OTAS 0015

Fiatpwr

True Classic
Carlisle was a lot of fun. We camped with my buddy Ryan, a fellow Fiat enthusiast that I have been camping with since 1999.
Countless people came up to talk about the Otas. On show day there were over 15000 people attending. I didn't meet anyone that didn't previously know of me or the project that knew what the car was. The first two guesses were (and still are) Opel Gt and Saab Sonnet.



I loved sitting in the grandstands behind the car watching the people try to figure out what the hell they were looking at.



We entered the low car limbo where we got second place to a Fiberfab VW kit car that was easily 4" lower than the Otas. Noone else came close.


We came home with another list. Get the car running better, get the stance and alignment sorted among many other things. The post restoration sorting is where you make or break these projects.
 

Fiatpwr

True Classic
Post Carlisle 2019. I put around 10 miles on the car just driving it around the fair grounds. A few problems became apparent. The starter was grinding. Like it wasn’t fully engaging the ring gear. The suspension creaked and groaned in several places and the idle problem was as bad as ever.

First I pulled the motor, while doing this I noticed that some idiot didn’t tighten the bell housing bolts!



Over the weekend it had parted company by about 5-6mm causing the starter pinion to mill off a good portion of the ring gear.


Fortunately I got another one from the parts stash and swapped them out, reinstalled the engine and replaced the front heater hoses with longer ones while I was at it. There was also a leak in the heater core which I soldered up. The drain bolt on the core was also frozen so I dealt with that. I have used 3 heater valves. NOS ones tend to be crusty and hard to move. The last one I ordered was over $100 and leaked just like the rest of them. I decided to delete it. I gutted the valve and machined up an aluminum disk which a friend of mine tig welded. Now instead of a heater core I have an auxiliary radiator!




During this time I sent the Carb out to Jon Logan who did a beautiful job rebuilding it. It has given use no more problems.

The flipper windows also leaked in the rain. It poured pretty much the entire 500 mile ride to Carlisle. The seals were San Diego baked. Bernie Motore has recently started producing new ones which we purchased. These are a challenge to install but work well.




I investigated the brakes and found that both front brake lines had a small cut in them where the upper a-arm was coming in contact with the line. This was due to the front being lowered with the modified front spring. I sourced some stainless lines from Midwest Bayless along with some new banjo bolts and copper crush washers. The new crush washers available from the vendors are thinner than the originals. I found that the original banjo bolts were bottoming out in the caliper and not sealing completely. The replacements solved the problem.



Next up was the suspension. I purchased some cut springs that were a half inch lower than the stock springs to get the rear down.



I took apart the front a-arms and reassembled them with lube and string lined the car. I was able to get the front camber and caster adjusted using a number of precision measuring tools from my Grandfathers machine tool collection. The rear toe was also adjusted. I must have had the right rear a-arm out 5 or 6 times messing with the shims. I did this several other times before FO ’21.






I torqued all the suspension bolts down with it loaded on this sketchy rig.


I installed the engine pans and the vent louvers in the engine lid. The Otas has an interesting hinged louver system with brass thumb screws to increase or decrease the air flow to the engine.

Open

Closed




By this time I had put about 100 miles on the car driving it up and down the Vermont hills in the area. While I had had no trouble starting the car over about a four week period, I decided to put a meter on the generator. I was getting a maximum of 3.5 volts out of it. This started a two week process of troubleshooting that Karl Mead was very helpful with. All of the spares I have are junk. I ended up getting one from Midwest Bayless which thankfully they had in stock as we were again running out of time. This lead to the discovery of a bad voltage regulator and some wiring corrections. The result was a Generator that is putting out just over 20V and a regulated that is successfully knocking that down to 13V.
I checked all the spares. No good! I did discover what I think is an OT1000 generator. Complete with aluminum pulley and mount. A good candidate for a Genn-a-nator in the future maybe.


Success!


The spare tire in the Otas has no real hold down arrangement. So the last project before FO was to come up with one.

With some more metric all thread from McMaster Carr and a little machine work I came up with this hold down arrangement using an X1/9 spare tire nut. This idea came from Haz Neuman.


To top it all off I found an 850 sedan tool hold down strap complete with it's vinyl protective sleeve.

During these last couple of weeks before the Fiat Freak Out in Lancaster PA I drove the car around the hills of Vermont making lists of faults and checking them off. They became few and more picky. The car starts right up, idles well and the engine is strong. A testament to my Uncle Fred's experience with these motors.



The weekend before FO it was 92 degrees. I took the car for an 80 mile drive, the longest so far trying to expose any cooling problems.
At the limit!

Going down the other side the temp always cools down.



Detailed underside.










Time to go!
This is the portable remote ring for operating the winch.

A quick wash and wax of the Buick and we are ready to roll.

Freak Out or bust!
 
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Fiatpwr

True Classic
We made it to Lancaster!

We had a great time talking to everyone. The car constantly had a crowd. I am always surprised at how many car people don't know what it is. Even at a national Fiat gathering.
Mom & Dad were glowing all weekend which made me proud. We won the low car limbo!

A Ferrari 308GTS with the roof removed was a very close second. I never would have guessed that.
On show day we were parked in the Don Meluzio class.

We got a third place to two of his Pebble Beach Abarth's. Tough competition for sure.
The Heritage judges beat me up for my no original Headlight actuator , the bleeder screws and the welded heater valve.
All of the stuff was done for reliability so I don't feel too bad about it.
We ran into some old Mirafiori.com x heads that I have known since 1999.

At 6'3" Steve even fits!


Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. My next restoration won't take 20 years.



That's a wrap. We drove the car 80+ miles in PA and got 31.5mpg, twice what the Buick got.
There are some projects for the future, rebuilding the Koni's and turning the OT1000 generator into an alternator, Oh, and finding 3 more Otas specific hub caps. but for now we have 2-3 east coast car shows planed. Who know's, Otas 0015 may show up in your neck of the woods.


 
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NM850

True Classic
Yup. The Yugo EP car had custom rebuilt shocks from them. $$. Have you done it with a traditional shock? I wonder what it costs.? I need to call them.
We made it to Lancaster!

We had a great time talking to everyone. The car constantly had a crowd. I am always surprised at how many car people don't know what it is. Even at a national Fiat gathering.
Mom & Dad were glowing all weekend which made me proud. We won the low car limbo!

A Ferrari 308GTS with the roof removed was a very close second. I never would have guessed that.
On show day we were parked in the Don Meluzio class.

We got a third place to two of his Pebble Beach Abarth's. Tough competition for sure.
The Heritage judges beat me up for my no original Headlight actuator , the bleeder screws and the welded heater valve.
All of the stuff was done for reliability so I don't feel too bad about it.
We ran into some old Mirafiori.com x heads that I have known since 1999.

At 6'3" Steve even fits!


Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. My next restoration won't take 20 years.



That's a wrap. We drove the car 80+ miles in PA and got 31.5mpg, twice what the Buick got.
There are some projects for the future, rebuilding the Koni's and turning the OT1000 generator into an alternator, Oh, and finding 3 more Otas specific hub caps. but for now we have 2-3 east coats car shows planed. Who know's, Otas 0015 may show up in your neck of the woods.


What a cool thread about a car I’ve always desired.
 

Fiatpwr

True Classic
This last weekend was the cherry on the Sunday. We went to the Saratoga Auto Museum on Saturday where we were edged out of judges choice by a stunning 1967 FJ 40. We then trailered to Framingham Mass. For the night. Sunday morning we left the mother ship and went to the Larz Anderson Museum in Brookline Mass for the Tutto Italiano. This is a yearly show sponsored by the New England Ferrari Club. We were parked in the 'Special cars' area on prime real estate with hundreds of thousands of dollars. We were absolutely stunned to walk away with best of show! Pretty good book end to this project.
 

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Frank L. Di Gioia

True Classic
Very impressive! You're right about the sorting out being the most difficult and time consuming part. I'm sure Jeff Stich can supply pictures of a row of these at Rich Motors in Glendale California. Your car is probably one of them. Again, your hard work and dedication shows.
 

kmead

Glutton for punishment
This last weekend was the cherry on the Sunday. We went to the Saratoga Auto Museum on Saturday where we were edged out of judges choice by a stunning 1967 FJ 40. We then trailered to Framingham Mass. For the night. Sunday morning we left the mother ship and went to the Larz Anderson Museum in Brookline Mass for the Tutto Italiano. This is a yearly show sponsored by the New England Ferrari Club. We were parked in the 'Special cars' area on prime real estate with hundreds of thousands of dollars. We were absolutely stunned to walk away with best of show! Pretty good book end to this project.
Huge congrats on a job well done. Great work and perseverance.
 

Fiatpwr

True Classic
Aside from the show and the wins there were other 'historical' landmarks that happened.

All of my parents' Fiats were in their backyard. They are both true Fiat fanatics.



The Otas was in my parents garage for the first time in over 25 years.


We recreated an old photo.


35 years nearly to the day.

 
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