Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Road-race engines and ancillaries - general discussion
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Guy Croft
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Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by Guy Croft » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:56 pm

If my experience of trying to find good donor 8V and 16V engines this year is anything to go by they are damned hard to find.

My strong advice to anyone who owns one (fitted in a car of any type) is take damn good care of it. Because if you break it you may not be able to find another. The days when you could 'get another from a scrapyard' are totally over. If you even find one it will be so old that scrap is what it will be and I've been offered a few. So don't buy cheap bits and say, 'it's only a Fiat'. of course if you want to spend the next 10 years converting your Lancia/Fiat-engined car to another engine then good luck to you.

This shortage can be blamed on many things, but as for the real reasons I am clueless I'm afraid. The TC engines will soon be as 'unobtainable' as the Lotus Twincam and certainly have 1000 x more pedigree and heritage behind them.

GC

nabihelosta
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by nabihelosta » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:08 am

Mr. Guy

Maybe if your busy schedule can afford a visit to Lebanon, you'll collect some 250+ engines (8V and 16V) from our scrapyards, surprisingly most of them come from Europe, never ran in Lebanon, in peak condition, and for unbelievable prices (300$ for a 8V, 500$ for a 16V).
The bits you are missing there, are all gathering here :) We really have more Fiat engines that Fiat cars. When you know that in Lebanon there's some 3 or 4 124 Sport Coupe, you'll know why.

Yours, Nabih
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WhizzMan
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by WhizzMan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:10 am

nabihelosta wrote:Mr. Guy

Maybe if your busy schedule can afford a visit to Lebanon, you'll collect some 250+ engines (8V and 16V) from our scrapyards, surprisingly most of them come from Europe, never ran in Lebanon, in peak condition, and for unbelievable prices (300$ for a 8V, 500$ for a 16V).
Maybe you could make a small business out of it? Collect the engines, clean them up, sell them (in parts)?
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Guy Croft
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by Guy Croft » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:19 pm

I could with someone who could take the time, that's a fact.

G

mark allison
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by mark allison » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:43 am

International Auto Parts sells a new 2L short block they claim is made in Italy. Are you aware of someone that still is manufacturing blocks?

Guy Croft
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by Guy Croft » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:01 am

No Mark, I am not.

Certainly Fiat UK cannot supply them.

G

124racerinIA
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by 124racerinIA » Sun May 08, 2011 4:26 am

I find Guy's thoughts to be very true in the middle of the U.S.. Fiat TC's are hard to come by. I have bits and parts from a 2l not enough to put together a complete engine. I was under the misunderstanding that TC's in Europe were like Chevy motors are in the U.S.. Since I have an investment in not only the engine but the car itself I'll be on the look out for more parts cars.

Jon

Guy Croft
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by Guy Croft » Sat May 14, 2011 11:02 am

I do a fair number of estimate costings for folk, and as is pretty-well known GCRE will only work with race rods and pistons. That has been a house rule for some years now.

I'm increasingly being asked (well 'told' - to be honest) that clients 'don't need' race rods or pistons because 'it's only a road car'. Like they knew better than me...? I get sick of this frankly especially because as an engine builder folk will always level the blame at me.

For the record:

The house rule came into force after one rod from a GC inspected & crack-tested set of old 131 2 liter rods 'let go' (rod bolt or rod no idea, rarely possible to tell) and wrecked the entire crankcase and very nearly the GC prepped head too. Very shortly after, a client racing a TC unit with GC pistons and (against my advice) old 2 liter TC rods experienced exactly the same thing. This is NOT good and sure danger sign.

Running with 38 year old junk in your TC engine is like playing Russian Roulette. I don't recommend it and if you want to keep your engine in once piece you shouldn't either. Whether the old-used rods have been X tested, resized, polished, shot-peened is utterly irrelevant. And don't kid me with 'it's only a road car I'm not racing it'. The first instance above let go the day after the owner's rebuild about 3 miles from the bloke's house at about 40mph.

G

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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by WhizzMan » Sun May 15, 2011 11:03 am

Guy Croft wrote:The first instance above let go the day after the owner's rebuild about 3 miles from the bloke's house at about 40mph.
Am I reading this correct? The owner rebuilt it himself? In that case, all bets are off in my book. If the owner messed up a bearing, torque on a rod bolt or simply used an old, overstretched bolt or anything of a long list, it could have caused it. The fact that it came apart so short after assembly, statistically, would make an assembly or QC error much more plausible than "spontaneous part malfunction" of a part that worked just fine for 38 years before.

Sure, anything old is a risk because of aging and wear, but anything new is a risk just as well, due to manufacturing defects. Using racing quality parts that are tested and built to very strict tolerances mitigates that risk a lot, but even then, stuff sometimes breaks. In some cases (not saying this is one of them) it's very viable to use parts that have proven themselves already. A famous and good example of this theory (and the fact that usage would actually have improved structure of the casting) is that BMW engineers actually used wreck yard engine castings for the turbo F1 engines. If there would be defects in the casting, they would have shown and propagated during road use.

This doesn't mean I don't agree with you Guy. Anything high quality that you can put in will be an improvement over the 38 year old technology. Anything you don't have a full history on for the 38 years it's been in service, is a risk. The cost of reconditioning stock parts is probably not that much lower (if at all) than buying brand new, racing specification parts. It's just that I don't think you should blindly replace anything with shiny new parts, just because you can.
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tricky
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by tricky » Sun May 15, 2011 7:23 pm

BMW engineers actually used wreck yard engine castings for the turbo F1 engines.
Is this not more down to heat cycling ? With a rod being under a different kind of stress and at a much higher level at that when used in a modifyed unit compared to a production car. I know it was only an example you used, but it's not realy comparable in my opinion.

If you can then you should ! I know of a nice billet crank availible but unfortanatly cost is a factor and you sometimes have to draw the line somewhere, but if I could have afforded it you can bet it would have gone into the mix (not that there is anything at all wrong with the OE one)
Twice as many valves

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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by WhizzMan » Sun May 15, 2011 10:35 pm

tricky wrote:
BMW engineers actually used wreck yard engine castings for the turbo F1 engines.
Is this not more down to heat cycling ? With a rod being under a different kind of stress and at a much higher level at that when used in a modifyed unit compared to a production car. I know it was only an example you used, but it's not realy comparable in my opinion.

If you can then you should ! I know of a nice billet crank availible but unfortanatly cost is a factor and you sometimes have to draw the line somewhere, but if I could have afforded it you can bet it would have gone into the mix (not that there is anything at all wrong with the OE one)
I used the BMW engine casting because it's one of the most famous examples of using second hand parts because they have a proven reliability. The fact that the heat cycling is actually beneficial to the structure of the metal is only part of the reason they chose these castings.

I just wanted to point out that there are more causes for engine failure than material defects and that in some cases, it's actually a risk to change parts that have proven themselves for new unproven replacements. The likelihood of a piston or con rod to fail in a stock engine after all those years due to a manufacturing defect is negligible. Normal wear would have been discovered during inspection before assembling.

I've seen people build engines to factory specs from second hand parts. Yes, cylinders were honed, new bolts and piston rings were used. New valve guides, bearing shells and oil seals were used. Quite a few used engines were used as donors for the parts that went into the "new" engine. In the end, it was quite an economical way to build a very decent stock engine. Nothing fancy, but assembled at least as good as factory engines and tolerances were well within specs for new.

If a commercial engine builder like Guy would have to put his seal of approval on an engine like that, I doubt he would have wanted to risk his reputation on it. Even tho chances are pretty good you will be able to build a decent engine, commercial warranty and reputation would be prohibitive for anyone in Guy's league to "risk" building this. I understand his position and see where his advice is coming from.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Fiat TC engines - protect and survive!

Post by Guy Croft » Mon May 16, 2011 9:55 am

Notwithstanding technical merits of above (many I am sure) the point I'm making is about Fiat TC type units (that's all we do now) and it is that the chance of a race rod piston combo destroying your motor (per-se) is zero compared with old OE parts.

GC

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