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Abarth 124 Spider Turismo, 02/2017
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening ladies/gentleman/whatever,

this is a continued post from last year, where i said i would look into my motor/transmission because of different problems.

Just a quick sum-up:

-Im driving an Abarth 124 Spider Tourismo, build 02/2017, EU.
-Im not a car-mechanic, just a normal dude with no wife.
-Got it from a respectable second-hand-cardealer with 1 year warranty and good documentation. It had 12.000km on it. Price around 25k€.
-Problems were beginning after the warranty.
-Went to a official Abarth-Center for just changing all fluids and filters (you can read it in the post last year).
-They fucked up (2 spark-plugs not properly screwed in, had engine-failure after 3 weeks, cleaned spark plugs and ignition coils, then it worked. They also apparently threw away 5 screws of the plate below the oil-pan for no apparent reason. If the motor was damaged in this time its smth i had no time so far looking up, will do after my transmission is fixed. They got 1 star-rating, just for your information.
  • Had difficulty getting my gears to properly engage, mostly in first and second (The noise of grinding gears even though the clutch was completly pressed down was, to say the least, quite scary).
  • Transmission had sometimes problems when going uphill, especially in first gear it would sometimes wobble and a rough start.
  • When accelerating starting at 4000RPM every single time trying to engage from first to second even though the clutchstick was properly in there and i slowly let got of the clutch it threw moneyshots. There was around 2-3 times it went smoothly, but it pissed me off (Im a very....very emotional driver sometimes, sorry for having to be truthful)).

Now there were more problems this year, beginning february:

  • The clutch, from first to thrid gear, would grind, with acceleration it got louder and went through the whole drive, sometimes there was nothing, sometimes you were scared that you have to call a taxi and get it towed back. BBehind the steering-wheel the armature was rattling a little.
  • The Motor sounded unhappy when the grinding happens, as if he has to pull a trailer or smth (slow acceleration, small changes to RPM when in idle, sometimes the car was totally fine and no noise was heard).
-I tested mutliple points of failure, and only when pressing the clutch the noise started to fade within 2-3 seconds. Which is why i think its not the transmission but the clutchplate or
dual mass flywheel, because otherwise the transmission would constantly be noisy, not go quiet if you press the clutch (The rear-wheels would still spin the transmission, even with a
locking differential.
- And the biggest problem: i went to a car-mechanic to get it checked, they heard it when first started, they brought it on the lift and then: NOTHING. For the next 3 hours, they couldnt locate the noise and they wrote it off (And i did TÜV, didnt make it because my left front tire had a scar from when i had to evade a bicycle-driver, not that this is worth mentioning here). Not even 10 Minutes after i left with my car again there was the grinding noise again and yeah...worth paying.

Now, after many weekends where i told myself to do it next weekend because at some point you think everyone is just not taking the time for you to fix smth because you are worthless, i brought it up on the lift and got the transmission down. First of all:

-A: I dont have the right tools to properly work on the transmission. Yes i should have bought the right tools first and then start doing smth but i still got it as far as you can see on the photos.
-B: Working to get the Transmission out was a meticulouse, 6 hour deal, because of no room to navigate, no transmission-lift and secret screws where you have to build out nearly everything to even see them (Thanks to Huskky, BGS and whatever extension-brand helped me out here).
-C: I hope i get it build together properly, but the only thing that broke was a bolt below the Catalysator (Was heavy-screwed in, screwed back in, back out, sprayed it with creep, then back... and it broke). Will see that i get the correct screw for it, in the meantime...meh, whatever, some spit and glue will work out fine.

So as you can see i can cry quite good, even though i should know this is not easy.

Okay, now to the real matter:

After i got the transmission out the dual mass flywheel had Brass-chips on the center hub. After looking inside it i saw blueish spots on most of the inside, meaning it got very hot. The same on the clutch-disk at the center-points. (Photo 3 and 4)
While building down the transmission the actuator for the clutch return bearing was leaking a little, but only when being completly engaged. Now here is my first question:
- Does it leak when you take it off and it can completly actuate all the way? Maybe i did smth wrong and you should never do it, but just asking. (Photo 1)
Maybe the actuator never properly engaged the clutch and thats why i had problems with my clutch. But im guessing atm, i continue tomorrow.

Now for the second question:
-If i build it together again, with everything properly torqued down and new clutch-disc and dual mass flywheel and connecting all sensors, do i need to relearn the ecm or smth like that? Especially with the synchrogears?
Im pretty sure in this day and age you always have to reprogramm smth if you change it, but maybe this is not the case. Just for interest: before i disconnected anything i terrminated the minus on the battery, the more you know.

Third:
- Do you guys know what the tolerance of movement is on the gear-shaft? It is a little bit on the lean side and before i start making a mess out of it and playing in an area where i only know basic knowledge i better ask you if it can have some movement. Because if i have it already down, might as well make the best of it.

Fourth:
I uploaded all images, if someone can point out smth if he sees a defekt or mistake (except the black powder, normal abrasive material from the clutch) i gladly take the suggestion.

And last:
- Is there a good diagnostic-tool for relearning an abarth 124 spider without paying a 1000€ on it? I have an Autel here (~400€), but apparently it doesnt support the Spider. Only the 500, and if i Auto-VIN it it doesnt find it. (Already ask manufacturer, a sorry is the only thing i got). Maybe Mazda MX5 works? Does someone know which ECM is build in?)

Thanks for a reply and have a nice weekend.

With regard.

A bavarian guy.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And more pictures. Just for further diagnosis.
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Since it's a purely manual clutch and slave cylinder, I don't believe any relearn is necessary. Not that I've heard of before anyway. But if anyone else knows otherwise, they can chime in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What i also found: the clutch-disc has abrassions on the side, shown in the pictures.

I dont know if thats from factory (balancing) or damage.
What i can clearly say is that the dual mass flywheel has too much movement side to side, you can wobble it and when engaging you can hear it tick on one point but not on the others (Springs not engaging correctly) so im pretty sure the bearing is trashed.

At this point im not sure if i should build everything together with a new dual mass flywheel and try it out or if i should also look into the transmission, just for good measure.

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What i also found: the clutch-disc has abrassions on the side, shown in the pictures.

I dont know if thats from factory (balancing) or damage.
What i can clearly say is that the dual mass flywheel has too much movement side to side, you can wobble it and when engaging you can hear it tick on one point but not on the others (Springs not engaging correctly) so im pretty sure the bearing is trashed.

At this point im not sure if i should build everything together with a new dual mass flywheel and try it out or if i should also look into the transmission, just for good measure.

View attachment 93210 View attachment 93211
Very strange. The abrasions are perpendicular to the rotation.
Also, opening up the transmission case is a much bigger step than everything you've done so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Short update:

out of curiosity i opened the transmission. In Short: Everythings not broken or damaged. Phew.

Now here is another question: the sliding sleeve is at an offset, around 5-6° from the central selector shaft. Is that normal? Because as far as i can see its fastened with a grub screw, which might got loose a little and brought it to an offset. Trying to get into gears is a little rough (but works). Normally it should be centered, in my thoughts, because the selection between all 6 gears should be equally long. As i said, this is going a little too deep into what the manufacturers specify and i only know the basic knowledge of how it (should) work. So maybe someone works at mazda/fiat and knows a little bit off it.

The shift forks have a little wear, but nothing that concerns me as far as rebuilding goes. The right one on the picture has play for about 2 mm, but thats not that deeply concerning.

So i will buy some sealant and new transmission-oil for it, but i take it that theres no problem inside the transmission. Which leaves me with what i found above.

And again: if you see something that might be wrong or looks damaged i plead to inform me. Dont wanna build that thing down again :D.

Have a nice weekend.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And for good measure:

inside the engine everything is okay, no curbs or notch or scratches on the cylinder-walls, in the pickup is nothing, so apparently its really just the bearing of the two mass flywheel that gave up (because of the brass-chips i wasnt sure if i wouldnt find something in the pickup).

And because it never works out free of damage when doing it the first time: when taking down the oilpan i broke the plastic oilpickup-tube that got caught up when breaking the sealant...so i have to replace that.... dammed :( . Lesson learned.

See ya next week.
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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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You are doing a lot of work on your car. If you need information, or pictures I may be of some help. I work for Alfa Romeo and they are owned by the same company. I also used to work for Mazda and I can tell you they have no information on our cars. Just let me know what you need and I will see if I can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@mtnghost thanks, appreciated.

Its mostly just the specifics that i need to know. As mentioned above it should be the two mass flywheel which was the fault. The Brass-chips, as far as i can tell, could be residues from either factory or a bearing that gave up after 50k kilometers. As far as ordering the two mass flywheel, i found a new one for 295€/310,58$, which should do it. The only thing i cant find is the clutch-disc. That thing is not available here in germany as far as numbers from LuK go and i tried different vendors (Part-Number A40116460 LuK/Mopar). At store.mopar.com i found it (Partnumber 68345805AA ) but it ships from USA and as far as i can tell only to US-Citizens with a pickup. So no luck here.
Font Parallel Rectangle Diagram Logo

So i will have to look around to get it. If i dont get it, the current one still has some life in it, so i can replace it on a later date.

What i dont find is this one:
Slope Font Parallel Auto part Diagram

Its the one that broke. There is no parts-number from mopar, so it apparently is not being shipped with it (or they made a mistake on the website and didnt insert it). So after searching around and not finding one, i will actually, honestly, with bad feelings, have to glue it back together and use a self-bonding tape around it to stabilise the glued area to make it stronger. If that thing fails it takes around 5km and i can say byebye to my pistons now orbiting the ISS, potentially making a better job than NASA.

The last thing, where you really could help me out, is if you, at Alfa Romeo, take out a manual transmission, do you have to reprogramm something? Like relearning synchro-gears or making adjustments to how ABS or the like behave? Just asking out of curiosity.

Anyway, once i get it back together we will see if that solves my problems. Until then: Thanks.

And by-the-way: does someone know if the orange spots on the pistons is a residue of overheating? You can barely see it on the photos, but there are some pistons with a taint on the side. Just asking, could be burned-up oil too.
 

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Spots look like paint, maybe for assembly purpose. The clutch if you can’t find it factory there is at least one aftermarket clutch on 500madness site. Also a guy in Italy makes them along with other parts for our cars. Don’t remember the name sacoria63 something like that. Looked for it and couldn’t find it because I can’t remember how to spell it! Looks like you have some sort of factory manual and if there is no part number for the pick up then maybe it only comes with oil pan but I will check. Lastly there is no reprogram needed for manual transmissions. Hope some of the information helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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I wrote it a little bit wrong, so sorry:

i mean these spots here:
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The other 2 dont have them, im just curiouse if that was because of overheating or residue of oil being burned up and going down the cylinder-walls.
 

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Ah I see so it’s actually on the underside of the piston. It does seem to be burnt oil. What oil are you using? Maybe you need an oil that can withstand the heat better. I know access to oils we use in US may be different than in Europe for many reasons including emissions, but if you can get a hold of the penzoil platinum euro it’s factory fill and should be available and very good. I have used the other top oils from US company’s Amsoil and Redline. Both very good in my opinion and Redline states it does very well in high temperature environments. There are Amsoil dealers on the site that can give you insight on their oil. I’m thinking if low quality oil causes this the high quality oil and frequent changes will clean up the engine and at very least prevent further damage. Also sorry for misunderstanding earlier, I thought you were referring to the dots that indicate what cracked caps belong with the corresponding rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, could be. As far as i remember i had a short time where, for some reason, the motor would use nearly 500ml of oil for 800km. Which if i didnt check regularly weekly would result in a non-existent dipstick-fill. Could be from that time (Happened twice, since then it normalised).

The ClutchKit is not appropriate. A single mass flywheel is the last thing i want for a near-daily-driver, especially if my transmission is still in prestine condition. I do all of this here so i dont have to buy a new transmission and axle for 3000€ or change out the motor. If i would use it for rallye or track-days yeah, propably, but not for a daily (which doesnt mean i have no plans for it ;) ).

I found a new clutch-kit at italo-fahrzeugteile.de, which is a german site, for roughly 560$/530€. Now with the 300€ for a two mass flyhweel we are at around 800€.

So, here are my options:

1. Switch out the two mass flywheel, build it together and see if it stops making noises. If it does, good, if not, change out the rest of the clutch-kit and proceed.

2. Go the tuning-route already and build in eurocompulsion-parts:
CLUTCH MASTERS PERFORMANCE
Two Mass light-weight fly wheel
(~1000€)

3. Go to my next Toys´R´us and buy a small bypedal-bike. Go to the Nürburgring with a trumpet and make some silly noises while i try to break speed-records.

Either way i get it fixed.

I have another question, maybe you know it: the screws for mounting the transmission to the motorblock together are aluminum. Normally those are expansion screws, so if i take them out, normally you have to replace them. In my basic knowledge its not as critical as studs for the motorblock. Can i reuse them?

Thanks for a reply.
 

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Ok as per the manual, you don’t have to replace the transmission to engine bolts, but you must replace the flywheel bolts once removed. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Allright, sh!t happens.

Transmission is build in, no problems so far. Have 1 screw left, still scratching my head where it belongs (but at the same time i have other maschines where im currently working on, so could be from another project.

Motor starts aaaaaaaand there is still the same noise. Didnt change at all. The good thing is first gear is making no problems anymore and you dont hear that quiet screaching from the transmission (was the flywheel).

So, further down the rabbit hole, low-and-behold: spark plug 2 had oil on it....not only the plug, but the spark plug chamber and ignition coil too. Dammed.

So i went to get it out, and.....the spark plug was loose. Which couldnt be, so i tried making it tighter....didnt work....again .... until i took it out with a rubber insert: broken inside the threads.

Sparkplug 3 and 1 also had small oil-residue, but far less than 1. You know what that means.

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Already ordered the tool for setting the timing, 2 head-gaskets, 4 new sparkplugs.

Once i get down with the sickness on this piece of equipment i post some photos. Will be entertaining.

Until then: screw me.
 
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