Replacing a Starter Cable

A. With a standard 500 engine (if you have a 126 engine, please see section B)

  1. Remove the end fixing of the inner cable by bending the split pin legs straight and pulling it out. Pliers will be needed. Unless the pin it is perfect, discard it, as it is always best to use a new split pin when re attaching the fixing.
  2. Inside the car undo the 2 bolts holding down the Starter and Choke lever assembly.

    It is often easier to remove the 2 front seats, by holding the forward / back lever up and pushing the seats FORWARD off the runners, then you can easily lift the rubber tunnel cover or carpet.

    Lift up the lever assembly and remove the inner cable from the lever; this is secure with a split pin and washer. Make sure you put the pin, split pin and washer in a safe place to reuse, as before best to use a new split pin.

  3. To remove the starter cable from underneath, first undo the large self-tapping screw holding the outer cable bracket to the body (just behind and below the back of the starter). Then under the centre of the car remove the starter cable from the back of the tunnel by pulling gently. Then pull the cable towards you from the other way, noting the route of the cable to the starter motor. i.e. round the driver’s side of the gearbox.

    NOTE:The cable comes complete with outer and inner cables as they do not separate.

  4. From the underneath, feed the new cable up the tunnel. From inside attach the end of the inner cable to the Starter lever, ensuring it is securely fasted and that the split pin legs are bent around the pin after the washer. Bolt the starter/choke lever assembly back down.

    From underneath again, route the cable towards the starter motor, bolt the outer cable bracket in place and align the end fixing to the starter motor lever and using one of the 3 holes push the split pin through (usually the 2nd hole)

    NOTE: Ensure there is a little slack in the inner cable when the split pin is in position. It must NOT be tight! or the dog on the starter motor will catch on the flywheel teeth and damage it!!
    Once you are happy that the fixing is in place bend the legs of the pin to a large V. or bend completely round, but that can be difficult in the confined space.

  5. Check that it works correctly and then reinstate the interior of the car.

B. Special instructions for starter cable when fitting a 126 engine\

For the starter to work properly on a 126 engine, a 126 starter cable must be used! (inner cable length is 1257mm, this is 75mm longer than a 500).Both starter motor end fixings on the inner cable on a 500 and a 126 are the same.


  • The route of the cable is different as it has to attach to the bottom of the heater duct
  • The attachment of the outer cable is different!!

The end fixing on the outer cable on a 500 is shaped as below, and is connected to the body with a self-tapping screw:

fiat500 startcable

The end fixing on the outer cable on a 126 is just a plain end and attaches to the heater duct by a Plastic or Aluminium end stop.

Most people use a 126 heater duct if they can get one.


If you wish to retain the original 500 heater duct on the car with a 126 engine, then make a small end stop bracket. an example is shown below, this can be pop riveted onto the 500 heater in a suitable position.

The big hole should be the diameter of the outer cable ferrule, the slot to be the size of the inner cable.