Lancia Fulvia Update – Assessing the Rust

With the whole guitar thing going on, there hasn’t been much time to play with the Lancia Fulvia but we got a little time today. It was Classics By The Beach in the morning, followed by a little Fiat X19 time with Geoff and a friend who came over to give us the benefit of his experience with the car – thanks Ant!

After lunch, Geoff and I decided to get working on the Fulvia. I was keen to get a look under its skin to see the real extent of what we’ve got to fix and as expected, there’s plenty to do.

Basically, what we did today was strip out the easy bits of the interior. The seats came out, the seat belts, and then the rubber matting on the floor. The rubber matting had a fibrous underlay underneath and that was a combination of easy and hard to remove. It was easy to remove where the floor was rusted, but harder to remove where the floor was solid. It was mostly easy to remove 🙁

Bottom line: there’s plenty of rust in the floor of the car. The rust has gone right through to become small holes in some places. The rust continues on into the front footwells, too, which was a little further along than I thought would be.

Deep down, I expected this. But an inspection of the floor from underneath had me holding out some remote hope that things wouldn’t be too bad.

The good news is that the box-type framing that surrounds the floor sections seems to be pretty good. I’m still living in hope that the subframe that supports the engine is OK.

New, replacement floor sections are readily available from a various suppliers, as are the inner and outer sills. You just have to buy them and get them shipped, which is a reasonable amount of money. Now that I know how bad it is, I guess I can proceed with that order.

Here are some photos from Sunday’s “Fun With The Lancia Fulvia.”

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  1. I guess you are in it for the long haul now. In a way it’s better to know that you need to completely re-do the body. Doing it right the first time is always cheaper and faster than patching stuff piecemeal.
    Let’s hope the oily bits are in better shape.

  2. I agree with what Bernard said. That’s a nice shade of blue on the unrusted bits. I hope you go with that, assuming you stay with it.

  3. Hooray! Now you have opened her up and can really get your teeth into what needs to be done properly. There’s nothing quite like seeing how far you can go and how bad it gets the more you do! Go for the new floor panels and you won’t regret it for a minute. It’s better that you decide to do it properly from the outset too. And when you motor down the road you KnoW it has fresh metal under your feet, with that warm fuzzy feeling of content that goes with it. And it is worth considerably more than when you started!

    1. It was good to finally get started. It was an eye opener as to just how much there is to do, but the old adage of how you eat an elephant comes to mind…..

  4. Swade,
    I wish you were closer….I would love to help.

    You should get a MIG gas welder and do it yourself. You will learn very quickly how to weld with a MIG and it is fun. Maybe there is someone nearby that can help train you. I would say it is easier than building guitars.

    Pelican Parts forum has lots of 911 build posts that could be helpful.

    I know you said you were going to farm this part out, but if you can build a guitar, you can do this metalwork and save lots of money, and have lots of fun.

    I cut my teeth on my 911 restoration and it was terrific fun and I acquired some great new skills.

    I am excited for you.

    1. Certainly get a MIG. They are really good value these days being the price they are at the House of Bunnings or wherever. Lots of options around purchasing them but it will pay for itself on its first serious job. And you get that nice sense of satisfaction that you did it yourself. Angle grinder, cut off saw, MIG, clamps, magnets, safety stuff…off you go! Pay someone else to do it and it is all hours and dollars.

    2. I’d love to get a MIG once the garage/workshop is built, but I’m still going to have to learn to use it and I’m not sure the best way to do that is on the Fulvia. Maybe on the next resto……????

      1. I agree with the others – get a MIG, gear, and some training and go to it. The Fulvia is a project car, and imho, the only way to make it right is to completely strip and rebuild it like Jon Williams does to his c900’s (if you haven’t seen his massive gallery, just google him). I live in a world of snow and road salt, and most cars look like this after 20 years – there would be nothing left of that Fulvia here. So you are lucky, but also, you have a huge amount of work to do. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to pay others to do all that work – you’d probably be better off financially buying an already restored Fulvia. So imho, consider it a great learning opportunity! The fun is in the building and the more you can do of that, the more fun it will be! There will be a lot of rust restoration work required on the car and a lot of welding. A useful skill to learn and I can’t think of a better time or project on which to learn this… Go for it! Take lots of pictures. Post the play by play and the results!

        Oh, and one more thing… in areas where you don’t plan to weld in etc but there is some persistent cosmetic rust… POR15 is your friend! An amazing paint for rust remediation.

        good luck!

      2. MIG is the best suited type of welding for automotive sheet metal. The basic technique is to tack the new metal in place with small tack welds You then fill in between these welds. A continuous bead puts too much heat in the metal and it will burn through.

        Get a gas MIG setup and a bottle of gas…….and then practice on some scrap sheet metal. Watch videos on youtube.

        You might find a welding class…….here is one near you That will get you going on the basics.

        As snowmobile, a grinder, and a few tools will get you in the business. And welding is such a good skill to know. You will wonder how you did without it.

  5. I am underway on a similar project with a series1 fulvia. out of curiosity, did you have the fibrous material under the rubber floor matting tested for asbestos? Wondering if the fine lancia engineers were sharp enough to not use asbestos inside the car?