79' Fiat Spider
Restoration Project

by: Martin & Kacper

 

Ok, so Kacper and I decided that we're gonna go to California over the summer. We realized that we needed a way to get there.. so.. After coming to the conclusion that renting a car would be too expensive, and taking the greyhound would give us too little freedom to travel where and when we wanted. We decided to buy a car and sell if after our trip. Since we are polish, and are very cheap, we were looking for any deal, realized that SAABs were a good car, but then I said. Look, if were gonna restore a car, why not restore a classic.. better yet.. a convertible! So we bought the car for 500$ from Buy and Sell. It looks like this. The picture doesn't show close enough, but it has a lot of dents, and quite a bit of rust, since this car is almost 30 years old! A Classic. So we paid 250$ each, which is a TOTALLY INSANE DEAL!


Week 1 (Feb 10, 2007)


Before we bought it, the engine was rebuilt by the owner, and the 30 year old standard transmission was changed to a more recent, Chevy automatic transmission. It has new spark plugs, and the convertible hood is in amazing condition as the car was kept in a garage, therefore exposing it to little rain. But unfortunately, since we live in the WET coast!, and the metal is 30 years old, it rusted quite a bit. But it is amazingly very little rust if the age is taken into consideration. Still, the metal above the back wheel has rusted under the paint, so we are going to use a pneumatic tool to cut it out, and use BONDO to reshape it. Bondo, in case you didn't know, is what professional car body restorators use as well. As when it dries, it's as hard as a rock.

Money Spent.
$500=Car

$100=Registration to new owner and One day insurance (To drive it to my place)

 

Total=$600


Week 2 (Feb 17, 2007)

 

This is a picture taken on Week 3, but we took out all the interior in Week 2. (I forgot to take a picture, because I'm very intelligent)

So you can see that only the transmission and handbrake are left. All the furnishings are gone. We took out the seats, and carpets. This took a long time. Also notice we started grinding some rust off the drivers floor, and above the wheel on the body. This is taking too long, so we decided, to grind the rust off on another day, and leave the exterior for now, because we are going to chemically remove the paint, using Lacquer Thinner. Hopefully it will work, but we have to wait until it gets warmer, because we don't want to have bare steel exposed to the rain, when we don't have to.


 

The (inferior) interior of the car was very ugly, and we are patching up the center consoles with Bondo as well, and are planning to put primer on in, and repaint it to the original new tan color. Stay tuned for the "After it's done" picture!

 

$160= Power Tools (Grinder 15$, Air Compressor $85, Air Brush $25, Air compressor kit $10, 5 Sanding Blades for Grinder $5, $20 Bondo)

 

Total Project cost $600+$140+tax=$760

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Week 3 (Feb 24, 2007)

 

It is currently parked in the gravel pit which I have in my Backyard. Kacper comes over on weekends and we work on it. Week two is when the work began. Before we work however, we must eat right! So yeah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    And in the second picture, we we are taking opening the carburetor top. (The thing that mixes air and gasoline for optimal explosion) and that circle lying on the car is the air filter that we took out because we need to replace it. That yellow can, is carburetor-cleaning spray. We have to spray the whole thing into the carburetor until the car chokes and backfires and makes dying noises haha, to clean out all the carbon residue inside. We then went to Canadian tire to get the new filters (We also replaced a fuel filter) and we got an Oil Filter, but we didn't replace that yet.

It started raining later on so we cleaned all the seats in my garage. I didn't take any pictures of the seats, because..well. let's just say that they weren't pretty. Hehe. We bought Laquer Thinner.as well, this worked well on the LEATHER haha, believe it or not! The seats are looking like new, except, for the rips.. which are my job to sow them.

 

Money Spent:

$20=Laquer Thinner

$3=Carb Cleaner Spray

$12=Air Filter

$4=Fuel Filter

$10=Oil Filter

$10=Chrome spray paint (For spraying the shiny stuff like bumpers later)

 

Total=$760+$70=$830     <--Ohh man, it's starting to add up Dang! Our goal is not to go over $1000. =)

 


Week 4 (March 3, 2007)

We didn't meet up.. we did some stuff by ourselves at home.

I finished sowing all the holes in the seats, and covers and put them all together again. They look great!

Kacper went and bought 48 square feet of carpets and cut them out based on the old and dirty templates which we are going to throw away.

Money Spent:

$38=Carpets

 

Total=$870


Week 5 (March 10, 2007)

Umm I sowed the Sunblockers...

I am really good at sowing and I am very proud of my newly discovered talent! :)

 

I Bought a JVC CD Car Stereo $69.00

 


BEFORE                                                            AFTER

 

Money Spent:

$69=Car Stereo

$1=Steering wheel cover

 

Total=$940


Week 6 (March 13, 2007)

We grinded dirty the entire interior and then patched it up with bondo, left it to dry overnight, the next morning we grinded it down until it was flat, and primred it. No more holes in the floor lol!!!

We got a side-view mirror at Canadian tire, and some electric components. We then got back, and restored the door panels. Marcin disassembled the driver door lock, so that we could get a new spring into it. The car didn't want to start up, and we narrowed it down (accidentally) to an idle solenoid in the carburetor. We ordered a new one $40 online and now were waiting.

 

 

 

 

Money spent:

$20=Mirror
40=Solenoid

$940+60=$1000 (looks like were going over budget lol)


Week 7 (March 19)

Uneventful, we are waiting for solenoid seatbelts and speakers. I discovered that the two front speakers are blown out so I am buying new ones for $10. They are good quality and I found it online in a private seller online listing.

 

I got all of the electrical sorted out. The lights turn on when the doors are opened. The only thing that still needs to be done is to make the windshield wiper spray work. There's no voltage getting to the squirting pump. ;)

Kacper is supposed to get the paint this week.


Week 8 (March 24)

We put the solenoid in the car, andwe fired her up. We will need to readjust the timing. We got one day insurance and drove the car to Kacper's garage where it will stay until the restoration is complete.

 

    We then unscrewed the front and rear bumpers (really hard, because the screws were rusted, and Kacper had to grind off two thick bolts) We then used car jacks and jacked up the car and put it on top of four logs of wood. We then took the wheels off  and took all the chrome grills off the front and the headlight chrome protectors as well. It is now ready to be sanded, patched up, sanded again and primed which we hope to do this upcoming week.

The front and read bumpers are very rusted and are gonna need some serious sanding, and re-painting.


Hidden costs: (Were not adding this to budget of course, these are consumable costs)

20$ for gas

33$ one day insurance

(In the future Air care will cost around 50$ and 6 months insurance for the road trip will probably be around 400$)

Cars are more expensive than they seem. I think I'm gonna stick with my hot wheels toy cars after this. =)


Week 8 (March 29)

Week 9 (April 7)

Week 10 (April 14)

Week 11 (April 21)

Ok, here's all the stuff we did combined.. it was basically just reshaping the dents and filling it all in layer on top of layer.

We used one and a half cans of bondo and you can see here, that the whole front left panel has been reshaped, because it was dented in. We are still not finished this.. but thank's to Bondolangelo (Maritn) and the Sandman (Kacper), we got it looking pretty good.


 Look at all the layers oo..!

Our car is one giant GOBSTOPPER!!

 

Now, it's Paint time...!!!

 


Man on car action!.. I think we got to attached to this car :)

 


PAINT JOB VIDEO (First coat of Primer)

 

And finally... rim shine :)




Before.......................................After

We're still not completely done, but you get the idea.

I think they look Terminator style :)


O..WHAT WE DID!!!
(...allllmost done.)

The convertible top still needs to be put on, as well as the logos.


Major things still to do:

 

Mechanics (ALL DONE! - except timing)

-Adjust the timing (Finally found the timing marks!) Necessary

(Actually, we found out that it was an idle cut-off solenoid that was throwing off the timing, so we ordered a new one. Very happy about getting the bottom to this problem, tons of progress made thanks to Kacper for accidentally discovering it)

-Check compression of each cylinder Unnecessary

-Paint the reshaped center console DONE

 

-Grind all rust off interior DONE

-Patch the holes with bondo DONE

-Fix sun blockers.. they came apart DONE

 

Furnishings (ALL DONE!) (Can't exactly get this stuff at ikea or k-mart hehe)

-Buy seatbelts (The old ones jammed, so we took a hammer and broke them open to see why they were jamming before we threw them away) Was really fun :) DONE

-Put in the interior (carpets and seats and consoles) DONE

-Get Sound system (Speakers and Subwoofer and CD player or better) DONE

-Fix all of the frayed or old wiring everywhere. (Probably replace) DONE

-Buy and mount sideview mirror. (Probably Canadian Tire for $20) DONE

-Fix/Clean some gauges. DONE

 

Painting (Most time consuming) (Lots of pics coming of the progress, simply because paint does magic in restoration, it's like starting over)

-Jack up the car DONE

-Take the wheels off DONE

-Restore the wheels (Bring da shine back to the rims, and possibly replace the tubes.) DONE

-Remove and sand the bumpers and recolor them chrome. DONE

-Remove paint off exterior (Only in the rusted areas) DONE

-Reshape the rusted areas with Bondo and sand them down. DONE

-Sand the rust and black paint off rollbar, and re-primer it, and spray chrome paint on it. DONE

-Sand the Clear coat off the entire body (For the new paint to stick) DONE

-Primer the entire body DONE

-Color the the entire body red DONE

-Put clear coat on the entire body

-Mount FIAT Badges on the hoods

 

Miscellaneous

-Get the car air-cared

-Pick up girls :)

-Sell the car for 10 times as much.

-Keep the Girls.

 

 

We plan to do all this before summer. Working an average of Two days per week on it.

Impossible? We'll find out. Tune in next week for the Adventures of Martin, Kacper.


 

We finally finished the car. We have long since sold it and moved on to "bigger things" Here are the finished pictures of what will be left in our memories of the good times we had with the '79 Fiat Spider.

 

 


This was my driverway at one point.. if you're wondering how the limousine got there
well.. that's another story.. click here to find out.

THE END. awww