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

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!

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.