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2017 Fiat 124 ABARTH
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I wish I could gut out the Mazda infotainment system and replace it with an easy-to-use, stable, up-to-date unit, that doesn’t require a combined degree in electronics engineering and computer science to get it done.
This can be done, with a caveat. You can remove the upper screen/control. Behind the screen is enough room to fit a standard DIN chassis. You can then bypass the weak factory amp.

(Bypassing the amp is something I've already done. I have a trunk full of amps now, see below, but there are small powerful units that can be discreetly tucked away)
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The caveat is there are a few controls that are only accessible via the touch screen. On the upside, these are all 'convenience' settings such as maintenance reminders, DRL settings, etc. How often do you change these? I haven't since I set them once. The other is the steering wheel controls, but I've got some ideas for that as well. This might be my next project as my factory touch-screen has begun to de-laminate and I can buy an entire aftermarket infotainment unit for less that what Fiat wants for the screen.

It really doesn't require any engineering degrees as it bypasses all the factory electronics, where the complexity resides. Remeber swapping out the factory radio for Pioneer/Kenwood/Alpine back in high school? That simply takes patience, not technical skill.
 

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This can be done, with a caveat. You can remove the upper screen/control. Behind the screen is enough room to fit a standard DIN chassis. You can then bypass the weak factory amp.

(Bypassing the amp is something I've already done. I have a trunk full of amps now, see below, but there are small powerful units that can be discreetly tucked away)
View attachment 96778
The caveat is there are a few controls that are only accessible via the touch screen. On the upside, these are all 'convenience' settings such as maintenance reminders, DRL settings, etc. How often do you change these? I haven't since I set them once. The other is the steering wheel controls, but I've got some ideas for that as well. This might be my next project as my factory touch-screen has begun to de-laminate and I can buy an entire aftermarket infotainment unit for less that what Fiat wants for the screen.

It really doesn't require any engineering degrees as it bypasses all the factory electronics, where the complexity resides, and installing an aftermarket system. Remeber swapping out the factory radio for Pioneer/Kenwood/Alpine back in high school? That simply takes patience, not technical skill.
Your technical and mechanical knowledge of the 124 never ceases to amaze and im sure your knowledge and knowhow passes over to other vehicles as well.
What you did to customize your headlight assemblies I still find incredible.
Have you ever considered opening up your own customizing shop ?
Keep up the great work and mods !
 

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Your technical and mechanical knowledge of the 124 never ceases to amaze and im sure your knowledge and knowhow passes over to other vehicles as well.
What you did to customize your headlight assemblies I still find incredible.
Have you ever considered opening up your own customizing shop ?
Keep up the great work and mods !
Maybe he can also help with Tributo Ferrari badge installation. ;)
 
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2019 124 Spider Abarth - Hypnotic Red w/very large old man spilling out.
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This can be done, with a caveat. You can remove the upper screen/control. Behind the screen is enough room to fit a standard DIN chassis. You can then bypass the weak factory amp.

(Bypassing the amp is something I've already done. I have a trunk full of amps now, see below, but there are small powerful units that can be discreetly tucked away)
View attachment 96778
The caveat is there are a few controls that are only accessible via the touch screen. On the upside, these are all 'convenience' settings such as maintenance reminders, DRL settings, etc. How often do you change these? I haven't since I set them once. The other is the steering wheel controls, but I've got some ideas for that as well. This might be my next project as my factory touch-screen has begun to de-laminate and I can buy an entire aftermarket infotainment unit for less that what Fiat wants for the screen.

It really doesn't require any engineering degrees as it bypasses all the factory electronics, where the complexity resides, and installing an aftermarket system. Remeber swapping out the factory radio for Pioneer/Kenwood/Alpine back in high school? That simply takes patience, not technical skill.
Are there any pics of what the screen swap for a DIN looks like completed?
 

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2017 Fiat 124 ABARTH
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Are there any pics of what the screen swap for a DIN looks like completed?
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This is an Alpine Halo head unit in a Miata, no matter as both Fiat and Miata use the same radio hardware but with different software programing. The drawback of this unit (at least for me) is the $1,200 price tag. I plan to use an Android head unit in the 400-500 dollar range that has even more capabilities. (True Hi-Def display, front and rear cameras, 5G internet, Car Play and Android Auto, ODB2 Bluetooth interface, tire pressure/temp, digital audio processing and more. It even works with the factory steering wheel controls.
 

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Everyone here needs to invest in costume made seat covers. Fortunately I’m selling a pair you guys can fight over. Lol no seriously had some custom made looked beautiful in the car, traded the car in years ago and they’re just sitting in a box in my storage unit. Reasonable offers accepted. Also they’re were the easiest to remove so I can imagine they’re much fun to install. (I had them installed by the company that fabricated them).
 

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The biggest challenge I see is when we start getting into the 150,000 mile range and need timing belts and other major maintenance. Yes it’s a mopar engine. But there are a lot of parts unique to the spider. And the other pieces is going to be the knowledge loss. There were few mechanics trained to work on them. And as time goes by now this training will not be available to new mechanics.

the other big challenge is going to be the body parts. a lot of the panels and such are Mazda so if the insurance companies allow using Mazda we should be OK. But the entire front and rear plastic are fiat. Headlights. Tail lights. All fiat. The intercooler is only in the spider. Hit a deer dead center and the entire front end plastic, steel, and intercooler will meet to be changed.

Fortunately the aftermarket is really at filling gaps. It’s called capitalism and it works. Problem is there are not a huge number of spiders in USA. Less than 20,000 I think? Or is it 45,000? I can’t remember. But this means the market is small. That will force prices to be higher. We aren’t going to find parts readily available on junkyards. Fortunately the European market for the cars was much larger. So it may be we are accessing parts from European aftermarket suppliers.

Sadly there are a lot of other parts on the engine that are also spider unique. The cooling system tank and turbo cooling pump are unique to the spider. Belts and hoses are unique as the spider is the only installation of the 1.4 multi air with driveshaft running front to back.
Fortunately transmissions are all Mazda. So they should be around. Rear diff Mazda. Braking all Mazda.

On the good news side of things . Other than the damn water pump problem that I had to have fixed twice my car (knock in wood) has been perfect! I took a 10 year 100,000 mile extended warranty because I have heard horror stories of mopar automobiles. But so far at nearly 30,000 it’s been great. I change the oil and filter every 5000. Those oil filters are common among many installations. So no problem there. I changed the rear diff oil at 20k and oil looked silver-ish which I expected for break in, but nothing surprising. Other than the water pump leak mine is running perfectly. I did notice some oil blowback on the air filter. In reading it appears if you drive them like they are to be driven either life with it as it’s not really harmful, or install a catch can which I’ll probably do in the spring. but other than the water pump mine runs great. Changing the serpentine belt looks like a pain. And I shudder to think how hard it will be to change the timing belt. But everything else on these cars is reasonably easy to do.

I think best answer is enjoy our cars like they were intended to be enjoyed. And enjoy the notaries of having something not many people have. Then just face the problems as they come up.

I’ll be adding fiat maintenance videos to a YouTube channel at some point. Right now I just don’t have time. But I’m retiring in a year and one of the things I’d like to do is make some decent fiat spider maintenance videos. There are very few. So that will hopefully help people.
 

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Hate to be late to this, but what has occurred, or not occurred, to indicate that 124 Spider owners are being abandoned? After market support or adhering to warranty obligations or something else?
 

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2019 124 Spider Abarth - Hypnotic Red w/very large old man spilling out.
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View attachment 96792
This is an Alpine Halo head unit in a Miata, no matter as both Fiat and Miata use the same radio hardware but with different software programing. The drawback of this unit (at least for me) is the $1,200 price tag. I plan to use an Android head unit in the 400-500 dollar range that has even more capabilities. (True Hi-Def display, front and rear cameras, 5G internet, Car Play and Android Auto, ODB2 Bluetooth interface, tire pressure/temp, digital audio processing and more. It even works with the factory steering wheel controls.
Very nice and clean install!! Doesn't look "patched together." I really like it!
Let me know which Android head unit you decide on. I like all the features you mentioned, especially the cameras, as I do not want to lose that, plus the steering wheel controls! All features I do not want to lose. I really like what you have done/going to do, and have a strong feeling I would like your choice of Android head unit also! If you do not post here, please shoot me a DM. THANK YOU!!
 

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Very nice and clean install!! Doesn't look "patched together." I really like it!
Let me know which Android head unit you decide on. I like all the features you mentioned, especially the cameras, as I do not want to lose that, plus the steering wheel controls! All features I do not want to lose. I really like what you have done/going to do, and have a strong feeling I would like your choice of Android head unit also! If you do not post here, please shoot me a DM. THANK YOU!!
I have the head-unit swap planed for Feb/March as I have some non-car things to do between now and then. I'll post the build here on the forum when I complete it.
 
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Hate to be late to this, but what has occurred, or not occurred, to indicate that 124 Spider owners are being abandoned? After market support or adhering to warranty obligations or something else?
Go look for parts that aren't shared with the Miata and you will understand. Front and rear bumpers, head lights. tail lights, water pumps, seat belts and more are out of stock or have multi-month waiting lists.
 

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2019 Abarth 124 Spider: Hypnotique Red, Rd/Bk Abarth Sport Seats, 6MT, Brembo,Visibility,Navi & Bose
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The biggest challenge I see is when we start getting into the 150,000 mile range and need timing belts and other major maintenance. Yes it’s a mopar engine. But there are a lot of parts unique to the spider. And the other pieces is going to be the knowledge loss. There were few mechanics trained to work on them. And as time goes by now this training will not be available to new mechanics.

the other big challenge is going to be the body parts. a lot of the panels and such are Mazda so if the insurance companies allow using Mazda we should be OK. But the entire front and rear plastic are fiat. Headlights. Tail lights. All fiat. The intercooler is only in the spider. Hit a deer dead center and the entire front end plastic, steel, and intercooler will meet to be changed.

Fortunately the aftermarket is really at filling gaps. It’s called capitalism and it works. Problem is there are not a huge number of spiders in USA. Less than 20,000 I think? Or is it 45,000? I can’t remember. But this means the market is small. That will force prices to be higher. We aren’t going to find parts readily available on junkyards. Fortunately the European market for the cars was much larger. So it may be we are accessing parts from European aftermarket suppliers.

Sadly there are a lot of other parts on the engine that are also spider unique. The cooling system tank and turbo cooling pump are unique to the spider. Belts and hoses are unique as the spider is the only installation of the 1.4 multi air with driveshaft running front to back.
Fortunately transmissions are all Mazda. So they should be around. Rear diff Mazda. Braking all Mazda.

On the good news side of things . Other than the damn water pump problem that I had to have fixed twice my car (knock in wood) has been perfect! I took a 10 year 100,000 mile extended warranty because I have heard horror stories of mopar automobiles. But so far at nearly 30,000 it’s been great. I change the oil and filter every 5000. Those oil filters are common among many installations. So no problem there. I changed the rear diff oil at 20k and oil looked silver-ish which I expected for break in, but nothing surprising. Other than the water pump leak mine is running perfectly. I did notice some oil blowback on the air filter. In reading it appears if you drive them like they are to be driven either life with it as it’s not really harmful, or install a catch can which I’ll probably do in the spring. but other than the water pump mine runs great. Changing the serpentine belt looks like a pain. And I shudder to think how hard it will be to change the timing belt. But everything else on these cars is reasonably easy to do.

I think best answer is enjoy our cars like they were intended to be enjoyed. And enjoy the notaries of having something not many people have. Then just face the problems as they come up.

I’ll be adding fiat maintenance videos to a YouTube channel at some point. Right now I just don’t have time. But I’m retiring in a year and one of the things I’d like to do is make some decent fiat spider maintenance videos. There are very few. So that will hopefully help people.
Can you post a link to your channel when available?
Thanks👍
 

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One thing that would be nice, it would be to have aftermarket options to the infotainment system that does not have the limitations of the original unit. I have looked and searched, and so far, no one offers an aftermarket replacement unit. BTW, if someone does know about an aftermarket replacement, please let everyone know. Thanks
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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One thing that would be nice, it would be to have aftermarket options to the infotainment system that does not have the limitations of the original unit. I have looked and searched, and so far, no one offers an aftermarket replacement unit. BTW, if someone does know about an aftermarket replacement, please let everyone know. Thanks
Check out the alpine unit @TX_Bandit has in his. That thing is slick and from what I read it interfaces with the factory equipment nicely.
 

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Had mine since October and the only thing I'm think I really need soon is going to be good quality seat covers. I looked at 2 others with leather seats and they all had tears starting in the leather by the driver's door.
Abarth supplied and fitted a new leather seat cover under warranty due to splits around the stitching.... Take it back to a Dealer soon
 

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Check out the alpine unit @TX_Bandit has in his. That thing is slick and from what I read it interfaces with the factory equipment nicely.
I did look at the one you mention, but I also noticed that there are other units with the same features or possibly more at a lower price. Will just wait till someone does the swap and post instructions as to how they did it, what problems they ran into, and the solutions to the problems if any. My main problem with the OEM unit is, not able to add WiFi, and no automatic updates on maps, or download apps, like Pandora for example. My other vehicles come already loaded with google maps and can download apps from the App Store or Google store.
 

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2019 124 Spider Abarth - Hypnotic Red w/very large old man spilling out.
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I did look at the one you mention, but I also noticed that there are other units with the same features or possibly more at a lower price. Will just wait till someone does the swap and post instructions as to how they did it, what problems they ran into, and the solutions to the problems if any. My main problem with the OEM unit is, not able to add WiFi, and no automatic updates on maps, or download apps, like Pandora for example. My other vehicles come already loaded with google maps and can download apps from the App Store or Google store.
I am of the same mind. I love that Apline, but I want to wait until I find one that I can use the OEM backup camera, steering wheel controls, and the already installed SiriusXM...or the antenna at least...but I just can't seem to find one that checks all the boxes. I am hoping @TX_Bandit finds a good one with all the bells, and at least one whistle. LoL
 
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