Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

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miro-1980
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Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:51 pm

Hallo all,

An opportunity cropped up to supplement the "never ending story" of building my 131 Abarth with a project being developed from the beginning to end.

Some time ago, by a set of unusual circumstances our little stable was supplemented by a 1600 131 coupe, of 1976 !

We had no plans to build another 131 Abarth replica and the car was just sitting abandoned in a garage, waiting for real fan who would appreciate this little beauty.

Sometime this summer a friend turned to us to help him building a 131 Abarth replica. He did not know of what was sitting in our garage just waiting for him. When he saw it he immediately fell in love with it.

Now wonder , it really is a beauty .....
new 1 .jpg
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new 2 .jpg
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Now the project is under way ... and we have this rare opportunity to share its development from the very beginning ...

The car is to be ultimately a replica gr 4 but will be developed in stages.

Stage 1 - body work ( body enforcement, roll cage, body panels, bonnets, dashboard, interior )
Initially the car will be on standard rigid rear axis and stock 131 hubs with upgraded brakes springs, and shocks

Stage 2 - engine ( building a rally DOHC 2.0 engine of hopefully 160-180 bhp to GC stage II rally specs

Stage 3 - installation of full gr 4 replica suspension from Rally Sports Development and original Abarth diff.

Stages 1 and 2 are planned to be completed for 2015 season , and stage 3 is currently planned to be completed for 2016 season.

Next : body and chassis inspection for rust.

Miro
Last edited by miro-1980 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
www.131abarth.pl
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:08 am

Step one : What do we got ? (body and chassis inspection for rust.)


Initial body inspection indicated it was in a very good shape for a car which has been on the road for 38 years:
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The shape of the car was so goof we could not really believe it, so we kept digging.

Document analysis seemed to confirm the mileage on the car odometer was actual and accurate !!!!!!.

The car was driven to Poland on its own. it had a current MOT. Miracle or what ?

Now this was becoming too good to be true so we kept digging further:
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rear left susp fragment .jpg
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What we saw made us a very happy bunch , but still could not believe - so we kept digging as the car was prepared for reinforcement and welding in the roll cage....

( more is coming ... very soon )


Miro
Last edited by miro-1980 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
www.131abarth.pl
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:50 am

Preparing the car for chassis weld strengthening- the car must be literally taken apart.

This gave us an excellent opportunity to find the real rust weak spots ...

Well, this is what we found :
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We have found no rust problems of the structural elements in the car. Minor rust problems with the body panels are of no issue as all the wings and bonnets will be replaced with light weight fiberglass elements. The doors as as new , too. It really looks like a miracle or does it ?

Maybe all those that say that fiats of the 70's and 80's were just a rusty pieces of junk the moment they left the factory, were wrong. Well, this car proves that if cared for , Fiat 131 can last forever and have virtually no rust issues.

With this conclusion the car went to specialized garage where they will strengthen the chassis for sports and install a FIA certified roll cage.
on its way (24).JPG
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The car has already been registered as "historic vehicle" has yellow plates and has undergone the last MOT in its life. The rest will be technical inspections conducted by stewards before it is allowed to start in a rally. We hope its first rally start will take place in April 2015.

Next: cage installation and body strengthening in about two weeks . In the mean time please enjoy these lovely pictures of a healthy 131 coupe body and chassis. It really is a rarity, nowadays.


Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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Nobby
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by Nobby » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:00 pm

Looks excellent. Didn't know they came in this colour.
Chris Burgess
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:01 am

Latest update

We are waiting for the car to come back from the welder , but in the meantime we have key Abarth suspension parts for it:
parts 3.jpg
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It comes from a Stradale, but under the circumstances of a very short supply and great demand we were extremely lucky to get those. These are all homologated so the car will have fully historic Abarth independent suspension ( no re-manufactured parts).

More to come soon .

Miro

PS: other parts like ARB's for rear and front and rear struts are also here ( though not shown of the pictures) ...
www.131abarth.pl
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:45 am

Here is a small picture update.

As pictures say more than words , I will keep my comments to a bare minimum

The body is so fresh it is almost unbelievable !

This is a 1976 car !!! almost 40 years and the body and chassis is practically with no trace or any rust !!!


The cage was welded in. Most of chassis strengthening reinforcements are done.

The light panels and aluminum sheet doors are being fitted.

Miro

PS: the roll cage really is a masterpiece !
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www.131abarth.pl
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:15 pm

Few parts just arrived ...
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We are also planning proper set of camshafts... to match expected engine specs and characteristics ... We can either pick up one of many sets sitting of a wine shelf , or design one specifically for this engine. We are indeed lucky to have in-house expertise in designing camshafts as well as technical capability to make them. Guys that do it are all well over their 60-s , which means that the younger generation will be pretty much stuck with off the shelf ones.
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Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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Will01
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by Will01 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:24 pm

Some nice shiny bits there
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FiatRally
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by FiatRally » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:00 pm

Hello Miro,

Please tell us what pistons are those that you are going to use.

The weight must be heavy with the shape of the dome?

Regards,

Ernst
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:45 pm

Hi Ernst,

We are sort of working with what we got in our garage and garages of our friends.

I know the pistons are drop forged and US made, but have to find out who made them.
They are the high , but not as heavy as they look. In fact I will weight them to see how much they actually weigh.

Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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Will01
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by Will01 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:17 pm

This does look like a really nice build, i still can't quite believe how great condition the car is to start with.
Looking forward to following the build as you progress
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:34 pm

Well,

This is really in unbelievable !!!

I gave seen so many pictures of 131 total rust piles being returned to life , but this one . It is truly amazing.

Its is like finding a jewel !

Thanks for your comments. I will keep updating this thread as things happen.

Should make a nice story with lots of pictures.

Rgds

Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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FiatRally
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by FiatRally » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:55 pm

Miro,

You are right, that car is a gem and it really needs to be built into a masterpiece!

Please if you can post pictures of the chassis strengthening that you do to a body like that. From front to back.

Also where all do you seem weld the chassis please.

I am so envious of your projects and hope to get all the cars that I am busy with to a standard close to what you are able to do.

All the best,

Ernst
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:21 pm

Ernst,

I also envy the car owner
Now am only helping him to compete this project.

This car has in fact a funny history. I bought it for a friend whose client urgently needed 131 2dr for a 131 Abarth replica project.

When I saw the car I bought it , but by this time the client lost interest.

I think this client (whom I never met) did not trust my judgment and he decided to buy a 131 Racing in UK, which he could inspect locally.

So I was stuck with a car I did not need ... and nobody seemed to want it.

People new the car came from Sweden and may have feared that Swedish snow turned it into a pile of junk. ( They forgot that cars rus5t due to humidity and salt not snow. The Swedes never use salt to melt the snow, while salt is used ll over Europe causing the cars to rust, especially where it is dump during 3 out of 4 seasons of the year , like in UK)

Ultimately a local friend turned to me to help him build a 131 Abarth replica , and when he saw the car he put cash on the table.
Right I am helping him to build it ... The man who is actually doing all the work is my mechanic , who knows my 131 inside out and has extremely wide experience with competition car preparation ( engines, suspension, body) as well specialized knowledge of Fiats. He builds all cars as it each of them was for his own racing/rallying.

So the current owner guys is indeed a very lucky man ...

Rgds

Miro

PS: will ask for pictures of seem welding and body strengthening and post them, when I get them.
www.131abarth.pl
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miro-1980
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Re: Buiding a 131 Abarth Replica STEP -BY-STEP

Post by miro-1980 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:17 pm

Here is a curent body building picture update ...
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With body reinforced , the cage welded in and the panels mounted it is going to paint shop soon..

Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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