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JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/5/12 6:29 p.m.

As promised in the initial thread I am starting this as a running build/ownership impressions thread. Probably a little light on the build and more on the impressions as I intend to keep her fairly stock.

Background in case you missed it here: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/a-tale-of-2-cars/53990/page1/

So a quick starting point photo

A few cosmetic mods are up first and then the only planned mods at this time will be

a) a Sprint Booster. This little device is made for throttle by wire cars and makes a significant improvement in the throttle lag many of these cars experience. It can be remotely set to off/normal/sport modes and the reports from other users so far are very complimentary. So that is on the list as soon as budget allows. Magneti Marelli is offering a similar product but it is almost twice the price so until I see a few more reviews and compelling evidence why the MM unit is better the Sprint Booster is the one on my list.

b) Possibly a short shifter. I'm getting used to the shifter in the car and it's not bad but shorter throws would be nice.

c) a little more long term, mostly due to cost, a Magneti Marelli or TMC engine controller. Either one of these piggybacks onto the factory wiring harness and basically acts as an electronic boost controller. Dynoed gains for both units are showing very good numbers, around 190hp at the wheels with no other mods. One vendor has gone over 200 at the wheels with the addition of a CAI and custom exhaust. 190 would be more than enough for my DD giggles. The TMC unit has 9 level settings but needs to be switched at the box (mounted underhood) the MM unit has 3 settings, typically set at off/ 50% / and 77% (recommended max by MM on a stock car) which can be controlled by wireless remote.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/5/12 6:33 p.m.

But first up:

Had the cutter fired up for some other projects so I decided to give Isabella some bling. Based on the decal on the euro abarth but a little smaller.

And why not break up that all black dash while we are in there

And it's never complete without its MTR logo

Hit 500 miles today (told y'all I drive a lot) still loads of fun :)

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
9/5/12 7:56 p.m.

That does look good.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce HalfDork
9/5/12 8:47 p.m.

That car with 190 horsies would be bonkers. I heartily approve.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/5/12 9:14 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: That car with 190 horsies would be bonkers. I heartily approve.

Don't quite hold your breath on that one yet, its an $800 upgrade and I have a lot of other places I could use that money (if I had it) right now. Just thinking out loud for the future :)

ptmeyer84
ptmeyer84 New Reader
9/5/12 9:18 p.m.

I don't know what they did to the exhaust on these little buggers, but man they sound good! Spent an hour the other day just watching you tube exhaust videos. Almost makes me regret my Mazda2 purchase.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/5/12 9:26 p.m.
ptmeyer84 wrote: I don't know what they did to the exhaust on these little buggers, but man they sound good! Spent an hour the other day just watching you tube exhaust videos. Almost makes me regret my Mazda2 purchase.

Its basically straight piped, there's no muffler, just straight back to a chamber which splits it in two.

sachilles
sachilles Dork
9/6/12 8:04 a.m.

My buddy had one of these until it got hit by a VW(while it was parked). I'm not sure he even had 4000 miles on it before it got totaled. Same color and everything. He's still fighting with insurance. He had let me test drive it on a twisty section of road here, fun car. He brought it to our autocross in April, the oem tires weren't exactly the best for the task(including the 40 degree temps). I'd love to rock one with dedicated competition tires. Enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cksVKTnVHek

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/6/12 8:17 a.m.
sachilles wrote: My buddy had one of these until it got hit by a VW(while it was parked). I'm not sure he even had 4000 miles on it before it got totaled. Same color and everything. He's still fighting with insurance. He had let me test drive it on a twisty section of road here, fun car. He brought it to our autocross in April, the oem tires weren't exactly the best for the task(including the 40 degree temps). I'd love to rock one with dedicated competition tires. Enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cksVKTnVHek

Doh, that sucks. If I had money I'd ask what the salvage buy back was gonna be because I'd love to stuff that motor in my Yugo.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
9/6/12 8:28 a.m.

I think he plans to buy back and drop the engine in an X1/9.

sachilles
sachilles Dork
9/6/12 8:29 a.m.

In reply to JThw8: He's way ahead of you. He has a couple of x 1/9's, that he wants the drivetrain for. He's a bit of a fiat fanatic.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/6/12 8:41 a.m.
sachilles wrote: In reply to JThw8: He's way ahead of you. He has a couple of x 1/9's, that he wants the drivetrain for. He's a bit of a fiat fanatic.

Excellent, I hope you can talk him into doing a build thread on here with it. I'd love to see how it works out. If it fits in the X it will fit in the Yugo.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
9/6/12 8:45 a.m.

I was amazed when I looked on Tire Rack and saw these use 4x98 wheels. I figured they would have change to something normal by now.

sachilles
sachilles Dork
9/6/12 9:06 a.m.

http://forums.sccv.org/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=2859 Meant to post this before, it's his build thread....mistakenly posted the youtube video again.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/9/12 1:39 p.m.

The way the side markers and turn indicator stood out against the black really bothered me, so no more. Thanks night shades!

Winston
Winston Reader
9/9/12 1:46 p.m.

Disapprove. Not because it doesn't look better (which it does), but because they're not as visible as they are without = safety issue. Same reason I disapprove of smoked headlights and taillights. Better looks (sometimes), worse function.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/9/12 1:48 p.m.
Winston wrote: Disapprove. Not because it doesn't look better (which it does), but because they're not as visible as they are without = safety issue. Same reason I disapprove of smoked headlights and taillights. Better looks (sometimes), worse function.

Actually the light shows through them quite clearly, especially at night. I will agree I don't care for it on headlights or tail lights but the side markers don't concern me quite as much. I rarely travel places where the visibility at night would be that much of an issue.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi HalfDork
9/9/12 6:56 p.m.

I about creamed a new camaro who had the rear light tinted; he was on his brakes but it did not show up! Those side markers are nice tinted though; looks good!

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/9/12 7:14 p.m.
chandlerGTi wrote: I about creamed a new camaro who had the rear light tinted; he was on his brakes but it did not show up! Those side markers are nice tinted though; looks good!

Also very much depends on how they tinted them. It seems some people are taking the plasti-dip fad a bit too far and using it instead of a more translucent product like night shades because they can remove the plasti dip if they dont like it. And yes in thin coats the plasti dip does seem translucent but it still blocks a lot more light than a proper lens tint.

But absolutely agreed, I'd never use it on my rear lights.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
9/9/12 8:38 p.m.

I look at the wheels, and see all the wasted space with the brakes, at least in the back. How much extra room is there in the front?

I have a strange obsession with down sizing wheels.

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/9/12 9:00 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: I look at the wheels, and see all the wasted space with the brakes, at least in the back. How much extra room is there in the front? I have a strange obsession with down sizing wheels.

It's a bit tighter in the front, the 16s from the Sport wont fit over them (says the guys who are looking for cheap winter wheels) the Abarth has 16s stock but a different style that fits over the brakes and 17s (like mine) are the optional wheel.

There are some lovely big brake kits out for the car but since I'm not tracking the car it would be an exercise in bling.

Winston
Winston Reader
9/10/12 7:32 a.m.

The base 500 runs 15" wheels, so that is an option if you downgrade the brakes. The only good reason to do that is because you want to have access to 15" rally tires, though -- and that's a great reason

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/10/12 10:00 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: I was amazed when I looked on Tire Rack and saw these use 4x98 wheels. I figured they would have change to something normal by now.

Fiat makes a lot of cars. So why can't they make their own normal?

JThw8
JThw8 UberDork
9/10/12 10:35 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote:
93EXCivic wrote: I was amazed when I looked on Tire Rack and saw these use 4x98 wheels. I figured they would have change to something normal by now.

Fiat makes a lot of cars. So why can't they make their own normal?

If anything it's finally opening up some wheel options for the owners of older fiats. I thought about tossing the 17s on the Yugo...just to see how it looks. Then again I'd love to toss the Chromodora CD-30s on the Abarth, but 13" :(

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
9/10/12 10:53 a.m.
JThw8 wrote:
Winston wrote: Disapprove. Not because it doesn't look better (which it does), but because they're not as visible as they are without = safety issue. Same reason I disapprove of smoked headlights and taillights. Better looks (sometimes), worse function.

Actually the light shows through them quite clearly, especially at night. I will agree I don't care for it on headlights or tail lights but the side markers don't concern me quite as much. I rarely travel places where the visibility at night would be that much of an issue.

If you feel so inclined... willing to try amber? I'm with you in not liking the clear/white, but amber would look good methinks.

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