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Importing to USA #1667061
24/08/2023 19:20
24/08/2023 19:20
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Hi everyone,

I lost my old account so I've created a new one.

I had a 1997 FIAT Coupe 20VT in the UK which I imported into Canada in 2005 (http://www.tipo16v.co.uk/coupe/coupe.html)
I moved to Houston in 2011 and left my car in storage in Canada.

Now it's 25 years old so I'm trying to import it into the USA. It would be easy if it was drivable because I could simply drive it over the border. However it's not be run for 10 years so I'm having to have it transported and using a broker.

It's not turning out to be very easy. Trying to determine a valuation is the first hurdle. I'll be charged 3% tax for an Italian car so I don't want to use the insurance valuation I had in Canada. It'll also need a 3x valuation bond from the broker. US customs typically expect you to have purchased the vehicle in Canada and have bill of sale with a CAD$ value.

The other issue is the VIN which they will need to confirm the build year of the vehicle.

My VIN is ZFA175000P******* where the last 7 * are the serial number. I tried to search for Coupe VIN numbers online and from what I could see they were all the same apart from the serial number.

I'm getting mixed results if I try and use various online VIN decoders. Some say it's 1993, some 1994, some a convertible etc. I have more success with UK sites than USA sites.

I think it's the "P" that's throwing them off. This is usually the model year and P means 1993, certainly using the USA VIN decoders such as https://www.autozone.com/vin-decoder

I have the Canadian and UK registration documents which should it as a 1997 which may help confirm it's age.

Cheers

John

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1667064
24/08/2023 19:52
24/08/2023 19:52
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
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Auld Reekie
Hi and welcome back, good luck with the paperwork!

Are you by any chance Tipoboy (?) that moved across the pond years ago, and documented it on here?


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: Edinburgh] #1667065
24/08/2023 20:15
24/08/2023 20:15
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Yes :-)

I used to have a 1993 FIAT Tipo Sedicivalvole hence the old forum name

Last edited by CanadianCoupe; 24/08/2023 20:16.
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1667068
24/08/2023 21:44
24/08/2023 21:44
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
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Auld Reekie
Fascinating, what a comeback!

A couple of mates and myself have been attempting to rescue an abandoned 20vt which hadn't run for 13 years when we bought it, different issue to yours but it's still fighting its corner laugh


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1667086
26/08/2023 09:00
26/08/2023 09:00
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,364
Lightwater, Surrey
DaveG Offline
Club Treasurer Member 311
DaveG  Offline
Club Treasurer Member 311
Je suis un Coupé

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,364
Lightwater, Surrey
You can't use the normal VIN decoders since it's not a normal VIN. Coupes of all years have the "P" so it's meaningless. It should be replaced by a zero and then input into ePer, which if you're lucky will give a date of manufacture, but for most Coupes it will be a month/year, and for early Coupes just the year.

However if you need more "proof" you could contact the homologation department at Fiat UK and for a small fee they will provide a letter confiming what you already know, but useful for sending off to the "authorities"


1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1667181
01/09/2023 18:51
01/09/2023 18:51
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
On the door or door pillar is there a sticker showing the tyre pressures, vehicle weight, load capacity etc.

I don't remember there being one. This is required on US vehicles, I'm not sure if it's common on all new vehicles.

Thanks

John

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1667382
11/09/2023 14:07
11/09/2023 14:07
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 12,292
Sandhurst
Begbie Offline
Ex El Presidente
Begbie  Offline
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I AM a Coop

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 12,292
Sandhurst
Nothing to add but wave Good to see you are still about.

Was actually thinking about you the other day as well oddly enough


Originally Posted by Jonny - After being taken out at Spa
Your car is Usain Bolt with wellies
Re: Importing to USA [Re: Begbie] #1668467
31/10/2023 17:16
31/10/2023 17:16
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Thanks Alexis,

I found a customs broker who was fantastic. They completed the DOT and EPA forms for me and filed them electronically with US customs.

The car made it over into the USA okay with no problems with customs a couple of weeks ago:-)

I'm patiently waiting for it to arrive in Houston. The shipper was going to MA and DC first but while he was there the engine in his truck let go. He's been waiting for a new engine.

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668468
31/10/2023 17:50
31/10/2023 17:50
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
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Auld Reekie
Send us some up-to-date pics in its new location when you can smile


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668546
06/11/2023 03:49
06/11/2023 03:49
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
She finally arrived in Houston today in a 48' long trailer :-)

In addition to the list of things I thought I would need to do I can add a new master brake cylinder to the list!!

I didn't get that much done today. I removed the fuel pump which will be replaced due to sitting in old fuel for 13 years. I removed the injectors which will be cleaned and have new seals fitted.

She needs a wash but I need to fit a new battery first so I can close the window.

John

Attached Files
20231105_114023.jpg (235 downloads)
20231105_110038.jpg (231 downloads)
20231105_114759.jpg (232 downloads)
Last edited by CanadianCoupe; 06/11/2023 03:50.
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668547
06/11/2023 04:05
06/11/2023 04:05
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
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Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by CanadianCoupe
The shipper was going to MA and DC first but while he was there the engine in his truck let go. He's been waiting for a new engine.


Great news - have you checked everything under the bonnet is still there wink

Good luck sourcing a new brake master, you can't get them over here....


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668548
06/11/2023 08:28
06/11/2023 08:28
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 602
Cleveland
P
PaulL Offline
Club Member 1872
PaulL  Offline
Club Member 1872
Enjoying the ride
P

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 602
Cleveland
Car is looking great.

Have fun

Paul

Re: Importing to USA [Re: Edinburgh] #1668549
06/11/2023 10:00
06/11/2023 10:00
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
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CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
I see some master brake cylinders advertised on various sites including ebay as being compatible with 20VT.

For example: bestpartstore.co.uk

However on this forum I found that there are two sizes 22.2mm for 16V/VT and 23.8mm for 20V/VT. Those adverts that claim to be compatible with 20VT are actually 22.2mm in size.

What are people doing when they need a replacement? My seals have failed, probably dried out.

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668550
06/11/2023 10:18
06/11/2023 10:18
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline
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Forum veteran

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Yes there are one or two companies in Europe that are adamant they have the correct part but then send an incorrectly-sized one.

As far as I know over here the solution is to source a known second-hand unit - maybe message Joe at FCSS (Countrycruising on here) to see if he might have one.


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668570
07/11/2023 10:37
07/11/2023 10:37
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 143
Devon
ucoupia Offline
Clue member 1357
ucoupia  Offline
Clue member 1357
On a journey

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 143
Devon
Hi, i have just spoken to a company in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk called Past Parts that repair/refurbish braking components.
They would like details of the part and a photo to confirm that they could repair.
Their e mail is restore@pastparts.co.uk phone no. 01284 750729, hope this helps.

Re: Importing to USA [Re: ucoupia] #1668571
07/11/2023 11:01
07/11/2023 11:01
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by ucoupia
Hi, i have just spoken to a company in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk called Past Parts that repair/refurbish braking components.
They would like details of the part and a photo to confirm that they could repair.
Their e mail is restore@pastparts.co.uk phone no. 01284 750729, hope this helps.


That's a great shout ucoupia, fingers crossed for a positive outcome


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668671
13/11/2023 17:29
13/11/2023 17:29
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
Newbie
CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
Newbie
C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
I'm slowing making progress with getting the car ready to start:
I've drained the fuel tank of 15 gallons of Canada's finest! It looked good but it smelt like varnish.
The injectors have been sent for cleaning and I have some solvent to clean the fuel lines, fuel filter and fuel rail.
I've fitted a new Walbro GS340 fuel pump.
Battery has been replaced with an Optima Red Top, 13 years in storage killed the last one!
Now I'm waiting on parts to replace the cambelt etc.

I've noticed some weird almost hologram like patterns in the paint. I'm guessing it's from being in the same position under LED lights for 13 years.

https://youtube.com/shorts/Ooi6m5o-FWo
https://youtube.com/shorts/KQSwx5qgGn4

Cheers

John

Attached Files
Fuel.jpg (148 downloads)
Last edited by CanadianCoupe; 13/11/2023 17:33.
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668779
19/11/2023 20:17
19/11/2023 20:17
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
Newbie
CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
Newbie
C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
After checking the engine we're seeing damage in cylinder 1. We're not 100% sure yet but it looks like a small impact from possibly a value and bad scoring on the walls.

The turbo bearings were also shot so that'll need to be sent off to be rebuilt.

Given that it was struggling with low oil pressure before I put it into storage I've decided to pull the engine and have it rebuilt - this will be the 3rd time! The first time was to covert it to a 2.4 but that engine had detonation issues and destroyed the pistons. The 2nd rebuild was to replace the pistons and that rebore took it to 2.5.

It's a huge amount of work but it would be a ticking time bomb if I tried to drive her like she is. It's better to fix the engine now than to wait for a rod to go through the side!

Attached Files
1700328827496.jpg (127 downloads)
1700329579642.jpg (124 downloads)
1700328834817.jpg (123 downloads)
1700328352012.jpg (123 downloads)
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668861
24/11/2023 18:27
24/11/2023 18:27
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,498
Berlin
barnacle Offline
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Posts: 33,498
Berlin
I'm assuming you're pretty much out of meat for the cylinder walls after the 2.5 rebore: time for a sleeve insert?

Neil


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Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1668864
26/11/2023 03:02
26/11/2023 03:02
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
Newbie
CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
Newbie
C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Yes I think I am unless I source a replacement original block from the UK.

I'm talking to Joe about going back to a 2l crank or possibly a 2.4 block to go with the 2.4 crank.

It's been thanksgiving here so I haven't worked on it for a week. I'll be back at it on Sunday!

We'll know more what we're dealing with once we remove the head and inspect the scoring. It'll be interesting to find out if the scoring and any piston wear indicate piston slap.

John

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1669079
13/12/2023 23:41
13/12/2023 23:41
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
Newbie
CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

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Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Just a quick update.

I took the engine to a reputable race engine builder here in Houston called Faerman Racing Engines. The current pistons were the wrong size for the bore and rocked from side to side:

https://youtu.be/i6mfSnrKnfg?si=ybG-dFCjUQag7p6E

They said they could tell it had been re-bored already but it was okay for them to be taken from the current 83.5mm to 84mm. They have ordered another set of custom JE pistons. Unfortunately these will take between 6-8 weeks to be made.

The crank will be re-ground as well to the first undersized amount. They can get main and journal bearings locally at the correct sizes they need.

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1669080
14/12/2023 00:03
14/12/2023 00:03
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,534
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
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Auld Reekie
This is turning out to be a real project of dedication!

Perhaps Begbie might be good enough to grant a slot in the project thread section?


BumbleBee carer smile
Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1669086
14/12/2023 12:23
14/12/2023 12:23
Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
C
CanadianCoupe Offline OP
Newbie
CanadianCoupe  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Aug 2023
Posts: 16
Houston, Texas, USA
Yes that would be a good idea. This thread is now more about the rebuild of the engine and getting the car drivable again.

I can summerize this thread into a single post with history of the car, its spec before storage etc etc.

Can you create a post under that section that I can edit?

Re: Importing to USA [Re: CanadianCoupe] #1669087
14/12/2023 12:40
14/12/2023 12:40
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 21,424
Aldershot
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Aldershot
Originally Posted by CanadianCoupe
Yes that would be a good idea. This thread is now more about the rebuild of the engine and getting the car drivable again.

I can summerize this thread into a single post with history of the car, its spec before storage etc etc.

Can you create a post under that section that I can edit?


PM Begbie and he will set you up to be able to create your own posts in that section.


16VT and X1/9 1500

We must all do our part for the planet.
I unplugged a row of electric cars that nobody was using.

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