Panda New-to-me '04 Panda 1.1

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Hello folk!

I had a '99 Punto back when it was almost new, and after a series of non-Fiat cars have returned to the marque with an '04 Panda 1.1 Active.

s-l1600-5.jpg

My wife had a Cinquecento at the same time as my Punto, and she's currently driving a Qubo - although for some inexplicable reason it has Citroen badges ...

I would love to say that I carefully researched the options and picked the Panda based on a rigourous assessment, but truth is it was the cheapest car within a reasonable radius of me that looked like it would run for more than a week without falling to pieces! Looking through the recent threads I didn't get quite as good a bargain as Vanadeo did with his £250 1.2 Eleganza, but I'm very happy with my new wheels.

It has a couple of minor issues, including a stuck-open thermostat and a split in the driver's seat fabric. It also came with some bumps and scrapes thanks to the previous five owners. It's in pieces on my drive at the moment while I replace the 'stat, which is what brought me to the Forum :) I've got the Haynes Book o' Lies and the eLearn, but it's always good to see how others have got on with the same job!

Rightt, the rain has stopped, time to get on with that 'stat.
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Sheddi

Sheddi

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Hi. :)

Leave the rad cap on.. ;)
it will vastly reduce the coolant loss :)

Charlie
Thanks for the tip, I should have checked back here sooner!

What I did was open the bleed valve in the heater hose, so all the coolant ran down out of the engine into the radiator, then sucked the coolant out of the rad with a pump I bought a few years back when I needed to empty a water butt. I put the coolant in a couple of empty 2-litre drink bottles from my recycling bin (they'd been rinsed beforehand, so no cola in my antifreeze). I realise I'll have to bleed it carefully to get all the air out again after reassembly.

IMG_20191115_2-min.jpg

It all came apart pretty easily for a 15-yr-old car. I had to remove the ignition packs from the end of the block in order to get access to the thermostat (this might be peculiar to the 1.1, Haynes' photo looks to be of the 1.2 and the illustration of the 1.1 'stat in eLearn is somewhat less than accurate.) It looks like there's been a long-standing oil leak from the seal at the back of the ignition pack, but it has the side-effect of keeping the 'stat bolts well lubed.

IMG_20191115_1-min.jpg

It looks pretty straightforward to replace the o-ring seal behind the ignition packs, once you get to them. 10W40 is cheap enough that it's a job for another day. [Edit to add: I read elsewhere on the forum that the o-ring is a standard BS and SAE size, 221, and they're 99p on eBay so that's not scary at all.]

I'd like to be able to say everything is back together and running, but I need a new 32mm-ish hose clip for the rad hose on the 'stat (you can see the old one on the rocker cover in the photo above) and couldn't find the right size in the shed. I'll get one tomorrow and hopefully be back on the road!

I did run the old 'stat under a tap and it does pass water in both directions when cold. The new one passes water one way through the bleed hole but doesn't let it through the other.
 
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Just clean the o.ring and bolt.up faces.

A light coating of 'instant gasket' should sort it ;)

Its actually the old dostributor hole.. throwback to @1985..


Coolant bleed guides.. mk1 and 2 punto

Identical ;)
 
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Sheddi

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To bring this little tale to a close, I can confirm that the Panda is back together. I've bled the system and taken it for a short trip including up and down a steep hill. I am happy to say that it warms up properly now, the temp gauge sits on the half-way mark regardless of engine load, and nothing new seems to be leaking.

I'm counting that as a success!
 
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DaveMcT

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I recently did the thermostat on our 1.2 Dynamic. It's much the same as discussed here. The 1.2 carries the ECU on the side of the battery box. I removed that and the coils for easier access to the 'stat. The 1.1 does suffer with wiring faults on the ECU so best to avoid disturbing it.

Changing the coolant makes sense but as @varesecrazy says, you need to check the levels as bubbles escape.
 
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Sheddi

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Not sure this is worth a separate thread, so I'm adding it here ...

This weekend's project was the split in the driver's seat cushion. I read ThomG's guide on fitting seat heaters:
https://www.fiatforum.com/panda-guides/456565-fiat-panda-heated-seat-install.html
I was only really looking for how to remove the fabric from the cushion, but it all sounded so straightforward I decided to turn it into a heated seat while I was at it!

I bought a heated seat kit from my on-line tat emporium of choice (eBay) and tested it on the dining table. It seemed to work fine; my multimeter reckoned it pulled around 3 amps at high power and roughly half that on low. Looking at the wiring it seems that the high-low switch works with the relay to swap the two heating pads; on high they are connected in parallel, on low they are in series.

The seat cushion is held to the frame with two M6 bolts (head 10mm a/f) near the front of the seat. You can access these without removing the seat from the car; push the seat all the way forward to give some space to work. I used my socket set as access seemed a bit tight for a spanner but smaller/bendier/more skilled folk might not have this problem.

I removed the cover from my seat cushion completely. Unlike ThomG, my seat cover clips were a right pain; I couldn't unclip them at all and had to brute-force them using a flat-head screwdriver. A couple broke off and were replaced by creative use of cable ties on reassembly. The eight hog clips I removed were also replaced later by cable ties. Inevitably I cut myself on the raw edges of the pressed steel seat cushion base; on the plus side it was only one small cut and I didn't leak very much blood!

Once removed from the cushion I stuck the cover in the washing machine on a synthetics wash at 40 deg. C (it seemed too good an opportunity to miss). After washing and drying I had to patch the split. Fortunately my upholstery is a mid-blue colour, similar to washed blue denim, and I had a pair of old trousers that had previously donated patches to my son's jeans so I cut a piece from them. My needlework is awful so it took me more than an hour to get a result I could tolerate.

Thr cushion foam was in reasonable condition, slightly worn to the driver's right where (s)he gets in and out (the same place as the split). Before re-fitting the cover I attached one of the seat heater elements to the cushion. With the cover off this was a piece of cake. As the HBoL might say, re-fitting the cover was the reverse of removal; stretching the cover over the cushion took a certain amount of applied brute force but once in position the clips went back into their slots really easily.

That's as far as I've got today. I've re-fitted the cushion to the seat so I can use the car in the interim. My next step will be to fit the heater elements to the seat back, then look at wiring in the power. I'm lucky enough to have a lighter socket so I might hang it off there while I consider running a dedicated fused feed, switched to only be live with the ignition on.

Onee unexpected outcome is that the seat cushion is now clean, and makes it obvious how dirty all the other upholstery is! I don't really want to strip off all the covers and launder them, so once the weather is warmer and drier I'll have to get some upholstery cleaning stuff.

I hope no-one wants photos as I've not taken any! ThomG's thread has some good ones.
 
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Sheddi

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No, I really couldn't leave it like that, half-fitted but not working!

This morning I went back out to the drive. I removed the cushion (the one I only put back in yesterday). Here is a snap of the underside, showing where I fed out the power cable for the heating pad and where I had to use cable ties after breaking the clips:
IMG_20191124_114651928.jpg

I then reclined the seat as far as possible to give me access to the place the seat back covers close. I pried with a flat-headed screwdriver and unzippped the long plastic clip, carefully trimmed some of the excess material from the second heating emement and stuck it in place inside the seat back, under the cover.

I had to make an exit for the cable. I considered poking a hole in the fabric but decided it would be slightly more elegant to trrim a bit out of the centre of the plastic clip, like this:
IMG_20191124_114711176.jpg

So now I had both heating pads fitted. I really had no time to make a tidy job of the wiring so I bodged it instead. I left most of the loom bundled up and placed it in the rear cup holder, laid the hi-off-lo switch in the gap between the seat and the handbrake, and put a cigar lighter plug on the end of the power cable.

A right lash-up, I agree, but it works! The seat quickly gets lovely and warm on "hi", switches down to a gentle heat on "lo", and hasn't yet burst into flames. I'm calling that a success.

I've got some cable, connectors etc. on order so next weekend I'll tidy it all up. (Probably.)

Oh, and a postscript: An unexpected bonus was that I also found £1.30 lurking under the seat that a previous owner must've lost :D
 
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rmjbn1

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Hi Sheddi, it's looking good. A bit like varesecrazy's previous car, an Active with black bumbers and alloys just looks right to me.

Hope you're enjoying that luxury of luxuries, a warm behind. I've only had one car with that fitted (although with leather seats, it flippin needed it) and on frosty mornings it certainly was a treat. I don't remember mine have a low setting, so if left on I would get slowly toasted. 'Tis the season for roasted nuts now, of course.

I've been idly wondering what to do with my mucky and ripped driver's seat cover, so thank you for explaining what can be done. You've inspired me to dust off my similarly dismal sewing skills:)
 
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Sheddi

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Thanks for the kind words, I was aiming for functional - anything better than that was a bonus!
I've been idly wondering what to do with my mucky and ripped driver's seat cover, so thank you for explaining what can be done. You've inspired me to dust off my similarly dismal sewing skills:)
It was a new jobe to me, and while it seemed quite daunting at the time, in hindsight it was straightforward enough. So much so that I'm wondering about doing thw same to the passenger seat, despite Mrs Sheddi's stated disdain for such things ;)
 
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Hi Sheddi, it's looking good. A bit like varesecrazy's previous car, an Active with black bumbers and alloys just looks right to me.

Hope you're enjoying that luxury of luxuries, a warm behind. I've only had one car with that fitted (although with leather seats, it flippin needed it) and on frosty mornings it certainly was a treat. I don't remember mine have a low setting, so if left on I would get slowly toasted. 'Tis the season for roasted nuts now, of course.


Thx :)

@ in front of username means they get a prompt from the forum ;)
 
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Sheddi

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Merry Christmas all!

Panda improvements have taken a bit of a back seat in recent days. I had a domestic plumbing emergency to deal with (a flooded bathroom due to a cracked cistern, which led to a complete toilet replacement), and then came down with man-flu, and now although it's the Boxing Day public holiday here the weather is dreadful again.

I'll try and get a photo of the patched upholstery, but be warned it's functional rather than beautiful!
 
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Sheddi

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Today I fitted a boot light.

Now, I know there is a very good thread on the forum showing how to fit the official light in the space provided. To do this you pull the power cable through from behind the carpet and, if you're lucky, it just works. However since my 1.1 Active lacks remote central locking I'm pretty sure that it also lacks the switch in the tailgate to turn the power on and off, and there isn't the correct fuse or fuseholder in the fusebox. So fitting a genuine Fiat light seemed to be a lot of work and effort, far more than the benefit I'd ever see.

So I did something else entirely. I bought one of these rechargeable COB LED hand lamps from eBay:
s-l500.jpg
They are currently listed as item 323963661122, priced £4.55, although both of those are likely to change over time.

My original intent was to use the integral magnet to stick it to the steel back of the rear seat, but when I tried this it didn't seem very secure. It seemed as though it would eventually slide down the seat back and then I'd not be able to find it in the dark. Instead I clipped it to the boot carpet on the left-hand side of the boot, where the official light would be. Like this:
IMG_20200103_143540064.jpg
It works a treat. I've tried the lamp and it runs for about six hours on a single charge, which is absolutely ages for a boot light. It has a lithium battery which should only need charging a couple of times a year and, and added bonus, I can still take it out of the boot and use it as a hand lamp if needs be.

Here's how it looks in the dark:
IMG_20200103_181755540.jpg
 
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Somebody - I think it was rmjbn1 - wanted a photo of my needlework. Here it is but please remember I did warn you it was functional rather than decorative!
IMG_20200105_133116069.jpg
I chose to make the pre-existing seams in the old denim jeans a feature; it also saved me having to hem those edges of the patch (and it was tricky enough for me as it was). If I was to do it again I'd probaably turn under the overlocked seam (to the right of the photo) but I'm not taking it all apart again just to do that.
 
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Today I wasn't just taking photos of my poorly-repaired upholstery, oh no. I did a bit of work (unfortunately not all of it) towards the wiring for my heated seat.

I removed the centre tray, much as @antonis132 did in his recent thread. I did have a rather icky problem that didn't trouble him, though. When I removed the mats from the front cup holders I found that one of the bolts was completely lost in a hard black sticky mess. I'm pretty sure this was the accumulated goo from 15 years of spilled coffee and soda :yuck:

IMG_20200105_124520018.jpg

I tried scraping it out with a small screwdriver but only made slow progress; it was really quite intractable. In the end I had a bright idea :idea: that, unlike most of my bright ideas, actually worked. I filled the cup holder with warm water, gave it a bit of a stir and most of the goo dissolved leaving a black-coloured liquid; mmm, nice ...

IMG_20200105_124847572.jpg

Anyway, with that dealt with the tray came out without any problems. This was the perfect opportunity to wash it in the kitchen sink before coming back to the heated seat wiring. It turned out that my cig lighter socket was already an aftermarket one (hence the green backlight, not amber), which saved me any worries about preserving the original multiplug; instead I had three loose spade connectors (+ve feed, lighting and ground). I put a pair of piggy-back spade connectors on the end of the heated seat cable and connected them to the back of the cig lighter. (You'll see in the photo below that I've wrapped all the spade terminals in electrical tape to prevent any short-circuits and as a belt-and-braces mechanical connection.)

The heated seat fuse was more of a problem than it should have been. I'd planned ahead and bought some (admittedly "budget") Scotchlok-style IDC (insulation-displacement connector) fuse holders; unfortunately this didn't want to adequately D the I on my positive feed cable, so I had to resort to a dab of solder to keep the wires in the terminals. But eventually it all worked!

IMG_20200105_151149388.jpg

I re-fitted the tray and checked, again, that everything was working. Apologies for the state of my carpet in that last photo, I *did* vacuum afterwards.

What I didn't manage to do, due to lack of daylight and needing my car back together for tomorrow's commute, was actually drill a hole in the centre tray to take the heated seat switch. As a result the switch is still lying loose next to my seat, more-or-less in the position shown in that last photo. It can be used with it lying there; fitting it to the tray will have to wait for another day.
 
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rmjbn1

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Somebody - I think it was @rmjbn1 - wanted a photo of my needlework. Here it is but please remember I did warn you it was functional rather than decorative!
Thank you! Fair to say your sewing skills are significantly better than mine:p. I'd also thought of using denim to give a contrast to the attractive shade of grubby blue on my seats. Short of a replacement seat, about the best result that can be made as a DIY repair:)
 
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