oldcar

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Everything posted by oldcar

  1. Hello, are there any "Vintage" Fiat enthusiasts out there? Many of the AACA people will already know my name but have not seen very much of me in this (Italian) part of the forum. I am about to embark on a new project and right now the most likely candidate is a early "20s Fiat 501. These are an interesting little car with a four cylinder, side valve engine of just under 1.5 Litres, In 1922 the Fiat ran a team of three cars in that years Targa Florio. In this photograph you see Carlo Gasparin in one of the specially prepared Corsa Biposta cars. In various period photographs you see cars numbered 4 to 6. each with slight differences, i.e. At least one was fitted with wire spoke wheels and there were minor variations in the body design. In this photograph the car is fitted with standard factory "Sankey" steel artillery wheels. There are also variations to the amount of protection the driver and riding mechanic were given from the wind. In fact due to their pressed steel construction these are little or no heavier than the wire spoke wheels available at the time. Being "bolt on" type they avoid the expensive (to make) machined splines of "Knock-on" hubs. It would appear that a stock standard cast iron exhaust manifold is linked to the "sporting" outside exhaust pipe. My first task will be to decide which of two basket case cars that are on offer to me to buy. The car in the second photograph may be one or two years later. It is different in a number of features. Most of the period photographs show cars wearing single digit race numbers, (4, 5 & 8) Bernie j.
  2. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello all, Friday morning in East Doncaster (where we live in Aust) tends to be devoted to our weekly Shopping for all the normal things, meat, grocery, fruit and veg etc. This left me with an hour or two to finish the cover for the bursh gear on the generator of if you are frightfully posh the dynamo. I my age group a Dynamo was the little gadget mounted on one side of the front forks of your bicycle. This had a little wheel than ran against the front tyre (tire) to generate the electricity for the head and tail lamp if you were out riding after dark. Either way "it" is now virtually ready to be fitted onto the Fiat engine. Once it is in place with its drive chain fitted and adjusted for tension. I can start thinking about fittine the sump and timing chest cover. Here are some photographs of this afternoon's work. Bernie j.
  3. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello Brodie Thank you. I have been meaning to "touch base" with you. I am slowly learning about Fiats, all the ones that I have owned previously were from the 1950s and later, Topolinos, Millicentos, the 1300/850 based race car and the Osca engined sports roadster. Now one of our sons, Steve, has bought a "kit" of 501 parts too. Work on my 501 has slowed over the past two or three weeks but I still manage to do "something" on it but not every day. My wife, Helen's recovery after her hip replacement takes priority. Bernie j.
  4. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello John All these things I am gradually learning. Having looked in a number of places I now know that the Fiat runs on a 12 Volt system, I still have to discover the polarity. Thanks for asking. Bernie j.
  5. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Getting in ahead of all the people who are wondering what the thread like groove around the waist of the generator is for. The bolt the tightens the clamping action of the mount also runs in this groove turning the generator around on its longitudinal axis allowing the chain drive to be tightened of slackened off. Bj.
  6. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Back to the real "stuff".... I think that today has been quite productive, having finished cleaning the 'brush holders" I could start to re-assemble the generator. After a break for one of Helen's delicious lunches I could get on with the task. This included cleaning up the end of the comutater shaft where it had been dropped at some time in the past. My new set of Metric taps and dies actually got some use with the 12mm x 1.75 die was run down the thread on the end of the shaft and its matching tap run through the nut. This being done the nut threaded its way down the shaft without any need to force it . I will need to take the sprocket out to Steve so he can set it up in his lathe and straighten it. It too appears to have been dropped with the full weight of the generator on it. Considering how long it had been stored and how grotty it was I an happy with the result. only problem is that it may be some time before it will be actually doing anything more. It is chain driven from the front of the timing gears and the chain has to be in place before I can fit either the timing case or the sump. Tomorrows task will be fitting the carbon brushes and completing the internal wiring.
  7. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Getting back to our Lagonda Rapier, for some time I have been concerned, the black fabric tonneau cover was looking very faded and shabby to the extent that while we have not been using the car I felt that a new one would be required to bring the car's appearance up to an acceptable standard. The rest of the car was also looking very dusty and unloved. As a result I decided that even though unused for three or four months It was in need of a wash. Accordingly I started it up and backed it out of the carport, filled a bucket with warm water along with a generous splash of Meguiar's "wash and wax" that I had bought to use on Helen's now ten year old dark red VW Jetta. I gave the Rapier's tonneau a good scrubbing and washed it off with a blast of high pressure cold water. First I was expection that the rinse water would be dirty but to just say dirty would be an under statement. Now that it has dried any thought of replacing the tonneau has gone, it is now again a nice deep black and would not attract a second, derisive, glance at any concours. What ever is in the Synthetic Polymer Technology it has transformed "KG's" tonneau. Normally I would not write in such glowing terms about any car care product but I felt that the dramatic change in the Rapier's tonneau was worth a mention. Anyone puzzled about the "Patch" on the tonneau, this is the sports car equivalent of those leather "elbow patches" on an ageing "Gentleman's" tweed jacket. With no door on the drivers side this is where I place my hand to lever myself out of the seat. Bernie j.
  8. From time to time I mention my Lagonda Rapier on my thread under Our Cars and Restoration Projects/Packard Coupe but I thought that I really should start a thread dealing with Lagonda Rapiers here where they belong. For all those who are blinking and asking "What is a Lagonda Rapier" they are a small British car made for one year in 1934/5, until the Lagonda Company (absolutely nothing to do with Aston Martin until the late1940 when David Brown who had recently bought Aston Martin needed a decent 2 OHC engine and bought Lagonda)went into receivership. After the wash-up the Rapier continued in production, as Rapier Cars Ltd until 1938/9. Lagonda's original design brief to Timothy Ashcroft the engineer in charge of the small team given the task of creating the car was..Produce the best Light Car in the World. The result was a brilliant little sporting car with an 1100cc 2 ohc 4 cylinder engine and an ENV pre-selector transmission. Total combined production of both the Lagonda Rapier and the Rapier was less than 400 cars. To my knowledge there are about half a dozen of these cars in the US. One of the things that make these little cars so interesting (to look at) is that neither factory built a standard production body. EVERY car has an individual coach built body. No two are exactly the same. This is illustrated by the photograph taken yesterday of five of the cars situated in Melbourne Australia. Four are Lagondas and one a Rapier, they all have a body built by a different coachbuilder. Can you tell the difference? Bernie J. oldcar,
  9. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello John I bought it from eBay and I am amazed that it is even working. It is now 9.45 pm our time and it is still keeping up. The clock in the Lagonda needs some work but I have not bothered, it's ticking could be heard inside the house with all the windows and doors closed. Like a lot of car clocks, if I remove it from the dashboard and place it on its back on a shelf in my "study". It may run for a day or two then again it may need to be put either face down of on its side. It too is a Smiths Clock but a small 2 inch with Lagonda written across the dial. IF we manage to do another overseas trip with the Rapier I may go to the trouble of having it "over-hauled". It has been suggested that I could possibly have a small battery/electric fitted into the case. Bj.
  10. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Changing the subject ever so slightly and going back to the Fiat, I now have the Smiths Rim Wind clock. After giving it a gentle wind, not "fully" in respect of its age and rarity and I was somewhat disappointed when I could not hear it "ticking". Not feeling too optimistic I set the hands to 12.00 (Midnight) and left it on my desk. It was not until a day or two later that I noticed that the "Hands had moved". Slightly doubtful, I reset it back to 12.00 again and gave the rim another gentle twirl, I still cannot hear any sign that it is running but again after leaving it over-night the hands had moved yet again. Still doubtful I have again reset the hands to the present time. I will again leave it on my desk and wait to see if it is still running and how well it is "keeping time". Bernie j.
  11. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    To Frank and any other regular followers of this "thread", I am pleased to say the Helen's hip replacement surgery has been a complete success and I am due to collect her from hospital tomorrow morning. Bernie j. 53 319.
  12. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    It may take you a little while to understand, It is one of PGW's later works being written in1960. He was first published in 1902 and wrote about 130 books, I have a small collection including some of his earlier work including his second book, A Prefect's Uncle (1903) and one other pre WW1. The 1913 "The Little Nugget". Probably his most prolific period was "between the wars". He lived in and wrote about life in America for a number of years. You probably need some understanding of "life of the English upper crust during the 1920s & 30s" .The sort of people who bought Lagondas when they were new in the 1930s. That and the role played by some of the "Buttlers" employed by these people, It is all a bit "tongue in cheek". I have just finished reading "Barmy in Wonderland' written in America in 1952 and basically talks about the trials and tribulations of a young "English-man's" efforts to break into "Show Business"in America. I will now start to re-read Jeeves in the offing. I do hope that you enjoy his somewhat strange sense of humour. From time to time I threaten to sell my "collection" but never seem to quite get around to it.# Pip Pip Bernie j. # Or, as one of my very English friends would insist "get a round toit"........
  13. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hello again I know I am constantly singing the praises of the enthusiastic people who run the Rapier Register. Todays mail brought the copy of the new Register for this year. I would be happy to be proved wrong but I know of no other car club run entirely by volunteers than provide the members with so much information that is brought up to date at least once a year. I must remind you that the combined production of both Lagonda Rapiers and the Rapier Car Company's very small number of cars produced amount in total to just under 400 cars. I will not attempt to copy all 44 pages but give you a typical example but first I must remind you the the membership of the Register amounts to just 166 First I will reproduce the Registrar's "Notes" You may like to note that in the UK unlike some other countries, cars registered during the 1920s, 30s & 40s kept the same registration number for their "life". i.e. My Rapier first registered in Cardiff Wales, KG 5363 on 8th June 1935 has kept this number for the whole of its UK life and for the purposes of the Register is still known by this number today, 83 years later! So as not to breach the confidence of my fellow members I will only show the information related to myself and my own car as an example of the thoroughness of the Registrars. The current membership amounts to 166 world wide. The first section of the "Register" amounts to the Members details. These details occupy the first 16 pages. The next section relates directly to :- As you can see this covers all the essential details of each car. Again out of respect to the other members privacy I shall use my own car as an example. The next listing covers a total of 42 Cars with known Chassis numbers but unknown Registration numbers. Finally the cars are listed by their Chassis numbers where this is known Lagonda's Chassis Number Engine Number Original UK Registration Number The next to last two or three pages are devoted to the winners of the three "Club Trophies". The Ashcroft Trophy awarded in memory of Tim Ashcroft the Designer of the Rapier, This is awarded for "Sporting Achievements" being first awarded in 1960. The next trophy is the Baily Trophy first awarded in 1968 and up until 1978 for voluntary services to the Register then from 1979 for the best car (Concours) at the AGM. The third trophy is the ElderTrophy awarded in memory of Elliot Elder one of the founding members. This is awarded in recognition of exceptional voluntary service to the Register. The Final page is devoted to an alphabetical listing of current members including their "membership Number. In total over the years since the Register's founding in 1956 some 1110 Rapier owners have joined the Register. Present membership is 166 owning between them 185 cars. Bernie j. For some unknown reason I am unable to delete the duplicated heading below!
  14. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Oh dear! Frank how you have misjudged me. Here it is just 9.52 am and I have already washed last nights dinner dishes and this mornings breakfast things, made the bed and still have found time to look at the Forum and reply to you. I will venture out into the "garage" shortly. It is a chilly morning here in East Doncaster but at least yesterdays rain seems to have gone. I have all but dismantled both generators and have found a friendly Auto Electrician who will test both armatures on his "growler". The same person has asked if I will come and "take away" a collection of Fiat 501 parts that he would be pleased to get rid of. This will have to wait for a week or two until "H" is back on her feet. The other problem is that the Auto-electrician's establishment is on the other side of town, about two and a half hours drive away. It is another hour drive each way for our son Steve who will come with me in his large (2 ton) VW van. While you are looking at the map, he lives at Yarra Junction. Bernie j.
  15. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hi-ya-all Not too much movement on the "KG" front for the moment. My life partner and navigator 'Helen' has just this afternoon had surgery to replace her right hip joint with some state of the art modern engineering. I have no doubt that she will be out and about "telling me where to go" very soon. She is seen here re-arranging our luggage at the "Pit-counters" at the Historic Reims circuit in Northern France. Having enlarged the photograph I can see that there is a "rally plate" on the front of the Rapier, This is from the Lagonda Club's "Champagne Rally" held in 1999 to celebrate the Centenary of the Lagonda Company. Since then the "touring": luggage rack on the rear of "KG" has been modified to lower its centre of gravity and to cut down wind resistance. Bj.
  16. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Now back to more mundane things.....Regarding the generator, having sent all the spiders on their way, dragging their webs behind them, I have now dismantled fully one generator/dynamo and have just one recalcitrant screw to remove before I can take the second one apart, Next week I will take both armatures to be checked on a “growler”. If one of the two proves to be ok I can reassemble one generator, the second one had a crack through the aluminium section of the housing, making it good only for spares. I should have sufficient usable carbon brushes to assemble one generator. While I am feeling “sparky” I may as well look at at least one of my four starter motors.In the past I have used the Indian Gentlemen at Springvale to rewind my armatures. Do any of the Melbournians reading this know of any other friendly armature winders?As the Rice Bubble adverts used to tell us,Snap Crackle and Pop!Nice clear blue sparks are said to be sign of a healthy electrical leak,usually the smoke comes “shortly” after.Bernie j.
  17. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello Paul I have uncovered a real "Pandora's box" of info through the link you found. This link took me to some very good videos from the same person "fiatguy" he made a series of videos about his experiences working on his Fiat. Just what I saw in a few minutes will have saved me a whole lot of trouble when dismantling the rear axle. Thank you. Bernie j.
  18. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    In my last post, as opposed to my final post, I discussed the condition of the timing gears, I have now reversed my opinion and have decided to use the ones that came with the motor. The gear on the crankshaft is in itself quite different to any I have looked at before. The diagram in the parts book barely does it justice, the parts 47366 & 7 hold the key to what the gear is. In fact it comes as a composite of 16 parts. These are the two main parts of the gear, an inner and an outer, the two springs, the two "plungers" for the want of a better description, the two (front and back covers),and the four bolts and four nuts that hold it all together. When I first looked at this the four nuts were sufficiently loose to allow a certain amount of "lash" between the main parts. These have now been replaced with four new "stainless steel' bolts and the nuts tighened and fixed in place with "lock-tight".(For the purpose of the photograph the motor is standing upside down.) The sprocket shown in the second photograph is attached to the front of the camshaft, fibre, timing gear provides the chain drive to the dynamo (Generator). The spots of white paint are there to "high-light" the timing marks. After the timing case is replaced the pulley for the belt drive for the cooling fan is fitted to the extended "nose" of the camshaft. The purpose of the spring cushioned drive incorporated into the crankshaft gear is to protect the fibre camshaft gear from any tendency to "lash" at low engine revs. For all this to work effectively The four bolts would need to be sufficiently loose to permit some movement. Rightly or wrongly I decided to fill the "space" between the two main halves of the crankshaft gear with silastic (silicone) leaving the springs and plungers in place and fully tighten the four nuts. Some traces of this still have to be cleaned off. (It is slightly mind boggling what becomes evident with close-up photography.) The one disadvantage of all this is that I will not be able to complete the assembly of this front section of the motor until after I have rebuilt the generator. Again due to the idiosyncrasies in the design of the engine I cannot finally replace the sump until after I have fitted the timing case (cover). Likewise I had to remove the sump (again) before I could start any of the above work ! I have been unable to do any constructive work today, we are "enjoying" the first taste of our winter with forecasts of day-time temperatures down into single figures (Centigrade), of gale force wind and snow on the nearby mountains. BRRRRRR. Bernie j. 4627
  19. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hi Frank Sorry no hot toddy, just the regular glass of a good Australian "red". The bottle for today & tomorrow (4 glases per bottle, one each for two days) is a Shiraz, depending on which row I choose the next bottle from it may be another Shiraz or a Cab-Sav. These are our daily "quaffers". Special occasions may call for a wine from a different shelf and/or possibly an Australian "Sparkling". Very special occasions may call for a bottle of French Champers! The Fiat Club "Spares" are currently working on having a small batch of head gaskets for 501s made. So I will wait to see the outcome of their efflorts. Meanwhile the Fiat engine has found a couple of new tricks. I learnt (was told) today that I have to take the sump off again to fit the timing gear cover. While looking at that I have decided that the timing gears including the magneto/water pump drive gears out of the "junk motor" are actually much better than the original ones that came with this motor so they have to come out too. Life is just full of little surprises. Bj.
  20. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    ok Ok OK, perhaps I was a little outspoken in the last paragraph of my previous post #169. BUT That is exactly how I was feeling after an extremely frustrating day out in the open kneeling on cold concrete while trying to do a tidy job of re-assembling the Fiat motor. Apart from putting the last two valves back in and adjusting the tappets that job is done. What next? Bj. 4462.
  21. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    The Fiat Club "Spares" are currently working on having a small batch of head gaskets for 501s made. I would sooner wait to see the outcome of their efforts than be seen as working contra to their efforts. If this fails I have had good results from the head gaskets I have had made by the man at Warrandyte for the Rapier and depending what happens with the Fiat Club I can always get him to make one (or more) for me or alternatively order three from the people in Italy. That would be one each for my son Steve and myself and one for the shelf. There is a small saving in the cost of postage by getting three. Much as I would like to think otherwise it will be some months before I really will need the head gasket. The good thing about side valves is that the head can be the last thing to be bolted onto the car so there is no urgent panic. In the meantime I need to focus on getting the car up to a rolling chassis so I can make a start on the body etc etc. This really needs to be my first priority as while the chassis is stuck on stands it creates problems with the small amount of space I have to work in. All the people living on acres and acres of space with 8 & 10 car airconditioned garages can please go away quietly now. Especially all those who do not know which end of a spanner to pick up. Added to that list are those who consider flicking the dust off one or another of the cars in their collection as doing a days work. That is a job that should be delegated to their "Man". Bj .
  22. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Thank you Craig I still have a lot to do before I have to worry about the head gasket, First I have to put the bottom end back together again. If you look at my previous post #150, you may get some idea what has to be done. My main problem is that there is only the one person to do it all. But having said that it is my choice so I cannot complain. Bernie j.
  23. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    The Fiat Club "Spares" had a small sample batch of head gaskets made locally but the first lot were rejected. It may well be some time before I will really need to put the head (back?) onto the engine. There is no shortage of other things I need to do. Cleaning up, assembling and painting the rear axle assembly comes to mind. I should at least have a look inside the gearbox too, then of course there is at least a week's work sorting out the brakes, realistically more like a month. These among other things will need new cables. Really the order that things need to be "done" is... to finish assembling the engine then before the gearbox a clutch has to be assembled onto the flywheel, then the gearbox comes next. only with it in place can I look at the brakes but before the brakes I need to have the back axle assembly fitted. I cannot mount the steering box etc until the engine is installed in the chassis. If you are starting to feel a little giddy, spare a thought for the poor, feeble, old, octogenarian who has to do all the work. Just one pair of hands and a couple of boxes on assorted spanners. Most of the work will need to be done outside as the space inside the "garage" is almost non-existant. That is at least until the Fiat is standing on it's wheels and can be pushed about. All this before I even start to think about the body etc etc etc etc ad infinitum. AND do not forget that WINTER is just around the corner down here in Australia. Then there is a constant reminder that this project has to be finished and sold by March next year IF we are to have one last trip to the UK, France and some other parts of Europe........... But before that I will have to give the Rapier a total "front to rear" service, this will probably include relining the brakes. Bj.
  24. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    More advanced thinking, I am talking to the Czech supplier of these Bohemian Lions to go on the drivers side of the scuttle either there or on the LH side bottom corner of the radiator core. A salute to Madam Junkova. .
  25. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello Craig Yes, I already have two oil presure gauges and at least one Amp meter. I also have the dash-board electric's control box and one Speedo. It will be a little time before I need to screw the Dash-board into the scuttle. Bj.