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OWNER: Fianerra - 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth - Nero
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Thread: OWNER: Fianerra - 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth - Nero

  1. #1
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    Oct 2017
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    OWNER: Fianerra - 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth - Nero

    I haven't really put much mod effort into any car before, so this should be a good learning experience for me.

    I have a 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth - Nero, heated seats, navigation, sunroof, red stripes.

    No mods currently, but I'm planning on the doing the following:
    1. Audio upgrade (thanks @Exel for the car audio bug)
      I'll be installing the following components:
      amplifier: JL HD900/5
      front speakers: Morel Hyrbid 602 component set
      amplifier power wire: KnuKonceptz Kolossus 4 Gauge OFC amlpifier installation kit
      front speaker wire: KnuKonceptz Kord Kable 16 Gauge Copper Speaker Wire
      sound deadening: Second Skin Damplifier Pro Door Pack Butyl Sound Deadener
      factory amp bypass connector: Modified SCOSCHE CR04B (Courtesy of user CorsaStrada from the other fiat500 forum; pics to follow)

      I will run the front components passively. The factory rear speakers will be un-touched and will be wired to the new amp.
    2. EURODRIVE BUILD... thinking Pops and Bangs and at least Phase 1

  2. #2
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    Here's a photo dump of the car audio install so far:

    Was originally going for the Morel Tempo Ultra 602s, but the audio gods had something else in mind for me:

    A big decision point was the amplifier. Thanks to Exel, I had quite a bit of a battle choosing between Alpine PDX-V9 and the JL HD900/5. Most likely I wouldn't be able to hear a difference, so the tipping point in favor of the JL HD900/5 was I wanted to try something different. Definitely more expensive, we'll see if it is worth it in the end.

    Test fitting my front component adapter ring. I made it out of a 3/4" thick PVC sheet from Lowe's, I believe it was a 9" wide by 8' long sheet for $40 or so. Way more than enough for two speaker adapter rings. I cut it using a jig saw... not too shabby for my first ring:

    Here's a pic of the god awful orange clip from the a-panel trim... maybe I can NOT break it:

    It was a valiant effort, but alas... I broke it:

    Here's a close-up pic of the factory tweeter mounting location. The stock tweeter's face is pressed against the flat plastic shown here. The infamous tweeter mod found on this site involves removal of the flat plastic to allow the tweeter to have a much better sound apparently. I'm not using the stock tweeters, and I'm most likely not using the stock mounting location either. This pictures is just for reference:

    Here's a pic of the stock tweeter on the left and the morel hybrid tweeter on the right. Not much bigger, but it sounded amazing in store. NOTE: I'm not lifting it up off the table, just holding it in place due to how the electrical leads are mounted on the rear of the tweeter:

    Here's the rear of the tweeter... Morel MT 230 for those that don't want to turn their heads:

    Second Skin Damplifier Pro:
    I was originally not going to bother with any sound deadening, but after obsessively researching car audio ( and YouTube, FTW!) I decided to bite the bullet and go with it. I bought a pack of this stuff (8 sheets; 13.5 sqft total) from amazon for $90ish and covered both the driver and passenger insides of the outside door panels with 2 or 3 sheets remaining. Result? Unbelievable. Doing the knock-on-door vs knock-on-rear-panel test shows just how much deadening is accomplished by just a few sheets. Taking a drive on the highway is also a night and day difference. I haven't done the rear quarter panels yet, but I will most likely do so once I get some more.

    car audio build is still in work
    Last edited by problem_417; 03-18-2018 at 07:36 PM. Reason: tested photo... now adding all photos.

  3. #3
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    More pics:

    Passenger side rear quarter panel. This pic is to show the nice, bare sheet metal. This thing needs some Second Skin! I'm going to leave the rear speakers alone for this build. Apparently, I do not need them anyway as they will just kill my front stage? I did a test run and faded all the way forward and the stock system actually sounded MUCH better. Maybe it was because more power was being fed to the front, but that was all I needed to know that I don't really need the rears.

    Here's a pic of the factory amp mounting location secured by 3 bolts protruding from the body. Note the white tape'd wire bundle, I haven't verified this, but this is most likely the factory harness for the factory beats subwoofer coiled up and stored away because my car didn't come with beats audio:

    What is this black box in the upper right corner?!

    Close-up pic of the magic black box. It has some connectors hooked up to it, but I still have no idea what it does and haven't done much research on it:

    This pic shows the factory amp ground lug location:

    I haven't decided where I'm going to put my amp yet... most likely I'll keep it in the factory location, just not sure where I'm going to ground it yet. Here's a closer look at the factory ground lug location:

    Note the 3 bolts protruding from the side, this is where the beats sub mounts to:

    When removing the mid and rear trim panels, I ended up breaking a lot of these rear trim panel clips. I bought these replacements from EUROCOMPULSION for $5ish/bag plus tax and shipping... $17 in total for 8 pieces:

    Here's a pic of the two connectors going to the factory amp:

    Test fitting the amp bypass connector, SCOSCHE CR04B is the component on the right - purchased from amazon. Metra 70-6522 could be used, too. They both "work". I say "works" because you can clearly see that the white plug will not fit into the gray adapter unless one of them is modified. I chose to modify the gray part. Thanks to user CorsaStrada from the other fiat forum for finding this plug:

    Some lines I drew prior to cutting:

    And here is the finished product! I don't dremel (as seen in the pics), but it does the job allowing me to bypass the factory amp and go right to the new one!

    I had to modify the amp bypass connector to move pins to the right location. Pin functions were taken from here:

    The factory amp has two connectors, labeled C1 and C2 on the wiring diagram. One would think that connector C1 is for all the inputs TO the amp and connector C2 is for all the outputs FROM the amp to the speakers. In reality, connector C1 has all the signals to the amp one would expect - power, ground, radio signals to amp. BUt it also contains the amp-to-tweeter speaker lines! HUH?! Anyway, I will not be using these pins, as I'll be driving my tweeters via the passive crossovers included with the Morel Hybrid 602 set.

    Top row:
    Signals TO amp: Power, Ground, Right Rear, Right Front, Left Rear, Left Front
    Signals FROM amp: Left Tweeter, Right Tweeter
    Top Row:
    1 Black (Ground)
    2 n/a
    3 red w/ yellow stripe (Ignition run / ACC Signal)
    4 orange w/ blue stripe (Left Rear Speaker +)
    5 green w/ red stripe (Right Rear Speaker +)
    6 yellow w/ blue stripe (Radio Left Front Audio +)
    7 purple (Radio Right Front Audio +)
    8 brown w/ yellow stripe (Amplified Right I/P Speaker - ... to tweeter?! why is this not in connector 2?!)
    9 white w/ green stripe (Amplified Left I/P Speaker - ... to tweeter?! why is this not in connector 2?!)
    10 n/a
    11 n/a
    12 red w/ white stripe (Power)

    Bottom Row:
    13 n/a
    14 n/a
    15 orange w/ blue stripe (Left Rear Speaker +)
    16 green w/ white stripe (Right Rear Speaker -)
    17 yellow w/ green stripe (Radio Left Front Audio -)
    18 purple w/ white stripe (Radio Right Front Audio -)
    19 brown w/ red stripe (Amplified Right Tweeter + ... to tweeter?! why is this not in connector 2?!)
    20 white w/ blue stripe (Amplified Left Tweeter + ... to tweeter?! why is this not in connector 2?!)
    21 n/a
    22 n/a

    Here's a pic of the re-pinned amp bypass connector. I removed the pins with a small flat head screw driver typically found in eye glass repair kits. Top row left is pin 1, top row right is pin 12. Bottm row left is pin 13. You can see that I did not fill in pins 8, 9, 19, and 20 (these are the tweeter +/- pins):

    Next step is routing the power wire. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to this until next weekend, but I'm thinking of routing the power wire below the center area under the carpet. I think that requires me to remove the driver's seat... that should be fun as I haven't found a guide yet on how to do this. Til next week!

  4. #4
    Exel's Avatar
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    Super excited to see more pictures!

    Looks great so far. I was lucky enough to not break that damn orange clip!

  5. #5
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    Oct 2017
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    More pics will be coming soon! Hopefully I'll have it all put back together this weekend. I can't believe you didn't break the orange clip - that is miraculous!

  6. #6
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    Oct 2017
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    A little late... but better late than never. More pics of the audio build!

    This is the power wire right behind the gas pedal. I wasn’t able to see it until after I removed the deadening carpet. I attempted to put a slit in the rubber grommet that was there to help protect the wire from the sharp edges of the circle cutout, but the rubber grommet got torn to pieces when attempting to cut it. Solution? Gorilla tape!

    Power wire fed thru from driver's side foot well:

    Wrapped the power wire in the Knukonceptz included wire loom. It looks somewhat professional! Test fitting the harness routing. Decided to leave the fuse on top of the battery for easy access.

    Routing the passenger tweeter speaker wire. Had to remove the panel under the glove box to fish the speaker wire through.

    Routing speaker wires on drivers side and the JL HD900/5 remote bass control knob to the ESC button panel area. I don’t have a sub yet, most likely will get the JL Stealthbox for FIAT. Routing the RBC so I don’t have to remove all the panels again.

    More wire routing...

    Here is the power wire routed along side the drivers door. I tried to keep it as far away from the speaker wires as possible... hopefully there will be no power wire induced interference...

    First time using the Temco Hammer Lug Crimping tool... this thing works great! And it looks like the Smash symbol!

    Final route of the power wire fuse!

    I decided to use the factory amp mounting plate with some Velcro. Thanks for the idea, Exel!

    Drivers side woofer mounted. I taped away the factory woofer speaker connector to prevent rattles.

    Here’s a close up pic of splicing into one of the rear speakers. I don’t have a soldering gun so did the whole... strip, twist, zip tie thing... ghetto for sure, but the connection is solid enough.

    Here’s the rats nest of wires for now. Until I get the sound dialed in, I’ll leave the crossovers taped to the boot floor. I eventually plan on placing them behind the trunk carpeted area somewhere.

    Most likely final install location of amp. Crossovers will remain there until sound is dialed in.

    passenger side tweeter temporarily mounted.

    driver's side tweeter temporarily mounted

    Tweeters don’t fit, so most likely will get a new a pillar trim panel fabricated to hold these in a different spot. They are held in place with velcro for now. I didn’t want to mount these flush with the trim panel frame as then the tweeters would be pointed directly to the passenger side a pillar and wouldn’t be good for the sound stage.
    Last edited by problem_417; 04-08-2018 at 01:18 PM. Reason: adding another pic

  7. #7
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    When I first fired the system up, it sounded like absolute garbage - the tweeters sounded way too bright; the woofer sounded way too muffled. I had my head unit equalizer originally all at zero settings on the low, mid, and highs. So I figured the head unit did not have a flat curve. What I did was dial the following settings: lows @+8, mids @+9, and highs @-7. This sounded better, but it still sounded like garbage. At this point, I figured that I could have the following problems:
    1. Woofer did not have good contact with the speaker wires. I just used crimp connections from the speaker wire to the speaker +/- terminals.
    2. Woofer needed breaking in.
    3. Door panel was not sealed well enough. I only sound deadened the outer door panel with the second skin damplifier pro, but I didn't seal off the big holes in the inner door panel; I just left the foam water barrier protective cover in place.
    4. Power wire was interfering with the head unit and/or speaker wire signals.
    5. Head unit truly is garbage and I need to get a better one with more frequency / gain control. i.e. What Exel suggested I should get.

    After a week of contemplating what could have gone bad (and dealing with the garbage sound), I went to my dad's house and we did a couple of measurements with his oscilloscope.
    • verified the head unit was passing low frequency signals to the amp
    • verified the amp was passing low frequencies to the crossover input
    • verified the woofer out signals at the crossover were passing low frequencies out to the speaker wire

    Doing the above at least verified that low frequencies weren't being lost in the path from my head unit to the amp to the crossover. Doing these tests also showed that the amp and crossover cleans up the signal a LOT! I was getting tons of noise when measuring just at the outputs of the OEM head unit... possibly due to the power wire, who knows. But when taking the measurements at the output of the crossover, the signal looked very clean. Conclusion, the power wire being routed close to the speaker and head unit signal wires do not affect the sound too much.

    The next step was to see if sealing the door would fix my garbage sound issue. Prior to sealing the door I decided to final-locate the amp (what's seen in the pictures in prior post) and the amp's 4 AWG ground wire literally fell out of the connector! I had the 4 AWG ground wire in a ferrule and apparently I was just tightening down on the ferrule itself and NOT the ferrule and 4 AWG wire! After installing a new ferrule onto the wire and re-tightening it back into the amp... it sounded like the speakers I heard at the store - amazing! What I could only presume was happening was that the woofers were just not getting enough power and the tweeters were getting the majority of the power. Since there was not much contact with the ferrule and the 4 AWG wire... low power to woofer is no good for woofer sound. After feeding these speakers the power they deserve (they could take up to 140W steady state; they are currently wired to only give them 100W), the muddiness went away AND I could put my equalizer to sensible settings - lows @+3, mids @+4, highs @-1.

    I still want more mid-bass / punch, but what I have is definitely MUCH better than stock. I want to do all I can to get mid-bass that is deeper / punchier still, with the last resorts being getting a sub and replacing the head unit. So, hopefully the below is all I have left on this project:
    1. Seal the doors with second skin damplifier pro
    2. Use FAST rings around the front of each woofer
    3. Get a pillar trim panels fabricated to hold tweeters in new location

  8. #8
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    I installed one of the FAST rings today to my passenger door. I'll leave the driver's door without the FAST ring to see which one I end up liking more throughout the next couple of weeks.

    While I continue mulling to buy or not to buy more audio gear, I decided to install my Eurocompulsion v2.1 Intake today. If you've installed intakes in the past, I imagine this wouldn't be too difficult for you. This was my first intake install and it took 3 hours to get installed.

    Christmas present from my family! Eurocompulsion is awesome!

    Before... blue circled pieces are the pieces that will be gone after the install.

    Cut off zip tie holding the hose to the air box cover.

    Loosened up clamp holding the factory intake to the air box (green circle at top) using 8mm socket wrench, clamp holding small vacuum line (green middle circle; picture doesn’t show this, but I moved the little clamp below the 90deg elbow) using pliers, and the clamp at the turbo inlet (green circle at bottom) using 8mm socket wrench.

    Zoomed out view of air box after being lifted off the knobs keeping it in place.

    To remove the air box, carefully pry up the front of it. It is just being held in place by these knobs. Two in the front and two in the back.

    Zoomed out view of right side knob holding the air box in place. Circled in green is again the hose that will be removed. The blue circled connection can just be pulled off; the red circled connection requires pliers to loosen the clamp to allow it to be pulled off.

    Circled in blue are the rear two knobs that hold the air box in place. You can see the ejector T unit at the top, with the black hose connected to the bottom of the unit.

    Removing the Evap sensor

    It uses a T20 bit. Two need to be removed.

    Plastic clip on the back of the air box housing holds the ejector T in place. Used a flat head screw driver to pry it open. The ejector T had a green colored gasket on the end of the connection that was pushed into the air box. This is the end that gets hooked up via hose to the new intake.

    Big evap hose (that came with the kit) cut with wire cutters.

    Test fitting the T connector with the Evap sensor. The hose seems unnecessarily long.

    T connector hooked up to both ends of the freshly cut Evap hose with the Evap sensor cable also hooked up. I had to trim the T connector some. I should probably cut it more.

    With the airbox cover re-installed, the only item that stands out now is the Evap connector wire. I couldn’t figure out how to route it well enough... for another day.

    Final product!

    How does it sound? Amazing! Has the turbo flutter, has the vrooooooom... pshhhhhh! I bought this strictly for the sounds and it is exactly what I hoped for!

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    Oli (12-01-2020)

  10. #9
    Lifetime Member texanbrit's Avatar
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    Looks so clean! Nice work
    2013 500c Abarth - NGEN Turbo
    2012 500 Pop - daily
    2014 500L - Family
    1971 850 Spider - Project

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  12. #10
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    One month of FAST ring on passenger side door update: Does not add to the sound very much.

    As a matter of fact, it muffles the passenger side speaker even more. The door panel already has "FAST" like rings that sounds like they do a much better job of focusing the sound of the woofers better, so I took them out.

    Also, I decided to redo my crimp connections on the woofers because I still felt like the woofers could sound better. I didn't have the right crimp tools, so I just used pliers to crimp down on the speaker wire connector. When I went to remove the previous crimp, I noticed I could move the wire in the crimp connector pretty easily. That is a big no-no from all I've read. So, I bought a soldering iron.

    Hakko FX888D-23BY, Thermaltronics TMT-TC-2 Lead Free Tip Tinner, and Mudder Lead Free Solder Wire 0.6mm

    Trial #1

    Still trial #1:

    Trial #2:

    Still trial #2:

    At this point it looks good enough for me! The first attempt I did not tin my tips very well, I was trying to heat up the copper speaker wire with the soldering iron on one side and cross my fingers that the copper would transfer enough heat to the other side of the copper wire where the lead free solder wire was. This didn't work very well at all as you can see by the splotchy solder job. I even had the soldering iron set to 850F! The second attempt I learned my lesson... Set soldering iron to 850F, dip soldering iron tip into tip tinner to cover entire tip, melt soldering iron tin on tip onto speaker wire, THEN with soldering iron on speaker wire, feed solder wire into joint. I'm guessing having the speaker wire and soldering iron tip pre-tinned helps these components hold onto heat longer, which allows the soldering wire to melt on to it easier. With this, I was able to create a much stronger feeling and looking connection.

    I didn't take any pics of the actual soldering work from the woofer speaker wires to the woofer. It definitely looked better than trial #2, though, and the connection felt solid - no loosely moving speaker wires on the speaker connector!

    At this point, I also used some left over Second Skin Damplifier Pro to seal up the pretty big holes behind the foam door pad. I've read that this can boost the punchiness of the woofers. I only had enough to cover the holes on one of my doors, which ended up being perfect for me so I could test this theory (each door needs 2 sheets to fully cover all the holes). I chose the driver's side door. After covering up all the holes with this stuff, mounting the speakers back onto the brackets, and putting the door panels back on, I fired up Zonderling's "Tunnel Vision (Don Diablo Edit)".

    Result: Mid-bass is much more punchy on my driver's side door than the passenger side door! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as I've read it many times that this helps mid-bass punchiness! But still, cool! Although, i'm not really sure which fix made it better... the soldering of the speaker wires or the sealing of the doors. But whatever, it sounds much better, and that's what matters. Keep in mind, this is all with the stock head unit. I have no external DSP and my amplifier only allows a high pass frequency of 50Hz to my Morels. These Morels go all the way down to 35Hz, so sadly I can't use them at that range and I don't want to turn the high pass frequency off to avoid damaging them (anything lower than 35Hz can cause over-extrusion of the cone, leading to mechanical damage). I've placed another order of Second Skin Damplifier Pro and will fix this punchy imbalance when I receive it.

    Audio work left to be done?
    - Seal passenger side door
    - A-Pillar Trim Panel Tweeter fabrication

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