Technical How much easier is an MPI for a 16v swap?

Currently reading:
Technical How much easier is an MPI for a 16v swap?


New member
Jul 16, 2021

After some research on the forum, I saw that around 2000, the Sei Sporting came with a MPI engine.
How much easier would it be to swap a 1.2 16v punto MK1 engine or a Stilo 1.4 16v engine compared to a SPI Cinq or Sei?

It makes it's harder if anything to be honest. I'd go for an spi if at all possible. the wiring for the 1.2 16v ECU people tend to use is way closer to the spi wiring than the MPI.

But it all entirely depends what the plan is, there's no one way to do this swap. But I'd argue the easiest is using the early 16v ECU and a cinq or spi sei.
I will soon switch to the 1.4 16v and use the control unit of the point 1.2 16v MK1. Mine is a Seicento Spi and looking at the diagrams, compared to the 16v it changes little, in fact I will adapt the SPI system to the 16v and change the control unit
yeah its super easy in an spi, wiring wise you are basically splitting the injector wires into 4 as it just batch fires anyway, move a few wires around at the D4 connector and plug the ecu in and your away. It actually makes a cleaner install than using the 16v engine harness as everything lands where it should with the punto 16v loom the ecu is located on the other side of the bay so its harder to get everything looking tidy than just using the original sei/cinq loom.

As i say, theres no right or wrong way to do it and quite a few different ways to do it using all factory parts but i think thats the easiest way to do it by far. The mpi sei's have totally different ecu connectors, the cooling fan is controlled by the ecu rather than its own switch on the radiator etc etc. Its doable and people have done it but it adds complexity rather than removing.. That said, there is a chap from Italy that can send you a chip for the mpi ecu so it will run a 16v properly but I don't know anyone personally that has done it so can't really comment on how well that works.

Obviously the 1368 16v doesnt run as good as it could on the 1242 16v ecu but it runs well enough.
its runs fine i wouldnt worry about it, but its clearly not optimised for it.. Much in the same way as if you drop a 1.2 8v spi into a cinq you usually just use the 1108 factory ecu, it works just fine but they run better on the actual p60 ecu.

I've been in a few 1368 16v centos running the 1.2 16v ecu and they all seem to have this hesitation if you go from really low revs to wide open throttle instantly but you easily learn to drive around it. Once you are going along it doesnt do it and runs perfectly fine. Perhaps swapping the cams will help i dont know but its certainly worth swapping them if you have the early 1.2 cams.

The other option using all factory parts is to use the 1368 ecu, this does mean a few extra steps though obviously, you obviously would need to fit a fly by wore throttle pedal. I don't know for sure if that ecu needs all its canbus modules plugged into it to work, you'd have to do some research. And of course the wiring won't be as simple being the loom on a cinq/sei spi is almost identical to the mk1 punto 16v one.
I know I have seen one cinq with the 1368 ecu and it had the dash cluster and the buttons from the middle of the dash fitted badly into the cinq as well - but I'm not sure if it would work or not if you spliced the loom into the sei so the factory dash worked or if the ecu would throw a paddy about the other modules not being plugged in, sure the info is out there i just don't know without looking. This is a genuine issue with newer cars and engine swaps though - i know for example if i were to tjet swap my panda 100hp I couldnt use the factory tjet ecu because it will not run without all the canbus modules from the donor car and I'd want it to look as factory as possible and so the only real option is an aftermarket ecu :( makes it alot more hassle and alot more expensive to do annoyingly.

But if i were to do another 16v cento swap I think I would stick to the early 1.2 16v ecu way (IAW 18.FD is the ecu if i remember right, been a while). But I'd consider getting a piggyback like a DET3 on it so it could be optimised to the exact setup of the car, they are pretty cheap and powerful for what they are.
Last edited:
Thank you for the replies.
I am currently shopping for a Seicento.
The best example I saw here and that I am looking to pull the trigger is a 2001 MPI Sporting.
It is low mileage (for the age), the color I want, full abarth spec, full service history from new, one owner, very clean car. It is in very looked after condition and with a good price.
So I am thinking about pulling the trigger.

But that will leave me with a very nice and very clean sporting, but MPI.
With a MPI, what would be the easiest and most cost effective conversion?

- 1.2 16v (punto mk1 or mk2)
- 1.4 16v (stilo)
- 1.2 8v MPI 75 (punto mk1)