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  Almost a Ferrari


The FIAT Dino Motor

The FIAT Dino Motor is a Ferrari 206 motor. Enzo gave FIAT the motor and FIAT did some changes to in order to make it more reliable on the street.. From what I understand they just did some fairly minor changes to some of the castings to make them stronger. The original motor design was a racing motor designed to only last a race or a few races, they had to strenghten it some for durability. The motor then went into both the Ferrari Dino 206 and the FIAT Dino 2.0 Litre and of course the Ferrari race cars. Its a 2.0 litre, twin overhead cam motor powered by 3 Weber DCNF 40 carbs, it makes this FIAT Spider a awesome sounding car. See the tech page for more details on the specs. My Dino motor is a later model 2 Litre meaning that the valve adjustment shims are on top of the cams so I don't have to remove the cams. This was a change from the earlier Dino's that had shims under and required removal of the camshafts to set valve clearances, more info on the the valves is here. I also have the DCNF carbs rather than the DCN carbs. My Dinoplex has been removed and replaced with MSD and Crane Electronic ignition.

the FERRARI Dino motor in my Dino Spider My first view of this abused but awesome motor. Remember this was a motor that according to the seller was running perfectly. Of course it was at a mechanics shop and looking awfully sad. You can see corrosion on the water elbow, a hole in the overflow tank (the black thing in the lower left corner) and the leaky fuel filter (middle bottom of picture). Everything else looks old but ok.
The other side of the motor, after seeing that I should have walked away but I figured, its only a little bit of corrosion around the thermostat housing. I was right but everything else was shot. The carburator linkage on this car is of the later type, what is called Series II. The first series did not have the hand throttle and being a linkage it is correct for a Spider, the Coupe had a cable where the metal rod is from the firewall to the carb plate on the camshaft cover. You can see the MSD ignition box also (not correct but works great) Sure does not look too awesome but you can sure see the potential. Another view of the awesome FIAT Dino motor
Dino motor viewed from the front through where the radiator normally is

Another view of the motor, this time through the removed radiator grill with the radiator also removed. You can see a variety of oil leaks but of course this was AFTER I got it home.
And here is a sample of how not to put valve covers on, I think the previous owner owned stock in a Silicone rubber company. It was EVERWHERE in the motor and even in the radiator plugging it up. I did not get a picture of the radiator after the radiator shop opened it up but I would guess 1/3rd to 1/2 of the core was plugged by silicone rubber. FIAT Spider motor and cams

Now that I have driven the car a few thousand miles, I have found the Dino motor to be very reliable which confirms the reputation of this Ferrari motor as being bulletproof. It starts easily and with its new exhaust sounds incredible.

These Dino motors do have a reputation for leaky valve guides or stem seals depending on who you talk to, some say the guides are not good but I agree with the other crowd that the stem seals are the problem, not necessarily because of the desgin but just because of the age of the rubber seals. I have been told they can be changed without removing the heads and that is the way we did it. Another weak point that I do not believe I have is the camshafts, they are supposed to be soft and wear quickly. And if you believe Superformance's website the 206 (only the 206) has a low oil pressure problem that is solved with a very expensive oil pump upgrade. Yes, this paragraph with a few known weaknesses of the motor don't make it sound bulletproof but it really is.

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