Scorpion # 253 project

Discussion in 'X1/20 Forum' started by BEEK, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    Owning a Scorpion is kind of like having a disease that wont go away. This is officially my 5th scorpion that I have owned. I still have 4ish of them. I have #80, #173, #253 and 890.

    A very brief history of myself. I graduated high school in 1983 and immediately went to work at a fiat/lancia salvage yard in north Ga. from there I owned my own repair businesses specializing in fiats and lancias and raced them too, until 2001. Then i went into other ventures which leads me to where i am today. A high school auto shop teacher. needless to say i know my way around a fiat or lancia.

    While owning my shops i acquired #173 and 890. I drove #173 until i bought 890 then I took apart 173 with the intentions to modify, rebuild and restomod it. That car has been apart for 15+ years. I drove 890 for a year or 2 then lost interest in it for whatever reason. That car has rust badly and i knew it. I just wanted to drive! Flash forward to 2015 when i found #80. That car was completely disassembled and meticulously cataloged and stowed away. The prior owner had purchased most all of the parts needed to restore that car. When i purchased that car it came with all of those parts. My intention was to restore that car and drive it. It was the absolutely the cleanest, nicest rust free chassis i had ever seen come out of the pinninfarina factory! (That car still sits in the condition i got it in) So a few weeks ago i heard about a scorpion for sale that was supposed to be rust free and very nice for a price i could not turn down $5,000.00 and it was together! I had to have it, the disease flared up again. With my wife yelling all the way there and back i came home with #253. (not to mention a flat tire on the trailer and many promises that this will be the last one...lol)



    I purchased this car without ever hearing it run, never drove it and knew the brake pedal went to the floor. All of these things did not scare me. I towed that car to the school where i teach. I decided that this project will get finished and I am using the help of my students to make this happen.


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    First up was to tackle the brakes, i wanted to actually drive the car, and to do that it had to stop. So i ordered a brake master cylinder and a clutch master cylinder, might as well replace them both while the pedal assembly is out.

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    The pedal has wear at the spring, I will weld this up before powder coating this one

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    During the few days it took for the master cylinder to arrive i found a carb kit in my stash of old fiat stuff and went through the carb. repaired a few wires and the fuel pump ran and she roared to life. So i drove it around the bus loop with no real brakes. maybe got it up to 20mph. The rear brakes worked so i was able to stop.

    Parts came in so I pulled the pedal assembly and decided i want to powder coat this assembly before reinstalling it. My powder coater is non operational right now due to the lack of oven (coming soon) so I installed the pedal assembly that i had from # 80 which was ready to go. It even had a brand new oem 2 outlet master cylinder.


    So the kids pull the wheels to bleed the brakes and we notice that the calipers are leaking and the rear calipers are from a 124, not the correct larger ones from the scorpion.(problem discovered) No problem, I reach into my parts bin and out come caliper cores. Order caliper kits and away we go. teaching the students how to rebuild a fiat rear caliper. We built a set for now and Ill build another set once i can powder coat again. Must have red calipers!

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    Since i had to order caliper kits I decided to get new stainless hoses might as well because i had to wait anyway. Also ordered "greenstuff" pads for the rear. I have drilled and slotted brake rotors from # 80 anyway and decided to use them. Personally I would not order those rotors but what the heck i have them. IMG_3418.JPG

    So the hoses that come happen to be made incorrectly. No issue as the vendor immediately offered to replace them and waiting is not a real issue as the further i go the more i get involved. UPDATE, The correct new hoses arrived. Thank you vendor! So while waiting for the rear hoses we decided to look at the front brakes. Found that one of the bleeders were broken off in the caliper.(problem discovered) No big issue as I have plenty of spares. but then i start thinking.... Big brakes for the front!. And yes I am aware of the scorpion braking issues. This car even has a new booster (not rebuilt) in the rear with less than 100 miles on it. I have the receipt! I will deal with the braking issues if any later.. BTW I have never had an issue with any of my scorpions, probably because the boosters didnt work.

    I am currently waiting on a vendor to let me know if the brakes i want will fit under the wheels i want to use (14" beta). i am not a fan of the modern wheel sizes on this car. i hope i dont have to succumb to having to use a 15' wheel.


    So, while waiting on the vendor to let me know about the brakes. I decide lets rebuild the suspension. I want poly bushings all around. I know this will make the ride harsher but i dont care. This car is for driving! I may not even install a radio!. I have read about the rear bushing misalignment and binding issues that may be cause using the poly bushing. We will see. If it becomes an issue i have new rubber ones from #80 to install.



    in taking the front suspension apart it is noticed that the passengers side lower ball joint has a lot of play and was dry ! (problem discovered) No problem, as I had new arms anyway. The other 3 lower ball joints are very tight and well greased. So at this point i check all the wheel bearings and decide to just replace them all anyway. (Parts on order) I also look at the struts and see that the 24k mile 41year old units are leaking. Oh darn. Ordered coilovers !, why not I think the car sits a bit too high anyway. So while i was ordering things I got poly front and rear sway bar bushings. I could not find any uprated sway bars. if body roll is an issue I will build custom ones.

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    rear control arms are taken off and being cleaned for painting. I will not powder cote them due to having to subject the ball joint to 400 degree heat for a period of time.

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    Had to remove the exhaust to get the rear control arms off.

    The axles were just hanging there, so we removed them too. We will clean repack and replace the boots.

    Then comes the nose! I have always wanted to get rid of the pop up lights. Now remember any modification that i am doing to this car it is being done in a way that i can reverse that modification back to original. or replace with original parts. i am keeping all of the original parts that i take off and just storing them.

    6 hours later and quad headlamps. I happend to have the nose-band from #80. He was installing a rectangular unit, (chevy i think!) These headlamp assemblies, grill and trim are from a 82 Zagato.

    i will edit this post numerous times to add the pictures and get this up to date, then i will continue forward if people are interested
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  2. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Welcome! And thanks for saving the Scorpions. I will be watching this thread with much interest, I have owned a 76 Scorpion since the 90's, as well as X's since the 80's. Love the quad headlights on a Scorp, somewhere on here are threads of many of the mods I did to mine - quad headlights, Opel GT taillights, Euro bumpers, caster/camber plates and so on. Right now it is down for the ultimate modification, conversion to 037 format.

    Pete
     
  3. lanciahf

    lanciahf True Classic

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I Bet the kids love it! Please keep the updates coming!
     
  4. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Great to hear your story, although I wonder why you haven't shared your experiences earlier! No matter, bring on the photos!

    Good thing Scorpions are so light looking at your handicapped trailer photo.
     
  5. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    Added some photos, reached the limit....

    Here are some more pictures to go with the above post IMG_3483.JPG IMG_3518.JPG IMG_3517.JPG IMG_3500.JPG
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  6. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    IMG_3493.JPG IMG_3531.JPG IMG_3535.JPG IMG_3520.JPG IMG_3519.JPG IMG_3522.JPG Today we removed the axles, disassembled and cleaned the parts. We also removed the radiator. There was nothing wrong with it other than it wasn't as shiny as a new aluminum one..
     
  7. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    This week went well, Had to actually do some teaching.. We learned how to powder coat. Press apart each hub, glass bead, replace the bearings and retainers.

    And install big brakes. After initial fitting we are going to powder coat the calipers and brackets. Also received a set of 16mm spacers. so if I have to run a fwd offset wheel it will look appropriate. Should make big progress this week as i really want to drive it soon.

    Also discovered the gas tank is leaking. (no wonder it was empty) there was some jb weld stuck to the bottom of it ! lol. I ordered a 17 gal aluminum fuel cell which i will mount in the front trunk along with relocating the battery. I want to better balance the chassis. I will put the car on wheel scales when finished to check.

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  8. Chad C.

    Chad C. True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Damn, Beek, you've got it made! Skills, experience, facilities... Even a solid day job! Seems like I remember you're also doing a little machine work on the side? I suspect I'm not the only one that'd enjoy your thoughts on head mods for the hot street 1.8 :)

    Your pic of your silver Scorpion on a trailer makes me smile, as I trailered my own silver '77 500 miles up to Oregon from California last summer. I've got your same incorrect stainless brake hoses on my dinning room table, too! I love that you're working with kids who get to see such an unusual car, I'm curious as to what they have to say about it. I worked in juvenile probation for some years, and rarely got to do fun things with the kids I worked with... Please keep us posted on your progress.
     
    Anandastar likes this.
  9. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    powder coated the brackets for the calipers. Installed the rotors and spacers. I seem to have a lot of run-out. i am going to disassemble the rotor tomorrow and check to make sure the hubs arent bent. I hope not. New bearings already IMG_3579.JPG installed.
     
  10. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    IMG_3588.JPG IMG_3587.JPG IMG_3585.JPG Today worked on the brakes. Found one hub was bent .010. That's horrible. I have a set of late X1/9 front hubs. So I have ordered the bearings today and will powder coat them this week.
     
  11. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Vapor or bead blast on those aluminum parts? Or were they coated?

    Looks great!
     
  12. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    I hadn't realized the VAS Prima brakes had a separate piston assembly which is detachable from the clamp. Odd.

    Did they really send the steel transition mounts without any paint on them? Hmmm
     
  13. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Even though you have the parts, it seems like you should be able to chuck that hub in a lathe and face it true. In the name of education and posterity and whatnot...

    BTW what are the sizes of those rotors? Also what is the measurement between the caliper mounting holes? I have gotten some 500 Abarth calipers and if they're the same I could maybe just buy some adaptors from Vicks.

    I also am going with a frunk mounted gas tank, I was going to go for the JEGs 15 gallon aluminum fuel cell. All about the brakes and well there's no room in my engine bay for it anymore!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  14. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    The Vicks kit is not based on the 500 calipers. As I understand it, they are a different piston size. So you might have to mess with the master cylinder to keep the ratios right. I think the Vicks Prima kit is based on some small European diesel model, which I think has the same 48mm piston size as the X. All this from memory so take that for what it's worth, my memory, my eyesight and my hearing seem to be falling off a cliff. :) And not sure they would sell you the adapters outside a brake kit, but it couldn't hurt to ask.

    Pete
     
    gene cooley likes this.
  15. ng_randolph

    ng_randolph Bjorn H

    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Deacoes posted here that the part numbers stamped on the Vick brakes match those from a Lada (Zhiguli) Samara.
     
  16. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    I have a lathe and I could repair the hub, But i have an ulterior motive! I like the late x1/9 bearings better anyway and will just use them. Plus its another powdercoating lesson :)
     
  17. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    I am not trying to debunk Vicks calipers and brakes. I know exactly what they are from and could have ordered them from other places. i would not have saved that much when you figure in shipping and i would still have to fabricate the brackets or use uno calipers. I respect vendors doing their part to make nice things available to us and just purchased them there. I had considered a wilwood setup but with the scorpion light front end and lockup issues already i didnt want to go too much front brake. As to the fuel tank i found a 17 gallon which will fit the trunk floor very nicely at only 7" of height. Keeping the weight down low.
    the mounts are laser etched and not painted, i powder coated them anyway. And Vicks also ground the identification numbers off the calipers. But like i said i know where they are from and the rotors too. But im not in the parts business anymore.
     
  18. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    I agree that vendors who dedicate their energies to helping us characters keep our cars on the road and going better than what came from the factory should retain their secrets. I'm not trying to do an end run around them, I just got this abarth four caliper set off ebay for what I hope was a great deal and was curious about options.

    What are the differences in the bearings?
     
  19. BEEK

    BEEK True Classic

    Location:
    Clermont Fl
    the front wheel bearings from a 79- x1/9 are much larger than the early bearings. They last longer and the hubs will be stronger
     
  20. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Mark Allison has a kit for the X which uses Fiat 500 front calipers. He only offers the rear calipers from the 500 on late rear axle 124 Spiders. He alludes to the reasons why but I don't recall at the moment. I doubt he would sell the bracket separately.
     

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