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Working to correct a case of "Abarth Shudder"
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Thread: Working to correct a case of "Abarth Shudder"

  1. #1
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    Working to correct a case of "Abarth Shudder"

    My 2012 Abarth has developed a case of "Abarth Shudder" which is a subtle-but-unmistakable shaking feeling that is most noticeable when you spend time at around 3,000 RPM (like cruising in traffic on the highway).

    The shudder has a mild, smooth feeling. It isn't sharp or rough as if there loose parts or parts knocking together, and it seems to me that it's most obvious when I'm cruising along with the revs at around 3,000 and I begin giving the engine more throttle. There are plenty of times (different speeds and engine RPMs) where I can't feel the shudder at all (or I'm just not able to notice it).

    The question is: What the hell causes Abarth Shudder?

    My research has found people who were sure it was due to worn engine mounts (there are 3 engine mounts: the right side mount connects directly to the right-hand end of the engine, the transmission "saddle mount" which is directly on top of the transmission (under the battery box) and the torque link which is located underneath the engine, next to the exhaust pipe.

    Other people are sure the shudder comes from the right side drive shaft which consists of an intermediate shaft that that plugs directly into the transmission on one end with a "tripod joint" on the other end, and the intermediate shaft connects at the tripod joint to a constant velocity joint shaft to the right front wheel.

    And, finally, there are people who think it's caused by something much simpler, like a wheel/tire being out of balance.

    At this point I don't know which is true but I'm going to start by replacing the engine mounts. The car is 8 years old now, with 50,000 miles on it, so I figure why not do this and see what happens? I've watched a youtube video of a couple of guys replacing the engine mounts on a 2012 (or maybe it was a 2013) Abarth and they found 2 of the 3 mounts to be in pretty poor condition, so it just might be time to do this anyway (even if there was no shudder going on).

    If the replacing the engine mounts doesn't solve the shudder issue I'll probably have the wheels/tires looked at for condition and balance. If nothing is found there I'll go on to replacing the right hand drive shaft assembly.

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    Very systematic, awesome. Let us know how it goes.

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    ewflyer (01-15-2020)

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    Best of luck. At the very least you will know that the Abarth is good for another 50k

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    ewflyer (01-15-2020)

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    Senior Member smark's Avatar
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    Bad or torn engine mounts.


    I’ll put my money on a bad half shaft. That’s probably what your feeling. There’s a You Tube video on that. Something called, my cheap Abarth. Hoovie’s garage.

    Good Luck, on your issue.
    Last edited by smark; 01-15-2020 at 11:39 AM.

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    ewflyer (01-15-2020), Mangavideo (01-15-2020)

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    Thanks, I love this car so I'm not going to stop until I know why it shudders and how it can be fixed.

    I'm turning 55 soon and in my whole life I've never owned a car that I've enjoyed as much as this Abarth. It's been 8 great years of driving and I don't want it to end, the car is a keeper.

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    douglawrence42 (01-15-2020), Fiat500USA (01-19-2020), HalfPint (01-16-2020), mp4guy (01-16-2020), smark (01-15-2020)

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    Senior Member mp4guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewflyer View Post
    thanks, i love this car so i'm not going to stop until i know why it shudders and how it can be fixed.

    I'm turning 55 soon and in my whole life i've never owned a car that i've enjoyed as much as this abarth. It's been 8 great years of driving and i don't want it to end, the car is a keeper.

    preach!
    Phase 0, Neu-F Torque Bushing, Neu-F 28mm rear bar, Rear Koni Yellows, 4C coils, Craven Short Shifter, GFB-DV, El Gato Braces, Corsa Forza center brace

    Abarth & Co. Corse Marche 38/72 Torino Tel. 794.894

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    BayshoreBuddy (01-27-2020)

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    A small update on my "Abarth shudder" problem:

    I'm still waiting for parts to arrive via FedEx. Right now two packages are showing "out for delivery" so I'm watching Sunday football and waiting for the FedEx guy to ring the doorbell.

    While doing some research online I came across a YouTube video that perfectly describes my Abarth shudder problem. The mechanic is working on a Ford Focus of Fusion (I think) but his description of the symptoms and when they occur is spot-on.

    About this video: It's kinda amateurish, it's overly long, and the removing-and-replacing of the engine mount isn't edited for time so it drags on and on. The video is 35 minutes long but you only need to watch the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the video.

    Last edited by ewflyer; 01-19-2020 at 06:32 PM.

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    Senior Member HalfPint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewflyer View Post
    A small update on my "Abarth shudder" problem:

    I'm still waiting for parts to arrive via FedEx. Right now two packages are showing "out for delivery" so I'm watching Sunday football and waiting for the FedEx guy to ring the doorbell.

    While doing some research online I came across a YouTube video that perfectly describes my Abarth shudder problem. The mechanic is working on a Ford Focus of Fusion (I think) but his description of the symptoms and when they occur is spot-on.

    About this video: It's kinda amateurish, it's overly long, and the removing-and-replacing of the engine mount isn't edited for time so it drags on and on. The video is 35 minutes long but you only need to watch the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the video.

    Since I'm not gonna watch a video - was it in fact the engine mount?
    Completely stock 2016 500 Abarth, Rhino & Nero

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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfPint View Post
    Since I'm not gonna watch a video - was it in fact the engine mount?
    Yes, after the mechanic in the video replaced the engine mount the shudder/shimmy was gone. The last five minutes of the video is the mechanic taking the car for a test-drive and he confirms that the problem is solved.

    I felt this was worth posting.

    Although I'm not totally convinced that the Abarth shudder problem is the exact same "one-cause situation" as it was on this Ford. This suspicion is based on another video I found where two guys replaced all 3 of the Abarth's engine mounts and afterwards found that the shudder wasn't completely cured, so they went back and replaced the right-side drive shaft. After doing the engine mounts plus the right-side drive shaft they said the problem was completely solved.
    Last edited by ewflyer; 01-19-2020 at 07:31 PM.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfPint View Post
    Since I'm not gonna watch a video - was it in fact the engine mount?
    I'm curious... you simply don't watch videos, or you do watch videos but not this one, or you're too busy right now to watch a video, or it's mildly offensive for me to presume that you would want to watch part of a video?

    I ask because I live my life inside a "55 year old, old-guy bubble", which I've found sometimes makes me socially unacceptable (especially in on-line interactions).

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