John M. submitted a source for properly adding a mounted fire extinguisher in his vehicle, and it reminded me that others may have inspiring solutions and accessory suggestions that might prove helpful to a few other 124 Spider owners. (The watermark also identifies the source for the aftermarket rollbar shown.)
For instance, I recently procured a BougeRV 30-quart portable 12-volt compressor fridge/freezer, (along with a Jackery Explorer 300 portable power station) for outings/SHTF/road-trips/food shopping, and although I had my Jeep in mind as the usual vehicle to bring these items along in, I selected a size that would also fit in my 124 Spider. My Jeep Grand Cherokee has a dual AGM battery setup that includes a 20-amp fused 12-volt outlet in the trunk, that powers the fridge great, but if I plan to keep it powered for an extended time while the engine isn’t running to keep those batteries charged, I’ll hook it up to the Jackery unit instead.
Rather than installing a dedicated 12-volt power lead into the 124 Spider’s trunk, again the Jackery, which is capable of powering the fridge for an entire weekend (unlimited if a solar panel or other input power source was also plugged in), will provide power to my fridge for a Fiat Club picnic, a tailgate party or a shopping excursion for seafood. The fridge fits very nicely in the trunk (thanks to the rectangular well in the bottom that seems custom-made for accommodating a cooler), albeit not much else will fit in concurrently. The height of this unit is a good reference point as being close to the max if you are shopping for other brands; smaller capacity units will usually be shorter.
The YouTube vlogger that I got all my promo codes from, and who’s reviews I depended on for my purchase decisions, is Hobotech.
If the ND MX-5 trunk opening is in fact 11″? (vs. 14″ in the 124 Spider), the fridge may not fit in that car.
BougeRV 30-Quart Fridge/Freezer Specifications
Weight: 22.82 lbs
Dimensions (LxWxH): 22.7 x 12.6 x 15.5 in
Cooling Range: -7.6°F to 50°F
Voltage: 12V / 24V (DC); 120 – 240V (AC)
Capacity: 28 Liters / 30 Quarts
Refrigerating System: Compressor; (not ammonia absorption)
Warranty: 24 Months (36 months, if you register your purchase)
The Wancool compressor in the BougeRV unit is from China, which helps explain why the price of the BougeRV fridge/freezer is so much lower ($269; $215 using a promo code) than the equivalent ICECO JP30 fridge/freezer ($499) with the acclaimed SECOP (Danfoss) compressor made in Denmark.
The Jackery is ideally suited to power CPAP units, small AC appliances that use no more than 300 watts, 12-volt accessories (like my very energy-efficient fridge with it’s variable-speed compressor), and charging phones and drones. It actually fits along side the fridge in my 124 Spider trunk, making this a perfect duo, and it has so many other uses as well.
Now all I need is a solar panel, and I’ll be a “prepper” 😉
Jackery E-300 Specifications
Capacity: 293Wh (14.4V, 20.4Ah)
Cell Chemistry: Li-ion NMC > Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide
Lifecycles: ≥500 cycles to 80%
AC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 300W (500W Surge)
USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A
Quick Charge 3.0 Output: 5 to 6.5V, 3A / 6.5 to 9V, 2A / 9 to 12V, 1.5A
USB-C PD Output: 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 3A
Car Output: 12V, 10A
DC Input: 12V to 30V (90W Max)
AC Adapter: 4.7 Hours
12V Car Adaptor: 5 Hours
100W Solar Panel: 5.5 Hours
Electric Generator: 4.7 Hours
Weight: 7.1 lbs
Dimensions (LxWxH): 9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 in
Operating Usage Temp: 14 to 104°F
Warranty: 24 Months (36 months, if you register your purchase)
The trickle charger that I ended up ordering, while the car is wintering in my garage, is the NOCO 5-amp Genius5 fully automatic charger, since it is in a sealed plastic unit (much safer when sitting under the hood near the battery) with LEDs that inform you of what it is doing, and is designed for 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid automotive, marine, and deep-cycle batteries, including flooded, gel, AGM, and maintenance-free, plus lithium-ion batteries. It is an all-in-one solution – battery charger, battery maintainer, trickle charger, plus battery desulfator. There is an optional OBDII adapter cord available too, that can be used as a “keep-alive” battery maintainer while replacing your battery, and also allows you to charge your battery without opening the hood.
I saw this on the Miata forum today, and thought I’d throw it out there, just in case someone might find them useful – speaker grilles from I.L.Motorsport to replace the trim covers hiding the storage cubbies behind the seats (some 124 Spider owners don’t even know that these cubbies exist). I actually use the cubbies for their intended purpose – the cup holders (that I’ve never used), are stored rattle-free in one of the cubbies (just in case), and I’m happy with my non-Bose system, so the grilles are of no use to me.
Adding a Hitch Receiver
Added 3/22/2021 #hitch
I saw this in the 124Spider.org (2017+ FIAT 124 Spider) Facebook group today, where Gregory posted great instructions on how to install the CURT (11435) receiver hitch (a MX-5 accessory intended to accommodate bicycle racks and small trailers for autocross wheels/tires).
- It’s necessary to first remove the exhaust system from the axle back. I recommend removing the hangars from the chassis versus the muffler.
- Instead of simply bolting the hitch at these four mounting points, first use a Grade 8 washer and nut to secure the supplied bolts into place. This accomplishes three things:
1) eliminates the possibility of accidentally pushing a bolt back into the frame rail while aligning the heavy (22 pounds) hitch (too easy to do),
2) makes removal and reinstallation of the hitch quick and easy (otherwise you have to fish out/in the mounting hardware); and
3) lowers the hitch about 5/8″ for additional bumper cover clearance (needed for some hitch accessories).
- A second Grade 8 washer (not visible) between the installed nut and the hitch bracket, is used on all four mounting points.
Inserting these washers is somewhat of a balancing act, best performed by aligning all four bolts and laying one (1) washer on the top of the hitch bracket starting with the forward mounting point (as shown) and then loosely hand-tightening one (1) nut to temporarily hold it in place. Repeat this same procedure on the forward mounting point of the opposite side frame rail, then raise the hitch into place and fasten the two remaining mounting points after first inserting a washer on each.
Want to carry your bicycle without adding a hitch receiver?
Gerald Fisher thought of an ingenious way of carrying his bicycle with him. Even a tandem bike. As he states, “Removed passenger-side roll bar cover and used quick release truss clamps to attach bike mounts. Suction cup holds the rear in place. Top down only transport which is fine.”
Ski Rack, added 10/20/2022
Fabbri Luggage Rack with mating Ski Rack for the 124 Spider details
Trunk Tool Tray, added 12/4/2022
joevie added Mazda’s tool tray (part # is N248-68-8MXA), exclusive to the MX-5 RF. In addition to the tire inflator kit, it will accommodate additional items, such as…
- the tools that come with the jack (lug wrench and crank handle)
- the tow hook that is usually given to the new owner
- an emergency triangle (the red item; legally required in some countries) in the slot designed to fit the glass wind deflector, that is also exclusive to the RF.