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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First Autocross Competition Day in our Fiat 124!



How did it do? It did really well, good enough to end up in the trophies!

We autocrossed the Abarth during the press event here in San Diego (link here to DP Magazine article) but no competitors present, no timing, and you can only learn so much running by yourself. Nothing like actual competition against National level drivers to give us something to actually analyze. Not classed yet so ran X, no sways, no limited slip, no alignment, crap tires, etc. Just Koni, Progress springs, high flow exhaust, light weight battery conversion, and our brake weight reduction upgrades. Also ran our prepared ND in STR same day, same course.

Results? Fiat just 2.5 seconds behind our STR ND which finished with a top 5 Pax. Amazing start for the Fiat. Our ND has a year of prep, Ohlins coilovers with much more spring rate, limited slip, our longtube header and reflash and over 190 HP at the wheels (same 190 number for torque), rolled fenders to clear 9 inch wheels with 245/40 tires, etc. Thus, I expected Fiat would be over 5 seconds behind given total lack of prep or serious spring rate, etc. In fact, the Fiat took home it's first trophy, time of 55 seconds gave it a third place finish out of 25 cars in X class. Add limited slip, tune and good tires and it would have easily won SSM which had a best scratch of 54.1, the class the Fiat likely ends up in (though I still hope for STR so it can battle head to head with ND).
 

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Well done. Some credit to the driver?
 

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Good job Brian! You are a good driver and you have done a good job prepping the car in the short time you have had it.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys but same driver in both cars so I need to give some real credit to the Fiat and the mods....particularly the KONI Sport shocks, upgraded diverter valve, Progress Springs.

Before next event we will get a limited slip installed....and EuroCompulsion piggyback....and it will be an even closer contest.
 

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Thanks guys but same driver in both cars so I need to give some real credit to the Fiat and the mods....particularly the KONI Sport shocks, upgraded diverter valve, Progress Springs.

Before next event we will get a limited slip installed....and EuroCompulsion piggyback....and it will be an even closer contest.
How do you think a stock Abarth would have done? Is the LSD you're installing the same one that comes on it or a third-party unit?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DYNO UPDATE...dovetails with the SCCA results and discussion.

This is complete Cat-Back Exhaust (stock cat still in there, this is all bolted to exit of stock cat).

That means THREE PIECES
1. Highflow Downpipe
2. Highflow Midpipe
3. Highflow Muffler.

Result is new HIGH For Fiat 124, 160 HP at the wheels, 200 FT/LBS Torque pushing you back in the seat! Felt good at the SCCA event last weekend so figured it was time to dyno the setup, and now I see why it felt good, that's some healthy torque. Total area under the curve does NOT yet match our tuned longtube ND but this Fiat is not yet tuned, this is still stock tune, which means this is CARB compliant power!

Lowest Line is Best STOCK Pull
Middle Line is Best Pull with just highflow Muffler Upgrade
Highest Line is Best Pull Full Downpipe, Midpipe, Muffler...Peak HP up 'only' about 15hp but notice total area under the torque curve is massively better, up over 30 Ft/lbs of torque through much of the middle rpm range, peak gains over 50 Ft/lbs down low.

 

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That's awesome news and I can't wait to see how much a difference tuning makes with this exhaust setup on there. I'm a little confused on where the downpipe goes since you said its all after the cat. I guess I'm looking at it like the Subarus where the downpipe comes immediately after the turbo into the first cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And here is where we stand currently in the battle of power between ND Miata and Fiat124. Let me say up front this is NOT a fair comparison, we have a FULL YEAR of development into the ND, many hours of dyno tune, many hours for development of gorgeous longtube header, etc. In comparison the Fiat124 just got here, what I think is very interesting is how fast it is catching up on the numbers. Numbers do NOT tell the whole story, but it's an interesting story nonetheless!

Fiat is RED lines (160 HP, 200 Ft/lbs Torque)
ND Miata is BLUE Lines (193 HP, 190+ Ft/lbs Torque)

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mentioned previously that effective gearing is very short, needing time wasting shifts to 3rd for our typical autocross courses here. And mentioned we needed limited slip bad. Solved both issues yesterday,

Fiat does not offer a limited slip that can be installed in the Classica, you need to buy the Abarth version that is not available yet. Asked them if they could sell us the part, but they are not convinced it will install in the housing of the regular 124, though I imagine it will. So, what to do for a limited slip? Looking at the housing it is immediately clear the diff housing is the same as our ND Miata. So, perhaps you can just order the Mazda Limited Slip internals from Mazda for the ND and install it in the Fiat? NOPE... The Fiat uses a version of the NC transmission and the ND uses the new Skyactiv trans and the ratios are totally different, and the final drive ratio is radically different.. Result is that if you try to install the Mazda limited slip into the Fiat's rear housing, you need massive shims, too much shim for it to work and last for long. So, what can you do? What we did is install an ND rear housing with ND rear 2.9 ratio and Mazda limited slip that fits that 2.9. That means our Fiat now does 67 mph in 2nd gear! Stock Fiat 2nd gear was too short for local autocross events before which typically get a bit over 60mph, and too much time is lost having to grab third gear.

Picture of our head wrench Rocky finishing the install yesterday.

 

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I like that Rocky smiles as he works. I'm sure the camera (phone?) didn't distract him.

60 mph is faster than our area autocrosses usually reach. You must have larger parking lots.

The video towards the end of the Motor Trend review shows the car passing perilously close to an overpass support. The most I usually have to worry about are streetlamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, we are very fortunate to have BIG lot for autocross for many years here. Back in the early days of Qualcomm Stadium there were no dividers between the west and east lots and events went all the way around the stadium, which allowed 4th gear banked turn at about 120mph. These days the west side of the lot is still big, east side is more typical for what SCCA events use nationwide. Video below of our ND in action gives a good idea how big the west lot really is....

 

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Discussion Starter #17
We do keep the 2.5 inches smooth all the way...all mandrel bends, etc.

I washed the car today before the Wife took it on errands. She ran it all over town. When she got back her feedback is that she loves the sound, but would not mind a few ticks more volume (my wife is a trained racecar driver with a wall of trophies to prove it, she likes the car to have some balls!). She drove it with resonated midpipe, will be testing version without the resonator for those who want more of the sound to reach the cabin. Took quick video of her doing blip of throttle before she did her errands today.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great day yesterday for our Project Fiat 124...TOP TIME OF DAY!

Used this last event to test some sway bar settings. Currently on our car is a relatively mild setup (300 front, 200 rear spring rates), full list below, and yet it was enough to lay down the fastest time. Amazing result for a setup that can be driven comfortably daily.

RoadsterSport Springs
Koni Sport Shocks
Our Short BumpStops for Koni
Our Sway Bars
17x9 6UL wheels
Complete RoadsterSport Exhaust System (2.5 inch Crosspipe, 2.5 inch Midpipe, Quad Outlet Muffler Delete).







 

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With the Abarth now available, would it still make sense for a Solo2 race setup to use the ND diff, or just swap internals (or a whole diff) from an Abarth?

Do you have a complete list of hardware needed to do the swap?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
At the time, our only option was the Miata rear limited slip with complete rear Miata housing and 2.9 FDR.

Now indeed you could just order up the Abarth factory rear.

Another option for Lusso/Classica customers is OSGIKEN. Our stock Classica housing is at their shop in Japan and we have the test limited slip back from them, competition grade 24 disc will handle a lot more power and handle it much more effectively (we use OSGIKEN in our 300 hp Supercharged Racing Miata). I expect a few other aftermarket choices to be available too.

On the other hand, if racing STU class, it might actually make a lot of sense to use the Miata 2.9 if doing all the speed upgrades legal in that class because you could stay in 2nd gear instead of giving up a lot of time shifting between 2nd and 3rd because of the rather slow limit provided by the 3.4 stock FDR for 2nd gear. My recollection is that stock limiter leaves you at something like 54mph second gear max and that is not near enough for our courses here with result you would be shifting 5 to 8 times extra per run. In contrast, with the 2.9 rear that I have in our Fiat currently, once I reach 2nd gear after starting the run it's 2nd gear all the way because I can do over 70mph in 2nd gear. It was my hope the Fiat landed in STR with the Miata, but since that did not happen I will be curious to see if anyone runs STU seriously. Locally I have no crowd to play with in STU so I run a local catch-all class we call "SU" for Street Unlimited because at least I have competition in that class from everything you can put tires upon.
 
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