Friday, December 18, 2009

128 Slammed!


I did the work a while ago and I'm finally getting around to posting. On the left is the 128 right before we bought it. You could hide a small dog in those wheel wells. Once the bumpers came off it was even higher. Bringing down the whole car was a project. We tried spring cutting and although they couldn't go anywhere, the top of the spring just didn't sit right in the perch. I could hear them flopping around every time I turned a corner. We were able to get our hands on early, rear X 1/9 struts and new inserts but they came with really tall, stiff 124 springs which put me back up to where I started at. Finally Bernice from the X forums sent me a set of proper springs and the fronts sit perfectly. There it stayed for a while while the 600 got all the attention.

Drag racin'

Finally a few weekends ago the ass end comes down, again no easy task. The back is a transverse leaf spring set-up which needed blocks to lower it. Easy enough to find the hardware but a huge pain in the butt to knock out the original studs. There were angry monkeys all around...but the end result was well worth it.

8 comments:

JC Ellis said...

The coupe looks great. Super looking cars once they get lowered to a decent height.


How many coils did you cut? I've heard 2 1/2 is max, but you've got to heat up and grind the coil end so it will fit in the perch. I think I'll start with 1 or 2 coils on my 3P and see how it goes.

Love your blog. Its fun to read about FIATs other than spiders and X-cars.

hawk said...

Hi JC
I think cutting is not the best solution, we tried 2.5 coils at first and the car sat about like it is now, but the springs would flop around and the struts would bottom out. The best way to lower is get the complete rear struts with springs and transfer that to the front of the Fiat. Perfect ride height and the correct strut travel. We have an extra set of rear springs if you need them. also you REALLY should get the paia bearings for the top of the front struts from Chris Obert at Fiat plus, it makes a HUGE difference in the smoothness and ease of steering.

JC Ellis said...

Thanks for the reply Hawk.

Already got the upper strut bearing kit.

I hear cutting springs has its drawbacks. I've read about the older X1/9 rear strut swap, but those rebuildable struts are as common as hen's teeth. (I guess all the x-car racers snatched them up years ago.) If you know of a supply, I'd love heads up. (BTW, thanks for the offer of the springs. I'll keep it in mind.)

A friend from Chicago has a Lancia Scorpion with coil-overs. He thinks that's the way to go. Unfortunately, he also has skill with and access to a lathe to fabricate parts. I have neither.

hawk said...

JC
We found the struts via a member here: http://forum.mirafiori.com/mirafiorum/ in the wanted section, we got the kyb inserts from midwest X19. The X rear springs are the perfect height. Tell Matt at midwest to keep a look out for the inserts, he gets them in from time to time.
Good luck

hawk said...

PS
If you go the cut spring route, you will bottom out the strut and blow the seals if you cut more then 1.5 coils, ask me or Mayuko how we know...

JC Ellis said...

Yikes! Good to know. Thanks.

Guess that 2 1/2 coil maximum is only for sedans? I read somewhere the coupe springs were shorter anyway.

Thanks again. You guys are great. Can't wait to read more.

Rui Tiago said...

Very nice blog. Very interesting work on those engines. They look great. I will follow close the 600 project. Keep on.
Rui Tiago - Portugal
http://classiccargarage.blogspot.com

hawk said...

Thanks Rui
I will keep posting about the 600
It is getting close to running, I just have to fix the starter.