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Old 21-09-2014   #1
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A Cabrio next?

Sorry, thought I had put a thread on this...

When my MkI Sporting was written off, I had to get a replacement car asap - I ended up a 2002 Vauxhall Astra which I loathe and is unreliable.

I have no spare money at the moment, so need to find a car I can swap with a garage etc...

One up the road from me has had a 1997 Punto 90ELX Cabrio in for a while.. it's the light blue metallic (forgot what the shade was actually called) - it's been there a while and the garage has it for 995.

I am tempted to offer a swap for my Astra if they tax and service the Punto.

Is there anything in particular I should look for?
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Old 22-09-2014   #2
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Re: A Cabrio next?

If the car is the 1.6 Punto 90 make sure there are no extra lights on the dash as I've found it's impossible to rectify without obsolete software.

995 is top money for Cabriolet this time if year, make sure the car comes with complete history and receipts for any work carried out.

Better still chuck the Astra on eBay and buy my tin top 1.6 for 300
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Old 22-09-2014   #3
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Re: A Cabrio next?

As already stated, the 1.2 16v engine is probably mechanically better (I have a 1.6), but the earlier 1.6 has a much better interior. I don't know what the later cars are like for rust, but the early cars are generally fairly rust and rot resistant.

The main thing to check is the roof. Look for splits or tears at the sides above the rear edge of the doors. This is a common problem caused by the mechanism not retracting properly. There is a thread on here explaining the cause of this problem, with pictures. Check the condition of the rear window for cracks or splits. Slight clouding of the window can be improved with renovo window restorer. Also check the stitching around the rear window, this can rot with age and let water in. This will be evident from water collecting in the spare wheel well. You will need to budget 400 to 500 to have a new roof fitted.

It is not unusual to get drips from the front corners of the roof. This can usually be sorted by a smear of silicone grease on the rubber, where the side seal meets the header seal.

Good luck with your search. We have had ours for 14 years and have no plans to sell!
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Old 23-09-2014   #4
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Re: A Cabrio next?

Quote Originally Posted by renaultvation View Post
As already stated, the 1.2 16v engine is probably mechanically better (I have a 1.6)
ooooo, there is a debate starter if ever there was one lol. i would go 16v myself just cause i hate working on the other engines lol - and i know the FIRE engines really well.
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Old 23-09-2014   #5
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Re: A Cabrio next?

I wasn't really wishing to start a debate (but I wouldn't wish to stop one), I have been very happy with my 1.6 engine. I have not run a 1.2 to compare it with. My comments are based largely on your comments about obsolete software and my experience of the components required to keep it running i.e crank sensor etc which are no longer available from Fiat and aftermarket items being of dubious quality.


One advantage of the 1.6 engine is that the plugs are accessible at the front of the engine and the very hot bits (exhaust manifold), are nicely tucked away at the back.


I know others on this forum have their own ideas about the relative merits of the 1.6 and 1.2 engines.
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Old 23-09-2014   #6
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Re: A Cabrio next?

i was only joking to be honest mate... you are bang on, each to their own. Both have merits and downsides
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Old 26-09-2014   #7
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Re: A Cabrio next?

The 1581cc 8v 90 is all torque and grunt and low revs (and high road tax); the mk1 1242 16v 85 is one of the best 'as standard' engines Fiat ever made IMO (mk2 and later not the same thing) - all revs and instant response, like a Fiat should be (and lower road tax).
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Old 30-09-2014   #8
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Re: A Cabrio next?

Quote Originally Posted by fostertom View Post
The 1581cc 8v 90 is all torque and grunt and low revs (and high road tax); the mk1 1242 16v 85 is one of the best 'as standard' engines Fiat ever made IMO (mk2 and later not the same thing) - all revs and instant response, like a Fiat should be (and lower road tax).
Yep; I pull away from lights and junctions in second and short shift to fifth at 30mph. This is how I average over 40mpg with my 1.6 Sporting daily. At a push the lack of torque from the 1242 16V is it's biggest issue. The car wasn't much quicker than the Cinquecento and a joke compared to the opposition at the time, the 1.4 Saxo for example was cheaper, faster, quicker but the torsion bar rear suspension mean it didn't handle as well as the 16V Punto. Still because the Saxo didn't come with a "Sporting" badge even though it was quicker it cost less to insure and VTR/VTS upgrade parts bolted straight on. The only upgrade parts for the Sporting were from bigger models or the GT. It's a shame Fiat bottled it and gave the Bravo the quick engines the Punto as a platform was and always will be one of the best front wheel drive cars they ever built.

Still at least with my 1.6 Sporting I never ever needed to downshift or use a crawler lane to get up a hill unlike the 16V (MkII) I drove.
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Old 30-09-2014   #9
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Re: A Cabrio next?

drop that 16v engine in a cinq and it fly's but i hear what your saying, even only hauling a cinq round it has no grunt at all unless you rev it - it surprisingly quick in a cinq though - even without doing anything to the engine its a rapid little car my cinq - faster than all the modern hatches (the non turbo ones obviously). But it totally destroys the likes of Panda 100hp's, and is a bit quicker than my Ignis Sport - not bad when you consider the Ignis is still under a ton and has a 1.5 16v vvti engine and very short gear ratios
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Old 30-09-2014   #10
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Re: A Cabrio next?

The real differences I've noticed between my 1.6 Cabrio and my 1.2 75SX is the pull you're getting on third gear.

It has a long third gear that can get easily to 100km/h without screaming.
Fire engines has shorter gear ratios?
Accelerating is probably the same on first gear, as the Knight said, I don't feel like downshifting to get up a hill.
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Old 02-10-2014   #11
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Re: A Cabrio next?

Quote Originally Posted by chesh View Post
The real differences I've noticed between my 1.6 Cabrio and my 1.2 75SX is the pull you're getting on third gear.

It has a long third gear that can get easily to 100km/h without screaming.
Fire engines has shorter gear ratios?
Accelerating is probably the same on first gear, as the Knight said, I don't feel like downshifting to get up a hill.
mk2 1.2 punto got longer gears compared to mk1 1.1,
atleast thats what i noticed while driving
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