1971 Fiat 850 almost ready to drive

Pat

True Classic
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.
Got it! That also happens a lot to VW's with their Solex carbs. Stupid brass pieces pulls out. I usually pin mine with with a punch. Never thought about threading them.
 

Pat

True Classic
Here is an updated picture showing the exhaust braces in place. (Thanks Jeff!) Also, I'm showing the replacement for the VHTF oil pressure sender. This uses the Bosch brass adapters that screw into the old fitting and comes out 1/8 npt. (Check previous posts for the link in case you need one). Then, I found an oil pressure switch in eBay for $5.99 including shipping. It works, as it doesn't drop to zero after a couple of minutes, but it seems to work opposite of what I would expect. It pegs the gauge at 80 psi and then after the engine starts, the pressure goes down to 20 psi. Probably isn't calibrated exactly for the Fiat gauge, but at least I'll know if I loose all oil pressure.
 

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Pat

True Classic
Currently I'm waiting for the new radiator hoses, new heater hoses and thermostat. Also, the water temperature gauge stop working. I know that the gauge works, as I grounded the sensor. I've been looking and found that this part is also VHTF. I was thinking about replacing this with 1/8 npt adapter and using a different sensor. There appears to be a banjo fitting just below the factory sensor. Does anyone know what that does? Can I link the two hoses together and bypass the connection to the gauge?
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Another thing that went bad is the water heater valve. I had to disconnect and block the hoses. Would nice to be able to find this part so I can do the entire cooling system all at once. Is there any hack that I can do to scab something else in? The 131 valve looks close. Anyone come up with a replacement?

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Will be down for a little longer. Just gotta be patient.
 

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Pat

True Classic
Got it! That also happens a lot to VW's with their Solex carbs. Stupid brass pieces pulls out. I usually pin mine with with a punch. Never thought about threading them.
Okay, I've got mine wired in including the inline filter.
 

Pat

True Classic
The radiator and heater core have been cleaned out and the car now has all new hoses. I've done several flushes and will do one last flush just before it gets cold and add the anti freeze and water pump lube. All is good except that weird heater control value and it will start to be getting cold soon. It seems like nobody has one of those valves for sale brand new. I started looking around I found one on eBay for an ALFA 145/146/155/ Coupe/ FIAT Tipo. I decided to take a chance since it was only $20.00 shipped. It kinda sorta looks similar to what I need. One of issues is that the two bolt holes are too far apart.
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The seller included a new gasket for the 850, which was real nice. You can see that it is close, but no cigar.
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Since it was plastic, I decided to do some grinding and got the gasket to fit and also to fit to the heater core.
This is what it looks like after some careful grinding.
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Here are some pictures of the installation:
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It actually looks pretty good.
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Next is the installation into the vehicle.

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In order for this larger value to fit, the plastic heater cover had to be notched as follows:
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This is in the right front on the passenger's side.
Now for the heater control, you have to remove the plastic arm, this just pops out, but please be careful since it is all plastic. You will also need a cable lock which are cheap and plentiful since they come from a VW for the heater cable or throttle cable locks.
Please remember to drill out the arm of the heater control value so that you can insert this lock.
Actually I installed the heater core with the value attached and I was able to drill it out, but it is much easier to do now before the installation.
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Next, you have to drill a small hole in the heater control lever and reverse and install the original rod back as follows:
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Finally, you attach the rod to the heater value and lock it in place by tightening the heater cable lock. (see red arrow)
 

Pat

True Classic
I wasn't able to get all of the pictures in the previous post, so here is the final installation picture with the arrow showing the rod attached to the heater control value after the plastic arm has been removed.
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Now we have a working heater valve controlled by the original heater lever. Everything thing I have done is reversible, but I will have to purchase another cover and arm when I find the original Fiat 850 heater control valve.
The eBay seller will sell a quantity of these valves and I can get them for $12.00 each delivered, but I have to buy 10 at a time. Not sure if enough Fiat 850 users will find this post useful or not.
 

NM850

True Classic
Nice post. I was told early on to exercise the heater valve every time you drive the car, so far it’s worked in my car.
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Very nice. It will be interesting to see how this performs over time. Not saying it won’t, likely it will last most of forever with any luck.

I found I still have a brand new heater valve I bought in the early 90s which had been hiding in the bottom of a box for the last 20+ years, however it is one of those things where that nice old part could quickly become a nasty old part. So count me in for a couple, let me know if/when you get the order going and how you want to work it.

Thanks for a good write up, great pics and the wry humor.
 

Chad C.

True Classic
Congratulations! These cars are so fun, and they really do ok on the freeway. I've had a Coupe and a Spider, and they're both super cool.

Here's a quick video of my brother & I on I-5 in the '68 850 Spider:

 

Pat

True Classic
It has been awhile since I have posted on XWeb due to the fact that I am no longer employed and am still unemployed AND I am going through some serious health issues which prevents me from driving. Good thing I have a wife who helps me out and puts up with all my zany and crazy antics. Anyhow, a bit ago my 850 was starting to run real crappy and would not hold an idle. I enlisted the help from my brother who diagnosed the problem as a plugged idle jet on the secondary side. My limited experience prevented me from expanding my knowledge past a single barrel solex used on many VW's. I never bothered to look for an idle port on the secondaries because, because there isn't one. So, once that was corrected, it still would not run properly, or idle. The next idea was to spray starting fluid at the base of the carb, and that did not seem make much difference. I took apart the intake system and decided to file the carb. To my surprise, it was not flat at all. As you can tell from the picture below, using a flat file, I could see that it was warped.

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After some careful filing, I was able to make the whole surface smooth.
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When putting it back together, I noticed that the studs didn't look quite right. The threads did not come down all the way and there was a slight gap. What I had to do is to place the factory metal plate back in, which looks like it is a heat shield. This took up the extra space and now the carb can be seated properly and not have any air leaks.

After this exercise, the car runs and idles perfectly and does not die when you come to a stop. Also, the transition off of idle does not have any hesitation and there is no more popping back through the carb.

If this helps just one person, then all is good.
 

Chad C.

True Classic
Glad ya got out there & made it happen, especially for the cost of free! Best wishes for your circumstance, I'm no stranger to being unemployed and absolutely broke. Four years ago I went from being a married middle-class stay at home father to an unemployed single parent of an infant nearly overnight.

Keep playing in the garage as much as you can, it's good for you & there's several grumpy but kind middle-aged men here to commiserate with.
 

Pat

True Classic
Another task I got to do while being unemployed and before my surgery, I remember having the paper gaskets fall apart in my gauges. Jeff mentioned I could just removed them or wet then and get them round and flat again before placing them back in. That would probably be the right way to do it.
Here is a picture of my 1971 having 71,000 miles.
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My brother bought me these tools from Harbor Freight. They are a set of four little picks and he said that you must have these in your tool box and you can't live without them.
I've lived a long time without them, but after seeing how useful they are, I must say that my life would be so much richer if I had them at an earlier age.

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I used one of the tools to pry the little black ring off and I'm telling you that this is a big pain.
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What I did to make my life easier is just un-crimp half of the ring and then slide the glass and ring open just enough to grab the paper ring to remove it.
Leaving the paper ring in would be a better seal, but I am not patient enough or dedicated enough to do it the right way. Kudos to anyone to can figure out how to un-crimp the entire ring so that you can re-insert the paper gasket without totally warping and splitting it.

After removal of the paper ring, I used the same set of tools to re-crimp the glass lens back into position.

Here is a before/after picture.
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Please stop me if there is a better way to do this. I don't want anyone to try this at home unless it is completely safe and the correct way.
 

Pat

True Classic
Question 1: Why is it not a good idea to work on your Fiat 850 while wearing your 15 year anniversary gold watch you got from being a dedicated worker bee?

Multiple Choice Answers
Answer A: You might scratch your watch.

Answer B: You might take off your watch and then lose it.

Answer C: Gold is a very efficient conductor of electricity with a car having a high capacity, full charged, new 12 volt battery.



Correct Answer is C. (Picture is after two weeks of healing):
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While making sure your rubber boot is properly installed on the Fiat 850 radiator, please remove all metal objects.
 

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Daniel Gibson

True Classic
Question 1: Why is it not a good idea to work on your Fiat 850 while wearing your 15 year anniversary gold watch you got from being a dedicated worker bee?

Multiple Choice Answers
Answer A: You might scratch your watch.

Answer B: You might take off your watch and then lose it.

Answer C: Gold is a very efficient conductor of electricity with a car having a high capacity, full charged, new 12 volt battery.



Correct Answer is C. (Picture is after two weeks of healing):
View attachment 24070

While making sure your rubber boot is properly installed on the Fiat 850 radiator, please remove all metal objects.
Holy Mackeral! I have been zapped by a battery before, but nothing like that!
 
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