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  1. #1
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    Fulvia subframe removal

    Hi All,

    I’ve been considering removing the subframe on my S2 Fulvia for a while now and even though it is supposedly a straight forward process I didn’t find many guides on how to do this - especially with photos. Hopefully my notes below can help someone else.

    Some background: I’m fairly new to the Fulvia and got my hands on a badly neglected S2 Fulvia with an engine knock. The engine was taken out. I now have all the parts and getting ready to start assembling the engine again when it became clear that now would be a good time to take out the sub frame to restore and to make installing the engine easier as some posts suggest. Please note these steps are based on the bonnet, engine and radiator already having been removed.

    Feel free to add more detail or to make corrections where applicable.

    Steps as follows:

    Start with removing the drivers side seat (by removing the seat will give you much better access to work underneath the dash which will be required to disconnect the steering.)

    1. Start with disconnecting the brake lines.

    Jack up the front of the car and remove the wheels. There are two brake lines inside each wheel arch. Disconnect each of the brake line pipes and then loosen the bracket keeping the flex cable connectors in place. Remove the flex pipe connectors from the bracket and let these cables hang loose. Drain the brake fluid of course…..

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    Put the wheels back on.

    2. Remove the air inlet duct at the rear of the engine bay
    Removing this will help to give you more space and a better view at the rear engine bay.

    3. Remove the brake booster
    It might not be required to remove the brake booster but various posts suggested doing it to get better access to the steering controls. The one on my car needed renovation so I took it out. Go to Point 4 below if you decide not to remove it.

    The brake booster is fairly easy to remove.

    Start underneath the dash. The brake pedal is connected to the booster via a ball joint at the top of the pedal that slots in on the tip of the push rod on the booster. The ball joint is kept in place with a multi side flat head type screw that can be unscrewed with a flat screw driver. The space is a bit tight but a few turns to loosen the screw is all that was needed to slip the push rod off the ball joint.

    Now move to the engine bay and disconnect the brake lines on the master cylinder. Instead of unscrewing the vacuum hose connector bolt, I left the connector on and removed the hose which was clamped on. Finally remove the two nuts holding the booster in place at the back of the firewall and pull it forward until the push rod is clear and you now have clear access to the steering connections.

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    4. Disconnect the steering

    I’m sure there are a few ways you can do this. I opted to remove the entire steering wheel with column and controls. This is actually a quick process and only took around 10 minutes to do. In the engine bay behind the steering control box, pull back the rubber cover protecting the steering control joint and remove the bolt holding the clamp on the spline shaft at the steering control box. I did mark a spot on the spline and clamp to help put them back in the same place when assembling again.

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    From underneath the dash, remove the bottom plastic cowling below the steering wheel to expose the indicator controls and ignition barrel.

    There are 4x electrical wire loom plugs that need to be disconnected. These connectors are for the various steering electrical controls / ignition and pull apart with minimal effort. The entire steering column is held in place with two brackets, one in the front and the other towards the middle of the steering column.

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    Loosen these brackets and the column with steering wheel, controls and ignition will drop – not heavy but be careful. Carefully pull the steering column forward (you may need to wiggle it a bit at the end and it should slide off the spline shaft where the bolt was removed earlier.

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    5. Disconnect the gear lever

    From underneath the car, remove the bottom nut and bolt which secures the gear lever in place. Whilst you are down there also disconnect the two reverse light switch wires. From inside the car pull back the gear lever gaiter and gently lift the lever up and out.

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    6. Disconnect the speedo cable

    Locate the speedo cable housing on top of the gearbox. Remove the two bolts and lift out the speedo cable connector from the gearbox.

    7. Disconnect all electrical wires attached to components located on the subframe. If you still have the engine in then all heater -, fuel -, brake booster vacuum hoses; tacho, speedo and other instrument cables, clutch cable and battery cables. The exhaust manifold can stay attached to engine but the join to the exhaust pipe needs to be disconnected. I sprayed these three exhaust nuts with penetrating oil a day before and they came off easily.

    8. Remove the subframe bolts. There are six bolts attaching the subframe to the body. These are two at the bottom in the front of the subrame, two in the engine bay on top of the alloy pillars and two at the bottom on the rear of the subframe.

    9. The next part is lifting the body in order to remove the subframe.

    I used a long square tube I had lying around and placed this just behind the rear of the gearbox and used a couple of flat pieces of wood as spacers between the body and the square tubing. The car was then jacked up on each side and car stands placed as high as I could on either side of the square tube. My workshop had steel ceiling beams where I attached 350kg strength ratchet straps on the ends of the square tube to suspend it high enough to roll the subframe out.

    Some post suggest getting two people to lift the body while the subframe is rolled out. Not sure what the weight of the front body is but If you go this route make sure the guys you use are strong or rather get four guys as you don’t want to risk damaging any parts.

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  2. #2
    Master Lancista Norvox's Avatar
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    Re: Fulvia subframe removal

    That's a good help for someone!
    Nikolaj Skovron
    1971 Lancia Fulvia 1,3S Coupe

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