PDA

View Full Version : Owner: DesmosDromos - 2013 Abarth Cabrio - Bianco



DesmosDromos
09-10-2013, 08:48 PM
You'll hear my Rocky prowling the streets around the art museum in Philly.

No options. I didn't want any. I had to look a bit to find one that way actually.

No mods yet except an Xpel clear bra and a ProClip iPhone holder. I have my eye on an EC intake and a RR ECU, though. I'm sure suspension and wheels will follow....

7850

7851

Robert Nixon
09-10-2013, 09:31 PM
congrats, glad to know you are the Stig!

Tweak
09-10-2013, 11:16 PM
You'll hear my Rocky prowling the streets around the art museum in Philly.

No options. I didn't want any. I had to look a bit to find one that way actually.

No mods yet except an Xpel clear bra and a ProClip iPhone holder. I have my eye on an EC intake and a RR ECU, though. I'm sure suspension and wheels will follow....

7850

7851

There is a lightly used RRM ECU in the Classifieds for sale currently! ;)

DesmosDromos
09-11-2013, 03:00 PM
congrats, glad to know you are the Stig!

You'd be surprised how often I'm asked ;-)

DesmosDromos
09-11-2013, 03:01 PM
There is a lightly used RRM ECU in the Classifieds for sale currently! ;)

I did see that. I'm seeing if I can pull the $ together, actually.

ReconTopher
09-11-2013, 06:30 PM
I'm sure you saw that the RRM ecu already sold, but I'd imagine there will be a lot for sale coming up. I've been waiting on a lull in all the parts being sold and switched over and I haven't seen any in 3 months.

Congrats on the car!

DesmosDromos
09-11-2013, 07:18 PM
I'm sure you saw that the RRM ecu already sold, but I'd imagine there will be a lot for sale coming up. I've been waiting on a lull in all the parts being sold and switched over and I haven't seen any in 3 months.

Congrats on the car!

Thanks! Saw that. The early bird gets the worm. No worries, I'll get one eventually.

DesmosDromos
09-12-2013, 03:02 PM
I picked up a TMC unit from the classifieds. So it begins....

redred
09-12-2013, 04:11 PM
It's a slippery slope I can promise you that. Once you start, you cannot stop modding these cars!

DesmosDromos
09-12-2013, 07:58 PM
It's a slippery slope I can promise you that. Once you start, you cannot stop modding these cars!

I'm going to hold you responsible then! :D

Tweak
09-12-2013, 11:04 PM
You're not going to believe how much more fun and different your car will become. :cool:

DesmosDromos
09-17-2013, 10:44 AM
So, the TMC piggyback ECU I got from redred should arrive Thursday. I'm also picking up parts for Ryephile's evap reroute. If that wasn't enough, I just ordered the Modern Performance after air box high flow intake pipe, a K&N drop in and the EuroCompulsion HPS ram air hose.

I couldn't see that the pricier EC R3T v3 was actually going to provide more performance to justify the cost difference vs the MPx pipe. If heat soak is looking like an issue, I can wrap the pipe. I ultimately decided that a closed system with less intake noise was my preference. The BMC closed system is intriguing, but I'm going cheap for now.

Time to open the hood and get my hands dirty!

DesmosDromos
09-26-2013, 07:38 AM
OK, so I got the TMC piggyback, ram air hose and K&N filter installed (the after air box pipe isn't here yet). Wow. The power delivery is so much smoother and consistent through the rev range! I started on setting 6 which was pretty good, filled up with 92 and went up to 7 which is even better. Next tank will be 93 and I'll go to 8.

Now how about that suspension....

mudking
09-26-2013, 08:06 AM
I remember that day for myself when I switched up to the TMC and added better air delivery, what a difference, I also started out with the TMC unit at 6, I only run 93,but hopped right over to 8 not shortly after and woohoo was written all over my face!!! Congrats on your mods, but as stated before you are on the slope now!lookout parts will be dancing in your head!!! I would suggest the Bilstein CO's to start with the suspension...

redred
09-26-2013, 10:23 AM
Glad you are enjoying it!!!

Tweak
09-26-2013, 02:25 PM
Always 93 and I started with 8 then went with 9, now I wish they had a 10...lol. :D

DesmosDromos
10-05-2013, 03:49 AM
93 octane on setting 8 is working out well. The after air box pipe is on now too and seems like a good add-on. I continue to think that this piece plus a high flow filter should yield similar performance to other intakes that retain the stock air box, but at a lower cost.

I have Eibach Pro-Kit springs arriving that I got from the classifieds and I'm figuring on a NeuF rear torsion bar and RRM brake pads soon. I have some Rally Armor flaps and some Rim Blades to put on as well. Slippery slope, indeed!

DesmosDromos
11-02-2013, 04:34 PM
Eibach ProKits installed! Evap reroute is probably next. Gonna give a MM tune box a try shortly too. Nue F short shift and a Forge WGA are next.

DesmosDromos
11-17-2013, 09:56 AM
MM piggyback installed yesterday. I'll off some impressions on it vs the old 2 plug TMC after I put some miles on it.

DesmosDromos
11-18-2013, 03:06 PM
THE CAR:
2013 Abarth Cabrio bought new in August.

RELEVANT MODS:
- Modern Performance After Airbox Intake Pipe
- EuroCompulsion Ram Air Boot
- K&N drop in air filter

OTHER NOTES:
I'm in PA running 93 octane gas (usually Sunoco) and we have up to 10% Ethanol.

TMC IMPRESSIONS:
I've had this box installed for probably 6-8 weeks. I have it on setting 8. It's one of the early 2-plug boxes. I got it used from a member of the forum.

After the install, I ran about 70 miles under 4000 RPM and with no use of Sport mode. I've been happy with this box. The Abarth is always rearing to go in Sport mode. If things aren't a lot better with the MM box, I'd happily swap back to the TMC. It's got good drivability and performance.

MM IMPRESSIONS:

(DAY 1): If I'm honest, I wanted this box when I got the car. It was expensive, though. Also, there were reports out of issues with some early boxes and/or tunes in both the box and the Abarth.

When a used one came up on the classifieds at a good price, I jumped. My logic being that I could always sell whichever I decided down the road for more or less what I spent and the MM issues seemed to be in the past. There were lots of happy MM owners posting, the HP and torque numbers might be a bit better based on some dynos I'd seen posted and a MM box might give me less trouble at the studio if I ever go for a warranty claim given that Magnetti Marelli is part of FIAT. So why not give it a try?

I downloaded the PC software from Madness and made sure it had the latest tune from MM, was on the Race setting and that the warm up timer was off. Then I swapped it in to the Abarth. I didn't get to drive the car until the commute to work today.

I don't know if the 70 mile, no Sport mode thing is required or not, but I left it off this morning for the 12 miles to work. I'll say this, it has more torque off the line than the TMC did in non-sport mode. It also seems to make a bit more power in non-sport mode. I could almost drive around without Sport mode and be happy, LOL.

More impressions as I get more seat time.

DesmosDromos
12-01-2013, 11:25 AM
So I did run for 70-80 miles without sport mode. Now that I've used sport mode for a couple of weeks, here are my impressions:
- the MM box seems to have more torque off the line and maybe across the whole rev range
- it may have a bit more power, but nothing dramatic

I'm gonna stick with the MM, but could go back to the TMC without any real complaints if I had to. I may hold onto it and pay for Madness to upgrade it to the 3 plug harness and new tune. Hey, it's out of the car anyway, right? :-)

DesmosDromos
03-07-2016, 09:51 AM
In general, the factory entertainment system, though basic, met my needs. However, for some reason once I had to have my iPhone replaced for a hardware issue, the stereo refuses to recognize the new phone over USB. I tried a different cable, I pulled fuses 5 & 10 and still no love for the new iPhone.

I decided enough was enough and it's time to upgrade the head unit, so I have an Alpine ILX-007 CarPlay unit on the way. More info here: http://alpine-usa.com/product/view/carplay-ilx-007

I plan to do the install myself. I've done plenty of single and double DIN installs in past vehicles, though never changing a single DIN to a double as in this install. The Scosche kit seems like the way to go to keep the vents: http://www.scosche.com/2012-up-fiat-500-aftermarket-installation-kit-white
They don't show it on the site, but apparently there's a rubberized black kit and I think I'll opt for that in case the white one didn't exactly match the color of the factory dashboard.

The seller I'm getting the double DIN install kit from has a package that includes the harness adapters for both the stereo and steering wheel controls. They seem to be from Scosche as well, the stereo one is this guy: http://www.scosche.com/ft01sr-stereo-replacement-interface-2012-up-fiat
The steering wheel one doesn't seem to be on the site, though.

I'll try to document my experiences here in case anybody searches for such an install in the future.

DesmosDromos
03-16-2016, 09:02 PM
OK, so I got the ILX-007 installed over the weekend and as promised I took some pictures so you know what you're getting into when you convert from the factory single DIN opening to a double DIN opening for any of the currently popular head units with those big touch screens. First, a couple of corrections, though. The harness adapters were from Axxess Interfaces. The kit I got included the adapter for the radio antenna, a XSVI-6515-NAV (http://axxessinterfaces.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=84) to connect to the main harness and a ASWC-1 (http://axxessinterfaces.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=197) to retain the factory steering wheel controls.

I set up a card table and got to work connecting the Axxess Interfaces adapters to the ILX-007 harness:
21324
A couple of notes here. The Soloop package on the right? You want some of them. They allow you to join wires with a watertight seal with a special clear, shrink wrap tube that has adhesive to bond to the wires on either end and solder in the middle to ensure a lasting connection. You can make all your connections with these and a heat gun! Look here: http://www.amazon.com/SOLOOP-100pcs-Waterproof-Terminal-Connectors/dp/B013WTX714/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1458176226&sr=8-6&keywords=soloop

I used a set of "helping hands" to hold the wires while I connected them:
21325

Closeup of Soloop connector ready for the heat gun:
21326

After the heat gun you can see how it shrank up. The two red adhesive bands make a watertight seal and the solder flowed into the wires:
21327

In the next post, we move into the car....

DesmosDromos
03-16-2016, 09:18 PM
OK, with the harness all connected and ready to go, it was time to head out to the Abarth. Removing the factory radio is quite simple with the right tool. First remove the 4 plastic covers that protect the holes for inserting the proper radio removal key:
21328

In this case it's a "Ford" radio removal key. They look like a U and a little hook on the prongs catches on the inner side of the radio allowing you to simply pull out the factory radio:
21329

Once you pull it out far enough, you can remove the connectors from the back of the radio for the steering wheel controls, audio and antenna:
21330

There are 6 screws you need to remove now. 4 hold in the cage for the radio under the vents- 2 in the front face and 2 inside the opening about an inch in at an angle. The 2 in the front were already removed in these pictures. The two screws you can see below the vents hold that entire assembly in. Remove them and you can pull the vents out:
2133121332

Outa space with this post so....

DesmosDromos
03-16-2016, 09:25 PM
2133321334

Now you only need to remove the 10mm bolt at the back of the metal cage to pull it out:
21335

Now comes the hard part. You have to cut away enough plastic from the vents to enable the new head unit to slide all the way in. Nobody really tells you how much to cut, but I found that if you first remove the rubber seals by pulling out the staples holding them in, you really only need to remove the plastic lip they were on. I used the serrated blade in my Leatherman and it wasn't too bad even with the limited space. Here's the end result:
21336

Then I sealed up the part of the vent that would be behind the radio with duct tape, so that only the part going to the new vent was open:
21337

Now to install the new head unit....

DesmosDromos
03-16-2016, 09:35 PM
I don't have any pictures to support this part of the install, but a couple of things to note. I've seen other discussions on other boards noting that there's no way the adapter that re-routes the vents and finishes off the opening is worth the $200 being charged for it. These observations are correct. It's too bad there are no other choices out there. I did manage to find it on eBay for more like $100 and even that is about $80 overpriced! Some things to consider with it:
- I found I had to install the head unit first with the new double DIN cage before I could put the trim piece on
- I notched the plastic at the bottom of the opening to allow the tabs to fit between the bottom of the double DIN cage and the bottom of the opening. Note where the tabs are, mark and cut.
- It's a tight fit even so, but with some gentle persuasion it's mostly flush.

Here's the end result:
21338

Note that this is about as far as those vents open. They do manage to flow air pretty well.

The rubberized finish isn't great and is worn off in a couple of places already from me making things fit, but it'll do. I hope this helps somebody else looking to do a double DIN install!