1971 Fiat 850 almost ready to drive

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by Pat, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I don't need the measurements of the bolts as I have a large stash of VW metric hardware and can find something that works. Let me know how much this would be. Also, do you have another heater valve? I've got an update to make tonight about driving this, or trying to drive this.
     
  2. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Here's the exhaust bracket set I have, after a quick clean-up:

    850exhaustbrackets.jpg

    Ok, see PM for info.

    Sorry, I have no heater valves for sale.
     
  3. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I'm waiting for the new oil pressure sender to arrive and I am ordering a set of engine brackets from Jeff. (Thanks Jeff! I am thinking of anything else I need). Anyhow, when warming up the car to take it for a spin, I noticed a leak in the front. It looks like the heater valve is leaking all over the front passenger side. I noticed that it doesn't leak when the heater value is turned off.
    So now, I am in search of another heater valve or how to to scab something else in. In the mean time, I'll go to Home Depot and connect the two hoses together to bypass the heater core.
    Darn.

    upload_2018-7-23_22-49-41.png
     
  4. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Oops. Posted to the wrong place.
    Pat
     
  5. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Location:
    Portland OR
    When you get it kinda trustworthy, come by my place in SE Portland, I'd love to see it, we can go for a celebratory beer (or drink of choice, sorry I have no Moxie).
     
  6. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    No Moxie?! You must be in the wrong Portland!
     
  7. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Jefco,
    Okay, sounds good, but I think I have another problem. I'll post it later on tonight. Looks like I may have the dreaded blown head gasket or worse yet, a cracked head!
     
  8. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Location:
    Portland OR
    Head gasket? I have one of those, but on closer examination, the fire rings are rusty (I've had it over 30 years). Makes a fun piece of art, tho!
    IMG_0992.JPG
     
  9. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I've finally got it to run good now, racking up about 15 miles running around the neighborhood. Just need a new gasket for the carb as the pump circuit is a little weak. I was thinking about taking a longer spin since it is running better before I chance the big one and head down the Interstate 5 or I5. Gotta have it real dependable since stalling on the I5 bridge is a very bad thing to do. (My Fiero did that to me)
    What has just happened recently is that the heater valve is starting to leak maybe due to the higher revs. Seems like there is a lot of pressure building up.
    upload_2018-7-26_12-47-14.png

    Shutting off the water lines led to another discovery. Looks like my metal lines are all rusted away, being bypassed by hoses running underneath the car. And now last night, letting in run for a bit with a radiator cap off will burp out some water and anti-freeze. I don't see any oil in the water or water in the crankcase, but I see a lot of bubbling in the radiator. The water gauge doesn't go past mid-point so maybe it is clogged? It looks really bad inside the radiator like it is all plugged up. Not sure what's wrong now and may need some advice.

    upload_2018-7-26_12-54-26.png

    Not sure what what the issue is now. Should I try and re-torque the heads? Replace the head gasket? How do I check for a cracked head?
    Should I wait since it is not overheating?
    Definitely need advice on this one.
     
  10. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    If the radiator looks clogged it is likely your problem.

    I would look at having it boiled out and see if it could be rodded out or recored.
     
  11. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    If it's not over heating don't mess with the head. The only way to have it checked is to remove it. Don't do that yet.
    If in doubt about the radiator follow Karl's advice, these radiators are mostly ancient by now. There are still some old school shops that can rework the radiator. Have them change the neck too so you can run a standard cap that you can get at any Napa auto parts.
    Then just loop the heater hose for now bypassing the lines running to the front to isolate the problem.
    It's normal to see bubbling with the cap off. The pressure keeps the fluid from boiling so if you have no pressure (no cap) it will boil at a lower temperature.
     
  12. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Location:
    Portland OR
    Does the radiator smell? If they're combustion gases leaking out, it should.
    You could try a leakdown test.
     
    kmead likes this.
  13. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Can chemical radiator flush be used in Fiat 850's or is it too harsh?
     
  14. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Stop Band-Aiding the thing & follow the good advice already given to you by kmead & NM850; pull the radiator & have a radiator shop boil it out, rod it & pressure test it. Pull the heater core while you're at it & have them do it, as well. While those parts are being done, flush the engine cooling system with a garden hose to get out any debris.

    It's much easier (& cheaper) to fix the problem right the first time, rather than trying to fix it wrong several times! ;)
     
  15. Don't let the Radiator shop weld their name tag on your radiator either! (Many years later and still peeved they did that without asking me!)
     
  16. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Ah, yes. Good pointer there! I've got a few spare radiators that have random "shop tags" like those, never really liked them except for the actual old Italian radiator shop tags (some of my past 850's were private- or gray-market imports).
     
    Chaostoy likes this.
  17. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Good advice everyone. I was just trying to cheat the system so I could take it for a couple of spins before I take it down for the winter. Please try not to blame me too much, just anxious to get behind the wheel. Got a lot of smiles per mile around the neighborhood. It is amazing how many people like to see these cars on the road.
     
    kmead and NM850 like this.
  18. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Don't blame you at all. These cars can be very reliable but it really comes down to going through the whole car yourself, most have suffered years of neglect. It also pays to be at one with your car so you can catch impending failures before they occur.
    My spider has never been towed. You'll get there, just keep after it.
     
    kmead likes this.
  19. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    By the way. IMO the most important thing to check is the fuel line going into the carb. Many 850s have caught fire because the brass fitting fell out of the carb. I personally remove the fitting and install a threaded one on every 850 I work on.
     
    khnitz and kmead like this.
  20. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Chaostoy likes this.

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