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1988 Fiat Panda, minor update.


spartacus
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Wow, V5 only just through? I got mine for that Pug I picked up last Monday by the end of the week! They seem to be on the ball for anything online/automated and catastrophically bad for anything involving human intervention (like opening the post) at the minute.

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yeah I think it's huge difference if you do it via post, although that said it was still longer than usual. The XM didn't have a V5 and the replacement came through quirker than the Panda

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Decided to give up on the XM for now and try and address the driveshaft gaiter leak on the Panda (it holds in the gearbox oil so really needed doing before FoTU).  Despite being told it was a fairly easy task its still been a bit of a challenge thanks to it being the first major work I have done on the Panda, and my mechanical confidence being pretty low thanks to the XM debacle.  But once again @Grumblespeed went above and beyond to answer all the dumb questions I had . Thanks mate I really would have been stuck without you

First problem was how to jack it up. I hate using sill jacking points especially on old Italian cars, and there are no subframes or nice suspension mounts that look like it would take an axle stands. ended up going belt and braces 20210724_110506.thumb.jpg.d222f0bf4136554ec65a237b946fae39.jpg20210724_110510.thumb.jpg.25338ee0ee761ec2d26684b1e22f238a.jpg20210724_110521.thumb.jpg.3915428aaa241541a0bbda05fd72188d.jpg

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Gearbox oil drained. Is there a worse smell in automotive tinkering? I found a receipt with the car for gearbox from 2019 so I think @spartacus must have changed it so it wasn't as grim as it could have been.  A fair bit of  swarf on the metallic plug 😳

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despite thinking I could get the shaft out with only the hubnut and carrier to strut bolts I just couldn't find an angle to get the shaft out, and weary of damaging something grumblespeed suggested a few more links to undo

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Shaft out and gaiter off.  Checked the nice new gaiter grumblespeed did for the MOT and all looks good

the large metal tie that came with the boot isnt long enough to go into my tightening tool so had to use a plastic zip tie so will have to keep an eye on it

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the bearing which holds the oil in the small end seems ok which is a relief that it doesn't have to be changed

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all back and ready to go in the car

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In.  

Was a bit of a wrestle to get all the suspension bolts I took out back in, and the eagle eyed amongst you will notice its getting dark now

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Oops that doesn't look good. Turned out to be (very very) tired user error. I didn't nip all the wheel bolts up before lowering the car 😳

anyway. I have called it a day for now..Will fill up the oil tomorrow and hope against hope it doesn't leak as I am not sure I can do this all again 

 

 

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Update from yesterday and today

Filled the gearbox with oil, 2 liters yesterday and the final 0.5 l today. It hasn't leaked so far but I haven't driven it which will be the big test of my handy work. There is a huge debate about what transmission oil to use, ranging from unobtainable to standard engine oil.  Apparently if you get it wrong your gearbox will immediately explode into a million pieces.  I decided on this at the end which seemed to get ok reviews, is correct grade and suitable for older yellow metal boxes (and only £23 for 5 litres delivered)Screenshot_20210726-172239_eBay.thumb.jpg.f659fe823ae37b2f0a3a56643beb756e.jpg

Next up was trying to sort out the locks. There was only one key for the doors which didn't fit the boot or passenger door, so decided to replace all three with a brand new set. Door cards came off in matter of minutes.20210725_175609.thumb.jpg.8153acc5f6c8110b6d4c44ab82d231ad.jpg

the lock and push button is held in with this spring clip which you have to reach into the dark far corner of the door to reach (after disconnecting various plastic cup and ball joints without breaking the 30 year old plastic)

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The clip is supposed to pull off by hand but drivers door was stiff, so tried to prise off with a screwdriver and it pinged off into the inside of the door.  After 40 minutes scrabbling around trying to find it (you can't see into bottom of door and it was full of glass from a previous broken window) all I had successfully done was also drop my phone a screwdriver and my magnet on a stick inside the door too.   To make matters worse the door was not able to close as all the mechanism was disconnected and this happened

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after the rain I remembered I had bought a video endoscope in Maplin closing down sale so with that and a work light to illuminate inside the door I managed to confirm that there was in fact only broken glass in the bottom of the door.   Hmmm.  By process of elimination I realised the only place it could be was the one 10cm area of the door cross brace which had too small a gap for it to fall down.  Managed to confirm and flick it up enough to grab it by using the metal tie wrap I couldn't use for the gaitor (see previous post😃).  Got it, then dropped it again but this time inside the door so could fish it out with my now retrieved magnet

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Done!!! Passenger door and boot were done in 15 minutes ! Easy when you know how.

Final job before the test drive.... Car was missing a few badges on the back

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They are missing no more

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All that's left is to tighten the hubnut, wheel nuts and then test drive.  If it stays oil tight it's about ready for FotU.  If it doesn't the Favorit will be pressed into service

 

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16 minutes ago, Grumblespeed said:

Looking good. 👍

cheers. didn't manage to get confirmation on the hub nut washer or torque so just going to have to go with the 195Nm from Haynes

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Just drove it around the block.  First impressions are that the driveshaft is still in the gearbox and the hub, no nasty banging or wobbling, and no oil cascading out of the box. So if there is a leak its hopefully only a minor one

Gearbox is still very noisy, but I wasn't expecting change in that as I drained about 2.5l of reasonably recent oil out.  I can't decide if its noisier than it was. I only really drove it home on motorway and the noises are more at lower speeds.  First and fifth felt a bit notchy and occasionally needed a bit of a shove to get in but there was no grinding or graunching so hopefully its maybe just the shifter . I know from earlier the the thread  @spartacuswasn't happy with the shift and in fact there is a new shift mechanism or at least part of it which came with the car

I will look for any puddles of oil under the car tomorrow and if not will give it a few longer runs and see how it feels before making a call on taking it up to Lincolnshire (via Hull) for FOTU

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5 hours ago, wesacosa said:

Update from yesterday and today

Filled the gearbox with oil, 2 liters yesterday and the final 0.5 l today. It hasn't leaked so far but I haven't driven it which will be the big test of my handy work. There is a huge debate about what transmission oil to use, ranging from unobtainable to standard engine oil.  Apparently if you get it wrong your gearbox will immediately explode into a million pieces.  I decided on this at the end which seemed to get ok reviews, is correct grade and suitable for older yellow metal boxes (and only £23 for 5 litres delivered)Screenshot_20210726-172239_eBay.thumb.jpg.f659fe823ae37b2f0a3a56643beb756e.jpg

 

There is huge debate, for the record I have used cheap 20/50 engine oil in the past, & last time I rebuilt my gearbox (on grey 1990 Uno Mk2, same C501 box as yours)  I used non-EP Comma 75/90 . That was about 10 years ago & its been fine (although I noticed yesterday it seems to be leaking more gearbox oil than usual from the OS driveshaft gaiter, so that needs doing again). 

Sloppy linkage will likely be deteriorated linkage bushes. You need to change them before they go or you`ll have a sudden loss of gear selection, which can be temporarily solved with a luggage elastic hooked onto the OS jacking point (always keep a couple in the boot), but will inevitably happen in rain, at night on a muddy country lane, or on a motorway..

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13 minutes ago, uk_senator said:

There is huge debate, for the record I have used cheap 20/50 engine oil in the past, & last time I rebuilt my gearbox (on grey 1990 Uno Mk2, same C501 box as yours)  I used non-EP Comma 75/90 . That was about 10 years ago & its been fine (although I noticed yesterday it seems to be leaking more gearbox oil than usual from the OS driveshaft gaiter, so that needs doing again). 

Sloppy linkage will likely be deteriorated linkage bushes. You need to change them before they go or you`ll have a sudden loss of gear selection, which can be temporarily solved with a luggage elastic hooked onto the OS jacking point (always keep a couple in the boot), but will inevitably happen in rain, at night on a muddy country lane, or on a motorway..

cheers. The gearshift isn't sloppy as such (see page 2 of this thread on what Giles did to improve it).  It just seemed a bit stiff to get into first a few times.  perhaps it was just because its cold. I only drove maybe 1 mile

A replacement one of these came with the car (although its ever so slightly different looking)

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37 minutes ago, wesacosa said:

cheers. The gearshift isn't sloppy as such (see page 2 of this thread on what Giles did to improve it).  It just seemed a bit stiff to get into first a few times.  perhaps it was just because its cold. I only drove maybe 1 mile

A replacement one of these came with the car (although its ever so slightly different looking)

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Yep, just looked back at page 2, the selector bar can seize with lack of use as well, eventually leading to the rounding off problem Giles sorted with the drill bit bit.... They can be stripped & re-greased, and if your feeling adventurous, you can drill & tap a hole in the middle & stick a grease nipple in to prevent the seizing issue. They changed them a bit over time, but they all fit on the same studs & do the same thing, so not to worry.
 
Have a look at those change rod bushes though if you haven't already, as new ones also help selection, & will prevent the gear selector loss I mentioned. They were like a rubbery nylon material it was new, & deteriorate with age, crack & eventually fall out, theres every chance yours are original & on their last legs. 

New ones are stiffer nylon & are a bit of an arse to fit, as you have to push the rigid bushes into the hole in the rods, the bush is a very tight fit, & the nylon is rigid enough to make it difficult to get in, but not quite rigid enough to prevent diagonal distortion when you`re trying to push it through. much easier to do completely off the car in a vice, squarely if you can. KY jelly helps (matron), both getting the bush in & popping it onto the ball when remounting it under the car, with extendable/plumbers pliers or mole grips.

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The gearbox in my 1994 Panda is noisy in 1st. It’s not A series Mini noisy, just noisy compared to a modern car.

I’ve been in a few others that are identical. At least 2 well known Panda people have driven it and say it’s normal. Otherwise, the box couldn’t be sweeter.

I run the Tutela oil in mine from Ricambio. Changing the oil made no difference to the noise though.

Dont know if you are aware but there is a massive Panda event in Italy, it’s a great adventure. Been cancelled for the last 2 years but should be on again next year.

 

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21 minutes ago, Ian_Fearn said:

The gearbox in my 1994 Panda is noisy in 1st. It’s not A series Mini noisy, just noisy compared to a modern car.

I’ve been in a few others that are identical. At least 2 well known Panda people have driven it and say it’s normal. Otherwise, the box couldn’t be sweeter.

I run the Tutela oil in mine from Ricambio. Changing the oil made no difference to the noise though.

Dont know if you are aware but there is a massive Panda event in Italy, it’s a great adventure. Been cancelled for the last 2 years but should be on again next year.

 

thanks. I think I read your post on the Italian event back when you posted it in 2019. looks fun

There is definitely untoward gearbox noise as its noisy in neutral and gets a bit quieter when clutch is pressed (so assume release bearing on input shaft bearing).  The box doesn't seem to whine graunch or grind just sounds a bit thrashy in lower gears

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3 hours ago, wesacosa said:

thanks. I think I read your post on the Italian event back when you posted it in 2019. looks fun

There is definitely untoward gearbox noise as its noisy in neutral and gets a bit quieter when clutch is pressed (so assume release bearing on input shaft bearing).  The box doesn't seem to whine graunch or grind just sounds a bit thrashy in lower gears

Yes, I can vouch for the gearbox sounding rougher than normal for a Panda.

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3 hours ago, wesacosa said:

There is definitely untoward gearbox noise as its noisy in neutral and gets a bit quieter when clutch is pressed (so assume release bearing on input shaft bearing).  The box doesn't seem to whine graunch or grind just sounds a bit thrashy in lower gears

Yeah, they all do that sir... The main bearings do tend to be noisy on C501`s, I`ve yet to find an oil that solves it (without resorting to really thick, oil which would cause too much drag). I might try putting a few tablespoons of friction reducer in when I do that leaky gaiter to see if it has an effect.

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16 hours ago, uk_senator said:

Yep, just looked back at page 2, the selector bar can seize with lack of use as well, eventually leading to the rounding off problem Giles sorted with the drill bit bit.... They can be stripped & re-greased, and if your feeling adventurous, you can drill & tap a hole in the middle & stick a grease nipple in to prevent the seizing issue. They changed them a bit over time, but they all fit on the same studs & do the same thing, so not to worry.
 
Have a look at those change rod bushes though if you haven't already, as new ones also help selection, & will prevent the gear selector loss I mentioned. They were like a rubbery nylon material it was new, & deteriorate with age, crack & eventually fall out, theres every chance yours are original & on their last legs. 

New ones are stiffer nylon & are a bit of an arse to fit, as you have to push the rigid bushes into the hole in the rods, the bush is a very tight fit, & the nylon is rigid enough to make it difficult to get in, but not quite rigid enough to prevent diagonal distortion when you`re trying to push it through. much easier to do completely off the car in a vice, squarely if you can. KY jelly helps (matron), both getting the bush in & popping it onto the ball when remounting it under the car, with extendable/plumbers pliers or mole grips.

seems to be a receipt for gear lever bush kit

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Latest update and it's not great news. Have been running around in the Panda this week  but what started as a tiny weep of transmission fluid has now got a lot worse, leaving a large puddle last night.  The heavy rain made investigation impossible until this morning.  The good news seems to be the leak is not coming from the unobtainable o ring on the gearbox flange plate,  but from the large end of the gaiter. This is the end where the metal band tool couldn't be used on the zip tie so I had used a cable tie.  I had ordered some spring clamps but sadly they haven't arrived in time. I tried to cut off the zip tie and put a new on to see if it would seat it better and fasten tighter in my lunch hour today but with the oil still it inside it slipped a little down the flange and its too slippy to push back up and tighten clamp with only one pair of hands, I have tightened the new clamp as tight as I can physically get it with just pliers and hands but the leak is still quite bad.  Given I have to leave for Hull this evening after work I am afraid I have to admit defeat in getting the Panda up to FOTU. I just can't risk it on such a long journey without a better test of the latest fix

Genuinely gutted as I so wanted to get Spartacus' Panda up to the show but I just dont feel comfortable with the state of the leak and seeing how it got worse after only 50 or so miles this week :(

 

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6 minutes ago, Grumblespeed said:

Bumz🙁. Shame, so close. Probably easier to drop the oil again and dry out & reseat everything when you've got a bit more time on your hands now.

yeah that's what I was thinking. at least hopefully the shaft doesn't have to come out again

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  • 1 month later...

Time for a small update as I found some time between thinking of ways to kill my XM for some Panda work

@spartacus had complained about a bit of a flat spot in the acceleration.  I had noted that under very light acceleration it would cough and sputter and not pull very cleanly. Was ok when cold and running with choke but when warm it was pretty bad.   Given that it had new plugs, leads and electronic ignition before I got it, plus a carb clean and rebuild, new fuel filter and the dizzy vac advance checked ,  @Grumblespeedhad suggested the only thing left to try was the fuel pump.  I had also noted a fuel smell last time I drove it20210924_114631.thumb.jpg.a00e2b529bf8221402c44b690ab69da0.jpg

looks pretty old.   Mechanism was pretty oil when I took it off and the follower seemed worn

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New one on, along with all new ethanol resistant pipes and new hose clips.  First impressions after a shot drive around the block is the hesitation seems to be gone. However I will need to give it a good spin once I can get through the panic buyers blocking all the petrol stations.

whilst I was there I swapped out the oil pressure sender so now my oil light works :)

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next job on the list is engine and gearbox mounts. There is a lot of movement in the powertrian on power take up/lift off and the rubbers have definitely seen better days

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I also found a bit of crispyness in one of the rear sills/suspension mount points. It got through MOT in May so hoping its just a few flakey bits but needs investigation before it becomes an issue.  Also have to get the underseal out as the old stuff has lifted around the jacking point and is letting surface rust in.....

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I hope this doesn't upset or offend anyone?

I dip in and out of AS and follow a few threads and have a look at others that catch my interest (as with this one).

Reading through this thread and getting to the point where the car has moved into the hands of @wesacosa and reference is made to @spartacus in a past tense, am I correct in thinking this?

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sadly Giles (Spartacus) passed away earlier this year and the Panda was roffled with proceeds going to the hospital which looked after him . There is a thread on the forum somewhere telling that story.  I won the roffle but agreed with Giles partner who is also on the forum to update my work on the car in the same thread he started to keep the history all together

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A little bit more today.. I thought the radiator showing signs of weeping so I got another.

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Supposedly a Behr one from eBay but the fins crease just by looking at it.  Hopefully it will be ok. My hope was I might get away with reusing the coolant as I thought I remembered something from earlier in the thread about new coolant.   Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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the black is from the bucket. The brown is from the car 😂

Putting back together on hold until I can wheel it outside the house and get the hose pipe on it

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managed to swap one of the engine mounts whilst I was at it20210926_173950.thumb.jpg.657be3ecf7e6125662bfa0181f77efac.jpg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

some more progress on the Panda today.  given how grim the coolant was I decided it needed a good flush before putting the new stuff in. Sadly this meant disturbing the thermostat which was reasonably new according to the receipts from the work @spartacushad done. Being a cheapskate  responsible citizen I bought some gasket paper and cut a new gasket so I could keep the original stat once I had hosed out the block. dab of Hylomar blue each side for good measure so fingers crossed it holds.  Its a 5.2L capacity but after I have finished bleeding it through I reckon I will have got about 4 liters back in, perhaps a tad more.

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Seems to run up to temperature ok and heater works well so hoping a few more runs will have it properly bled

After the last update changing the RHS mount I have now done the LHS 

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and the gearbox end

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this probably explains the huge powertrian movement !

Its noticeably different with all 3 mounts done. Before the engine could be rocked with just light finger pressure. now its faily solid and the shunt on power take up/lift off is gone.  

Given it a longer drive after finding a few liters of E5 in the garage which I bought to clean the LHM filters on the XM back in the days where one could be so carefree with petrol.  The new fuel pump really has made a huge difference on the light tip ins when hot. Picks up pretty cleanly now , so I am calling that fixed.   However a new issue has come to light, with the throttle starting to stick open so that's the next job on the list.........

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