May 30, 2009 update on ditchdigger's 1971 Fiat 850 Berlina

Stronger spark!

update image

I think something must have been off with the Fiat distributor. It went to full advance at 1600 rpm, The tach bounced like crazy and it was a bit tough starting. Points? seriously? it is 2009 isnt it? I dug up some parts and got to work. I machined a VW rabbit electronic distributor base so that it fit into the fiat head and then using the lathe cut off the fiats distributor shaft and the VW’s shaft making a press fit that I helped out with a spring roll pin to make sure it held together. I replaced the bosch blue coil with a factory watercooled VW unit and screwed the ignition control module to the top of the engine bay. It fired up the first time and after I adjusted the timing I was rewarded with a rock solid idle.

Driving impressions? Much stronger low end. The vacuum advance unit really helps with cruise to acelleration changes. I am 150% pleased. And as an added bonus I can now buy caps and rotors for $8 at any auto parts store. The pic is of an unmodified VW distributor on the left and the old fiat distributor on the right. You can see what needed to be done


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