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Last update: August 7 2009
( I can tell you it took me a minute to figure out how to program that link. Ow. Computers: Curse or blessing ? )
Anyway, here's how trouble starts. These are the three photos Aiden sent me to get my temptaions up & to clear out his back yard.
Looks good ! Let's buy it.
How hard could it be to put ogether ?
What could possibly go wrong ?
One week later it's time for delivery. Straight to Eddins Moto.
Can't wait to start.
Wow. What's in the boxes ?
Ready to get pushed into the shop.
Where did all the hours go ?
It might not look like much, but washing waxing cleaning & vacuuming on a Saturday afternoon freshened it up a bit.
I found a corner of the shop parkling lot to store it & started to find some time to start fixing it up.
Hubcaps on, an old car cover, & ready to find some spare time.
Think of seeing this in a driveway somewhere. I'd stop to have a look..........
So where would you start if you had just aquired an old Fulvia & you had a workshop ?
OK. Step one. All of these early cars came with pastel colored rims. These have gone rusty, & someone painted them silver to boot.
Break out my NASCAR approved bead breaker & dismount those tires.
( Well maybe not NASCAR, but I did buy it from a track in South Carolina & it's a great tool. Never seen one around here. One of these & a couple of tire irons & you're on your way to freedom from the tyranny of the tire shop. )
Back to the rims.
After cleaning up you will notice there are two different original pastel colors visible from the back of the rims.
I believe for the 1966 year of this car the one that has a bit more yellow is correct. I like the tan also, but let's go original.
OK. Color match up some paint
Break out the spray gun & go for it.
OK. mount up some tires, put on an Italian license plate & back to the parking lot.
A different rim in the photo, but here's a great setup I use to balance tires.
It can detect the weight of a valve stem cap.
Try that on a computer balancer.
Takes up less room too.
Things are looking better.
The brakes always seize up on these things. They take forever to get apart too. Always rusted & nasty.
Break out the blow torch !
Calipers off after a fight.
Calipers coming apart
Pistons out after a big fight
Lots of cleaning
Then some painting
Then some clear coating.
A nice touch is that Lancia had the L and the shield cast into these calipers. These are some of the earliest disc brake designs. As I remember Lockheed started using them on aircraft. In 1952 or 1953 Jaguar won LeMans with disc brakes. Arguably the Jags were not as fast as the Ferraris, but with better brakes their aggregate time around the course put them in front. Ferrari the traditionalist stuck with drums for several years and finally aquited to the disc brake supremacy. These Dunlop licensed calipers were then used on Ferrari 250s & 275s. ( & Jaguars & Aston Martins if you're looking for spare parts.. ) I'm pretty sure the Ferrari LM had them too. ( without the Lancia L of course.) I think these things were built in England as opposed to under the License agreement in Italy. At any rate, all the threads and fittings are in inch size after the 10 X 1.5 mm entry into the caliper. Some Brit probably said that if those Italians are going to use our calipers they bloody well won't be metric.
Don't forget to retap all the threads. Those handbrake pivots are famous for seizing.
Amazing how many tools & how much time it takes to sort out some calipers.
Coming along nicely.
Calipers have been installed on the car and they look great.
The camera ran out of batteries so I didn't get a good shot of them. Wheels back on, car on the ground
Instead of going to the store & buying more batteries I decided to pull the motor which meant I had to pull the transmission out first.
That story will unfold, but in the meantime the transmission is out, & with a few fresh energizers in the camera the pictures continue.
Here's the motor waiting to come out:
Most parts disconnected, almost ready.
The lump is out.
Engine & transmission on the bench, car back out to pasture under a cover.
Why did the engine come out ? Usually I can resurrect these old Lancias with a battery & a Gallon of fresh gas. ( & a brake job & 2 quarts of brake fluid. Well, maybe 3.)
More news soon.
OK That was fast. Friday night, finished with the customers, dodged a few social obligations & I have a brief window to look into this Fulvia.
Here we are awaiting disassembly:
Filthy subframe bits. This was after scraping an amazing amount of mook off.
Cleaner now. Maybe I'll even get the spray gun out.
More stuff to take apart first though.
A nice evening shot of the task at hand.
Carbs & electical stuff off.
Cams out, ready to pull the head.
Lots of bolts have frozen solid into the head.
This could be grim.
Once again the torch comes out. The problem is the bolts are long & the heat will never reach the frozen area.
Shroud the springs, put on a cutting head, put serious heat into the frozen ones, & hope.
Penetrating oil everywhere, ( Deepcreep perhaps ? The trade secret of 50/50 Laquer thinner & marvel Mystery Oil ? Liquid Wrench ? Hmmmm...)
& don't forget to resist temptation.
Let it sit overnight. Guaranteed one would snap right now if pursued.
Heck. One will probably snap tomorrow anyway. Machining the 5 inch long stub could take forever.
This doesn't look good.
A good time to stop.
Here's a dusk shot of Eddins . Is that a Series 1 Appia on the lift ? I should take a close up.
It's actually 9:00 PM, but with a full moon & a long exposure it looks light outside.
Enough for one day.
Off to dinner !
It's coming apart
The head is stuck to the block though.
Three bolts left that won't come out.
Baked it in the parts washer until it was 135 degrees & still stuck.
I wonder what to do next.
OK, A week later & no progress ?
I have tried numerous ways to get those frozen bolts out & nothing has worked. I'm now designing a way to harness high frequency vibration & focus it on the bolts to break loose the rust.
Sounds like Flash Gordon meets Dick Tracy, but I think I'm on to something.
In the meantime It's Pebble Beach/ Monterey Historics weekend here.
Up to my neck in customer cars & I just finished the last one in time.
Deciding not to go to the events this year, I have a free 72 hours to do something productive.
The Girlfriend is out of town, the Band is on a two week hiatus, the vegetable garden is dialed in, all the wine from last year is bottled, & the surf is blown out.
Time to use the shop for my own projects............
A thumbnail synopsis:
I bought another Citroen in France. The gears are not great for US freeway driving. I discovered that in Romania, under a license from Citroen, Olcit made a little car called the Axel.
A similar motor to the Citroen with no high pressure hydraulic system, it also has a taller ring & pinion in the transaxls as it is using 13 inch tires instead of 15 inch.
Could this be a missing link ? Will Romanian parts interchange ? Could I actually cruise at 75 ?
A review of the forums at the key French website ( http://www.gs-gsa.org/adresses.php ) shows no leads.
I am on my own & winging it.
Sure. everything might fit. What could possibly go wrong ?
It took one year of research & shopping via the internet in foreign languages to find a gearbox.
Finally an enthusiast with a dead Axel offers to sell the powertrain & ship it to San Francisco.
He even offers to pick up another used transaxle with an even taller ring & pinion from another enthusiast I found.
He then ships it to me with two bottles of Bordeaux as a bonus. What a great Guy ! Thank you Christian !
It took 7 months of negotiating to buy the pieces, send the money, wait for the boat & clear customs. Good thing I'm patient.
One year & seven moths of anticipation so far.
OK. What I had to do to that transaxle to get it in the car is another story & webpage, but this is about the last 72 hours.
The new car I bought had an engine vibration at cruising speed. A rebuild with pistons balanced down to 2 grams didn't help. The pressed together crank also has a rod knock.
I bought the extra parts for the two transaxles & the cylynder heads, but never really considered the motor that came in the crate. It was just sort of an extra.
There it is over in a corner of the shop.
Maybe if I could convert it to run with the hydraulic suspension pump I could put it in the car..........
Is it a better lump than the current one that vibrates ?
The casting marks are there, but pieces are missing.
How do I mill the cases without taking the motor completely apart ?
Away we go:
Yank the motor out of the car friday night & compare the two engines.
First some design notes
The Citroen motor has a rod coming out of the block to drive a pump
The Axel motor has a similar casting , but no hole or cam to drive the pump
Easy. I'll just convert it.
A plate is machined to locate a center punch hole to mill out the casting
Center it is then.........
Third try at designing a milling fixture. Saturday was used to design the first two, it's now Sunday afternoon.
Fire up the lathe
So here's a fixture that will bolt to the block.
A flywheel cutter was built with a front & rear bearing surface to keep it from wobbling as I machined the casting.
I drove it with a hand drill.
The driveshaft is a 5/16 bolt with the head cut off.
Interestingly enough the cutter had to be trued on the lathe when the bolt was threaded in.
Cutting the threads & installing the bolt distorted it enough that the .0015" clearance to the plate disappeared.
The aluminum came from a retired Transformer winder that Ken Floyd built at the Excell Transformer Company.
( He also custom wound me some transformers for the Marshall amplifier work I do. I was converting later model 50 watt heads to sound like earlier Plexis..)
The plate was part of the frame & the cutting head is a piece of the shaft that wound the coils.
Recycling at work!
Looking good: a nice hole to mount the hydraulic suspension pump.
An overall view.
Here's the oil pump. It has an eccentric to drive the connecting rod
The rod then activates the hydro pump, through that hole I just made in the block.
The conversion in progress
Out of pictures, out of time, & ready for dinner.
Maybe some Fulvia progress this week................
Or maybe the Girlfriends Volvo wagon will die & I'll fix that first.
Behind it is the green GSA I imported from Valay in France.
I converted it to fuel injection with a Suzuki throttle body, some Bosch parts & a GEO Metro 3 cylinder computer.
The car is a four cylinder but I just wanted to prove it could be done. A great adventure & it transformed the car.
That conversion deserves a webpage some day too.
And then there's customer cars to fix.
Here's the tire balancer I use being pressed into service as a flywheel balancer.
I trust gravity & the batteries never wear out.
Finally a bit of time for the Fulvia.
A crank plug fell out & took out the #1 rod journal.
I found it in the oil pan.
That's why it died in 1986, & why I had to pull the transaxle in order to pull the motor.
Not a Lancia problem though.
Turns out the crank is ground .010/.010
Seems the crank grinder didn't stake the crank plug in...........
& the head is still stuck to the block.
Maybe this week.