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View Full Version : Suring up turns in a 500T?



Jim500T
03-30-2017, 05:42 PM
Hello,

Been enjoying my 2015 500 Turbo that I bought a several weeks ago (enjoying this forum, too).
I come from riding motorcycles and I guess that I drive a little quick on the twisty roads. I notice on some turns that the back end feels a little like it might slide out as I'm going though the apex of the corner. A good bit of body roll, too. Body roll is not my main concern, however.

What would be your recommendation for making the car feel like it has a better grab on the road?

I see a lot of the mods out there and it is tempting, (a lot of $$$, too) but I feel like keeping things pretty close to stock as I'm really happy with the car. Little mods here and there are more in my ballpark.

Maybe break this into two options that would help me think about it from different cost and result perspectives.
1. what is one mod and the best thing that I can do to the rear end of the car to be better planted in corners, something that would actually improve the handling of the car.

and,
2. what would be the few things that together would be the recipe for really sorting out the car handling wise?

I don't need to mod it for looks. It is a 2015 so the butt is still a little high, but in the city I don't mind it because of the smoother ride, something I would like to keep actually. Tires are 16.

Thanks for your ideas.

Southernroadrunner
03-30-2017, 09:48 PM
Change springs and add the bigger stabilizer bar

ice445
03-31-2017, 04:17 AM
Remove the rake with some Neu-F or Madness lowering springs, and replace the rear torsion bar with a thicker one. The Neu-F one is particularly popular. You can also install a rear brace bar in the cargo area for extra rigidity if you do all of that and still want some more tightness. You'll get to the point where you can dogleg the car in tight corners and not feel like you're losing control.

As for the mod that will give you the best bang for your buck? An upgraded torsion bar for sure. I'm actually not sure how the mount is setup on the 500T though. You might have to dig to find a torsion bar that will work. I'm sure other owners can chime in.

Jerseyboy
03-31-2017, 05:49 AM
The back of the T does not have an anti-sway bar. To better plant the car on twisties you need to install an 'ST Anti-Sway Bar'. This will lessen roll and make the T more planted. The next suspension upgrade you need is 'Verticle Frame Braces' in the front, which will also make a noticeable difference. With a T, these are the first two suspension upgrades that NEED to be done before any other !!!

Jim500T
03-31-2017, 11:26 AM
The back of the T does not have an anti-sway bar. To better plant the car on twisties you need to install an 'ST Anti-Sway Bar'. This will lessen roll and make the T more planted. The next suspension upgrade you need is 'Verticle Frame Braces' in the front, which will also make a noticeable difference. With a T, these are the first two suspension upgrades that NEED to be done before any other !!!

Looks like this is a pretty good bet for starters,
https://www.amazon.com/ST-Suspension-51600-Rear-Anti-Sway/dp/B00IGWWCCS

Jim500T
03-31-2017, 12:04 PM
Want follow up on the ST bar that I linked to in the previous post.
Found this bar, too,
https://roadracemotorsports.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_174_178&products_id=2069&zenid=i7sovku1h4fdh9mk95upemotg6

and am thinking that it might be a good option as well.
Wondering if anyone has an opinion of better or worse between these two bars. I assume they are both good, but it is nice to have you all look over my shoulder.

Robert Nixon
03-31-2017, 12:29 PM
I added a rear bar on my Abarth, so I think that helps. It takes a LOT of serious work to make it spin.

Seriously, I'm thinking that better tires would make a difference too.

If you're driving aggressively enough to spin a FIAT on the street, then you need to do something or just back off a hair, or take it to a track or autocross.

Jerseyboy
03-31-2017, 02:09 PM
Want follow up on the ST bar that I linked to in the previous post.
Found this bar, too,
https://roadracemotorsports.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_174_178&products_id=2069&zenid=i7sovku1h4fdh9mk95upemotg6

and am thinking that it might be a good option as well.
Wondering if anyone has an opinion of better or worse between these two bars. I assume they are both good, but it is nice to have you all look over my shoulder.

I believe either would be a good choice. The RRM is probably better but I have no personal knowledge. I do know that the ST HAS WORKED WELL FOR ME AND THE SHAPE GIVES YOU MORE CLEARANCE IN THE REAR.

Fabio13
03-31-2017, 06:55 PM
I have the rear STS Sway bar on my Sport and love that it looks factory in that it is tucked up away from the road in an elegant design and works great and the powder coating matched my car pretty nice. Cost was $175 ish.

pizzamann95
03-31-2017, 09:42 PM
I drive a 13 500T. I changed the rear springs with H&R sport springs and added the RRM chasis braces to the front. The car handles a lot better now. I have also switched from the 195/45/16 Continental Pro Contact to 205/45/16 BF Goodrich which makes the car feel more planted. I've been looking at the ST rear sway bar, too. Right now the car handles great. I took it out on the Dragon today and it performed admirably.

ice445
04-01-2017, 12:51 AM
The back of the T does not have an anti-sway bar. To better plant the car on twisties you need to install an 'ST Anti-Sway Bar'. This will lessen roll and make the T more planted. The next suspension upgrade you need is 'Verticle Frame Braces' in the front, which will also make a noticeable difference. With a T, these are the first two suspension upgrades that NEED to be done before any other !!! Ah, duh. I thought it did for some reason. My bad.

Ducman69
04-01-2017, 02:16 AM
Tires, tires, tires.

No one ever considers it, and it is IMO without a doubt the number one thing you can do to improve the handling of your vehicle.

OEM tires are 195/45/16 Contiprocontact all seasons, and yeah, they aren't great. Upgrade to 205/45/16 Extremecontact Sports (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+Sport&partnum=045WR6ECS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes), and your car will outturn, outbrake, and out accelerate someone on even the most expensive suspension running the OEM tires.

Also, don't be tempted to "fix" the natural rake the car has. A lot of people do that for aesthetics, as they don't like how it looks, but the engineers didn't do that by accident and inadvertently put on the wrong height springs, they did it because it improves performance. For styling/packaging reasons, the 500 has a massive low pressure area behind the hatch and its very short, so to compensate the car has quite a bit of positive rake to create downforce so it doesn't feel as squirrely at high speed:
http://www.buildyourownracecar.com/race-car-aerodynamics-basics-and-design/2/

26200

tl;dr: start with tires first, then if not satisfied, change the suspension.

Ducman69
04-01-2017, 02:42 AM
Ah, duh. I thought it did for some reason. My bad.
You're both right. It doesn't have an additional anti-swaybar, but it does have a swaybar technically because its a twist-beam rear axle suspension. What is a twist beam? Yup, pretty much the same thing as what a swaybar does.

So you already have a rear swaybar, but adding another one will effectively make the swaybar stronger/thicker. Downside is the thicker you may the rear axle, the less independent the quasi-independent rear suspension is. If you're on a race track, big woop, its going to be smooth so flatten it out. On the street though, at least in Houston, the roads suck and so its good to have a bit more independent compliance from the suspension in turns IMO.

Jim500T
04-01-2017, 02:47 PM
You're both right. It doesn't have an additional anti-swaybar, but it does have a swaybar technically because its a twist-beam rear axle suspension. What is a twist beam? Yup, pretty much the same thing as what a swaybar does.

So you already have a rear swaybar, but adding another one will effectively make the swaybar stronger/thicker. Downside is the thicker you may the rear axle, the less independent the quasi-independent rear suspension is. If you're on a race track, big woop, its going to be smooth so flatten it out. On the street though, at least in Houston, the roads suck and so its good to have a bit more independent compliance from the suspension in turns IMO.

Does the Abarth have the same twist beam axel?

Jerseyboy
04-01-2017, 05:39 PM
The Abarth and T both have that twist beam rear. The Abarth has an anti-sway bar (or whatever you want to call it) but the T does not. When that extra bar is added to the rear, the T has much less body roll.

MJAB
04-01-2017, 06:46 PM
After the tyres, as Ducman69 suggested going from all seasons to summer tyres (You can use the all seasons in winter, so You don't waste too much money), I would get a better pair of rear shock absorber.

ice445
04-01-2017, 09:43 PM
You're both right. It doesn't have an additional anti-swaybar, but it does have a swaybar technically because its a twist-beam rear axle suspension. What is a twist beam? Yup, pretty much the same thing as what a swaybar does.

So you already have a rear swaybar, but adding another one will effectively make the swaybar stronger/thicker. Downside is the thicker you may the rear axle, the less independent the quasi-independent rear suspension is. If you're on a race track, big woop, its going to be smooth so flatten it out. On the street though, at least in Houston, the roads suck and so its good to have a bit more independent compliance from the suspension in turns IMO.



The Abarth and T both have that twist beam rear. The Abarth has an anti-sway bar (or whatever you want to call it) but the T does not. When that extra bar is added to the rear, the T has much less body roll.

The Abarth has a torsion bar. It essentially increases the force required for the axle to twist independently of the other side, as Ducman pointed out. I thought the 500T had one as well, but I've been corrected. Are the brackets for a torsion bar easy to fit to a T?

Jim500T
04-01-2017, 10:39 PM
The Abarth has a torsion bar. It essentially increases the force required for the axle to twist independently of the other side, as Ducman pointed out. I thought the 500T had one as well, but I've been corrected. Are the brackets for a torsion bar easy to fit to a T?

From what I can tell form the two kits linked to in this thread, the brackets come with two holes.
One meets up with a hole that is there from the factory on the 500 Turbo. The second hole requires the installer to drill a new hole to line up with the brackets hole so you can put the other bolt through.

This video shows the installation,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXd1VpgN_Q0

Does not look too hard, but one need a set of jack stands, and a jack of course.

Ducman69
04-01-2017, 11:25 PM
After the tyres, as Ducman69 suggested going from all seasons to summer tyres (You can use the all seasons in winter, so You don't waste too much money), I would get a better pair of rear shock absorber.
I'm in Houston, so I am not quite sure what "winter" is, but yeah you can't use summer tires in very cold temps as it can even damage the tire, but if above the snow belt I wouldn't even use the all seasons in the winter and would just advertise them online for sale and get a second set of wheels (whatever is cheap and fits, even if it has a bit of curb rash).

For my sis up in NY, we had two sets of wheels for her. Dedicated winter tires (blizzaks) for the winter on cheapo smaller wheels with more sidewall just big enough to clear the SRT4's brakes, and then dedicated summer tires/wheels for when the ice was gone. I really hate all-seasons, as they do nothing well and are quite often very hard for maximum tire life, at the sacrifice of performance.

Its like having a F-16 and B-52 vs say an F-35 where despite being so expensive its not a quick or capable a dedicated fighter as the F-16 nor can drop the amount of payload as a B-52. Jack of all trades, master of none.

opiateESP
04-02-2017, 01:09 AM
One of the best (and can be done for CHEAP) is get a take off suspension from an Abarth. Once upon a time I was gifted Abarth struts from the local Fiat club garage. The difference was far more apparent than I'd anticipated.

Jim500T
04-02-2017, 08:12 PM
Just the back struts, or springs, too?
Front as well?

MJAB
04-02-2017, 10:14 PM
In my opinion You can, after tyres, start with rear shock absorbers not changing the spring.
Since You arrive from motorbikes, even better adjustable ones (for example Koni Sport adjustable shock absorbers) so You can experiment with different settings.

As Ducman69 wrote, the first to change are the tyres, that will give You the biggest improvement.

After You could also change the front ones too.

Jim500T
04-26-2017, 07:05 PM
Tires, tires, tires.

No one ever considers it, and it is IMO without a doubt the number one thing you can do to improve the handling of your vehicle.

OEM tires are 195/45/16 Contiprocontact all seasons, and yeah, they aren't great. Upgrade to 205/45/16 Extremecontact Sports (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+Sport&partnum=045WR6ECS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes), and your car will outturn, outbrake, and out accelerate someone on even the most expensive suspension running the OEM tires.

Also, don't be tempted to "fix" the natural rake the car has. A lot of people do that for aesthetics, as they don't like how it looks, but the engineers didn't do that by accident and inadvertently put on the wrong height springs, they did it because it improves performance. For styling/packaging reasons, the 500 has a massive low pressure area behind the hatch and its very short, so to compensate the car has quite a bit of positive rake to create downforce so it doesn't feel as squirrely at high speed:
http://www.buildyourownracecar.com/race-car-aerodynamics-basics-and-design/2/

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26200&stc=1

tl;dr: start with tires first, then if not satisfied, change the suspension.

My turbo came with

https://www.tirerack.com/images/tires/pirelli/logo_pirelli.gif (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/pirelli/pirelli-tires.jsp) Cinturato P7 All Seasons.


https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Pirelli&tireModel=Cinturato+P7+All+Season

The reviews don't sound awesome, but maybe it is a better tire then the Contiprocontact.
I wonder still if it is worth the upgrade.

Coop720
09-30-2018, 12:44 PM
Two biggest differences for me was the addition of the RRM Rear Sway Bar and tires. If you combine it with a more aggressive camber set-up you can really feel the difference. From there you get hooked and want to switch out the suspension. I went coil overs, but I also track the car.

pizzamann95
10-03-2018, 10:46 PM
I love when an old thread resurfaces. Since then,I have added the ST rear sway bar. I choose it because it tucks under the rear axle giving a little more clearance the what the RRM bar. With all the other suspension components I have switched out, it handles great. I did put Federal 595-SS tires on, but after driving on them for a few months, I miss the BFG Sport Comp-2 tires I had before.

mfz
11-27-2018, 12:04 AM
I can vouch that the ST rear bar is a good investment. I installed mine before the Spring fiat on the dragon run this year and I felt a noticeable difference. I recently ordered the El Gato Chassis braced and am looking to lowering springs/shocks next. Im also not looking for looks, Im just looking to make it corner as best as possible with stock turbo power. I had to drill holes to install the ST on the Turbo. If you have the right tools, its a simple install.