This 1980 Fiat Abarth 131 Replica was built in 2003 for Neville .S, He has competed in Targa Tasmania 6 times with success on many occasions , Motor Rebuilt in late 2015 but never raced again ,is now in Perth, it will need some clarification to be in the “Spirit” of “Round the Houses Vintage Racing” with the VSCC, plus look at the “Quality” of work performed on this car to determine how much work is needed to bring it back to Fiat Abarth !
Rebuilt by a so-called “Guru” in QLD , uses the Cast Iron Fiat 132 2.0Ltr 4cylinder block with Carrillo rods, under a Genuine 131 Abarth Stradale’16v Alloy Head, ”Cam Doctor” re-manufactured Custom steel Camshafts , “sleeved” down camboxes to take light weight smaller “shimless” buckets!? thin 5.5mm stem custom valves for less resistance ,Customised combustion chamber, Twin Weber DCOE48 Carbies on Custom Alloy inlet manifold, Custom C.E.S Extractors, Peterson Dry Sump Oil System with Braided lines to the rear mounted tank, J.Berry Clutch/flywheel System, Autronic’s ECU driven Ignition System and Custom Alloy Radiator .
Set up for “Targa Events” with a C.A.M.S log booked caged ,as it is today, but not much of the original basic Fiat 131 it started with, the roof and floor and chassis/bulk head structures are the original steel of the 131 ,but guards ,bonnet and boot are all Abarth Fibreglass and Carbon fibre pieces, Front ,Rear and door glass is Fiat, the rear quarter is Polycarbonate with stupid air scoops…., Front suspension is Modified Nissan Skyline GTS with $6k MCA Gas charged Adjustable Coil-overs(Fr+Rr), Differential is live axel LSD 4.11 Hilux type, Modified with full floating hub set-up and Nissan Skyline 4pot brake set-up hanging of it, but all wheels bolted upto Subaru 5x100PCD!
Update 9/2016- We have moved the seat so Rubin can reach the pedals , repaired the seat so 4 bolts hold it in now (not 3 and some “No-more Nails” 4th)! Lightened the car with the removal of gear we will never use in R-T-H-Racing, Terra trip and wiring, extra Fire Extinguishers, passenger foot step bar and heavy brackets, Next is to fix the still leaking Dry sump pan, remove the 1m extra oil lines……there is a couple of kilo’s weight saving right there!
Update 10/2016- This month the mighty 131 gets a closer look! ….Yes up on the hoist ….OMG WTF have I bought? “Cocky Shit Welding” to the front roll cage,floor etc, Steel fabricated dry sump…. needs to be removed for replaced!…the fittings and hose to the oil pump are way too long and so flexes, cracking the metal at several points from the fittings upwards!!…Not well thought out! Top end tappet noise is LOUD and Unbearable! ….All this to be done in time for the VSCC Vintage Stampede at Wanneroo Raceway in late November ??!?!
Update 11/2016- This 131′s Brake fade issue was explained to me the other day at the “Italian Car Day”,because it will be in the Vintage Stampede….so now the “Simoto” Jap-crap brake pads have been removed, Bendix Ultimate’s having been fitted and the braking system bled ,so now the fluid is clear (Castrol SRF) not milk cloudy!!, Front Brake master Cylinder Replaced….Blocked up with a white Gel like gunge !!! This comes from mixing oil with Brake fluid, also for the Event will wire all sump plugs to suit the VSCC regulations!….
Driving on the day was great fun, however the noise of the valvetrain was way to much and called it a day…..!
Update Late 2/2017- Head of to fix the gaps in the “Shimless” bucket issue, along the way we found that only 18months after a “Rebuild” and with only 25 laps around the Barbagallo Raceway, this motor had 4x loose valve guides(2 just fell out!!) and in those, the 4x valves with over 40thou gap had mushroomed over valve tops and BROKEN COLLETS!!!
Update 3/2017- After an extensive search through what has been done to this Fiat Abarth motor – We have concluded that, all the “Abarth”, had been removed and replaced with Full Custom Once Use parts type at GREAT EXPENCE!!, even thou some good theory’s and parts were used, it’s weak execution of that theory and the tardy workmanship is evident! We do hope to save this vary rare and expensive head from the brink of discarding! YES I can say the only thing we can do now is reverse the damage is by sending this Abarth head to our new friend GUY CROFT at GCRE in the U.K (he has it now), discarding the Ford/Holden v8 Taxi Racing style bits, for the TRUSTED and well known Fiat/Abarth original and Quality replacement parts!!!
Update 4/2017- That Botched Abarth 16v head and camboxes have been sent to GCRE and Replacement Abarth 16v found for me to continue!
Update 5/2017- 2Ltr Block out and that stupid V8 style 5kg ‘Dampener’ is off, what a rubbish idea that was, removing over 5kg weight from the flywheel only to put that at the front of the crank…Genius!! Ever heard of Harmonics? Fiat did all this Rallying with out one ,but they knew better? also removed over 25kgs of over length and over weight oil lines from front to back, now with another Abarth head at the machine shop getting touched up , the block stripped down to see what is useable and what is bin-able we are slowly moving forward!!
Update 6/2017- The replacement Abarth head is still being tidied up with Neil and we are doing block assessment , we’re not happy with the machining of the 2ltr crank just for starters! This Guru has made the crank susceptible to excessive wear ,after the 2thou Nitride treated surface was ground off 10thou!! But in the short term(not having a choice) we will use till the complete new bottom end is done next year, ok now with the heavy dry sump stuff removed ,as not required for VSCC “Round the Houses”, saving over 35kgs ,the new hi-performance standard type oil pump and winged sump fitted, oil filter housing with remote oil filter and cooler take-off done! also cleaned up some of the rough bits and saved weight by trimming from oversize rough cut steel brackets!…Rocker covers now in “Abarth Grey”
Update 7/2017- Nothing this month! Abarth head with Neil at the machine shop!
Update 8/2017- Mid-Month ….Finally get to work on my motor!…the Replacement Abarth head has returned from the Machine shop with Face Guides and Valves done, Head pressure tested and cleaned up…thanks Neil!…Now the work begins to test all the valves for height and clearance to the buckets (which it never had!!) , dummy assemble to get valves sizes and shim set up (also it never had) when all done to the replacement head, fit to block, now that it is back to “as close as” I can get to “Original Abarth”
Update 9/2017- Not much (Nothing) happening on my motor, mainly due to completing 2 projects for BM-Autohaus, then a holiday for the family all of October!…..
Update 10/2017- Last week of the month…..Back from Vietnam and into it , measured all valves for height (to fit shim size) ported intake and cleaned up exhaust ports! Drilled and tapped hole for the engine water temp’ sensor, end of month now have assembled the Abarth Head ready for the block!!!
Update 11/2017- Assembled head now on the block studs tensioned down to 100Nm, next is Camboxes with cams to head and do the shims!
Update 1/2018- Not much on this project at the “Mo” but looking forward to getting back into it!
Update 8/2018- The past couple of months I have been trying to buy 8 new Exhaust valves for the Abarth head, what fun, but Guy Croft was gracious enough to pass me onto the guys he uses, now the waiting game…….
Update 9&10/2018- Abarth Exhaust valves have made it to Australia!!! ….Now to dummy fit just to be sure of length and set tappet shims, then again dummy fit to block to set up Camshafts with max lift at 105d and 103d…….(when NOT on other projects!)
Update 11&12/2018- Nope the Inlet Valves won’t do!…..ordering from Germany now!…along with cambox gaskets in varying thicknesses,1.25mm and 1,95mm…that should cover all the bases!!! …….this Now a Feb’2019 job if I am Lucky!
Update 2/2019- Abarth valves have arrived, 2mm too tall but I was told “you get what is available ..or you don’t get” so back to the motor and dummy assemble head AGAIN to determine cambox shim required!
Update 3/2019- 2mm spacers required…done ! motor apart again and fit 2 intake and exhaust valves for Camshaft Dialing-in, cambelt getting tight because the camboxes are further away….