Project Mutant: Resurrection of an 82 FI basket case

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Mechanogeek, May 25, 2018.

  1. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: For those that wondered about the wheel and tire combination and size - Turns out that under right or left full lock, the front of the tire rubs on the outside of the fender liner and probably the lower front fender lip, slightly. My fender liners sit on the outside of the fender lip, reducing clearance pretty substantially. As such, I will be making modifications to the fender liner front section so that it sits inside of the fender lip, and I will likely slightly open up the gap at the lower front fender lip (reshape/roll the lip slightly).

    Wheel size = 15x6.5. Tire size = 195/45-15 Toyo Proxes.

    A more rounded tire profile would probably not encounter interference issues.

    20180621_204109.jpg
     
  2. RJH

    RJH True Classic

    Location:
    USA
    I am amazed sometimes at how much personal time, effort and money X owners spend on super poor condition project cars.

    It seems in many cases the owner never even comes close to doing a professional job (not saying in this case) due to skill level, work commitment, etc. I wonder if those owners would be better off spending their "workshop" time at a second job. They can use the accumulated capital to send their X off to a professional X restoration shop. I'd bet they'd put in less total hours then if they did the restoration themselves, get a higher quality restoration, have fewer headaches, have it "finished," and have a professionally restored car with a higher resale value then if they did it themselves.

    Just my observation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  3. DaveR

    DaveR True Classic

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    You are correct, but stop trying to be rational. An X1/9 is a toy we love to play with in many different ways, driving is only one of them.
     
    Stoney#1 likes this.
  4. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    RJH - I do not know your background. If you run a restoration shop, then I can understand your viewpoint. However, many shops charge 3x per hour what a normal working man makes, so that a person might need to work a second job for 20-30 hours per week for a year to be able to afford a 'restoration' or even a refresh.

    When I see the prices to have a professional restoration bandied about at $15k or $20k, or more, then I am happy to putter around in my garage and have a nice hobby. As for resale value? These are 3 decade old cheap mass-produced cars. A perfect one could fetch a very nice price. There are not very many perfect ones around, and the price to bring a mediocre one to a perfect level pretty much negates the investment.

    I am okay with my work not being at a professional level. Many of us are not aiming for that lofty a goal. When I am done in another few months, or 6 months, or a year, I will have a decent driving, reliable, comfortable, fun car in which I will have invested less than $5000 including the purchase of the original basket case. That would be around half or less of what I would have spent to buy a car in good condition.

    My time I spend doing it? Check with folks that do woodworking, or model trains, or... For some of us, this is a hobby, not meant to be a massive undertaking or a pursuit of perfection. Some of the folks here on this site are vastly talented individuals, and yours truly is not among that number. However, when this project is done, I won't have to explain all of the work I paid for, or which shops did which jobs for me. I will instead be able to point with pride at my imperfect, rough around the edges, knockabout little baby Ferrari, and know that this one was saved from the crusher and will live on as a legacy to its original owner (who passed away a couple months ago) and me. The time I spend in my garage is meditative.

    I have the means and funds to buy a near-perfect car. I could easily pay someone else to do the work. But that to me would be like paying someone else to put together a jigsaw puzzle for me. Where's the fun in that?
     
    Rodger, mkmini, motoTrooper and 4 others like this.
  5. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thanks to this site, I found a thread that discusses changing the shims for the radius rods for the front suspension, and taking some of the caster out of the front, thereby moving the wheels back a small amount, centering them more in the wheel wells. THAT sounds like a plan!
     
    kmead likes this.
  6. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    Same here. I enjoy what I do on mine. (and I am in no way even close to some of the work that is posted) I still post my work with a smile on my face.

    I got a real kick out of putting our two running cars in a car show (Day before the car show I purchased the 2nd one) both car still had fir needles all over them.

    The amount of attention both cars got was amazing!! people seemed to like looking at a truly used car more then some of the show quality cars I was parked next to.
     
  7. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    I was going to post about that subject but you found it on your own.

    A friend of mine used to say: I can’t make you know that. Something I find true every day
     
  8. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: I added three washers (approx 1/4" total) to the radius arm. Enough to clear, with the inner fender liner tucked inside the fender edge, and the bottom front of the liner trimmed very slightly. I did not note any handling deficiencies, and it rolls straight and true, and around the neighborhood in full-lock turns, no rubbing. Yay. Before I start driving it for real (rather than just around the neighborhood), I'll get the front end aligned.

    My friend Red has a full Fiat X1/9 wiring diagram, which I am now in possession of. So, if I have nothing better to do tomorrow, I'll start getting the wiring straightened out and tested. See if I can get the rear lights working, and the instrument panel up and running. Then, onward, into the interior!
     
    autox19 likes this.
  9. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    I now have working taillights. All four bulbs (reverse, turn, running, and brake). Yes indeed. Should be re-installing the cleaned up and sanitized fuse box and trays by the weekend. Then I think I will start filling the factory holes in the body work, cleaning up and painting the windshield surround, and cutting off the bumper mounts.

    So many parts to work on. After that, the new racing style hood latches. Oh yeah, I am going to try my hand at sand-blasting the engine cover and tray on Saturday. Then back to the interior after that. I may just have a workable streetable car in a month. However, as the great Robbie Burns once wrote: "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy"
     
    nichol01, motoTrooper and autox19 like this.
  10. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: Point to remember when working on a neglected 36 year old Italian car - This is a 36 year old Italian car.

    Got both tail lights in place and functioning, EXCEPT when the right turn signal is on, the left running light blinks weakly in sympathy. Something to track down another evening.

    Turn signals work, brake lights work, running lights work with the exception noted above. Good enough for tonight!

    Picture with emergency flashers working, and running lights on.

    20180628_192809.jpg
     
  11. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    You have AeroCatch latches to go in? Or those American style chrome disc/pins setup?
     
  12. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Cheap imitation racing bits. Got tired of dealing with cables and rusty latches.

    Hood Latch.jpg
     
  13. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Those appear to be a direct replica -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I added them to my old Volvo for much the same reason :D

    [​IMG]
     
    mkmini and Mechanogeek like this.
  14. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Yes indeed. I'll be adding one in the center of the frunk close to the windshield, and one on the rear trunk cover. Basically replacing the loop and latch mechanisms. I will also be adding 'poppers' to elevate the lid when the latch is undone, so easier to grip and open.
     
  15. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    On a brighter note - I took the windshield frame back to bare metal. No rust anywhere! Cleaned, rust-proof primer, and a coat of rattle-can purple just to keep mr. moisture away, and windshield gasket in good shape. Gonna mount my 4-panel mirror so I can have some rear visuals when I take test drives. Ammeter works, gas gauge works, looks like I have all of the warning lights and etc in the instrument panel working. Urethane windshield adhesive arrived, so I could mount it permanently whenever I get the notion. Probably after I get the electrical issue resolved, since it is easier to reach through the windshield frame for certain tasks. Now, if I could only resolve that pesky tail light problem (separate thread created).
     
    kmead likes this.
  16. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: Frunk area is essentially completed. Decided to put the front hood in place. Still need to adjust the gaps a bit.

    Who knows how long it's been since the Mutant had his hood in place? Probably at least 5 years, maybe more.

    I'm gonna need it in place when I go to fill in the popup headlight buckets.

    20180701_110214.jpg
     
    nichol01 and mkmini like this.
  17. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    There is so many cool stuff that I didn't even knew existed! I was planning good ole Hood pins from 30 years ago. You made me think...:rolleyes:
     
  18. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: Now I have the 4 panel rear view mirror mounted. I also refinished the spare-tire well area, and re-mounted the access panel in the spare tire area. I will be making a metal reinforcement panel for the cardboard filler panel that separates the spare-tire well from the scoop area.

    Then, the Mutant should be 'streetable', as long as I am prepared to NOT drive at night, and use hand-signals so other folks can ignore me while I can take it to get the electrical problem diagnosed. Once that is done, I think I'll finish the frunk hood, and cut out the rusty rear trunk floor panel, replace it with some bracing and sheet metal, and then cut off the unneeded bumper mounts.

    Looks like I won't have it driveable enough to take to the Fiat FreakOut in Orlando in mid-August. :(

    'Till next time!
     
  19. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Project Mutant: When you are in the midst of a many-faceted project, and find yourself stymied on one part, find other areas to make progress in.

    Past two days -

    Fixed the drivers side exterior door handle, which would NOT open the door.

    Shaved down the tumblers on both door locks, so at least I can 'lock' the door. Any key or screwdriver will lock or open, but someone would actually need to make an effort. I received three new tumblers with my new ignition switch, BUT they are a different style and won't work in my door handles so eventually I'll need to get the right pieces to match the ignition key, OR replace the door handles to use the new-style tumblers.

    Installed the right side-view mirror.
    20180708_145549.png

    Fiberglassed the left (drivers) side-view mirror. Will sand it down tomorrow, some bondo and paint, and better than new.
    20180708_145609.png

    Tirewell/firewall painted and new sound insulation installed.
    20180708_145436.png

    All the electrical relays are now back in their right place.

    Purchased a laser temperature gun, and at idle, with no airflow, the temperature in the engine never exceeds 190, and the radiator never exceeded 170 degrees. Fans never kicked on.
    I've decided to not install the windshield until I get the electrical problem diagnosed and fixed (?). For now, I'll finish the mirrors and get the wiring off of the passenger footwell, and finish sanding and painting that.
     
    autox19 and nichol01 like this.
  20. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    FYI Fiats always used two different keys, one for the ignition and one for all the other locks. They are a different pattern of key entirely so what you received may have been correct.
     

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