Lancia Motor Club

Model Technical and Interest => Fulvia => Topic started by: rodney3010 on 02 June, 2010, 11:41:16 AM

Title: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 02 June, 2010, 11:41:16 AM
I am currently collecting bits for the restoration of my series 3 1300 coupe. after a great deal of thought I am inclined to go down the route of a fast road version with a view to mostly using for track days. I would therefore welcome any advice/links to articles/etc that there maybe out there. I've read Jai's article on race preparing - very useful, once again thanks Jai.
Anything much appreciated and if anyone has any parts surplus to requirements that may be useful please let me know
many thanks

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 June, 2010, 07:35:33 PM

...of course a "standard" Fulvia is already "fast road" spec...   

...and on a track day additional straight line speed adds little if any to the experiance...

Its a different matter if racing and bored of being the slow one or back of the pack with nobody to race with.   Think carefully of the pros and cons.  Traffic isn't getting easier, petrol's not what it used to be.

Making a better noise is a different matter entirely!!


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 02 June, 2010, 07:55:43 PM
I suppose the thinking comes from wanting to get the best possible out of the car. Its not my only Lancia, my Beta spider is very original and is designed to always be so. So the Fulvia can afford to be a bit of an experiement and this as much for my own education as anything else. Just what can i do to make this as good as it could be? Along the way i fully expect to have lots of discussions (and wallet inspections) to justify different options but i suppose thats half the fun of the journey. In short i want to learn about these cars and then have a car which won't embaress itself on the track. Sorry, long explaination but I'm in a real 'thirst for knowledge mode'

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: lancialulu on 02 June, 2010, 08:36:12 PM
As David said - get some aural enhancement.

Open trumpets (with mesh and socks for ingress protection) are a wonderful sight for sore ears!!


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 04 June, 2010, 07:16:41 PM

I was thinking about this today.  While a race engine is a horrible thing there is a middle ground and there are some things that can be done to an engine that result in nothing but good.  Some thoughts below in the hope that those with direct experiance will chip in.

Meanwhile if it was me I'd have a standard engine.  However I would uprate the antiroll bar, fit a cage, extinguisher, and harness.   Buckets would swap in and out in ten mins, I'd have the rear seat clip in and out easily, and I'd have rubber mats with sound deadening stuck on the back I could sling in and out.  That would make a cracking little road car, rally car, sprint and hillclimber.  For sure the "better engine" would tempt but it would make no difference to the enjoyment.

ONLY once you've worn out a few sets of tyres, and ONLY should you be the sort of person the competion bug bites hard, should you then contemplate spending the price of the car on a couple of seconds a lap improvement, getting a row further up the grid, getting those few extra points to secure a championship.  Even if the labour is all yours that engine will STILL cost the price of a car in bits and machining. 

The other question people ask themselves ONCE at that point is if that's the car to modify, or should they buy another, or buy something else entirely. 

At that point I ended up with children.



What is broadly termed "blue printing", a Neil Cundy type of rebuild, will take three times as long (if not more...) but yeild an engine with less friction, variations, and vibration.  It will produce more power and torque, rev more freely, and tollerate modification.   A typical "freshen up" type of engine build is fine for normal use but with any modifications it is highly likely to drop a valve, break a ring, burn a piston.  Five track day laps in standard tune is fine, but a sustained pasting is not.  If you're not going to blueprint then you need a stock of spare engines to "consume".

An oil cooler, good oil, regular changes, and some sort of air filter are "musts" to protect the investment.

Jai's inlet mod will take in cooler air and flow more freely and so - when setup on a rolling road - has the potential for more power.  Without setting up on a rolling road you might upset the fueling and destroy the engine.

A free flow exhaust can yeild more power - but if not matched to the cam can result in flat spots.  The other compromises are noise (often a good thing - but within track limits...), potentially ground clearance, and depending on the mounting a degree of harshness and boom.  It can be a horrible waste of time and money.

While a race cam will destroy the torque curve in return for more power at engine breaking revs a rally spec cam can be a good thing all round.  With the engine blue printed and the inlet/exhaust mods and setup on a rolling road the car will be driving better than standard from tickover.  The rally cam will put it back to how it was, but lift the rev limit giving a heap more power.  However its only top end power, and up there the engine life is a lot shorter and breakages much more likely.

If willing to compromise on fuel economy then there's more power and torque to be had, but its a big increase in MPG for a slight increase in performance.  Its also likely to demand a sensitive foot at light loads and lower revs.

Again if sensitive to problems, and if you are SURE of only using high octane fuel the car can be setup to take the benefit.

For the last little bit of benefit rebore to the limit.

High compression pistons are part of the "full race" package and rarely make sense otherwise.   A race cam is rubbish at low revs and the high compression pistons "restore" the actual compression ratio lost to leaving the valves open so long.  At high revs pumping losses prevent the cylinder filling so again the pistons "restore" the compression ratio.  Its complicated, and easy to get wrong.



Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 04 June, 2010, 07:20:54 PM

There's an excellent article from Martin Cliffe you should find about the modification to their race engine.


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 04 June, 2010, 08:00:53 PM
many thanks for your comments, lots to think about. I really appreciate the thought gone into this and once again reinforces the real benefits of this club!

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 04 June, 2010, 08:44:05 PM
So, if I'm reading this right, the suggestion for a car that is capable of being driven to a track and then performing well on it and then driven home again is to keep fairly standard. Its by its nature a fairly free revving unit but could benefit from a 'rally' cam. However, I'm not sure how much more stress this may put on the engine - 'the engine life is a lot shorter and breakages much more likely.' and therefore if the pay off is worth it.
Once again, many thanks david

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: lancialulu on 05 June, 2010, 07:10:35 AM
David's words are wise if you want your project to be like an ordinary car (which as we all know - ordinary and Lancia cannot be used in the same sentance) ie to build drive forget.

I have tried to make my 1600 sport like that and it has a Holbay tuned engine and Holbay Tornado rally cams, custom exhaust and dellortos. It is the latter that keeps the engine in fine tune and the care with which the engine was put together (not quite sure if it was as anal as blueprinting - but wasnt thrown together either). It has done 70,000 miles since, and while I have have checked the crank bearings recently (nothing found wrong), it goes on between oil anf ilter changes.

My HF1600 on the other hand is more highly strung with racing forged CPS pistons, large valve head courtesy of Paul Leclerq, bored out to 82.5, and Holbay Var1016 (equivelent what ever that is as nobody has a spec for Var1016) cams. I dont stop working on it or keeping an eagle eye on the oil pressure.....

As David says its your choice!


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: Jai Sharma on 05 June, 2010, 08:17:05 AM
I think what David suggests has a lot to recommend it.

I realise you are still thinking about what to do, but perhaps if you have not done so already, what you might find beneficial is to see if you can get a ride in, or drive of, a car that has been modified along the lines you are thinking if you want to modify extensively. David is right that a race engine (or car) is a horrible thing on the road. For example, post Fulvia, my current racer is road legal and prepared for the same HSCC series, so I would say lightly/medium modified. I have driven it to work, but you wouldn't want to too much! I can see that further mods will make it harder work on the road. It has changed in character completely from the road version. Mind you, it is pretty good on a windy lane.....

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 05 June, 2010, 09:40:15 AM
Lots to think about. I'm leaning towards those with far more experience and knowledge than I - but thats what i was hoping for when I started the thread! - and it seems as if the mildly 'tuned' version seems to the best option. I'm interested in the comment that its the dellortos that keep things in fine tune Am I reading that right? I've seen these come up from time to time but get the impression they are now quite rare and expensive. Are they worth the outlay?
Lastly and not least, I know I've said this before, but thank you to those who take the time to answer what may appear to be daft questions. Going off at a tangent but I read many calssic car mags and see prices of more mundane cars (Morris Marinas) rising in value and think is Lancia a forgotten marque? I could talk/ask questions about these cars all day because of thier abilities/styling/etc and yet the vast majority of the British classic car movement don't seem to be aware they exist. This forum and those on it do a fantastic job (why isn't there an award at the AGM to the best 'poster'?)

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 05 June, 2010, 12:13:23 PM


With Marinas the only ones that will have survived this far will have to be good cars that have been cherished, as such a sellers market.  70s Citroens are going the same way.  VW Campers.

With Fulvias I'm somewhat relived that cheap ones still exist - a string of projects sub 1K on ebay - something with an MOT sub 3K.   However the good ones are getting expensive - plenty have sold for more than 10K now and I expect over time, as the quality of the survivors improves, that will become the norm.

However those 12K Fulvias will have cost 30K to restore...

Meanwhile there's projects and spares cars and good stocks of bits out there for 1300s at least - there's never been so much knowledge and help - they have their Top Gear fame.  Its a happy time for Fulvias.  They've always been tough and well engineered.  They're fun in traffic, fine on a motorway, nothing better on A and B roads, fabulous track and competition cars.  Comfortable, great visibility, really decent boot, a back seat for emergencies or a heap more luggage.

Who'd not want one?  ...or three...???


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 05 June, 2010, 03:20:10 PM
Don't tempt me! I've just convinced my wife to rearrange the garden to allow room for a new double garage. Which means space for one more project. I think it might need to be a Fulvia Zagato - purely to allow a thorough comparision between the two types you understand! Anybody got a project gathering dust that needs a good home?

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 05 June, 2010, 03:46:55 PM

Some more "don't do as I've done" advice  :-\

Top tip on projects 1 - as someone with two dead cars on the drive and two in the back garden - is that you spend all your time moving them out the way of each other and none actually progressing any of them.

Top tip on projects 2 - it takes a double garage to actually work on a car rather than just store.

The other problem I've given myself is planting stuff in the garden to screen the garage and project hulks and now all my spare time goes on pruning, shredding, turning compost, sweeping up leaves, sweeping up blossom, cleaning sap off the car covers... 

Can we have some pictures of the project car "as is"?    Is it a car you used to run "back in the day"?


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 05 June, 2010, 05:22:51 PM
The garage will be just for storage, I've a seperate workshop for the actual work. Unfortunately the Fulvia was never really suitable for the road, it was bought, 75% finished and then children/house renovation/etc came along. in theory more time now to get on and finish (re-do some bits from first time round).
When back allows I'll take some photos.
And yes, you're quite right, as my wife says, finish one project before you start another!
On the other hand.........!!!!!!

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: bruciebonuz on 05 June, 2010, 06:55:11 PM
If you live anywhere near Harpenden in Herts you are welcome to come and see mine which is fully race prepared with race cams and twin webers, stripped out, extinguisher, roll cage etc.  I am very glad I bought it and the recent blast round Goodwood vaildated the decision but it is not too much fun on the road as you would expect.  I intended to buy a standard HF but this one came along and was too good to pass up and I do hope to race it when my kids are older.  It wasn't cheap but you gets what you pays for I guess and the previous owners had spent a lot on it (all documented in some eye watering invoices).  I reckon Davids suggestion is very good and gives most options.  Like I said, by all means let me know if you want to take a look at mine if it will help.   

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 05 June, 2010, 09:33:42 PM
What a great offer. i will take you up on that. My work takes me down to Surrey quite often so can come back that way. I'll contact you nearer the time.

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 25 June, 2010, 08:54:26 PM
I'm aware that I've probably got too much time on my hands (only currently able to think about working on the car rather than actually doing it) but had a thought. My Fulvia has a very rough roof and the idea was to replace with a webasto. However, I recall a few mentions and photos of a Fulvia Barchetta. I don't want to do a complete and accurate replica but it may make a very nice track day car.
Has anybody had any experience of building one of these/know of any reference material kicking around?

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: thecolonel on 25 June, 2010, 09:11:41 PM
I toyed with the idea, a few years back, worked out a few structural changes,
this may help you.......


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 25 June, 2010, 09:30:11 PM
Hmmmm. Thank you. Article suggests that the roll bar gives back the lost structual support. In your workings out did you feel that more were needed? There's also a bar in the bonnet bay, presuming structual but seems a tad thin?

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: thecolonel on 25 June, 2010, 09:35:24 PM
my theory was to cut away the lower half of the inner door skin, just leaving the
outer skin for looks, then install a new box section attached to lower "A" pillar, 
lower "B" pillar and original sill, basically giving me an 18 inch deep sill which should
remove any flexing but still give limited use of the doors.

Alternatively just seam weld the doors shut.

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: ncundy on 25 June, 2010, 10:04:32 PM
The roll bar will not give back the lost strength as it's attached in completely the wrong places to do it. The roof is fundamental to the strength of the shell and the only way you could replicate that in an open Fulvia is to run the roll bar right through the bulkhead at scuttle height and connect to the back of where the chassis legs attach to the bodyshell structure above the wheel arches.
Running that close would be Geoff's take on a deep sill or preferably welding the doors shut.

Personally I wouldn't contemplate it, especially as a track car - it'll be like jelly.

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: zagatoboy on 26 June, 2010, 02:58:24 PM
Oh this brings back memories! I DID chop the roof off my Fulvia many years ago, after we (Nigel Hargreaves and myself) fell about laughing and picked ourselves up off the floor we scrapped what was left, trust me, it can't be done, not using a production car anyway.

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 26 June, 2010, 03:05:44 PM

...sounds like you'd need to think more in terms of building a spaceframe than hanging some Fulvia panels on it...   

Its a Chugga sort of project, not something you'd see Clarkson get away with using a chainsaw and some screwjacks.


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: rodney3010 on 27 June, 2010, 12:14:51 PM
Thanks the advice gents.
I'll put my chainsaw away then!

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: thecolonel on 27 June, 2010, 06:50:16 PM
anything is possible........

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: jimb on 27 June, 2010, 07:37:31 PM
It is possible as can be seen in this picture of the S2 converted by Peter Immleman in Cape Town over 20 years ago.

He fitted a simple X brace under the car and a couple of extra braces inside.

The car is still in the club but unfortunately Peter is no longer with us.

The doors are still opening without any signs of sagging and there are no stress cracks visible on the body.


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: fay66 on 27 June, 2010, 11:37:02 PM
Looks good Jim.


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: DavidLaver on 28 June, 2010, 08:40:06 AM

"Simple" x-brace...   To me that would be like saying someone "just" made up a new chassis for a Lambda.  Did he ever write up the story of what was involved?   

Now the Fulvia version I'd like to see is an HPE.  When the pickup truck (there is just the one out there?) was on the market I gave it some serious (as serious as these things ever are) thought.

Maybe we'll get Chugga started on the "model line up Lancia would have had if they hadn't had to share the Fiat parts bin" when he's done with the post war pickups - but that may have to wait until NOW (why did I let that cat out the bag...) he's tracked down the Fulvia pickup and turned it into something the factory would have been proud of.


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: jimb on 28 June, 2010, 05:50:55 PM
Hi David

Unfortunately Peter did not document how it was done. Haven't been able to study it in detail but there appears to be two lengths of 1" tubing going from corner to corner of the floor plan with a short pylon in the cetre of the X. Not sure how these are fixed.

Will see if we can get the car on our lift and will take some pictures. Unfortunately it is off the road at the moment with water in the oil so it may take some time to sort this out.

There is a picture of a one off Sport convertable in Wim's Fulvia & Flavia collectors guide. Does anyone know what has happened to this?


Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: Sliding Pillar on 28 June, 2010, 05:54:00 PM
Not sure what happened to the original Fulvia Sport spider, but there is a very good replica for sale:

Title: Re: Fulvia fast road engine
Post by: davidwheeler on 29 June, 2010, 06:53:24 PM
Stick in a 1600...