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Old 26th January 2015, 18:07   #781
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

Yet another Delighted Padmini!

FCB's 331 with Chromodora..
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Old 26th January 2015, 23:20   #782
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Loved the LHD's new avatar Mr. Dhabhar!
Especially the red interiors, even on the roll bars

Last edited by Impala59 : 26th January 2015 at 23:37.
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Old 27th January 2015, 10:42   #783
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Dear all - I finally brought the car home on Sunday evening. There's still lots of work to do, as follows:

Appearance:

1. As the car now looks like an 1100D, the Chromodora grille seems to look a little out of sync and therefore I think I'll put the 1100D grille back. It took me one hour to fit the grille because of the proximity of the M6*1.0 fasteners to the light mounting reinforcement pipes inside, I guess it will take the same time again. The original FIAT, WIAA and IARC (Indian Automotive Racing Club) monograms need to go on the aluminum grille first.
2. I have to fit the silver painted (finally Karl and Rony will be happy) super select wheels with brand new wide whitewall tires with original super select wheel caps (with holes and brackets, sorry Karl and Rony!). The valve tube hole diameter in the super select wheels is more by 4 mm as compared to Padmini wheels, so standard adaptors need to be fitted otherwise the valve tubes will cut. After a lot of searching, I finally found found the valve tube adaptors, I had bought these from the street at CST road, removed from the scrapped tubes of an old Matador, they will fit perfectly as the drawing dimensions are identical.
3. Iif I decide to keep the Padmini wheels, I have a set of aluminum wheel caps with me, which can go on. Obviously, the none of the wheel caps will remain on the car except during events etc.
4. 1100D monogram on the dicky, I haven't decided so I have not drilled holes, I'm not too keen on doing this.
5. Red cover on one very small portion of the front of the roll cage and red trim below the glove box lid is remaining, I ran out of material dammit!
6. Rubber mats on the carpets need to be procured and fitted.
7. Carpet inside the dicky to be fitted, here also I ran out of material!
8. I want to fit original German Hella 450 rectangular driving lights. Everything is ready inside including the mounting, the wiring harness with Finolex wires, the third Bosch relay etc, I just have to fit and connect. I can't find an original pair, I'll try and search in Nanapeth Pune today evening.
9. Aluminum strips on the front and rear glass rubbers, I have taken a very good set off a scrapped car, need to fit very carefully, these bend very easily.
10. Original chrome finish wiper arms and blades, I have a set, to be fitted.
11. Bonnet catches with lynch pins which were removed during restoration to be refitted.

Mechanicals:
1. Fit an Esteem air cleaner assembly with a brand new Purolator element. I have recieved the mass flow data of the Esteem application air cleaner, it is much more suited to the S1 / Mikuni combination.
2. The fuel gage does not work, the tank unit has jammed, need to replace.
3. Finally managed to source 1 no original S1 fan belt (size 1020), to be fitted. The current one is fine though.
4. I'm toying with the idea of fitting an expansion chamber to try and improve the mass flow, need to do some calculations, let's see. .

Too much to do, no time at all, I guess it's a never ending exercise, whew! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 27th January 2015 at 10:45.
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Old 1st February 2015, 15:06   #784
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

Finally got a chance to see the LHD Fiat in flesh today at the 2015 VCCCI rally!
This car grabbed a lot of eyeballs

Even talked with Mr. Dhabhar for the very first time. Very down to earth person who explained me every bit of the car right from the Italian grill taken from his MMY 43 to the roll bars and even how much time and effort (a lottt) this whole project took!
We talked for about 20-25 minutes where he was telling how he has procured a lot of parts from various cars and places, some during his college days! Even got a chance to sit inside. Sat in a LHD car for the first time

Thanks a lot Mr. Dhabhar

Sorry for the poor quality of images. My camera developed problems, so had to click pictures with my not-so-modern cellphone!
Attached Thumbnails
My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-dsc_1576-cropped.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-dsc_1571.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-dsc_1573.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-dsc_1538.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-dsc_1618.jpg  


Last edited by karlosdeville : 2nd February 2015 at 10:50. Reason: Please restrict to two smileys, thanks.
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Old 1st February 2015, 18:14   #785
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
Finally got a chance to see the LHD Fiat in flesh today at the 2015 VCCCI rally!
Is the horn button off a President?
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Old 2nd February 2015, 11:48   #786
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Is the horn button off a President?
Dear Fintail - yes, the horn button was taken off a very good Premier President which was broken down in Coimbatore in February 2000. I stayed there for 3 months for a product development project and one evening had casually walked into the breaker's yard. I had picked it up for a pittance. Now it is a collector's item. I need to change it and put a Fiat horn button to maintain the looks of the 1100D. I also need to remove the internal rear view mirror of the Padmini Deluxe and put in an 1100D mirror. I need to change the front small light lenses to white, I have all these parts with me, but I just do not have time to do these seemingly small things. The car needs to go back to Pune immediately after the FCCC rally next sunday. Let's catch up sometime yaar!

Dear Anuj (Impala59) - it was indeed my pleasure to meet you yesterday. As I told you, just for the record (), I had picked up 8 Premier President side strips with all mounting clips for a princely sum of 10 rupees from Chor Bazaar in 1978 when I was in VJTI college, doing my engineering. These side strips were lying in my loft for 37 years and I have used them now. The round side signal lights were similarly picked up for 2 rupees each and the wheelcaps for maybe 4 or 5 rupees each, not more! I got the bumpers off a very good 1100D car, broken down in 2001. Now people are asking for ridiculous amounts and people are paying also, times have indeed changed, not necessarily for the better!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:30   #787
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

Dear Anuj (Impala59) - I had picked up 8 Premier President side strips with all mounting clips for a princely sum of 10 rupees from Chor Bazaar in 1978 when I was in VJTI college, doing my engineering. The round side signal lights were similarly picked up for 2 rupees each and the wheelcaps for maybe 4 or 5 rupees each not more!
I remember being absolutely shocked when you told me this sir!
Amazing foresight!

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Times have indeed changed, not necessarily for the better!
Sad but true!
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Old 4th February 2015, 11:34   #788
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

Dear all - as requested by all you wonderful BHPian friends by PM, I am posting the pictures of MH01YA3238, my left hand drive fiat as taken on Sunday 01 February during and after the VCCCI rally.

The whole experience of redoing the restoration was finally worth it. Enjoy! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Attached Thumbnails
My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0245.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0248.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0241.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0240.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0239.jpg  

My Left Hand Drive Fiat.-img_0243.jpg  

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Old 25th February 2015, 15:31   #789
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Dear all - in view of absolutely no feedback on the photographs, I take it that you guys liked the car so much that you are speechless so you can't type, or you guys did not like the car at all, so there is no point in typing (just kidding)! . Anyways, my work and my posts continue, so here goes:

I thoroughly got the car "serviced". The fiat has a total of 14 greasing points, 4 suspension spiders, 6 steering tie rod ball joints, 1 steering pillar fulcrum, 1 brake and clutch pedal fulcrum and 2 propeller shaft crosses. Nowadays in Mumbai, most of the petrol pumps have stopped the greasing operation altogether as regular cars do not have any greasing points. My regular petrol pump poiltely declined. So, I started searching for a petrol pump which would still do the greasing. After asking around, I finally managed to find one petrol pump in a far corner of Chembur near the trucking area there. So, I went there (without the car) and looked around. Anthough the guy was doing the greasing, he was not using branded grease. He flatly refused to say what grease he used, maybe he thought I was some sort of a government official! The gooey stuff that I saw was simply not grease, so I politely declined and continued to search. After around 3 weeks without any result, as a last resort, I even thought of buying a grease gun and doing the whole thing at home, but it's easier said than done, as greasing is one of the dirtiest jobs to do on the car. The search continued. The lucky break came around 15 days back. I finally managed to locate a pump in Central Mumbai that still did greasing, great! I telephoned the manager, took an appointment and went in exactly on time. After quite sometime, it was nice to get the diesel smell into my clothes, grease and oil on my hands, everything was done in the "good old fashioned" way. An old "mama" with gumboots kept on washing the car till I told him to stop, the wooden plank above the lift was taken out with a long thin rod, the underbody was given a liberal spray of diesel, then the car was again washed and then greased in all the 14 joints till new grease came out the complete periphery of the rubber boots of every ball joint and spider. The whole thing took 4 hours. I also changed the engine, transmission and axle oils and the oil filter. I went to a friendly neighborhood "baniya" shop next to the petrol pump and bought a sachet of surf for 2 rupees to clean the whitewalls of the tires. After a lot of scrubbing and rubbing, they now look a little better. The steering feels like power steering now, the car runs much smoother with the freah dose of grease and all fluids.

During the first restoration in 2008, I had fabricated and fitted an extra driving lights mounting bracket in the car, which was concealed behind the grille and also included the wiring for it, using 84 grade Finolex wires and a German relay made by Bosch. Now is the time to use the whole thing. I always knew exactly what lights I wanted, they had to look elegant, not intruding, so they had to match the grille shape, so they had to be rectangular, certainly not round. The best lights available in India at a reasonable cost are the German Hella driving lights. So, it had to be either Hella 450s or Hella 550s. I have purchased one set each of both the lights. The 450s are white, the 550s are yellow. The 450s look very nice and oh-so-cute, their size is just correct for this application! I'll fit them over the weekend, let's see how they look!

There's so much to do on one car, I really admire the guys who have pre-war vintage cars, they must be going really nuts, caring for the cars all the time! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 25th February 2015, 16:27   #790
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
I thoroughly got the car "serviced". The fiat has a total of 14 greasing points, 4 suspension spiders, 6 steering tie rod ball joints, 1 steering pillar fulcrum, 1 brake and clutch pedal fulcrum and 2 propeller shaft crosses. Nowadays in Mumbai, most of the petrol pumps have stopped the greasing operation altogether as regular cars do not have any greasing points. My regular petrol pump poiltely declined. So, I started searching for a petrol pump which would still do the greasing. After asking around, I finally managed to find one petrol pump in a far corner of Chembur near the trucking area there. So, I went there (without the car) and looked around. Anthough the guy was doing the greasing, he was not using branded grease. He flatly refused to say what grease he used, maybe he thought I was some sort of a government official! The gooey stuff that I saw was simply not grease, so I politely declined and continued to search. After around 3 weeks without any result, as a last resort, I even thought of buying a grease gun and doing the whole thing at home, but it's easier said than done, as greasing is one of the dirtiest jobs to do on the car. The search continued. The lucky break came around 15 days back. I finally managed to locate a pump in Central Mumbai that still did greasing, great! I telephoned the manager, took an appointment and went in exactly on time. After quite sometime, it was nice to get the diesel smell into my clothes, grease and oil on my hands, everything was done in the "good old fashioned" way. An old "mama" with gumboots kept on washing the car till I told him to stop, the wooden plank above the lift was taken out with a long thin rod, the underbody was given a liberal spray of diesel, then the car was again washed and then greased in all the 14 joints till new grease came out the complete periphery of the rubber boots of every ball joint and spider. The whole thing took 4 hours. I also changed the engine, transmission and axle oils and the oil filter. I went to a friendly neighborhood "baniya" shop next to the petrol pump and bought a sachet of surf for 2 rupees to clean the whitewalls of the tires. After a lot of scrubbing and rubbing, they now look a little better. The steering feels like power steering now, the car runs much smoother with the freah dose of grease and all fluids.
With our limited running but awful roads and dusty climate how often do you suggest greasing or 'servicing' be carried out?
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Old 25th February 2015, 16:58   #791
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Default Re: My Left Hand Drive Fiat.

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - you are speechless so you can't type,
The fiat has a total of 14 greasing points, 4 suspension spiders, 6 steering tie rod ball joints, 1 steering pillar fulcrum, 1 brake and clutch pedal fulcrum and 2 propeller shaft crosses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
With our limited running but awful roads and dusty climate how often do you suggest greasing or 'servicing' be carried out?
I fall in the SPEECHLESS category.

Taking Karl's query further and since we cannot get enough of your FIATPEDIA knowledge, I now ask you for one MORE favor:

Would it be possible to post photos of these points and not only here but all your possible future posts? I volunteer to do the TYPING/PHOTO work for you anyday.

Also request for PHOTOS of the electric fuel setup that you have done in your fiats. WITH A BIG PLEASE.

Raab rakha.
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Old 25th February 2015, 18:32   #792
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Glad to hear that you were able to locate a place which uses chassis grease. I am thinking of driving down to Bombay.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 12:09   #793
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Dear all - with the recent rains playing spoilsport with me, I just could not bring myself to see the LHD getting soaking wet in Mumbai. So yesterday, I finally decided to bring it to Pune and park it safely in my covered parking place. Today morning, I started from my house at Dadar Parsi Colony exactly at 0520 hrs and drove down to Pimpri where I work, a distance of 139 kms, in exactly 2 hours and 10 minutes, almost dry upto Lonavla and with full blast rain after Lonavla. Therefore, the "Vbar" (average speed) was 64 kmph. This means that I did 1 km in slightly less than 1 minute (), which included 5 small halts to pay toll (upto Lonavla on the expressway and then upto Pimpri on NH4) and 10 minutes for a refreshing cup of masala tea at a small "tapri" at "Bhakti Shakti" Circle, the official start of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The car goes "home" today evening, then I have to painstakingly clean it. Each wheelarch takes a lot of time. The whitewalls are now "brownwalls", I have my work cutout to make them whitewalls again! Damn! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 2nd March 2015 at 12:10.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 13:24   #794
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Amazing thread Behram!

Seeing the obvious love you have for these old beauties, wish we knew you earlier when we sold my wife's old MRG 2. That was a lovely car. Even had an AC. We finally sold it as I recall because we got tired of getting the starter repaired/replaced. Sold her for 10,000 bucks sometime in the late 90s.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 14:08   #795
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Amazing thread Behram! Seeing the obvious love you have for these old beauties, wish we knew you earlier when we sold my wife's old MRG 2. That was a lovely car. Even had an AC. We finally sold it as I recall because we got tired of getting the starter repaired/replaced. Sold her for 10,000 bucks sometime in the late 90s.
Dear Vistasp - thank you Doc for your kind words, it feels so nice as it makes the whole effort worthwhile! Wow, the number "MRG 2" itself would be nice to own. I very vaguely remember seeing it somewhere but I can't place the exact location. If you still know anybody who still has fiats, do let me know, I'll be delighted to guide them in the correct direction. Too many cars have suffered because of "not knowing what to do" and more importantly, "what not to do".

By the way, I still have MRF 6466, there's a whole thread on it in this section itself, have a look, I'm sure you'll be delighted! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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