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View Full Version : ECU Swap: 500T to Abarth... am I the first?



zonker
06-12-2013, 06:30 PM
Hi Y'all,

Thought and come see if anyone had any practical experience doing what i am going to attempt to do on my 2013 Rosso 500T. The objective here is to up the hp from 135 to 160.

Scooped from a salvage 2013 Abarth with 644 miles:
1. ECU (engine computer)
2. BCM (body control module)
3. a third module (might be airbag I'm not sure)
4. EVIC (instrument cluster)
5. Leather hooded EVIC trim w/ boost gauge
6. LH dash fascia that has cut relief for gauge.

My research so far into this project involves a lot of heresay, so I am hoping there is a tech or two who knows exactly if I have all the right vin matched components to make this change or am I still needing more (or less) to do this T to Abarth conversion.

Pic of parts (minus ECU):
http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd434/zxtunerdotcom/2013%20Fiat%20500T/2013%20Abarth%20salvage%20parts/20130611_191049_zps0dd63121.jpg

First questions I have prior to tackling this:
1. Has anyone just tried swapping ecu's without changing the other modules?
2. What happened when they did?
3. What will occur to the Abarth ECU if I try VIN mis matching just to see if it works via ECU swap alone?
4. What is the module in the foreground actually for? It's made by Magneti Marelli, and it's got a single blue 32 pin plug on the back. Airbag Module?

opiateESP
06-12-2013, 06:48 PM
According to the techs at my local studio, it'll throw a code.

shagghie
06-12-2013, 06:54 PM
Awesome! wonder if there is a unique key/code for each ECU to match each ECU you'll need to get around?

Guest
06-12-2013, 07:07 PM
Are there not upgrades within the engine itself? You may blow yours up IF the ECU even works! Careful this sounds very dicey to me :(

James Hunt
06-12-2013, 07:20 PM
Are there not upgrades within the engine itself? You may blow yours up IF the ECU even works! Careful this sounds very dicey to me :(


No internal upgrades in abarth vs 500t.

opiateESP
06-12-2013, 08:00 PM
Are there not upgrades within the engine itself? You may blow yours up IF the ECU even works! Careful this sounds very dicey to me :(

The only things different in terms of performance are the tune (including the software LSD), rear stabilizer bar, struts and springs.

FTY
06-12-2013, 08:13 PM
The only things different in terms of performance are the tune (including the software LSD), rear stabilizer bar, struts and springs.

I went through every system(engine wise) with the 500T and Abarth, EVAP, BOOST, FUELING ECT the only differences are ECU, its all software based. Waste gates, turbo are all the same.

zonker
06-12-2013, 09:03 PM
I went through every system(engine wise) with the 500T and Abarth, EVAP, BOOST, FUELING ECT the only differences are ECU, its all software based. Waste gates, turbo are all the same.

wait - i know of one mechanical change for sure... the red air filter lid ;)

zonker
06-12-2013, 09:05 PM
Awesome! wonder if there is a unique key/code for each ECU to match each ECU you'll need to get around?

I'm hoping the ignition key code is not going to be an issue...

redred
06-12-2013, 09:26 PM
wait - i know of one mechanical change for sure... the red air filter lid ;)

Not necessarily. I met a guy here in LA that has an Abarth, but with the Black Multi-Air engine cover instead of the red one with the scorpion.

Another member had their local studio try an Abarth to Turbo ECU swap and it didn't work. Discussed here in this thread:

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?10278-500T-Dynojet-Result/page4

Jjm4life
06-12-2013, 09:28 PM
Great project. Id assume the ignition key code will be the holdup, but no reason that cant be reprogrammed either.

Giuseppe
06-12-2013, 09:39 PM
You will need to recode the BCM, reflash the EVIC (including a VIN burn), reflash the PCM (also including a VIN burn) and then reprogram the key (not necessarily in that order). I have no idea where you are located, but if you are anywhere near central california I would be happy to attempt programming. I have all of the equipment here.

zonker
06-12-2013, 10:04 PM
You will need to recode the BCM, reflash the EVIC (including a VIN burn), reflash the PCM (also including a VIN burn) and then reprogram the key (not necessarily in that order). I have no idea where you are located, but if you are anywhere near central california I would be happy to attempt programming. I have all of the equipment here.

Good info - sounds like the key programming will be the issue then (since EVIC, BCM, and PCM are all vin matched to each other already). Does that sound right?

And I wish I did live closer to you... I'm about an hour north of San Diego and I'm guessing "middle california" is Fresno?

Guest
06-12-2013, 10:14 PM
Not necessarily. I met a guy here in LA that has an Abarth, but with the Black Multi-Air engine cover instead of the red one with the scorpion.

Another member had their local studio try an Abarth to Turbo ECU swap and it didn't work. Discussed here in this thread:

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?10278-500T-Dynojet-Result/page4

Black covers came only on the pre-production manufacturer demos the staff had IIRC

Eurowned
06-12-2013, 11:09 PM
Since the Abarth and 500T are identical for the engine I would think the ECU would be the same just the tune is different. Has anyone asked a Fiat Tech about having the Abarth tune flashed to their 500T ECU? I know this sort of thing was possible with the 02-06 Mini Cooper S and the JCW tune. All that was required for the JCW tune was the 380cc JCW injectors on account of increased fueling and a MINI Tech that would do the flash. The Abarth and 500T have the identical fueling characteristics which means the fuel systems are unchanged. All it boils down to is can you flash the Abarth tune on a 500T.

Chico Valdez
06-13-2013, 12:57 AM
I went through every system(engine wise) with the 500T and Abarth, EVAP, BOOST, FUELING ECT the only differences are ECU, its all software based. Waste gates, turbo are all the same.

Makes total sense from a manufacturing standpoint.
I wonder if they've went as far as to include some kind of 'identifier' in the harness somewhere? A small micro-processor that would be coded to the ecu/bcm and so forth. I really couldn't see them doing this due to extra cost. But who knows?

If it works it's a game-changer for the performance-minded...
Buy a T, then the Abarth electrics, spend the difference of T vs Abarth money on brakes and suspension. Plus, get more colors...

BigDaddySRT
06-13-2013, 06:36 AM
You will need to recode the BCM, reflash the EVIC (including a VIN burn), reflash the PCM (also including a VIN burn) and then reprogram the key (not necessarily in that order). I have no idea where you are located, but if you are anywhere near central california I would be happy to attempt programming. I have all of the equipment here.

The story that I have been told by Chrysler and FIAT is that mileage cannot be changed within the new instrument clusters by the Dealerships/ Studio.
They have to order replacement clusters with the mileage "burned" into the cluster prior to shipping.

Since he has the matching ECU, BCM, and Cluster (supposedly stores SKIM Information) it should be relatively straight forward as long as a Studio is willing to work with you.

BigDaddySRT
06-13-2013, 06:38 AM
Great project. Id assume the ignition key code will be the holdup, but no reason that cant be reprogrammed either.

A quick call to Chrysler Connect with the VIN can get you the SKIM Code fast.
(I always had the Dealer call for me when I was doing ECU Swaps.)

BigDaddySRT
06-13-2013, 06:46 AM
The only things different in terms of performance are the tune (including the software LSD), rear stabilizer bar, struts and springs.

Intake
Exhaust System
Front Suspension Module
Rear Suspension Module

BigDaddySRT
06-13-2013, 07:01 AM
Not necessarily. I met a guy here in LA that has an Abarth, but with the Black Multi-Air engine cover instead of the red one with the scorpion.

Another member had their local studio try an Abarth to Turbo ECU swap and it didn't work. Discussed here in this thread:

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?10278-500T-Dynojet-Result/page4

Then that owner switched the ABARTH Intake Box for the 500T Intake Box.
(Probably trying to hide the fact he has an ABARTH.)

The Swap can and will be done... you need to find a Studio that knows what they are doing with the Electronics.

dart1.4t
06-13-2013, 09:33 AM
The story that I have been told by Chrysler and FIAT is that mileage cannot be changed within the new instrument clusters by the Dealerships/ Studio.
They have to order replacement clusters with the mileage "burned" into the cluster prior to shipping.

Since he has the matching ECU, BCM, and Cluster (supposedly stores SKIM Information) it should be relatively straight forward as long as a Studio is willing to work with you.

they may not provide the equipment but there has to be a way to get it done. i'm sure a good computer guy, not the typical IT guy but an old school engineer or hobbyist/hacker type that knows computers on a lower level could likely get it done with a jtag or something similar. these guys are few and far between even in computer circles but they are still out there. if it's encrypted it may be hard to do more than clone another one, actually changing values can be difficult if it's encrypted but someone good with a hex editor may be able to do it.

my neighbor was one of these guys but had a stroke.. he wasn't a car guy. but he once told me he has the firmware from an early buick ecu in assembly code somewhere. basically someone gave him the ecu and he found what the cpu part number was then wrote a reverse assembler program to take the binary and turn it into the assembly code it was compiled from! then downloaded the firmware directly from the memory and ran it through the reverse assembler. he didn't do this to mod his car.. it was the puzzle he found fun.. he had a friend at GM at the time and told him about the little project. he said the guy didn't want to talk about it. there were big company secrets in there, rather than it being a conversation between engineers over a fun project the guy thought of it as industrial espionage or something. there weren't too many companies selling fuel injected cars in the early 80's and most used bosch systems not systems proprietary to the manufacturer, not to mention some of the bosch systems weren't entirely digital. this wasn't just a matter of finding the mapping tables to alter them. assembly is a programming language. he could have altered any aspect of the system.

Giuseppe
06-13-2013, 11:17 AM
Good info - sounds like the key programming will be the issue then (since EVIC, BCM, and PCM are all vin matched to each other already). Does that sound right?

And I wish I did live closer to you... I'm about an hour north of San Diego and I'm guessing "middle california" is Fresno?


Yeas and yes.


The story that I have been told by Chrysler and FIAT is that mileage cannot be changed within the new instrument clusters by the Dealerships/ Studio.
They have to order replacement clusters with the mileage "burned" into the cluster prior to shipping.


Correct. They are shipped with the VIN and mileage burned to the unit. But there is a way to do it after the fact, just not by the dealer. I have that access on my programmer/scan tool.

Eurowned
06-13-2013, 02:32 PM
Simple question as I have been ignored......Are the ECU's physically the same? If they are why swap, why not flash it with the Abarth tune. Better yet why not wait and save money till an ECU tuning solution is available. Then you will have Abarth power and more because with the AFR's these cars run there is a lot of power on the table.

whatebahw
06-13-2013, 04:18 PM
Simple question as I have been ignored......Are the ECU's physically the same? If they are why swap, why not flash it with the Abarth tune. Better yet why not wait and save money till an ECU tuning solution is available. Then you will have Abarth power and more because with the AFR's these cars run there is a lot of power on the table.

He may not want to wait.

opiateESP
06-13-2013, 06:08 PM
Intake
Exhaust System
Front Suspension Module
Rear Suspension Module

Forgot about the exhaust. I'm pretty sure the intake system is identical.

zonker
06-13-2013, 08:20 PM
Simple question as I have been ignored......Are the ECU's physically the same? If they are why swap, why not flash it with the Abarth tune. Better yet why not wait and save money till an ECU tuning solution is available. Then you will have Abarth power and more because with the AFR's these cars run there is a lot of power on the table.

To this day it has not been done on anyones car I know of succesfully. If I could get it done that way, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

BUT... if I shelve the EVIC, ECU, and BCM from the 500T, I can easily convert the car back and remove the parts if there is some huge dealer warranty job that needs looking after, or I plan to trade the car in.

66fasty
03-14-2014, 07:53 PM
I realize this thread is old, but Was any progress made on this?

dart1.4t
03-14-2014, 09:18 PM
now there is a tune available and more on the way so even if there was progress, it might not be the best way to go. an ecu tune on a 500t makes the same power as a tuned abarth.

Abarth Phreak
03-14-2014, 09:32 PM
now there is a tune available and more on the way so even if there was progress, it might not be the best way to go. an ecu tune on a 500t makes the same power as a tuned abarth.

No it doesn't, it makes fake wannabe Abarth power! Not the same power! (Just kidding here as a rant about it.)

opiateESP
03-14-2014, 09:48 PM
No it doesn't, it makes fake wannabe Abarth power! Not the same power! (Just kidding here as a rant about it.)

This is me shaking my fist at you!!!

:stupid:

moos209
07-08-2018, 08:39 PM
You will need to recode the BCM, reflash the EVIC (including a VIN burn), reflash the PCM (also including a VIN burn) and then reprogram the key (not necessarily in that order). I have no idea where you are located, but if you are anywhere near central california I would be happy to attempt programming. I have all of the equipment here.


This is a long shot but here goes. Giuseppe, I live in Stockton, Ca and currently own a 2012 Fiat 500 Sport with a "lost all key" issue. I have a key that was made but it doesnt unlock / lock the doors using the FOB and the car cranks but doesnt start. I know there is an issue with the BCU and the newly made key. I would like some help with this and will gladly pay for your time if you are close by in my area. Please respond when you can. Thanks.

rocketsausage
07-10-2018, 01:40 PM
I feel like this might not be worth the effort in term of straight up power, given the numbers that can be made on a turbo with a standard piggyback or ecu tune.

I am curious as to weather or not the software lsd will work. Imo that's really the biggest thing from the abarth that the turbo is missing, as the rest of the differences are pretty easy to make up for through aftermarket parts. That being said I'm wondering how the cost of porting over the electronic lsd compares to just buying a real lsd.