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They have all the parts now, just waiting on the tech to work his way to mine...I guess those Fiat techs are kept pretty busy. Today marks 120 days of ownership, 12 of which spent in the dealership. 10% downtime 🙃
 

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They have all the parts now, just waiting on the tech to work his way to mine...I guess those Fiat techs are kept pretty busy. Today marks 120 days of ownership, 12 of which spent in the dealership. 10% downtime 🙃
That’s actually pretty good. The problem, I think, is more about a shortage of certified Techs than a manufacturing flaw, although I guess it could be either/or. But clearly, if they had more Techs, the wait would be shorter.
 

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'18 124 Abarth mt
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Looks like Gates has a few options for shorter belts with equivalent pitch and width. Ours is P/N T345, which coincidentally has 124 teeth :D It's just crazy enough to work...

View attachment 84879
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Sent an email to Meziere and got a reply. They have no experience with the current iteration of the 124, naturally. However, they do have recommendations for timing belt changes for older Chrysler and Honda V6's, some Subaru boxer engines, and others. So downsizing a belt to replace the water pump for the 124 may not be an obscure, "one-off" task.

Something to look into. Should my own '18 start leaking, I will.
 

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That’s actually pretty good. The problem, I think, is more about a shortage of certified Techs than a manufacturing flaw, although I guess it could be either/or. But clearly, if they had more Techs, the wait would be shorter.
I don't see how a shortage of techs is causing water pumps to destroy themselves. But a shortage of techs could cause a long wait for warranty work, which has certainly been experienced by many of us. An untrained tech could could install the sealant gasket incorrectly, like what has been hypothesized with some of our "water pump failures", but a leak around the gasket surface shouldn't kill the pump instantly like what happened with mine. A fault with the pump shaft seal inside the pump would look an awful lot like a leak around the gasket, with the front of the engine dripping in coolant. There is definitely a design and/or manufacturing flaw and I'm sure FCA is well aware of it by now. The problem is they don't seem to be doing anything to fix it, or at least they're not telling us or the dealers the plan if there in fact is one.

My wild guess is if they are doing something about the water pump problem, they are doing it via water pump design revisions, and waiting out the clock until either the dealers install good pumps on all Spiders and they stop coming back, or the warranty window starts closing. But even once our cars are out of warranty, many owners will still need new water pumps. I just hope they're an acceptable design before then, assuming they are actually working on changing the pump design, which is all theory at this point.
 

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I'm thinking that the return of water pump issues after warranty replacement is related to the difficulty of installing the pump in a manner that renders it leak-free. If the powertrain plant failed to install the pump leak-free, on a clean / dry engine, in a well-lit plant, with the engine conveniently at a comfortable work height...what is it like for a tech working in dark, cramped quarters, on a possibly oily engine that may have residual coolant dripping around the water pump mounting location?
 

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I was told by a FIAT mechanic that the engines are built to such narrow tolerances, they cannot retrofit water pumps to the same specs as a robot-controlled assembly process. Of course the robot screwed up. But they didn’t design it for repairs. That’s why in many cases, they are replacing the engine block as if it were a radio. Problem for FIAT Legal, though, is that they are flirting with a class action. It’s way past reputational risk at this point, given the pull-back. Too bad, because the 124 is otherwise a nice car.
 

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A robot may be applying sealant (because robots usually do it more accurately and consistently than humans), but most powertrain final assembly is still done by humans using torque-controlled power tools.
 
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Interesting new development!
Tony called today and said my car is ready. When they tore into and took the timing cover off, they found a loose freeze plug had fallen out of the engine block, right next to the water pump. The pump was NOT at fault. They replaced the freeze plug and timing belt (it got scored a bit by the loose freeze plug). They did not touch the water pump. They also said they test drove it and did a coolant pressure test overnight and should be ready to go. This failure makes more sense to me than a water pump, because it was a very sudden on/off event and was such a large amount of coolant that gushed from the timing cover. I wouldn't expect a leaking water pump to suddenly gush coolant like that, but what do I know.

Has anyone else popped a freeze plug? Maybe I should start a separate thread for that failure.
 

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Nope... Never heard of it before....

85357


85359
 
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Story time?
You can read about it in my build thread. Haven’t completed failure analysis yet, maybe this weekend but it’s upper 100s now and 110+ is not far away. It was 83 at 5am when I drove into work this morning.
 

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Ooof, this isn’t reassuring lol. Glad you got yours fixed!
 

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You can read about it in my build thread. Haven’t completed failure analysis yet, maybe this weekend but it’s upper 100s now and 110+ is not far away. It was 83 at 5am when I drove into work this morning.
Mind summarizing so we don't have to search through 1000 posts? I've never heard of a core plug just popping out while driving. Really losing faith in this car.
 

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'18 124 Abarth mt
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Hmm. Been following both threads. I thought Calehedron's engine popped the freeze plug because of head gasket failure relating to modifying an OEM gasket to fit block and head modifications - cylinder compression pressurized the water jacket. I thought a problem with installing and compressing the freeze plug had been ruled out, since the OEM plug had never been taken out. If I'm wrong, set me right.

On the other hand, I didn't like the way that big freeze plug looked - convex instead of concave, like it hadn't been driven in and compressed properly.

It would be interesting to see the freeze plug that popped on this engine.
 

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Hmm. Been following both threads. I thought Calehedron's engine popped the freeze plug because of head gasket failure relating to modifying an OEM gasket to fit block and head modifications - cylinder compression pressurized the water jacket. I thought a problem with installing and compressing the freeze plug had been ruled out, since the OEM plug had never been taken out. If I'm wrong, set me right.

On the other hand, I didn't like the way that big freeze plug looked - convex instead of concave, like it hadn't been driven in and compressed properly.

It would be interesting to see the freeze plug that popped on this engine.
That’s one guess but I think @Calehedron is still investigating.
 

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You've got to be KIDDING ME. Here I am on the side of the road again. Overheated, dropping coolant, and waiting on a tow. No rattling noise though.
85513
 
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