Punto (Mk2/2b) The car I wasn't going to change...

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Bought my Punto back in June (2012): to replace a (well it was originally) white 1994 Clio 1.4 RT automatic, that's now gone to Renault heaven. It was just meant as a second car: spending most of the time sat on the drive... -- especially as we had just ordered a brand new Panda TwinAir Dualogic... (which then failed to materialize: hence the 2009 Panda currently starring in my signature, below...). :eek:

However, something about this (extremely cheap) FIAT really got to me... -- whether just the sheer joy with which it revs; or the way it chucks itself round corners; or even the quirkiness of the electrics... -- and I found myself tinkering with a car for the first time in many, many years. Not since I owned a succession of VW Beetles and Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escorts, in the '80s, have I had so much fun...! :)

Because I'm disabled, it had to be an automatic, of course. Also, any 'heavy lifting' means that I have to take it to a garage to be fettled... -- so the progress you see below is a mix of me getting (slightly) oily, and Black Cat Motors taking up the slack, and doing much more than their fair share of the difficult stuff...! ;)

I haven't got the stamina (or attention span) to post everything at once: so, for starters, here's the photo that attracted my attention -- and, I must admit, initially put it near the bottom of the list of cars I went to test-drive... (sorry) -- on AutoTrader:



More to follow, shortly...! :wave:

Edit
Here's how the car now looks (May 2014): (y)

 
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I knew when I bought it that it needed quite a bit of work doing on it... -- nothing structural, thank goodness (apart from a small crack in the front bumper...) -- so, almost the first thing I did, was get it (fully) serviced: including...

  • replacing the cambelt, water pump and tensioner (and then spending ages getting rid of airlocks...);
  • changing the engine oil and filter;
  • changing the CVT gearbox oil and filter (which was a faff...);
  • changing the air filter;
  • replacing the spark plugs;
  • replacing the front brake pads and discs;
  • having the tracking sorted;
  • renewing all the wipers; and
  • having everything checked over, to make sure I hadn't missed anything! (I hadn't.)
It was then a case of replacing anything else that was missing/not quite right; and a quick 'tart up' of the interior: which involved...

  • buying a Haynes manual... -- although it has to be said that the help and info available on the Forum is a lot more use;
  • buying myself a decent portable code-reader, as well as the relevant leads required for installing FES/MES on my netbook;
  • fitting some car mats, seatbelt pads, and a rubber boot liner;
  • replacing the rear parcel-shelf (which had some defunct 6x9s weighing it down...);
  • fettling the aerial; and
  • ensuring that all the tools were present and correct (they weren't: so thank you, eBay...!) in the spare-wheel tool-holder (see below).
I also fitted some wind deflectors....

I then gave it a bl**dy good clean, inside and out (including washing; T-Cutting; waxing; vacuuming, etc. -- which took all day...); and -- thanks to Ziggy122's always sterling advice -- sorted out the annoying beep from the auto gear selector, every time I braked when it was raining (or just a bit damp)! [It was at this point that I was thankful I had ensured I had all the tools that came with the car: as removing the rear light-clusters, I imagine, would have been a lot less fun without them....]

As a result, it now looked like this...









More to follow, shortly...! :wave:
 
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One of the very few things I didn't enjoy about driving the Punto was that it would occasionally 'scrabble' for grip at junctions, when setting off (even with new Kumho Solus KH17s on the front...) -- especially, for some strange reason, at roundabouts.... (I live in the middle of the countryside, and there's often a lot of dirt on the road....)

After talking to people who know more about this kind of thing than I do (not difficult... -- my last car was a large Japanese turbo-dieselled 4x4 -- shown here, for sake of completeness (and because I miss her...)):



...and browsing the Forum, I soon realized that better wheels -- and tyres -- were almost certainly the solution/a quick and easy fix. [I had thought about lowering Priscilla: but my disability stems from damage to my neck. And having my spine rebuilt once was enough....]

Luckily for me, RaulCarnahan had a set of Sporting alloys for sale, with some nearly-new 185/55-15 Toyo Proxes T1Rs on! Fitting these to the Punto was something of a revelation, compared to the stock 165/70-14 steelies -- as I said at the time! [However, when I come to replace them -- if I can find any more T1Rs... -- following dave's advice, I shall go for 195/50-15s, instead....]

So, here are a couple of quick shots of the car at this stage...:





Note: I did consider -- especially after owning a 4x4 (which, admittedly, spent most of its time in two-wheel drive...) -- keeping the old steel wheels, and fitting them with winter tyres. But (i) we live in a small house, with a small garden and no garage, and I wouldn't have had anywhere to store them; and (ii) changing the wheels over is pretty hard work for someone in my condition, as is loading them up into the Punto to take to the garage to have them swapped over... -- so I sold them to a nice FIAT owner from south Wales.... This is something I may come to regret. We shall see....

Anyhoo, as always... More to follow, shortly! :wave:
 
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itsnt that the isuzu jeep the turbo exploded u mensioned?

Yeah: afraid so.... The turbo shattered a vane, on the motorway, taking out cylinder no.4, at just over 50,000 miles: resulting in it over-heating, and cracking the cylinder head. I therefore had the whole engine rebuilt.... :mad:

Then, a few months ago -- at just over 100,000 miles... -- the cylinder head cracked again.... So (not being able to face another rebuild) I sold it to a friend who owns an Isuzu garage: who had repaired it; but was seriously thinking of dropping in the later 3.0 diesel engine in, because of its age.... :(

make your punto look like a double of mine :p

I'm getting there...! :D

PS: Thanks for your nice comments...! (y)
 
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Looks a nice clean and tidy car :)

I've kept my steelies from my old car
currently running those tyres down (like new)
So when there ready to be replaced i can Stick some winter rubber on too!

Ziggy
 
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The fitting of Priscilla's mudflaps is covered in detail elsewhere on the Forum... -- but, just for the "sake of completeness" (again), here are some piccies...! (As it says in the linked post, these were taken before I'd blacked the rubbing strips, etc.....) :D








And a bonus one... -- of the most important and worthwhile modification I've made to the car so far...: ;)



Even more to follow, shortly...! :wave:
 
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The MOT on Priscilla was due at the end of October (she passed...!): so I took the opportunity to sort out a few more bugbears... -- including:

  • replacing the wiper linkages with stronger/better designed ones from Wipex -- which, so far, seem to have cured the problems I was having with juddering, and occasional failures to wipe (usually on the intermittent setting...) -- although the spindles and bushes are a bit worn, so I don't know how long it will be before I have to replace the whole motor, etc.;
  • replacing a knackered exhaust mounting;
  • fitting a new thermostat -- as the old one had become lazy, with the cold weather, and was taking forever to let the engine warm up (and I don't fancy replacing the head gasket just yet, thank you... -- especially after the problems with the Isuzu...);
  • fitting remote central locking -- as I haven't had a car for ages without it; and the area around the lock on the driver's door is starting to look a bit tatty;
  • having the car undersealed -- as it was a bit patchy, underneath;
  • temporarily replacing the velour mats with rubber ones -- as it's starting to get a bit muddy around here;
  • replacing the front bumper -- which would have passed the MOT this time, but the crack had started growing, and I was worried about its integrity, and the sharp edge that was developing (see piccy below...) -- with a Sporting one, courtesy of benhaynes... (and I know Azzam will say that my car has now lost its ELX 'grin'...);
  • fitting a (p)leather Sporting steering wheel, too (because I prefer the feel...); and, finally,
  • replacing the headlights (one of which was slightly scratched...) with angel-eye units -- principally because I like the equivalent of DRLs that they give me, but also because they look pretty kewl (and even someone my age can be shallow, occasionally...)!

Here's the bumper, beforehand; along with the scratched headlamp (which may well have sanded/polished out; but it was starting to glare a little -- especially with the new bulbs I'd just put in...):






And here are some shots of the new bumper (the metallic Scilla Rosso paint (132) perfectly matched and sprayed by the garage...) and lights (which need better bulbs in the sidelights (at least...)):












Finally, here's a (very exciting) shot of the steering wheel...!




That's it, for the moment. However -- especially, as you may already have gathered, as I see the car as a long-term investment... -- I have the following thoughts/plans echoing around my head:

  • sorting out the emergence of a couple of tiny rust spots in the spare wheel well, before they turn nasty;
  • replacing the seats (the driver's one is badly worn, on the side, by the door; and there's a cigarette burn on the back bench...) -- perhaps with (leather?) Alfa 147 ones, or Sporting ones -- especially as I find the existing driver's seat a little unsupportive (and I can therefore use my disability as an excuse...!);
  • installing headlamp protectors;
  • installing a temperature gauge -- as, last winter, the Isuzu's sensor registered a low of -13°C, at one point;
  • fitting an internal sunstrip -- as I am extremely photo-sensitive, and there's a big gap between the sun visor and the A-pillar; and, possibly,
  • installing a footrest for my gammy left leg to rest on.

Watch this space...! ;)
 
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im well jell! haha ive always wanted to detango my headlights but i cba lol
the angel eyes are :O ive always wanted the hgt sporting steering wheel with the blue inserts but yours looks MINT! Well done matey!

btw i mean :O like omg thats sexy haha

EDIT: get a splitter on the front like a renault laguna :)
 
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im well jell! haha ive always wanted to detango my headlights but i cba lol
the angel eyes are :O ive always wanted the hgt sporting steering wheel with the blue inserts but yours looks MINT! Well done matey!

Blast! I disliked, rather than liked, your post.... Sorry! (Stoopid iPad; stoopid shaky hands....) :(

Thanks, again, for your kind comments! (y)

Not quite up there with yours, though, yet... -- and, somehow, can't quite see me turbo-ing mine...! :eek:

The HGT wheel was very tempting, I must admit: especially as the blue would have matched the (current) interior... -- but I really struggled to find one that (i) hadn't lost some of the blue dye; or (ii) wasn't a silly price...! [There's an Abarth one on eBay at the moment.... Ninety quid...!?] :eek:

PS: Yes... -- was admiring the splitter on yours, the other day. Will add to my list of long-term stuff (meaning when the weather's a bit warmer...)! :)
 
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would u ever come to any punto meet ups? i havnt yet but there always waaaayyy to far lol

I can't see why not... -- especially now that I have something a little unusual to brag about...! :D

Was hoping to get to one of the Eastern Italia FIAT Forum meets (even though they're quite some distance away...): but other stuff got in the way.... [To be honest, my health is usually the limiting factor. Some days are fine; others not... -- therefore I have to be careful about making plans....] May need to set up a group of like-minded idiots based around, say, Coventry, or a little bit further south...?! :idea:
 
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That's it, for the moment. However -- especially, as you may already have gathered, as I see the car as a long-term investment... -- I have the following thoughts/plans echoing around my head:

  • fitting an internal sunstrip -- as I am extremely photo-sensitive, and there's a big gap between the sun visor and the A-pillar...
Watch this space...! ;)

Finally got round to fitting the sunstrip... -- and dead easy it was, too! (Used the old smartphone screen protector trick, of using a little 'slip' between the film and the glass: so that I could reposition it, if necessary... -- so please excuse the bubbles in the last photo... -- I'm sure/hoping that these will disappear in the next few days, as it dries out completely....) :)







The sunstrip came from Active Window Films -- who I can't recommend enough. :worship:

Although I had problems with the initial strip not fitting correctly (it wasn't cut to fit around the mirror...), the company could not have been more helpful in rectifying the problem; and supplying me (using photos I'd taken of my windscreen and mirror) with a replacement sunstrip that fits perfectly -- which amazes me somewhat: as the geometry of curved windscreens seems rather complex to me...) -- and which is extremely easy to fit (providing you make sure you have everything you need to hand; and have done a thorough job of cleaning the glass, first...). :cool:

The tint is 35% (i.e. it only allows 35% of the light through...): so I can now drive along without worrying about the winter sun always seeming to be just in that little gap between the visor and the A-pillar. Thanks, therefore, to AWF; and a big thank you, especially, to Chris, there, for being so helpful in ensuring I received the right product...! (y)
 
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That's it, for the moment. However -- especially, as you may already have gathered, as I see the car as a long-term investment... -- I have the following thoughts/plans echoing around my head:
  • installing headlamp protectors...
Watch this space...! ;)

Another thrilling update.... :rolleyes:

Having just installed new headlamps, I had -- being utterly paranoid... -- noticed that they were already starting to get covered in a nice mix of agricultural muck and road salt. Thanks to TPS1979, they are now, therefore, sitting snugly behind some nice FIAT protectors (which even come with markings, and stickers, for when driving on the 'wrong' side of the road... -- très utile, n'est-ce pas...?) -- and are probably the only bit of the car that is currently clean...! :eek:



Hopefully, will get around to ticking a few more things off my to-do list, in the next week or so... -- if the weather holds.... :shrug:

PS: The sunstrip is blummin' marvellous! Couldn't be more pleased with it...! (y)
 
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