After 18 months lying in the previous owner's driveway, notwithstanding a tow down to FCSS and back for inspection/intended repair, an apparently "famous fiat four" (thanks HiraethHuw ) based up here in Edinburgh have taken on not a little challenge considering three of us have little/no experience of such a project - bar reading of others' fascinating restoration threads
Timescale - open.
Plan - first wash and brush thoroughly, cleaning out engine bay, getting some polymer at least on paintwork and popping on a cover to protect her from the winter, seagull poo and u/v light.
Brake overhaul Engine and gearbox out and overhaul Corrosion treatment Suspension and a host of tidying/replacing and electrical work including repair to rodent-chewed loom!
Replacing the bonnet en route
New home ready for weather protection and imminent car cover
The gentle breeze during transit will have helped to disturb some of the leaves etc in the engine bay but a serious hoover and wash will be next on the agenda before the project starts in earnest.
For my own part it's taken me a while to come around to the whole idea but now it's an exciting reality and there's a mountain of stuff to learn! It has to be said that PJM was sorry to see her go after spotting it 18 months ago, having laid under a tree for 13 years, (the coop, not him ) but at least he can be content that it's destined for the revival he once planned
Although evenings are darkening and the Broomy is at least 20 mins away for most of us work, in fits and starts, has begun. A file is born..
It lives outside under a cover and the bonnet is left loose off its hinges for easier access. Up to now has been mainly cleaning engine bay and removing each wheel, squirting penetrant fluid at every visible nut and bolt in readiness for removing callipers and wheelarch liners. 14 years' worth of leaves and debris is slowly being extracted from each newly-revealed orifice.
The battery tray has been removed and is being cleaned up
The front bumper was next
Lots of items shot with rust but bodywork still surprisingly sound.
Dismantling has now ceased so that bodywork tlc can be accessed and carried out.
All boot carpets removed and brushed clean. Boot lid lining removed and mildew cleaned off. Passenger seat removed along with rears, aired, mildew removed and upholstery cleaned.
Boot rear trim
And now the important stuff for 'stopping' duties Before After
Both callipers (o/s with seized bleed nipple and h/brake cable end)
Cylinders in not bad nick
But seals leaving much to be desired not to worry..
Brembo starters, cleaned with brake fluid
And finally after much help from
the POR15 finally gets under way
Immediate challenge is to try and "ease out" the seized bleed nipple as well as removing the fused h/brake cable end from the flange at the back of the o/s calliper - the side that tends to attract the worst wear and corrosion.
...after a very lengthy gap in attention to this for all sorts of reasons the last 2 or 3 weeks has thankfully seen a renaissance of attention, mainly thanks to dante's sterling work cleaning up the rear callipers and associated parts, eventually fitting new seal kits so that they work perfectly
They've still to be refitted though as trailing-arm brakelines need replacing.
This evening was fun! First, off with the rear bumper
complete with undertray only delayed by one central recalcitrant 10mm hex bolt holding the tray on which had to be sawn off as the head corners were rounded
A good opportunity to brush out years of crud therefore, and it all cleaned up really nicely.
Then for the fuel tank.....having soaked relevant fixings in penetrant fluid over several days most of this went quite smoothly but there were a couple of surprises removing it though - a) the brake lines attached to the front end of it (near the centre of the car) with a sort of figure-of-eight clip, and b) the fuel line/hose also at the front, driver's side, which is routed over the anti-roll bar
It had more fuel in it than we all thought but since it's been lying there for 15 years unused it has to come out...and grotty it was too
At least now the compensator valve and neighbouring bits and pieces can be more easily evaluated Compensator valve
quite a successful few weeks on the beast- in a concerted attempt to finish at the rear of the car, in order to get the back-wheels back on, and be back on the ground.
All underbody prep & treatment and undersealing done, from the subframe crossmember back. Greatly helped of course by the removal of the fuel tank to drain 'whatever' was in it, after nearly a decade of sitting still.
This Saturday saw the refitting of the overhauled rear callipers, and refurbed cable & pipe brackerty. We have the rear compensator off and have sourced another and are currently waiting for brake lines, which are being fabricated for us.
fuel tank straps were ground-back & painted and this week we anticipate refitted the NS rear arch liner.
Once we get the rear-compensator & brake lines back- we'll fit those, then the fuel tank, then the handbrake cables, then the OS rear arch. And then the wheels go back on- and we are done at the rear.
How time flies....the logistics of co-ordinating four people, all with different talents, around work, families, weather - make this maybe more protracted than would be desirable for some, but then it's a commonality and an opportunity to learn about the coupe all in good company
It's now had a pretty thorough valet inside, removing historic dust, dirt and cobwebs, the intention being to throw in a bag of silica gel over the winter. All the cloth seating has now been extracted and cleaned up - it's in terrific condition.
Rear brake progress:
Callipers refitted after cleaning out and new seal kits
The new copper brakelines - passenger footwell to rear
Fitment to new rear compensator
Brake lines wrapped in self-amalganating tape
Perforation in boot/rear panel join, initial clean and prep, repair with Steel-Stik
Arch area and underneath undersealed
The heat shield had come off one of its bolts - this obstinate latter eventually succumbed to the knockometer after abortive attempts to drill it out from inside the boot.
Refitting the fuel tank
The handbrake cables are ready for action but seems we should have the hydraulic system up-and-running first. Won't be long till the rear bumper, left removeable for easier access underneath, is refitted permanently!
One of the many items on the front to-do list
The n/s wishbone mount is badly corroded - high also in priority.
Meanwhile the imminent front brake dismantling is being prepared by numerous attacks from penetrant spray - the onset of GMT is likely to mean a significant reduction in quality time in this open-air environment
With rear bakes now reassembled and fuel tank back on, time to tidy up the back end and prepare for 180 degree turnaround The bumper polystyrene becomes loose when the fixing holes enlarge so three of the four allen bolts were given larger washers to secure it. The gaffer tape over the n/s reflector is only temporary!
The turnaround would allow work on the front end to take place with a slightly improved shelter factor along with the tarp being rotated 90 degrees Pre-tow
well; that was a bit of a mission; but thanks to the extreme generosity of GrahamL and his tooling; we were able to get the NS wishbone off.
An initial issue was that the rear-most inboard clamp for the legacy wishbone mostly stayed in position; after the arm itself was removed! But one of us (who drives a yellow car) was able to whip-it-out with his patented virtuoso crow-bar technique. (it's all in the wrists, apparently) Once removed, an unhealthy residual rust pile remained in the place of each clamp. Once cleaned away; this revealed a still sound subframe. Could do with a paint though.
Needless to say; it was a bit 'difficult' to get the lineup for the new subframe-to-wishbone bolts. I found myself wishing I could swear in Italian; so the car would be under no illusions how I felt.
New bolts fitted all round- detail is of ball-joint swivel pic-bolt & nut.
Final torquing and anti-toll bar drop-link tightness yet to be achieved.
Well, last night was quite productive- but before we get to that; some footage from recent off-site / workshop efforts on the front calipers.
Thanks to the miracles of our local FIAT/Alfa specialist (/magicians); McLennan's in Loanhead; they were able to free the seized input-unions on the rear of each caliper, and undo the slide-shim bolts.
(we already had the pistons & all the seals removed)
So we then laid into removing any alloy-corrosion from under the shim positions, cleaning & flattening the shims themselves and cleaning out the piston bores & dust seal seats (recess-rings). Plus we cleaned out the slide-shims' mounting holes with an M6 tap.
Then one of the refurb kits was used to reassemble the NS caliper with new pressure & dust deals, and the slide-shims were re-attached with new M6 bolts and some Loctite.
so, last night was mostly 'remedial work' with regard to brake lines,
We have had remade the front NS line, and the two lines which drop under the NS floorwell; to join the two going to the rear of the car (compensator valve).
As it happens; thanks to the miracles of the AC pipework; we are unable to remove the OS front brake line; leaving it the sole remaining original line on the car.
It was a not inconsiderable fool-around, to route the two rear-bound lines down the firewall/bulkhead and out under the NS arch. At the bottom, these lines pass, just out of sight, behind the inner arch lip and turn under the car. There is a plastic bracket with holds them in parallel behind the inner arch lip, and this was refitted.
The NS front brake line was a walk-in-the-park by comparison, but advice would be gratefully received on the collective wisdom of whether this line is supposed to pass through this somewhat oversized plastic clip, as shown in the attached image, on it's way down to the wheel arch. Our new NS line is the vertical object on the right of the picture; wrapped in self amalgamating tape. please see attached first image We could not tell, by looking at the other (complete) cars present whether this was appropriate.
Further to that; the recently refurbed NS front caliper was temporarily held on the hub, with a couple of screwdrivers, whilst we bent-up a toy-piece of brake line to act as a template for the remanufacture of new ones. The NS front brake-flexible was attached also.
At the same time as having a key role in all these tasks; he-who-drives-a-yellow-car-with-a-black-roof, also refitted both new track-rod-ends..
Well, after a delay of some months, not helped by moving-house, family commitments, private-vendettas, alien-invasion, brexit and suchlike, work finally resumed work on the Project-Car last Tuesday. The primary objective has always been to restore braking-functionality in some form, and we are tangibly close. Handbrake cables were replaced (not without issue) last year, and the rear callipers refurbed & new pads fitted. All (bar one) brake lines were remade also, but outstanding work remained on the front callipers, which have recently been completed. (delay caused by myself)
Tuesday afternoon saw something of a Coupe-fest, in that as an entré, we investigated the appearance of a hitherto unknown sprint-blue VT which has appeared locally, and also attempted a bodyshop-quote for one of our number, who's Portofino car has suffered a misfortune.
First task on the car, was to install the NS front calliper back on the hub, and to join it to the incoming brake flexible with the remade S-hardline. New securing-clips were hammered onto the flexible line mounting points on the hub and inner wing, and we then discovered we had the wrong brake pads and so couldn't fit them.
Thanks to the generosity of others, we have assimilated (as they say in Star Trek) a couple of sets of brand-new & boxed Coupe front brake-pads; all of which are incorrect. Furthermore we discovered we've lost the calliper spring-&-two-pins that each side uses to secure the pads.
Undeterred by these trifling details, we refitted the road wheel and lowered the NS side of the car to the ground for the first time in 'some' months. Much creaking ensued as the replaced NS lower wishbone and anti-roll bar drop-link started to earn their money. The door functionality certainly felt better for the presence of ground under the wheels.
Working on the OS front, a repeat prescription was in order, but with the addition of the painting Hammerite onto the incoming brake hardline, from the engine bay, as it is the sole remaining original line. Interestingly, during an attempt to replace this line last autumn, it was observed that passing along the rear of the engine bay (as it does) it must have been fitted, BEFORE any of the A/C or clutch pipework was added during production. This line really is pinned to the firewall. A recent conversation with a specialist revealed that it is effectively 'never' replaced.
The OS road wheel was added and the car lowered to sit on all four wheels.
The car was then engaged in reverse gear, which without the presence of the clutch slave cylinder, is something which nods to race-car credentials, as you just have to go straight-in! Then the NS side was jacked 'high', and axle-stands were added front & back. The final remaining brake hardlines running from the front to the rear of the car were added in.
A complication for the removal or refitting of these lines is where they pass over the exhaust before the rear brake-compensator. Some exhaust 'slack' can be gained by removal of the two M8 13mm hex bolts which secure the combination handbrake reaction-point & mid-box hanger to the underside. 'One' then has to pull the exhaust down onto one's chest to gain space above it, to thread the lines across.
This task has been hanging over us (literally) for some months and so it was good to finally confront it. Although significant effort was made to pattern-match our re-made front-to-rear lines from the originals, and great care was made with documentation, in the final throes, it seemed more ambiguous than I had hoped for in the match-up with the lines from the rear brake compensator. Legacy documentation will confirm whether we got it right.
At this point we discovered we are also missing a final female-to-female M10 brake line coupler for the join between the front to rear lines and the feeding pair from the engine bay. (which takes place behind the front subframe, under the passenger footwell) This single item will complete hydraulic tightness of the system.
A follow up trip is to ensue shortly to fit this coupler, front brake pads, and pad-retaining calliper springs & pins for each side.
In the meantime; the car sits on all four wheels, and we all slept a good sleep on Tuesday night.
The immediate future holds the clutch slave-cylinder, replacement of lost gearbox-oil, and the manual rotation of the engine crank.
One year later and even more excuses into the bargain, follows more progress on our ever-so-patient steed.
18th June 2019 efforts...
Another massively successful night at the coal-face.
-female-to-female brake-line coupler fitted under NS footwell; completing front-to-rear brakelines & hydraulic tightness on the car -front calliper (pad) retaining springs & pins temporarily fitted to Brembos -re-furbed hub /strut wiring-brackets re-fitted for ABS sensor and brake-pad wear sensor wiring (wiring fitted) on both NS & OS
The correct front brake-pads, can be fitted with ease, once they arrive. A small tap-hammer and 'drift of some kind will be required to knock the spring-retaining pins through the Brembos (from the inside out) to secure everything.
Interesting to note, that last night during preliminary wheel-torquing on the OS road wheel (with the car still jacked); that we were able to effectively reverse-crank the engine through the gearbox. We should attempt to do this deliberately, (as the car has not turned over in some time), to ensure fluidly of cylinders & valve gear. The risk of valve damage at slow speed (in the event of a belt failure) is nil. It's surprising however that is was possible with such 'ease'- perhaps the moment created by the roadwheel acting to extend cranking power from the relatively small breaker bar had an effect. It would be easier, and more mechanically sympathetic however, with the spark plugs removed, as we would not be fighting cylinder-compression; and we should consider this as an actual task shortly.
We are rapidly approaching decision-time, with regard to the elephant-in-the-room; and although a fleeting return trip may be possible in the next few days to add the brake-pads, and remove the spark-plugs.
* radiator support bar chopped through at both ends * failed attempt made to free off OS front disc * donor Portofino car jacked to axle stands, to allow front discs & pads to be removed * failed attempt to remove calliper & disc on Portofino car OS * project-car boot 'payload' significantly reduced down * outer aux-belt pulley tightened on engine; although tensioner needs reset on legacy belt * engine turned 1 revolution over from 19mm socket on crank pulley (still free moving 😂)
The remains of the radiator support bar need drilled out- see attached images.
First-wave corrosion treatment (wire-brush fun), could be started under the front cross beam and in the rear three quarter panels. Although we will need 10+ degrees to apply the treatments; the grinding itself can still occur.
Need to investigate what it will take to remove the oil cooler pipes, to allow the alternator to be removed. (on both cars) It was noticed last night that the inner aux-belt has 'gone', and as such this will make replacement slightly easier.
Sump & gearbox drain points need to receive regular penetrant spray from now on, on every visit.
Remove spark plugs (penetrant stage first?) to allow free rotation of engine
A rather last minute, and somewhat miserable night, in 2.5 degree conditions, lead to the following results.
* centre console backlight lamps replaced * refurbished centre console refitted, and screwed into position * rear three-quarter panel floors given 3rd wave grind-over & hoover out * rear three-quarter panels floors given 1st stage POR 15 degreasant process * hole in OS rear footwell ground back from above & below and given 1st stage POR 15 degreasant process * three crusty-bits under the NS seat squab position, ground back and given 1st stage POR 15 degreasant process
During the OS rear footwell work, a degree of emerging corrosion was evident at the sill under the driver's door. It is also evident under the car. A cursory wave-over with a wire-bush revealed it to be slightly more extensive & progressed, than other spots of localised corrosion, and it is likely this spot will need welded. We should consider the removal of the interior carpet to aid this process...? A weld-through electroplating primer-spray is available for just such spots, and we should attempt to find some.
A fan-speed controller knob is required. (one has been found).
Visibility was had, of the mid-undertray on the OS, which conceals the fuel-filter. Pic attached. Food for thought.
Water was seen to be dripping-in, from the OS Pininfarina badge mounting pins. The Electrolube non-silicone sealant will arrive on Friday.
A massively productive weekend, thanks to efforts of the weekend-team™, principal achievements include;
* contingency wiper-motor & mechanism, in storage up at car * scuttle panel area given 1st wave clean out * Pininfarina badges' mounting pins sealed for a 2nd time * interior carpet removed & driver’s seat re-instated * clutch slave cylinder refitted and joined to hydraulic system * brake line to master cylinder reconnected * U-pol weld-through primer applied to hole in OS rear floor, above and below * 1st-wave POR 15 top coat, applied to rear three-quarter floors, 3x floorpan spots @ rear seat squab & on spot under OS rear * brake system reservoir filled with fluid; but system not bled yet * cabin-ventilation can-knob fitted!
* removal of No.1 spark plug, revealing copious oil deposits; probably from a legacy spilt-pour above filling-hole on engine top * checking of dipstick to reveal crankcase is overfilled by about a litre- if the car has turned over like this; (and we know it has) the catalyst is likely shot * 2nd wave grind-down of underbonnet sides and front crossmember * TOTAL miracle, as Paul-the-arms managed to get the legacy Brembo callipers & discs from the Portofino car * front callipers removed from Project-car * spark plugs ordered * brake bleeding proving totally unsuccessful
It is often the case on a newly prepared engine, or an engine of significant legacy, which has not turned over for a time, to use an intermediary oil-change to flush out gnarly deposits. After this; new 'working' oil is used to actually run the motor. Two things have become obvious today; the oil is totally BLACK, and there is WAY too much of it. Further to the prep we have done on the sump-plug; we drain this dreadful stuff from the car, and replace it with some total-nonsense from Tesco, This will do as out flush oil- it is possible there is some additive we can introduce at this point also.
The question remains as to whether it is worth swapping the oil filter at this point too? I think I would have to say 'yes'; it will certainly be harbouring significant filth, and is readily accessible at the moment; visible to the left of the turbo-charger. It is possible we need a strap for removal of the oil filter. It is probably worth degreasing what is visible of the oil-filter which will aid the strap-type removal tool (if we go for that kind; there are two pages of oil-filter removal tools on Machine Mart!).
The 2nd wave grind-down went quite well tonight; but there's a lot of ground-bond cabling in the way, at these two point on either side of the engine bay.
It would certainly be a good idea for electrical-continuity, to clean these cable-ring-crimps up anyway; and if the bolts can be undone, and the cabling lifted up, then more efficient work can be made of paint-prepping the engine bay. It would also be terrific if the plastic wiring-harness cover-tube could be opened and removed from the OS, also - see attached image, circled in orange; this is also in the way of reaching some of the under bonnet rust.
The 10mm nyloc nuts securing the grey front polystyrene bumper-filler underneath were washed with penetrant, and wire ground clean tonight also, allowing access to the front of the front cross beam, and also some more of the extended slam-panel metalwork.
* the front bumper-filler (polystyrene) which covered the cross-beam has been removed * the engine-bay front earthing-points have been undone, although the NS bolt has sheared in position * the OS engine bay wiring-harness tube has been removed * third wave grind down of engine bay, and extended NS chassis leg above gearbox * POR 15 degreasant-stage carried out over all of engine bay and radiator-support bar mounts * 5x 13mm hex-head bolts for slam-panel, were persuaded to undo; the top ones completely out
As the front-end corrosion-treatment work widens; we find ourselves looking at the front bumper supports (Eiffel towers). Cursory inspection reveals a significant 'game' being played on the OS, which we do not have complete access to. Removal of the slam-panel would in turn remove the air-duct cowls for the intercooler and oil-cooler, and grant us pornographic access to the lower OS. Prep has already been done on the bolts & nuts holding the horn-mounting-bracket, and it would make sense to undo this also. Power steering reservoir bent out of the way tonight to reach the two 13mm bolts for the OS slam-panel mount. see attached image; bolts circled in red.
* massive scuttle-panel rewash & clearout * rusty-spots in scuttle area identified and ground-back and given POR 15 degresant stage * replacement pollen filter sourced for car (from d.g.'s bedside table 🤔) * slam-panel successfully removed and compared to replacement item on potential donor Portofino-car * further grind-down of exposed metalwork at front-bumper-supports (eiffel towers) and front crossbeam * re-wash over the entire front end with degreasant stage * removal of 3x 13mm hex-head bolts & 1 pozidrive screw, to lower mid-OS-undertray to expose fuel filter- see attached image * sump-plug successfully undone using patented Edinburgh/dante giacosa three-hand technique * gearbox sump-plug successfully undone, as above * Wynn's engine-flush identified in Halford's, but rejected due to methodology required engine to be at running temperature * correct DVLA logbook has arrived in the post for the car!
It appears the fuel-filter is a push-fit connector of somekind- see attached images, plus fuel-system schematic for orientation. Three reasonably significant rust-blisters are apparent under the vehicle on the rear NS, which could be an MOT snag; it's likely two of them are the underside of the spots attended to under the rear seat-squab at the weekend. see attached images. An oil-filter removal-tool was bought today; @ £7.99 As much prep work has been done, as can be, on the front end of the car; today hopefully the Marchmont-contingent can effect the metal-etch-primer stage in sunlight, before the Morningside-backshift arrive to attempt painting. If possible; we should be able to get in a 2nd coat of the rear-threequarter panels also. It seems set to be a good painting day tomorrow weatherwise....
It's now a year on, and just before Christmas our project was nursed though its MOT. Brakes, clutch master and slave, donor injectors, full belts, replacement airbag ecu, gear linkage fix all contributed. On the bling side, leather seats cleaned and fed, roof lining brushed down, centre and handbrake consoles stripped and polished.
But bad news today after a few runs here and there to dry out the cat and renew the engine's knowledge of itself - rough running after warming up caused a visit to our friendly Alfa specialist who found "cylinder 5" (they had marked them 1,2,3,4,5 so probably the 4th from the left) was low on compression - 75
We came to the conclusion the reason it had been abandoned under a bush for 13 years after doing 60k was that it had been ragged, doing heaven knows what damage.
After doing a leak test and discounting exhaust valve and cylinder head the best guess is knackered piston rings which is major stuff none of us have an idea about tackling, let alone want to fund right now.
So it's driveable enough to take it back to where it's resided these past 3 and 1/2 years and will need to hibernate until further work can be done