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Saving the Panda (TLC for the road warrior)


Ian_Fearn
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Grabbed another couple of hours on this today.

The drivers side appears to be all original paint but the passenger side is a right mixture.

The front wing is half original and half blended with a poor colour match, the drivers door is original but the damaged rear door and rear quarter panel have both been painted with the same poor match.

On closer inspection it didn’t take much to see the lower arch had also been pushed in so i’ve  had a bash at correcting that too. First proper coat of primer now on.

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  • 5 months later...

Last week this piece of shite took us from Derby to Zurich in one go. Switzerland’s Covid rules basically meant we couldn’t overnight in France. 
Ok, it ain’t the greatest car in the world but I’ve spent so little on it but it delivers so much in return. It did 51mpg on the trip.

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  • 1 month later...

The MOT on this junk is up on the 1st December so I decided to do a bit of lockdown prep. I fitted a towbar a couple of months back and it’s been great for tip runs and hauling firewood/logs about. Overall this thing has far exceeded my expectations. 

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Last year it was advised on the rear axle (no surprises there), rear shock bushes and the brake pipes being coated in grease.

Well, the brake pipes are mint but the rear shock bushes were absolutely toast, the shocks themselves looks pretty horrific too so I’ve ordered a couple of Sachs jobbies from eBay for £50. I’ve wasted money on cheap unbranded shocks before so went with Sachs as they’ve been great on my other Panda.

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That rear axle is truly shot. I really don’t know how the drivers side spring had kept company with the car.

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The body of this car is mostly rust free but you can see above a couple of rust spots on the inter arch so I ground these back on both sides, sprayed a bit of Azzuro Frizzante and then some Bilthamber Dynax UC on. I didn’t need concourse, I just want it to last another 2-3years.

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I’ve ordered a new axle from IM axles who claim their version is thicker than the original but it won’t arrive till Tuesday.

The rear springs were rusty but otherwise ok so I’ve wire brushed these clean and repainted them.

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I’ve also managed to source a replacement wheel to swap out one with a massive ding in it for 25quid posted to my door.

New tyres are next followed by an MOT.

 

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New axle turned up today so that got fitted along with the freshened up springs. The drivers side brake pipe needed replacing so made a new one up in the copper/nickel stuff. Super proud of that. I normally don’t go to much effort bending brake pipes but with time on my hands I made a near perfect replica of the original.

Coated the whole thing in BiltHamber dynax. New shocks should be here tomorrow. After a brake bleed it’ll be back on the road again.

Spent a bit of time cleaning off a few minor bits of surface rust underneath too, sprayed a bit of Azzuro Frizzante at them and will dynax it all tomorrow.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Remember this mess?
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Well yesterday, in need of something to stop me getting under the wife’s feet I set out determined to get a door in the right colour. 150 miles round trip with the trailer and £30 later I obtained this.

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Very straightforward to fit. Took about 20 minutes.

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I’ve also had 4 new Vredestein all season tyres. The reduction in noise is a huge improvement and they seem nice and grippy.

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  • 2 months later...

Late last year, lockdown was getting me down. I’m not expecting anyone to get the violin out but I needed a project to stop me getting under the wife’s feet and asked about on here. A few things caught my eye but I got it in my head I wanted a Scimitar. I ended up honing in on one pre lockdown which was ok but the Webasto roof was shot. Everything I read suggested this was gonna be an arse ache needing specialist trim work and I just wanted something to work on myself without needing outside help.  Nevertheless I bid and lost. I had hugely misunderstood the value* of classic cars at a time when people are otherwise at a loose end.

So I decided to pull my old 141a Panda out of its dusty hibernation in the back of the garage and sort some issues that have been niggling me for the last few years. I’ve had this car a few years now, it’s been all over Europe, as far as Slovenia in the last few years. After a run down to the south of France in September 2019 it got put in the garage and it’s been there ever since. I really love this little car.

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Initially I set out to bare metal the front inner wings and tackle some corrosion on the passenger side. 

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I cleaned up the area, made a piece of metal, dabbed it in and ground it back.

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Bare metalled the whole inner wing.

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and coated with Bilt Hamber Hydrate 80, acid etch primer and then Upol Raptor colour coded to the original Fiat colour. Really impressed with the Raptor.

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Next, onto the drivers side where surprises lay in store......

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  • Ian_Fearn changed the title to Saving the Panda (more Pandas)

The drivers side ended up a bit more complex. The area around the drivers footwell and sill area revealed corrosion I’d never seen but needed to be dealt with. Also, the jacking point on that side was bashed out of shape. It’s really not a jacking point in terms of strength, it just looks like a handy place for KwiK Fit type places to throw a jack in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I completely removed the jacking point, massaged it back into shape and buzzed it all back together.


 

 

I ended up using a Dinitrol underseal, quite pleased with it.

 

 

and the same as the other side, bare metal the whole arch, hydrate 80, acid etch and Raptor.

 

 

 

 

and all the inner arch stone guards back on.

 

Very pleased with the results and colour match is brilliant.

Next up is a load of parts ordered a lifetime ago from Autodoc (that I’m still waiting for).

 

 

 

Some other shots. Shite photography warning.....

 

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@spartacus it’s Dinitrol 4941. I only undersealed such a small area that it’s barely worth the time and thinners needed to clean a Shultz gun. A can of the Dinitrol seems to go a far way too. The areas I coated were already hydrat80 and Raptor’d so it was only to replicate the original underbody sealant.

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  • 4 months later...

Just come back to this thread and noticed Spartacus was the last person to reply 😢. Hopefully he’d approve of the latest hopeless Panda rescue.

I wasn’t looking but I saw the red one advertised on a Panda FB page earlier in the week. Advertised as being an engine donor due to sill rust. I just couldn’t believe it was so bad that it warranted being scrapped and curiosity got the better of me.

On viewing, its in truly lovely condition, compared with my blue one it’s like new! It’s so strange, the underside is virtually mint, with hardly any corrosion in the usual places but the sills are ugly. The rear axle is a touch scabby and will probably want doing but I’ve got this down to about 2 hours now with the inevitable new brake pipes.

Its also a diesel, the 1.3 Multijet. I’ve always been skeptical of the diesels but this has 80k, full history and runs amazingly well. First impressions are the extra torque makes it much quicker than a 1.2 petrol up the hills. I can’t help but think the diesel isn’t worth the extra potential hassle but we shall see. Under the bonnet, it’s MUCH more tightly packed than a 1.2. The current owner reckons 55mpg short journeys but he saw 70mpg on a gentle long run recently.

So plans are, the current owner is delivering it for me tomorrow (such a nice guy) and I’ll start work.

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  • Ian_Fearn changed the title to Saving the Panda (added heavy oil)

Interesting. We have a 57 plate Black 1.2 which has a delicious 10,000 miles on. We've had it from new (was £6k). Quite honestly, some of the bits look new too (as does the underside and no rust).

it does have some interesting panels where a refuse truck decided to make a mess (but we couldn't prove it and the Missus refused to a) inform insurance and b) allow me to get some old scrapper doors)

It's got little history either - the Missus either got it done at the local garage or she got me to do it.

 

Our experience with it, however, is that it's never had anything go wrong except this one time when it overheated about 12 years ago. To this day, I still can't work out why - there's nothing wrong with the header tank or any leaks. I bled the system, refilled it and it's never done it since (although it does no mileage now, because the Missus, despite insisting that she wanted to do her driving test has barely driven a mile in years- most of the recent mileage has been me taking stuff to the tip).


These are definitely great value, no nonsense cars.


I would love to replace it, simply because if the Missus would get something a little larger, it would give me better options for a company car or I could opt out - I always have to get the sensible family jalopy rather than a mid-life crisis. Which she won't drive anyway.

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@TheOtherStu Pop a photo up of it! I remember when the early 169 Pandas were released there was a glut of failed head gaskets on the 1.1 models but I virtually never hear of it now on the 1.1 or 1.2 unless it lost it’s coolant through a leak.

I’d love to fit AC to one of the cars if I could find another genuinely knackered donor car. 

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Nice one on yet another Panda rescue! 

I've driven a MK2b Punto with the 1.3 multijet years ago on a long M'way drive. An I recall it having plenty of punch as you say. It had no trouble keeping up with the 1.8 Vectra either that I was having to follow at full chat.

It would be interesting to see your thoughts on how it compares though to the fire engine in the real world.

Out of interest btw how much did the upgraded rear subframe cost? As me and my Brother keep saying we'd like to try a newer Panda at some point. So be good to know, as we'd probably buy the worst example available. 

An also where did you get the colour matched raptor paint from? As it might come in useful for my Brother's MK1 Uno which is currently awaiting rust repairs. Cheers. 

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The PO delivered it for me today. I’ve not taxed or insured it yet so only moved it about on the drive. First impressions are that the clutch is a fair bit heavier and the whole thing feels tractor like. Rough compared to the 1.2 which is sweet and buzzy.

One of the things I love about the 1.2 is it’s light feel. But it could do with a little more power. I’ve been a passenger in the diesel one and it feels much more torquey as you’d expect. Also, it arrived showing 60mpg on the trip, the 1.2 is showing 48mpg today. I believe a 90bhp remap is available too.

The rear subframe is about £120 delivered and straightforward to fit. It’s powder coated so likely to last longer than the original. Budget also for new shocks but springs tend to be ok from what I’ve seen. Also, it’s likely the brake pipes on the rear axle will need changing.

I don’t really know if it matters in the real world but the new subframe points the rear wheels 2 degrees toe in….. I.e. a lot more than it should.

Colour matched Raptor is from Buzzweld, just stick your paint code on the order and it comes 2 days later. Very quick service from these guys. I’ll almost certainly use it for the new sills on this. 

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2 hours ago, Ian_Fearn said:

The rear subframe is about £120 delivered and straightforward to fit. It’s powder coated so likely to last longer than the original. Budget also for new shocks but springs tend to be ok from what I’ve seen. Also, it’s likely the brake pipes on the rear axle will need changing.

I don’t really know if it matters in the real world but the new subframe points the rear wheels 2 degrees toe in….. I.e. a lot more than it should.

Colour matched Raptor is from Buzzweld, just stick your paint code on the order and it comes 2 days later. Very quick service from these guys. I’ll almost certainly use it for the new sills on this. 

 We paid over £50 alone last year, just for a brand new subframe to be powder coated on a MK2 Uno. So that seams good value to me at £120 all in.

Interesting about the variation of the toe in, I guess they must have there reasons for it though. 

I totally agree if you swapping a subframe out, might as well do it right while it's all out and replace any worn shocks etc at the same time.

I'll definitely look up Buzzweld, as that would be ideal for what my Brother wants to do with the Uno. How many cans would you think roughly for two inner rear arches? 

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10 hours ago, Burnside said:

 I'll definitely look up Buzzweld, as that would be ideal for what my Brother wants to do with the Uno. How many cans would you think roughly for two inner rear arches? 

I used just under 3 cans for both inner front wheel arches on the Panda. 2 coats each side.

It’s surprisingly complex in there on the Panda with lots of awkward areas so if it were a less complex area you could get away with maybe 2 cans. It’s not cheap stuff but the toughness of the finish more than makes up for it!

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Managed to get a few hours on it this afternoon. Drivers side sill removed. The PO made the first cuts in the rear section and it’s not very neat so needs some fettling. I could have patched it but I may end up keeping this one and want it done right. It’s all very repairable.

Struggling to find a lower section repair sill if anyone can help?

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15 hours ago, Ian_Fearn said:

I used just under 3 cans for both inner front wheel arches on the Panda. 2 coats each side.

It’s surprisingly complex in there on the Panda with lots of awkward areas so if it were a less complex area you could get away with maybe 2 cans. It’s not cheap stuff but the toughness of the finish more than makes up for it!

Thanks again for the help, don't mind paying out for a more durable product as we hope to keep the Uno indefinitely! Thinking about it, probably 3 cans sounds about right as there a fair amount of area to cover in there.

With the Diesel Panda sills, I had a quick look on eBay and they are available aftermarket but are pricey.  Could you possibly use another aftermarket sill with a similar / same profile instead ? 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Burnside said:

With the Diesel Panda sills, I had a quick look on eBay and they are available aftermarket but are pricey.  Could you possibly use another aftermarket sill with a similar / same profile instead ? 

 

 

 

There are 2 options for sills. A complete sill that includes the lower section of the pillars or just the lower part.

The lower part is £25 each but out of stock where I’ve tried in the UK. The full sill is over £50 each plus £25 postage.

A place in Poland has the lower sills at £65 a pair posted but with VAT and customs/courier charges I’ll probably be looking at over £100 and who knows when delivery……

My next option is to look at fabricating my own. I won’t be able to get the exact profile but you can hardly see it under there and this is supposed to be a budget project.

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On 7/1/2021 at 7:28 AM, TheOtherStu said:

Interesting. We have a 57 plate Black 1.2 which has a delicious 10,000 miles on. We've had it from new...

How come you’ve done so few miles?!  Less than 800 per year 😯 

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  • Ian_Fearn changed the title to Saving the Panda (TLC for the road warrior)

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