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2017 Fiat 124 ABARTH
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To start, here is why you want to upgrade the factory cross pipe.
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For what-ever reason the factory decided to put this huge restrictive notch into the pipe. There are more useless notches, this is just the most egregious.
It is not for clearance because there is nothing to clear near this indentation. It just strangles the exhaust and hampers turbo spool up.

There are several posts describing some of the difficulties you may experience in swapping out the cross pipe. I found there is really only one and that is the studs that connect the catalytic converter to the cross pipe are tiny and prone to rust. You can soak them in oil or thread release or whatever, I did all the above and they can still crack like a pretzel. If it happens, it happens. Just be prepared with an electric drill and some cobalt drill bits designed for steel just in case.

When one of my studs cracked, I cut them both flush with a dremel rotary tool and a cutting disc.
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Used a center punch to mark a starting point, then drilled them out and enlarged the hole so I could run an M10 1.5 bolt. Here is the broken piece of factory crap and its replacement with a penny for size reference.
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The other difficulties I read about had to do with fitting the cross pipe and getting everything to line up.
Here is the thing. The cross pipe is a rigid piece once installed and is not designed to move around. Everything past the cross pipe is flexible and can be re-positioned.
So why try and stuff the pipe into place with all the rest of the exhaust bolted down?
Here is what I did:

Started at the rear of the car and disconnected the mid pipe from the muffler/tailpipes.
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Next, unhooked the exhaust hanger from the mid-pipe.
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Disconnected the mid-pipe from the cross-pipe. (crummy pic, I know)
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Then the last step before removing the cross pipe was disconnecting this hanger from the cross-pipe (just above and behind the flange that connects it to the mid-pipe
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Finally remove the two nuts between the cat and the crosspipe and it drops out.
If your studs don't break, you are lucky, go buy a lottery ticket.
Then remove the above bracket.

The installation of the cross-pipe starts with getting it up into place and tightening the connectors that hold the cross pipe to the bottom of the cat.
I did the installation by my self but at this point it would have been nice to have a second set of hands to hold the cross -pipe in place while i got the bolts in.
Next, connect the above bracket to the cross-pipe and bolt it back in place. Finally, work your way to the back of the car, reconnect the rest of the system.
This way, rather than trying to make a part that doesn't flex fit, you put it in first, then re-install all the flexible parts where they fit best.

Here is the installed cross-pipe
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Note the pipe sits perfectly between the transmission and the oil sump and nothing rubs. As for the frayed insulation wrap, I purchased the pipe second hand and that was the way it arrived. Seeing the wrap costs $70 to replace it would have been nice to know. As it isn't visible once the under body panels are back on I'm going to leave it as is.
 

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Totally agree with your approach of working from the fixed cross pipe back. That's what I did with the System One Cross pipe. Everything from Cross Pipe back can then be adjusted as needed.
 
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It looks like you did a nice job. Well done. The switch to the 10x1.5 bolt after breaking the stud was a good move.

Greg
 

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GONE18 Abarth 6MT, all the options, Chipbox and OEM Abarth fender badges. Pedalbooster not installed
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Excellent write up. Question, do you happen to have a picture of the cat to cross pipe studs before you unbolted/removed them? Looks like they were rather rusted. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent write up. Question, do you happen to have a picture of the cat to cross pipe studs before you unbolted/removed them? Looks like they were rather rusted. TIA
Sorry, I didn't get a picture. The stud you see is the one that snapped and most of the damage was done in the removal process. This is a Texas car and there is no corrosion anywhere else on the car or the exhaust system. However, when I used an impact driver to remove the nuts from the flange the rust on the studs showered down like rain. I know this area deals with high levels of heat but also believe cheap materials play a part. Honestly, I've seen bigger studs and bolts on a lawnmower.
 

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Sorry, I didn't get a picture. The stud you see is the one that snapped and most of the damage was done in the removal process..... ......Honestly, I've seen bigger studs and bolts on a lawnmower.
It did appear to be rather light weight. Guess I'll just be sure to have the replacement bolts and nuts on hand when we start into it. At least I have use of my buddies auto repair business shop with a lift etc.
 
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This is exemplary work! I just stuck it. Now you’re famous.
Best regards
Pete
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I am currently doing the EC turbo and crosspipe install. When removing the bolts between the downpipe and the crosspipe, I did everything I could to save the studs and nuts. Sprayed in for 5 consecutive days with PB blaster and heated and cooled the studs before removing the nuts. I was expecting that either the nuts would come off or the studs would break. One of the nuts did come off OK, but the other nut rounded (strange because I am using top notch sockets). I will follow your advice and replace the studs with bolts. Thx!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
One of the nuts did come off OK, but the other nut rounded (strange because I am using top notch sockets). I will follow your advice and replace the studs with bolts. Thx!
My experience was almost identical. I had one bolt come off and one round. I used a stripped bolt socket like this to remove the bolt.
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The bolt was almost off when the stud snapped.
Having a bolt round or a stud snap appears to be a matter of luck. Which is why I recommend to be prepared for it so you are not left towing your car to a muffler shop to get the stud extracted.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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Every bolt on this car other than the hardened crank, head, rods, and flywheel bolt are soft garbage. They are just barely hard enough to withstand the torque for the application and heat cycling them will anneal them further. The bolts holding the powerplant together are the same soft bolts but only 30-40Ft/lbs in M10 and M12.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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