Jump to content

Ash's tempered adventure


Recommended Posts

While i'm still looking for a Qubo daily driver, in the back of mind i have had a wish to get an 80's car. Not for work, but to drive into the sunset on the weekend, between 2 rows of palm trees

You gotta be careful with what you wish for - because you might just get it


Spotted while looking for a Qubo online. It was somewhere in the center of the country (and very far from here), so i went on a single trip to check out both it and other 2 Qubo's (that's in another thread)

The moment i got in, i was impressed. Figured here is my 80's, well 1995 Fiat Tempra 1.6 i.e.

Driving started with a second of grinding the gear - I came to put it in reverse to get out of the parking, and haven't expected that the clutch goes THAT far down - It's definitely more down than in the instruction car or any Qubo's

The rest of the test drive was great. The car goes well and really does give the feel of "a real car", which is kinda missing in everything modern


Mechanically the car appears to be in great condition

The chassis is in great shape and completely rust free. The previous owner have kept it in an enclosed garage. I don't have one, but plan to put a hoodie on it when not in use during winter

Body work does have bends, former repairs and fill-ins. Some panels aren't aligned too well, in particular the engine hood door does have significant gap on one side as the wing is a bit out of place. The front turn signal lenses are smashed. The headlights are intact, but a bit misaligned due to the wing. In short, the car did have some impacts over its life, but none of them impacted the chassis in any way (and i looked very throughly on the underside to check this)


That day took me a few rides by train to get through all the cars to check out. After the test drive, some vague check up on the mechanical condition, and inspection of the underside - chassis, I bought it on the spot

(With the Qubos, which are more modern and i'm looking into using one as daily driver, i am much more picky tho)


Taking the car home was a problem. The car had been insured by the seller, but the insurance doesn't cover me driving (being a new driver)

The seller, who (as i got to know him on this day) is into vintage cars. He noticed that i showed unusual passion for the car, and agreed to drive it all the way from the center to my house, a journey over 120 km. He arranged with some friend of his, who came with a 2nd car following us, and the two set off for their way back once the Tempra was at the destination


The night ride in the Tempra was exactly as i could imagine a night ride in an 80s car. Everything was incredible, all the way to the awesome purr of the engine (the seller was driving)

(The lighting was bad, as the headlights are not aligned, but that's it)


I'm very happy to have caught the Tempra. I have the impression that the car is great - It definitely is in rarely good condition for its age

It needs some things, which i will address one at a time. For a start, i'd like a checklist of possible required maintenance (as i dont know when exactly it had been last serviced)

Things currently i think of :

  • Oil replacement
  • Coolant replacement (does it need some flushing or just drain the old & fill new ?)
  • Any belts ?
  • Any filters ?
  • Spark plugs ?
  • HV (spark) wiring condition ?
  • Brake wear level ?
  • Tire wear level ?

Anything else that might be required if the car have been standing unmoved for a few months straight ?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had just bought that, first I would have a good look at all of the tyres, take off the wheels and check brake discs and pads. Spend some time underneath just looking for broken, bent or leaking. Push, pull and poke anything that might be loose or week. Then I would change filters - (air, oil, cabin air), change engine oil, coolant, belts and spark plugs.  Battery voltage, connections, charging voltage: always worth a check.

I wouldn’t do it all at once, but the more I check, the more confidence in the car I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leak in the trunk

I have a leak through old and dried up caulking in the seam between the wing and the other part that the trunk gasket is on (not the gasket itself)


I'd like to replace the caulking there, however there are few issues :

  • I'm concerned that taking out the old caulking would do more damage
  • The left wing had been damaged by a crash in the past and repaired, but the repair is not great, in particular, it fits badly with the light, making the trunk door hit or nearly hit the light. I might consider to take the wing off at some point in the future to try to reseat it

So my current plan is to put new caulk right over the old, making the band wide enough to cover plain surface on both sides (to seal it)

Would like advice


Full story

After the first significant rain i checked out whether the car is dry inside. Found that the trunk lining is soaked (all 3 of them, the one that covers the spare tire and the sides)

Under them i found quite pools of water





In the latter corner i found a plastic plug in the corner, apparently for laying in wiring for fog lights or something like that. Removing the plug enabled draining the water, the rest i wiped dry



Took the liners to dry at home


There is some rust under the gasket, but not near the top (where i suspect standing water might be present), but on the sides. Overall it looks like the main leak is not from the gasket, allthough there is a rust issue under the gasket as well, mostly at the bottom





The latter bend is indeed a place where the gasket doesn't close tightly, but it still isnt what filled the trunk


After some more heavy rain i got into the trunk from inside the car, trying to pinpoint where the leak is



Top is dry


Sides - and it looks like at the wing seam (not at the gasket) are leaking and dripping. Right is dripping massively, left is not dripping much but there is water flow on the wall



I put some pans for the night, to prevent pools again (as much as possible....)


By tomorrow night the right side was full like this, left allmost dry, and wet floor on the left side only (from the leak that flows on the wall)



To dry the interior for now i rigged a fan, that will blow into the breath hole under the left wing. Hopefully it can dissipate most of the moisture away








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rust under the trunk gasket

In addition to the leak

The edges of the trunk opening on the bottom have been apparently standing in water trapped in the gasket, and have rusted significantly

I would like advice on how to stop the damage and repair this properly







Link to comment
Share on other sites

That rear quarter panel (wing) isn’t removable. Well, it is but you’d need to drill out all the spot welds, you’d most likely destroy the panel in the process.

Assuming you can’t identify the leak by flowing water over it, first thing I’d look at is the rear light cluster gasket. Notorious for letting water in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From where i looked (except under the bumper, haven't yet taken it out) it is held in on bolts. And from inside the trunk i see the back of a riveted captive nut, which matches where i would expect more bolts to be

The leak is from the seam above the wing, it is not related to the light

But i have another problem with the wing - It is a bit deformed (not great repair after a crash), there are cracks in the filler they used, and makes the rear light stay in an awkward position, that makes the trunk door (also bent a little) hit it

I want to try to reseat them both to fit in properly, and am considering to repaint it to seal those cracks so water won't be getting in (it's not trhe source of the leak, but to prevent rust of the wing itself under the repaired area)



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This shows the bolt locations, and it appears that the window surround is not part of the wing panel, so presumably there is a gasket or rubber moulding below the window, where the wing fits against it.  It's an unusual design.

BUT - rule number one - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The wing is not intended to be removed once fitted, and you will be making trouble for yourself if you do so.  Especially if, as you say, it has been repaired badly.  For instance, what are you going to do if some of those bolts shear off? 

Unless it absolutely has to come off, leave it well alone.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been dealing with it today. In short :

I took off the bumper and looked at the wing mounting. The mounting points that were far from the place of impact are seated well, and don't look like they are out of place, i.e. only part of the wing was twisted

So i left it mounted as is, and went on to sealing everything

I had to take out the outer gasket of the rear window to seal below it (where the seam begins). I haven't yet put back the gasket - It is hard and inflexible, and needs to be put on sealant in its own right to hold, which i will do later. It was allready loose in places and held in place with some older sealant as well (an old repair)

While removing it i found a rusted through hole in the metal right under the rear window. There were 2 "place holder" things there (probably used to align the glass when the window was installed), one of which trapped water and created this spot

For now i removed the "place holders" and patched the spot with a patch of flexible plastic, attached to place with the same sealant that i used on everything else. It covers the entire bad spot with margins, and is sealed to the good area around it. The patch won't be visible once the gasket is on (except when the trunk is open)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Came to touch up some of the sealing i made today. The Super 7 (sealant type : Den Braven Hybrifix Super 7) seems to hold fairly well to itself, but is easy to peel from the metal (atleast after 2 days of curing)

As long as it really seals to the metal/paint i guess this is good (keeps water out and is easy to rework later), but if it doesn't, i'll have to peel it off and find something else\

In any case, i keep watching it to make sure i don't get water trapped somewhere

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/18/2022 at 8:51 PM, Ash said:

In the back of mind i have had a wish to get an 80's car. Not for work, but to drive into the sunset on the weekend, between 2 rows of palm trees

Live the dream man i know i did! It might be a Daytona on a budget and the clothes purchased from Primark but i went off into the sunset between the trees alright. 🤣



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gotta figure out which oil & coolant i need for Tempra



It's Tempra 1.6ie, engine 159B9.000 - Don't know much beyond that

I don't know when it was last serviced - May it need flushing/cleaning ? How can i figure out that ?

Also, synthetic ? semi synthetic ? How does that work ? Is there a specific type i have to get so it won't react with gaskets etc ?

I'm going to replace the oil filter as well



The stuff in there now is of a viridian-green color. The guy from who i bought the Tempra says it's a mix of 1/2 concentrated coolant - 1/2 distilled water which is (as he says) something Fiats use

In the Qubo i have a label on the coolant tank which specifies "Paraflu". There isn't any label in the Tempra, however i guess that might be what's in there now

Does the Tempra need that particular coolant or any standard coolant ?

Does the coolant system need any flushing or such if it's unknown when it was last changed ? (The cooling system works perfectly, there isn't any sign of a problem)


Other fluids

What other fluids (brake, steering, ...) i may have to change ?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Trying to get the correct oil filter

I couldn't unscrew the old filter by hand. Neither i wanted to punch it through to remove it - as i wouldn't like to leave the car inoperable in case it will take a while to find the suitable replacement or some other problem show up





Here is something i found at the parts shop. It seems the right external diameter, but i can't bet its quality... (Whether it filters at all, and won't release some bits that'll get stuck somewhere else)

So, took a couple pics and went on to search for an original part for now




I would like to drain the oil for a day to let as much as possible out. But its out on the road - if anyone bumps the tray from under the carter, then it'll be mess flowing on the road (i have no clue how much more oil will come slowly from it when left for long)

So i'd like to drain the lot, then plug it for a day and drain again the leftovers tomorrow. I want something that can plug the hole, that won't require strong tightening, but not leak as much as the proper plug when screwed loosely



Bits laying around my electrical workshop



The original oil was quite dark and stinky




I splashed a little of the new oil into the fill inlet (right into the camshaft) to hopefully wash away some more of the old oil


Took a sample of the old oil in a bottle to show my local mechanic. (The rest is in a gallon jug for proper disposal)

The oil is completely opaque, flashlight won't light through it



New tool in my toolbox


Jacked up the back of the car to hopefully get more old oil out from the bottom of the carter



So here is what i managed to source :

The Chinese filter for Fiat Uno/Punto shown above

Original filter for Alfa (Giulietta according to hand writing on box). Its diameter seems right, but is a bit shorter. I guess it won't matter (within reasonable filter change intervals)



Figured i'll let it run with the Chinese filter for a while to collect as much as possible of the remaining junk, and then (based on how i think the oil will be) either do a complete oil change again, or change just the filter, and then use the Alfa filter

The Chinese filter appears to have the insides of a filter, so is not a fake. Can't tell more than this just from looking at it


Oiling it


Wiping and oiling the surface it seals to





Long deserved. 10W-40 semi synthetic




After filling up i went for a short drive. Some oil leaked from the camshaft cover and around the edge of the carter, but later stopped. I haven't seen any new leaks over the next days




Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was really before the oil change, but only now i came around to posting


The wing that's been repaired in the past. There have been leaks from it into the trunk, and i wanted to take it off to check how to properly reseat it

However, its left (behind the door) and bottom (behind the bumper) parts are seated perfectly, so its really the wing itself that's deformed






The D pillar have a plastic cover on its exterior. The cover is held by 2 bolts and a pin


The bolts are accessed from inside




however here one of the bolts had detached from the plastic panel, and the part that inserts on the pin was cracked - It snapped off when i tried to slide it out

I have put them on loads of silicone (to the bolt head and to the detached part, not to the car body) for the time being, till i fix them properly with some proper adhesive resin




The water flows here under the "upper" gasket (which is of not much use - It is all dried out and hard, and i could barely even fit it in. Right now it is off and put aside)

There is some yellow filler that's hard as rock and yet not sealing anymore, probably from the time when the wing was repaired


In this spot the wing is not tightened to the car all the way (due to its deformation) and water could freely flow into under the wing. Not a lot of water mind, but might be enough to corrode something in the space there

I sealed it from here (the top) so that it won't get water in every time. The space there still have its openings on the bottom and into the trunk volume




Removing the hardened outer gasket on the window bottom, i found a bad spot in there


There is that part that was stuck there (looks like some spacer that was left when the glass was installed - Maybe the glass broke on that crash when the wing was damaged, and was replaced)

It caught standing water in the channel below the window, and apparently in this spot the metal was exposed or something corrosive was present so it grew into a nasty rust spot with a hole

I am thinking how to treat it all the way up to the window sealing edge as it's rusted up to there, and i would not want to take off the window unless it is really necessary

Would wire brush and acid do it ?






I sealed it from the top (and in the channel) with Super 7 and a patch of plastic (the cut up tube that the Super 7 itself came in), to prevent water from reaching to the spot

I plan to peel it off and redo properly when i get around to it



I still plan to take off the wing later, to properly fix the crease in the trunk edge and sand/prime/repaint that spot (it would start rusting)

Untill then, i just sealed it with lots of Super 7, and will leave the trunk gasket off - I wouldn't mind as much some minor splashes getting into the trunk, but without gasket it won't catch standing water that will cause rust to appear in that spot

With the entire channel now covered with sealant end to end, hopefully the water will come straight off



  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original air filter - was not particularly dirty, but lets replace it anyway (keep the original as spare)


New filter


The new filter is a bit taller than the original and it obstructs the intake to the filter box by a few mm, however i dont think it is critical ?

(I would be more concerned if some particles getting with the incoming air could punch through the filter in that spot, but dont know if it really happens)





The coolant is lime green transparent color (allthough there is a "paraflu" sticker on the windshield)


I couldnt find any drain valve. The radiator is replacement (probably following the crash that's seen on the car front right)



Some black stuff that looks like a sealant from the tube connection to the radiator came out with the coolant. In any case, i have put it back together without any such stuff and it haven't leaked



Some scale in the coolant tank but doesnt seem like much

I drained the old as much as will come out (a little remained in the bottom of the radiator, below the tube i disconnected) and filled new. The old coolant seems clean






Headlights were dim-ish and would go out if i fiddle with the wiring

The H4 lamp holders (they are not originals, there are splices in the wiring) were loose on the lamp pins, so i took the terminals out and crimped them a little with pliers


One filament (left low beam) didnt work at all. Found that the wire is broken under the insulation, in the spot where it enters the terminal

For now i soldered it onto the terminal. Not great to have on a wire subject to vibrations (the solder wicks into the wire and hardens it, which makes a brekable spot), but itll do for now before i get back to redo the headlights more properly. (And i'm going to - They need work to fix the crash damage)


A turn signal didnt light up - Was corrosion on the back terminals of the lamp holder (where the cable plug comes to it). Some poking with screwdriver sorted it


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Over the last year i had the Tempra (since the last post), I replaced 2 shock absorbers (were destroyed) and hacked a few minor fixes to get through MOT , but not much otherwise. There are less than +100km on the mileage since i got the car

Next is some body work, as there are few issues :

  • The Tempra had been in accidents in the past and the repairs were bodged - Some wings and the internal part that holds the radiator and headlights need a bit of straightening
  • There are small specks of rust in few spots around the windows catching on, and bigger rust area on the bottom of the trunk opening, that need sorting out
  • The paint is quite worn and could do with a repaint







I found a body shop that are willing to work together with me a little at a time, and not "leave us the car with the keys and return in a few days"

First thing planned is to take out the front and rear windshields and take care of the rust that starts catching in on some spots at the window perimeters

I plan to take out the outer gaskets, then take the car to a professional glass shop who can remove the windows carefully and i will put them aside

After that, i will remove the rest of the plastics around the areas in question so we can start doing work

  • Any recommendations on the process in general ?
  • The gaskets are quite worn and hardened etc. How are suitable new gaskets chosen ? (I would imagine that you get them and cut to size yourself, and not as a "kit for Tempra" etc)


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Started disassembling some things that are not supposed to stay in the dust and paint overspray environment





It is impressive how much car related stuff can come out of a seemingly empty car. This is just about 1/4 of the freely laying around stuff throughout the car, before anything actually being disassembled


Question :

I am disassembling in order to properly fix all the rust, significant deformations, and repaint where needed, which is likely the entire exterior of the car

i am going to take off all exterior plastic parts (mouldings, handles, lights) and gaskets as much as possible to get all metal surfaces repainted properly

But how to handle some things ?

  • The door windows once the gaskets are out ? Do they have to be rolled up or down ?
  • The dash - Is it possible to cover it properly enough, or experience shows that it better be disassembled ?
  • The general interior of the car, if there is need to sand/respray some areas that need the doors open to work on ?




  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...