Lancia Scorpion Tecnhnical Tips
Back in 1995 Ray McNairy was championing the Scorpion in the USA and
came up with a long list of technical tips. Unfortunately he has passed
away and can no longer help us with these tips.
Other people have been sending in some other ideas that I have added.
Some of these tips are also relevant to the Montecarlo.
I am beginning to sort this out!
These comments are from my experience and those of others and are provided
for information only. No guarantee or warrantee for accuracy or responsibility
is given or implied.
- If your starter solenoid does not always engage, there is a good chance the volt drop through the ignition switch wiring is too high. Put in in old Ford starter relay and rewire so that it gets power directly to from the battery and on to your starter solenoid [DA].
- 124 and 131 starters will work if the middle mounting bolt hole is drilled to fit the scorp. Bell housing alignment bushing. Solenoids and brushes also fit [RM].
- Rocker type switches can be salvaged by removing the guts from another FIAT unit of the same type. Be careful as the spring will fly out [RM].
- Some Beta and older 124 wiper motors will work. X-1/9,128 and 131 units will not [RM].
- Some 124 and 131 headlight, wiper and turn indicator switch assemblies will work as will ignition switches. Try carb. Cars around 1975 to 1980. F.I. Car switches might work [RM].
- Do not use American windshield glue on the rear view mirror. The Scorpion
glue patch is much larger than U.S. ones and American glue will stress
the windshield and crack it. Porsche has a large double sided glue pad
that is supposed to work as will some double sticky tapes.
- C.V. Joints and boots are the same as the 1.5L X-1/9 and usually available
- Rear "A" arms from a 1.5L X-1/9 fit. Remove the Scorpion sway bar
brackets from the old arms and weld to the X-1/9 units. Use a 79 or
- Late X-1/9 shifters will bolt in but are longer. The X-1/9 hand brake
- 124 speedometers can be adapted to the scorp mount including face
plate but must be recalibrated when the scorp needle is used. You do
loose the trip odometer.
- Front calipers, pads and kits from a late 131 brava fit as do 124
rear pads and kits.
- A larger "O" ring from a hydraulic supply will stop the speedometer
cable drive assy from leaking tranny oil. 2-113 is the "O" ring number.
Be sure the tranny air vent is open.
- In a pinch Ford oil filters will fit. (Fram ph-8, ph-16, ph3600) Fram
ph-7's are the original. All Fram's are missing the check valve.
- X-1/9 brake flex hoses will fit. Braided steel lines are available.
- The air/heater vacuum control is a Chrysler product with # 58024 stamped
on it. Late 131 controls look like they will work but have the labels
rotated 90 deg. Dis-assemble and rotate buttons.
- X-1/9 steering wheels can be adapted.
- Various X-1/9 and other FIAT brake cylinder rubber parts fit as do
X-1/9 clutch cylinder parts, master and slave. Parts might not go in
the same place.
- Deck and trunk release levers can sometimes be repaired, call me.
- If the stock carb. Off throttle solenoid has opened, no idle, remove
it and take out the pin valve assy then reinstall, it looks stock.
- Abs plastic pipe glue works for most of the plastic parts. PVC glue
- 124/131 clutch and pressure plates fit. The throwout assembly doesn't.
The 124/131 bearing might if removed from the carrier and installed
on the scorp. carrier.
- If the hood is rusting around the air grills, fix asap. The factory
used a open pore foam between the two sheet metal pieces for anti squeak
reasons and if they are not sealed by something it will absorb water
and not dry out. If you can see it it's bad. Hot tank it.
- Water behind the seat could be from leaking quarter windows or the
rear window. Re-silastic or you might end up with structural rust like
my parts car.
- Be sure all underside and door drain holes are open. Use an ice pick
or screw driver to be sure. Stop all signs of rust asap. These cars
rust even in Calif.
- The plastic coating on the belly pan, tunnel plate and the windshield
header separates allowing rust to form between the steel and plastic.
Hot tank, bead blast and repaint with rustoleum cold galvanize and undercoat
- If the car "jacks" at speed on sweepers check the rear ball joint
play. The "A" arm must be loaded-car's weight on tire-to get a good
check. Any play will compromise handling but 1/8" is max. "A" arm bushings
are available, late X-1/9 "A" arms work if the roll bar brackets are
- Redline synthetic tranny fluid seems to work.
- I have a supply of 6mm body "plate nuts" for the underside panels.
Mr. Metric was the source. They aren't exact but can be adapted.
- Cutting off the bottom 6" of the timing belt cover makes replacing
the timing belt easier. Do not do it unless you have the belly pan which
you need anyway for proper air flow.
- A little "P.M." On the window regulators will save these irreplaceable
parts. Remove, clean and lubricate every two years. Late X-1/9's and
131's use the same basic design and might be adapted.
- If the windshield wipers flop chances are that the spot weld fixing
the idler is broken. Remove linkage assy. And fix with a sheet metal
screw or a tack weld.
- To save the wiper motor, take the park switch assy apart and drill
a 1/16" drain hole in the plastic case. The park switch will rust from
entrapped water and break. Betas use the same switch assembly and it
is usually good as it is on top of the motor when installed.
- The clutch slave cylinder flex hose is no longer available. An X-1/9
hose will fit but is too short and requires a splice using 5/16" steel
line. This is a low pressure system but use flares on both ends to be
sure. The hose should be available from another application.
- Various other fiat steering column plastic covers fit. Try a late
X-1/9 or 124.
- G.E. hi temp silastic works great as a gasket sealer for seal holders,
cam tower covers, pan, and water gaskets. Use a thin coat on both sides
of the gasket and do not over tighten the thick pan and cam cover gaskets
as they will extrude.
- If your Ansa or other exhaust system does not have a heat shield,
make one. Without it the right inside cv joint fries. You do not need
much and it can be welded to the header pipe as long as there is an
air gap between the shield and the header.
- Loose forty ugly pounds. If you do not use the air conditioner, remove
it and plug the hoses for later use if desired. Without the compressor
and condenser, servicing and airflow are improved. A late 131 or aftermarket
rotary compressor is the trick solution.
- For easier stock wheel installation, use another alignment stud instead
of the bolt that holds the brake disk in place.
- Easy installation of an oil temp sending unit is in the pan drain
plug. Use one of the magnetic ones that have a male hex, remove the
magnet and drill and tap for 1/8" pipe. Most gages have sending units
that fit 1/8" pipe.
- So you will not get frustrated when installing interior door panels,
slit then slip a piece of plastic sleeving over the lock rod and silastic
vertically under the knob.
- When replacing the stock fuel pump with an American unit use a pressure
regulator set to 2-3 psi. Webers like lower pressure than the 6 psi
usually set for U.S. cars.
- To recalibrate the oil and fuel sending units, use a radio shack 10k
potentiometer from the sending unit wire to ground. Adjust for zero
psi oil pressure with the ignition on and the engine not running. Remove
and measure the pot and install a 1 watt fixed resistor of the measured
value-approx 2k ohm-in the same position. Fuel units require that you
know the tank level and full seems to be the best place to start. If
both gages read low check the ground connection; it's double nuted at
the rear right AC. assy. mount.
- Do not reengineer (kludge) the wiring. Fix it as it isn't hard to
- Msd "cd" ignition systems work really well. You must use all their
- Bosch WR5DP plugs are fine for higher than stock compression engines.
Stock compression should use the recommended WR6/7DPs. I recommend using
solid core wires.
- When the engine is apart, remove the fuel pump cam from the aux shaft
(lathe or hacksaw and grinder) tap and plug the oil hole. No more timing
the aux shaft or #2 rod interference. Be sure the plug does not block
the oil hole for the rear bushing. Peen over the plug hole. This cam
is an artifact from the mechanical pump days.
- Shifting still sloppy even after replacing the linkage bushings? the
transaxle lever ball joints are probably loose. Remove both levers and
weld. You will be amazed at how crisp the shifting is. Also check all
linkage ball joints as they are only riveted down. Weld as required.
Readjust everything as required. If the shifter moves in a slight curve
between gears, fore and aft, something is loose.
- Do not use a fork to separate ball joints or tierod ends that must
be reused as the rubber seal will be damaged. Use a small tierod puller.
- Poor performance? clean, check and lube the distributor advance system.
Eurospec. cars are timed at 13 degrees btdc with the same curve as our
- Left and right headlight buckets are interchangeable. The pivot shaft
has to be removed and reversed if you need to install one from the other
- Brava side marker light lenses work. Housing gaskets do not look right
because of different body contours.
- Rear X-1/9 toe out/in link rod ends work and seem to have the same
- If removing a spring coil bend the spring to fit the strut mounting
pad or else the strut rod will bend and bind. I feel that removing a
whole coil is too much but you decide.
- I have not tried but think that some FIAT X-1/9/124 upper strut hardware
- If the spare tire is in the original position use a smaller tire
and tie it down or use a wing nut and some running thread thru the center
hole to prevent it from slipping into the tail light housing in the
back grille and breaking the grill mounting studs.
- Chrome on the tail light housing peeling? sand off and paint semigloss
black. Looks fine. There is a place in texas that advertises in hemmings
which replates plastic parts.
- Use ceramic or glass fuses as the plastic ones seem to warp with
age which lowers the holder tension. WD-40 and rotate fuses in their
socket once a year to remove corrosion.
- Check the quarter window air vent grille nuts as they vibrate loose
and the grille falls off. I use a blob of silastic to hold them. Be
gentle or the plastic will break.
- Do your passengers get hot or cold feet? the firewall hole for the
air cond. Return line should be blocked with a piece of flat rubber-truck
inner tube-silasticed to the firewall under the foam insulation behind
the boot rug.
- Anti seize compound on the spark plugs and caliper wedges help. Don't
- When redoing the cam end plates be sure to check that you have enough
end play. The wrong gasket will bind the cam and strip the belt with
the usual valve damage. I drilled a hole in an old end plate so i could
use a depth mike and be sure. End play can be adjusted by using different
gasket thicknesses. Bernie & I found out the hard way. Welding an extension
on a stock fiat intake end plate and machining flush works better than
the stamped steel plates for blocking the intake tower air pump oil
seal drain hole.
- I have had excellent luck with head gaskets by torqueing the head
bolts to 65 ft-lb. In three steps 35-50-65 ft-lb with a new gasket.
Do each bolt in sequence then repeat to the next value. Warm the engine
to temp-rad.Fans on-and turn off. Wait 8 hours min. Then retorque. I
do one bolt at a time, in sequence, and completely release the torque
then go to the 65 ft-lb spec. A 24 hour wait is better. Retorque a cold
head at 5-7000 mi intervals; cheap insurance but check the cam belt
as it could loosen and retard the cams.
- Some Webers-36dcd's-have the fuel supply line pressed in and it can
vibrate loose. Check it and press in further with a "c" clamp but not
far enough to restrict fuel flow.
- "Oberg" micropore reusable oil filters seem to work quite well and
can be installed at the rear of the block. You can clean it and see
what kind of chips your engine is making without removing the belly
pan. Use the one for V-8's for less pressure drop. Ford remote filter
adapters fit the block for remote filters and/or coolers.
- Air pump injector plugs? find a 124/131 in a junk yard, remove fittings,
drill and tap for allen head set screws-1/2 x 5/16 nc or nf. Makes the
plugs look almost stock.
- When installing a voltmeter, use a small relay and a wire from the
battery or the drop thru the ignition switch will give a lower reading.
Install a fuze, close to the battery, inline with the wire. Use a seperate
- Aux. Shaft bearings that do not require line boring are available.
Most shops say their hot tank will not hurt the aux. Bearings but all
do some damage and the shaft will knock at idle due to excessive clearance.
- Electric window lifts sound like they are straining? it could be
the main drive bearing and dirt in the track. The bearing is not a sealed
unit just shielded and traps water then rusts. Sealed units are available
from your friendly bearing supply. The bearing is a lot cheaper than
a new unit even if you could find one. 6201 Is the bearing no.
- Porsche 924 wiper arms with the 1" dog leg fit and will give a little
more swing to the drivers wiper arm.
- Swap the seat cushions to equalize wear.
- Secure the plastic air tunnel duct to the underside of the body with
plumbers tape to prevent loss after you hit a speed bump with the front
valence panel. The duct is required as too much rain water gets into
the tunnel from the front wheels if it's missing.
- Comment on electrical problems; most that i have found are with bad
grounds. Check the ground first especially if two or more things seem
to be going south. A sudden change in the normal gage readings is typical
of a bad inst. Cluster ground. One of the main grounds is in the engine
bay and tied to the plastic tail light housing, bad show. Attach to
the metal body structure with a sheet metal screw.
- Trouble unscrewing the speedo cable? next time you have the cluster
out, cut the cable hole bigger. No big deal and it helps people with
big fat fingers like mine.
- Always go to wheel aligners who use 4 wheel setups. Older non-computerized
two wheel systems do a poor job on the rears as the body cannot be squared
to the wheels and the car ends up driving like a crab and is hell on
tires. Again, I learned the hard way.
- Scorp's are typical FIAT products so that most mechanical parts are
usually common to other models or manufacturer's.
- Been talking to Bernie Benz who has some really clever solutions
to all sorts of problems. I'll list these and you can call Bernie for
details. He has fixed the air conditioning so it works like it should
and figured out how to get the brake boost to the rear wheels. He has
a bulletproof fix for water pumps and found a VW-TRW#83148-puck that
fits the motor mounts plus having a fix for the electric windows and
several other neat tricks. He also has a source for door detent springs
and knows how to rebuild struts and the brake booster. [2004-02-08
telephone number no longer in use - anbody know his contact details?]
- One of FIAT's tricks used for for smog compliance is the relationship
between the teeth on the cam gears and the alignment holes. For aftermarket
gears and go daddy cams be sure to check with your supplier as to what
is correct if you do not degree the cams. If you have to jockey the
gears to get the teeth to mate with all the slack on the tensioner side
it's probably wrong. Most cams are aligned at about 15 deg before and
after the drive pin-exhaust/intake. Doesn't our gummint love to help
us? fi brava gears give euro timimg.
- Install a 18" wiper blade on the drivers side for more coverage.
It makes a difference.
- For those of you who have installed fuel injection, Road and Track
tech tips says that there are two basic types of ox sensors,1 & 3 wire.
They state that Ford units work and are only$20-$30ea. Not the $90 FIAT
wants. Bosch and Nippondenso are the only manufactures.
- Check the transaxle C.V. flange drive nuts. They do come loose; special
- 1979 On X-1/9 front and rear wheel bearings fit but the ones fiat
supplies for scorp.'S were supposed to be stronger. Could be that what
they list now is the same.
- Loose rear or handling flakey? check the removable rear cross member
for cracks. Re-enforce and weld as necessary. It is a weak design. Ed/caribou
had exchange ones.
- Front end float at speed? a front spoiler helps as does one size
smaller front tires. 81. Late X-1/9-128 lower front control arms will
- Dis-assemble, clean and lub. The original gas cap. They are unavailable.
All it takes is undoing the large lock ring on the inside. There is
a spring so be careful. Always lock it as they have been known to develop
legs and the replacements do not have the cone sides. Iap, in va. Has
a cap that fits an Alfa GTV-6 that is identical and fits except it has
three spokes in the center instead of the scorp. bar.
- Check the condition of the large insulation filled heat shield in
the engine bay. It collects water and causes the underneath surface
to rust. Remove it if you don't have the cataylic. With the cataylic
leave it alone. Do not try to seal it as it might catch on fire.
- I have a list of TRW suspension and other parts that fit. They are
cheaper than FIAT.
- If you have to remove the crank pulley while the engine is in the
car, cut a 1" hole in the inner right fender well so a socket and impact
wrench can be used.
- A 1/4" drive allen wrench, a 6" extension and a 1/4" ratchet make
removing the C.V. joints painless and quick but still messy.
- Do not over torque the cam covers. You can break the tower bridge
with expensive results plus the gasket will extrude and leak. If a stud
thread is stripped, there is more metal available for retaping deeper
in the bridge. Red loktite or jamnut in place.
- When installing a 2l Beta block, the upper front engine mount boss
has to be cut 7/8". .823, On mine, needed to be removed from the top
mount boss and the boss redrilled. The iron web between the two lower
mounting stud boss's must be ground flush with the block or the scorp.
front engine mount plate will not fit. Call me for how to details. Most
late FIAT blocks will work as is but check the position of holes(studs)
for the front mount plate.
- Any late FIAT remote thermostat will work. Be sure it's installed
correctly. It will fit backward so check it out. Very slow warm up then
overheating is a sign that it's in backward. I have been told that there
are two types. Install with the heat sensor in the rear facing water
pump output hose not in the head tee hose.
- Beta two liter oil pump gaskets fit 1.8L scorp's. 1.8L FIAT gaskets
- Momo p/n 211121.4012 Is the correct steering wheel hub for scorp's.
It's not available from Momo-America but somebody might have some.
- Late Beta inline electronic distributors can be adapted to the scorp
intake cam tower. Mine has 50k mi on it with no leaks or problems, call
me for details.
- Fuel injected Beta intake cam covers fit and do not have the egr
valve mounting boss. 94. Brava-131-adjustable steering columns should
work without major modifications.
- Tach sticking? Good chance the two nuts holding the torque motor
to the P.C. Board are loose. I've had three apart and all had vibrated
loose. Use loctite on the nuts.
- Easy access to the turn indicator flasher if you do not have speakers
installed is to unscrew the hood release lever assy. And now you can
peel the carpet back.
- Head lights dim? install headlight relays in the battery box; easy
and a real help.
- Beta 14 x 5.5" Wheels can be used. The offset is 5/16" different
but owners, including me, report no bearing problems. Shankle has 1/4"
spacers for the alfetta that give an almost stock offset. Spacers require
longer wheel bolts-avail from bbs.
- I have B. Benz's directions and parts list for re-building stock
struts. Send sase for a copy. It is a very good, easy to follow complete
"how to" article with U.S. numbers for parts.
- A X-1/9 radiator fill tank can be adapted; it is smaller, use the
- Some late brava fuel tank filler hoses can be trimmed to fit.
- When bouncing the rear end if the strut shaft moves in the mount
at all the rod has punched thru the upper mount hole. Weld a 1/2" SAE
washer over the hole. File for rod sholder fit.
- Velcro/silastic works great for holding down the trim panel under
the rear window. 103. 65 Amp. Bosch alternators work with no wiring
changes except removal of the old regulator and taping up the associated
wiring. Wire per brava schematic and check pulley diameters.
- The Lancia tech manual mis-printed the rod bolt torque spec; should
be 47 nm-35fp-not 74 105. Late X-1/9 clutch slave cylinders are the
same as scorp's.
- Run the engine when bleeding the brakes so the booster will work
if you still have one.
- A bungee cord from your garage ceiling will hold the engine lid in
the vertical position for a lot better engine access.
- All coolant hoses are hiding in hoses for other cars. Match up at
a parts house.
- Oil pressure low and dropping too much when warm? the diaphram on
the sending unit cracks and allows oil to get behind it. Get several
from a junk yard as all FIATs except 850's use the same sender. Some
do not have a wire pig tail.
- Ed/caribou says that the original scorp. Valves were larger than
the normal twin cam ones but all current fiat replacements are the smaller
- Sloppy accell pedal? have your machinist replace the nylon sleeve
with a bronze bushing. Works great and might work on the clutch & brake
- "Electronic" turn signal flash units work well and overcome the "old
italian electrics" syndrome, es-13c is a pin for an electronic replacement.
- Horn slow to sound? kragen has a bolt on replacement that has a sealed
- Randomly blow the fuze #2 during the winter? check voltage drop across
the wiper switch and replace if there is more than a 1/2 volt drop with
wipers running in slow.
- The cars are very sensitive to front wheel bearing condition; check
and replace if there is any noise, roughness or wobble.
- Fiat 128 steering rod ends work but require machining as they are
- Front strut pivot bearings are unique. Trying to find a replacement.
- Alfa GTV6's share the same recessed gas cap arrangement as the Scorpion
and are a great place to find a beautiful locking replacement for the
Scorpion. Apparently this only fits certain Scorpions, and may not work
Next; you tell me please? caribou has tops and repo hood/deck release
levers. Save all cores for rebuilding as someday they might be all that's
Ray McNairy [RM]
John M Hoyt [JH]
Jeff Davison [JD]
Dave Ayars [DA]