oldcar

1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

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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.

 

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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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Thank you Lyndon.

A long time ago we had a thing going with Mini's.  Between Helen and I and our four children we had a total of thirteen or fourteen Minis.

Helen drove a 1275 Cooper S, I had a Mini Moke, one of our sons had a Mini Van, the others all had a range of Minis, all with some degree of modification. One so potent that it could be made to "torque-steer" in top gear. All very different to the Fiat.

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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I am sorry about my tendency to wander off the subject, I actually turned all the wheels over to paint the other (in) side. Today's target is to take the other rear spring apart and re-assemble it to match the first one and hopefully give them both a coat of Deep Indian Red. I may even have time to look at the chassis which to date has been a useful "bench" on which to paint the wheels. It is now 9.30 so my target is to have the rear springs "sorted" by lunchtime.

 

OK. It is now just after 4.30 pm so I missed my "Lunch-time" target by a couple of hours after taking an hour or so off for Lunch. The two rear springs are now hung "out to dry" having been assembled, wire brushed to take of the rust and dirt that the sand blaster could not reach, and given a coat of Deep Indian Red. I have found the spring shackles and given them a coat of my favourite red too. 

I had a chat on the telephone with my good friend Richard Stanley at Coach Craft about making the  four mudguards and have promised to send him some dimensions as soon as I can work them out. He is to make four "Blades" as shown on Elizabeth Junek's Fiat. In case you have forgotten what these look like I will repeat the photograph of her car. The four are  interchangeable from front to back and from side to side which makes it all very easy. I may have mentioned before that I am most impressed by Madam Junek's weight saving "door" too. 

 

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Another day and another puzzle, Where does it all go? Given another lifetime I may resolve the question. for instance look at the steering box It has the one large mounting at the bottom of the box but so far I have not found the hole that it goes into.  As there are bits from ? cars, lots of things are duplicated but then there are probably lots of other bits missing. No sooner said than done, my Fiat 501 Guru, Richard, has explained that the steering box mounts on the right hand rear mounting "arm" of the crankcase. I had looked at that hole several times, now it is no longer a mystery, I can move along to the next item on the agenda. It does mean that the steering box can move down the list of priorities and assembling and fitting the engine moves up. 

Accordingly I have just delivered the crankcase to Crankshaft rebuilders for them to put it through their "Swirl-tank" to make sure that there are no little bits of gunk hiding in some dark corner.

Bj.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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What documentation do you have to assist? I suppose you really don't need any, but was wondering what if any was available. By searching I came across this "handbook" and it even seems a reprint is supposedly available in a library. At 206 pages it could be more than a simple "owner's manual."

 

Front Cover  

The Handbook of the 10-15 HP Fiat (Model 501)., Ajani e Canale, 1919 - Fiat automobile - 206 pages

 

http://search.slv.vic.gov.au/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?fn=search&ct=search&vid=MAIN&vl(freeText0)=801653474

 

http://search.slv.vic.gov.au/MAIN:Everything:SLV_VOYAGER2396867     link to book in library

 

Torino : Ajani e Canale [1919?]
Available  Request from onsite storage  SF 629.28722 C17 (745)  State Library of Victoria

 

Edited by mike6024
add other link (see edit history)

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Thank you Mike

I do have an Italian Language Reprint Owners manual and an original 503 Owners handbook in English. The main difference between the 501 and the 503 was the addidtion of front brakes and a Ricardo (improved combustion chambers shape) cylinder head. I hope to obtain a "Ricardo" cylinder head as the original has prooved to have a crack across between two head stud holes. The cylinder head was about the only thing that I only had one of.

 

Bj.

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This is the Italian language hand book I have. It contains some excellent illustrations provided you have some (limited) mechanical knowledge. This one of the clutch is typical. Again if you have even some limited knowledge, a good imagination can go a long way.

I would be the first to admit that I have absolutely no formal mechanical training. As someone once said. I went to the school of "Hard Knocks". Having brought the one useable cylinder block home I was delighted when trying a piston in a cylinder bore to discover the pistons are larger than the bores so now I can have the block rebored to suit the pistons. A much better outcome than having the pistons rattling around in the bores.

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Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Now I am looking for the second one............. There should be one somewhere among all that stuff. No! It hasn't had a nasty accident but it is meant to be that shape............

Bj

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This is why I intend to no longer purchase dismantled cars, as you don't know if you have all the parts and if there are interlopers. Although I still have a Riley in stock like that.

On the other hand all the hard work has been done in the dismantling and it does provide more hours of fun. Fortunately in this day there is more information about and it easier to access than in the pre-internet era.

You are making good progress Bernie.

Matthew

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You are absolutely correct Paul. 

 

Your Riley basket case is quite safe Matthew having had my fill of Rileys a great many years ago I am not looking for another. I have ben offered a loan of a "Spare Parts Book" which will give me drawings of most if not all the components. These often are as useful as a workshop manual. I can scan its pages so I will have a copy too.

 

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hello Paul

Funny that you should ask I have just been putting a  first coat on the top half of the chassis. That is all the chassis I can see without either turning it over or climbing underneath it.

I have just realised that my colour scheme of Deep Indian Red and Pebble is what people referred to in the 1920s a "Blood and Bandages". I am too far committed to change it now.  At least it will be something different although having said that The Lagonda is Old English Ivory and Deep Brunswick Green.

I have just managed to borrow an original Fiat 501 Parts book which has lots of drawings of individual parts so at least I know what I am looking for. I will do some scans of the relevant pages so that I can refer to them in the future. After the chassis is painted I can start seriously looking for all the things I will need to have a "Rolling Chassis". 
Have taken the radiator to be cleaned and checked. It seems that the core is in excellent condition but there are  a number small leaks in the "body". By the body I am referring to the brass outer shell. This is part of the actual radiator and has to be made water tight. The "honey-comb" core itself is thankfully free from damage and has no visible leaks.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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I think the color scheme will look great Bernie........

 

Good news on the radiator. Does anyone even make the honeycomb core anymore? If they are available, I'll bet they are really big dollar (Australian or US) items. 

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Here's some info on an Australian 503 I stumbled across. I suppose this would have the Ricardo cylinder head.

5a.jpg

Fiat 503 engine had 27 hp, 1460cc and a multiple-disc clutch with 4 speed tranny.

Oldest on show was an 87 year-old Fiat 503. According to its owner Ric, this model was the first Fiat with front wheel brakes, was only built during 1926-27, is unique in the state and one of only a handful in Australia. It drives through a four-speed gearbox.

Link - >  Fiat 503

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Hello Mike

Thank you for including the photograph, It shows (to the Eagle-eyed) the steering box mount and the oil level gauge and a number of other features. It is interesting the 501/503 must have been all Right Hand Drive. There is no provision to mount the steering box on the left hand side of the crankcase, the starter motor is mounted on the left side taking up the space where the steering box would other wise fit. the only way to positively identify the Ricardo head would be to take if off and look inside. 

503 Also had a slightly different radiator with squared off  edges similar the the smaller 509 Introduced in 1926 which had a single overhead cam 990cc engine and replaced the 501 as the smallest of the 1920s Fiats  

 

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hi Bj,

I found this thread last night and couldn't resist the urge to sign-up and say g'day!

I'm nearing the end of a 10 year restoration of a 1923 501c, and seeing your photos brings back many memories. I bought mine as a resto project when I was 15, and have thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of becoming a backyard mechanic, panel beater and motor trimmer along the way. I've attached some photos below showing the restored running chassis and the current state of the vehicle as it sits now. The hood and rear seat is all that is needed to say this car is finally "finished". If you're ever in need of any detailed photos or answers to questions let me know and I'd be happy to help.

 

By the looks of things you're based in Victoria, Australia, like myself. If you find yourself at a loose end tomorrow there is an Italian car show called Autobella at Como Park North, South Yarra. In previous years theres been a few 501/3s so I'd suspect a similar turn out this year if you'd like to have a look at one in the flesh. My 501 is still in Adelaide at my parents house, but I'll be attending as a spectator in my 124 spider.

 

Keep up the good work! 

 

Cheers, Brodie 

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Edited by FiatGuy (see edit history)

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Hello Brodie 

Welcome to this little corner of the AACA Forum. 

Unfortunately I will not be at Como Park tomorrow but I have joined the local Fiat Club, I already know quite a few of the members who are also in the VSCC.

Having just obtained a copy of the parts book I now realise there are a few things that I am missing. One of the problems when you buy a "car" that has been a collection of bits for between 40 & 50 years. This means that I was probably about 30 or 40 years old when it was taken off the road and pulled apart. 

 

Bj.

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Now as I have suggested earlier, a complete departure from tradition, the chassis now has its new coat of gleaming Pebble.DSCN5936.thumb.jpg.e61b2b0012d19a417c893fd6e49d9478.jpg

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You may have noticed that Madame Junek's car's chassis is painted a light colour apparently the same colour as the "body".

As sometimes happens, it seems as though our Fiat 501 has found a "name" for itself.   "Madame Junek".

This seems appropriate, especially when pronounced with an "Aussie" accent. i.e. The "e" in Junek is silent.

As there were no colour photographs in the early 1920s and I cannot find a written description of her car's colour, I am assuming that it was a light "off white" Or a very pale Beige/Grey.

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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