Need machine work for a 903

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by NM850, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    I need someone competent to install and match cam bearings in a 903.
    All the local shops claim they don’t have tools small enough. Any suggestions?
    I’m willing to ship the block in the Western US.
     
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  2. Frank L. Di Gioia

    Frank L. Di Gioia True Classic

    Location:
    las vegas, nevada
    Try contacting "Ed Pink" racing engines on Raymer Street Van Nuys California. Frank Hansowetz is new owner or manager. They were a top fuel builder at one time and I've been told by a vintage Sports racer they will do any exotic/race/vintage machine work. As an apprentice I worked next door and the ground would shake like another earthquake when they tested on the dyno. Give them a call and ask. Possibly have them align bore the main caps at the same time. I have no idea of costs. Hope this helps, if it does let the rest of us know!
     
    NM850 likes this.
  3. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    One potential problem might be finding a shop that not only knows how to work on old Fiat engines, but also has speciality tools and fixtures for them (like torque plates, etc). This also holds true for the SOHC and DOHC Fiat engines. Since the closing of Costa Mesa R&D I do not know of anyone that has this capability. But there must be because other Fiat specialists (like Mark in So Cal, for the DOHC's) have to get their engines done somewhere. Did PBS finally close their doors, or just quit the Fiat game? Last I heard they were making wind generator parts. But now that there aren't any competitors for Fiat work, I wonder if they could be coaxed into doing some machine work again? It sure would be nice to find a qualified shop somewhere in the South West.
     
    Frank L. Di Gioia and NM850 like this.
  4. Kent Baird

    Kent Baird Italian car collector.

    Location:
    Lakewood Colorado
    I am looking for a good Fiat 850 machine shop that can install cam bearings, cylinder boring for 67mm pistons, and big valve head work. My local guy has retired.
     
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I've reached out to a friend of mine that raced 850 and SOHC engines for many decades. Asked him about machine shops and how he did things. Apparently they used a couple of "normal" local shops for anything they could not do themselves. I'm waiting to hear more details from him about those shops; if they had any special "Fiat" equipment or skills. They are in central California.
     
  6. TonyK

    TonyK True Classic

    Location:
    Grimsby Ont Canada
    The issue with installing cam bearings is that you need to have a set of drivers that are not hard to make providing you have access to a lathe. I installed a set of new camshaft bearings on this 1953 John Deere Model 40 Crawler engine. As you can see the driver shaft is a section of cold rolled 1" rod and then the drivers are a set of spacers that shoulders on them to drive or remove the bearing as required. A hole is drilled into the rod and a bolt and nut are used to hold and drive the spacer where required. Not complicated, just has to be precise.

    TonyK.

    Grimsby Ontario Canada.

    Engine1.jpg P6170188.JPG
     
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  7. myredracer

    myredracer True Classic

    What about asking Obert?

    You might inquire on the Fiat 850 FB group. Paul. V. still posts there once in a while and he may know, or someone else may. (Paul moved back to Europe a number of years ago). Paul put together a 1050cc engine on a 903 block for me just before he left the US, including new cam bearings and reaming them to size. I sent him all the parts (all 100% new except block & A112 crank) and he did all the machining and assembly. I think Paul is also on twitter (I don't do twitter).

    Paul used to have an excellent detailed write-up on his old Scuderia Topolino website on building high perf. 600/850 motors . It can be found on this blog though: https://myfiat600d.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/scuderia-topolino/

    Machinists who know and can do the specialized stuff on old Fiat motors are disappearing unfortunately. Try finding someone who can correctly set up the R&P in a 600 or 850 transaxle too.

    I have a 124 1438cc OHV engine that I am going to install a 1608cc crank in. The block I have is brand new but the cam I have is a Delta regrind. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the clearance is within spec. Couple of days ago I found a local machinist that works out of his house and works on race motors and oddball stuff. Haven't gone to see him yet but would be interesting to see if he can install and ream Fiat cam bearings. Finding any machine shop around here is hard since they all seem to only work on ordinary "modern" engines and don't want to bother with older oddball stuff.

    'Course, there must be machinists in Europe but shipping is freakin' expensive to/from there nowadays. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  8. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    I can make the drivers. It’s reaming the bearing to the tolerance needed that I’m unsure about.
     
  9. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Even shops that do a lot of performance work only seem to know American or possibly Japanese engines. In my area there is a fairly major race track and related facility, so there are a few machine shops that do race engines. But when I went around asking about getting some overhead cam work done for a Fiat they just got that confused look on their face. All were willing to take my money (and a lot of it), but I had no confidence in them after talking about the job. Naturally some tasks are generic and can be done by any decent shop, but it's the critical jobs that I'm concerned with. Plus it would be nice to know that they have done it many times before and understand the nuances of the particular engine.
     
    NM850 likes this.
  10. 59-600

    59-600 Low Mileage

    Location:
    Cambridge
    There is a shop in Boston, MA called motorsport garage that will work on fiat 600 engines. I stopped by earlier in the week to inquire about doing some engine working on mine and he was down to. He said you used to race 600's back in the day and they had a 850 coupe at the shop too.

    I personally no clue on their quality, but they have been in Boston since the 70's and I'll provide feedback once they finish up with mine.
     
    kmead and khnitz like this.

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