oldcar

1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

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I have just had a phone call from "Paul" my Vintage friendly Radiator repair man. He tells me that the Fiat Radiator is now internally clean, water tight and ready to be collected. All I need to do is go out and rob a couple of Banks.  I should not complain, at least he is prepared to work on (almost)  100 year old radiators. 

The other good thing was that there were no leaks in the "honeycombe" core.

 

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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The next thing will be to decide whether to polish the brass outer shell or to paint it. I am leaning towards painting as this is how the factory would have delivered it.

Looking again at the photograph of Madam Junek's Fiat, there is no argument, her car definitely had the Radiator painted in the body colour.

All the period photographs of the factory Targa Florio cars, also show painted radiators which makes it only "proper" that my car should also have a painted radiator.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Meanwhile, there is no shortage of work to be done, with this in mind, starting from the front I have fitted up one front spring and hopefully before today is out I will have the front axle in place. My last job  yesterday was to lift the front half of the chassis so I could move the "horse" that is supporting the chassis back to give clear access to the spring mounting points. This also involved moving the chain supporting my "chain block" forward.

These days I am simply not strong enough to support the front of the chassis with one hand while I moved the support with the other.

Bj.

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It's amazing what one person can do alone with some thought put towards the task. :)

 

About a year ago I had an automatic transmission from one of my Studebakers that needed to get up onto the workbench. 20 years ago I would have just jerked it up there but I'm a little smarter (cautious) now. After gathering all the cribbing (blocks of 4x4, 2x4, 2x6, etc wood) that I'd saved, plus a couple of plastic milk crates, I slowly cribbed it up to the level of the workbench. About 10 minutes later my neighbor showed up........oh well, it was fun to prove to myself I could do it alone.

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Hi Paul

It is a great feeling to know that you can still keep a couple of yards ahead of the Grim Reaper!

 How long is it since the Chassis and front axle looked like this?

The job is in fact two days behind. The two days I spent making four plates to hold the four bolts each to secure the front axle to the springs.The first pair of plates I made to suit the spacing for the rear axle.

While I was looking this morning in one of the buckets holding an assortment of nuts and bolts that I found the four original "U" bolts  complete with washers and nuts, all nicely held together with a length of wire. A few minutes on the wire brush and they were ready to fit. I am still looking for the (pre WW2) metric nuts to screw on to the shackle pins.

Metric nuts and bolts changed the range of basic sizes and thread pitch after WW2. Don't take my word for it ask any Bugatti restorer.

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Still cooking along Bernie!  It looks great.  Do you do anything to the U bolts after you clean them up to keep them from rusting?

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Hi Frank

They have to come off again to be painted, They were "trial assembled" to make sure that they were the correct ones and that they were long enough to fit. 

 

NZ CN

Like most 95 year old basket case cars there is a mixture of nuts & bolts. It is almost impossible to buy new the correct "Pre WW2" Metric". As I commented in my earlier post #130.  

About 30+ years ago I bought a Fiat roadster which was sold new with the OSCA 1500 Twin Cam Engine. It had the engine dismantled and all the nuts and bolts had been lost or thrown away. The Maserati Brothers were responsible for the OSCA marque having sold the Maserati "Name" before the war. They had retained all their Pre-war tooling so it had the earlier type metric threads. A local Bugatti restorer was able to supply me with everything I needed, unfortunately at "Bugatti prices".

Below is a photograph of the Fiat Osca in "race trim", with a Mini parked next to it to demonstrate its size. 

 

Bj.5ad7d7e7984d4_FiatOsca022.thumb.jpg.fd3855097b9a6b8ac49ba955c5a0a424.jpg

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Hi Frank

They have to come off again to be painted, They were "trial assembled" to make sure that they were the correct ones and that they were long enough to fit. 

NZ CN

Like most 95 year old basket case cars there is a mixture of nuts & bolts. It is almost impossible to buy new the correct "Pre WW2" Metric". As I commented in my earlier post #130.  

About 30+ years ago I bought a Fiat roadster which was sold new with the OSCA 1500 Twin Cam Engine. It had the engine dismantled and all the nuts and bolts had been lost or thrown away. The Maserati Brothers were responsible for the OSCA marque having sold the Maserati "Name" before the war. They had retained all their Pre-war tooling so it had the earlier type metric threads. A local Bugatti restorer was able to supply me with everything I needed, unfortunately at "Bugatti prices".

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New addition to the fold.

Yesterday my son Steve, his son Otto and I drove the 250kms (and another 250 return) to the Victorian country town of Stawell to rescue another dismantled early 1920s Fiat 501. This one part of a deceased estate has been stored in pieces for over 50 years. It appears to be very near to mechanically complete. Steve is very excited and anxious to start work on it.

 

BjDSCN5948.thumb.jpg.b9beb1616db29b4d55b9faad79af7a39.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Not to be left out our daughter Anna has sent me the following thought for today.

Something that the Dali Lama has said.

"Our overly materialistic lifestyles are wasteful and come at great environmental cost. If we don’t change our ‘advanced’ patterns of consumption, humanity's thirst for natural resources will be unsustainable. Overexploitation of the natural environment is generating crises at local and global levels. Nations pursuing rapid economic growth must take the lead in finding new, more sustainable paths of development."

 

I absolutely agree with these principals and I believe that by conserving our old cars rather than going out and buying a new one every 12/18 months that we are all in our own way doing what we can to preserve the world so that future generations may enjoy it.

 

Bj.

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Hello Paul

That person in the blue  shirt is certainly Steve, he is our second son and probably the one who most takes after his father. Also in the photo is his son Otto, who poor boy, is car crazy too! You can only just see him right at the edge of the photograph. Otto is Steve's second son. Thinking about all this I am reminded that I am a second son too! I am also the one in my family who most took after my father.  

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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That is so interesting about the second sons in your family!

 

So, does Steve's car have a complete body, or will he be following your lead and building a 'speedster'?

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Hi Paul

Steve's Fiat also came without a body so he will need to build something too. Knowing Steve it is almost certain that the body he is likely to build will be much more ambitious than the basic style that I intend to build but all that is a long way ahead of us, or as we say here in Australia a long way down the track (road). In the words of old WW1 song. "It is a long long trail a winding.........."

Now for yesterday's photographs. Not very much but perhaps interesting. These show the "gate" for the gearchange and hand brake and the brake adjustment. This later is very "didderent", The two opposed sections have left and right hand threads. The brass piece in the middle has  internal matching threads. as it is turned using a large spanner on the hex in the middle the two parts which have the brake cables anchored to the lug each end either move closer together to effectively shorten the cable or by turning in the other direction loosens the two cables. These cables pass through the two brake operating levers at either end of the mechanism going to either of the brake drums on each rear wheel. The two small dome headed screws at the ends of the the two sections holding the ends of the cables project into a groove machined length wise along the tube tha holds it all in place, this prevents that piece rotating but allows it to move along the tube. The brass "nut" has an internal groove machined around the centre with a matching spring loaded "peg" that permitts it to turn but not to move laterally.  All this is most ingenious and must have taken a brilliant mind to work it all out.

I am possibly a little "nutty" myself but I find that unravelling these little mysteries fascinating and that this contributes a major part of the enjoyment of  "messing about with old motor cars." Perhaps even more than driving them.

Going back over the above, it may go some way to explaining why, having completed one "restoration" I cannot wait to return to the "battle field" to rescue another "basket case".

The Photograph of the gear change "gate is intended to show a small repair to the gate. A small section about one quarter of an inch long had been broken out of the "rib" between the hand brake and the gear change. This is quite thin. To replace the missing piece I bent a short piece of welding wire into a very tight "U" so that it just filled the gap. I very carefully using my Oxy/acetelyene torch ran some bronze to hold it all in place then not wanting to risk melting the brass any further, I filled up  the surface with some solder, As there is no stress applied to this section of the gate when in use, I am reasonably confident that It will be OK.

 

If you can follow all that you are going well.

To all the "Show Ponies and Concours Queers" I am not about to start polishing all the brass to a mirror finish! It will be clean very much as It left the factory.

 

Bernie j.

 

BjDSCN5954.thumb.JPG.b52caddc5d5d73ef25d17125838a6b24.JPGDSCN5952.thumb.JPG.c2644dbc7c47ba7426bf5a19ff7c472f.JPG

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hello Again

Among all the "stuff" we collected with Steve's Fiat was a smallish cardboard box containing even smaller containers, This had been up about 50 years ago the speedo. Two days later Steve has sent me the attached photograph.

 

Bj

image1.JPG.3d476ab81fef647dfd691a84bab8d17b.JPG

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12 hours ago, oldcar said:

Hello Again

Among all the "stuff" we collected with Steve's Fiat was a smallish cardboard box containing even smaller containers, This had been up about 50 years ago the speedo. Two days later Steve has sent me the attached photograph.

 

Bj

image1.JPG.3d476ab81fef647dfd691a84bab8d17b.JPGOh, now that is a good looking speedo!

 

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Yes, that speedo is very interesting. It looks like the odometer is made up of separate discs that are mounted parallel to the face, as opposed to the more modern (pre-digital) rotating drums.

 

I was looking on Wikipedia at "odometer" and there is a picture of an almost identical Smiths speedometer:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odometer

 

Neat stuff Bernie! That's why I like your threads, I see stuff I wouldn't otherwise ever see. :)

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Thank you Frank

I was pretty amazed but then I had seen the little containers that were holding the totally dismantled speedo.

 

Hi Paul

Smiths speedos used that rotating disc arrangement for their Speedos for quite a long time. At least into the 1930s.

 

Bj.

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Bernie,

That speedo is pretty much identical to mine on the Rover! Little lever on the top to reset the trip? Re the Fiat Osca pic, I worked with an American in Tassy in the 70s who brought one of those with him from from the US. Failed to proceed once, took a while to find the distributor drive had sheared .

jp 26 Rover 9

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Smith's Instruments were used in quite a number of English cars, I do not know about all the other Fiat 501s but their speedo seems to have been used in a number of 501 I have looked at. I do not know any more than that. The small instruments, oil pressure and amp meter are certainly not Smiths but then I have only started looking at Fiats in the last month or two so I am a very long way from being an expert. You could say that as far as Fiats are concerned I am just a beginner. I do however try to learn something new every day.

The one thing that I can say is that they are very different in almost every aspect to anything else from the same period.

For example even little things such as the hand brake actuation and more especially the adjustment, is totally different to anything I have seen in 60 years of working on vintage motor cars.

Stay around and you too may learn something.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Now another day and by no co-incidence another month. Today is the First of May and the year is passing by rapidly.

I have just returned from Crankshaft Rebuilders bring the freshly bored and honed cylinder block, newly surface ground cylinder head and four pistons and con-rods with me so these is no excuse preventing me from getting on and assembling the Fiat motor. The one thing that I still need to organise is a cylinder head gasket. If the Fiat Club spares cannot supply one I will need to organise to have one made.

My first task for this afternoon is to sort out a set of valves and to grind them in to suit the block.

 

 

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Prior to collecting the engine bits I had spent much of yesterday rubbing back the paint on the radiator surround so it is also now in the queue to receive  a final coat of paint. There was just one small area that required a little additional filler, that too has now hardened sufficiently for me to give it a light going over with some fine sand-paper.

 

Bj

 

DSCN5958.jpg.9e72848f7072acb4ef8986006a8be242.jpg

 

Bj.

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A well spent afternoon, this has seen the eight valves cleaned up on the wire brush, then lapped in with first coarse and then fine grinding paste to achieve a nice even ring of matt finish before installing them in the block.  Next job was to sort out the pistons and con-rods. Fitting the pistons and rings was a breeze as there is a suitable chamfer on the bottom of the bores that leads the rings into the bottom of the cylinder perfectly, with just a little pressure applied to the end of the rod.

It is now time for"pre-dinner drinks" so I will organise some photographs tomorrow.

First job for the morning will be to "sort out" the cam-followers/tappets and make a heavy paper gasket to go between the crankcase and the block before I can put the two together. The big-ends of the connecting rods can then be refitted to the crankshaft and the rest of the "bottom-end" assembled.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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A well spent afternoon, this has seen the eight valves cleaned up on the wire brush, then lapped in with first coarse and then fine grinding paste to achieve a nice even ring of matt finish before installing them in the block.  Next job was to sort out the pistons and con-rods. Fitting the pistons and rings was a breeze as there is a suitable chamfer on the bottom of the bores that leads the rings into the bottom of the cylinder perfectly, with just a little pressure applied to the end of the rod.

It is now time for"pre-dinner drinks" so I will organise some photographs tomorrow.

 

Bj.

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