Fiat Coupe Club UK

Abarth buying advice!

Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Abarth buying advice! - 10/11/2021 19:39

OK, so the MX-5 idea has been shelved (change of job, etc, etc.)

What would be the best advice for buying a 500 Abarth for £4k or less?

What should we look for and what should we avoid?

MrsC likes them and they're less dull than most of the things we're looking at.

Alternatives would be considered, but not Minis (been there twice, bitten both times)

We've seen a couple that look quite fun, so what would you recommend?
Posted By: barnacle

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 11/11/2021 19:27

Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell

We've seen a couple that look quite fun, so what would you recommend?


Hang on, are you looking for cars or wife swapping? shocked
Posted By: Edinburgh

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 11/11/2021 20:44

Originally Posted by barnacle
Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell

We've seen a couple that look quite fun, so what would you recommend?


Hang on, are you looking for cars or wife swapping? shocked



laugh
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 13/11/2021 10:47

The complications involved in vehicular promiscuity are quite daunting enough. Thankfully, it's the only kind I'm interested in!

A propos, after more thought and some expert advice from J Knight & Son, we reckon our budget is probably not generous enough to get the Abarth we would like, so back to the drawing board.

Our latest scheme is probably not one of our finest, but we are currently looking at the VW Eos, which can be had with the 2.0TFSI engine, under 100k miles and leather for sub-£3k.
As I understand it, as long as the roof and clutch are in decent working order, the rest should be standard VAG consumables. Probably pretty hard on brakes and suspension as it's quite a heavy car.

My theory is that Eos owners are more comb-overs and bowling club than NOS and Dirty Dub, so hopefully the cars might have been treated a little better than the equivalent Golf!

We're going to look at a few next week to test the theory.

If anyone has experience of the lesser-spotted Eos, please share!
Posted By: Edinburgh

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 13/11/2021 12:18

Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell


My theory is that Eos owners are more comb-overs and bowling club than NOS and Dirty Dub




You get this month's award for descriptive writing Jim laugh
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 15/11/2021 09:06

The deed is done!

We've bought an 06 plate Eos 2.0 FSI with 93k on the clock for £2250.
Everything seems to work as it should and the buyer seemed very nice with a genuine reason for sale (an obscenely pristine 3.0si Z4 coupé parked next to the VW).
The roof mechanism performed its Heath Robinson magic 3 times with no hitches, so that's a good sign.

There's a bit of water ingress into the boot (not terrible in this case and a common issue) and the power steering pulsed a bit when I was parking, but other than that it felt solid, pretty pokey (it's the 200bhp version) and remarkably clean and tidy.
Mrs C intends to refurb the wheels and roof panels in gloss black, to complement the gunmetal grey bodywork and >ahem< cherry red leather interior.

Hopefully picking it up tomorrow...
Posted By: Submariner

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 08:36

every time I log on here you have either a new job, a house move or considering another car............wow!
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 10:12

Originally Posted by Submariner
every time I log on here you have either a new job, a house move or considering another car............wow!


I like to keep busy!

I picked up the Eos last night and - prior to any professional opinion torpedoing my happiness - I'm amazed at what a bargain it seems to be.

The MOT expires in Feb, but I think we'll get a new one now, alongside any outstanding work...
Posted By: paul

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 12:11

Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
OK, so the MX-5 idea has been shelved (change of job, etc, etc.)

What would be the best advice for buying a 500 Abarth for £4k or less?

What should we look for and what should we avoid?

MrsC likes them and they're less dull than most of the things we're looking at.

Alternatives would be considered, but not Minis (been there twice, bitten both times)

We've seen a couple that look quite fun, so what would you recommend?

\
Jim,

Just check for any from end vibrations , we have had one since 2010 ( done under 60,00 mls) recently got vibration form the front ,thought either wheel balance or wheel bearing , nope drive shaft wear ,and its not been driven hard and mainly on motorways , since found out it's a fairly
common issue, some shafts hard to get.

other issue is rust on rear axle , not too expensive for a new one ,but spring cups rot at the bottom

apart from that ours has been fairly reliable and still god fun to own
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 14:32

Thanks Paul.

Useful info. I'm afraid our goldfish-level concentration span means we sacked off the Abarth purchase this time around and bought the not-very-similar VW Eos.
Posted By: DaveG

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 17:24

My wife has had a 2013 (63 reg) Mk2 2.0 diesel "sport" since June 2020. I've replaced a front foglight (broken when we bought it, got some money off) and had a garage replace front coil springs and droplinks (current mileage around 89,000 IIRC) - it is a heavy car, but 2 litre diesel is pretty swift. Wifey just pulled off the inside door handle, a poor design using brittle plastic, I will have to bodge a repair. USB music connector doesn't get on with our old iPod.

We get water in the boot and in the cabin (on the seats and dripping from just behind A pillar). Most leaks can be stopped or reduced by applying "krytox" rubber seal conditioner (for want of a better word). It's ridiculously expensive (I think it comes from planet Krypton?) but I bought 10ml on eBay for £15 and treated ALL the seals...which made it better but not perfect, it was probably the first time they had ever been done, the seals were quite hard (hence the leaks, the seals aren't flexible enough to seal properly) and had "faded" to grey, I probably need to treat them again.

The sunroof started to stick when closing (typical, it had just started raining) but liberal use of white grease on the spiral things / grooves) seems to stopped that (again, probably never been done).

Attached picture 20210605_084519.jpg
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 16/11/2021 18:54

Thanks for the write up, Dave. Reading between the lines, it's not your favourite car...?

I've heard of this Krytox stuff, but I'll wait to see how bad the leaks are before deciding on a strategy.
I was under the impression that the seals were greatly improved post 2009, so it's a bit disappointing to hear you've had significant issues.
Having said that, I've never owned a convertible that didn't leak!
Posted By: DaveG

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 17/11/2021 04:23

The leaking is the biggest disappointment, the rest is just wear and tear to be expected, plus a few design foibles (I'mbeing generous). Otherwise it's ok, plenty of poke.

I will try to do the seals again before winter, initially it helped, but I think lack of maintenance over the years means quite some catching up to be done. A lot of people treat the seals twice a year.
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 17/11/2021 09:48

I won't get a chance to properly explore the car until the weekend, but the only thing I know that seems not to work is the heated seats. Early investigation seems to suggest it's a common victim of water ingress to the boot, but I need to do more research.
All the carpets apart from the boot feel bone dry, though there seems to be a lot of insulation under the carpet.
I've taken out the hardboard spare wheel cover and brought it into the house to dry out.
Lifting the boot lid emptied a lot of water straight into it (coupé nostalgia !), so that won't help. I've got some silica sacks somewhere (used to dry out my last coupé...), so I'll see if I can find them.
I've booked the car in for a service and early MOT, so I'll find out more in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and the stereo needs an upgrade to something with DAB+ and a screen for navigation.
Posted By: Countrycruising

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 17/11/2021 10:39

Congrats on your purchase Jim, if Jake can help with anything tuning related items give me a shout and I'll pass on his email address.
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 17/11/2021 13:51

Thanks, Joe, I'd love to chat to Jake if he's interested. Not sure MrsC will view tuning as a priority, but always worth considering!
Posted By: barnacle

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 18/11/2021 05:57

As an aside: I have been unhappy with the quality of VW group engine plastics. Joe will recall our old Seat where the hard plastics got brittle and broke, and the soft plastics ate themselves from the inside out and grew holes... which did little for the mixture control.

On the design side: the way the door cards and window winders were fitted was absolutely ridiculous, with a built in leak to the door bottoms and thence to the carpets... (and I never liked the VW policy of putting all the lighting power through a single switch instead of using relays, but they've probably changed that in these days of canbus everywhere).
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 18/11/2021 07:25

The cynic in me firmly believes that the moment they ran the "if only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen" ad campaign, was the moment they sat back on their heritage laurels and stopped putting any effort into product quality, allowing image and perception to replace proper design. It's one of the reasons I haven't owned a VW for a couple of decades (I know I've had a Skoda and an Audi, but somehow it's not quite the same!)
I think the Eos' obvious and inherent flaws are almost part of the attraction.
As for reliability, time will, by definition, tell...
Posted By: Edinburgh

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 18/11/2021 08:21

Originally Posted by barnacle


On the design side: the way the door cards and window winders were fitted was absolutely ridiculous, with a built in leak to the door bottoms and thence to the carpets.



Inteesting, the Golf I owned (twenty years ago now) had developed wringing-wet carpets - the shower-screens (moisture-barriers) behind the door cards were completely u/s, allowing water to seep down into the footwells when the doors were closed.

Repairing these was useful training for fixing similar future coupé problems!
Posted By: barnacle

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 19/11/2021 21:42

Jim, is your engine this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKr4NB6Ng-g shocked

Neil
Posted By: Jim_Clennell

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 20/11/2021 15:49

Thanks for the encouraging post, Neil!

As it happens, I don't think it is the same engine, mine is a BWA, which probably shares parts, but hopefully not the ones made of cheese!
Posted By: barnacle

Re: Abarth buying advice! - 21/11/2021 07:12

Excellent, Jim.

Cheese is OK, but should be in solid chunks and have the name of an English county. Germans are not too good at cheese; they only make the floppy/runny stuff. VW is German, so draw your own conclusions laugh

Neil
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