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Old 27-11-2019   #196
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

The suspension clunk is definitely 'a thing' now, seems to slowly get worse. Given that I know it isn't the drop links the next obvious culprit would seem to be the top mounts which I see mentioned time and time again on various forum searches. Seems like it would be best if I'm taking that much apart anyway to replace the shocks, dust covers & bump stops at the same time. Will also need a spring compressor.

Wish it would stop raining - been off & on for weeks now.

Has anyone done all of this and has a recommended source for good quality components? I've seen about 10 slightly different versions on ebay with clashing part numbers!
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Last edited by system11; 27-11-2019 at 16:19.
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Old 03-12-2019   #197
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Remembered that QH stuff was always the 'off the shelf' stuff of choice back in the day. Ordered 2x strut top mounts, 2x front and 2x rear shocks, 2x front bump stops & dust covers, 1x top shock 'cup' thing since one of mine is very rusty. Also a spring compressor from Amazon.


I've never done suspension before, this could be fun or utterly miserable. A video of the rear on Youtube though makes that look incredibly easy - jack it up, take the wheel off and undo 2 bolts. Is it worth doing the front springs too? Rears seem fine but the front has been a little low since I got it.
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Old 12-01-2020   #198
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Well that's the new shocks assembled. I struggled to get 65nm on the bolt on the strut mount, the hex key started to deform the hole at the top. Not sure what they're thinking of there! Cargo straps are extremely tight (there's zero play in either of them), put on there just to ease the pressure on the mount bolt slightly as I won't get to install these for a few days.
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Last edited by system11; 12-01-2020 at 21:49.
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Old 13-01-2020   #199
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Quote Originally Posted by system11 View Post
Well that's the new shocks assembled. I struggled to get 65nm on the bolt on the strut mount, the hex key started to deform the hole at the top. Not sure what they're thinking of there! Cargo straps are extremely tight (there's zero play in either of them), put on there just to ease the pressure on the mount bolt slightly as I won't get to install these for a few days.
I can't quite see from the picture but make sure the tabs are pointing the right way metal one points out to the side of the car and rubber points backwards.
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Old 14-01-2020   #200
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Yep they're lined up with the metal tab of the spring cup pointing outwards, and the 'arrow' part of the mount pointing backwards - watched a few videos of these being done before trying to put them together. Mount is easy as it's on a bearing and can be slowly rotated, but the spring cup (and spring) I had to keep decompressing, recompressing, adjusting slightly etc as things would shift as the spring decompressed. Irritating more than difficult, I suspect a second pair of hands or a vice or ANYTHING would have helped, but I had a kitchen floor.
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Last edited by system11; 14-01-2020 at 23:41.
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Old 19-01-2020   #201
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

I'll upload all the photos etc when the full job is done, but wow that wasn't as easy as it looked. I replaced the anti roll bar links last March - BRAND NEW parts, tried to take the top bolts off today and the thing had corroded like it spent a year under the sea. The bolt refused to come off, bound so much the hex hole (these are bloody useless) eventually just rounded off. Fortunately the lower bolt came off easily without even having to use the hex at all so the link is attached to the old strut and I'm going to have to order another pair.... I'm covering the ends in grease next time. So right now the passenger side is fitted, link is missing, top bolt isn't yet torqued as I did it without removing the scuttle cover with a deep ring spanner.

Driver side has the rusty strut top bolt and cup, I'm going to take the scuttle cover off and just hit it with an impact wrench to see if it budges. If not the nut is getting drilled and failing that I'll drill the cup all around it and then use tin snips - I have a new cup & bolt. I'm not even going to bother trying to undo the top link bolt, will just replace them both for the misery the passenger one gave me today.

I am very much in love with the Makita impact wrench I bought myself for Christmas, first time I've used one but it made very short work of the bolts holding the hub to the strut and was really useful for generally removing and fitting things before hand finishing & doing the torque if just used slowly. I have lots of problems with lower arms and wrists and it made such a difference today.
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Last edited by system11; 19-01-2020 at 17:47.
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Old 19-01-2020   #202
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Quote Originally Posted by system11 View Post
I'll upload all the photos etc when the full job is done, but wow that wasn't as easy as it looked. I replaced the anti roll bar links last March - BRAND NEW parts, tried to take the top bolts off today and the thing had corroded like it spent a year under the sea. The bolt refused to come off, bound so much the hex hole (these are bloody useless) eventually just rounded off. Fortunately the lower bolt came off easily without even having to use the hex at all so the link is attached to the old strut and I'm going to have to order another pair.... I'm covering the ends in grease next time. So right now the passenger side is fitted, link is missing, top bolt isn't yet torqued as I did it without removing the scuttle cover with a deep ring spanner.

Driver side has the rusty strut top bolt and cup, I'm going to take the scuttle cover off and just hit it with an impact wrench to see if it budges. If not the nut is getting drilled and failing that I'll drill the cup all around it and then use tin snips - I have a new cup & bolt. I'm not even going to bother trying to undo the top link bolt, will just replace them both for the misery the passenger one gave me today.

I am very much in love with the Makita impact wrench I bought myself for Christmas, first time I've used one but it made very short work of the bolts holding the hub to the strut and was really useful for generally removing and fitting things before hand finishing & doing the torque if just used slowly. I have lots of problems with lower arms and wrists and it made such a difference today.
Not sure if you've seen how I did it, maybe useful, https://www.fiatforum.com/500-guides...placement.html
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Old 19-01-2020   #203
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Yep seen that, it's where the drilling approach came from. I'm hoping that just using the impact wrench will free it but drilling like you did is the next approach and should that fail, I will just drill a circle of holes around the thing.

Just ordered the new drop links, I'm very unhappy about the problem I had with that today, the original links which I replaced trying to get rid of the thunk many months ago were from 2014 when it was built. I had no troubles removing them. The Delphi part I put on last year, rusted solid. Pathetic honestly. I was tempted to just put one of the old links back on temporarily as I haven't thrown them away yet but since the MOT runs out today anyway it seems a bit pointless. I probably won't be able to tackle the driver strut until next weekend, unless I can book a day off work.

Old shock had a dark ring at the top where the piston goes in, it didn't look wet but it did look like some kind of fluid/oil residue, I'm wondering if my theory that they were damaged via a sudden strong downward motion during the crash is correct as the dust cover was split at the top where the bump stop is, and rattling around on it. Also looks like its sitting slightly higher at the front on one side now, it's always looked a bit low before but maybe its the roll bar only being connected to one side.
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Old 21-01-2020   #204
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

I've had a Twinair Plus for a couple of years, and I love it.

The drawback though is not having a Haynes manual, and most mechanics not being unfamiliar with it.

I had an oil filter housing fail last year, and my garage made a pigs ear of it.

I strongly advise that you find a good Fiat specialist nearby, for any engine work.

Luckily I've finally found one, ten miles away, but he's worth his weight in salt.

I've got another coolant leak for him to look at now, and I doubt I'll find any advice on the forums about it, with it being such a rare engine.

Otherwise, go for it, and make sure you use the right oil, and keep it topped up.
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Old 22-01-2020   #205
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Yes information on the twinair is really hard to find - it's quite a problem! I didn't take as many photos as I expected to, honestly as the day wore on I was totally exhausted fighting things I hadn't expected to be difficult.

The rusted nut gave me no problem at all - impact wrench broke it free in about a second! New cup seems to be a slightly lower profile design and leaves less of a gap to see the top nut through.

The driver side drop link also came straight off unlike the passenger side, the new links are made by 'Original Birth' and honestly they seem better quality than the Delphi ones I put on last year. New strut went on quite easily with the experience I'd picked up doing the passenger one over the weekend. Added washers to the drop link after photo was taken, the new ones didn't come with any, not sure if they're needed. I'll put a couple on the other side too when I get a chance.

Things that sucked:

1) Sump plug was on so tight I had to use the impact wrench! You can guess what happened here, a load of oil went all over the wrench battery. Those are expensive so I hope it really did only enter the clip mechanism, it's upside down at the moment letting the dregs seep out. Did it back up with a new washer at some value of 'human tight' - didn't feel the washer deform though, hard to feel anything at the angle I was working at. It's about half a turn past where it got stiff so I assume that'll do the trick.

2) The oil filter housing was stuck hard. It took about half an hour of trying different things before it finally moved and made a LOUD noise - I thought it was damaged, eventually it came free and seems fine. It says 25nm for those but there's no way to get a torque wrench in there so I've done it 'tight enough'. For reference I used a long socket and the ratchet, if the handle points up you can get one 'click' of movement, it took a while, u-joint approach just seemed like it was going to skew and break.

3) Forgot what a load of hassle it is getting the air filter out, terrible design. Just more work than it should be, everything fine aside from that.

4) Couldn't remember how to tighten spark plugs but I strongly remember them being easy to over tighten - eventually did them up, undid, and back up again with a small torque wrench set to 12nm, a number I found on an American forum.

Of course it's impossible to tell what the oil level is now in the dark - the old stuff came out -black- and if I'm honest I wonder if the oil had ever been changed before since the service menu still reads 15k while the car has done 45k. Rattling at cold has totally gone even with only 3l of oil in there and it feels smoother to rev without the initial stutter it had before - hoping it will settle overnight and become readable to top up properly.

I can't remember if I finished tightening up the passenger strut top nut as much as possible - fortunately that one is easy to get at without taking the scuttle cover off again - nearly had another broken windscreen due to the way the clips work. The 'push clips' or whatever you call them that go in the scuttle front corners are missing, I got so fed up trying to remove them cleanly that I just broke them off on purpose, I have a some left in the garage somewhere from last time.

I really want to know if the suspension klunk is finally gone, but the MOT expired over the weekend!
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Old 23-01-2020   #206
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

MOT booked for tomorrow. Nervous. I just juggled the cars on the driveway so I can get it out in the morning without too much trouble and now that it's on a level surface instead of the gravel part, the front is definitely about an inch higher, doesn't look like it's leaning forward as much anymore. Mudguards didn't scrape on our badly cambered road which usually happens. So even if it doesn't fix the klunk that old suspension was certainly sagging.
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Last edited by system11; 23-01-2020 at 19:34.
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Old 24-01-2020   #207
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Re: Fiat 500 buying advice - twinair

Passed MOT, no advisories, klunk is gone!
Next is a slight 'whirr' I think from a wheel bearing.
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Last edited by system11; 24-01-2020 at 14:38.
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