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Old 02-07-2006   #1
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Smile Thinking of buying one

hi what kind of things should i be looking out for when buying one.I am a panel beater so i am not to concerned about the rust,what parts are most exspensive to replace or get hold of etc
Thanks Shaun
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Old 02-07-2006   #2
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Re: Thinking of buying one

I too have the hots for an exxxy... but missus don't like the look of them but is easily sold on an MX5
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Old 03-07-2006   #3
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Things to look for:

starting from the front:
headlight motors work up *and* down (usually only a blown diode if not working but can be much worse)
radiator fan switches on and off automatically (some owners like to have a manual override)
radiator is not leaking - if car has been left standing for more than a few months make sure that the radiator warms consistently (if not a new radiator will be needed)
"nose" tends to rot near the badge and in the gutter along the front of the "bonnet"
front luggage area tends to rust in the sides - look underneath the carpet trim if fitted
steering rack gaters in good condition
track rod ends in good condition (front adjustment is actually harder than it is for the rear! you dont want to have to mess with this if you can avoid it)
dampers not leaking
scuttle area infront of windscreen not full of debris - check that the two drainage holes are not blocked. If they are the entire scuttle area is likely to be completely rotten. Be very careful examining the area by the hydraulic fluid reservoirs - small spillages tend to result in the metal rotting nearby
windscreen surround intact - another area prone to rot and a pain to fix.
window winders in good working condition - manual ones are a real pain to fix, electric ones just tend to suffer from bad earthing
check the bottom of the doors - the skin tends to come away at the bottom (just like the old minis)
check the sills - if rotten just walk away. you may be a panel beater but if you dont have a jig for supporting the car while you work on it the results can be less than satisfactory. get it wrong and the car will go banana-shaped
check the fore-aft radiator pipes - they are enclosed in a box section so you only tend to see leakage at the front or back. this is another serious pain job to fix
check that the engine and boot release mechanisms work cleanly and easily - if a cable snaps it is serious grief to fix. there are emergency cables in each compartment but these tend to snap on the first use making them near useless
check the linkage in the gearshift is tight (looks sort of like a lollipop)
at rear check that the rear lights work
check that the rear dampers are not leaking
check that the ball joints are all ok
check for usual oil leaks - oil pressure sender is a common culprit
look carefully at the exhaust manifold if you can - the studs holding the exhaust on tend to get bent or snapped off. if it looks like it is stuffed full of gun-gum then chances are the manifold is in need of attention.
in the rear luggage compartment lift the carpet and look at the firewall - if it is rotten at the bottom edge then pretty much the entire rear internal panels will be rotten. the panel above the exhaust tends to rot badly due to having a thick layer of water retaining insulation above it - the panel is then topped off with a second removable (screwed down) panel.

now take it for a drive
from cold it should drive like any other old fiat with a semi-auto choke (unless it is a 1300 on a manual choke). (two presses of the accelerator to prime the system and then start without touching the pedal) - if not it is likely the engine coolant has been neglected and the auto-choke is now chalked up.
if it won't go into gear easily in each gear (and the linkage is tight) then the gearbox *will* need attention
check the oil pressure gauge - it needs to be working (oil warning light is a seperate sender) and showing at least 1/4 full deflection. pressure should never really go much above 1/2 or drop below 1/4.
any clunking from the engine bay while driving along is likely to be a duff engine mount rather than suspension
car should drive straight and true without any steering input - if not the geometry will need checking. if rear arms have been "off" then they will likely need reshimming and that can be a serious pain to get right
brakes should be very responsive and fairly aggressive - if front locks suddenly it is likely the callipers are seized in the sliders or the pistons seized
all 4 wheels should lock at the same time - if not see above
steering is very responsive but generally hard to spin without serious lift-off induced oversteer. the engine is not generally powerful enough to cause a spin except on a poor surface. donuts should be almost impossible to perform
stop the car once it is hot and turn the engine off
wait 5 minutes
try to restart it
if the engine sounds like the battery is flat then you'll need to consider rewiring the main power feed from battery to enginebay and sort all engine earths (or the battery really is flat)
if it just churns without starting then the fuel pump is likely to be a little weak and the fuel system is vapour locking (if an inline filter has been fitted the problem will be exaggerated)
if it starts and then stops as if out of fuel then the vapour lock problem is present but just the float chamber is running dry. try starting it again and it will just run as normal
now check the headlights - most cars had tungsten bulbs that are utterly pathetic so dont expect brilliant illumination
common problem is that the dipped beam draws excess current and charge light comes on at the dash - the cure is an extra relay in the lighting circuit and a new column switch (the one on the car is likely to be heat damaged)

can't think of anything else off the top of my head - the number of potential problems on these cars can be frightening but only really an issue where a car has been abused. if cared for they tend to be very reliable for a car designed in the late-60s
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Old 03-07-2006   #4
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Thanks for the checklist Jimbro Used to do pre delivery inspections on these when they were new and liked them then as I do now! Exxxy's big sister also on e-bay at the moment with only 36,000 miles up...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Lancia-Beta-Mo...QQcmdZViewItem

Unfortunately the X1/9's seem to be mostly basket cases
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Old 03-07-2006   #5
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Quote Originally Posted by wotnowarninglight
Thanks for the checklist Jimbro Used to do pre delivery inspections on these when they were new and liked them then as I do now! Exxxy's big sister also on e-bay at the moment with only 36,000 miles up...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Lancia-Beta-Mo...QQcmdZViewItem

Unfortunately the X1/9's seem to be mostly basket cases
Bought a severe basket case for spares at christmas - honestly didn't believe they could get *that* bad and still be worth something. Even those basket cases are going for about 200 now. Really good examples are going for 1000's.... suddenly we hit the point where they are either going to hit a ceiling or become a real collector's classic with the prices exceeding their original value.

The Monte's seem to be better looked after - I suspect that those remaining have been far better cared for.
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Old 04-07-2006   #6
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Smile Re: Thinking of buying one

Thanks jimbro i am going to look at one near me in Bath, not expecting much as it is only 150.Hell of a lot to look out for but i know it is going to be a project. I am looking to spend slightly more and hopefully get a better car but there is not that many about anymore
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Old 05-07-2006   #7
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Something I forgot to mention that is definitely worth paying attention to is the rear suspension strut towers. Where they form part of the inner wing the metal is three sheets thick. If the middle of the sandwich decides to rot (and they do) the tower appears to bulge and eventually erupts into hideous rust holes. The corrosion here is quite dangerous but worse still it is really nasty to fix as you need to patch three layers of metal.
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Old 05-07-2006   #8
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Re: Thinking of buying one

That's a great checklist, Jim...

My X1/9 passed everything with flying colours except the rust under the windscreen 'seal'...
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...n-61355510.htm

I've made some electrical improvements, including 100/90W halogen bulbs with an additional relay for dipped beam, incorporated into the fuse tray. I have also run an additional 10G wire directly from the alternator terminal through the cabin to the infamous 'brown wire' connection at the fuse tray. This solved all dimly-glowing no-charge light issues, and my wipers and windows just whizz away.

This car cost me $6000 three years ago - I'm only expecting $4000 now...

Cheers,
-Alex
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Old 05-07-2006   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Thinking of buying one

Thanks alex for the extra info, hope i can find one soon,by the way great looking car
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Last edited by shaun; 05-07-2006 at 16:19.
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Old 05-07-2006   #10
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Hey AlexGS....

COuld you provide some more info about your electrics improvement eg. why did u do it, what problems did it solve and are there other issues to think about when doing this ????

Some diagrams would be even better !!!!

Thanks,

George
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Old 06-07-2006   #11
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Re: Thinking of buying one

Quote Originally Posted by gserghiou
Hey AlexGS....

COuld you provide some more info about your electrics improvement eg. why did u do it, what problems did it solve and are there other issues to think about when doing this ????

Some diagrams would be even better !!!!

Thanks,

George
The problems are basically as I described earlier.

1) The dipped beam lighting circuit doesn't go through a relay - all the power goes through the steering column switch. The result is that the switch melts and a degradation in lighting follows. The cure is to fit an extra relay in the circuit (you dont need to cut any wires - just run a few more and swap some connections around).

2) The main feed (brown wire) from the battery to the fusebox and engine bay is not "sealed" at either end and suffers from water ingress. The wire corrodes and resistance increases. The voltage drop becomes a problem with age. The cure is to bypass it and run new wire.

On top of that you also need to keep an eye on the low tension wiring to the alternator. When the engine mounts soften up it can result in the wiring being pulled, not a problem with nice soft wire but by the time the mounts go the wires will be quite brittle. Worse still every time someone puts a new terminal on after it snaps off the wire is effectively shortened making the situation worse!

The X1/9 (and most other cars of that era) have a bad reputation for wiring faults and with good reason. Most of the problems are down to very simple problems. The three points above cover about 75% of the issues you might find outside of previous owners butchering the wiring rather than doing the job properly. The remaining 25% is pretty much all down to bad earthing. A large chunk of the wiring in the front of the car is earthed through the inner wings and the terminals corrode badly. The rear of the car is generally quite good by comparison.

The fusebox and dashboard is a total nightmare. When we pulled the wiring loom out of the race car it was almost enough to need two people to lift it!
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Old 08-07-2006   #12
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Thumbs down Re: Thinking of buying one

Thanks again jimbro, went to see the x19 to today was not told it had parts missing already and no keys.The body was not to bad apart from around the windscreen pillars did not look underneath, it had been repainted at sometime and the filler was bubbling up, but you have to expect that on a car of this age.If the parts were not missing and we could of got it running i would of bought it for the 150 he wanted for it.The cars are getting hard to find in this area so i cannot really pick and choose if i want a cheap one to restore.Thanks again
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