in the Eye - Introducing the Uno Turbo
Remember the old Mini Coopers? No, I wasn't driving then either. But
they really upset the middle order, middle range, middle-of-the-road
driving fraternities. You see most people couldn’t easily spot
the difference between the nippy and the quick – and the quick
ones ran rings round you.
Fast Minis broke the Speed to Badge-Size Pecking Ratio (S B-S PR). Oh
you know, that’s the ratio that ensures big saloons are best equipped
with lots of toys and speed. They cost lots more so everyone can tell
you can afford to spend it. Medium sized saloons are not quite so big
or fast, and so on (just as long as you have the right badge on the
front/rear ends as well). Well the Mini was way too fast and way too
small with the wrong badge. So it broke the 'rules'.
Well Fiat made another ‘hit’ little car in the eighties
– the Uno – one of the ‘super minis’. We imported
about 220,000 of them in the UK. What ‘they’ don’t
often mention is that hidden away amongst these beloved shopping trolleys
were some four thousand real road burners.... The Mark 1 and 2 Uno Turbos.
Their effect even today is the same as the Mini Cooper & Cooper
‘S’ in the sixties.
Yes you can
spend a load of wonga extracting the last bhp from the Uno Turbos. But
raise the boost on a Mark 1 to 1 bar, increase the fuelling to match,
adjust the engine management map (all with under bonnet tweaks), use
only Super-Unleaded, and only the deeply seriously modified and ‘super
cars’ can catch you anyway.
Yes there are
quicker cars but not at this price -– and then there’s that
shock factor to those Middle Order drivers ”but it’s an
Uno”.. ah yes, and it’s fast disappearing up the outside
lane of the motorway ahead of you.
the bodywork often disappeared nearly as fast! The good news is that
the Uno Turbos use the same shells as every other sort of Uno ever made
- and all the body shells were stamped with all the options. So if you
ever fancied a seriously quick classic little town car then reshelling
the turbo components into another Uno is a real possibility.
one visitor stood in the middle of an isle at the NEC Classic Car show
by our SFC stand, right next to a Mark 1 Uno Turbo. “The best
fun I ever had on four wheels, you know. This car does 145mph and gets
there quickly” he exclaimed. I concur providing you keep the top
speed test for the runways and track days you should love it! Lets take
a more detailed look at this pocket rocket.
the original Uno design from Giorgetto Giugiaro. A lot of detailed attention
was given to the ergonomics of its interior, overall weight and drag
factor (0.34 Cx). You'll find the dip/ main beam and wiper switches
are unique - and take a bit of getting used to.
The early models
were released from January 1983 (after some production teathing problems),
and included 3 petrol engines - the 903cc push rod (in the 45), 1116cc
sohc (in the 55), and the 1301cc sohc (in the 70). Diesel (45D) and
automatic versions (Uno-matic) followed. A further automatic system
followed with Continuously Variable Transmission - eventually becoming
the 'Selecta' version in 1987. This system used the 1116cc engine and
was very expensive to repair. Consequently the light torque low chassis
load of the Selecta made a good donor for re-shelling a Turbo.
In mid 1985
a new 999cc FIRE engined model was introduced with the light and nimble
1 litre. A 60D 1367cc turbo diesel was introduced at the end of the
year, with external trim very similar to the petrol turbo ie versions.
A year later a 1498cc unit was introduced with electronic fuel injection
and catalyst. This might be relevant to some race series - being the
largest capacity Uno made.
A second series
of Uno was released in 1989 - commonly known as the Mk2 Uno. The body
panels were revised to fit a new corporate look for the nineties - with
slimmer headlights and grill, revised front wings and smoother tail
gate. One of the effects was to further reduce the car's drag coefficient
to 0.33. At the same time injection versions were available across most
of the range - except for the 903cc. The 1108cc FIRE unit was introduced,
replacing the 1116cc unit and a new 1372cc ie model introduced. In general
the Uno's build quality was much improved in the Mk2. Its floor and
sill panels were also galvanised.
of the Uno ceased in 1995 with the introduction of the Punto. By then
over 6 million had been made. Some forms of production did continue
around the world up to 1999.
In 1981/2 Fiat
had formed a successful relationship with Warner-IHI of Japan in supplying
an aftermarket turbo kit for the US 124 Spider market (Sold in the States
by Legend Industries). And IHI were again used as consultants in development
of the Uno Turbo. The first Uno Turbos were launched in April 1985.
They were priced to compete with the Peugot 205 GTi and Renault 5 GT
Uno Turbo Mk1 had a 1299cc engine and the first generation Bosch-Marelli
engine management systems. If tuning is required these EMUs should be
avoided. Amongst other things they were not specifically designed for
unleaded fuel. (Note: regarding use of unleaded on the early cars...
being turbos the engine and valve seats should take it but the exhaust
manifold and down pipes won't. No doubt some of you guys can prove me
version quickly replaced the 1299cc. On paper it generates the same
max power (105bhp) in practice the 1301s are noticeably more spritely
and torquey motors. The first generation EMUs continued to be used.
(You can quickly spot them by the white sticker on the box at the back
of the engine bay). On later EMUs the sticker background colour changes
to red, green then black.
Turbo was replaced by the 1372cc unit in 1989 with the introduction
of the Mk2 Uno Turbo. For some markets the 1301cc turbo was retained
in the new shell until a catalysed version was available. The changes
to the car were essentially cosmetic - with the front wings and bonnet,
tail gate and external trim reworked to provide a different look. Weight
was introduced in the cabin with different trim and more features and
In the UK the
Mk2 Uno T never achieved the same popularity as the Mk1. Its heavier,
with a bigger engine capacity and turbo, but lacks the raw tuning potential
in the high revving Mk1. Actually the bottom end of the mark 2 engine
and crankshaft is probably superior. But the Mark 1 head and plenum
are better for tuning (the mk1 plenum can be dismantled for easier access).
And the mk2 turbo is set at 0.7bar in comparison to the 0.6 bar of the
Mark 1. All this changes when the mods start anyhow.
v Mk2 Turbo Shootout
1301cc - 146A2
1372cc - 146A8
5 speed manual
5 speed manual
Uno quick rack
Uno quick rack
|Std. cam timing
|Valve Lift (mm)
8 (in)/ 8 (ex)
8.8 (in )/ 9.5 (ex)
|Valve Size (mm)
38 (in)/ 33 (ex)
36 (in)/ 33 (ex)
The Mk1 turbo
is smaller and spins up faster with less lag. The Mk2 turbo can flow
more air and is cheaper to have re built. The Mk1 delivers its turbo
boost higher up the rev range while the Mk2 is more progressive - Mk2
turbo boost is present across more of the rev range. The Mk2 has 11bhp
at max power over the Mk1 but the Mk 2 is also 80kg heavier. The Mk
1 torque curve also has a better mid range to it. Don't believe the
top speed figures too much - especially if the car is slightly modified
- as then a good one will pull to its red line in fifth (something the
standard cars are reluctant to do). Orange-lining in fifth is more like
132mph and red lining 140mph! If you are modifying the engine but retaining
many standard parts, the Mk1 has proved to be more reliable and can
benefit from the Mk2s camshaft and higher valve lift. Best of the standard
camshafts for the road is probably the Punto GT. While the standard
X1/9 1498cc cam has the highest valve lift at 9.85(in) and 9.9(ex) its
timing - 24/68 68/24 is different to the turbo cams and can deliver
power advantages higher up the rev range. Reports from members (typically
in motorsport applications) suggest the X1/9 camshaft may also be limiting
valve/ engine life. Why does the 1.0 bar mod do more for the Mk1? Well
the Mk2 is already nearer this point as it runs slightly higher boost
Take a long look at the selling owner and how the car has been used
and maintained. The Uno Turbo has a small capacity high performance
engine, and for turbo reliability it needs regular engine oil changes
with high quality oil. Because the cars are now inexpensive and easy
to tune badly they are prone to what I would describe as 'slash and
burn' owners - who buy as cheap as possible and consume the car with
as little spent as possible. Unfortunately these Fiat sohc engines will
take a lot of this sort of abuse without necessarily showing immediate
signs of damage. Scrutinise the bills with care. If bills are not available
expect the worst.
oil should be changed when it has been blackened with carbon deposits.
Typically at three to four thousand miles. A good semi-synthetic oil
is best - note not a fully synthetic unless the engine has just been
fully rebuilt (new shells etc). After about 20,000 miles the semi-synthetics
provide the best of both worlds for the engine and turbo. Some club
cars on this oil change regime have turbos showing no visible problems
with over 90,000 miles use. I would expect the reliable life of engine
and turbo to be about 120,000 miles anything more than this is a bonus.
The turbo needs to be carefully inspected. Look for white smoke from
the exhaust when cold, and blue smoke on overrun when warm as signs
of worn seals. The IHI needs to be competely rebuilt (£400) each
time while the Garrett has less expensive parts, and the turbo specialist
should be able to offer you a range of rebuild options for about £300.
Hybrid turbine and turbo body options are available - but are not the
first thing to do on a tuning list. If the car has been standing for
some time then the seals can be gently run back to better operation
- so then a little smoke may be tolerated.
Make sure the
turbo is receiving a full flow of coolant and oil by inspecting the
header tank and oil supply pipes.
up the Mk1 turbo has a crisp note that rises and falls without hesitation.
Any resistance in the turbo bearing (for instance from oil deposit fouling)
can be detected as a stuttering or sluggish change in note, often accompanied
by a low background hiss by the turbo.
Weak link in
the turbo system is the exhaust manifold and down pipe. The manifold
itself is not ideally shaped for optimium power. Its shape is compromised
by the close proximity of the cabin heater matrix and front bulkhead.
But in addition the manifold is prone to cracking, especially if the
wrong fuel, or fuel mix is lean, or higher boost is used. The turbo
mounting itself is often cracked. Unfortunately something to be lived
with until it leaks! Replacing the whole manifold with a stainless steel
alternative is recommended but pricey.
the oil cooler and its pipes, and the intercooler and its pipes. They
are exposed at the front of the car just behind the front valence -
check extra carefully if the car is lowered.
and injectors. A form of additional fuel regulator is worth considering
to regularise the delivery pressure - particularly at higher boost.
The pump itself is located forward of the rear axle, and should be checked
for delivery and return. Budget to have the injectors cleaned and tested.
Make sure the supply rail is not corroded.
The turbo generates
more heat in the cramped engine bay so suspect all the pipes and inspect
accordingly. The inside of the small oil feed pipes can be subject to
carbon deposit build ups from the oil. Check the underbonnet blanket
too. Remove this and your bonnet paint job will fade within weeks!
The Mk1 in
particular can be prone to stretched throttle and snapping clutch cables.
Make sure you have spares of both, and run the spares with a good high
slip oil additive. Why some cars munch clutch cables when others don't
is still a mystery.
Cam belts change
on purchase with a Fiat replacement - do not use cheaper motor factor
alternatives. And then every 25,000 miles. Skimp on this one and you
coud face a re-build bill.
The two box
exhaust system is heavy. Check the condition of the exhaust mounts and
rubbers. The most common failure point for the system is the entry point
into the second box - often due to poor alignment on fitting.
motors to go every 60-70,000 miles, and alternators every 80,000.
oil filler cap and the colour of the cam and valve gear visible underneath.
If dark brown deposits are visible on everything expect and budget for
the worst on the turbo (see above).
ok for reliability providing rock ape or racing changes to beat the
synchro have not been employed. Rebuilds will start at about £700.
and particularly the CV joint gaiters should be inspected. The CV and
intermediate shaft bearings take a lot of torque and need to be in good
Check the radiator
and header tank for leaks, and listen for the short burst fan cut in/out
on idle when the engine is warm.
A full seam inspection is needed from below – so get it on a professional
If the structural seams are rusting (lifting the under seal along the
seam) then the panels need replacing even if they are solid elsewhere.
Take someone who can cost this along. Here’s the top ten rust
- anywhere under external plastic trim
- rear strut
mount strengthening plate/ rear turret top mount
- fuel tank, boot floor/ spare wheel well and seams
- front inner wings, below battery box, front turrets & head lights
- front lower
suspension arms/ wishbone
- A posts/B posts especially around floor & inner sills
- engine sub frame
- windscreen scuttle (stone chips & clumsy screen changes)
- passenger door frames and door skins
- sun roof surround especially a factory Fiat one
If it gets
damp long enough, the roof lining will part company from its backing,
check this hasn’t begun… difficult to glue back. Check for
bulging & partial detachment.
- Seats & door cards the Recaro’s material looks warn after
40k difficult to get the black Fiat insignia cloth anywhere.
- Check to ensure plastic push fit parts are present.
- Check switch gear, switches and dash warning lights.
- Electrics as always with Fiats, close inspect & suspect the earth
points, loom & engine bay loom
- Controls and plastic items.
competent. Consider upgrade to 4 pot calipers if you are not considering
concours. Bigger brakes and discs will mean bigger diameter rims and
may need a different master cylinder. Offset on the Uno Turbo rims is
unusual (standard wheels have a cast-in spacer too). Tipo, Punto, and
Strada can fit with spacers.
handbrake cable-to-rear disc calipers is similar to the X1/9 design.
It needs annually greasing and checking. Neglected rear calipers are
prone to seize too!
be firm - because of the remote bar to the master cylinder on the passenger
side - has a little more travel then normal for Fiat.
Driving the Uno Turbo
The first thing
you need to get used to is the switch layout. The mark one presents
you with several lights, main/dip switches etc that appear to work upside
down. they aren't consistant either, until you work out they are aligned
as if your hands are at the 'ten to two' position... nope I've realised
even if I explain it you'll still get it the wrong way. And the screen
washers work by moving the windscreen wiper switches horizontally in
towards the steering. OK the standard steering wheel is too big, I'd
stow it for a 13 inch the car needs flicking sometimes. Looking around
the controls - the large throttle pedal is there for heel towing, if
a bit too low.... brakes have more travel than usual for Fiats, and
the remote linkage on the gears feels a bit sloppy so changes will need
to be precise. All the decor and instruments are better but there's
no disguising the fact I'm in an Uno.
Fire up - the
noise and vibration is familiar and intimate. Lots of lights go out
on the dash.... I select gear and away we go. The turbo is there from
2500 singing away behind the engine noise, and it digs you without lag.
New drivers get a shock, for the turbo suddenly demands more accuracy
and attention from you. There's a Jekel and Hyde touch to the controls,
the steering and throttle are sharp but the brakes and gear shift blunt.
With the car on one bar boost, holding the throttle down launches the
car forward. Next gear please it says.... using any more than quarter
throttle will interrupt conversation. Two things immediately dawn....
there is no turbo lag ...this set up delivers torque instantly, secondly,
as the patched roads and grid irons arrive, you are reminded how light
this car is.
now I'm going to provide more than half throttle and the car takes off.
Yes there is instant boost, but I notice it also takes a bit of time
to build boost now.... a glance in the mirror reveals... nothing...
the cars behind have disappeared. The connection between the engine
and the road feels so direct. I'm riding a pocket rocket.
50 aspect ratio
tyres transform this connection - showing that the tyre walls provide
a lot of the response in the corners... so choose your tyres well. And
here is the first trap for the unwary. A lot of the cars poise through
fast corners is provided by the driver - positioning and steering input
for sure - but also throttle control. The car's understeer is balance
and controlled by use of the throttle. To be driven near its limit through
corners means the driver work! Because the car is so light, cambers
and surface changes combine with that all important throttle injection
to keep you busy. Having said that most cars couldn't corner at this
speed. If you understand the black art of left foot braking, this car
can use it.
If you like
one finger steering, and the badges to go shopping in .... this car
is not for you. If you want to know why Abarth's modded little Fiats
were mythical to Italians.... here is the reason again.
second trap for the unwary? Well at one bar you will find yourself travelling
at ludicrous speeds and the brakes are lets say marginal. So
you have to check those braking zones constantly, or else!
What sorts of power and performance can you
expect? Here we are going to focus on the initial steps
of tuning to bring the cars up to around 130 - 140bhp at the flywheel.
Beyond this point tuning becomes increasingly expensive, and it is recommended
that you try cars with this level of performance before considering
moving on and up the tuning ladder. Because of its light weight, a well
sorted and lightened Uno with 135bhp will have a top speed around 140mph
and a 0-60 time around 6.5 seconds. After this point diminishing returns
set in – remember we are dealing with a 1300cc engine –
and a small volume turbo. Its single overhead cam head has reasonably
shaped chambers and relatively large valves to begin with. So additional
modifications to get beyond 150bhp become increasingly drastic and expensive.
A well tuned road car can deliver 180-190bhp but the engine will need
to be completely rebuilt – pistons, head, large turbo, intercooler,
engine management, injection system, fuel system, clutch, and gearbox.
What’s the max power limit?
Well around 225bhp DIN, using the Punto GT (same SOHC engine design)
and its six speed box. But above 190bhp the engines become increasingly
temperamental. At 220bhp, because the engine stops flowing any more
air, increasing the turbo size/ boost just raises temperatures to the
point where everything important starts melting. You will also be sacrificing
all the mid range torque for a very narrow power band. OK for sprints
and drag races, but turbo lag kills the fun almost anywhere else. Some
enterprising SFC members have looked at using the new 16-valve 1242cc
head as a basis for tuning. In fact the 8-valve and early 16-valve Fiat
twin cam engines share a common design background with the SOHC engine
and offer a better tuning route for the adventurous or over-wealthy.
The Strada 1500 gearbox on the Mark 1 Uno and the early Tipo box on
the Mark 2 Uno are good for about twice the torque originally intended.
Again around 150bhp at the flywheel – after this you will need
to be gentle or go for the more expensive competition derived alternatives.
There are many Italian alternatives. If you transplant into the Uno
please remember to retain the equal length drive/ intermediate shaft
style of layout in the original. This design does a lot to reduce torque-steer.
The Uno Turbo Strada box is the most advanced of the standard range
– in particular with its use of ball race bearings where previous
versions had solid ones. So easy swaps are not available.
You must improve the braking and handling of the standard car before
tuning the engine. The brakes and suspension set up – even when
new – are marginal to the car’s standard performance. Upgrade
Turbo History Revisited
Although the Uno arrived in the middle of the “Hot Hatch
Era that was the Eighties” – it was in fact de-tuned
for production. You can’t say that about any of its rivals
now can you! The story goes like this… IHI-Warner of Japan
were commissioned by Fiat to design the turbo engine for the Uno,
while Fiat/Abarth got on with designing the car. IHI’s experience
with the Uno and Fiat was small, and Fiat’s experience of
turbo road car solutions was also limited. The engine package
was finished first, apart from the Marelli/Bosch engine management
& ignition solution. Eventually the system spec was built
around a nominal 1bar turbo boost pressure.
When the prototypes were assembled it was clear the whole thing
worked very well. Now we don’t know whether it was the risk
of needing to extract grannies from tree tops (who’s only
sin was to sneeze hard while driving their Uno T). Or the likelihood
of successive layers of Uno Ts piling up outside difficult bends.
Or component longevity in the face of poor fuel quality and indifferent
servicing from mechanics. Or the difficulty in selling more expensive
performance Fiat/Lancias if the cheapest in the hot hatch range
comprehensively blew them all into oblivion. The precise reasons
are shrouded in Fiat mists. Suffice to say it was decided to reduce
the performance of the Uno Turbo for production. And the cheapest
way to do this was to lower the boost pressure to 0.6bar.
What you have available then is an engine/turbo basically engineered
for 1bar operation, but operating at 0.6bar boost. We are going
to discuss the ways of safely and reliably putting this back to
The Uno Turbo suspension is common to both Mark 1 and Mark 2 cars. The
general layout will be familiar to Punto and Cinq/Seicento owners too.
In the case of the Uno Turbos the rear brakes are disc rather than drum
The Uno uses MacPherson struts at the front and rear. The front struts
have a cone shaped coil spring slightly offset to provide more stability
under heavy braking. The rear suspension is mounted on an ‘H’shaped
beam axle connected to the body at its front ends from which it can
pivot. The shock absorbers are connected to their top mounts at the
axle line, but the coil springs are located forward of this point on
the beam arms towards the front pivot points. There is an anti-roll
bar at the front of the cars, routed around the back of the engine bay,
and located on the bottom of the front bulkhead.
How low can I go? Well the Uno
is high as standard and its possible to go down by a ridiculous 100mm
at the back and about 60mm at the front, and still get 15 inch rims
on (with 45 profile tyres). But at this level the car will drive like
a manic go cart - skipping around over the slightest uneven surface
and you’ll find most of the interior on the floor. No fun to try
and drive it in a straight line at all. The car may look cool, but you
won’t. At 35mm – 40mm lower front and back you’ll
still have some suspension travel left and the car will stop and corner
to match its performance. At -40mm the front valence will still hit
a house brick laid flat on the road – and you should note the
intercooler and oil cooler are just behind that valence!
Strut Braces: These bolt across the suspension turrets and
do stiffen up the chassis – especially the rear one that can also
pass as a luggage restraint for the boot space. OMP do a front one for
£50 and a rear for £20, but Eibach and Momo used to stock
them as well. The Momo Italian front version was routed around the back
of the engine bay (rather than straight across between the top mounts)
and doesn’t get in the way as much.
Springs: Available in different heights from standard, usually
between 20 and 60mm. Obviously the spring rate will be much higher for
the shorter springs. Consider going to coil over set ups, with adjustable
spring platforms straight away. As the standard conical shaped front
springs are expensive – so switching to standard size and shape
springs is cheeper. Spring choice includes Eibach, Pi, Chassis Dynamics
(Avo) and many others (see below). Spax and Avo do 35mm lower spring
sets. They both improved handling without sacrificing too much quality,
about £80 - £100 for the Uno T. Please don’t try chopping
standard springs! It is an MoT failure point, and puts too much strain
on the remaining standard springs. They are now also at the wrong rate
for the height. If the ride feels too harsh then Jamex and Eibach provide
rising rate springs – but they are more expensive.
Shockers: Match with the springs and buy as one package to
get the best results. Then your new shorter springs won’t fall
out at full extension (another MOT failure). Koni, Avo, and Leda make
decent adjustable sets, for track days the Konis are probably better.
Italian options will relieve you of more money. Expect to spend about
£400-500 and don’t skimp on cheap sets that can’t
last or perform (see table below).
Bushes: Do replace all the suspension bushes. Its possible
your Uno still has original bushes - probably like marshmallow now.
So change for new or preferably uprated ones. Stiffer springs and shocks
will put more strain on the bushes. A combination of Superflex, Truflex,
Powerflex and Proflex are available to kit out your Uno T. Don’t
neglect the anti roll bar bushes either.
Anti-roll bars: The standard one is OK. In fact for near the
limit driving the Uno could do with a bit less understeer – and
this would suggest stiffening up the rear suspension against roll rather
than the front. Eibach make stiffer ones for about £150 but this
isn’t really necessary until all else is re-newed. Do uprate the
front anti roll bar bushes and rear axle pivot bushes – this is
to provide more accurate alignment under fast cornering rather than
cause any changes to the car's handling.
Brakes: The Uno will benefit from larger front brakes and callipers.
This will often mean adopting 4 pot calliper systems. In this case,
to avoid much longer pedal travel, change the size of master cylinder
at the same time.The master cylinder is located on the passenger side
of the engine bay, operated by a remote bar so the exhaust manifold
cannot contact it in the event of rearward engine movement. A bigger
brake disc may also mean increasing the wheel diameter to 15 inches
too. 14inch and 15 inch wheels from the Strada Tipo and Lancia ranges
will fit – with spacers – as the Uno offset is different.
All Fiat Lancia and Alfas have the same (unique to Italian cars) bolt
centres. But to use most of these wheels you’ll need to look at
converting from bolts to nuts to secure the wheels. The choice is yours!
Let’s discuss a range of tuning options based around the initial
stages of tuning:
Step 1 Look to lighten the load of the engine brakes
and suspension by reducing the weight you’re carrying. Choose
light weight options (starting with wheels, and exhausts), be generally
aware of how much weight you are saving or introducing with all your
choices. Much of the performance advantage of the Uno comes from its
relatively light weight. Keep it down!
Step 2 Induction – cold air is best and the engine
bay is very congested. So start by moving the battery to the boot in
a battery box. You can have the spare wheel compartment modified to
fully fix the battery/box in place. This allows you to box off the old
battery area with aluminium sheet so it gets cold air from the headlight
area in front. Into this you can place a large cone filter for the air
intake. K&N and Pipercross can supply the filter. Make sure the
'boxed volume' is atleast six times the volume of the filter cone itself.
Step 3 Wastegates - The air then flows via the turbo
into the engine. A wastegate controls the boost level and on the Uno
is not adjustable. This is were we have more than one option, and there
is some debate over the best way to go within the club. To increase
boost we can fit a bleed valve between the turbo compressor housing
and the wastegate. Use either two or three way valves. The 2 way bleed
valves are simpler whereas the 3 way ones can bleed off air. This can
affect the turbine blades in our small turbo for both better and worse,
sometimes causing stall and jiggle at the wrong moment – that’s
why there’s a debate. 2 way valves are OK.
Step 4 The Intercooler – optional to begin with,
is a change of intercooler. The Uno’s is tough but small. The
Mk 2 has a slightly larger one, but neither gets a lot of cooling airflow
in their positions. The next size up would be the Delta 4WD version
- costs about £40 second hand – exactly twice the size of
the Mk1 standard intercooler. It's easier to fit using its own mounts
from the donor car. About twice the size again would be a Cosworth (that's
4 times the Mk1) – an early Sierra Cossie will cost about £60
second hand - and make sure it doesn’t leak! The Cossie at four
times the Uno’s size is difficult to fit – and increases
the circuit travelled by the air. Try and keep the intercooler as small
as possible for your particular uses/ temparatures. Spray systems onto
the intercooler can help too. Try a big reservoir in the boot area.
Screen washer pumps are fine - use lawn sprinklers with adjustable fine
jets from a DIY superstore. Trigger and switch from the EMU.
Step 4 Dump valves – if you insist on changing
the dump valve for its noise try a Bailey twin piston dump valve. This
goes TISHH and doesn't seem to cause too many other problems. I prefer
to keep the short little cha-cha-cha-chat heard from the standard one
at 1bar boost (providing its working alright).
Step 5 a) Now the main mods for ‘stage one’
can begin. Your engine and clutch have to be in reasonable condition.
Also check you are getting full throttle by having someone press down
the accelerator, and observe that the plenum butterfly is fully open.
There's no point in tuning the car if you aren't getting full throttle
and more than half the cars I see have stretched throttle cables so
replace it! Now on the side of the Plenum Chamber is a pressure
cut out switch. The standard cut out operates at 0.86bar. And
it loses accuracy as it ages – cutting at lower pressures. So
the switch terminals must be electrically isolated. Detach it and make
sure the terminals are secured completely electrically isolated (very
Step 5 b) If in doubt go to someone who knows what
they are doing! Next there are adjustment screws on the Marelli engine
management box to close the tolerances (gain) on its outputs.
These are further closed. The fixed map of the system is valid up to
about 0.9-1bar boost. Smooth running and timing has to be checked.
Step 5 c) On the end of the fuel rail is the standard
fuel pressure regulator, it must be in excellent condition,
along with the fuel pump and injectors. We have heard of problems replacing
this with a ‘rising rate’ regulator – that effectively
increases both the fuel flow & pressure with increased fuel demand.
The FSE Power Boost Valve is one of these. But it is easy to swamp the
Uno’s fuel system, so although this product can increase the fueling
rate from 1:1 to 1:7, a maximum of 1:3 is about the limit for an Uno.
A power valve like this is designed to combat the dangers of the mixture
leaning out at high revs – by ‘throwing’ more fuel
through the injectors from increased fuel pressure. If it works, we
are dumping a not very accurate amount more fuel into the engine at
any high fuel usage point. The rest of the rev range will suffer from
an over rich mixture, including at idle, if the pressure is no longer
normal. As a result your engine’s fuel metering can be way out!
On the Uno there is no mechanism to compensate - so this can result
in really rough running.
Step 5 d) You must only use Super Unleaded
(that’s 97 Octane – not anything else). It is advisable
to use an octane booster as well. Millers and Castrol are two amongst
the good ones.
Step 5 e) Spark Plugs – after quite a bit of
testing on different cars, we think the NGK triple electrode plugs suit
the Uno Turbos well – both for power, smoothness and emissions.
Unfortunately you can’t get the right grades etc from Halfords.
(See the alternative suppliers table below).
Step 6 Head Cams & Gaskets – the combustion
chamber shape is ok for this level tuning. Providing the engine is in
good condition (the valves and piston rings should be ok for 90,000
miles if the engine has been well maintained.) The Fiat head gaskets
will be fine for up to a 1bar boost. On changing the gasket make sure
new stretch bolts etc are used. The cast iron valve guides will wear
around 100-120,000 miles budget for a head re-build then. This is a
good time to look at gas flowing the head around the valve stems, and
shaping the ports. The Mk1 head has bigger inlet valves. But the Mk2
camshaft and then the Punto GT camshaft provide further performance
gains before resorting to high lift cam solutions.
Step 7 Exhaust System – Is heavy and restrictive.
If you want maximum power though forget the
fashions for massive bore exhausts. The engine is too small
to tolerate it without big power losses. For cars delivering under 150bhp
use an exhaust bore the same or very slightly larger than the manifold
bore – just over 2.2 inches. Over this power output a bore of
2.5 inches is about it - i.e. for race applications. Choose single box
systems with short tail pipes. The tails pipe bore should not be more
than 0.5 of an inch wider then the main bore. Any bigger and you will
start to lose performance - you have been warned! Powerflow or Longlife,
with outlets all over the country will make you up a stainless steel
exhaust for around £300. OMP do one with no silencer!
T terms this is a very famous garage door - with an illustrious pedigree
- Mr. Cann's patch of concrete with his second white road burner on
show. What ever happened to Cann-Durrant? Suppose they just ran out
of boost. One day Julian's bound to return to the old school though......
for Mk1s what!..................................................
does their performance vary so much?
to Cann Durrant? They retired a few years back now. One's in Spain,
the other near Brands. But not fast fiating like in the old days! For
as long as their old site is around the address is here
the difference between the Mk1 engine management versions?
Garrett turbo histories.......
IHI made serious
moves towards private car turbos from the late seventies. This was confirmed
with a joint venture Borg Warner Automotive in America in 1980 when
IHI Turbo America (ITA) was founded as the Warner-Ishi Corporation.
This venture was granted licenses to market IHI turbocharger technology
and is part of a worldwide turbocharger supply network, including IHI
in Asia, IHI Turbo Italy and Germany. From 1986,
Warner-Ishi manufactured the RHB5 turbochargers at Shelbyville, IL primarily
as a supplier to Ford but including GM, Fiat,
Renault, Kohler, Generac, and VM Motori.
In 1998, IHI purchased
Borg Warner Automotive shares in the company to become 100% owner and
the company was re-named as IHI Turbo America. ITA continues to be a
major supplier of turbocharger products in North America and is part
of a global network serving the worlds engine manufacturers. This network
includes IHI, ITA, ICSI Italy and ICSI Germany.
to provide the highest technology turbocharger products available in
the world today by application of IHI technological developments. These
developments include VGS (Variable Geometry System), ceramic and mixed
flow turbine wheels, ball bearings, noise and vibration control, inducer
treatment and many others. The IHI company web site is at www.ihi.co.jp
In 1936 a young
Cliff Garrett formed his company in a one-room office in Los Angeles.
With encouragement and financial support from friends like Jack Northrop
and Harry Wetzel, plus $5,000 he borrowed on his own, Garrett founded
the company that would later become the Garrett Corporation. SInce then,
the growth in the use of forced induction has seen the Garrett Corporation
expand consistently until it has over 6,000 employees and a range of
products used by all the world's major engine and vehicle manufacturers
- including Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, DDC, Fiat, Ford, International
Truck Co, Peugeot, Renault, Saab and Volkswagen.
Through names such as AiResearch, AlliedSignal, and Honeywell, Garrett
has sustained its reputation for leading turbocharger technology innovation.
The Garrett pages on turbo technology can be found on their website
Clubs and Contacts
Trevor's exploits in a close cousin to the Uno T - the Lancia
Desira Parts Force quote your
membership number for the club discount. Body panels, suspension and
mechanical items have been supplied to the club over many years. Based
in Norfolk, you are after the Fiat obsolete parts section. Try the general
parts guys on 01379 650131.
Motorsport can really set your steed up for that track day, including
their corner weight service. Suspension and handling specialists, they
also offer a one off part manufacture service when you're stuck. Motorsport
Fiateers should note!
Try Turbo advice
from ; Turbo Dynamics
and Turbo Technics
,,, and Universal
turbos of Ringwood
within the M25 (just) Recambio
can often help with OEM suppliers.
Brakes International for brake
calipers (new and on exchange basis) and brake components. On line purchase
possible. based in Rochdale.
engineering are a good starting point for brakes, pipes, stays
struts and bushes - and they are still specialist Fiat and Alfa motor
factors. I'll have to check if their outlet in White Hart Lane still
exists (now in Bradford). Used to stock a range of tuning parts too.
after market parts supplier
Sachs BOGE suspension site
HR Springs handling components
Power Alfa After market parts
Body kits from Autotint Design
Tuning body kit retailers including Cadamuro and Novitech
Power Fiat after market
offer tailored stainless steel exhausts
in Bamberger Str. 61 96215 Lichtenfels. Deutschland. Tel: 09571/5007
(add German international code)
Comprehensive body kits and engine conversions and everything in between.
Kempten (Germany) may still stock their Uno body kits.
Novitec Automobile Hochstraße
8 87778 Stetten (English agent : Forza Tuning, St Leonards Rd, NW10
6ST Tel: 0208 8386320)
The list of parts for the Uno being stocked by these suppliers is steadily
declining. But some are still available.