Technical 65' 500F engine rebuild

cdeorio

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Hello all. This is my first post on the forum but been using it as reference for a bit. I am going to begin an engine rebuild on my 65 500F 499cc. Possibly upgrade it to a 540cc kit. Also thinking about upgrading the camshaft. What are my options with the 540cc kit?

Couple of pics of the engine apart. Cylinder 1 piston is a bit rough and has some scoring.

-Chris
 

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cdeorio

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Some more pics of the teardown as I go. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Especially pitfalls.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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fiat500

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From this distance that seeems to be in very good condition.
The main tip I have at this stage is to make 100% sure you know which way the flywheel was fitted. I don't think there is any factory marking and balance is everything with these things.(y)
 
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cdeorio

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Great thanks for the tip! Everything does look better than I expected. I don't have any real history on the vehicle.
 

jjacob

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-Make sure to have hardened valve seats installed in the head.
-Make sure to run a paper clip through the small holes in the connecting rods at the crank end of the rod. The holes go from the running surface of the rod bearing out the side of the rod. This is what oils the piston walls. These holes can get blocked.
-Make sure to measure the cam lobe lengths if you are reusing the cam. Usually you find one of the lobes excessively worn.
-Make sure to plastigauge the fit between the connecting rods and the crankshaft.
-You will find that ordering parts out of Europe is a lot cheaper than buying them in the USA unless you absolutely need to get your part(s) in less than a few weeks.
See this post I just made if you are intending to replace the pilot shaft bushing in the end of the crankshaft. https://www.fiatforum.com/500-classic/445281-pilot-bushing-end-crankshaft-removal.html

By the way, I am also in the USA. I am in Franklin, Tennessee which is just 30 miles south of Nashville. I have a 1969 500L. I am currently rebuilding a 650 engine and transmission donated from a 126.
John
 
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cdeorio

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Thanks for the info.

Where can I get hardened valve seats? I assume for unleaded fuel?

I wonder if one of the holes was blocked on cylinder 1 as it was all scored on one side. Essentially the rings were melted to the piston.

Who have you had a good experience with order parts from overseas?

I may look into a 650 engine at some point for more power.

Also, I am just north of Boston, MA.

- Chris
 

the hobbler

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Any good engine machine shop should be competent to fit harder valve seats. Having said that, there has always been a belief that due to the fact that the seats are in an alloy head, Fiat fitted 'hard' seats from new. There are a large number of companies in Europe who can supply parts---Van der Laan, Axle Gerstle, www@passione500.it, DMD automotors.it, www.fiat500ricambi.com are just a few, not forgetting Middle Barton Garage here in the UK. If you want a more complete list, e-mail me direct.
As an aside, Ann (my wife) and I spent some of our 40th wedding anniversary present to ourselves in Boston---loved the place. Your museum of 'Fine Arts' is just outstanding---we intend to go back (might even be able to meet up with you?).
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jjacob

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Hi Chris,

As Tom said your head work will be done by your local automotive machine shop. Not knowing how hard the seats are in these heads, its best to just have them replaced with the other head work. New seats, valves, valve guides, and valve springs should be done. Have them lightly skim the head to make sure it is flat.

As far as suppliers go, the situation for us in the USA and Canada is very different than those in Europe. There are a few suppliers in the USA, but they are all very expensive. Mr. Fiat in Atlanta is a good source for maintenance items or parts you just have to get quickly, but big orders will be far less costly out of Europe, even with the shipping. I have found the UK suppliers are also too expensive compared to German, Dutch and Italian vendors. Many European suppliers and sellers will not ship to the USA, or if they do, do not know how to get reasonable shipping rates.

Biggest advantage you have right now is the Euro vs. the USD. The Euro is only about 12% more than the USD vs 30% more only a few years ago.

I have bought from various ebay sellers overseas and am in the process of making a huge order to some of the 500 European suppliers on the internet. I am going to post my recommendations and observations this week on this forum which should help you immensely. Hope you can wait!
John
 

jjacob

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Chris,

By the way, if you do not have the correct Haynes or Autobook repair manual for your particular 500 you should get one. I got both as they both have a little different information and pictures.
Make sure to put bolts, etc. separated into Ziploc bags and write in permanent marker on the bag where they go. I also put little notes inside the bag telling me where the longer or shorter bolt goes and any other information to help in reassembly.
John
 

Luxe

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Like the Hobbler mentioned, Van der Laan is where I have received all of my parts that I could not source at Mr Fiat in Georgia. He does business through paypal and ships registered mail for 20 euro, but if you ask, he will ship not traced for 10 euro.
 
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cdeorio

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All great info guys. I have ordered a bunch of stuff from Mr Fiat out of GA. Sounds like what I can't find there I can get from Europe.

John, I do have a Haynes for the car (but not an Autobook). And I have been putting bolts/nuts for each piece I dismantle in ziplock bags :)

Tom, Let me know when you are back in Boston. Hopefully the car will be up and running then!

I'll keep updating this thread as I go.

-Chris
 

the hobbler

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Chris;
I have a proper 'factory' workshop manual and parts manual for the 500/500D---if ever you need info from it, just let me know, I will copy out what you require and pop it into the post to you.
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cdeorio

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Hobbler,

I was looking at connecting rod bearing sets and I see there are various sizes. How does one know/measure the correct size before ordering?

Thanks,
Chris
 

jjacob

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Chris,
You need to use plastigauge to measure the clearance for crankshaft rod journals, and a micrometer or caliper to measure the main bearing journals. Compare this to the specification in your manual. If your journals are worn out of spec then you need to get the crankshaft reground. Depending on how much grinding is needed, the connecting rod bearings and main bearings are made oversize to make up for the material ground off.
If the crankshaft is within spec then you would get standard size rod and main bearings.
If you have questions please feel free to call me at 615-598-2454. I am in Nashville, Tennessee area on Central Time.
John
 
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cdeorio

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John,

Thanks for the info. So I purchased some new 540cc pistons and after looking at the camshaft was not going to upgrade it. But now after having it all apart, I was thinking I might as well upgrade it to a sport cam (passione500 has one that goes with 540cc that is a 35/75). If I replaced the camshaft and the crankshaft isn't worn then new standard crankshaft bearings would be ok?

Also, now that I am thinking about the camshaft upgrade what else do I need to change or be concerned about?

Chris
 
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cdeorio

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Sorry John I think I read you post wrong. IF there is no wear on the crankshaft or it is in tolerance than standard are fine?
 

Toshi 975

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If you are going to have new valve seats then you only need to replace the two exhaust valve seats. You would only need to replace the inlet valve seats if you were enlarging the inlet valve size which is a good tuning mod as long as the ports are opened up to improve the gas flow. If you enlarge the 26mm inlet port in the head to 30mm then a carb upgrade to the 28IMB is the easiest upgrade you can do and the engine will still look standard to all but the expert eye. If you pop the big end shells from the big end of the conrod then the info stamped on the back of the shell will tell you if you have a reground crank. If you just have a part number then the crank will be standard. I still have a a couple of new sport camshafts here in the UK if you are going down that route.
 

jjacob

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John,

Thanks for the info. So I purchased some new 540cc pistons and after looking at the camshaft was not going to upgrade it. But now after having it all apart, I was thinking I might as well upgrade it to a sport cam (passione500 has one that goes with 540cc that is a 35/75). If I replaced the camshaft and the crankshaft isn't worn then new standard crankshaft bearings would be ok?

Also, now that I am thinking about the camshaft upgrade what else do I need to change or be concerned about?

Chris
With a new camshaft you always replace the camshaft followers. If the crankshaft journals are not scored or are not out of spec, then you would use new standard size rod and main bearings. Why don't you post a close up picture of the crankshaft rod journals and main journals.
John
 

gordinir8

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Chris this is a modification i am thinking also to do, Can you tell which 540 kit you have and how is the quality of it compared with standard 500 cylinders?
Also it is good as John say to post some pictures.

For the experts i would like to ask what is the effect of a sport camshaft on a stock 500 engine with or without a 28 carburetor and also what can someone expect for a 540/camshaft/28carb. Is this modification worth?

Thomas
 
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