Lancia Fulvia Update – Nov 24

At the last Lancia Fulvia Update, I’d started removing some exterior trim. The job continued today and true to form, I got over some previous frustrations and discovered some brand new ones!

Last week’s frustration was the headlamp surrounds and a fresh air intake for the heating system. Let’s tackle those first….

I managed to get one headlamp surround off but the bolts holding the other three in were round where they used to be hexaganol, and rusty where they should be smoothly threaded.

One off, three on….


And this week, all of them removed and then the headlamps out, too.



That’s Geoff working on something or other inside the engine bay. Geoff managed to wrangle the headlamp surrounds out thanks to a liberal dose of penetrating fluid and some mighty big pliers from his van. It’s handy having an electrician around, sometimes 🙂

It’s worth remembering that the end goal for everything that’s happening right now is to get all the little bits and pieces off the body of the car so that I can rub the paint off before sending it away for rust repair and new paint.

A few weeks ago I started removing the windscreen wipers but the little pokey-uppy bits that the wipers attach to won’t go until I get all the mechanicals out from underneath.

Here are the pokey-uppy bits (it’s a technical term).


The mechanical bits underneath are hiding behind the fresh air intake for the heating system, which is the long black box you can see at the back of the engine bay in the photo below.


I’d removed one fixing last week but couldn’t find the others, which I assumed were on the inside of the car. A helpful gent in comments pointed out that there were two more fixings in the engine bay, one either side of the intake box. I hadn’t seen these due to the abundance of rat poo covering them!

One, and then the other.



These came off fairly easily but the box was still stuck in place. There are a pair of hoses coming off the bottom so I un-clamped those (more on those in a minute) and it was then that I noticed one more fixture – a pivot mechanism that opens and closes the vent, attached to the interior by a cable.

It was tricky to get to as access was limited, but a couple of 11mm spanners saw it off.


And with that, the air intake box was free. The strange thing is the two pipes coming off the bottom, which seem to have flattened ends and go nowhere i.e. they’re just there, without being attached to anything else.



Removal of the box gave me a full view of the extent of the rat poo. They certainly had a good old time in there….


Removing that air intake finally allowed me access to the windscreen wiper mechanism, located under the cowl and attached by a couple of nuts on the passenger side of the car and a couple of wires.


Most things have been removed from the car with only a little bit of fuss. These two nuts proved to much more difficult, however. The bolts they attached two are housed in a rubber bushing and they don’t appear to be attached at the other end. That means whenever the slightest bit of rust caused the nut to stick, the whole rubber bushing would twist with the bolt. What kind of system is this? I managed to get the first one off OK, but the second was doing nothing-but-sticking so I’ve given it another bath in Penetrene and we’ll see how things go later in the week.

Indicators came off from the front, with one lens as a casualty.

And out last job for the day was removing the stainless steel trim from around the front face of the car. This was secured by three small screws, one at each end above the headlamps and one in the middle-lower section.

It came off quite easily but I’m not sure it’s re-useable. Maybe one side is, but the passenger side has quite a few bumps where the car obviously had a bit of a front-ender at some point. The outer headlamp surround is suffering in the same way.


The end result?

The front end of my Lancia Fulvia is looking rather bare now. We’re on our way, for sure!



Thanks for visiting.

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  1. Why is all that poo still in there?!? first thing is to create a clean working area…..shopvac and then a quick clean with a hotwater hose and brush will do wonders.

    1. 1. The car is a long, long way from the nearest power point. Even with my super-long extension cord I’m not sure I’d make it.

      2. How happy do you think Mrs Swade would be if I told her I was using our fancy bagless Dyson vacuum to clean up rat poo??

      3. Yes, I need to buy another vac.

      4. We need to get Geoff’s X19 running so I can get it out of the garage. Then I can do all this stuff.

  2. Upward protuberances, downward protuberances, leftward protuberances, Rightward? protuberances, angled protuberances, bent protuberances, inward protuberances, outward protuberances…….etc’, etc.

    Completely new language for garages….!!

  3. Steven – when something is stuck there is an old trick, use the “diamond-pasta” on your bits or screwdriver. You will find in a good store, it will get a high degree of friction and you can apply a good force when you turn your tool. WD40 is good, but you also need to really get a good grip with a lot of friction. Otherwise you will damage those scews and have to use a drill to get by.

    1. OK… so I Googled “Diamond Pasta” and got a bunch of good recipes for Italian food 🙂

      But eventually found this – Dia Paste. Is this what you’re referring to?

        1. While we’re on this topic, it’s amazing how much more traction you get from a good screwdriver or bit. I splurged on a Snap-On set about 15 years ago, and I also use a Wera Torx set for the Saab. A Wera Pozidriv screwdriver in the most common Lancia size will save you hours of aggravation (and it makes a great stocking stuffer).

  4. “How happy do you think Mrs Swade would be if I told her I was using our fancy bagless Dyson vacuum to clean up rat poo?”
    If you run fast enough, you survive – but not your marriage! 😉 Buy your own vacuum cleaner!

    1. Yeah, I plan on having to replace most of the ancillaries on the engine.

      Speaking of which, it has a dynamo, right? Do people replace these with a more modern alternator? I’m wondering how much I should modernise when I put all this back together. For example, the radiator with electric fan you posted in comments last week. Makes more sense than the belt-driven fan I’ve got (even though it looks so bloody elegant). An electronic distributor.

      I don’t want to do anything that takes away from the character of the car, but then these upgrades just seem to make sense.

        1. Enjoying the updates, Steven. I agree with the above comment – any old timer I get from now will get electronic ignition and electric fuel pump. Makes a big difference!

  5. those pipes off the air box are probably designed to let out any moisture that manages to find its way in. I suppose there might be some engineering logic about turbulent air flow and air pressure that some crazy Italian chap came up with in the mid 60s, but that seems a bit far fetched; except it’s a Lancia. I’m going with the “drain” theory.

    I really love that it has that beautiful scoop for no purpose other than fresh air to the cabin.

  6. Ever pulled the airbox out of a ‘B’?
    Same basic setup. Yes, they are drains if the water gets in from heavy rain. Also allows small leaves to be flushed out if you squeeze the valves.
    Don’t do what I did and urethane it back in after painting. The heater core in the box spilt an hour before a weekend away to the Yarra Valley, and She wasn’t too happy about that, let me tell you!

  7. Hi Steven. In my experience the dynamo gives no problems, my Fulvia doesn’t require any extra cooling, in fact I have removed the fan belt to the lovely aluminium fan. It has never looked like overheating. I had a Lumenition system installed about 20yrs ago and it has never skipped a beat. Read about the Fulvia on the Viva Lancia forum and specific Fulvia reference page.
    Huib is the master.
    Ensure your radiator is spotless and has appropriate coolant and that the heater core has also been checked/cleaned. Thermostats seems to be robust. The heater rubber valve will need replacing. The water pump allen bolts can snap so go very very slowly and carefully with some wd40. A few of mine snapped and then the bolt shaft was removed with multigrips. Harrowing. Install new stainless steel ones with copper grease. The water pump is also a piece of art. Good luck. IMO Lancia know more than me – so stock is the way to go. 1969 Fulvia GT

  8. They two tubes at the air intake are drain tubes.
    The let water out but not in (thats what the flattened ends are for)