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Old 02-01-2019   #1
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Poland 
FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Hi ,

Since this forum has been a great source of knowledge that I used in my build I think it's appropriate to show the result of what it helped me to create.

The car is a 1997 899. I used it for a few years as a daily before I decided to turn it into my own idea of how a street version of the Trofeo rally car could've looked like if it was ever made. I didn't want a car that was too low, looked weird or was dynamically compromised in some way. I wanted it to look like it could've been made by FIAT and it had to be a street car that can deal with less than ideal roads. It's not finished work, this is only a first incarnation of the idea, there will be another chassis with a roll bar, bigger engine, serious seats, harnesses and a collection of small changes plus all the bits that got modified until now.

It started like this.

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I decided to change the whole suspension front and back using as many new parts as possible, upgrade the brakes and replace every part that was old and worn to ensure this car drives like a new one. Up front only the steering knuckle was reused. At the rear there is a used beam and control arms from Italy (18 year old parts and only a smidge of rust ). Short steering rack. Suspension is MTS Technik 60/40. Works well on bumpy roads and is firm enough to give a sporty ride.

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Brakes are my favourite part of the car. The stopping power is exceedingly satisfying and you have to be a butcher to overheat them which I still didn't manage to achieve - light car doesn't require exotic materials to perform well. I still have to get a custom made handbrake cable but that's no more than 40 quid to make.

Front
- Calliper: Alfa Romeo 155/FIAT Punto 1 GT Turbo [FIAT 9946828, TRW BHW156E] + AUTOFREN SEINSA D025138 + FRENKIT 808001 + AUTOFREN SEINSA D4073
- Disc: Brembo MAX 09.5870.75 257mm
- Pad: Ferodo FDB370

Rear
- Calliper: Abarth 500 [TRW BHQ284E] + custom flanges
- Disc: Magneti Marelli PBD031 240mm
- Pad: TRW GDB1981 (not 100% sure)

Pipework
- Flexhose (steel braided custom made): 2x front 500mm + 2x rear calliper 300mm + 2x rear arm 280mm

System
- Master cylinder: Magneti Marelli 360219130158
- Fluid: Millers Performance Brake Fluid DOT 5.1

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I got the idea for wheel and tyre combo from J333EVO. Fifteen inches, 165/50 tyre. I think the Lancia wheels suit this car exceptionally well. The tyres are good too but they are discontinued now so I will need to think of something else after I wear them out. Would like to try 185/55R15 Yokohama Advan AD08.

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The engine remains the same for the moment. I wanted to see how this car drives before I pour money into engine swaps. Now I have a chassis that can take any engine. The car will be developed further as time goes by.

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I am pleased with the overall result. It is a drivers car now, that was my primary goal. It looks competent and not overly shouty. Like most project cars it needs fine tuning, some bugs still have to be ironed out but it's a promising start. This topic will be updated.

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Last edited by Maaad Rob; 02-01-2019 at 21:02.
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Old 03-01-2019   #2
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Good work and a beautiful looking car, loving the colour
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Old 03-01-2019   #3
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Great work. The wheels look brilliant against the lovely green paintwork. Well done.
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Old 04-01-2019   #4
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Poland 
Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Your wheels are great, I copied that but went for a matt finish instead (it's a metallic anthracite covered with matt clear) to match the reflectance of the tyres. I still can't decide which looks better.
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Old 29-01-2019   #5
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Brilliant concept. Also I find very smart that you are starting with chassis improvements before engine ones!

I suppose the minimum size for the wheels would be 14", correct?

(Car also looks lovely, congratulations)
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Old 30-01-2019   #6
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Poland 
Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Thank you. I always liked how Lotus develops their cars - chassis being the centerpoint. I wanted to emulate this approach. Many guys want to go fast and swap engines but not everyone is willing to do it proper and spend an equal amount of money/time on car's dynamics. My Cento still isn't going to keep up with anything uphill but try to shake me off while driving downhill.

For the wheels to fit over the front brakes they need to be minimum 14" but I think that on fifteens this car looks better proportioned. I also think the rear needs a further 10mm drop, will do that in April.
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Last edited by Maaad Rob; 30-01-2019 at 19:28.
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Old 31-01-2019   #7
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

You are welcome - and thanks for your reply!

Good call following Lotus' approach. However, do realise they would also try to minimise unsprung mass. Bigger wheels and tyres mean higher unsprung mass, making it harder for the suspension and dampers to work.

I understand, however, that you have in mind a serious increase in performance and that needs very good brakes... which in turn means bigger wheels.

I may follow your route if and when I decide to improve the braking of my 900 Cinq. However, tyre sizing permitting, I'd try to stick with 14".
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Old 31-01-2019   #8
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Yes, I'm aware of the weight, these alloys are heavier than steelies pictured above but I can hardly feel the difference between the two while driving to be honest.

I don't plan any turbo but powerful brakes are always a good idea especially when you like driving hard on mountain roads. You can go for a 284 rotor but I suspect the weight would become an issue and it would be pointless without a much better tyre than I have now anyway. I'll start the coming season with changing the standard Ferodo pads to DS Performance and see how far I can push the current setup.
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Last edited by Maaad Rob; 31-01-2019 at 19:20.
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Old 06-02-2019   #9
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Fully agree regarding brakes vs mountain roads. One of the biggest scares of my life was finding I had no brakes after going down a mountain... it was a succession of hairpins from top (1750 m) to bottom. I wasn't going particularly fast but it was a very warm summer, and the little discs in my Uno 60S just could no cope!

I changed the brake fluid afterwards, just in case.

One way of reducing unsprung weight, of course, would be to use very light alloy (or better, magnesium) wheels, alloy calipers, choosing a smallish size of tyre and then the lightest tyre in that size, and so on and so on. It becomes rather expensive after a while.

Out of curiosity, how good are your 500 Abarth calipers... as parking brakes? Both the Cinquecento and the Uno seem to have very bad parking brakes. I've read even the Uno Turbo rear discs are bad in that regard (dunno whether it is true or not)

I'll be following your build, I am extremely interested. Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-02-2019   #10
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Quote Originally Posted by Mefistofele View Post
However, do realise they would also try to minimise unsprung mass. Bigger wheels and tyres mean higher unsprung mass
Depends on the wheels and brakes you go for. I have 15x7 wheels and with tyres they are lighter than the standard sporting, alloys and tyres. Also got 280mm vented rotors and 4pots again lighter than stock
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Old 06-02-2019   #11
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Quote Originally Posted by Brooky View Post
Depends on the wheels and brakes you go for. I have 15x7 wheels and with tyres they are lighter than the standard sporting, alloys and tyres. Also got 280mm vented rotors and 4pots again lighter than stock
Please have a look at what I wrote a couple of hours ago (previous post):

Quote Quote:
One way of reducing unsprung weight, of course, would be to use very light alloy (or better, magnesium) wheels, alloy calipers, choosing a smallish size of tyre and then the lightest tyre in that size, and so on and so on. It becomes rather expensive after a while.
Obviously by choosing carefully you can end up with much lighter components than stock, that was precisely my point. The problem is striking the perfect compromise between wheel size, appropriate tyre and weight.

Don't forget also that assuming the same weight in all parts that rotate, a smaller diameter wheel will be always easier to brake than a bigger one.

When they introduced the first Elise Lotus made it very clear that the best tyre for the car (Bridgestone, I think?) had been specially developed with the manufacturer so as to be as light as possible.

For the same reason – lowering unsprung weight – Lotus also tried carbon-matrix alloy brake discs, if I remember correctly, but I think they were not such a great idea.
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Last edited by Mefistofele; 06-02-2019 at 22:57.
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Old 07-02-2019   #12
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Great work. Not seen a Cinq in that colour before and it really suits it. Loving the suspension rebuild photos.


One question, unrelated to the car - how did you get the photos to appear in amongst the text, and control the layout?
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Old 07-02-2019   #13
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Quote Originally Posted by Mefistofele View Post
Fully agree regarding brakes vs mountain roads. One of the biggest scares of my life was finding I had no brakes after going down a mountain... it was a succession of hairpins from top (1750 m) to bottom. I wasn't going particularly fast but it was a very warm summer, and the little discs in my Uno 60S just could no cope!
Been there, done that.

Quote Originally Posted by Mefistofele View Post
Out of curiosity, how good are your 500 Abarth calipers... as parking brakes? Both the Cinquecento and the Uno seem to have very bad parking brakes. I've read even the Uno Turbo rear discs are bad in that regard (dunno whether it is true or not)
Dunno, still no cable but these calipers work well in Nuova Cinquecento, I would be very surprised if the handbrake turned out to be lacking.

Quote Originally Posted by widemouthfrog View Post
One question, unrelated to the car - how did you get the photos to appear in amongst the text, and control the layout?
Quote the post and you'll see how, I used the attachment option of the forum.
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Last edited by Maaad Rob; 07-02-2019 at 21:48.
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Old 23-02-2019   #14
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

I hope my car looks anywhere near as clean underneath when I am finished. Fantastic standard of work - I will be monitoring this project. Greetings from Scotland.
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Old 26-02-2019   #15
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Re: FIAT Cinquecento Trofeo Stradale

Hey Jamieboy-

'Greetings from Scotland' indeed- yourself!

Nice to meet another owner; North of the Border..!
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