Jump to content

azzurro's 1989 Polski FIAT 125p Pickup


Recommended Posts

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Still poking away at this, 

tinted the rear window, actually made a surprisingly big difference to how stuffy it gets in there.

Because its cheap stuff it will fade to purple. Not even mad.



Also replaced the rear shocks, KYB Gas-Adjusts, the old ones were knackered.

I got these with the fronts months ago from Lada Power, 2102/2104 Wagon rears, perfect match :)


Old SAE (!) threaded bolts put a fight. Replaced with metric like the rest of the ute/world

Hacked a bit off the brake proportioning valve mount, its pretty tight to get the grinder in there and with all the brake lines ive left it rough.

I also relocated the valve up a bit to account for the lowering blocks.

Ill tidy this up a bit more when i drop the diff and rear brakes/valve, which is pretty much the only area i havnt replaced everything on yet. For now, just the shocks.

The interference fit on the last setup didnt self clearance after however long!

I feel i may have finally found and fixed the stupid knocking noise, but ive started pulling the accelerator pedal and linkages off so i havnt test hooned it yet. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took it for a good drive yesterday, wow, what a difference! 

Cant feel the engine bumping around though the pedal now, and the pedal modulation is way nicer.

However some further mods needed.

Pulled the pedal out for a bit more bending to put it in just the right place. should be a bit more comfortable.

Added a throttle stop  and not just to keep @cletus happy, its a good mod ,makes it feel more OEM. 

The stop is the two big nuts, one tacked to the fire wall, the other a lock nut, and the two upper two bolts secure the pedal mount.


You can also see a big bent oval hole in the firewall from the old linkage, through an even bigger factory triangle hole in the arch above the steering box though to the firewall and steering column gasket etc which is all right behind the front wheel...

Made an 'inner arch' from some thick plastic sheet to block the big and smaller hole both off from water and grit from the wheel.

Should keep the engine bay cleaner and dryer, and made a big difference on my sedan to road noise too.

Made a stiffer engine side cable mount set up, using the old 'custom' linkage mount as a base and some random channel from the 'that will come in handy one day' pile

Super happy with how this all worked out, usually i have to make this stuff 2 or 3 times, but it all just fell into place.

The cable mount has a spare slot that tidys up the the brake vacuum hose too, and there is a cable clip on the other cam box. Minty.

The toyota throttle wheel just got tacked onto the old universal linkage.


Toyota AE82 parts for the win!




Found these NOS indicators pretty cheap on ebay and they turned up the other day, so then I swapped out the mismatched and cracked old ones.

had to change the connections that had already been hacked up, so also tidied the wiring a bit. Now the flasher goes way faster.

One toyota part in, one toyota part out.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Drove this around a bit int he last few weeks, and its going better for it.

Ebay treasures


Driving it showed there is still a few things to sort out and, the flippin left turning noise is back.

General running, engine is a bit tappy.


Checked the valve clearances, its about -0.15 tight all round so i reckon the cam box gaskets have been compressed over time.

Except a couple of exhaust valves which were a bit tighter which could be recession, but probably not.

Anyway, I set those 2 back to -0.15 out all round.


engine runs a bit smoother and quieter.

Horn stopped working, and both of these (polish made, high and low tone) tested dead on the bench :( replaced with a random toyota low tone from under the house untill i go to PaP again and raid another euro (they have the best horns)

This 132 front brake kit showed up on trademe for cheap, slightly bigger diameter discs and calipers (with new pads) and carriers, these bolt on to 125 hubs so will suit the ute or sedan. Not decided yet.


20mm larger diameter and a bit thicker with aftermarket vented discs available

There is a pretty serious oil leak from the bottom of the bell housing, and i dont want to be 'that guy' at drag day.

i suspect the main seal.and the clutch is getting pretty low on adjustment and feels is a bit gummed up and grabby but slippy at the same time.  

I also think that the turning noise may be gearbox/clutch related even though i cant fell it in the stick and the box changes well.

Specifically the spigot bearing, or the main shaft roller ball bearing in the front of the case.

Ive been chasing rainbows on this one for a while and seem some shit man, so im not ruling anything out.

Changing the clutch means dropping the box, so ill be able to check and fix a lot of stuff out in this area.

Ive ordered a clutch kit and bearings and have most of the seals and gaskets 'in stock'

So in preperation for it being a gearbox issue, I  dragged this from storage and gave it a waterblast, its a low km FSO 5 speed box from a Polonez car someone stripped when it turned up at PaP.

This is a copy of the 'late type' Fiat boxes and is the same as the one in my truck at the moment.

Looks pretty clean on the outside now, and apart from the dirty oil, the inside looked ok too. 

If i do have to swap boxes the bell housing needs to swap to the fiat one in the truck already, to put the starter on the other side of the engine.

This particular bell housing will be kept around as it will let me bolt one of these Colotti 5 speeds to the 2300 engine if the column change every goes bad (please dont go bad!).


  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit of head prep while its on the bench, much easier to set the shims and everything with the head off! 

Also made these restrictors for the oil feeds to the cam boxes.

These are M8 grub screws with a 3.5mm hole drilled in them. they will help to 

- increase the effective oil pressure at the main bearings

- reduce the tendency for the cam boxes to fill up with oil under sustained high rpm 

Drilled and tapped into the feeds in the head, the cam boxes go on top (valve is to the left)

Also yanked the engine and box

This is the bay after a good waterblast!

I will probably give it a waft of paint while i can, and wrap the messy wiring room, and move a couple of things around, battery in the rear maybe.


Sorry for the shitty pic, my hands were pretty greasy, but not as greasy as the area around the flogged out crank seal which is the actual reason to yank this all out.

Nothing like a wee bit of scope creep.

  • Like 9
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This little guy right here, 


And probably the gearbox seal for good measure

New box needed a few bits swapped over including the bell housing, and just need to order a rear seal (28-47-8) to reassemble.

Old gearbox oil pan complete with metallic sparkle flakes



Then moved onto the engine and I:

  • drained the oil
  • took off the back plate and water basted the coolant galleries (eeeewww)
  • I then took off the old head, old gasket was pretty compressed (sished into dome) but no blow outs
  • Scraped the block
  • took off the sump and straightened the dents in the base and painted it
  • removed oil pump and cleaned it - probably need a new one the teeth are scored and the interior of the block suggests a history of lack of oil changes and probably the reason for the bearings
  • checked the front and rear main bearings all look pretty new and good (remember to re-torque!) 
  • end float was also in spec (it had been suggested as a source for the noise + the thrust washers are right by the leaky crankseal ) 
  • Checked a big end bearing (looks new) and dropped a cylinder -  the rings look newish/aftermarket in the original FIAT pistons,
  • Cylinders look ok, no vertical scoring or lips anyway, i think they've been ball honed.
  • Anyway,  i think its had a ring and bearing job not too many kms ago so thats just fanbloodytastic by me.
  • Painted the block 
  • Plonked the new head on it

Greasy hands so no pics of all that but this is the new head on the old block.

I need a few manifold bolts and some Hylomar Blue and RTV to fit new gaskets and stuff so the engine is stalled for now and its time for a beer.


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Waiting on parts and so there is a lot of things half done.

Put the face back on, and swapped the big round FSO badge out for a black an old Fiat one, matty b over the pitted chromed plastic to murder it. 


Tidied up a lot of the wiring, all sorts of hacks and redundant add ons removed!

Drivers side wiring wrapped in self amalgamating tape, much better looking than the factory packing tape stuff.

Passenger side cant wrap it yet, but 

- moved the  coil position  and wiring tidied,

- window washer pump relocated and old one it was cable tied to removed

- fuel pump wiring and  fuel plumbing still to do, but waiting on barbs and bits 


This was the old exhaust manifold on the secondaries side

So i went and got the exhaust  manifold from my old 1608 engine from the blue car that i spent a few power file belts on 

This is the port to the same gasket as above

This is the head side gasket to ports :)

took a few mm here and there on the inlet side of the head just to avoid any steps, but otherwise this 'big valve' head already matches up to the gaskets and  inlet manifold really well. Should go much better.



  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive been waiting for a few bits, specifically a clutch kit (may as well, 'while im in there') which seems to be unobtainium in NZ now.

I guess ill be tripping over the engine and box for a bit longer until i get a clutch kit, or just decide to send it.  

However i did get a gearbox input shaft seal the other day so at least i could swap the bell housings over and button up the 'new' gearbox with a couple of new gaskets as well, so this is now ready to poke back in.


All the other bits are standing by, the clutch release bearing is the original FSO stamped one, and is ok but getting a bit grumbly. All my spares are much worse.

Pressure plate and clutch disc actually look pretty good but they were very very greasy when they came out, but they will probably be ok to use.

I only really need a release bearing, and i didnt think the old one was too bad before.

Will see how my fiat parts man goes chasing down a clutch, as im also waiting on some sideys parts.

If the sidey bits turn up ill probably just chuck it back in as it is, just so i can hear the doorts.


Flywheel and stuff are all clean and ready to go too.


I had to cut the 'old' gearstick to get it out cause it wouldnt 'just pull firmly to remove', as this and the bushes that go in it are near new (ladapower).

This was purchased to replace the OEM black one on the bottom that slipped off the gear box and AND and has no threads for a standard knob either.

The short chrome one on the top  is the only one i could find in my spares, probably from a 124 coupe that also have the box extension in a different spot

 Ill have to see if the shorty one feels OK,  else ill be cutting and shutting the black ones together to make one good one

Neighbours new car is rowdy.


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guy I got the seal from also had one of these :)

Its a quality italian FAVA steering centre link that goes between the steering box and damper, and the steering tie rod ends (2x each side!)  bolt onto it. So many ball joints!


Meant i could now use the cheap Delphi tie rods i got from Rockauto a while back 

Old rubbish vs new hotness.

The old tie rods were actually ok (the outers at least were replacements) , but the ball joints on the center link (that go into the steering box and damper) were stuck solid. Ive used the straight (and much much cheaper)  Lada fitment inner tie rods on my 125 Sedan as well and it seems to make no difference, the 'bent' Fiat ones just have a bit more clearance from the centre link ball joints at full lock.

While i was there I also test fitted the larger 132 front brakes, and figured out why my wheel bearing keeps going out of spec.

The little lock tab had broken off so the washer was able to spin with the bearing and then act on the nut :doubt:

is there nothing a blob of weld and a flap disc cant fix?

Bigger discs fitted too, turns out just the caliper carrier and disc are different from the standard 124/125 stuff, as the calipers are exactly the same.

So I dont even need to bleed the brakes, post a brake upgrade, and the top hat thickness negates the need to use the factory 6mm spacers :)




The white Hammerite was chipping off the meshies, so while the fronts were off i sprayed them 

Actually sprayed a couple of them a few different colours until i settled on 'wheel paint : silver' in a can over a darker (previous coat of unloved bronze) base 

Added a bit of a mist of highlight to the inside of the mesh from the back :) 



  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I also received a big box from the mother land (ladapower.com) mostly dress up parts for the interior and exterior



New (black!) door handles with locks - im hoping these will fit

The windscreen had a chip that has turned into a crack and will need replacing for the next WoF (doe day after Drag day)  - i have a spare screen, and now i have a new rubber and a couple of panels if the corners are a bit crusty (lol, 'if'...)



The ladapower stuff is cheap, but sometimes its laughably shit.

For some reason i got 3 of these winders (they were US$2 each) , each of them have different QA related faults.

I also got two interior door handles, both are slightly different and look they they were cleaned up with a spinning rock before being 'chromed'.

So i probalby wont use most of the stuff on the inside, but I have jammed the first bit on, black plastic gutter trims (125 ones are stainless) to replace the nothing/old adhesive backing top i assume was from some stick on chrome strips

And swapped out the FSO zinc coasted door striker plates for some italian 125 chromed ones and fiddled the door adjustments too.

Im jonesing to put the engine and box back in but im waiting on the clutch scenario, and i may as well wait for the carb parts to show up as well.

Other jobs i could do while im waiting but dont really want to include:

- install the electric fuel pump in the suitable spot under the rear tray (will probalby jury rig it 'temporarily' in the engine bay)

- swap out the old leaky heater core for the lada unit i have from my last ladapower order (will ignore for now)

- refresh the rear diff/brakes (need to get some toyota  ae1xx rear arms to make the linkage arms adjustable to fix up the whack diff pinion angle)

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

my man mal@fiatparts.co.nz came up with an Exedy clutch plate and a clutch release bearing so i wanged them in


(i gave this a wipe before install)

So i could then join the box and block together for the first time in about three weeks


I put the old single DMS and manifold on for now as sorting out the sideys manifold is gonna take a while and im sick of tripping over all this stuff and the ute not going.



Lunked it in the hole and connected everything up and it started and ran nearly first pop,




it didnt





Turns out there are THREE types of head gaskets, this engine (1592cc) being the special snowflake version with the early 80mm bore (shared with the 1438 and 1608cc) and the later bore spacing (this engine is an underbored 1756 (84mm), the 1995cc (84mm) also has a longer stroke )

This is a 1995cc (top) and a 1608cc head gasket(bottom -  i used one of these) , seemed cylinder 1 had a massive coolant leak from the front passage due to the fire ring hanging into the cylinder, allowing coolant to pour into the cylinder and cylinder pressure to entre the cooling system.




I was so worried about the 1608cc gasket suiting the late model big valve head i never really checked the gasket on the block other than checking the bore diameter :(

So yeah, another order in for a new 1592cc head gasket, and a waste of new oil and coolant.

Its even worse that its my own silly fault not checking closely thinking i had it all sorted.




  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...




Proper 1592cc  on top of a 1608cc gasket, cylinder 1 at left.$35 each so i ordered two 'just in case'.

the fire rings on the front and rear cylinder were tapped by the pistons and the front coolant passage right above the water pump made the cylinder part of the cooling system

Disconnected the things, lifted the head and swapped the gaskets, and soon enough back as per, but with lots of little things done tidier.


Yeah looking good. No leaks no bubbles. Bit tappy but pretty sure its valve shims need doing and not rod knock based on my big screwdriver engine stethoscope


Now the engine runs good (needs shims doing before going too far), lets check out the new clutch adjustment and feel the smooth action of that fresh low mileage gear box!

Seriously, this thing.

I dont even.


All out AGAIN to swap the old gear box back on. 

Anyways, its all back together and back in the hole, (im getting pretty quick at this now!) 

but its gonna rain for the next few days (nearly out of tank water so thats good) so it can sit in the rain for a while,

im pooped.


  • Like 4
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...