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1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio


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Hello Bernie

It is good news that the bottom end is so healthy. Does it appear rebuilt or low mileage? Hopefully you have other components in such condition.

Did Melbourne Motor Bodies ever produce a catalogue of the bodies they produced? The 1928 Riley Nine roadster project was reputed to be a Melbourne Motor Bodies product however there were no body plates with it.

Have you seen this 501 with a Melbourne Motor Bodies?

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Matthew

Edited by falconriley
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Thank you for including the interestion Fiat photographs, The colour shown on the tourer is very near my choice of Old Indian Red.

I haven't looked for any information re The Melbourne Motor Body Co but I am sure than somewhere on the internet there is a fund of Information.

Attached photograph is of the Fiat parts ready to go to be sand-blasted and primed.

It is essential to get some primer on as soon as possible after sand blasting as the bare metal is very prone to rust; almostwhile you are looking at it. I am sending 8 wheels and then I can pick out the six best to be used on the Fiat.

N.B.  I am NOT sending the radiators to be sand-blasted.

 

Bj

 

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Bj

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Trove tells us this about Melbourne Motor Body Co. 
MELBOURNE MOTOR-BODY CO.
The name of the Melbourne Motor Body
and Assembling Co. Pty. Ltd. has been
changed from February 24 to Ruskin
Motor Bodies Pty. Ltd. The original
company was formed in 1905 in
South Melbourne by Tarrant Motors
to undertake body building solely for that
firm. Expansion of business led to a move
to Exhibition street, and later to Lonsdale
street, where bodies were made for the
Allied Motors group. In 1925 it was de-
cided to reorganise the business as an
entirely separate company to build for the
trade in general, and £300,000 was spent
on a plant in Dudley street, West Mel-
bourne. Mr. P. L. Strong is the managing
director, and Mr. R. G. Fernie is the general
manager of the company, which has ob-
tained contracts for bodies for many
British, European, and American cars. Ex-
cept for the change of name there has been
no alteration in the constitution of the
company.
 
For the complete story on Coach-building and the Australian Motor Body Industry
There is a fund of information from the 1890s to present day.
 
Bernie j.
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FAMOUS LAST WORDS........

How often have you heard this? Often about cars that have just been pulled out of a barn after a nice long sleep.

Yup! It turns over nicely and has quite good compression, the oil on the dip stick looks nice and clean, we will just top up the oil pan and see how it runs?DSCN5900.thumb.jpg.2067564c95c6ddc13a972d9f7d089cd3.jpg

 

Look again, the oil pump "pick up" is buried somewhere under all that gunk somewhere in the left hand rear corner. The oil pump drive is directly above it in the left hand rear corner. This is driven by a pair of gears at the rear end of the camshaft. Oil is delivered to the relief valve via the larger of the two holes in the right hand back corner, the excess oil goes back into the oil pan via the slightly smaller of the two holes. Oil is fed at full pressure to the three main bearings then via drillings in the crankshaft to the big-end bearings. Other oil is delivered to the timing gears, camshaft bearings, etc. 

The oil level is shown in the little round window via the round black ball (float) in the centre. There is a fine mesh screen halfway up above the oil level attached by the 18 round head screws that go into the lugs cast into the side of the oil-pan. All oil going back into the pan goes through this screen. Excess oil from the main bearings etc drains back via the pipe in the centre of the left hand side.  All very neat and well thought out for what was a low to medium priced car in 1920/23. Absolutely no "spit and hope" or "splash with a dash" as with so many of the comparable cars of the period.

Looking at the diagram (below), the small gear directly behind the main timing gears drives a cross shaft that in turn drives the water pump at one end and the magneto at the other...... Oil is also delivered at full pressure to the three camshaft bearings.

Someone in the design department at Fiat in 1920 had their "thinking hat" on.

 

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Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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The designer of the 501 apparently was  Carlo Cavalli.  Here is some Fiat history:  dante giacosa

 

Carlo Cavalli, born in Val Vigezzo, 1878. Cavalli graduated in Law,
in accordance with his father’s wishes, but his real love was engineering.
In 1905 he entered Fiat’s technical office and immediately gave
proof of his powers. In 1919 he was officially appointed director of
this office and retained the post until 1928, when he was forced
through illness and exhaustion to retire to his native valley.
He had the merit of having been the first to fit a racing engine with a
compressor, but the project for which he is remembered is the 501,
the first Fiat auto built in large numbers after the Great War.
He died in 1947 in Santa Maria Maggiore (Novara).

 

Cesare Momo, engineer, born at Carrara in 1876. Shortly after taking his degree in Turin in 1901 he
entered Fiat where he worked under Enrico. He designed the multiple-disk wet clutch which was soon adopted
on all Fiat autos, as well as the rear axle he invented.

 

 I also learnt that the director superior to
Alfano and in charge of the whole Research
Department was Cesare Momo.
Momo, an engineer, was already an elderly
man with wide experience as an expert
designer of automobiles and trucks and an
innate flair for the job. He was small in stature
with fair hair that was on the point of becoming
grey and a moustache tinged yellow from
the nicotine of a stubby “toscano” cigar that
he had constantly clenched between his
lips, whether or not it was it. Spectacles
could not hide the shrewd smile in his clear,
bright eyes. He would tackle any problem
with serene good-nature, maintaining that a
designer should never be afraid of difficulties.
“Why shouldn’t we be up to the job of
designing even an aeroplane or a submarine?
Just study the problems involved and solve
them sensibly,” he would say, smiling pleasantly.
At the same time he would be drawing
the complicated transmission system for a
military transport with four wheel drive and
steering. This taught me a lot, including how
to behave with colleagues and subordinates.
He talked about the great engineers who
had been technical directors with Fiat. There
was Aristide Faccioli, the first head engineer
with Fiat, who left the firm because of clashes
with Giovanni Agnelli over technical policy;
Giovanni Enrico who had also been one of
Momo’s masters; Carlo Cavalli, a law graduate
and a brilliant draughtsman and designer
who started his career under the guidance of
Giovanni Enrico in 1905. Cavalli had designed
the Taunus, Zero and 501, and the 18 NL and
15 Ter trucks. He left Fiat in 1928.

 

 

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Thank you Mike for that valuable insight into the 501. When you look into the Fiats engine design and construction you know instinctively that the person responsible for it's design knew a great deal about internal combustion engines. In the early1920's it must have been years ahead of its contemporaries. I am in the middle of dismantling the engine for what, for the mostpart, will be a clean and re-assemble exercise. Working with such a high quality engine makes the job so much more pleasurable. 

 

Bernie j.

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1 hour ago, oldcar said:

Thank you Mike for that valuable insight into the 501. When you look into the Fiats engine design and construction you know instinctively that the person responsible for it's design knew a great deal about internal combustion engines. In the early1920's it must have been years ahead of its contemporaries. I am in the middle of dismantling the engine for what, for the mostpart, will be a clean and re-assemble exercise. Working with such a high quality engine makes the job so much more pleasurable. 

 

Bernie j.

 

When you see the insides of the earlier Fiats (I had most of a 1916 2B many years ago), you can see that the 501 is a progression of those engines. I note in the info above that Cavalli was responsible for both the Zero and the 501. One thing I remember about the 2B engine was that every piece of it was stamped with the engine number.

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Steve also found this from Motor Sport magazine;

Page 25, July 1951

 

Modernising a 501 FIAT

Vintage enthusiasts generally are against modifying vintage cars. But sometimes an impecunious enthusiast craves improved performance, yet can only afford an elderly chassis. So, keeping an open mind, we present these notes on how that famous car, the 501 FIAT, was made to look and go better than when new.—.ED.

I HAD one of those fine old 501 FIAT cars and drove it many thousands of miles with great satisfaction. Mine was a 1923 model with a heavy English body, and a large vertical screen which was common at that time. After I had driven it for two or three years it seemed to me worth spending time and trouble on to improve the performance. I felt sure that with its very large frontal area drastically put down, and a much lighter body the result might be surprising. It certainly was! About this time I saw a similar car advertised for £6 and went to look at it. To my surprise I found that it had done considerably less mileage than my own, and was in good running order, so I bought it. I had in mind the alterations I wanted to make and yet I didn't want to lay up my car for a longish period. First I stripped off the Italian body and made as near a scale drawing as possible. I then superimposed the proposed alterations, and as this seemed all right I proceeded to make a template of the side member of the chassis; I was aiming at underslinging the back of the car. It may be remembered that these cars were considerably upswept at the rear and were very high off the ground and inclined to roil on corners. There was a cross member about half way between the gearbox and back axle. My idea was to cut the frame in half about 8 ins, in front of the cross member, turn the back half upside down, and rejoin the two halves. I did this to the template and offered it up and all appeared well, so I cut the frame, turned the back over, procured two 1/2 in. steel liners which were a driving fit in the frame (they were about a foot long and secured with three bolts on each side of the cut), and this made a very rigid job. To make doubly sure the actual join was also welded. The spring pads were not a fixture, but able to revolve on the axle, so all I had to do was to turn them over; similarly, the springs were turned upside down and refitted, two or three leaves having been taken out in view of the much lighter body I intended to fit. The axle was now between the spring and frame, and if the car had been designed with this alteration in view it couldn't have been arranged better. Nothing else was required. The frame sloped down towards the back, and I should think the back was lowered about a foot. No alteration was needed at the front end, but the car had no front brakes. So I found a front axle off a 1926 car which had, and bought it and fitted it to the Special.

The steering was very considerably raked, this being easily effected by means of a wedge-shaped casting and longer bolts. The radiator, which was extremely high, was lowered something like 8 ins, and at the same time sloped back and with a rather smart stone guard which I made and a pair of Lucas headlamps the front of the car was entirely altered. Lowering the radiator made it necessary to cut a hole for the starting handle this was beyond me, but a very skilful friend did it and it never gave any trouble.

I have always disliked standing on my head under the scuttle to get at the gearbox, so partly for this reason, and partly for appearance, I brought the scuttle close to the wheel. This resulted in it being much farther back; so giving a long bonnet which, when opened, left the whole works easy of access; modern cars might with great advantage copy the accessibility of these old cars. The new instrument board was covered with engine-turned aluminium, which looked very nice but nearly wore out my thumb doing it with a piece of emery cloth!

Both gear and brake levers were cut down, as the seat was now much lower. The dash tank was replaced by one at the rear and an Autovac which I got from a car breaker functioned faultlessly the whole time I had the car. I would vastly rather have one than an electric petrol pump. The engine was stripped and found to be in good condition. The bearings were taken up a little, and it was decided to fit aluminium pistons in place of the rather heavy cast-iron ones. At the same time the cylinders were re-bored, and a Ricardo aluminium head fitted (Ricardo made a standard head for this car, among others). There was a Solex carburetter, but I do not remember whether it was on the car already. This completed the alterations to the chassis.

Any enthusiastic amateur with a decent workshop could have done the same, except for bonnet and wings, which I had specially made. I think many otherwise good jobs are spoilt by trying to do work which is a specialist's job, such as making a bonnet, and if this looks amateurish it spoils the whole thing. The wheels were steel artillery and were retained. At the time when I made this conversion I had a boat builder's shop and some skill in woodwork; so that the body presented no particular difficulty. A light frame was made and covered with three-ply, with felt between the panels and frame at all points Of contact. The panels were covered with black leather cloth put on with croid glue, the joins being covered with aluminium moulding. Before the car went on the road the leather was well coated with polishing wax and it never looked shabby as long as I had it.

There were two bucket seats, useful room for suit cases, and a tonneau cover. The body had two doors, but owing to the right-hand gear and brake levers a really movable seat was essential, otherwise one could not get either in or out without great difficulty. I had never seen a sliding seat which was anything like satisfactory and I decided to make my own idea. I got some fairly heavy angle brass which I screwed to the floor, then I got some of those chair castors which instead of wheels have balls in the bottom. These were fastened to the seat so that they just fitted easily between the angle irons and ran on them like rails. This was a perfect success. I had only to pull a spring-loaded pin, and the whole seat rolled backwards or forwards without effort. Dunlopillo cushions made the seats very comfortable. The inside of the body was also panelled with leather-covered ply, but this was green, with green carpet to match, and green wheels.

The finished job looked very smart and attracted interest wherever I went. There was a hood which folded almost flat, and the spare wheel was carried on the hack. So far as performance went the car exceeded all my expectations. I can best describe it as feeling as though the brakes had been on and someone had suddenly taken them off. The car was much faster, and more lively, in fact it was difficult to believe that it was the same car. The pistons and new head undoubtedly contributed, but I think the great reduction in weight and wind resistance were chiefly responsible. The car was never very fast by present-day standards, but she could and did on many oecasions cover fifty miles in an hour on good roads, without making any special effort, and she kept on month after month with absolute reliability. Altogether this was a most pleasant and economical car to drive and I felt the work done on her more than worth.while. The car was given to a nephew who was killed in the Battle of Britain, but I heard that it was seen going strong long afterwards ; if it is still going, I should very much like to hear from the present owner.

 
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Meanwhile work continues, albeit at a snails pace.... Yesterday I took the crankshaft and flywheel over to my friends at Crankshaft Rebuilders for them to put them into their "Swirl tank" to give it a thorough clean and to then crack test it, just to be sure! Meanwhile to do some cleaning of my own, I bought a box of a dozen "spray cans" of degreaser to clean up the Sump and the Crank case. I find that by buying them "wholesale" it works out at $2.29 per can. While I am waiting for the chassis etc to come back, rather than sitting on my hands, I can make some progress on the motor.

Bj.

 

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Chatting over lunch with my son Steve, we decided that I must be totally mad; To pull a component part of an old motor car apart then put it together again within a given time, say a month or two, is more or less a breeze. To pull it apart and leave it that way, takes very little or no brains at all.

To knowingly go out and buy a car that was taken apart by someone unknown and left for anything up to forty or fifty years and them attempt to find all the pieces and put it all back together is a sure sign of total madness. If it is not just a single component but the whole car which also happens to be an obscure  make and model, then this last option is not just madness but "Notifyable Insanity" and the person attempting this task should be put away in a padded cell..........

 

Bj.

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5 hours ago, oldcar said:

To knowingly go out and buy a car that was taken apart by someone unknown and left for anything up to forty or fifty years and them attempt to find all the pieces and put it all back together is a sure sign of total madness.

 

Bernie, this is a 'good' form of madness - a challenging madness! :) 

 

Plus, if you didn't put it back together, who would?

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Compare this photograph with #45.  I still have to replace the "screen"  but I think that you can get the idea.

The little "ball float" works the level indicator under the glass window with the brass "frame" on the outside of the sump. This is easily viewed by simply opening the bonnet (hood). The copper drain tube on the centre LH side, returns any excess oil splash fed to the valve chamber. The copper tube across the rear of the sump delivers oil from the pump underneath the left hand rear corner to the distribution gallery in the crankcase feeding the main and big end bearings. Oil pump drive is from the rear of the camshaft. The pump drive then goes down through the hole in the top of LH rear corner of the sump to the pump obscured from view in this photograph.

Bj.

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One more little step forward with the motor. Even better news our friendly sand blaster delivered the chassis wheels etc back this afternoon so I cannot complain about having nothing to do. You can tell that the motor is a high performance one ex the factory by the way that the fixing screws for the mesh were all cross drilled to take the "tie wire" to stop them from unscrewing at high revs.  Oops! I will have to go back and start again! Not all the screw-driver slots are perfectly aligned.

Oh bother! That means indivdually machining all the washers to the correct thickness so that the screw-driver slots all line up when they are tightened down......... That could take days if not weeks or perhaps even months. These things simply must be ticketedie-boo!

Bj.

 

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Not only all that but he also picks up and delivers for "special" clients.

 

Now all those people (under forty five) with spacious air conditioned workshops, AND with all the latest in power tools,  "shadow boards" with all their spanners set out is perfect size order, of course clinically clean and with perfect lighting, hot and cold running water etc etc, please take note!

Remember too that I am a 1936 model and probably ready for the scrap-heap.

 

Bj.DSCN5905.thumb.jpg.632b2c1a2edaf677334c782758faec0c.jpg

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Thank you Frank,

I note that you are a 1958 model, your oldest car is just a cople of years Older than you and I doubt that any of your three cars would have started their life with you as "basket-cases". Having said all that, it is not intend to be criticism. It is more likely jealousy on my part. In the past I used to describe myself as an "impecunious enthusiast" but very few people understood exactly what that meant, so I just gave up and concentrated on the job in hand.  I guess that is what I will continue doing. After all I cannot be seen to be "letting the side down". I still have a few goals to score.  The worse part is that with so many wrinkles, I have to scrub so much harder when I wash up at the end of the day!

 

Bernie j.

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You are correct on my vintage Bernie, however my 55 TBird was/is indeed a basket case.  :lol:

 

Definitely no offense taken and I can feel your pain to a certain extent.  I do realize I am lucky with the aftermarket support, but finding some TBird specific parts has been a bit of a challenge.  Since I am a cancer survivor my attitude has been that I can't afford to kick off with my projects undone.  :D

 

With respect to your scrubbing issues, you seem to clean up just fine in all the pics I have seen!  And the Mrs. lets you back in the house!!

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 And the Mrs. lets you back in the house!!

I have sent you a PM about the "C" but on that "Back into the house", only after I leave my work boots at the door.  Re the TBird, there seems to be any number of "New" ones on the road here "Down under", 
 
Bj.
Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie,

 

There is another forum member working on a FIAT. Have you seen it? I found it interesting and thought maybe you would too. It is a 1918 but it looks like there may be similarities with regard to things like the oil pump, feed, copper lines and etc.

 

Article on this 1918 4 cylinder engine - fiat model 55

Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)
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Hello Mike

Yes thank you,  That one is a much bigger car than the 501. Thank goodness my car does not have a magneto like that one. it has a Marelli and just for good measure I have two on the shelf. I will get around to looking at them soon. I have spent today cleaning the outside of the petrol tank and shaking a length of chain around inside it. Lots of loose rust and the outlet tap needs to be resoldered into place. Like nearly everything about the car, the petrol tap it is very nicely made and has a two position arrangement that gives a Main and Reserve position. Still need to find a filler cap for it, this has a male thread and is about 40mmin diameter. Given the Fiat's soon to be new Sporting nature, it may grow an extension to accomodate a "Quick Release" cap, although given its location this may need some thinking about. All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

 

Bernie j.

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15 hours ago, oldcar said:

All will be revealed in the fullness of time!  Bernie j.

Bernie, you sure know how to keep us coming back to your threads! :)

 

Seriously though, I'm looking forward to seeing that chassis painted Indian Red.

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So am I Paul!

I went to buy the paint on Friday afternoon but my local stockist was unable to supply Indian Red in anything bigger than a handy- man "spray can" .

I found something else to do to fill in the time over the weekend. Modifying a pair of 1932 Austin 8hp rear springs to fill the space left by the missing Fiat front spring. I have one "sorted" and ready to paint and the second pulled apart.(I need two, one for each side). They have required some serious wire brushing as they have been resting under a bush in our garden. I use a rotary wire brush attachment on my over worked angle grinder. It was also doing the hard work in cutting several of the spring leaves to the required size using an ultra thin cut-off blade. I have found it better to buy these 4 inch cut-off wheels by the box. 

 

Bj.

 

Back to work!

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Some hours later one  front  spring has been trial assembled, given a coat of primer/undercoat. Next step is to take it all apart to use as a guide for cutting a matching set of "leaves" to make up the second spring of the pair. Ultimately I will be able to assemble the front axle and springs onto the chassis.   Some time soon I will have to make some enquiries about suitable tires but not until the chassis and wheels etc receive their coat of Deep Indian Red.  

Whoever the clever (Australian) politician was who thought up the 40 hour working week really did not know what he was talking about.  A 30 hour day would be of more use.

 

Bernie j.

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7 hours ago, oldcar said:

I went to buy the paint on Friday afternoon but my local stockist was unable to supply Indian Red in anything bigger than a handy- man "spray can" .

Bj.

 

 

 

So is the Indian Red no longer available in cans, or does it just need to be ordered in?

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It realy is not a big problem, I just have to drive a little further to go to a "trade supplier" who should have it "on the shelf". If not they can make it for me. 

There is shuch a huge variety of paints and colours it must be difficult for "local'" shops to stock everything. Probably Deep Indian Red is not a big seller and I cannot expect them to stock every thing.

 

Bj.

 

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DSCN5920.thumb.jpg.a83ffd1a3f5eb163aed432d4797bbb96.jpg

image1.png.99c6611dae404426ed2237aa27da60ea.png

 

Since my last visit a couple of important decisions have been made. The first on Paint colour.

The wheels, springs and axles will be Deep Indian Red while the Chassis and Hood (Bonnet) those parts of the body that will require painting will be Kosciusko Pebble. Both colours have been especially mixed for me and I now have the formula written down just in case I require more at some time in the Future. The other major step forward is the front springs. These are now fully assembled and ready for a coat of the afore mentioned Deep Indian Red.  The Front springs will be considerably "flatter" than the original making the front of the car some what lower. Each spring is a composite of both Fiat and Austin leaves. These two springs represent about three day's work.   Now for some of Mr Wattyl's special "Kill Rust" Deep Indian Red.

Looking at the photographs of Madam Elizabeth Junek's car, the chassis and panels are a much lighter colour than the springs, axles, wheels & etc.

 

Bernie j

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Bernie, the springs look good. I do have a question, however -- looks like from the picture there six leafs 'under' the main leaf, and one 'above' the main leaf. Having a leaf above the main leaf is something new to me. Is this a typical configuration for teens/twenties autos?  

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I am not sure but I seem to remember reading something about a "helper leaf". Having checked the Fiat Rear Springs do not have one (as yet) but both the front and rear Rapier springs do. Again I would have assembled the Rapier's springs albeit a very long time ago when I first restored/rebuilt the car in 1978.

I have also been known to assemble leaf springs with one or even two leaves upside down in order to "flaten" the springs to achieve a lower ride height. (Leaf springs work both ways.)

Try putting a piece of steel strip with one end held in your bench vice. It takes the same effort to bend it in either direction.

As a bonus here is the first of the Fiat wheels with a new coat of Deep indian Red.

Super observant people will have noted that the Rapier springs have a thin strip of material inbetween the leaves. I cannot remember exactly what this thin strip was but it was an anti squeak device.

Finally The Czech  "coat of arms" to be applied as a final finishing touch to the driver side of the Fiats scuttle as a salute to Madam Junek whose car I am attempting to replicate.

Small_coat_of_arms_of_the_Czech_Republic_svg.png.6fc350986a980ccf74bc7db9123673ae.png

 

Bernie j.DSCN5921.thumb.jpg.f5f8f6188903d75a6d03f514d47140e2.jpgDSCN5922.thumb.jpg.3beda517cd2455cf8c5cd173827132ab.jpgDSCN5923.thumb.jpg.580af99b98ce668e9f33719b6be3bc86.jpgDSCN5924.thumb.jpg.a942d04a7157d2e48b2ff3dbc5b93bf3.jpg

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Happy easter to all the "Christians" among you. As It is already Good Friday (afternoon) in Australia. I am not doing anything that may disturb any of my neighbours not that I think they would care. Brushing on paint makes the minimum of noise so I have continued on painting six  of the eight wheels that I have. Three have some rust. Selecting the one with the least rust I have welded up the couple of pin holes and given it  a coat of paint on one side too. I will have to wait there or four days for this to dry properly so I can paint the other sides. Not having easy access to a compressor I am painting these by hand using a brush just like they would have done in 1922/4. This also gives me a chance to inspect these close up. I have also painted the underside of the front axle. All these are being painted Deep Indian Red. I have given one (under) coat of Kosciusko Pebble to the Bulkhead frame. This also supports the scuttle mounted petrol tank. The petrol tank still requires some more internal cleaning and the Petrol tap soldering back into place. Ultimately it too will be painted K'pebble. Perhaps contary to my overall colour scheme I have painted the three foot control pedals in D-I Red.  Ultimately they will be surrounded with Dark Red carpet. It may sound crazy to some readers having the complete colour scheme for the car worked out, but at least I know where it is all leading. It also saves on back tracking to change some detail in six months time.

 

Trust me, I have done all this once or twice before!

 

Bernie j.DSCN5925.thumb.jpg.00536a683e17fd68fa9b3074ccd4217e.jpg

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Hello On Safari,

Even I have to have a win occasionally. The king pins and most of the spring shackle bushes are in fair to good condition. I still have to go through a couple of containers of nuts and bolts etc to sort out the shackle pins. That is still a little way down the track but hopefully it will start to go together soon.  I still have to paint the chassis frame before I start to put things together.

I sent an email to a vague acquaintance in the Czech republic this afternoon. It will be interesting if I get a reply, we have not been in touch for a number of years. Her employer had only recently acquired "Tiny Tot" a 1928 Singer Junior Roadster that I had rebuilt some years earlier. All my "restorations" receive a small engraved plate on the dash-board giving  the date and my own details, The cars "name" is painted on the leading edge of the bonnet (hood). She had managed to track me down through this.

In recent years I have learnt the hard way, that it is foolish to spend too much time and money on making things like these perfect! 

Especially for cars that end up going into a "collection".

Many never turn a wheel again unless it is to move them so that the floor underneath them can be polished! These days I tend to spend more effort on making sure that the "cosmetics" are "right". Or an I being too negative?

Little things like the correct cotton covered electrical wire, properly colour coded of course.

It seems a waste but the Fiat will have six brand new tyres with the correct Dunlop Chevron tread pattern to "stand on"............ I have a "super" pair of original headlamps, a simply wonderful original tail lamp, I am still looking for matching Amp meter, Oil pressure gauge and the correct Italian Speedo. I have a second pair of headlamps that could be good for a suitable exchange deal. I have three starter motors to sort through, two  clutches, two gear boxes etc etc.

That and a very nice Smiths 60mph speedo that I will exchange. I do have the correct "original " electrical fuse/switch box.

 

Bj. 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I would be the first to confess that I do have some possibly unique habits.  As mentioned above with one or two notable exceptions, our Lagonda Rapier being one, I have a small dashboard engraved plate made for every car that I have rebuilt. Also every car has its own distinctive "Name" This is usually painted on the leading edge of the "bonnet" or as it is known in the USA the hood. For example "Bottomley" was so named because it was first recovered from the "bottom' of a garden.  "Flying Four" was not only the model Dodge but an apt description of the cars performance. The "Tiny Tot" was impression of the Singer by a friends wife when she first saw it. e.g.. "Oh! it is just a tiny tot."  "Firefly" was not only the model name of the Dixie Flyer but also thought to be an apt name.   Our Lagonda Rapier is almost universally  known as "KG" as this was the initial letter of it's original English Registration number, KG5363.

All this just goes to prove that you do not really have to be mad but in some situations it certainly helps.

 

Bernie j.

 

5abecea7233f6_0.The1922DixieFlyerseenhereatthedoorwayoftheoriginal1860sKentuckyWagonMfgCosfactoryinLouisvilleKentucky..thumb.jpg.cfd4e39083bc3900b7e5f5ea9b7f1958.jpg

Bottomley074.jpg.d53a4191894a2f73c8552161b18e2932.jpg5abec7410260b_FlyingFour008.jpg.431a95fffaef9c18dc2e989f7f532ea1.jpg5abec9292a3ed_TinyTot34Front.jpg.5b8d58f4614e997a074fdfa78b3d5d70.jpg

 

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This one is for Paul, aka r1lark.

I have just finished a trial re-assembly of one rear spring. I should at this point remind you that the "normal" Fiat 501 owner would expect his car to have either a four door saloon or a three door tourer body, either capable of carrying at least five adults plus sundry children and or other luggage. The Madam Junek car had a very basic sports/racing body that was expected to carry a driver, a riding mechanic (usually chosen by his short height and thin build) plus an extra spare wheel. Looking at my photograph taken earlier this afternoon. Shows a standard Fiat 501 rear spring along side one that I have taken apart and re-assembled this afternoon. This has had three leaves removed, including the two shortest and therefore the least effective, and two leaves inverted to give an (unladen) difference in height of 6.5cm ( a  bit over 2 1/2 Inches) This will give me a "starting point" for the rear suspension although this may be subject to change as the rebuild progresses. Only time will tell.

Yes, this does extend the working length of the spring in a static unladed position but should make very little difference to the finished car. The very worse result would mean my making four new spring shackle plates to accomodate the (minor) change in length of the springs in the static position.

 

Bernie j.DSCN5926.thumb.jpg.c9e2e04bd6a19a63f486a75a343f7582.jpg

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I often wonder exactly how many people are actually reading/looking at all this stuff. My main objective is to keep a diary of the rebuild/restoration of my cars.This I could just as easily do by writing it all in a school exercise book. It is possibly a little more convenient for me to do it here. 

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Bernie, the spring looks good. From my days as a hot rodder, we would do the same thing on Model A and Model T Fords (of course, they only had one spring in front and one in back).  Learned the hard way to always save the leaves that were removed, in case we went a little too crazy and removed too many on the first try. :) 

 

I've never inverted some of the leaves on parallel leaf spring setups, but that's an interesting idea for lowering the ride height. I have been involved in decreasing the arch of springs by reworking each individual leaf to lower the ride height, though -- a tree stump and a really big hammer to beat some of the arch out of each leaf..

 

Don't know about other folks, but I'm sure reading this thread. As I've mentioned before, I've learned a lot about a number of different vintage autos by following your threads, that I would never have known much about otherwise.

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Thank you Paul

It is a pity that we live on opposite sides of the globe, I am sure that we have much in common. Having aborted the last two or three projects I am detirmined to follow the Fiat right through to the end. Your interest and support is certainly a big help with this. I have just this afternoon finished painting the six wheels plus an extra one just to be on the safe side.  I am amazed just how much paint has gone onto them plus some other bits, probably two thirds of a Litre. I still have several things that will require "Deep Indian Red.  I would like to start painting the Chassis soon, It is to be the Kosciusko Pebble. This is an off shade of beige/stone. Kosciusko is  Australia's highest mountains named in honour of the Polish hero by a fellow countryman Paweł Strzelecki,   one of our earlier explorers. There is also another range of Mountains named after Strzelecki, these form part of the mountains that run down the eastern side of Australia. 

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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