Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 20 of 183 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi again Folks (since my New Member post earlier) and Thank you for your time....I just wanted to share what I have done with my 124 Spider Classica since buying it in March this year as I noted lots of advice from Brian Goodwin of Good-Win Racing and plenty of useful stuff from you guys then acted upon it with some pretty good results, here goes............
Okay, following the test drive, purchase, watching Youtube test videos and reading up I decided on a plan of action starting with a Performance Air Filter...I fitted a Pipercross but could have easily have been K & N, I read up on the Plugs but kept originals as they do up to 25K whereas alternative NGK's do 20K and Brisk silver 15K with some concerns.... I fitted a GFB Diverter + valve to reduce turbo lag and it does by replacing the in / out plastic piston with a brass piston that gradually opens with pedal movement, I also checked out the Alfa 4c & Bosch coil packs but decided on a set of 500 Madness Red topped High Performance versions from the USA, same coil packs but cheaper and on offer (customs duty though). Next I considered my soft braking and went for EBC Yellow Stuff, easy fit and now I have brakes! Turning my attention to the weedy exhaust note and not liking the Abarth version "noise" I went for a Good-Win Dual Tip that has "That Burble" and only available via "Racing Beat Europe" Importer, took 20 minutes to fit and sounds divine.
Taking the Spider through my local "Biker Bends" I found that although I had gained HP from the Performance Air Filter (3-5 hp) and 2.5 inch bore exhaust (8-11 hp) and could now stop on an old sixpenny piece (ask Granddad) the Spider still seemed to float and wanted to join me later round the bends (understeer) so I decided on going to 17" alloys feeling that BBS Le Mans (18 lbs each) Diamond Blacks wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4's (summer tyres) would look the Dogs, keeping my original alloys as winter gear; This upgrade to 205/45 17 on 7.5 forged alloys with rim protectors should be light and strong, give better inertia and grip and I should then be able to go round corners and bends.............meanwhile whilst I await delivery from "Wheelbasealloys" on order I still want to do some spirited driving within the limits of course, so.........
I ordered a set of "Eibach" Pro-Fit coils from TMC Motorsport (NI), again on offer, reports here and from Brian Goodwin was that they are "The Business", they arrived last week and it took me about 1.5 hours per corner to exchange for OEM coils. The Eibach's have a softened top section and stiffer lower section so gradually soak up movement, they lower the front by 0-08" & rear by 1" and even without the new alloys yet my 16" OEM's are gripping whilst my turn in is superb...
Turning to the "Italian styling".....Sports cars should have leather seats, its the law! so, I ordered and had swapped out the original cloth seats for a pair of Real Black Leather with Red stitching 124 Spider seats ordered from original supplier in Malasia at a great price. I also visited ebay for a set of Real Leather with red stitching stick & handbrake gaiters, fitting in an Abarth Heated Seat Switch from a scrapyard (plugs straight in) whilst I had the center panels out.
Having "Abarthised" my Spider (with your help) I decided to de badge front and rear and re badge "Abarth" so.....I had to get to the badges....
Rear badge was simple, held in place by a bit of sticky pad and two small flexible plastic lips holding the lugs in position, using a dashboard and trim plastic spatula I gently eased up then pulled and the badge popped out, no mess. The front badge.......You cannot gain entry through grill....MGB simple, MX5 easy, 124 Spider is not accessible as there are no screws, so, I lifted bonnet and drilled out carefully the two small rivets in front plastic panel ahead of bonnet mechanism, removed the two plastic pop up plugs one either side engine side of mechanism and slid out that panel revealing another plastic panel which I cut two slots down about 4" apart then bent that panel back,so was able to access the nut that holds the bonnet badge in place. Using a 10mm ratchet cum open ended angled spanner (snap on) with a length of string attached should you drop it! I was able to ratchet the nut loose with my left medium sized hand whilst using the flat of my medium sized right hand to place the ratchet spanner over the nut and hold it there, it was not too tight. Using a long flat ended screwdriver with my left hand once spanner was withdrawn I removed the nut with the fingers of my right hand then pressed down on the nut with flat of screwdriver as I carefully withdrew hand and nut, as if you drop that nut remember to say goodbye as it goes into a void !!
I acquired Abarth front and rear badges from a scrapyard and a pair of "Abarth & Co" with Scorpion and shield original 1949 design quality cover badges, fitted the front Abarth badge and it looked terrible so then refitted front Fiat badge and applied the "Abarth & Co" badge front and rear and they look cool....I replaced the cover panel in engine bay and popped in the two poppers so no sign of entry there Officer !
I found a 124 Spider 3 cm stick on badge at £1.99 and a turbo badge at 99p on ebay and applied them front grill and rear passenger side boot lip and the Spider not only looks great on its lowered springs (that did not need re alignment), it goes well, handles and brakes and leaves many rubberneckers confused as they admire but cannot quite identify what vehicle they are following....
Thank you for your time in reading my rantings which I hope can assist or entertain you, the costs have been £14900.00 for the Spider with a years tax and full tank of Premium unleaded, around £1250.00 for all the mods, fitted by myself except seats which Auto Trim, Ivybridge, Devon kindly did for a great price. The BBS Le Mans alloys and Michelins will be some £3000.00 when they arrive but actually the OEM 16" alloys looking back would have and do do the job, just 17" does it better. So whilst the "Abarth" is the top spec 124 Spider, in my opinion.....Fiat could have produced my Classica with above mods at a couple of thousand pounds more and had a fantastic little true sports car rather than ditching it after only two years, oh, and the Sat Nav.......I bought an SD card off ebay removed the small black plastic oblong cap in lower center dashboard panel, slipped it in and got Sat Nav. Now, if only we could get Brexit done........Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Wonderful write up. Very detailed and thorough. Appreciated the time and effort to compose your thread. I will add the air filter and AutoRicambi w/resonated muffler exhaust. I will also add a rear license plate custom frame that reads Get Off (top) My Ass! (bottom) Had a Ford 250
PU truck tailgate me as I drove 48 on a 40 mph two lane road. He passed me on the right and I caught him at the light (where we waited 2 minutes for light to change). Then he got onto the interstate entrance heading north and abruptly flew into the middle line. About 2 minutes later, I saw him pulled over by a Florida State Trooper with the trooper making that "guess what I got for you" approach to his car. Hope his wife was in labor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
Hi again Folks (since my New Member post earlier) and Thank you for your time....I just wanted to share what I have done with my 124 Spider Classica since buying it in March this year as I noted lots of advice from Brian Goodwin of Good-Win Racing and plenty of useful stuff from you guys then acted upon it with some pretty good results, here goes............
Okay, following the test drive, purchase, watching Youtube test videos and reading up I decided on a plan of action starting with a Performance Air Filter...I fitted a Pipercross but could have easily have been K & N, I read up on the Plugs but kept originals as they do up to 25K whereas alternative NGK's do 20K and Brisk silver 15K with some concerns.... I fitted a GFB Diverter + valve to reduce turbo lag and it does by replacing the in / out plastic piston with a brass piston that gradually opens with pedal movement, I also checked out the Alfa 4c & Bosch coil packs but decided on a set of 500 Madness Red topped High Performance versions from the USA, same coil packs but cheaper and on offer (customs duty though). Next I considered my soft braking and went for EBC Yellow Stuff, easy fit and now I have brakes! Turning my attention to the weedy exhaust note and not liking the Abarth version "noise" I went for a Good-Win Dual Tip that has "That Burble" and only available via "Racing Beat Europe" Importer, took 20 minutes to fit and sounds divine.
Taking the Spider through my local "Biker Bends" I found that although I had gained HP from the Performance Air Filter (3-5 hp) and 2.5 inch bore exhaust (8-11 hp) and could now stop on an old sixpenny piece (ask Granddad) the Spider still seemed to float and wanted to join me later round the bends (understeer) so I decided on going to 17" alloys feeling that BBS Le Mans (18 lbs each) Diamond Blacks wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4's (summer tyres) would look the Dogs, keeping my original alloys as winter gear; This upgrade to 205/45 17 on 7.5 forged alloys with rim protectors should be light and strong, give better inertia and grip and I should then be able to go round corners and bends.............meanwhile whilst I await delivery from "Wheelbasealloys" on order I still want to do some spirited driving within the limits of course, so.........
I ordered a set of "Eibach" Pro-Fit coils from TMC Motorsport (NI), again on offer, reports here and from Brian Goodwin was that they are "The Business", they arrived last week and it took me about 1.5 hours per corner to exchange for OEM coils. The Eibach's have a softened top section and stiffer lower section so gradually soak up movement, they lower the front by 0-08" & rear by 1" and even without the new alloys yet my 16" OEM's are gripping whilst my turn in is superb...
Turning to the "Italian styling".....Sports cars should have leather seats, its the law! so, I ordered and had swapped out the original cloth seats for a pair of Real Black Leather with Red stitching 124 Spider seats ordered from original supplier in Malasia at a great price. I also visited ebay for a set of Real Leather with red stitching stick & handbrake gaiters, fitting in an Abarth Heated Seat Switch from a scrapyard (plugs straight in) whilst I had the center panels out.
Having "Abarthised" my Spider (with your help) I decided to de badge front and rear and re badge "Abarth" so.....I had to get to the badges....
Rear badge was simple, held in place by a bit of sticky pad and two small flexible plastic lips holding the lugs in position, using a dashboard and trim plastic spatula I gently eased up then pulled and the badge popped out, no mess. The front badge.......You cannot gain entry through grill....MGB simple, MX5 easy, 124 Spider is not accessible as there are no screws, so, I lifted bonnet and drilled out carefully the two small rivets in front plastic panel ahead of bonnet mechanism, removed the two plastic pop up plugs one either side engine side of mechanism and slid out that panel revealing another plastic panel which I cut two slots down about 4" apart then bent that panel back,so was able to access the nut that holds the bonnet badge in place. Using a 10mm ratchet cum open ended angled spanner (snap on) with a length of string attached should you drop it! I was able to ratchet the nut loose with my left medium sized hand whilst using the flat of my medium sized right hand to place the ratchet spanner over the nut and hold it there, it was not too tight. Using a long flat ended screwdriver with my left hand once spanner was withdrawn I removed the nut with the fingers of my right hand then pressed down on the nut with flat of screwdriver as I carefully withdrew hand and nut, as if you drop that nut remember to say goodbye as it goes into a void !!
I acquired Abarth front and rear badges from a scrapyard and a pair of "Abarth & Co" with Scorpion and shield original 1949 design quality cover badges, fitted the front Abarth badge and it looked terrible so then refitted front Fiat badge and applied the "Abarth & Co" badge front and rear and they look cool....I replaced the cover panel in engine bay and popped in the two poppers so no sign of entry there Officer !
I found a 124 Spider 3 cm stick on badge at £1.99 and a turbo badge at 99p on ebay and applied them front grill and rear passenger side boot lip and the Spider not only looks great on its lowered springs (that did not need re alignment), it goes well, handles and brakes and leaves many rubberneckers confused as they admire but cannot quite identify what vehicle they are following....
Thank you for your time in reading my rantings which I hope can assist or entertain you, the costs have been £14900.00 for the Spider with a years tax and full tank of Premium unleaded, around £1250.00 for all the mods, fitted by myself except seats which Auto Trim, Ivybridge, Devon kindly did for a great price. The BBS Le Mans alloys and Michelins will be some £3000.00 when they arrive but actually the OEM 16" alloys looking back would have and do do the job, just 17" does it better. So whilst the "Abarth" is the top spec 124 Spider, in my opinion.....Fiat could have produced my Classica with above mods at a couple of thousand pounds more and had a fantastic little true sports car rather than ditching it after only two years, oh, and the Sat Nav.......I bought an SD card off ebay removed the small black plastic oblong cap in lower center dashboard panel, slipped it in and got Sat Nav. Now, if only we could get Brexit done........Cheers
I am happy that you are happy with your “Abarth”. :rolleyes: From your post I can tell you’re tickled pink with it. ? However there are No pictures to document your endeavor. ? As we say “Pictures or it didn’t happen”. (y)

Cheers, Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I am happy that you are happy with your “Abarth”. :rolleyes: From your post I can tell you’re tickled pink with it. ? However there are No pictures to document your endeavor. ? As we say “Pictures or it didn’t happen”. (y)

Cheers, Dan
Hi Retiree & Dan and Thank you for your interesting responses...........Hope it wasn't someone now reading your State Trooper story Retiree........
Dan.....I did take "some" photos as I did the work and will post them now, however...it's early and cloudy here yet but later I will pull out the "Abarthised" Spider and do the after shots for you and the guys to consider, Cheers
ron?

73542
73543
73544
73545
73546
IMG_0276.JPG IMG_0280.JPG IMG_0262.JPG IMG_0261.JPG IMG_0351.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: depotdan

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Hi @Brexit ! , Can you please provide a link to the leather seats cover supplier/store?
Also, I saw you added a heated seats switch, did you add heated seats to the car before putting in the seat covers?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi Brexit..... you certainly are a very "hands on" UK guy !!! I have a 2018 Lusso..... still basically stock. As a matter of interest, approximately where in the UK are you based (I'm in post code NP25 xxx). Cheers.
Hi Brexit..... you certainly are a very "hands on" UK guy !!! I have a 2018 Lusso..... still basically stock. As a matter of interest, approximately where in the UK are you based (I'm in post code NP25 xxx). Cheers.
Hello Arthur and thanks for that, I am based in the PL postcode Plymouth &South East Cornwall, keeping the "Lusso" stock is great as it already has some goodies, however....the weedy exhaust note replaced by a "Burble" and Eibachs being a direct but lowered spring replacement along with a DV + are well worth the effort.....fitting the DV + you should have a cloth below area in case you drop something and must hold in brass piston as you fit new valve otherwise you will lose both piston and spring, Cheers
ron
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi @Brexit ! , Can you please provide a link to the leather seats cover supplier/store?
Also, I saw you added a heated seats switch, did you add heated seats to the car before putting in the seat covers?
Hi Goaterguy...I fitted the heated seat switch and connected it up (lights up) but did not fit seat pads as I never use heated seats in family car, however £25 each plus fitting so "if" I sold the Spider adding pads would be a doddle. Stuart at "Autotrim", Ivybridge was my Vehicle Trimmer, works with his Dad (40 years in the trade).Cheers
ron
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
For all you Guys
73547
IMG_0354.JPG
73548
IMG_0352.JPG
73550
73551
IMG_0363.JPG
73552
IMG_0365.JPG here are the updated photos showing lowered and updated (Abarthised) Spider along with a photo of my hand slipping into get at bonnet badge nut.....should you do a wrap or respray. Cheers
ron
Hi Retiree & Dan and Thank you for your interesting responses...........Hope it wasn't someone now reading your State Trooper story Retiree........
Dan.....I did take "some" photos as I did the work and will post them now, however...it's early and cloudy here yet but later I will pull out the "Abarthised" Spider and do the after shots for you and the guys to consider, Cheers
ron?

View attachment 73542 View attachment 73543 View attachment 73544 View attachment 73545 View attachment 73546 View attachment 73543 View attachment 73544 View attachment 73545 View attachment 73546 View attachment 73542
73553
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike34 and depotdan

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just a thought Folks.....After fitting the Eibachs I found that even sliding my extra low racing jack under the front was tight so I pulled out a length of scaffolding plank, cut off 2 x 35 cm lengths and cut angles into the ends of each...now my Spider mounts the ramps and I can jack up and support no problemo! I also listed the procedure I used to replace front and rear springs/coils should anyone fancy a go and want it copied. Being mechanically minded is a must when doing this sort of work, following safety precautions and knowing how to use a torque wrench essential as damage to vehicle, yourself and others is possible if you "forget to remove, fit or load a nut properly"....same with pads really, easy enough job but best have an experienced buddy to hand to guide and assist, Cheers
ron
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi Brexit. Thanks for that. I should clarify..... mine is almost a stock Lusso. I have fitted a GFB DV+, aluminium sill plates, straight through back box removal (sounds awesome ! ). Home made cubby shelf and K&N filter. And, the most important "mod"..... new Duracell batteries in the remotes !!!!
Hi Arthur, Glad to see you were ahead of me on DV + , K & N and exhaust so as well as looking good it sounds and performs....by the way..the front grill 124 badge from ebay is actually a VVT-i badge, which is the technology used in the Multiair engine, Cheers
ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Wow, you ve done a hell of mods! As far as brakes, am I right in saying you ve just changedthe front and rear rotor brakes ? At 145 £ each they are 600 £ that excluding pads... is this mod really a day/ night change i.e is it really worth it ? The whole braking system ( only front) with 4 calipers can be found at 900£ . Just wondering ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
Ron @Brexit ! I just noticed that we now have National Flags attached to our avatars. The old forum gave our location instead of registered. Anyway I just noticed that you have quite the European following. I hope you’re enjoying your new Spider family.

Cheers, Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wow, you ve done a hell of mods! As far as brakes, am I right in saying you ve just changedthe front and rear rotor brakes ? At 145 £ each they are 600 £ that excluding pads... is this mod really a day/ night change i.e is it really worth it ? The whole braking system ( only front) with 4 calipers can be found at 900£ . Just wondering ...
Hi Claudio and thanks for the question.......I only changed the PADS front & Rear for EBC Yellowstuff (performance) brake pads. the Fronts part code DP42263R £58.57 Rears part code DP41775R £88.03 so £134.10 total. They are YELLOW in colour and far superior to the weak original pads which on my Spider had still only done 2000 miles when I had had enough of them. The slider outer plates are retained from old set and YOU MUST follow driving /braking instructions to avoid glazing and damage during first couple of hundred miles and you will have brake dust to clean to start with, however....They are Fantastic and save a fortune over changing calipers.
You can buy EBC RED and EBC Green but I studied reports on them and found YELLOW to be correct for road use, whereas RED was TRACK use....
I bought my set from VENOM MOTOR SPORT through ebay UK, have bought from them before and they are very good. Cheers
ron
 
  • Like
Reactions: claudio19

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Ron @Brexit ! I just noticed that we now have National Flags attached to our avatars. The old forum gave our location instead of registered. Anyway I just noticed that you have quite the European following. I hope you’re enjoying your new Spider family.

Cheers, Dan
Hi Dan.....Yes, couldn't be happier. I did expect to find a UK based 124 Spider car club of sorts but there are so few registered in the UK, also the internet negates the need other than social meets/events. The MGOC was huge with 50000 + members worldwide back in the day but of course you had to wait for your club magazine delivery to hear any news whereas the 124Spider forum , as I have found out, supplies instant knowledge from many friends of all Nationalities which is vastly advanced on anything previously experienced by me.
When I ran the Escort Cabriolet Club we did have members in Europe and New Zealand come across and join in our events here and we travelled in convoy of 10 vehicles to Switzerland for an International Ford Event 1994, which was really successful and brings back all sorts of great memories, however....this is now and and it works ! Cheers
ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Ron @Brexit ! I just noticed that we now have National Flags attached to our avatars. The old forum gave our location instead of registered. Anyway I just noticed that you have quite the European following. I hope you’re enjoying your new Spider family.

Cheers, Dan
The flags are still based on location because I'm showing the French flag yet I'm registered as living in Charlotte, NC. I'm working in France until the end of this week.
73571
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Don't forget to replace those poor-performing factory halogen H11 low beam bulbs in the headlights with a good set of LED's having white output in their appearance (if you haven't already)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Don't forget to replace those poor-performing factory halogen H11 low beam bulbs in the headlights with a good set of LED's having white output in their appearance (if you haven't already)
Hi Retiree......I have only just noticed this message (no email notice?), I haven't even considered headlights as I have only had the Spider out by day and summer evenings so far and see that it has running light in operation; however Thanks as that would make sense, Have you done the job and is it just a plug in set up from engine bay ? Cheers
ron
 
1 - 20 of 183 Posts
Top