La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

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nelsonj
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Your car is a: 1972 Spider 124

Re: La Bella Ferrara - Lada Dizzy is up and running

Postby nelsonj » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:18 am

Hello all and Happy New Year - my best wishes to all here at FiatSpider.com.

Ok - so after being out of town for week I was able to work on the car today.
After contacting Vick's, they sent me a long stud needed for the installation, a screw for the one missing in the rotor and instructions for wiring.


Here it is installed.

Image

The long stud interfered with the wiring harness of the dizzy, so I only had about 15 degrees of total timing flexibility because of the stud and other clearances. In the pic below, you can see I don't have much room due to the proximity of the manifold.

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If the stud had been about 1.5 inches shorter, I would have had a lot more timing movement. Anyway, I basically had to time the car by removing the dizzy cap, and physically lifting the dizzy shaft our of the gear pit, and turning the rotor, and then reinstalling. After the third try, I had the timing very close, and then the 10-15 degrees of movement was plenty. (I have it timed about 10 degree BTDC).

During the installation, it dawned on my that I would have to run both run 12VDC to the coil (I wish the instructions were clearer on this), and I would have to rewire my tachometer if I wanted it to work. I decided (at least for the time being) to simply run extension wires from the original coil hook up on the passenger side, above the fire wall, and to the new coil on the driver side. The idea was to make this very easy to "reverse the installation" if I decide to go back to a traditional setup. Not the prettiest thing, but it is completely reversible and fully functional.

Also note, I have not removed the old dizzy yet - but all the electronics are disconnected. I also have the old coil still in place at this stage.

Of note, my spark plug wires (except plug 1) really had a hard time reaching the plugs from the new dizzy location. If each wire was about two inches longer, I would have felt a lot better. They all fit, but I don't like the "bends" needed to make everything reach. You can see some off this here:

Also note, I have an 1800, but I have a Weber 32/36 DFEV. As a result, I used the "bent" air filter from the original 1972 engine to fit the shape of this carb. All the wires fit under the air filter, but there is not much space. If I were running a "lunchbox" air cleaner, there would not be any clearance issues. I don't know how the clearance would look with the 1800 air filter on, but my guess is it would be marginally better (it doesn't bend down at the end).

Note that the new dizzy is held down by the clamp that previously held down the "plug". I was able to get things to tighten up respectably, so I am optimistic the mount will hold up well under extended driving conditions. I will have to reuse the plug once I remove the original dizzy. However, it is too long to fit in the cam tower, and the "thin part" (about 1 1/4 inches down) will need to be hacked off with a saw. I will then use the original dizzy clamp to hold the plug and plug the cam tower hole.

Ok, enough already with the installation....so how did it drive???!!??

I have only put on about 20 miles - but so far it feels great. Recall I disconnected the vacuum advance on my original, and even so after running and stopping, the advance would stick and it would rev way to high. Both problems are now solved. The vacuum seems to be working smoothly and seamlessly, and the advance returns every time I slow down. The advance curve seem just about the same as on my original, but everything seems to run smoothly and it just feels "stronger". Could be a better spark for the new coil, or it could be just everything is new. So far even with the "bends" in the plug wires, they all seem to be working perfectly.

Verdict: So far I am feeling good about this. I plan on putting a few hundred miles on this setup (making sure everything is solid and there are no oil leaks) before removing and plugging the original cam driven dizzy. I will post after putting some more miles on it.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:55 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: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:34 am

Hello all - Merry Christmas (2014) and Happy New Year! And Happy Chanukah while I'm at it.
Long time no post, but the car has been running very well for the last year.

Let's see, what happened this year...

I entered Bella in my first car show ever (a charity event at work), didn't win anything but many friends and co-works said very nice things about her. I spent some "stupid money" to get ready for the show and bought new rear headlights (lenses and fixtures). They look great, but were overpriced and not really a "good bang for the buck". Well, the money is gone, but the car looks very nice from the back.

For Christmas I got a new master cylinder - what else could you ask for - and today my eldest son help me bleed my breaks (for well over an hour) today. It brought back a lot of memories from when I was the "pumper" when my dad used to work on our breaks...It was leaking from the hoses and rubber nipple connections, and I had several events where my reservoir was almost empty. Hopefully this fixes the mystery break fluid draining problem.

Let's see, I also installed IAP relays for my headlights over Thanksgiving. I really, really like that upgrade and I highly recommend the kit and the project. The kit was well made and well thought out. Frankly, my lights were not too bad - I have a post about here about an easy wire upgrade - but I wanted to prolong the life of my original ignition switch as long as possible. I drove the car earlier tonight just to enjoy the brightness.

The ignition system I put in a about a year ago is still working great. I haven't removed the old dizzy or coil, so I basically have a "back up" system with me at all time. I did "non destructive wiring" to the new system, and I figure I can switch back to the old (and still working) system in less that 20 mins (while on the side of the road if needed) with just a few small tools from the trunk.

My rear differential developed a small leak, and I tried to change the fluid (in case it was now low) but my fill plug was soft and stripped/rounded and I couldn't get it off with normal tools. I read a tip here that change my life: Always remove the fill plug BEFORE removing the drain plug. This tip saved my bacon here - otherwise I would have drained the fluid, but not been able to refill it! As it turned out, instead, I just didn't drain it and the old fluid is still in. I still haven't solved that problem, the Irwin bolt removing socket set I have don't go up to 19mm and I haven't wanted to spend the money to get the additional larger sockets. I have one other tool I want to try on it first before I buy new (sort of expensive) tools.

All in all - I'm still having a great time with the car and it really had a good year (so far) in the "no major problem" category.

Best wish to everyone, your families and your FIATs!

Peace.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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124JOE
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Your car is a: 1978 124 fiat spider sport 1800
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby 124JOE » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:16 am

hey nice to see your enjoying her.when I was leaking break fluid I did a rebuild, how ever the fluid striped the paint
below on the frame.so look down by the steering box to see if she needs a touch up.also inside up at the hole the break
goes thru to see if it lost paint
when you do everything correct people arent sure youve done anything at all (futurama)
ul1joe@yahoo.com 124joe@gmail.com

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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 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:16 pm

Hello all - long time not post, always good to get current.
Ok - car has been running well and only had one major issue in the last year or so. Driving home the car got very loud and lost a lot of power. I did a visual and everything looked ok in the exhaust, and I was concerned that my timing belt jumped a tooth. Long story short, compression was good, I tore things down, and the static timing was good, the T belt was good so I was stumped (but also very relieved)...
It turns out that the one down pipe in my 4-2-1 had a crack that you could only see if you shoved a camera between the pipe and the engine block.
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I ordered a new down pipe, but my old pipe was welded in place (and I can't weld). Since I had everything torn apart for the static timing, I decided to change the timing belt, put in new plugs and wires, and installed a new overflow bottle.

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The old exhaust pipe looked pretty bad, so I talked with my muffler guy (Jeff at Championship muffler, Simi Valley - I highly recommend him), we decided just replace all the old pipe with a new stainless pipe he made. Just a welded pipe to the muffler , no resonator and no cat in a 72.
This is a view with the car on the ground. Rear wheels are at the left side of the picture, the right side is where it's now welded to the downpipe. I should have taken pics while it was on the rack.
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(Jeff charged me $137 for the entire job!, including replacing the down pipe, making a new exhaust, adding a new hanger, and welding it all up. Highly recommend Championship muffler in Simi!) (I think I paid about $100 including shipping for the down pipe from Vick's).


Aside: I took the car for a drive this morning out to Ojai just to really test out all the work (first long drive since all the new stuff, about 150 miles round trip). Car sounds great, and I don't think it has ever driven better. In Ojai, I stopped at a McD's and the back of the lot sat three proudly displayed super cars: A Ferrari, a strange Porsche (racing 911???) and the Lexus super car (the first time I've ever seen one in person). So...I pulled up and ...parked next to the Ferrari! I thought I took a phone pic, but I messed up. Bummer. (Driven by three guys in there early 30's, depression...)

Ok - peace out hope all is well. (And I've enjoyed watching youtube vids of the V6 Spider.)
Last edited by nelsonj on Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:23 pm

More details - Gas lid door spring...

After years of missing the spring on my gas door, my new spring arrived today from Auto Ricambi. I guess I had nothing better to do than spend $13 on a $0.10 spring and another $10 on shipping something that should have cost $0.42 in an envelope. You'd think I had a Porsche for that price...
Anyway, the spring is nice, and to my surprise it took less that 2 minutes to install. Works great - lid stays closed very tight and stays open with great force.

Image

Next project is dash diodes....
Last edited by nelsonj on Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:19 am

Update: LED dash instruments lights installed.
Below is a writeup of my swap from standard lights to LED dash lights. My temp gauge light died, so I decided that, while I had the dash apart I would try LEDs. I only replaced the backlights (to try and get the dash brighter) and left standard lights for the oil idiot light, driving lights, high beams, and low on gas.
I got my lights from http://www.superbrightleds.com and they were a 5 element, about 80 lumen part (part number 194-CW5-CBT cool white). They were $3.95 per bulb - here is the receipt:
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Note - most of my lights were 194 (I think) but my clock had a different light (per below). I checked my parts box and my old tach had lights similar to my clock. So, you should look at your gauges to see what type of lights they use before ordering parts. I had to do special (non-destructive) wiring for the clock and one light on my tach. The rest of the lights were plug and play. Note that the lights were not as snug as the originals, and one light fell into my speedo and I couldn't recover it - $4 down the drain.

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Now for before and after pictures. I used the same camera, lens, aperture, shutter and ISO speed for all pictures. This should give you a true apples to apples comparison. For each gauge, the first picture is "before", the second picture is "after" - going from left to right on the dash. Note the car was not running at the time (my lights get brighter once the motor is 1000+ RPMs). The dash was "max bright" with the rheostat fully clockwise.

Gas Before:
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Gas After:
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Tach Before (only had one backlight):
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Tach After (with two backlights):
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Temp After (no before shot because the light was burned out when I started the project):
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Speedo Before:
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Speedo After:
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Clock Before:
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Clock After:
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Full Dash Before:
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Full Dash After:
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Verdict and thoughts: My dash wasn't that bad to begin with. But it's noticeably brighter now (and can still be dimmed). The color is more blue and less yellow than original, but still looks good to my eyes - newer rather than vintage. The green light on the speedo and the set up of the tach make those two gauges look like they have different lights from the other three gauges.

Bottom line: I don't think this mod is for everyone. While the gaugues are brighter, I used 80 lumen bulbs ($4 each) but going with 100 lumen bulbs (at $6 each) would be even better. The fact that not all the gauges have the same "tone" may bother some and may make it look less than professional. I spent about $35 and had to do a bit of creative soldering and wiring - I plan on leaving the LEDs in because the dash is noticeably brighter.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Peace out.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:14 am

Happy New Year All!

Hope everyone is enjoying their cars. It's been rather rainy here in So Cal so I haven't been for a drive in over a month. After I putting in my new exhaust and overflow bottle, the nipple on my overflow developed a crack and leaked a bunch of coolant. I noticed in time and the engine never overheated. But it seems my new exhaust (stainless) is radiating more heat than the old pipe (cast iron???). The overflow bottle was VERY hot (especially since it had no/little fluid left in it). Anyway, I used some glue to repair the nipple crack, and purchased some stick-on heat shielding I plan to put on the coolant bottle facing the exhaust. Hopefully the repair plus the heat shield will make this a non-issue going forward.

Also, I noticed Mark has some new heat shield material, and I'm thinking about adding it to the hood bubbles.

Again - happy New Year and hope everyone has a great 2017 filled with miles and miles of trouble free driving.


Peace. Out.
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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby RRoller123 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:05 am

That LED swap made quite a difference! :D
'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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Re: La Bella Ferrara - 20 year project getting closer

Postby nelsonj » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:32 am

Hey all - just a random post/update. Bella is driving exceptionally well (knock on wood). I put a total of about 175 miles on her Saturday and earlier tonight. The weather here has been outstanding - mid to high 80's on Saturday, and it started out in the high 70's tonight when I took a drive to the beach (since I had the extra hour of daylight I couldn't resist. Too bad there was heavy clouds/fog on the coast).

I recently cleaned the carb and adjusted my dizzy, reset the timing (about 10 deg advanced at idle) and really have it in a sweet spot. New plugs and wires also and it really is in the zone. I really like the Lada set up, the curves seem to pull really nice from about 3.5 - 5k RPMs. The heat shield I recently added seems to be keeping temps down in engine bay, and importantly on the hood, but I still think I will do a project with Mark's insulation to better protect the hood.

It was dark on my way home, and the combination of my new LEDs in the dash, and the relays for the headlights really make it fun to drive at night. Night driver, baby.

I've been following a post about a lower gear ratio for 5th. As I've thought about this, a lower 5th seems the perfect solution. I have a 78 rearend so the ratio seems to be 4ish. This pulls great, but between it and my undersized tires, I'm spinning 4.5k at 65MPH. Having a lower 5th would be a perfect setup - take me down to say 3.25k @ 65MPH and it would be perfect. I encourage the vendors out there to find a way to offer lower 5th and offer it in rebuilt transmissions. I think you would see considerable demand - even for people with a perfectly fine transmission now.

Another random thought - has anyone tried a more efficient blower motor for the heater? There seem to be several outstanding options for the radiator but I haven't seen anything for the heater. I was thinking it might be worth swapping out the noisy and low-flow stock unit with a more modern fan. Has anyone tried this?

Hope all is well, and good luck to people in the NY/DC area with the storm, and good luck to everyone in cold-places getting ready for spring.

Peace.
Out.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:51 pm

Hi all,
Minor work - I finally got the mirrors so they can be adjusted and usable. When I redid the body, I mounted the mirrors in the wrong spot (I've been kicking myself ever since), and today I finally modified the bullet mirrors so they are properly adjusted/usable. I didn't want to remount them because I would've needed body work and paint to cover the previous mounting holes (big $$$). I wound up remounting the mirrors within their frames to give the proper adjustment. No big deal, but it's been on my list for a long time. Sometime finishing those simple little things really feels good.

Also, my driver sun-visor wouldn't stay "up", and I tried some copper tape trick on the mounting arm that didn't work. Stupid me, there is an adjustment screw on the visor. I just needed to tighten the flathead screw on the visor's left mount, and that did the trick. It's really tight now and I can put it any position from fully up to fully down and it won't budge even if I hit a big bump.

Also today, a guy stopped me in the parking lot to talk about my car. It turns out he previously owned two spiders (and loved them) and wound up selling his 80-something to a guy from Belgium that brought it back to Europe. Small world.

Weather has been very nice and I been doing some runs through Simi/Camarillo out to PCH through Oxnard and into Malibu. Nice drive with the Pacific ocean our your side, and open farming areas to get there. People like to take their "toys" out on the weekends, and today on PCH I saw a white Lamborghini and what I think was a black Bugatti. I've only seen a few Bugatti on the road EVER, so I'm not 100% sure about it.

Bella has been running really well. Just really, really good. I just wanted to share the feeling (satisfaction) with some folks here that might understand...Just exceptional for what she is (1800 with stock cams/compression, 32/36 DFEV, 4-2-1 with a straight pipe, no emissions).

I took a few pics at sunset last week with my phone and they turned out ok.

Image

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Hope all is well and that people are ready for spring driving season (in areas unlike So Cal that actually have seasons.)

Peace.
Out.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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 » Sun May 14, 2017 11:40 pm

Koa Dash project - some additional detail

Per my post elsewhere, I've spent the last several weeks putting a Koa veneer on my previous dash, finishing it, and finally installing it today. Long process and I'm pretty happy with the result. I made my previous dash about 30 years ago when I was in college (as a template and a "proof of concept") and never got around to replacing it. (I liked it for sentimental reasons.) After seeing what Mick and others have done, I got motivated to give it a try.

Anyways, it's relatively high-gloss achieved through about 10 coats and progressive sanding with Tru-oil applications and grain filler. No clear coat or wax.

Koa is a really complex wood (and real Koa grows only in Hawaii) , and it's pretty much impossible to photograph. It looks many different colors, depending on light, and has this 3-d effect so it looks different from just about every angle. I tried in the pictures below to give some idea. I had some issues and learned a lot of lessons and may redo some things eventually (perhaps in another 30 years...) This is the first time I've ever done a veneer or finished a wood with Tru-oil and I really liked it. Good stuff.

Pictures follow:

I started with raw Koa veneer:

Image

I used a special glue, and it being my first time I had some issues. I staked about about 100 lbs on top of it and let the glue dry for two days.

I then went to work with sanding (320), applying 2 coats of Tru-oil, sanding between coats, then applying two or three coats of Aquacoat, sanding 320 each time, then applying two coats Tru-oil with 400 as a wet sand and brush, sanding, then repeating the process with 600, and 1200. At the 1200 I used steel wool at the last coats, and finally thinning with denatured alcohol and applying by finger with a rubber glove, 2 coats with a light brush of steel wool between coats. It turned out high gloss and brushes of any sort harmed the finish. Very, very light coats were applied at the end, and usually there was at least a half day drying time between coats (e.g. apply at night, then apply in the morning, then apply the next night, repeat, repeat, repeat.)

Direct sunlight
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Really direct sun light
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Less direct sun light
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Closer in direct sunlight
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Flash:
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Indirect light/shade:
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Closeup flash:
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Here are some comparisons of the original wood and the final dash
Natural mixed sunlight and shadow (no flash)
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And finally a Before & After:
BEFORE (rustic, but I still like it)
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AFTER (much more "finished" and precise because I used the original dash - not my homemade dash - for the veneer)
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AFTER - Natural shadow light
Image

Image
Peace.
Out.
Last edited by nelsonj on Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Sun May 28, 2017 1:47 am

Update: Hushmat installed.

Hello all,
Well, after visiting this site for (near a decade?) I decided to drive 60+ miles (each way) out to Upland this morning to visit Allison's Automotive. I'm very glad I did.

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I don't think I've ever seen as many Spiders (and other FIATs) in one location. (Both in the lot and in the shop.)

I had the good fortune of meeting Mark and chatting for a good time. I guess I got a bit lucky because he isn't there most Saturdays. Heck of a nice guy and a real asset to the FIAT community. Thank you Mark for all the innovative ideas you continue to make available to the community.

I wanted to get some the the Hushmat he sells and install it on my hood. I figured I could save on shipping by picking it up, and this was a good excuse to finally try and meet Mark and check out the shop. Ever since I put on the new down pipe, my hood gets really hot, and I wanted to do something to protect the paint. The Hushmat is almost like a sticky thick black goo/tape that comes in a cutable sheet. You remove a backing and it adheres to the metal (or just about anything). I figure it will act like insulation and help protect the hood from engine heat. You have to cut it to shape, and its a bit tricky to get "under" the seam of the hood bubble. (Hopefully people understand). Here it is installed:

Image
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and closer up:

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So far so good. It seems to be keeping the hood much cooler. Also to my surprise, the car seems quieter (I assume because there is less engine noise coming through the hood), and the hood seems to close in a much more solid manner. (I figure it added 2-3 lbs to the hood when fully installed.)

Thanks again to Mark for spending time with me and setting me up with the new Hushmat!
Last edited by nelsonj on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:57 am

Just installed headlights - lowbeams burned out on the way to the second night drive - $30+ down the drain. One of my much older lights burned out and I didn't think anything about it - it was old and I wasn't surprised. I decided to upgrade and replace both lights with nicer lights. Got them installed, and on my way out of the garage for the on like their second drive, they both flashed bright and burned out. My radio has been acting funny also.

I concluded, without checking anything, I need a new voltage regulator. Should arrive tomorrow. I'll replace and then test my voltages. If all looks good (say 13-14V), I'll buy new headlights. I plan to disconnect the battery and change the regulator with the alternator in-place. Hopefully the battery wasn't harmed.

Anyway, I guess this is where a volt meter in the dash would have come in handy, and it could have been much worse. I'll try to take photos and post results.

Peace.
Out.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9

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

Postby nelsonj » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:29 am

Replacing Voltage Regulator with Alternator in Place

Hey all,
I just finished replacing my voltage regulator (55 amp Bosch) without removing the alternator. Not the easiest thing, took me two sessions but here are a few tips in case you want to try.
Tools I used
1) Stubby flat head screw driver
2) Needle nose vise grips
3) red plastic straw from a WD40 can
4) Volt meter

Removal:
IMPORTANT: Disconnect the positive side of the battery before starting. The battery connect directly to the alternator and its impossible not to touch the live wire in the process.
1) Two flathead screws. You can see the top screw, the bottom is completely blind.
2) I had very little room (cold side mount) and had to use a stubby screw drive. The (original) screws were very tight and, coupled with no room, I couldn't break them by hand. Trick 1- I used needle nose vise grips to grab the handle of the stubby, and then had a lot more torque. Presto - screws came right out. But the blind one with no room took some patience, and without the vise grip handle I couldn't have got it off.

Installation:
1) Man, it was very difficult to get the spring loaded brush device aligned with the screw holes. I had no visibility, very little room, and way too many degrees of freedom in movement, and very little grip on the little screws. It would by super easy with the alternator out of the car, but with the alternator in place, after about 2 hours I gave up...but
2) Trick 2: I used the red straw from the top of my WD40 can, put it in the BOTTOM hole of the voltage regulator (VR), and then put the the other end of the straw in the bottom mounting hole. I slid the VR on the flex straw and put it in place. Now I had the bottom hole in the right location, and I was able to rotate the top into position, and I had the top screw in within 10 mins. Success.
3) Tighten the top screw pretty tight and make sure the VR is completely flush with the alternator, and when the screw is pretty snug (but can pivot if convinced) then, and only then, remove the WD40 straw from the bottom hole. The bottom screw hole (that is entirely blind) should be pretty much aligned, and the bottom screw should fit right in.
4) Tighten everything the best you can by hand, then use the needle nose vise grip trick to make sure everything is very tight (this was a must for my bottom screw.)

Test:
RECONNECT the positive lead of the battery.
1) Make sure all you tools are out of the engine, reconnect anything you took off to make clearance and start the car.
2) Start the car and test the voltage at the output terminal of the alternator. I got 14V with the headlights off and about 13.9V with the headlights on.

Good luck - I couldn't have done it without the WD40 straw trick.

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

Postby nelsonj » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:26 pm

Leather gear shift platform cover.

After finishing my Koa dash, I wasn't happy with the look of the original wood in the gear shift area. For various reasons I didn't want to cover it in Koa, so instead I decided to cover it in leather. While I was at it, I used some of my hushmat scraps to add heat and sound insulation, and I installed a new inner boot. I'm very happy with the results, both cosmetically and the noticeable reduction in transmission noise.

I needed some leather, so I went to Goodwill and found a $15 kid-glove donor jacket.
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I took a back panel out and it was large enough to cover the entire gear shift deck :
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I covered the original "wood" with hushmat for heat and sound insulation, and to give the leather some "volume".
I cut to size and applied the leather to the hushmat using a glue gun:
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I did some work on the back and then installed the leather shifter boot:
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And finally the finish product installed - no more "fake wood" clash with all the real wood in the car, and some additional leather to touch in the center counsel:

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I also adjusted my shorter-shifter so my FIAT logo on the nob was parallel to the dash. OCD.

Peace.
Out.
Last edited by nelsonj on Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simi Valley, California
Spider 1800
Romans 10:9


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