1985 2M4 Restoration - Sitting for 20 Years
Topic started by: rafinger, Date: 11-23-2018 06:20 AM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/098609.html


rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #1, 11-23-2018 06:20 AM
      Hey there! As the title suggests, I'm bringing a Fiero back to life! 8 months ago and for $100, I picked a 1985 Base model 2M4. Even more fantastic that that price, the car was also single owner, bone stock, and 99% complete. This was too good of a deal to pass up. Slowly but surely, and with the help of my brother, dad, and friends, I am bringing this car back to life. A quick little intro about me is that I'm 22 at the time of posting this, studying Industrial Design in Houston, and love filmmaking. I have a YouTube channel where I document all of my projects, from Iron Man helmets to working on my Kawasaki ZR-7S.

Linked below is the first part in the video series about restoring this car. You may want to grab a comfortable seat and some popcorn for this one, it isn't your typical vlog rebuild series. I shared this on the facebook group called "Fiero", but I wanted to share here too. I have been browsing these forums since I was 13, so I definitely owe everything I know about these cars to you guys.


The Journey Begins | 1985 Fiero 2M4 Revival - Part 1

I should also mention that all of this footage is from 8 months ago too! I already have the next 3 parts completely filmed, working on filming part 5 now, and currently editing part 2. So please stay tuned!

Pictures for those not interested in the video

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[This message has been edited by rafinger (edited 12-12-2018).]

fierofrenzy (steelpedal@gmail.com) MSG #2, 11-23-2018 07:29 AM
      Hi Ron and welcome back to the crazy but fun world of the Fiero. I enjoyed your video very much. You did an excellent job producing it. I liked the pop up headlight guy...lol.
Yea, you got your hands full there, but its obvious to me that your gonnna cover a lot of ground quickly buy just the few improvements you've already done. look how better she looks just from the wash And with all the common sence you've already applied, your statement of limited mechanical ability will advance very quickly I'm sure. Looks to me that you got the tools, you got the garage, and yes, pleanty of penetrating fluid...hahaha. Hows about a repair manual such as Chiltons? Their exploded diagrams come in very handy.

Obvisously your gonna need parts. Parts, parts, parts......since your out there in Texas let me advise you on one GREAT GUY who I do loads of business with. He's "handymanpat" on the Forum here. This guy has very clean parts available at excellent prices. He lives in Roundrock. ( is that by you ? ) He's also just a real nice guy to do business with, and talk to too ! get in touch with him ! I assure you he will be of great value in your project. Then there's the Fiero Store, Rodney Dickman, and "The Mall" on here for more stuff. I also search ebay all the time to see whats available.
Her's another product you might want to check out. Its call POR-15. This is EXCELLENT stuff to tackle your surface rust. I did the complete bottom of my Formula with it. I strongly recommend it.
I'll be looking forward to more episodes of your Fiero project. I can also assist in a little way. I got the upper battery tray support . If you want it I'll send it out to you. Its small, but its something....
You, along with the rest of us, have a real ace up your sleeve with this site here. The guys on here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They've come to my aid countless times.
So keep us posted and best of luck with your Fiero project. It looks to me that you won't need much of that, you seem to know what your doing. Bob


fierofrenzy (steelpedal@gmail.com) MSG #3, 11-23-2018 07:32 AM
      Hi Ron and welcome back to the crazy but fun world of the Fiero. I enjoyed your video very much. You did an excellent job producing it. I liked the pop up headlight guy...lol.
Yea, you got your hands full there, but its obvious to me that your gonnna cover a lot of ground quickly buy just the few improvements you've already done. look how better she looks just from the wash And with all the common sence you've already applied, your statement of limited mechanical ability will advance very quickly I'm sure. Looks to me that you got the tools, you got the garage, and yes, pleanty of penetrating fluid...hahaha. Hows about a repair manual such as Chiltons? Their exploded diagrams come in very handy.

Obvisously your gonna need parts. Parts, parts, parts......since your out there in Texas let me advise you on one GREAT GUY who I do loads of business with. He's "handymanpat" on the Forum here. This guy has very clean parts available at excellent prices. He lives in Roundrock. ( is that by you ? ) He's also just a real nice guy to do business with, and talk to too ! get in touch with him ! I assure you he will be of great value in your project. Then there's the Fiero Store, Rodney Dickman, and "The Mall" on here for more stuff. I also search ebay all the time to see whats available.
Her's another product you might want to check out. Its call POR-15. This is EXCELLENT stuff to tackle your surface rust. I did the complete bottom of my Formula with it. I strongly recommend it.
I'll be looking forward to more episodes of your Fiero project. I can also assist in a little way. I got the upper battery tray support . If you want it I'll send it out to you. Its small, but its something....
You, along with the rest of us, have a real ace up your sleeve with this site here. The guys on here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They've come to my aid countless times.
So keep us posted and best of luck with your Fiero project. It looks to me that you won't need much of that, you seem to know what your doing. Bob


longjonsilver (longjonsilver34@juno.com) MSG #4, 11-23-2018 07:05 PM
      i really enjoyed your video. A great mix of real time and fast forward action to keep us involved with the story. i'll be following this story as it unfolds. Looking forward to more videos
jon



ltlfrari (dave_ellis_@hotmail.com) MSG #5, 11-24-2018 05:16 PM
      Nice save and an interesting video. I will say to check the upper frame rails, remove the rear wheel well liners so you can see up there. It's pretty much hidden so they can rot out without it even being visible. Pretty simple to replace though with a bit of welding.
Looking forward to more updates.



rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #6, 11-26-2018 06:23 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofrenzy:

Hi Ron and welcome back to the crazy but fun world of the Fiero. I enjoyed your video very much. You did an excellent job producing it. I liked the pop up headlight guy...lol.
Yea, you got your hands full there, but its obvious to me that your gonnna cover a lot of ground quickly buy just the few improvements you've already done. look how better she looks just from the wash And with all the common sence you've already applied, your statement of limited mechanical ability will advance very quickly I'm sure. Looks to me that you got the tools, you got the garage, and yes, pleanty of penetrating fluid...hahaha. Hows about a repair manual such as Chiltons? Their exploded diagrams come in very handy.

Obvisously your gonna need parts. Parts, parts, parts......since your out there in Texas let me advise you on one GREAT GUY who I do loads of business with. He's "handymanpat" on the Forum here. This guy has very clean parts available at excellent prices. He lives in Roundrock. ( is that by you ? ) He's also just a real nice guy to do business with, and talk to too ! get in touch with him ! I assure you he will be of great value in your project. Then there's the Fiero Store, Rodney Dickman, and "The Mall" on here for more stuff. I also search ebay all the time to see whats available.
Her's another product you might want to check out. Its call POR-15. This is EXCELLENT stuff to tackle your surface rust. I did the complete bottom of my Formula with it. I strongly recommend it.
I'll be looking forward to more episodes of your Fiero project. I can also assist in a little way. I got the upper battery tray support . If you want it I'll send it out to you. Its small, but its something....
You, along with the rest of us, have a real ace up your sleeve with this site here. The guys on here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They've come to my aid countless times.
So keep us posted and best of luck with your Fiero project. It looks to me that you won't need much of that, you seem to know what your doing. Bob


Hey thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. As for the manuals, I have both Chilton's and Haynes, so I should be covered.
I'll be sure to talk with Pat about parts, I'll definitely need some new taillights and side markers. Round Rock is about a four hour drive from me! I'm south of Houston, but that isn't too far.
I have already heard of the wonder that is POR-15! I've seen a lot of stuff about that and it's very possible I'll be using it.
As for the battery tray support, I might have to take yo up on that! I have actually already fabricated my own battery holder out of angle iron and am using that, but a proper battery tray would be ideal.
Thanks for words of encouragement!

 
quote
Originally posted by longjonsilver:

i really enjoyed your video. A great mix of real time and fast forward action to keep us involved with the story. i'll be following this story as it unfolds. Looking forward to more videos
jon



Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. The next one should be out relatively soon

 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

Nice save and an interesting video. I will say to check the upper frame rails, remove the rear wheel well liners so you can see up there. It's pretty much hidden so they can rot out without it even being visible. Pretty simple to replace though with a bit of welding.
Looking forward to more updates.



Thanks for the tip! I'll be sure to check that out. I plan on dropping the whole rear cradle and engine assembly soon to replace the clutch, alternator, waterpump, and suspension components, so that'll be an opportune time to look for possible rust. And there should be a new video within a few weeks! I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.


longjonsilver (longjonsilver34@juno.com) MSG #7, 12-03-2018 01:56 PM
      Are you planning on keeping the 13" wheels? i had a set of those on my '84 and i thot they were part of the "handling package" that came with my car. If so you have stiffer springs and a tighter ratio steering rack.
jon



Newbfiero (bobby_0958@hotmail.com) MSG #8, 12-03-2018 05:59 PM
      πŸΏπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #9, 12-12-2018 09:23 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by longjonsilver:

Are you planning on keeping the 13" wheels? i had a set of those on my '84 and i thot they were part of the "handling package" that came with my car. If so you have stiffer springs and a tighter ratio steering rack.
jon



I am! They aren't too common, so I think it'd be pretty neat to have them still. I know in the video I said they were the lowest option wheel, but at the time I didn't realize they weren't. I actually don't have the WS6 handling package though! I have the WS1 RPO code as well as the RPO codes that correspond to the regular springs. That'd be cool if I did though!

 
quote
Originally posted by Newbfiero:

πŸΏπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘


I hope that means you liked it


Also I have an update! Part 2 is finally done being edited and it's now published. In this episode, we tackle everything needed to get the car running.


You've Been Asleep, Cap | 1985 Fiero 2M4 Revival - Part 2


RWDPLZ MSG #10, 12-13-2018 12:06 AM
      Been watching and really enjoying the videos, and sharing them with the family. Reminds me a LOT of getting and working on my own car, hopefully you don't run into the same rust issues.

longjonsilver (longjonsilver34@juno.com) MSG #11, 12-13-2018 07:38 AM
      i had to drop my tank to check the operation of my fuel pump. Worst job i have ever done on my Feral. Even worse than the clutch replacement - and that was a double job because i got the clutch in backwards the first time. Still the fuel tank job was worse. i found that the hardest part of reinstalling the fuel tank was the lines. Almost impossible to get on and off. i also used the oil trick, but that only made it slightly easier. Congrads on a running Fiero
jon



turbo86se (jstup301@gmail.com) MSG #12, 12-13-2018 08:38 AM
      Excellent videos guys! Definitely gets me motivated to do a little work to my '87. Has anyone asked if you've gotten another Fiero yet? They do multiply.

ltlfrari (dave_ellis_@hotmail.com) MSG #13, 12-13-2018 03:22 PM
      Loving the videos and time you take to put them together.Waiting for the next one.



rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #14, 01-16-2019 07:15 PM
      Thanks for all the support guys! It means a lot that you're enjoying them. In response to Turbo86se, I don't think I'll be getting another Fiero, at least not for a while. As much as I love them for sentimental reasons, I really miss my old 3000GT. Japanese cars pique my interest more

But for an update, Part 3 is out now! Hope you guys like this one as well.


Fiero Drive With Me | 1985 Fiero 2M4 Revival - Part 3


turbo86se (jstup301@gmail.com) MSG #15, 01-17-2019 08:41 AM
      Hahaha great video! You guys could easily host a very informative and successful tech session for a group. Looking forward to the suspension tear-down video too, I'll be tearing down mine this summer.

Oh I'd love to get my hands on an early 90's VR4. Absolutely awesome car.


Habanera Hal (halspalter1@aol.com) MSG #16, 01-17-2019 10:18 AM
      Very cool series!
Nice to see someone who actually repairs and doesn't just replace.


theogre MSG #17, 01-21-2019 06:11 AM
      So you found my Cave... Correct link for piston notes is http://fierocave.shorturl.com/brakes1.htm
Link posted now will die soon.

Rear rotors need to be pulled and remove the anti seize.
Rotors and hub and rims needs clean ish metal where they meet to give clamping force to stop rotor moving when you stop. Minor rust won't matter.
Worse Bulk anti seize can run out and pollute the rotors and pads causing pad glazing.
Clean the hub and inside the rotor's hat.

If you didn't clean the new rotors... you have to clean them and sand off the pads too because you already started to glaze the pads.

Rear brake pistons look Black and likely no plastic plug in front, facing the pad? If True have Recall Kit install and should work after you're done. (If E brake cables are good too.)

Front brakes can have problems w/ steel pistons. Calipers made for Phenolic pistons are different in several small ways you can't see. Using steel can cause pad dragging making worse problems like no brakes or fires on the highway.

Caliper Sliders and their "O-rings" need Brake or Silicon Grease NOT Brake Fluid. Brake Fluid there can cause corrosion and lock the sliders very fast because Brake Fluid will pull water from everywhere then water will attach the caliper hole.

Front bearings will quickly fry if you preload them. See my Cave, Front Bearings
May have problem anyway because you shouldn't have to beat the outer races and damage the bearing drivers to get them installed. Is likely the rotor is made w/ too tight clearance.
Missing outer races and lugs is not really a good sign. Most good brands have both installed.

Any "glue" repair of gas tanks for cars often won't last for several reasons.
Do Not Braze Gas Tanks. Need too much heat and thin metal hates it. Solder them w/ patches if needed. Lead/Tin solder not "lead free." Most Lead free solder needs more heat then lead solders. Any basic propane torch can heat. Flush gas and fumes out by filling the tank w/ water completely a few times.



rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #18, 01-21-2019 04:21 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by turbo86se:

Hahaha great video! You guys could easily host a very informative and successful tech session for a group. Looking forward to the suspension tear-down video too, I'll be tearing down mine this summer.

Oh I'd love to get my hands on an early 90's VR4. Absolutely awesome car.


Suspension will be in Part 7! It might be past summer by the time that's released though... I'm glad you enjoyed it however


 
quote
Originally posted by Habanera Hal:

Very cool series!
Nice to see someone who actually repairs and doesn't just replace.


Thank you! This whole project is supposed to be a learning experience, so I'm trying to repair as much as I can.


 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

So you found my Cave... Correct link for piston notes is http://fierocave.shorturl.com/brakes1.htm
Link posted now will die soon.

Rear rotors need to be pulled and remove the anti seize.
Rotors and hub and rims needs clean ish metal where they meet to give clamping force to stop rotor moving when you stop. Minor rust won't matter.
Worse Bulk anti seize can run out and pollute the rotors and pads causing pad glazing.
Clean the hub and inside the rotor's hat.

If you didn't clean the new rotors... you have to clean them and sand off the pads too because you already started to glaze the pads.

Rear brake pistons look Black and likely no plastic plug in front, facing the pad? If True have Recall Kit install and should work after you're done. (If E brake cables are good too.)

Front brakes can have problems w/ steel pistons. Calipers made for Phenolic pistons are different in several small ways you can't see. Using steel can cause pad dragging making worse problems like no brakes or fires on the highway.

Caliper Sliders and their "O-rings" need Brake or Silicon Grease NOT Brake Fluid. Brake Fluid there can cause corrosion and lock the sliders very fast because Brake Fluid will pull water from everywhere then water will attach the caliper hole.

Front bearings will quickly fry if you preload them. See my Cave, Front Bearings
May have problem anyway because you shouldn't have to beat the outer races and damage the bearing drivers to get them installed. Is likely the rotor is made w/ too tight clearance.
Missing outer races and lugs is not really a good sign. Most good brands have both installed.

Any "glue" repair of gas tanks for cars often won't last for several reasons.
Do Not Braze Gas Tanks. Need too much heat and thin metal hates it. Solder them w/ patches if needed. Lead/Tin solder not "lead free." Most Lead free solder needs more heat then lead solders. Any basic propane torch can heat. Flush gas and fumes out by filling the tank w/ water completely a few times.



Yep! I found it about 10 years ago. It really is a great resource, so thank you so much far taking the time to put it all together. I'll updated the link!

Regarding the rotors, I did a bunch of looking into whether or not the anti-seize should go on, and as far as I can tell it shouldn't be harmful. There's a lot of online guides, videos, articles, write-ups, that suggest using it. I did apply it as thin as I could, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The rotors were cleaned completely, no glazing to worry about.

The rear brake pistons didn't have a spot for a plug... I've seen on your cave that there's the Old and New style, however as you can see below, mine looks like neither. Not sure what's up with that, but the e-brake operates just fine!

All re-manufactured calipers for sale come with steel pistons, and for individual pistons, I could only find them in steel as well. There wasn't really much a choice for me.

The O-Rings had brake grease applied, not brake fluid.

Bearings weren't necessarily preloaded, but were tightened down until it was just barely snug and the rotor still spun freely and smoothly. They're coming back off when I do the suspension, so I'll be sure to follow your procedure to get them done properly. I couldn't find any rotors on RockAuto, from any brand, that had the races already installed. Is there another vendor that sells them? Every instructional video I watched on installing bearing races, they were all beat more or less the same way, albeit with a larger hammer and not a claw hammer like I used.

The regular JB weld failed, but was re-fixed with the Steel Stik product, which will be in Part 4, and I haven't had any problems since then. It's been 7 months since re-fixing, and I haven't had a single leak, however I do understand that it isn't a permanent solution. It's just to last while I get the car back into shape. Replacing it with a clean tank is definitely on the list of things to do.

I don't mean to sound defensive if I do! I just don't want people to think that I'm totally clueless. I really do appreciate all your advice, truly.


Odd Piston:

[This message has been edited by rafinger (edited 01-21-2019).]

theogre MSG #19, 01-21-2019 11:35 PM
      That piston is very likely install for the recall job @ GM dealers.
They are "black oxidized" finish and has a very small "hidden" vent hole on the side. Black finish is anti rust protection. Hidden vent because is under the dust boot after installed. See my Cave, Do You Recall?

People push anti seize on rotor and drum flanges are fools that think they know better then all engineers hired by car makings costing them Many Millions in pay alone or completely dumb and just parroting same BS. Same people push anti seize and other lubes for lug threads etc... Throw any torque spec in the trash because you can weaken warp or break parts tighten lugs to spec w/ anything on the threads and face of nuts. Cone face lug nuts the cone behave as lock nut and any lube on them can cause fatal results. Same people that claim anti seize = Brake Grease for sliders and more. Not because is Oil, aluminum powder and Paraffin and most oils hate brake plastic and rubber parts. (That data comes from Pematex MSDS/SDS)

Any lube on the flanges can allow the rotor and/or wheel to move. They try to rotate ageist the hub flange or each other as you change power or braking and work the lugs and lug nuts that can fail w/o warning. If they don't fail outright then can work loose and eat the rim until that falls off.

If you think rust will freeze them, you're lubing the wrong area. "Rust freeze" only affect the center hole and maybe the lug holes.
Center hole for the rotor and rim is what make them center and balance and not much clearance to hub centers for that reason. If you think "rust" will freeze then use a very thin coat of Brake Grease only in the center holes. BG won't wash off or run from heat and the tiny bit needed here can prevent rust and aluminum oxide for years to Decades.
I mean Very thin so you can barely see the grease film in the hole or on the center part of hub that go into the holes in the rotor and wheel.


Dennis LaGrua (dlagrua@comcast.net) MSG #20, 01-24-2019 04:58 PM
      Excellent and interesting video. Agree with much that you have done. The only thing that I would not do is to power the wheels while .the car is up on jackstands. The CV axles will turn at the highest sharp angle and its possible to tear the CV boots

theogre MSG #21, 01-24-2019 05:31 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:
Excellent and interesting video. Agree with much that you have done. The only thing that I would not do is to power the wheels while .the car is up on jackstands. The CV axles will turn at the highest sharp angle and its possible to tear the CV boots
It also pull the inner CV to max and more and can/will "break" the joint completely. Worse if car has bad motor/trans mounts or mounts adjusted wrong after work.

If you need to run in gear w/o wheels then jack the the control arms to normal loads or nearly so to fake car has wheels.


rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #22, 01-25-2019 03:49 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

Excellent and interesting video. Agree with much that you have done. The only thing that I would not do is to power the wheels while .the car is up on jackstands. The CV axles will turn at the highest sharp angle and its possible to tear the CV boots


 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

It also pull the inner CV to max and more and can/will "break" the joint completely. Worse if car has bad motor/trans mounts or mounts adjusted wrong after work.

If you need to run in gear w/o wheels then jack the the control arms to normal loads or nearly so to fake car has wheels.


Ahh, yes those are very good points! The article I found on how to free the clutch was on a website for a specific car, and I just now realized that it was front engine and had a solid rear axle, so those weren't concerns pointed out. In the last episode, I'm going to try to point out any mistakes I made along the way, and I'll be sure to mention that, along with the other good info Ogre said in his previous posts


rafinger (rafinger@msn.com) MSG #23, 02-21-2019 08:04 PM
      In case you guys haven't seen it, the newest video in my project is out. There's nothing too major done in this episode, just a lot of little things.


Blink Once If Your Headlights Go Up and Down | 1985 Fiero 2M4 Revival - Part 4


I was made very aware that Fram filters don't have the best reputation, so please spare me that here haha!


RWDPLZ MSG #24, 02-21-2019 08:24 PM
      Awesome video, covers a LOT of issues new owners have.

Oil filters have been discussed to death here, I've cut apart several of them, Wix 51036 is may favorite for the Fiero. Here's a comparison of the different filter brands construction:

http://minimopar.knizefamil...lters/reference.html

Also saw you used the shorter filter, the longer ones slightly increase the engine oil capacity.


Rodrv6 (rodrv6@comcast.net) MSG #25, 02-22-2019 10:01 AM
      I've enjoyed watching you resurrect that Fiero! I've done complete teardowns and rebuilds (to the bare space frame) on two of them over the years. One was a 1984, the other, my 88GT that I still have. The black stuff you found on the cooling fan relay is the grease that GM used to help protect the terminals from corrosion. It shouldn't hurt the connectivity at all, and you'll likely find more of it around the car.........



lordxchris (sabreleopard@gmail.com) MSG #26, 02-22-2019 10:07 AM
      Love the videos man! keep up the awesome work. Are you going to do any custom work to it? you seem like the type to do so. Im putting a ton of multi controllers in mine and custom lighting like neopixel tail lights and a custom cluster and center stack.

bjc 350 MSG #27, 02-22-2019 09:58 PM
      Great to see some young guys getting into this hobby. Thanks for saving another Fiero while you are at it!

tiretread (rthomas34@hotmail.com) MSG #28, 03-02-2019 08:06 PM
      Love your vids as well. Glad to see you over here too.

andreww MSG #29, 03-06-2019 04:08 PM
      When's the next video coming out man???