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Old 1st September 2008, 20:59   #1
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Smile Fiat Adventure on Custom Headers, FFE and Green Cotton CAI

I thought a lot and finally decided to write this review. I was not sure if anyone would be interested in reading this review but then I thought that I owe so much to this community that even if it doesn’t add much value, I should still share my bit. I would not have gone for Headers, FFE and Air Filter if it was not for Team-bhp. I knew nothing about performance modifications before becoming part of this community. And it is from this community that I came to know about people like Raj, Psycho, etc. Many thanks to Team-bhp…

Background:
I bought my first car (I mean with my own money) in September 2005. At that time I had limited options as compared to September 2008. I test drove almost all cars – Hyundai Accent Viva, Opel Corsa 1.6, GetZ 1.3, Baleno, Ikon 1.6, and Ford Fusion. Fiat was nowhere in my mind. And then suddenly it struck me that there is no harm in test driving even a Fiat. I called up Sundaram to book a test drive for Petra. And Oh boy! The test drive vehicle had done 60K kilometers and still the car felt better than all the cars that I had test driven so far. It was love at first drive. I decided to buy Petra.

I was particular to buy black color and even more particular about not to buy silver (or any other silver variants) color. Unfortunately, according to the dealer, the Fiat factory had suffered badly by the incessant Mumbai rains that year and the production had come to stand still. I am not sure if the story shared with me was true and Fiat was anyways selling very few cars. I waited for 6 weeks but no sign of Thunder Black or Flame Red Petra. One morning the frustrated salesperson from the dealer calls me and requests me to at-least check the new shade of Silver Petra from Fiat. He knew that I don’t want to buy any shade of Silver but he kept on insisting to just check once. I land at the showroom and I can’t believe my eyes. The Red Adventure was parked along with the Silver Petra. I completely forgot that I had come to check the Petra shade. The Red Adventure was love at first sight. There was not test drive vehicle. It was some 30K costlier but to me it appeared immensely more valuable. The booking was done the next day and car delivered in a week.

Problem description:
The first day itself, I take the car for a spin on the Mysore highway, and I realize that the car drives different from Petra. Petra is much peppier (relative to Adventure) at initial rev ranges and is more fun to drive. Whether it was the extra 200 kilos or the different gear ratios or both? I don’t know. But I feel that Adventure is sluggish when compared to Petra. Although, the car drives extremely well and I kind of gave in to the slower Adventure. But after a year or so I became really paranoid about the lack of excitement in driving my Adventure. It was fun on highways but driving it in the city was a pain.

The Concept:
As I started spending some time on Team-bhp, I came across this concept of performance modifications. I participated in a track day and saw some of the modded cars. Being non technical, it took me some good amount of time to realize the concept. Then there were so many stories of things going wrong with performance modifications. This is my family car and I mostly drive on highways. I don’t want to take a risk where I am stuck on a nondescript road with my family with no help around. The Fiat support is pathetic. It may happen even with the stock car but with performance modifications, the risk gets compounded. So what do I do?

Someone from Team-bhp introduces me to Raj. I met him first time at his home. And after an hour’s discussion I realize that I am at the right place. I tell Raj that I need a car which gives me better city driving experience. He is skeptical. He only believes that power is a function of RPM. So unless I rev hard, I will only have less power. But with my requests, he agrees to do the Free Flow for me and promises me to bring the power as low in the RPM range as possible.

Although I was pretty impressed and had almost made up my mind to go for Free Flow Exhaust, I still was skeptical and was doing my research on if there are other better options. I got to speak with Peter for the Air Filter. And after speaking with him I was fully convinced that there could not be a better place for this job. I fix up an appointment with Raj and leave my car at his workshop. I ask various questions to Raj only to annoy him badly. One of the questions was – Raj, how much power gain I will get with the FFE and CAI? His Answer – Once the car is done, you drive and tell me. I said okay and came back with my fingers crossed.

My thoughts:
I go to his workshop on the morning of the day when the car is to be delivered. The headers were already done. Raj was busy with turbo-ing a Baleno. Shabbir was busy with Raj. There were some 3-4 guys working on my car. I spent that one day at the workshop and I realized why Raj is so valued. Even the 14 year olds working at his workshop don’t have chalega attitude. Everything has to be perfect. The Air Filter and FFE exhaust took some 7 hours for the installation. At around 5:00 PM the car was ready. Raj and his team advise me to crank the engine. I start the car. Raj inspects the note. After some idle acceleration, he tells me to go for a spin. I come back impressed.

It has been more than 10 months now. I haven’t faced any issues in these 10 months. I have driven my car for more than 12000 kilometers; on long stretches (Bangalore to Ahmedabad and back to Bangalore), on short trips, and in city driving conditions.

In between I also upgraded to Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil.

I got what I had asked for – a better city driving experience. And some additional pluses – on highways, it’s much easier to reach 160 now and a better overtaking experience. There is no push back kind of thrust but there is xtra thrust of power between 1800 and 5000 RPM range. The exhaust note is awesome. Many people have fallen in love with the exhaust note of my car. I feel that I have shed the xtra kilos that the car came with. The pathetic power to weight ratio that the car came with, has improved quite a bit. I don’t have any quotable figures, but this is from the driving experience of my car before and after the upgrade. Due to its longer wheel base, it won’t be able to match a Palio 1.6 Sport on a track day, but it is much more fun to drive everywhere else.

I have kept my stock exhaust as is so that I can go back to it anytime I desire so

Fuel Mileage:
I use to get 10 in city driving conditions and 13-14 on highway drives. After the Headers, FFE and Air Filter the mileage in the city has dropped to 8 and for highway drives I am getting 15-16. According to my observation, there is less tolerance if I play hard with the accelerator pedal. Even on highways, if I am racing around, the mileage drops to 10. These figures are with 10-15% of AC usage.

Expense Sheet:
30K paid to Raj. It includes Headers, FFE with Stainless Steel Muffler, and Air Filter; 3.2K for Synthetic Oil.

Thoughts on after sales service:
I have been to Raj’s workshop two times after the installation – once for the fitment of CAI pipe for the Air Filter and the other time for getting the exhaust note adjusted. On both the occasions Raj was not there. Shabbir helped me out. He refused to take any money. It’s not about money but about their commitment to help.

The after sales service from Pete’s is also equally great. The CAI pipe was delivered to me the next day after I spoke with Peter. The Air Filter cleaning kit was also delivered in a day. All by courier at my door step. Thank you Peter.

Photographs:
I don’t have any WIP pictures. I am unable to take pictures of the Headers as the engine is reverse mounted and Headers are not visible. Some pictures of the engine bay are there on my Team-bhp garage.

Special thanks:
I would like to thank Psycho for weeding away my long standing doubt. I had this doubt about the resonance from the Headers at a particular RPM range of 2000-2600. I couldn’t meet Raj as he was in US and Psycho came to my rescue.

I would like to thank Peter for taking time to anwer all the questions that I threw at him.

Thanks
Anant
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Old 1st September 2008, 21:45   #2
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Wow... I looked at your galery pictures. How many power amps do you have in there? 2? 3?
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Old 1st September 2008, 22:21   #3
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Congrats Akbaree! Your Red Adventure looks Hot!

Good to know you are enjoying the additional power from FFE & CAI!
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Old 1st September 2008, 22:49   #4
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Hey buddy ,

Neat ride you got there , I have always been a fan of the Fiat Adventure but never managed to get my hands on one !!! One of the major turn off's has been with Sundaram Service and I am told that the TATA service tie-up is not good either !! Could you please throw some light on that ?
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Old 1st September 2008, 23:00   #5
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Nice write up buddy. Nice ride. Raj is a person who can tell you about your car's performance just by hearing the exhaust note. Keep revving.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:45   #6
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Good to read this, as me too had some plans to better the performance of my Adventure. I also have similar complaints (power to weight ratio) but was hesitant to void my extended warranty. I am sure to do something like this after the warranty period gets over. Thanks mate.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:56   #7
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Ananth great write up man

My impression after a short ride in your car, it is much easier to driver your car in city as you dont have to push it hard....takes off smoothly. Am planning to go for CIA asap...
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Old 2nd September 2008, 15:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
...Am planning to go for CIA asap...
.. What's that?

I am sure you meant CAI. Just pulling your leg buddy.

Go for Green and not K&N. I have not used K&N so can't really comment but have heard from folks at PUG that Green is better than K&N -- from folks who had K&N. I also went with Green and am very satisfied with it.

Cheers,
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Old 2nd September 2008, 15:17   #9
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yea i meant CAI....typo you see

I am not planning FFE though but CAI am sure will go for it soon..

Where can i get it ? have seen many K&N dealers but none GC dealers..


Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
.. What's that?

I am sure you meant CAI. Just pulling your leg buddy.

Go for Green and not K&N. I have not used K&N so can't really comment but have heard from folks at PUG that Green is better than K&N -- from folks who had K&N. I also went with Green and am very satisfied with it.

Cheers,
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Old 2nd September 2008, 16:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Where can i get it ? have seen many K&N dealers but none GC dealers..
You can PM turboindia (Peter).

I don't know for sure but Hot Tracks use to stock Green Cotton.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 16:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
... I don't know for sure but Hot Tracks use to stock Green Cotton.
Yes. I got mine from them some 3 months ago. Buy the 'Storm' and NOT the 'Wind'.

Cheers,
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Old 2nd September 2008, 21:45   #12
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As long as you are happy numbers dont matter.

Its great to know what you have done to your car. I think i saw this adventure at Satya's shop long time back. It was sounding really nice. Great going there

Hottracks still have green filters.
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Old 4th September 2008, 12:20   #13
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All, a quick question. Wouldn't installing CAI void the warranty?
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