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Old 20th February 2010, 19:54   #1
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Smile Progetto di restauro FIAT Uno (Uno Restoration)

Introduction:

The thread was started for advice to restore my ten year old FIAT Uno DX Petrol FIRE 999 to good condition. The car has run about 32000 Kms in the last ten years and has not given any major trouble. Also the body is free of dents, still has the original coat of paint(grey) and has the bite to give the modern hatches a kick on the backside.Since the car has enough juice left, I decided against
buying a new FIAT and hence the restoration. At the outset I decided against mod treatments and stick to the original as possible

Research:

As I am a medical man, researching goes in the blood.I performed a search of all threads here using the operators "FIAT" and "UNO", which returned 35 pages of threads. After going carefully through the relevant ones by interest I came up with the following.

The Problems and possible solutions:

1. Steering- The column shakes on a vertical axis when I go over a hump or a bad stretch of road. The solution is to change the
interconnecting rod and bushes. Since I am tall i find it difficult to get into the car because of the large steering wheel.Will it be easy to drive with the small wheel considering manual transmission?

2. Suspension- The roads in Raipur, Chattisgarh are non-existent and coupled with a rough ride from the bad suspension I usually end up having a backache. I plan to change the shock absorberswith change of lower arm too. I cant make sense of camber and timber,does it have any bearing on me?

3. Brakes- I can use it good enough now but I plan to make checks in the brake pads/disc/drum/brake booster and replace them if necessary. A lot of threads discuss the curved thingy which goes into the disc/drum, can you shed a little more light?

4. Tyres- Bridgestone radials still have a little tread in them, so I guess it will be the last thing to change.Do I have check the tie-end rod and ball joint? or just wheel balancing and alignment will do?

5. There is a little oil leak from the cam region-the threads suggest me to change the gasket/sealing strip/oil seal/O-ring

6. What are the functions of the Vacuum advance unit and why I must replace it?

7. Every morning when i start the car it switches off by itself after i turn on the ignition,however after running for sometime it does not switch off anymore. So here is your clinical problem,any Instant Diagnosis? I'll take a guess.Ignition coil?

8. Filter change- Oil/Air/Fuel-Any brand suggestions

9. Engine oil/Brake fluid (Can i use dot4?)/Coolant changes

10. Airconditioner gas is something from the past, so an upgrade to the new version.I will get the details regarding this.

11. a contemporary ICE for the car. Its a limited budget event, so I will pretend to hear the advice of the gurus from the ICE area.I have a Sony Cassette player currently, which is also ten years old,but still good enough, but speakers are 4inch screechers front and back.

12.Some aesthetics for the car-interior cleaning, Wax & polishing and new lights(head lamp,interior,indicators).

13. I forgot, the timimg belt,timing,dwell and all.

14. Trims are a little hardened but not breaks or cracks.Can i use WD-40 to loosen them up or replace them?

The garage which is going to repair is an old dealer of FIAT, where the mechanics have experience in fiddling with the uno. Considering the place where I live, I think I may have made the right choice. Probably Bangalore or pune would have given me a choice to choose a mechanic.

Now, I embark on this journey to set things right,wish me good luck and I will be starting the repairs at the beginning of March after the salary comes through . I am now researching the market about the cost of spares,
alternatives et al.

Sorry for the long post.I had to write this after some considerable research.
Thanks for your patience in reading through. I certainly appreciate your comments. I request Uno men in this forum (sharan/prateek/moralfiber et al) to give their valuable inputs as we go.

Love the Team
God Bless
Arun

Last edited by Jaggu : 24th February 2010 at 18:13. Reason: Please do a Preview before Posting, Thanks
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Old 20th February 2010, 20:20   #2
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First you should look on engine stuff like for 10 year old car, you should:
1. Change timing belt
2. All spark plugs (if not changed recently)
3. Clutch overhaul - there are test described in forum to detect bad clutch.
4. Complete tuning which should include timing adjustment and change of oil filter, air filter engine oil and gear oil.

Now for AC part, get the compressor checked and if it has life left then assuming it is R12, you can still find this gas at auto ac repair shops and get it working, it won't cost you more than than thousand bucks.

Cosmetic part, change door rubber trims as they go 'flat' with age and develop leads to incomplete sealing when doors are closed and water entering in car during heavy rain which spoil interior, so change this first.

Brakes - if they are working fine just don't touch them. Just get the brake pads for too much wear checked and rear drum cylinder for any leak or pads wear. Also check the hand brake cable for too much play. Change if needed.

Suspension - change suspension and no need to change lower arms or other suspension parts unless they are out of alignment, your mechanic will be able to tell you. You can however change all rubber bushes.

Steering - that kat kat sound is annoying, change bush not the rod.

Also get the electricals checked, output of alternator and if its low then get it serviced.
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Old 21st February 2010, 11:10   #3
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Good points in the preferred order of works! thanks for the input.

There is only one decent ac guy in this place and he has advised to change the system as he doesnt have the old one

I am attaching some pictures so that you can spot something that I cant. Sorry about the engine bay pictures. This place is so dusty that engines need to come with washable covers otherwise it will end up like this. I need to do something about the rust spot. The tyres are circa 1999, do i replace? and today was my first DIY on the car-changed the wiper . got the wipers from bosch at 275 for a pair. The other wiper is going to a sumo in the neighbourhood.

Arun

Total cost of repairs so far=275
Attached Thumbnails
Progetto di restauro FIAT Uno (Uno Restoration)-make.jpg  

Progetto di restauro FIAT Uno (Uno Restoration)-tyre-age.jpg  

Progetto di restauro FIAT Uno (Uno Restoration)-uno-front.jpg  

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Old 21st February 2010, 13:43   #4
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Oh mio Dio! Sembra bello! Looks gorgeous Arun! It doesn't look old on the outside! Looks fresh as a daisy!

@Tyres:
I think it is time to change the tyres. 32k is a lot. Considering you said that you have very bad roads around, the tyres must certainly have taken a beating.

Regarding ICE..
This can come at a very, very late stage. Let the car get running like brand new. Till then adjust with your current ICE. If not, you always have an exhaust note and a voice.


Cartman.
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Old 21st February 2010, 15:31   #5
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Thanks for the reply arun

I guess i dont have to look too far for the tyres. You might have seen a padmini in one of the snaps. Its running good condition,recent Bridgestone S248 x 5nos, So I plan to do a tyre swap without anesthesia(thats my job any away!).

I spent the sunday well, went around town looking for good uno mechanics, after some 2 hours of roaming around the city, I came across one garage which caters to 1100/137/Uno and the rest. The guys looks OK to me but there were two uno's around in agony. So I am planning to get just the steering work just to have a sample of his skills. Also during my city tour I found a shop which deals only with Fiat spares.

See you all in the evening tomorrow after the steering works!

love
arun
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Old 22nd February 2010, 13:44   #6
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Default Way to go!

You have maintained your car well. Maybe there is a good reason doctor's cars command a premium.
I have a similar car which has done 70 k kms. I spent around 30 k recently for tinkering and painting. The car looks good now.
Planning to replace suspension and steering column bushes during the next service.

Do check out the condition of the timing belt.

Keenly observing progress. Ciao.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 15:13   #7
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Today's Progress

I went to the garage, that I found on Sunday. The steering works went off well. Some spare bushes were with the mechanic, who was happy to give it to me free, considering the other works I had for him.

It was a simple affair, the surgery time was 30 to 40 minutes and there was a complication following the procedure, the horn would not work(had to press about 100 bars to make it work). This took another 10 minutes to rectify ( Solution-Readjustment of steering bolt)

Went for a spin after that, felt the bumps and humps were not making an impact. The shock absorbers suddenly seemed to be all right.Was happy with the repairs .

Tomorrow's List

Plan to do the brakes tomorrow preceded by a visual inspection

Total cost of repairs:
1. Bosch Wipers-275
2. Labor charges for steering wheel repairs-200

Grand total-Rs.400/

@adventourer- Welcome! I am from Singara Chennai too, but not resident ordinarily. Nice to see the Tank in your possession. I would like to dispute the myth of "Doctor's car"(could be a lady doctor too)-self driven-Well maintained-Sparingly used-Has run only 10,000Kms car (oh I forgot! No dents too). We all know too well what happens to a car, which is parked for the most of its life. This car was sparingly used, considering the spiraling prices of petrol and presence of a diesel indica which did the dirty work.

I am a cardiac anaesthesiologist and intensivist by profession, my work involves precision, perfection and six sigma approach to care. That explains the meticulous work on the car.

Love
Arun
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Old 22nd February 2010, 19:33   #8
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Update for today!

Went for a ride again in the thoroughfares( testing tracks!) of Raipur, made my driver make it go through the paces with me sitting behind. I realized the ride quality was not bad after all, with some rattling from the music tapes lying around,loose panels and spare wheel-jack-spanner orchestra . I guess all the feedback was from the steering wheel, which led me to believe that the suspension was bad. Of course, there is some dhak-dhak when I run over a bad patch, but does it require a change for at least the front shocks?

Saw a bottle of WD-40 beckon from the dressing window of a lubricant shop, So had to shell out 100 bucks for the small wonder. Plan to spray all the joints that are visible to naked eye. The same shop had a few Gulf products. Remembered a thread discussing the air conditioner vent cleaner, I have asked the guy to procure one for me.

A request
Can you please advise me on good brands for
1.brake pads
2. Engine oil
3.Gear oil
4. Oil and Fuel filters

In the previous post, there is a typo, I apologize.
Total Costs so far should have read as Rs.475/

Grand Total at end of Race day Rs. 575

Love
Arun
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Old 23rd February 2010, 08:04   #9
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Default Oil change

The last time I had gone to my garage, the owner suggested Castrol Magnatec. I'm planning to go for that during my next oil change.

As for gear oil, it's Castrol SAE 90. I also added a can of Wynn's transmission treatment.

But I guess the patients have no choice but trust the doctor's experience and take the medicines
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Old 23rd February 2010, 20:47   #10
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Hi all,

Today's work was done in the evening. Checked for brake pad wear in all 4 wheels. Rear was OK, including the drum. Front pads on the verge of becoming air , discs OK didn't need shaving/scratching whatever. Repair done was a replacement of brake pads( TVS Girling Pads for UNO). I felt the cost to be a little high. No bill etc. Cost of pads x 4 = Rs.800. Labor Charges Rs. 200/.
Post repair, I found brakes to be a little more responsive and with good play.
Checked Brake booster/Brake Fluid , didn't need top-up or a replacement.

Felt happy that good progress is happening without a burnt pocket. I finally came to a conclusion today that the more you dig, the more your troubles are.
So trying to be thorough as far as the inspection of parts is concerned, but replace things only if necessary. Was wondering if Fiat Uno came with a manual that told you when to replace what?

Grand total 575+1000= Rs.1575

love
Arun

P.S I wish more people could provide me inputs.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 21:28   #11
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It would have been good if u had to replace/drain the entire brake fluid and refill with fresh,brake fluid tends to attract moisture which leads to poor feedback,i would replace fluid if i were you it made a noticeable difference in my car.

Before changing engine oil,use an engine flush,would recomend ows,i do this at every service and have found that on opening the cam cover for cam change there was no carbon formation..you should notice a good positive change with decarbonisation.

Yours if i am not mistaken is a carb car,buy a good carb clean spray and u can DIY it surely will have a positive outcome.

at the end of all works,get the car washed inside out and i would probably get a nice machine polish done,this will make your car glow...

all the best doc...have fun with the uno.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 21:54   #12
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@ Adventourer- Thanks for the oil related information. As patients of today you must be well informed to take any decision about your health, this is best done by carefully examining evidence. The days of the " Big Doc" are long gone. Have to remain updated and read all the time. If you cant come to a conclusion just google it( in medical terms it is called google-based medicine and "apparently" it is better than evidence based medicine. I am here because of that reason.

@Scorpion-
The brake fluid was changed about 3 months back. That is why i did not change.

Regarding engine flush, I have never done it before in my car, is it safe to do it?and I am not sure about the competency of local garages in performing this task. I plan to take the car to a Tata-Fiat dealer if it will give me a benefit. Will the addition of Nulon engine treatment offer any added advantage?

It is a mikuni carburettor which is doing duty, of whose mechanics I am not sure and hence, I will leave it to the experts. If its a open and shut case then may be I should try fiddling.

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your time and effort.
Love
Arun
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Old 24th February 2010, 09:07   #13
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Hi there,
you do not need a mech to do the engine flush,all u need to do is open the engine flush can pour it in ur engine thru your oil filler cap,leave the engine on for 20 mins with slight revs and then drain the oil as just normally you do.

Never used nulon,so have no comments on it,i have had good experience with ows engine flush hence recomend u one.

As for the carb you do not need top open or dismantle it,i would say even if your thinking of opening it then dont do it,very few mechs know how to tune a carb rite,the last thing u wont is a glittering uno with pathtic fuel efficiency,i would just use the off the shelf carb cleaners,spray the carb nicely and get rid of all residue,trust me it makes a lot of difference,you can after this buy a good fuel additive and run it in your fuel,this will dislodge gum tht am sure your jets may have formed.The point here is to achieve max without risking opening the carb and having issues later.

Do give a good chance at the timing,i have always felt that a car well timed performs just great,make sure u insist on it being set at the right degree,i say this coz in my car (zen) which is timed at 10degrees,if i set at 9 or 11 its just not pleasure to drive.

Good to knw u changed brake fluid,smart thing to do..
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Old 24th February 2010, 14:14   #14
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The car had been maintained well considering its age. Doesn't look like 10y old. The interiors are also in good shape.
Rusting is a good enemy especially for FIAT cars. Take care of it.
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Old 24th February 2010, 17:09   #15
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Once again, Thanks for the replies

@scorpian

Today was a busy day at work but still could take some time off to get the alternator checked from a reputed guy here. Checked with all guns blazing(ac/light/everything that could be turned on in the car)-there was no problem with it.

After that I took the car over to the TATA-FIAT service center here. Had a discussion with the guy who does the actual repair. I am planning to get the gasket and oil changed. This will include a decarbonisation or the so called flush. I am not planning to do it on my own because I am not confident that I will do it correctly even though the instructions are quite clear. Don't mind spending that extra bit for the 10 year old child.I am not getting the Nulon thing now as decarbonisation will take care of the problem I guess.As for the carburettor I am going to ask this guy not to meddle with it and do the spray thing as well.

regarding the timing, Can you tell me how long this belt normally lasts and what is the recommended check for timing? The mechanic at the service center today said its done every 50000kms.

@Ramsagar- Thanks for the compliments.
The guy at the dealership asked if I had fitted new seats. Hahaaha!So he promised me that he will not try to dirty it.The rust issues are going to get sorted next.

Love
Arun
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