General For Alex - The latest on Chas' Uno

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General For Alex - The latest on Chas' Uno

Jul 7, 2004
Hey, off-topic but Chas, it's time we had an update on your Uno (I probably missed it!) - maybe a big new thread on what you're doing to it... and what it looks like now - that picture is about two years' old isn't it?


I missed your comment in the ecomometer thread Alex, so apologies for not replying sooner.

Well, there hasn't been an update on my Uno because there really isn't much to update :eek:

My 45 still looks pretty much the same, about the only thing that has changed is that I fitted mk2 UT seats simply because I could! Picked them up off Ebay a couple of months back for £20 to go along with the other UT interior I have sitting in the loft. They're a bit more firm than my 45 seats that were starting to fall apart.

I was planning on giving the old girl a makeover during the summer, but what with it raining almost every day (I only have an exposed driveway to work on) plus my Cinq deciding to eat its gearbox precisely nothing happend. Spent my time fixing the Cinq then before I knew it I started my work placements as part of my University training.

Now I'm on my work placements 5 days a week starting work at 7am if I'm on an early shift and 1pm if I'm on a late. I also have to work weekends so my days off are all over the place. Not much chance of getting things done unfortunately.

I have quietly been collecting parts though and finding bargains on Ebay. Body panels, lowering springs, shocks, alloy wheels, brake calipers and other Uno bits etc. I will also be scrapping my Punto 75SX and keeping the engine along with the fuel injection system with the plan being to swap it into the Uno. It will be something different to the usual turbo conversion and a nice power hike from the 999cc's 45bhp to the 1242cc 's 75bhp. Bear in mind the weight advantage of the FIRE over the sohc turbo lump and the power to weight ratio shouldn't be that far off a mk1 UT. It won't have the turbo kick of course but at least I can go to the local scrappies and find engine parts if needed unlike the rare as rocking horse poo UT ;)

The Cinq still needs some bits doing to it and as the Uno still has MOT until the end of the year I'm driving that until I re-MOT the Cinq. I also want to get the Uno to hit 100K miles as it's currently at 99.1K! Then I'll take it off the road, strip it down and do the engine conversion.

The pic I posted on a previous thread was taken last year and it still looks much the same. Only difference now is that it has 2x front alloy wheels because the steelies needed new tyres and I had a good pair on the X1/9 alloys I bought.

I also nearly bought a mk1 70SX recently and probably would have done had my PC not died on my in the last minute of the auction just as I was about to put a snipe bid in :bang:

So the upshot of my Uno is 'no change' for the moment. Once it comes off the road THEN it will finally get a good seeing to!

For the moment all I can offer is a bad picture of one of the X1/9 alloys fitted!


I like your car simply because its old (possibly oldest uno here?) and looks in decent condition. I do hope you will do a sort of resto thread when it comes off the road.

I'm planning to take my mk1 UT off the road next year and go crazy with it - Full restoration to factory spec with a few additional extras (just like fiat really wanted to do it)
Hi Chas! :wave:

Thanks for the message! Almost like a PM, but shared with the forum.

It's taken me FIVE DAYS to see it... I'm in Australia this month, Sydney currently. I'm earning lots of money presenting training courses (Microsoft Excel VB programming), every day this week. Next week I shall be in Melbourne, and I will have several days off, so if anyone's reading this in Melbourne, you might like to send me a private message :)

Back to your Uno - Chas - wheels look nice! Surely you have time to get to a tyre shop and have the back two fitted with tyres as well... ;)

The paint's still looking smart, isn't it. I think you should get some coarse Scotchbrite (green scouring pads) and clean up that front bumper with some soapy water... then respray with some black bumper coating from an aerosol can (Duplicolor brand is good, if you can get it - it's from the US). My friend jjhepburn (James), here on the forum, has mixed opinions on this, and prefers to keep the bumper silicone-sprayed instead - but since your bumper has already been painted, I think you should paint it again.

James finds that tyre black (!) works well when sprayed onto the bumper. I once painted the bumper on an Uno that I subsequently sold to James, and the paint flaked off after a few years. I think this is the reason for the distrust of bumper-coating. My experience is that if you Scotchbrite-sufficiently, the adhesion is good enough. Not too hard to re-do it every few years anyway, in the worst case, and in the intervening years it looks a lot better than faded grey plastic. Not that yours looks that bad, of course, just a bit at the edges...

I gave my Uno Turbo a good drive last week, the first it's had in a long time. Ironically enough, my Uno carries the legacy of my Stilo, in that the Stilo's original Magneti Marelli battery lives on in the Uno. It had to come out of my Stilo because it would lose voltage in a couple of weeks and the Stilo would spring a raft of false warnings (ABS, ESP, ASR failure, etc.).

I bought a new battery for the Stilo. That lasted a month of disuse with no errors, I recharged it anyway (to make sure it was 'full') and a week later, it was too flat to start the Stilo. :cry: I hate car batteries!

Meanwhile, imagine my joy when (after two months of winter hibernation) I jumped in the Uno, turned the key, and it spun into life straight away :) So there's nothing wrong with that four-year-old Magneti Marelli battery after all, and it really looks the part under the bonnet of an Uno! It helps that the Uno has nowhere near the constantly-live electrickery of the Stilo.

I plan to give my Uno a bit of a service - needs the cambelt changed (I think) as it's been at least five years since it was done, the generator drivebelt has also been squeaky for a while now. Otherwise it's doing really well. I plan to continue keeping it sheltered from the rain - I don't know if the new windscreen leaks or not! The rubber seal seems quite loose, but it's probably OK. This is my dry-weather car. There's a small rust-repair to do above a rear light cluster - not getting any worse but pointed out to me at the last WOF. It makes a big difference if you can keep these cars dry - I noticed a very small rust bubble developing in the driver's door bottom three years ago, so I filled the door with anti-rust wax, and thanks to the winter hibernation etc. that rust bubble hasn't grown at all.

When I get back, I'm looking forward to my Alfa Romeo 164 project first. I plan to strip out some of the interior and install some extra cabling for the stereo (which has a TV!) and the reversing sensors. Then I'll paint the replacement front bumper - weather should be more spring-like when I get back. If things are going really well, I'll get the bonnet repainted too (hundreds of stone chips) - though the bonnet is HUGE on a 164, so just the rubbing-down will take days. You know those jobs where, once you start, it looks a lot worse than before, and you have to grit your teeth and visualise the eventual result... orange peel, dirt in the clearcoat... oops, maybe I will pay someone else to spray it... :eek:

Anyway I'd better go - long day tomorrow.