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1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio


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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. 

 

image.png.0077c695af5924776930f934beb4e4dc.png 

 

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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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.

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:14 PM, oldcar said:

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.

 

Glad to help a little Bernie! I had looked at that rear axle video, and the disassembly was amazingly simple. Very interesting how the axle is designed/constructed.

 

EDIT: I saw on the British car forum that Helen had surgery. Tell her that we are wishing her a speedy recovery. Hope you are a good nurse Bernie. :)

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Hi Bernie, 501s run a 12v system with a positive ground.

 

On the topic of electrics, we bought a wiring harness from a company named "vintage wiring harnesses" I believe, all original cloth braided wire and the fit was perfect. It was a bit pricey, but nice to have something that was plug and play for a change! 

 

Cheers, Brodie

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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 fitting the sump and timing chest cover. Here are some photographs of this afternoon's work.

 

Bernie j.DSCN5997.jpg.87aa7eb5a92137d1b5f13f307c02d264.jpgDSCN5996.jpg.7f2f7074eee5b8f63a9ac797d1009c8d.jpgDSCN5999.jpg.188b1a87074d5b11a851e879743f79f2.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Another day and just a little bit more progress, The one problem  that is becoming apparent is that for every component I bolt onto the engine it becomes that bit heavier. Oh Well!. I am not planing to tear it all apart but the sooner I can lift it into the chassis the better.

 

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DSCN6005.jpg.15501b5a22bf0d098594b27224b9089b.jpg

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Looking good Bernie! I like the shade of red on the block and head, I painted mine black but its a bit generic.

 

Where'd you source the new spark plugs from? I've got a feeling my spark is breaking down under cylinder pressure occasionally causing missfire.

 

Brodie

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2 hours ago, oldcar said:

There is an old song/saying "Little things mean a lot". For some one brought up on British cars with their "Simms Couplings" as the almost infinitely adjustable magneto drive it came as something of a shock that despite looking everywhere I could not find anything similar coupling on the Fiat engine. Just a flat disc without even one hole in it. I clould not find any reference to a Magneto coupling in even one of the three "owners" hand books and the diagram in the "Spare parts book" did not help.

The "driven" plate on the magneto is similar but at least it has three evenly spaced holes in it. 

I will come back to the mystery of the Magneto coupling  shortly,  meanwhile I have another little Fiat trick for you to sort out.

This strange looking "bolt" is a genuine original Fiat part No 38500 as shown in the Parts Book (below).

What is it and how does it work? If you go back to the photographs on #189 you may just find a clue depending on how observant you are.

Bj.

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734119702_Fiat510Partsbook9.jpeg.13a8dd0748c77c002eacfefafe9c836e.jpeg

 

So it lines up with the serrations on the dynamo? And adjusts the chain tension.

 

Not sure of I have asked this question before - Are the bolts on the 501 metric or imperial?  My early 2B engine had lots of Whitworth stuff in it.

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