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Discussion Starter #1
Hey I've had my 500e for a few months and for all its flaws its a hoot to drive.

I am thinking about upgrades and seeing if I can improve the handling.

The inside wheel will not only scratch but hop if I get on it too early out of a turn. I'm assuming that's super bad and the repair bill would be potentially catastrophic. It could use like a 3" drop to be honest but I'm not sure it could take more than.... well I'm not sure it could take any lowering at all and stay off the bump stops.

Also the steering will whine and and sort of vibrate/hum at low speeds and at large steering angles close to the full lock. I rarely take my cars to full lock out of habit. The rack also feels too big at low speeds and I'm comically sawing back and forth (then its about right on the highway) but I guess that's the short wheelbase.....

Wondering what can be done here. I'm going to start doing some research and hopefully post back here after I get under the car and have a peak. Good alignment specs on 500e?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also looking for some wheel tire upgrades and potentially control arm bushings or the like can mitigate the tendency to hop.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Reasonably-priced lighter wheels & tires aren't all that hard to find, & could very well alter the resonant frequency to eliminate hop, which I haven't experienced with my own 500e. A set of Konis would be ideal, since the last time I checked, Bilstein didn't have a listing. I think they SHOULD, since unfortunately the OEMs are the same as the gas 500 even though we're a few hundred pounds heavier in the back!

I, too, dislike the slow steering ratio which often requires moving my hands on the wheel! I don't recall that issue when I drove an Abarth, so I wonder if they have shorter steering arms that could be swapped out.

I find the power-asist makes the steering way too light, except near zero mph, so I just pulled the fuse. Nice sporty steering feel, no whine, & I get a bit of an upper-body workout when parking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah thanks. I like your wheel thread. Didn't realize the stock wheels were quite that heavy.

So the OEM 500e shock is the same? The ridiculous wheel gap is entirely in the spring? Gas 500e seem to have a more normal wheel gap.
 

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Fiat's online listings for MY 2013, show ALL springs & shocks/struts are the EXACT same part numbers for the E, as for the base-model "Pop", even though the E is about 300 pounds heavier at the back.

No wonder the back is so under-damped! Some of the rear shocks' & springs' descriptions include "touring", so I wonder if we might be able to switch to those, to compensate for the fact that our empty E's are as heavy as a fully-loaded "tour's" luggage &/or passengers.

Koni (who E owners have reported using) also lists the same front & rear shocks/struts for "12-16 500 & 500 Abarth, coupe & convertible excl. 500L & 500X", NOT excluding 500E.

Bilstein lists a full lowering/spring/shock/strut kit for the Pop, but not for the E, probably just because they don't realize it fits.
 

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Fiat's online listings for MY 2013, show ALL springs & shocks/struts are the EXACT same part numbers for the E, as for the base-model "Pop", even though the E is about 300 pounds heavier at the back.
I don't trust the accuracy of the parts listing, because it shows multiple choices of springs and shocks for the 500e. Also, if the 500e uses the same suspension parts as the Pop, what would explain being heavier but having a larger wheel gap?

Edit: I noticed that all the same parts are listed for the Abarth as well.
 

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..tire diameter?

If i could afford the Bilstein kit, I"d ask them to confirm fit, or track down a Pop & examine all the mounting points.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Maybe the car has some inserts in the shock towers or subframe somewhere? There's definitely a reason 500e looks like a hippo on rollerskates compared to the gas ones. I feel like they want clearance for the battery or something... That being said for the extra apparnt height the suspension doesn't seem to have a whole lot of travel in there ... like almost none without bottoming out the shock.

I know I'm driving it like dick and its kind of an a econo/shitbox chassis but its fun! It reminds me of an old Mini i had if it could be improved slightly. The Mini was much more neutral at the limit.
 

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Whine? Under load? CV joints?

As for whee hop - the whole assembly on my 2014 500e had a lot of play. I never experienced wheel hop, always smooth burnouts.

I honestly do not think drop is a good idea for this car. I am not an enthusiast when it comes to suspension modifications, especially like cutting springs. But that's me.
For age of my car, I would invest in good shock absorbers (again, it was 2014 with over 40k miles).
I found suspension being just right, but too much rebounce.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rear swaybar gives a more neutral limit.
I'm really fussy about handling I feel a sway bar is lazy and uncertain solution. A traction subtraction device. Do you know the actual suspension travel? I feel like this machine has no travel up or down. My Mini suspension in the rear was a bumps stop.
But if I lowered it I also feel I might high center the car over larger "sleeping policeman" style bumps in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Reasonably-priced lighter wheels & tires aren't all that hard to find, & could very well alter the resonant frequency to eliminate hop, which I haven't experienced with my own 500e. A set of Konis would be ideal, since the last time I checked, Bilstein didn't have a listing. I think they SHOULD, since unfortunately the OEMs are the same as the gas 500 even though we're a few hundred pounds heavier in the back!

I, too, dislike the slow steering ratio which often requires moving my hands on the wheel! I don't recall that issue when I drove an Abarth, so I wonder if they have shorter steering arms that could be swapped out.

I find the power-asist makes the steering way too light, except near zero mph, so I just pulled the fuse. Nice sporty steering feel, no whine, & I get a bit of an upper-body workout when parking.
Nobody's tried Bilsteins on a 500e?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fiat's online listings for MY 2013, show ALL springs & shocks/struts are the EXACT same part numbers for the E, as for the base-model "Pop", even though the E is about 300 pounds heavier at the back.

No wonder the back is so under-damped! Some of the rear shocks' & springs' descriptions include "touring", so I wonder if we might be able to switch to those, to compensate for the fact that our empty E's are as heavy as a fully-loaded "tour's" luggage &/or passengers.

Koni (who E owners have reported using) also lists the same front & rear shocks/struts for "12-16 500 & 500 Abarth, coupe & convertible excl. 500L & 500X", NOT excluding 500E.

Bilstein lists a full lowering/spring/shock/strut kit for the Pop, but not for the E, probably just because they don't realize it fits.
Yeah but the weight is more in the rear right? ... that makes it more neutral handling right? Mine will understeer but in a weird way its light up front when I turn like an Mr-2 almost. Its much closer to a 50/50 weight distribution right?

So it will understeer light and then get close to neutral and not want to oversteer. but rear sway bar 'fixes' that. I'd love to see what that's like. I do like that. I feel tire pressure and alignment can do a lot of that work.

When it understeers light its weird because I'm used to FWD cars pushing in a plowing way like some I didn't have set up correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Whine? Under load? CV joints?

As for whee hop - the whole assembly on my 2014 500e had a lot of play. I never experienced wheel hop, always smooth burnouts.

I honestly do not think drop is a good idea for this car. I am not an enthusiast when it comes to suspension modifications, especially like cutting springs. But that's me.
For age of my car, I would invest in good shock absorbers (again, it was 2014 with over 40k miles).
I found suspension being just right, but too much rebounce.
I find I get the one-wheel peel and then when two wheels would spin traction control takes over.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
FYI everyone - You can't do neutral drops on a 500e unfortunately/.
 
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