The Italian Restoration

July 06, 2022

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The recent pandemic put importance of private transportation on the table, everyone become mad max hence we was literally in a post-apocalypse situation. Before the pandemic i was driving a M-segment light truck which left from family. After that i bought a cheap 2006 fiat palio with 1.2lt engine at 2020 and adventure started from there.

In middle east the things like phone,car,house etc is a sign of social class. People treating each other based on what you wear, what you drive and same treatment follows you on the mechanics shop. While driving palio, someday i wanted to replace it's brakes but can't get a proper attention from two different shops i visited. I said, fuck it i'll do myself. Purchased few parts and watched couple youtube videos and did it. Same year i replaced water pump, ignition coils and also fixed it's ecu by soldering a burnt component.

Resurrection of the dead
With a proper maintenance i managed to hit 90 hp - 170 km/h with palio but i was literally feeling the pressure of the wind over hood. After a minor research i found 1996 fiat coupe with 2000cc engine. It have the same setup which i familiar with and easy to modding. Sold the palio and bought this one, the problem was it's so damaged and missing few major components to drive. I bring it to office with fire extinguisher and lot of prays. In following six months literally rebuilt it from scratch. Including the pistons, cooling systems, fuel rail and ecu wiring.

Modernization Process
It has an ecu from 1993 technology, but it's only for injection. Started with the installing a pirated version of VEMS ecu, also the supplier delivered it with an AFR gauge and in-line VAG coils which used in modern audi & porsche group. Installation was quite challenging. Eventually did it but the new setup created more problems afterwards.

December: The wiring done in one month, removed the unnecessary stuff. Removed all existing cables and attached new silicon ones that also covered with fire-resistant fiberglass tubes. The most challenging part was adapting 60-2 crankshaft wheel from Marea/Bravo for trigger sensor.

January: Here goes the first challenge, it's working as expected but engine heating too much, even become undriveable. I literally burned the engine at first attempt to drive, replaced the pistons afterwards. Ofcourse including the learning process it took 3 months.

March: I installed the pistons, cranked the engine and ran for 5 minutes. This time one of the valves is broken and we got a giant hole on the brand new piston. Probably that was caused because of an off-timing

July: Installed the headlights, replaced entire fuel delivery system and installed temperature sensors to critical points. All of them collected with arduino, if one of values pass the treshold a warning text appearing on the oled screen. So many values distracting while drive, so i built a basic monitoring system for that.

June: The first drive, i hit to 160km/h on highway by keeping temperature around 80c. I was so nervous because if the crankshaft sensor exceeds 100c, it's sending random signals to ecu which leads to immediate piston damage due to random explosions. I also put a ntc thermistor to there and watched closely alongside with coolant temperature.

Final Setup
- VEMS Ecu v3.3
- 60-2 trigger wheel with Magneti Marelli SEN8I hall sensor
- AEM wideband AFR gauge
- 470cc bosch standard injectors, 2v2
- Beru ZSE32 vag coil, 2v2 wasted spark
- WTS05/09 coolant and intake air temperature sensor
- 3bar fuel pump, Mercedes-AMG equivalent rail and filter

VEMS v3.3 compatible map and mentioned arduino sketches are available in here

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