oldcar

1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

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That was yesterday so here they are. These should be self explanatory.............. I have one broken off exhaust manifold stud to be removed. The next trick will be to remove the other three withoutbreaking them too. But first I need to attach the block to the crankcase.

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Oops! I have just noticed that I had left two photographs behind. The first of these two should need no explanation other than to draw your attention to the original manufactures marking on the piston top showing which way they should be facing. The other is a little more tricky, it shows the brass mesh over the "breathing hole" into the back of the valve chest. It's importance may not be imediately obvious. You will have to wait to see just what it's role in life is.?

 

Bj.

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It is a well known fact that the highly skilled engineers of the Fiat design staff were recognised not only for the innovative designs but also for their bubbling sense of humour. It was always possible for their fellow commuters to recognise the Fiat employees by their shy smiles and little chuckles as they made their way home each night.

Why was this so? Between the drawing office staff they had little daily competitions to see who could set the most diabolical trap for the young and inexperienced mechanics who would get to work on their engines.

I have just encountered "trap for young players #70975422".

It was an easy task to lap in and fit the valves with the cylinder block up on my work bench.

GOT YA! or words of equivalent meaning in Italian!

When it comes time to bolt the block down on the crankcase it is completely impossible to fit two of the nuts. To do this it is imperative to remove two valves, the very front one and the very rear one.

You can just see one of the two studs and it's nut in the attached photograph. You can just about tighten it with a ring spanner after you have ground away any surplus metal from the outside of the ring.DSCN5967.jpg.7547f81a000741dd56ad2b0799929e34.jpg

 

Smile!

Bj.

 

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Interesting info and pics Bernie. The traps you speak of...........I sometimes call them "lovable quirks" when they are on an older car. 😀

 

But, on the new modern cars, I call these "traps" by other names that I won't repeat here.  They are one of the reasons I despise working on new/modern cars (and thankfully do so only infrequently). 

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Thank you Paul

your comments are always welcome.

 

Going back to #152 and the little brass mesh and more importantly, what lies beyond it.This aperture opens into the rear of the valve chest. From there the incoming air is taken across the motor via an opening between cylinders 2 & 3. (Photo 3.) and is drawn into the carburettor, taking in warm air to assist early running when the outside air is cold. This is aided by two adjustable openings on either side of the carburettor. (Photos 5) These supply air to the carburettor under normal conditions. I am still undecided as to, what to do about the damage to the brass gauze covering the opening at the rear of the block. Normally this is tucked away out of sight at the rear of the motor.

First I will try straightening out the mesh with a fine pointed "pick". Long before that I have to turn the motor over so I can fit the big-end bearing "caps" and then replace the sump. Unfortunately unless I can find an alternative supplier I will have to wait until the Fiat Club "Spares" get another supply of cylinder head gaskets.  This is not a huge problem as I think I have enough alternative "jobs" to do on the Fiat.

 

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Thank you Mike

Here in Australia we have to be very careful, anything containing even very small particles of ASBESTOS are banned imports. Head gaskets purchased from overseas sources will almost certainly be seized and destroyed by our aptly named "Border Force". There are people here who will make asbestos free head gaskets to the original pattern. It is just that they are mainly small operations and you go into the queue and wait your turn, anything up to two or three months. I will send an email to the people you have very  kindly found for me but I will not hold my breath.

Traditionally head gaskets were made with two thin copper sheets with a layer of asbestos mat sandwiched in between. 

Bernie j.

 

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie, I have been studying the pictures of the opening in the block with the wire mesh, and the adjustable air inlets on each side of the carb. Is there some type of thermostatic valve in the carb that 'shuts off' the air being drawn across the valve chest once the engine is fully warmed up?

 

Also, I assume that there is no type of air filtration prior to going into the carb -- under normal (engine at operating temperature) conditions the air is pulled from the engine compartment thru the two adjustable openings and into the carb venture?

 

I apologize if I am missing something really "obvious" here, but I don't know much about these late 'teens and early twenties cars. :)

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Oh Dear Paul !

You have led sheltered life, one lacking almost entirely in adventure! There were no such things as thermostatic controls or air filtration in the teens & early twenties. Manufacturers assumed that the owner/drivers of their cars were practical people who could manage these things unaided.

"Manual" was the only way to go, using your very own fingers to make these  simple adjustments even though it meant that you had to stop, getup of the car and open the "hood" to make them. There were two of the rotating shutters on the carburettors, one on each side so you could regulate the flow of air into the carburettor. Once "warmed up"and out on the road all you needed to do was to get out of the car, check the temperature by placing your hand on the top of the radiator, open the "hood" and make the necessary adjustment, close the "hood" get back into the car and drive off, Very careful people may have walked around the car and checked the level of fuel in the tank, made sure that the tires were all still inflated, given the windscreen a wipe and made sure that all the doors were properly closed before driving on. Ultra cautious people may have further checked the water temperature by placing their hand on the out side of the radiator core first at the top and then lower down towards the bottom. In excessively cold weather it may have been necessary to adjust the blind or "muff" on the front of the radiator.

 

Bernie j.

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I guess I have lived a sheltered live Bernie! :):lol:  The oldest car I've ridden in is a 1927 Ford Model T, so I've had little exposure to teens and twenties cars. They do fascinate me, however -- some are so simple, but some (like your Lagonda) are so mechanically sophisticated.

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Hello Paul

Even the simple ones like the Fiat have their complications. I am now in the process of completely dismantling two Fiat engines.

I mistakenly thought that because the oil pump is one of the last things to go on that I could insert the oil pump drive from the bottom.

 

Uh Uh, not so, it has to be one of the first things to go in. This is a "spare (junk) motor that I dismantled yesterday to check how it was assembled before undoing my last weeks work. 

The oil pump screws onto the outside bottom of the sump. The drive is taken off the rear of the camshaft.

 

Bj

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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.

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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.

.two_tailed_czech_lion_a.jpg.423d5abd5d29a8ddc8942d37c2f82814.jpg 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie,

 

I didn't know you had both those gauges.

 

Regarding the head gasket, I'm sure there has to be one in Australia, as there were hundreds+ of 20's FIAT's come to Australia.

 

If you get very desperate, I know a couple of 501 people I can ask. And at the worst, I remember reading about a company that rebuilt copper-asbestos-copper head gaskets in Australia.

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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.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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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.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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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                                                                                                                                                                   .two_tailed_czech_lion_a.jpg.fe64dc358758d6ccef124be07b04190f.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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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.                                           

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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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.

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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. 

 

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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.)

 

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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

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie, saw this on YouTube, 1923 Fiat 501 running with a coin balanced on it's edge on the head! Thought you might like this, if you haven't already seen it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnO2vrSvHpI   (And it's an Australian coin too :)

 

And a couple of 501's with speedster-type bodies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfEDdNYGnho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Swoy0DMfU

 

You have probably seen these too, but I thought that others that follow this thread might like them.

Edited by r1lark (see edit history)

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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.

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