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Meeting a long-lost friend : The Fiat Siena. Restoration on the cards.

Discussion in 'Classic and Retro FIAT's' started by Sagz, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Sagz

    Sagz Amatore

    Messages:
    84
    Kochi
    Kochi
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    6.JPG

    Around end-2000, a mighty Italian machine joined our family- The Fiat Siena ELX.Here begins its story. This was our second Fiat, after a Uno. Of course what brought the Siena to us was the way the Uno managed to impress. I still remember waving to our Uno when it left home on the last day, to be swapped with the Siena.Ever since then, this car became a part of our family. As every Fiat does, the Siena too connected well with our emotions.It had all those strong points Fiats are known for- right from the rock-solid body to the excellent road grip and the reliability of the machine.And yes, it had the weak points too- the service and spares. In the initial period,both were quite okay, but later they started to become problematic.Still, the goodness of the car itself was sufficient to make us forget all those problems.

    The Siena continued to be our second car (we already had an Amby) for six years. In 2006, an Innova joined the two.As expected, the Siena's usage reduced.By this time the spares and service problem had reached its worst condition.But we never thought of selling the Fiat-we still loved it and it loved us back.

    By 2008,Fiat had started reaching out through Tata dealerships, but still the problem persisted: spare parts. The situations never improved appreciably. An A-star joined us in 2008,followed by a Nano in 2010 and a Passat in 2011,but we still kept the Siena.Although maintaining the car was a pain,we managed to keep it in running condition.

    Around 2012, our business expanded to TamilNadu, with setting up coir factory there.A car was necessary for the official runs in TN and the Siena was taken there.Thereafter, I lost my touch with the car.When it left, I never knew that our next meeting would be after almost three long years.

    On September 26th, 2014, I had been to our factory for a function.What awaited me there was our good old Siena in such a pathetic condition!!:( The car greeted me unexpectedly in the warehouse,all dusty,unattended 'n slowly dying.I came to know that the car had developed some mechanical problems which couldnt be sorted out. Slowly, it deteriorated to the present condition. It was a painful sight indeed.
    Then and there, I was almost determined to revive him,somehow.(Automobile enthusiasm aside, I'm a hardcore FiatFan too:D)
    Present condition: 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG DSC_0314.JPG 9.JPG 8.JPG DSC_0335.JPG 10.JPG

    The rescue mission is on!!
    The papers are all ready and he will be brought back home very soon.A total restoration is on the cards.
    We will deal with the mechanicals first.Once the car lands here,I'll figure out which all spares need to be sourced. I'll certainly need support from you guys in sourcing them :)

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,245
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Sorry to see a car in this state.

    I would be eagerly waiting to see the restoration. This would be one of the toughest restoration for sure.
    Sagz likes this.
  3. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,456
    delhi ncr
    Well done! :) The Sienna is still among the best looking, brilliantly styled, characterful sedans to have ever been on the Indian car market. Should not be as difficult or expensive as some restorations, given the internet, Fiat ASS centres themselves, and 99rpm?

    cheers, and all the best, look forward to reading about your progress on the Sienna
  4. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Is that a 1.7TD? :D Can't wait to see the restoration. IMO, the problems with this car need to be attacked all at once. Including body and engine or suspension etc. Going step by step can make one go nuts. I will explain about this later.
    punto_emotion likes this.
  5. Sagz

    Sagz Amatore

    Messages:
    84
    Kochi
    Kochi
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    Yes this is a 1.7 TD ELX.
    Is there any particular reason why the problems need to addressed side by side?

    I know it won't be an easy task but I'm determined to pull him out of this disabled state no matter what:) He is all set to come back home, after a very long time.

    Except for rust at one tiny spot, the body is still in perfect condition. Rock solid as always.
    Couldn't try starting it, because it didn't have battery then.Hoping for the best:)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  6. chakiirfan

    chakiirfan Amatore

    Messages:
    87
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Very eager to see next post on the restoration...
  7. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    You will need to address some or all the issues mentioned here simultaneously because the assistance and labor costs mechanical and body could be optimized and also you need not open things multiple times.

    In the engine bay a few things to check..check list.
    a) Radiator fan and relays, fan needs to work in slow and fast (full) speed mode. There is a thermo switch which needs to work for this.
    b) Water Pump and water jacket check.
    c) Get the timing belt changed and timing aligned or checked once again. Very critical.
    d) Get the head checked and replace a few slight damaged valves if the engine timing is not correct.
    e) Check the exhaust manifold (tends to get too rusty) and turbo charger. The regular Garrett one can be refurbished or replaced if the spindle has play in it. Also remove the exhaust pipe and Catcon and flush it with high pressure water hose from a washing center.
    f) Check the coolant lines once again and check the radiator and plumbing. Flushing the same will also be needed.
    g) Check the power-steering, pump and rack both. Change the oil in power steering first. Any Dex 2 grade will do. 2000-2001 model Sienas had issues with power steering failures. Get the seals changed and rack repaired/replaced just in case there is a leakage.
    h) There is a lot of loose wiring which needs to be wrapped and wire-tied properly.
    i) Glow plugs will also need to be inspected and or changed. Also needed check of glow plug timer. Original one is better and works longer.
    j) The engine mounts will also need inspection.
    k) Check the fuel pump and get it serviced just in case of low power or sluggish pickup.
    l) Oil change. Recommended Shell (yellow) mineral oil.
    m) Transmission oil change.
    n) Disable the AC system at first and tackle with the Compressor and belts and Gas and electrical aspects later. Also needed will be a cleaning of the blower system.
    o) Complete electrical checks including removing all fuses and relays and inspecting or testing that they work. Alternator needs to be working well. Just in case you will need to change the regulator IC thingum on the same, as the Magnet Marelli alternator is pretty robust otherwise.

    My experience is that if everything is opened like the jigsaw puzzle it can be and fitted simultaneously you can have a much reliable Siena 1.7TD, one that not just looks good but also performs well. Don't leave things to chance or it will make you fret and weep.. :arghh:
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  8. Murphy_Fiat

    Murphy_Fiat Superiore

    Messages:
    648
    Trivandrum
    Trivandrum
    Linea T-Jet
    Wish you all the best for the Restoration Sagz. Eagerly waiting to see the next update from you.
  9. Sagz

    Sagz Amatore

    Messages:
    84
    Kochi
    Kochi
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    Now that is one long checklist:D
    Thanks for sparing your time:)I guess this would be of great use to me.
    I'll definitely have them checked when the work starts.
    Thank you:) I'll update when the car comes home.
    Murphy_Fiat likes this.
  10. 5u3zEr0

    5u3zEr0 Regolare

    Messages:
    390
    Madras
    Linea T-Jet
    All the best!! That looks like a lot of work. Is this going to be a restoration to it's original form and function or are you planning to customise?

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