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Abarth 124 Spider in Isola d'Elba Blue with Heritage Pack
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Finally getting around to some mods piling up in the garage.......Eibach Pro-Kit (US) Springs with Oz Ultraleggeras (ET37), GWR Bump Stops & Lightweight wheel lugs, Abarth wheel caps, Cravenspeed door bushings and the MX5 ND replacement visors.....busy yet satisfying week. View attachment 89146
These look great! I hear, however, that the entire unit is £340 supplied from Mazda. :(

If you don't mind me prying, where did you get your chrome lock covers for the inside of the door (above the bushings)? :cool:
 
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Abarth 124 Spider in Isola d'Elba Blue with Heritage Pack
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I installed high-density foam within the void of each of my seats to improve lumbar support and comfort:

Furniture Hood Chair Bumper Automotive exterior
 

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2020 Fiat 124 Abarth, manual, Chiaro Silver, visability, navigation, convenience packages, brembos
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That’s a whole lot of modding, looks lovely though, I have to say the lower stance really suits this car. What is the difference in visors? My car has the OEM door bushings, what advantage is there to the Cravenspeed ones?
The visor are mostly a cosmetic upgrade. They are slightly padded and softer, tactilely, than our "Yugo-like", concave plastic visors. They function the same, are about the same weight but just look and feel a bit more premium. You can see from the photo above that they fill out the underside by the mirror (not concave with an exterior ridge on the underside like the Fiat's). It is about a $200 upgrade so no blaming anyone who doesn't think it is worth it. Ameridan has a descriptive article on the difference: Upgrading the Visors

Door Bushings?....some people say there is no difference, others do. I figure it is a convertible so a bit more rigidity through the doors can't hurt. They fit nicely and doors close snugly on my instillation.
 
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2020 Fiat 124 Abarth, manual, Chiaro Silver, visability, navigation, convenience packages, brembos
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2019 124 Spider Abarth
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My friend sent me a photo - she spied an Abarth getting towed this morning in Houston. Anyone know this car - are you on here?

Looks like AutoRicambi exhaust, 18” wheels?, back spoiler, Abarth fender badges…

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 
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Abarth 124 Spider in Isola d'Elba Blue with Heritage Pack
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Did you use an external lumbar pad previously?
Hey Chipshot, no I didn't. But a week on and I'm really happy with the modification. Next stop, reversing camera and puddle lighting!
 

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Hey Chipshot, no I didn't. But a week on and I'm really happy with the modification. Next stop, reversing camera and puddle lighting!
One benefit of being in the US is that my car came with a reversing camera. I try to park far away from puddles, so don’t miss having puddle lighting (my Giulia has it).
 

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One benefit of being in the US is that my car came with a reversing camera. I try to park far away from puddles, so don’t miss having puddle lighting (my Giulia has it).
Ag, but at least the Euro Abarths got all the badging, red bits and RM :p
 

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One benefit of being in the US is that my car came with a reversing camera. I try to park far away from puddles, so don’t miss having puddle lighting (my Giulia has it).
Ag, but at least the Euro Abarths got all the badging, red bits and RM :p
Happily fitted with RM and have red bits courtesy of Veleno.
Would definitely welcome the European Abarth interior upgrades.
 

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I covered a few things with carbon fiber wrap by Vivid. Really cool stuff to work with. Went around compounded corners but had to go slow and use a heat gun. The adhesive backing is heat activated.
 

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2018 124 Spider Lusso Red Top Edition, Automatic, Fashion Gray, Ivory Interior, Bordeaux Top
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2018 124 Spider Lusso Red Top Edition, Automatic, Fashion Gray, Ivory Interior, Bordeaux Top
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Curious.....Why? Do you bleed your brakes often?

In the motorcyclist world, they are not well respected. Maybe it is different for cars?
I put them on all my bikes. First application for me on a car. I gave my reasons for using them in the How To thread. YMMV
 
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I put them on all my bikes. First application for me on a car. I gave my reasons for using them in the How To thread. YMMV
Read the other thread, but didn't see an answer to my question of why.
How often do you need to bleed your brakes?
 

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Read the other thread, but didn't see an answer to my question of why.
How often do you need to bleed your brakes?
Bob I held cars for 11 years and just changed the rotors, pads and add some brake oil, never flushed them. So I presume years, milage, how you drive weather and usage of the car will determine the flushing.
 
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Read the other thread, but didn't see an answer to my question of why.
How often do you need to bleed your brakes?
What's up with you insisting that I justify my installation of speed bleeders to your satisfaction? You already have your mind made up negatively about speed bleeders, throwing out a murky critique, to wit: "In the motorcyclist world, they are not well respected." As a motorcyclist who is in the motorcyclist world myself, you are the first I've heard to level that broad and non-specific charge from vague and non-specific persons who aren't part of this forum. Nothing I can say to you will change your pre-formed opinion, so I distrust your motives and intent in asking for further justification.

I'm going to respond in more detail, even though you are trolling me, for the benefit of other members who may be confused by your non-specific beef with speed bleeders and, apparently, those who install them.

As I said in my How To thread: "Speed bleeders have a check ball that doesn't let air flow back into the caliper when you release the brake pedal during the bleeding procedure. This means you don't need a helper to pump the pedal while you tediously open and close the bleeder valve at each caliper, calling out "Down!" "Down!" "Up!" "Up!" innumerable times to each other." After installing speed bleeders, I completed my first non-spouse- / non-offspring-assisted total automotive brake bleed. Isn't that reason enough for any enthusiast?

How often do you need to bleed your brakes? Glycol-based brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from humid air. The brake system is not perfectly sealed off from atmospheric contact, so ambient moisture is absorbed by the brake fluid. This lowers its boiling point, which could lead to brake fade if the dissolved water turns to steam in the brake lines. This is something that is a consideration in a sports car that is driven with hard and continuous brake use.

Further, the moisture in the brake lines causes corrosion. Corrosion can cause brake caliper pistons to stick, leading to brake noise and / or premature or uneven brake pad and rotor wear. Corroded calipers can damage rubber seals as they scrape across pitted surfaces, causing fluid leaks. Eventually, corrosion can eat through brake lines, causing total loss of braking pressure which could of course be catastrophic. I have had that happen to me with an older vehicle once; thankfully it was in my own driveway but I never want to have it happen again.

It's easy to see a color change in brake fluid as it absorbs moisture: it changes from a clear very light color to an increasingly opaque and darker amber color. As a motorcyclist you should know that's why handlebar-mounted clear brake fluid reservoirs on motorcycles are called "urine specimen jars". When the brake fluid gets old and full of absorbed moisture, the reservoir looks like a jar of piss, which motivates the rider to bleed the brakes to stop the embarrassment of riding around everywhere looking at a jar of piss on their bike.

Many here have noted dark green particles and residue floating around in the reservoir. A senior contributor here, whose knowledge and experience I greatly respect, said that it was likely copper oxide from corrosion inhibitors in the brake fluid. If you are seeing the byproduct of spent corrosion inhibitors in the reservoir, that means corrosion processes are at work and the sacrificial inhibitors are being consumed. Once they are all gone, the brake system components themselves will get consumed. In my view, the appearance of these residues is an immediate indication that the brake fluid needs to be replaced.

Note dark amber color and cloudy appearance of this brake fluid (cause: water absorption) as well as the greenish residue of spent copper corrosion inhibitors:


Regarding the construction and design of speed bleeders: they are constructed exactly like standard bleed valves in terms of how they completely close off fluid flow when fully seated. They essentially act like a plug, same as standard bleed valves. The only difference in operation is when they are cracked open. The spring-loaded ball is simply a one-way check valve; it lets fluid out but closes to prevent the backflow of fluid and/or air into the caliper. Ball check valves are used in millions of applications all over the world and are "well-respected" by innumerable engineers for their low cost and simplicity.

The fact that speed bleeders are available in stainless steel is a real bonus: no chance of a rusted / seized bleed valve getting stuck and breaking off in the caliper. If that happens, you either have to extract the broken stem - potentially leaving metal particles inside the caliper - or replace the caliper. During a broken bleeder extraction attempt, if you generate particles that fall inside the caliper, you would then need to disassemble the caliper to clean it out before re-installation or else risk seal damage or piston sticking as a result of the metal debris.

Another speed bleeder benefit I noted: the bleed ports were larger for greater flow. This is a subtle feature that further eases and speeds the bleeding process.

So, how often do I "need" to bleed my brakes? As often as necessary to minimize the opportunity for water in the brake system to corrode its components. In practice, for me this means ideally every year but at most every two years in my climate. But, no need to take my word for it. Here are some words from an automotive industry professional:

Speed bleeders make the job so much faster and easier that there's no reason not to do it annually, for example when the wheels are off to rotate tires or to perform a brake pad inspection. Speed bleeders are even more useful on an automobile than a motorcycle; on a bike, you can open and close the bleed valve with one hand while operating the brake lever or pedal with the other. On a car, this is not even possible.

I'm planning to keep my Spider for a long time. I don't want it to become like the 124s of old, with corroded and defective brake systems that caused their owners to park them, never to be driven again. My one-time cost here was $71.95 for the speed bleeders, bleeder bag & hose combo, and shipping. My variable cost was about $10 for 24 oz. of DOT 4 synthetic brake fluid, so about $82 all-in for a DIY brake fluid change. The next fluid change will cost me $10.

My questions back to you @Bob T: 1. What's your problem with $10 a year brake fluid changes during the ownership of the vehicle? 2. How infrequently do you bleed your brakes and why do you need to bleed them so infrequently?

Editorial comment: It's people like you who make it frustrating for other people to post here about things that they've done to their cars. Nobody wants to share something cool or fun or useful when they have to put up with irritating nits and picks and digs from the likes of you. I saw your snarky comment just today regarding someone's choice not to paint their turbo bracket red, when the blanket itself was already red. It would have looked naff to have both of them red. But besides that, why badger the person and be a killjoy? This kind of rude commentary is how enthusiast forums like this lose enthusiasm.
 
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