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Author Topic: Getting ready for the 3ma  (Read 5797 times)
Thotos
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Theo Kyriacou


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« on: March 18, 2007, 11:37:34 PM »

Many years ago, back in 1980-something, when my Silver 131 Sport (Dudley) was my only car and therefore my daily driver, it started making a strange rumbling noise from the front of the engine. I took the fan belt off and the noise stopped. Turning the water pump or alternator by hand didn't make any noises but deciding that it must be the water pump bearing that rumbled under load and at higher speed, I bought a new water pump and fitted it. Those were the days when GGB engineering who were specialist Italian Car parts suppliers, were just down the road from me so getting parts for my car was easy.

With the water pump replaced, the noise was still there!  Angry It then became obvious that it was the alternator that was noisy. I took it off the car, stripped it, cleaned it, repacked the bearings with grease and put it back together again. I fitted it back on the car and there was no more noise.  Grin That alternator has had a very long life and in fact spent a couple of long spells on my Maserati when its alternator was being rebuilt by specialists and eventually found its way on my current 131 Sport when its alternator died a couple of years ago.

Last March when I went to Ratoath in Ireland for the Italian Car Day (http://www.fiatmotorclubgb.org/Events/Ratoath/index.htm) I thought I heard a rumbling noise from the front of my car's engine. It was late at night and didn't feel like investigating further and then I remembered which alternator was fitted to my car and I said to Simon "this alternator has always been a bit noisy". I ignored the noise and drove back to the UK.

By the time I got back to the UK, the noise got louder so I took the alternator belt off only to discover the noise was still there  Undecided It turned out that the noise was due to a loose crankshaft pulley! Had I known that I wouldn't have taken the risk of driving all the way back to the UK but as I was so quick to blame my apparently faithful alternator....

A couple of weeks ago I used  the 131 to drive to work and on the way back in the evening I thought the lights were brighter than usual and seemed to vary their brightness with engine speed a bit more than normal. "Alternator regulator" I thought. Always very quick to blame the alternator which has been so good! I just don't seem to be able to trust that alternator.  Embarrassed

So when I saw a new alternator advertised on eBay for a very reasonable price, I jumped at the opportunity and bought it. Which brings me to the subject of this posting: "Getting ready for the 3ma". I've made a list of things I need to do to the car before May and the alternator replacement became number 1 on the list. So yesterday I changed the alternator for the new one although I am keeping the old one safe as I think it may come useful one day soon.



Old alternator on the right. It only takes a couple of minutes to take off. New alternator on the left still in the bag.




New alternator on the left is a Magnetti Marelli while old alternator (right) is BOSCH. They look almost identical though.




And here it is in its rightful place. The rear heatshield fitted to the BOSCH alternator doesn't fit the new Magnetti Marelli so I hope it won't be damaged by the heat from the exhaust.

So that's job number one completed!  Grin

Next job I need to do is to replace the timing belt and tensioner bearing. The bearing on my engine seems to have worn into a taper so it's affecting the position of the belt.  I'll report back here when that's done.

I've also booked the car into the bodyshop for some minor cosmetic touch-ups. The car needs to look its best for the 3ma!!  Cool Unfortunately I couldn't convince my friendly Irish bodyshop guy to refurbish the wheels on my car so I'll have to attempt that myself (although I was looking at alloys again today....)

Progress reports to follow.....
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 10:41:09 AM by Thotos » Logged

Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 10:55:55 AM »

I took the 131 to the office this morning as I was dropping it off at the bodyshop for the cosmetic touch-ups.  Job number 2 on my list of "preparations" for the 3MA. When I got to work, I heard a strange noise from the front of the engine again  Huh The 'new' alternator pulley had worked loose and was about to fall off  Angry I suppose I can be blamed for not checking it before fitting the alternator to the car but as it was a new alternator and it came with the pulley fitted, I assumed it would have been fitted correctly and tightly! Ugh!  Angry I knew I should have trusted my old faithful BOSCH alternator and left it alone...
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Theo Kyriacou
Enfield, UK
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 11:14:29 PM »

I collected the car from the bodyshop today. Then spent nearly an hour in the office car park sorting out the alternator pulley. So job number 1 appears to be complete again but I'll check it properly at the weekend.

The quality of the bodywork touch-ups is OK but first impression is that it's not as good as I expected and not as good as the work the same bodyshop did on my Gamma. It was getting dark when I collected the car so I haven't had a really critical inspection. I'll check carefully at the weekend after a wash and polish. The proprietor of the bodyshop who actually did the work on my car, blamed the less than perfect result on the quality of the paint which I have supplied. And I tend to believe him as it's 12 year old paint!! Although the same paint was used on my car a couple of years ago with perfect results.

Not enough time to ponder the ifs and buts so I better get on with my list of things to do before the 3MA....
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Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 08:23:07 AM »

I have been too busy with other things to do any of the preparatory work on the 131 but I have made important progress in my preparations for the 3MA: I got my passport renewed! (old one was expiring on 11th May).
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Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 03:48:06 PM »


The quality of the bodywork touch-ups is OK but first impression is that it's not as good as I expected and not as good as the work the same bodyshop did on my Gamma.


I decided that I really am not happy with the quality of the recent bodywork on my 131 so I went back to the bodyshop today. To my pleasant surprise the guy was very understanding and seemed willing to do part of the work again to improve the final result.  Cheesy  Unfortunately they cannot do anything for at least two weeks. Maybe that's just his way of getting rid of me...  Undecided  Then again Simon did say to me "... it will look fine in the rain in Ireland during the 3ma..."
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 03:52:06 PM by Thotos » Logged

Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2007, 11:23:25 PM »

Today I finally got round to changing the cambelt and tensioner bearing which was the next major job to be done in preparation for the 3MA. As I think I mentioned before, the tensioner bearing on my car seems to have worn to a slight taper so the belt would not ride centrally on the pulleys. As my car is fitted with a 1-inch wide belt, there are no endstops on the camshaft pulleys. There's an inner stop on the auxiliary shaft pulley and there's the crankshaft fanbelt pulley which acts as an outer stop. But the stops are there for protection and the belt should ride centrally on the pulleys and that's achieved by a slightly convex tensioner bearing.

Here's the new bearing in place. I just love shiny new mechanical parts  Kiss



And the 1-inch wide belt fills the camshaft pulleys well. But you need pulleys without endstops to use the wider belt.



Tomorrow, weather permitting, will be mainly cosmetic jobs and a wash and full polish to make it look its best for next weekend's Auto Italia day at Brooklands.

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Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2007, 08:38:43 PM »

It was the Spring Italian car day today organised by Auto Italia magazine in the grounds of the Brooklands museum (Weybridge, Surrey, UK) so no time for any 3MA preparation work. But I did get up early to give the car a quick polish so it could look it's best and I think it turned out quite well.  Wink


* P1020266s.JPG (197.11 KB, 800x600 - viewed 422 times.)
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Theo Kyriacou
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 11:23:09 AM »

Superb photo Theo! What a fab looking car.

Dont forget to pack your cloths and sponges for a touch up in Killarney. We've just had our first rain in about a month last night so the roads may throw up some grime, etc.
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Kevin Doyle
Fiat 131 Mirafiori Sport 2000TC
Fiat 131 Supermirafiori S3 2000TC
Limerick, Ireland
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 12:47:19 PM »

Rain in Irelend?  Huh Never! I don't believe it... Grin
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Theo Kyriacou
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simon131
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 06:00:06 AM »

"A touch up in Killarney" Huh Shocked I think I like the sound of that! Grin Grin
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Simon Ryle
Hampshire, UK

'76 FIAT Abarth 131 Rally Stradale; 4 x '76-'78 FIAT 131 Special 4-dr; '79 FIAT 131 Sport; '16 BMW 520d M Sport 4-dr;
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2007, 11:14:54 PM »

I decided that I really am not happy with the quality of the recent bodywork on my 131 so I went back to the bodyshop today. To my pleasant surprise the guy was very understanding and seemed willing to do part of the work again to improve the final result.  Cheesy  Unfortunately they cannot do anything for at least two weeks.

I went back to the bodyshop again to see if there's anything they can do to improve one of their previous "touch-ups" before I set off for Ireland early on Thursday morning. The car is now booked to go back in on Tuesday late afternoon! The guy is going to stay late on Tuesday evening and work on my 131. I'll collect it Wednesday afternoon and set off early the following morning.  Shocked Cutting it a bit fine?  Huh Nah, it'll be all right on the night....  Undecided
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Theo Kyriacou
Enfield, UK
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