The 903 is still in process, but I wanted to share with you all what I am up to.
In order to install the 903cc engine from a Fiat 850 into a Fiat 600 you have to reverse the rotation of the bottom end. The top ends rotate the same direction. Chris Obert wrote a pretty good guide. The easiest way, I think, is to replace the timing chain with timing gears. The gears can be purchased from Exotic+Raceparts here or from Fiat Plus here. You will also need a spacer because the timing gears are thinner than the chain sprockets, which you can have a machine shop make or purchase here. Also, you’ll need to replace the front and rear main seals with non-directional or clockwise seals. Continue reading →
The 767cc engine and transaxle are ready to go back into the car. I’ve left them mostly stock; saving most of the modifications for the 903cc engine going in later. However, I will share with you what I’ve done to get them ready to go.
First, you’ll remember in Part 2 that I had done some work already to the 767. I added the oil pressure sender and gauge from a Fiat 850. I had the cylinder head cleaned and decked, replaced the Solex carb with a Weber 28 ICP 1 that I rebuilt, and replaced the 600’s distributor with one from a Fiat 850. Then, at the end of part 2, when I removed them, they were both covered in a 1/4″ or more of hardened oil and road grime.
In this episode, I’ll be converting the Fiat 600D’s front drum brakes to Fiat 850 front disc brakes.
While I was driving my little city car around in the city, doing no more than around 35 mph, I realized that the stock, 7-1/4″ drum brakes were not up to my standards. Even with everything stripped out of my light car, making it even lighter, the 4-wheel drums were not quick to slow it down. In fact, the poor braking performance was noted in the Road & Track road test article from Nov, 1961, “Unhappily, the brakes were not up the standard set by the rest of the car; the required pedal pressure is much higher than one would think necessary for so light a car and when the brakes are applied hard, they set up a shuddering that is very disconcerting. The car will definitely stop, but the weird pulsing that feeds back through the brake pedal is something to think about while you wait for things to come to a halt.” I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
And now, it’s time to get to know the car I just bought over the internet.
Work on the 600D started on April 11th, 2008. The first thing I did was take out all the four or five USPS mail boxes that the interior and trim bits came in. Then I crawled all over it, to getting familiar with my new car. 🙂
Over the next couple of days I put the coil and voltage regulator back in their proper place and performed the usual maintenance procedures people do after purchasing an old, used car with unknown maintenance history: changed the oil, cleaned out the centrifugal oil filter, checked the spark plugs, flushed and changed the coolant, put new gas in the tank, bled the brakes, checked the transaxle fluid level, and checked to see if the lights worked. All especially important when buying a car over the internet sight unseen.
I bought the car from a guy down in SoCal. He had a car business called Italian Precious Metals where he sold interesting, usually restored cars online and presumably locally. I first saw the 600D in the background of an eBay auction he had going for a nicely restored Fiat 500 that he called Guido.
I contacted him about the 600D and he sent me a bunch of pictures of it. Below are some of the pictures he sent me.