La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

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RRoller123
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby RRoller123 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:28 am

Oh man, that is shame! It brings to mind an important question I have had on belt tension. I understand that we just let the spring set the amount of tension on the belt and then tighten the pivot bolt (not sure what torque should be) and the tensioner bearing nut to 33ft-lbs in that position and that does it? But do we go back and readjust after the belt has run in for awhile? I assume it would stretch a little after a few dozen miles and therefore the tension would lessen?
'80 FI Spider 2000 (rolling "resto")
'74 X1/9 (many years ago)
'79 X1/9 (fewer years ago)
'86 Jaguar XJ6 (2nd Hobby Car)
2011 Chevy Malibu (daily driver)
2010 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Ext Cab 4WD/SB
2015 Keystone Montana High Country 343RL

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Zulu
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Your car is a: 1977 Fiat 124 Sport Spider
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby Zulu » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:38 am

Nelson,

Sorry to hear about your timing belt issue. Those are never good.

Your car is absolutely beautiful. It is exactly the color I want to paint mine later this year. I'm also going for the older bumpers/turn signals and stock steelies. Our cars are practically going to be twins :D

What color did you put on? I was going to go for Lancia Blue.

Zulu
1975 Fiat 124 Sport Spider
1977 Fiat 124 Sport Spider (Project)
2024 Bugatti Veyron Super Duper Sport

PM me if you need any CS1 parts

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nelsonj
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:02 pm

I installed my new gear reduction starter last night....

This photo has the old and new side-by-side:

Image

Here it is installed, a before and after comparison:

Before
Image
After
Image

Even though the head is off, I did crank it (very briefly) just to ensure correct wiring. It sounded fast and strong! Weighs about half the original and gives me a lot more space down there - easy install!

My head and all the parts are being machined and rebuilt as I speak. Hope to have the car back up and running in three weeks or so. I have used the time to finally properly relocate my alternator to the original "no A/C" position, remove some non-functional engine weight, and I have really cleaned out the engine bay. It didn't seem that dirty until I actually cleaned it out!

Hopefully I will post nice pictures of a shiny rebuilt head soon...

There are additional pictures and discussion on the starter replacement here:

http://www.fiatspider.com/f08/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=19133
Last edited by nelsonj on Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby RRoller123 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:25 am

That is very nice!
'80 FI Spider 2000 (rolling "resto")
'74 X1/9 (many years ago)
'79 X1/9 (fewer years ago)
'86 Jaguar XJ6 (2nd Hobby Car)
2011 Chevy Malibu (daily driver)
2010 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Ext Cab 4WD/SB
2015 Keystone Montana High Country 343RL

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nelsonj
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Your car is a: 1972 Spider 124

Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:48 am

I picked up my head today. It was cleaned/resurfaced, new valves and seals installed, valves lapped, cam towers installed with all new seals and new (used) metal gears, and shimmed. I supplied all the parts, and Santo did the rest - $280 and it is ready to drop back on the block.

Here it is with the old plastic gears with it in the box.

Image


I have everything ready to go, I put on a new head gasket. I was going to to this solo, but it is a bit too awkward, and I decided I need a helper. Hopefully my friend and part-time helper Mario will be available tomorrow evening for dinner and slave labor...

I spent a lot of time cleaning the engine and bay - it looks pretty pretty in that picture. If all goes well, I will be back on the road for the weekend after July 4th.... I will keep posting.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
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Romans 10:9

dmwhiteoak
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Your car is a: 1972 Fiat 124 spider
Location: White Oak Tx

Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby dmwhiteoak » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:27 am

Looks like you have it going your way. :D Good luck.
Dennis Modisette

1972 124 Spider
2003 Chevrolet Z71
2007 GMC Yucon

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nelsonj
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:13 am

Good progress today. I got help from Mario and was able to put the head on. My wood dowels did not work. You have to angle the head back/down, then front/down. As a result, I could only use one guide in the front. It was not as easy as hoped, and it actually took us 4 tries before I was satisfied the head and gasket were all correctly aligned. The first time I forgot to put on the exhaust manifold gasket.This was most definitely a job for 2 - I would not try to put the head on without a helper (unless you had some suspension/drop set up).

Here is a pic after we finally got the head on correctly (I hope).

Image

Image
Next, I had to torque the 10 head bolts. Here is the pattern I followed:

Image

I did things in four steps, following the pattern each time.
Step 1: I just put in all the bolts with almost no torque just with a normal socket
Step 2: I used a 'Breaker" torque wrench and put on 50 lbs on each bolt
Step 3: I used a "bender" torque wrench and put about 61 lbs on each bolt. I made sure they could hold the 61 lbs for 5 seconds without moving. At least with my wrench, it was hard to be accurate. I had between 61 and 65 lbs per bolt.
Step 4: I rechecked all the bolts in order with the "bender" wrench to make sure they were holding at least 61 lbs for 5 seconds. I think 2 bolts needed additional torquing.


Finally, I installed the air injector plugs from Vick's. They are the 3 small black hex plugs in the upper middle part of the picture.

Image

Anyway, this is my first head replacement and hopefully I didn't bang up the new valves in the process (of lifting and recentering the head 4 times...). But in the end, everything seemed to torque up cleanly and without out any issues (I reused my original bolts) - so I am optimistic.

I hope to get much more done tomorrow....there is a chance I may have the car running in the PM if all goes well.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
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Romans 10:9

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124JOE
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby 124JOE » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:49 am

looking good
when you do everything correct people arent sure youve done anything at all (futurama)
ul1joe@yahoo.com 124joe@gmail.com

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FiatMac
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby FiatMac » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:16 am

Zulu wrote:What color did you put on? I was going to go for Lancia Blue.

Zulu


Nelson,
I am also interested in knowing what paint and color was used to paint your car. I have a dark blue '78 Fiat awaiting restoration, and that looks like the color I would like to use. I had been looking at a Chrysler PB7 paint code which is a dark pearl blue.
Stan McConnell
Retired Mechanical Engineer
Salisbury, North Carolina
82 2000 Spider (driving)
78 124 Spider on the rotisserie
76 124 Spider parts car or possible Lemons racer
83 parts car

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nelsonj
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:05 am

Ok - the paint is an Audi a6 color Deep blue sea pearl. It is very similar to the Chrysler color, it was also one the colors I toyed with.
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Simi Valley, California
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nelsonj
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:14 am

Bella lives !!! (but leaks....).

Ok - I spent about 14 hours today working on the car and the good news is Bella is running! Bad news is I have a small leak in that obscure oil/gas vapor separator under the intake manifold that will need attention before she is road-ready. Also, I have to get the throttle, idle and ignition timing recalibrate before it can hit the road...

Where to start...
Like most people, I always seem to have a few extra parts left over when I am done. Such as these

Image
and these

Image

I made one BIG mistake that looks like it cost my at least three hours. Please learn from me - I DID NOT PUT ON THE INTAKE MANIFOLD before I installed the head.
It turns out that once the head is on, you cannot put on the intake manifold unless you remove this curious device...
Image

It sits directly below the intake and is held in place by a single long bolt. You can imagine the panic that set in when I went to put the intake on and I could not do it! I was thinking "It was on the head when I took the head off, does that mean I will have to take the head off to get the intake back on?????". I was soooo happy when I removed this "vapor separator" device and the intake went on. I was still happy two hours later- the full time spent trying to get that vapor separator reinstalled, when I final got that single both back in place. However, I also spent about two hours getting the six bolts on the intake tightened - the two underneath are really, really trick.

Learn from my mistake: INSTALL THE INTAKE BEFORE putting the head back on. This would have saved me at least three hours basically on 5 bolts.

Ok...first task of the day was installing the exhaust. For some reason, my head only came back from the machine shop with two studs. One other stud came out during disassembly and I had it, but that still meant I had two nuts without studs - unacceptable.


Here I got a big break. I went to Lowe's hardware and bought these:

Image

They are an exact fit so instead of using studs and nuts, I just used these bolts. Worked great and they were like $1.50 for two.

With the exhaust on next I put on the timing belt. No problems at all - this is now the 4th time I have put on the belt as part of the project. I lock down the tensioner in the "untensioned" position, I got everything set up (remember to set the Aux gear to around 1 o'clock) and then I released the tension, push on it a bit, and then tighten the bolts. I used a torque wrench this time and set them to the factory spec.
Image

Next - I decided to "cut" my t-belt guard before reinstalling it. The idea is I can take either the top or bottom off to inspect my belt, gears and waterpump without having to mess with draining the radiator. Santo told me "don't cut it", but he later backed off to "do whatever you want" - so I did it.

Image

I was missing the middle bolt, and I caught another break. By installing a spacer, I was able to use another bolt from Lowe's,

Next - I finally mounted the alternator in the original "no A/C position". I didn't have a belt that fit, so I used old belts, pinched them, chalked them, and figured out how much shorter my new belt needed to be. It turns out a 1.1m belt fit perfectly. Again I got a break.

Then I attacked the intake - again this was the hardest part of the day as noted. Just install the intake before you install the head and save hours...

I plugged various vacuum lines no longer in use, and tried to wire up my charcoal canister to a small vacuum port on the intake manifold. I also connected the water lines to the head and the small one from the heater back to the head. I also put in the sparkplugs when there was nothing in the way. I then had to reconnect the fuel line to the carb, put back the hot lead to the electric choke, put back the vacuum line to the break booster, remounted the throttle linkage and roughly adjust it.

Next I wired up the dizzy, plug wires, ICM. I labeled everything (in two locations) so there was no confusion in getting the correct wire to the correct plug.

Somewhere before the dizzy I added the cam cover gaskets and gaskets to the thumb screws. Santo advised me to add oil to the cam towers before installing the gaskets, so I did.

And then finally I dropped in the radiator, rewired the temp sender and connected the fan power. I poured fluid in through the hose that connects the water T to the radiator. I wanted to make sure the head had coolant before I cranked the engine. I also filled the radiator, shook the car, blew in the hose, and generally bled the system of air. (no picture)

Well it was time for the moment of truth - would the car start? I tell you, it was not pretty. It cranked and cranked - I guess my spark timing was too far off & I had carb cleaner in the carb, so I adjusted it (by guess work) and kept trying. I didn't have the dizzy cap properly tightened, and after it started rattling, I corrected it. Finally it started, and back fired and made all sorts of complaints and idled above 3000RPM . However, the car seemed to run properly (given the bad timing), and the fan turned on at about the right temp, but the engine seemed to be running a bit hot (likely due to poor timing and the need to get coolant fully circulating). YES! It seem like my 4 attempts at head alignment did not beat things up too badly. Also, the new starter worked great!

However, I inspected the car after running it and found a leak at - you guessed it - the vapor separator. I am not all that surprised, its gasket broke during the two hour reinstall process, so I smudged on some make-a-gasket. I will have to do a better job sealing this/correcting the leak, before the car is road worthy.

Ok - so I still have to get the leak fixed, get the throttle cable adjusted, and set the idle and timing. But the car is alive and the major work (t-belt change and head gasket change) seem to be in good shape.

Stay tuned... but so far I am pretty happy with the progress and the quality of the repair.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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nelsonj
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Re: Head repair almost complete

Postby nelsonj » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:21 am

Quick update:
1) I took off the vapor separator, made a home-made gasket, and reinstalled it. The entire process took about 1.5 hours. It looks like the leak is gone. :)

2) rerouted my vapor canister and plugged a few things on the intake. Some of my ruberish plug caps blew off when the engine backfired, I will have to come up with better plugs.

3) mounted the spark plug wiring bracket on the cam tower, and cleaned up my spark plug wire routing. To prevent shorting, I try to make sure none of the wires touch each other, and that no wire is resting on metal.

4) adjusted the throttle linkages and timed the ignition by ear (just to get it closer).

Ran the car with the adjustments, and it sounded very good. The car ran much cooler with the tuning closer to correct, it took longer to reach fan temperature, and the temp stayed about mid-gauge while the fan cycled. Also, no leaks! I did hear some noises that would come and go. One of them reminded me of the "ticking" I heard before the t-belt slipped the first time, but it did not seem to be coming from the t-belt area.

Tomorrow - time permitting - I will
1) take off half of my t-belt cover and inspect the belt for any signs of gear wear or cutting.
2) pull out the timing light and set the static timing for 10ish BTDC (this was a sweat spot before the "incident") and reset the idle back to 900 or so.

If all goes well and sounds good, I will put back on the stock aircleaner, the battery cover and go for a test ride. I am optimistic that Bella will ride again...

On thing that has my attention, there is a noticeable amount of "smog" coming out from the tubing connected to the vapor separator. Normally this hose connects back to the air cleaner and is "recycled" through the carburetor (and one never sees these fumes), but the air clearing is still off so the tube is unconnected and just spewing fumes at this stage. I am a bit surprised at the amount of smog - I hope this is normal and normally unseen, or that during the head exchange a small amount of coolant got in the oil and this is just "steaming out". Anyway, I will change the oil once everything else seems correct, and will keep an eye on the amount of "smog" being recycled back to the air filter.
Last edited by nelsonj on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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FiatMac
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby FiatMac » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:50 am

nelsonj wrote:Ok - the paint is an Audi a6 color Deep blue sea pearl. It is very similar to the Chrysler color, it was also one the colors I toyed with.

Thanks! I am going to look into using that color.
Stan McConnell
Retired Mechanical Engineer
Salisbury, North Carolina
82 2000 Spider (driving)
78 124 Spider on the rotisserie
76 124 Spider parts car or possible Lemons racer
83 parts car

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nelsonj
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:37 pm
Your car is a: 1972 Spider 124

Re: First test drive with new head

Postby nelsonj » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:20 am

I put on the the air cleaner, hooked up the hoses from the vapor separator and charcoal canister, put a few better vacuum plugs on the intake, and put the spark plug wire mount back on the cam tower. At this stage the car had everything back on it. I hooked up my timing light, started the car to let it warm up. Fortunately I noticed I had coolant leaking from the water T area. I turned off the car and tracked it down to the hose/clamp from the T to the radiator. It had mild corrosion and although I though it was tight, it was not. I used a socket to snug it up, and I checked all the other hose clamps while I was at it. I started the car again and the leak was solved. The car fan cycled on and off a few times, and the I set the spark timing and idle. Set the timing to a hair above 10BTDC and the idle just under 1000. The timing is a bit "jumpy" so I may of some issues developing in the dizzy/magnetic pickup.

Ok, with everything all set, and triple inspected for no leaks, it was test drive time.

One word: Wow!!!!!

The combination of the new head, proper timing, non-functional emission removal and no vacuum leaks surpassed my expectations. Silky smooth and the car never felt faster/pouncier. I just took it down the road to gas it up, on the freeway for less than a mile and then back home - but it drove fantastic. I was expecting this to be a lot of work with no performance improvement, but so far I feel a BIG difference. :D :D :D

Tomorrow AM I will change the oil and continue to break in the new head and double check for leaks and loose parts. I plan to recheck the torque of the head bolts after I put on 150 miles or so.

:)
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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RRoller123
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Your car is a: 1980 FI SPIDER 2000
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby RRoller123 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:47 am

Gotta love a happy result!
'80 FI Spider 2000 (rolling "resto")
'74 X1/9 (many years ago)
'79 X1/9 (fewer years ago)
'86 Jaguar XJ6 (2nd Hobby Car)
2011 Chevy Malibu (daily driver)
2010 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Ext Cab 4WD/SB
2015 Keystone Montana High Country 343RL


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