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Neil's Fiat/Bertone X1/9 
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
I always wanted one of these. I have a fondness for Fiats after having an Uno for 15 years.

I looked at several. None of them were drivable but this one had the least rust. The guy I bought it from was working on a 1932 Sunbeam. He was also even older than I am.
These photos were taken when I collected it. I was able to drive it home but only just. It would not rev over 2000 rpm and had almost no brakes. It was running so rich, If anyone behind us had lit a cigarette they would have gone up like napalm. We made it to my gate and then it cut out. So we rolled it down the driveway.

I stripped the carb and replaced the gaskets and needle valve. It had a home made gasket that prevented the floats from rising so the float level was always much too high. Part of the automatic choke, unfortunately made of unobtanium, is missing. It runs much better now but the carb still not right as it does not respond to tuning the idling mixture. The distributor (it has points and condensor) does not look great. The rotor ceramic is chipped and the cap is loose.

Bled the brakes all round but they are still soggy and front brakes hardly working at all. I suspect the master cylinder will have to come out. To do this I need to remove the dashboard and the steering column.

The motor sounds healthy but i suspect a problem with the clutch or gearbox or both. Very clunky.

The wiring has been heavily worked on with lots of random wires of random colours going in random directions. Usually with dodgy random connections.

All in all great candidate for EFI. I have located at great expense and hardship (don't ask) an Uno Turbo manifold which looks like it should bolt straight in. And then either replace or upgrade the dizzy or go the triggerwheel route.


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File comment: Glamour provided by daughter Hilary. Only those with 6 figure salaries need apply. No mickey mouse currencies please (like mine).
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Last edited by AncientGeek on Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:09 pm
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"Only those with 6 figure salaries need apply. No mickey mouse currencies please (like mine)."

Damn, not only am I broke, I'm also married! :-p For the next punter, though, do you take RMB?

Car looks good! And you look far younger than your nickname implies!

Keep us posted on your upgrades/fixes!

Fred.

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Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:26 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
Life is returning to normality whatever that is, so a little update.

This car has been worked on by an idiot.

As an example, the dizzy has fitted with the wrong points. As a result, at the moment that the points open the rotor is just short of halfway between 2 ht connections on the cap. This explains the massive misfiring above 2000 rpm as the centrifugal advance takes hold. Also the occasional sharp cracking noises from the general direction of the distributor

Another example: the home made gasket in the carburetor prevented the float from rising fully causing constant flooding.

The fact that the car ran at all makes me all gooey with admiration. I'm a big believer in the "ghost in the machine" and I find these violations distressing.

Here's another one, the cabin heater pipe is bypassed (the pipes under the car are rotten, remember this is a mid engine car). But it has simply been short circuited so that half the water is pumped in a small circle instead of going through the block. I pulled off the pipes and half the metal came with it because there is no coolant in the water.

And don't start me on the wiring. Lots of unfused custom connections direct from the battery.

A huge frustration is that I have wasting time trying to fix things I plan to throw away soon (with a Jag install) just to get the car running well enough so I can get it through roadworthy/MOT so I can complete the paperwork. I've been wasting time trying to find the correct points, etc. Instead I've located another Fiat hall effect distributor that looks like it will fit. And soon the Jag build starts, most parts have arrived, But that will be in another thread.


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File comment: ooh! a hidden switch in the engine compartment. WTF does it do? Who cares? The wires fell off when I removed it.
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File comment: Some work with a dremel and the pipe can be blocked.
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File comment: Some rotten pipework
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:19 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
How do I hate thee?
Let me count the ways

Take the accelerator cable. Its just a simple cable.

1) Wrongly routed though the firewall requiring a 120 degree turn to go to the throttle mechanism
2) Cable itself buggered as a result.
3) Wrongly routed speedometer cable fouled the pedal mechanism.
4) Pedal bar under carpet cover broken, leading to "toyota syndrome"

On a lighter note, I hope you like my replacement pedal bar cover. It was fun making it, especially emptying the bottle in the tin.


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Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:55 pm
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:-)

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Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:05 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
The car is sort of driveable now. I'm trying to hack it enough to it it roadworthied and running out of time.

Still not happy with the brakes but they are much better. I must have bled about 15 litres of brake fluid now.

Biggest problem is the coolant pipes. I can see the belly pan has been cut open (looks like with a can opener) so I bent it back and peered into my worst nightmare. Its like one of those garden mist sprayers.

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I'm pondering my options:
1. Sleeve the pipes with copper pipe (but what to do with the heater pipe?)
2 Remove the belly pan (I count about 100 spot welds to be drilled out)
3 Cut the belly pan off at the sides with an angle grinder seeing the car is used to this.
4 make up copper pipes to replace
5 OR get the pipes made up in stainless
6 make up new belly pan from sheetmetal.

I the meantime patch the pipes with radiator putty and hope it lasts long enough to get through roadworthy.

This is the was the colour of the coolant (just water really).
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Finally under the dashboard I found the PO had cut open the tunnel with an angle grinder. Can't figure out why, stuff is hard to get at, but not impossible. I cut my already buggered hands to shreds on this, This will need a complete cabin strip and welding.
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:18 am
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One thought, copper pipes are soft, and will need to be well supported, as even copper can work harden and crack. It won't rust, though, but if you use zinc-alum pipe, neither will that on the outside, and on the inside it'll have coolant, and thus won't rust, either (provided you have no air in there).

Fun stuff. Does it have an alloy head? If so, cross fingers for minor amounts of corrosion to that head.

Fred.

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Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:53 pm
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
Good point. The pipes have two 45 degree kinks at both ends so I need to find someone to bend it or buy a pipe bender. If copper, I could solder 45 degree joiners on. Zinc-ali will be much cheaper than stainless.

Clearly he had pipe corrosion before, the coolant heated choke is rusted off and one of the heater pipes has been replaced. The ends of the main pipes are rotten and bits of hose added on to lengthen them after the rotten bits fell off.
But he never thought, duh, there must be a reason for this, perhaps I should be using some additive, but noooo... he just chucks in more tap water. Probably pissed in it.


Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:55 am
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QFP80 - Contributor

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 56
Location: South Africa
Wynne's stop-leak is holding so tried to get it through roadworthy/mot/whatever its called in your country. Failed on steering, surprisingly.

Removed steering box, found a bush was .. um .. just look at the picture
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Incredibly, found a replacement from the local Lancia man. Came with a delightful story about how this bush had been imported 10 years ago for the president of the Lancia club's son who never paid for it and and how they have been enemies ever since. So they were happy to get rid of it for a bargain.

However this was just Murphy setting me up for a fall as the flanged nut on the pinion shattered during disassembly. Strangely happened after it had already loosened. Not sure what to do now so I've turned to booze.
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Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:33 pm
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Maybe drill two (or more) ~6mm holes into the face of it and make a special tool to turn it with X dowels that hang down into the holes, kinda like circlip pliers but stronger. If you don't need the nut part, this could be OK for the long haul? If you do need the nut part, use it to get it out and have an engineer make you a new one on a lathe. Or import/find one. It's cast! :-o wtf. Good luck! :-)

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DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:08 am
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