Fiat Fresh-up part 3: path of least resistance…

Sometimes I am reminded of how always in the Odyssey Athena with the frequently flashing eyes is giving help, good omens and occasional back rubs. Last Saturday (as in three days ago) I was at the ARA All Italian day in Alameda and what should I spy but a Fiat Spider with a note on the windshield saying something along the lines of “1800 Engine for sale, hear it run!” Well, the owner was on hand, I heard it run, monies to the tune of $250 were required to take ownership of said engine, with certain parts removal caveats of course, and I blinked twice, summoned my check book and bought it. Athena never showed, with flashing eyes, to have her maidens give me a rub down with finest oil, but things were definitely right in my pagan world.

What led me to such extremes? Why the change of heart from a polish and go with a few new parts on the 1438? Please find herewith pictures of what I found when the Fiat’s humble engine was opened up.

fiat 1438 valve trainThis had been staring me in the face since early May. Pretty grimy, but then again it is an oil and water cooled engine that gets really hot. Note how clean the outside of this engine is compared to the inside.

fiat 1438 head coming offOnce the rocker shaft is removed the pushrods can be taken out. If you look carefully you can see the tappets in the bores above the valve springs.

fiat 1438 combustion chambersAn even better view of the tappets. Piston tops look like you would expect. Centers were getting warmer than outers. Two of the head bolts were really hard to remove.

fiat 1438 comb chambsNot much remarkable here. Though, for an engine that is supposed to have 23,000 miles on it, it is very dirty on the inside.

fiat 1438 pistonsPistons are driven out from the bottom, not hard, not complicated. Two broken top rings are not the only problem here, one of the small ends is almost frozen. The knock?

fiat 1438 other boresGood ones first. Numbers 3 and 4 look reasonable right? Bores are smooth, few scratches, not much cross hatch to contemplate.

fiat 1438 bores1 and 2 definitely held some water at one point. The reactionary in me says “How awful”. The Engineer says “eh”. These bores are smooth and feel the same as the other two but they sure look bad. No, this is not the two with broken top rings.

fiat 1438 big endsBig ends look serviceable. If a little blurry. I probably could throw new main and rod bearings in, get the one stiff small end reamed, hone it and assemble it with new rings, but how good would it be? How long would it last? I dare not answer since it ran pretty good when I removed it from the car.

There you have it, the reasons I decided to get a different engine rather than rebuild the 1438. I bet a set of rings and gaskets would have been more than I paid for the 1800 I am about to begin the process of fitting. And thus I enter the world of Fiat nuance. Stay tuned!

Fiat Fresh-up part 1.

And part 2.o

Advertisements

One thought on “Fiat Fresh-up part 3: path of least resistance…

  1. THIS IS AN ENGINE THAT LOOKS LIKE IT HAS RUN ON CASTROL OIL OR SOME CHEAP OIL. HAD YOU RUN VALVOLINE
    THE INSIDE WOULD LOOK LIKE THE OUTSIDE VALVOLINE HAS AN ADDITIVE THAT COLLECTS THE CARBON ETC AND DRAINS IT WITH YOUR OIL CANGE CASTROL DOES NOT IT COMES OUT CLEAN LEAVING THE STUFF TO COLLECT ON THE INSIDE WALLS
    I HAVE WRENCHED ON FERRARI ENGINES SINCE 1964 AND HAVE USED NOTHING BUT VALVOLINE CLEAN INSIDE SERIO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s