Panda My first car: 1.1 Fiat Panda

General Information

Hi everyone,

I’ve been lurking around the forum for a bit but never really introduced my car.
This is my 1.1 active eco.

I want to change up the appearance (lowering springs,wheels,roof bar, rear spoiler/deflector and maybe the grille)

I’ve been searching for a roof bar but no luck.
For wheels I thought about painting my 13inch steelies silver, or buy some rims.
I want to lower my car too as I think it sits too high.

I would love to hear the forums opinion and what they would do if they were in my position.
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FiatMatt94

Active member
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Jun 1, 2021
Messages
122
Location
Surrey
How about a set of genuine fiat hubcaps if you want to keep it original or try a set of cinquecento/seicento sporting rims as they are 13 inch like the panda wheels, just something a bit different. I have the newer shape panda & am planning on 131 mirafiori sport rims in gunmetal. Some off our family friends have these shape pandas & they are very good cars.
 

rmjbn1

hello
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
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Location
West Clare
Must admit, I was hoping someone else might contribute to this - lowering suspension really isn't my thing at all - but maybe the lowering brigade have moved away from Pandas?

An easy way to lower the rear ride height would be to fit 500 springs. Sorry - I have no useful input to make regarding the front suspension.

As I understand, 500 springs are slightly shorter and softer (lower spring rate).

I think DaveMcT found this out by accident when fitting a 500 axle to their 1.2 (it's become quite a popular conversion) here: https://www.fiatforum.com/panda/442145-2105-500-rear-axle-into-2007-panda-169-a-2.html#post4197106.
 

rmjbn1

hello
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
596
Location
West Clare
Just a minor thought - I think this member's red painted door mirror covers work really well on silver (albeit a darker silver 100HP - courtesy of LeanMeanRacing https://www.fiatforum.com/members-motors/241974-100hp-styling-modifications-june-2010-a.html).

Stops the car looking too grey and creates a visual link with the rear light clusters IMO.
IMGP3236.JPG
Or this member wrapped theirs in a carbon vinyl film: https://www.fiatforum.com/members-motors/240036-my-new-100hp-subtle-mods.html

I think if I had your car I'd be tempted to swap my mirrors for a pair of the older smaller type and paint/wrap the covers - the later mirrors look strangely out of scale to me. But then maybe it's just what I'm used to:)

Now you've painted your wheels, adding red mirrors and a roof spoiler would make your car look exactly like this:D:
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koalar

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
4,002
At standard height I can hit the front down pipe on rough roads. Already gone through one CAT on farm roads

Eco is pretty harsh to start with. To lower you would have to fit stupidly stiff springs. Okay for a smooth race track. Not so good over speed humps

entirely my own opinion. Dont let me put you off its your car.
 

DaveMcT

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Sep 14, 2009
Messages
17,867
Keep a watch on eBay and you can find a pair of older (smaller) door mirrors complete with motors. Fit a switch to the driver's door panel with a Fiat 500 door wiring loom and you have electric mirrors. You would need to run power wires to the passenger side but that's easy enough. Cutting the door card/handle to fit the switch needs a brave pill but if you screw up, used parts are not silly money.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
97
Location
Sandbach
Must admit, I was hoping someone else might contribute to this - lowering suspension really isn't my thing at all - but maybe the lowering brigade have moved away from Pandas?

An easy way to lower the rear ride height would be to fit 500 springs. Sorry - I have no useful input to make regarding the front suspension.

As I understand, 500 springs are slightly shorter and softer (lower spring rate).

I think DaveMcT found this out by accident when fitting a 500 axle to their 1.2 (it's become quite a popular conversion) here: https://www.fiatforum.com/panda/442145-2105-500-rear-axle-into-2007-panda-169-a-2.html#post4197106.

I have fitted lowering springs in the past with positive results. Dont seem to have any interest in it now. Mine seems to handle really well as it is and I make progress as the AIM call it. Liking the steelies OP and something im thinking about myself.
 
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DaveMcT

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Sep 14, 2009
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17,867
Fiat 500 1.2 rear road springs will lower the rear ride height and improve the ride. You will also ned Fiat Coupe Febi bumps stops.

I fitted 500 road springs with the 500 axle because the built-in anti roll bar stiffens the axle. Standard Panda springs, were clearly no good = the car sat very high and felt like there were no springs on the car.
 

koalar

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Oct 24, 2016
Messages
4,002
Fiat 500 1.2 rear road springs will lower the rear ride height and improve the ride. You will also ned Fiat Coupe Febi bumps stops.

I fitted 500 road springs with the 500 axle because the built-in anti roll bar stiffens the axle. Standard Panda springs, were clearly no good = the car sat very high and felt like there were no springs on the car.

if you change the suspension you need to inform your insurance company

suspension all works in harmony

change one thing affect something else. Fine on a race track but experimenting with oncoming vehicles is not for me

changing to softer rear springs will increase body roll. Hence the anti roll bar being added to the 500

adding width to the rear axil will increase understeer. Hence the increased front track on the 500

most of the time it will make no difference you are well within the handling envelop. When you need it most say on ice or diesel do you want to be playing Russian roulette not only for yourself but others.


it not the way fiat went as latter Pandas have stiffer suspension all round not softer at rear ?
 

DaveMcT

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Messages
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The 500 is a 169 Panda with wider track. Back axle is a little wider as is the front subframe Even the shocks are the same.

Softer springs with stiffer beam does not affect body roll because the 500 beam has an anti roll bar. If it did the 500 would drive like a Citroen 2CV. Instead, it drives flat without the need for stiff springs and hard bump stops.

There has been no increase in understeer. But there is now less oversteer, because the axle no longer skips over bumps. These were both issues that Ford wanted solved for the Fiat-built Ka. Fiat took the improvements into the 500 and the post 169 Panda models.

As always its user beware, but my experience is the anti roll bar 500 Axle significantly improves the 169 ride and handling. It does exactly what Ford asked Fiat to achieve.
 

koalar

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Oct 24, 2016
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4,002
Fiat 500 1.2 rear road springs will lower the rear ride height and improve the ride. You will also ned Fiat Coupe Febi bumps stops.

The 500 is a 169 Panda with wider track. Back axle is a little wider as is the front subframe Even the shocks are the same.

Softer springs with stiffer beam does not affect body roll because the 500 beam has an anti roll bar. If it did the 500 would drive like a Citroen 2CV. Instead, it drives flat without the need for stiff springs and hard bump stops.

There has been no increase in understeer. But there is now less oversteer, because the axle no longer skips over bumps. These were both issues that Ford wanted solved for the Fiat-built Ka. Fiat took the improvements into the 500 and the post 169 Panda models.

it reads to me fitting 500/1.2 springs and febi bump stops will lower the car and improve the ride

Which does not sound like a very Good idea to me.


both the KA and 500 have different front suspension geometry to match the rear end.
 

DaveMcT

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Later Pandas, Ka and 500 have a wider track but the front geometry is zero camber and toe angles just like the 169 Panda.

I have 500 rear springs on the 100HP along with rubber seats top & bottom and Febi (coupe) bump stops. There is slightly more body roll, but the back end no longer skips off every bump.
 

koalar

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Oct 24, 2016
Messages
4,002
Later Pandas, Ka and 500 have a wider track but the front geometry is zero camber and toe angles just like the 169 Panda.

I have 500 rear springs on the 100HP along with rubber seats top & bottom and Febi (coupe) bump stops. There is slightly more body roll, but the back end no longer skips off every bump.

that the settings for camber and toe a small part

unless the arms are identical with the same pickup points then the wheels will not be following the same arcs which is completely different geometry


we have already mentioned the dryer line the rear wheels should be follow when cornering in the wet alters when changing just the rear width


changing just the rear springs to softer 500 to lower the car is in my opinion dangerous.


with increased body roll, less travel if you hit a hump while heavy cornering even with shorter bump stops it likely to behave unpredictably as the spring rate suddenly rises


simplest and safest is to keep it standard. If lowering use properly designed parts and inform you insurance company would be my advise.


but each to there own.
 

DaveMcT

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My 100HP was frankly dangerous at speed in the wet with back end too eager to skip. The OEM rear springs are simply Panda 1.1/1.2 springs cut down. Same diameter steel with fewer coils. The softer rear springs solved it. Ride height is near standard 100HP. I dislike lowering as all it does is give a harder ride and worse control over bumps.
 
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DirtyPanda

New member
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Oct 26, 2021
Messages
4
I got coilovers because it was half the price of new shocks and springs all round, looks cute a bit lower and handles really nice after an alignment, ruined some tyres because it had 21mm toe out. Would recommend braided front brake lines though as mine did not like the new struts and exploded in the driveway after 300 miles. Also needed to chop the rear bumpstops and put cable ties round the exhaust hangers to keep it off the rear axle until I can weld up a new one with more clearance.
 

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2010ActiveEc0

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I got to say that looks mad. I don't have the funds at the moment to go for coilovers so IF I ever decide to lower my car, springs will do.
 
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2010ActiveEc0

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A bit of an update to my car:

I still love it! Not as 'mod worthy' as a k11 micra but definitely unique!

I've never talked about this but ever since I bought this car every time I start the engine a loud squeek noise comes from it. It still happens but I dont mind. Its probably a loose belt somewhere.

Recently tinted my rear windows - many reasons I did this but the main one was my parents always used to have tinted windows in their car and when they sit in mine they hate it.

I have ordered eleganza alloys which should be coming in a few weeks.

These past few days I have also been thinking about changing my front 2 speakers and also adding tweeters which should really improve the audio.

This car has come a long way ever since I bought it in June. I have done over 1600 miles in just a few months. I removed those silly wheels trims which came with the car. I also wrapped the door pillars black(which now that I think of it, it is a must do for any panda!). Sprayed my steelies silver which will be going soon :( .

I still don't know my end goal of what I want my panda to look like but that's the best bit, but soon the steelies era will be over and once the eleganza alloys come, I essentially went from a bottom spec panda to a high'ish' trim level.

How it all started:
https://www.fiatforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=221171&stc=1&d=1635552851

How it is so far:
https://www.fiatforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=221170&stc=1&d=1635552788

The plastic trim in the rear bumper is black again. The picture taken is a week old.

Thanks for reading.
 

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DaveMcT

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Messages
17,867
The squeak could be the alternator belt. Alternators can seize up with age so get it checked or you will be stranded. New alternators are £100 plus fitting. Mine charging but the body was cracked and within a week of removal from the car was seized solid.

Water pumps can screech but something that bad would usually be leaking coolant. Check for coolant leak at the water pump area. Low coolant risks the head gasket.

Starter motors sometimes stick in the start position. Revving the engine with an engaged destroys the motor and sometimes causes further damage.

Moral - Fix that noise before it takes your alloy wheels money or worse.
 
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