Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Road-race engines and ancillaries - general discussion
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normark
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Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:14 pm

Hello all knowledgeable people!

I would like to get some help with my upcoming engine swap for my 1969 Fiat Sport Spider. I have acquired a complete and functioning engine from a Fiat Argenta VX that I will try to squeeze in. I would like some help with mainly three topics. But because they are related I hope it’s wise to keep it all in one build thread. Perhaps it’s even a good idea to gather all knowledge in one thread in case someone else would attempt the same operation:

1. Modifications to fit the engine in the Spider
a. Sump. Should I keep the flat Argenta sump? Will it obstruct cross members or so?
b. Distributor. I have done some measuring and come up with that the Argenta distributor will be around 550mm higher up than the top mounted on my current 1438 engine. This will clearly not work even though I have the hood with the bumps.
c. Volumex SC mounting points. I have removed the power steering pump that includes the lower mounting points for the SC. Do I need to manufacture a new mounting for the oil filter that includes SC mountings or is it ok to leave the SC hanging without lower mountings? I guess not..
d. Pulleys. The drive belts for the power steering pump and SC share the same pulley. Is it possible to separate the power steering part?
e. General space requirements. How much space will there be in the engine compartment if I install a Guy Croft intake with a 45 DCOE? Will I get problems with space?

2. General maintenance to keep this old engine running. Currently I have not yet taken the engine apart so I don’t really know the general condition of the internals. It’s probably the best to swap out as much as possible while I’m at it. However, there is also the time/money/lack of experience aspect. But, are there things that I absolutely must change and need to include in my planning from the start?


3. Tuning. I would like to get some more power while I’m at it. I found this in another thread: “Even very mildly tuned VX units running OE cams of various types on 45 DCOE that I've done have exceeded 200bhp at the wheels.” Guy Croft intake manifold and 45 DCOE seems to be a wise upgrade. Is there something else that needs to be addressed to get a “reasonable” amount of power? I will still just be for road use so I don’t have to maximize the power output, but would like to know how it can be tuned cost efficiently.


Many questions… but thanks in advance!
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Guy Croft
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:54 pm

for starters the sump won't fit, no!

G
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normark
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:36 pm

Ok, thanks

One item off the list. This means of course a new oil pump as well.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Guy Croft » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:53 pm

the only sump that will fit is the original, of course I make big-wing sumps based on those with shorter pickups..

G
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Spider 1969
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Spider 1969 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:25 pm

Hi,

I have no experience with VX swaps but just fitted an 1800 in my '69 AS. Aspects that I'm aware of with reference to your above coding of topics are:

1e: Space requirements. 84 mm blocks are 10 mm longer the the 80 mm bore 1438/1608 engines. The AS front beam is different from later types which results in a shorter engine bay so there's less room for the radiator and fan. Top of the beam can be modified a bit leading to approximately 10 mm more room for the radiator plus you need to install a flat type electric fan. The OE one is too deep.

2: General Maintenance. In order to be sure to have a reliable engine It would be best to strip, clean and inspect the engine. Then replace parts as necessary and rebuild. Not doing that would be a gamble unless you know the engine's history and it has been running until very recently. The GC 2013 workshop manual is an excellent guide to tackle this job.

General approach I would suggest is to install the engine as is. This allows you to find out what parts are needed and what modifications need to be done. Then take it out again to rebuild.

Succes I
with this interesting project. If you are planning to show your progress on this forum I'm looking forward to it!

Best regards,

Charles
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TomLouwrier
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by TomLouwrier » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:12 pm

hi,

Fitting a 2L Volumex in a '69 Spider would make me think long and hard about the transmission.
Assuming it's an AS, you have the 1st generation axle with torque tube. That was replaced pretty quickly by a more conventional rear axle because it proved fragile. It would need a very well thought out upgrade, more clever than Fiat because they didn't bother and dropped it.
Later setup is said to handle a bit less (lost the anti roll bar) but lasts better.

When I read something about 'over 200HP at the wheels' that worries me. First of all you will need the Argenta (131-type) gearbox to handle that sort of torque, so modify the tunnel for that. Secondly the brakes would need to be upgraded massively. Thirdly those brakes need larger anchor points, read: stronger suspension parts and mountings (esp. in and around the cross member).

All that on a relatively rare '69? May I suggest a late US model to modify?

regards
Tom
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normark
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:14 pm

Alright

1a. I have a traditional 2l sump on the shelf. I think I'll stick to that. But thanks for the tip regarding the big winged sump

1e. Regarding space requirements. I plan to install an electric fan in front of the radiator. I am a little worried about the pulley for the SC/servo pump. I think I need to modify that because I won't use the servo pump anymore.

2. Maintenance. I will strip and see whats inside. See more below
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normark
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:26 pm

And some more comments:

Regarding axle, I have the "2nd generation". Better than the first ones, but not as reliable as 132 type ones. But I think I'll stick to it. Transmission is a weak point though. I have been thinking of fitting a 131/132 type transmission, but that will make the gear lever come out too far back. And as you are saying, I'm not willing to modify too much on my relatively rare '69.. I think that I will try and see how long my transmission will keep up with the power. It looks like its still quite easy to find a transmission in decent condition.

The plan is not to build a race car (at this point). However, if I'm able to get this engine up and running and I get an urge to drive more "advanced" I will get another car to fit it in. I won't modify the '69 beyond recognition
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normark
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:38 pm

Here are some pictures for those interested in the progress
One sad engine.jpeg
One sad engine.jpeg (1005.09 KiB) Viewed 2018 times
This is when I got the engine. The amount of hoses and stuff is daunting.
Oily supercharger DSC_0033.JPG
Oily supercharger DSC_0033.JPG (3.2 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
The engine was looking sad. Dirty and corroded.
engine in stand DSC_0143.JPG
engine in stand DSC_0143.JPG (3.23 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
A little cleaned up
clean engine head off DSC_0411.JPG
clean engine head off DSC_0411.JPG (3.51 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
Stripping in progress
head off DSC_0373.JPG
head off DSC_0373.JPG (3.42 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
Quite a lot of soot on top of the pistons. Otherwise in good condition!
head DSC_0380.JPG
head DSC_0380.JPG (4.01 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
Head looks alright as well
oil in supercharger DSC_0316.JPG
oil in supercharger DSC_0316.JPG (2.38 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
Supercharger is oily though
corrosion in supercharger 2 DSC_0311.JPG
corrosion in supercharger 2 DSC_0311.JPG (2.7 MiB) Viewed 2018 times
And show some traces of corrosion on the lobes
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normark
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by normark » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:43 pm

So, to conclude the stripping process:

I will leave the block as is. I will inspect the head a little more to see if I need to change something.

But what worries me is the supercharger. It turns fine, but quite a lot of oil comes out through the lobes. Is this really bad, or is it possible to fix? Also, there are some traces of corrosion on one of the lobes. Does not obstruct anything. Is that possible to fix?
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Guy Croft
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Guy Croft » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:59 pm

Don't even dream about running a SINGLE piece of that valuable unit without 100% restoration.

Yes, RESTORATION.

This thing wasn't manufactured yesterday, I should know, I have done enough of them.


GC
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Will01
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Will01 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:17 pm

Just seen pictures of this engine. Oh boy there is alot of work there. I'm with GC all the way. That thing needs a complete overhaul.
Don't scrimp on it and do it properly, it is clear it is crying out for some love.
When its done it will be a gem.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by Guy Croft » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:21 pm

when there isn't a single TC left Will they will still be saying it was only a Fiat...

even RSD are thinking of making new crankcases because there are none left anywhere...

G
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TomLouwrier
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Re: Argenta Volumex for Fiat Spider engine swap

Post by TomLouwrier » Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:14 am

hi,

So now you actually have 2 rare and valuable pieces of kit, both deserving to be looked after.
You'll need the later gearbox with the larger bell housing to take the flywheel, clutch and starter for the Argenta block.

regards
Tom
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