Alex Neagu

Alex is a 23 year old student studying electronics engineering. He has a metallic blue 16v 1994 3 door car since October 1998 with 44,000 km.

Prices of used 16V Fiat Tipos in Israel are very expensive, this may explain why only 12 have ever been sold there.

In Israel (as in Italy) no modifications are allowed to the car unless you get a permit for it from the ministry of transportation. Trying to get a permit is a waste of time. This means that anything different from the manufacturer is not allowed. The only thing legal is to replace the engine with the same type when it expires. Even changing your tyre size is illegal.

Alex says the roads in Israel are quite bad, especially the city roads which means that lowering the car and fitting low profile tyres will result in a sore back and the car's interior falling apart.

Getting tuning parts is also very difficult since when they check the package at customs and it's an automobile part you have to have the above mentioned permit.

Alex says that Friday afternoons are fun in Israel though if the weather is fine, and it usually is, as all the "petrolheads" meet and show off their cars .They talk about the cars and then drive to a back road and have some drag races. This is usually done until the police arrive and tell them to go home.

Due to the limited number of Tipo 16v cars in Israel Alex had to beg the previous owner to sell the car for about 3 months. His car as Eibach lowering springs a K&N air filter and a Superchip. The car also has an OMP strut brace which he shares with Moshe Tevet. It also has ABS brakes and Recaro seats. Alex is not satisfied with the Superchip and is going to try the Starchip instead. He is also going to buy in Italy the Supersprint exhaust system where hopefully it will be cheaper. Alex want's to know is anyone has fitted a fuel pressure valve and if so whether it worked and how much they cost?

Alex is contemplating whether to change the inlet manifold to a 1993/4 Lancia Thema manifold. The only difference between both engines is this manifold and the Thema has 155 bhp and improved torque as well. The idea behind this manifold is that it changes as the engine's temperature changes, allowing more air into the engine.

In October 2000 Alex went to Italy with his friend Moshe and visited Fly Motors. He bought thier brake discs (front & rear which were both grooved and drilled).He also bought Ferodo racing brake pads, brake hoses and 270 degree cams and pullys.

10th October 2000
Alex is thinking of coverting his engine to a turbo as well. He has a broken Lancia kappa turbo engine (this is the Lancia thema replacement) from which he is going to take the pistons and the head, get new rings and fit the inlet and exhaust manifolds. He will of course also take the T28 turbo and get an intercooler and oil cooler. During an uncoming trip to Italy he will also get a modified cluth, adjustable koni shocks and a decent dump valve. For the injection he has a Lancia Integrale ECU and changing the wiring loom to fit is apparently not too complicated (3 wires have to bo changed and the map sensor).

31st October 2000
Alex says that he now has all the parts that he needs for the turbo conversion project. The broken lancia kappa turbo engine had only done 60,000 km and has a broken crankshaft because the owner drove without oil. He is going to take this engine's head and conrods. He is almost certain that the conrods are the same but just to be safe he will use them as well. The exact condition of the Lancia head will only be known when he dismantles the engine. Just in case the head is no good he has another Fiat coupe turbo head. He thought of possibly using the Lancia pistons as well. However on a recent trip to Italy he found a Fiat parts dealer and discovered that a set of new Lancia kappa turbo oversized pistons plus rings were only 680,000 Italian liras (about £200) he brought them.

Alex will use a T28 turbo. He has a the choice between this turbo and the bigger T35 turbo but he decided to take the smaller one so he will have more torque and less turbo lag. His local tuner also has the inlet and exhaust manifolds, injectors, fuel pressure regulator, a Fiat coupe intercooler, an oil cooler, an oil retainer tank and a new fan (from a renault express).

The biggest problem he sees is the injection system. He does not want to repeat Moshe's mistakes who took a Fiat coupe turbo engine, a Tipo 16v wiring loom and a Cosworth ECU. It works some how but not perfectly. It turns out that the cossie has the same injection system as the tipo with the addition of the knock sensor. It also uses only 1 map sensor (the same map as in the coupe 16v turbo), so the work is a bit easier. The Cossie ECU would need to be remapped though since the injector sizes of the Coupe/Integrale are bigger than the Cosworth's.

Alex therefore decided on the following. He has found an Integrale 16v ECU (1990 model with air conditioning which is very important with the climate he has there). Looking through books revealed that the difference between the Tipo 16v wiring loom and the Integrale 16v wiring loom is only 3 wires and 2 map sensors. Alex therefore bought these map sensors and will run these 3 wires as well. One of them is a knock sensor which is very important in order to prevent pinking. The ECU fits to the existing connector and can start the engine even now, although it will not run perfectly because of the different injectors. He also brought a new modified "Fly Motors" 215 mm (the original size) clutch, a piston dump valve to help with the sound track and keep the turbo in good health.

All that is left to do is to fit every thing. He will use new crank and conrod bearings. Other modifications will be necessary such as moving the battery to the boot and relocation the air conditioning. He hopes the Supersprint exhaust will be up to the job although he thinks it may be a little narrow for this engine.

5th November 2000
Major change in plans. Alex went to the garage to see if they had all the external parts that he needs (like the new fan, intercooler etc) and there in front of him stood two new engines. The first a Lancia 16v turbo and the second a Fiat 16v turbo. They were brand new, not a mile on them The Lancia engine had never been fitted in a car and the Fiat engine had been fitted in a car but had never been started. Both engines did not even have spark plugs in them. The Fiat engine came complete with a turbo (new as well) and is ready to fit. it didn't take Alex long to make a decision. The garage owner was willing to take his Tipo engine with the parts that he had bought and exchange it with the Fiat turbo engine. Of course he had to add some money in cash but it was almost the same amount as before since the labour now is much easier. The difference in price is about £150 more but he gets new water and oil pumps, new sensors, new turbo, in fact absolutely everything, including a new and clean idle valve.

17th November 2000
Alex is now the proud owner of a turbocharged Tipo 16V! The whole transplant took about 10 days. It could have been less if all the parts were in the garage before starting but that does not matter anymore. Only one man worked on the car (Moshe's brother) and he worked for about 10 hours a day. Although this is not the first time he has done this job and bare in mind that some parts were missing and during the 10 days he worked on other smaller jobs. He says he could have done it in a week. The biggest job was to fit the air hoses and inter cooler parts. Alex took photos of the work in progress and will try and find the time to scan them in for me. Day by day description follows:

  1. The old engine and gearbox were taken out. The new clutch (modified 215 mm from Fly Motors) has been fitted between the Tipo's gearbox and the new engine.
  2. The engine was fitted inside the car with the gear box. The changes in the wiring loom were carried out as well. These involved adding the 2nd map sensor in parallel to the first and fitting the knock sensor with the wires. This is where the serious work begins.
  3. The pipe that connects the turbo with the exhaust was bought (from a coupe turbo) and fitted. I still use the Supersprint exhaust that I fitted 2 years ago. This is not a good exhaust for this engine because it is too narrow. The connecting bolts of the turbo pipe and the Supersprint exhaust did not line up so we had to elongate the holes in the Supersprint exhaust to form slots. The new fan has been fitted as well.
  4. Fitting the inter cooler and oil cooler. This forced the removal of the fog lamps since the intercooler is located behind the left hole and the oil cooler sits behind the right hole. Associated hoses still need to be attached.
  5. Some of the hoses arrived and work continued. Not much progress.
  6. The positive and negative cables of the battery were extended to the boot and some more work carried out on the boost hose. The idle valve was fitted.
  7. Garage closed.
  8. The boost lines were finished. The air filter fitted and the oilcooler was firmly located (donated by a late lancia kappa turbo) the battery tray were the battery sits on was fitted tightly in the boot and in the evening the car was started but suffered injection problems. It turns out that the integrale 16V ecu has a stage 3 chip inside and for some reason the ecu is giving a lot of fuel to the engine and the engine does not want to start. It works fine with the tipo 16V ecu and with a cossie ecu but the integrale ecu just floods the engine.
  9. The mechanic finds another integrale, an 8V ecu that has a 16V chip and the car works fine (I was really getting worried because the I can't drive with the tipo 16V ecu (it cant read boost) and the cossie ecu wasn't mine and there arent any other in Israel). I drove the car for the first time and it is really somthing else. The engine is so smooth and quiet and the dump valve is the coolest sound you can hear. The engine still has to be run in so I don't go over 4000 rpm.
  10. Some work was done on the a.c. but it still not fitted (missing parts). In the evening I take the car. There are still some things to be done but the most important is the exhaust that is really choking the car.
Alex says that he really thinks that the turbo is the most rewarding way you can modify the engine. This is mainly because you are using a standard engine that does not suffer from the weaker areas of other modification routes such as bad idle, and low reliability. The boost is controlled only be the wastegate and Alex thinks it is about 0.6 bar (he sayd he should really connect a boost gauge). The car drives like a standard Impreza turbo (218 bhp) in the midrange acceleration (he's already checked that out!) and that is mainly thanks to the short gear of the Tipo.

Alex says that the Fiat Coupe 16V Turbo, Lancia Thema 16V Turbo and Lancia Integrale 16V Turbo are basicaly the same. They have the same pistons and same volume. Only the injectors resistance is a bit different (2 ohms on the Integrale and 16 ohms on the Coupe) but the injector volume is the same. Alex is still using his original radiator. He has changed the fan unit to a lower unit (86 degrees) and the car does not over heat. He also used standard coolers, the intercooler from the coupe and the oil cooler from a thema turbo. The radiator sits the same as in a Coupe 16v turbo (and is the same size as well) so there is no need to change the radiator. If the car does does not have AC then you won't even have to give up the fog lamps like he had to. You can just fit the intercooler in front of the radiator. However on his car the AC radiator sits in that position.

48KB 81KB 57KB Turbo Engine (50KB) Dump Valve (61KB) Oil Cooler (51KB) Intercooler (64KB)

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