From The Broken Fiat Club
How to install those expensive shiny parts.
By the way, race cars break. You've been warned.
- 1 Things to Think About
- 1.1 There Is No Such Thing as "Stage 1" or "Stage 2"
- 1.2 Do I want to void my warranty
- 1.3 Do I want to still be able to daily drive
- 1.4 Do I have a backup plan if my car breaks
- 1.5 Am I ever going to track my car
- 1.6 Will my girlfriend/wife hate my car
- 1.7 How much am I willing to spend
- 1.8 Do I want to do a couple of mods, or is this part of a bigger project
- 1.9 Do I have a set horsepower goal
- 2 What kinds of mods are considered "Bolt-On"
- 3 But I'm just here for the mods
Things to Think About
Before modding your car, consider the following questions:
There Is No Such Thing as "Stage 1" or "Stage 2"
These are merely marketing terms used by various vendors, and have zero meaning outside of that particular vendor's product line. If a friend tells you he has a "Stage 3 Civic" that means nothing in relation to any other Civic except for how deeply he reached into his pockets.
Do I want to void my warranty
- Some modifications have the ability to void your warranty. While you should be aware of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which can protect your warranty, be aware not all dealers follow that law. Additionally, sometimes your modifications did, in fact, contribute to the failure, and dealers are perfectly within their rights to deny a warranty claim. Repeat after Tavarish: "I am the warranty".
Do I want to still be able to daily drive
- Some modifications make a car very difficult or unsafe to daily drive. This ranges from rougher riding, angry neighbors, increased maintenance or even critical safety issues.
Do I have a backup plan if my car breaks
- See above. If your car is your daily driver, modding it is playing Russian Roulette with your ride to work. Getting a [Backup Car] is always a good idea, even if your Fiat is your daily.
Am I ever going to track my car
- Many mods are really pointless on the street. If you are not going to track your car, you may see no benefit from these mods.
Will my girlfriend/wife hate my car
- A surprising number of guys end up having to sell mods because their significant other objected after it was installed. If this is a concern for you, then you need to keep this in mind.
How much am I willing to spend
- This goes beyond up-front costs and includes the possibility of equipment failures, maintenance, etc. A new motor costs between $1000 and $1500 from LKQ on eBay. Are you prepared to pay that and the cost/time of a engine swap?
Do I want to do a couple of mods, or is this part of a bigger project
This is very important to consider, as sometimes one mod depends on another, and if you don't think about the big picture, you can end up having to change the same item multiple times or make unplanned purchases. Sometimes vendors bundle mods in convenient packages... which could be referred to as "Stage" or "Phase". Keep in mind cross-vendor comparison cannot be done by this terminology.
Do I have a set horsepower goal
If this is where you're coming from, then be realistic. You're not going to make v8 HP on a Fiat. Some vendors make unrealistic claims about HP output. Don't focus on that number, and instead focus on the specific mods and how they will achieve the specific effect on the engine that you desire. No mod, especially a plug in piggyback ecu, will give you "Up to 250bhp" by itself, or indeed, without some serious modification.
What kinds of mods are considered "Bolt-On"
Generally, the term "bolt-on" refers to a modification that can be installed to a vehicle without requiring other extensive modifications, specifically internal. This term is very overused. For some, it is basically any mod that doesn't require replacement or extensive modification of the engine block. However, a better use of the term would be to refer to mods that can be installed independently of other modifications. Due to this unclarity, I personally avoid the "bolt-ons" term completely.
But I'm just here for the mods
Okay. I gotcha bro. Check out these pages.
- Daily Driver Handling - You could call this Stage 1, if you wanted to.
- Road Warrior Handling - You could call this one Stage 2.
- Track Day Handling - You could call this Stage 3.
- Daily Driver Engine Performance - Stage 1 again bro.
- Road Warrior Engine Performance - And, stage 2.
- Track Day Engine Performance - Stage 3? Sure.