Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finally bit the bullet

I have been hashing around with the idea of moving the fuel fill up to the rear valance like some of the Abarth rally cars had and finally just went for it. I haven't sorted the new fill yet but I might just use the old one with a nice cap on it. It wouldn't look bad welded in and painted the body color with a nice aluminum cap. 

First ride with the GoPro

So I took a burn round the block for a trial run. Ordered an external mic already.... Yep, the sound is horrible!
Don't really like the position of the camera either so I will try different places.
Here's the YouTube link:

Friday, December 27, 2013

Steering rack mock up

I have put the block, exhaust header, and bell housing back in the car to "mock up" the space I have to fit a steering rack. It is tight and I wonder if I need to make a heat deflector fit as well since the rack will run very close to the exhaust. 

GoPro shot of my crowded garage

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Finished cleaning up the engine

We had a great Christmas and I managed to get some time in the garage. I finished cleaning up and stripping the block. I successfully beat the oil pan back into shape, or at least close enough to work perfectly...
Next step, stick it back in to measure for the steering rack.
Oh, and Santa did bring me what I wished for!!! I'll introduce you to my gopro soon ;)

Monday, December 23, 2013

More cleaning of engine parts

I've been cleaning, or degreasing... 
The engine is in very good shape and could really go right back in the car as it is, but what fun is there in that?

See the nicks in the oil pump?
Hmmm, check this out...

I guess I have to put some thought into beating the oil pan back into shape. Or.....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Engine rebuild

Back in 1993 I rebuilt my first fiat engine. I armed myself with 3 manuals, 100 plastic bags and 10 sharpies. As I delved into disassembling the engine I bagged and tagged every screw, bolt, washer, plastic clip....
I cleaned everything, honed the cylinders, replaced all the bearings, rings, seals, gaskets, etc.
I actually managed to get the thing back together and made it run again. Yep, I was somewhat amazed!
Well, that engine is still going in my 77 so, to a point, I am even more amazed.
The one thing I didn't do was have the head redone since money was tight and it was way over my head... No pun! 
Head work is still above and beyond my capabilities!
This time around, as much as I am thick headed and like to do everything myself, I am sending the block and the head out to be done. The cylinders will be bored out .4mm to accommodate oversized pistons. This is also way past my skill level. The head will be ported and reground with larger valves. The cams will also be replaced. I am lucky enough to be only a few hours away from a mechanic with 25 + years experience working on Fiats. 
If my methods seem scattered while I go off on tangents all the time, here is my reasoning behind the current change of direction. 
I am stripping the block and cleaning it up. Before I deliver it to Beek (the engine guru) I will drop the block back in the car so that I can measure and mock up the available room to work with on my steering rack conversion. The space between the crossmember and bell housing is pretty tight so I have to be sure that I can fit the steering rack.
Like I did 20 years ago, I am bagging and tagging all the parts to be sure I don't lose anything.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Off on another tangent

As I'm growing tired of the bodywork, I continue to find other parts of the project to work on. A couple nights ago I managed to sort out a bracket to mount my fog lights. Still lots to do, but I have the design and layout sorted. Then I popped the hood and started thinking about what needs to be done in the engine bay. That, and some posts on my favorite forum, got me motivated to sort out what I want to do with my steering. My plan is to swap out the steering box, center link and idler for a manual rack and pinion. I went ahead and remounted the front suspension in order to start measuring and sourcing a compatible rack. I will have to fabricate brackets, welded to the cross arm which supports the engine, to hold the rack. I am sure I will also have to fabricate a tie rod end sleeve, well... 2, which will connect the new rack to the original style outer tie rod. I am lucky enough to already have the larger disks and calipers from the 85.5 spider and with a rack an pinion set up I am sure it will be great.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This is just too exciting!

I managed to get a wheel well cleaned up!!!
If you are reading this and don't know me, blame my mother for my ferocious sarcasm!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finally got the garage organized

And managed to get back to the car only to go backwards...
I have not been happy with the "ground effects" I created behind the front wheel. It seemed to deep and steep a curve. So today I chopped the drivers side off and welded in a new curve. So far, I like it better...