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Old 15-08-2010   #1
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1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

After the disappointing early demise of the engine in my recently purchased Uno Turbo track car, I have been looking into getting it back on the track before next spring. I have had the idea of doing this conversion for a while after the success of my 1368cc 16v Panda that give me thrills daily and hasn't broken a part since the conversion 15k ago. The Panda is fun, but will never handle like a racing car on the track. For this, you need something light and with real wishbone suspension, like an Uno.

Having bought what seems to be a cracking handling shell and the engine is bust, this seems a good time to start the project. I could rebuild the old engine (or get it rebuilt to be precise), but the cost to do it properly is high and I think that these new FIRE Turbo engines are the future. They seem to deliver good power outputs with reliability and economy even. You have to do a fair bit to a UT engine to make it comparable and this normally means it is less reliable, especially if you don't use the absolute best when preparing the engine. The ability to buy parts from FIAT or indeed a whole engine fairly easily in the future really appeals too. Fast, reliable and practical modded car? The Panda proved the theory, but this will have the emphasis on the fast!



So...

I just picked up a 30k T-Jet 120 engine and 5 speed gearbox from a Grande Punto. 4th gear syncro has gone apparently. Have all electrics, pipes, ECUs and electronics I need to make it run as if in a GP. I plan to make it all fit in and make it run initially.

Rough Plan
  • Engine goes in as is using Uno FIRE engine mount. Not sure if reach correct until full measurements done.
  • Fuelling and ignition by GP ECUs.
  • Unlike my Panda, I'm just gonna do minimal wiring to it to make engine work and leave all other electrics standard Uno.
  • Uno instruments will remain. Need to find way of making rev counter work.
  • Gearbox will be a hybrid of the UT and Punto, to be fitted on standard UT mounts.
  • Driveshafts will be standard UT with a small mod to the intermediate shaft bracket required by my calculations.
  • Have a Ragazzon de-cat downpipe and standard front pipe that I'll bodge onto my exhaust for now. Don't need a cat for MOT, due to age.
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Old 16-08-2010   #2
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Words cannot describe what I feel about this project, but these smilies do:

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Old 16-08-2010   #3
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

This is gonna be a good`n... I`ll get mi popcorn
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Currently got.. 1981 Fiat 127 Super, 89 Panda 750L, 89 Uno 70SX (1.5), 90 Uno 60S, 93 Uno 45, 99 Sei Sporting, 2000 Sei Sporting, 96 Jaguar X300 Manual, 99 Jaguar XJR V8, 01 Porsche Boxster, 1989 Escort Mk4 Ghia, 2012 electric motorbike.. The 1990 Uno is the most fun!

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Old 16-08-2010   #4
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

hope you go through with it, whats the difference between the range of engines?
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Old 16-08-2010   #5
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolmk1unoturbo View Post
hope you go through with it, whats the difference between the range of engines?
There's no IF. I've got everything I need already! Only problem will be if it just doesn't work, but as there is no precedent other than my own work, there is no way of knowing until I try. Fall back is to use the very good "Pectel" electronics I already have from the Uno.
  • 120 Bravo/ GP has "standard" cams and low boost turbo
  • 150 Bravo/ Abarth GP has "Abarth" cams and high boost turbo (same externally to 120)
  • Abarth 500 has "Abarth" cams and a turbo that's in between the two above basically/shared with Mito

Apart from turbo and cams they are the same part for part where it counts. People who tune the "Abarth" engines find it much easier to get near 190BHP without mechanical mods to the engine due to the cams.
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Old 17-08-2010   #6
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by Chas Uno View Post
Words cannot describe what I feel about this project, but these smilies do:

Firstly, calm down Chas.

But seriously, thanks for the positive comments from peeps here and on PM. If anyone knows of anyone else who has done the conversion, please post up here. Always curious to see other things, plus I want to know if I'm the first, even if only in Internet land.
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Old 17-08-2010   #7
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by lewey View Post
Firstly, calm down Chas.

But seriously, thanks for the positive comments from peeps here and on PM. If anyone knows of anyone else who has done the conversion, please post up here. Always curious to see other things, plus I want to know if I'm the first, even if only in Internet land.
Lewey, Firstly well done on managing to actually getting a T-jet. I will be watching your progress as I move my Y10 T-jet project slowly forward.

I do know someone else that is doing this. You know him too. He is in Leicester and had a thing for Y10s. He has an Esseesse turbo and is looking for a suitable 500 or Barvo to use as a donor. His plan is to bolt the engine and gearbox from the donor plus the Esseesse turbo into a Lancia Ypsilon. Went I met him last he was planning to do this over the winter.

Good luck.

Cheers

Dave
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Old 17-08-2010   #8
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

So, onto business. First thing I need to do is make engine and gearbox physically fit and connect drive.

Reason I wanted a 120 GP T-Jet and it's unique 5-speed box is that this box is the old C510 gearbox that the UT uses (also Tipo, Tempra , N/A Coupe, etc). It has the key component that hasn't been available in this box type yet: a FIRE-mating bellhousing. It will theoretically just drop in on UT mounts and mate to the engine. I hopefully then just need a Uno FIRE engine mount on the other side. Reach could very easily be an issue here of course, I haven't done the measuring yet. Mount is being posted to me tomorrow.

Next bonus is that the intermediate shafts will bang into the diff housing and on the nearside that driveshaft is taken care of at least. The other side has the long intermediate shaft in a bracket. This will go in and the bearing on it just pops straight in the new FIRE axle "bridge" bolted to the engine. This was the bit I was counting on and it seems true. Problem is the UT shaft is 10mm shorter from the bridge to the diff than it should be, or to be precise the bridge is mounted 10mm too far away from the diff than I want. I need to re-engineer this bracket some how. I think it's possible. Drive will then be sorted with standard UT shafts. Sweet.

I have a Quaife LSD in my UT box, the end plate is different to allow the UT mount to be used and it has higher final ratios than the "new" GP box (which I like), so I'm basically going to remove the bellhousing half of the GP box and put it on my UT box. Almost finished this earlier, but was more complex than I thought. You really have to seperate the gearbox into main component pieces to do this, indeed to change the diff over you'd have to do this. Bit of a nightmare in comparison to the trusty C514 boxes where you can change a diff whilst it's in the car! So now I'm staring at the lay and mains shafts, I am dreaming of perfect ratio combinations. Not sure what to do. Leaving standard is probably the right decision though.

Need a careful session in the near future when taking apart my UT box, because I have been pretty gung-ho with the GP box since I won't be putting it back together! It has struck me that there is every chance it just doesn't fit on the UT box for some reason.
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Old 17-08-2010   #9
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

I can see this being quite epic
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Old 17-08-2010   #10
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by Dave Henry View Post
Lewey, Firstly well done on managing to actually getting a T-jet. I will be watching your progress as I move my Y10 T-jet project slowly forward.

I do know someone else that is doing this. You know him too. He is in Leicester and had a thing for Y10s. He has an Esseesse turbo and is looking for a suitable 500 or Barvo to use as a donor. His plan is to bolt the engine and gearbox from the donor plus the Esseesse turbo into a Lancia Ypsilon. Went I met him last he was planning to do this over the winter.
Look forward to your T-Jet Y10. As last time I checked it was me who was orchestrating the Leicester-based Y10 T-Jet project, it doesn't count!!

If you need any opinion or facts about the conversion, PM me or something. Don't know if you're going to Gaydon in a week, but we could talk then perhaps.
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Old 19-08-2010   #11
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Lewey

The project looks good!

How "far" would you want to take the engine?
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Old 19-08-2010   #12
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by Biz View Post
Lewey

The project looks good!

How "far" would you want to take the engine?
I do everything to a budget becuase I'm not rich, so won't be buying an Esseesse kit on the black market, for example. I want to make it as powerful as possible before it starts to mean changing of internals. I like the idea that if I bust the engine i can just buy another one and be back on the track in a week! This may be the limiting factor for me. I want it to be reliable enough to do 2000 miles a year perhaps, for a few years without needing a rebuild. Not a lot to ask in comparision to others who have them in GPs perhaps. Hard to know what the ceiling is until people regualrly start to break them.

There will be stages. Initially I want to start and run the engine. I'll do this with the standard kit. I am already looking at the 1st stage of tuning though! Seems sensible to go with an Abarth turbo, improved pressure sensors and a Red Dot remap?

200HP and 220lb/ft torque sounds fine! That would be more than I think I had with the last engine and that was savage. It does prove the point that the numbers don't say it all I suppose as because of the superb hybrid turbo in the old engine, it would hold boost perfectly for as long as you wanted so you had a very flat torque curve. I bet it would have been better than a T-Jet with a PEAK of 220 lb/ft torque. Problem is the turbo has a T25 input flange though and the output would face into the radiator, etc. Perhaps this will be a 3rd stage, not sure. I have a friend who can probably make me a manifold with a flange like this for little money, but would be a while as he's busy fabricating other things for paying people.
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Old 30-08-2010   #13
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Stripped gearboxes down and made a hybrid gearbox like I said. After totally dis-assembling the T-Jet box and realising I need a few things to do it all properly I decided that I would go for a "two stage" build. I am going to use the T-Jet box almost as-is with the addition of the old selector rod mech and old end plate with old style mounts on. So no LSD and a lower gear range. I could see the damage on the 4th gear selector ring. Syncro is actually in fine condition, so I don't know what that means. I reckon it will change, but not be perfect.

In fact I am going for a two stage build in all aspects of the car. Plan is to have it ready to drive by Nov 14th for a trackday at my nearest track Mallory Park. I will then remove the engine and box again and do a few things differently. I will also significantly improve power with a better turbo and a few other bits over the winter period, ready for a remap and a season of trackdays in the spring I hope.

Anyway, I married the rebuilt gearbox up to the engine and have started to dress the engine. So much stuff to put on, it takes longer than you think! Initial measurements between mounts look in the ball park, but quite hard to tell until actually in it. I bought a engine crane today, but by the time I got it home, the day was done. I may try and fit it in an evening this week. I got a new genuine alternator from eBay for 50, which I thought was good and bought an alternator bracket that goes on the engine from local dealer (was air-con model).

As you can see, the Uno intermediate drive shaft is a good fit. It just sits 10mm too far out of the box to just bolt up to the driver side drive shaft. It is actually engaged on the splines in the differential, but only about 10mm or so. I'm going to have a fabricating friend have a look and see what the best course of action is.
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Old 31-08-2010   #14
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

good project this!

Interesting! Like a modern UT lump!

Shame the old UT engine gave up the ghost Were there any signs it was going to let go when you bought the car? Or did it come as a shock?

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Old 31-08-2010   #15
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Re: 1368cc 16V FIRE Turbo (T-Jet) Uno conversion

Quote Originally Posted by Dunc Uno Turbo View Post
good project this!

Interesting! Like a modern UT lump!

Shame the old UT engine gave up the ghost Were there any signs it was going to let go when you bought the car? Or did it come as a shock?

Dunc
The external wall of the block had got a crack between the rear core plugs. It had been repaired with a very substantial metal structure. It was sold with the warning that it might come undone at some point, but had been like it for a while. In use the car was very good for the three times I did drive it. It wasn't broken when i got it for sure. The structure never did give way, it was an internal cylinder wall crack in the end. No doubt was caused by the weakened external block wall as it was adjacent to it.

So basically, I wasn't shocked, but was dissapointed I couldn't get it on a track to see how it handled.
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