The Consortium continued.... what to look out for when buying.                                                                        

You have found what you think is a good example, but how can you be sure it's going to be alright? The normal rules apply: what is the car's history? Does it come with a stack of bills, test certificates, service records?  Secondly, what's the source?  Is the owner a Lancia Club or Flavia Consortium member?  Is restoration documented, if it's not an original (the latter is very unlikely)?  Is the car known to the Consortium?  We can trace a lot of the cars.  Or is the owner known to us?  All of this is standard practice when buying a classic car - and a good reason for joining the Consortium.  But what of the strengths and weaknesses of the Flavia itself?

The good news is that the engine - carefully serviced - is strong and has a long life.  Stories of lasting 200,000miles have been known.  By proper servicing: that means an oil/filter change every 4000miles and an anti-freeze used throughout the year to prevent corrosion in the alloy block.  Brian Long says they are indestructible, the bottom end lasts for ever.  Water leaks from the head are usually the result of a lack of anti-corrosion additive.  They can run on unleaded, although some may consider it preferable to use a lead replacement additive. The normal annual check on valve clearances should not show any valve seat sinkage - but performance is very susceptible to incorrect valve clearances.

Always check indicated apparent low oil pressure with a proper Bourdon gauge - the sensor on the oil filler pedestal isn't famous for accuracy, especially not after 30-plus years...

The common complaint with injected models is the lack of  good tuning/performance.  Malfunctioning components in the complex system can make huge differences, particularly the air and water temperature sensors and the accelerator switch which boost fuel supply on snap throttle openings.

The heart of all Flavias: the flat four with twin cams shown in section

The brakes are - when in good condition - well up to the task of stopping this somewhat heavy grand tourer.  However, there can be the usual problem with lack of regular use where one or more brake cylinders/pistons fail.

The gearbox is tough and has a strong synchro design.  Oil should be changed approx. every 15000 miles.

Stainless steel exhaust systems are available from pattern; good though expensive from e.g. P D Gough in Watnall, Notts (01602 382241)

Body parts are rare, of course.  It is very likely that a coupe will have some rust somewhere - but it is good steel and doesn't fall to pieces like some Italian cars.  Cills can be improvised with MGB and Cortina cills.  There are sections available for part wings, and windscreens can be obtained with a little searching around.  The Consortium has a number of panels for use as a pattern, including some very rare Zagato panels.

Some body panels for some of the models - wheel arch repair, floor sections, cills for example, can be made on request by e.g. Bill Lewis.  Very busy chap, retired from lecturing in metal fabrication techniques a while back, but keeping his hand in still.  Contact details by request. 

Cross section of front suspension with leaf spring and front wheel drive shafts in constant velocity joints

The usual problems of front wheel drive cars applies to the Flavia: that the gaiters both inner and outer are in good condition and not torn, otherwise losing all lubrication to both the constant velocity joints and failure of bearings, etc.

Note:  you will need a special tool to remove the front and rear hubs - and some muscle, as torque settings are about 150lbs.ft for both.

The front suspension takes a lot of strain (and weight) so check on condition of shock absorbers, all rubber bushes, and the transverse leaf spring which arches over the sub frame; the mountings for these can and do split causing movement on torque pick up and upsetting the handling.  The upper steering swivel joints need to be kept greased for the same reasons.

The Consortium has a range of owners handbooks, workshop manuals and even specific service manuals for components such as the fuel injection systems.

These can be copied wholly or in part on request.

 

design by Phil Pilkington for the Flavia and 2000 Consortium

email:   pdotpilkingtonatcoventrydotacdotuk

 

Links to other sites:

The Lancia Club UK has a web site-

www.lanciamotorclub.co.uk

The Dutch Lancia Club:

www.viva-lancia.com

Felix Furtak of South Africa for mail order parts:

www.lancia.co.za










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