Early 128 1100 Sedan - Engine upgrade options

Discussion in 'Front Wheel Drive Fiats' started by tomnj, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. tomnj

    tomnj Old fogie stogie

    Location:
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    I have recently purchased an early (1971) 128 1100 sedan. The car has the engine removed. The PO provided the original 1100 block/head and all parts, along with a rebuilt 1300 block (Stamped "138 1"), which appears to be a later 1300 block from a Strada/Ritmo or X1/9. The car has the original 4 speed 1100 transmission.

    So since I will be putting this thing back together, with added power in mind, what would you suggest I do to get the best "bang for the buck" without spending too much? How about a 1.5 X1/9 engine? (I am in the USA, no Ritmo's here) I don't need a 5 speed. Would a 1.5 work on the original 1100 trans? Or maybe just stick with the 1300 block and do some head work and cam/intake/carb/exhaust work? How about using the X 1/9 Fuel injection?

    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get started in the right direction here. I'm not looking to race the car, but building something around 100hp using off-the-shelf parts would be nice.

    I will post pictures of the car at some point.
     
  2. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
  3. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Absolutely, without any doubt, put in a 1500 from a later X....have done this three time. Can't speak to the 1100 gearbox but they will bolt right up to a 1300 box using the flywheel/starter/clutch for the 1300.
     
  4. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I don't follow the front wheel drive portion of Xweb, so apologize if this is not relevant. Have any of the popular engine swaps for the X been done in 128's (eg. Hondas, etc)?
     
  5. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Can of worms, meet Jeff.
     
  6. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Location:
    Portland OR
    Indeed, if Honda made a suitable mid-engined car, would so many go through the X-transplant hassle?
     
    kmead likes this.
  7. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Blasphemy.
     
  8. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    "138" was the id code for the 1500 engine series used in the '79-on USA Strada & X1/9 cars. Also, USA Strada models only featured the 1500 engine, no 1300. What is the entire stamped code on this block? For reference:

    USA Strada 1500 engine codes were 138A2.040, 138A2.031, 138B2.040 or 138B2.031.
    USA X1/9 1500 engine codes were 138AS.040, 138AS.031, 138BS.040 or 138BS.031.


    Yes, as long as you use the 1100 flywheel & clutch assembly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    128kid likes this.
  9. ghostdancing

    ghostdancing True Classic

    Location:
    italy
    Jeff, 138.1 it's a 1300 (actually 1301: bore 86,4m), 138.2 it's the 1500; the number 138 refers to the ritmo and regata (138B)motors
     
    128kid likes this.
  10. fiatfactory

    fiatfactory Steve Cecchele

    Location:
    Western Australia
    100hp from a 1300 (at the crank) is possible and was done during the '70's and 1980''s as a production engine in Argentina, IAVA 1300TV ...102hp in fact, with a single carb.

    fiat-128-europa-iava-1300tv.jpg

    iava_1300tv_100hp.jpg

    copying these specs and building an engine like this wouldn't be too hard.

    SteveC
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  11. ghostdancing

    ghostdancing True Classic

    Location:
    italy
    would like to try one of these..just to feel how goes in the everyday traffic a car with the max torque@6000 rpm
     
  12. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Ge wiz, my 128s with a 1500 had "interesting" torque steer, can't imagine 100 hp especially when the motor hits the cam and everything goes violent.

    Oddly enough, Doc, there is very little to no chatter about putting an different motor in the front of a 128 although occasionally there is chatter of a Fiat twin cam up front as the 128 morphed to the Strada which begat the 105TC......
     
    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) likes this.
  13. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    IIRC Uno Turbo axles are considered a desirable mod as they are equal length for the purpose of reducing torque steer, maybe they can be adapted to work in TomNJ's 128?
     
  14. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    That makes sense to use the Strada trans and TC in a 128, with both being FWD and related. Much more so than in the X (unless a Scorpion trans is found). And I think the 128 engine bay might have more room for it as well (than the X).

    I'm not necessarily a proponent of complete drivetrain swaps from other makes (e.g. Honda or similar into a Fiat), but just wondered about it for the 128 because it has become popular for the X. So a little surprised it hasn't migrated over to the 128. You see Honda power in a lot of small, old import project cars - especially FWD. As I understand it, there isn't a lot of torque steer with the newer design of trans found in Hondas, etc, so it might be a practical (relatively) way to get a ton of power into the 128.


    Dan, that would be a fun swap...a complete UT engine/trans into a 128. And that keeps it all Fiat.
     
  15. Kevin Channer

    Kevin Channer True Classic

    Correct me if I am wrong but it seems no one is mentioning the elephant in the room. The Fiat 1100 is rear wheel drive right? That fact only would make engine swap options a lot more flexible. As far as engine swaps for the 128 there are a couple of technical issues that made it less practical. Space limitations limited trans and engine choices, even the Strada 5spd does not fit the standard 128. Also the twin cam Ritmo had significant reinforcement of the unibody, a week point in the 128. Anything, is possible but as Steve pointed out you can reasonably produce 100hp with the 128 running gear, and in car weighing about 2000lbs? it feels fast. Dual carbs, Uno Turbo swap, all made way more sense than trying to stuff a Fiat DOHC into the 128. I drove a Turbo charged 128sl crude but way fast.
     
  16. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Shows how little I know about 128's. I thought we were talking about the front wheel drive 128 sedan.

    If the Strada unit does not fit, then that doesn't make as much sense as I imagined. And if chassis reinforcements are needed to handle more power, then a non-Fiat drivetrain swap might do just as well....you will have to fab everything up anyway. That's assuming you want more than 100 hp as you say.
     
  17. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    The Ritmo & Regata were never sold here in the USA, & the 1979-81 USA Strada only had the 1.5L engine (first carbed, then FI).

    If tomnj would post the actual stamped id number on his engine block, we could tell exactly what he has (1300 or 1500, Strada or X1/9, California or Federal version, or perhaps a grey-market import).
     
  18. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    The Strada didn't have a TC, that was the Ritmo, which was never officially sold here in the USA. They each have a different trans, as well.

    As for the engine bay, the 128 Sedan & Wagon have less room than a Strada; the Strada has a few inches of extra space between the right side of the engine & the front of the car.
     
  19. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    The "1100" mentioned is referring to the 1.1L SOHC engine used in early 128's (like in a Yugo), not the older-model Fiat 1100 car with its OHV engine & RWD layout.
     
  20. Kevin Channer

    Kevin Channer True Classic

    I agree with Jeff with one small exception, In the UK the Ritmo was called the Strada, can't remember why, but they did get the TC 125 and 130 complete with righthand drive:) Otherwise identical to the ones in the rest of Europe. Back to the original question, does the 1.3 128 motor bolt up to the 1100 trans? If not what trans will you use?
     

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