Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:23pm 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (fiat124)
      Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:33pm some ideas:) (Allen Lofland Wichita KS USA)
      Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:34pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Andy Jossy (Medford, Oregon))
      Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:42pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Philip Dillard)
           Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:53pm Re: some ideas:) (George Emery)
           Wed 24th Aug 2005 04:04pm Re: some ideas:) (dan joel)
           Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:07pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (engineerted)
                Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:26pm Re: some ideas:) (Thad Kirk)
      Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:29pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Thad Kirk)
                     Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:31pm Re: some ideas:) (George Emery)
                          Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:33pm Re: some ideas:) (Thad Kirk)
           Thu 25th Aug 2005 03:29am Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Bob Loftus)
                Thu 25th Aug 2005 04:54am Bob, great tip (Thad Kirk)
                     Thu 25th Aug 2005 06:48am Radiator swap (Bob Loftus)
                          Thu 25th Aug 2005 07:57am Re: Radiator swap (engineerted)
                               Thu 25th Aug 2005 08:48am Re: Radiator swap (Bob Loftus)
                     Thu 25th Aug 2005 10:17am Thad:) Shame on You :) (Allen Lofland Wichita KS USA)
      Fri 26th Aug 2005 10:54am Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (fiat124)
           Fri 26th Aug 2005 02:34pm Just be absolutely sure that you.......... (Tom Nicotera, Hyde Park NY)

138722 Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:23pm 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (fiat124)
I have just purchased a Fiat Spider. The car has been sitting for about 3 
years without even so much as the engine turned over.  Here's my question.  I 
need to prepare it for ignition.  I'm thinking that I should drain the oil, 
gas and coolant and replace.  Maybe spark plugs.  Does anyone have any advice 
on prep before ignition?(locksmith coming next week to make ignition and door 
keys) The car had mechanical problems when parked but no one knows what they 
were.  I'm trying to do as little further damage as possible.

138723 Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:33pm some ideas:) (Allen Lofland Wichita KS USA)
First, dont waste money on new oil and stuf YET...What you want to do is make 
sure you do no further damage.  Check oil for water, check water for oil, 
check timing belt for alignment of timing, VERY carefully pull the plugs and 
rotate engine by hand using a socket on the front pully. 
make sue the engine rotates with out any objections. Before rotating insert 
some Oil ( I like Marvle Mystery oil ) into the spark plu holes.  If the 
engine rotates nicely and you cannt find any reason for it not to be in good 
runnen condtions and there decent looking oil in it....drain the oil, inspect 
it, nothing :) good replace the filter and oil new plugs and start her up.
Now you will probably be ready to dig deaper but you have done no damage :)
Congratulation, looking forward to hearing more form this project.DONT be 
afraid of just tearen her down and diggen deep, it's not rocket science :)

Allen & Lynette Lofland  Florida move Sept 1st 2005 :)

138724 Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:34pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Andy Jossy (Medford, Oregon))
Change the timing belt

turn the engine over several revolutions to make sure there are no collisions
internally

Cleaning out the carb might be a good idea too...

Once you are sure it will turn over and you get it started check valve
clearence, conmpression etc.

Andy (Medford, Oregon)
1974 X 1/9 (new Race Car)
1974 X 1/9 (Smokey Joe)
1976 Spider (For Sale )
1979 Spider (in primer, IDFs and fun no doubt)
1978 Dodge Adventurer 150 (Tow Rig)
1997 Dodge Caravan (Family Truckster)
http://www.sofia1.com

138726 Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:42pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Philip Dillard)
The following is from KaiserBill's restoration workbook, "old car start-up
procedure" chapter.

Many an old car that has been sitting for a while may be easily damaged by not
following a proper 
start-up procedure.

Here are some recommendations from Kaiser Bill (my HERO!):

Remove all spark plugs, then put a few heavy squirts of 100% "Marvel Oil" into
each cylinder thru the 
spark plug hole and turn the engine over several times with the starter. 
Repeatedly crank the engine    
for 3 or 4 times after waiting a few minutes between crankings.  Then loosely
replace the old spark 
plugs and let the engine sit a day or two.  Remove the spark plugs and turn the
engine over several 
more times until no oil is being blown out of the spark plug holes. 
(Otherwise, if oil is left in the 
cylinders you may bend or break a piston rod).

Fill the radiator with water only.  After the initial short engine run and
cool-down, replace the water 
with 50-50 mixture.

Set up an external fuel source such as a small fuel tank conneced directly to
the carb thru a filter.

Pour about 10%  per volume of Marvel Oil into your external small fuel
container and mix well.

Do NOT turn on the ignition key.  Remove the wire from the BAT side of the
coil.  Start the engine by 
applying 12v directly to the starter.  Remove the 12v immediately when the
engine starts.  Run the 
engine for about 3 minutes at 1,200 to 1,500 rpm.

Shut off the engine.  Let it cool down for a few minutes.  If all is well,
drain the oil and install fresh oil 
and change the oil filter.  

Kaiser Bill (my hero!), using this approach, has started old cars that have sat
for 20 years or more 
without any damage or problems.

I have abridged his advice somewhat, but the essence is there.

Good luck!

Phil
Cedar City, Yewtaw

138727 Wed 24th Aug 2005 03:53pm Re: some ideas:) (George Emery)
Allen Lofland  Wichita  KS USA wrote:
: Check oil for water, check water for oil, check timing belt for alignment of
: timing, VERY carefully pull the plugs and rotate engine by hand using a 
: socket on the front pully. 

Take the crankshaft through TWO full revolutions, not just one.  There's a 
little gizmo called the auxiliary shaft that drives the oil pump and has a 
lobe on it for the mechanical fuel pump (some models have electric, but the 
lobe is still there) and that lobe can strike a connecting rod if it's not in 
the correct position, but it turns at half the speed of the crankshaft.

George Emery
http://members.aol.com/gemery -- "Twincams and Autox"

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are answered here:
               general - http://www.mirafiori.com/faq
        model specific - http://www.mirafiori.com/model
             engine id - http://www.mirafiori.com/id
           smog system - http://www.mirafiori.com/smog
    parts substitution - http://www.mirafiori.com/sub
   wheels & suspension - http://www.mirafiori.com/dave
Thad Kirk's balljoints -http://www.mirafiori.com/~thad/balljoints/bj.html

138728 Wed 24th Aug 2005 04:04pm Re: some ideas:) (dan joel)
from my own experience (meaning things I should have checked and learned the
hard way):
take a good close look at the timing belt tensioner bearing.

if the motor shows no signs of trouble drain the transmission.
make sure oil comes out, and chunks of other stuff does not.

check fluid in rear end before your road test.

check all fuel lines, including the filler hose to the tank.

pump the brakes a lot, and then test them at very low speeds in safe conditions.
check to see if you get any pull. double double check the brake flex hoses.

double triple check the 'donut' (rubber drive shaft thingy with 6 large bolts in
it.)

good luck and best wishes of many happy miles of windy roads.


-dan joel (santa cruz,ca)
124,124,124,2000
900,9000,9000
jeep

138735 Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:07pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (engineerted)
Just to add a little more, it would be a good idea to remove the valve covers 
and inspect for rusted cams/lobes, moisture/ condensation,  If they are ok, 
pour a some oil over the cams, remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over 
with the starter and look for oil pumping up, this will ensure that there is 
oil making its way to the head.

Ted

1978 124 spider,  complete restoration

138737 Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:26pm Re: some ideas:) (Thad Kirk)
Fuel pump lobe won't hit connecting rod on a 78.

Thad Kirk
Member of Delaware Valley Chapter http://www.flu.org
Right now:
1971 Fiat 850 Racer 
1981 Fiat Spider 2000
1984 Pininfarina Azzurra
1992 Alfa Romeo 164L (son's)

138738 Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:29pm Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Thad Kirk)
Follow all the wise advice above. Especially the stuff about checking timing
belt marks.

Thad Kirk
Member of Delaware Valley Chapter http://www.flu.org
Right now:
1971 Fiat 850 Racer 
1981 Fiat Spider 2000
1984 Pininfarina Azzurra
1992 Alfa Romeo 164L (son's)

138739 Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:31pm Re: some ideas:) (George Emery)
Thad Kirk wrote:
: Fuel pump lobe won't hit connecting rod on a 78.

Why not?  I've played with 3 1800s (out of the dozen that I own) and managed to 
find a setting that it is possible on all of them, but then they weren't 
from '78.  Admittedly, there's the smallest of angles that it happens.  Also, 
consider that the owner is new to the car and we have no evidence that the 
motor is the "correct" one for the car.

Croft and the Fiat factory manuals indicate that it happens with all but the 
1438cc motors.

George Emery
http://members.aol.com/gemery -- "Twincams and Autox"

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are answered here:
               general - http://www.mirafiori.com/faq
        model specific - http://www.mirafiori.com/model
             engine id - http://www.mirafiori.com/id
           smog system - http://www.mirafiori.com/smog
    parts substitution - http://www.mirafiori.com/sub
   wheels & suspension - http://www.mirafiori.com/dave
Thad Kirk's balljoints -http://www.mirafiori.com/~thad/balljoints/bj.html

138740 Wed 24th Aug 2005 06:33pm Re: some ideas:) (Thad Kirk)
eh, maybe I'm wrong. I just never ran into it. Most important thing this guy
needs to do is determine that he doesn't have timing belt issues before he
cranks the starter.

Thad Kirk
Member of Delaware Valley Chapter http://www.flu.org
Right now:
1971 Fiat 850 Racer 
1981 Fiat Spider 2000
1984 Pininfarina Azzurra
1992 Alfa Romeo 164L (son's)

138747 Thu 25th Aug 2005 03:29am Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (Bob Loftus)
Hi, I'm new to this forum but just went through the process for bringing my 78 
spider back to life after in sat dorment for 9 years. I did perform most of 
the steps mentioned on this thread but I did run into the lobe/connectiong rod 
interference (just my luck). Who would have thought? That nice 'TAP,TAP,TAP' 
scared the crap out of me. Went back to the old Clymer manual and found out 
that the auxilery shaft requires proper clocking to the other timing belt 
wheels.

As far as the rest of the effort, I replaced every rubber brake hose, master 
cylinder, brake booster, every rubber hose and belt under the hood, water 
pump, fuel pump and the starter(didn't work, the reason it was parked). The 
carb needed a rebuild since the accel pump diapham was gone. The tranny fluid 
came out clean but the differencial fluid was dark. I pulled the head off to 
get better acces to the starter. Cylinders looked really good. Not bad for 
254k miles.

After all this ,it has been running well until I encountered the overheating 
problem (it's summer time here in Arizona!). Took the radiator down to my 
local radiator shop. Got the call that it was too plugged to fix. A recore 
would run me $225. Ouch! This put me on a mission to find a less expensive 
replacement. Long story short, I fit a new Mazde 626 all brass radiator. The 
dimensions were identical. Had the make a couple of simple mounting brackets 
for the top but it was no big deal. The electric fan is back in the original 
location. The fan switch is for a Honda but has the correct temp settings 
(92/87). I got the radiator on line for $110 with free shipping! Detail for 
anyone who wants more info.



Thad Kirk wrote:
: Follow all the wise advice above. Especially the stuff about checking timing
: belt marks.

78 124 

138749 Thu 25th Aug 2005 04:54am Bob, great tip (Thad Kirk)
What year 626 radiator fits so nicely?

Thad Kirk
Member of Delaware Valley Chapter http://www.flu.org
Right now:
1971 Fiat 850 Racer 
1981 Fiat Spider 2000
1984 Pininfarina Azzurra
1992 Alfa Romeo 164L (son's)

138754 Thu 25th Aug 2005 06:48am Radiator swap (Bob Loftus)
The new radiator that I put in my 78 124 Spider is for a 78 through 82 Mazda 
626. The dimensions of the core are the same as the stock 124 radiator and the 
tanks match pretty close. The lower tank fits the support saddle on the bottom 
just fine. The mounting points on the sides are different. The Mazda radiator 
has two mounting flanges in the upper corners of the top tank. The side rails 
are different and there wasn't enough there on the new radiator to pickup the 
two studs on the sides where the 124 radiators use to attach. Besides, the 
sheet metal near these two studs is cracked on both sides at the vertical 
bends. As a result, the old radiator wasn't secure as is should have been.

That said, the Mazda radiator fit perfect with two new brackets to mate up 
with the upper attach points. The fan attachment also needed three small sheet 
metal tabs added the the side rails on the new radiator. I attached them with 
pop rivets. 

A couple of additional comments. The radiator cap is on the opposite side 
(passenger). This is not a problem and actually helps with the small hose 
routing to the overflow tank.  I am using the same cap. The upper hose 
attachment is the correct size (1 3/8 OD) and in the correct location. The 
lower hose attachment is in the correct spot but larger (1.5 OD)and does not 
have the elbow. My solution was to cut off the tube on the lower tank, leaving 
about 3/8 inch stub. I removed the elbow from the old 124 lower tanks and 
soldered it into the stub tube. The fit was a perfect slip fit and made the 
soldering a snap. Anther solution could be to find a molded lower hose with 
the correct size and bends. This was my first plan. I look through all the 
hoses at my local Autozone but couldn't find one that fit the bill.

I'm still exploring this forum. Is there any way to post pictures?


Thad Kirk wrote:
: What year 626 radiator fits so nicely? How easily does the fan fit?
: Thad Kirk
: Member of Delaware Valley Chapter http://www.flu.org
: Right now:
: 1971 Fiat 850 Racer 
: 1981 Fiat Spider 2000
: 1984 Pininfarina Azzurra
: 1992 Alfa Romeo 164L (son's)
Bob Loftus
78 124 Spider
83 Jaguar XJ6 w/96 LT1/4L60E
Gilbert Az

138756 Thu 25th Aug 2005 07:57am Re: Radiator swap (engineerted)
Bob,  Wow this is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!,  Who did you buy the rad from?


Ted

1978 124 spider,  Total restoration, Old rad. 

138761 Thu 25th Aug 2005 08:48am Re: Radiator swap (Bob Loftus)
I bought it from www.radiatorbarn.com (no affiliation). Looks like the price 
is now $114 with free shipping. If you go to the site and work though the 
menus (1980,Mazda,626,2.0l,no A/C) it will display a picture of the radiator 
along with the specification. This is the site that I used to fish for an 
adequate substitution. It took me a few hours but I found it. There may be a 
better fit out there somewhere but this one is close enough. The radiator has 
a transmission cooler in the lower tank. I'm not using it since my car is a 
manual. It doesn't seem to affect the operation. The car's been running spot 
on 190F, even with 105F ambient temperatures. The fan cycles just like it 
should when the car isn't moving. The fan switch sensor fitting is in the 
lower left corner similar to the original radiator. The sensor switch I'm 
using is for a 1980 Honda Accord. It cost $16 at Autozone. A Mazda switch that 
fit the hole in this radiator is only available from the dealer at $75...and I 
wasn't certain what it's temp settings, logic, or current capabilities are. 

engineerted wrote:
: Bob,  Wow this is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!,  Who did you buy the rad from?
: Ted
: 1978 124 spider,  Total restoration, Old rad. 
Bob Loftus
78 124 Spider
83 Jaguar XJ6 w/96 LT1/4L60E
Gilbert Az

138772 Thu 25th Aug 2005 10:17am Thad:) Shame on You :) (Allen Lofland Wichita KS USA)
You should sit in the corner for two days for that one :) Read the big blue 
book :)  

Allen & Lynette Lofland  Florida move Sept 1st 2005 :)

138808 Fri 26th Aug 2005 10:54am Re: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider (fiat124)
fiat124 wrote:
: I have just purchased a Fiat Spider. The car has been sitting for about 3 
: years without even so much as the engine turned over.  Here's my question.  
I 
: need to prepare it for ignition.  I'm thinking that I should drain the oil, 
: gas and coolant and replace.  Maybe spark plugs.  Does anyone have any 
advice 
: on prep before ignition?(locksmith coming next week to make ignition and 
door 
: keys) The car had mechanical problems when parked but no one knows what they 
: were.  I'm trying to do as little further damage as possible.


MANY THANKS to all who have responded back.  I'm keeping a notebook with all 
the great advice.  I'm hoping to get started this weekend.  I'll let you know 
how things progress.  And I'm sure I'll be asking for quite a bit more 
advice.  I've ordered a the "Fiat 124 Workshop Manual by Haynes".  Has anybody 
used it or should I order a couple of others.

Thanks Again

138819 Fri 26th Aug 2005 02:34pm Just be absolutely sure that you.......... (Tom Nicotera, Hyde Park NY)
turn the engine over by hand at least two complete revolutions.  These 
are "interference" engines and if the problems of the PO were engine related, 
using the starter could cause serious damage.  A PITA but much cheaper than 
internal engine work or replacing bent valves etc.  Lots of luck and patience.  
Just BTDT with a Lancia Beta that sat parked for 8 years.
Tom Nicotera 
71 1608 Spider - Dual 40 IDF's, Electronic Ign., Orange
75 Lancia Beta Coupe - sweet!
2002 Dodge Dakota 4X4 V-8 FIAT Hauler
1.5 Liter custom built Harley Davidson
Previously owned:
1969 850 Sport Coupe
1971 850 Spider
1975 124 Spider
1988 Yugo GVX 

I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met!!