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Old 28th May 2010, 15:11   #1
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Default General question about tuning (Fiat engines)

Having had a long conversation with one Indian member of the enthusiast scene it transpired that hardly anyone wants to touch Fiats let alone increase performance of them.

I personally love tuning Fiats and have done so for many years. And the smaller the better.

The engines are brilliant for tuning.

Out of the 1.9 liter unit we got so far 265bhp and around 450lb ft of torque and know that the engine block can take even more.

The little 1.4 T-Jet engine can be taken to over 250bhp without revising internals.

The Palio 1.6 engine is often being turboed by lots of Greek car owners (in the Stilo chassis)

The little Cinquecento we love to fit the 1.4 engine with at least 130bhp after modifying the engine.

Over here we love it and the results are great even on the smaller 1.2 engines.

Is it really true that you guys and girls don't like tuning Fiat engines?

@admin, I suppose it is the right forum to post as it isn't a technical question, but if you think otherwise, please move it to the appropriate section.
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Old 28th May 2010, 15:38   #2
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Having had a long conversation with one Indian member of the enthusiast scene it transpired that hardly anyone wants to touch Fiats let alone increase performance of them.
True. I also remember some 'tuners' in our place telling that Fiats are not made for tuning and it is extremely difficult. And for this reason, some so called enthusiasts hate the brand. They make the owners think that they should be ashamed to the core, since they own a Fiat. (It so happened with me on a meet here )

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The Palio 1.6 engine is often being turboed by lots of Greek car owners (in the Stilo chassis)
Tell that to the tuners here and they will say Palio 1.6 with a turbo exists only in your dreams and in Chile. I've seen comments like "instead of turbo-ing your Palio, why don't you buy a new powerful car"

Last edited by clevermax : 28th May 2010 at 15:48.
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Old 28th May 2010, 15:41   #3
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Peter, are you referring to the 1.9 diesel engine. 'm a noob when it comes to car tuning but i've seen this on Palio here.. felt it was kind of rough almost truck like.

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Old 28th May 2010, 16:31   #4
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The engines are brilliant for tuning.

Out of the 1.9 liter unit we got so far 265bhp and around 450lb ft of torque and know that the engine block can take even more.

The little 1.4 T-Jet engine can be taken to over 250bhp without revising internals.

The Palio 1.6 engine is often being turboed by lots of Greek car owners (in the Stilo chassis)

The little Cinquecento we love to fit the 1.4 engine with at least 130bhp after modifying the engine.

Over here we love it and the results are great even on the smaller 1.2 engines.
I have been owning a Palio for 6 and some change years (1242cc 8v 72 bhp one).

I am sure the engines are very tuneable. The very fact that Fiat itself can have many iterations of the 1.3 MJD (75, 90 and 105 bhp ones) says that. But, can we tune the rest of the car to make it behave like one unit? I doubt anyone in India has undertaken this, and I would love to see what my car's puny engine is capable of doing without making my wallet too light.
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Old 28th May 2010, 16:38   #5
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^^ I don't have the link with me. But I remember seeing a page on some rally spec Fiat car using the same 1242cc 8V engine in a 130 Bhp avtaar.

I really would like know what all little can be done here in India to make this 1.2L 8V engine block churn out at least a little more.
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Old 28th May 2010, 17:11   #6
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Two reasons i know of why the tuners say its not tunable.

One: They dont know how to do it, because of the sheer low numbers of fiats in india and even fewer with enthusiasts who want more out of their cars.

Two: there is very less space left in the bonnet , to get to something as simple as the catcon you have to dismantle a whole lot of things, which you dont have to do in many other "so called mod friendly" cars.

I am very well aware of the fact that the car has a lot of capabilities, and the one available here is highly detuned, i also feel there is a need for reducing some weight off the car.

Lack of experience coupled with low availability of spares make this car a mod unfriendly car here alone in india.

Every fiat owener that i have known is madly in love with their cars, there has to be something about the car which could be the reason for the mad love.


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Old 28th May 2010, 17:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon View Post
....
I am sure the engines are very tuneable. ....But, can we tune the rest of the car to make it behave like one unit? I doubt anyone in India has undertaken this, ......
That's a VERY key point. Especially with the 1.6 Palio's. The #1 weak point IMHO are the brakes. Worldwide FIAT provided 257mm discs for 1.6 engines and ~240mm for 1.2 . ONLY in India they are giving pathetic 240mm disc brakes on 1.6 also. (and then this impacts caliper size, booster size etc)

I for sure know that my S10 can be tuned to go more more fast -- BUT WILL IT STOP

#2 weak point can be the gear box -- I am not sure but have read some comments about the Indian GTX gearbox being not able to handle any more torque.
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Old 28th May 2010, 19:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPH View Post
Having had a long conversation with one Indian member of the enthusiast scene it transpired that hardly anyone wants to touch Fiats let alone increase performance of them.

I personally love tuning Fiats and have done so for many years. And the smaller the better.

The engines are brilliant for tuning.

Out of the 1.9 liter unit we got so far 265bhp and around 450lb ft of torque and know that the engine block can take even more.

The little 1.4 T-Jet engine can be taken to over 250bhp without revising internals.

The Palio 1.6 engine is often being turboed by lots of Greek car owners (in the Stilo chassis)

The little Cinquecento we love to fit the 1.4 engine with at least 130bhp after modifying the engine.

Over here we love it and the results are great even on the smaller 1.2 engines.

Is it really true that you guys and girls don't like tuning Fiat engines?

@admin, I suppose it is the right forum to post as it isn't a technical question, but if you think otherwise, please move it to the appropriate section.
Ignorance and arrogance. Nothing more to it.
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:03   #9
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I really hope it changes and we have some after market support for the awesomeness that are Fiats.

I absolutely love to death the 1.4 FIRE engine. Somehow it seems that FIAT put in the worst possible map for the Punto. The low end power is horrible!

I am very very sure that a remap will change things drastically! I have seen the power up the band, its all a matter of getting the right characteristics.


@CPH

What options do you have for tuning them engines?

Last edited by EssYouWe : 28th May 2010 at 21:10.
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Old 29th May 2010, 00:08   #10
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#2 weak point can be the gear box -- I am not sure but have read some comments about the Indian GTX gearbox being not able to handle any more torque.
I have read somewhere saying that the gearbox that the retro Palio uses (I think all versions of Palios use the same gearbox) can handle a maximum of about 15 kgm of torque. 1.6 already puts out about 14 kgm. So, I guess there is not much scope of tuning here.

I do not have enough data to corroborate this statement, but I remember reading something like this, either in tbhp or PUG.
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Old 29th May 2010, 02:20   #11
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Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate the input. It explains a lot to me.

For the people who take the micky out of you Fiat owners I can only say that a lot of people do not know what they are talking when it comes to Fiat.

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Originally Posted by somspaple View Post
Peter, are you referring to the 1.9 diesel engine. 'm a noob when it comes to car tuning but i've seen this on Palio here.. felt it was kind of rough almost truck like.
The 1.9TD has come a long way. It used to be a rather rough engine when released. Now with the multi jet technology it does sound quite alright. I have been able to design induction kits for most models and people like the sound of an unrestricted air intake.

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Originally Posted by deepakhon View Post
I have been owning a Palio for 6 and some change years (1242cc 8v 72 bhp one).

I am sure the engines are very tuneable. The very fact that Fiat itself can have many iterations of the 1.3 MJD (75, 90 and 105 bhp ones) says that. But, can we tune the rest of the car to make it behave like one unit? I doubt anyone in India has undertaken this, and I would love to see what my car's puny engine is capable of doing without making my wallet too light.
I have Fiat Cinquecento that had the first properly tuned 1242 16v engine in Britain. I used to chase BMW 330s with it (as long . The engine topped out in 5th gear at 7200rpm, which was a real 200kph. It handled well after slight modifications. It currently awaits a T-Jet engine. I am not scared to go higher. The German tuner Novitech did in the Seicento, which is a re-skinned Cinquecento a 142 twin turbo conversion with 197 bhp. It did stop and it did handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post
^^ I don't have the link with me. But I remember seeing a page on some rally spec Fiat car using the same 1242cc 8V engine in a 130 Bhp avtaar.

I really would like know what all little can be done here in India to make this 1.2L 8V engine block churn out at least a little more.
A lot, which is one of the reasons why I want to come over to see what you guys like to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
I really hope it changes and we have some after market support for the awesomeness that are Fiats.

I absolutely love to death the 1.4 FIRE engine. Somehow it seems that FIAT put in the worst possible map for the Punto. The low end power is horrible!

I am very very sure that a remap will change things drastically! I have seen the power up the band, its all a matter of getting the right characteristics.


@CPH

What options do you have for tuning them engines?
Low end power on the GP and Linea petrol is easy to solve. Air intake transforms this

Diesel engines I am working on. Unfortunately there is not a lot of call for the 1.3 our end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon View Post
I have read somewhere saying that the gearbox that the retro Palio uses (I think all versions of Palios use the same gearbox) can handle a maximum of about 15 kgm of torque. 1.6 already puts out about 14 kgm. So, I guess there is not much scope of tuning here.

I do not have enough data to corroborate this statement, but I remember reading something like this, either in tbhp or PUG.
The official rating is about this. But when correctly used it can hold together for a long time. Uprated diffs are available.
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Old 29th May 2010, 08:19   #12
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CPH,

When I'd interacted with Raj Hingorani during getting my car done up, we had this generic discussion of "mod-friendly" cars. I remember him mentioning these as the main reasons even he shied away from Fiats:

1. Cost of parts: He'd reckoned that Fiat parts are expensive compared to the Japanese pile - the mod-favorite segment.
2. Japanese engines being rev-happy as a thumb-rule, compared to Euro engines
3. Time to modify: He'd quoted an example of a Palio free-flow exhaust taking one entire day to fit, compared to half that time for the Japanese-segment. Something about the exhaust manifold positioning and space available in the engine bay.

Having said that, I personally believe that Euro cars, with their better build quality and chassis dynamics, would make an excellent proposition towards getting performance modified.
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Old 29th May 2010, 12:30   #13
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2. Japanese engines being rev-happy as a thumb-rule, compared to Euro engines
Fiat 1.6 16V is more than rev-happy. It is a rev-orgasmic engine.

I feel even the 1.2 motor is more rev-happy than some of the jap ones, like the one in Swift. Hondas are rev happy.
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Old 29th May 2010, 13:18   #14
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CPH,

When I'd interacted with Raj Hingorani during getting my car done up, we had this generic discussion of "mod-friendly" cars. I remember him mentioning these as the main reasons even he shied away from Fiats:

1. Cost of parts: He'd reckoned that Fiat parts are expensive compared to the Japanese pile - the mod-favorite segment.
2. Japanese engines being rev-happy as a thumb-rule, compared to Euro engines
3. Time to modify: He'd quoted an example of a Palio free-flow exhaust taking one entire day to fit, compared to half that time for the Japanese-segment. Something about the exhaust manifold positioning and space available in the engine bay.

Having said that, I personally believe that Euro cars, with their better build quality and chassis dynamics, would make an excellent proposition towards getting performance modified.
I can't comment on the pricing in India because I am over 7000km away, which is the reason why I ask you guys.

Interestingly the situation is reversed here in Europe. European parts are much cheaper here.

The claim that the Euro engines aren't rev happy I can't share either.
This is a video of a 3.0l modified BMW engine in a Norma M20.



Also note that the McLaren F1 is a European engine, which was als developed by BMW. Originally Honda was meant to supply the engine (being partner with McLaren in F1 at the time) but Honda could not supply such a unit and NcLaren had to look elsewhere. As a matter of fact BMW had to downpower the engine because it was to wild and McLaren feared that the clients would not be able to handle the power.

The little 1.1 Fire in the Trofeo Cinquecento was revving to 11,000rpm as an 8 valve engine having to last a season. The Fiat group non FIRE engines, whether 4 or 6 cylinder van be revved to 12,000rpm with the right valve train.

Most of the conversions I have done run on the standard springs in excess of 8,000rpm and without balancing the bottom end without problems and last.

The European engines concentrate more on torque than power. Obviously the impressive bhp figures of some Japanes come either from extreme high rpm or massive turbos. Either aren't the vehicles I would like to use as a daily runner.

The M Power, Quattro Sport and Porsche engines are often belittled because they are thie and that, but show me any car that performs like an M3, can be driven by Miss Daisy, handles, has got a boot and still is rather on the acceptable price tag.

The other downfall on many Japanese vehicles is safety.

Anyway, I was at Fiat tuning.

I am interested to hear more.
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Old 29th May 2010, 13:22   #15
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The other downfall on many Japanese vehicles is safety.
A common misconception. Go through EuroNCAP when you have time.

I can think of several Japanese sedans and coupes which will whip an M3 on the track and are still sedate, docile daily drivers. But I'd rather not start on that here. The M3 is an icon, but it's not the be all and end all of performance sedans.

The reason people stay away from modding FIATs in India is simply because of the horrible availability of parts. If you break something - as you inevitably will doing R&D work - you are going to go through hell procuring the simplest of nuts and bolts. That and the tuning scene in India is more snake oil and destructive experimentation on customer vehicles than actual passion and science.

Last edited by ImmortalZ : 29th May 2010 at 13:29.
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