only genuine Fiat/Ferrari V6, 1900cc, 5 speed roadster
see also X19 Web Workshop.
This is the Ferrari that Fiat never finished.
Every X19 Owner knows they have been robbed of the
stable name "Ferrari" race proven and recognition from the manufacturing
know-how of Fiat products, namely the light weight sports roadster of the
X19 with the famous Fiat V6 motor that Ferrari used in the 206 & 246
Dino but never went into production for the X19.
The excellent styling and handling of the X19 by
the famous Italian design house of Bertone should have been accepted fully
into the Ferrari stable, ultimately it will judging by the way retro car
production is heading.
This project will prove the X19 is Ferrari's
This car looks, feels, drives like a thourobred with
all the temperment of a prancing horse straight out of the Fiat/Ferrari
Its period styling with no nonsense gimmicks of turbos
and over worked engines of the Lancia/HotRod styles ensures this car has
the genuine attraction as a serious contender to mix at any Ferrari Concourse
event as "Dino's Cousin".
Here are some
INTERIOR & TRIM
The base body for the project is a stock standard 1978 Fiat X19 - 1300cc
which part of the transformation was done on a rolling basis starting with
the interior and rebadging with Ferrari emblems.
The center console housing the ash tray and vent controls was discarded
and the console uprights cut of level with the central tunnel. A new tunnel
console was fabricated and finished in red vinyl deck and black carpet
side with polished aluminium bullnose beading around the edges.
This matches the door trim of upper red and lower black carpet with
a polished alloy trim separating on the line of the armrest at that angle.
Door internal lock buttons deleted.
The treatment continues to the new customised dash which is fabricated
from timber, ply wood and alloy. Starting on the facia a strip of 1/2"
ply was used with cut outs for the 2 side vents, glovebox, central radio,
instrument unit; next another smaller strip of ply was used to house
the switches centrally by fabricating a 3mm alloy panel with squared jigsaw
holes for the switches to fit.
The instrument cluster is standard X19 screwed in from behind with
a semi circular cover for the showing of the gauges and warning lights.
The whole pannel is upholstered in red/black vinyl with the continuation
of the polished alloy running across the waist line of the dash, the unit
then can be fitted in place after dropping the steering column and snap
fitting the existing electrical couplings. The top dash deck is timber
bullnose 50mm wide protrudes over the facia and is covered in wadding and
blck vinyl, fitting with 2 screws to the facia.
Seats to be done in red/black vinyl, carpet is black wall to wall.
Hood lining is ply and covered with red velveteen.
Front boot interior is sprayed black acrylic and fitted with black floor
mats extending to the top of the sealing rubber, Rear boot is painted black
acrylic with black floor mats running up to the hinges and sealing rubber.
The carburetor fan is installed under the passenger dash and connected
to the windscreen demister vent blowing through a mini radiator with a
flip/flop flap for fresh air.
Recored 5 tube radiator was fitted since the old one was at its life
limits, full 35mm copper water tubes run to the rear in the standard position
except at the engine bay run together to the gearbox side to the
position of the inlet/outlet on the motor.
A manual overider fan switch is installed since the motor usually runs
at 80 deg. instead of the 90/95 cut in/out which was thought to high.
Oil cooler is fitted after the filiter.
The master cylinder push rod shaft in the pedal box was was threaded
for adjustment to reduce the slack pedal feel for the clutch and brake
with the result of a more positive response.
Rear brakes are standard with super soft pads which seem to last 2-1
to the front on normal city driving, hand brake standard.
Front brakes are due for an upgrade either with BMW 318 ventilated
rotor and Alfa calipers or a set of Bremco rotors, all should basically
just bolt on with a small amount of rejigging.
Reservoir is a larger fabricated stainless steel unit in its stock
position with stainless tubes running to the pedal box and flexible hose
to the master cylinder.
WHEELS & TIRES
For 5 years now the car has been running front 215 x 50 and rear
235 x 50 tubeless Bridgestone 340 Eagers with raised lettering on Momo
rims which one had to be straightened, the rubber is in line with the guard
so should be 'legal' in most places. The set up is good and looks mean
with just enough guard clearance, however a slight coaxing of a hand pull
on the rear guard by about 5-10mm and the removal of the hub spacer is
required since its not used on all cars. There was some views the rear
tyres were oversize but this is not the case since some 50,000 km and 2
sets of tires later the reliablity is excellent, in fact they seem to be
safer since the darn things will still run on 5-8 psi on a puncture.
The wheels have been sand blasted, painted black centers with polised
rims and chrome nuts, contoured mud flaps all round.
Stock except springs were reset approx 50mm lower thus retaining maximun
number of coils for soft travel rate, shockers are after market standard
gas refills inserted, which are adequate for 10 years life. A 18mm rear
anti roll is all that will be fitted to stop the rear wheel unloading and
subsequent weight transfer lurch in hard corners. Its not thougt a front
stabiliser is required as on a front engine car where the weight transfer
from the enginge bulk is so apparent and the loading and unloading of the
front tyre needs control. Also it is deemed the body construction is inadequate
for an overally stiff suspension since it would cause more chassis twisting
and strain on welds particually in old cars, the only solution is for seam
welding the monoque.
Stock Fiat 4 or 5 speed is capable of handling 150 hp on a steady applied
basis hence for day to day driving should give many years of good service,
even though its not the toughest gearbox. The gearbox won't tolerate delinquent
activity of burnouts and donuts with harsh clutch drops ramming 150 hp
at 6000 rpm with the wheels stationary.
Normal driving even with a lead foot will transfer approx only 50-100
hp (2000 - 4000 rpm) through the gearbox. ie Boy racer starts from 0 -30km
up to 5000 rpm seem ok if power applied is after clutch take up ( we'are
only talking of seconds here), 2nd-3rd-4th gear is where the speed is gained
and the power application to a moving gearbox is not as critical as a stationary
one thus higher rpm can be sustained without overstressing the gearbox.
(remember the average family 3 litre car at 5000 rpm
is lucky to put down about 120-150 hp at close to 2 tonn of dead
wieght, thus a X19 at 800 kilo with 120hp mathematically is over twice
as competative in the power to wieght ratio dept.)
Clutch used is a rebuilt stock unit on the belief its better to burn
out a clutch than a gearbox, the clutch retains all the power unloading
features of torque springs and waffer centers to soften power transfer
to the transmission as opossed to racing clutches, to date the clutch has
done well, but needs replacing every 5 years approx.
The clutch is bolted to a alloy fly wheel with the starter ring shrunk
fitted, flywheel friction surface has a lathed down presure plate fittet
with countersunk bolts, balanced and bolted to the crankshaft with a steel
anti crush plate for the bolts.
Today there seems no valid reason for running a cast iron fly wheel
which only robs horse power and saps engine response.
Oil level is maintained at a highr level with the fabrication of a extended
dipstick fitted to the filler plug, level should be equal to the main input
bearing with a 120 grade hypoid oil which is a little heavy resulting in
slow changes until warmed up in the first few minutes.
Gear stick has been cut down and shortened by half. (just hack saw it
off and stick the knob on)
A 6 cylinder engine in V6 configeration of approx 1900cc, wet sump
quad cam webber downdrafts, with custom headers joining under the sump
into a stock Fiat stainless steel muffler.
The motor has an 3/8" alloy adabtor plate to mate the stock gearbox,
with a modified center engine carrier mounting, torque top rod and exsisting
side mount with adapter.
The motor width is less in V6 configuration than the inline 4,
howvever the spare tyre well needs to be sealed behind the Driver and opened
up to allow the valve gear and exhausts access ito the void of the spare
tyre. Since tyres are so reliable today and there is a service station
every 20 minutes in either distance of travell for most, who needs a spare,
otherwise fit it into the front boot and throw your luggage on to the rear
engine cover which is what I do.
Motor fitting is a skill and an art form, the motor need to be tidied
up with some very colse fitting plumbing and snug wiring, the water
bottle was fitted into the rear boot wheel arch well, the carby fan deleted
and other nonsense rubbish removed, however in North America this modification
will probally require some serious engineering applications and registration
under a different class.
Weight is similar due to the all alloy motor.
Although the project is not completed, performance is likely to be satisfactory,
more drivable on mountain highways, sound better with the V6 scream, tractible
around the city but most of all when you open the engine hood there that
genuine V6 with all its cloned badges that say "Ferrari made by Fiat for
Ferrari" even though some of the parts are Japanese but who's to know,
and I'm not telling.