Part 3: Restoring the undercarriage

Previously on My Fiat 600D
Part 1: The Car – Before I Bought It
Part 2: The First Six Months

And now, I restore the undercarriage of My Fiat 600D.

In Part 2, where I crawled all around my car, I discovered that, while fairly rust free on the exterior, it had some rust I needed to take care of underneath. The plan was originally to get this all done over the winter, but that didn’t happen. News flash to me – winter is cold and not very enjoyable to work in. So, it took longer than I thought it would, but that’s OK. That’s part of what keeps a project car from becoming a chore – no deadlines. If I’m not enjoying my work on it, I’ll put my tools down and come back to it later.

At the end of Part 2, you can see that I had removed the interior and drive-train. This was done to make the car as light as possible, in order to roll it over without causing any damage, hopefully. I bought a bunch of baby crib bumpers at Goodwill and placed them in the places I thought the car would need them the most. My brother and I then rolled it over on it’s passenger side. I had to prop it up with a couple of green, plastic rain gutters.
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I started grinding on the driver’s side center section.  I used a 4″ angle grinder with a wire cup.  I wore safety glasses from the start, but I put on a dust mask very soon.
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You’ll notice that a couple of areas on the floor pan had been replaced at some point.  It was nicely done and came clean with the grinder.
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There I am, surrounded by 45 years of road grime, dust, and who-knows-what.  I’m still cleaning that dust out of my garage…  I took dozens of pictures of the rear suspension, brake lines, etc, so that I knew how they were routed, and then removed them.
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The center section down to bare metal.  No problem spots at all.  Very solid.
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Moving on to the rear of the car now.
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In these next couple of close-up pics, you can see some small rust holes.  I suspect that moisture was trapped in the undercoating and road grime and rusted through in a couple of spots. The holes were all small, so I covered over them with fiberglass during the painting process.
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I used POR-15 to paint the undercarriage, starting with the very back section.
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When I finished painting, I coated the rear section with some rubberized undercoating.
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Next, I moved to the front.  I took a bunch more pictures of the suspension, steering, pedal assembly, and brake components, then removed them all.
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The picture below is looking down from the front trunk of the car in to the battery box.  The round hole right next to it is where the brake fluid reservoir sat.
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I don’t know how long this process took.  Many, many, many, many hours.  But it’s done now and it was worth the effort.  I wonder how much a shop would have charged for this…

Next up:  Brakes and steering!

If you have any questions or comments, contact me using the contact page or email me at myfiat600d@gmail.com.  Cheers.

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3 thoughts on “Part 3: Restoring the undercarriage

  1. Pingback: Part 4: Brakes – Definately Ineffective to Probably Awesome | myfiat600d

  2. Pingback: Part 5: 767cc Engine and Transaxle | myfiat600d

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