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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.

The Tips


  1. 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].
  2. 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].
  3. 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].
  4. Some Beta and older 124 wiper motors will work. X-1/9,128 and 131 units will not [RM].
  5. 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].


  1. 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.
  2. C.V. Joints and boots are the same as the 1.5L X-1/9 and usually available used.
  3. 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 later arm.
  4. Late X-1/9 shifters will bolt in but are longer. The X-1/9 hand brake assembly fits.
  5. 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.
  6. Front calipers, pads and kits from a late 131 brava fit as do 124 rear pads and kits.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. X-1/9 brake flex hoses will fit. Braided steel lines are available.
  10. 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.
  11. X-1/9 steering wheels can be adapted.
  12. 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.
  13. Deck and trunk release levers can sometimes be repaired, call me.
  14. 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.
  15. Abs plastic pipe glue works for most of the plastic parts. PVC glue does not.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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 or paint.
  21. 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 installed.
  22. Redline synthetic tranny fluid seems to work.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Various other fiat steering column plastic covers fit. Try a late X-1/9 or 124.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. For easier stock wheel installation, use another alignment stud instead of the bolt that holds the brake disk in place.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Do not reengineer (kludge) the wiring. Fix it as it isn't hard to understand.
  39. Msd "cd" ignition systems work really well. You must use all their tack tricks.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Poor performance? clean, check and lube the distributor advance system. Eurospec. cars are timed at 13 degrees btdc with the same curve as our smoggers.
  45. 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 side.
  46. Brava side marker light lenses work. Housing gaskets do not look right because of different body contours.
  47. Rear X-1/9 toe out/in link rod ends work and seem to have the same bushing specs.
  48. 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.
  49. I have not tried but think that some FIAT X-1/9/124 upper strut hardware will fit.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Anti seize compound on the spark plugs and caliper wedges help. Don't use much!
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. "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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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 ground.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Porsche 924 wiper arms with the 1" dog leg fit and will give a little more swing to the drivers wiper arm.
  65. Swap the seat cushions to equalize wear.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. Scorp's are typical FIAT products so that most mechanical parts are usually common to other models or manufacturer's.
  71. 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?]
  72. 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.
  73. Install a 18" wiper blade on the drivers side for more coverage. It makes a difference.
  74. 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.
  75. Check the transaxle C.V. flange drive nuts. They do come loose; special socket required.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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 fit.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. I have a list of TRW suspension and other parts that fit. They are cheaper than FIAT.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Beta two liter oil pump gaskets fit 1.8L scorp's. 1.8L FIAT gaskets do not.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. Head lights dim? install headlight relays in the battery box; easy and a real help.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. A X-1/9 radiator fill tank can be adapted; it is smaller, use the metal one.
  97. Some late brava fuel tank filler hoses can be trimmed to fit.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.
  100. 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.
  101. Run the engine when bleeding the brakes so the booster will work if you still have one.
  102. A bungee cord from your garage ceiling will hold the engine lid in the vertical position for a lot better engine access.
  103. All coolant hoses are hiding in hoses for other cars. Match up at a parts house.
  104. 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.
  105. Ed/caribou says that the original scorp. Valves were larger than the normal twin cam ones but all current fiat replacements are the smaller ones.
  106. Sloppy accell pedal? have your machinist replace the nylon sleeve with a bronze bushing. Works great and might work on the clutch & brake pivot also.
  107. "Electronic" turn signal flash units work well and overcome the "old italian electrics" syndrome, es-13c is a pin for an electronic replacement.
  108. Horn slow to sound? kragen has a bolt on replacement that has a sealed compressor.
  109. 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.
  110. The cars are very sensitive to front wheel bearing condition; check and replace if there is any noise, roughness or wobble.
  111. Fiat 128 steering rod ends work but require machining as they are too long.
  112. Front strut pivot bearings are unique. Trying to find a replacement.
  113. 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 for all.

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 available.


Ray McNairy [RM]
John M Hoyt [JH]
Jeff Davison [JD]
Dave Ayars [DA]

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Last updated: 2007-07-12