Lancia Scorpion #1733 -- new owner, project start

Discussion in 'X1/20 Forum' started by RJ80, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Hi all,

    Just bought my first Scorpion last week. I'd always wanted one and now I have one! I'm a previous serial Fiat owner -- had a '76 X1/9 for three years or so back in college days, recently owned a '79 124 Spider for six years and currently have a '67 850 Coupe that I've owned for three or four years.

    This car is #1733, so pretty late in the U.S. production run. The story I got is that it's been sitting in an indoor collection for the last several years, and that it has always been a California car. The original color is gold, but it was resprayed black over the original paint at some point in the '90s, which I believe is when it was last run regularly. The paint is now starting to let go, especially towards the front of the car. I haven't pulled the inside carpets yet, but the car generally looks quite rust free, including under the front trunk floor.

    At some point, someone spent a lot of money and love on this car. The wheels are three-piece 15" Southern Ways Epsilons, which were never cheap. The spare is a pretty rare 13x6 Cromodora (maybe CD66?) with an ancient Pirelli P3 tire on it. This Scorpion also has twin Weber 40 DCNFs and a 4-1 aftermarket exhaust that exits on the passenger side of the car, but looks very well made. I'm guessing it's a CSC or Guy Croft system. I haven't checked the cams yet, but would wager they are aftermarket as well. The car came with zero service records, unfortunately.

    The interior is in very nice shape -- some stitches on the seats are letting go, but should be able to be resewn, I think. The front trunk area looks brand new. An aftermarket alarm (appears to be an early Clifford unit) is fitted with a very '80s looking keypad. A '70s Blaupunkt is installed and it looks like someone converted the shifter to a shorter-throw unit.

    I bought the car being told that the engine will fire up, but I haven't attempted that yet. I bought a new Interstate battery and the dash lights do come on in the accessory position, the clock works and the windows go up and down. That's as far as I've gotten.

    My plan is to first get the car back to running and driving condition. The brakes, incredibly, don't appear to be seized up but the clutch pedal goes to the floor with little resistance and there's not much fluid in the clutch reservoir. Judging by the rust-colored fluid splash in the engine bay, the clutch slave cylinder gave out. I should be getting a supply of parts I ordered in the mail shortly: new clutch master and slave cylinders, timing belt and tensioner bearing, water pump and gasket, and alternator belt. I'll do a full belt/water pump service before attempting to get the car running.

    Will keep the thread updated with progress and I'm sure plenty of questions! These pictures were taken before I'd even washed the car off, so I'm really at the tip of the iceberg here.


    P1020212.JPG P1020250.JPG P1020215.JPG P1020226.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    sjmst and rachaeljf like this.
  2. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Nice beginning, welcome to Scorpion ownership! Those wheels suit the car, reminiscent of a Lotus Esprit. Keep posting!
     
  3. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Nice purchase. Looks to be a fine example.

    Odd choke or accelerator cable installation.

    A Scorpion is high on my list as well, a little bigger, more luxurious and the possibility of more power than an X. I know they weren't as developed as the X but still a very nice car.

    Congrats.
     
  4. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Looks like a very nice example, great starting point. Congratulations!

    Pete
     
  5. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    very nice indeed.. another one stung by the scorpion....
     
  6. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Thanks, guys. Looking forward to getting started on this one. Parts order arrived from Midwest-Bayless, but they sent me a tech specs manual rather than the service manual I ordered, so I guess I'll be delayed until that gets sorted out. The rest of the parts were just as I had ordered.

    I managed to hunt down a previous owner of the car online. He told me that he purchased it from the original owner here in Southern California around 2011 and sold it later that year after getting it running and driving. When he bought the car it was on Pirelli P7 tires, which looked perfect in the photos I saw. Might have to spring for the reissued version Pirelli is making now. He said he still has a spare set of keys for the car that he's willing to give me (I only got one set when I bought it) and the car did come with a big stack of records, but he passed those along to the next owner. He said the car was rust-free and running well with great compression and no leaks when he sold it.

    He also said the next owner spent quite a lot of money rebuilding the A/C system, the brakes and doing a fair amount of other work as well. I'm trying to get in touch with that owner next, who may be the person I technically bought it from (I only dealt with the seller's "friend," who was helping him sell several cars from his collection. I'm hoping this person still has the car's records and is willing to return them to me.

    @motoTrooper The wheels are really growing on me! The polished sections will just need a little clean up, while the centers should probably be stripped and refinished. I think I'm going to do the centers in dark gold -- should look nice with the black car.

    @kmead Yes, that cable you see is a manual choke cable. The routing in the engine bay isn't very elegant (not sure there's much of a better way), but the cable pull is mounted very cleanly in the car next to the engine lid release lever.
     
  7. Chad C.

    Chad C. True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Nice car! I see a shiny looking Alfa Romeo Milano in the pic above, I've owned one of those, and 850 Coupe, and a 124 Spider. Just sold the Alfa & miss it. I currently have a '77 Scorpion that's not as pretty as yours, but it's solid & runs well. I noticed that the exhaust cam cover doesn't have the casting for the extraneous BS that other Scorpions have, it looks nicer like that. If I were you I'd just have to know its cam specs, maybe the answer is in the missing records for the car. If nothing else, the cam covers are easily removable for a visual inspection...

    Also, is your car somehow smog-exempt in SoCal? A dual DCNF setup with headers might pass smog, but I doubt it. My car is currently getting a dual DCNF set-up with Alquati cams, really looking forward to having it back on the road.

    I'm sure others agree that you should post updates often. Your taste in Italian seems to match my own & likely others here : )
     
  8. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Thanks, Chad. Your car should be great with both carbs and cams -- when I do the timing belt service, I'll find out which cams I have in my car. I wouldn't be surprised if they're aftermarket with all the other work done. Also, the photo makes my car look a little better than it is. For some reason all the little cracks in the paint on the hood don't show very strongly. It's going to need a full paint job at some point. We'll see about smog (a whole other mountain).

    Good eye! That is indeed an Alfa Milano. I missed the last one I sold too (a Platinum version about 15 years ago) and finally bought a replacement last year after lots of looking. This one's a two-owner Verde with the 3.0-liter V6. Great car, no plans to sell it ever. One day, years from now, I'd love to put a 2.5-liter Busso in the Scorpion as others have done. The 2.5-liter version sounds and revs just a little sweeter to me than the 3.0 and the Scorpion really doesn't need the extra 30 hp, though it would be nice!
     
  9. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Spent a little time in the garage today and sure enough, I've got a question for fellow Scorpion owners. When the key is turned to the first (accessory) position, should the fuel gauge indicate how much fuel is in the car? In my case, the dash lights come on, but the fuel gauge reads empty.

    Was hoping for an easy way of determining if there's any fuel left in the tank. If so, I'd like to drain it and replace with fresh (I should probably remove the tank and have it cleaned out, but may skip that step).
     
  10. Chad C.

    Chad C. True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    My Accessory position on my newly installed ignition switch does show a fuel level. For a seat of the pants reading on the fuel level, get under the car and knock on the bottom of the fuel tank. Its sound when you knock on it should be telling. I'm guessing it's dry.
    I see your car has electric windows, very nice! I don't know if that's optional, or from a European car.

    Keep posting : )
     
  11. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Thanks Chad, I'll do as you suggest. Finally got the correct service manual in from Midwest-Bayless, so I'm able to start wrenching.

    If the tank is dry, that'll hopefully save me some hassle.

    Not sure about the windows -- seems in this period that more U.S. cars would have electric windows than European cars, as many grey-market Mercedes, etc arrived here with manual windows.
     
  12. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Been traveling a bit the last few weeks, but finally got some time to get back to the Scorpion today. I removed the timing belt cover and the belt actually looks pretty fresh -- it looked nice enough that I decided to at least try to start the car just to see what it does. Connected the new battery I bought a month and a half ago, turned the key and.... click. All that happens is the starter solenoid clicks once.

    Checked voltage across my battery terminals with the leads connected and saw 12.3V, so I'll put the battery on a charger for a bit and try again.
     
  13. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    You tease!
     
  14. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Charged up the battery to 13.1 volts, still does the same thing. Battery leads appear to be in pretty good shape and the battery (Interstate) is brand new as of a month ago.

    Next step is probably to check connections at the starter for corrosion.
     
  15. Chad C.

    Chad C. True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    I suspect you'll check your ground strap, and the voltage at the starter. I try not to speak for everyone, but I also suspect we're all under there with you : )

    Keep posting you're first start-up process!
     
  16. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    A stupid one but you may want to ream the inside of the battery clamps as they can get distorted and only make contact in a few places. I know this because my 850 was exhibiting the same behavior which caused me to not drive the damn thing for a year as the starter (a high torque brand new one) was just clicking.

    After going through the wiring connections to the starter, the ignition switch may be the culprit. One might also consider a starter relay to take the load off the switch. I know Greg has one on his Scorpion.
     
  17. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Karl, I'm always so reluctant to think such simple things could be my issue, but you raise a good point. Will freshen up the battery clamps in addition to checking wires. Certainly can't hurt.

    Chad, yep... will check both. Thanks!

    One more clue, perhaps? After repeatedly trying the starter about 5-10 times (and getting the "click" each time, something smells like its getting a bit hot and the battery cables are warm to the touch.
     
  18. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    I would say the next step is to take out the spark plugs, spritz a bit of lubricant into the cylinders, and turn the engine by hand to ascertain free movement. If that's all good then maybe look at the starter next.
     
  19. Chad C.

    Chad C. True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    What's the latest with this?
     
  20. RJ80

    RJ80 True Classic

    Location:
    Kitsap, WA
    Was on vacation for a couple weeks, then dealing with a sinus infection all last week and this week which has me on antibiotics. Then there's the fact that it was 90 degrees outside at 9:30am this morning and should reach a high of 107 today where I live.

    Long story short, life getting in the way. Hoping for cooler weather in the L.A. area as we get into November and a running, driving car around the start of the New Year.
     

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