A bit of music from the lamented Radio Blog Club

Le Français

Toujours, je suis désolé pour mes amis( et amies) français(es), mais il est difficile pour moi d'écire en français. Peut-être un jour...
S.V.P. regardez ce LIEN

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year/Bonne Année

A Happy New Year to all my English-speaking readers and...
pour mes lecteurs et lectrices français(es) Bonne Année.

You will have noticed the dearth of new Fulvia material over the last few days, but bear in mind please, that this is the season of conspicuous consumption! (pour les Français, naturellement, 'consommation avec moderation'!)

As a little "taster" I have attached another snap from the forthcoming article about the mid-engined Fulvia-engined special.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just in case you missed it

This link comes from the Viva-Lancia forum.

An excellent story indeed.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Holiday Show for Cat Lovers Everywhere

Source: here

Well, I said that I am a cat lover! Here's the original and best Cartoon Cat: Felix

I roared with laughter and I am sure that you will too.

Hooked? Here's a link to the blog of someone who is obviously a big fan; plenty of FELIX films there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas to all my readers.
The illustration (courtesy Jusdesign) whilst certainly of interest to Fulvisti actually has a bearing on a forthcoming piece that will appear on this blog, concerning the "mystery" engine featured a last week.

Look carefully at the "overlap" between cylinders 1 and 2; therein lies a clue to a key part of the future article.

Special thanks to CM for all the "Photoshopping".

Best wishes to all.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Picture

The new picture on the right of the page shows a mid-engined Fulvia special.

As the caption reads, this is another subject I shall be writing up soon.

Here's a link to a bigger version of the picture

Mystery Picture - More soon

Click on picture for full size image

Come on then Les Experts, who can identify the engine on the bench - under test...?
The only clue I can offer is that there has only been one exactly like this one.

I will in due course, be writing up the story of this and my part in it.

In the meantime, let's hear from some of you.

And don't forget, for those of you in France, Fulvia expertise is available at reasonable prices - right here in Haute Savoie, about 30km from Geneva. Contact

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Talking Point

The Fulvia Coupé rally cars are justly well known, but the "Sports" were also widely used in competition - perhaps most famously by the Factory at Daytona, using one of the first 1600 engines in 1968.

About 30 "Competizione" Sports were built by Zagato. These featured very extensive lightening as may be seen in today's picture.

The car shown is very, very special. It belongs to Carlo Stella who has written a book about the Competiziones. The car was developed around 1972 by one of the famous Italian tuners: Samuele Baggioli. The engine, a 1300 is fitted with Kugelfischer fuel-injection complete with specially made slide throttles. I took the photo at the Fulvia 40 celebrations in Turin in 2003. The engine is said to make 143HP at 8500 rpm. I heard it running and am not inclined to doubt... "Whang, whang, whang"!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Thanks to William for adding interesting comments - to "Fulvia Thoughts" 2, 3 and 7.

No need to be shy then - let's hear what you have to say!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I Said I like Cats - and of Course, I am not Alone

Photo by hoolstress

" Si vous êtes digne de son affection , un chat deviendra votre ami , mais jamais votre esclave." Théophile Gautier


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I need those comments now!

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lancia Cursor

Here's a life-size picture of the Lancia cursor that I can provide to anyone who wants one. It is animated and thus rotates.

Email me on

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fulvia Thoughts - 7

The seventh in the series, this one returns to the engine with some thoughts about Fulvia camshafts

I wanted to include a scan of the Technical Data, but cannot upload it. I will happily email it to anyone who wants a copy. Contact me on

Considering the fact that the Fulvia was in production in a variety of forms for 13 years, it is perhaps quite surprising that only six types of camshaft were listed in the published technical data.

For me there were probably only four different “production” camshafts: this is suspicion rather than established fact, and I would be interested to hear from anyone who has had the opportunity to study the various types really thoroughly.

1) 818.000: I suppose that only very few of us have ever seen these which were fitted only to the very earliest cars

2) 818.100/130/202/282/302: A common one this, found in many models – e.g. 1200 and 1300 S1 coupes and sedans and also S2 sedans.

3) 818.140/342/303/540: Now then… You will see that the data give different timing for the early HF camshafts fitted to 1.2HF and early 1.3HF cars. But note: the duration (274 degrees) is the same as the later 342 cars and also 540s and 303s. The only difference in the data is the lift at TDC, given as 1.8mm for early models and 2.2mm for later ones (I have chosen to ignore the 0.05mm difference in the valve clearances as I feel that eight-tenths of a thou. is nothing to worry about). I suspect that all these have the same profile, and the timing difference may be explained by the different setting at TDC. I think that the 24/72/72/24 timing given in the owner’s handbook for S1 coupes (for the 1.3HF) may be safely ignored.

4) 818.540 (VAR 1016). No comment about these near-mythical components except that it is strange that whilst the duration has been increased by 14 degrees, lift at TDC is the same as that given for the 303/342/540 cams (take your pick). One could be forgiven for thinking that given the larger carburettors and (I presume) detail work to the porting, that greater lift would have been provided to take advantage of these modifications.

In my view apart from the profiles (obviously) there are only two important differences between early and later camshafts. First, the early camshafts, certainly the 818-100 ones, appear to have been made from steel and case-hardened. These have a thinner hardened layer and usually, have not proved to be suitable for re-grinding. In any case, the normal 818 100/302 has a small lobe and provides little scope. If you have a sympathetic camshaft man, the best camshafts for experiments are those found on S2 1600s or very early S2 coupes. These are made from cast iron and have thick hardened layers especially at the nose making them suitable for re-grinding. And (second difference) most importantly they have the vernier holes allowing them to be set up accurately. Incidentally, most S2 sedan engines are fitted with cast-iron camshafts with vernier holes – but of course they have the 302 (i.e. 818-100) profile. The true S2 and S3 (coupe) camshafts are of the “one pin one hole” type and are therefore useless for truly accurate setting – they are fine otherwise though, being of the same excellent material and of course identical in other respects and since they are plentiful, it may be wiser to experiment with these rather than the rarer and more valuable vernier type. Incidentally, it is possible to use the vernier cam wheels with the “one-pin” camshafts.

Those thinking of approaching a camshaft man with “ideas” should take a rocker along to show him. A moment’s thought will show that a profile originally conceived for a push rod engine will not be ideal as the followers in such an engine will be notionally flat whilst of course the Fulvia cam “sees” a curve which naturally affects the opening and closing characteristics.

I have come across two other types of camshaft, both of which were supposed to be works profiles. He first was the profile sold by Barry Waterhouse at Evolution Engineering where I worked and was manager for a couple of years. Barry showed me the originals which were highly polished “billet” shafts – i.e. machined from steel billet and hardened. These were pretty radical. Timing was something like 50/70/70/50, therefore offering 300 degrees’ duration with full lift at 100 degrees. And moreover, lift at TDC was 4.3mm and full lift at the valve, 11.3mm. They are very effective, but hard on the valve gear (owing to the acceleration).

The second profile I acquired having ordered a pair from Italy to original works part numbers from a 1967 parts book. When they arrived they were marked 43/77/77/43 with 3.8mm lift at TDC. Maximum lift is from memory, 10.3mm.

I expect that the works experimented with a variety of profiles for competition use. If anyone has any more information about this topic I would love to hear from them.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cats & Michel de Montaigne - Erratum

Picture by xgianaxandxnick

I have been taken to task by CM, over the error in the French of the de Montaigne quotation that I posted yesterday.

CM directed me to a link that lists many famous French cat quotations including of course this one. My excuse is that I copied the quote directly from The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. I thought at the the time that "...joue à mon chat" was a bit strange, thinking that "avec" would be better, but I have enormous trouble with French prepositions so did not feel in a position to challenge it!

So once again:

" Quand je joue avec mon chat , qui sait s'il ne s'amuse pas plus de moi que je le fais de lui ?"

(When I play with my cat, who knows whether he isn’t amusing himself with me more than I am with him?)

Lancia Pictures

Looks jolly serious doesn't it? (Click on picture for the full-sized version).

A 1962 Flaminia Supersport in competition guise, I found this picture on a site that boasts lots of LANCIA pictures and "wallpapers". A chance for you to tart-up your computer or blog!

Again I have added the link to my links section

Big FIATs (Again)

I promised that yesterday's picture of the FIAT S76 would be the last in the series, and so it was. But FIAT made many huge racing cars, and
indeed it was driving earlier FIAT monsters that Vincenzo Lancia made his name as a racing driver and (to a certain extent) as an engineer.

Here are two pictures of the FIAT S61, a mere baby at only 10 litres... However it was quite interesting technically, with four valves for each of its four cylinders and an overhead camshaft. The first picture is copyright FIAT, the second, showing the S61 at the French G.P. at Dieppe in 1912, I found on a wonderful website which has pictures of practically every FIAT made; I have included a link to it in my links section.

Apart from introducing the FIAT S61, this post is also a reminder of just what a wonderful resource the Atlas Nostalgia Forum is.

This thread shows how quickly any information, however obscure, may be found there.


Monday, December 04, 2006

One More Time...

For those who are not fans of the giant S76 FIAT that I have been featuring, tough luck: there is one more picture to add.

This shows the big car in its record-attempt guise and was probably photographed around the same time as the "impressionistic" picture. The picture was taken at Ostende of course. Note the "streamlining" around the radiator.

Very brave men...

Something a Little Special

Although I may not be 100% correct, I like to think that Lancia owners especially have a strong sense of and interest in, the marque's traditions, whether they be the founder's racing career, the excellent history of invention and innovation, the superb engineering, the competition successes and so on.

Certainly this applies to me. Here I show two pictures

The first picture (photo David Beard) shows the lovely F1 Lancia D50. This is one of the staggeringly correct replicas that have been constructed using original engines and transmissions. The project was largely achieved by the efforts of Anthony Maclean who also owns one of the cars (and a superb D24 spyder too).The photograph was taken at the Goodwood Revival in 2003. This particular car is driven these days by Jochen Mass and by all accounts has become very competitive.

The second picture shows the radiator of a very special V8 Lambda, complete with pre-war Royal Italian Auto Club badge. This car took part in the Mille Miglia in 1932. I will add a little more about this in the future. (Photo by me).

Des bons mots?

" Quand je joue avec mon chat , qui sait s'il ne s'amuse pas plus de moi que je le fais de lui ?."

I have already indicated that there will be occasional departures from this blog's raison d'être, and today offer something feline and French...

(When I play with my cat, who knows whether he isn’t amusing himself with me more than I am with him?)

Michel de Montaigne 1533 - 1592

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Links (again)

Just a line to draw your attention to another link I have added. This does not concern Fulvias, but contains all sorts of useful information - et c'est en Français So please have a look.

It is always interesting to see how many people are providing a wonderful service by assembling all sorts of useful information on their blogs.

Site Meter

Under the heading "Visitors" on the right-hand side of the page you will see a little link marked "Site Meter".

If any of you have blogs of your own or websites, then Site Meter is a really excellent tool for you.

To get an idea, click on the link and you will see that a great deal of information about the visitors may be found.

So now I definitely know that you are looking in - so please let's have those comments - it's so easy and anyway I should like to know if what I am providing here is useful or at least interesting, and without your feedback I shall never know.

If you are interested in Site Meter, go here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Monster Picture

The "impressionistic" picture of the 28-litre FIAT S76 (I imagine from a newspaper) appeared some time ago in the Atlas Nostalgia Forum - a recommended visit for all interested in old cars and especially motorsport.

Here's a link to a bigger version of the picture.

I have always loved those early photos where the impression of speed is given by the characteristics of the early camera shutters, so that wheels adopt a fantastic elliptical shape and radiators lean forward.

Wonderful stuff

More Lucas Injection

The Ferrari 512M picture (post 24th November) showed how Lucas Injection should be installed - that is when resources and money are available.
Now, here's a picture of my installation on my Fulvia.
And remember, lack of resources does not mean that one cannot be resourceful!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fulvia Thoughts - 6

Many times over the years people have asked me for recommendations for carburettor jetting for modified cars.

Of course I either tell them the jetting I have used (when I had carbs) or give them the standard answer i.e., "All engines are different: take it to a rolling road and set it up".

However it is always nice to have a starting point and this time it's 1300s.

At Evolution Engineering, we had a very good client, sadly no longer with us who was a great Fulvia enthusiast. He lived part of the time in America where years ago, he had bought up a large stock of ex-works Fulvia parts. I recall him saying that he had new 1.3HF crankshafts in their factory wrapping, special 40mm Solex carburettors and so on.. Don’t ask! I have no idea what became of all this wonderful stuff.

Anyway he came up with a most interesting document that I have copied here that lists a variety of carburettor jetting for 1300s in various states of tune. Of course Solex parts are very hard to find. Main jets can be bored to the correct size as twist drills in 0.1mm steps are easily available – this should really be done on a lathe at high speed to ensure accuracy and a good finish inside. Air correction jets are usually reduced in size when engines are developed. The trick with these is to fill them with solder and re-drill.

Here are the specifications; I hope that they are of interest. Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that apart from the idle jets, the jetting of the 1.3HF is identical to that of the S2 coupes.


The early owners’ manuals did not keep up with the production specification. The HF cams, also common to the 1.3 S were never used on any 1.3 engine with 29 mm choke carburettors. Dropping the main jet to 115 as with the 1.2 HF would not provide sufficient fuelling for the 1.3, 1298 cc engine; the jetting and carb. specification is very sensitive.

From the original Solex S.p.a. Technical Bulletin, No. 65-A/June 1967, supplied by the Lancia Competition Department.
1.2 HF (76 x 77 engine)
Full air cleaner
HF cams

Solex C. 35 PHH (CR. 186)
Choke 29
Main Jet 115
Air Corr Jet 160
Idle jet 42.5
1.2 HF Corsa (77 x 67 engine, 1247 cc)
No Air Cleaner
HF Cams

Solex C. 35 PHH (HF Corsa, special velocity stacks, C. 23263)
Choke 31
Main Jet 125
Air Corr Jet 145
Idle jet 42.5
1.3 Rallye Coupe and Sport (77 x 69.7 engine, 1298 cc)
Full Air Cleaner
Standard Cams

Solex C. 35 PHH 2 (CR. 192)
Choke 29
Main Jet 120
Air Corr Jet 190
Idle jet 42.5
1.3 HF (77 x 69.7 engine, 101 BHP)
Full Air Cleaner
HF Cams

Solex C. 35 PHH 3 (CR. 193)
Choke 31
Main Jet 120
Air Corr Jet 180
Idle Jet 42.5
1.3 HF Corsa (77 x 69.7 engine, 114 BHP)
No Air Cleaner
HF Cams

Solex 35 PHH 3 (HF Corsa, special velocity stacks C. 23263)
Choke 31
Main Jet 125
Air Corr Jet 145
Idle jet 42.5


From the original Solex S.p.A. Technical Bulletin No. 71/October 1967, supplied by the Lancia Competition Department
1.3 HFR Variante 1014 (77 x 69.7 engine, 132 BHP)
No Air Cleaner
HF variante 1014

Solex C. 40 DDHF (Special velocity stacks)
Choke 34
Main Jet 145
Air Corr Jet 155
Idle jet 50


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fulvia Country

A shot from the French Alps, taken two years ago during a trip to Milan.

I'd like to be there again! Real Fulvia territory. - sans doute!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ferrari 512M

The new picture in the sidebar is a more general view of the Ferrari whose Lucas fuel-injection I featured a few days ago.

The little bottle on the right-hand side of the picture contains petrol, Normal procedure is to squirt a bit into each trumpet before attempting to start the 550HP 12-cylinder screamer. It is also wise to keep a fire-extinguisher handy...

Click here to see a bigger image.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


It was delightful to be invited to join a group of Fulvia enthusiasts for supper on Friday. The meal took place at a pizza restaurant at Crissier, in Switzerland.

I was very impressed with the staggering condition of the Fulvias that were parked there; standards are high - very high. During the meal plenty of photographs were circulated showing yet more very smart Fulvias and also pictures of Fulvias competing in the Monte-Carlo Historique. I was told that 55 Fulvias were entered - an amazing number. Curious though that my friend's Fanalone pictured on this blog, remains the sole Fulvia taking part in Rallye VHC in France (other than regularité).

I am expecting one or two snaps from the supper which I will add as soon as I get them.

For more information about the Swiss Fulvia group click on this link

10th December: I am now able to attach a picture from the supper (photo Serge Hugentobler)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Monster No 2

Yes a real whopper this one; the terrifying FIAT S76, FIAT made two of these and despite rumours to the contrary, neither is thought to exist. The full story may be found on the excellent Atlas Nostalgia Forum here

Friday, November 24, 2006

Today's new snap

Here's a link to a full-sized picture of the lovely Ferrari Lucas injection installation shown on the right of the page - worth a look I promise!

More Reminders

As the heading now reads "Expert care for Fulvias and much more", an opportunity to remind you all, I am available to give your Fulvia the care and attention she deserves. For example, how's your crankshaft?

I am near Cruseilles (74350) about 30km from Geneva. Contact me on

And another thing - I know the blog is being viewed - let's have some comments or chat from some of you - and help keep the FULVIA at the top and in the news as it deserves!


Apart from taking snaps of bits of customers' cars so that they can see the inner horrors that have been revealed in the dismantling, I have also from time to time taken an interest in more general photography.

Some of my pictures my be seen here
The site offers free picture hosting, so I have included a link to it in my links list - now opening in a new window!


At last, I have arranged the LINKS to open in a new window.

Apologies for the delay in achieving this, but HTML - well...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fulvia Thoughts - 4

And today's subject is...

The Alternator.

The alternator fitted to S2 and S3 cars and also Fanalones is really a rather feeble item. Rated at 28 amps, it is potentially not up to the job. Consider a rainy, cold night. Driving in your S2 coupé (or sedan for that matter), you have the headlamps, heater, heated rear window and wipers all running. With the sidelights, I estimate the total power consumption at 390W. At 13.5V, this represents 25.9A, rather close to the limit even for a perfect alternator (more of that later) and if you run main beams and fog/driving lamps as well, then you had better have a very good battery!

Of course I have given a fairly extreme example, but I believe that equipment should always be up to the job with a margin to spare.

Early S2s and Fanalones are fitted with Bosch alternators and starter motors. Late S2s and S3s have Ducellier equipment. Most people seem to agree that the Ducellier equipment is not as good as the Bosch, and based admittedly only on impressions rather than tests, I am inclined to this view.

Testing your alternator is a fairly simple matter if you have a suitable voltmeter or multimeter. With the engine running connect the meter across the battery. The voltage should read between 13.5 and 14.4V. Next switch on the headlamps. The voltage will drop, but it should not drop below 12 – 12.5V. Then increase the engine speed, watching the meter. As the alternator turns faster, it should deliver more current, causing the voltage to rise. The voltage should return to a minimum of 13.5V. If it does not, then the most likely cause is either a failed diode in the alternator or perhaps regulator trouble. Many Fulvia owners will have noticed the warning lamp glowing gently when the headlamps are switched on; this is an indication that all is not as it should be!

In the past I experienced both of these problems. The cost of rebuilding an alternator is quite substantial and so my first solution was to fit an alternator from a 2000. This fits directly onto the Fulvia mountings; the only change required is a shorter drive belt (from memory 750mm rather than 775mm). Electrically there are no problems if you have Bosch equipment. On Ducellier cars you would need to change the terminals connecting the (Ducellier) regulator to the alternator. The 2000 component can deliver 55A so is unlikely to be stressed and should last well. Please note that the Fanalone has a different arrangement with a double pulley. I have not attempted the conversion to a 2000 alternator on Fanalones, but I think it might not work because of the different block mountings.

However, the fact remains that the 2000 unit is rather bulky, limiting adjustment somewhat on 1300s and quite a lot on 1600s, because of the larger carburettors.

For my own car I finally found a Japanese alternator from an old Mitsubishi Colt. Quite a lot of work was required to fit it but I have never regretted it. It is about the same size as a standard Fulvia alternator, but delivers 55A (in fact I have seen 65A versions) has a built-in regulator and has been reliable.

Finally, for those who are better off, there are several specialist companies who supply excellent lightweight alternators intended for competition cars. These cover a wide range of outputs and the firms concerned offer a range of mounting accessories.

New Pictures

You will notice that I have now included a picture on the right-hand side of the page. This will change from time to time, and where possible, I will of course credit the photographer. Given that the first one was taken in 1908, I am afraid that I have no idea who made the photo! It shows Algernon and Kenelm Lee-Guinness with their land-speed record V-8 Darracq - all 25 odd litres of it! They were brave men... The Darracq has been rebuilt and the story may be found here

I have reposted this because I was experimenting with the link (to open in a new window). This didn't work and caused chaos...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Comment or Chat?

You will see on the right of my page, that I have now added a "CBox" - Chat. This gives visitors the opportunity to add any quick thoughts or opinions they might have. I look forward to hearing from you.

To start you off, how about the mouthwatering pic I have attached? Yes it's the engine compartment of arguably the most famous Fulvia of them all: Sandro Munari's "No 14" that won the Monte-Carlo Rally in 1972, helping Lancia to their first World Rally Championship.

I took the picture at the Fulvia 40th nniversary celebrations in Turin in September, 2003. More of this anon.

A Little Gift for Lancisti

Tired of the boring white arrow on your screen? Well, how would you like an animated LANCIA pointer on your computer?

I have one, designed by a friend ( ) that I will happily send to you if you care to contact me on

Unfortunately it is not possible to display the pointer here (nor to attach the file) but it incorporates the Lancia shield in blue on a yellow background. - blue and yellow, the classic Montebello colours used on HF badges and stripes! And even better, it rotates...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

COMMENTS: More "Just Criticism"

Apologies to all who have attempted to comment - unfortunately the function was incorrectly set (by me (blush)).

I have now changed the settings, and all can now comment - but please note that all comments are moderated, so no SMS language or insults please as they will not appear!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Blogger's Reply to Just Criticism

Shostakovich enthusiasts will know where the title came from...

I have been criticised by some readers for not including enough pictures, so for now, to brighten things up, I have attached another snap of the Fanalone that I mentioned earlier in the blog - the one I prepared for historic rallying. This shot was taken on the Rallye Vins-Macôn in 2003.

My Links

I am gradually adding links that I hope will be of interest. Those who explore them will find that they are not always about Fulvias, but if you read my profile, you will see that I have a number of interests, and sharing interests can be very rewarding.

I must apologise, but despite my plug for Beta Blogger, so far I am unable to make the links open in a new window. Please be patient: as soon as possible I will correct this (i.e. when I find out how to do it!)

Beta Blogger

Blog fans may know about the Beta version of Google's Blogger.

For those like me who cannot believe that anything can work with HTML I strongly recommend Beta Blogger. I have attached a new link that provides some information - it has the rather insulting title "Beta Blogger for Dummies". Ah well, sometimes it's best to own up!

A reminder...

Just to remind you all, I am available to give your Fulvia the care and attention she deserves. I am near Cruseilles (74350) about 30km from Geneva. Contact me on

Another tip soon

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fulvia Thoughts - 3

Today, the subject is the thermostat

The thermostats fitted to Fulvias (and Flavias and 2000s) are in my experience very long-lasting. This of course is a good thing, but of course, does not mean that they do not get “tired” and start to misbehave.

I have had a few experiences but only a few and of course, over 25 years.

First, they sometimes stick – either partly open so that the engine is reluctant to warm up, or shut so that it overheats. These problems can be spotted easily provided one keeps an eye on the most important gauge on the dash, namely the water temperature gauge (well at least before speed cameras and police radars started to appear!).

Not long ago, I came across a slightly strange case. The engine in question had not been run for a few months. All had been fine the last time it had been run, but on firing up, the engine very quickly got hot whilst the cooling fan failed to start. I found that there seemed to be little circulation of water: the radiator was mostly cool. I was inclined to suspect the water pump, since such symptoms are often found with pump trouble.

However I decided to have a look at the thermostat. On removal of the top hose I quickly saw the problem. The little metal strap that locates the central element of the thermostat had snapped, causing the unit to stay firmly closed.

As is often the case with old cars, diagnosis is one thing, rectification quite another.
I had a new thermostat, but the big problem is removing the old one. After countless years screwed into the end of the aluminium water pipe it was as usual, thoroughly corroded. From experience I know that in such cases, penetrating fluid is usually not much use – unless of course one is prepared to wait for weeks. The aluminium water pipes are often corroded too and apt to become weak, and of course a good thread is necessary to take the new thermostat.

The solution was fairly simple. Whilst bearing in mind that the thermostat is quite close to the carburettors, the trick is to heat up the pipe around the thermostat with a blowlamp; a normal gas blowlamp such as is used by plumbers is fine for the job. Use a heat shield, say a piece of aluminium sheet, if you are concerned about the carbs. Afterwards, with a Stillson wrench or a large pair of selfgrips it should be possible to unscrew the thermostat. You will see that the thread looks horrible: full of white powder. Give this a thorough wire-brushing, check for cracks which are quite common, apply “Copaslip” (i.e. copper-loaded grease) and fit the new thermostat – it does not have to be super-tight (just in case).

I shall offer some thoughts about water pumps some time soon.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fulvia Thoughts - 2


Sorry for the delay, but I've been off line for a few days.

Et aussi, je suis désolé pour mes amis français, mais il est difficile pour moi d'écire en français.

Today, the subject is the oil filter.

You are all familiar with the rather large oil filter fitted to Fulvias I am sure.

Working on later Lancias and indeed, other more modern cars, I began to wonder why the Fulvia had to have such a large filter. I was, I remember, surprised to find that the same item was specified for the Datsun (Nissan) Skyline of the mid-sixties.

Of course, oils were nowhere near as good at that time as they are today. And then I considered that a Lancia Delta Integrale Evolution, with its 2-litre, 16-valve turbocharged engine, producing around 215HP probably made greater calls on its lubricant than did the Fulvia, and if the Integrale was happy with its small filter, then so my Fulvia should be.

Now, the Fulvia’s filter is installed “inverted” and to ensure availability of oil at start-up, a steel tube is installed that passes up the centre of the filter. Modern filters that are mounted this way are fitted with a special valve, which serves the same purpose as the tube.

I decided to take the plunge. I removed the tube by unscrewing the threaded boss to which it is brazed (and onto which the filter screws). I then cut off the tube, cleaned the part carefully and refitted it. I then fitted a Lancia Integrale filter. This was some years ago and I have had no problems.

I appreciate that many will prefer to preserve originality, but for me, the new filter is smaller, easier to remove and lighter. Importantly, it is also easily available. In fact I know that there are numerous modern filters, fitted with the all-important valve, which have the same mounting thread. The thread is a common size; just select a filter that is normally mounted horizontally or inverted like the Fulvia’s ensuring of course that the diameter of the rubber seal is the same as the Fulvia’s. As far as I know all these will have the valve inside, which is quite easily seen. But please check before fitting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fulvia thoughts - 1

Greetings to all Fulvia owners and fans.

I have enjoyed 25 years of owning, working on and driving Fulvias, but also talking about them. This post is the first of an occasional series where I propose to talk in brief about details of these cars and share some experiences which I hope that you will find interesting. There will be no logical sequence, just as the ideas occur to me. Of course those with specific questions are welcome to email me on

Today's topic is timely. With the autumn arriving those who wish to drive their Fulvias as it becomes colder will be thinking about their heaters. Heaters are often a problem on Fulvias and especially on Series 1 cars where the design was perhaps less than perfect...

So S1s first. An S1 is at least 36 years old and as flow through the S1 heater is not vigorous, owing to the design of the heater matrix itself and also the smaller diameter of the hoses etc., the matrix can easily become filled with muck. This is easy to cure.

However, the first thing is to check flow. The heater tap (under the bonnet controlled by a steel cable) is sometimes the cause of problems. Inside, there is a rubber diaphragm which, with age can swell and obstruct flow. Disconnect the hose between the tap and matrix and check flow through the tap. If there is little flow, then either it is turned off (!) or the rubber is unserviceable. New rubbers can be purchased from the usual suppliers such as Omicron or perhaps Cavallitto. Before dismantling the tap, note carefully the position of the parts, otherwise it is a straightforward job.

Turning to the matrix, disconnect the hoses from from a) the heater tap and b) from the radiator drain tap (subframe RH side). First apply a flow of water from a hose pipe to the drain tap end of the circuit (keep the heater tap hose away from the engine!). This is called "back flushing". With luck there should be at least some water flowing - if not, it means removal and replacement of the matrix. So long as there is flow you have a chance. From a builder's merchant, buy some drain cleaner. Mix a mild to moderate strength solution of this and through a funnel, apply it to the circuit. You will find the heater tap end easier. when the mixture starts to run from the other (drain tap) end raise the drain tap hose to stop the flow, top up again at the funnel and leave the whole thing over night. Back flush the next day with care, again keeping the hoses clear of the engine. An amazing quantity of horrid brown sludge should appear. This is a good thing. When the water is running clear, you can reassemble and refill the system with your normal coolant mixture.

At Evolution Engineering, we tackled several of these and the results astounded the owners!

For S2 coupés, the procedure is similar but not the same, because the heater tap is mounted next to the unit, next to the LH footwell. Here it is best to disconnect the upper hose from the end of the aluminium water-pipe on the inlet manifold and use another piece of hose to direct the test water away from the engine. The heater taps are not repairable. Normally they do not become obstructed but spring leaks helping the normal rust problem on the front floor... If you have a leak here then you must replace the heater tap. Not much help I know, but I believe that some Betas were fitted with the same tap, but Fulvia ones are sometimes available - indeed may be reaily available from some of the well-known suppliers.

S2 berlines have a heater tap similar to that on the S1 coupés, but mounted on the heater box under the bonnet by the scuttle, so the comments about the S1 above are appropriate here.

I wish you all a warm driving experience in the winter.

Until the next time, best wishes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Et maintenant en Français...

La Lancia Fulvia
Un spécialiste de cette voiture en France

Je me présente : Paul Leclercq, j’ai 25 ans d’expérience avec l’auto mythique qu’est la Lancia Fulvia (et en plus nombreuses autres autos classiques), et je peux mettre ces connaissances au service des passionés de la Fulvia: conseils, service etc. Egalement, je peux vous aider avec la mécanique 4-cylindres “boxer” des modèles Flavia et 2000.

Je suis en Haute-Savoie (74), près de Cruseilles, quelques 30 km de Genève.

Vous pouvez lire mes conseils et mes commentaires pratiques sur le site de Huib Geurink qui est la référence sur la Toile pour tout ce qui touche aux Lancias classiques. J’ai été directeur de l’entreprise spécialiste Lancia “Evolution Engineering” à Londres pendant plusieurs années avant de m’installer en France.

La photo ci-dessus montre une superbe Fulvia 1,6 HF “Fanalone” dont le moteur et la suspension avant ont été préparés par mes soins pour courrir dans les rallyes historiques. Cette auto a remporté trois championnats féminins VHC à sa propriétaire et ses co-pilotes. Aujourd’hui, l’auto a accompli 20 rallyes sans recours à la moindre intervention importante. Pendant ces quatre années, l’auto n’a connu qu’un seul abandon pour faute de câble d’accelerateur cassé.

Mon enthousiasme pour ces autos attachantes m’ont aussi conduit à développer des améliorations. Ma propre auto, sur une base de Fulvia Coupé, est bien connue du cercle Lancia en Grande-Bretagne, avec son injection mécanique Lucas et l’adaptation d’étriers de Coupé Fiat 20V modernes et de disques ventilés Willwood en lieu du système de freinage d’origine. Ci-jointe une photo de ce bolide en pleine action à Goodwood. Vous trouverez plus d’informations sur cette auto dans le registre Fulvia du site

Quant aux autres Marques, voici une sélection de quelques photos de mes travaux, comme ce moteur Mercedes-Benz 220S injection de 1960 que j’ai refait complètement, ou ce moteur Delahaye de 1950 aussi refait, ou bien la révision d’une batterie de carburateurs Weber de Lamborghini Miura.

Pour tous renseignements où demandes, n’hésitez pas à me contacter à l’adresse

J’attends de vos nouvelles !

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It occurs to me that I may be able to help French Lancisti in another way: I can offer English lessons - especially in conversation, but also help with grammar and literature. Once again, contact me at
I am very new to BLOGS, so I hope that soon this page will look a bit snappier and include some more useful information. If you have been, thanks for looking


An English specialist in France.

My name is Paul Leclercq. With 25 years’ experience of the wonderful Lancia Fulvia (not mention experience of many other marques as well) I am able to offer an expert and personal service for Fulvia owners. In addition, I have some solid experience of the flat-4 Flavia and 2000 models.

I am located near Cruseilles in Haute-Savoie, about 30km from Geneva.

I am fairly well-known to Lancisti world-wide through Huib Guernink’s website where on the Fulvia forum, my many contributions may be seen and read. For a number of years I worked at Evolution Engineering (Lancia Specialists) in London, and was the manager there before I moved to France.

Above is a picture of a superb Fanalone, which was prepared at Evolution Engineering for historic rallying. The engine and front suspension were my own work. The car brought three VHC female championships for the owner and her co-drivers. To date it has completed 20 rallies without any significant overhaul. In four years, there has been just one retirement, which was due to a failed throttle cable.

My enthusiasm for Fulvias has led me to consider, and work on, many development ideas. My own car, built on a very small budget, is well-known in English Lancia circles. Amongst many modifications, it incorporates Lucas mechanical fuel injection and very large front brakes using FIAT 20V coupe callipers and 310mm Willwood ventilated discs. I attach an old picture of the car in action at Goodwood; more details may be found in the Fulvia register on Huib’s website.

As for other marques, as examples of my work, here are pictures of a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220S injection engine that I rebuilt, another rebuild, this time a Delahaye engine from 1950 and finally, overhauling of the triple-choke Webers for a Lamborghini Muira.

For further information, please contact me:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sod the Law!


New Internet Speed test

Music and Radio Blog Club

Radio Blog Club, a good friend for a while appears to be in some legislative difficulty...

However, in tribute to its brave effort, I shall leave the existing track on this page (which amazingly still works)

Sadly my Playlist no longer works (hence its removal) thanks to the absurd "Hadopi" legislation in France. Apologies to all.