Cratecruncher

True Classic
I really like most of the things Fiat and Bertone did regarding the X1/9. I even like the way they stuffed the master cylinders into the pedal box for a bigger trunk space. But those flimsy plastic tabs the front spoiler mounts to have got to be one of the silliest things on the car. When I bought my '86 all the grille tabs were broken off and the front spoiler was attached to the lowest rung of the grille with a couple of bolts! Needless to say it didn't work and the grille was coming apart as rung after rung detached from what was left. I removed the spoiler, glued the grille back together with JBWeld and began thinking of a way to put everything back together.

Every spoiler gets dragged on driveways, snagged on objects in the road, even hits parking blocks occasionally. I wanted a mount that was simple, inexpensive, and wouldn't destroy the grille or radiator the first time it hit something.
P_20190526_172013.jpg
For the bracket material I used a strip of 1/16x1/2x36" aluminum I bought at the orange boxstore and some bracket nuts and screws I had in the stash. The #10 upper grille screws were long enough to reuse with some bracket nuts you can buy at any auto supply. To attach the lower end to the spoiler I used #8's held in by the spoiler material itself. I trimmed the screws to be flush with the back of the spoiler. Don't want a holy radiator!
P_20190526_174814.jpg

In the photo above I'm pushing up on the spoiler to show how it moves up independent of the grille. Sorry about focus. I needed four hands to get that shot!
P_20190526_174822.jpg

Here the spoiler is suspended by the four brackets to help maintain it's convex shape. Some load is carried by the grille but much less than the plastic tab design.
P_20190526_174851.jpg
P_20190526_185324.jpg
Shiny new parts!
P_20190526_191109.jpg

The black trim paint worked so well at hiding the brackets they were harder to install painted because I couldn't see the holes. Total cost of entire project $2.57 and an hour playing with my favorite car.
 
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LarryC

Curator of #10105275
Good show. But I missed in my quick reading how you fastened the grill to the new brackets given that the tabs were broken. Or is this just a strengthening arrangement?
 

Cratecruncher

True Classic
The grille is sandwiched between the screw and the body bracket and the top of my new bracket. The grille is not attached to the spoiler or brackets at the bottom. I wanted the spoiler to move upward independent of the bottom of the grille so the grille won't break every time the spoiler hits something. I'll try and take a short video of how it works tomorrow. I didn't realize the shots I took turned out so crappy until I uploaded them after dark.
 

LarryC

Curator of #10105275
O.K. now I see what is going on. This is a fix for missing lower tabs that support the center of the spoiler, not a fix for missing tabs in general. Good idea though. Even with unbroken lower tabs this could be a nice way to keep them unbroken.

By the way, you need some Back to Black on that to get them, well, back to black!
 

Michael Oxman

The Journey Begins!
I really like most of the things Fiat and Bertone did regarding the X1/9. I even like the way they stuffed the master cylinders into the pedal box for a bigger trunk space. But those flimsy plastic tabs the front spoiler mounts to have got to be one of the silliest things on the car. When I bought my '86 all the grille tabs were broken off and the front spoiler was attached to the lowest rung of the grille with a couple of bolts! Needless to say it didn't work and the grille was coming apart as rung after rung detached from what was left. I removed the spoiler, glued the grille back together with JBWeld and began thinking of a way to put everything back together.

Every spoiler gets dragged on driveways, snagged on objects in the road, even hits parking blocks occasionally. I wanted a mount that was simple, inexpensive, and wouldn't destroy the grille or radiator the first time it hit something.View attachment 22338 For the bracket material I used a strip of 1/16x1/2x36" aluminum I bought at the orange boxstore and some bracket nuts and screws I had in the stash. The #10 upper grille screws were long enough to reuse with some bracket nuts you can buy at any auto supply. To attach the lower end to the spoiler I used #8's held in by the spoiler material itself. I trimmed the screws to be flush with the back of the spoiler. Don't want a holy radiator!
View attachment 22339
In the photo above I'm pushing up on the spoiler to show how it moves up independent of the grille. Sorry about focus. I needed four hands to get that shot!View attachment 22340
Here the spoiler is suspended by the four brackets to help maintain it's convex shape. Some load is carried by the grille but much less than the plastic tab design.View attachment 22341 View attachment 22342 Shiny new parts!View attachment 22343
The black trim paint worked so well at hiding the brackets they were harder to install painted because I couldn't see the holes. Total cost of entire project $2.57 and an hour playing with my favorite car.

Did you need to anneal the aluminum to bend it? Or did you just hit it with a hammer in a vice? Thanks. I want to give this a try.
 

Cratecruncher

True Classic
Michael, the 1/16 aluminum strip is quite soft. I just put the proper length in my vice and pushed it over to the approximate angles with my hand. I wanted a metal that would carry tension but be flexible enough to allow the spoiler to hang naturally as if attached to the bottom of the grille. If you use steel it will still be rather easy to bend. No hammers necessary.
 

Michael Oxman

The Journey Begins!
Michael, the 1/16 aluminum strip is quite soft. I just put the proper length in my vice and pushed it over to the approximate angles with my hand. I wanted a metal that would carry tension but be flexible enough to allow the spoiler to hang naturally as if attached to the bottom of the grille. If you use steel it will still be rather easy to bend. No hammers necessary.

The front spoiler is somehow too short, but if you saw the twisted, wired-on mess that this started out as I am very pleased with the outcome. Luckily fat guys like me will have trouble bending down low enough to see it anyway. Thank you very much for this how-to.

Installed spoiler.jpg
 

Cratecruncher

True Classic
Nice work Michael! That spoiler of yours has come a long way from your earlier pictures. Gravity and the proper attachment has a way of making them fit better over time.
 

Cratecruncher

True Classic
Sorry Brian, I just saw your question today. I already have my car up in the air for some maintenance and put a measuring tape on the brackets. Mine measure 137mm bend to bend and total length is 180mm. You only need four so a 36" length of aluminum from the hardware store is all it takes. I used aluminum but others have used steel. Steel is probably strong enough to hold the spoiler away from the grille so there is complete isolation but you may need a slightly longer bracket. Do verify 137mm is correct for your year and setup. These cars do get modified over the years. Good luck and please post your results if you try it.
 

X19Brian

[B]est [E]xperienced [R]ide [TO] [N]o [E]nd X1/9
Thanks for doing the extra legwork to pull that measurement. Once it warms up here in Ohio, I have a laundry list of improvements to do to my '83 X. I'll be sure to measure to see if it is the same as yours. I do like your idea of aluminum because, as you stated, it will give when you hit those pesky curbs while parking. Rather bend the bracket then the X body tongs it is bolted to. Grill tabs went bye bye a while ago because of this.
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Sorry Brian, I just saw your question today. I already have my car up in the air for some maintenance and put a measuring tape on the brackets. Mine measure 137mm bend to bend and total length is 180mm. You only need four so a 36" length of aluminum from the hardware store is all it takes. I used aluminum but others have used steel. Steel is probably strong enough to hold the spoiler away from the grille so there is complete isolation but you may need a slightly longer bracket. Do verify 137mm is correct for your year and setup. These cars do get modified over the years. Good luck and please post your results if you try it.
Thank you.
 
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