Author Topic: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
CutchaGuy 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
We *finally* figured out why my Fiat wouldn't start after running once...but before I say what the issue was, there were a couple of things I had done to it first:

Got cooling system and heater core repaired/replaced.
Replaced rear calipers as they were leaking...quite badly actually.
Replaced master cylinder for almost as bad a reason.
- Brakes now work!
Had an alignment done.
New tires, shocks to come.
Replaced fuel filter.

So last year, I was driving back from having new tires put on and *wham*...it was like I was running on half a cylinder. I limped it the last 2 blocks home where she died and would not start again. As the mechanic looked at it, a wire from my coil to my distributor (which I replaced as it was all melted) had come loose and got eaten up. I never checked it after I replaced it...had I done so, the car would have fired up again. However, it still was a matter of restarting after running it once. I would need to leave it overnight and come back the next day before it would start again

My guess was a bad cold start valve. Other guesses from Fiat club members were along the lines of a different faulty part. The mechanic found that one of the previous owners had grounded something to the wire leading up to the cold start valve...making it stay open and flooding the engine. The valve actually works perfectly. They undid the damage and the car (with the other repairs) runs very very well!

Took it up and down I-5 at 65 MPH for around 110 miles with no problems. (Did faster and faster, longer and longer trips to test it out first.)

What a fun little car!!! Going to drive it some before doing any sort of restoration/clean up during the Winter.

 

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Taebaek_of_Baekjae 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
A Spyder?

I had one when I was in highschool. I can't tell you how many times I wished I still had it when making the drive from Bellingham to Burlington.

 

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blu-nightbreed 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
Fantastic!!!! I knew from the symptoms it had to be the cold start valve... but glad it was just a wiring issue. Italian cars are wired like a plate of pasta, I know this from experience....

As for my project car, my poor little convertible Saab has issues. After a new top, new tires, new coolant, oil change, new brakes, rotors, and rear calipers, new plugs, cap, rotor, wires, new exhaust, new driver's seat leather, new stereo, new belts, valve cover gasket, fixed headlight issues, new ignition key and shifter lock, and repaired washer motor.... It's been sitting in my garage since mid June, as the engine has started making that "couple of marbles in a coffee can" rattle of impending lower-end-bearing-DOOM. She needs an engine.

It's still running, although I don't drive it, since in that car if I throw a rod it goes through the transmission (no separate oil pan).

Looking at options. I've decided to rebuild it, because while it's not economically viable (I'll never get the $2500 or so back out of the car once it's rebuilt) I have a wholly irrational love of the car, and once I get the engine done it'll just need a coat of paint to be pretty much factory perfect) and I intend to drive the hell out of it. There's a very good independent Saab mechanic near me who'll do it, although it may take him several months to get around to it, and it'll cost at least $2500.

Otherwise, I might tackle it myself with a buddy of mine. We've done a few engines and transmissions before together on his cars, and I figure he owes me one. happy Problem is, in the Saab 900, you must essentially disassemble the entire front of the car -- the engine and trans are one unit, mounted backwards longitudinally (the belts are against the firewall, the clutch is at the radiator... wtf?) and you must disassemble the suspension to get the engine out, then separate it from the trans just to see the bearings. It's a load of work, but the rebuild kit for the engine is only about $300 for bearings and rings, and I can get a rebuilt turbo for another $300 or so (or the kit for $150). Would be a savings of cash but also a beast of a job...

 

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CutchaGuy 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
blu-nightbreed posted:
Fantastic!!!! I knew from the symptoms it had to be the cold start valve... but glad it was just a wiring issue. Italian cars are wired like a plate of pasta, I know this from experience....

As for my project car, my poor little convertible Saab has issues. After a new top, new tires, new coolant, oil change, new brakes, rotors, and rear calipers, new plugs, cap, rotor, wires, new exhaust, new driver's seat leather, new stereo, new belts, valve cover gasket, fixed headlight issues, new ignition key and shifter lock, and repaired washer motor.... It's been sitting in my garage since mid June, as the engine has started making that "couple of marbles in a coffee can" rattle of impending lower-end-bearing-DOOM. She needs an engine.

It's still running, although I don't drive it, since in that car if I throw a rod it goes through the transmission (no separate oil pan).

Looking at options. I've decided to rebuild it, because while it's not economically viable (I'll never get the $2500 or so back out of the car once it's rebuilt) I have a wholly irrational love of the car, and once I get the engine done it'll just need a coat of paint to be pretty much factory perfect) and I intend to drive the hell out of it. There's a very good independent Saab mechanic near me who'll do it, although it may take him several months to get around to it, and it'll cost at least $2500.

Otherwise, I might tackle it myself with a buddy of mine. We've done a few engines and transmissions before together on his cars, and I figure he owes me one. happy Problem is, in the Saab 900, you must essentially disassemble the entire front of the car -- the engine and trans are one unit, mounted backwards longitudinally (the belts are against the firewall, the clutch is at the radiator... wtf?) and you must disassemble the suspension to get the engine out, then separate it from the trans just to see the bearings. It's a load of work, but the rebuild kit for the engine is only about $300 for bearings and rings, and I can get a rebuilt turbo for another $300 or so (or the kit for $150). Would be a savings of cash but also a beast of a job...




Holy crap, Blu! And here I thought that only Italians are bass-ackward when it came to cars! I was looking at pictures of the Saab 900...not a fan of the coupe model, but the convertible was actually really cool looking. I can easily see why you like that model.

In Economics, that $2500 you put into the car is a "sunk cost." You are right in that you won't see that money returned, but Econ folks also say that people won't do something unless they see a benefit outweighing the cost of doing/buying something. I can see you paying that cash, but I can see you doing the rebuild yourself to not only save money, but also really getting involved in your car. I wish I had the skills and ability to do similar things: remove engine, clean out everything, do a proper prep and paint of inside and out, update the wiring harness, and reassemble so that I would know more. But alas...

I'm going to focus on creating and replacing all the wood panels, building a box in the trunk to dress it up nicely, and remove the back seat and put in a shelf instead. Going to be a fun couple of years!

 

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LaceTP 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
I won't even let a shop touch my Alfa again. The shop I took it too when I replaced my engine not only charged me out the ass but they also didn't finish the job entirely. I had to take it back 4 different times in the same month for something that should have been taken care of. Needless to say I've gotten in touch with a few Alfa guys in the area and we just help each other with the work. Even got a few bimmer guys.

Super excited for you that you got your Spyder going though. That's pretty awesome. Let the awesomeness consume you. :P

blu, it sounds like you have quite the job on your hands. :P

Taebaek_of_Baekjae posted:
A Spyder?

I had one when I was in highschool. I can't tell you how many times I wished I still had it when making the drive from Bellingham to Burlington.


As in B-town WA? :P I'm moving from Alger back to Mount Vernon this weekend. lol.

 

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Kalazar22 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
Yay Cutcha!! grin Iso pics after winter

 

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Taebaek_of_Baekjae 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
LaceTP posted:


As in B-town WA? :P I'm moving from Alger back to Mount Vernon this weekend. lol.


The one and only -- I live in Vancouver, BC now.

 

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blu-nightbreed 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
CutchaGuy posted:
Holy crap, Blu! And here I thought that only Italians are bass-ackward when it came to cars! I was looking at pictures of the Saab 900...not a fan of the coupe model, but the convertible was actually really cool looking. I can easily see why you like that model.

In Economics, that $2500 you put into the car is a "sunk cost." You are right in that you won't see that money returned, but Econ folks also say that people won't do something unless they see a benefit outweighing the cost of doing/buying something. I can see you paying that cash, but I can see you doing the rebuild yourself to not only save money, but also really getting involved in your car. I wish I had the skills and ability to do similar things: remove engine, clean out everything, do a proper prep and paint of inside and out, update the wiring harness, and reassemble so that I would know more. But alas...

I'm going to focus on creating and replacing all the wood panels, building a box in the trunk to dress it up nicely, and remove the back seat and put in a shelf instead. Going to be a fun couple of years!


The first-gen 900's were great, before GM got a hold of them. My 900 is a 1992, which is the next-to-last year of production of the first gen model.

I realize it's a sunk cost... and I could probably find a running 900 'vert for much less than that. However, given all I've already put into it, and the fact that the body doesn't have a hint of rust on it and has a brand-new top (which is a big deal on those cars) I'm going to rebuild this one. I've spoken again with the mechanic, and I am going to have him do it. That way it'll be done right, with a minimum of fuss on my part. I've done enough engines and transmissions in my day to know that I CAN do it, but given the amount of time it'll take I'm going to let someone else do this one.

I have no intention of changing the color of the car (dark blue) so a respray will be fine, no need to do the inside of the engine compartment or anything. I can certainly do the outside paint prep myself, as that's fairly easy, but I'm more interested in getting it running, first.

 

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CutchaGuy 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
Was a little miffed the other day when I came home from the store in the Fiat and, after shutting the car off and taking the groceries inside, came back to find it was completely dead. No electrical at all.

Upon looking, I see that the shop really didn't tighten the battery cable to the post. After taking care of that little annoyance, I find it runs just fine AND starts better now that it is getting proper spark!

?

 

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blu-nightbreed 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
At least it was an easy fix... and be sure to mention it to them.

 

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DoomHunter42 
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Subject: My Fiat is Alive!!! Alive I say!!!
win

 

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