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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, My spider is 1 year old and to my shame it has done 1600 miles in the dry and daylight.
Well I have had a change of heart and decided not to wait for the 3 years to pass (warranty period).

The logic, which convinced me, is that not a lot has gone wrong with these cars in the last year especially in the UK.
My other new cars:Audi, BMW and Volvo - all kept for 6 years have never had any warranty claims so why wait - go and enjoy the Fiat with the mods now. This is right for me but not everyone.

I will outline not only the mods but also the pitfalls on the way which may help and even reasure others.

I will keep them to a posting for each mod I have done so far:

Engine Diverter valve, Euro Compulsion+ Drive reflash, V4 airfilter/intake, oil catch can.

Suspension Lowered springs and headlight adjustments.

Interior Boot ( trunk) changes to storage, pedals.
Thanks ..Danny
 

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Life's too short not to mod. Go for it. First off the bat should be the GFB DV+. You'll never look back!! Good luck. EC and other vendors has a bunch of goodies that make this car come to life..... enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Section 1 - Engine mods: EC tune and V4 air filter.

GFB diverter valve fitted when thr car was 2 weeks old - Sept 2016. As others have said a nice and easy mod with positive benefits. I bought it via Ebay - UK supplier £96 I think. Excellent service and easy install.

Now the BIG BITS;

Euro Compulsion +Drive installed. No problems and it has transformed the car. I have driven a UK 124 Abarth and last month I drove an Abarth 595 Competizione and my car even after only 50 miles feels much better: better meaning faster (I think) but more that the power just keeps on coming. It gets to max revs very quickly. So far this as exceeded my expectations.

Why EC and not other tunes that are available in the UK? EC have a very good track record and service delivery second to none. I was not interested in a percentage increase, typically 10 -20% which would get me to UK Abarth levels of power. If I was going to do this I wanted to change from UK fiat (140 BHP) to Abarth plus, which this tune will do either as phase 1 or phase 2 which will be available in the future. It doesn't create an Abarth car per se: there is no sport button nore does it change the steering feel which are within the Abarth standard system. But, and this is a big but, it is still a very cost effective performance improvement - I am well on the way to creating my ideal 124 for a lot less than Fiat want for an Abarth spec car.

Euro Compulsion V4 air filter system.
I used the same logic as with the tune and EC. I ordered them both together. Delivery from EC to UK was very good - but delays in customs and delivery within the UK took a long time! ( see my post on the EC tune thread) .

If you are thinking of importing from EC to the UK a few things I experienced.
1. The US tracking system is active until it goes into UK customs - it then says packet delivered. A few emails to Chris confirmed it was a problem at the UK end. Once it clears Customs, Post Office and Parcel Force then issue their own tracking numbers/ system and the whole process starts again - making payment for customs / import duties and handling charges. I still cannot understand how they arrived at the charges I had to pay. Total cost to me for the tune and V4 shipped to my door was £1052. Not cheap but I believe these are top quality products which will last the life of the car.

Fitting the V4. As others have reported it is very easy. I changed one part. I added a closed cell rubber block between the inlet pipe and the battery - it gives a little bit of support. So far no problems and I am very pleased with my investment.

Danny
 

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.... I still cannot understand how they arrived at the charges I had to pay. Total cost to me for the tune and V4 shipped to my door was £1052. Not cheap but I believe these are top quality products which will last the life of the car.

...
Holy ****. Are you **** kidding?! that's over $1300US! That is, quite simply, ridiculous!
 

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Ah, I thought it was for just the V4...hah, hah.
 

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I still cannot understand how they arrived at the charges I had to pay.
I used to write software that handled import/export. I'm not an expert but do understand (enough) how it works.

European Customs Duty is applied to all goods coming from outside of the EU with a value over £135 (this includes the shipping costs), everything from within the EU is exempt (until UK leaves the EU and then this will probably become everything from outside of the UK - this isn't a Brexit rant though so please don't turn it into one).

Customs Duty is calculated as a percentage of the total of goods value + shipping costs. What the percentage is depends on how the goods are located in the tariff, you can find various calculators on-line to help work this out. HMRC then charge VAT on top of that at standard rate (20%) and whoever is handling the final delivery in the UK charges handling on top of that - if its Royal Mail then this is £8 but others will charge differently.

Its all summarised here https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad

When I calculated the costs for getting parts from US I worked out the costs and decided the Duty + VAT pushed the price far beyond what I was comfortable spending so looked for EU based alternatives. I found someone selling the GFB DV+ on ebay and I've got a tune from TMC - I don't know how it compares to other tunes but its good enough for me. I've not found anyone selling anything like the Euro Compulsion intakes that fit the 124.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I used to write software that handled import/export. I'm not an expert but do understand (enough) how it works.

European Customs Duty is applied to all goods coming from outside of the EU with a value over £135 (this includes the shipping costs), everything from within the EU is exempt (until UK leaves the EU and then this will probably become everything from outside of the UK - this isn't a Brexit rant though so please don't turn it into one).

Customs Duty is calculated as a percentage of the total of goods value + shipping costs. What the percentage is depends on how the goods are located in the tariff, you can find various calculators on-line to help work this out. HMRC then charge VAT on top of that at standard rate (20%) and whoever is handling the final delivery in the UK charges handling on top of that - if its Royal Mail then this is £8 but others will charge differently.

Its all summarised here https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad

When I calculated the costs for getting parts from US I worked out the costs and decided the Duty + VAT pushed the price far beyond what I was comfortable spending so looked for EU based alternatives. I found someone selling the GFB DV+ on ebay and I've got a tune from TMC - I don't know how it compares to other tunes but its good enough for me. I've not found anyone selling anything like the Euro Compulsion intakes that fit the 124.
Hi Red spider, This is exactly my understanding and postion last Jan when I was thinking of a tune.
I bought my lowering springs from TMC but had a bit of a 'difficult' purchase - wrong springs then 3 front and 1 rear then no refund for the postage so I gave up on TMC and their tune.

But with the release of the 'reflash' tune from EC, I had a change of plan. I emailed Chris at EC and said I was only importing the hand held device - the tune came via the 'interweb thingy'. So for the customs paperwork would he quote the cost of the handheld device $250 not the full tune price $850. He agreed, so the Vat charges would be 1/3 of my intial calculations.

Now the reason for my confusion re customs Vat etc is teh following:
Handheld device ( tune) cost $250, shipping $60 for both Tune and V4 but dispatched from 2 locations and therfore 2 packets, so lets say $30 per packet. Customs charge £43 plus £8 Post Office charge. Total £51 this is less than I was expecting.

Packet 2 with the V4 Cost $350 plus $30 shipping. Customs charge £16 plus £15 Parcel Force charge - total £31.

I am over the moon with the products and the final customs charges but how they arrived at the charges is beyond me - but I got a result in the - Total cost Tune plus V4 £1050.

Conclusion
Would I buy from EC again? - Yes.
Is the reflash tune value for money? - yes because I have free access to phase 2 tunes etc.
Would I import other goods from the US? - unlikely due to the sytem failing here in the UK.

Am I a statisfied customer? - you bet I am.

Danny
 

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If anyone’s interested, I’m going to be in Scotland for Christmas - I can bring a EC reflash unit over from the US in my laptop bag and mail it on...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Engine Mods "Catch can"

Fitting the V4 gives space for a much neater postion for an oil catch can - others on this forum have done this before.

I had no prior knowledge of catch cans so I had to learn not only the theory but also find a location that looks like a factory fitted 'original' item. Many thanks to the posting by Greg and others on this and Fiat 500 forums.

I used the same aluminium can most of the specialist suppliers use but all the other parts came from my garage bits box or a local supplier.

The hose is Gates 19mm ID. This fits perfectly for 3 out of the 4 connections. Rather than have a junction piece and larger ID hose I used an adjustable reamer to 'slightly open out' the bore until a snug fit onto the 4th connection.

The can is attached to an aluminium plate which is attched to the body using the original filter housing locating nut.

I changed the baffle in the can from one side to the other so that all hoses now follow a natural run.

I think I have achieved my aim of a catch can that looks if Fiat fitted it.

Thanks Danny
 

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I think I have achieved my aim of a catch can that looks if Fiat fitted it.
True, apart from those clunky old Jubilee clips, maybe you could fit some OE-looking Clic clips?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
True, apart from those clunky old Jubilee clips, maybe you could fit some OE-looking Clic clips?
Agreed. Thanks for the reference - will pursue. How are you getting on with your replacement 124?
Danny
 

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looks good @Newod I plan on installing mine in the same spot. (I've got to fab a mounting plate like you did). Agree with @azzura I plan on reusing the factory clips... maybeClic clips to see if I can make it "look" factoryish. Although the V4.1 defeats thats...haha

I've also been waiting for some adapters to come in. (19mm to 3/8 bung) Changing the oil can too...as I wasn't thrilled with all the small metal shaving I found in it when I opened it to inspect the construction.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Section 2 Changes to boot ( trunk) area.

We all have different expectations and requirements. The following are based on mine.

The standard car comes with tyre repair kit located in the main part of the boot/trunk.

My logic is if I have a problem I will need easy access a basic tool kit / first aid kit / high viz jacket.
If I have a problem with a wheel/tyre I am unlikely to undertake a roadside repair - "call a man who can".
I would try to fix something which is falling off - zip ties / wire etc.
If I need to add oil - It would be a good idea to have the correct spec oil in the car not all petrol stations have 5W40 oil.

With this in mind I have reconfigured my boot/trunk.

1. Tyre kit relocated into the space reserved for the not supplied jack in the wing area. This also houses the tow hooks. If you need this equipment you will have time to empty the boot before the recovery truck arrives.

2. Tool kit - my own pack and spare oil stored in the other wing area but not behind the trim cover and high viz jacket - easy to get at.

3. I have added a false floor. Below the floor fits my suit carrier - perfect fit. Then 2 cases fit side by side without squashing the suit carrier. There is still space arround the edges for other bits and bobs you have on a road trip. The false floor is supported at the bumper end by my 'warning triangle' - again another item I will need but have time to empty the boot to get it out.

I have tried 2 other versions of this solution and this is the best so far. One piece of advice, putting stuff in the wing area needs to be held very firmly! I tried velco ties in version 1 and the tyre kit came loose - not a good idea.

Food for thought - perhaps.
Danny
 

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Can you take your car to a dyno to see the results of the EC remap?

Would love to see them!
 

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I've moved my tyre kit and towing eyebolt to the storage bin behind the drivers seatback. My top up oil lives in the garage but if I went on a long trip I'd put it behind the passenger seat. Clears the space in the boot and you can get at it by tipping the seat forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Purchase and fitting a turbo blanket.

Due to various family issues, I haven't done much or even driven my Spider for 4 months.
BUT I can now devote time to driving and using this fabulous car.

Latest addition is a turbo blanket. I have used the information and experiences posted by others to conclude:
1. because I intend keeping the car for a very long time, it will help preserve parts in the engine bay.
2. On balance the PTP blanket seems to be the best for me.

Well this has been the best 'overseas' purchase by far.
PTPturboblankets.com dispatched the part within 12 hrs of my order. It had left the USA within 2 days
and only spent 3 working days in UK customs - something of a record for me.

It gets better the $184 cost including shipping plus UK VAT and customs charges came out at £148 - a result.
Many thanks to PTP who saved me about £25.

Fitting is very easy, 15 mins if you stop for a coffee!

Hope to take it for a run in the morning to let it 'heat cycle'.

Other UK owners, this is a very easy purchase and fitting.

Danny
 

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It's a fantastic turbo blanket. I've had mine on for more than half a year and it still looks brand new.
 
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