MG Midget versus Clan



The Lancia Fulvia 1300 Coupe


The following notes are based on about 50,000 miles with a 1300 Lancia Fu’via coupe purchased new in 1967 and used for “social and domestic” purposes, driven and serviced almost entirely by owner. Professional work includes replacing exhaust system, checking front wheel alignment, replacing four tyres, balancing wheels, spraying wing edges etc., and M.o.T. testing. The oil consumption has remained about the same (700 per pint) between changes (Esso Uniflo engine and 90/140 transmission). To completely drain the transmission, it is necessary to use both drain plugs, otherwise it will only take 3 pints of oil. When greasing chassis, the front is jacked-up and steering

turned over on locks. Note that it is easy to get grease on brake discs when greasing bottom king-pin bearings. The steering box started to leak oil so a grease nipple was fitted to filler plug. The original Michelin “X” tyres were changed back to front diagonally at 12,000 miles and replaced at 25,000 (spare unused to date). The new ZX were in balance as fitted, but required balancing when changed back/front at 15,000 miles. They are Stiffer in the walls than “X”, so lower pressures (24 lb. front, 22 rear) are used. No brake servo is fitted to this model. Original front pads lasted 18,000 Miles. Softer pads (Mintex 59) are quicker but last about half the distance. Handbrake cables are prone to sticking at disc ends.

The standard throttle control is too heavy and the hairpin spring on control arm was removed. The air cleaner element is cleaned with a nylon brush. Carburetters are made of zinc alloy so bolt them up carefully to avoid distortion and use new gaskets. Worn volume adjusters can be replaced with English Solex which are stronger.

The two throttles are synchronised by screwing it: synchrOniser and note when rear throttle opens, then screw in opposite direction and note when front throttle opens and split the difference. Slow running is controlled by throttle stop. The four volume adjusters are for progression. To check setting, with warm engine run in top gear at about 1,000 r.p.m. down slight slope and then “feed in” throttle. It is worth noting that on occasion when slow running “went off”, inlet valve clearance was too close. The maker’s tolerances are minimum—not maximum. The official ignition setting is given as 6′ static plus 15′ automatic, with a tolerance of plus or minus 2°, making a maximum advance in crankshaft degrees 23 BTDC. With 6′ static there was evidence of too much advance. Investigation showed that the automatic was giving 20. The ignition is now timed in the advanced position at 23′ 13TDC. The ‘FDC postion is marked on flywheel tooth with red paint, advanced position is marked with grey paint on 7th tooth BTDC (one tooth,3.3’). With contact breaker checked at .018 in., turn flywheel in direction of rotation until Advanced position is opposite TDc mark in crankcase, connect wire from under-bonnet lamp (positive side, black and white) to coil resistor at “D” (green). With ignition switched on, the lamp should just light up as points break when rotor is turned to fully advanced position (spanner on crankshaft nut). The contact-breaker is regularly checked at .018 and cleaned and adjusted if necessary. The only “electrics” replaced are plugs: Champion long-nosed N9Y at .020 in. Parts replaced have been gaskets (carburetter valve cover etc.). Exhaust system at

30,000 miles, dynamo belt at 38,000 miles, windscreen wiper blades at 38,000 miles, timing chain at 40,000 miles, 3 sets front brake pads, I set rear brake pads. The fan belt is interchangeable with the dynamo belt. The tension of the latter should be checked with engine hot. The Renolds tim ing chain (E4.15) was fitted because of noisy period at about 3,000 r.p.m. and because

Renold’s make the best. You link up the new chain with the old and get girl friend to turn front wheel in top gear. The camshafts have to be re-timed, checking with valve clearance method.

Modifications include a sheet of rubber wired inside front grille, alongside radiator, to keep the engine bay very clean. Fan belt is removed in October and wired to hot air intake; refitted in one minute in May. The body sills have been drilled with 4 x 3/16 in. holes each and “Supertrol” sprayed in. Condition at 50,000 miles: New front brake discs will be fitted at next pad change. Tyres are down to 4 and 3 mm. back and front and will be replaced long before they reach the official limit, with 155 x 14 ZX. Wheels and wheel arches etc. will be re-sprayed at same time. The compression pressures are 155/ 160 lb. sq. in. (slightly down from best recorded 160/165). There has always been some slap when cold. Although this Lancia will run on 95 octane, to be on safe side 98 is used and at 35 m.p.g. is unaffected by use on motorways etc.

Crayke. J. FAWCETT.