Project Fatrat X

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by carl, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Let the games begin. Thanks to Todd, the car is now in my garage and the crashed rat X has gone to my secret storage lot.

    The guy I bought this 83 from was planning to install a new Fiat 500 drive train but said he did drive it around the yard with the stock motor. Initial inspection shows the thermostat housing laying on the bell housing and the heater hose disconnected from the pipe on the water pump so it's safe to assume if he drove it, it was an air cooled motor at that point! I decided at that point just to swap out this motor and install the motor/trans from the rat but guys, I'm 70 and just too tired to do a motor swap at this point. Think I'll just remove the FI stuff and stock exhaust and install my 34 DATR and header and see what shape this motor and trans are in. If they check out healthy I'll leave them in. It doesn't help that I picked up some cold bug two days ago (my doctor calls it the "crud") and I'm not working at peak efficiency at the moment. Ed wants the interior (see my post in tech about stuck seats).
    IMG_0798[3].JPG IMG_0799[4].JPG IMG_0800[1].JPG IMG_0801[1].JPG

    I originally thought the car was red but now realize it must be a two tone orange over black. The extra black around the flares was just some paint I threw on to protect some raw metal from the body work. At this point I have no idea what the color will be. Hardest decision will be what wheels/tires to use.

    Looks like project 124 spider gets kicked back six months or so.
     
    mkmini, lookforjoe, autox19 and 2 others like this.
  2. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    First update....getting the manifolds off. As noted in a related post, I'm already finding signs of stupidity on a prior owner's part. Removed the thermostat housing since it was laying on the bellhousing and only attached to the motor via one coolant house. The spigots were heavily corroded and I consider it worthy of the trash can. Trying to be nice in removing the FI stuff so I can sell it, found one of the eight injector clamp allen bolts had a rounded socket...why, was someone this deep into the system, what were they doing, why were the other seven bolts easy to loosen and remove? Hammer in an easy out and out she came and tossed into the trash. About a third of the manifold retaining studs in the head had torx male fitting on the end, never seen a stud like that, again, someone has been here before me and replaced some studs. One exhaust manifold stud was double nutted with one nut oversize and being used as a spacer, we know what that means, the threads at the seated point were stripped.

    With assistance of an angle grinder and Sawzall the muffler and cat are removed but it was time for lunch and I'll work on the down pipe an exhaust manifold next....still worried about getting the water pump off.

    The plan is still to get this motor running on a carb and see what's what and this tells me just to leave the water pump as is an not worry about it. If I decide to leave this motor in place I'll convert to non-AC alternator/water pump/crank pulley off the rat motor.
     
    Mike Schofield and Mechanogeek like this.
  3. roadster27

    roadster27 True Classic

    Location:
    Springfield, OR
    Sounds like my good buddy, Hamfist, was working on your car. He's the favorite of many a previous owner.
     
  4. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Making progress in the tear-down phase. My original plan to get the motor running to test it and the trans kind of went out the window. I lost track of my intent to get this turkey on the road as soon as reasonable and trying to figure out why the car had the thermostat off and heater hoses disconnected didn't bode well along with the seized alternator pivot bolt with snapped off head. So the plan is to just yank it, park the motor and trans and install the good units from the rat.

    So we prep the motor for dropping out.

    IMG_0830[2].JPG

    Removed the interior stuff, yanked out all the wiring and AC line.

    IMG_0829[1].JPG

    Front trunk was rather bare to begin with but pulled wires through from cabin and more AC stuff removal.

    IMG_0831[2].JPG

    Headlight assemblies were removed by previous owner so that saved me that work. Need to pull the AC stuff in front of the radiator and the two bumper struts and I'll damn near be where the rat was. Was not happy to see distressed floors (see post) but was very happy to see what appears to be a new windshield. Had a minor heart attack when I realized both screw on vin plates are missing but dash vin plate matches title so my blood pressure went back to normal.
    I'll drop out the motor/trans and then clean up the engine bay.
     
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I don't recall, have you already transferred the title into your name? Or at least verified there are no conflicts with it? I have come across vehicles where someone tried to use the VIN and/or paperwork on another vehicle (or other such shenanigans), which made getting the title cleared into my name a nightmare. When I read some of the VIN plates were missing I couldn't help but think about that possibility. But I know you are a veteran at the used car game so I'm not concerned. ;)
     
  6. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    I don't get my cars titled and tagged until they are road ready. In fact, this car is still titled in the name of the people who sold it to the guy I bought it from, not unusual for project cars bouncing from one owner to the next. You have a good point and I probably should get it titled in my name now.

    The history of this car is strange. It's almost like it was being stripped for painting as the vin plates are off, the windshield trim and sail panel trim were removed as was the door opening gaskets.
     
  7. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    That is most likely the case. Following one bad experience I had years ago in Calif, I'm a bit cautious about these things now. In Calif, the buyer ends up responsible for any unpaid back fees, penalties, title issues, etc, and they are not allowed to tell you about them until it is in your name (privacy issues). However there are a couple of websites where you can enter the VIN and see if it has been reported as stolen or totalled. That would be my biggest concern here. Does your state have the ability to transfer the title into your name but not register it until a future date when it is actually roadworthy? We have that, and that's how I make sure everything is legal but postpone the annual fees until it's ready to be driven.
     
  8. toddr124

    toddr124 Hagerstown, MD

    Location:
    Hagerstown, MD
    Very good point. I bought the white X1/9 from an older lady with health problems. I didn't title right away. I heard she was in the hospital so I went to title the car that day in my name. A lawyer friend told me you never want the estate to question the sale.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  9. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    ...and it doesn't help that the two co-owners of my X wrote and signed both names on the line for the first co-owner and left the second co-owner lines blank....morons. In the 1970s the Virginia DMV probably would have sent me home without transfer since the title was "signed incorrectly" but I think the modern, customer friendly DMV will just tut tut this and transfer the title. OK, you guys got me motivated to do this next week.
     
  10. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    That sounds like one of those things where it really depends on who you happen to get working at the window, like someone else said earlier. In Calif you can ask a question to 5 different DMV employees and get 10 different answers...and none of those answers will be correct.
     
    mkmini likes this.
  11. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    These wheels look cool.

    IMG_0837[1].JPG

    But the picture is deceiving as they are 13x6 and they only push the rim lip about an inch further out than an iron cross and leave me an inch or two shy of what's needed to fill those flares. I'll try the Keystone wheels that came on my spider next but I assume they will be about the same.
     
  12. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    An inch to 1-1/2" difference could be accommodated by use of spacers. Maybe convert the hubs to studs that are long enough for the spacers. Two inches might be pushing it a little for spacers, and need the type with two sets of lugs; one set between the hub and the spacer, and another set between the spacer and wheel. But those get more expensive, which you might as well put the money into different wheels.

    Mounting too narrow of wheels and tires into wide flares (such as with big spacers) can look rather odd, and starts to compromise the handling. In theory it also puts extra load on the hub bearings. But honestly with these cars that's not a huge issue due to their light weight and large bearing design, especially for occasional normal road use (ie. not a track car, etc).

    Be curious to hear how the other wheels fit.
     
  13. ecohen2

    ecohen2 True Classic

    Location:
    Arlington Va
    That is a good look!
     
  14. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Pretty much just playing with what I had laying around. When it comes to using 13" wheels, I'd be stuck with 185/60/13 since 205s are not really available and I'm not into using racing tires for the street.

    Next, I pull the driver side rear trailing arm and remove the engine/transmission. Then clean up the engine bay and install the motor/trans from the rat.
     

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