Looking for engine rebuilder in San Francisco area

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Asked by May 02, 2016 at 11:11 PM about the 1981 Fiat 124 Spider

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm looking for someone who can rebuild a 1981 Fiat Spider 2000cc engine around the San Francisco area.

3 Answers

20,965

oh, man- after a dozen Fiats, let me give you some advice- you need a Fiat specialist- or don't bother- a mechanic must know all the tricks to these engines- especially on the fuel injected ones like yours- they are basic, beautiful engines, but they have secrets- oh yes, they have secrets- try Steve in Santa Fe, NM- Santa Fe Classic Cars- he will do it correctly, guaranteed-

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Jamnblues, thank you for your response. I know they're tricky engines. Definitely looking for a FIAT specialist who knows what they're doing. The cost of shipment will probably kill me (pay both ways, there and back). I'll check on the cost. hopefully someone can recommend a good local FIAT specialist. Thanks again!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20,965

yeah, you are on the west coast and there must be someone who can do this with the due amount of diligence- those Lampredi-designed twin cams are works of art- and really, quite simple engines- they are derived from the pushrod engine that resided in those first 124 sedans, like the photo above- I had 2 of those and must say that the pushrod engine is such a joy- to rebuild, even a middle schooler could do it- but as the engine got bigger, added twin cams , emission controls, and finally fuel injection, they got more demanding- it isn't just that there are a few tricks ( like TDC being on #4 plug firing) but it is just hard to find a diligent, experienced mechanic who will do every little thing correctly- and let you know what you are looking at- (like refreshing EVERYTHING under the hood, cooling system, fuel system, motor mounts, starter, alternator, etc. etc.) if you don't do everything right, you will have spent a lot of time and money and still be facing problems- this is true for all old cars, really- but it MUST be done this way for a FIAT- why? Well the precision Italian engineering demands it, and if you do it right, the car will run for years, decades, without further expense- that is the beauty of the 124- that and the gorgeous Pininfarina body- that is a car worth doing right- here's another photo of a rare 124-

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