Windshield washer fluid bag - filling difficulties

tvmaster

True Classic
Tried to do this for the first time - mild disaster. Am I the only one who had to frantically mop up a spill in the left, headlight compartment?
After pondering all the possibilities (fill with bag out or bag in), I found a long neck funnel. But even then, because of the angle of the frunk hood, the big, wiper fluid bottle was difficult to position, so I had to offload fluid into a smaller, second container to feed the funnel.
Who designed this thing? lol.
What a nutty car...
 

Niklas Andersson

Daily Driver
There is supposed to be drains in the bottom of both sides headlight compartments. There will be water in there for other reasons as well so it is good to check that drains aren't clogged.
 

ng_randolph

Bjorn H
Tried to do this for the first time - mild disaster. Am I the only one who had to frantically mop up a spill in the left, headlight compartment?
After pondering all the possibilities (fill with bag out or bag in), I found a long neck funnel. But even then, because of the angle of the frunk hood, the big, wiper fluid bottle was difficult to position, so I had to offload fluid into a smaller, second container to feed the funnel.
Who designed this thing? lol.
What a nutty car...
You could stick a length of hose to your funnel and call it a Fiat Special Tool.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
My '79 also has the soft reservoir bag located in the left headlight well. I agree it is not a great location. I'm also not a fan of these soft bags in general; they usually develop leaks too easily. Consider switching to a generic plastic bottle style (either aftermarket or from some other vehicle) and locate it somewhere in the frunk. However I can't see using the HUGE one the later X's had, like @speedy fiat showed....way too big.
 

tvmaster

True Classic
My '79 also has the soft reservoir bag located in the left headlight well. I agree it is not a great location. I'm also not a fan of these soft bags in general; they usually develop leaks too easily. Consider switching to a generic plastic bottle style (either aftermarket or from some other vehicle) and locate it somewhere in the frunk. However I can't see using the HUGE one the later X's had, like @speedy fiat showed....way too big.
Especially in SoCal - that thing would have fluid for years...
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Especially in SoCal - that thing would have fluid for years...
No you wouldn’t, the seal almost always fails on the tank and it holds nothing after a while.

There was a thread by one member who found a tank which would fit in the headlight well. He never identified it and was rather cagey about the whole thing which was a bit frustrating. Perhaps he did reveal and I missed it and I am maligning him unfairly.

The bags actually do quite well, you can also take it out of the headlight well and fill it. Just don’t squeeze it as you put it back in.

They do get old and stiff over time but can last for a decade or longer. Well past the time Fiat needed them to. Meaning they didn’t expect the cars to last all that long.
 

tvmaster

True Classic
No you wouldn’t, the seal almost always fails on the tank and it holds nothing after a while.

There was a thread by one member who found a tank which would fit in the headlight well. He never identified it and was rather cagey about the whole thing which was a bit frustrating. Perhaps he did reveal and I missed it and I am maligning him unfairly.

The bags actually do quite well, you can also take it out of the headlight well and fill it. Just don’t squeeze it as you put it back in.

They do get old and stiff over time but can last for a decade or longer. Well past the time Fiat needed them to. Meaning they didn’t expect the cars to last all that long.
Funny thing - today my headlights wouldn’t pop up, two days after taking the bag in and out and spilling a little fluid. Then I jiggled some cables in the well, and they opened again. I’m assuming the right light is piggybacking off the driver’s side light, since neither would open until said cable-jiggling. If I had a bigger space, a lift, a death-wish, I’d love to rewire the entire car. 46-year-old cables, relays, etc can’t be fun for long...
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Funny thing - today my headlights wouldn’t pop up, two days after taking the bag in and out and spilling a little fluid. Then I jiggled some cables in the well, and they opened again. I’m assuming the right light is piggybacking off the driver’s side light, since neither would open until said cable-jiggling. If I had a bigger space, a lift, a death-wish, I’d love to rewire the entire car. 46-year-old cables, relays, etc can’t be fun for long...
Actually it isnt as bad as all that. Likely you jiggled a ground as they are often located where you might touch them.

A lift wouldn’t help, there is no wiring to speak of accessible from under the car, it’s all fed through the body from compartment to compartment.

A big part of keeping an X wiring system working well is to just clean the grounds, the connections of the grounds to the body and then the individual power lead onto a component.

The X system is actually good, in your car it is fundamentally simple and can be easily serviced though you may need to be a bit of a contortionist at times.
 

tvmaster

True Classic
Actually it isnt as bad as all that. Likely you jiggled a ground as they are often located where you might touch them.

A lift wouldn’t help, there is no wiring to speak of accessible from under the car, it’s all fed through the body from compartment to compartment.

A big part of keeping an X wiring system working well is to just clean the grounds, the connections of the grounds to the body and then the individual power lead onto a component.

The X system is actually good, in your car it is fundamentally simple and can be easily serviced though you may need to be a bit of a contortionist at times.
Ok, I need a Covid project :) It‘s fun if you think you’re actually accomplishing something, and reviving this old girl would be very fun. When you say grounds, that would include relay connections as well?
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Others may have more to add beyond what I write here or may have much better advice on doing this activity, hopefully they will chime in. We have a number of members who work in the automotive industry and electronic industry so they may know of better ways to do the following.

As you look around the car, you will see ‘ground blooms’ which collect a set of nearby ground wires from components to the body. There should be a list/image of the positions in the Fiat manual for your year which shows where to find them, they haven’t changed much over the years.

The connection of the bloom to the body of the car, which carries the electrons back to the battery, can become corroded and degrade the connection making the element looking for a ground work intermittently. The wires connected to the bloom can also have corrosion over time so cleaning the bloom and the wire spade connector will ensure you have a good ground. While doing this you will find broken wires, frayed wires or wire connections that need to be replaced.

Deoxit or similar contact cleaner with a brass brush are good for cleaning terminals. Try to manipulate the wires as little as is reasonable to avoid cracking old insulation etc. When putting connections back together using silicone dielectric grease will protect the connection from corrosion. When reattaching the bloom I use conductive grease between the bloom and the body and between the bloom and the fastener:
https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Carbon-Conductive-Grease/dp/B00SMRNSR0

The ground bloom could well be corroded, new ones are avialable from Fiat vendors but you can also refurbish them if they are not too bad using a rust removal treatment after cleaning grease or other crap off with Simple Green or similar with a soft brush. I use Evaoporust to remove corrosion, from steel parts, it does a good job and won’t destroy the part. I bought some which come in a pail with a tray you can put parts into and easily retrieve them.

The reality is you will find broken wires, bad connectors etc as you do this so you will want to have a supply of proper spade connectors (http://www.cycleterminal.com/ or other real electrical suppliers like Digikey or similar) and a good tool for crimping them. Avoid the connectors which have the insulator as part of the connector which you find at most autoparts stores, these rarely provide a good connection particularly if you are not using the correct crimper. Avoid being tempted into buying a kit of cheap connectors on Amazon or the crap at Autozone etc.

Doing all of this will greatly improve the function of the electrical components, effectively making them work like when the car was new and ready for another 40+ years.

Once you do that you can start in on all the individual electrical power connections, working around the car with each light etc.

Image of Ground Bloom courtesy of Mid West Bayless:

AE186F85-9858-4BC2-B7A9-698A50FAF335.jpeg
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
The connection of the bloom to the body of the car, which carries the electrons back to the battery, can become corroded and degrade the connection making the element looking for a ground work intermittently. The wires connected to the bloom can also have corrosion over time so cleaning the bloom and the wire spade connector will ensure you have a good ground. While doing this you will find broken wires, frayed wires or wire connections that need to be replaced.
I completely agree with everything Karl said about cleaning up all of the electrical connections.

And if you want to take this a step further, consider completely replacing those ground "spiders" (blooms) and the connectors that attach to then with a different style. I'm not a big fan of the "push-on" quick-disconnect spade style connectors the factory used. I've always found them to be more prone to corrosion, coming loose, not making great electrical contact, compared to some of the more direct types of connectors. For example I am replacing all of those spiders with grounding bars that have screw terminals. And swapping the wire ends to ring terminals so they can be securely screwed down. There are lots of choices to do this, but for illustrative purposes here are a few:

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rBVaSlutdoWACmVHAAG3X_aa0J8287 - Copy.jpg
fbussbar12black__49138.1310078797.1280.1280 - Copy.jpg


Some are insulated from their mounts so they could be used for "positive" leads if you need to add several power sources for relay upgrades, etc. Others mount directly to the chassis to use as grounding bars. But all could be connected to a good grounding source.

Then this type of ring terminal is used on the wires:

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tvmaster

True Classic
It does seem like this will be an ongoing series of assignments coming up. Thanks to you folks I’m learning what’s ahead more quickly and honestly than taking it to a shop. The electrical is a little daunting - It’s too bad schematics aren’t in color, since following black/red/green would be a little easier. :)
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
It does seem like this will be an ongoing series of assignments coming up. Thanks to you folks I’m learning what’s ahead more quickly and honestly than taking it to a shop. The electrical is a little daunting - It’s too bad schematics aren’t in color, since following black/red/green would be a little easier. :)
Yeah we have all said that. Brad Artique has done up some for the 124 in full color, it is a long, time consuming activity and no many have tried to do so. Those who have have done a great job.

That reminds me I need to find the guy who did one for the 128 which was huge a huge file as I recall get that somewhere safe.
 

tvmaster

True Classic
I don’t see one of those ‘blooms’ in the driver’s light well. Actually, haven’t seen one anywhere on the car yet. Hmm. Maybe the previous owner replaced them with electrical tape balls.
 

Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

Waitin' On Parts...
Regarding the quality of electrical consumables such as wiring, terminals, and whatnot, the best stuff to be found at local parts stores is at NAPA.

Here's an example. These two wires are labeled as being the same AWG, 14 IIRC. The one on top is generic eBay, the one on the bottom is from NAPA. You don't have to be Thomas Edison to know which is better :)

IMG_1899.JPG
 
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