Left Rear Torsion Bar & Bearing

After the trials of the engine rebuild, see here: https://www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/engine-rebuild-part-one.html and the leaking rear mains seal: https://www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/engine-rear-mains-seal.html it was time to investigate something else.

For years my Aprilia has had a clunk in the left rear suspension. I’d rebuilt the shock absorber but that wasn’t the source of the noise. Next step was to investigate the torsion bar, t in tavola 15.

After I extracted it the first thing I noticed was a couple of wear marks on the inner end.

And putting it between centres in the lathe it had a 0.882″ (2.08 mm) bend.

My first thought was it had been hitting on the inside of the torsion bar guide tube at the differential end, N in the tavola above. I had a perfect spare that I fitted. After a test drive the clunk was still there but I thought maybe there was a little less roll and the rear end stuck to the road a little better.

All that was left to check now was the torsion bar outer bearing, 48056. This is an odd size, 45d x 78D x 18B, and not available from regular bearing suppliers.

I wont go into the details here of removing the left side trailing arm assembly but when it was out on the bench and the bearing extracted the wear in it was obvious. The bearing is located inside the assembly at X, see above Tav 20, and relies on two leather seals, 38-74025, to keep dirt and water out, these had failed and the bearing had pitted and rusted.

Cavalitto is the only source of replacement bearings that I am aware of so one was ordered along with a pair of seals.All is now quiet at the rear. Unfortunately our Covid-19 restrictions are still in place so getting out on the road is not an option right now.


Splish splash, seized water pump.

Just as I was getting near to solving the engine balance issue I discovered my water pump was seized. The pump had been modified in the UK and although they were on the right track the mod had a fatal flaw. An original factory pump uses a series of cork seals but my pump had a modern ceramic seal fitted to the impeller (see pic) with a steel insert fitted into the body to act on the seal. However, they had not taken into account the reverse thrust pushing the impeller back onto the rear PB bush, gradually the impeller was worn down, this allowed water to travel to the front and into the main bearing. I had fitted a sealed bearing there years back but it still seized.

Original pump with seized bearing

Impeller, note worn section and modern seal

Next I order a new one from Cavalitto (€400 plus shipping)

New water pump

When it gets here a trial fit reveals a problem, it’s too long by 5mm, which means the fan belt does not align with the crankshaft pulley. I’m starting to have visions of the radiator horrors from the past (www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/radiator)

I contact Enrico, he promises to look into the problem. A few weeks later he ships another that they have modified. It “almost” fits, but still needs another 2mm trimmed to get the the alignment correct.

To cut a long story short I machine the body and the various internal parts to get the desired alignment.

Trim 1mm off the flange

Mill 1mm of the other body half

2mm off end of impeller and matching amount on body

Cavalitto have sold a lot of these pumps so in trying to see why it didn’t fit on my engine/radiator there could be difference in the extension on the front engine mount, I have one spare that is longer, maybe 2nd series are different, I really don’t know the answer.

A look inside the Cavalitto pump shows they have thought the design out thoroughly. The impeller has a collar on the back that works against the rear bush, there is a modern seal that runs in a nylon bush and a sealed bearing. The engine is about to go back into the car so we’ll see how this pump works…



A Question Of Balance.

As the Moody Blues once sang:

And he felt the earth to his spine,
And he asked,
And he saw the tree above him,
And the stars,
And the veins in the leaf,
And the light,
And the balance.

Unfortunately the Aprilia engine isn’t singing with the same lyrical ease as Justin Hayward.

To follow the long and winding road start here: https://www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/engine-rebuild-part-one.html

Tick, tick, tick

Another issue from the Very Long List is the ticking noise from the engine. Since I bought the car in 2006 this noise has always been there. Setting valve clearances and a complete rebuild of the rocker gear didn’t fix the problem. www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/Rocker-gear

With all the other engine problems going on I’ve started a complete rebuild, more details to follow in the future! Extracting no.1 piston reveled the source of the ticking noise, a broken piston ring. How long it’s been there I’ve no idea but luckily there was no damage to either the bore or piston.

The engine was rebuilt in the UK back in 1991: (www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/uk-restoration-notes/note-5,  and was fitted with AE/Nural pistons, quite different to the originals.



Starter motor

Following up from the “Very Long List” post. First task was take out the engine and gearbox, my favorite pass time!

The problem with the starter motor not engaging correctly quickly showed up when I tested it on the bench. The pinion gear wasn’t engaging fully, see the first video.

What should happen is this:

For those not familiar with the starter motor on an Aprilia it is a Marelli MCE 0.4/6R, mine is six volts, and is activated by pulling a lever under the dashboard then via a cable to another lever on the starter, none of those complicated electronic solenoids to fail, as long as the cable doesn’t break they are super reliable!

A close inspection and comparison with my spare unit reveled the cause of the problem. Someone in the past, not me, had soldered a copper button on to the contact unit and welded an extra bit onto the actuating lever, see the comparison with the spare motor. Simply put this didn’t allow the pinon gear to travel its full length and engage the ring gear correctly or sometimes not at all.

A simple job to remove the extra button, grind off the extra weld and I now have two working starter motors.


A Very Long List –

– of things to do! After the October 2017 ALR Castlemaine & Tasmanian rallies –  www.narrywoolan.com.au/alr – were ten-seventy was total rubbish the following is a tentative list of repairs/fixes needed:

1. Engine oil leak.

2. Clutch judder.

3. Rear suspension clunks.

4. Engine “ticking” noise.

5. Engine vibration.

6. Starter motor intermittently not engaging.

7. Left rear wheel hub leaking grease.

8. Gearbox – 2nd gear difficulty selecting down from 3rd.

9. Doors rattling on rough roads.

Some of the above have been addressed already, I’ll post details soon.



Lancias at Motorclassica 2017

Dropped in to the 2017 Motorclassica show at the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne for a couple of hours.


The Australian Lancia Register had been asked to display a selection of iconic cars. Brilliantly organised by Marc Bondini and others from the committee we put on an excellent show. As is the norm with me I spent far too much time chatting and not enough time looking, in the end I only wandered around the Lancias on display inside and the collection outside before heading off to my daughters for lunch.

My photos are mostly of my three favorite models there. The original 1970 factory Fulvia 1.6HF Fanalone rally car, the stunning recently restored Aurelia B24 and my absolute favorite the beautiful 1947 Ghia Aprilia. I’d only ever seen photos of this car before and was stunned how beautiful and elegant it is, it looks even better in the flesh than in the photos.

The ALR Facebook page has more photos and things: Australian Lancia Register


Click on thumbnails for full size image.

FCA Heritage Lancia Aprilia restoration

Just to let you know I’m still here! Things have been quiet on the Lancia front over the last few months so I thought I’d steal this from the FCA Heritage site, they have actually restored a Lancia Aprilia!


The model appears to be an early 1st series the same as 1070, with the same front suspension & Lockheed brakes.

Having a close look at the photographs the workmanship on the body looks excellent, there is not much in the way of interior detail, only photos during the restoration.

Of course it’s always fun to find parts that are not original to that model. The tipo 439 stamped on the radiator plate and the rocker cover stay bracket indicate it’s clearly is from a 2nd series platform chassis.

The steering wheel is 2nd series and the differential looks like an early version but has the later pinion shaft housing, odd?

As mentioned the car was entered in the 2017 Mille Miglia. It’s listed as a 1350cc 1939 model, which looking at the body it clearly isn’t. They did finish, way down the order in 365th position, the leading Aprilia of Rossi & Bertocchi finished 52nd. Having a close look at MM photo below and spotting the red tape around the driver’s side doors they obviously have the traditional “Aprilia door opening at an inconvenient time” problem, still at bit of tweaking to be done!


(It has also been pointed out the engine featured on the dyno in the restoration photos is a 2nd series!)

ALR Christmas 2016

Sunday December 4th was the Australian Lancia Registers’ Christmas Run and AGM. Organised by Rob and Mark Alsop the destination was Mark & Sue McKibbin’s lovely property in South Gippsland.

This was the Little Blue Car’s first decent outing since the camshaft & rocker gear work see: http://narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/Rocker-gear.html  We meet at the popular Olive at Loch café, surprisingly in Loch, just off the South Gippsland Highway for a 10am coffee, breakfast and/or morning tea for the long distance travellers and late morning risers.

Everyone seemed to make it to the start with no dramas. Armed with instructions and a map we left Loch just after 11 for the 70 odd kilometre drive through the rolling hills of the once dense forested Strezeleckis, now green with grass for dairy cattle. Crossing the South Gippsland Hwy we headed north to Poowong before taking a right turn towards Ranceby, then left on the C425 (Warragul-Korrumbura Road). With the Bondini B20 leading the way 1070 had no trouble keeping up. After we turned right at Ellinbank I got a little confused as we seemed to deviate a little from the map I had, however we eventually found our way to the McKibbin’s property on time.

Before lunch we had the grand tour of Mark’s garage and his eclectic collection of cars. A 1909 Sizaire et Naudin Mono Cylinder, actually there were two with one only recently arrived, the eBay Austin 7 and his wonderful 1913 Ettore Bugatti designed Peugeot Type TTY Bébé – more can be found about it on Mark’s website: http://carcrank.org/wordpress/?page_id=1707 His Lancia Lambda was still on the boat returning from it’s adventures around Europe.

Peugeot Bebe video

A picnic lunch was had on the verandah, where Mark was a little disappointed no one used his BBQ as he had spent a considerable time giving it a special clean but it was a very warm summers day. We had the traditional no fuss ALR AGM presided over by President Robert Bienvenu, timed at 9 minutes! and then on home.

1070 went well, although with a 30 degree day the windows were wound down and she was a little noisy. A quick inspection once home and a couple of things were found, the banjo fitting for the fuel line to the carburettor was a little loose and leaking, and the front left suspension has lost oil its damping oil, again! Oh and another Aprilia gearbox had appeared in the front passenger foot well…


(click on images to view in a larger size)

Lancia Heritage


At last Fiat seem to be recognising what Lancia means, hopefully this is just the beginning of much greater things:


FCA have also just started to put their Heritage website online, click on the link below. It’s still only in the Italian only (as it should be) and in the very early days but shows great promise. The section where you can look up the history of your car will be excellent, so bookmark it now and check back to see how it progresses.

FCA Heritage