BillsWebSpace:2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth



 

Click on thumbnails below for larger pics....

 

 

I decided the Alfa 4C needed a garage mate, and this Fiat 124 Spider Abarth seemed like a perfect match....after all, it was supposed to have originally been an Alfa Romeo. Based on the Mazda MX5 platform and built alongside the MX-5 Miata in Japan, Fiat uses their own engine, suspension tuning, exterior body panels, and a nicer/more insolated interior......a little larger and heavier but also a larger trunk. It is doubtful that Fiat will continue to produce the 124 past 2020 and that might be a short run, time to scoop one of these up if you want a new one.

This 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth was purchased from Steve Serrano at Byers Imports in Columbus Ohio, he was quick to respond to inquiries and answered all of my questions. Deal done over email/phone, flew into Columbus, OH and were picked up at the airport by Steve, quick test drive, completed deal. Dealership was great AND quick, in and out and on the road home- I highly recommend them.
First pics and video below are from the dealership ad and Steve along with a few pics from the day we picked it up and brought it home in JAN 2020.

I had originally looked at the 500 Abarth which shares its motor with this car, but my wife was not on board...next Abarth, 124 Spider. This car had most of the available options, and one of the key things I was looking for which was the Recaro seats. It also has the Bose system which may end up getting a speaker upgrade. The only option the car does not have is the Record Monza exhaust (P/N 82215590, Greg's review HERE). And the mysterious bag with rubber plugs? Forum post HERE...
Window Sticker HERE, Build Sheet HERE, Carfax Report HERE, Dealer Ad HERE, Autotrader Ad HERE.

This car is powered by a Fiat 1.4L Multiair Turbo engine used in many FCA autos in different states of tune (Details: Wikipedia, Allpar, Green Car Congress, Wards Auto, Car & Driver).

FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, meaning loosely “Italian automobile factory of Turin”, the region in which the country was founded)

Coincidentally, 2019 is the 70th anniversary of Abarth cars for Fiat: FCA celebrates 70 years of Abarth.
Abarth story: Wikipedia, Abarth.com, Abarthisti, and SportCarDigest.

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I decided the first mod would be Fiat 124 Spider Rubber Mats (Part No: 82215026) from Chrysler Jeep Dodge City of McKinney...... unfortunate that we cannot get Abarth specific mats like the Fiat 500 owners

 

Valentine 1 radar detector hard wire installed (manual HERE) along with V1connection LE (manual HERE). V1connection LE will allow Bluetooth connection to the V1 from my Android phone and with the JBV1 app adds a lot of useful functionality- Some discussion around the JBV1 app can be found HERE, helpful settings guide HERE. Since I was using the Bluetooth module in concert with the V1, I was required to use the hardwire kit with main unit/accessory plugs.....so no easy mirror tap this time.

After a-pillar is carefully unsnapped, T40 bolts are removed at left of header panel, and some other panel removal around fusebox, the V1 wiring can be tucked under header panel and run over and down the a-pillar to the fusebox. I elected to tap into fuse position 6 because it was open, had accessory power, and would not affect another circuit.

The Lumision Add-A-Circuit (Mini Low Profile ATM) is a bit loose since it does not fully seat so I placed some 1/2" foam weatherstrip in the fuse cover to hold it firmly in place over bumps as others on the forum have done. I ordered the HitCar Add-A-Circuit and while only rated for 5A vs the Lumision's 20A, the HitCar plug looks to be a bit deeper and may work better in this application. The ground wire was tucked under the 10mm bolt of the fusebox. V1 power adapter and Bluetooth module tucked out of the way above the fusebox.

Some resources I utilized were Ameridan's Page and Elliot Check's Video.

Next up, Hood Lift Kit by Cobalt (Part No: 910-720) from Moss Miata, installation instructions HERE and some additional/supplemental instructions from Ameridan's blog HERE.

PTP Turbo Blanket (Part No: FPRO35-103-01) from
Forum discussion HERE and Xtreme Revolution's DIY guide for a similar product can be found HERE (note the discussion on page 2 about factory heat shield being replaced/discarded) and HERE.....nice since these come with no instructions, closest they have is the Dodge Dart MultiAir. Video demonstrating turbo blanket effectiveness HERE, for some reason they show the factory heat shield in place.
SO, it does have a bit of a smell the first few drives but that is not a big deal. However, pop the hood and you feel minimal heat from the turbo, it really does work.

Oil Catch Can from Racing Car Parts Home eBay store, but same can is available on eBay from multiple vendors (search for BMW N54 335i 535i oil catch can) in multiple colors at different prices- pick a vendor with good ratings and price.
To complete the installation you'll need to source ~3' each 5/8 (Gates P/N 27008) and 3/4 (Gates P/N 27010) PCV oil resistant hose, a 3/4 to 5/8 reducer (Gates P/N 28611), Lined Hose Clamps- 9/16" to 1-1/16" Diameter, and fabricate a mount- I used bar stock steel at first and then decided to make the final version in aluminum. I also decided to pick up some sleeving to make it look OE, terminated with electrical tape. All in around $100 with minimal effort to source components, and could be even cheaper if you don't sleeve the hoses- you could actually do this for ~$50.

If you don't have time or don't want to hassle with sourcing components yourself, EuroCompulsion offers a catch can with all the parts ready to go, their installation instructions HERE.

Forum discussion HERE, HERE, and HERE. Engineering Explained - What is an Oil Catch Can?


Front windows, rear window, and windshield top strip tinted by Mr. Tint using SunTek Window Films. We have been going to Barry Wood for years and he never fails to impress, great work and reasonable price. And snow day.......

Xpel Ultimate Plus Paint Protection Film (VIDEO) on the mirrors/door handles/windshield trim/lower airdam installed at Sun&Shield Automotive Films, my go-to guys for paint protection. Even though I had the matte black stripe, I was willing to make it shiny using the regular Xpel film since Sun&Shield did not have Xpel Stealth Paint Protection Film- they do not use it a lot with their customer base and understandably did not want to invest in materials they would not use. I was OK with that, but did want them to wrap the trunk so it matched the hood (shiny). Issue: the regular Xpel film looked great on the trunk but when they went to reposition film on the plastic spoiler on the trunk they had paint lift, we mutually agreed not to risk paint lifting on other areas of the car and fortunately the small areas that lifted were hidden with the trunk closed, I was able to source some satin paint that was close enough for touch up.

Fast forward a week and I heard back from some other Xpel installers in the area that did have Xpel Stealth film and were willing to do the front bumper/fenders/rockers: AP3 Atlanta Precision Paint Protection Services. They did wrap most edges and the seam on the hood where Stealth meets Ultimate is invisible.

JBL GTO620 speakers purchased from Crutchfield after reading about how easy it is to upgrade the Bose door speakers and the difference they make in this forum thread-
Manual HERE, Spec Sheet HERE, Video HERE.
I use Crutchfield because other than typically being the cheapest, they also include the speaker brackets, wiring harness adapters, and detailed instructions.
Factory manual door panel removal instructions HERE.
Some helpful information compiled by AMeridan HERE.

Since the door panel was coming off to install the speakers I also ordered the Paco Motorsports Sound Deadening Panels (which are cut to fit and provide a 3db gain) and Road Kill RKFR6 3 Piece Foam Speaker Enhancer System Kit for 6" & 6.5" Drivers by Stinger (instructions HERE).
I had ordered the JBL GX600C (thread HERE) but decided if replacing just the door speakers made the Bose system sound a bit better and more defined it would not be worth going with the component speakers and I could just leave the Bose tweeter in the a-pillar as is......we'll see.

Door Bushings (P/N CS-AA598-713) from CravenSpeed installed. I was originally going to order the Cobalt version from Moss Miata that was on sale but after the price changed between adding product to cart and checkout followed by meh customer service, I decided to go elsewhere. I have used CravenSpeed products in the past with our old R53 Mini Cooper S and the products and customer service have always been excellent along with their FREE shipping. I had a question that was sent via email and received a prompt response less than an hour later
Installation instructions HERE. Forum Discussion HERE and HERE. CravenSpeed blog post detailing how these work HERE.

They have even made open source files available/licensed for those that want to try making their own HERE.

I might have discounted the door bushings but having installed a similar TRD door stabilizer product in our old FRS that actually worked, I was willing to give these a try.

I was looking for a Raceseng Sphereology shift knob and most places had it on backorder since the core was out of stock, they have many shift knobs for the Fiat 124 but this is the one I wanted.
I found someone selling a new knob for their BMW on eBay with correct gate 1 pattern and just had to buy the M10x1.25mm adapter to make it work for the Fiat, saving myself ~$30.
Installation instructions HERE.

 

 

 

 

Oil Analysis performed by Blackstone Laboratories

Engine Oil Analysis at xxxx miles- Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5w40  

 

124 Spider Abarth Documents and Websites:  

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth International Website

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth USA Website

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Brochure v1 and v2 (2017 v1, 2017 v2, 2018 v1, 2018 v2, 2020)

2019 Fiat Spider Abarth User Guide

2019 Fiat Spider Abarth Owners Manual

2019 Fiat Spider Warranty Information (MOPAR Warranty Statement)

2019 Fiat Spider Abarth Fact Sheet

Mopar Tech Authority: 2019 Fiat Spider Abarth Owner/User/Service Manuals

Ameridan's Blog, 21ST CENTURY FIAT / ABARTH 124 SPIDER: Specifications / Part Numbers / Misc. Tidbits / and Paint Codes  

 

Reviews and Articles:

CarLifeNation- A Brief History of the Fiat 124 Spider

CARandDRIVER - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

CARandDRIVER - Lightning Lap 2017: Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Motortrend - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth First Test: Four of a Kind

Motortrend - 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Track Drive: The Scorpion Turns 70

Road&Track - We Need This Carbon Fiber Fiat 124 Abarth Hardtop

Automobile - One Week With: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

TopGear - Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

TopGear - Abarth 124 Spider vs Fiat 124 Spider

jalopnik - The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Puts You On Display But You Won't Mind

jalopnik - The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Is a Fantastic Little Roadster That Needs a Reality Check

jalopnik - The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Finally Sounds as God Intended

AutoTrader - The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Isn't a Better Mazda Miata

The Truth About Cars - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review – A Tale of Two Drivers

Digital Trends - 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth first drive review

AutoBlog - 2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review | Miata Arrabbiata

The Fast Lane Car: Can the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth beat the Mazda Miata on the Track

Forbes - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider: Is This The Best Miata Ever?

Road/Show - 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Convertible review: An Italian spin on a Japanese legend

Driving CA - Car Review: 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Motor1 - Fiat 124 Spider vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata: Sibling Rivalry

JD Power - Test Drive:2017 FIAT 124 SPIDER

US News - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider: Best Sports Car for the Money

US News - 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth: All You Need To Know

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - It didn't blow us away on the road test, but can the newest Abarth impress as a long-term prospect?

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - A battle with a baby brother and a tussle with the twin in a busy first month!

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - Matt's growing fonder of the little Abarth - can you guess why?

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - A couple of niggles aside, life remains pretty sweet with the Spider

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - Abarth worked brilliantly as Christmas transport no matter the weather!

PistonHeads - Abarth 124 Spider: PH Fleet - Arrivederci to the Abarth roadster; will it be missed?

EVO - Toyota GT86 v Mazda MX-5 v Abarth 124 Spider – lightweight sports car shootout

Torque News - 2017 Fiat 124 Spider vs. Alfa Romeo 4C Spider On-Track – Which Is Better?

Car_Revs_Daily - 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Duke’s Drive: 2017 FIAT 124 Spider Abarth Review

Grassroots Motorsports - Family Feud: Mazda MX-5 Versus Fiat 124

Wheels CA - Track Tested: 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth and Fiat 500 Abarth

Hagerty- The Abarth 124 Rally is an angry Italian sensory overload

CarBuzz- Rebadging Done Right: 2018 Fiat 124 Spider

Best Sports Car in KBB's 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Ratings

Best Sports Car in KBB's 2020 5-Year Cost to Own Ratings

THE/DRIVE - FIAT Deathwatch: Why The FIAT Brand Needs To Be Axed

Torque News- Why Isn't the Fiat 124 Spider Selling Well In the US and Will It Turn Around?

Gazzetta Motori - The Fiat 124 leaves the scene: stop the production of the Italian spider

THE/DRIVE - Miata-Based Fiat 124 Spider's Days Limited Due to Dwindling Demand, Rising Costs: Report

THE/DRIVE - Fun-Loving Fiat 124 Spider Not Dead Yet Despite Italian Report Saying It Is

CarScoops - Fiat Confirms Ending 124 Spider Production For Europe, U.S. Model To Continue For 2020MY

CARandDRIVER - Fiat 124 Spider Reportedly Set to End Production Soon  

 

Video: *High Speed Connection Recommended*  

 

Abarth - Meet the Scorpion

Abarth - Meet the Scorpion 70° Anniversary

Abarth - Meet the Scorpion in its month

Abarth – Meet the coolest Scorpion

Abarth - 124 Spider

Abarth - 124 Spider - Performance. No Excuses.

Abarth - 124 Spider - The Abarth Beat Of Life

Abarth - 124 Spider - A different point of view - Rankin

Abarth - 124 Spider - Blackhood

Abarth - 124 Spider - The car's interior

Abarth - 70th Anniversary

The Performance Stripe (Extended) | FIAT 124 Spider Abarth | Fiat USA

Abarth 70th Anniversary Range | FCA

European 124 Spider Abarth with Record Monza Exhaust

Richard Hammond Reviews The Fiat Abarth 124 Spider | Extended Version | The Grand Tour

Engineering Explained- 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review - The Turbo Miata

AutoBlog- Fiat & Abarth 124 Spider

TheStraightPipes- Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review - The Fiata

Sarah-n-Tuned - Is This The Perfect Tuner Car? // 2019 FIAT 124 Abarth

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF vs. 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Comparison Review | Edmunds

Doug DeMuro- The Fiat 124 Abarth Isn't a Better Mazda Miata

The Fast Lane Car- What's Faster: Fiat 124 Spider Abarth or Mazda Miata MX-5?

Car Review | 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth | Driving.ca

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth 6MT – Redline: Review

TestDriven TV - 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth: Test Drive

Automann TV - Abarth 124 Spider - 0-220 km/h acceleration!

In The Headlights - The best sports car you've never heard of - ABARTH 124 GT REVIEW plus CAFFEINE & MACHINE!

Anna on Roads- Abarth 124 SPIDER GT - an overpriced Mazda?

Living with an Abarth 124 Spider | Sideways Sid

Stef ABtv - THIS Is Why I Love The Abarth 124 GT | 124 Spider

Stef ABtv - 2017 Abarth 124 Spider Review VS Abarth 595 Review! | Which Is Better?

Roads Untraveled - The Big Turbo Fiat 124 Abarth Spider Project | Italian Insanity?!  

 

DIY Guides/Installation Instructions/Videos:  

124spider.org DIY Forum

Ameridan's 21ST CENTURY FIAT / ABARTH 124 SPIDER Blog

BillaVista 124 Spider Tech

2016 MX-5/Miata ND Electronic Service Information

Redline Auto- Fiat 124 Spider to ND Miata Compatibility / Interchange Guide

Quick Reference STANDARD PROCEDURE - JACKING AND HOISTING

BillsWebSpace: Fiat 124 Oil Catch Can - Components, Sources, and Installation

stevet- DIY- Changing Engine Oil and Filter, with photos

XtremeRevolution- How to Change Manual Transmission Fluid

XtremeRevolution- How to Change Gear Oil/Differential Fluid

Ameridan - HEADLIGHT AIMING

Walter Motorsports- Shifter Bushing Installation Guide

Ameridan - ADDING (Hard Wiring) A RADAR DETECTOR, DASH-CAM, POWERED MIRROR

TheSalamander- How To replace 124 Homelink Mirror with Frameless GENK80A Homelink Mirror

Miata.net slugg: Full, end-to-end Bose speaker replacement guide, with LOTS of pictures! (Ameridan notes HERE, Miata.net Forum thread HERE, Mark Rivera/Paco Motorsports notes HERE and kit HERE)

Android Auto: 68Wooley- CarPlay/Android Auto Software/Hardware Upgrade HowTo (with Ameridan's Blog) OR Mazda AIO.....CMU Serial access for later versions required to install AIO

Pistons and Petrol- Abarth 124 Spider - Apple CarPlay Install Guide

Ameridan- FREEING UP MEMORY IN VERSION 70 FIRMWARE

Ameridan- COMMON TWEAKS THAT WORK IN THE FIAT 124 SPIDER INFOTAINMENT CENTER 7.0

Steven Park- Fiat 124 Infotainment Tweaks Video

Wireless Android Auto Discussion

TysMagic- LED Side Markers Installation  

 

Forums and Clubs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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