THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

All about our Fiat Dino Coupes and Spiders

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Fanalone
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:15 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Fanalone »

There has been a lot of writing about the Fiat Dino chassis-numbers & the production of the Fiat Dino. And by this story, I suppose I turn the regular perception of this “Myth” upside down😊

Since august of 2021 I have tried to dig into this “Myth”, and collected as much information as possible, and systematically inserted it into excel. Mostly pictures of chassis plates from vehicles found on the WWW are used as information. But also, information from the spare parts catalog`s – homologation documents – owner’s manuals – FIA documents – Fiat Service Bulletin – books & here on FDF.
And in my opinion, the “key” to solving the myth, is actually the spare parts catalog`s! But it has been a little difficult to get hands on properly updated spare parts catalogs. Why, well when the vehicles were launched the base parts catalog was released to the dealers, and during the changes in the production, update sheets were sent to the dealers, for replacements & inserts! And here the problem starts, since the Dino was a low volume model, updating the parts catalog at the dealer site, seems not to have been a priority! Most of the catalogs available for sale/ in collections are mostly the base catalogs with some few updates, and the 2.0 catalogs seem better updated, compared to the 2.4! But finally in October 2022 I managed to find a completely updated Dino 2000 parts catalog, updated up to February 1970 with the last update: Modifiche D3460.

So, my theory and what I will try to proof, is that all Fiat vehicles where produced in increasing order by the Ricambi number, and not by chassis number!

Why?

1. The “Numero per ricambi”:
Every Fiat (not only the Dino) has a unique Ricambi number stamped on the chassis plate. Italian`s also call this the “Vett number” (Numero di Vettura), which means vehicle number! The “Vett number” reference in the spare part catalog is very often misinterpreted as the chassis number, but a chassis number is called “Autotelaio” in the Italian language! And all the changes in the spare part catalogue refers solely to the Ricambi No., with some exemptions where it refers to the production month or engine number, but it also refers to the Pininfarina body number in the body parts catalogue on the Spider!

So to my best understanding, the vehicle modification in the production line was like this : When a modification was implemented in the production line at the Fiat factory, it was noted in the parts catalogue at which Ricambi No., Pininfarina number, month or engine number this modification took place by a “C & D” version (C = Last “Vett” before modification implemented – D = First “Vett” modification was implemented). This logic follows on all Fiat models spare part catalogues on paper & microfiche but disappeared in the end of the 90`s with the digital parts catalogue ePER.

And by this the Ricambi No. must be the production number, otherwise the ordering of spare parts at the dealers would be a total mess! Another interesting thing with the Ricambi No., is that the Ricambi No. on the BC/ BS is a continuation of the Ricambi No. from the AC/AS! So the Ricambi No. will also tell us the exact production figure`s, if I/we manage to find the last one😊! This way of producing also makes the chassis numbers very random in the production line.

I have two theories/ explanations why the chassis numbers are not in increasing order in the production line:
a. Some customers ordered different options like leather interior, metallic paint, air condition etc, this chassis was taken out or delayed before it entered the “production line”, when the options/ changes where implemented. Then the chassis was put into the production line again.
b. The chassis/ bodies arrived Fiat a little random with the delivery truck`s from Bertone & Pininfarina (B&P). Because they entered bout the trucks at B&P and the production line at Fiat randomly, independent of the chassis number. This is maybe the most plausible explanation, or maybe there is a combo of both? If you also look at pictures available from the production line of the Fiat Dino, you can see that the Coupes and Spiders are randomly mixed in the production line. So, my theory is that the chassis plate got stamped with increasing Ricambi No. directly on the production line (Independent of the chassis number), and the production changes was implemented simultaneously on bout Coupe and Spider. The Ricambi No. when the change was implemented was then noted in the spare parts catalog`s. This also makes the production line more effective, since they don`t need to control that the chassis numbers are in increasing order at the production line!

2. B.I.T. – Bolletino Informazioni Technice:
After been writing this and reading the parts catalog multiple times during the last year, I became aware of a “notice” on the side in the “Modifiche” pages in the parts catalogs in 2022, where the “C & D” changes are noted. There is a notice like “B.I.T. 236V” on Modifiche 3102, so I was wondering what is this “B.I.T. 236V”? Well, in the “Use of the catalog” it is explained: B.I.T.: Bollettino Informazioni Tecniche. In English it is written: Technical bulletin in which the modification is described! So, this made me very curious, and after Googling a lot, I found one B.I.T. for sale on EBAY (Thank you Toni), and B.I.T. is actually a technical parts bulletin explaining the changes Fiat did in the production line, this is how Fiat explain B.I.T. on the front page of the bulletin I bought:

B.I.T.238V (which of course has no info regarding the Fiat Dino):
"The Technical Information Bulletin serves to bring the Spare Parts Catalogs up to date with modifications introduced in vehicles during production.
For each modification published, identified by a number, the Spare Parts Catalogs concerned are indicated.
Illustrations will always show the Ante-modification and Post-modification solution to facilitate the interpretation of the modification and the comparison between Ante-modification parts "C" and post-modification "D".

So now I got even more curious about this B.I.T., and would it be possible to find all the B.I.T. documents mentioned in the parts catalog? Well in the autumn of 2022 I contacted the archives at the Fiat Historical Center, and asked if they had this B.I.T. documents available in their archives, and to my surprise, they had all of them except one! But the catch was that they could not help me with copies, I had to personally visit the archives, to see the documents. So, then the summer holiday of 2023 was set, and my family & I drove to Italy (Liguria)😊 I took one day off from the beach, and drove to Turin, to visit the Fiat Archives. The archivist took me to a visiting room (A side room of the Centro Storico Fiat in Via Gabriele Chiabrera), where all the requested B.I.T. documents where prepared for me on a BIG oak table. The B.I.T. is actually a very clarifying document, explaining everything about the changes implemented, including drawings with dimensions etc. The catch is that Stellantis don`t allow me to publish them on the WWW, I had to sign a document on this! I think Stellantis are considering making the archives digitally available in the future, with some payment option. Anyway, I was allowed to take pictures, so I do have pictures of all the Dino content in B.I.T.: 231 – 235 – 236 – 238 – 239 – 242 – 243 – 247 – 251 – 252 – 254 – 260 – 262 – 268 – 270 – 276. I have then implemented all this technical info into the document I will share with you.

When reeding the B.I.T. document`s, I finally found the “line of proof” in B.I.T. 239 from 18. March 1968, it is written:
Modification 3116:
Ante-modification: Flexible joint companion flange secured to the primary shaft by a nut & lock washer (See C)
Post-modification: …….. by staked nut (See D)
Attuazione: Dal veicolo con N.° per ricambi: 000728
Effective: From vehicle with No. for spares: 000728

So, in my opinion this is actually the proof that all Fiat`s are produced in increasing order by the Ricambi number, and not by the chassis number!

And this is also the proof that Fiat had FULL control of the parts in the production of every vehicle.
The “Typical Italian chaos” rumor you can read & hear about everywhere: “Fiat took whatever they had of part`s in the shelves & throw it on the cars on production line”, is by this disproved!

You just have to read & understand the parts catalog :lol:

Regarding the 2400, there is no references to the B.I.T. in the parts catalog`s, so seems like they stopped with the B.I.T. documents at some stage around 1970!

I will show you the info I have collected, and will start with the AC, and then continue with the AS, BC & BS on every Saturday in the 4 next weeks (Maybe we get some action here on FDF again😊)! I will upload 2 files where one is sorted by chassis number and the other one by the Ricambi number. Documents will be uploaded in “The Library – Manuals and Guides – The Fiat Dino Chassis-Number Mythology”.
So check that your FDF login credentials are working, so you can access “The library” and download the 1. documents next Saturday (2.december)😉
2.0 Modifiche 2M.JPG
B.I.T No. 231 V.JPG
BR
Erik
BC5222
Argonaut
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.0 Spider

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Argonaut »

Very impressive... I am looking forward to see what comes next.
Dinoswede
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:22 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.0 Spider

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Dinoswede »

Fanalone, all this is very interesting and I am getting more and more convinced you have
found the missing key for how the original Fiat Dino documentation should be read and
understood!
For my non-italian-speaking mind, the "numero di vettura" always has seemed meaning
"serial number" or "chassis number", but I agree - just looking at factory pics from the FIAT
production line - that the Dinos hardly can have been produced in a strict chassis number
order. Mixing the Coupes and the Spiders at the same production line probably was not
a problem (as they had separate chassis number series), but your theory about the need
of a "ricambi number" system in the production procedure is convincing.

We already have realized that the engines never were installed in a strict number order -
making any "matching number" discussion a dead end, so to speak.

My earlier try to list the major changes during the 2 Litre Dino production run perhaps
should be converted to a "time-line chart", where the Dino ricambi numbers are used to
indicate during which period of the 2 Litre Dino production a certain car was produced?

Dinoswede
Ribolla_67
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 9:53 am
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Ribolla_67 »

Erik, thank you very much for your almost scientific deep dive into Dino history!

This is a very beneficial contribution for all of us!

Regards

Ribolla
Fanalone
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:15 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Fanalone »

Hi all

Thank you for your kind feedbacks.
Dinoswede, regarding the engine numbers, you are partially right.
But I suppose you will be a little surprised next weekend.
And the "Time line Chart" is comming, down to the nuts & bolt`s, so stay tuned :)

BR
Erik
BC5222
Ribolla_67
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 9:53 am
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Ribolla_67 »

Now some of the confusion from this old thread seems to be clarified:

http://www.fiatdinoforum.org/viewtopic.php?p=6895#p6895
Fanalone
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:15 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Fanalone »

Good evening

Then the AC doc. is uploaded here: http://www.fiatdinoforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=1838
If you have any comments, please write them here on this page.
And I may have done some mistakes, even several, so if you find anything, please enlighten me ;)

I have atteched the short summary I have written on the AC here.

Have a nice weekend

BR
Erik
Attachments
Fiat Dino Chassis Number Mythology - AC.pdf
(100.32 KiB) Downloaded 99 times
BC5222
abarth4
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:55 am
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Spider
Location: USA Midwest

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by abarth4 »

Nicely done. You've put a lot of time and effort into this. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the data for the AS. BC and BS
Charlie
Charlie Bates
Metamora Illinois, USA
Fiat Dino Spider 2400 #1186
Dinoswede
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:22 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.0 Spider

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Dinoswede »

I don´t know if I am doing things wrong, but when I try reading Fanalones 6 pages listing the
chassis numbers and the ricambi numbers respectively, the text letters are way too small!

When trying to zoom up the pages, the only thing that happens is everything just get even
more blurry!! When trying to outprint on paper, I get the same disappointing result!

All tips are wellcome!

Dinoswede
Fanalone
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:15 pm
Dino: Fiat Dino 2.4 Coupe

Re: THE FIAT DINO CHASSIS-NUMBER MYTHOLOGY

Post by Fanalone »

Hi Dinoswede

Strange, it`s a regular JPEG file, I can even see it clearly on my Android phone!
Anyway, open one picture - "right click" - select "save as", and save it on your computer - Open the saved file.
Does this work?

BR
Erik
BC5222
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