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Phoenix Rising - The GTX Restoration Log

Discussion in 'Classic and Retro FIAT's' started by teky, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. teky

    teky Esperto

    Life is full of dreams and it's your self-confidence which helps you achieve it. I’ve had many such dreams and currently cherishing it and I’m in the progress of making it happen.

    I never believed in Love is blind until I bought a Fiat Punto without a TD back in May 2010, choose the colour even without seeing the colour in person. I knew that’s the car which is going to satisfy my needs even though naysayers where in plenty questioning about its service and reliability. The car loved me back and I have pampered it with same care. I choose the Punto because I loved the Fiat Palio especially in the Ferrari Red colour, I never had a chance to own one but had visited showroom umpteen times to ogle at Palio and the Adventure. I had entrusted Fiat so much because of the Palio and Adventure that I choose the Punto without a TD – that’s called blind love. Below are some pictures of your truly with a random Palio red colour at ISKON, Bangalore.
    Red Palio.jpg
    Red Palio & Yours truly.jpg

    Thanks to miniscule number of owners then we had several forums where I could interact with fellow owners and be part of several Fiat meets. One such meet was the South India meet which had cars from around 4 states including one state was Mods own country – Kerala. I chanced upon to see 2 S10’s in their full glory completely restored and just looking like they’ve rolled out of the showroom. Hearing the FFE and feeling the fresh paint I was elated and I believe many members who were present in the meet were as well. On the whole meet and during getting back to home we talked about S10 and Palio so much that I wanted to own one and it means my earlier dream could be fulfilled. The mighty S10 roar if anyone wants to loosen your purse strings

    I started looking for GTX’s and S10, but couldn’t find many which were not in good condition. I had TD’d couple of other cars within Chennai and all of them were not in good condition or the history was very bad that I choose to ignore. During casually browsing TBHP classifieds I found a fern green Palio GTX, second owner for a decent asking price in Bangalore. To my luck it was a TN registered car which means there wouldn’t be any re-registration hassles and additional work involved to make me drive it Chennai. I quickly spoke to the owner and he was selling it as per his parents wish – it seems this car was too fast for him. The car was currently in Bangalore and the pictures posted on TBHP were painting a good story. So I asked the owner to e-mail the interior pictures which also looked fine by me. Here are couple of interior snaps of the GTX which the then owner e-mailed me.
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Teky, you already bought it, or in process?

    EDIT - I read its already with you from last year.

    And when did you take picture with red Palio, at ISKON, you look like college student :).
    1 person likes this.
  3. teky

    teky Esperto

    So after confirming it's in good condition and went to Bangalore one today to check the car in person along with my brother. Checked the car personally and also drove it for some distance, On driving I found engine to be in a good condition but it seems the suspension was shot but otherwise the car was okay. The car met with a minor accident prior to me viewing and hence the entire front portion including radiator, bonnet and bumper were new. Apart from that only one door had a dent which meant the car was in good condition. So I confirmed my intention to buy the car and paid a token advance. I took help of fellow Fiat'ians Ramesh Sathya and Sundhu to go and get the car, So below is the write-up which Linealover wrote narrating the incident reproduced for you again. All copyrights belong to Linealover.

    When life meets love - poetry happens when punto met palio GTX.

    story goes like this there was a king who had a queen and child,all blah blah

    to cut short the story here goes,

    An itchy teky finds all excuse to invade a GTX,
    one fine day he got an authentic reason to own a second car.His punto held up in workshop more than a week to change all wheel bearings, he nodded his head to all excuses made by SA of TAFE behind the arrival of bearings.
    all he could do is adapted to handicapped condition of leaving for work with out punto.
    also only console was linea comes as his ride for work,so Ramjan gave a free ride for teky about a week.

    So teky was desprately in need of another car (means another FIAT).so his searches went on till it falls on a green GTX in bangalore with TN registration. Actually Ramesh recommend a S10 which teky fails to bite owing to the fact that being the second car that should not be taken care like new one.in addition to the fact it being in yellow color with sachin's signature all around will attract crowd,so s10 was axed with no mercy.

    Teky went bangalore with his brother for inspecting GTX.Actually i was called for that but could make to that trip. Finally everything was amicably settled with buyer and seller for italian horse. Ramjn,sathya_sc and Linealover was called for taking delivery all the way from bangalore to chennai.

    sathya_sc being with his heavy schedule ahead and after this delivery,Depicted his green signal for this trip. Ramjn's white beauty though making his course on same route also agreed for this trip. Linealover being in home on vacation finds no time at all.seriously those do nothing will have time than a busy person also agreed for this wild trip,his mind full of weird thought of "how am i going to tame this wild beauty" An Horse Whisperer.

    sathya_sc was cool until he heard the weird timing of departure,any guess?

    hmmm..its 01:30 am in the morning.since all plan to go in punto from bangalore to chennai.
    our homes were well scatter to drag our heads to who picks whom,at what time prior set time..
    linealover finally decided to come in splendor,also he suggest that he will pick sathya_sc on the way.
    but sathya_sc clearly intimated that you will lose 2kg easily before reach my home.

    2 kg what?.there were wild stray dogs,so its a recipe for disaster with splendor. so we all decided to be in a safe
    cocoon of punto's cabin to pick sathya_sc.

    a stone throw away distance between Ramjn and teky's home,finally teky,Ramjn,me departed to sathya_sc's home,
    its really scary see to all those dogs, at least 10 dogs at a glance, survival to the fittest.

    Ramjn at wheel with teky at passenger side with me enjoying the backseat.those craters road no less than a moon's surface.
    Ramjn slowly maneuver and all those road can better leave to either scorpio or xuv5oo.

    Finally teky's punto decelerated and full stopped at Sathya_sc home,she stopped as if she saw her master.

    yes,sathya_sc is the tamer of fiat and all fiat will beg sathya at wheel.

    As obvious satya_sc took the wheel. both were immediately felt at home.

    there goes punto accelerated like wild horse on that moon craters,all the way it reaches 60 or 70 with blink of an eye.but really scare everybody to hell.punto dismissed all craters with authority.no underbody scrape yet.

    finally we were out of street roads and found a glimpse of pure tarmac.much relieved teky now felt at ease.

    man! In the hands of sathya_sc the way the punto accelerates & galloped forward really made me to think its something more than 75bhp under the hood.
    breaking is so awesome that it looks as if a butterfly goes and sits on the flower.After tambaram wheel was exchanged to ramjn.

    we took the mundane route of oragadam,so we payed heavily in terms of time which lowers our average speed.instead if we
    took a tambaram-maduravayal-sriperumandur could have easily saved an hour.i was at the wheel before mulbagal with speedo hovering around 60-70s.Also teky decided to take chitoor-mulbagal route that adds an oil to the fire.those road was full of fog with visibility reduced to less than 5m.

    All we decided to park at safe place till gets the fog clear. Talks were all about fiat-fiat.its really a non-stop non-sense for those who out were out of teamfiat & car enthusiast.one of my cousin had owe to me that he will never join me any trip if it was with fiat guys.This happened immediately after our maiden yelagiri meet.one has think of others when accompanying a guy like him.

    he is having alto and i always persuaded him to exchange his alto for punto,yet he is not biting, that is the democracy.
    and i love democracy.the democracy that allows me with fiat in spite low sales and poor ASS.

    my friends always sympathies my ignorance, that's it they were at other side of the ring.

    coming back to teky's girl fiend,she is anxiously waiting for the arrival of punto to elope her.

    the clock struck 5'.Ramjn desperately in need of hot idllies,sathya_sc in need of hot filter coffee,

    teky was okay with both.on contrast linealover desperately in need of rest room,even 1 litre of aquafina bottle and a space to
    hide is a bliss for him.

    we marched with 75 horses to invade a princess waiting an 100 miles away. we were fighting with time and time always wins with hands down.

    clock struck 7' we were at a motel in KA teritory.A ray of hope, resembles in the form of early sunshine.i waited for none and ran towards a rest room couldn't noticed whether it was for men or women.

    came out with grin.three of them were already at the table.I,sathya_sc,Ramjn ordered for pongal with vada while teky okay with idly.finally we broke the fast (breakfast) with hot brew filter coffee.i felt an aroma of coffee brew spreads in our vicinity.

    miles to before we sleep-miles to go before we sleep.now owner at wheel piloting the punto at broken tarmac,its is not a welcoming drive for more than 120.

    clock struck 30' past 8.we were nearing the princess.teky called the owner for assistance.he came out of his apartment with a pleasant smile,aha ha what a reception.i thought she must me in the safe hands.he was certainly a good host.

    he assited in parking our punto inside the premises.we found the broken mud flap hanging all the way to glory.

    we exchanged our smiles and shook hands with her ex-owner.who worshiped her.a goddess of italy.
    teky end with pre-worshiped italian beauty.

    The first impression is the best impression as the saying goes,she was an apt example for that.we were floored with her when sathya_sc floored her pedal to medal.difference is that wheels were anchored.Roar was wild.she returns to mild mur mur idling after that, clearly depicts engine still intact with virginity.

    forgot to intimate that she fired with single crank,speaks volume for a decade old car.who says fiat is unreliable?
    she needs a regular oil change with minor care that is all she wants.

    i was mesmerized with Amit's ownership thread of s10

    Fiat Palio S10. Now updated to 72,000 kms! - Team-BHP

    from linealover:
    whole night i red this thread with my eyes filled with tears.

    coming to the topic again.we were into his apartment for paper work.teky was fully prepared with name transfer documents,form 29 all blah blah..

    signatures were duly signed by seller,all queries were made clear.

    now keys goes to sathya_sc.she was out of parking lot.now palio met punto.

    there goes the love story.now we can see her out of dim parking lot.sathya found one of the tire on back side with visible thread indicting that it can give up any time.

    word of caution: Dont go beyond 50kmph.get out of bangalore will decide about tire.

    All get set go,palio eloped with punto.

    linealover and Ramjn cocooned inside punto.sathya and teky in palio.now we decided not to take mulbagal route so we were heading towards hosur.we touched electronic city flyover which safely takes us out of chaotic Bangalore traffic.

    we can see sathya slowly taming her,fact is that we called him twice saying you are breaching the 80kmph mark,

    where all those word of caution?may be flying somewhere.he himself broke his law. because law and advice meant only for others.slowly palio gave way for punto as sign of caution.we were out of toll gate,yet we could n't catch the glimpse of princess palio.oh come on what happen to that green horse?

    we called sathya to found that she lost her leg.yes, one of the tire gave away.twist of the tale is that it was the good tire in front which lost air and not the back with bald head.

    we were quite half a km away from palio and they were yet to pass the toll gate,so we had no option other than wait watch as sathya informed us that they can manage the tire swap.

    so we relaxed at the corner and by the who said it is cool in bangalore? it is hot at par with chennai summer.as we recognize as soon as switched off the air-con.

    we got an emergency call from sathya saying that bad stepney tire coupled with erratic stepney handle,

    as for as i know stepney always gorgeous than wife....is n't it?

    so we made a 360 degree course change heading onto the service lane parallel to the palio.
    appa..what a sweating? finally palio was out toll way.we found a repair shop very near to toll gate.
    teky was badly in need of a cool drink,he lost all his cool and cursed. he asked "why always happens with fiat"when i bought
    punto the very next day puncture".i patted him,saying"dont worry my linea comes to company because she also had similiar puncture the very next day of delivery.i really don't know the reason for punture,since we pampered like anything.yet she simply puntured.may be that's the way she(fiat) debut her.

    initially, we thought of driving her home sedatively. never thought of tire change.teky gave all his savings towards her.first get her home then we can slowly do whatever we want in course of time.but she adamantly refuses this logic, as she was born princess with silver spoon, flamboyant life style is the way of her being. never compromise with this sedate drive and all.
    it is as simple as that either park me or drive me every gear red-lining to the glory.( no thee pantham only petromax light).

    After we discussed with the repairwala about his inventory.it neither matches the tire size or quality.so we decided not to waste money on old tyres.Ramjn's friend running the tire shop in krishnagiri also willing to help us either with new or old tyre just plugged out from logan.it is quite far away from here say about 70 kilometers.but hosur was some 20KM away so better reach hosur rather than bangalore,since price were high in KA than in TN.so quickly repaired the punctured one and headed towards hosur,justdial.com was not having single info for hosur.

    slowly reached hosur with non-nonexistence of spare tyre.we could not find a proper tyre shop in hosur. i.e wheel alignment with tyre shop.since stock was with tubed tyre and alloy combo. Top of that we were not certain about the alloy that can hold the air post new tyre change.all that we were certain is that find a proper tyre shop.Also local people not having handfull of info about proper tire shop around their vicinity.

    now first time i am piloting GTX but i was taxed with 40kmph as limited speed.i wish no body should be given the wheel first time with this kind of constraint.it makes me sad every time i look into teky's frustrated face plus hot sun plus my stomach desperately wanting for a good south indian thaali,its already past 2 pm.this is the schedule time for reaching home as per teky's calendar.man proposes god disposes.i don't know about god, but its always fun to remember when something goes out of plan.i knew this is not a great story yet simple story with simple things.perhaps, the love makes life beautiful.
    only simple things makes us happy.

    Alas,all of the sudden teky's face brightens up after he spot proper tyre shop.that's it demand meets supply.
    he got a good collection of tyres..yoko,bridgestone,good year, michelin.etc etc..

    Decison was made with blink of an eye.it is to go with yoko c-drive 185/60 R14.
    princess slowly gathering her moment of flamboyance.she got brand new foot wear.
    Tyre guy was authentic and thoroughly checked each alloy to hold the air intact.
    we quickly settled the bill and started so soon as possible.Next stop was to fuel her as well as ourselves.
    A2B is targeted and both punto and palio shoots ahead.Ramjn and me were discussing and i told him just imagine this combo

    new tyre+GTX+SATHYA on wheels, we both laughed out to glory.now GTX tamed us,now i can certainly vouch that this Italian car has a heart,soul,love,charm,cute smile,you name it.it is there...

    GTX is certain that she can get you home only after you buy her shoes.she has to driven the way it should and she certainly demands the ambiance dignity from her owner.do or die and a no in between.i have seen so many petra,palio,uno abandoned on the streets.she is certainly happy that way also on contrast,she is not deserved for that.she is dolphin among the fishes.

    my heart always cries for those abandoned italian beauties,one such example is there is a siena parked (abandoned) near velachery bridge @ centre for wind research institute en-route to pallikaranai.i never pass that area without the glimpse of siena.This is an example of economics rules artistic approach towards life.head over rules the heart.logic rules over illogic.

    life is meaning less
    life is logic less
    life is hope less
    life is happening every moment by moment.everything is here and now.every fiat is made with so much passion,love,intimacy.
    that aura of intimacy is spreads from the source of design itself.every curves and lines made out of clay with bare hands.
    source of heart is passed on from the creator(designer) to the creation(fiat cars).That's why when i sit in fiat cars i can feel the aura of throbbing energy directly fills into my heart.converting what i felt into words is futile exercise,since the very word destroys the poetry.That is the reason why fiat is not always appealing to everybody.TO own a fiat you need a loving heart,
    you need a pair of child's hand.A playful way of living attitude.otherwise you will miss whole of the subtle thing.

    As any person with common sense has every reason to downgrade a fiat car.i agree because it is made by a imperfect human.it certainly have imperfection in it.you know "All perfectionist are Neurotic". you cannot live with a perfect person,he is a physco.you simply cannot approach fiat cars with head, if you hand shake with diplomats it is like holding a dead fish in your hand.on the otherhand hold the hands of a child it simply throws energy,it will communicate but not with language its so subtle,you need a ultimate silence feel the energy.just hold the steering linea you got live fish in you hand.

    This man! sathya is like a avatar guy.tamed the being with connecting those tails.it is an apt example to quote.
    i never like to sit in passenger side with wheels at other guy.on contrast i like to be a passenger with sathya on wheels.

    finally got home the teky's girl friend a safe home.story ends with happy ending!

    Some pictures of the trip

    And finally Punto meets his elder brother Palio
  4. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    This morning I was driving along with a Fern Green Palio and was drooling. I come to work, open TFI and I find this much delayed thread from Teky. Kudos to you teky atlast you decided to start a thread. IIRC, you already got this Palio last year. I remember reading the buying experience somewhere. You had some issue with a worn out tyre and stuff. Correct me if I am wrong. Many Congratulations to you for this lovely possession.

    ramjn is next in line to open a thread about his GTX :D

    I wish someday I own one, if not an S10 and have the amazing experience as you GTX guys have.
    3 people like this.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Excited about the restoration teky. Eagerly waiting for the final result. :)

    Yeh. That is still in pipeline. My current schedule is not allowing me to do one. Will definitely open a thread soon.
    3 people like this.
  6. mchanna

    mchanna Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    Awesome awesome, Congratulations and welcome to the elite group of 100 mad horses owner :)
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  7. teky

    teky Esperto

    This was taken in 2005 Ravi.

    Thanks Kiran, The GTX was acquired during later part of 2011 so is couple of months short of 2 years now. Hopefully you'll find a S10 or GTX soon.

    Thanks Ramesh, you along with the fellow Chennai Fiat-ians have been the root cause and the big support to make this happen.

    Thanks mchanna, the 100 horses can make you go wild especially the 3rd gear is insane.
  8. linealover

    linealover Regolare

    teky sir!

    i wish you better restore your shape as 2005.
  9. mchanna

    mchanna Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    Yup, the notes and beats of engine makes you go crazy, Most of the time I never play music when I am alone. Love the vrrrrom!!!
    Mine is 1.6sports, GTX is one heck of machine.
  10. teky

    teky Esperto

    So the car arrived in Chennai safely thanks to Ramesh, Sathya and Sundhu. Now since the car was in Chennai I initiated the name transfer in RC book and Insurance name transfer which was currently held in Reliance. The next step was to get the overall car checked and bring it back to factory condition as much as possible. Even though it was a 12 year old car it had aged well and the paint and mechanicals were in a good condition. However 2 years back finding parts for Palio were a bit tough the only option was Kava in Mumbai or SM Automobiles in Chennai who had all the parts. Finding OE parts where a bit of challenge however.

    If the parts were hard to come by its even tough to find a reliable mechanic who understands Palio very well and is honest about stuff. I was lucky enough to find a contact through a then fellow PUG’r Vijay. The mechanic name was Murugan and was located near Kilkatalai, he had a small workshop however was very eager to help and get the car back in condition as much as possible. Over the period of time he has been servicing/restoring all the Palios of our fellow Fiat’ians. If you’re in Chennai I can heartily recommend Murugan for any Fiat’s.

    So I drove the car around for a while to understand what the issue are before visiting Murugan and found the following to be fixed.
    • Power steering container had a leak
    • Power steering leak and ensured the ball joints in lower arms went for a toss (Poor maintenance from the previous owner)
    • The driver side strut was mounted in correctly and hence the wheels were protruding outside
    • Slight ply in the steering – Again possible due to long unattended power steering leak

    Dropped the car at Mechanic place and he test drove the car and confirmed that steering box and lower arms need work. So I sourced the power steering oil container, lower arms from SM Automobiles in GP Road, Chennai. I found it hard to converse in hindi with Kava automobile and over the phone, it was convenient to just go and pick stuff what you wanted instead of having to wait. I also decided to replace Spark plugs and all the fluids within the car. So sourced Transmission oil, Coolant, Engine Oil to do the first service along with Air filter, fuel filter replacement.
    Coolant Changes.jpg

    Once after the first service was the car was a charm to run, but had couple of issues which couldn’t be fixed. The rivets holding the door beading had rusted which means the beading weren’t right and rain water was let in when it rained heavily. So the car was mostly grounded during rains and thankfully in Chennai we don’t get so much rain which allowed us to put the car to good use over the weekends. There was also a rust spot in roof which was concern, after showing it Murugan he recommended to open the Windshield and also the mounts to ensure the rust if fixed. Since the windshield was already cracked I was open for this idea. The roof was stickered to white by previous owner so we wanted to re-paint the entire roof, so I was postponing this idea as I had plans to re-paint the entire car sometime. Work and financial commitments ensured that this plan was always in low priority.

    After the first service were done over the period of time as finance allowed I replaced the Ignition coil and Clutch slave cylinder as they gave up. It’s quite natural since this car is 12 years old, the OE Igntion coil was from Beru Germany which was replaced with Champion as we couldn’t source Beru again. The CSC was TVS Girling OE which was also replaced first time in 12 years speaks about the quality of cars which Fiat made. We also scanned the car using OBD and found no other major issues. Apart from the one’s replaced the major one to be replaced was the timing kit as the car was over 10 years old and also crossed over 60K, but again it was kept on hold due to lack of proper tools in Chennai to change it.

    The car was also detailed by Linealover once and I’ll let the pictures do the talking

    The GTX with her elder sister Linea post a detailing session
    With Linea.jpg

    Some random shots - The Fiat Tamer
    Fiat Tamer.jpg

    The 12 year old car
    12 year Old.jpg

    A roof top shot

    Coming up next the actual restoration
    8 people like this.

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