A Leaking Roof, Brummie Rain vs Lancia Metal

After laying up my car in Brum 13 years ago finally decided to start my resto journey.

Simon M

4/27/20242 min read

After more than 13 years of sitting idle, my Lancia Beta Spyder 1979 is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Lancee was in a state but what was more concerning is that I have had a serious roof leak which has led to a very damp garage. When the car was laid up she had a brand new original Lancia bonnet which now has extensive rust on it where the leaking roof has hit the bonnet.

The garage roof will be replaced in the next few months and for now a waterproof cover protects the italian metal.

One of my oldest friends "Big Al" came over to help me. He is someone that I grew up with and he is also a car lover although he likes faster sports cars. It was the two amigos again working on cars after a few decades, definitely older and maybe a bit wiser.

The first steps I took on my journey were to replace the battery, check oil levels and add new fuel before trying to start the car. The engine was turning over which was excellent as I feared it may have seized but I have coolant leaking out from behind the timing belt cover so only managed to turn the engine over a little. There were some enthusiastic squirts of easy start which nearly did the trick.

Next jobs will be to investigate and fix coolant leak, flush coolant system and then refill before starting engine properly with some fresh super unleaded. I also plan to replace the fuel filter which looks very grotty as well as give the engine a quick degrease to remove the bulk of 40 years worth of dirt which clings to the Lancia's now beating heart.

After the roof leak the garage was very damp and as a result the brake discs and pads are seized so I will also be looking to get them unseized next time.

I am hoping that a gasket has failed on water pump or an o ring on water rail, worst case will need to replace and reinstate with a new water pump.

Tasks for next time are:

  • investigate coolant leak and fix as necessary

  • flush coolant system once leak fixed and refill with new coolant before starting engine.

Once coolant leak is fixed:

  • focus on getting engine started and running up to temperature

  • release brake discs and pads (new pads have been ordered so can be replaced if necessary)

  • de rust brake discs or order new ones if not salvageable

  • use rust converter as required to try and stop rust on body work.

  • change brake fluid also as at least 13 years old.

I have also reconnected with my local motor factor, Holyhead Motor Spares in Handsworth, B21 who will be helping me with parts etc that I will be needing.