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Author Topic: 1981 Coupe, 2.0 FI US Spec  (Read 8097 times)
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abgwin
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« on: April 23, 2014, 10:02:30 PM »

Thought I'd start a thread with details of my progress on making my new-to-me Coupe daily driver-ready.

It's relatively solid, with only two owners before me, and always a California car. There is some rust repair already done which appears stable but will need to be attended to at some point.

There are some immediate needs, like changing out timing belt and tensioner, an exhaust leak (supposedly a missing gasket), some non-functioning lights, the smell of gas in the garage and the suspicion that a rear bearing needs attention.

It has power steering (working), air conditioning (non-working), leather upholstery (needs work) and a sunroof (contributed to rust + headliner about to peel).

I did manage an oil change this past weekend, which worried me over fuel in the oil. I think it's because the fuel pump runs when the key is in "on" even if engine isn't running* and then leaked into cylinder(s). After the change, I don't smell any more fuel in oil but will keep a close eye on it.

*have read the thread about how to fix this and will attend to it soon. Until then, won't leave ignition "on" without starting engine.

Anyhow, thanks already to those who've offered helpful advice.













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HF Stinger
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 04:54:16 AM »

Congrats, I drove this car when first offered for sale and I regretted not buying it.  It was well cared for and Im sure you will give it the attention it needs.  I'll be looking forward to your progress.
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HF Stinger
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 01:16:11 AM »

You are correct, reading this again I do remember what seemed like the right rear wheel bearing moaning a bit.  Sounded a bit metallic as if also brake caliper hanging up but the car seemed to roll ok which probably points back the bearing.

From your location I'd point you to a place in Napa - Wine Country Motors rather then send you deeper into the bay area as it's probably the same distance anyway.

There is a fellow not too far from you that is well versed in the fuel injected 2L Lancia engines, I will see if I can find contact info and send it to you privately.  I don't think he is actively working on cars right now, but he's an excellent source for advice and troubleshooting.
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abgwin
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 10:31:26 PM »

I've found gas in the oil, even after an oil change, so I'm now in the process of replacing the fuel injectors and the cold start valve. I can't think of anything else that would be leaking gas into the cylinders (even if the thermo switch is bad, it wouldn't continue to keep the cold start valve open when the car's not running, right?) so if there's anything I'm missing, advice appreciated.

I did manage to find the injectors at a good price but the cold start valve is tougher to find for less than $100 US. Any great secret source that somebody could point me to?

Oh, and one major disapointment: under the seat covers, the seats aren't even original. They are an odd mix of black and white that just needs to go away.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 10:33:45 PM by abgwin » Logged
abgwin
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 12:22:16 AM »

So the summer's mostly gone, and it's cool enough to actually work in my garage again - well, most days. I've finally finished replacing the fuel injection system. New injectors, cold start valve, most fuel line, temp sensor and a salvage thermo time switch. While the FI stuff was out of the way, I went ahead and changed spark plug wires, cap, rotor and tried to reassemble the intake rubber and connections as best I could.

The good news: after a lot of heartache, she started and ran today. So that means I do have the wires back in the right place!

The bad:  there's clearly an air leak somewhere (could hear the squeal) and she won't yet idle by herself. I think the timing is off, by the rough running, and I suspect the salvage thermo time switch is bad, since there was NO cold starting!

I think next step is to bite the bullet and get a new thermo time switch and figure out how to time her if she won't idle. But at least it's a step in the right direction.
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abgwin
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 01:13:13 AM »

After a great deal of cursing and sore back muscles, I've finally driven her once again.

She's still cold blooded as hell, but once she's warmed up, she's still a hoot to drive.

I've definitely sealed some air leaks, but I'm sure there's more to go.

So maybe I'll just drive her for a little while and see what happens.
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lbcoupe76
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 05:01:15 AM »

Good stuff. Must feel good to get her on the road again. Grin
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1976 Beta coupe 1800 "Kermette"
1975 Beta coupe 1800 x 2
1974 Beta Berlina 1800
1989 Thema i.e turbo
1988 Thema i.e turbo
Fiat 1500



Smoke me a Kipper i'll be back for breakfast
abgwin
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 09:23:47 PM »

Another milestone - I drove the Beta to work today. Once, and only once, the brakes went soft and nearly to the floor, but otherwise nothing exciting happened.

There is noise at speed that makes me think bearings are a concern... but that's for another day!
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abgwin
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 12:38:14 AM »

Took Beta to the Fiat club's meet up at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA. Fantastic drive, chasing a Jaguar XJS on some windy roads - and keeping up the whole way.

Almost aborted the whole trip when she wouldn't start that morning. Turned over, fired, then immediately died... after all the work, made me want to throw up... but turned out to be a simple hose loose behind the Mass Airflow Sensor. Hooked it back up and she ran great.
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Neil-yaj396
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1979 1300 Coupe 1983 2000ie Coupe


« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 07:19:02 AM »

Glad you made your trip. The injection Betas are proving a bit temperamental at the moment. Two ie cars over here missed our Betameeta (Darren ie & Gengis, breakdown & caution respectively).
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abgwin
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 07:52:33 PM »

Beta made it to our first official show, the All Italian show in Alameda, CA. Put on by the local Alfa club, it's a low key, friendly show that benefits Special Olympics and held before every Columbus Day.

I certainly had the worst Lancia there, but it was very good company to be in!











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abgwin
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 04:50:43 AM »

Another weekend, some more progress.

Finally got around to swapping out the turn signal/headlight/wiper control stalk assembly. The wiper stalk was broken off when I got the car, so bought a complete assembly a while back.

Got it all swapped out only to learn the replacement switches for headlights were bad - headlights stayed on no matter how it was set!

So an hour or two of swapping it back and transplanting the new stalk to the old assembly and - voila! - the wipers work!

I was so pleased with the results that I went ahead with installing some seats I got as well. What mentally impaired engineer decided that seats should be held in place by threaded plates that are completely separate from the mounts?? A lot of cursing and sore knees resulted in at least the driver's seat in.

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Neil-yaj396
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1979 1300 Coupe 1983 2000ie Coupe


« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 09:36:51 AM »

Nice leather seat, though it makes the interior very dark. I take it from the seat covers on your old seats that they were cloth and worn through?
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abgwin
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2014, 03:36:56 PM »

Actually those horrible seat covers hid a mismatch. Drivers seat was an early tan leather, spruced up with duct tape, and passenger seat was original black leather but badly split and also taped. It had the correct black recliner mechanism (these have the silver) so will save it in hopes of replacing the driver as well.

I've been told that the Zagato's seats were different in that they had a hard plastic back, but the passenger seat - which appears original - did too. I don't think US spec 81/82 had cloth; I've never seen one with anything but leather, black or light grey.
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abgwin
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 12:20:56 AM »

A holiday weekend here in the US meant I finally got around to swapping out the top engine mount with a new one, as well as a new air filter (very hard to find here; pretty much mail order only).

I guess that mount was farther gone than I had first thought....

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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2015, 07:47:28 AM »

Safe to say that wasn't serving it's purpose! What was holding it on? Or did the bushing disintegrate when you took it off?
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abgwin
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2015, 03:38:11 PM »

It was still bolted in place, but as soon as I wiggled the mount out anything left of the bushing fell right out into the depths, no doubt joining all the small screws and washers it's consumed over the past year.
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abgwin
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2015, 07:35:46 PM »

Life got busy and kept me from doing everything I had planned, but now that we've moved back to San Diego from the SFO Bay Area, things have settled down nicely.

In the past six months:
New tires all around. Which led to an argument with the tire shop when one spontaneously deflated after 3 weeks of minimal use and no puncture. Their diagnosis? The wheel was "unusable". They tried to grind down the rim (!) and couldn't get a seal, supposedly. So took wheel and tire to a specialty shop who immediately mounted it with zero issue. Lesson learned: cheap tire shops aren't worth the money.

Ordered new rear struts from BetaBoyz and installed them myself. Wow, what a difference! Can now corner without rear end schlumping around behind.

Splurged on new repro washer bottle. It really dresses up underhood!

Replaced turn signal/headlight/wiper switch assembly two more times, each time with different results where at least one function was missing. Latest round worked for approx. 72 hours, then headlights shorted out (with smoke from column!) while driving home from club event at night, losing low beams but gaining side markers and instrument cluster lights!! Limped home on high beams, now resigned to buying totally new assembly at astronomical cost.

The best part is that although the local Fiat/Lancia club is essentially defunct, another local group of vintage car owners of all sorts has welcomed me in, and I've gotten lots of complements about the Beta. It does help a bit when others notice your work, doesn't it?
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HF Stinger
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2015, 11:06:03 PM »

Good to see you checking in with updates.

Now that your in SoCal we may see you at Best of France and Italy show in Nov?
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abgwin
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 11:15:07 PM »

I would really love to bring her, but not sure if I'll have all the wheel bearings done by then. Will certainly attend at the very least!
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