I have started to put my own Abarth Berlina Corsa replica back together. It was last overhauled/painted in 1992, so it was about time.

Initially the car was stripped on the interior, engine and luggage compartments. After welding up the holes from 10 years of competition it was dispatched to the body shop for a much needed coat of paint.

The first job at hand was to fit the tank and pumps back to the trunk compartment. The fuel cell was inspected and completely cleaned before reinstallation.

The next job was to install a "dummy" motor and gearbox to allow for measuring up and fitting the various catch tanks and lines.I plan on running a oil-to -water heat exchanger, in place of an oil cooler, as I do not have to worry about routing air-flow to it. It would appear that there will be sufficient room for it, the water overflow tank and the radiator header tank, on the right side of the engine compartment, if I weld up some "form-fitting" containers. I also plan on putting a US specification radiator neck on the header tank while I am at it.

I also started with installation of the new wiring harness. The old original harness was well beyond it "use-by" date and since the car may get races in Europe again, where functional headlights, turn signals etc are required, it required a full wiring harness. I opted for one of the Painless units.

Here you can see the transmission installed. The installation is somewhat different. Normally there would be mounts on the side with a cradle under the gearbox. This almost always reduces ground clearance. Instead we formed a bridge across the top of the gearbox, and suspended it from the top. The gearbox is from a Fiat Punto. It is a 5 speed, full synchromesh unit and it is mated to a Fiat 600 differential with a Scuderia Topolino limited slip.

To make room for the shift mechanism, which is on the side of the transaxle, I had to remove the left frame rail, and put in a new one that runs straight fore-aft. The fore-aft movement of the shift pattern is done with a shift rod, and the sideways movement of the H pattern is done with a push-pull cable assembly. There is a new aluminum cover that goes in place on top.

The oil filter assembly has been relocated to the end of the "heater" tube, from the side of the engine compartment. This moves the weight further forward and lower in the chassis. In addition as the engine will be dry sumped, the oil tank will be located in the rear seat area (approx. where it is sitting in the photo), except that it will be fully enclosed in a separate compartment.

The final engine installation will utilize one of the PBS 8 port heads. Instead of the more conventional dual side draft Weber configuration I am opting for 4 Keihin motorcycle carburetors on a custom, billet manifold. Eventually the carburetors will have a cold air box with the air inlet coming from a NACA duct in the engine cover.

The front and rear suspension have already been hung, although it will all come back out to have brake line tabs welded on and then sent to the powder coaters.

The front suspension features new front aluminium hubs with separate wheel and brake disc flanges. the brake disc is solid, although crossdrilled, and affixed to the hub by 8 small titanium bolts. The suspension layout is unequal length upper and lower a-arms with heim jointed attachments and full coil over suspension with dual adjustable, aluminum front shocks.

Similarly the rear suspension has been upgraded to my interpretation of the Abarth Pendolare rear suspension. This utilizes a tubular rear trailing arm with our own axle/carrier design. For brakes we opted for Willwood 2-piston calipers, acting on a very thin, grooved rotor which is mounted on a specially made aluminium hat. Again the rotor is affixed with small titanium bolts. All of this is controlled by aluminum bodied, double adjustable coilover shocks.

Next I will start on the plumbing on the inside of the driver's compartment. This includes brake line, fuel lines and fire system plumbing. Once that is all in place then I can continue with the electrical wiring.

I would welcome your comments and suggestions. I will post more information as the work progresses. Hopefully I will get it all back together in time for the first event in May of 2009.

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Comment by ron brothers on January 14, 2009 at 3:30pm
very nice!! Ron

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