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blank blankFIAT Dino
  Almost a Ferrari


>I called the seller of the Fiat Dino spider and asked about the engine. At
>that time they were still working on the carburetion. He made
>promises to have it fixed after the sale, if need be. They couldn't

   Well the Dino spider runs now and is in my driveway :)  They had a hard time
starting it this morning when I got there and it smoked badly on the left
side and ran rough but it stank bad of ancient fuel.  After they had it
running it started up every time and ran ok and smoked on the left side.  I
wish they had not worked on the motor and let me buy it non-running but
since on E-Bay they said it ran good and they had a lot of calls on the
car, they had to make it run.   I would have preferred non-running and
revived the motor my way over time with oil in the cylinders first for a
few days and build oil pressure without the plugs in the first time.  The
mechanic liked to rev up that cold motor way too much for my tastes.

>5. Check and adjusted valve clearances. Very important!

   yuk, I was really hoping to avoid that one :)

   All of the items on your list are on my list also, I had planned on
taking my time with this car and getting it on the road after all those things.

>I live in Nipomo, Calif. You are about 1.5 - 2 hours away. You can

  You can bet I will call. I almost called tonight but it is 9:30 and might
be too late.  I go up that way several times a month.

   So far...this is what I have found.

   I have run the motor total maybe 20 minutes now, 5 minutes at a
time.  The exhaust smells a little of burning oil but the smoke has
decreased drastically, only a puff of smoke on acceleration now.  It still
runs rough but it has ancient varnish errr...gas in it.  Oil Temp gauge
does not work and pressure is around 40 to 50 (the white letters), it never
reached the middle point of 60 but was close.  Still not done a compression
test.    Cooling system is doing fine with the limited use so far but the
radiator shows sign of corrosion so I will take it out this week and get it
gone over.

  Ok, I could not resist :) it is a Dino Spider after all. When driving the car
around the block (don't tell the cops) the gearbox seemed good but not
really tested yet at 30MPH max.

  Brakes work fine.   One front wheel has a little slop when grabbed top
and bottom, nothing bad, I was going to thru the bearings anyway.  The one
item I am concerned about is the left rear wheel, it actually goes "thunk"
when you drive and it is moving in and out maybe 1/4"  yet the knockoff is
on there TIGHT.

  The ignition has a been buggered up with a Allison Electronic ignition
but it was Mickey moused together and needs cleaning up.  Underneath the
car, the fuel pump has been replaced and actually has a rubber fuel line
sitting and touching the exhaust pipe (Its ok there is some heat insulation
looking thing wrapped around it...uh uh sure its ok...REPLACE FIRST
THING)  Fuel tank has been hit pretty hard (flattened upwards as if the car
was bottomed out) in 2 places, I have no idea how it happened but I will
get it fixed along since it leaks anyway.  It needs to be boiled out to get
rid of the varnish.

  With the car on the lift, I found no new rust, it seems pretty solid down
there.  There is only rust in 3 places, in front of each door are some
bubbles in the paint (the paint is 10+ years old) they are not bad and so
minor they are  easily missed.  And on the drivers side wheel well, there
is a rust hole into the sill...minor little thing that I will fix this week
by making a new panel and welding in place (I do NOT Bondo repair rust).  I
will leave the paint bubbles until much into the future since I don't want
to respray the car yet.  Its a solid car which is what I was looking
for.  Their is some signs of a previous accident repair on the passenger
side which I am not concerned about,  it looks properly repaired and I
don't think it was a serious hit anyway.

   The electricals need to be worked on a little..not much just a tiny
little bit :) The horn goes "thunk" and not "beep", the headlights don't
work (only the right high beam works), the taillights don't work but the
brake lights do.  The turn signals don't work and the radio does not work
either although it has power.  Windshield wipers don't work.  Heater fan
does not work.  And the tachometer which does work has 2 Red lights in it
that don't go off indicating something else is not working, I assume the
charging system...as I said minor electrical work :)  Half the fuses are
blown and I have not looked into it yet.  Of course I also don't know what
the various switches and levers do anyway, most do nothing right now.  I am
very used to 1930's British (own 2 of them right now) cars so electrical
stuff is peanuts for me once I have a wiring diagram.   Oh yeah, the
taillights are switched the red ones on the outside and the 2 colors lenses
are badly faded, bad enough to replace.

   Overall, I am happy with the car.  I think it is a solid car (and I hope
I am right) and will make a great nearly daily driver with work.  It looks
good (ok, it looks GREAT) and although I hope the motor will be fine, I am
not concerned about it, its knock/noise free and should be a easy rebuild
if needed.  Yes, as I have been told by a few of you, I paid too much but I
wanted a rust free car that I could drive regularly and this was it.  I
have looked at too many bondo queens that made me wonder how they stayed
together.  The same seller even has a awesome looking 72 2.4 Spider, just
absolutely incredible looking car with rust in the chassis and frame and he
wants 39,000 US $ for that car.  This car looked terrible when parked next
to the other one but it gave me a good way to find out where to look for
rust.  Tomorrow will be fun :)

And the best part is, I own a FIAT Dino Spider one of the most beautiful cars
I have ever seen and also one of the best sounding.

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