I brought this 16v turbo 2 years ago, it was basically a non runner with knackered cams and no oil pressure. It was also still on its original suspension with no modifications whatsoever. The bodywork was a tad rought too but there was no major accident damage anywhere.
On the plus side it had one owner from new (well nearly, the second owner had it 3 months) and nearly full service history (it counted for a lot).
First things first was to get it up and running, so I started to strip the engine down to see what was salvagable. The answer was not a lot as the camshafts where very worn,
I then dropped the rest out, on the face of it everthing all looked relatively alright. So I started to clean
everything up and then found the block had a big crack in it, damn
So I needed to source another block, which turned into a bit of a nightmare as there was no way I could afford to fork out for a new one. Most 16vt's on ebay etc where dog's (like mine) and decent engines where no where to be found.
Luckily a forum member was selling a bottom end, unfortunatley it had a melted piston so it was a bit of a gamble. I picked it up and stripped it down, the crank looked fine but the cylinder wall on number 2 was very lightly scored and had a few small lumps of piston welded to it. If it did'nt clean up i'd be faced with a big bill for oversized forged pistons.
I set about it with a honing tool which removed the light scoring and remnents of the piston. Afterwards it measured up fine so it was ready to be used. I measured up the rods and crank, they where fine so all was well. Well not quite as I needed a size B piston to replace the melted one, My other bottom end had one so I pinched it. I then had to remove the paint from the block which too ages and generally clean everything up ready to be assembled.
I then went to Fiat to order a load of parts, they no longer sold the gaskets, main shell bearings or the exhaust manifold studs. So new camshafts, bottom end bolts, big end shells,thrust bearings, belts and balancer shaft shell bearings was all I could get. I took a trip to a motor factor and got a full gasket kit for £60, result but the headgasket looked to be of poor quality. I found a Goetze gasket on Italian ebay and brought a lenght of stud for the manifold studs. The main shells I got from a motor factor, they where Federal mogul. They measured up fine so I decided they were fine.
I started to assemble the bottom end after a lot of reading (mainly on Guy Crofts website) It took a long time but it all went together fine. I measured the bearing clearances with Plastigauge, they where all spot on
I then put the head back on after having an engineering firm overhaul it. It was now ready to go back in. It took a good 2 weeks of evenings to get it all hooked up again (it was bloody freezing too). It had new engine mounts, clutch kit, lightened flywheel, oil cooler and pipes, radiator, reconditioned injectors, water pump, thermostat etc. It had no balancer belt as the shafts were now locked.
Once it was ready I started by priming it first, It had no oil pressure for the first 5 seconds of cranking, then another 5 second burst still showed no oil pressure
. I started having visions of removing it all again and wondering what i'd done wrong. I then cranked it again and the pressure shot up to 3bar, happy days
. I got the engine ready to start, it then coughed and spluttered into life, it was a tad lumpy at first which was worrying but it soon settled down. I then ran it in on Castrol non synthetic oil for 1k miles before switching to Silkolene 10w50.
It was then Mot time, it passed first time so I un-sorned it and insured it
All was fine untill it had covered 2k miles when the cambelt slipped
I built it so i'd obviously done something wrong (I 'think' I over tensioned the cambelt), I removed the head and found 8 bent inlet valves. I managed to get a used head off of Countrycruising and removed the valves from it. This time I decided to do the head myself. I got it skimmed by a machinist and got another headgasket, I found out that a Payen headgasket was identical to the original Fiat gasket.
I refitted it all again but this time I found a thread on Evocorner showing the proper tensioning tool dimensions. I decided to make a replica of it.
I also had to repair a few wires as the insulation was broken on them (crank sensor, icv and the dash temp gauge sensor)
Its been running spot on since.