1978 Fiat Rally Project

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FiatRally
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:57 am

Hallo to all members,

I am in Cape Town, South Africa and have been viewing this forum for years. Got my book from GC for so long, I could not remember where it was hidden!

Thank you for allowing me onto this forum Guy!

I have had a few Fiat's in my life, but my brother and late father's cars have always kept me keen on owning and bringing back to life what would be in my mind the last of the true Fiats.

The Fiat 131 TC!!
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:48 am

I have tried a few times to become a proud owner of 1 and have been forced to part with them due to some reason.

Well this 1 is for keeps and even if it takes years to restore, so be it!!

I have found a 131 Rally with only 77000km and 1 owner on its card. After lots of convincing and pleading I managed to get the "car mad lady" to sell this rust bucket to me for restoration.
This is a 1978 Fiat Rally that was built in South Africa. It came standard with all original parts, except for what the rust could get hold of over the years!!
It was parked out in the open next to the beach on the Cape South Coast. I thought she wanted to see how long it would take the sea and winter mist to eat it up!!
Well it survived for more than 2 years out there and I tried everything to get her to sell it before that big monster ate it all up.

I never even looked inside the car or inside the engine bay. These were so hard to come by over the past 15 years. After her agreeing to sell and the price was made, I rented a trailer and made the "trek" from Durbanville near Cape Town to Pearly Beach to go and rescue this piece of South African automotive history. Most people know the 131 series of cars, but very few will remember the 131 Rally as it came fitted with a SOHC 1600 Pushrod engines and 4 speed gearboxes. It had solid disk brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. In South Africa they came with Momo Magnesium Alloy wheels and the scoop on the bonnet. There was no airway under the scoop as it was just for show. These were not based on the later Mirafiori S as the 2000Rs were.

After collecting the vehicle I took the first look inside and it was a "Dustbin". The engine bay looked bad and I think that this car was left for dead!
I took to it with my trusted old power washer and after a few days of cleaning and washing over and over again a Fiat started to emerge.

I checked the oil on the dipstick and removed the spark plugs. The oil was so old I dont think it was ever changed since the car was new. The plugs were black and looked as if it could have been the factory fitted units!!
I cleaned the plugs and regapped them. I got a battery out, put some fuel in a can and connected a pype to the carburator. The carburator was not touched!
I turned the key and after a bit of pumping and cranking for short bursts the "old Italian Stallion" fired up and I was shocked!!!
I had to keep it going by foot as it would not idle. It sounded like a Fiat and it had a lot of tappet noise. I started inspecting the car throughout and was amazed to find the car in such a good condition. After all the years of neglect it was in a fear condition.
The body's got a lot of surface rust and only at the back panels is real bad rusting. This is easy fixes and will be totally restored with new panels and a good paint job.
All the parts on the car were original and complete. I was happy with my purchase then and have spent some time with this vehicle to see what I was going to do and what I want to end up with before doing any work on it.
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:57 am

This is where I found the vehicle parked on a dune hill next to the beach!

I think the license plate stands for JUMBO HORSE POWER 77.6 bHP!!!
Attachments
20120630_115511.jpg
As I found him!
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Last edited by FiatRally on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:59 am

The car has very little rust rot and mainly on the back 2 fenders and tail plate holding the rear lights.
Attachments
20120630_115526.jpg
The rot and the rims!
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:42 am

This is what the standard layout of the engine compartment looked like. I cleaned it up some and got the old engine going.
Lots of anti rust has been put down and plenty more rust converter must still be painted on before any real work can start.
Most of the rust is surface rust due to standing for so long. People have welded and used grinders next to this vehicle.
The car is full of small grinding bits that have rusted. It has penetrated through the paint.
I made a stainless steel battery try to replace the old rusted away unit. The base was still intact and I could rivet the new one directly to the base.
The fuel pump was pumping so poorly I removed it and closed it off with a plate I manufactured from 10mm Aluminum Plate.

I removed so much wiring from this car I thought it would never start again. All the wires were added over the years!
I don’t think the people knew about relays!! After removing all non standard wiring I started the process of repairing the wiring and found mostly faulty relays.
Also wound corroded contacts on the fuse box, on the engine bay side, that was causing most of the problems that led to all the added wiring.

This all was stripped and cleaned with the right terminal cleaner and coated with proper contact grease solving 90% of the problems.
I had to carefully bend some contacts on the wiring loom plugs that were damaged.
And he started without any problems!!!
Attachments
20130222_114057.jpg
The Standard Layout after some tinkering
20130222_114057.jpg (176.17 KiB) Viewed 2807 times
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:19 pm

This is the engine that I am busy preparing for my vehicle. It is an 1800 132AB1 Block. The crank has all standard journals and bearings. I have used ACL Bearings throughout. The crank has been altered to GC specifications and all the parts was sent in for balancing. The cylinders are standard bore and tight. The bores where micro honed and was still within spec. The pistons are Mahle pistons and new rings were fitted. This engine had very few miles on from new. The flywheel has been lightened and dowled to spec after lots of reading on this site! The oil pump is a new 2000 high volume unit and not altered. The sump must still be modified and built. The distributor in the block has been blocked of with my own design "plug" made from Ertalyte. I will be using the overhead distributor that runs off the exhaust cam shaft. The cam boxes with cams was bought via the internet from Canada. The distributor came from Texas in the USA. I was very lucky in finding a complete Payen Overhaul gasket set with a very good top gasket in it.

The head has been modified and I have made my own vernier pulleys from standard Fiat 131 pulleys. The cams are standard, but they will be changed to a set of Fiat 068 Abarth Cams. I have the cam profile to cut the cams to spec. I will post a picture of the profile. Unfortunetly the holes in the pulleys were cut away when manufacturing the pulleys and I had to draw out degree wheels and read a lot more on this site to get the cams setup to ensure I dont bend any Valves.
Attachments
20121215_185344.jpg
Engine dry build
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:21 pm

More on the motor!
Attachments
20121215_185329.jpg
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Last edited by FiatRally on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:27 pm

The Cam Pulleys
Attachments
20121205_163200.jpg
Cam Pulleys
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:35 pm

The Head
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:38 pm

The Head. Exhaust Ports before final polishing.
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20121215_154406.jpg
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:40 pm

The Head. Inlet Ports. Not finished!
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:05 pm

Here is a drawing of the Plug that I made out of Ertalyte for plugging and holding the oil pump drive gear in place.
I will be running the overhead distributor from the exhaust cam.

I hope my dimensions is good enough and that the supplier is correct in the specification of the material.
They say that it can handle the heat and friction as well as the oil and fuel?? We will see!!
Attachments
Distributer Plug Block Mounted.jpg
Distributer Plug Block Mounted
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FiatRally
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:33 pm

Its been a while since I worked on my car.

I have stripped the back end of the car and got the suspension and diff out and stripped.
Lots of work to follow and make sure all is well and up to spec.

I was looking at replacing the diff as I was told that our cars did not come with LS diffs!!
After draining the diff and checking the oil all looked good!! The oil was dark but no glitter or shiny particals as I expected.
I did feel the sideshafts and they felt rough when turned by hand. I could get 1 out easily but the righthand side 1 is stuck.
I will have to take it in to be removed as I want to replace both the bearings.

NEVER HAMMER A SIDESHAFT OUT!! NEVER HEAT UP A SIDE SHAFT!! These are old parts and full of metal fatige!!

Wow I got a set of NSK bearings with retainers in the box from a parts dealer for R158.85!!!! The South African Rand is only worth Pound Sterling 0.07 at present!!!
This is new old stock (NOS)!!

The diff was opened and the crownwheel cleaned as I could not find any markings anywhere outside of the diff housing.
Wow it has a 3.9 ratio and the spec said 4.1!! Also it is LS and this was not specified for our cars, nor was it an option!!
35 Teeth on the crownwheel and 9 on the pinion gear. 3.8889

The crownwheel to pinion has very little slack and the bearings feel absolutely smooth!!
I hope to find more information on this diff and parts to increase the LS ratio.
I think it is a Borg Warner diff??????

The distance from hub to hub is 1360mm.
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:39 pm

And a photo of the diff on the desk!
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20130318_130643.jpg
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FiatRally
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Location: Cape Town. South Africa
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Re: 1978 Fiat Rally Project

Post by FiatRally » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:41 pm

The diff will be reconditioned by an approved gearbox/diff centre to make it look like new!!
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