General Franko the 1971 500L

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General Franko the 1971 500L

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Franko500

Franko500

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Attended the 2nd day of the car show today.
Franko attracted great interest and admiration today.
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That's 2 days on the trot of 25 miles without any issues.
Running rather nice now. No starting or stalling problems.


Since my MOT I have now completed 136 miles.
Think I will give him a rest during the week and give him a once over to check everything is ok underneath.
One thing I'm not sure of is how accurate my speedo is. Does anyone know what the diff ratio is of a 126 gearbox as opposed to the 500 as this would affect the accuracy.
I had him up to 90 kmh / 56mph today. He felt like he still had a fair bit more to go, but there was a little bit of side wind and feels rather light at this speed. Maybe I need to check the tracking?
I had to do an emergency stop today whilst taking my Dad for a quick run. We were both surprised at how good the drum brakes were as they stopped without any concerns. I will be honest and say unless you are really tuning a 500 up, fully serviced 500 drums are more than adequate.
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the hobbler

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The diff ratio is the same on both the 500 and the 126;---8:39. The gear ratios are only slightly different: the 1st gear ratio for a 500 is;-3.27;1 (126-
--3.250:1. 2nd gear--500 is 2.06:1 (126---2.067:1), 3rd gear---50 is 1.30:1 (126---1.30:1), 4th gear--500 is 0.87:1 126---0.872;1). hope this helps you.
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Franko500

Franko500

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Cheers Tom,
in that case I will try a speed App on my phone to see what speed I am going.
I remember Tony using this in his 500 when he took me for a spin.
this will hopefully give me an idea on its accuracy.
I don't want to be getting any speeding tickets!
 

fiat500

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That's all brilliant news about the public admiration, speed and reliability Sean.
Side-winds are the worst thing and I've just learned not to fight them and let him wander about on a wide road.
Remember your "running-in" sticker though:D.... I would keep the speed down for now.
I've only recently started regularly driving at 55 mph after nearly 10,000 miles and for the first couple of thousand miles the car really didn't feel like it wanted to go past about 45mph.....now he can't bear going below that speed!:D:D:D
 

H A

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Glad it is going well.

60 to 70 on a dual carriageway or motorway is very possible with a standard 500 I find, you may need to be going down hill with the wind behind you though.

We need more Franko Meandering pictures:)

H A
 

Vitesse

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Cheers Tom,
in that case I will try a speed App on my phone to see what speed I am going.
I remember Tony using this in his 500 when he took me for a spin.
this will hopefully give me an idea on its accuracy.
I don't want to be getting any speeding tickets!

If I remember correctly the speedo was a little on the generous side but it wasn't massively out, only about + 2 or 3 miles per hour. I think we got up to 50mph with a bit to go but that is on a fairly tight engine that has probably only done a few hundred miles in the last 20 years. TBH it needs a good long run to loosen everything up. Hopefully I will get a chance soon if it ever stops raining?
 
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Franko500

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The engine seems extremely responsive and I'm not sure if it is because I didn't have the crank reground and the bores machined. I only replaced the bearings & rings and therefore may be slightly on the loose side in terms of tolerance.
Just been reading up on the spec for the 650 engine compared with the 500.
Engine 650 500
BHP 24 @ 4000rpm 18 @ 4600rpm
Top speed 120kph/74.5mph 95kph/59mph


He is very lively around town and the gearing seems quite adequate to handle the modern driving so he doesn't hold up the traffic around him.
Trying to avoid dual carriage ways at the moment, although difficult where I live as one direction I am on the sea, one goes towards Canterbury, but the other directions I need to jump on the dual carriage way to get anywhere.
Its going to be interesting to compare the 650 with a 500, especially if I ever get my D completed as that one is going to go back as standard as I can.


I will try and take some images when I am out an about and maybe a few video's. Sadly they wont be in such beautiful surroundings as Peter.
 
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Franko500

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The diff ratio is the same on both the 500 and the 126;---8:39. The gear ratios are only slightly different: the 1st gear ratio for a 500 is;-3.27;1 (126-
--3.250:1. 2nd gear--500 is 2.06:1 (126---2.067:1), 3rd gear---50 is 1.30:1 (126---1.30:1), 4th gear--500 is 0.87:1 126---0.872;1). hope this helps you.
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Tom, is this correct?
I had a bit of a scout around and found listed for 500/126
crown & pinion 39/8 = 4.875:1
126 bis 39/9 = 4.333:1


and yet on a few websites for spec for the 126 & 500 found it listed as
Final Drive Ratio: 5.125 to 1.
I think I read somewhere before though that the 126/500 are the same ratio and its just the 126 bis that had the slightly better ratio for top speed.
 

the hobbler

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Yes Sean; the standard diff . ratio for the (air-cooled) 126 and the 500 was 8:39 (or 39:8)---the BIS diff ratio is 9:39. which gives slightly better cruising. Some people just change the bell-housing and then fit the BIS box,
some people strip the boxes and change over just the pinion shaft and the crown wheel. I believe that the original '500' had a slightly different ratio as my (Factory!) work-shop manual lists both the '500' and the '500 sport' ratios----8:41 for the '500' (which is where you get your 5.125:1 ratio) and 8:39 for the '500 Sport', a ratio that then became the norm for the 500D onwards. Hope this clears up any confusion.
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AndrewHarvey

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Sean popped over yesterday in Franco to drop off a windscreen.
What a beautiuful machine!!
Its better in the flesh than any photos can do justice too.

We then went for a spin - it drives wonderfully well - a revving , torque laden little machine.

It was only the second drive i've had - the first being Feb '15 when i picked up mine and it expired shortly afterwards......

Franco is a tribute to Seans hard work and attention to detail - WELL DONE! Very well done.
Now lets get mine ready.....
 
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Franko500

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Cheers Andrew for the extremely nice compliments!
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I was mot impressed with all the modifications you have been carrying out.
As discussed its a far contrast from the purists idea of a 500, but its looking extremely sporty and will most definitely be attracting some attention once complete. That's if you ever get any wheel clearance.
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Look forward to attending a few shows together some time.


Franko took another run out to the Reculver towers tonight for a little sunset fun and a sneaky drink at the pub. Plenty of admirers pointing and smiling along the way.
 

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Franko500

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Cheers Andrew for the extremely nice compliments!
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I was mot impressed with all the modifications you have been carrying out.
That was supposed to say MOST by the way. saw my mistake after and thought ooh, that could be taken as NOT or MOST.
 

fiat500

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That was supposed to say MOST by the way. saw my mistake after and thought ooh, that could be taken as NOT or MOST.

I wondered that, but knew you would not have been so harsh to have intended that.:eek: You're going to have to get Andrew to let you do a Top Gear-style driving review when completed as you can now compare to note if all the mods have enhanced the driving experience.:thumbup:
 
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Franko500

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I somehow don't think Andrew is going to let anyone in the driving seat for a while when its complete. The drive out in mine has probably gave him some turbo boost to get the flame thrower on the road even quicker now!
 

fiat500

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Maybe he can drive up to Scotland? We could do with some heat just now. But I'm getting the impression that short burnouts are going to be the design target :D
 

AndrewHarvey

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Sean
We're your quarter light frames the economy or premium version?
Does anyone know the difference?
There is a pair on eBay for £50 and I'm not sure whether to jump or not?
Might end up getting glass and rubbers from Axel Gerstl but there are a few bits on the bay of delights.....
 
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Franko500

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I bought the premium ones, but even they needed a little twisting to fit the frame. I would imagine it's down to the quality of the chrome plating.
 
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Franko500

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ImageUploadedByFIAT Forum1467746324.006847.jpg
Found a bargain at the weekend at the boot sale. Grease gun for £1. Just in time as I packed my kingpins with grease by hand but my old grease gun was too big for the nipples (ooh er missus) so I hadn't fully packed them until now.
So kingpins now packed. I had a slight creaking noise from the nsf suspension, on checking I found the bolt holding the top arms to the hub was not torqued up enough, also the nut on the bottom of the shock. It's amazing how things settle down - or did I miss them?
 

fiat500

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It's amazing how things settle down - or did I miss them?

Unlikely that you missed them Sean.

I replaced one of those "Estendeblocks" very early on after acquiring the usual, very poor pattern parts. I had given up on the torque-wrench when tightening the bolts as I wasn't getting any resistance no matter how tight it went. The reason, I later found, was that the centre steel tube was made with too thin a wall and was compressing under the torque.
You also get the problem on the rear bushes that the centre tube doesn't always have an equal protrusion on both sides so that all the careful checking of packing shims becomes a farce.
 
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