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Strada 130tc Abarth


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I have a 1984 Fiat Strada 130tc Abarth.

Was in goodish condition when I first got it, but had some rust.

I got a whole free parts car with it, which was sweet.

The engine is currently a stock 2lt 8V twincam with 40mm Solex's and extractors as standard.

Koni's in the front and a Nissan Pulsar strut brace to improve handling a bit.

Factory leather recaros + factory stereo.

Discuss here: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13838

First thing I did was getting the rust fixed and it came back looking like this.




Then stripped the paint.


This is when it was at the workshop just before getting sprayed



Putting it back together.



So shiny when I first got it back from the painters! 8)

Had no windscreen and no door locks so I tied the door closed for the ride home. Installed Evo 2 Recaros then found they weren't as good as the original Recaros so they got sold.


After I put it back together........


Changed the wheels and lowered it.


Bit of action at a Fiat Club event


New set of wheels.


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Ok got a new engine in the build

From factory it has a 2lt Twin cam 8v which makes 130hp/130tourques, hence the name of the car.

Here's whats going in.........

The head received new guides, 3 angle valve seats, Porting and Polishing.



Valves got matching 3 angle cuts.


Adjustable pulleys. These are made from machining out early 1 inch wide twincam pulleys and putting in an alloy insert in.


Also a pair of Billet camshafts are going in.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Right haven't updated for ages! Had a bit of a saga with a leak which soaked my carpets every time it was out in the rain. Found it was a rust hole under the heater box which I got welded up.

Got the Strada back from the shop with all the work done. It went from this:


To this:


I then took the dash out of the car to amend some long term electrical issues that have been bothering me for ages.


I also added a little bit extra Bostik Sound deadning behind the dash.


For now she's back in the panel shop getting some cracks round the windscreen welded up. Once thats done it will be reenforced with some seam welding.



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  • 2 months later...

Right update time, Ive got the Strada from the panel beaters, now its awaiting the new engine. Have been spending countless nights in the garage after work getting this new engine back together. With a lot help from Stacey putting it together; couldnt have done it without his expertise and Mal for the parts. Cheers guys! Here is some pics of the progress:




This is the block we are using, completely stripped down, cleaned and inspected. New oil pump and oil drive gear went in too.


Stacey putting in new main bearings.


Inspected the crank which was in good condition


Gave the block a good hone with a flexi hone so the new rings would have something to bed to.




We went through 3 other sets of pistons before coming across these minters. The first set I got were from a Regatta, however only the early model Regattas had the high dome pistons and I had the later ones with the smaller dome. So those were put back on the shelf. Then there were two sets of 105tc pistons which weren't bad but I wanted this engine to be perfect. We then got these 105tc pistons from Mal which were in very good condition. When we first got hold of these they were covered in carbon so we couldn't tell if they were in good condition or not. However after cleaning them up they came up looking brand new! These combine with the skimming of the head should raise compression to approx 11:1.



These are standard Abarth 130tc rods with new bearings


This stump is baffeled and was orginally from one of the three race prepared Strada's from the 80's. I think they used to race in the Benson & Headges series in New Zealand.


I was going to use these weber 45's from the late XSRPM however one of them didnt survive the impact too well.



So I went with these Dellorto 48's, maybe a bit to big for the engine but we wont know for sure till its running



We had a bit of drama with the cams as the billet ones that were made for it didn't have the distributor drive on the intake side. So we had to send back the original intake cam to be splatter welded and reground. As a result it has a billet exhaust cam and a reground intake cam.

Also added some adjustable cam wheels to the mix. Setting clearance was made easy by Dwights excellent work all the shims used were in 1/10th of a mm of each other. Another bouns was that all the shims used were on the thinner side keeping weight down.




The head was Port and polised by Dwight at Leading edge, he also skimed the head and cambox surfaces and 3 angle valve grinds.


Here is a picture of the uprated headgasket (top) compare to a standard one. Hard to tell from the photo but they are quite different.


Got the pistons in the bore.





AS it stands now.

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  • 1 year later...

Righto, now that I have a garage to put the Strada in progress should be a lot more!

Since last update Ive got the new engine going, still running it in. Slowly making progress on getting the quad throttle bodies made up, so EFI shouldnt be too far away.

Picked it up from down the line and trailered it back to Auckland.





Couple of pictures of it with the new wheels. Im liking the color matching wheels, they are slightly a different shade of red however. Offset is perfect its not running any spacers at all. Finally a set of wheels that dont rub! :) I have a full set of black bumpers and trim that I plan to put on one weekend. I think this will break up all the red thats going on.


Got the ball joints reconed and put them back in. In hidsight I should have taken those Nothalane bushes out as the ride is terrible! Ive sussed some new front rubber bushes and rear bushes to put in.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...






Turned out pretty good, keen to get them on and see what they look like. I still have to make some little alloy brackets to mount the fuel rail properly as the injectors are holding it up for now.

Next comes the Megasquirt and the fuel system!

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  • 1 year later...
  • 6 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Done a fair bit since last update.

Got some rear Bilstein inserts added to the rear shocks, slightly shorter to match the ride height. Also pressed in new wishbone bushes. Tested the travel without the spring and it looks much better than before.

Fixed a lot of the wiring after a rat ate part of the main loom. Starts and runs now but the rat ate through the Rev counter wire so I still have to fix this.

Gave it a polish yesterday and wrote a list of things that need attention, mainly some small ‘beauty spots’ aka rust bubbles that I want to remove before they become a bigger issue. Mainly the interior as there is surface rust on the floor under the sound deadening which is flaking off.


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  • 8 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Where were we, oh yeah rust, ok then….

The Strada has always had this one bit of rust up the the top left rear wheel well. I’d been meaning to get to it for years so today was that day. 

Whats happened is Fiat spot welded in a panel to reinforce the strut tower how’ve over time the sealant has failed letting moisture in and those inner panels aren’t painted or anything, just bare steel so it rusts that gets worst and worst from the inside out. 

Ordered a spot weld drill bit which didn’t turn up so I sent it with a regular 10mm drill bit. Got it out reasonably easy. 




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