Technical Fiat punto Mk1 1999

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Technical Fiat punto Mk1 1999

LeoBus

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Oct 5, 2022
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Birkirkara
I have a fiat punto year of manufacture 1999, SX model with a 1.2 litre 8 valve engine

It has only covered 12k miles and is in mint condition. It does not have any airconditioning or power steering and would like to have these installed but seems to be unfortunately difficult now given its age and to source the kits.

By any chance is there someone who can assist or give me details where these can be possibly sourced?

Thanks in advance.

Leo
 

Frank Folker

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Jan 7, 2021
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Croatia
Retrofitting AC is a huge job and only doable if you buy a complete donor car, but finding one that will be 100% compatible for you is not easy, and finding someone to do it no easier.

You need complete AC system and a lot of other parts.
- compressor and brackets
- hoses (may be detoriated due to age and require replacing rubber sections by a hydraulics shop)
- front radiator assembly: condenser, radiator fan with thermo-switch and wiring (puntos with AC have 2 speed fan), dryer, radiator itself if your original is a small version (you need a 577 or 632mm core length version to improve engine cooling because condenser reduces airflow)
- right engine mount (aluminum arm is slightly shorter due to compressor bracket mounting under it)
- alternator is different, also different belts
- complete engine bay wiring harness with everything attached to it - really easier to transfer it completely than to try adding individual wires and figuring where to connect them. The whole harness enters the cabin in one point through a rubber seal and plugs into the rear side of fuse box. Beware, you need one for the same engine, if you have a 1.2 60 then only a 55 or 60 harness will do without modification, 75 is slightly different due to SPI vs MPI injection. Not many 55 or 60 cars have AC, 75 cars have it more often. 85 harness might be adaptable too, but don't try with 90 (1.6). I think it might be LHD/RHD specific.
- interior ventilation box with AC evaporator - requires dashboard removal. LHD/RHD specific.
- some interior wiring (AC switch)
- possibly some other stuff that I forgot.

I removed a complete AC system from a wrecked punto for later installation in my project cabrio (I haven't installed it yet) so i only have personal experience in what parts need to be removed from a donor car. It was a lot of work and installing it will be even more. I don't recommend it.

Power steering is less of a job, you need a steering rack (also LHD/RHD specific), crank pulley and belt, pump and bracket, reservoir and hoses. I think there is no wiring of any kind.
I don't recommend that either because a normal non-PS punto is not hard to steer if everything is good.
Check your upper strut mounts, old bearings tend to seize and make steering hard. Also check if they are oriented correctly, non-PS cars should have strut mounts turned so that the strut nut is facing to the rear (less caster angle, easier steering). With tyres no wider than 165 and at correct pressure, you won't need power steering.

How come your car has such a low mileage? That is very unusual. Do you have any photos of it?
 
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LeoBus

LeoBus

New member
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Birkirkara
Retrofitting AC is a huge job and only doable if you buy a complete donor car, but finding one that will be 100% compatible for you is not easy, and finding someone to do it no easier.

You need complete AC system and a lot of other parts.
- compressor and brackets
- hoses (may be detoriated due to age and require replacing rubber sections by a hydraulics shop)
- front radiator assembly: condenser, radiator fan with thermo-switch and wiring (puntos with AC have 2 speed fan), dryer, radiator itself if your original is a small version (you need a 577 or 632mm core length version to improve engine cooling because condenser reduces airflow)
- right engine mount (aluminum arm is slightly shorter due to compressor bracket mounting under it)
- alternator is different, also different belts
- complete engine bay wiring harness with everything attached to it - really easier to transfer it completely than to try adding individual wires and figuring where to connect them. The whole harness enters the cabin in one point through a rubber seal and plugs into the rear side of fuse box. Beware, you need one for the same engine, if you have a 1.2 60 then only a 55 or 60 harness will do without modification, 75 is slightly different due to SPI vs MPI injection. Not many 55 or 60 cars have AC, 75 cars have it more often. 85 harness might be adaptable too, but don't try with 90 (1.6). I think it might be LHD/RHD specific.
- interior ventilation box with AC evaporator - requires dashboard removal. LHD/RHD specific.
- some interior wiring (AC switch)
- possibly some other stuff that I forgot.

I removed a complete AC system from a wrecked punto for later installation in my project cabrio (I haven't installed it yet) so i only have personal experience in what parts need to be removed from a donor car. It was a lot of work and installing it will be even more. I don't recommend it.

Power steering is less of a job, you need a steering rack (also LHD/RHD specific), crank pulley and belt, pump and bracket, reservoir and hoses. I think there is no wiring of any kind.
I don't recommend that either because a normal non-PS punto is not hard to steer if everything is good.
Check your upper strut mounts, old bearings tend to seize and make steering hard. Also check if they are oriented correctly, non-PS cars should have strut mounts turned so that the strut nut is facing to the rear (less caster angle, easier steering). With tyres no wider than 165 and at correct pressure, you won't need power steering.

How come your car has such a low mileage? That is very unusual. Do you have any photos of it?
Dear Frank,

I really thank you for your detailed explanation, much obliged for your time and effort.

In fact i am aware of most of the parts involved and checked locally in Malta whether it is possible to get a full kit for ac but to no success. Am trying to find a donor punto but as you rightly so said it is difficult to find not to mention the condition of certain parts.

The issue is the parts as i have spoken to a local installer and repairer of car acs who has carried out such installations around 10 years back but now it is difficult to source the parts.

So probably it is better to leave it as it is and we use it only in winter then!

As regards my punto i have just purchased it a week ago from an elderly gentleman who used it as a sunday car as he had another car for daily use hence the very low mileage. Bought the car for my daughter actually and given the condition was still prepared to get it even though I may not manage to install ac.

Will send you a couple of photos as honestly did not take any so far.

Many thanks once again.

Sincere regards

Leo
 

Frank Folker

New member
Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Croatia
Check your upper strut mounts, old bearings tend to seize and make steering hard. Also check if they are oriented correctly, non-PS cars should have strut mounts turned so that the strut nut is facing to the rear (less caster angle, easier steering).
just a correction for potential future readers and some insight on this topic.
Non power steering puntos should have strut mount oriented so that the strut nut is facing the FRONT of the car, not rear. Towards the front is less caster angle (1-1.5 deg) which provides easier steering, also the camber is about 0 deg, exact numbers depend on how many times your punto was crashed and repaired before you bought it.
Nut towards the rear is more caster (2.5-3 deg) which gives stronger centering force and a more solid feel at higher speeds (holds straight better) but a bit heavier steering. It also provides about 0.5 deg of negative camber as strut isn't moved just to the rear but a bit inwards too. I got the numbers from a shop that did my wheel alignment, they gave me a paper with my current measurments and what they should be according to spec.

Personally I prefer manual steering but with PS setup (strut mounts turned so that nut is to the rear), it feels very good to me while driving. If you like turning the wheel while stopped it's a bit heavy but I almost never do and it's a good tradeoff for me. If you switch between those 2 options, toe is affected a bit and you need to get alignment done
 
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