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.
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
124 Spider Abarth Documents and Websites:
Reviews and Articles:
Video: *High Speed Connection Recommended*
DIY Guides/Installation Instructions/Videos:
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