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Old 2nd August 2014, 17:23   #61
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

Dear all - you must be wondering where I had disappeared. Well, there was nothing to report because the car was running properly. Then, suddenly something happened! .

Last Sunday, as usual, I wanted to take it out for my Sunday morning's casual spin. I turned the ignition key and found that there was absolutely no response at all. No starter motor, no lights, even the tiny telltale lamps on the dashboard did not glow, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This was very surprising, because the car was used quite regularly, although mostly for short runs in and around the parsi colony or thereabouts. Initially, I suspected this to be the handiwork of an enterprising rat but everything seemed to be in order.

So, I removed the battery (it was an Amaron which came with the car), took it to my friendly neighborhood battery shop and found a very interesting observation. Normally, when a battery gives up, 1 or 2 out of 6 cells "go" ("saab, cell gaya" is what I normally hear - I don't know where these cells "go" ). In this case, all 6 cells "had gone". I rechecked with the hygrometer and confirmed that they had indeed "gone". The voltage was almost zero! I had never seen 6 cells "go" all at once in any battery, ever! Even my battery guy was surprised. Anyways, he suggested putting the battery through a trickle charge @ 2 amps for 48 hours, that's the normal charging rate. So, I filled in a little distilled water in each cell and gave it to him for charging. Even after 48 hours, there was absolutely no improvement. My batterywallh proudly pronounced the verdict, BATTERY IS DEAD, but I have still not given up. I have put the thingy through one more trickle charge cycle, just to see and learn what the result will be, let's see.

In the meanwhile, in order to eliminate any other root cause, I have put in a so-called "service battery" which my batterywallah readily gave me. The starter motor cranked perfectly at >350 rpm, the car started perfectly, idled properly, everything is back to normal. I guess I'll have to be ready to spend some 6000 rupees or so on a new battery next week. Till then, fingers crossed.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 3rd August 2014, 22:30   #62
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
So, I removed the battery (it was an Amaron which came with the car), took it to my friendly neighborhood battery shop and found a very interesting observation. Normally, when a battery gives up, 1 or 2 out of 6 cells "go" ("saab, cell gaya" is what I normally hear - I don't know where these cells "go" ). In this case, all 6 cells "had gone". I rechecked with the hygrometer and confirmed that they had indeed "gone". The voltage was almost zero! I had never seen 6 cells "go" all at once in any battery, ever! Even my battery guy was surprised. Anyways, he suggested putting the battery through a trickle charge @ 2 amps for 48 hours, that's the normal charging rate. So, I filled in a little distilled water in each cell and gave it to him for charging. Even after 48 hours, there was absolutely no improvement. My batterywallh proudly pronounced the verdict, BATTERY IS DEAD, but I have still not given up. I have put the thingy through one more trickle charge cycle, just to see and learn what the result will be, let's see.
I too have never heard of all cells conking together, its always 'ek cell gaya'. I have been exclusively using Amaron batteries for years now and am very satisfied with the performance, minimum 5-6 years with no problems. This is inspite of looooong cranks (my cars are not in state of tune they should be), extended periods of disuse, and regularly swapping batteries between cars.
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Old 28th August 2014, 15:47   #63
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

Dear all - (well, thanks for reminding me by telephone to post the update on the "battery episode"), following work is completed:

1. As the battery was completely dead, I got myself a brand new battery which set me back by 4800 rupees, returning the old one also.
2. Overhauled the Lucas TVS SA15 alternator (it is exactly same as Maruti 800). Replaced the diodes, the regulator (commonly known as "cut-out") and bearing as a measure of abundant caution and to build reliability. As there is nothing else to go wrong in the SA15, the alternator is now as good as new.
3. Replaced all the charging circuit wires. The original wires were 54 years old and they had become so brittle that there was no sense in using them further. Used 84 grade Finolex wires, shunted, soldered and taped the main connector and used Maruti 800 coupler for the L/IG circuit with two wires in place to retain the joint strength same as Maruti.
4. Fitted the S1 cast iron alternator mounting bracket and brace, the aftermarket bracket had broken through at the bottom, both pieces were just touching each other so nothing was seen from outside but the thing came out in two pieces, so threw the old bracket away.
5. Replaced the fan belt with a brand new one.
6. Replaced the ignition switch with a JAY make switch, as the key used to fall off when driving.

With a brand new battery, a completely overhauled charging system and full voltage available to the ignition coil, the electricals have got a new lease of life. Without doing anything, the headlights have become brighter. The starter motor cranks with a healthy sound at >350 rpm. The turn signals operate at good frequency. I have still not attended to the other electricals, they are still in a shambles, still the performance improvement is clearly seen.

The car is running properly. After the monsoon, let's see, I guess the time has come for the full restoration to start! God, give me parking space! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 28th August 2014, 23:25   #64
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Dear Behram, nice to hear updates. What style was the old ignition switch. Does it had pin type connectors at the end?? I would love to have that I case you want to give it.
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Old 15th October 2014, 12:32   #65
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

Dear all - the car was running properly. Then, suddenly again something happened. It just "stopped". The cranking rpm was perfect (>350) but the engine would not fire. There was no spark. The clues were all there, two of them. The contact breaker points became black (burnt), at the same time, the ignition coil became very hot. I replaced the battery negative cable with a correct one on which I had got the new terminals soldered properly by my friendly neighborhood radiatorwallah. I bolted it to the body sheet metal after thoroughly cleaning the body area to remove any paint, rust etc. I cleaned the same contact breaker points, reassembled them, adjusted the dwell angle (60 degrees) and ignition timing (10 degrees BTDC), everything is back to normal. There is noticeable increase in idling rpm. The idling smoothness has increased. There's lots of water coming out of the tailpipe.

Root cause: from the time I got the car, I knew that the battery negative cable was not correct. First of all, it did not have enough conductor cross section in it as it was an "altu faltu" aftermarket part. It did not have sufficient solder in its connectors to ensure perfect electrical conductivity. On top of that, it was connected to the front stud of the exhaust manifold. I knew that all three things were not correct (I was in any case going to replace it during full restoration, so it was just plugging along, biding its time). Excessive heat causes additional electrical resistance through the cable which is more than enough to cause this problem. The limit of voltage drop across the contact breaker points is 0.1 volts. The point resistance had increased substantially. The reading on my dwell angle meter went into the red zone instead of remaining within 0.1volts. This overloaded the ignition coil which got overheated as well. With the new cable (taken from an OE Padmini starter motor cable and cut to correct length) properly made and correctly assembled, the contact breaker point resistance is now 0.03 volts only.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 29th October 2014, 11:56   #66
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

Friday morning I was passing by and I spied an old fiat and I clicked a photo, I noticed the numberBMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!-img2014102400796.jpg
but didn't know there was a thread about it. Hope the owner will not mind I didn't take permission before clicking
Cheers

Last edited by deutscheafrikar : 29th October 2014 at 11:57.
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:04   #67
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by deutscheafrikar View Post
Friday morning I was passing by and I spied an old fiat and I clicked a photo, I noticed the number but didn't know there was a thread about it. Hope the owner will not mind I didn't take permission before clicking. Cheers
Dear deutscheafrikar - no problem at all, go ahead, click as many pictures as you want! That location is our (Bawaji's) heritage, the Good Old DPC (Dadar Parsi Colony)! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:22   #68
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
no problem at all, go ahead, click as many pictures as you want! That location is our (Bawaji's) heritage, the Good Old DPC
Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Thanks Behram, At least twice a year I visit this part of the city. Are there any old BMW's in the Parsi Colony still? Whenever I see an old Fiat (love the ones if the owner is sitting at the back) I click a pic for Karl... I have lots stored for him.
Regards
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Old 4th December 2014, 14:48   #69
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - first of all, here's wishing everybody a "Very Happy New Year"!

My new year with BMC 8903 started quite eventfully, if I may say so: so, after almost a year of absolute trouble-free and delightful performance, here I am, driving sedately, very "bawa style" from colony Agiary (fire temple) to home sweet home in good old Parsi Colony Dadar when I hear this smallish thud from the underfloor, followed by a small but cyclic thudding sound. Simple, its time to put in a new drive coupling. This is what came out. It looks better in the photograph than what it actually is. Enjoy! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Hey Mr Dhabar,
Looking at the picture of your drive coupling makes me remember an incident about 13 years ago. the wife and I were driving sedately on NH48 towards Bangalore on a Sunday evening in my Padmini and as we crossed Kunigal town still about 75 KM from home I heard the same noise that you did. Got out looked for options to get it repaired, and there were none and this was a lonely stretch of road. So decided to drive on and kept a ginger foot on the pedal going in first gear for 75 km! Managed to reach home late in the night and had the coupling replaced first thing next morning.
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Old 19th December 2014, 23:00   #70
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

This is my first post on Team-BHP and I thought it should be special! What's more special than this beautiful Fiat!

A few months ago (I wasn't a BHPian at that time), when I visited the Dadar Parsi Colony, I saw Mr. Dhabhar's Fiat Select parked in a lane. As there was no place to stop there, I parked my car in the next lane and came back to look at this beautiful car. I have attached a few pictures which I clicked.
One interesting incident took place was when I was clicking the pictures. As the lane was narrow, I was standing in the middle of the road and clicking the pictures. At that time a Honda City came and stopped right where I was standing. I was expecting an angry stare from the driver since I blocked his path. However, the driver of the car(I think he was a Parsi) saw that I was clicking pictures of the Fiat and gave me a very nice smile! Felt so nice! Only in DPC
Attached Thumbnails
BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!-dsc_1309.jpg  

BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!-dsc_1311.jpg  

BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!-dsc_1310.jpg  

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Old 20th December 2014, 00:01   #71
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

Behram Dhabhar
Saab-

What would be the availability of the Magneti Marelli ignition coils these days? 5775 runs on a Lucas system as of now- but was thinking of reverting back.

Recently had the hubs greased on 5775, along with wheel alignment & rim painting (Went to do it in black! But she is in a dullish shade of plain silver. Suits me)Chucked away the wheel caps for that "battered", rusty look.

Got a part of the instrument cluster working after nearly 3 decades. The bulbs for the ignition lamps were replaced. Man, its a pleasure to see them light up just before cranking, or what! The ammeter failed recently. But thats another matter.

The current H/Ls are Lucas 700's. The usual Made-In-England variety. Any way I can get period rally units- The Cibie Concave, for example?

Lastly, the carb. The characteristic engine note (specially the "broop! Broooooph!" part.) seems to be coming, primarily from the air filter assembly.

Suppose I use a Mikuni from the Nissan A12, will I still be retaining this (Brooooph! Broooph!) note? Or will I have to install an end can, just for the heck of it?

Finally- Could you please elaborate on what is so special about the -S1 Manifold? I know of 2 factory original S1's in Pune (Original, down to the paint!). The exhaust note did'nt really feel that, err- Special, to be honest.

Fire up the Delight- and pronto! It seems to be that 5775 makes a better racket than these newfangled S1's ()

And what was the grade of sheet metal used for- A) The bodywork B) Doors. C) Floors.

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Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
This is my first post on Team-BHP and I thought it should be special! What's more special than this beautiful Fiat!
Don't we just love this 'slightly rusted' look? Goes without saying, that I sometimes (Is it not always?) deplore excessively restored cars.

Keep it simple, Stupid!

Last edited by FINTAIL : 20th December 2014 at 00:07.
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Old 20th December 2014, 10:36   #72
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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1. What would be the availability of the Magneti Marelli ignition coils? 5775 runs on a Lucas system as of now, but was thinking of reverting back. 2. The ammeter failed recently, but thats another matter. 3. The current headlights are Lucas 700's. Can I get period rally units, the Cibie Concave, for example? 4. The carburettor. The characteristic engine note seems to be coming, primarily from the air filter assembly. Suppose I use a Mikuni from the Nissan A12, will I still be retaining this note or I have to install an end can? 5. Could you please elaborate on what is so special about the S1 Manifold? 6. What was the grade of sheet metal used for the bodywork, doors and floor? 7. Keep it simple, Stupid!
Dear Fintail - my replies to your questions are as follows:
1. Almost impossible to get, even if you get, it would have outlived its life many times over. The spark plug connector design in push type which will come with its own set of issues, please avoid.
2. If you have an SA15 alternator, please remove the ammeter from the charging circuit, it actually does nothing.
3. Almost impossible, I am also trying to get them.
4. The characteristic engine note comes from a combination of compression pressure, air intake depression and exhaust back pressure.
5. S1 intake manifold has the heater circuit, it was introduced to meet the ECE 15.04 emission norms. S1 exhaust manifold enables better scavenging due to independent port design which double front pipe.
6. 0.8 mm.
7. Absolutely correct, this design made in 1953 has no issue and therefore it still works, in those days there was no CAD, but there was CS (common sense). I guess I'll insert a smiley for your benefit! .

Dear Impala59 - thanks for your gracious comments - "as the lane was narrow, I was standing in the middle of the road and clicking the pictures. At that time a Honda City came and stopped right where I was standing. I was expecting an angry stare from the driver since I blocked his path. However, the driver of the car (I think he was a Parsi) saw that I was clicking pictures of the Fiat and gave me a very nice smile, I felt so nice! Only in DPC!" - was this a golden Honda City with the number MH01DA9320? If so, that's my car!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 20th December 2014, 10:54   #73
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Fintail - my replies to your questions are as follows:
1. Almost impossible to get, even if you get, it would have outlived its life many times over. The spark plug connector design in push type which will come with its own set of issues, please avoid.
2. If you have an SA15 alternator, please remove the ammeter from the charging circuit, it actually does nothing.
3. Almost impossible, I am also trying to get them.
4. The characteristic engine note comes from a combination of compression pressure, air intake depression and exhaust back pressure.
5. S1 intake manifold has the heater circuit, it was introduced to meet the ECE 15.04 emission norms. S1 exhaust manifold enables better scavenging due to independent port design which double front pipe.
6. 0.8 mm.
7. Absolutely correct, this design made in 1953 has no issue and therefore it still works, in those days there was no CAD, but there was CS (common sense). I guess I'll insert a smiley for your benefit! .
In those days, there was no CAD, but there was CS- Common Sense.

Gem of a statement!

A} As regards to the ammeter- Indeed, the car is running on an alternator. The ammeter seemed to hardly deviate from zero, and now, voila! It stays at zero.

The temperature gauge also conked off. Stays at 40 degrees centigrade. Prompts the opening of the bonnet and radiator after every 5 kilometers. Damn.

I'll be retaining the ammeter just because the car looks a bit authentic with it. This ammeter looks similar to ones from a '66 Delight.

B} The Mikuni carb- Do I still retain the characteristic note, if I'm using the Mikuni from the 118NE/Zen, and the air filter box & assembly from the pre 2000 M800's?

C} This 0.8 mm gauge- Was it totally uniform across the car? That is- did the doors have a different one? And the bonnet different?

D} The taillamps have gone broke. Wanted to flick () them off MTJ/476 1974 Premier President, the original aluminum ones. But- the risk was too much. The typical security guard was sleeping, but since some classmates stay in the same area....you know!

So much to do, so little time!

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 20th December 2014 at 13:51.
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Old 20th December 2014, 11:20   #74
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

Dear Fintail - we were to meet in Pune, when do we meet? There's lots to discuss. I also want to see MTJ476. For fitting the Mikuni, read my comments in the "technical information" thread. First of all, you won't get the manifold. If you do, the asking price will be ridiculous. The air cleaner per-se is also an "intake silencer", in the Padmini engine, as there is not much hiss, this should not make a difference. There was an assignment in process to go with 0.7 mm body sheet metal, prototypes were made, the first car was MMY6465 with the 995cc engine but it never came in production. My chor bazaarwallah has two aluminum taillights, do you want them? Tell me, then I'll ask him the price.

Please post detailed photographs of your car so that I can give further comments.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 20th December 2014, 12:03   #75
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Default Re: BMC 8903 - A 1960 Fiat Select - Here I go again!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Impala59 - thanks for your gracious comments - "as the lane was narrow, I was standing in the middle of the road and clicking the pictures. At that time a Honda City came and stopped right where I was standing. I was expecting an angry stare from the driver since I blocked his path. However, the driver of the car (I think he was a Parsi) saw that I was clicking pictures of the Fiat and gave me a very nice smile, I felt so nice! Only in DPC!" - was this a golden Honda City with the number MH01DA9320? If so, that's my car!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
It was indeed a golden Honda City. However, I didn't get a chance to see its number(Since I was so mesmerized by the Select). Had it been you sir, I would have definitely recognized you
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