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Author Topic: Portuguese Aprilia  (Read 16874 times)
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Mic
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Posts: 89


« Reply #60 on: 01 August, 2013, 05:21:32 PM »

As written last time our first public ‘showing’ was last Friday at the club’s monthly dinner at a typical Portuguese restaurant but only about 15 kms away.    All went well and the return meant using the lights for the first time.  As I mentioned before I decided to stay with 6 volts but fit halogen 6v bulbs.  As good as it gets with 6 volt I guess.

Whilst on electrics, there are two little items hidden in the glove box, one being a rather superior battery master switch and the other a connection to which I can click in a battery charger/conditioner without even opening the bonnet.  Have to keep a window open for the cable of course!  Why in the glove box?  Direct and short feed from the battery of course.

Very comfortable car.  The seats had to be completely remade, having arrived with only the very bare frames.  Seat adjustment (mechanism had to be fabricated here largely by guess) could be better and as I am short the seat has to be way forward and best left there which makes getting in a trifle tight.  The engine starts rapidly and I commented last time on the oil pressure.  I am not sure if the distributor is original or not but doubt it. Anyway, there is now a hand control to retard for starting but this can be rapidly pushed in as soon as she fires.

As I write the car is having a couple of minor items and small leaks seen to but a real check over will happen after 300 kms or so.  The only thing we will have to live with is the wheels which I now understand are way beyond balancing.  OK at normal town speeds and only godson has so far been on a reasonable road and gone fast enough to experience wobble.  Wheels are probably knackered over the many years on Portuguese roads which are questionable now but were quite dreadful until the 1980s.  It pays to watch the cars in front. When they swerve you swerve too as this is generally to avoid a particularly bad hole.  It does not help that many minor roads are tarmac on top of cobbles.  That does not work too well.  Or last to long. Anyway, if anyone knows of four Aprilia wheels you know where I am.

I had hoped to have a photo session last week-end so of course it rained.  Hopefully this forthcoming one.

This is a good opportunity for me to really thank all who have read this post on the Forum and assisted in so many ways, Peter Harding for instance and in particular Simon for lots of photos and measurements which, for instance, have allowed the fabrication of cable covers and battery top. Having those items correct makes that extra difference.  And of course Aprilia guru John Savage, who has been a real godsend and very tolerant of my phone calls, he not being with computer.

Photos next time, I promise!  And we have already been asked to loan the car for the major Portuguese old car exhibition in October in Porto, or Oporto to you.
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ben
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« Reply #61 on: 02 August, 2013, 11:37:37 PM »

Hi there Mic
                I have been following your progress with interest and would congratulate you on getting the Aprilia back on the road and looking so good.
                Regarding the wheels you are fortunate to have the original rolled rim variety as in the UK they nearly all have rusted away.
                It is worth persisting with the balance issue as from my experience some tyre suppliers are better than others when it comes to dealing with this type of wheel. My local man told me my wheels were too far out for his machine to cope with but I have subsequently balanced them myself to a perfectly satisfactory level.
                 I have done this using lead strips cut from roofing sheet attached with double sided tape by trial and error until the wheel in question when jacked up on a nice free running hub (ie front rather than rear) will not show any bias. By that I mean that the wheel will remain in any angular position you set it to. Clearly when you start off if the wheel is seriously unbalanced the heavy spot will always go to the lowest position so you correct by adding the lead to the opposite diametral position,ie the top.When you have got it right you can then reposition half of the lead  onto the inside rim to minimise the chance of out-of-balance couples.
                 Doing the rear wheels on the front hubs like this is ok because the car will not be particularly sensitive to the state of the rear wheels so errors due to moving the wheels will not be significant.
                 For the front wheels it is best to do each one on its own hub and also mark them so that if you need to take them off for any reason you can refit them in the same position.

                 If you find that steering wobble persists even after balancing as described you need to check the state of the rubber bushes in the steering joints. If these are not in good condition steering wobble is almost inevitable,and they are notorious for wearing out.
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Mic
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« Reply #62 on: 12 August, 2013, 03:07:58 PM »

Thanks for those comments, Ben.  Much appreciated and I'll talk to Fettler Joáão when they open again after hols.  I remember doing the wheels myself on my Alfa years and years ago.  My trouble is getting down to the wheels nowadays and then getting back up again!  I see Amazon have Self Adhesive Wheel Balance Weights 5g and 10g in strips of 100 box (600g total) but may need ten boxes per wheel.  I wonder what they are made of as I read somewhere recently that lead is banned for wheel weights. Or is that only in the U.S.A. I have no idea what any alternative could be.

I think we have to sort the rims out before getting into balancing and J is, I know, thinking of nothing else on his holiday.

Now I really must get down to posting the recent photos.  I owe it to the superb Forum and those who have shown interest and help.  Photos are good job to do quietly as they say it will go to 34-35 degrees for the next few days.  And, I emphasise, this is not the ruddy Algarve.
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Mic
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« Reply #63 on: 12 August, 2013, 04:21:44 PM »

Photos from eight days ago en route back home.  Shots of interior and engine etc. are on earlier posts but if anyone wants something specific please ask.


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williamcorke
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« Reply #64 on: 12 August, 2013, 07:38:42 PM »

Lovely pictures, Mic.  Do you know if your car was originally sold in Portugal?  The bumpers (which suit the car very well, in my opinion) look very similar to the ones on my '37 car which I bought from Portugal.  My car is 38-1427.
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'37 Aprilia
'50 B10
'68 Flavia Vignale
'55 Giulietta Sprint
S1 Land Rover
Mic
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« Reply #65 on: 13 August, 2013, 10:53:38 AM »

Very interesting, William.  So I have the modern version as mine is chassis 38-6963 and engine 8368!  Not sure if the chassis numbers ran totally in sequence but assume so, in which case there are 5536 numbers between our cars which surprises me.  Does anyone know if this fairly high production rate is correct?  Registered here TR-10-36 and first registered  21.9.38.  When was yours? 

I bought the car off a Sr. Ramos who had been guardian of it for twenty years after the owner died.  At that stage the car had been totally stripped and repainted, engine and axles were in place and the car just sat waiting for love.  So the first problem was getting it into Ramos's name rather than the official, deceased owner's name and that took six months.  Getting it from Ramos to Comber was more or less instant.  A hell of a lot needed to be done as you can see from some of the earlier photos although they don't show the actual state which was, no surprise, worse than it seemed.   Find the photo of an original seat for a laugh.

Work started last September so eleven months.

Bumpers.  We had to remake bumpers as the ones with the car were really tatty, I assume not the originals although may be I am wrong, so the ones you see are new.  Maybe they should have the rubber inserts but we have not bothered, can't do everything, expensive enough as it was - what do you have?  And are they original to your car or made later?

A lot of smaller items had gone missing and I guess a box of goodies had been lost at the plater so all the handles etc. had to be sourced which was my part of the work.  I even splashed out on the fuel tank sender which, so far, works.  The electrician had fun sorting that out.

Where in Portugal did your car come from?  I am north of Porto, in the Minho.  History?  When did you buy yours?  There was one other in Porto itself which was sold a couple of years ago and, I think, went to France.  A dealer, name escapes me at the moment, but he put us onto this car and was doing a favour to Ramos.

There is one Aprilia, perhaps two, known in the Lisbon area but none in the north of the country which meant Fettler João had no example to help him although he did make one trip south.  As the car will be on the Fettler's stand at the Autoclássico in Porto show in October it will be interesting to see if there are comments from visitors.

Anyway, any questions, just ask.  Meantime would appreciate any photos of your car.  I am not sure where you are as the Database is doing odd things at the moment so I cannot look out for you.
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williamcorke
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« Reply #66 on: 13 August, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »

Hi Mic,

I'll have to look up where in Portugal the car was (I bought it in March 2009, via eBay), but I think it was near Porto.

According to the registration card which I have, the car was first registered on the 26th July 1937 (could be June) as BE-10-14.

The chassis number 1427 means it is the 427th car produced and from memory I think the first series cars (238) numbered about 7,700 in total.  All made pre-war.

Ben (who's also commented on this thread) had a look at the car recently and was of the opinion that the bumpers might be original.  I understand that UK cars had (always, mainly?) different bumpers fitted by Lancia England at Alperton.  Local changes were possibly to avoid import duty or perhaps to adapt the cars to local taste (leather upholstery rather than cloth).  Perhaps the same dynamics applied in Portugal...  It would be interesting to compare the mounting/fixing irons on your bumpers to mine.  I'll take some photos.

Here are a couple of photos of my car as seen in Portugal on the eBay listing I bought it from.  Some non-original things are obvious - wheels not disk or rolled-rim; running boards (but your car also has them); central light on bootlid(?).



« Last Edit: 13 August, 2013, 04:44:38 PM by williamcorke » Logged

'37 Aprilia
'50 B10
'68 Flavia Vignale
'55 Giulietta Sprint
S1 Land Rover
Mic
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« Reply #67 on: 13 August, 2013, 05:54:04 PM »

Ah, very interesting.  I have not heard of this car.  Just one that was sold I think two years ago by dealer in Porto.  I will ask questions to see if anyone recognises your car but be a coupe of weeks as the last two weeks of August seem to be the most popular time to shove off to the Algarve and knowledgeable contacts are away.  Do you have a name of the last owner?

Rear light.  Yes, I see what you mean  That is, I think, a series 2 light.  You can see what I have in the photos.  I believe most Aprilias of that time had just one reflector but mine came with two so we use them both and that leaves the rear and brake lights above the number plate.  Although you will see small lights under the bumpers as locally they don't like one to pierce the body for extra lights.

Those bumpers.  So you also do not have the rubber inserts, which makes me feel better.  The mounting irons came with the car and have been used, yes, will be interesting to see how similar or different they are.

Now I realise  your car is 1937 and not 1938 that makes the production figures more sensible so about 5500 in fifteen months but that is still more than 300 per month.  I do not have any books on this aspect but perhaps someone out there does.
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BlueSky
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« Reply #68 on: 14 August, 2013, 02:35:11 AM »

Here are the production numbers for Aprilias.
Noel

* Aprilia production numbers.pdf (38.25 KB - downloaded 355 times.)
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1937 1st series Aprilia Berlina
Nissan X-Trail T31 TS
1920 P & M 3 1/2hp {FOR SALE}
John Deere LX188
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Mic
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« Reply #69 on: 14 August, 2013, 09:02:51 AM »

Ask on the Forum and it shall be given to you.  Thanks so much for the production figures, Noel.  Saved for future reference.

Mic
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Mic
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« Reply #70 on: 16 October, 2013, 06:34:03 PM »

Clutch judder.  People tell me that this is more or less endemic to the Aprilia and certainly we had a bad case of the judders.  Fettler João had a major think and may have come up with the solution. 

He has done two things.  One is a different thrust bearing, I am told very slightly larger than the standard by about 1.5 mm.  I am no engineer so more detail there is not, except the part number is 14-00T250.  As the box it came in has been discarded I await the name of the manufacturer so keep an eye on the Forum.

Next was more major.   Thanks to more patience and photos from Simon the drive shafts have been identified as original and not a Hardy Spicer mod.  Look at the universal joint and the ‘cross’.  There are, of course, four bearing caps and inside each one was a small bronze bush.  They have replaced these worn bushes with roller bearings NBS NA 4903.  Obviously you need sixteen.  Has anyone else tried this type of solution?

There is now absolutely no judder at all. It is a different car.  We wait and see if this is a long lasting solution.

Now one step forward and ……  The car went off on a trip to Aveiro, about 100 km from here.  Did not quite make it.  Lot of smoke, steam and whatever.  I did not go, the  driver was Carlos and, fortunately, had fettler João with him.  Came back in taxis and trailers.  Not good news and extremely embarrassing for João.

You have probably guessed by now, blown cylinder head gasket, evident when I saw it yesterday.  Really inexcusable as even I have never refitted a gasket, always a new one.  When I saw the block with the head off, well, load of crud even after initial cleaning; ah well, these things happen and J takes full blame and says never trust anyone, do it himself.  Certainly not typical of their work.

At the moment the car is, obviously, back at the oficina and the first thing is to obtain a new gasket.    These are available on EBay in the copper form, one priced at €200 and another – I kid you not – he wants €500.   Old Lancia Spares has a version for €200 inc. postage, this being in what I knew as Klingerite which I think is preferable and I used on my blown Alfa with great success, ne’er a problem.  However, both these versions can be made here, the copper variety in Braga (north of Porto) and the Klingerite type in Lisboa.  About €100.  So I obviously opt for the latter and delivery should be about a week.

Lot of rain here at the moment so a good time to have problems as not the best weather in which to enjoy any car.
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DavidLaver
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« Reply #71 on: 16 October, 2013, 10:15:41 PM »


Well done with that drive shaft modification - and my sympathies and best wishes with the engine.

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
Mic
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« Reply #72 on: 22 December, 2013, 06:09:07 PM »

Back reporting at last.  Apologies for the delay.  Other things kept me busy.

Right where were we?  Ah yes, looking for a head gasket. After some discussion decided to use copper gasket rather than ‘Klingerite’ type, the former being more suited to the engine design.  Made locally, well, in Portugal, 110 Euros or so.  Engine cleaned out, re-assembled and runs beautifully.

This left us with the problem that the original series one wheels have rolled rims which deform over time.  Very obvious how out of true they were when following the car, not to say alarming.  Hence hunt on for a set of series two wheels and the dealer in Switzerland once again ignores our request to buy what he offers for sale.  Very strange man.  We did talk to him on his mobile once when he said he was away from the office but since then nothing.   I went on holiday and came back to find that a set of five had been on eBay and sold. Bother, as Pooh bear would say.  Well, I said more than that.

Then I discover that they had been bought by Simon who thought I would like them but would have kept them if not.  Incredibly kind and thoughtful.  Nice people Lancia owners.  Getting them from him in France to me in Portugal became a saga as TNT let us down and did not seem to know what they were doing.  UPS are expensive but perfect service and five Fergat wheels eventually arrived at the front gate and within an hour were on their way to the fettler.  Interesting to note that wheels of both series one and two type were made by Fergat, then in Torino. Still seem to exist as part of a group.

Very slight attention was needed to a couple of wheels to correct very small imperfections and also to allow the use of the hub caps we already had due to small difference between the series wheels.   As I already had four as-new Michelin 140-40 tyres we have retained these.

What a difference!  No more wheel wobble on square wheels.  Now you don’t realise how well the car is going.  Although we are trying to keep to 90 km.p.h. for a running-in period I looked down to see I was doing 105.  Whoops.

So there we are, for the moment.  Not much travel expected now that it is winter although yesterday Carlos took wife and kids on a short run to Guimarães and then back to a favourite restaurant for a meal with forty or fifty other old-car people.  No, not a turkey lunch but the dreaded bacalhau, in other words cod.  Traditional.  I had to go in the modern as dog not been too well and did not want to leave him but he is OK left in the car for an hour or so.  Oh, and he enjoys the seating in the Aprilia as the front seats are close together so he can cuddle up against me.
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Mic
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« Reply #73 on: 12 June, 2014, 03:26:23 PM »

A long time since my last posting but I am still here to bring the story up to date. 

At that time I was celebrating the new wheels and the car was running well.  Still a clunk from the left front side and this was because the axle that came with the car had been modified years ago. Well, hacked about to be honest, by people who presumably had no knowledge of sliding pillars.  Only answer was to look for another axle and here again Simon did the honours, not only locating one not far from his area but also wrapping it up for despatch. Think about that – what an awkward thing to wrap.

Anyway, eventually this odd shape arrived here and was sent to fettler for installation.   On road test the mechanic reported some pulling to the left – not tracking, that was fine.  However boss man was now on crutches through playing with two wheeled devices and being fooled by a car in front that indicated one way and turned another.  So Joâo was not able to check this out himself but it was decided to strip it all down and find the problem.  Don’t forget they have never seen one of these axles.

The port side was the problem, the starboard seems fine so used as an example in setting up the left side.  Looking at the parts diagram, what the Italian version calls the guido superiore had a crack from one of the holes down to the base.  That has been repaired.  You can see it towards the front of the bench in the photos.

Not clear from the drawings there is what can be called a non-return valve under 607A Italian version, guido inferiore.  607 French version.  This takes the form of a washer with a 13mm hole in the centre.  It should be made from spring steel and thus be slightly flexible.  What we found was a thicker, non-flexible washer which was broken anyway.  They have had made some of these discs which are about 8 thou thick. Not an easy task to cut the 13mm hole in the centre and they used laser cutting.  One wonders how on earth they cut it at Lancia.

Some of our engineer members may like to comment on all this and probably correct some of my statements.

Speaking to John Savage he remembers Harry Manning as saying that these little disc jobs tended to give up the ghost at 50,000 miles.  So that is something for you to worry about.

And that brings us up to date and will stay that way for a week or two as the expert mechanic this morning pulled his back something ‘orrible and Joâo is still on cruteches.  It all happens here.


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Mic
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« Reply #74 on: 13 June, 2014, 07:17:50 AM »

Correction to my last.  Harry was quoted as saying fifty years not 50,000 miles.  So relax.
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