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GoLucky
GoLucky None
9/23/18 11:17 p.m.

Hello, I recently discovered the GRM forum and have been very impressed with the culture. I particularly love the challenge builds and would really like to someday participate since my hometown is Gainesville Fl. 

For the time being I will make due with participating in the challenge spirit since I am currently living in a state that borders Canada. Really, I just want to keep doing what I like without spending a re-dong-ulous amount of the moneys. 

Which currently means that I have another project car...   I had no thought of documenting its transformation so just imagine an X1/9 coming home on the end of a tow rope FOR FREE!

Free. I saw a for sale sign in the window of said vehicle and spoke with the fellow and the price was $300 and my Domestic partner expressed her displeasure at the idea so I did nothing. Fast forward 8 months and the car is in the same position, the guy has moved out and the new tenants said they would love another parking spot on the street and so.... Free car for me. I did eventually get the PO a 11 pack of Coors (12 -1 for me) when he gave me a bill of sale. It felt like leaving a tip for a free dinner. 

Fast forward picture of how it sits in the garage tonight.  I am going to post this up and see if it works and pick up from here if it does

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 12:05 a.m.

Seems like I made a successful first post. 

So after dragging home what turns out to be a 1980 Fiat X1/9 I tried to make it make smoke and noise.  It started first try on ether.   Took off the stock Weber and blasted cleaner and compressed air through everything and it ran pretty well. 

When I tried to make it go it just sat there though. Immediately I thought clutch is gone. I started taking the slave off in prep to try to get a look at the clutch or lack there of and WHAM! The linkage popped into a new position and now I could move it by hand and feel the point where the throw out bearing contacted the clutch fingers. Excellent. With the linkage reassembled I was able to drive the car, but it almost immediately popped out of reverse. 

I got it out of the driveway and on to my “closed course” dirt road and let the dozen(s?) of horsepower propel my project to its glorious beginning.   Targa top off, of course. 

The internets told me that the trans could of course be rebuilt and that if I looked at the right part of the block it would have some #s that would tell me things about the engine. The engine was not the 1500 that came with the car it was a 1300 that had been swapped in at some point and it made really great sounds and was really really slow. 

These issues with the trans and the great sounding but super slowness led me to this. which I sold to a guy for $100 to go buy this: the Chrysler product in my Fiat acquisition. Dohc 2.0 and a 5 speed. Also towed home. Fresh water pump and timing belt since the old pump seized and broke the belt killing the valves. No problem, the junkyard had a head with reman tags for $150. A little paste and some twisting and some basic port work and a few Rockauto gaskets and Bam! Running, driving Neon.  Way faster than the Fiat.  But does a Neon driveline fit into an X1/9? You bet! just cut out this:get some leaf spring bushes and some bits of steel and put them together like this:

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 12:17 a.m.

The driveline went in and out of the car soooo many times during this process that I ended up welding lift eyes to my motor and trans mounts to make it more easy. I got everything eventually where it needed to be so I could bolt in the motor and trans then I let it sit over winter. The house had a garage but it was too full/small to hold the Fiat.  While it was driving I did add a hitch mount to hold a bike rack. My grandfather now 94, used to pull a small trailer with his MG midget so that may happen here someday as well. 

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/24/18 5:35 a.m.

In reply to GoLucky :

Welcome!

Your Fiat has a trailer hitch?

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
9/24/18 7:00 a.m.

Will be useful if you decide on a Harbor Freight tire trailer, I pulled one with my MR2.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
9/24/18 7:03 a.m.

Neon/fiat hybrid?

You're gonna fit in just fine here.

Cooter
Cooter Dork
9/24/18 8:10 a.m.

My name is Cooter, and I approve of this thread.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
9/24/18 8:31 a.m.

Awesome project!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/24/18 3:06 p.m.

Awesome.  I was working on one similar to this a while back, only I was using the older SOHC 2.2L Turbo drivetrain. 

I did also start to look at putting a Neon DOHC head on the 2.2L block.  I still might, but for my Midlana project.

I didn't make it very far due to a lack of skills and time.  Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it :/

That said, you may be happy to know that inboard Chrysler CV joints can fit on the Fiat axles, making that part a little less painful.

Keep up the great work!

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 3:32 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to GoLucky :

Welcome!

Your Fiat has a trailer hitch?

 

Thanks. It was the only thing I could think of to move bikes with this car. It has also been helpful in all the lifting and lowering of the car onto the driveline. 

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 3:47 p.m.
Stefan

That said, you may be happy to know that inboard Chrysler CV joints can fit on the Fiat axles, making that part a little less painful.

Keep up the great work!

I would love to do a Midlana someday! 

 

 

when I started looking for engine donors the 2.2 turbo was my first thought. I couldn’t find any so I went the Neon route because I heard about the CV matchup. It turned out to not apply because the 5 speed cars such as mine use a different axle and hub and trailing arm. (930 style inner cv’s as well) I think that it may be possible for one of the early 4 speed cars but I haven’t had one to try  it out on. The guys at Midwest Bayless advised me that the 4 speed axles are also pretty marginal even for the Fiat 1500 power levels. Soooo.... looks like I have an axle project as well. 

 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/24/18 4:01 p.m.

In reply to GoLucky :

I think you misunderstood what I was saying about the axles.

You would use the Neon inboard CV joint on the Fiat axle after taking the Fiat CV off.  The axle shaft and outer CV/control arm are Fiat parts.

The 930 style CV joint doesn't matter, it still splines onto the axle shaft (I have a 924, so I know those CV joints).  There were a few styles of inboard CV joints used on the Chrysler products from 1984-2000+ and the Neon is basically an update Dodge Shadow/Omni and there are many parts that interchange.

I hear ya about finding the 2.2 engines, they didn't survive the purge very well as the cars around them tended to get used up before the drivetrains did.  I still have a few, including one that I was building up, so that's why I'd use one.  Honestly though?  The Neon motor is a better fit for the engine bay and the nature of the car.  The few 2.2 swapped cars I've heard of were a handful to drive and the fact that you basically lose the rear trunk.

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 4:07 p.m.

Thanks y’all for the warm welcome and encouraging words that is why I think this place is the business. 

So this spring I pulled the tarp off and started on some of the other aspects of the swap. 

The Neon came with a cracked exhaust manifold which is apparently what they do so I left the one on the junkyard head when I pulled it and it was thrown in for no charge. It was also not worth anything since it too was cracked.

fleabay provided me with a $60 header that fit with enough cuts and welds. It actually goes in and out of the car way more easygoing than any of my other cars with headers. Lucky break, since it has to come off to drop the driveline. For the rest of the exhaust I ordered up some bits and didn’t get anything with a tight enough radius so it was time to try a delicious pie recipe.    

Pie cuts, some mandrel bends, a flex coupling and a stainless glass pack all in 1.25”. I had not made any pie cut exhaust before but it was actually a fun process and I ended up making the visible part of the tailpipe from them just for fun. And put this here contraption up in the car using the factory “triple spring” hangers and then on the next system

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 9:15 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

Neon on left Fiat 5 speed on right I too heard about the hybrid axle, and I think that it may work with the skinnier 4 speed axles, but it’s not something I can verify. 

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/24/18 9:56 p.m.

I decided to tackle the “shift reversing” issue. 

I added negative space around the fiat shift hole like sothen I made a cover from a scrap of aluminum and cut and welded the Neon shifter box to put the action into the tunnelfasteners are all m5 bike hardware because of bike mechanic and free stainless metric 

In the Neon the cables come from behind the trans and engaging first moves the stick toward the trans.  With the trans behind the shifter first gear goes away from the trans and the cables point backward. After a suitable amount of head scratching I tried to route the cables through the Fiat shift tunnel and up the front of the trans. No dice. Too sharp of S bends; the cables weren’t having any of that. I ended up going under the trans and around the back so the cables at least just have a single large-ish radius bend. Made some bracket from alloy and chopped the shift arms off the trans and welded them in reverse orientation. The reverse arm has a bolt on upper part to facilitate installation and removal of driveline. Also it is on a riser to clear my trans mount I also had to run rods to the shifter since the cables were no where near long enough.   First draft was welded solid but that was a pain so I added a takedown using m6 bicycle brake hardwarewith all the “shift reverser” in the car it gets the gears in the regular pattern. The feel isn’t amazing and the cables pass pretty close to the exhaust but for now I will call it good. 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
9/25/18 5:37 a.m.

   Axles, if you have trouble getting something to fit, you could get custom axles made.   The way I did it, cut two axles, fiat half for the outer connection, and neon half for the inner.  Get the length correct, can join them with anything, weld the pieces together, then send this sample piece to Moser and they can then make up a custom axle.  They will want the pieces the axle will insert into, to ensure the axle ends will fit.  I did this on my old fiesta to fit the Ford escort 5 speed gearbox,

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
9/25/18 5:40 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to GoLucky :

Welcome!

Your Fiat has a trailer hitch?

Is your punctuation supposed to be reversed?!

2_3
2_3 New Reader
9/25/18 7:31 a.m.
TED_fiestaHP said:

   Axles, if you have trouble getting something to fit, you could get custom axles made.   The way I did it, cut two axles, fiat half for the outer connection, and neon half for the inner.  Get the length correct, can join them with anything, weld the pieces together, then send this sample piece to Moser and they can then make up a custom axle.  They will want the pieces the axle will insert into, to ensure the axle ends will fit.  I did this on my old fiesta to fit the Ford escort 5 speed gearbox,

I have long axles made from welding two fiat ones. These survived lots of hard launches and abuse and even the guy who welded them was surprised. Maybe there is no need to get custom ones made for low power applications, which leads me to... what are the plans for this engine?

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
9/25/18 9:26 a.m.

Another option would be to swap the front suspension form the Neon, not sure what the track width would be.  You would end up with better wheel bearings.  Might also have better brakes.   For brake pads, at the front, can use RX7 rear pads, hawk blue, that is what I used on the fiesta, and it has the same calipers.  I checked, I also have a fiat X1/9.

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/25/18 9:50 a.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

Thought about the Neon suspension swap and it would have probably been an easier route but would have definitely required some flares. 

Great! What year rx-7 pads if you know off the top of your head?

also what year X do you have?

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/25/18 9:55 a.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

A fellow bike mechanic in town has a lathe and turned down a plug for me to make some setup axles. I also had some THICK dom tubing turned for a sleeve. My plan is to chop, sleeve and weld the axle pieces together and if/when they break get some made up.  

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/25/18 10:07 a.m.

In reply to 2_3 :

 

Engine plan:

stage 1:

I really just want the thing to run and drive again. The stock Neon 420a is something like triple the horsepower of the 1300 it replaces. Maybe that will be enough (yeah right)

Stage 2:

we’ll see if it gets here. The internet assures me that there are ways to make the Neon 420a go more faster and for a lot less $ than SOHC Fiat engines. This was a big part of my decision to get something else in the engine bay. 

 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
9/25/18 10:23 a.m.

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productselection.asp?Product=HB158

   Does this look familiar?      Fits most RX7 rear brakes..... 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
9/25/18 10:28 a.m.

 

    Mine is a 1979 I kept the fiat engine, but needed to make some other changes....   It's kind of a stalled project, looking forward to getting back to it soon.

GoLucky
GoLucky New Reader
9/25/18 10:28 a.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

Thanks I can have a look at the Fiat ones 

nice looking Engine! I look forward to seeing its progress when you get rolling on it again 

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