1971 Fiat 850 almost ready to drive

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

  1. Tom Ginefra

    Tom Ginefra True Classic

    Northern NJ
    That's a shocking photo!
  2. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    I didn't wear the watch for at least a month afterwards. (Actually I could not wear it). I had the watch fixed and it only needed a battery. Pretty amazing.
    dllubin likes this.
  3. kmead

    kmead Over half way.

    I stopped wearing my wedding ring after getting it caught up on some unseen hook in an engine bay of one of my cars. Took me seemingly forever to get unhooked.

    I have always feared the touching the positive post on a starter for exactly the reason you suffered (the same for a ring, you could easily lose your finger to a circumferential burn)

    You are lucky. Congrats on your recuperation.

    I suspect some words were spoken at that moment and your significant other likely had some other choice words for you
    khnitz likes this.
  4. Frank L. Di Gioia

    Frank L. Di Gioia True Classic

    las vegas, nevada
    OUCH! Only other person to have had that happen was my brother about 50 years ago. Some day you will remember and laugh. My brother did about 40 years later. Wishes for low pain recovery, it had to have hurt!
  5. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Actually there was very little pain afterwards. I was told that some burns kill the pain receptors so you don't feel much. Anyway, I didn't go to the doctor right away, but my wife force me to go since it looked so bad. I'm all healed up now and I have a lifetime supply of special silver burn ointment in case you need some.
  6. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    I had a good chat with Chris from Fiatplus the other day about the water temperature sender on the Fiat 850. Apparently they are very hard to come by, so I thought I would mention what I did to get the gauge working again. When I replaced all of the water hoses, I spliced in sender that I got from eBay that was suppose to be compatible with Fiat's. I used a brass T fitting with a 1/8 npt fittings. On both ends, I used a hose fitting with hose clamps. You can see the picture below.

    The unit has to be grounded, so I added a ground wire and attached that to the value cover stud. The picture shows the original sending unit still in place.

    Now my water temp gauge work, but it is not calibrated quit right. When the gauge shows 220, it is actually about 185.
  7. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Another part I was having to replace were the drain hoses in the front trunk. These appear to be a 27mm inside diameter with a very slim design. You can try to use 1.1 inch rubber hose, but it is not very flexible and is too large to fit in the drain holes without modification. After some exhaustive searching, I found 27mm flexible tubing at Amazon. It's about $12.00 delivered and is enough to do the trunk area and at least one of the drains under the dash. Maybe both as I haven't tried to replace those yet.

    You can see that it fits well, but it is white and not the light grey color. I had to use a wire tie to insure that it did not slip off.

    Shot under the car shows the drain exiting the car and no cutting had to be done.

    Hopefully someone can find this beneficial.
    kmead and khnitz like this.
  8. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Albuquerque NM
    Thanks for sharing that link. I used to find suitable stuff at truevalue but not any more.
  9. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    My wipers stopped working and I took out the switch to see that one of the wires got grounded and melted the switch. I got a used replacement which worked on low speed, but not on high speed unless you fiddled with it. I didn't want to use any kind of electrical cleaner or solvent for fear of melting the switch and making it totally useless.

    To fix it, I inserted a very small screw driver into one of the end clips that hold it together. Once inserted, you do not have to hold it in place. (Red arrow)
    Then I used larger screw driver to gently pry open one of the sides. Make sure you get the plastic over both plastic tabs. Only do one side. (Green arrow)

    The plastic is fairly soft and flexible, making it easy to take it apart.
    Once apart, you can see that many of the contacts are dirty and corroded. (Black arrows)

    I used a small wire brush and a Dremel tool to polish up all of the contacts to make them nice and shiny.

    The switch has two nylon 'cams' that engage into 3 separate positions. Note that one of the spring loaded followers is worn. (Red arrow)
    Do not remove the follower and spring from the housing, else you will be very sorry.

    To correct this, I use a set of nice Swiss mini files to shape a point back into the worn follower. The Swiss have really nice stuff. (Next to the Italians, of course)
    It is very important to insure that the followers are of near the same length. Please trust me on this. (Red line)

    Once this is accomplished, re-assemble the switch and you are back in business.
    Let me know how this works for you and please do not throw any non-working switch away. They are good for parts.
    NM850 and khnitz like this.
  10. khnitz

    khnitz Daily Driver

    Great write-up on re-habbing the switch. I did something similar on my first car a long time ago, and recently did it on a 97 Ford Crown Vic turn-signal/wiper switch. The Crown Vic routes all sorts of lighting and signals through that switch, so actually I had to clean that switch to get my rear brake lights to all fully funtion :eek:

    I like saving a part if I can, before opting to replace it. Sadly, many parts today are designed in a way that rework is not possible.
    NM850 likes this.
  11. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    Over the years, I have had so many people tell me that Fiats are just junk junk junk. After working on this one, I find that many items are actually fairly nicely made. Who would of thought that the wiper switch could be rebuilt. Previous to all of this, both of my horns did not work. I took both of them off and apart and got them both working again without breaking or stripping any bolts. (I use PB Blaster for de-rusting.) I didn't document any of the work done on the horns, but they too were rebuildable.
    NM850 and khnitz like this.
  12. Pat

    Pat True Classic

    While fixing up my 1971 Fiat 850, I noticed that a lot of parts are very difficult to find. For example, the plastic screen on the front bonnet of my car was really in bad shape.
    This is what mine looks like. Notice the cracks and missing sections:

    A possible fix would be to take two broken ones and make one, but since I do not have any parts ones, I decided to try to fix my own.
    The first thing I did was to clean it and repair all the cracks using super glue. Next, I took modeling clay and make an impression of a good section.

    Then I matched up the pattern of modeling clay with a broken or missing section. I used JB Weld to fill in the missing pieces, but you could use your favorite medium as well.

    After drying over night, I used my miniature files to remove the excess and shape the grill properly.

    This is what the repaired grill looks like.

    After spraying flat black and installing, it is not perfect, but it works and looks decent.

    So don't throw out any bad parts as I might be able to use them.
    I hope this helps someone out there.
  13. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Missouri, USA
    Nice work Pat! :)
  14. kmead

    kmead Over half way.

    Really nice, creative way to fix this, impressive technique for getting to a great resolution. Can’t say that I would have thought of doing it that way. I may try fixing my X grates in the same way.

    Thank you!
    khnitz likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice