PDA

View Full Version : Question on lowering 500 Turbo



tknospdr
12-06-2013, 04:27 PM
I've been creeping all over this forum and learning a ton!

I think I've got a handle on what I want to do with the car for better performance but I have no idea when it comes to suspension and handling.

If I just want to lower it a few inches and get a little better handing what's involved & at what cost? I don't have a ton of cash to work with so frugal is the name of the game.

:rockon:

FTY
12-06-2013, 05:22 PM
Your best bet and least expensive option would be a set of springs (Sportline/Neu-F) and a set of rear Konis. The Konis can be done later if you wanna spread the dent out on your wallet.

Lots of positive reviews on that combo. Otherwise you can go coilovers but that is a bit more expensive of an option.


A rear torsionbar is also a good option on any 500.

shadyabarth
12-06-2013, 10:54 PM
A rear torsionbar is also a good option on any 500.

This man speaks the truth..I feel a rear torsion bar is a must have for anyone who drives above 1 mph around any turn in a 500

Tweak
12-06-2013, 11:02 PM
Your best bet and least expensive option would be a set of springs (Sportline/Neu-F) and a set of rear Konis. The Konis can be done later if you wanna spread the dent out on your wallet.

Lots of positive reviews on that combo. Otherwise you can go coilovers but that is a bit more expensive of an option.


A rear torsionbar is also a good option on any 500.

+1 totally agree and would be my answer if not beaten to it. Glad you are enjoying the forum tknospdr.

racerx
12-06-2013, 11:34 PM
You can get abarth springs and shocks for nothing here and an upgrade for the turbo. You can upgrade the abarth rear axle theres usually someone parting one out on eBay. Lots of work for the rear but gets you the sway bar

tknospdr
12-07-2013, 07:28 AM
Here where? On this board?

Who wants to send me their stuff for free? I like free stuff. ;)

racerx
12-07-2013, 10:54 AM
Here where? On this board?

Who wants to send me their stuff for free? I like free stuff. ;)
Yeah in the classifieds springs go for as little as $20 and will get you abarth ride height. Since you have them out you might as well trim the rear abarth spring so it sits even

Ducman69
12-07-2013, 10:55 AM
My brother is an automotive engineer and led his schools FSAE team and the like, and from him and forums I've learned that regarding the suspension usually lower is NOT better, just an FYI.

Usually you would think that a lower suspension reduces the center of gravity and thus reduces body roll, but all else equal it can actually increase it due to the suspension geometry. What you actually end up doing is reducing the CoG slightly but increase the roll center significantly, and the other side effect of course is reduced suspension travel. Since small FWD cars like the 500 don't have all that much suspension travel to begin with, you generally have to stiffen the suspension considerably to compensate. Reduced compliance can result in a flatter and more responsive ride, but at the sacrifice of road comfort and actually lose quite a bit of grip if like Houston your roads aren't all that perfect since the suspension will have a harder time keeping the tire planted over uneven pavement. There's also limited alignment adjustments to be made, so you also mess with the geometry of the suspension when its low in its static travel, so increased tire wear is likely to occur.

I'm fairly confident that the only reason the Abarth is ever so slightly reduced ride height from the 500T is for marketing purposes more than anything else as people like the lower stance... LOOKS faster, even if its a compromise. And that was only .6 inches. If you take actual inches off your 500T's suspension, just know you are going to be REMOVING performance not adding it.

In my experience, you would be best served by keeping the stock springs and instead:
1) Getting fancier dampers, as they are the ones that actually absorb all the bumps
2) Get a bigger swaybar as most factory cars are tuned for considerable understeer and that can liven things up to make it more neutral
3) Spend money on TIRES, TIRES, TIRES, they matter sooooooo much more than springs when it comes to how many lateral G's you can hold!

Ducman69
12-07-2013, 11:03 AM
Yeah in the classifieds springs go for as little as $20 and will get you abarth ride height. Since you have them out you might as well trim the rear abarth spring so it sits even
Trimming the rear springs of the Abarth will increase the spring rate considerably. Suspension engineers make a crapton of money and do days and days of testing before deciding on rates and heights and the like. Dampers are tuned for the spring weight and height they are matched to, but they'll no longer be matched. I would highly recommend not cutting the springs.

Here is a calculator that will show you how out of whack you'll be depending on how much you decide to cut: http://easycalculation.com/physics/classical-physics/Helical-Spring-Rate.php

modular
12-07-2013, 12:13 PM
As I do not want to sacrifice ride quality of the stock suspension I am focusing on the poor stock rear shocks and eliminating the inherent understeer of the 500. I am installing the NEU-F 28mm rear torsion bar and the KONI rear shocks. That not only will that all but dial out the understeer but help the unsettled rear end behave better. Uprated front struts are not available without going to coilovers that I know of.

The only reason why the rear of the North American cars sit high compared to our European counterparts is due to U.S. bumper height laws. From what I have read they added one coil to the rear springs. I have remedied that issue with outstanding results much to Ducman69's chagrin :).

Felnus
12-07-2013, 12:26 PM
I predict this thread will go from 0 to locked in 7.6 posts. Go.

lenswerks
12-07-2013, 12:35 PM
Here where? On this board?

Who wants to send me their stuff for free? I like free stuff. ;)

Are you looking for stock Abarth suspension components?
Don't you live on FL East coast?
I should still have all Abarth suspension parts at Fields FIAT. I would have to check with Fields to see.
If I do you are welcome to them, you'd just have to come to Orlando to pick them up.

modular
12-07-2013, 12:39 PM
I predict this thread will go from 0 to locked in 7.6 posts. Go.

Por que?

msjulie33
12-07-2013, 12:41 PM
This man speaks the truth..I feel a rear torsion bar is a must have for anyone who drives above 1 mph around any turn in a 500

yup made a huge difference on my Pop, that with the Abarth struts/shocks/springs

MADNESSLuckyJay
12-07-2013, 01:35 PM
We carry just about every suspension mod available for the FIAT 500 in stock! Check out our suspension page:

http://shop.500madness.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=267

So many options and price points, I'm sure we can find you the perfect set-up!

Ducman69
12-07-2013, 01:51 PM
I predict this thread will go from 0 to locked in 7.6 posts. Go.
Nah, a little healthy debate is good. When I started modding my first car (Focus w/ turbo, coilovers, swaybar, wheels, tires, and more and later SRT4) I didn't know anything about the increased stress on the CV joints/drop links/etc, premature shock wear, what the hell a roll center was, tire wear from lack of camber adjustment, added risk of wheel damage, and didn't even think of little things like how much interior trim pieces and the like would start to rattle from the shocks they are subject to repeatedly from going too stiff/low of a spring rate and hitting the jounce bumpers from time to time (nothing more annoying than trying to listen to your tunes only to have rattles and squeaks). Can be aggravating if you spend a bunch of money for improved performance only to find that you bounce out of your seat on highway dips and the car starts to lose traction and skip across the road at speed in corners whenever there are any imperfections. Lower is OK, but FEW INCHES lower on a car like the 500 is a bad idea IMO especially since our wheelbase is so tiny (shorter the wheelbase, more bumps tend to upset the chassis and the more it can tend to buck if oversprung).

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5520/11254962486_aed33b8eb6_b.jpg

Felnus
12-07-2013, 01:58 PM
You weren't the one I was worried about, Duc. :-)

tknospdr
12-07-2013, 07:25 PM
Are you looking for stock Abarth suspension components?
Don't you live on FL East coast?
I should still have all Abarth suspension parts at Fields FIAT. I would have to check with Fields to see.
If I do you are welcome to them, you'd just have to come to Orlando to pick them up.
That's where I bought mine from. Great guys, my local studio... Not so much.

opiateESP
12-16-2013, 07:17 PM
A few inches is a lot. Even one inch is a very noticeable drop. If you want the best bang for your buck in terms of handling, get the Abarth front struts from the fiatpartswebstore.com (which are surprisingly cheap), grab yellows for the rear and then grab some springs with a mild/moderate drop. All can be had for relatively cheap if you use the classified section for the springs.

Edit: Listen to the Duck. He's got it right.

shadowshaggy
12-16-2013, 07:36 PM
As well, Eibach - H&R - Madness, all those guys and then some have spent a lot of time figuring out spring rates and such. I'm working on my 2nd set of Eibach's, first were the Sportlines - those are the lower of the two and dropped my Spectra 2.0/2.2 inches from factory. Got the alignment sorted out, but with the factory lip kit, Wal-Mart parking lot was a bit of a challenge. My Abarth is about the accidentally find itself sitting on Eibach Pro's.

Here's the proper drop height per Eibach: http://performance-suspension.eibach.com/performance_suspension/buy_online

tknospdr
12-16-2013, 08:51 PM
Good info, so just the springs is all I need to get a good look and performance upgrade?
Sounds good. So what are coil overs and why are they so freaking expensive?

musicsurf
12-16-2013, 09:29 PM
Good info, so just the springs is all I need to get a good look and performance upgrade?
Sounds good. So what are coil overs and why are they so freaking expensive?

If you are going to go the springs route instead of coilovers, I highly recommend the Koni yellow shocks for the rear. Just springs tends to be a little bouncy in the rear and the yellows do a good job at cleaning that up.

opiateESP
12-16-2013, 09:33 PM
Good info, so just the springs is all I need to get a good look and performance upgrade?

Good looks, yes. Performance, no. In terms of performance, it's a mild upgrade that will mildly reduce body roll but if you want it to ACTUALLY make a real quantifiable difference, then you need to replace the rest too.


Sounds good. So what are coil overs and why are they so freaking expensive?

Because they correctly account for all aspects of the cars geometry and contain the dampener and spring in a singular unit.

Tweak
12-16-2013, 09:42 PM
Good looks, yes. Performance, no. In terms of performance, it's a mild upgrade that will mildly reduce body roll but if you want it to ACTUALLY make a real quantifiable difference, then you need to replace the rest too.



Because they correctly account for all aspects of the cars geometry and contain the dampener and spring in a singular unit.

AND afford the owner the option for adjustments that springs do not allow. ;)

opiateESP
12-16-2013, 11:02 PM
AND afford the owner the option for adjustments that springs do not allow. ;)

That too! Thanks for filling in the blanks Mr. Tweak!

Tweak
12-19-2013, 03:02 PM
That too! Thanks for filling in the blanks Mr. Tweak!

;) You covered the basics but that so figured I would toss it out there.

tknospdr
05-18-2014, 02:23 PM
So my shocks and springs have been sitting in my garage for about a month now. I'm getting antsy to install them. My neighbor owns an auto shop and is going to help me with the install.
When I told him we wouldn't need to compress the springs he said no way. I know I've read that Abarths can be swapped out without compression, but just to be sure...

Folks that have done the Turbo, please chime in with your experiences.

tknospdr
05-22-2014, 07:56 PM
Anyone?

junnyquest
05-22-2014, 09:07 PM
I 'lowered' with stock Abarth springs and replaced the stock rear shocks for Koni yellows. I also added a rear bar from ST. The work was easy enough... anyone with a mechanical aptitude and basic tools can do the work themselves. I did mine in the driveway. The ride and handling now mimics the Abarth... firmer over bumps and flatter, more composed in the corners. I don't track the car or anything, but wanted a sportier ride.

EDIT: As far as the install, the rear suspension work is ridiculously easy. No compressor required, as the springs do almost fall out! The ST rear bar is also easy to install. Tools required at this end of the car are no more exotic than a torque wrench (and drill if installing the bar). The front is more time consuming, and I used a compressor to remove the springs. Did not need the compressor to install the new springs, however, a 19mm deep offset wrench and 6mm allen socket are needed to remove the strut's upper retaining nuts.

EDIT 2: Make sure you search the Forums for correct torque values for the shocks and strut attachment points. Observe the correct value for the bar, as well.

tknospdr
05-22-2014, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the info, did you use spring compressors to change the fronts?

junnyquest
05-22-2014, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the info, did you use spring compressors to change the fronts?

See EDIT above ^^^

...and EDIT 2.

tknospdr
06-08-2014, 04:30 PM
Okay, I finally got the rear konis and madness (A2) springs installed. While I had the rear tires off I installed my chrome fuel filler door ( blingy :) )
All I have left of my purchase to install is front and rear Abarth badges. I just couldn't bring myself to remove the front clip today while doing everything else.

Now I'm about 2/3 of the way to affording a Uni-Chip, and then I'll start saving for the FMIC.

Hello, my name is David and I'm an upgrader. /upgrader's anonymous

I'll post some pics after I wash it.

Tweak
06-08-2014, 08:05 PM
Hello, my name is David and I'm an upgrader. /upgrader's anonymous

You're not alone! :)

docron
06-08-2014, 09:48 PM
Welcome to the club David! My Abarth is only 40 days old and my mod list is a tiny bit extensive....lol :)

Bender Unit
06-11-2014, 01:53 PM
While I had the rear tires off I installed my chrome fuel filler door.

How difficult to install the Chrome fuel door ?
I like to purchase it in the near future.

moosestang
07-17-2014, 07:38 PM
I have lowered many vehicles with front struts without the use of a spring compressor. I remove the upper strut retaining nut and use a floor jack under the control arm. most vehicles that will take out most of the tension and you can remove the lower strut mounting bolts. You could also remove the upper strut nut, leaving the car on the ground, then slowly jack up the car.

lammie200
07-17-2014, 08:08 PM
I have lowered many vehicles with front struts without the use of a spring compressor. I remove the upper strut retaining nut and use a floor jack under the control arm. most vehicles that will take out most of the tension and you can remove the lower strut mounting bolts. You could also remove the upper strut nut, leaving the car on the ground, then slowly jack up the car.

The spring is captive by the top undermount and the lower flange that is welded to the strut. You need to remove the strut with the spring still mounted and compressed. After you have it out you can remove the nut that holds the undermount on and the undermount and the spring can be disassembled. If you have the strut off you can strategically place two tires in the right place to keep everything from flying apart if you don't want to use a spring compressor. Wear safety goggles unless you want to become a pirate.

tknospdr
07-17-2014, 09:04 PM
How difficult to install the Chrome fuel door ?
I like to purchase it in the near future.

It was really easy. Took about 15 minutes 'cause of the screws with machine thread on them.

Tweak
07-17-2014, 09:27 PM
Wear safety goggles unless you want to become a pirate.

Pirates are cool though. ;)

lammie200
07-18-2014, 11:58 AM
Pirates are cool though. ;)

Only to other pirates though :)

Tweak
07-19-2014, 12:13 AM
Only to other pirates though :)

You might have a valid point...but...women seem to love both pirates and vampires a lot if the movies out there are to be believed...haha. :D