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It lives!

Illustration for article titled It lives!

Nearly a year to the day since getting back from the oppomeet in Wales where I put it through a hedge, the Fiat is back on the road!


Here’s what it looked like before:

Missing from this is the other wheel which was about 30 degrees out when this one was straight
Missing from this is the other wheel which was about 30 degrees out when this one was straight

At first I thought ‘a year is a long time’, but then I started listing out all the things I’ve done to it...

1. Removed dead nosecone and straightened panels underneath.

2. Fibreglassed on new nosecone and painted it.

3. Made new mounts for the front bumpers and number plate.

4. Knocked out the worst of the dents, did a spot of filling and painted them.

5. Bought alloy radiator from the States and made a tubular bracket to get it to fit.

6. Made stainless versions of the perforated coolant pipes.

7. Rewired the electrics for the starter and ecus (Rob and Tomas will remember the difficulty it had starting).


8. Rewired the headlights so they have relays and don’t burn out the ignition stalk.

9. Replace burnt out ignition stalk from learning previous lesson.

10. Run an extra power cable from the batter to the fuse block.

11. Straighten front-left suspension links, and shrink the threads for the big top nut on the strut.


12. Replace both inner and outer tie rods on both sides.

13. Rebuild front and rear brakes.

14. Rebuild rear brakes again when they won’t bleed.

15. Rebuild rear brakes a third time with new hoses to get them to finally work.

16. Replace brake master when new brakes cause the old master to die.

17. Replace brake reservoir and hoses when pressure bleeder shoots a jet of brake fluid out of the reservoir .


18. Replace clutch slave when that blows a seal.

19. Replace clutch master when new clutch slave causes that to blow a seal.

20. Added a bronze bush to the gear linkage so it’ll select gears properly.

21. Modify an X1/9 sump and oil pickup to fit so it’s at the right angle for the car.


22. Replace coolant temp sensor and thermostat to see if it will make it run.

23. Try second hand AFM to see if it’ll run.

24. Replace fuel pump to see if it’ll run.

25. Change intake gaskets when I discovered I’d fitted one upside-down.

26. Modified a bung on the intake manifold to allow for easy removal.

27. Made a new set of HT leads, maybe that would make it run?

28. Tested fuel pressure and regulator. Both fine.

29. Checked for boost leaks. Nada.

30. Change rear coolant pipe that runs to the pump as it’s leaking.

31. Do timing belt and water pump.

32. Do valve clearances.

33. Modify coolant pipe as it doesn’t fit properly.

34. Modify coolant pipe again as it doesn’t seal properly.

35. Replace a second leaking coolant pipe.

36. Bleed the coolant system for the umpteenth time.

37. Finally replace the right sensor that was causing it to run like crap (rpm sensor on the flywheel).


38. Take it for MoT only for it to start running like crap agin.

39. Spend another week chasing problems and rechecking sensor readings.

40. Miraculously starts running ok again (we reckon it was corroded connections to sensors that got cleaned when we were taking them on and off to test them).


42. New tyres (and slim spacers on the front because why not).

43. Troubleshoot some electrical problems with the headlights and dash illumination.


44. MoT and tracking.

45. Drive!

I mean jesus christ. What a pain ;)

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