Burrito Dork
8/3/16 10:42 a.m.

Sorry guys, no updates here. I've spent most of my free time this year working on Casa de Burrito (and DaveBob's house, which doesn't have a cool name), both of which are coming along nicely.

What's left of our free time after that is all spent on top of the WR250 and XT250 we picked up earlier this year. My wife and I have spent almost every weekend (and more than a few weeknights) this summer exploring the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Silver Star Scenic Area, both of which are within 45 minutes of home. It's hard to convince yourself to go lay under a car when you could be out exploring National Forest. The Bride of Burrito is miles ahead of where she was 3 months ago in terms of riding ability.

The WR now wears knobbies. The motard tires were an interesting experience on gravel roads.

Mt. Hood

Mt. St. Helens

The 128 still starts and runs like it did when I finished the swap, even if left alone for a month it always fires right up and idles. I never fixed the shift linkage, so there's still no 5th gear. The drivers side inner CV boot allows the transmission to puke fluid out at an alarming rate. The front sway bar bashes the transmission on hard bumps. There's a healthy clunk from the passenger front; not sure if it's brakes or suspension, but it should be easy enough to figure out once I'm in there. BUT, it still looks berkeleying cool.

Maybe this is the kick in the ass I need to start working on this again. Maybe I'll have an update for you fine GRM'ers this week...

Burrito Dork
10/1/16 10:48 p.m.

Well, we've sold every other car in our fleet, so this is my daily driver now. I still don't know if that means it's mine now, or if I just get the pleasure of driving it. Work starts tomorrow so long as the weather holds out.

This should be interesting at the very least!

ssswitch Dork
10/2/16 1:12 a.m.

Can't wait to see more updates, hopefully good ones.

What's your plan for existing without a redundant array of inexpensive vehicles?

11/19/16 11:01 p.m.

Hello, awesome work! I need more updates about this project! This is my Fiat 128 project and the restored Fiat 147

Doubleoh9 New Reader
1/27/17 11:51 a.m.

Any updates on this cool little guy?

Burrito Dork
1/27/17 12:26 p.m.

Nothing to report here, unfortunately. I have been dealing with the joys of vintage homeownership since November (kitchen and bathroom renovations, and an exciting plumbing mishap). With any luck, things will normalize in the next few months and I can get back to work on this and the 850.

The future for this car is likely to include a more modern powertrain, some new shoes, and a few more taps with the lowering stick. I will be sure to start updating this thread when things start rolling again.

bluej UltraDork
1/27/17 1:08 p.m.

"exciting" and "plumbing" are a bad combo, good luck!!

einy Reader
1/27/17 1:33 p.m.

I'm confused ... what is that big blanket of white stuff all over your car and house? I vaguely recall seeing that here (Cincinnati, OH area), but not for at least 2 years now ...

mikedd969 New Reader
3/7/17 3:07 p.m.

I'm really enjoying this build! I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of years living in Italy (Sicily) in the late 1980's and I developed a fondness for Italian cars in general and Fiats in particular. I owned and worked on many during my time there. My personal favorite was a 1974 124 Sport with the 1756cc twin-cam engine. What a terrific car that was. I swapped in a set of dual Weber 44s and dropped in some hotter cams. What wonderful sounds that little engine made! Mine was pretty beat up, body-wise and the paint was a mess, but it was a very fun little car to throw up and down those twisty mountain roads. Too bad they imported so few of them to the US, I'd love to have another one, but they are as rare as hen's teeth on this side of the Atlantic.

ssswitch Dork
3/7/17 4:55 p.m.

How many patch panels have you had to weld onto your house so far?

Burrito Dork
8/27/17 3:26 p.m.

Aaaaaand, we're back. Sort of.

The Yugo 5 speed has been marking it's territory since installation and I finally decided to do something about it. The left inner CV boot and flange are both damaged, and the one Hugo parts supplier left in the US couldn't get the flange. The boot, however, is still available.

I did find a spare CV flange on eBay.it a few months ago, but I couldn't bring myself to drop the $80 plus shipping on it. The part number cross referenced to a Lancia, and maybe Maserati part, so it wasn't a worthless Yugo part .

Naturally, I decided to have a go a at fixing it in typical Burrito fashion.

Here's the broken flange. The lip that is broken is where the CV boot attaches to the transaxle. These transaxles use a tripod style inner joint, so the whole boot area is subjected to trans oil.

I cut off the offending bits and ground the remaining bits flat on the belt sander.

Then cut a section of 12ga sheet the same size as the flange, found center, and poked a big old hole in it.

I cleaned up the hole with a die grinder and cut a strip of the same 12ga.

Rolled the strip into a ring and fired some MIG wire into the mix. (This was all done a few months ago, and I can't remember if I ended up using that strip, or if I found something else to make that ring. Whatever, the end result is the same)

Ground all the weld back, and flattened it out on the belt sander.

Then sandblast, paint, and reinstall as an OEM piece (because I didn't take any pictures of that process...)

More soon, maybe. Photofu(kit really killed this thread. I'm never going to find the time to go back through and edit all the posts with new image links, unfortunately. My plan at this point is just to put a link to an imgur folder with all the old pictures in the first post, or perhaps the first post of each page. It won't be quite the same, but better than nothing, I think. It will be like a Choose Your Own Adventure Build Thread™.

Two_Tools_In_a_Tent Reader
8/27/17 4:34 p.m.

Really elegant solution ! It's such a damned shame that your thread is packed full of Photofrackit 3rd party posting demands, it was terrific.

bluej UltraDork
8/27/17 5:20 p.m.

the chrome photoberkit extension is working for me in this thread. I can still see the old pics. I'd suggest exploring it if you use chrome as a browser.

einy HalfDork
8/28/17 6:21 a.m.

I looks like there was lip around the periphery of the OEM piece's "snout" to keep the boot from popping off ... any concerns of that happening without a lip?

This situation with Photobutthead really sux - it sure has done a great job of messing up the history contained in many great posts like yours!

Burrito Dork
8/28/17 10:42 a.m.

In reply to einy:

Not terribly concerned about it, no. I debated on forming a lip to help hold the CV boot, but ultimately decided against it. The ring is slightly oversized from what the original part was, so you have stretch the boot onto the flange. The flange is also about 3/4" deep, so there's plenty of space for a nice fat 1/2" hose clamp to help the boot hold on. I'll gladly revisit this if necessary, but I'm pretty sure I've got it licked.

In reply to bluej:

Turns out there's two different Photobucket fix extensions for Chrome, and it would appear that only one of them works (at least for me). "photobucket embed fix" by kzahelg is the one that's working for me. Thanks for the heads up!

Burrito Dork
8/28/17 10:26 p.m.

Next up on the "Revive the 128" list is shift linkage. I went through all that trouble to get the fetch and part out the Yugo, do an engine and transmission swap, fabricate all sorts of bracketry for the Yugo sway bar so the trans actually fit in the car, and I have never even had the car in 5th gear. I feel more than a little ridiculous in regards to that.

So, the shift lever, boot, and the pivot ball that was attached to the car was all either ugly, broken, or worn out. The Yugo stuff, however, was all in really nice shape. The Yugo lever is bent, too, and we all know that only really fast things have bent shift levers. Mk1 Scirrocos and Yugo atop that list, clearly.

So, the Yugo lever physically bolted into the car, but the rest of the linkage was different. Here's the ugly stock stuff and a increasingly grubby interior.

Yugo linkage on top versus 128 on bottom.



Paint and reinstall linkage, rejoice at the additional gear you can now select! Five whole speeds! Reinstall seats and proceed to cry a little on the inside.

That more or less brings us up to date. I'm waiting on a few parts, and need to order others. It's almost time to get fresh tags and insure the old girl again. I'm getting excited about this car for the first time in what feels like 2 years.

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/28/17 11:57 p.m.
Burrito wrote: Turns out there's two different Photobucket fix extensions for Chrome, and it would appear that only one of them works (at least for me). "photobucket embed fix" by kzahelg is the one that's working for me. Thanks for the heads up!

OH MY GOSH! That totally worked! Thank you so much for posting that!

myte128 New Reader
8/29/17 4:10 a.m.

Awesome to see this moving along again! I like the ingenuity of the 'fix'. I too got struck with the photophuckit plague on my T124 thread but I downloaded most from PB and uploaded them to Onedrive (since I use Windows 10) and edited every single freaking post of mine with a photo on it to show the new embeds, yep, all 364 of them! I can't tell you how much work it was but I would say about 30 hours or so...

Mezzanine Dork
9/7/17 3:46 p.m.

Still one of my favorite threads on GRM. Thanks for doling out another hit. laugh

Burrito Dork
9/7/17 4:18 p.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

This is all your fault, anyways.  So, you're welcome and stuff.

More updates soon.  Maybe.  All my free time for the last month or so has been spent studying for my Electrical Exam, which is tomorrow morning.  So, either I will pass and have free time again, or fail and have the next two weeks to study.  Really, really hoping I pass...  

Mezzanine Dork
9/7/17 5:10 p.m.

Fingers crossed for your exam - what is it for exactly? I work with lots of electricians and millwrights every day, but mostly in Canada right now and they have different standards.

Burrito Dork
9/7/17 5:48 p.m.

EL07 Non-Residential Maintenance.  So, basically Washington's millwright license.

Mezzanine Dork
9/7/17 6:45 p.m.

Excellent, hope it comes with a pay raise down at the glue mines.

Burrito Dork
3/1/18 8:35 p.m.

Not dead, yet.  Spring is just around the corner and I am once again sick of seeing this thing return to it's base elements.


I have been wanting to replace the steel wheels for some time now as the clear powdercoat over bare steel experiment really didn't weather well.  I follow a lot of Argentinian Fiat 128 guys on Instagram, and they're almost universally running 185/60-13s.  I pine after a set of 13x7 Cromodora CD66 wheels for this car, but needed a proof of concept before dropping the thousand-ish dollars on them first (and, you know, maybe I should make the car move under it's own power before spending that kind of dough). 


Luckily I traded Ditchdigger/JKB a set of A.R.E. Roosevelts for some Fondmetals like 9 years ago.  I powdercoated the Fondmetals in a nice metallic gunmetal grey, polished the lips, and promptly left them to weather in the elements for the next 6 years.  They were scabby and gross, but I knew they would shine back up with a little elbow grease.



The powdercoat survived it's tenure outside wonderfully, and after a little scrubbing they started to look almost as good as they did almost a decade ago.  I started hand sanding the lips, but grew tired of it pretty quickly, so I cobbled together a little finger-eating contraption.



1750 RPM motor, 2~" drive pulley, drop center of a 13" wheel should be in the neighborhood of 250 RPM on the wheel lip.



Beats the hell out of doing it by hand!  Wet sanded through 320, 400, 600, and 1000, then polished up with some standard mag polish.




Great success! 


The 185/60-13 Federal SS595s might be a little wide for the 5.5" wide wheels, but for less than $200 all in, I am interested in this car for the first time in ages.



Now what the car really needs is to be lowered another inch front and rear.  I cannot believe how much smaller the 13" wheels make the car look in person;  it's really lost in translation via the pictures.  This is definitely a step in the correct direction, and I am super excited to be reviving poor old Lucca.


(p.s. I got my electrical license on the first go around back in September.  laugh)

coexist Reader
3/1/18 9:30 p.m.

Let me state quickly and loudly that I am planning to use some Ronal basket weaves(14 x 6) on my 128, so although you have stolen the thunder, I was already there.

Our Preferred Partners