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View Full Version : Abarth spare tire Mod! The inconvenient convenance



jwgrigio
03-28-2014, 08:44 PM
One of the biggest problem with the Abarth is the lack of a spare. This is a way to fix it. There are a few drawbacks with this mod. First, it cost about $600. Second, The car can not be lowered. Third, the spare only fits on the back. Lastly, The spare has to be mostly flat. If you are ok with this here we go.

Order a spare tire kit. There was a mid year change in this p/n. If your car was built after march 2013 as mine was you will need p/n 82213997
Order a diffuser for a 500 turbo model if you want a clean look. The p/ns listed on most sites is wrong. The correct one is 68172241AA
Order a 10mm or greater wheel spacer

Remove stock exhaust and diffuser. Fit spare tire kit and new diffuser. (note. spare tire not mounted on rim, mounted by hand with couple prybars) I cut a small 2x4 and added a flat piece to it in order to shim tire up and away from the torsion bar.

The tire must be deflated because the tire has about the same clearance till it contacts the torsion bar as the bump stop have and the tire puts some pressure on the evap emissions box. The rim only contacts the mount and the piece of wood. I have not noticed any vibration or contact yet but I just cut half a coil out (zonker's mod) to level the height so we will see. The drive to the dragon next week will tell.

Take car to exhaust shop to modify the dual into a single outlet. I added a magnaflow tip but could reuse stock one. Shop charged $50

The spare will only fit on back and only with a 10mm or greater spacer.

Now god forbid you actually need to use it. Here are the steps to change the to a spare if you gash a front sidewall and can't plug it with the plugs you carry around ;) and the goop don't work

1) remove spare and inflate it
2) loosen lugs on front and back of side in question
3) jack car from front jack position till both front and rear tires are aloft.
4) remove wheels, move rear to front.
5) find religion when pump actually inflates spare
6) install spare
7) lower and torque wheels
8) decide what to leave behind so you can fit the flat in the car
9) raise the spare hoist.
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NGEN
03-28-2014, 09:00 PM
Very clever. Did you actually drive with the spare on to make sure there are no issues with the rear brakes (calipers look really close). If so and you are clear, this should be a sticky.

DIVSAbarth500
03-28-2014, 09:17 PM
I know it isn't the point of this thread but the single tip looks awesome!! Good idea on the spare also.

jwgrigio
03-28-2014, 09:23 PM
Very clever. Did you actually drive with the spare on to make sure there are no issues with the rear brakes (calipers look really close). If so and you are clear, this should be a sticky.

I didn't drive it but did tighten and spin tested it. There is about 5mm between rim and torsion bar mount.

catman2130093
03-29-2014, 12:10 AM
after all that and it only fits the rear tires? Why bother?

Daytona 500
03-29-2014, 09:09 AM
after all that and it only fits the rear tires? Why bother?
Self help brother. Cut a side wall some where with no cell service and "presto" you will be good to go.

O P, thanks for the write up and pics !

jwgrigio
03-29-2014, 11:38 AM
Thanks Daytona. That is exactly why I did and also for all the suckers like me who convinced their wife that the Abarth is practical. We move all over the world every couple of years and I don't always know the native tongue, so every bit of self reliance helps.

I know your saying then, Why buy a Chrysler and its not even a world model? Because I love the lil noise maker. By far the most fun car I've had and I've had at least 20 or so ( lots of mopar, unfortunately). It's more fun than half the motorcycles I've ridden and owned. It kind of reminds me of my buddy's Ducati Hypermotard but with a roof and none of the ridiculous dry clutch noise.

theporschephile
03-29-2014, 04:52 PM
If the front blows out you can always move the rear to the front, and put this on the rear. it's more work, but probably better than that fix-a-flat crap

MADNESSMark
08-11-2014, 08:01 PM
That's a great idea. Good work!

jwgrigio
08-11-2014, 08:55 PM
If I had to do it over I would just strap a spare in the back so I could lower it a little more. Plus the cost was a little high just to have a spare, could have bought a FMIC instead. I haven't noticed any driveability problems as of yet but can see scuffs where spare has contacted the sway bar. Could just be from LS adding air to the spare during last service.

I will enjoy the peace of mind of a spare when I drive down to Taroko Gorge Road this weekend. http://www.dangerousroads.org/asia/taiwan/70-taroko-gorge-road-taiwan.html.

Thunderbolt
08-11-2014, 11:01 PM
Okay, kudos to you for doing this and posting it.

But that's a lot of work, and I'm lazy, and I wouldn't want to spend that much just to get a space-saver spare (and lose my dual-outlet exhaust). I bought a used set of (4) hyper-blacks with TPMS sensors and 3000km on the tires for Cdn$900, and tossed one of them in the back. The disadvantages are you have to keep the rear seats folded down, and it takes up a bit of cargo space. Or you could toss one of your winters back there.

Yes, I paid more, but I think the value is better. lol

Anyways, this is a great topic. All cars should have a spare tire, jack, wrench, and plug kit.

Purgatory
08-11-2014, 11:46 PM
Seems like an incredibly complex solution to carry a spare. If you are that concerned, why not give up some storage space, and simply carry an inflated spare tire/rim in the rear of the car?. To go through all those steps, as you outlined, seems way too much. Your idea itself, is clever and thinks way outside the box, give you credit for that part.

jwgrigio
08-12-2014, 01:33 AM
Well it worked out for my needs and having storage room is nice. I wouldn't suggest anyone else doing it for the previously mentioned complexity, cost, and availability of roadside assistance options. I really need to be as self reliant as possible living where I don't speak the language. If my sales guy would have been knowledgeable and not told me I could easily add a spare tire kit I would have probably bought a different car. In the end I am glad I got the Abarth despite its shortcomings.

Wish they could have just had room to store the spare under the floor like the euro models. Damn crash standards and fiat's halfassery in engineering solutions for them. Wouldn't it be nice to have a 6 speed and a spare like the rest of the world.

Purgatory
08-12-2014, 01:48 AM
Well it worked out for my needs and having storage room is nice. I wouldn't suggest anyone else doing it for the previously mentioned complexity, cost, and availability of roadside assistance options. I really need to be as self reliant as possible living where I don't speak the language. If my sales guy would have been knowledgeable and not told me I could easily add a spare tire kit I would have probably bought a different car. In the end I am glad I got the Abarth despite its shortcomings.

Wish they could have just had room to store the spare under the floor like the euro models. Damn crash standards and fiat's halfassery in engineering solutions for them. Wouldn't it be nice to have a 6 speed and a spare like the rest of the world.

Agree on the missing spare part, would be happy to have even a mini-spare hidden away. You even get that with a Ford Fiesta, and they are pretty small as well. Happy with the gear spacing with the standard 5 speed. For my kind of driving, don't feel a need for an overdrive type 6th gear. Guess if I did lots of Interstate type driving, it would come in handy to save on gas a bit. Most of my driving is lots of short high spirited drives, running errands and such. For longer trips, that's what my wife's 500 Lounge with automatic is for. Just set it at 80 mph on cruise and sit back and enjoy the smoother ride and quietness.

B3NN3TT
08-12-2014, 01:04 PM
after all that and it only fits the rear tires? Why bother?

Late response, but you should always put space-saver spares on the rear of a FWD car anyway. The diameter difference from one side to the other is murder on your differential if you drive it for more than a few miles.