Rusted Out 1970 850 Spider Fix-Up

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by Daniel Gibson, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Color sanding has begun! I have most of the big run out of this fender. Time to stop for the night and regroup tomorrow.

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    khnitz, NM850 and kmead like this.
  2. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Color sanding su-hu-hu-hucks! However, progress is being made. Like I said, I am only color sanding above the beltline with the hopes I can get away with it. At this time I have gone this side with the 800 grit. Kinda harsh, but this was pretty rough. I will go over it next with the 1200 to smooth it and get any spots I missed (of which there are plenty). The good news is that the runs are sanding right out.
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    Except for this mother on the front! What has it been...two months since I painted it, and the paint is still tacky under the top surface! I was able to sand out 90% of it, but will have to wait for the surface to dry...again!
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    I gotta get some polish tomorrow. Let's see how this is going to look!
     
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  3. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, so the above the beltline sanding and polishing is done on this side. I hate this part so much. No patience for it. Just needs to be snappy enough to go for a drive. Speaking of which...

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    I need to get it plated and insured. I have these NOS plates that I bought for that Javelin that I never used. Might as well use them here.
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    More sanding tomorrow. Also weatherstrip ordering. Maybe install seat belts too.
     
    kmead, khnitz and NM850 like this.
  4. 72Fiat850

    72Fiat850 Low Mileage

    Location:
    SC
    The original top side brackets were installed with compression rivets similar to what is used to join two pieces of leather. I have some on order to redo one of the sides of my top that are close to the original size if you need some, had to order 100.
     
    WOOM likes this.
  5. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    I used a rivet at the bottom then just used 3M adhesive in the slot.
    When I took this picture I realized the top probably hasn’t been up in over a year BC86C377-680C-4C07-BBE8-21BEE781B5BB.jpeg
     
    Daniel Gibson likes this.
  6. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you. Let me take a closer look. I may take you up on it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  7. I might be interested in a few pairs of rivets myself if you are selling some of the extras. Also installing a brown top, likely in March.
     
  8. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    And so sanding and polishing continue.

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  9. 72Fiat850

    72Fiat850 Low Mileage

    Location:
    SC
    I'll be happy to sell the extras to anyone who needs them, let me get them in hand first to make sure they are the correct size. Not sure where you are getting the top however I would recommend you try to find an AMCO top if you can find one. The original tops had a flap that covered up the gap above the windshield frame and the replacement AMCO tops are the only ones that come with that flap. Every other one I have ever used leaked at the corners of the windshield without that flap.
     
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  10. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Color sanding continues. I am not completely sure this will make it look better, but at least the runs are gone.

    I did go out and get some new wiper blades today. And all the rubber pieces I need for the top are on order. My master plan is all coming together! Bwahahahaha!


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  11. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Well, this is about as shiny as the front is going to get. Lots of imperfections, but it should look pretty spiffy going down the road. Down the sides with the polish tomorrow!

    IMG_2457.JPG IMG_2458.JPG
     
    khnitz, NM850, JimD and 1 other person like this.
  12. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, all the rubber stuff has arrived! This cost more than the car did! But, that is how it goes. Now back to sanding and polishing.

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    khnitz likes this.
  13. 72Fiat850

    72Fiat850 Low Mileage

    Location:
    SC
    You're missing a part, It should look like this installed. One part of the bracket goes inside that pocket and the other piece fits on the outside with the compression rivets sandwiching the top material in between. Should be easy to make the missing part, it's a flat piece of metal that mirrors the part in the sleeve. side plate.JPG
     
    Daniel Gibson likes this.
  14. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Interesting. My early 68 car was a one owner car and never had the top changed until I did it. I wonder if the design was changed a some point. I’ll have to check the brackets on my 67.
     
  15. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Here is all that is left of my old top.

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  16. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, polishing is done. Not because the paint is flawless, but I am DONE! There are some thin spots, but I will wait until it warms up to deal with it. Maybe I will just leave it alone, and it will look like the original paint has worn through due to years of polishing. :) If there is a break in the clouds tomorrow, I will roll it out for a sunshine inspection.

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    Y'know, I realized looking at these pictures that I do not have the worst looking 850 in the world anymore! Maybe the worst built!

    Next up, seat belts and rubber. Oh, and top.
     
    kmead, khnitz and motoTrooper like this.
  17. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Looks great
     
    Daniel Gibson likes this.
  18. Tom Ginefra

    Tom Ginefra True Classic

    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Amazing job on this, Dan.
    Inspirational!!!
     
    Daniel Gibson likes this.
  19. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Looks ok out in the sun!

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  20. Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson True Classic

    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, the weather is a little warmer, so let's put a top on this thing. Here is a step by step tutorial on how I put a brand-x mystery top on an 850.

    First step..the rear bow. I had set this aside with the rotted remnants on it so I could use it as a guide later. Make sure to work on something soft so you don't scratch your top window!

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    Look closely at it, and notice how the top rear welt is snuggled up against the bow. Also notice all the rusty crap.
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    Now flip it over, and you will see the rotted remains of your rubber seal, and the screws that hold down the fixing plate. Expect half of the screws to be stripped or corroded.
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    After removing screws by whatever means necessary, sand off the loose rust and paint away!
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    Much better!

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    Your paint is dry? Good, now let's proceed to install the back bow. Before doing anything else, fold your top in half and make a chalk center line. Do the same for the weatherstripping. The centerline of the bow is the middle hook. Looky-this...the new top has about a half inch of material that is stitched in before you reach the bow flap. The original top put the bow right up to the edge. Well, let us proceed and see what it look like. See the chalk mark?

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    Ok, this picture show progress. You have to keep the bow pushed up tight against the back seam as you do this, so that the top goes on even. Put the bow in the pocket, center the top, weatherstripping and bow, push it up against the seam and use your awl to make your first screw hole. If you have it all lined up, it will push through the fixing piece, weatherstripping, top and right into the bow hole. Now, as it turns out, the new weatherstripping is a lot thicker than the old, so you may need longer screws. So go get them. I had to cut a little off my new screws. Make sure the screws go in far enough so that they sit below the weatherstripping, or they will scratch your paint.

    In the picture below, I have still to go back and put in a few more screws and cut the weatherstripping. Don't cut anything until you are sure! I also had to cut some spaces for the hooks.

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    Speaking of the hooks, the top would not slide into them! The new weatherstripping sits higher and must not be as compressible as the original. So, as you can see in the picture below, I used chrome washers to raise them just a bit.
    IMG_2608.JPG

    And here is the top so far. I think it is going well. The extra material in the back does not appear to be an issue, and the top is hooking well. I will now take it off, finish the screws and cut the weatherstripping to size. Next will be to dig up some snaps for the bow right above the window.

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    More to come!
     

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