete column switch assembly but it's Nos, still in the (very old) box and only $100 (50 quid) delivered. Switching out was easy but the original one did have an extra solo green wire that plugged into a connector. I don't know what it did but everything seems to work, including the elusive self cancelling indicators.
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Old 15-04-2020   #28
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And some photos showing the extra green wire on the old unit
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Old 16-04-2020   #29
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

Quote Originally Posted by Fayray View Post
And some photos showing the extra green wire on the old unit
Hi Andrew,

Well done on finding a nos column switch unit!

I don't have a workshop manual or wiring diagram for the 128 but on other Fiats of that era, green is the main (high) beam circuit. Are you sure the wire isn't green with a black tracer? Green with a black tracer is for the main/high beam warning light circuit. Is your main beam warning (i.e. blue) light in the speedo working?

Also, is this extra green? wire live with the ignition on? or with headlights on? or when you pull the stalk towards you to flash the high beams? Where does this extra wire connect to on the column switch? E.g. is it connected to the same contact as another wire?

Do you happen to know if the nos column switch unit you obtained is for your exact model and year?

Regards,

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 16-04-2020 at 22:46.
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Old 16-04-2020   #30
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Re: Fiat 128 Tyre size and indicator cancelling

sorry Al, my mistake. It's the green and black wire in the photos that has the separate connector block attached. You can also see it going into the column switch. The photos are of the one that came out of the car. So the corresponding green and black wire with connector from the loom is floating loose now.
Everything works including the high beam warning light, high beam flash and everything else as far as i can tell.
I had a sift through the Haynes manual and discovered a green and black wire that runs an electric washer motor on the UK only 128 Comfort. My car is fitted with the factory vacuum washer but I wonder whether this is what the wire was for but never used? No 128s were fitted with electric washers here.

But as everything is working I'll not worry about it.
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