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MiniMike20's Fiat 500 1.2 Pop
Hey Guys,

Always been a fan of the Fiat 500 and have wanted one since High School (2008), so here is the result of a random purchase in December.

The car is a 2011 model, bought with 62 000km on the clock (now 73 000km) and its going strong.

Collection, the car wearing the most horrific hub caps:

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The first thing that had to be done was rims and an exhaust tip. So!

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We decided to support a friend of ours at Tyger Wheel & Tyre Willowbridge, who arranged a set of 17 inch TSW Hockenheim R wheels for us, with them came a fresh set of Hankook Ventus tyres.

The problem with the 500 is that the hubs use a 4x98 pcd which limits your wheel options quite a bit - a solution is to use a 4x100 wheel (like we did) using wobble bolts and hubcentric rings. I was unsure but despite this it works perfectly, is safe and no vibrations!

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The finished result!

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From the moment we bought the car it worked hard, the first month of ownership saw around 2500km and with the useless valet provided by the dealer I decided it was time to tackle the swirled, faded and otherwise luck lustre paintwork with a proper detail.

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Initially we were not sure if we had made the right decision with the car though - Our previous car was a mildly modified Smart Fortwo which despite also lacking in performance just seemed to cope much better than the Fiat. In all aspects, including hills, freeway driving and space. We even went and test drove a Smart Fortwo with the intention of settling the car and moving on but normality resumed and slowly we got over the initial honeymoon stumbles.

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A big aspect of this was our initial visit to Fiat Century City - What a pleasure, we arrived and immediately sales people were around the car, commenting on the wheels and how good it looked and this definitely helped as Smart has zero dealer presence, the brand is mostly hated locally and for a change it felt nice to be a part of a brand that cared.

Being a pop model ours lacked the pretty extra's you get in the Lounge/Sport so we got these:

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And then painted the key to match the car:

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And then for some contrast we de-chromed the car using Plastidip which was a bit marmite, I later (as you will see) leftr the front black but the boot chrome.

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From day one the car had a bit of brake shudder which was particularly annoying at freeway speeds. Knowing that the car was due a set of discs/pads I tolerated until finally the car grinded to a halt as the pads starting eating the discs. Unfortunately, Fiat had no stock of the discs and I needed the car up and running so I collected a set of Discs from masterparts (R546 for both) and a set of OEM pads from FIAT (also R546 believe it or not) and had them fitted:

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The next challenge was the wheels, I was falling out of love with them. They were very "busy" for the car and they were an absolute b*tch to clean. Like 30-40 minutes just on wheels every time I washed the car, to make it worse my better half managed to curb one:

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Life continued as normal, some fun stops with friends and some fun along the way:

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10 000km in the car was going strong, economy had settled at 7.8L per 100km (high but YOLO) but having completed over 10 000km since December (now 1st April) with little time spent cleaning and keeping the car looking good we decided it was time to address the wheels and paint and give the car some TLC:

Up onto the Axle stands:

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Wheels taped up:

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Yummy, these were scrubbed and dressed with Trim Detailer:

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While I was outside cleaning, my friend Simon (Psy-Fi) was inside spraying the wheels matte black. I corrected the paint with Autoglym SRP giving an awesome finish:

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The wheels in the meantime were looking bloody excellent!

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We also sprayed the rusted rear drums that were looking terrible:

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I then gave the car some more love with Autoglym Specialist polish and Autoglym High Gloss Protectant, the trim was treated, interior deep cleaned and trim and leather conditioned, glass cleaned and exhaust polished. The results were brilliant!

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And now you are up to date. Things to do in the next two months:

- Oil change with Ravenol Fully Synthetic Oil (incl. Filter) as I am mid the 25k drain interval
- Rotate tyres (Rear still has the Hankook Logo on the Center tread)
- Track Day at Killarney
- New LED bulb for inside (current one dying)

I have learned a fair bit about the car in a short amount of time so feel free to ask questions, otherwise let me know what you think.


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