with the b: last update 29 October
The story behind Giallo
At that time my beloved dog Lady, a belgian shepherd, was still alive, so a station wagon, (Ford Mondeo Clipper Diesel) was the appropriate car for me. Unfortunately, Lady passed away, which was a very sad experience. Anybody owning a dog understands what I mean.
Meanwhile, our second car became an Escort Cabrio. I thought it was reasonable to have one station wagon and one convertible car in a family. The Mondeo was very good, practical and reliable, but it always reminded me, that with this car I drove Lady to the veterinary, and came back without her. That was the reason, that I couldn't stand it anymore.
I sold the Mondeo, and went for a yellow b. Usually, when I buy a second-hand car, I inspect it thoroughly, sleep one night over before deciding to buy it or not.
Not so with the barchetta... during the inspection and the test drive, this car was "talking" to me... I had to have it... NOW. I signed the contract, and two days later Giallo was mine.
Emotion on wheels
In love with a car?
Is there a barchetta
Information via Internet
On the other hand, if I had
one available, I would surely use it. The cabin does not cool down
as quickly, and there is a larger and heated rear window, and not
to forget: less noises.
And from here on, things will get somewhat technical:
famous "diesel sound" thing)
When I bought Giallo, the diesel sound has already started (but I thought that it was normal, having heard other b's with such a sound). At the time of cam belt replacement, my variator has been replaced too.
The parts costs around EUR 110,-. The more unpleasant and costly items are the labor (4 to 5 man-hours), and the fact, that it is preferable to install a new cam belt. (you shouldn't reinstall a used one anymore)
At 121000 km I decided again to replace the variator (together with the cam belt and tensionner).
Cam belt (distribution
(Zahnriemen und Spannrolle / courroie de distribution et le galet tendeur)
My local garage recommends a change at 75 to 80000km. Many other car makers say to replace them at 60000.
In order to feel more comfortable,
I decided to change them at 60000, and while the mechanic was at
it, I let him replace my variator too.
Rear shock absorbers.
Front shock absorbers.
Rear wheel bearings
A wheel bearing can last a car's life, but it can be also due at 30000km. It simply depends on your luck. Definitely not the fault of the barchetta ;-)
A bad bearing noise is a kind of "oscillating" sound (kind of "wooowoooowooo" ...sorry, but I know exactly what I mean ;-) You can find out as follows: If you drive on the road, and put some load on the wheel, by making a turn to the left or right, the noise will be louder for a moment. Not much, but you'll notice it. (e.g. a left turn will put the load on the right wheel.)
If you are not sure, ask a fellow mechanic, ...or leave it as it is for some time. If it is the bearing, the noise will become louder and louder within a few weeks. But don't wait too long. A bad bearing can get pretty hot and eventually start a fire (not necessarily, but it CAN happen)
When mine started going bad, it was the same time, when I put on my new tires, so I thought it was the tires. Usually you don't hear the tires at higher speeds. But within 4 or 5 weeks the sound was very loud, and doing the above test, I found out it WAS the bearing.
Changing a rear wheel bearing is pretty easy. I have documented everything, and you can see the complete procedure Ian's barchetta online tech manual.
Rear soft top window
If that already happened to you, I would like to tell you how to possibly avoid the crack to continue: The crack being quite short at the moment, I stop-drilled it with a 1.5mm drill, and filled the hole with instant glue. I know the procedure of stop-drilling from my time as aircraft mechanic. Before welding a crack, a hole is drilled on the end(s) of the crack, so it will stop there.
At least it looks, that it worked fine for me. That means... the crack did not become longer, but unfortunately, the window started separating from the roof (the zipper however remained intact)
You will possibly avoid a crack, in warming up the window before opening the roof. Drive the car for some time with the heating directed to the window, or you open it before departure from a warm garage, or you can heat the window in some other way (some do this with a hair dryer, or hot water... I never tried those)
FIAT seemed to be quite expensive, so I went to a local saddler (named Santana ....but not Carlos ;-), who did a great job, installing an after market roof. The window is sewed in, and it is tinted green, which, in my opinion, looks much better. The price was EUR 862.25
Direct air filter
After a not so good experience with the quite expensive direct air filter kit from the barchetta-shop, I opted for a solution, which is easy to realize, cheap and effective: I simply procured an open "cone type" air filter with a flange of 84 mm. Then I removed the entire air intake system up to the original air filter housing, and fitted the "cone" directly to the "air volume meter" (is that the right expression?) Result: Great sound, and a slight improvement in the performance. At least I have the impression, that the engine responds better to the accelerator.
But I was afraid, that the filter being so close to the road now, could get easily dirty or wet. And not to forget the aspiration of hot air from the engine compartment, which leads to lower performance. Well... to avoid all of that, my solution is simple: (though, not very elegant, I admit ;-) I fitted a 125 mm flex tube as seen on this picture But later, when I removed the filter element for cleaning, I realized, that the flex tube was broken and had holes in it all around. Since then, I drove without it, and had no problems whatsoever.
07 October 2005: 150000km. What can I say... no major problems with the car so far. In fact, no problems at all, except for three situations, when the "anti-theft-security-thing" did not let me start the engine (in 2002), a bad contact of the air mass sensor connector (in 2003) and once, when the gears refused to get in (in 2004) The only corrective action on those was some contact spray on the connector.
21 May 2007: 160000 km
12 October 2007: With 165063km in the clock, Giallo goes over to my daughter.