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I have a new 124 Abarth with mods and so far it's going good. Here's how I got there. There might be some useful info for those considering the plunge. I test drove both the 124 Abarth and Miata Club. I liked the stock Miata's power delivery more, as most do. I owned a Miata briefly in the 1990's and wasn't too happy with the "girly car" stigma. Even though the new Miata looks badass, I still sense that the stigma exists (maybe mostly in my mind). I like the Euro-styling and uncommonness of the 124, and I like the technology options that are not available on the Miata Club such as rear camera and traffic sensors. The suspension is a bit soft compared to the Miata Club and my last car, an S2000, but it's good enough. The power delivery of the stock 124 Abarth is weak, but becomes acceptable in Sport Mode. I already knew that I would get an ECU tune if I bought this car. The reviews from tuned 124's were positive. I decided to get the Abarth. I liked the online pics of the European version that is white with racing stripe, red spoiler, mirrors, tow hook cover, so I decided on that. It took some driving to some dealerships in order to see the color options in person. I certainly wanted to see both whites. Pearl white is a real white with metallic flakes. Gelato is a little darker "egg shell" white. I decided on a "loaded" pearl white Abarth, luxury package, Recaros, Brembos, manual transmission. There were only two in the country, both over 1000 miles away. I learned you can buy cars over the phone and have them shipped. I called the two dealers and negotiated $2000 off MRSP. Probably not a great deal. It cost $900 to ship and took two weeks. It felt like buying on Amazon. All went well with delivery. I ordered the red parts from England using links on this forum. I contacted Chris at Eurocompulsion and was referred to a performance shop 90 minutes away in Thousand Oaks, CA. Both Chris and Vartan, my local installer, agreed that the most bang for the buck (without getting too crazy) would include a phase 1 tune, wastegate actuator, diverter valve, spark plugs, V4 turbo intake, catch-can, Forge blow off valve. These parts installed along with vinyl wrap racing stripe cost just under $3000. It took the installer about a month to get the parts so order them early!. The turbo intake was unavailable due to design changes that were occurring so that was done later. Mods took several days. So I finally picked up my car and drove away. The tune initially wasn't working. After 10 frustrating minutes on the freeway with no power, the engine suddenly "woke up" and felt better than ever. Maybe the memory cache needed to clear? I don't know. The tune has been good since. The mods made a very impressive improvement. Much smoother power delivery, especially at lower RPMs. It is much better than the stock Miata. Acceleration is comparable to my stock S2000. Be aware that the Forge blow off valve does make a loud hissing sound every time I release the gas pedal. It sounds like a bus door opening. I'm not sure that I would repeat that decision. Overall I am very happy with my car. The Recaro seats are great. They really hug you. I'm not a fan of black leather seats in a convertible but these don't get too hot. The seating surface feels like cloth and doesn't burn you. I'm still bummed that the navigation has no live traffic function. There is no excuse for that. I have a Garmin GPS attached to my windshield to the left of the steering wheel. A dab of petroleum jelly seems to make the suction cup grip forever. People look at the car and have no idea what it is. The only Fiat insignia is on the steering wheel. No one knows what "Abarth" is. It's kind of cool having a mystery car. One coworker said he loves my Alfa. The car came with an "ITALIA" bumper sticker, which is ironic since the car is 90% Japanese. I put it on the bumper to share the irony. Fingers crossed that the engine stays reliable. i got the V4 turbo intake a week later. Slight improvement in low RPM torque. I can even launch from a stop in second gear now ( not that I want to). I've had the engine light come on twice with "turbo overboost" message. I may need to have the sensor adjusted.
 

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There was really no need to replace the stock wastegate actuator, and you should not be getting an overboost code. The aftermarket actuator is probably maladjusted, or installed with too stiff a spring.
 

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For my classica manual with 500 miles, I just ordered EC V4 intake, GFB DV+, and EC tune. Not really planning on anything else though.
Question: I would like to install one at a time to evaluate the change and to verify that the change didn't break anything (so done properly). Any recommendations on the best order? BTW, I am most interested in improving low rpm torque.
 

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I have a new 124 Abarth with mods and so far it's going good. Here's how I got there. There might be some useful info for those considering the plunge.

I test drove both the 124 Abarth and Miata Club. I liked the stock Miata's power delivery more, as most do. I owned a Miata briefly in the 1990's and wasn't too happy with the "girly car" stigma. Even though the new Miata looks badass, I still sense that the stigma exists (maybe mostly in my mind).

I like the Euro-styling and uncommonness of the 124, and I like the technology options that are not available on the Miata Club such as rear camera and traffic sensors. The suspension is a bit soft compared to the Miata Club and my last car, an S2000, but it's good enough. The power delivery of the stock 124 Abarth is weak, but becomes acceptable in Sport Mode. I already knew that I would get an ECU tune if I bought this car. The reviews from tuned 124's were positive.

I decided to get the Abarth. I liked the online pics of the European version that is white with racing stripe, red spoiler, mirrors, tow hook cover, so I decided on that. It took some driving to some dealerships in order to see the color options in person. I certainly wanted to see both whites. Pearl white is a real white with metallic flakes. Gelato is a little darker "egg shell" white. I decided on a "loaded" pearl white Abarth, luxury package, Recaros, Brembos, manual transmission. There were only two in the country, both over 1000 miles away. I learned you can buy cars over the phone and have them shipped. I called the two dealers and negotiated $2000 off MRSP. Probably not a great deal. It cost $900 to ship and took two weeks. It felt like buying on Amazon. All went well with delivery.

I ordered the red parts from England using links on this forum. I contacted Chris at Eurocompulsion and was referred to a performance shop 90 minutes away in Thousand Oaks, CA. Both Chris and Vartan, my local installer, agreed that the most bang for the buck (without getting too crazy) would include a phase 1 tune, wastegate actuator, diverter valve, spark plugs, V4 turbo intake, catch-can, Forge blow off valve. These parts installed along with vinyl wrap racing stripe cost just under $3000. It took the installer about a month to get the parts so order them early!. The turbo intake was unavailable due to design changes that were occurring so that was done later. Mods took several days.

So I finally picked up my car and drove away. The tune initially wasn't working. After 10 frustrating minutes on the freeway with no power, the engine suddenly "woke up" and felt better than ever. Maybe the memory cache needed to clear? I don't know. The tune has been good since. The mods made a very impressive improvement. Much smoother power delivery, especially at lower RPMs. It is much better than the stock Miata. Acceleration is comparable to my stock S2000. Be aware that the Forge blow off valve does make a loud hissing sound every time I release the gas pedal. It sounds like a bus door opening. I'm not sure that I would repeat that decision.

Overall I am very happy with my car. The Recaro seats are great. They really hug you. I'm not a fan of black leather seats in a convertible but these don't get too hot. The seating surface feels like cloth and doesn't burn you. I'm still bummed that the navigation has no live traffic function. There is no excuse for that. I have a Garmin GPS attached to my windshield to the left of the steering wheel. A dab of petroleum jelly seems to make the suction cup grip forever.

People look at the car and have no idea what it is. The only Fiat insignia is on the steering wheel. No one knows what "Abarth" is. It's kind of cool having a mystery car. One coworker said he loves my Alfa. The car came with an "ITALIA" bumper sticker, which is ironic since the car is 90% Japanese. I put it on the bumper to share the irony.

Fingers crossed that the engine stays reliable. i got the V4 turbo intake a week later. Slight improvement in low RPM torque. I can even launch from a stop in second gear now ( not that I want to). I've had the engine light come on twice with "turbo overboost" message. I may need to have the sensor adjusted.
 

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Hah. Nice. Thank you. Interesting direction to have taken. I'm surprised by the wastegate actuator as an initial mod. The engine has been around for quite some time and should stay plenty reliable. Welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A year later....
Wastegate was a huge waste of my time. It was recommended by Eurocompulsion as well as my local installer, who didn't know it needed to be adjusted after installation. After several "adjustments" without actually measuring pressure, I finally found another installer that could do it correctly and the mounting screw broke off while installing so I just am doing fine with the stock wastegate. Can't really feel a difference. The car has been reliable and super fun ever since. Every few months I get an engine error (PCI or PCE) that indicates possibly a loose hose but I know that's not the case so I just clear it. The car burns about a quart of oil every few thousand miles after the first oil change, but I guess that's what I get with modifications. I still have my Garmin stuck to the windshield to the left of the steering wheel because the stock NAV system is useless to me without traffic updates. No more suction cup though. There is a simple $5 ball mount with 3M adhesive. 6 months and still sticking. Rats started chewing on the wires under the hood so after trying everything under the sun, I found that dryer sheets work best. I change them monthly. So far no one has called my car a Miata or Fiata. They just stare curiously. I guess these didn't turn out to be big sellers. I'm loving now that the engine is boosted.
 

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car looks fantastic.
All you need are Abarth fender badges;)
 

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A year later....
The car burns about a quart of oil every few thousand miles after the first oil change, but I guess that's what I get with modifications.
Uh oh, that's not good and that shouldn't be happening just from installing the mods.

Oil burn is usually caused by worn piston rings, valve stem seals, head gaskets and various oil seals in the engine. It may be possible for mods to accelerate wear on these components through over-boost, over-advanced timing or detonations, but I don't think EC mods are that extreme yet at this stage to be causing that sort of damage. What octane do you put in the car and from what gas station? Beware that some cheap no-name gas stations may advertise higher octane ratings than they really offer. If your octane is lower than required, you will get detonations.

I suggest you go do a compression test and leak-down test to find out where the oil leak is coming from. Oil burn is not a compromise you live with for installing mods, it's a real problem with your engine that should get checked out.
 
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What the average oil consumption with must guy's?
I had my oil changed about 3000km's ago (just under 2000 miles) and my dipstick reads half
 

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What the average oil consumption with must guy's?
I had my oil changed about 3000km's ago (just under 2000 miles) and my dipstick reads half
That's a lot of oil gone...! I assume this reading was taken with the engine warmed up?

I'm 2000 km after my last oil change and my dipstick reads full.
 
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That's a lot of oil gone...! I assume this reading was taken with the engine warmed up?

I'm 2000 km after my last oil change and my dipstick reads full.
Yup. warmed up. hmmmm. i hope i shouldn't be too worried
 
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