Author Topic: KJ's 126 BIS  (Read 3122 times)

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Flying Carpet

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KJ's 126 BIS
« on: May 04, 2017, 11:34:43 PM »
And so it begins... :D

After a few months of pondering and eBay window shopping, we finally settled on a Fiat 126 as KJ's first project car, the idea being that if he starts now, it might just be ready for when he's legally able to drive it!
We'd noticed they ranged from basket cases to absolute minters, so what we were after was a reasonably late model to make sure the old tinworm hadn't taken hold (ahh, those Alfasud memories!) 

Just happened to stumble across an ad for a 1988 BIS, dry stored, all complete and with a stack of spares to go with it. After chatting with the owner (top bloke) about the car and its condition, we agreed a deal and the following weekend ventured up to West London to pick it up.
http://i.imgur.com/0JCXfgQt.jpg

Attracted lots of attention when we stopped at the motorway services on the way home, including an Italian guy who loved it, enthusiastically telling us we definitely chose the right model! So after getting it home, we set KJ to task with the spanners, and soon he had the rear bumper and rear panel off...

 

Overall the car is in pretty good shape, having had a fair bit of work and (fortunately) dry stored for a while. It will need a bit of attention to the front end but two new wings and a front panel came as part of the deal, along with loads of trim pieces and service items


We did a quick oil change and fuel top up as I wanted to do a shakedown before dismantling, but couldn't quite get the engine to catch. Later on we found out just how old the fuel was...! So out came the power unit, a nice easy job, so the work of cleaning up could begin!



Cleaned up the gearbox and fitted a new clutch guide oil seal as the bellhousing was full of oil.
 


After fitting new axle gaiters and driveshaft boots, along with new gearbox mounts (in the spares package!
  ), the gearbox looks a little more presentable. Note to self: don't forget to refill with oil !!!
 


With the engine out of the way we could turn our attention to the rear suspension, which we had noticed was pretty sorry looking. Took the opportunity to try on one of the new X1/9 wheels first though! Will have to think carefully about tyre choice, but first impressions are that the offset should be ok...
Then pulled the rest of the suspension and fuel tank out:

   



Rear suspension was pretty ropey, so off to the sandblaster to get cleaned up. Got some new bushes, wheel cylinders and bearings to fit once the bits come back...

 


  

All painted up and ready for assembly...
 



Oh yeah, and I think that this might have had something to do with the starting problem...
The new tank (supplied with the car) was painted up so we could put the old dented one to one side
 



Next we turned our attention to the interior. The BIS seats are in pretty good condition, but didn't really suit what KJ had in mind for the car, so with the help of his pal they set to work removing them.
Nice pants btw!
   


Got a cracking deal on pair of Mini seats, they look suitably retro and suit the padded dash. Couldn't resist popping them in just to have a look! Still got to work out the mounting, but hopefully that shouldn't be too much of a task.




Well that's about it for now, looking forward to getting the rear suspension back together so we can get the car turned around and get started on the front. Lots to keep us busy on the weekends for a while yet I reckon, but should be worth it in the long run!


« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 08:08:26 PM by Flying Carpet »

Gadge

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 06:28:14 AM »
Fantastic work guys 👍 Your really getting stuck in. It reminds me of my first one which I bought when I was 17 (in red as well). Great choice on the seats btw :)
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126blackbird

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 03:19:49 PM »
Make sure you use the right oil in the gearbox, don't use EP

Flying Carpet

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 11:51:50 PM »
Thanks for the tip - will look into the whole gearbox oil thing in a while...

In the meantime, we decided the rear suspension arm bushes would need doing to keep the MoT man happy.


...after all, the manual reckons 'the flexible bushes can be extracted and installed using a press...'    Yeah, right

After 30 years in situ, my little press could not even make these things wince, let alone be extracted. Time for more drastic action....

Decided that melting out the rubber was a bit messy. As the rubber had gone as hard as nails, decided to drill between the centre and the outer a few times to break up the rubber. A 5mm drill bit was an almost perfect fit. Removing the rubber from one side allowed rubber and centre pin to be driven out...
 

With the centre and rubber removed, a couple of cuts were made in the shell of the bush with a hacksaw, about 7 - 10mm apart. This was done carefully to avoid cutting into the bushing housing, but there wasn't too much danger of that. After that, the strip between the cuts could be peeled back with a drift, like pulling the lid off a tin of beans

 

After that, the rest of the outer shell of the bush was easy to drift out, leaving a nice clean housing ready for the new bush.

 

Here's the little varmint (or what's left of it) along with a new one for comparison. Then it was just a case of warming up the end of the arm in boiling water and then presenting it with a suitably chilled new bush (half an hour in the freezer), applying a liberal coat of grease and then squeezing the two back together. I reckon a big vice would have done the job easily, but as we had the press it seemed daft not to use it.

 

New bush in place, hopefully good for another few years yet!
 

I can't say replacing bushes is ever my favourite job, and my heart always sinks when I see these on an MoT form, so glad this job is done. Without a doubt, removing the old ones is the most difficult bit - the first one took me a couple of hours, a plaster and a fair bit of strong language , but after that, the other three only took about half an hour each. Pushing the new ones in was a doddle, but very satisfied now it's done. Found some useful tips on an old post by michaelodonnell500, so will post a reply there too.

Now just wondering what the front suspension has in store for us!


Gadge

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 09:54:33 AM »
Great work :thumbup they are a bit of a swine to do. I go for the more messy (not to mention stinky!) way of burning them out before doing the same as you cutting a slot and peeling the outer shell out but very satisfying job once it's done. At the front the top and bottom bushes are exactly the same as the rear bushes - in that they are literally the same part - so you'll become an expert in removing them soon   ;D but to be fair the lower ones in the leaf are les fiddley to do as the leaf is easier to work around than the rear swing arms
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andyzeetec

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 01:03:12 PM »
Great Read, keep it coming.  :thumbup

Flying Carpet

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 09:04:12 PM »
Thanks Gadge

We had removed the front suspension units on Sunday, so suitably encouraged, I had a go at the front suspension after tea...
The lower wishbone bushes didn't really put up much of a fight, and popped out fairly easily. Then I turned to the lower spindle bush, and pushed out the middle with one of the old centres I'd released previously.

Then it was the (now) time honoured practice of hacksaw and pin punch, and 15 minute later it was all done!




So now to order up some new bushes, and clean up the rusty bits in the meantime... But I think I'll enjoy a pint first! Cheers!

Flying Carpet

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 09:33:18 PM »
It's been a while since our last post, but we haven't been completely idle...
With the car sat on a dolly we can push it easily around the workshop (workshop? nah, it's a shed!), so set to work in getting the front suspension cleaned up.




Dismantled the front spring to check it over, and get rid of the rust and grime. All ok, so primed and painted the leaves and reassembled with plenty of grease, then popped in a couple of new bushes to finish off.
 


I had decided on a disc brake conversion some time ago, and even thought we're a long way off needing them yet, I couldn't resist just trying the conversion plates on the stub axles for size. The calipers are from a base model 500, but are the same as Seicento / Punto ones, and the discs were old stock, just a tenner for the pair!

 

With the stub axles cleaned up and painted, and duly equipped with new bushes, it was then time to reassemble with the wishbone and spindle (yet more new bushes). Finally, we cleaned up the shocks as they checked out ok before disassembly, and finished them off in lurid yellow (more on that later).





That was the easy bit - now to look at the bodywork side of things....(gulp!)

A visit to Forza Italia gave us the opportunity to take a close look at this little beauty!

Really good to chat with the owner and hear all about it - picked up some crucial tips for our project
     -    thanks Gadge!                       :good:


Feeling suitably inspired, we took advantage of some fine weather and made a start on the bodywork. We knew there was something lurking under the non-original paint, so decided to strip the paint back carefully to avoid damaging any sound panels. Once we got past the filler, we found some battle scars and corrosion on the front panel.
 
The extent of the damage and the fact that we got a new front panel with the car meant that it was going to be easier to replace the whole thing. We were a bit daunted about the prospect of ending up with a misaligned front end, but fortunately the wings are in pretty good shape (apart from a couple of dings), so hopefully we should be able to use these and the bonnet to make sure everything lines up again.

Was a bit nervous about it, but the grinder soon passed the point of no return, and before long we had the front panel off.  

This is going to make the job of replacing the battery box much easier, and also we can repair the inevitable rot in the inner front wings a bit more easily.

 

Not quite ready to start tacking things together, but at least the school holidays are coming up, which means I should get some help!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 08:13:24 PM by Flying Carpet »

shielsy

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 02:15:54 PM »
your doing a cracking job  :o :wave :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup

Gadge

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 09:37:28 PM »
Pleasure to have met you - and your son of course! Your doing a fantastic job there on that front panel they are not easy to do. I had to do the battery box on mine but with the front panel on  :o and it was quite a job!

Keep up the good work :thumbup
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Flying Carpet

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2017, 11:15:25 PM »
Wow - can't imagine what doing the battery box with the front panel in place must have been like!
Mind you, it's taken a helluva lot longer than I thought to get the front end to where it is now!

Ok, so with the front panel out of the way, it was fairly straightforward to get to the crumbly bits in the bottom front corner of each wing. We had acquired a couple of wings with the car, but following advice, it really didn't warrant taking off the original sound wings for just that, so decided to repair what we had instead. Cut the old metal out and replaced with a couple of sections from the replacement wings (much easier than trying to fabricate compound curves from scratch!
 

We're aiming for a retro look, so whether we go for bumpers or not we certainly won't be refitting the plastic ones, so as we'd come this far we decided to shave off the old plastic bumper mounts...


So finally with the inner panels repaired and the battery box replaced, things are looking more shipshape....


...and at long last we can finally get the front panel fitted up and welded on - happy days!

 



Still got some work on the driver's side wing to attend to. Oh, and the doors and the rear panel need some trim holes filling too, and the rear hatch, not forgetting the floor of course... so still quite some way to go!

stuey

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 07:11:45 AM »
Just want to say I'm loving your work- keep the updates coming its great to see your progress.  :D
one resprayed and another arrives- double trouble BIS style!!

1973/126

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 12:50:24 PM »
 You guys are making great progress on this one. I'm impressed  :thumbup
1972 Fiat 500
1980 Fiat 126

Flying Carpet

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 11:21:59 PM »
Thanks Guys, appreciate all the comments. I think all the regular contributors to this forum have set the bar pretty high, so we'll just have to do our best to maintain the standard!

johnvine

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Re: KJ's 126 BIS
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »
Hello Flying carpet. You are doing a very thorough job on a car similar to mine. (E reg BIS). When it comes to classic car restoration in my opinion original is best .I say this as someone who has been guilty of  fitting all the usual non-standard wheels, seats, paint colour, etc. Unless you keep a car for the rest of your life and so never need to sell it, you will always get the best price for an un-messed about with example no matter what you have spent on customising. I have spent since November 2016 doing just about everything to my car which had stood for 20 years!Regards John