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Restoring a Fiat 500L Part 6: The greasy bits continued

With the car resting on its new running gear, it was time to fit the new wiring loom. New left-hand drive looms are available, as are old wiring diagrams, but this stage is more complicated when restoring a right-hand drive / UK car. New sections need to be let in around the bulkhead to extend from the fuse box to the steering column.

Whilst the whole restoration process had been going on, the engine and gearbox were being stripped, cleaned, and rebuilt with all new fluids, gaskets and filters.

The engine was in surprisingly good shape, with the crankshaft needing minimal machine work. To ensure longevity, new bearings were fitted, along with new pistons and rings. The head was skimmed slightly, and new valve guides fitted.

New & rebuilt ancillaries (starter motor, coil, leads, plugs, fuel pump, carburettor) were fitted to complete the engine rebuild.

The gearbox was in similar condition, only requiring a new first gear. And a new clutch for good measure.

Dressed in newly blasted and powder coated tinware, the engine and gearbox were ready to be mated and fitted.



With the engine, gearbox, and rear panel fitted together, we put the car on a ramp and then lower it down to fit the engine. The starter, choke and throttle cables were connected, as were the remaining cables from the new loom. Then follows the moment we had all waited for – the first start. With a squirt of easy start to help proceedings, we pulled the starter motor and after a few seconds, our new engine fired and ran!

26th June 2019 Restoration Projects Author: Adam Smith
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