I Bought Another X1/9

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by aarpcard, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

  2. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    aarpcard likes this.
  3. tonyism7

    tonyism7 Daily Driver

    New Jersey
    Littlefuse and GEP also make similar products that are nice and a little cheaper. They're all bottom exit instead of side exit though
  4. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Have you any examples? Searching for those brands, I don't see any with bus-bars.
  5. Black-Tooth

    Black-Tooth Tony Natoli

    Dat is one ROBUST system... Well done!
    aarpcard likes this.
  6. tonyism7

    tonyism7 Daily Driver

    New Jersey
    I don't think they make any with bus bars. But I used these to distribute power in a GEP box for another project I did. https://www.waytekwire.com/item/38074/6-Gang-Common-Bar/
    lookforjoe likes this.
  7. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    So as I mentioned in my other thread on the manner, I've started the process of installing a higher performance cam and doing just a general refresh of the engine. The following post(s) has been written after the fact so this is more of a recap than a play by play update. I still have to finish a few small things so this won't be the final update on this topic.

    My goal was to replace as many of the external gaskets and seals and wear parts as possible without taking out the transmission and leaving the engine in the car. Unfortunately, this means the rear main seal has to be done at a later time; the transmission output shaft seals, shifter seal, and all water pump related gaskets were already replaced by me about a year ago so I didn't touch those. Over the past few weeks I addressed the following:

    -timing belt
    -timing belt tensioner
    -O2 sensor
    -spark plugs
    -valve seals
    -cam seal
    -front main seal
    -aux shaft seal
    -head gasket
    -cam box gasket
    -oil pan gasket
    -timing gear end cover plate seal
    -aux shaft housing gasket
    -cam box gasket
    -valve cover gasket
    -distributor gasket
    -dipstick gasket
    -crankcase breather tube gasket
    -cam end cover gasket (on the drivers side of the cam box)
    -exhaust/intake manifold gaskets
    -intake runner gaskets
    -AC belt
    -new head bolts
    -faulty auxiliary air valve
    -faulty coolant temp sensor
    -Installed a fresher dogbone mount

    I knew the valve seals were shot because the car burned oil like it was gasoline and it took about 20 minutes before the blue smoke from the exhaust would go away after a cold start. I pulled the plugs and found they were covered in a 2-3mm thick layer of crystallized oil/carbon nastiness. After disassembling everything and pulling the head I found the cylinders to be extremely dirty with massive amounts of carbon deposits on the valves, tops of the cylinders and the head. Undoubtedly this was from the bad valve seals. Cylinders 3 and 2 were the worst by far - obviously the valve seals weren't doing anything at all there.

    Unfortunately I don't have any pictures with everything dirty . . . only after I cleaned. Sorry about that.

    Below is the block and cylinders after several hours of scrubbing and half a dozen cans of parts cleaner. They cleaned up rather nicely. (Note the mark on cylinder 2 is a grass clipping or something of that nature, not a scratch. It was a windy day.)

    Amazingly the factory crosshatching is still present in all the bores! The motor has about 65K on it. Not sure why buy I only took pictures of #1, and #4 . . .

    Cylinder #1

    Cylinder #4

    I also completely disassembled the head, and cleaned it as best I could with part cleaner and brass brushes. I also lapped the valves. The seats didn't look too bad, so I debated for a while if it was worth lapping them, but I ultimately decided I should since it's not very often I'll have the motor this far apart. I also replaced a badly corroded heater pipe elbow, and replaced all of the exhaust/intake manifold studs with new ones except for the one in the picture below. I couldn't get it to budge and didn't want to risk snapping it or stripping the head.

    Looking at the difference between the old heater elbow and new/refurbished one, it's amazing to imagine what a factory fresh engine would look like with all of the appropriate accessories,clips, and brackets finished in Cr6+.

    Also shown below is the new performance cam installed in the still dirty cam box. It is this cam from MWB: https://www.midwest-bayless.com/Fia...uration-street-cam-fiat-x19-128-yugo-new.aspx

    While the head was off, I took the time to clean mating surfaces for the dipstick, crankcase ventilation hose, and blockoff plate(?) and install new gaskets. Same goes for the distributor gasket and mating surface. Everything on the back of the engine was extremely crusty with layers of built up oily gunk. Clearly some or all of these were leaking . . .


    New headgasket installed. The oil is PB blaster that I used to keep the cylinders lubricated while the engine sat exposed. The head was off for about 2 weeks. Notice that piece of grass has migrated over to cylinder 1 haha.

    Head freshly installed but not torqued to spec yet (no bolts). Notice the lash caps installed on the valve tips. Since the new cam is a regrind, I decided to go the route of using lash caps combined with thinner shims to takeup the slack instead of shaving the cam box. The lash caps provide 1.50mm of clearance. This resulted in needing shims that fell in the 3.00mm to 3.55mm range for all the valves. I checked to ensure the cam lobes did not interfere with the edges of the buckets with the thinner shims. Everything was good, however I would not recommend using shims below 3.00mm. 2.95mm is awfully tight, and 2.90mm definitely interferes (for me at least). I actually ended up grinding down a few lash caps by a few tenths of a millimeter to allow for the use of thicker shims to avoid clearance issues.

    At this point I also replaced the auxiliary air valve with a different used one I had that seemed to operate better.

    With the head mounted, I tackled the auxiliary shaft a and the timing belt tensioner stud. As soon as I removed the tensioner, the stud started dripping coolant. Below is a picture of the surfaces on the block cleaned and ready for new gaskets.

    New gasket for the aux shaft cover and new seal for the aux shaft. Note this picture was before I tightened the bolts. I also removed the timing belt tensioner stud and applied RTV to the threads that thread into the block to stop the coolant leak. It seemed like it did the trick.

    New tensioner versus old. The old one didn't have any play, but was noisy. Glad I replaced it.

    Next I addressed the timing gear cover end plate. Below is an image of it removed with the surfaces cleaned, ready for a new gasket. The oil pan gasket will come later.

    Timing gear endplate installed with a new gasket and new front main seal. All parts were cleaned. I believe the front main seal was leaking due to the gunk inside the timing cover and how dirty the timing gear endplate and oil pan were.

    Next it was time to mate the cambox to the head after a deep clean and the correct valve shims were installed. I also immediately installed a new timing belt.

    New timing belt from below. Luckily my flywheel was not 180 degrees out so I was able to use it as a known good source of timing, to get the belt lined up. I didn't bother with the aux shaft. I'll get the distributor timed later when I reinstall it. At this point it still needed some cleaning and work.

    Time to install the exhaust manifold. This is a new one I purchased back when I had my '83X that I never got around to installing. The previous owner of that car had welded the downpipe to the manifold . . . yeah. There was nothing wrong with the manifold that came off of my '85, but why not use shiny new parts when you have them. Note the new exhaust/intake manifold gaskets. Also new studs and anti-seize.

    Similar story about the P/O of my '83 as to why I have new intake runners. Again, why not use shiny parts when you have them. Also timing covers have been cleaned and installed.

    Fuel rail reinstalled. Nothing much to note here. I replaced all of the rubber lines and hose clamps about 6 months ago, so nothing new for this current project. Also note a new crank case breather hose.

    . . . And speaking of the crank case breather hose here's a older picture of the flame trap after it soaked in gasoline for a day. It went in as a black glob.

    Next I tackled the oil pan gasket. Below are two pictures after I cleaned and reinstalled the oil pan with a new gasket. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of the bottom end with the oil pan off. The oil pan was extremely gummed up with dirt and oil. There's still some remaining in the crevices, but it's considerably cleaner.

    Next it was time to reinstall the intake, valve cover, distributor and reconnect all of the vacuum lines and hoses. Parts also replaced at this time included upper and lower expansion tank hoses (all other main coolant hoses including the elbow were replaced a few months ago), O2 sensor, spark plugs, cap, and rotor.

    I think I found why my injector cooler blower motor wasn't reliably turning on . . . I polished these terminals before hooking them back up again.

    After reassembling everything, adding oil and coolant, the car fired up instantly! I wasn't expecting that haha. While it warmed up I roughly set the ignition timing to 10 degrees BTDC; that will get dialed in later. I let it run until the coolant fans cycled once, then shut it off. Now I had to figure out how to retorque the head bolts without removing the cambox. It seems that the special tools fiat made to retorque the headbolts with the cam box in place are unobtanium in 17mm. I found a 19mm set on ebay for cheap that I bought.

    Some people may cringe at this, but I had no other choice and honestly, my opinion is it's far better to have a modified tool that does the job, than a pristine one that doesn't . . .
    I took some measurements and determined that the tools would still fit and seat properly if I welded the 12 point side of a 17mm wrench to the bottom of the fiat tool. I'm not a good welder, so excuse the slop. All that matters is if it fits and holds.


    17mm wrench welded to the 19mm tool.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    kmead likes this.
  8. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    Next, cut off the remaining part of the wrench and you're good to go. You can still use the other end of the 17mm as a normal box wrench after some filing.

    And it worked like it was made for it! I was able to retorque the three central head bolts on the back side of the engine with the modified tool. All of the bolts on the front side, I was able to retorque with a standard socket setup. As for the two bolts on the far ends of the back side of the engine, I had to get more creative.

    To get the last two bolts, I had bought a 19mm version of the wacky "C" shaped specialty tool Fiat made. I determined that welding another end of a 17mm wrench to this tool would do the trick as well, but I didn't want to do this if I didn't have to. If found that I could fit a normal 17mm wrench on to these bolts . . . but I somehow needed to attach a torque wrench to it. So this is what I came up with.

    1) Put the 17mm wrench on the head bolt.
    2) Create a 17mm to 17mm adapter using a bolt and a nut welded together.
    3) Attach your torque wrench to the adapter. You MUST adjust the torque setting down since you are applying the force several inches out from the head of the torque wrench. Taking into account the length of the 17mm wrench and doing a bit of algebra, I determined I needed to set the torque wrench to 37ft/lbs instead of 58ft/lbs. Worked like a charm!


    Same story for the other side. Removing the alternator bracket is a must although I suspect you would have to remove it as well even if you had the proper specialty tool.

    After that was done, I buttoned everything back up again and started the car. It started instantly, rev'ed strong, and had no leaks! I still have to tension the AC compressor, reinstall the airbox, put the underbody panels back on, and put the trunk back together so I haven't driven it yet, but I'm really happy with the progress and results so far!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    Tom Ginefra, kmead and dllubin like this.
  9. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

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

    Philadelphia, PA
    Excellent write-up and pix covering lots of sweat equity!

    And I LOVE the 17mm welded to the 19mm tool trick:D:cool: Presumably you went with the traditional head bolts @ xyx Ft-lbs + retorque system vs the TTY system.
    aarpcard likes this.
  10. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    Thanks! And yes, I used what MWB calls straight torque bolts I believe. Initial install is torqued in 3 steps up to 58ft/lbs and then retorqued to 58ft/lbs after backing the bolts off half a turn after a heat cycle. Then again after 500ish miles.
  11. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Good job. There always seems to be a ton of old dirty grease-oil covering everything. And it is a royal pain to clean it off. That is one of the worst jobs with old cars in my opinion...cleaning up all those years of accumulated grime.

    I'm not completely certain on the torque wrench set-up you used in the last section (for the two corner bolts). But that's your call if you feel like they got torqued correctly.

    Sounds like a very thorough sorting out of everything, it should run quite well. ;)
    aarpcard likes this.
  12. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    The setup I came up with for the two corner bolts is definitely a bit questionable. However based on how far those two bolts turned in relation to the others and the feel in general, I think I got pretty close.
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  13. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    That should be a decent indicator; some torquing techniques are based on degrees of rotation rather than resistance, so if you found consistency between those bolts and the others then it should work. :)
  14. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Eugene, OR
    I home built a tooling setup to do the same thing. though I also tested their torquing with the head bolts I could get on. (I torqued them like normal with the straight extension, then switched to the bent around homemade fiat tool and the torque wrench licked at the same point then I went one pound more and did it again.

    Maybe you could do the same thing when you do the re-torque after 10 heat cycles?
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  15. NEG

    NEG True Classic

    You could use one of those wrench adapters like this one...although the quality looks a bit iffy

  16. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Typically using something like that "wrench adapter", or making a homemade tool for use with a torque wrench will throw off the torque values considerably (having to do with things like leverage changes and geometry, or material rigidity, etc). But as "aarpcard" used calculations, and Rod did some testing with known torque value tools, you might be able to come quite close. No idea just how close, or for that matter how close you need to be. But just something to keep in mind.
    Rod Midkiff likes this.
  17. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Jacksonville, FL
    Step 1 - Get a bolt and 2 nuts of the appropriate size, like 19mm, and tighten the two nuts on the bolt, so they cannot move (or weld them there, if you desire) You should have a bolt head on one end and an unmoveable nut on the other end. DON'T use a long bolt. Try to keep it short.

    Step 2 - Get a known good torque wrench with the shortest socket available in the correct size (no extensions) that has the lever style indicator (not a click type, or may be able to use digital)

    Step 3 - Put the bolt into the socket on the known torque wrench, and put the wrench handle in a vise or some other method so it doesn't move. The measuring would be very difficult to do if trying to hold both wrenches simultaneously.

    Step 4 - Use the improvised tool above (the clamp-on wrench thingy) on another torque wrench to torque the bolt that is in the other wrench, using an acceptable torque value, say 40ftlb

    Step 5 - Read the gauge on the known good torque wrench. If the value matches 40ftlb, then the improvised tool is spot on. If the torque values don't match, say the improvised tool is being torqued at 40ftlb, and the known good wrench is reading 30ftlb, then the percentage difference would be the expected variance.

    Using one tool with a known good value to measure the output of a different tool with an unknown value... SCIENCE!
  18. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Eugene, OR
    Very valid comments! I had a strong distrust with what I was doing so I over tested and was happy with my end results and now am comfortable with the tools I made.
  19. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

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

    Philadelphia, PA
    Or use the chart on the tool manufacturer's website that tells you how to convert values while using their tool.

    Example for another one of their torque tools: https://www.motionpro.com/a/torque-wrench-adapter-08-0134/
    Example for the above mentioned torque tool: https://www.motionpro.com/a/adjustable-torque-wrench-adapter-08-0380/
    Tom Ginefra likes this.
  20. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Jacksonville, FL
    I laugh at your suggestion. 'Read The Manual'? Hah! I am in I.T., and that would put a serious crimp in my credentials if I read the manual everytime I had a problem.

    Seriously though, that is the correct starting place and you made a valid recommendation, provided the tool had such information available. I'd just want to double check it myself using the tools at hand, to insure the accuracy of the manufacturers projections.

    If, however, you were working with a home-made equivalent, then doing a double check would be an important step to insure minimal variance in the torque applied.

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