124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

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robert kenney
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124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by robert kenney » September 6th, 2007, 3:20 am

Hi All,
I have been rather busy lately. My sister has owned and loved her 124 Fiat Spider since 1987 and wanted to do a complete restoration out side and in. I offered to take care of all technical aspects of the restoration which included a one off custom engine. Seeing that the car spends most of its time @ 8500 feet the build has taken a special direction. The stock 1800 has been stroked to 90MM using a 2 liter crank This required custom pistons and custom rods (longest I could fit) to achieve a better rod ratio of 1.55 . The stock 1800 rod would have only given a RR of 1.5 would have made me a bit apprehensive. With a stock 2 liter rod ratio being 1.6, 1.55 is a reasonable compromise. The block needed to be clearance for the center two crank throughs right at the bottom of the #2 and 3 cylinders I will post more info of the build after I receive the pistons. Also required were modifications to the block for the rods at the bottom of each cylinder (right and left) and the crank case 2 inches above the pan rail.

The Fiat has placed my true passion on temporary hold. Although while waiting for parts I have been making slow progress. That would be the 1932 Ford roadster. This is an all new all steel car that I am building as a period mid 1960's hotrod. It is powered by a vintage 1963 Chevy 409 425 hp now a 414 CID topped with a factory dual 4 barrel manifold and highly modified factory equipment big valve heads. I have acquired a new old stock Mallory magneto and coil pack dated 1963. I am going to dyno the car after it is finished but anticipate 525 to 550 horse power. With the whole package weighing around 2300 pounds I would estimate a quarter mile ET of about 10.2 seconds. Assuming I can manage to keep it going straight.

Thanks for Looking
Robert
Last edited by robert kenney on March 30th, 2008, 3:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Kev Rooney
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Post by Kev Rooney » September 26th, 2007, 5:16 pm

Brookeville body ? Love the rare and expensive 409 , we have several over here in different rods. I'm running a cutdown 1932 Ford B (GRP ) modified lake racer style on a short wheelbase T style chassis as a daily..

The reason I visit is that I've been slowly building a 1927T Ford T roadster with a turbocharged Fiat engine. The Fiat has the look of an early Offenhauser race engine about it if you squint slightly.

My old model A can be found here :-

viewtopic.php?t=69

robert kenney
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Hot Rods

Post by robert kenney » September 27th, 2007, 12:56 am

Kev,
Brookville indeed it is. It is the best repop 32' body. Very nice fit and reveals .

Thanks on the 409. The car started with my desire to have a 409(W Block)
powered roadster and so far so good. You know, How do you make a
Ford go fast? Put a Chevy in it. or a Fiat

You have some great cars Any one would like to have let alone in the UK! Any pictures of your 32 Ford? The 27 should be nice and quick with the turbo Fiat in it. It is allways great to see guys passionate enough to create their own

Keep up the great work

Robert

Kev Rooney
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Post by Kev Rooney » October 8th, 2007, 12:03 am

Hi Robert, I do have some pics of the modified but I'll wait until I get the supercharger fitted to post some as Guy likes some tech content and 'heart' to his postings ( and rightly so too ) rather than some pretty external pictures.

robert kenney
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New Addition to the Stable

Post by robert kenney » December 13th, 2007, 3:17 am

We went to Bakersfield for the 16th "California Hot Rod Reunion". I crew and work on my buddies 40' Willies A/Gas Gasser. We qualified 2nd in a 36 car field running a 7.614 second ET at 187mph. The A/gas is a bracket class where the fastest you can run is an ET of 7.60 seconds. Any quicker and you are disqualified. On our second qualifying run we knew the air was better lower AD (Density Altitude) and thought the same tune up would make us to fast but decided to give it a try knowing our place was safe. We ran a 7.587. O well.

We went on to win first place after 4 rounds of racing. A great week end.
I attached a few pictures from the weekend.
A few car specs.
Engine: 540-inch big block Chevy Blown (24 LB) on methanol
Aluminum Keith Black block
Dart 360 heads (360 cc intake ports)
.800" (20.5 mm) + lift roller cam, approx. 295 dur. @. 050, 116 LC
13.0-1 compression
Littlfield 10-71 blower
Endrel mechanical fuel injection. Port and blower injectors.
Current tune up develops about 1500 HP but will do 2000+ on 36 lb
Runs 8300 - 8500 rpm through the finish line
Trans: 3 speed Jeffco in back of a Donavan converter drive
Car: Hand built tubular chassie with chopped Willys body. 2450 lbs.

The Drag racing has grown on me. So much so that a friend and I bought a "Nostalgia Funny Car" See pictures.

Currently the body is off for paint and we will be stripping the chassie for a bit of reworking and new black paint.

We will be running the engine from the Willys for a season while I build a new one for the car. Should run 7.00 with the same tune up @ 1800 lbs

Guy Croft
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Post by Guy Croft » December 13th, 2007, 11:10 am

What can I say?!

WAY TO GO!

GC

robert kenney
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Post by robert kenney » December 13th, 2007, 3:51 pm

Guy, Hi
Thanks, nice to have all the hard work pay off.
I will post pictures of the funny car progress and engine build.

Robert

robert kenney
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by robert kenney » March 30th, 2008, 5:04 pm

To update the Fiat project I thought a few pictures would be appropriate.

Its maiden voyage went off without a hitch. it is smooth as silk at 4500-5000. Looks like all ov the research paid off. Seems to have a torque curve that will mature around 5500 rpm although it has only seen 4500 and half throttle. It has a healthy idle @ 1000 and is very easy to drive around town shifting at 3000. I am impressed by its docile nature even with the long duration cam it is still smooth under a load. Don't think burying the stock tach needle will be a problem (8000-rpm) but will have to wait 500 miles before the real test.

Guy, you get a big THANK YOU for all of the experienced guidance.

Robert
Robert Kenney # 111

Guy Croft
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by Guy Croft » March 31st, 2008, 8:30 am

MODEL POST!

Excellent 'project management', a mix of interest with outstanding photos, beautifully 'clean' 124 installation, well done Robert. Thanks, this takes time to present and is exemplary when it comes.

GC

robert kenney
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by robert kenney » April 1st, 2008, 2:49 pm

Guy,
Glad to see you like the outcome.
I bit of fine tuning and it should be good to go.

Many thanks.
Robert
Robert Kenney # 111

robert kenney
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by robert kenney » May 11th, 2008, 5:21 pm

One more toy. I guess you can't have to many hobbies. This is a 1965 International Harvestor Scout. Powered by a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder that only developes 90 hp @4400 but lots of torque. Lots of fun off roading or just tooling around in the bright California sun shine. I am in the middle of adding dual DHLA 40H (brand new) and a Garrett GT25-54 turbo. The target is 180 hp @ 4500rpm. I built the engine with this in mind but have driven it 5000 miles on the stock fuel system. Now it is time to get to work.

Robert
Robert Kenney # 111

hollypenos
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by hollypenos » May 14th, 2008, 3:56 am

124 SPIDER UPDATE!!

Ok, So the thread is under my brother's cars...but the 124 is MY BABY! I am just chicken to post a question my because you all know so much ... especially Guy. I think it is unbelievable that someone with Guy's expertise would give free advice at such an advanced level! THANK-YOU GUY!!
Back to the car...I owned my 124 for 21 years and loved it but at stock power. I decided to do a restoration to bring it to what it is capable of...at least European specs of the early 1800 cc Fiats. My brother volunteered to be the engineer and mechanic and brought it to, conservatively, 165 HP. (I don't think he knew what he volunteered for) After tons of research, we agreed to make it the most powerful while still having some low end drivability. We have the original block with a balanced 2 L crank, custom pistons, and rods and Guy Croft IIIA Cams as well an assortment of his other performance parts hooked to an original waffle manifold with dual 40 IDFs and a completely custom exhaust manifold and ex system. (If Guy Croft recommends any parts or any advice...Know that they are the best for your car. Follow his advice implicitly and don't short cut!! or your car will ultimately pay the price...Very few people know the particulars of upgrading a Fiat Spider even when they say they know it all. My original head was destroyed by a company that promised it was the best.It only took 10 months to figure it out!!) Trust Guy he knows your car!! My 124's fine tuning is a bit difficult as I live at 8000 ft but after 1000 miles on the engine we are doing well. My 124 has terrific speed!! At about 4000 RPM the engine quiets down and starts to accelerate all on its own. I screamed past an 8 cylinder Corvette at 5500+ RPM on a 2 lane road because he was going too slow. Before my stock engine was too gutless to pass safely with, especially at my altitude. Now DO YOU WANT TO RACE!! My 124 will go past the stock tach without thinking about it. One of these days I will get Him on a test track to see how fast He goes. Until then I will enjoy my little roadster thanks to the dedication of my brother and the eXpertise of Guy Croft. Thank-you Robert and Guy!!
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hollypenos
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by hollypenos » August 30th, 2008, 3:26 am

Well Little Putt is in for its next step. We stripped it of parts and took it to be stripped to metal and re-finished (engine compartment excluded). It will be the closest match to its stock midnight blue. I need the outside to look as fast as the engine!! The dash is now a custom high polish "crotchwood" mohagany (where the branches biforcate) along with a Nardi steering wheel and matching center consol wood and shift knob. When the paint is finished, I will install the interior and top as well as the re-chromed exterior parts. The parts have been in my guest bedroom for ONLY 3 years. Good thing my pet-dog doesn't mind! I will post pictures as soon as I can figure out how to do them correctly.
Again Thank-you to GUY CROFT AND ROBERT...You guys made my "Little Putt" into a "Really Fast Little Putt."
Hoppinhollypenos
HK #110 & 1996

hollypenos
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Re: 124 Spider, 32' Roadster and B/B Funny Car

Post by hollypenos » June 20th, 2009, 3:50 am

High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
Advice you can trust: Questions and Answers with race engine expert Guy Croft.
Competition engines and 'live' projects only please..
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Report this postReply with quote High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by robert kenney on January 12th, 2009, 1:05 pm

Guy,
From early on the new engine I built for my sisters Spyder has had a small issue with low RPM, high relative throttle missing.

If you need a engine spec refresher I'll be happy to post.

Here are the symptoms in 3rd or 4th gear @ around 3400 rpm, and with high throttle settings like up hills the engine suffers from an miss fire (goes away with less pedal) . A down shift and the miss is gone and runs extremely strong. This is at sea level and did not improve after reaching 9000+ feet altitude. To me that kind of rules out detonation with the low effective compression. I had my sister do a hard main jet run (4-5 minutes 1/2 or more throttle @ 4000 + rpm) plug check and she got a good tan to off white reading at 9000 feet. Around town the plugs can look dark brown.

When the engine was first test driven I had 180 air correctors installed but it had a fairly pronounced transitional flat spot so I went up to 190 A/C's. After that the flat spot was much better but the miss surfaced. I don't know for sure if the miss was there before the AC change but I had not experienced it to that point. Could it still be lean? I figured that if it was a lean condition the increase in altitude would be an improvement. I believe the effectiveness of the air corrector jet may be diminished at higher density altitudes by imparting less emulsion motivation on the fuel thus a later effective emulsion creation.

Would appreciate having your professional opinion here.

Robertrobert kenney

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Report this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by Guy Croft on January 13th, 2009, 12:32 am

Hi Rob

misfire is very unlikely to be jetting. Do a comp test and if OK look for blocked idle jet (if you're on IDF - very common) or ignition pack/cabling breakdown. If the tacho flickers when the misfire occurs it's low tension ignition circuit failure, which the Marelli electronic amp unit is prone to after about 60,000miles (or in old age, 10 years plus).

Could just be a plug too I guess but they are a lot more reliable than they used to be. Worth mentioning that if the idle mixtures are out of true a plug can foul after prolonged low speed driving and only clear after several attempts at full throttle. Sometimes they never clean off.

Hope this helps in the 1st instance.

GCGuy Croft
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Report this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by robert kenney on January 13th, 2009, 9:12 am

Guy,
I leaked down the motor several times duging the break-in period and after say about 1200 miles and always less than 1% hot or cold.

The ignition is a covverted Marelli dual point distributer. Converted to Crane CDI box with a optical/shutter pick-up on the breaker plate and MSD high output coil. I verified the rotor/shutter phasing and it looked fine. I will recheck. I really don't like the mickey mouse shutter wheel mounting and may make a custom shutter to replace the points cam completely.

The plug wires are wire wound 10 mm (IIRC) and new.

I have gone through a couple of idle jet changes during tuning and not found any blockage.

Funny you bring up plugs. Some times the most simple item is over looked and the cause.

Thanks for the reply....Robertrobert kenney

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Report this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by Guy Croft on January 13th, 2009, 10:04 am

Thanks Rob

Check out that tacho behaviour I mentioned.

Idle jets, OK. I assume the pump jets are functioning perfectly - not dribbling or failing to inject a good laminar spray on throttle opening..

GGuy Croft
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Report this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by robert kenney on January 13th, 2009, 10:22 am

Guy,
I will check the tach function also.

Pump's work flawlessly.

Thanks Again

Robertrobert kenney

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Report this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by robert kenney on May 15th, 2009, 6:42 am

I wanted to update this post with my findings. I finaly got the Spder back to my house from the paint shop and had a chance to look it over. The tach function was good. I had upgraded the ignition with a Crane CDI and optical trigger, all plug wires and other ignition components were new with the new engine.

I suspected the trigger timing to the rotor/cap alignment was a possible cause. After removing the cap and viewing the post /rotor tip errosion it was clear that at the moment of spark that the rotor was before the post as the errosion was located on the leading edge of both. A larger spark gap and high cylinder pressures are a bad mix.

So after going through the rotor phasing regiment again and retiming the engine to 36 degrees total timing it seems to run much better, starts better, idles better and will take an instant full throttle snap of the pedal without even a wimper. No sign of missfire can be picked up. More driving will be required to know for sure but so far so good.

The car is back with its owner being reassembled. so I will wait and see what the feed back is.

Thanks for the help,
Robertrobert kenney

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Edit postDelete postReport this postReply with quote Re: High Load Missfire on Fiat T/C
by hollypenos on Today, 7:34 pm

OK, I am the owner of Little Putt. My car is back from the painter and all the exterior parts are on...I think the the misfire problem is solved, but I have a heater core leak that needs fixing before I will know for sure. (Good thing the whole interior is out of the car.) I guess this is the best time to fix this problem. I am fortunate that the person who designed the upgrades for my car is going to be in my city at 8000FT in the middle of July. We will be able to adjust the Twin 40IDFs properly as well as the ignition misfire problem. I just need to install the interior so we have seats to sit in to test the car by then.
I will keep you posted.

If parts of this post look weird...I cut and pasted from the post my designer started with Guy. The post was from Robert as to "HIgh Load on Fiat TC Misfire" Post in January 09
Holly Kenney
HK #110 & 1996

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