Submitted By:Gerald Messersmith, gmessersmith@CSC1.CSC.EDU
Model Range, Interest:All FIAT/Lancia Models, Metric Fastener Source
*The following was edited from mail sent to me by Gerald. *
Broken bolts of various varieties can be replaced by browsing a Heston (Tractor) parts bin!
In the early 80's Heston was facing MAJOR competition from the newly-formed CASE-IH corp, the ever- strong John Deere, and the restructured Ford-New Holland agr. Group.
There were industry rumors of a hostile takeover/buyout. (As a rancher in a rural area, when they talk about competition reducing your available tractor-implement dealers from four to three you pay attention.)
Anyway, seeking firmer finances, Heston inked a deal with FIAT for world-wide sales and combined R&D. The resulting HESTON-FIAT AGRI. was much stronger and expanded their product line significantly by adding several new tractors with engines manufactured by FIAT. Their small 4- wheel drive diesel model was a couple thousand $ cheaper with higher horsepower than any competitors, and gained some popularity.
Being curious (and not having a source of metric bolts within 70 miles) a closer inspection was called for. Although I didn't get specs or measure, the diesel block layout was visually identical to that of the 1756cc 131 engine. Knowing the strength of that block, I still wonder if it is the same. Their parts man and I compared some "extra" bolts I had and found the thread pitches identical and so, HESTON became my FIAT nut, bolt, and occaisional fitting/bracket source! I was really hoping that the alternators would be a straight swap, but never got it checked out.
Now I've added my spider, and I need to find a new drain plug. Time to return to HESTON. I'll keep you posted. (Tractor dealers are an old source of parts - in the late '60s early '70s, some of the hottest low- restriction mufflers for muscle cars were the International straight-through designs used on their "C", "H", and "M" models. Along with low restriction, they were compact, cheap, and VERY quiet/mellow.)
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