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The tuning story of an unexpected gift

Discussion in 'Engine and Drivetrain' started by drifter, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    A few years ago one day my door bell rang when two familiar faces had a set of car keys dangling in front of me, telling that these keys are now mine. The only thing I got out at this moment in time was a "Sorry?".

    Well, the car was owned by the girlfriend of a client of mine, who also was a client of mine. Both came for performance tuning parts for their cars for some years.

    She bought another car and the Cinquecento she used to own became surplus. So she decided to visit me and just drop the car with me. The car she bought then I own now too.

    Here I was being lumbered with a yellow Fiat Cinquecento Sporting, which was dubbed 'lemon' in due course.

    Lemon's chassis was fine. No rust, but had a number of niggles. As one can't look a gift horse into the mouth I just took it as it was then. Lemon was in good company. It was one of 4 Cinquecentos I owned then.

    Lemon was great fun to drive like Cinquecentos are. But power is something I never can get enough of. Having done a 16v FIRE conversion on another one I thought I give this first a proper 1108cc treatment. Of course it shifted a lot better after gaining some good torque and 11bhp more, which was from 57 to 68bhp with 750kgs of car.

    Sometime after I stuck another engine in, which came from a Punto 60. Before I fitted the engine I worked on the chead. The 1242 60 engine has got a single point injector, which means that the engine is a straight swap with the 1108. Just an exhaust spacer is needede and a re-map afterwards. This is even more important with the head work and the cam I had done for it.

    Unfortunately the SPI injector only allows for 82bhp, but this was 25bhp up on what the car used to have when I got it.

    It did shift. With driver it was just under 100bhp/ton.

    One day I got offered a 1368 16v engine offered and thought I would fit that. So I started on the new project. Unfortunately this was the beginning of a frustrating period. In the middle of fitting it I got seriously sick and had to postpone further work. Then winter set in and nothing could be done. When I was able to continiue lemon was subjected to vandalism despite in a rather secure storage.

    The project was thrown back further because I needed to repair the damage first.

    Progress was slow, but a year later the engine was fitted in the final position, which is slightly different than the original position.

    Some months later the exhaust was sorted and then the car had to be left for a while because of other work related projects.

    A few weeks ago we decided to continue and get it sorted in order to see on the road soon..

    After giving it a wash (of what is left of the car), we looked at the manifold. The engine was dynoed before coming out at 113bhp. At 850kg with driver this makes over 130bhp/ton. Not bad, but I want much more. Now some lightening is being done. The idea is to get off about 100kg with all the seats in and the same comfort as standard. And on the engine side the goal is to up it by 47bhp for the time being.

    Well, it is work in progress.

    This is the car when I was enjoying the 82bhp.

  2. jishnu

    jishnu Superiore

    Cute lil Car! :)
  3. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Great read.

    150 horses under the hood are gonna make the tires scream. Do post some under the hood shots.
  4. royj

    royj Esperto

    Can this cute little car handle that much power? :eek:
    I mean how will it handle?
  5. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    I will do some shots from under the bonnet soon. At the moment the car is in bits. And it does need cleaning first.

    Oh, it does handle. This is why I like the Cinquecentos so much.
  6. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Yesterday I was able to do some more work. Progress is slow but at least I am making some progress.

    To keep the 4-2-1 exhaust manifold that is designed for the engine, we had to move slightly back and at an angle of a couple of degree.

    This was a lot of work. the other problem was to fit the alternator belt. The 16v does not clear the engine mount. Instead of filing material away from the engine mount we opted for a tensioner to clear it.

    The plate covering the intake ports is the base plate for a proper plenum chamber.


  7. Viny

    Viny Esperto

    ITs like putting nuke under chicken and asking it to run fast, the tallbody for sure would give lots of body roll on high speed curves, its more like grandmother of nano :p

    Keep up the good work, that keeps you busy with what you love to do, and thanks for sharing some beautiful moments of your life :)
  8. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    It does handle much better than people might think. Body roll is rather little. It does have an anti roll bar as standard. The picture might make it taller than it is due to the fact that it is a short car. I regularly experience how low it is when I try to find in car parks its newer brother or tried to find this one when it was on the road. The both were just hidden behind virtually every car wherever it was parked.

    The Nano is 3099mm long, 1495mm wide, 1652mm high and has got a wheel base of 2230mm.

    The Cinquecento is 3230mm long, 1490mm wide, 1435mm high and has got a wheel base of 2200mm.

    The Nano is quite tall, but it did not feel that bad when I tried to throw it around Mumbai.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  9. kaustubh_vaze


    There goes our drifter again - And I was really curious as to what he is upto these days!!! Nice work Peter! Do tell us a bit more about it when you get the time.

  10. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Over three weeks since the last update.

    Progress is a bit slow. I had to go to Germany for health reasons and trying to sort myself out. Before i left we were progressing on the custom inlet manifold. Unfortunately we didn't have the injector rail at hand when making the water hose connection, which goes from the cylinder head to the heater matrix.

    This week the inlet manifold hopefully will be finished.

    This is how far we got:




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