Sunday, September 30, 2012

Passionate lover and his muse












THE DIARY OF A FIAT 124 SPIDER
Already during many years I am following a magnificent shaped diary with about 70 entries and wonderful clear ( technical ) pictures from the passionate Spider-lover Eduardo ( Eddie ) Relvas and his muse ( he calls her tenderly ' Betty ' ) from Portalegre, Portugal under the compelling title:
A QUEST FOR BEAUTY .

Today ( September 30. 2012 ) Eduardo writes in his diary:
'Reading back on my previous posts, it seems I've acquired the routine of apologising at the beginning of every post for not writing more often. So no more apologies.

No, the irregular post frequency does not mean the car has not been in use. Far from it.
In fact, it continues at its peak. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, and get the story up to date.


First event to take place after the last post was when I finally bit the bullet and admitted that the engine would never be properly sorted until I took matters into my own hands. Regular readers will remember my complaints that it never was as smooth as I knew the 1438 should be, and through several failed attempts it kept running too rough for my taste. So come Easter, and the engine was extracted from its usual resting place for a quick recommissioning...



I took the opportunity because the engine was starting to show the very first symptoms of tired main and rod bearings, and the timing belt was due as well, so timing was perfect.

Within a couple of days I'd gone through it, inspecting the general state of affairs, and dismantled the lot. Then the overhaul proper started:



The whole engine was cleaned and checked. I was quite pleased to see that the engine was very well preserved, not showing anything to worry about. I did find the culprit of the vibration, though... someone that had been there in the past assembled the whole bottom end not paying attention to the factory balance marks. The crank, flywheel and even the front pulley and cover assembly are all staked to show their relative positions so that factory balancing is preserved. There was also one piston with the rings incorrectly spaced, so that might not have helped either.

Soon I was into the assembly phase... I love this sort of work.



And it wasn't long before the whole lot was being put back where it belongs...


I know, I could have taken the time to spruce up the engine bay, but this was done against the clock as I only had the two weeks of Easter break so I could use the missus' car to get to work. And I did it, with not much time to spare, but it went back into service.

Soon after that, I had a conference to attend in Evora, 100 km away, and this was my first real opportunity to test the newly-minted power plant.


As you can see, the old gal was finally put back the way it should. The engine now revs eagerly and smoothly, and it's an absolute delight to drive. It winds all the way round the rev counter scale with no hint of displeasure at being put through its paces. A proper Italian engine, at last! Success!'


Now that I 've boosted your interest in Eduardo's gorgeous diary, you better visit his own pages about HIS RESTORATION PROJECT THAT STARTS IN JULY 2004 .

( Diary entry and picture reproduction granted with Eduardo Relvas' permission. )