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Long Term Reliability/Maintenance with EC Phase 2 Tunes or any tunes
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Thread: Long Term Reliability/Maintenance with EC Phase 2 Tunes or any tunes

  1. #1
    Member Abarth500_John's Avatar
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    Long Term Reliability/Maintenance with EC Phase 2 Tunes or any tunes

    I currently have a 2018 Abarth 500 with just a bit over 7500 miles and I am about to pull the trigger on getting mods to fully support the EC Phase 2 tune. Given that this car is a daily driver for me, are there any negative effects in the long term as far as running this tune or any tune for that matter on this vehicle? Furthermore, what added maintenance will I need to perform in order to maintain the reliability of the car?

    I know that this is an open ended question so any assistance/advice you can provide as far as maintenance is concerned would be of great help. My goal is to keep the car for (10) years and hopefully, give the vehicle to my son once he turns 16 provided that he is responsible enough to handle it.

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    Senior Member sonicsdaman's Avatar
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    for the most part you just need to check all components your supposed to be checking more frequently keep in mind
    more power = more stress on all parts

    things to watch would be the turbo/bearing along with its oil level(should be checking anyway)
    brakes (ya know cause its faster than stock)
    sparkplugs and coils( once again more boom more stress)
    half shaft boots
    cat life( depending on tune)

    I'm sure I missed some stuff,
    2004 - Mazda Rx8 (Dorito powa)
    2012 - Fiat Abarth

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    Lifetime Member texanbrit's Avatar
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    I would say if you want to keep it for 10 years then dialing up the power is probably not the right way to go, unless you are prepared to spend the money on major surgery at some point (new engine, new transmission). Adding power in any way is going to increase the stress on components, shorten life expectancy and increase the risk of breakage.

    That said if you are going in eyes wide open then sonic's list is pretty good. The only thing I would add is become fanatical about oil changes. The multi-air lives and dies by the quality and consistency of the oil.

    The only additional maintenance that I would suggest is change the PCV and clean or replace the AOS at 30,000 miles (or 4 years or so), and replace the multi-air filter/screen at 50,000 miles (or 5 or 6 years).

    If you are beating hard on the car you should shorten other maintenance tasks accordingly, e.g. think about the timing belt at 100k instead of 150k.
    2013 500c Abarth - phase 3
    2012 500 Pop - daily

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    Member Abarth500_John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicsdaman View Post
    for the most part you just need to check all components your supposed to be checking more frequently keep in mind
    more power = more stress on all parts

    things to watch would be the turbo/bearing along with its oil level(should be checking anyway)
    brakes (ya know cause its faster than stock)
    sparkplugs and coils( once again more boom more stress)
    half shaft boots
    cat life( depending on tune)

    I'm sure I missed some stuff,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond and based on your feedback, I think it would be safe to do the factory maintenance with the mileage cut in half - i.e change the oil every 5K, spark plugs every 15K, etc. Are there any mods to get that are recommended other than what is specified for P2? I think the list I have here is a start:

    1. Turbosmart wastegate
    2. EC FMIC
    3. NGK spark plugs
    4. Forge BOV (atmospheric)
    5. PTP Turbo blanket
    6. Alfa Romeo 4C coils
    7. EC Tuning system

    I have a set of KW coilovers on order and should arrive sometime in July. Was thinking of getting a BBK but not sure if Wilwoods or Brembos would be the best option.

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    Member Abarth500_John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texanbrit View Post
    I would say if you want to keep it for 10 years then dialing up the power is probably not the right way to go, unless you are prepared to spend the money on major surgery at some point (new engine, new transmission). Adding power in any way is going to increase the stress on components, shorten life expectancy and increase the risk of breakage.

    That said if you are going in eyes wide open then sonic's list is pretty good. The only thing I would add is become fanatical about oil changes. The multi-air lives and dies by the quality and consistency of the oil.

    The only additional maintenance that I would suggest is change the PCV and clean or replace the AOS at 30,000 miles (or 4 years or so), and replace the multi-air filter/screen at 50,000 miles (or 5 or 6 years).

    If you are beating hard on the car you should shorten other maintenance tasks accordingly, e.g. think about the timing belt at 100k instead of 150k.

    Thanks Texan much appreciated and looks like I missed your post prior to my response to Sonic. Maybe 10 years is a bit of a reach if it is tuned but I am looking at having some fun now and perhaps if I maintain it right, I can make it last. I don't really drive the car that hard now and put about 36 miles on it a day for a daily commute. Thanks again for your insight.

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    I've found fuel quality matters a ton. Even at 23 and 24psi boost levels, my car was having serious problems on any fuel other than Mobil. Took me a minute to figure this out as I thought it was an inconsistency in my tuning or related to intake temps. I run peak of 27psi now on Mobil 93 car is fast and safe. I know regional differences exist in fuel quality but keep it in mind. I was probably gonna end up blowing an engine on BP 93 octane at relatively low boost pressures. They may have a good additive package. But knock resistance is terrible. Further investigation it seems that many owners across the country in all types of vehicles report more timing, higher knock resistance from Mobil and shell fuels. Having grown up with a best friend who's father owns about 50 amaco/BP stations, I basically was raised to think BP was the best. He could give dozens of technical reasons why. But apparently knock resistance isnt one of them.

    This must be a common issue. I just thought multiair didnt like a lot of peak timing. After talking with a well known multiair tuner my timing seemed appropriate and inline with what cars leave his shop with. But I've found I can run 4 degrees more peak at 26psi than I could on 24 switching from BP to Mobil and car loves it. Timing under peak boost......its night and day. Car is so fast and responsive. Figuring this fuel thing out has completly changed my abarth.
    Last edited by Saponetta; 06-19-2019 at 10:28 AM.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    These fiat engines seem pretty strong if operated within their mechanical limits. My car has been thru some seriously scary moments during tuning. I just couldn't understand the inconsistency I was experiencing and thought I was having issues with my tuning or intake temps were too high now that weather is warm. My car has knocked so hard it was audible during boost onset several times and had lived to tell the tale with perfect compression, and no oil consumption. It gets tracked regularly. Boost pressures are at about the limits of pump fuels now. I'd say on stage 2 off the shell tuning, and good maintenance no reason to not expect a very long service life out of an abarth engine. Especially if you jist drive into the street. If you have one of the excessive oil use motors, maybe not. But overall, I'd say it's a durable little engine. Have owned "superior" engines that haven't been able to take the beating my multiair has. I've never pushed a car so hard on pump gas 93 before. I'm waaaaay more worried about diff and axles at this point.
    Last edited by Saponetta; 06-19-2019 at 10:37 AM.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

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  12. #8
    Member Abarth500_John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saponetta View Post
    These fiat engines seem pretty strong if operated within their mechanical limits. My car has been thru some seriously scary moments during tuning. I just couldn't understand the inconsistency I was experiencing and thought I was having issues with my tuning or intake temps were too high now that weather is warm. My car has knocked so hard it was audible during boost onset several times and had lived to tell the tale with perfect compression, and no oil consumption. It gets tracked regularly. Boost pressures are at about the limits of pump fuels now. I'd say on stage 2 off the shell tuning, and good maintenance no reason to not expect a very long service life out of an abarth engine. Especially if you jist drive into the street. If you have one of the excessive oil use motors, maybe not. But overall, I'd say it's a durable little engine. Have owned "superior" engines that haven't been able to take the beating my multiair has. I've never pushed a car so hard on pump gas before. I'm waaaaay more worried about diff and axles at this point.

    Saponetta - Thank you for taking the time to respond - much appreciated! I have received most of the parts I need to complete EC's P2 tune (still waiting on forge bov) and currently just have the EC 4.1 intake, new plugs, and 4C coils installed as of now running the 695TF tune. Car currently has 8,100 miles and the stock plugs were good and oil free which I assume is a good thing since others have seen an oily plug or two. As far as the oil is concerned, I think I may have lucked out as the engine is not burning/losing oil and never had to add any. I normally fill up with Shell V-Power 91 gas since the station is on my way to work.

    As soon as the Forge BOV shows up, I will get the EC intercooler/Forge BOV installed, change the oil (2nd oil change on the car) and flash P2. I'm hoping the BOV will arrive this week and the car is pretty fun with the 695TF tune. I may load P0 on this afternoon just to hold me over to see how I like that tune. Overall, this is a pretty fun car -especially when it's tuned with supporting mods.

  13. #9
    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    Best advice I can give is get a logger that displays knock, timing, throttle. Lambda and lambda target are nice too but probably not essential since.you cant tune EC yourself. But not all of the loggers display all those pids.
    The alientech powergate flasher that tork and openflash sell does. And they're is a alfa logger that does that's like only 100 bucks. Even on an off the shelf map, my fueling habits were resulting in the ECU fighting the tune to keep motor safe. But I would verify, especially if you feel uneven power production or loss of power that your car isnt detuning due to knock. Shell I found is great fuel. Mobil is probably the best. I always had used BP on reputation. No actual evidence to back it. I know that regional and seasonal fuel quality can vary. It may not apply to you. But I think, for an barth owner wanting maximum performance and durability, it's worth verifying your tune likes the fuel your using. I really cant putninto words the difference I have since I have started using Mobil 93 exclusively. Before I had a mix of fuel or basically straight BP 93 in it and my car saw dangerous conditions on only 24psi. It played with tune over and over thinking it was my tuning, loaded of the shelf maps, played with until I decided to research and try a different fuel to verify fuel quality. My abarth was constantly closing throttle on bp93 and lowering boost down to 19 or 20psi. During the onset of boost, I was knocking sometimes. A few times audibly even. The ecu cant respond fast enough. It's like a new car on Mobil 93.
    Last edited by Saponetta; 06-19-2019 at 11:04 AM.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

  14. #10
    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    Also, jist my opinion, but it's based of my hands.on experiences, I would not run an air filter under hood. Maybe one of the fully enclosed systems like EC v4 isnt bad. But I gotta think that filter assembly they use is just baking under the hood. But there is a lot to gain relocating airfilter to cowl or front bumper. Also, I wouldnt use the ec cheap ass fmic. Lots of power and reliability to be gained from using a quality core like atm, bell, spearco, Garrett, amytjing but cheap Ebay like they use. I've had the exact same intercooler setup I have now with a cheap core and a bell. Big difference in performance and temps. I was unknowingly at the time attributing problems.to airtemps instead of knock resistance of fuel. But in the end, I think my systematic approach to analyzing and dropping air temps left me with a better, safer, faster car regardless. The way I see it, I camt be the only person who has experienced these issues. Many abarth owners are just getting only 80% of their cats potential and dont even know it. Some maybe even have seriously unsafe conditions and dont know it. I'm not talking lambda, but air temps and knock issues.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

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