Where we are going, there might not be roads... '99 Fiat Panda 4x4

MXM;n3551460 said:
Ugh, that was not a great performance by WD

No it certainly wasn't. Poor thing.

As for the tacho we have the manufacturer, that's a start. I've done some looking around and this might sound crazy but the green, yellow and red markings make me think it's from a plane or something, clearly the operating speed is low. Maybe a truck?

Edit: Nah it can't be a plane, 8k RPM is too fast. Would likely be 4 cylinder too otherwise it wouldn't work.
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I've tried to translate the Italian forum thread where I found it, apparently it's a general purpose tacho with a printed face. The face is possibly inspired by a Fiat Regata. It has the same yellow dots near the limit, but doesn't have the green area :)

EDIT: And the needle is sourced from another Panda dash, from the fuel meter.
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That makes more sense, it looks like they went to quite a lot of effort to make it too. So I suppose you could go with anything. I suspect that the mechanism of the gauge is actually bigger than you can see and it's just hidden behind the dash, a 52mm one I guess.

I have some printable glossy vinyl, this almost sounds like a Ringmeet project. :p
That makes sense, I suppose they could've gone with anything. The mechanism for the tacho is probably larger behind the dash, I guess 52mm. Well, I have printable vinyl and we'll all be meeting up in a months time. Could this be a Ringmeet project? How hard can it be? :p
It's a little more complicated. The clock that is supposed to go there looks like this:


I guess I just have a hole there behind the blanking plate.
If my clock is unrepairably dead, you can have it if you want to build it into a tacho.
MXM;n3551522 said:
It's a little more complicated.

Damn. :(

public;n3551524 said:
If my clock is unrepairably dead, you can have it if you want to build it into a tacho.

*Claps hands in excitement* :clap:
Beni;n3550863 said:
Hmm, German Wikipedia thinks it was built in Austria.

Does it have the funky extra dials?


I've been studying this question for the past days, and it seems it's more difficult to get a hold of than I thought. It's a Japanese made Jeco general-purpose inclinometer, where Fiat just changed the image to a Panda. They haven't been offering them in the late 90s because the manufacturing had ended.

There are some replicas on Italian ebay: https://www.ebay.it/itm/FIAT-PANDA-4...O/273310995933

But it looks cheap, it has small differences to the original. And despite looking cheap, that's a bit pricey for a replica imo.

Real Jeco originals are molto raro, and mostly localized to Italy, and don't end up on ebay. For example:

https://catanzaro.bakeca.it/dettagli...-wz8a144097386 (and that roofrack is also very tempting ;))

https://www.kijiji.it/annunci/ricamb...fiat/122629852 (and yes, it apparently had a "jeep" image on some units installed in a Panda)


This last one is perfect. Does anyone know enough Italian to help me somehow purchase it? :)
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MXM;n3551547 said:
This last one is perfect. Does anyone know enough Italian to help me somehow purchase it? :)
Working on it.
yes, I'll contact him tomorrow after 5 pm, as requested...let's see if that leads anywhere...
Meanwhile, enjoy this display of understated competence:

As far as I could figure out from the comments, it's slightly lifted, has a welded rear diff, and obviously offroad tyres. Also has a 1.2L from a Punto.
That was impressive, it's narrow enough to fit in to the elephant's footprints so it doesn't really need to life the wheels much, and when it does that welded diff keeps it going. Approach and departure angles are excellent too. It did go outside the course at one point though so points off for that. :p
Lol. The serious off-roader struggles while the Panda just takes it. More proof that it's one of the greatest offroaders of all time.
I'll write some more impressions and updates later on, but shortly, I love the car, and the trip was amazing.


(c) Fairlady


(c) Lastsoul

At ringmeet the car won "best car" (which puzzles me slightly, but thanks <3), and I got a special prize for accidentally starting a tradition - a very special, custom made, fully functional 4x4 lego Panda straight from nicjasno-skunkworks. I'm sure I'll post more pics of this Panda too later on ;)

MXM;n3552472 said:
I'll write some more impressions and updates later on, but shortly, I love the car, and the trip was amazing.


(c) Fairlady


(c) Lastsoul

Very nice pictures, you two!
Nearly went through the whole 2019 without updating the thread!

And after the recent Airing of Grievances elsewhere on the forum, this feels like a particularly good moment to add some "normal" content. So here's a quick recap of the last year...

With Beni's help, the "proper" inclinometer was purchased and installed


(c) Henri

Offroading competence was tested on various occasions



(c) Lastsoul


(c) public

The 4x4 mode is fun, and the car has very little issues with climbing hills. The main issue is the ride hight, so rocky terrain tends to be a little tricky.

Then there was the wintermeet, for which I made a very temporary lightbar installation :D


The car wasn't very brilliant on icy runway, the 4x4 mode makes it even more understeery, and requires very vigorous steering to unsettle it. However, by the end of the day I got some hang of it, and managed to extract some fun.


(c) Lastsoul

Daboom behind the wheel here

It was a 10 hour drive one way to the meet, in fairly freezing weather, which exposed all the negative aspects of a small cheap Fiat in northern conditions. While the heater is quite ok at producing heat by itself, the air circulation is rather poor, and freezing air manages to find its way through the firewall anyway. I suppose removing dash and plugging all holes would improve situation significantly.

Another hilarious issue was when the horn went off in the middle of the night, and kept screeming until I removed the rubbery horn button cover from the steering wheel. At -25C it got so stiff, it managed to dislocate the metal plate of the horn button and shortcircuited it. Fun times.


(c) Lastsoul

Otherwise the car performed pretty well over the winter. I used it daily, and it hasn't skipped a beat. I'm becoming pretty good at using the 4x4 lever on the move. My usual approach is to engage it on the traffic lights, shoot from the light, and push the lever back down before switching to 3rd :D

Later in the spring I've fitted remote locking, which added another layer of luxury, and also removed the remaining roadtrip stickers. They were becoming a bit weathered, and I wanted to bring the stock look back.


I also really like how it looks on black steelies with slightly chunkier winter tyres.

The two Pandas met once more later in the summer, one day before the lowriding mate left the family for good.



(I could win a drag race now, I bet :D)

But one piece of the teal Panda was salvaged, namely the broken clock, and converted into a cute little tachometer :)


And finally, just lust week I fitted the towing hook!


The 4x4 Panda is tow rated for 900kg, so a 750kg trailer is no big deal :D Even though it can look a little absurd from behind...


I'm still dailying the car whenever it's too wet or cold to ride a bike, and I still like it a lot. It's not without issues, the engine makes a lot of unpleasant noises, most of which I imagine are from the alternator. So I'm waiting for that to fail any moment. The emissions were also uncomfortably close to the limit at the MOT. While fitting the towing hook, I inspected the underbody a bit, and there is plenty of hidden rust in some places. The GDPO welded it a lot, but quality of work is passable at best, and protection is weak. He seemed to favor covering the underbody with bitumen sheets... Which don't really adhere well and trap water inside. I'm in the process of removing all that crap.

Future plans for now include increased ride hight (a fairly difficult issue, I'll write about it some other time) and a roof rack.

I'll keep you posted.