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jas_racing 25-10-2015 12:10 AM

Bringing a Fiat Coupé 20V Turbo Plus Back to Life
Evening All,

After completing the restoration and rebuild of my mk1 Fiat Uno Turbo i.e. last year I've been itching to get stuck into my next project - bringing my former daily-driver 1999 Fiat Coupé 20V Turbo back to life after retiring her in November 2014.

I bought her in December 2007 from a chap near Newark - he'd only owned her a few months but was short of cash so I swooped in and bought the car at a very favourable price. Admittedly it needed a bit of tidying up plus the turbo oil seals were starting to go (common issue) but more importantly it was the right colour and a "Plus" model. I already owned a 'normal' 20V turbo model but had hankered after a Plus for ages - no difference in performance but the Plus came with a few extra's that to me make a huge difference i.e. 6-speed gearbox, push-button start, Recaro seats, red Brembo front calipers, different wheels, front strut brace, 180mph speedo + other stuff I can't recall right now!

I took her from 63k to 118k miles between early 2008 and late 2014 and had very few issues, even with a stage 1 remap applied that took power from 220 to 260bhp (best £200 I've ever spent!). After several months of work in 2008 to bring her up to my standard she looked (in my eyes at least) stunning:

The 5-cylinder howl on boost is highly addictive! I'd have happily carried on driving her for many years to come but sadly in early 2014 I noticed that the (all original) paint on the roof and bonnet was deteriorating big time (another common issue) plus with the list of MOT advisories from late 2013 on my mind I took the decision to retire her :( pending a future project to bring her back to life and former glory.

This is how she looked after being retired (complete with a few cat paw prints):
Not pretty :(

The plan was/is to do a full overhaul of all suspension & brakes, deal with any (hopefully minor) rust issues underneath then a full respray. The engine & 'box run perfectly so no need to do anything in that department. I got started in March this year - not busting a gut to get her done in double-quick time, just doing a little bit each weekend to make steady process.

First was the rear end underside...which turned out to be MUCH worse than I thought. More to follow!

Kerr 25-10-2015 12:13 AM

Looking forward to it.

These are future classics.

MDC250 25-10-2015 12:19 AM

Sub'd, your renovations make for great reading [emoji106]

John-R- 25-10-2015 12:30 AM

My old neighbour had one of these running 400+BHP on standard internals :thumb:

The drive train is built-proof just hope the tin-worn hasn't got it :(


jas_racing 25-10-2015 12:34 AM

So, onto the rear end...

Stripping down the rear suspension & brakes made me realise just how knackered everything was...and how corroded it all looked. At 16 I don't consider her an 'old' car but the years and miles have taken their toll. I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Subframe to chassis rear mount:

Inner arch, pop-stud hole for the arch liner:

Underside of the spare wheel well, where it meets the rear panel (common corrosion area):

Crusty rear trailing arm (and coil spring in the background):

Floor pan:

Where the inner arch meets the sill, driver's side:

Subframe to chassis, other side:

Subframe, where the trailing arm pivots:

Interior still looks good though:

jas_racing 25-10-2015 12:55 AM

After a few hours with some large spanners and long breaker-bars I had the grotty looking rear subframe and trailing arms off:


Trailing arm:

This then allowed me to poke and scrape at the areas of corrosion on the chassis:

Bottom of the spare wheel well not looking good after a poke around:

All the pop-stud holes in the inner arches had caused a lot of corrosion so I set about cutting out a few bits to see just how bad they are:

My original thoughts of merely treating a few areas of surface corrosion went out the window at this point as clearly some welding would be required. I spent a few days in two-minds about whether to ditch the project as 'too far gone' or not but the present Mrs jas_racing convinced me to stick with it. Whilst I can weld odd patches in some of the stuff pictured above is a bit too much for me to tackle so I decided to tackle what I could and leave the rest to a pro to do at some point down the line.

ibiza55 25-10-2015 04:01 PM

Don't want to be horrible, but for an Italian motor, I don't think it looks to bad, I wish you good luck.

Peter D 25-10-2015 04:08 PM

As above, it's a lot better than I thought it would be. Definitely worth doing!

Dannbodge 25-10-2015 04:10 PM

That doesn't look too bad.
A colleague of mine has one of these and the front was so rsty you could poke your finger through parts. You didn't even need a screwdriver.

mechrepairs 25-10-2015 07:09 PM

Love the resto threads just gutted it has only just begun, I like to see them when there all done and looking shiny.

Keep the faith.


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