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Old 27th September 2013, 20:35   #1
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Talking Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!

Disclaimer 1: This is going to be a long drawn write-up without many pictures to begin with. Those with short attention spans may want to ignore.
Disclaimer 2: This is my first attempt at trying to write a prologue to a story and from the proof reading, I'm no good at it. But still, here goes.....

Mine is the story of another FIAT fanatic. The story starts around the year 2002 when i was just finishing school and dad was in the market for a new car.
We toured many showrooms, and what was bought is a story for a different time, but during one such visit, i laid eyes on the car that i wanted to own, come what may.
The Italian had spun the magic wand and entranced me!

Circa 2008, college was done and dusted, for better or for worse, not sure yet. Started working and when i knew i had found a stable position in the corporate food chain, decided to buy my first car.
Toured the then Tata-Fiat showrooms and was disappointed by the news that the old look Palios are no longer available and they only have the Stile version.
Test drove one and fell in love all over again. Irrespective of what the exteriors were like, not too different from the original design philosophy (in my opinion), the interiors brought back memories. The surge of power when you step on the throttle was addictive.
Made a booking right then and there and had the car delivered in less than 2 weeks. This was the beginning of a new relationship - a lifelong one i presume.

After i bought the 1.6 Stile, friends wanted rides/ drives and all sorts of chances to get their mitts on my 'ride'. 4 others ended up buying a Palio in one form or another. One was a Stile Diesel (1.3MJD), 2 of them were the famed 'S10' and another 1.6 Stile.
Laying my eyes on the S10 again, had me in the doldrums. I wanted an older generation Palio. No matter what i had to endure to get one.

Offered to buy one of them from my friend and was flatly declined. He was having too much fun with the car, to let go of it. However, i had my share of fun with it as well.
My car being infamous for being involved in one incident after another, for no apparent fault of mine, spent quite some time in the body shop of B.U. Bhandari. And during this time, i had, in my hands, an S10. (Note that there were 2 of them and i used both extensively)

During the day to day life with these, i realised that these cars have been to hell and back again with their previous owners. They were both bought used and they felt like the were more abused than used.
Couple of years passed and i got married, so called 'settled in life', but the truth was far from it. The S10s still played a tune that i would dance to, at the drop of a hat.

Zeroed in on one of the two and decided to have another go at buying it. Researched the background of the car, and made an offer. My friend had then bought the newly launched, re-designed, Swift Diesel and was a happy camper about it.
Offer made, accepted, but it was not to be! The job had me move to Bangalore, bought a new house here and finances were in the pits to say the least. About 8 months later, decided that I'm at a better position in life. The deal was struck. Haggled over the price and decided on what i would call a steal.
Again, the gods proclaimed, it was not to be.

The wife and me were blessed with a child, effectively putting the deal on hold indefinitely. I have to thank my stars that the car was not sold off to someone else during all this.
Our son is now 15 months old and i have to say, putting the car on hold was a good decision to make, in hindsight.

The car though, was handed over to me 15 months ago, and has been sitting in a garage for this period, waiting... patiently waiting. I now have in my hands a Palio S10!!! Victory at last, long last.

Some incidents that the car has experienced before it came to me (these are the ones i know of)

1. When my friend bought the car initially, the then owner decided to have a go at the clutches before selling it. Pulled burnouts in the car till the clutch was toast. This was replaced.
2. During a Mumbai-Pune stint on the expressway, there was a concrete cinder-block left in the road by one of the truck-wallahs which was run over. Left a broken bumper, radiator, AC condenser, oil sump. These were replaced.
3. There is a coolant supply to the heater assembly (HVAC) that failed and dumped all the coolant in the front passenger foot well. Left the car with a ceased engine for lack of cooling. Engine rebuilt at Pandit Auto.
4. All 4 alloys of the S10 were bent beyond recognition. The car is currently running the Alloys that came with my Stile.
5. When i test drove the car last, there was white smoke from the exhaust, suggesting either a bad engine rebuild or head-gaskets that are kaput. The lower-arms are shot and so are the struts. Head-lights look like they have cataracts.
6. The car was given a paintjob before being handed to me. The paint is revolting to say the least. All exterior markings of it being an S10, are gone. The paint has no gloss and i can see paint runs, down the sides. its almost like someone painted it with a rattle-can!

Initial Driving Experience:

The driving experience of when i picked up this car was not something for me to write home about. So let me start with the gory details of why.

Went to my friends place to pick up the car and found that he had asked the watchman to pour some water and wipe it down. Good thought. Tried unlocking the car and only the driver side door unlocked. All others did not click as they are supposed to. Put the key in the ignition and figure out why. The battery was dead. Took the battery out of the S10 and tried charging it a bit by running it in parallel with my car battery. This helped to an extent and allowed us to crank the car a couple of times but that was it. So used jumper cables from my car to the S10 and tried starting it. No luck with this either. For some inexplicable reason, it wouldn't start up with the starter but did start when we push started it.

With the engine started, was greeted with white smoke from the exhaust. Not a good sign! this indicated that either the head gasket was busted or the valve seals were gone. Was informed that this only happens when the car is started for the first time in the day. Once the engine is up to operating temperature, no smoke. This confirmed my suspicion of the valve seals/seats being the culprit. With all this hullabaloo done and dusted for the first hour or so, we started off on the NH4 bypass.

i have to be honest, no matter how bad the car looked, it drove beautifully. I drove it back to back with my car and found the engine very responsive. There were no issues with the gear shifting either. It did not feel a decade old. Floor the throttle and it brings a mile wide smile to my face. This was the one and only reason why i wanted this car. Not for its features of frills, but for the pure un-adulterated driving experience. The suspension was not bad but not in a great shape either. it could do its job for at least another 20000 or so KMS. The car tracked straight and there were no unexpected noises or alarms from any part of the car.

I had to rush back to Bangalore so left the car with another friend who kept and drove it for about 3000 more KMS. In this duration, he had to top up the oil in the engine quite a few times. Over the 3000 KMS i think he filled in about 3 more litres of oil. This was the consumption that convinced me to get the engine repaired/replaced to begin with.

Current status of the car:

It is awaiting a new engine. The old engine was opened up and we found the head gaskets gone, the valve seals were leaking, the pistons were knocking around in the cylinder block (you can literally shake them inside the block with your fingers!!!).
The rebuild by Pandit Auto had cost close to 80K and this is how they did it. Shameful to say the least. We decided, rather than spend close to another 80K on repairing an ailing engine, we might as well replace it with a new one that we know is bulletproof.

The old engine has been dismantled from the car and extracted. Ravi (my mechanic) has sourced a new engine for the car and is awaiting delivery of the same. Once available, it will be doing duty hence-forth.

Work pending on the car:
1. Verify all electricals to be in working order (Ravi claims everything works as it should)
2. Adventure front and rear brake upgrade (bought)
3. Lower-arms (bought)
4. Struts (all 4) and all its associated ancillary parts (bought)
5. Replacement of the Head lights/Tail lights. (bought)
6. Need to strip the body of all the old layers of paint and repaint to a show-car finish (Need guidance on who can do this in Bangalore, reliably)
7. Replace the Windshield (front and back) (pending purchase)
8. Replace all rubber beadings and seals across the car (bought)
9. New set of wheels and tyres (have narrowed down on these, pending purchase)

The car should be in Bangalore by end of October.

I have a few pictures of the engine when taken apart and will put them in the following post.

Last edited by lucifer919 : 31st October 2013 at 20:49. Reason: Added driving experience
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Old 27th September 2013, 20:43   #2
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Some pics as promised
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_001.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_002.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_006.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_007.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_008.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_009.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-wp_20130703_010.jpg  

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Old 27th September 2013, 20:53   #3
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Waiting to read more of this!!! I have always loved the Palio for its steering feedback and that center console which is slightly aligned towards the driver! Makes you feel like you are the only person the car cares about!!!

Last edited by rahul4321 : 27th September 2013 at 20:53. Reason: typo
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Old 27th September 2013, 22:08   #4
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

This is awesome my friend! Congrats on the S10, it is truly an icon!

Can't wait for you to continue this thread!
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Old 28th September 2013, 06:59   #5
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Always nice to see a S10 getting restored. Good luck from a fellow Palio lover
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Old 31st October 2013, 20:28   #6
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Some updated pictures showing the current state of the car and how much work she needs. These include the outside and inside pictures.

Any questions/comments are welcome!

PS. hit the 10 picture limit here so will continue in the next post.
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-left-rear-quarter.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-rear.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-right-fog.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-left-fog.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-headlights.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-driver-mirror.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-driver-door.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-badges.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-seat-belts.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-seat-lap.jpg  

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Old 31st October 2013, 20:31   #7
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

More pictures of the engine bay and ancillary parts
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-seat-back.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-sun-visors.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-engine-bay.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-engine-bay-2.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-gear-knob.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-left-lower-arm.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-right-lower-arm.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-headlight-inside-right.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-headlight-inside.jpg  

Fiat Palio S10 - Now, Restoration Complete!-radiator.jpg  

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Old 1st November 2013, 13:44   #8
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Technical Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st November 2013, 15:10   #9
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

The valves need replacement and its definitely a lot of soot out there. Now my question is did u manage to source the OE valves? . I had a plan to change the valves on mine and its was quite difficult to source the OE stuff.
The ones available are imported (chinese) AFAIK.
Moreover you would have to change the Head gasket, basement gasket, exhaust gasket, valve seals and intake manifold seals. Use the original gaskets as the duplicate ones available are much thicker than the OE ones and u tend to loose power if the same is installed.

Are you changing the pistons and rings. Which size would you be using. Could you share the make of pistons in oversize as im doing a same job on my car and would like to use 3rd oversize if available.

Anyways congrats and eagerly waiting for your updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer919 View Post
Some pics as promised
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Old 1st November 2013, 16:47   #10
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimish anthony View Post
The valves need replacement and its definitely a lot of soot out there. Now my question is did u manage to source the OE valves? . I had a plan to change the valves on mine and its was quite difficult to source the OE stuff.
The ones available are imported (chinese) AFAIK.
Moreover you would have to change the Head gasket, basement gasket, exhaust gasket, valve seals and intake manifold seals. Use the original gaskets as the duplicate ones available are much thicker than the OE ones and u tend to loose power if the same is installed.

Are you changing the pistons and rings. Which size would you be using. Could you share the make of pistons in oversize as im doing a same job on my car and would like to use 3rd oversize if available.

Anyways congrats and eagerly waiting for your updates
Hi Nimish,

I'm not working on the old engine anymore. I'm getting a new engine altogether (crate engine) so wont bother with any of the old parts. Want to get this car back to factory specs if not better and don't want to risk getting the engine worked on and it not being reliable.

My current cause of concern is the exteriors and the interiors. Need someone able to bring it back to its glory without burning a hole through my pockets. I did love the way your cars are done up and need someone in Bangalore who can pull off a job like that.
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Old 4th November 2013, 11:22   #11
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

Looks nice someone ready to take care of palio. Dont throw away the headlights. Open the glass and give a wash it looks as good as brand new. Even if the headlights are not usable remove the blinker bulbs. Those are iridescent coated bulbs came only with the S10. New engines are supposed to be 1581cc engines not the torque series came with the palio 1596cc. If its indeed 1581 engine it lacks cam position sensor in the intake pulley which is responsible for the sequential injection. Also clutch is entirely different and you need to replace that one too. Best wishes for the engine change.
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Old 4th November 2013, 14:35   #12
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Thanks Vijay. Yes the engine is the 1581 series and I am going to use the cam sensor from the old engine. It does need a timing adjustment as well, post installation, as per the mechanic.

This is the engine that came with the initial lot of Palio Weekend/Adventure as per my information.

I'm retaining the old headlights and am going to try to salvage them. Also, I am replacing the iridescent bulbs from the old ones to the new ones. The clutch and gearbox are being retained from the old engine and they match up right. But yet to verify personally.
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Old 4th November 2013, 14:50   #13
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

If you are looking for performance, why don't you rebuild the old engine and make it bigger, like I've done here (My Palio 1.8 GTX). Also if I'm not wrong, Kava motors, Mumbai still have a 1596 torque engine which should still be available. But I'm not sure how geniune/good are the conditions of the engine. Good luck with the work, I'll be following this
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Old 4th November 2013, 14:51   #14
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Default re: Fiat Palio S10 Restoration: Mechanical & paintwork done. Final assembly in progress!

If your clutch ran only few 1000's then you can leave as it is else consider changing new. Fixing cam sensor mandates removal of timing belt and fixing of old inlet cam sproket. Are you sure your mech can set the timing right? Just few degrees here and there can make a havoc in idling and I have experienced that in plenty. You are right those are siena engines which came with the 16 bit ecu hence lacking cam phase sensor. Also engine mounting points are different. If you need help PM or call me. Happy to help.

Last edited by vijaycool : 4th November 2013 at 14:52.
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Old 4th November 2013, 15:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijaycool View Post
If your clutch ran only few 1000's then you can leave as it is else consider changing new. Fixing cam sensor mandates removal of timing belt and fixing of old inlet cam sproket. Are you sure your mech can set the timing right? Just few degrees here and there can make a havoc in idling and I have experienced that in plenty. You are right those are siena engines which came with the 16 bit ecu hence lacking cam phase sensor. Also engine mounting points are different. If you need help PM or call me. Happy to help.
Yep the clutch has been checked and has plenty of life in it. Also, my mech has performed these transplants about 5 times already and has also replaced timing belts on a couple of friend's cars so I'm ok with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nim_peter View Post
If you are looking for performance, why don't you rebuild the old engine and make it bigger, like I've done here (My Palio 1.8 GTX). Also if I'm not wrong, Kava motors, Mumbai still have a 1596 torque engine which should still be available. But I'm not sure how geniune/good are the conditions of the engine. Good luck with the work, I'll be following this
The reason I am not rebuilding the engine is because, as Nimish mentioned, finding the original internals of the engine is rare and I don't want to compromise on using a local part that may be prone to failure. I'm not saying that the original parts don't fail, just that using them gives me better peace of mind.

Last edited by aah78 : 5th November 2013 at 01:12. Reason: Posts merged. Please use QUOTE+ / " " (MULTI-QUOTE) when responding to multiple posts. Thanks!
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