Daydreaming a 2 litre

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Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by fiatrn » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:40 pm

This is part idle daydreaming, part actual planning. I'm (probably) going to build a 2 litre for my Coupe.

the engine must be fully streetable and normally aspirated.

If I decide I want a turbo I could just (ha!) buy a Lancia Delta engine (ha!).

I would like to keep it looking mostly stock (so I'm not putting in a 2.5 alfa V6 (though the thought has occurred to me, often)

I know I won't think of everything to add to the list here, so Please chime in.

In daydreaming, money won't be much of an object. In reality, it will...

Also, I sort-of-already have the block, pistons, crank, head & valves, maybe the aircleaner

---- initial daydream list
Turtleback aircleaner

TWM/Borla IDF style throttle bodies

megasquirt/et al modern fuel injection controller

PBS manifold? Waffle manifold?

oversize valves in a 2litre head

Cams - oh my, what cams?

9.8 pistons

2.0 block
- a counterbalaced Lancia block is the gold standard, but...

machine the auxillary shaft

Do I really want a lightened flywheel on the street?

Does anyone make a finned alloy sump for Fiat 2 litres?
--Or a gated/ baffled oil sump

External oil cooler


Distributorless ignition, preferably with coil-on-plug
- - No, I have not researched this at all yet
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by rridge » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:30 pm

Doing fuel injection with individual throttle bodies has stumped many who have tried. Most fuel injection systems need a steady manifold vacuum signal and that usually requires a plenum between the throttle plate and the individual cylinder runners. Find someone who's done it and is willing to share their design details or dig in for the long haul.
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by atruscott » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:56 am

I've got a Microsquirt setup running on our 2000 FI. Generally stock components otherwise.

For a built 2 ltr... I'd go carbs.... sidedrafts
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by cstorry » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:04 pm

I've got a couple Lancia integrale engines. Why do you think they are more turbo-able than the "vintage" twincam engines ?

Sure the integrale's came with turbos but they are also transverse mounted. Unlike the "vintage" engines which were used in a myriad of longitudinal and transverse mountings I am not aware of bolt-on parts that would make the integrale engines easily mounted longitudinally - but you have me thinking ...

I like the crank integrated oil pump which avoids the aux shaft but does make the nose a bit longer - not sure it would fit in a 124 spider, maybe in the coupe.

Using the integrale head (at least the 16valve one) would probably be a challenge because the head buts up against the firewall and the integrale head puts thermostat, etc back there.

But maybe there are some swap combination of things worth thinking about...
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by rridge » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:20 pm

Like so many mods, the 16v head conversion can be done, all it takes is time, money, experience and attention to detail. Here's an old link to a discussion on Guy Croft's site that Chuck may recall:
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by beek » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:30 pm

i would love to have a 16 valve engine for my zagato
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by sunracer » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:56 pm

A few thoughts from my experiences:

A lightweight flywheel is a good addition. A built 2 liter can handle it no problem and it will rev faster.

Be very careful on compression

With 9.8:1 you will need big cams to bleed down the effective compression ratio

With big cams you will want the induction system to support the rev range

Cylinder head work pays big dividends

A multi spark ignition will improve driveability with the big cams at part/low throttle/revs

Spend the money to get the bottom end balanced

Running high revs-get forged pistons so you can exploit the high rpm power a high compression, big cam engine will generate
former owner of many spiders...notably the Sunracer, Sleeping Beauty and the Rat Rod : )

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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by vandor » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:38 am

I'm pretty sure the turtle back air filter has been shown to be restrictive. What any hi-po engine really needs is ducting to get outside engine into the intake.
Agree that programmable FI with hi-po cams is asking for trouble. 9.8:1 CR with even mild cams is fine. Yes on light or even aluminum flywheel.

I've built a number of hi-po street engines. You can choose to go budget and get 130-ish HP, or you can spend $ on forged rods and pistons and get wilder cams and get ~160-ish HP. Even the latter is perfectly streetable, 'grandma could drive it to the store' type of engine.
Of course one can get more HP, but it starts to be at the expense of torque and the engine becomes less streetable.
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by fiatrn » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:39 am

Answers and ideas and such:

I currently have a 74 Spider with an 1800, 10:1 compression, 40:80 cams, dual IDFs and a few little tweaks. It is streetable and wonderful, and I have driven it across the country a couple times. But I live at 5000 feet, we have only 10%ethanol, and in the summer this combination is frustrating. Upon hot shutoff the ethanol boils in carbs, and makes restarts difficult. There will be no more carbs in my life.

A local fellow out TWM throttle bodies onto his V8 - 4 IDF style bodies. He tapped a small vacuum port into each intake runner after the butterfly, plumbed them all into one connector and used that for his MAP sensor. I would do similar if need be.

"Why do you think they are more turbo-able than the "vintage" twincam engines ?"
Not so much "more turbo able", but already turbocharged from Lancia. I have an 8V integrale, and the engine is a delight. Now getting it to fit in a 124 would be difficult - the distributor would have to be removed!

I like the idea of the counterbalanced block from the Lancia, because the engine in my Delta is so astoundingly smooth. It reminds me of the smoothness of an X1/9 - but with twice the power.

That 16V head reversal looks difficult but doable. You "only" have to weld up some of the holes in the head, figure out how to swap the cams, etc... Obviously doable, but it looks tough. I did find a 16V head from someone I trust in Italy for 400 euros plus shipping...

I haven't looked at my Delta's block close enough to figure out if it could be mounted in a 124. Since I don't have a spare, and havne't found a counterbalanced 2 litre, I haven't researched it.

I *think* I can get enough power from an 8valve 2 litre to create happiness, espeically since my Coupe only weighs 2100 pounds.

@Pierre - Does MSD make a distributorless ignition controller I could use? I assume I will have to make a toothed ring to install onto the crank balancer...
I believe that the pistons that I sort-of own are forged. I'll know about that soon enough.

40mm throttle bodies (one for each cylinder) and oversized intake valves should give me all the breathing that a 2 litre should need (in streetable form)... I think.
I the rods on my 1800 balanced and then shot peened, the pistons balanced, and then crank&flywheel balanced. It is quite smooth and happy, so I would pursue that again.

- Why do you think that big cams and programmable FI will be trouble? And, of course, what do we mean by hi-performance cams? More than the 10.5mm lift, 300 degree duration, 40:80:80:40 pittatori cams I have in my 1800? I'm looking for suggestions, not trying to sound flippant or sarcastic.

- I think 150-160 sea level horsepower will be a fine target. Any more and I'll risk snapping the axles. As it is, with that much power, I may find that the rear end ratio makes 1st gear worthless. I may have to rob a bank and change the rear end ratio...

Can one lighten a 124 crankshaft, or does that just lead to trouble?
(I'm sure this would cost 1 million dollars and be out of financial possibility, but I like the idea of building the "perfect" plan and then adapting it to my budget.

Thanks for the ideas and discussion so far - let's keep this going!
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Re: Daydreaming a 2 litre

Post by davedecker4 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:58 am

Your plan sounds a little aggressive if your goal is only a streetable 150-160hp.
Cutting down the crank is pretty ambitious. Mostly you want rotating assembly balanced. You could get lighter rods and lighter forged pistons with less mass. This would be first before cutting down the balance weights.
The 16 valve head does not easily fit to the early block. It would be easier to just use the block that comes with it. You should ask Ken Haven about that.
The longitudinally mounted 124's and especially 131's have quite a bit more room in the engine bay than Beta's or Delta's.
The FI engines don't like that much cam by themselves. Anything close to that would require a crazy amount of tuning. That's why those Honda kids spend all that time with computer and dyno, and blow up a few engines. Also hard to find someone who makes a mild or moderate performance cam for FI. Easier to fit higher compression pistons, port and match the head, maybe use the Integrale 8v intake, possibly larger injectors and/or big valves. If you want to add headache and complexity, you can then go to megasquirt and various tunable components for the FI and ignition bits. but you'll probably want to leave the crank and cams alone.
I doubt you'd be snapping axles with this. My Scorpion has a 1st gear that's nearly unusable, its so short. Easy to fit a taller rear end to the 124 though. 3.9 if you the 4.3 or 4.1, you can even go to the (3.5) AT rear if you want good mileage or get a lot of power. Though that might not be best at high altitude if you do a lot of driving in the mountains and will want the power to accelerate up hills.
That's about all I remember at the moment. Oh, except, try hunting around for some non-ethanol to put in the spider during the summer. There's often a couple stations or distributor that sell it, and she will thank you
Dave Decker
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