A Jim of All Trades

Working on the x1/9

with one comment

I spent a lot of time working on the Fiat x1/9 this past week.

The first thing I did was change some parts out on the front end. My dad and I acquired an earlier year parts car a few weeks ago and I took the grille and air dam from that car and put it on ours. The earlier cars, 1974 through 1978, had a different front end setup. On later year cars, if removing the front bumper (which I had already done), it is common to use an early year grille and air dam since the later year ones just don’t look as nice. I had removed the bumper last year and was using a home made grille made from wire screening, and my original air dam was damaged and cracked. The parts from the ’77 look much nicer, though they are not pristine.  That’s fine with me consider they will likely only get more beat up from my use of the car.

(before on top, after on bottom)

I’ll note that both of the photos above are HDR photos, which I’ve been messing around with a bit recently. I won’t get off subject talking about them here and now, but a google search will yield a lot of info about them if you’re curious. I’m just mentioning that they’re HDR because the paint doesn’t look that nice in real life.

Here’s a shot I took today:

The other work I did to the car was replacing the exhaust system. I acquired a used ANSA header to replace the factory exhaust manifold and a SuperTrapp tip to replace the muffler. The header is supposed to be good for increasing torque; it has four tubes that come from the engine, that connect into two tubes, then into one, which would then go to the muffler. This is commonly called a 4-2-1 header. I’m not the right person to explain why this produces more torque, but just take my word for it. The SuperTrapp tip is pretty neat in that instead of just having an open exhaust pipe, it has a stack of plates at the end of the exhaust pipe with gaps in between them, which is where the exhaust exits. One can add or remove plates as they like to tune the car. More plates equate to more volume and higher horsepower, while less plates equate to less volume and more torque. This is all within a certain set of limits of course, one can go too far in either direction.

I don’t have any detailed pictures of the install, but here are all of the parts sitting in the driveway waiting to be installed.

And here’s the end result:

Looks pretty cool, I think anyway. More importantly, it seems to do what it is supposed to. This car will never be a 0-60 racer; it’s strengths are in handling and agility, not acceleration, but the exhaust helped. It is more responsive now to throttle input throughout the rpm range. This is especially important to me because of autocross. Coming out of corners where the rpm’s can dip, it’s nice to step on the gas and have the car be a bit more eager to accelerate. That is why I was after torque improvements.

Speaking of autocross, I’m going to one tomorrow morning! I’m very excited for it, like a kid at Christmas. I’m eager to see how the car will perform with its new exhaust, but I also haven’t done one since March and am just looking forward to having fun. Wish me luck! (that’s an order)

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Written by Jim

June 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Posted in x1/9

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. […] been a while since I’ve said anything about my Fiat X1/9. Last year I got it out of storage, did some work to it, did one autocross with it in March, did some more […]


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