azzurro's 1989 Polski FIAT 125p Pickup

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Respayed the rear and had way too much paint so blew over all my other repairs and the black 'tideline' on the side.

Diddled around with a heap of other stuff  hoping to take it in for a WoF on saturday.





Rusty and Grey just like the house.

Stuck my spoiler on, self tappers FTW

Interior all back in including a new Ducato ignition switch

Then this happened:



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SO ive been pesting around in this a bit, trying to get it sorted for drag day.

Seat already taken, sorry ladeeze.




Makes a good surf wagon :)




The DCHE carb it came with is Is still a bit flakey, so i swapped to a DCD which is the type the original 1500 motor would have had, and is on the 2300 as well. 

I have a DMS too but the action is the reverse and the truck has slightly different linkage to the sedan as well, no pivot point on the firewall.

DCD is way better but still sub optimal :/.

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All packes up, ready to go, scooter drags on too!



Big thanks to @Threeonthetree and everyone who helped out and turned up, always a good day.


Also thanks to the people who took photos and i have shamelessly rehosted :)


Lining up for scrutineering


Ended up doing a lot of this.

fiddling with the carb and talking crap with good peoples



This was my result in the DYO part of the day, i dialled in a 19.7 and on my first run i DNFed about 20m from the start line, the carb linkage popped off so no go pedal :/ .



^that run was after run 3, results from passes i did are below.

Run 4, - 6 were after the DYO had finished,

Shaved a second off from the first run, and gained 7mph just from swapping the limited jets i have around in the carb, pretty happy to using a semi scientific method.

The carb much better dialed in, and probalby as good as this particular one will ever be,  but its still not very good there is an internal air or fuel leak, or maybe both, , idle is up and down and farts and pops on load sometimes as well.





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Nothing i can do about the carb till the new year, but a few other things can be sorted.

WoF man said the front wheel bearings were borderline and iit started making terrible noises at drag day, but they seemed ok on a jack.

Had some in stock, as the 2300 takes the same size and is a bit grumbly too, but not as bad so i havnt done it yet, good thing too

Easy job other than getting the old races out, which were pretty bad...


While im in there...


Swapped out the 2300/1500 and 125p steering idler whcih just has a shaft in a bush

For the old one off my 125  that has a leaky shaft. These ones have an oil damper, 

i cleaned it out and half filled with grease and topped up moreys so hopefully it wont leak

I pulled out the steering box too, mainly because it looks manky. This truck has a collapsible steering shaft like the later 132 (132AB casting box) my 125 (had) and my 2300 have a one piece shaft.

the oil in it was as grim as the outside, so it got a tidy up on the outside and some new oil. It needed lots of adjustment.

Steering is much tighter and quieter now :)



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yeah, so aussie for 3 weeks was hot as balls, but also cool as an esky full of frosties.

anywho, my shitty eurotrash ute has not fixed itself while i was away, so instead of looking at the grass growing up it i moved it from the spot on the lawn and got back into it. Before i left i took and collected a bunch of stuff from the lock up for a few niggly jobs


Brakes where a bit flat feeling, but the 125 and 2300 have great brakes (4 wheel discs) and this runs the same setup as the 125 so they aught to be good too. 

It has brand new Ferodo pads in the rear and pretty new ones in the front, discs seem fine (*reminder to swap the front right that is a bit warped, with the spare i collected) and they dont pull to any side. I swapped the one way valve (was blocked) and vacuum hose (small split - improved idling) and still the brake pedal did not drop when the engine started so i assumed the booster was toasted, so swapped in the nicest looking spare i had after painting the front half  grey and the rusty standoff bracket with black zinc (love that stuff!). 

The old one was a polish one (Fermat?), the replacement is an italian made Bonaldi from a 125. Brakes are much better now, but it seems there is a slight difference between them as even though both the original master cylinder and bracket bolted up fine and it all works, the fluid reservoir now has a slight lean (5 deg or so) to the right.

Solution would be to swap the 125 bracket over as well but that is a real ball ache as the clutch cable comes though it, and a couple of the bolts are accessed from under the dash, and i CBF. Reservoir has enough movement to tilt it back flat by hand, so if needed i can cable tie it to pull it level but that feels worse somehow. 



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Getting the correct mix of fuel and air into the hungry twin cam has been a pain in my ass since i got this. The DCD and DCHE carbs (slight updates on each other) are usually pretty good, (the DCD on my 2300 goes great), but for whatever reason i just couldnt get these ones to run right. 

I now have an even fuller 'big box of confirmed only good for spare parts' carbs and linkages.



So i did what i should have in the first place I had grabbed the DMS from my old 1608cc engine that was in my 125 and ran well before i swapped to a 2 liter to try as well as a spare DMS body, but...

They are quite different, linkages are the opposite, DMS is 2 inches shorter, and the air filter hole shape and bolt pattern is different


Before xmas I ebayed a pack of lovely linkagey bits and pieces to complement my existing stock of carb bits and pieces, and used the same approach i used for my twin carbs setup.



All thread and double nuts :)



makes it easy to adjust the relative position of everything. A tack to join the salvaged ears to one bolt and having the lock nut on the 'tighten' side (so the applied force tightens the tab+nut against the lock nut) makes it permanent - my 125 setup was done the same way, meant to be temporary mock up but its been fine for years now. 

I do have a slightly nicer Lynx bar and arm setup on the way, so having it set up will make the swap over very easy.

I also faffed around with this carb for flipping ages as well, thinking i wasted my time couldnt get it to idle nicely (rich as) swapping idle jets willy nilly, in the end turned out the primary idle jet holder i was using (nice all brass job, no o-ring needed, posh as!) was just a smidge too short and wasnt sealing the jet into its set letting unmetered fuel thought eh idle circuit, and using one of the oring ones sorted it out.

A few trips up and down the road swapping jets around got me back to pretty much the same as what i started with, and now it runs really nicely, pulls well from low rpm without back firing, and revs out smoothly, and pugs chop is a nice browny grey .

Very happy now, its much more relaxing and comfortable to drive, and noted a successful test hoon with a celebratory 1 wheel peel up the driveway (would hardly chirp the tyres before).


The only air filter i had that will fit around the linkage, the cam cover and the carb is this custom job that came with my 2 liter engine, its better than nothing but id like to find/make/cobble something slightly better.


Oh and also fitted some Lancia cam covers because i think they are flash as.


34DMS Jetting for future reference

Calibrated Orifice: Primary/Secondary

Main Jet: 132/160

Air Corrector: 170/170

Emulsion Tube: F61/F61

Idle Jet: 45*/60**

*has been drilled out to 50/55ish?, actual 45 is too small, 60 and 70 too big

**Factory settings suggest secondary idle should be 70 min, so could go up here, but mains are bigger (+5) and airs are smaller (-10) already, and revs didnt seem to be an issue?




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The next day, i noticed this:


FFS man, why do i even!

So that meant a change to the timetable of Job 3: COOLING SYSTEM from like, whenever yo, to right now already.

So, to the bat cave for more crusty shite!



Started with the heater unit, its a two part unit that clips together the fan on the bottom is easily removable, to then remove the upper section with matrix and flaps and controls that bolts up under the dash. I had previously 'overhauled' the fan* so i knew it was fine (*its the switch that is patu) and the matrix is the leaky bit.

Its actually somewhere around the heater valve thats leaking, so i try undoing the two nuts, one is fine, the other just turns but wont come undone, uhohh. it must be leaking from the loose fastener and new hole that is now behind the gasket. I think the leverage from the mechanism acts on this nut and the brass eventually fatigues and breaks around the captive bolt.

This is the one from my 125 that i swapped out already, same failure mode. Not a spare then.


this is the other spare matrix. Ah nope, also leaky.


The 125p one was in the best nick of a bad bunch so i cleaned out all the muck, greased everything and slathered the valve/matrix joining area liberally with windscreen sealant.

Alos swapped the mounting tin over with new foam seal as it was rusty as was the mounting area on the car, so that got a wire bush, rust converted zinc paint and lots of lanocote for good measure as its pretty inaccessible otherwise.



Next part, the radiator. Setup in the ute was a bit pants, had a cheap generic 10" fan set up to push, bolted (!) through the radiator, which was also in pretty poor shape with lots of lost and corroded fins. To be fair, the factory fan is also 10" (a later model plastic one is visible inshot) and is also un-shrouded

Spare of unknown condition on top looks in slightly better condition, but is older, as it takes a 'long' radiator cap.

Ended up doing a PickaPart run and got a nice slim 11" fan from a Toyota Curren and made up a shroud with alloy sheet (left over from the Sign of the Year trailer :)

BTW PaP is a bit meh  now with numbers and shit, especially when 'supermarket' shopping looking for something that you will know it when you see it rather than from a specific vehicle

And installed. For a lack of a 'long' radiator cap i stuck with the original radiator, but removing the bolts must have triggered something as it leaked like a sieve afterwards.

Then I checked the cap on my blue sedan, and then stole my first part from it :( 


and now the cooling system is much betterer. OEM Toyota Fan is very quiet and moves a LOT more air and cycles in about 2 minutes instead of 10s of minutes like the old cheapy. 

I also wired in a bypass of the in radiator thermo-switch (which earths out the fan at a lower temp than the thermostat) , as its a bit of a sketchy set up and one cant be too careful, can one.




Its running mostly water and dishwasher powder to clean out the coolant system, which is a bit greasy (skum in the overflow). Its getting less greasy with flushes, so hopefully its not a gammy head gasket letting oil into the coolant, but its running way cooler already so, woop!


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Then today, the postie (who turns out to have a Model A Rod,  a JC Bedford tow truck with a V8, and races a classic stock cars) turned up with a couple of things i got from trademe

This EMPI filter that reminds me of my old VWs


And a  single sidedraft linkage kit to gussie up my temporary mock up 

BOOM! (shakalaka)

I had a K&N recharge kit so have it the red for an extra 5hp, for less than half the price. :)

Ive also cut up a chaepo rug for mats, put new hangers on the exhaust and tightened and greased a few things. Ive yet to take it for a test drive but im expecting it to be all round much better than it was.

Already have a shopping list of little things tho...

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Still getting a weird rattling/grinding noise from the left front/gearbox/rear (?!?) when turning even slightly left. low or high speed doesnt seem to matter.

LF Wheel isnt rubbing on anything in the arch, brakes clear everything.

I thought it was the wheel bearings , so new front wheel bearings both sides, clean and grease everything

I thought it was the steering box, so  new oil filled idler, cleaned and adjusted steering box, still noisy 

I thought it was the exhaust rubbing on the driveshaft or the driveshaft on the seat belt bolts (new rubbers moved it away,  more washers on the seat belt bolts to shorten them, still noisy) 

In a bid to chase this rabbit further down its hole it further and also to address a suspension issue i removed this 20mm spacer (wtf?) from between the driveshaft and diff. Im assuming its factory from the heft and look of it but its not in my books. The shaft is also wierd, it looks like a 125 one at the back, but the front half is thin like the 2300s one (so is probably the original 1500 one) with a small universal and narrow yoke. Im wondering if the driveshaft is a franken-hybrid made up when the 125 diff was fitted?

Anyway, with the PO Lowering the ass by 3 inches (not complaining, just saying) meant all the articulation in the slip yoke at the gearbox end was used up, and so bumps, especially when empty (!?) would shift the gear box and engine on their mounts. Not good.



I also extended the center bearing carrier mount so it could move back towards the diff by around the same amount. Holes yet to be 'slotted' (10mm hole at the end + dremel to join them up) 



Now it drives a remarkable amount better, now the rear suspension is not pivoting off the diff nose or bunting the engine/box around, but the bloody grindy noise when turning left is now even worse!

I'm guessing probably the universals or the center bearing carrier (which was slightly perished and crazed but not (yet) broken), or at least that what i will probably be shotgunning new parts at next. 


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Been using the Giorno to rack up the many short trips to the beach, board included over summer (blardy tourists taking all my parks!), but did take the ute a couple of times.

new cars are big! 



Did take the scoot to my mates place about 5km on gravel and at some point the air filter fell off, but i didnt notice until on on the way home it sucked in some crap and putted out happily just as the mrs went past.

Ride home to get some 'helpers' and Ute to the rescue.



Get in the back ya blardy mongrel!

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The factory seat in this are dumb, and i had these AE101 Trueno seats in the storage unit from my AE101 Corolla wagon.

You can see the cracks, collapsing, and pokey springs and general lack of support in the lumbar, tushie and muffins regions of the factory seat on the left in the photo below. What you cant see however, is the temperature of the black vinyl, which is i assure you, quite hot. 

The Trueno seats (on the right, obv) were too low for the wagon, (which is why they were buried in storage in favour of FXGT ones) but look near perfect* for this being the right colour in black/grey, ok condition, around the right size and rail width, and most importantly free.


and in no time at all* here they are installed as per FSO and Toyota intended, on the factory seat mounting points.

Way more comfy, especially with the headrest not being made of glass now.

The Trueno being a coupe gives the bonus of  tilt forward on the passenger seat, meaning easy access to the area behind the seats which is pretty much the only in cab storage area.

The drivers seat also has a 'lumbar support'  lever on the upright and vertical height adjustment on the lower squab. Very noice.

Looking pretty flash in there now!

(The new seats did not  resolve the flippin left turning noise, but the cab is a much nicer place to hear it). 

These shitters can go back into the hole the trueno ones left in storage, dog can have one last ride on them Subaru BRAT style.


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Been spending a bit of money on suspension and driveline  bits and pieces, in prep for a  make over, find and eliminate the gorram grindy knocking noise,  and sort out a wee bit of drop (i love the lowest one but thats dreaming).

Im going to try dropping the whole front subframe and maybe engine complete out the bottom/lift the body off if i can like they did in the factory and do heaps of 'while im in there' stuff too, like clutch, gearbox seals, driveshaft universals and hangar bearing, tidy engine bay etc in one go, instead of poking around at a bit at a time upside down on the driveway.



Ive had a bit of trouble with poor idle and missing at higher RPM since I got this, Ive so far put new (NOS) purple solid copper wires and a Pertronix setup MM S155 dizzy (with good cap and rotor),  and it has a 'sport' Lucas coil. I suspect that one or all of these things are a bit pants. 


At least the plugs are looking much better, so hopefully the carb is sorted for now.


Been tidying up my box of Bosch Z44 electronic dizzys (ex Beta 1800?) and matching coil,  to make one good one out of the three i had. Made a new loom,  and got a new Bosch cap, rotor and a generic GM HEI ignitor to run it (+spare) from Rock Auto for not much at all. This is pretty much the same set up as my sedan but that has the equivalent Magnetti Marelli version.


Big box from rock auto shows up finally, so out with the lightest smallest parts and in it all goes. That black (bosch) coil to dizzy plug with the 90degree ends ended up giving me a jolt so i cut it in half and threw it in the bin, and had to use the old blue one that matches the spark plug leads but with straight ends, proplem is  that it likes to sit right along the fuel line to the carb :/


Idle is much better now to the extent i had to adjust the throttle stop to drop the idle 200rpm and engine feels stronger all round. Yay!

Also lubed the throttle control cable (like a second choke so you can drive by hand), adjusted the clutch a bit, and noticed more coolant dripping from the heater. 

FFS, lucky i have a lada heater core and ceramic tap on the way too...

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I used this to go collect a new Dio scooter a couple of months ago, and the flippin thing was a total pig. Ended up stopping in at Bunnings round the corner from the Dio POs place and buying some tools to take the carb off in the car park, then again at Mt Roskill park just before the Waterview tunnel, ran the guantlet home from there and left it in disgrace for while to reconsider its attitude towards becoming a reliable and useful member of the fleet, and how not working good makes me feel after saving it from ending its life as a Papamoa skid hack.

A couple of weekends ago when it was sunny i finally got around to pulling the carb off again, swapped in the other DMS, but it was just as bad, swapped things around eventually tracing the problem to the flippin main idle jet holder - turns out there are THREE (not two!) slightly different lengths of idle jet holders, and the one i was using was just a smidge short from properly seating the jet against the orifice allowing unmetered fuel to dribble out the idle passage. No wonder i couldnt get it to idle or run good!

With that sorted, it goes real nice now, nice enough that my long term plan to put the Delta EFI manifold on has been put back to the long term for now, and got it its second WoF.

Now that its running good, AND legal again, what better to do than make it immobile!

Ive been collecting parts for a suspension refresh not just becasue its high, but also becasue it makes a terrible noise from the gearbox/front left/driveshaft area when turning right that i have not been able to trace or figure out.

My suspicion is the centre carrier bearing in the diff, which was a bit perished.


While i was in there I replaced the following items whech were probably fine:

- Centre carrier bearing

- both universal joints

- Guibo (love that word!)

- cleaned and greased sliding joint and replaced seal. Old Spring thing with chunks missing from rubber bush


Receiving lounge for spring + bush which is a bit scored - the rubber + spring (or new rubber only)  is mostly just to seal the g-bag end of the sliding joint.



- cleaned and painted the lot

I also replaced the leaky gearbox output shaft seal. 

I also wanted to replace the reverse light switch whose connecting tabs had snapped off. with a DIY extended lada job as per below, but i think the welding pucked it as the impedance was very high and the depth of travel was much less than the original (pins are connected when pin is extended) so i assume that if the pin is unable to retract it might prevent gear selection?)  so i put a couple of tiny screws in the stubs of the old switch and soldered some spade connectors on.


I also replaced the 'centering bearing' and its seal thing , which went from the sprung type in the bottom of the image with a lada setup like the top.

The rubber thing on the spring was half missing and the inside of the drive flange is kinda scored so i reckon thats what was making the noise (or was at least, it was the mostl likley of all the things i found to be making a noise!) , but that will have to wait for a test drive to see

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So the above has not cured the annoying rattle from somewhere under the vehicle in the drivetrain that is worse when turning right. Does feel a bit more 'solid' but i think im imagining it.

Pic from the cab on my usual test run route.


Carload of girls in the adjacent park blasting the dubstep and giggling said "your ute is cool", so I suppose....

Next item on the list - all the suspension - ALL OF IT

front and rear shocks, all tierods and ball joints, bushes galore, new springs etc


So to the service position and started by ripping out the original Made in Poland shocks, they just stayed at full droop and compression. so well over due

New one is to suit a 124 and is a couple inches shorter than stock 125


Then the springs, like always a huge mission as they are compressed to about half their free length even at full droop. (9.5 coils, 14mm wire OD and 130 spring OD @ 390mm free  length ~ 240mm compressed)

The new ones are ex Toyota Estima rears and have the same specs but are a bit shorter (7.5 coils, 14mm wire OD, 127mm OD @ 330 free length, will be max 210mm at max droop)   

The yellow marks are where i cut the ones in the sedan to (5.5 coils) but not sure i want to go quite that low as the rear will need to drop more too and the sill sits nearly level as it is. Ill try them as is first.

Now the springs are out i can get to all the other bits, these are the upper wishbones.

To be honest the bushes are actually ok and they are a bitch to get out so i should probably just leave them. Ball joints and tie rods look ok as well.

Nevertheless picking up a 6T press, and 10 liters of vinegar tomorrow...

Im thinking the noise may actually be clutch/flywheel/gearbox related.

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On 17/06/2018 at 21:12, azzurro said:

 the springs,  (9.5 coils, 14mm wire OD and 130 spring OD @ 390mm free  length ~ 240mm compressed)

According to the FSM, spring details  


Wishbones inclusing spares from a 125 sedan


Judith crushing the old bushings  out

TOP 125 (post vinegar bath) and BOTTOM 125P lower wishbones.

Grabbed one from the spares to swap out the bent one.

They are the same length but away bar attachment is quite different (125p has a big square hole for drop link  vs 125 has 2 holes for a u-bolt), so rather than cutting the other one,  i heated the bent one with a propane torch and smashed it with the sledge and now its not quite as bent. that went in the vinegar bath for a few hours

Wow! - vinegar bath for 2 days + water blasted. Clean one was worse then the still rusty one when it went in.

Vinegar seems to get under the rust and it just blasts off like dirt. Recommended! 8l of vinegar was $14

Welded up the engine mounts on the cross member - they were not really  loose as had i thought,  but this should stiffen them  up anyway

Coat of rust converter then primered


pretty sure none of this was the source of the noise, but there were a few little things that have been sorted now or ticked off the mental 'possibilities' list, and the front end will be tidy and tight when i put it back together with mostly new parts over the next week or so.

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