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Flavia Buying Guide

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FLAVIA Buying Guide

What to look for when buying

A good Lancia will most certainly grow on you. None of them (maybe the Aurelia B24S and the Flaminia PF Coupé being an exception) is beautifully balanced at first glance. However, there is something that sets these cars apart from the rest.

So we would like to pass on some experience gained from owning these cars – description of „what to look for“ when considering to buy a Flavia.
A nice Flavia is a very enjoyable and desirable classic car!

1. Mechanics

Check the „BALANCE“ of the car when driving: steering should be precise and light, brakes very good, excellent road holding when cornering fast, th engine smooth and revving freely to red line, gearbox no noise from synchromesh.

Sometimes the ENGINE SET-UP is wrong (might be ignition and carbs).

If possible check the OIL PRESSURE (if there is an instrument this might not work properly; better done in an engine shop).

A GOOD TIMING CHAIN is a very crucial feature on the Flavia engine, since the chain is known for „jumping over one tooth“ when in gear and rolling back. This happened to a friend of mine, leading to a bent valve.
During the production run of the Flavia Lancia provided an upgrade to cure this problem. The car you will be looking at might not have it, however.
You will certainly hear a worn timing chain; if the mileage is high the whole valve gear might be noisy (also possible wear due to too long intervals of engine oil changes).

If GREASING is not done to the factory intervals the steering and suspension will suffer badly.

Check the COOLING system carefully, the engine should not overheat when running without driving (i.e. simulating a traffic jam)! Blocked radiators being another typical problem; sometimes this occurs also due to incorrectly operating heating valves.
Open the radiator when engine running and check if „air“ is being blown from engine back into the radiator (you will see bubbles on top of the coolant water).

As the Flaminia the Flavia also features the BRAKE VACUUM SERVO (the system is called Duplex). Brake pods are Girling (available but expensive).
The servo is a very delicate item to overhaul. I think if you are careful you can do it on your own. Very good documentation is available.
So check the brakes operate perfectly.
If the car is pulling to one side under braking, most definitely there will be a problem with corrosion inside the brake pods (the fluid should be changed every year, at least every two years).

Apart from these „highlights“ there are the typical things to look at. Add one point, namely that the front leaf spring is notoriously prone to fracture: this is something you want to inspect carefully.

2. Body

I think there is a quick focus to identify a structural problem: Look at the point where A-POST, engine SUBFRAME, and SILLS join. You might look through the front wheel arches at its lower back side.
Better you put the car on a ramp.
The SUBFRAME (which holds the complete engine/gearbox unit) is bolted on to the chassis at the rear left and right through a box; watch this carefully. Some people claim you can identify a bad subframe-problem this way: when driving start braking and check the distance of a small gap where the steering wheel is fixed to the steering column. If the subframe is bad, this gap will get smaller under braking while bigger under accelerating. I am not so sure about this one, however, it might be true if there is really bad corrosion.

SILLS are a typical weak point; Lancia used to „implement“ rubber pieces for sound insulation, years later they create corrosion spots. Might be costly to repair depending on extent, however, standard work if necessary.

Autovettura Lancia Flavia Sport


J.E.W./ 3.2006

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