Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Zupełnie okropny *

I can only plead blind stupidity when it came to the purchase of a Polish-built Fiat 126.

The building of trikes was becoming increasingly popular at the time and many of them were built by cutting a VW Beetle in half and welding the front of a motorbike onto its back end.

I happened to have the frame and front end off a Honda CB550 knocking about and was contemplating doing the same thing.

But I was going to be different –  I thought that if I got a rear-engined Fiat 126 and attacked it with an angle grinder I could do the same, and build a small, cheap, lightweight trike.

As these things happen, a couple down the road had a 126 for sale for £250 with 12 months tax and test, and with my Peugeot misbehaving I bought the Fiat and decided to use it as it was for a bit.

Now Fiat 126's, in case you didn't know are tiny little things with air-cooled twin cylinder engines. Like VWs they have a fan. 

On its first journey, the alternator seized up after ten miles and as the alternator shaft also powered the air-cooling fan the seizure caused that to disintegrate too.
gosh, eh? just gosh

It came home on the back of a recovery truck and I bought another alternator and fan assembly from a breakers yard.

Fitting it was a pain, and in the process I found that the vibrations from the engine had loosened the cylinder head nuts – something that I would have thought was impossible.

I clearly hadn’t done a very good job of fitting the new fan, because ten miles down the road the new assembly fell apart as well.

Another fan was fitted and then the cable operated window winders snapped too.

Then a tyre exploded. I'd had the bloody thing for three months and had barely covered 100 miles in it. In fact, it had travelled further on breakdown trucks that I'd actually driven it. It never completed a journey of more than 5 miles without breaking something or other.

After a while I gave up – all ideas of turning the thing into a trike were abandoned as it clearly was hellishly unreliable. It sat outside my house for a few months, moss growing on the window frames and the interior going mouldy cos I had the driver's window inexpertly wedged shut with a clothes peg. I left the thing unlocked but not even Pontypridd's most desperate car thieves wanted it.
Eventually I sold it for £25 and said good riddance to bad rubbish.

What a nasty little pile of Wombats' do's

* Completely terrible

No comments: