The Silver Freak Project
Topic started by: Blacktree, Date: 05-28-2007 01:51 PM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000049.html


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #1, 05-28-2007 01:51 PM
      I must have a dozen project threads (some I probably forgot about) floating around the forum. It's a PITA to keep track of all that. So from now on, all my Fiero related projects go in here. In order to help people navigate through this thread, I will maintain a table of contents in this post.

    ------ TABLE OF CONTENTS ------

    DESCRIPTION....................PAGE #

    BODY & INTERIOR
    -Custom Rear End.......................... 1-3, 7-9
    -Custom Front End............................. 3-5
    -Shaved Moldings.............................. 5-6
    -Sail Panel Scoops............................... 8

    DRIVETRAIN
    -Custom Exhaust.............................. 1, 10
    -Custom Intake................................. 5-6
    -Transmission Swap........................... 1, 3
    -3.4 Engine Swap................................ 7
    -Gear Reduction Starter........................ 7
    -Oil Cooler....................................... 9-10
    -7730 ECM...................................... 1, 10
    -MegaSquirt ECU................................ 13
    -DIS Upgrade..................................... 10

    SUSPENSION & BRAKES
    -Front Sway Bar.................................. 6
    -Brake Upgrades............................. 8, 12-13
    -'88 Cradle Swap................................ 12
    -Front Suspension Upgrade................ 12-13

    RACE PREP
    -Racing Seats..................................... 4
    -5-Point Harness.................................15
    -Weight Reduction.............................. 11
    -Falconer Intake.............................. 12-14
    -Engine Mods.................................. 13-14
    -Corvette Fuel Pump........................... 12


Also, here's a list of the car's current configuration. It's not all-inclusive, but covers all the major stuff. This way, people can see what mods and upgrades I've completed without having to dig through pages of updates.

    ------ CURRENT CONFIGURATION ------

    -- ENGINE
    Short Block: 3.4 V6 (stock)
    Heads: 3.4 V6 (ported)
    Valvetrain: Moloon Autotecnica "Le Mans" camshaft, solid lifters, 1.6:1 full roller rockers
    Intake: Ryan Falconer racing intake, homemade plenums, twin throttle bodies (from a Chrysler V6)
    Exhaust: Trueleo headers, 2.5" exhaust, Ocelot muffler
    Fueling: LT1 V8 fuel pump, 24 lb/hr injectors, adjustable FPR
    Ignition: DIS (from a 3x00 V6), Taylor low-impedance plug wires
    ECM: MegaSquirt (DIYPNP Delphi 56)

    -- DRIVETRAIN
    Flywheel: Fidanza aluminum
    Clutch: 6-puck ceramic disc with ClutchNet pressure plate
    Gearbox: FWD Getrag (HM282)
    Wheels: Nippon F2 17x7" +40mm offset
    Tires: Continental ExtremeContact DW 205/50-ZR17 front, 225/45-ZR17 rear

    -- SUSPENSION
    Front Sway Bar: Addco 1" diameter
    Front Springs: Mustang II (500 lb/inch)
    Front Shocks: Koni
    Front Control Arms: Tubular steel with rod ends (from WCF)
    Rear Sway Bar: Stock '88 Fiero
    Rear Springs: Coil-overs (350 lb/inch)
    Rear Struts: Koni
    Rear Trailing Arms: Stock '88 Fiero
    Rear Lateral Links: Homemade (aluminum tubes with rod ends)

    -- BRAKES
    Booster: Rodney Dickman Prototype (modified S10 unit)
    Master Cylinder: Chevy Blazer
    Front Calipers: Wilwood aluminum race calipers (GM Metric replacement)
    Front Rotors: Chrysler LeBaron (11.25" diameter)
    Rear Calipers: Stock '88 Fiero
    Rear Rotors: Stock '88 Fiero

    -- INTERIOR
    Seats: Corbeau Forza II
    Harness: RCI 5-Point (SFI 16.1)
    Gauge Cluster: Buick LeSabre
    Shifter: Stock Fiero (5-speed) with custom shift lever
    NO carpet
    NO dash
    NO console
    NO headliner
    NO radio
    NO climate control

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-04-2018).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #2, 05-28-2007 01:59 PM
      Now I'm working on a custom notchback decklid. The idea is to attach the rear fenders to the decklid (similar to the hood/fender mod), then fill in the tail light area and install 4" round tail lights. And to top it off, the stock spoiler will be moved about 5" toward the rear. Here's the concept sketch:



Here I'm test-fitting the modded spoiler. The angle of attack will be adjustable.



Here I'm making a casting of the tail light section. The casting will be used as a mold for filling the tail light section.



The tail light section isn't vertical. The angle is about 55° from horizontal. If I mounted the tail lights flush with the panel, they'd be aiming up into the sky. So I have to make "tail light pods" to aim the lights straight back. Below, you see the beginnings of that project.





It's taken me a couple weeks to get this far along with the tail light project. So don't expect anything overnight. I'll post updates when available.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

pheonix97031 (culpeppm@onid.orst.edu) MSG #3, 05-29-2007 08:58 PM
      Blacktree, get to work on this mod! I want to see where your going with it

And btw, you have a PM


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #4, 05-30-2007 04:03 PM
      I made some more progress on the tail light pods. I decided to make the pods half raised and half recessed, like the hood scoop. I want to keep the styling cues consistent, because IMO it makes a car look better than when you throw a bunch of dissimilar styles together.

I decided to take the cheap-n-easy route for making the tail light pods. I built a contraption from scrap 1/4" plywood to act as a form. It holds two round plates in place at the correct angle for the tail lights. Below, you see the form being test-fitted into the mold.



After I was satisfied with the fit, I covered the round plates in duct tape (to keep the resin from bonding to them) and hot-glued the thing into the mold. Then I stretched strips of glass fiber cloth across the gaps. Below, you see the glass fiber ready for wetting. You can see the little pieces of masking tape holding the glass fiber strips in place.



Since that glass fiber cloth is suspended in mid-air, it's not very sturdy. I'll wait until the resin hardens, and then start laying on more fiberglass to form the pods. Once I'm done with that, I start again on the other side.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #5, 06-01-2007 05:30 PM
      (deleted outdated material)

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #6, 06-01-2007 10:57 PM
      I like the direction its headed.... very "race" inspired!



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #7, 06-02-2007 01:22 PM
      On a side note: Francis from Trueleo Creations tells me my headers are almost ready. I can't wait!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #8, 06-06-2007 11:09 AM
      Yesterday, my cat-back exhaust arrived.



It's the Ocelot system, sold by the Fiero Store. I decided to replace my glass-pack muffler with this, because the glass-pack is starting to get loud. Plus, the sound coming from it is slowly changing from "mellow and throaty" to "ragged and raunchy". Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. :shrug:

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #9, 06-14-2007 08:17 PM
      The headers are ready for action. Today, I wrapped and painted them. I used DEI brand silicone paint, sold at Summit Racing. The header wrap is Summit house-brand. I put a coat of paint on the headers before wrapping them, to be sure the metal was protected. Then I sprayed another coat onto the wrap, to protect the glass fiber. See photos below.





I'm waiting to install the headers until I can find a chassis dyno. I want to get before/after dyno runs, to see how the headers affect performance.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Austrian Import (maximilian_ledworowski@csumb.edu) MSG #10, 06-17-2007 04:09 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:
I'm waiting to install the headers until I can find a chassis dyno. I want to get before/after dyno runs, to see how the headers affect performance.


I can't wait to see the results. That will be awesome.. I've been looking for measured benefits of Fiero headers.

-M


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #11, 06-19-2007 12:28 PM
      Let's switch attention to the diffuser and cat-back exhaust for a minute. If you look through the "Diffuser Fascia" thread, you'll notice that I had a bullet-style muffler sticking out the back of the car. It took up space inside the diffuser... space which could've been used for moving air. With my new Ocelot exhaust, I eliminated that. The muffler is tucked in between the engine cradle and the "license plate pod" in the rear fascia. And the muffler's outlet pipes are cut short. See photo below.



Here's a shot of the unobstructed rear diffuser.



I guess you could call it the "stealth exhaust".

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #12, 06-20-2007 04:09 PM
      I went to the speed shop today to get a dyno run with the ported stock exhaust. Unfortunately, the dynojet machine was malfunctioning. So I have to go back next week after they fix it. My headers get to collect dust for another week.

shawnkfl (kmn9312@knology.net) MSG #13, 06-20-2007 08:14 PM
      so, what became of the old duke?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #14, 06-20-2007 09:12 PM
      I stripped all the usable parts, and dropped off the rest at a metal recycler.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #15, 07-11-2007 11:31 PM
      It took longer than expected to get the dynojet machine back in operation. But today I finally got to do my baseline run. Here's the Silver Freak on the dyno.



Next week, I'll do another dyno run with the Trueleo headers installed, and report the results. See ya then!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #16, 07-18-2007 07:59 PM
      The Trueleo headers are installed and dyno tested. Here's a quick shot of the headers installed.



And here are the before/after dyno results. The black lines are power/torque with ported stock manifolds and aftermarket Y-pipe. The red lines are power/torque with Trueleo headers.



The numbers are hard to read. So here's the breakdown:
Ported Stock Exhaust -- 117.6 HP / 153.8 ft-lb
Trueleo Headers -- 123.2 HP / 160.8 ft-lb

So I've gained approximately 7 HP / 7 ft-lb compared to ported stock manifolds and an aftermarket Y-pipe, which in turn yields about 8-10 HP more than the stock exhaust.

I'd also like to mention that the exhaust sound is different now. The raspy sound is gone, replaced by a deep, throaty sound. And the idle has that "glub-glub" sound. I like it.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #17, 09-05-2007 12:16 PM
      Now I'm getting ready to replace my old TH125C with a 5-speed Muncie-Getrag. I decided to use the transmission from an early 90s FWD car. So far, I've spent over $2K on parts. This will not be a cheap swap.

I purchased a 5-speed shifter assembly from a salvage yard, and rebuilt it using Rodney Dickman's kit. Now it's nice and tight, no slop, nice and smooth.



Here's part of the reason why this tranny swap isn't cheap: an aluminum flywheel and Spec Stage 2 clutch. Also, you can see the shifter cable brackets I bought from Rodney Dickman. They allow the Fiero shifter cables to interface with the FWD transmission.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #18, 09-09-2007 02:00 PM
      Since my Getrag transmission was damaged during shipping (it fell off the truck), the bellhousing needed to be replaced. When I opened up the case, I found more damage. The 1st/2nd shift fork is cracked. This was probably caused by the aforementioned fall.



I was able to order a replacement shift fork from a Chevy dealer. Luckily, there were still a few sitting in a warehouse, because this part was discontinued. It cost me $250. Here's a photo of the new shift fork.



And last but not least, here's a shot of the disassembled Getrag.



It's the first time I've opened up a transmission. So it's kind of fun... "edutainment" if you will. It sure as hell beats fiberglass work!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

RandomTask (jguer003@odu.edu) MSG #19, 09-09-2007 02:04 PM
      Blacktree, I've always been a fan of your rear defuser. Keep up the good work!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #20, 09-11-2007 01:44 PM
      In order to replace that broken shift fork, I have to remove the guts from the transmission case. This is accomplished by pressing out the input/output shafts.



Here is the casing with its guts spilled all over the floor. Clean up on aisle 3!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

majesticpools (majesticpools@bellsouth.net) MSG #21, 09-12-2007 11:03 PM
      Very interesting. I just pulled a 5 speed getrag today to go into my 86 se. Keep up the good work, I'm learning here. How did you do your peddles? Do I need to look for other items from my donor car before I haul it back to the junk yard?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #22, 09-13-2007 12:08 PM
      I talked about the pedals in your auto-to-manual thread. If you don't mind, let's continue the discussion in that thread.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #23, 09-19-2007 01:51 PM
      Another piece of the puzzle arrived yesterday. Along with the transmission, I will also be be swapping out the ECM. I pulled the ECM from a Chevy Beretta, and had it reprogrammed by Ryan (aka DarthFiero) at Sinister Performance. See this thread for details. Hopefully, it will fix some driveability issues I've been having with the stock ECM. Plus, it's compatible with the magnetic speedo sensor in the FWD Getrag. This will also allow me to recalibrate the speedo via the ECM, should the need arise.



NOTE: In the fall of 2017, I replaced the 7730 ECM with a MegaSquirt. You can read about that on Page 13 of this build thread.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-23-2018).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #24, 10-03-2007 02:36 PM
      The transmission has been re-assembled and painted. Here are some photos:







Unfortunately, I ran into a problem. The Fiero's front tranny mount bracket doesn't fit the FWD transmission. The hole in the bracket is supposed to match up with the bolt to the left.





BAH! So now I need to either find a compatible bracket, or make one. Maybe now is the time to buy that welder I've been looking at...

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #25, 10-11-2007 12:16 PM
      Finding a Grand Prix with a Muncie-Getrag 282 transmission in a salvage yard was an exercise in futility. So I bought a welder, and learned how to use it. Then I made an L-shaped piece of metal to be welded on to the bracket. Here's the end result:





Now that this little snag has been overcome, I can get on with the project.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Fierofreak00 (jason_crego@hotmail.com) MSG #26, 10-11-2007 08:07 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

Finding a Grand Prix with a Muncie-Getrag 282 transmission in a salvage yard was an exercise in futility. So I bought a welder, and learned how to use it. Then I made an L-shaped piece of metal to be welded on to the bracket. Here's the end result:





Now that this little snag has been overcome, I can get on with the project.


Too bad you had to make that bracket, I need one for a Fiero Getrag, and I have one for a FWD sitting right here. (shoulda seen me try and make that fit the Fiero trans ). That would have been a easy trade! -Jason



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #27, 10-14-2007 12:42 PM
     
 
quote
Fierofreak00 said: Too bad you had to make that bracket, I need one for a Fiero Getrag, and I have one for a FWD sitting right here. (shoulda seen me try and make that fit the Fiero trans ). That would have been a easy trade!


DOH!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Chris Hodson MSG #28, 10-19-2007 05:08 AM
      Lets see more of those tail lights!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #29, 10-19-2007 05:27 PM
      It looks like I finally have all the details sorted out for the tranny / ECM swap. I had to hit the salvage yard to find some electrical connectors for the transmission and the new ECM. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find an exact match for the magnetic VSS. So I rigged up something temporary.

I'm also building a gantry to lift the car. During the engine swap last year, I used a shop crane to lift the car. But that made me really nervous, because at full lift (which was necessary for clearance), the crane was up on 2 wheels. As soon as the gantry is done (hopefully by the end of the week), the swap starts.

After the tranny / ECM swap, I'll get back to work on the rear body mods. I promise.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #30, 10-23-2007 01:35 PM
      The gantry is finished.

It's time to start the swap.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #31, 10-25-2007 02:55 PM
      Here are a few photos of my progress. With the drivetrain and suspension out, you can see some of the other mods.





Before stopping for lunch, I was able to install the new (aluminum) flywheel.



If it works as good as it looks, I'll be a very happy camper.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #32, 11-01-2007 12:06 AM
      The weather has been pretty crappy lately. But in spite of that, I was able to mate the Getrag to the engine, and re-mount everything onto the cradle. I also had to make some modifications to the engine wiring harness to accommodate the 7730 ECM. Plus, I repainted the exhaust. I also installed the clutch/brake pedals, clutch master cylinder, and hydraulic line.



Installing the Fiero Store stainless steel hydraulic line was a PITA. They twisted it into a pretzel to get it into the shipping box. And I had to bend it back into shape. I had to chop up the tranny cooler lines from the TH125, and remove them piece by piece. I also had to remove the spare tire boot, which involved removing the battery box and the battery.

I'm glad all that stuff is done. All I have left now is to reinstall the drivetrain, install the shifter, and install the ECM.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

seegeer (seegeer@yahoo.com) MSG #33, 11-06-2007 01:51 PM
      hey tree,
your a pretty smart dude, i like how you are doing all this work yourself, keep up the good work and creativity, if you want to lend out your mold i would like to use it to do some work to the rear of my car,,,


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #34, 11-08-2007 02:43 PM
      Thanks for the compliment.

The Getrag swap is now officially done. The car is back on the road. There were a few bugs to work out (like a non-functional VSS). But they've been addressed.



Now I just need to get used to the Kevlar clutch. This thing has Kung Fu grip! There's almost no middle-ground between stalling and spinning the tires.

Oh, one more thing. In another tranny swap thread, I remember someone mentioned having to grind off the TH125 mount bracket to make room for the Getrag. I'm referring to the "mono-mount" bracket on the engine cradle, which was used on the later TH125's. I must've gotten lucky. At the closest point, I have about 1/4" of clearance between the bottom of the transmission and the top of that bracket. In the photo below, the arrow points to it.



My friends are already bugging me to get to work on the tail light mold.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #35, 01-23-2008 03:39 PM
      Now I'm back to work on the tail light mold. This is going to be a long, tedious process. But it's starting to shape up.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #36, 02-03-2008 12:22 PM
      The clamshell decklid project is now underway. The process is going to be very similar to what I did with the hood. Using my angle grinder, I bevel the edges of the decklid and rear clip. Then I position the parts so they line up perfectly. And then I lay strips of glass fiber cloth along the seam.





After the fiberglass cures, I'll use my Dremel tool to "liberate" the fenders from the rear clip. Then I'll do another bevel and fiberglass operation on the underside of the seam.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #37, 02-04-2008 02:09 PM
      SLICE 'N DICE!!!



As you can see in the above photo, the tail lamp mounting area has been removed. It would only get in the way of the new tail lamps. Plus, that'll be 8 pounds less fiberglass in the back of my car. I also see a lot of unnecessary fiberglass to be removed from the rear clip and fenders. So it looks like the bodywork will be shedding a few more pounds.

Oh, and here's the shape of things to come.



[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Billybo455 (billybo455@aol.com) MSG #38, 02-05-2008 10:59 AM
      first of all great work man. second that's titan motosports dyno isn't it :P

you have a bunch of motivation and desire for this. something a lot of people lack. congrats again on a great job.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #39, 02-05-2008 01:53 PM
      Thanks for the compliments. And yes, the dyno run was done at Titan Motorsports.

Today, I had to cut some more ugly fat off the body panels. The rear clip has two layers of fiberglass. The top layer is the visible part. And the layer underneath is for structural reinforcement. In the photo below, you see that reinforcing layer underneath the fenders. Since the fenders will no longer support the rear fascia, most of that material is no longer needed.



I also had to cut out part of the decklid to make room for the new tail lights. In the photo below, you see the end result of all the cutting I did today. The tail lamp mold is included as a frame of reference.



Today I tossed 4 more pounds of unnecessary fiberglass into the trash.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #40, 02-05-2008 08:02 PM
      This is one of my favourite builds going on right now! Awesome work so far!



88White3.4GT MSG #41, 02-05-2008 08:55 PM
      The thin lines near to the oval circles will be back up lights? or what are those markings? Also, will you make a new location for a lock to the trunk? or delete the Trunk itself?

Cool Thread


Kyle1016 (i_like_fieros@yahoo.com) MSG #42, 02-05-2008 09:32 PM
      If you don't mind me asking, where did you get the aux round lights in the front bumper. They look really nice

BIGG_SEXXY MSG #43, 02-05-2008 10:58 PM
      Blacktree! your friggin awesome!

Bump for always giving great walkthroughs! YAY! haha


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #44, 02-06-2008 12:00 AM
      Thanks for the compliments. Now, to answer some questions:

The little rectangles I drew next to the tail lamp pods are for the spoiler mounting brackets. Those brackets are for the prop rods that will hold up the back of the spoiler. Look back to the spoiler test-fit photos and you'll see what I mean.

The reverse lights will either replace the reflectors in the rear fascia, or will go on either side of the license plate. I haven't decided yet.

The decklid lock will remain in the original location. The decklid will also retain the stock hinges... but not the springs. They will be replaced with gas struts.

The driving lights are Hella Optilux model 1300. If I remember correctly, the retail price is around $40. The Hella headlamps and Hella driving lights compliment each other very well.


Jake_Dragon MSG #45, 02-06-2008 02:13 PM
      Oh I thought you were going to flip it the other direction.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #46, 02-06-2008 06:37 PM
      Sorry to disappoint you. Well... not really.

Today I did a lot of grinding and sanding, roughing up all the edges and seams in the rear clip and fenders.



This is to prepare them for the next fiberglass layup, the tail lamp panel. I should be able to start that tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #47, 02-08-2008 10:25 AM
      Last night, I started laying up the tail lamp section. Here's the result of that work.



So far, there's only the gel coat and 2 layers of glass fiber cloth in there. So I can't break the mold loose yet. I need to build up more fiberglass in there first.

I'd also like to mention that with the decklid, I'm trying a couple new things. First of all, I'm using a real mold release agent (PVA). Up until now, I've been using stuff like furniture wax, car wax, beeswax, etc. Second of all, this is my first time using a gel coat. My gel coat on this project is just resin mixed with microfibers.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what that piece of wood is for, it's to create a ledge along the bottom of the tail light section. The ledge will increase the structural strength. By the time I'm finished, the ledge will also extend across the fenders.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

88White3.4GT MSG #48, 02-08-2008 01:25 PM
      hhmm

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #49, 02-09-2008 01:31 PM
      There isn't anything really exciting going on now. Basically just layup, wait, sand, clean, repeat. It might take a week before the tail lamp panel is ready to break free from the mold. There's still a lot of fiberglassing to do.

Here's what it looks like right now:



I also bought some rope today. Let's see if anyone can guess what it's for.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #50, 02-12-2008 12:05 PM
      I was able to remove the mold. The tail lamp section came out looking pretty good.



Unfortunately, the gloomy weather is putting a damper on the fiberglass work.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Emc209i (emc209i@yahoo.com) MSG #51, 02-13-2008 11:26 PM
      I'm liking the transmission color! What color is that btw? Looks very gunmetal like. Nice work thus far!!! Keep it up.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #52, 02-14-2008 01:41 AM
      The color is iron grey with a clear coat. The paint is Dupli-Color Engine Enamel (hi-temp ceramic). I bought it at Advance Auto Parts.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-14-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #53, 02-15-2008 10:25 AM
      I wanted to see what the modified decklid would look like with the spoiler on it. So I did a little test-fitting.





That's exactly how I was hoping it would look.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #54, 02-16-2008 01:21 PM
      Now you all get to see what the rope is for. After making the ledges on the bottom edges of the decklid and fenders, I used the rope to reinforce them. In the photos below, you see the rope hot-glued in place.



Here's a close-up.



The rope itself doesn't directly reinforce the decklid. But when I lay fiberglass over the rope, it forms a fiberglass tube. That's what reinforces the body panel. Below, you see the end result.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Mr.PBody (paniccia008@aol.com) MSG #55, 02-16-2008 05:19 PM
      Wow some seriously good glass work going on here, are you going to the 25th?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #56, 02-16-2008 09:50 PM
      I'm going to the Daytona show, but not the 25th.

fiero67 (fiero67@netscape.net) MSG #57, 02-16-2008 10:40 PM
      I think the tail light mod is looking great. Its good to see someone once again thinking outside the box. I can wait to see it installed. John



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #58, 02-17-2008 12:21 PM
      I tried one more "rope trick" today. This time, I'm reinforcing the spoiler mounting area on the back of the decklid... just in case the spoiler actually makes some downforce.

Below, you see the two pieces of rope hot-glued in place.



And here they are covered in fiberglass.



If you look closely, you can also see that I've started filling the voids behind the tail lamp pods with foam. When finished, the foam will fill up to those black lines I drew under the tail lamp pods. Then the foam will be covered in fiberglass.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #59, 02-21-2008 10:43 PM
      I haven't posted any photos lately, but have been busy working on the decklid. There just isn't anything very exciting to show you. However, I finished the fiberglass fabrication on the decklid today. The foam that I talked about earlier has been cut to shape. And it's been covered in fiberglass. This completes the underside structure of the decklid, and finishes tying the tail light panel into the decklid. Below is a photo of the fiberglass-covered foam.



Today, I also finished the spoiler mounting hardware. I had to make some finishing touches on the mounting brackets, along with a couple runs to Ace Hardware for various nuts & bolts. Tomorrow, you'll be able to see the spoiler attached to the decklid. But this time, there won't be any duct tape involved.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #60, 02-22-2008 02:13 PM
      OK, here's the close-up shot of the spoiler mounting hardware.



I wanted to avoid the "erector set" look. So I took some steps to simplify and streamline the design. First of all, the mounting brackets have a simple and elegant shape. Second of all, the lower mounting bolts (the ones going into the decklid) are carriage bolts. I think they look better than standard bolt heads. Also notice the acorn nuts on the prop rod bolts.

I also started working on (what's left of) the rear clip. But I'm in a hurry to get ready for work. So those photos will have to wait.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

88White3.4GT MSG #61, 02-24-2008 01:38 AM
     

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #62, 02-24-2008 10:33 AM
      Since the fiberglass fabrication on the decklid is finished, I'm now doing the fab work on the rear clip. After chopping off the rear half of the clip, it suddenly becomes really lightweight. Go figure!

But I still wanted to shave off a few more pounds. So I decided that the black triangular trim pieces (the ones above the engine grates) were going to be deleted. This also allowed me to delete the underlying support structure for them. Below, you see photos of the rear clip before and after chopping out the no longer needed support structure.





Oh, and here's an interesting coincidence. These mounting holes are perfectly placed. It's almost as if the GM engineers intended for the rear clip to be cut here.



That saves me some work.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #63, 02-25-2008 01:48 PM
      After chopping off the back half of the rear clip, the edge looks a little ugly.



So I decided to mold some end caps into the edge, to give it a more finished look.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #64, 02-26-2008 02:00 PM
      It's good to know that the tail lights fit.



In case you're wondering, they're 4" diameter LED lights. I'm going to mount them so that there will be no grommets or bezels. I'll be providing details on that soon.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #65, 02-26-2008 10:03 PM
      More pictures! Looks really good!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #66, 02-28-2008 12:39 PM
      Now you get to see how I mounted the tail lamps. First of all, here's a side view of one of the lights.



Notice how the body is stepped on the sides. I used this to my advantage. I made the holes in the decklid just big enough for the red lens portion to go through, but not the rest of the body. Then I put brackets behind the lamps to trap them in place.

First, I molded an aluminum bracket into the decklid.



Then, I added a cross-brace to press against the backs of the lamps.



You can't see it in the photos, but the cross-brace has felt pads between it and the tail lamp housings, to prevent rattles.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

HC MSG #67, 02-28-2008 04:14 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:




I really like this side view, the mods are subtle, but they really compliment the car... Cant wait will its done... What rims are these?


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #68, 02-28-2008 08:24 PM
      Thanks for the compliments. Basically, I'm taking the original styling and "kicking it up a notch", as Emeril Lagasse would say.

BTW, the wheels are 17x7" Nippon F-2, purchased from eBay (Rota Slipstream knock-offs?). They're lightweight, too... about 17 lb each. But unfortunately, I haven't seen any of the 17" ones on eBay lately... just the 15" and 16" ones.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #69, 03-02-2008 12:38 PM
      I've finished the wiring for the tail lamps. In order to maintain a somewhat factory appearance, I routed the wires through the decklid structure, alongside the trunk release wiring. The only visible part of the tail lamp wiring is the section that splits out to the two sides. See photo below.



Now it's back to work!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #70, 03-03-2008 01:56 PM
      The decklid and rear clip are almost ready to install. Tomorrow, I'll be putting on the final touches (some sanding and a coat of primer). Then, on Wednesday or Thursday, the parts will be installed. I wanted to have the parts installed by Thursday afternoon, so I could show them off at the Central Florida Fieros club meeting. It looks like that's gonna happen.

The next photos you see will have the parts installed on the car.


88White3.4GT MSG #71, 03-04-2008 12:42 PM
     

Tusch (john.partusch@gmail.com) MSG #72, 03-05-2008 01:43 PM
      This rear end looks sick! congrats and keep us updated.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #73, 03-05-2008 02:08 PM
      I'm halfway through the swap as I type this... just stopping for lunch. The old rear clip and decklid are off. They didn't come off without a fight, though. The top center mounting bolt on the rear clip was spinning in place, and wouldn't come out. With a little bit of grunting and swearing, the problem was resolved.

I promised the next photos would be with the body panels installed. So no nekkid Fiero pics.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #74, 03-05-2008 08:15 PM
      I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I got the body parts installed today. The bad news is that, by the time I finished, it was too dark to take photos. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow morning.

Tusch (john.partusch@gmail.com) MSG #75, 03-06-2008 12:12 PM
      It's tomorrow morning!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #76, 03-06-2008 01:55 PM
      Sorry for the delay. Maybe I can make up for it with some car pr0n? I hope you have a good internet connection.













It's still pretty rough around the edges. But I'll get everything smoothed out in due time. The important part is that it's built and in working condition. Now, I think I need to do something with that beat-up old nose. Hmmm...

Oh, I forgot to mention that in addition to the cool custom look, my car is now 20 lb lighter. Every little bit helps.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

FieroFanatic13 (gcrasmu@yahoo.com) MSG #77, 03-06-2008 02:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

Sorry for the delay. Maybe I can make up for it with some car pr0n? I hope you have a good internet connection.



It's still pretty rough around the edges. But I'll get everything smoothed out in due time. The important part is that it's built and in working condition. Now, I think I need to do something with that beat-up old nose. Hmmm...

Oh, I forgot to mention that in addition to the cool custom look, my car is now 20 lb lighter. Every little bit helps.



This is an awesome piece of work so far. Very nice!



88White3.4GT MSG #78, 03-06-2008 04:43 PM
      wow, that looks really great. Will you do anything with the sides of the car? How about the front? Any ideas?

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #79, 03-08-2008 03:27 PM
      That looks great!

I wish somebody would produce a tail light housing replacement or a panel or something that looks just like this section outlined in red:

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

The round lights recessed in the bottom and protruding at the top (so that the face sits perpendicular to the ground) are very ferrari like. If I could get a tail light replacement for my notchie like that I would buy it in a second. I know there are square ones available, and the pisa units with a whole bunch of tiny round ones but this style suits me best!

Great job!



TiredGXP MSG #80, 03-08-2008 03:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by doublec4:

That looks great!

I wish somebody would produce a tail light housing replacement or a panel or something that looks just like this section outlined in red:



Somebody did

Cheers


doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #81, 03-08-2008 03:57 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by TiredGXP:


Somebody did

Cheers


If you're referring to Blacktree, his one off creation connects everything and is not a direct replacement... lol

But if you know of some product thats currently in the works or that already exists, please point me in the right direction! I'd love to take a look and consider purchasing if the quality is high

[This message has been edited by doublec4 (edited 03-08-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #82, 03-08-2008 04:33 PM
      First of all, thanks to everyone for the compliments. I have to admit, my inspiration for the tail lamp pods was in fact from Ferraris (also the rear diffuser). I hope they don't sue me.

Second of all...

Making a stock-replacement tail lamp panel using 4" diameter lights for the notchback Fiero isn't feasible. Actually, it's impossible to do without modifying something. That's why you don't see anyone selling them.

If you were to attempt to build a tail lamp panel using 4" lights to replace the stock units, it would need to be taller than the stock tail lamp housings. You would need to chop out part of the decklid to make room. Then there's the question of what to do about the trunk lock (modify the mounting setup, or make a dip in the tail lamp panel?). And so on.

While such a thing might be "do-able", it won't be a drop-in replacement for the stock tail lamps. Even with the tail lamp panel sitting in your lap, you'll only be halfway there.


TiredGXP MSG #83, 03-08-2008 06:43 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by doublec4:


If you're referring to Blacktree, his one off creation connects everything and is not a direct replacement... lol

But if you know of some product thats currently in the works or that already exists, please point me in the right direction! I'd love to take a look and consider purchasing if the quality is high




Yeah, I was referring to Blacktree, just a lame joke. His taillight mod is really looking good; it would be nice to see something like this commercially available.

Cheers


doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #84, 03-08-2008 08:18 PM
      Well... the lights don't have to be 4inches... if they were less the would fit without modification to the decklid... some nice leds



exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #85, 03-13-2008 12:13 PM
     

Just a few more pics of blacktree's masterpiece, taken at my house on the way to Central Florida Fieros monthly meeting.

Great job Mike !

Mike and Alex, checking out the latest work



A shot from the rear

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

The new mod on the roll.

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

A closer look.

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #86, 03-13-2008 01:13 PM
      Hey Tony, thanks for the photos. I especially like the "on the roll" shot. Mind if I borrow that?

exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #87, 03-13-2008 01:16 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

Hey Tony, thanks for the photos. I especially like the "on the roll" shot. Mind if I borrow that?


Go for it !


mtownfiero (andrewj592@aol.com) MSG #88, 03-13-2008 01:51 PM
      I wonder if someone could produce a set of taillights that would look like that and fit in the stock notchback housing.

Kento (kento@triad.rr.com) MSG #89, 03-13-2008 05:25 PM
      Man that really cleans up the ass end of the fiero. Great Job.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #90, 03-13-2008 07:28 PM
      Now I just need to clean up the front end. Hmmm...

whodeanie (dean@glassworksga.com) MSG #91, 03-14-2008 08:27 AM
      it is looking good !!!!!!!!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #92, 03-20-2008 01:47 PM
      Today, I finished installing the reverse lights. Since my new tail lights have built-in reflectors, the reflectors in the rear fascia can go bye-bye. So I decided to put some back-up lights in their place. I found some rectangular fog lamps at a local auto parts store that (just barely) fit into the reflector holes.

For the wiring, I placed a relay next to the C500 connector in the engine bay. The reverse light circuit activates the relay, which sends power from the power distribution block (under the C500 connector) to the fog lamps. The wiring for the fog lamps is incorporated into the tail light wiring harness.

While I had the rear fascia off to install the reverse lights, I also replaced the rear impact beam. It was severely rusted.



I found a good impact beam in a salvage yard, with very little rust on it. So I took it home, cleaned it up, and painted it with black Rustoleum. Here's what the car looks like with the new impact beam and energy absorber installed:



In the photo above, you can see the wires running to the lights in the rear fascia. And in the photo below, you can see the fascia installed with the lights on. Hopefully, this will make it easier to see behind me at night.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

Kento (kento@triad.rr.com) MSG #93, 03-20-2008 06:36 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

Today, I finished installing the reverse lights. Since my new tail lights have built-in reflectors, the reflectors in the rear fascia can go bye-bye. So I decided to put some back-up lights in their place. I found some rectangular fog lamps at a local auto parts store that (just barely) fit into the reflector holes.

For the wiring, I placed a relay next to the C500 connector in the engine bay. The reverse light circuit activates the relay, which sends power from the power distribution block (under the C500 connector) to the fog lamps. The wiring for the fog lamps is incorporated into the tail light wiring harness.


In the photo above, you can see the wires running to the lights in the rear fascia. And in the photo below, you can see the fascia installed with the lights on. Hopefully, this will make it easier to see behind me at night.



You could also set up a second switch and use them if someone tailgates you at night.... Flip and watch them back off!!!



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #94, 03-20-2008 07:03 PM
      I had been considering that. But after seeing how bright my brake lights are, I figured I could just tap the brakes. My brake lights are like red-colored flood lights.

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #95, 03-20-2008 09:45 PM
      Do you have any details on how you wired the actual tail lamps? I'd be interested...

eph_kay (cjcoulter@me.com) MSG #96, 03-20-2008 10:22 PM
      If you don't mind me asking, do you have any plans for smoothing out around the trunk, like archie does for the upper rear fender on the reverse opening gt40s?

LIke this?


I hope you don't mind me using a pic from your site archie

Chris


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #97, 03-21-2008 07:27 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by doublec4:

Do you have any details on how you wired the actual tail lamps? I'd be interested...

It's pretty simple. In a nutshell, I re-routed the tail lamp wiring up to the firewall and through the decklid. The LED lights are dim for parking lights and bright for brake/turn signals, just like the stock lights. So I didn't have to do anything fancy... just cutting and splicing.

I bought a tail light harness from a salvage yard, so I could hack it up for use with my new tail lights. Having a pre-built wiring harness made the body panel swap quicker and easier.

The only new wires I had to add were a ground wire from the lights to the chassis, and a power wire for the parking lights. Since the marker lights and license plate lights run off the parking light circuit, I couldn't just re-route those wires. So I ran a new parking light wire to the decklid and spliced it into the tail light wiring harness. Same goes for the ground. But I didn't feel like running a ground wire all the way back to the tail light wiring harness. So I grounded my lights to one of the decklid hinges instead.

 
quote
Originally posted by eph_kay: If you don't mind me asking, do you have any plans for smoothing out around the trunk, like archie does for the upper rear fender on the reverse opening gt40s?

My only plan for "beautifying" the chassis is a fresh coat of POR15. I like seeing the bare frame.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #98, 03-27-2008 05:47 PM
      (removed outdated material)

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #99, 04-04-2008 12:43 AM
      TRANSMISSION SWAP: PART 2

The Getrag 5-speed transmission that I installed earlier had some issues. So it had to come out. I decided to replace it with a rebuilt FWD Getrag unit from ManTrans, instead of taking my chances with another used one. A few days ago, the Big Brown Truck stopped by to drop off this box:



And here's the transmission removed from the box. They used spray foam for packing material. The transmission was covered by a plastic bag, but some of the foam managed to find its way inside. Luckily, none of it got inside the transmission.



Now it's time to tear apart the Fiero!



And here's a parting shot of the old Getrag. Hasta la vista, baby!



I drove to the Central Florida Fiero Club meeting today. The new transmission works great!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

o2usa (josephharty@yahoo.com) MSG #100, 04-04-2008 12:20 PM
      I got my getrag from those same guys. small world.

Gwain (mjfinfla@gmail.com) MSG #101, 04-04-2008 01:31 PM
      OK, I gotta ask o2usa. If you're in Mims why aren't you hanging with us?

I drive from Titusville over once a month. We met at Louis' barbecue for breakfast last Saturday and drove to the Daytona meet.

We're going to Bithlo next Friday and run some cars, want to drive over with me?



uhlanstan (lcplnewton@netzero.com) MSG #102, 04-04-2008 11:53 PM
      FOR tail light ideas go to Mustangs and fast fords..5.0 mustangs or sport compact cars these magazines are full of tail light modifications.. like vtech auto specialties paintable tail lights,, wheels,, mufflers you have not concidered walk around the salvage yard you can adapt the rear end lights of a nissan 300zx to your fiero.. Magazines?? just check out at grocery store magazine rack.. you will be surprizzzzed at the ideas available

What was the price paid for mantran transmissions and keep us informed (apprised for the learned crowd) about reliability and if shift is better than stock (good) transmission.how does it compare to good stock tranny one of my first post on forum was recommending mantran..


o2usa (josephharty@yahoo.com) MSG #103, 04-05-2008 01:34 AM
      hey, i am new to the fiero world got mine last oct. swapped the the auto for the getrag (out of a 86 gt paid 1300.00 for it) over the summer. the duke is getting replaced with a 3.4 this summer.
I went to daytona on sat and saw blacktree's car (the man as got mad skills ). The duke is not running to well but i would like to go to Bithlo and check it out. PM me later with a time.


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #104, 04-10-2008 08:29 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by uhlanstan: What was the price paid for mantran transmissions and keep us informed (apprised for the learned crowd) about reliability and if shift is better than stock (good) transmission.how does it compare to good stock tranny one of my first post on forum was recommending mantran..

I paid $960 (including shipping) for the transmission. Since I had the messed-up one to use as a core, I was able to avoid the $350 core charge. If you can get the core back to ManTrans within 30 days, they won't charge you a core charge.

As for the quality of the rebuilt transmission, I can only say that it's better than the beat-up one it replaced. I have no prior experience with the Getrag 5-speed transmission. So I have no idea how this one compares to stock. However, it seems to be in very good condition. Now that the synchros are breaking in, the shifts are getting smoother. I guess it helps to have synchromesh oil.

Now, to change the subject...

Things might get a little confusing for awhile. I'm going to be switching back and forth between multiple projects. I have a new nose to work on, and new carpet. Plus, I have some other parts on the way. And I'll be building a new console soon. Things should get pretty interesting.

I've already started work on the new nose. For those who don't know yet, I bought a Scarab nose from PISA. I don't plan on using the Z-car lights that the Scarab nose uses, so the light pods will be deleted. I may also end up modifying the holes in the bottom corners.

Here's what the Scarab nose looks like:



Below, I have the nose and lights mocked up on my car. The nose is just hanging there. The lights are just sitting in there. I used some duct tape to cover up the light pods. This is just to get an idea of what the final product will look like.



I was satisfied with that. So I started working on the nose. Below, you see the nose with the light pods cut out.



The next step (after grinding and sanding on the nose to prepare it for new fiberglass) was to cover up those holes. I used aluminum flashing. You can buy it in rolls at the hardware store. It's flexible enough to follow the curve of the nose, but stiff enough to hold the fiberglass in place. Below, you see the aluminum flashing taped onto the nose.



After I finished that, I started laying on the fiberglass.



Stay tuned for more updates.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Jake_Dragon MSG #105, 04-10-2008 08:52 PM
      I have really enjoyed watching your build thread. I have to come over and see your car one of these days. You can give me some glass pointers.

Neolithic Shadow (arrowheadgt@hotmail.com) MSG #106, 04-12-2008 04:01 AM
      I WANT YOUR DECKLID!! hell, i want your car you have an amazing build goin..put the thread in my favs ^_^

CoryFiero MSG #107, 04-12-2008 05:04 AM
      I really like that nose. Even better then Norms IMHO. You car is going to be nice.

o2usa (josephharty@yahoo.com) MSG #108, 04-12-2008 10:13 AM
      WOW ! That looks killer. Man when you get a coat of shinny paint on there that will be one hot car.
Can't wait for more updates.


doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #109, 04-16-2008 07:32 PM
      Any more updates/pictures!?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #110, 04-16-2008 09:01 PM
      Right now, the nose project is in a holding pattern. I bought some goodies on eBay, and am waiting for them to arrive.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

TRiAD MSG #111, 04-16-2008 09:20 PM
      Beautiful build up! You have a PM about your diffusor, and if I missed it, what lights did you use for the tail lamps in this project?

Thanks!



Jake_Dragon MSG #112, 04-17-2008 04:54 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

Right now, the nose project is in a holding pattern. I bought some goodies on eBay, and am waiting for them to arrive.

In the meantime, I decided to to install my new carpet. It's ACC carpet, that I bought from Automotive Interiors. It weighs about half as much as the original carpet, and looks better. (HINT: if you buy carpet from them, tell them Mr Mike sent you and you'll get free shipping)

I'm also working on a custom console. My new console does away with the plastic skeleton, so it sits lower and is not as wide as the original. It should make the interior feel a little less cramped.

I already finished the rear console piece (the ECM cover). It's made of wood, covered in felt. Below is a photo of it, just before I installed it.

http://www.tweaktech.com/ga...terior/console01.jpg

I worked on the center console today. I decided to make the center console piece out of fiberglass. So naturally, I had to make a mold. Since the console is a relatively simple shape, I just glued together some plywood and covered it in packing tape.

Below, you see the wood mold. It hasn't been covered in packing tape yet.

http://www.tweaktech.com/ga...terior/console02.jpg

Now, you see the fiberglass laid onto the mold. After the resin hardens, I'll pry it off the mold and trim it to shape.

http://www.tweaktech.com/ga...terior/console03.jpg

The center console and dash will have the same visual theme as the rear console piece. This should give the interior a rustic, old-timey feel.



Nice I have been thinking about replacing the center console piece in my car. Different then yours but close, good job looking forward to some inside pictures.
Does that gray match up with the stock gray? Did you get a part number?

[This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 04-17-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #113, 04-17-2008 10:29 AM
      Thanks for the compliments.


To TRiAD: The tail lights I used are generic 4" LED truck lights. They have 63 LEDs each. You can get them on eBay for about $45 a pair.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #114, 04-18-2008 01:11 AM
      (removed outdated material)

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #115, 04-19-2008 01:32 PM
      My new turn signals arrived today. So I decided to play with the nose a little. As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to turn the bottom corner holes into light mounting pockets. Today, I chopped out the excess depth from the holes. See photo below.



The lights are going to be staggered, with the turn signals further forward, to make them more visible.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #116, 04-20-2008 12:33 PM
      (removed outdated material)

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

fieroguru MSG #117, 04-20-2008 02:55 PM
      That center console is great!

Jake_Dragon MSG #118, 04-20-2008 03:33 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

I installed the new console today. But I still have some details to work out (like having a custom shift boot made). But at least the major part of the work is done.



And I'm not resting my arm on a bunch of wires and cables anymore.


Simple and elegant! Well done.
Is it high enough to rest your arm on?

[This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 04-20-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #119, 04-20-2008 04:01 PM
      .

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #120, 04-24-2008 07:29 PM
      I did some more work on the nose. Here you see the new back wall being molded into one of the holes. This gives you a better visual of the staggered light mounting.



BTW, my new seats should be arriving next Monday. I'm so psyched!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #121, 04-29-2008 01:55 PM
      My new seats arrived today. They're Corbeau Forza seats, upholstered in black micro-suede.



Oddly enough, the brackets (which are custom-made for the Fiero) don't quite fit. The bolt holes, where they bolt to the floor, are a little off. Plus, the brackets weigh a ton. I might end up making my own.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #122, 04-30-2008 08:18 AM
      Those will look really nice! have you measured the distance between the mounting holes on the bottom of the seats? (from side to side and not front to back)

if they are the same as the stock fiero you could just use fiero brackets... thats what I did with my Sparco seats. They were the same as the fiero seats exactly side to side. They were different distance front to back so I just had to drill two holes in the stock brackets and I was ready to go


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #123, 05-01-2008 04:56 PM
      I ended up making custom brackets. Both the Fiero sliders and the Corbeau brackets were too high. Plus, they didn't lean the seat back far enough. I felt like I was hunched over in the seat.

Anyway, here are a couple shots of the seats installed.





(Note: the custom interior project was abandoned, and the interior was gutted for weight reduction. But I kept the racing seats.)

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #124, 05-01-2008 07:35 PM
      where are the harnesses mounted?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #125, 05-02-2008 07:46 PM
      They use the two seatbelt mounting bolts in the floor. The bolt in the B-pillar is not used. I had to enlarge the bolt holes in the harnesses a little, but aside from that it was a direct bolt-in.

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #126, 05-02-2008 09:28 PM
      Is that street legal?

Jake_Dragon MSG #127, 05-02-2008 09:47 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

They use the two seatbelt mounting bolts in the floor. The bolt in the B-pillar is not used. I had to enlarge the bolt holes in the harnesses a little, but aside from that it was a direct bolt-in.


So the belts go from the floor, up the back of the seat then back down in front of you? Your going to hurt yourself if you ever get hit. That kind of belt will compact your spine in an accident. The belts should be attached at just above the shoulder, that way when you rotate forward the belt wont compact your back, it will keep you from moving forward.
I would install a bar and attach them to it.


gpchris (gpchris95@gmail.com) MSG #128, 05-02-2008 09:51 PM
      je

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #129, 05-03-2008 07:41 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Jake_Dragon: So the belts go from the floor, up the back of the seat then back down in front of you? Your going to hurt yourself if you ever get hit. That kind of belt will compact your spine in an accident. The belts should be attached at just above the shoulder, that way when you rotate forward the belt wont compact your back, it will keep you from moving forward.
I would install a bar and attach them to it.

Yes, that's how the belts are routed. I didn't think it would be a problem, considering that the seatbelt holes in the seats are at shoulder level. When I lean forward against the shoulder belts, they are horizontal between my shoulders and the seat.

I don't know for sure if the harnesses are street legal. They do have OEM style push-button latches on the lap belt. I was under the impression that this type of seatbelt latch is DOT approved.


Jake_Dragon MSG #130, 05-04-2008 01:33 AM
      If you hit something you and your seat will fly forward, I was watching TV and they were talking about it. When you roll forward the distance between the bottom of the seat and the farthest point in the seat belt gets smaller. I think it was trucks on Spike TV.
They do look nice, is it a hassle to put them on each time?


doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #131, 05-11-2008 07:17 PM
      Anymore updates? I like this thread

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #132, 07-12-2008 02:23 AM
      I keep bringing this thread back up :P

Have any progress pictures of your front fascia? I'm particularily interested in the shapes of the "splitter addition" you told me about in my thread about a front splitter


hatchetrider84 (elite_tech04@msn.com) MSG #133, 07-13-2008 01:50 PM
      great work... it looks amazing



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #134, 07-24-2008 05:17 PM
      OMFG! An update!!!

I did some work on the nose. First of all, I widened the lip on the bottom. The lip will serve as a mounting point for a pair of air splitters. In the photo below, you can see the new lip.



In the next photo, I have the nose sitting on the template for the air splitters. This gives you an idea what the air splitters will look like.



I decided to use two splitters, instead of one big "spatula", for several reasons... mainly cost, weight, and ease of construction. I can cut the two pieces from a single 24x48" sheet of plastic, bolt them to the nose, and be done. Since they'll be simple to make, they'll also be easy to replace. This is good, because these splitters will probably get scuffed up a lot.

Next on the agenda is rounding off the top sides of the nose. Where the top of the nose meets the sides, there's an unsightly ledge that juts out about an inch or so. I decided to solve this problem with a little bit of cut-n-paste work. The idea is to chop out that ledge, and bend the remaining fiberglass inwards, so the sides are flush with the top. This will provide a smooth transition from top to sides, instead of that protruding ledge. In the photo below, you can see that I started chopping out that ledge. Also notice that I cut a vertical slice down the side of the nose.



That vertical slice allows me to bend the fiberglass. In the photo below, I'm bending the fiberglass inwards, so it matches up with the top section of the nose.



After molding that piece in place, I started working on the rest of the problem area. In the next photo, you can see that I cut several more vertical slices. This was necessary, in order to bend the fiberglass.



I'll post more updates as they become available.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

DeLorean00 (twincam18@aol.com) MSG #135, 07-24-2008 10:15 PM
      Sweet, looking good.



Unsafe At Any Speed (astevens@montana.edu) MSG #136, 07-24-2008 11:49 PM
      Haven't seen this thread before...

Looking good. Definatly some great ideas you have going on, but definatly address the harness situation ASAP. As already mentioned, having the shoulder belts mounted to the floor like that will compress your spine in an accident. Either install a harness bar or mount them through the firewall in a way that they can't pull through.

Keep up the good work!



N3M3S1S (n3m3s1s.357@gmail.com) MSG #137, 07-25-2008 03:28 PM
      Man, just saw this thread. Awesome stuff! 4 pages of reading goodness.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #138, 07-26-2008 10:44 AM
      Yesterday, I completed the cut-n-paste operation on the nose. I think it looks 5 times better now. See photos below.





It's still pretty rough, though. It'll take a little while to get everything smoothed out. But after that, the nose should be good to go.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #139, 07-27-2008 10:01 AM
      I test-fitted the nose on my car yesterday, and unfortunately it is NOT good to go. I'm going to have to modify the stupid thing just to make it fit the car. For example, the V-angle on the top edge of the nose doesn't match the V-angle at the front edge of the hood. In the photo below, the center of the nose is touching the hood. But at the outer edges, there's a gap almost 1/2" wide, on both sides.



The nose is also about an inch too wide. So I'll have to squeeze it a little bit to make it fit. Plus, the grille opening exposes some of the front impact beam. I decided to close off part of the grille opening to cover it up.

Just when I thought I was almost done. DAMN YOU, PISA!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

2feido MSG #140, 07-27-2008 05:53 PM
      Hey what rims are you running.... i like them

Icelander (whit@dubhlinn.com) MSG #141, 07-27-2008 07:41 PM
      Any chance you could post pics of those door panels? I'm looking to make some for myself.

Edit: The shoulder belts through the seats should be fine. These seats don't tilt. They look to be a solid piece. The seat back positions the belt in relation to the driver. The danger comes in where the belt has the ability to pull down on the shoulders of the occupant. As long as the seat back can handle the pressure of the occupant during the crash and the shoulders of the passenger are lower than the holes in the seat, the passenger should be fine. These are questions that I can't answer from a photograph. If you're unsure, then move the shoulder harnesses to the firewall.



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #142, 07-27-2008 08:15 PM
      2feido: The wheels are Nippon F-2 17x7", +40mm offset. They only weigh 17 lb each. I bought them on eBay a year and a half ago. Since then, I haven't seen the 17x7" size available any more.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

Icelander (whit@dubhlinn.com) MSG #143, 07-27-2008 08:20 PM
      Beautiful!!!!! Mind if I use your design?

I really like where you put the mirror adjuster!

[This message has been edited by Icelander (edited 07-27-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #144, 07-27-2008 08:23 PM
      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Go for it.

Edit to add:

 
quote
Icelander said: The shoulder belts through the seats should be fine. These seats don't tilt. They look to be a solid piece. The seat back positions the belt in relation to the driver. The danger comes in where the belt has the ability to pull down on the shoulders of the occupant. As long as the seat back can handle the pressure of the occupant during the crash and the shoulders of the passenger are lower than the holes in the seat, the passenger should be fine. These are questions that I can't answer from a photograph. If you're unsure, then move the shoulder harnesses to the firewall.

You are correct on all counts. These are real racing seats, not the cheap imitations you see on eBay. These seats do not tilt. They also have a tubular steel frame. So the chance of them buckling in a collision is pretty slim. The metal frame also surrounds and supports the seat belt holes. So in a collision, the belts will not be able to tear through the seat.

I also mentioned this before, but will repeat it: when I sit in the seat and don the harness, the shoulder belt holes in the seats are at my shoulder level. When I lean forward, the belts are horizontal between my shoulders and the seat. Spinal compression requires a downward force on the body. A belt stretching straight back cannot pull down.

I'd really like to put this seat belt debate to rest, and continue with the build thread. If anyone has anything further to say on the subject, send me a PM.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 07-28-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #145, 07-28-2008 03:06 PM
      I made some progress on the nose. The grille opening has been modified. I basically just molded a partial wall in the back. This will interface with the radiator ducting (which hasn't been built yet, because I'm waiting for the materials to arrive).



I've also started the "big squeeze" operation. I used some scrap wood, a couple brackets, and a long bolt to make a big claw. I used it to squeeze the sides of the nose closer together. Then I molded in some fiberglass to help the nose hold its new shape. The aluminum pieces in the top corners are holding the new fiberglass in place until it hardens.



After the fiberglass hardens, I can start tweaking the top edge to fit my hood. After that's done, the nose goes back on the car so I can build the bracketry to hold it in place.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Icelander (whit@dubhlinn.com) MSG #146, 07-29-2008 12:00 AM
      Seatbelt discussion closed:

You truly are a master with the fiberglass. One of these days I'm going to break out the glass mat and resin and build something.

Kendall


Icelander (whit@dubhlinn.com) MSG #147, 07-29-2008 12:03 AM
      Are you planning to taper the grill opening out to the leading edge or will you be using the flange to mount some sort of mesh?

Kendall


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #148, 07-29-2008 11:14 PM
      The grille opening won't be tapered. I didn't plan on installing mesh, either. However, that back wall will give me a convenient place to attach the radiator ducting. And speaking of radiator ducting, the materials for that arrived today. The radiator duct should be finished tomorrow. The material for the splitters also arrived. So I'll probably have the splitters done tomorrow, too.

I also test-fitted the new nose on the car again. Everything looks good, except for that uneven gap between the nose and the hood. But I should have that fixed soon. Here are a couple photos of the test-fitting today. This is also your first look at my LED turn signals. They work similar to the rear turn signals, dim for running lights and bright for turn signal.





Unfortunately, somebody ran over my digital camera and crushed it. Until I can get a replacement, we'll have to suffer with low-quality shots from my camcorder.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #149, 07-31-2008 09:51 AM
      Looks like its taking shape. I don't know if you saw the pictures of my splitter in the other thread but I can;t wait to see what yours turn out like.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #150, 08-02-2008 03:39 PM
      Alright, here come the crappy camcorder photos. First of all, here's a shot of the radiator ducting.



It's made from 1/16" thick neoprene rubber and aluminum angle stock. The flanges on the front edge will bolt to the back of the nose. So the air coming in the grille will be channeled directly into the radiator.

I also cut out and installed the air splitters. Below is a shot of the nose, with splitters installed, being test-fitted on the car.



My new digital camera should arrive on Monday. I should have the nose smoothed out (and maybe even a coat of primer) by then. So I should have some nice photos in a few days. Keep your fingers crossed.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Valkyrie (chris@crabb.ca) MSG #151, 08-02-2008 04:10 PM
      I wish I were smart.

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #152, 08-03-2008 09:43 PM
      What material are the splitters made of? I cant remember if you told me before

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #153, 08-03-2008 10:19 PM
      Actually, I forgot to mention it. Thanks for the reminder. The splitters are made from 1/8" PVC. One 24x48" sheet ( about $27 at McMaster-Carr Industrial Supply ) was enough to make 3 splitters, which leaves me with a spare in case one is damaged. The PVC is gray, but can be painted with vinyl dye. Even though the plastic is only 1/8" thick, it's pretty stiff. It should be strong enough. After I install the nose, I plan to find out.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #154, 08-04-2008 10:17 PM
      My new digital camera arrived today.

I decided that I would get the nose installed first and worry about making it look pretty later. Below, you see the bottom of the nose, with the splitters and support braces installed. The braces attach to the support structure underneath the radiator, where the stock air dam used to attach.



The support braces are made from 1/2" aluminum tubing. I crushed the ends, to make it easier to drill bolt holes. And since the tubing is already crushed, I don't have to worry about it crushing when I tighten the mounting bolts. Below is a close-up shot.



I also had to install speed-nuts in the sides of the nose (to attach the wheel well liners), and drill new holes in the wheel well liners. I also had to splice in the wiring connectors for the LED turn signals. And I re-used the stock upper fascia support. The seam between the nose and the hood still needs to be tweaked a little. But at least it's installed! See photos below.



Please pardon my sanding dust.



Tomorrow, I get to play with putty.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #155, 08-05-2008 06:28 PM
      Playing with putty:



I use Elmer's brand "fiberglass repair putty". It's epoxy based, so it doesn't stink like Bondo putty. It also has a longer working time (about 20-30 minutes depending on temperature). It spreads smooth. And it doesn't gum up your sandpaper as much as Bondo.

Also, since the new nose has no provisions for side marker lights or side molding, I decided to delete the molding from the fenders, as well. In the photo below, I'm filling the molding channels with fiberglass.



If all goes well, I should be able to sand and primer the nose tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Unsafe At Any Speed (astevens@montana.edu) MSG #156, 08-05-2008 09:35 PM
      It's looking really good! What are you going to do about the sideskirts? Anything?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #157, 08-06-2008 08:25 PM
      I hadn't planned to do anything to the side skirts (aside from repainting them). The bottom of the nose is about the same height from the ground as the side skirts. So the lines flow nicely.

BTW, I finished sanding and priming the nose today. See photo below.



I also sanded and primed the fender pieces. Here's something for the fiberglass geeks: I tried a new procedure with the fender pieces. I wanted to "fast track" the fender project, so I could sand and paint them today. So instead of waiting for the fiberglass to completely harden before applying the putty, I did it while the resin was still tacky. Since the putty and the resin are both epoxy based, I was hoping they would bond. And they did. That saved me a lot of time.

I also decided to tweak my hood vent a bit. Since the grille opening in my new nose is bigger than the stock nose, I thought it would be a good idea to enlarge the hood vent. After all, what goes in must come out. Below are before and after shots.



The curve at the back edge of the vent follows the curve of the spare tire compartment. I did that to maximize airflow.



The new nose will be re-installed tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #158, 08-07-2008 04:28 PM
      Alright, here's the "money shot".

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #159, 08-07-2008 05:12 PM
      Very nice, are you eliminating all of the side molding around the car?



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #160, 08-07-2008 05:51 PM
      I probably will, eventually. But for the short term, I'm going to terminate the side molding somewhere along the door panels. I kept the bullet-shaped molding pieces from the stock nose for that purpose.


Edit to add:

Since I'm going on vacation in a couple days, I had to rush the nose project. After I return, there are a few more minor things that will need to be done in order for the nose project to be officially finished. They are:

1) What I just mentioned regarding the side molding on the doors.
2) Install driving lights next to the turn signals.
3) Install European style side marker lights in the fenders.

After all that is done, I can move on to the next project... a custom-built intake manifold.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-07-2008).]

85SEnochie (eqoflife@hotmail.com) MSG #161, 08-13-2008 12:31 PM
      What about the flush mounted headlights? If you get tired of the photo chops let me know ;-). Took the molding off the same way you did the fender. Did you want the marker light above or below body line?






doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #162, 08-26-2008 12:22 AM
      bump!

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #163, 08-27-2008 06:34 PM
      Sorry, guys. I've been doing post-vacation damage control on the Fiero. The car suffered its fair share of wear and tear, but luckily didn't suffer any major damage.

But I think in a few days, I might be able to start working on the custom intake. I bought a Buick Grand National throttle body, and a Trueleo intake manifold custom built to match. That should improve the mid to upper RPM torque a bit.

As for the photo-chops, the side markers will be installed just below the trim line. And if I do delete the side moldings all around the car, there will be no seam lines on the doors or rear quarter panels.

On an unrelated note, I finally was able to determine the highway fuel economy of my Fiero. I went on a 2-week road trip, most of which was highway cruising (70-80 MPH). I didn't keep track of the fuel economy during my vacation. So I didn't adjust my driving habits to skew the numbers. I stuffed the fuel receipts in the briefcase and kept on truckin'.

I crunched the numbers after I returned home. I drove a total of 7571 miles, and used 224 gallons of fuel. That comes out to roughly 33.8 miles per gallon. Needless to say, that was a pleasant surprise. I can thank the 5-speed manual transmission, and the 7730 ECM's lean cruise mode, for that. I think the higher altitudes were a factor, as well. Still, it's a big step up from my city fuel economy, which is about 21 miles per gallon.

Now, as an added treat, I give you some "Fiero on vacation" photos.

The high plains of west Texas:


White Sands:


The campground at the Grand Canyon:


The badlands of eastern Arizona:


And last but not least, the Grand Tetons:

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

DeLorean00 (twincam18@aol.com) MSG #164, 08-27-2008 07:10 PM
      Man that looks like some trip!! Did you have alot of fun? Its great to see a Fiero being used, most of us just play with them and then drive our boring cars everyday.



exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #165, 08-27-2008 11:33 PM
      Mike,

Did you experience any mechanical troubles along the way ?

Did you run across any other fieros ??


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #166, 08-28-2008 12:38 AM
      Yes, I had my share or car troubles. However, I brought an emergency repair kit. So I was able to fix some of the problems. When I was in Yellowstone, the drain valve in the radiator failed. It came apart, and drained out all the coolant. I gooped it up with JB Weld, refilled the cooling system, and was on my way. Then, the radiator fan motor fried. So I replaced it. And then the schraeder valve in the high-side A/C service port failed, and vented out all the refrigerant. The A/C problem was something I couldn't fix on the spot. So I had to suffer with it. After that string of problems, plus the persistent bad weather in Colorado (where I had planned to visit several places), I was starting to get discouraged. So I decided to head home.

I was able to fix the remaining problems after I returned home. So the car is good to go. I can always take another vacation later. I still had a lot of fun. I got to visit some truly awe inspiring places. And I got to meet some interesting people. I have no regrets.

The Fiero also got a lot of attention along the way. The car seemed to get a lot of "love it or hate it" reactions from people. Some just looked at me like I was nuts. Others openly admired the car. While I was at a gas station in Texas, a guy approached me and asked me for buying advice. He was thinking of buying a Fiero. So I helped him as best I could. He seemed surprised that a Fiero with a V6 could get 30 MPG on the highway. And while I was at a gas station in Louisiana, a guy wanted to buy the car on the spot, no questions asked. I explained to him that if I sold him the car, I'd have no transportation back to Florida. He then offered to come to Florida and pick it up! I politely declined. And once, a guy walked up, took a long look at the car, and said "well, you put a lot of work into this car, didn't you?" I also heard many stories of the "I used to have one of those" variety. And several people commented "you don't see many of those on the road anymore". It was also funny seeing truck drivers do double-takes when they look in their mirror and see my car approaching.

BTW, yes I did see two Fieros during my vacation. But they were fleeting moments, and I never got to meet the owners. One was a white base-model coupe parked outside a Taco Bell in Canon City, Colorado. I was driving past, on my way to Royal Gorge. I also saw a black SE or GT (not sure) in Wyoming (don't remember the name of the town) as I was headed east to South Dakota. It crossed an intersection as I was approaching. There were several cars in front of me, and I only got a glimpse of it.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-28-2008).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #167, 09-01-2008 03:39 PM
      I've started working on the custom intake. As mentioned earlier, I bought a Trueleo intake manifold, custom-built to fit a Grand National throttle body. The GN throttle body measures 59mm diameter, compared to 52mm for the Fiero unit. That may not seem like a lot, but it'll be able to flow 25-30% more air.

Before leaving on vacation, I covered the intake in WD40, to prevent rust. So when I returned, I had to clean off the oil. Then, I used my Dremel tool and a couple small metal files to clean up some of the rough spots. Then I bead blasted the whole thing, and sprayed on a coat of primer (to prevent rust). And today, I used some JB Weld to smooth out the seams.

Here's what the intake manifold looks like right now:



After the JB Weld hardens, I'll sand it smooth and spray on another coat of primer. Then the intake will be painted iron gray, to match the rest of the engine.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #168, 09-01-2008 06:28 PM
      Now the front marker lights are installed.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #169, 09-03-2008 03:29 PM
      The Trueleo intake now has a fresh coat of paint.



Next, I need to clean up the GN throttle body, and decide what to do about the air filter / intake hose setup.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

maliqua (jason@meech.ca) MSG #170, 09-03-2008 03:56 PM
      Out of curiosity did you find the handling any better with the rear diffuser?

In theory it should provide down force, either way nice build I really like your car



Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #171, 09-04-2008 10:21 AM
      I didn't feel much of a difference in handling. But I don't road race or autocross the car (yet), either. So it's hard to tell. But I did notice that when driving on a wet road at highway speeds, the car makes a big rooster tail of mist.

maliqua (jason@meech.ca) MSG #172, 09-04-2008 04:45 PM
      Nice rooster tails are nifty looking

I'm building out a fiero for track use so I was thinking about rear diffuser and flat underbody but am still somewhat undecided


Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #173, 09-08-2008 07:09 PM
      I got the throttle body cleaned up and painted. While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I decided to polish the butterfly plate, just for the fun of it.



Here are a couple shots of the throttle body attached to the Trueleo intake.





The next thing to do is make an intake pipe. Since the throttle body is larger than stock, the stock rubber hose won't fit. I may also need to tweak the air filter can to improve airflow.

I'm going to get before / after dyno runs, to see how the new intake affects performance. So before I install it, I need to take the car down to a chassis dyno. It may be a few days before I have the time to do that.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #174, 09-11-2008 05:25 PM
      Today, I installed my Hella driving lamps in the new front end.



The weather was pretty gloomy today. So I had to dodge the rain clouds while I was working on it.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

85duke (benjeminatate@aol.com) MSG #175, 09-15-2008 04:49 PM
      Blacktree any more work being done to the freak

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #176, 09-15-2008 04:57 PM
      Yeah, I'm replacing the alternator for the 165th time.

These remanufactured alternators have crappy bearings. They start squawking after about 12-18 months. And to add insult to injury, the replacement alternator is a special order item. Good thing it has a lifetime warranty.


85SEnochie (eqoflife@hotmail.com) MSG #177, 09-17-2008 11:28 AM
      Both the driving and marker lights look good! What's the plan for the door molding? Is it possable to do the same thing to the doors as you did to the front fender?

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #178, 09-17-2008 04:36 PM
      Yeah, I also had to do some custom wiring to get the side markers and turn signals to work properly. The front LED turn signals are not dual-element lights. So they won't work with the stock side marker lights. Plus they can't function as both running lights and turn signals at the same time.

I had to make some custom wiring to allow the new lights to pull double duty as running lights and turn signals. I accomplished this using relays to switch the power signals coming in from the running light and turn signal circuits. The new side markers are also connected to that circuit. So they have the same functionality.

When one or the other is on (i.e. the running lights OR the turn signals), things work normally. The trick is to make the lights blink when the running lights are on. Since the lights are already on, the only way to make them blink is to momentarily turn them off. The relays make that possible. I can post the electrical diagram if anyone is interested.

Also, I got tired of replacing the ignition coil every 6-8 months. The heat from the headers was cooking them. So today, I relocated the ignition coil to the trunk wall. It was surprisingly easy. The coil-to-distributor ignition wire and module-to-coil cable were both long enough to reach. All I had to do was extend the two wires from the coil to the tach filter. The mounting bracket is just a short piece of aluminum angle stock. There was already a mounting bracket on the trunk wall in that spot, with a hole pre-drilled in it. So I bolted my aluminum bracket to that. Piece of cake!





Hopefully, that will solve the problem. I may do the same for the ignition module. But I haven't decided yet.

Also, the Freak goes on the dyno tomorrow. I need to get a baseline run before installing the new intake setup. My last dyno run was back when it still had an automatic transmission and stock ECM. But now it has a 7730 ECM and Getrag 5-speed. So the old baseline is no longer useful.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #179, 09-18-2008 11:19 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 85SEnochie: What's the plan for the door molding?

I removed the door trim to see what was underneath. The intention was to find out how / where the door trim was attached, so I could shave off a portion of it.

But when I stepped back and looked at the car with the door trim removed, it looked MUCH better. That made up my mind. I'm going to shave all the side moldings.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-18-2008).]

vafierro (chrisbracey@yahoo.com) MSG #180, 09-18-2008 04:08 PM
      Really a great job. I love what you did with the nose of the car. Really looks spectacular!!!


falcon_ca (luc_giguere@hotmail.com) MSG #181, 09-18-2008 04:38 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

...

... So I bolted my aluminum bracket to that. Piece of cake!...



If you mounted the coil on an aluminum bracket you may toast it because of a missing ground . You should run a ground wire from the coil to any steel part of the car, maybe a mounting screw of your bracket.



Turbowedge (bmans85@aol.com) MSG #182, 09-18-2008 05:01 PM
      Hey Blacktree, who made your headers for you? I bought an '88 in March with headers that look almost identical with yours. The only problem is the guy before me had put header wrap on them and it ruined the headers. It kept so much heat in, it blew a hole about 2 1/4" out of the elbow on the #3 tube. I got it off and took it to the exhaust shop and the guy told me that the wrap changes the molecular structure of the metal, and may not hold a new weld. Anyway, I only got to drive the car another couple of weeks till I spun a main bearing, so at least it held that long. I am going to do a swap, but for now may just put in a 3.4. I would like headers to go back on it and would like to change them while the motor is out. I noticed you had put header wrap on yours too, so I hope you don't run into the same problem that I did. I was told,(and know from experience), that ceramic coating works and looks great. I used it on one of my Grand Nationals. BTW, are you going to the B.O.P. show next month at Old Town? Would like to see freak close-up.

Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #183, 09-18-2008 07:45 PM
      To falcon_ca: Aluminum conducts electricity.

To Turbowedge: My headers were made by the Trueleo guys. Mine seem to be holding up pretty well so far. BTW, what's the date for the BOP show?

BTW, I did my baseline dyno run today. As I expected, the numbers were higher than the last dyno run. But I didn't expect the difference to be so noticeable. Here's the breakdown:

  • Last Year (with TH125 and stock ECM): 123 HP / 161 ft-lb
  • Today (with Getrag and 7730 ECM): 138 HP / 179 ft-lb

    I also started the intake swap. I have to do some custom fabrication work to install the new intake. So it may take a couple days.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-18-2008).]

  • 85SEnochie (eqoflife@hotmail.com) MSG #184, 09-19-2008 12:07 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I removed the door trim to see what was underneath. The intention was to find out how / where the door trim was attached, so I could shave off a portion of it.

    But when I stepped back and looked at the car with the door trim removed, it looked MUCH better. That made up my mind. I'm going to shave all the side moldings.



    I have 84 door panels on my car so thay are not the same could you take a pic of it and PM it to me I would like to see the differance too with the trim off.

    [This message has been edited by 85SEnochie (edited 09-19-2008).]

    Turbowedge (bmans85@aol.com) MSG #185, 09-19-2008 01:16 PM
          Blacktree, the show isOctober 25, 8-4 at Old Town. For more info go to oldsclubofflorida.com. How can I get a hold of Torelo? Thanks.

    falcon_ca (luc_giguere@hotmail.com) MSG #186, 09-19-2008 01:55 PM
          Blacktree : Yes, aluminum do conduct electricity, but only at a level of 62% in the best case (compare to copper or steel). It depends on the alloy used.

    I would not take a chance.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #187, 09-22-2008 04:16 PM
          Here's a progress report on the custom intake. It's installed, but the charcoal canister still isn't hooked up. The parts for that should arrive in a few days. But nevertheless, it's going on the dyno tomorrow.

    Since I'm using a throttle body from another car, I had to make some modifications to make it fit. Since it has a larger opening than the stock throttle body, the stock intake hose won't fit. I decided to use 3" ID flexible duct hose. Unfortunately, the hose connection on the air cleaner canister is an oddball size (3.25" OD). So the 3" ID hose won't fit. To fix this problem, I sliced up the flange on the air cleaner box, and bent it inwards to fit a piece of 3" OD exhaust pipe. The short piece of exhaust pipe will be my new hose flange. See photo below.



    The next photo shows what it looked like after welding, grinding, and a fresh coat of paint.



    The sheet metal in the air cleaner canister was so thin that my welder, even at the lowest power setting, was melting holes in it. So instead of making a continuous weld all the way around, I made several tack welds and filled in the rest with JB Weld.

    The next task was to make the Fiero throttle cable work with the GN throttle body. The Fiero and GN throttle valves rotate in opposite directions. Plus, the bellcranks are different. So I had to modify the throttle cable mounting bracket. Below are a couple shots of the bracket before modification.





    If you look closely, you'll see 3 cable attachment points, for the throttle, TV cable (auto trans only), and cruise control. Since my Fiero doesn't have cruise control or an automatic transmission, I'm only concerned about the throttle cable.

    In the photos above, the throttle cable attachment point is the one hanging down on the bottom. I had to flip it upside-down, so it was sticking up. And I also had to move it away from the throttle body a bit. The photos below show the modified bracket.





    Also, the GN throttle body has a vacuum distribution block built into it. So instead of connecting vacuum lines all over the intake manifold, I re-routed them to the vacuum distribution block underneath the throttle body. This helps to clean up the appearance of the engine bay. Speaking of cleaning, I need to clean the engine. All the grime that the stock intake was hiding is now visible. But here's a quick shot, just to give you an idea how everything fits together.



    Tomorrow, we'll get to see some dyno charts!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    30+mpg (wshaw@par1.net) MSG #188, 09-22-2008 08:30 PM
          You may appreciate the stock air cleaner to 3800 TB solution on my project.

    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...1/HTML/052684-3.html


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #189, 09-23-2008 02:09 PM
          OK, the dyno results are in. And I think they're going to make some people a little unhappy. In the chart below, the red is the stock (ported) intake manifold and stock throttle body. The blue is the Trueleo intake and GN throttle body.



    The new intake setup seems to have flattened the torque curve a little. And it appears to have shifted the peak HP upwards a few hundred RPM. But the difference is really minor. All I can say is that I'm underwhelmed.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #190, 09-23-2008 04:33 PM
          dissapointing to say the least....

    86FieroCentPa (james.neidigh@gmail.com) MSG #191, 09-23-2008 05:51 PM
          Looks to me like you didn't spin it up high enough. The gains from the Trueleo webpage are mostly in the fact that the engine doesn't fall on its face after 5400 RPM or so. Link from Trueleo Page

    30+mpg (wshaw@par1.net) MSG #192, 09-23-2008 06:27 PM
         
     
    quote
    [B 86FieroCentPa:[/B]Looks to me like you didn't spin it up high enough. The gains from the Trueleo webpage are mostly in the fact that the engine doesn't fall on its face after 5400 RPM or so...


    Uh, from studying the above graph extremely close, one can safely say that more revs "Ain't Gonna make it Peak Higher."


    85LAMB (linck777@netzero.com) MSG #193, 09-23-2008 10:31 PM
          I have to say that you put in a lot of work on that and I would be very underwelm myself

    But again I have to complement you on your dedication.

    I really like what you did on the air cleaner tube, I will try to remember that one.

    I will see you next week at the meeting.


    Kyle1016 (i_like_fieros@yahoo.com) MSG #194, 09-23-2008 10:50 PM
          props for all the work getting in on the dyno, but i would have expected at least some better gains than that, especially seeing how much those intake manifold cost.

    gt88norm MSG #195, 09-24-2008 12:24 AM
          Looking back in the archives I see that 2K-4K was your RPM zone of choice for your powerband.
    What cam specs, can it breathe in the zone where your intake and exhaust are happy?
    Just lookin' to see how the puzzle pieces fit.

    Norm


    Gwain (mjfinfla@gmail.com) MSG #196, 09-24-2008 07:55 AM
          Blacktree:

    I was more impressed with the before and after dyno numbers with the ECM change! Did you do any chip tuning with each of the modifications and runs? (I thought that polished butterfly valve would have been worth at least 3 - 7 hp)

    When you did the initial ECM change did you already have the headers on? How about cam or any headwork?

    I'll pick your brain further next week. Too bad the new intake didn't give you more pronounced effects.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #197, 09-25-2008 02:15 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by gt88norm:

    Looking back in the archives I see that 2K-4K was your RPM zone of choice for your powerband.
    What cam specs, can it breathe in the zone where your intake and exhaust are happy?
    Just lookin' to see how the puzzle pieces fit.

    If you go back to page 1 of this thread, you'll see before/after dyno charts for the Trueleo headers. The engine had the same "guts" back then, but still experienced a noticeable performance increase from the new headers. And despite the fact that the engine was built for the 2k-4k RPM range, most of the improvement was above 4k RPM. Unfortunately, the intake had no such effect. And if the stock intake was really as restrictive as everyone says, then there should have been an improvement.

    I guess I did a hell of a job porting the stock intake, huh?

     
    quote
    Originally posted by Gwain: I was more impressed with the before and after dyno numbers with the ECM change! Did you do any chip tuning with each of the modifications and runs?

    Keep in mind I also switched from an automatic transmission to a manual. So now, there isn't a torque converter sucking power away from the engine. I haven't done any ECM tuning. I wanted the intake and exhaust to stand (or fall) on their own merits (or lack thereof).

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Considering how much bad publicity the stock 2.8 V6 intake gets, I had assumed that it was the weakest link in my engine. But apparently it isn't. So I'll have to find out what's holding me back.

    I still have a couple tricks up my sleeve, to increase the performance of this engine. I'm sure I can squeeze a few more ponies out of it. But unfortunately, we won't know how many of those ponies are liberated by the Trueleo intake, and how many are liberated by other means. Because I really don't feel like going through the trouble of swapping intakes back and forth (and vacuum hoses, and air filter canisters, and replacing gaskets) just to get a couple dyno runs.

    To make a long story short, my quest to determine the effectiveness of the Trueleo intake turned out to be a big fat mulligan.


    gt88norm MSG #198, 09-25-2008 07:13 PM
          Index your cam a couple *s to the top-end side.

    Norm


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #199, 10-01-2008 07:05 PM
          Here's another update. Over the last few days, I shaved the door trim.

    When I removed the door trim, I noticed there were a couple screws underneath that attach the door skin to the door frame. If I left the screws in place and covered them up, the door skin would be permanently attached. I decided to remove the door skins from the car, to see if these screws were really necessary. They didn't appear to be very important, so I deleted them. The rest of the door fasteners could be re-used, because they aren't in the area that's going to be filled.

    In the photo below, you see the door frame with the outer skin removed. I've marked all the fasteners (except for the 4 rivets on the bottom) with arrows. The blue arrows are the fasteners that can be re-used. The red arrows are the two screws under the door trim that I decided to delete.



    I decided to do the fiberglass / filler work with the door panels removed. Removing the door skins (and re-installing them) was a PITA, but it made the body work easier. I sanded all the paint from the door trim groove, plus about 1.5" on either side. Then I filled the groove with fiberglass. It took 6 layers of glass fiber mat to fill it. Below, you see the raw fiberglass.



    Then I sanded it flat, and filled the low spots with epoxy-based putty. In the photo below, the putty has been applied, and then sanded. I used a marker to circle spots that needed another coat of putty.



    After that, I sanded it smooth and sprayed on some primer. Below, you see the door skins ready to be re-installed. Notice the holes for the door locks.



    Also notice that I left a crease along the top edge of the trim channel, instead of rounding it off. That crease coincides with the seam between the hood and fenders. I plan to carry that crease all the way back to the rear fascia, where it will meet the seam between the decklid and fascia.

    My next task will be to shave the trim from the rear quarterpanels. That will involve removing the rear clip and quarterpanels. So it ought to be fun.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Jake_Dragon MSG #200, 10-01-2008 07:34 PM
         

    Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #201, 10-02-2008 07:29 AM
          Looking at your dyno and mods, something is way off? Post the wideband readout from that run, I suspect it may be running to rich. Or perhaps there is an issue with your cam timming. Something is just not right at all. The dif with our headers and intake should be very noticable even just driving the car nevermind on the dyno! Send us the wideband data.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #202, 10-02-2008 12:35 PM
          There is no wideband data. I wasn't doing any tuning. Keep in mind that the stock intake and Trueleo intake were both tested under the same conditions. So if the engine was running rich, or if the timing was off, it would have affected both dyno runs.

    Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #203, 10-02-2008 01:02 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    There is no wideband data. I wasn't doing any tuning. Keep in mind that the stock intake and Trueleo intake were both tested under the same conditions. So if the engine was running rich, or if the timing was off, it would have affected both dyno runs.


    I still think something is not right. Can you get some wideband data? Also; did you remove the distributor when did the intake installation? You're not using a Hypertec chip are you? The stock chip works much better with our intakes and headers.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #204, 10-02-2008 01:28 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Francis T: I still think something is not right.

    I knew you wouldn't like the dyno chart... LOL.

    On a more serious note, it occurred to me that I may be maxing out my fuel injectors ( 17 lb/hr ). I'll have to check into it.

    Well, according to this website's injector size calculator, my 17 lb/hr injectors are maxed out. Their max HP capability is almost the same HP I'm getting from my engine. I also took a drive around the block, and the BLM is in the low 140s.

    I think it may be time for some 19 lb/hr injectors.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2008).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #205, 10-02-2008 01:37 PM
          blacktree check your pm

    Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #206, 10-02-2008 08:17 PM
          On my 87 NA 2.8 with intake and headers only, the stock injectors work fine. And it's not question of not likeing your dyno numbers as it is understanding them. If you any help with the problem just give us yell.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #207, 10-03-2008 05:53 PM
          Today, I started the work on the rear clip and quarterpanels. Below, you see my half-naked Fiero.



    I'm going to bond the rear clip and quarterpanels together, using fiberglass. Then I'll fill in the molding channel, just like I did with the doors.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #208, 10-03-2008 10:38 PM
          Did you have to remove the lower rocker panels (under the door) to remove the quarter panels?

    85duke (benjeminatate@aol.com) MSG #209, 10-04-2008 03:34 AM
          It kinda looks like your front fender is starting to stick out. may be the angle though. other than that the car looks amazing good job. I will soon be doing the hood/fender mod thanks to your detailed process, but with my own twist. keep it up. and a + to as well.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #210, 10-04-2008 11:11 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by doublec4:

    Did you have to remove the lower rocker panels (under the door) to remove the quarter panels?

    Yes, I did. The rocker panels interlock with the ground effects on the fenders and quarterpanels. I had previously replaced the rivets with nut rivets and machine screws. So removing the rocker panels is easy.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #211, 10-04-2008 04:26 PM
          The rear clip and quarterpanels are bonded together. I roughed up the mating surfaces with 50-grit sandpaper, and glued them together with epoxy resin. See photos below.





    The screws are just temporary, to hold the panels together until the epoxy hardens.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Jake_Dragon MSG #212, 10-04-2008 04:59 PM
          What epoxy are you using? I was going to get some fusor body adhesive but haven't seen any local so I will have to order it.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #213, 10-04-2008 05:40 PM
          I use West System epoxy resin with my fiberglass. So that's what I used to bond the panels. It's just a personal preference. To be honest, SMC resin (or the Lord Fusor product you mentioned) would probably be better.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-04-2008).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #214, 10-18-2008 06:14 PM
          More on the rear clip. After the epoxy hardened, I sanded the molding grooves to remove the paint, and filled them with fiberglass. In the photo below, the new fiberglass has already been sanded.



    While I was waiting for the fiberglass to harden, I inspected the exposed frame sections for rust. I did find some minor rust along the back edge of the roof. So I cleaned it up and painted it with POR-15. I also painted the rest of the exposed frame parts with POR-15, just for good measure. And I replaced the old, cracked-up weather stripping with new stuff from the hardware store.



    The rear clip has been re-installed. But unfortunately, the Fiero's water pump failed. So the body work has been temporarily put on hold.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Monkeyman MSG #215, 10-18-2008 07:25 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Here's another update. Over the last few days, I shaved the door trim.

    When I removed the door trim, I noticed there were a couple screws underneath that attach the door skin to the door frame. If I left the screws in place and covered them up, the door skin would be permanently attached. I decided to remove the door skins from the car, to see if these screws were really necessary. They didn't appear to be very important, so I deleted them. The rest of the door fasteners could be re-used, because they aren't in the area that's going to be filled.

    In the photo below, you see the door frame with the outer skin removed. I've marked all the fasteners (except for the 4 rivets on the bottom) with arrows. The blue arrows are the fasteners that can be re-used. The red arrows are the two screws under the door trim that I decided to delete.



    I decided to do the fiberglass / filler work with the door panels removed. Removing the door skins (and re-installing them) was a PITA, but it made the body work easier. I sanded all the paint from the door trim groove, plus about 1.5" on either side. Then I filled the groove with fiberglass. It took 6 layers of glass fiber mat to fill it. Below, you see the raw fiberglass.



    Then I sanded it flat, and filled the low spots with epoxy-based putty. In the photo below, the putty has been applied, and then sanded. I used a marker to circle spots that needed another coat of putty.



    After that, I sanded it smooth and sprayed on some primer. Below, you see the door skins ready to be re-installed. Notice the holes for the door locks.



    Also notice that I left a crease along the top edge of the trim channel, instead of rounding it off. That crease coincides with the seam between the hood and fenders. I plan to carry that crease all the way back to the rear fascia, where it will meet the seam between the decklid and fascia.

    My next task will be to shave the trim from the rear quarterpanels. That will involve removing the rear clip and quarterpanels. So it ought to be fun.


    Looks great!! May I suggest you find a way to smooth out or flatten the outer surface of the door handle? The stock handle matches the ribbed trim but will look out of place with the trim removed.


    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #216, 11-08-2008 08:21 PM
          bump! its been too long! lol

    carbonfiber_kid (keith69@ameritech.net) MSG #217, 01-03-2009 12:29 PM
          they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. I would bet you have inspired many Fiero owners with your projects, I know i have been.

    Nohbdy MSG #218, 01-03-2009 06:52 PM
          most definitely. if i had the money/time id be doin this 2 my car. great thread here, one of the few that i can sit here and read straight thru. btw watever happened? been a month or 2 since there was an update.

    85SEnochie (eqoflife@hotmail.com) MSG #219, 01-07-2009 01:12 PM
          It's prob. too cold for any updates but a little bump anyway

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #220, 01-10-2009 12:04 AM
          He lives in Florida, no excuses about being cold

    updates please a few of us are still watching this project!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #221, 01-10-2009 06:14 PM
          Sorry for the delays, guys. But I've been busy with other things. I might not be able to play around with the Fiero again for at least a few weeks.

    85duke (benjeminatate@aol.com) MSG #222, 01-25-2009 02:47 AM
          Alright times up whats the news.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #223, 01-25-2009 04:41 PM
          The news is not good. My clutch is slipping.

    Lately, I've been driving more conservatively, to avoid slipping the clutch. But it's getting worse.

    The clutch is a Spec Stage 2. It's only about 2 years old, with about 20K miles on it. I haven't had a chance to take a good look at it yet (i.e. separate the engine/tranny). But I'll have to do that soon. I'm not going to make any statements or draw any conclusions until then.

    Come to think of it, the clutch has probably been slipping (although a lot less obviously) for quite some time. When I went drag racing last summer, what I thought was wheelspin was more likely clutch slippage. I didn't believe it at the time, because the clutch showed no other symptoms of slippage. It only happened when I revved up the engine and launched hard. Come to think of it, this might have also affected my last dyno run.

    So after I fix the car, I need to do more dyno runs and drag races to get accurate data.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 01-25-2009).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #224, 02-09-2009 07:29 PM
          I just got a deal on an Addco 1" front sway bar that I couldn't pass up. So now my Fiero has a new front sway bar.

    I bought some greaseable center bushings, made by Energy Suspension. I got 'em at AutoZone for about $20. Below is a shot of the sway bar just before installation.



    At first, I was concerned that the larger bar might require drilling new mounting holes. I didn't think the mounting bolts were spaced far enough apart on the Fiero. But luckily, the bigger brackets just barely fit. In order to make it fit, I had to grind some material from the washers. Below is a close-up of the bushings, brackets, and washers.



    And last but not least, a shot of the sway bar installed. Here you can see just how tight the fit was.



    BTW, the mounting bolts are SAE Grade 8, 3/8" diameter. When I overhauled the suspension several years ago, I drilled out the bolt holes in the chassis and tapped them for 3/8" threads. These bolts are MUCH stronger than the dinky original mounting bolts. I don't have to worry about the heads snapping off any more.

    Next on the "hit list" is the clutch. I should be addressing that issue soon.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #225, 03-02-2009 09:11 PM
          Today, I played with the air filter can some more. This time, I decided to modify the base to increase the open area. In the photo below, you can see how it looked before modification.



    According to my calculations, those three holes in the base have a total open area of about 4.5 square inches.

    The first step in the process was to cut a piece of plate steel to fit in the opening, and tack-weld it in place. See photo below.



    Then I used my Dremel tool with a cut-off disc to cut out the 3-prong section from the middle. After that, I re-assembled the air filter can assembly, with a nut on the bottom of the rod that holds the lid. I situated it so that nut was sitting in the center of the piece of steel I welded in, and then welded the nut to the piece of steel. I then disassembled the air filter can, so I could finish up the welds and clean them up. After a quick coat of paint, it looks like this:



    According to my calculations, the hole now has about 6.5 square inches of open area. That's 2 square inches more than stock, and can potentially flow about 40% more air.

    I also received some goodies in the mail. My Spec Stage 2 clutch is slipping badly. I decided to replace it with a ClutchNet unit, with a solid hub. Plus, I figured that while I have the engine out, it would be a good time to replace the cam. The existing cam (Edelbrock) is meant for use with a mild performance rebuild. But since I installed the Trueleo intake and exhaust headers, and the oversize throttle body, I think it's time for a more aggressive cam.



    The cam is the PAW / SSI stage 3, which is roughly halfway between the Crane H260 and H272. Ironically, I had planned to install it originally. But the machinist said it would be too aggressive for that engine configuration (which at the time had the stock intake, ported stock exhaust, and stock ECM). So it sat on the shelf for a couple years, waiting for the rest of the engine to catch up to it.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #226, 03-18-2009 07:04 PM
          Today, the fun started.





    In addition to replacing the clutch and the camshaft, I also decided to remove the header wrap and repaint the headers with POR-20 Black Velvet high-temperature paint.

    If I want to make it to the Daytona show, I'll have to work fast.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #227, 03-18-2009 11:48 PM
          Wow !

    Now i totally see why you couldn't come over today to help me play with the choptop !

    Good luck !

    [This message has been edited by exoticse (edited 03-18-2009).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #228, 03-20-2009 02:07 PM
          Yesterday, I replaced the clutch. The old friction disc was a little worn, and had some glazing. The flywheel also had some glazing. I cleaned it off with some fine sandpaper, and installed the new friction disc.



    After that was finished, I removed the headers. The header wrap was in pretty rough shape.



    Even though I had applied 2 coats of paint to the headers before wrapping them, they still fell victim to rust. Luckily, the rust isn't very bad. Below, you see the headers with the wrapping removed.



    Next, I'll clean them up and repaint them with the POR-20.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Fiero Thomas (tom@fieronews.net) MSG #229, 03-20-2009 02:24 PM
          Looking good. You can tell alot of passion has gone into this car.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #230, 03-20-2009 07:59 PM
          Today, I replaced the camshaft. In the photo below, you see the new cam going in. Notice the assembly lube on the cam lobes.



    You'll also notice that I'm not using any special cam installation tools. Instead, I use an Allen wrench to support the back end of the cam, while I handle the front end by hand. Believe it or not, this method works pretty well.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #231, 03-21-2009 08:32 PM
          I re-assembled the engine (except for the headers) today. However, I decided to make one small modification to the lower intake manifold. I noticed when I disassembled the engine that the sealant in the center sections of the lower intake (where it touches the engine block) was "walking" out of the seam between the intake and engine block. The stresses from heating and cooling (aluminum and iron expand and contract at different rates) must have broken it loose. I decided to cut grooves in the bottom of the intake to help hold the sealant in place. I used a Dremel tool with a rotary file to cut the groove. See photo below.



    I've seen people do this before, and apparently it works pretty well.

    Tomorrow, I plan to do some work on the headers.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    FierociousGT MSG #232, 03-23-2009 09:36 AM
          Damn! Now I know why you have been so busy... especially with the Daytona '09 dead line.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #233, 03-23-2009 06:12 PM
          Yeah, looks like I'm barely going to make the deadline. I'll probably have the car back on the road Thursday. I just hope everything works right, or things could get pretty stressful.

    Anyway, it took 2 full days to clean up the headers. After an acid bath, lots of scrubbing and grinding, more chemicals, and more grinding and scrubbing, the headers are finally clean enough to paint. The rust on the firewall-side manifold and Y-pipe was pretty stubborn. But I'm stubborn too.

    Here you see the headers ready to paint:



    The first coat of POR-20 is drying as I type this. Tomorrow, I'll put on a second coat. And hopefully, I'll be able to re-install the headers (and the drivetrain) on Wednesday.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #234, 03-26-2009 02:52 PM
         

    How did everything work out ? Did you get it back on the road ?


    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #235, 03-26-2009 03:45 PM
         


    ooops i see you posted on CFF,....... bad news coming.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #236, 03-26-2009 11:11 PM
          Yeah, something went wrong with the cam install. I have to tear it down and see what's up.

    On the plus side, the headers look really nice... LOL.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 03-26-2009).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #237, 04-16-2009 01:48 PM
          More bad news: the engine block is cracked. As a result, the firewall-side head gasket isn't sealing properly. Time to build another engine.

    FierociousGT MSG #238, 04-16-2009 01:51 PM
          That sucks Mike. Are you going to stick with a 2.8 or upgrade the engine to a 3800 Series ][ ?

    [This message has been edited by FierociousGT (edited 04-16-2009).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #239, 04-16-2009 02:09 PM
          Actually, I'm thinking 3.4 crate engine. That will let me re-use all the aftermarket parts from my 2.8.

    FierociousGT MSG #240, 04-16-2009 02:29 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:
    Actually, I'm thinking 3.4 crate engine. That will let me re-use all the aftermarket parts from my 2.8.


    Good choice. But A/C won't work with that right?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #241, 04-16-2009 05:47 PM
          I wasn't aware of that. I'll have to check on it.

    EDIT: what a great way to start Page 7... with a trashed engine block and an un-drivable Fiero. GRRR...

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 04-16-2009).]

    Jake_Dragon MSG #242, 04-16-2009 09:57 PM
          Sorry about the engine, you will like the 3.4 and it gives you an upgrade path later that you dont have with the 2.8

    [This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 04-17-2009).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #243, 04-17-2009 04:03 PM
          Today, I ordered a 3.4 crate engine from GM Parts Direct.

    Now, I have to decide whether or not I should install my ported heads and performance camshaft in it. The cautious part of me says "if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it". But the speed freak in me says "tweak that sucker!"

    Hmm...


    Gwain (mjfinfla@gmail.com) MSG #244, 04-23-2009 08:19 AM
          OK Blacktree, now I see where you're at. I think the real problem started back with your post of 3-18. That "beverage" in the picture was either the wrong type or not enough quantity.

    I'm going to be following and talking to you about the crate engine approach. I'm looking for a 3.4L but am leaning towards the bone yard find with a total rebuild.

    Marc



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #245, 04-24-2009 06:22 PM
          Haha

    Actually, I believe the real problem started when I built the 2.8 engine. I had a lot of material shaved off the block deck, to increase the compression and achieve the optimum quench height. So the metal that the cylinder head bolts screw into was weakened. And coincidentally, the crack in the block goes across one of the head bolt holes.

    I've decided to install my SSI Stage 3 cam into the 3.4. Plugging the cam stats into Desktop Dyno results in better high-end performance, with very little loss in low-end performance, compared to the Crane H260 cam that comes in the 3.4 crate engine.

    I still haven't decided whether or not to install my ported 2.8 heads. They have 0.010" shaved off the bottom. So if I installed them on the 3.4, the compression ratio would be increased to about 9.25:1. I'd really like to stick with 87 octane gasoline, if possible.

    Anyway, GM Parts Direct sent me an email saying they shipped my engine today. So hopefully, I'll have an engine to play with in a week or so. I also have Rodney Dickman's starter relocation kit.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #246, 04-26-2009 02:25 PM
          While waiting for the engine, I started brainstorming on "Custom Hood 2.0". In my aerodynamics experiments, I noticed that my hood vent was causing a lot of turbulence. Hopefully, a new hood vent design will reduce the turbulence. Below are a few photos of the new hood scoop design.







    As you can see, I plan on using two smaller vents, instead of one large vent. I'm hoping the two smaller vents will speed up the air coming through the vents, which in turn should reduce turbulence.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #247, 05-12-2009 04:30 PM
          The 3.4 V6 is installed and running. Here are a few photos of the engine swap.











    And finally, a short video clip of the engine idling.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Neolithic Shadow (arrowheadgt@hotmail.com) MSG #248, 06-01-2009 04:29 AM
          What, the madness is over? that can't be!? this is one of my favorite builds so bump!

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #249, 06-25-2009 02:15 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Neolithic Shadow:

    What, the madness is over? that can't be!? this is one of my favorite builds so bump!


    Nope the madness is far from over.

    Mike still has lots of plans for his car, but only he gets to spill the beans when he is ready.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #250, 06-25-2009 08:27 PM
          Plus, I've been busy working on other people's cars. Next time there's a lull, I have a little project in store for the Freak.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #251, 07-16-2009 06:30 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #252, 07-22-2009 10:58 PM
          Anyway, I'm playing with fiberglass again. This time, I've decided to replace the "erector set" spoiler stands with fiberglass ones. The adjustable stands were a nice idea that turned out to be of little use. I think I adjusted the spoiler once (at the track). I found a setting that worked well for all-around driving, and left it there. Plus, the "erector set" look doesn't do anything aesthetically for the car.

    The new fiberglass stands will mount the spoiler a little bit further back, but at roughly the same angle of attack. It should look a lot like the spoiler on a drag racing car... very low and sticking straight out the back of the car.

    Here are a couple photos of the spoiler stands under construction. First is the raw fiberglass parts.



    And here they are trimmed and sanded. The camera angle makes one look bigger than the other. But they're the same size.



    If all goes well, I should be able to test-fit them tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #253, 07-23-2009 10:47 AM
         

    No love for the box ?? Are you kidding ?

    That thing is pretty awesome ! Sort of a modern retro look !!

    The smooth edges really look slick.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #254, 07-24-2009 07:13 PM
          Here are a couple shots of the spoiler with the new stands installed. Please excuse the dirty car.





    I'll get some better photos later.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    kwagner MSG #255, 07-28-2009 10:08 AM
          Interesting. Are you going to do a comparison aerodynamic experiment to see how that changed the flow on the back, or are you waiting to do the front vent as well?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #256, 07-28-2009 05:37 PM
          The spoiler was only moved about 2" back, and less than 1" down. I doubt the difference in aerodynamics will be noticeable... at least, not with my low-tech testing methods. The mod was mainly for aesthetics.

    My next mod will also involve aesthetics of the rear end. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you that soon.


    Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #257, 07-29-2009 12:05 AM
          Looks good!



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #258, 07-29-2009 07:37 PM
          Thanks

    The next project will be replacement of the rear fascia. I was originally just going to shave the molding off (to match the rest of the car) and call it done. But after noticing the deterioration of the front hood/fenders, I don't feel very confident about having a rear fascia that's half fiberglass and half plastic.

    On a side note, this also means that sometime in the near future, my front fenders (which are attached to the hood) will need to be replaced. The fiberglass and plastic are starting to separate.

    I obtained a fiberglass rear fascia from a local club member. It's one of the ones JimmyS sells. The build quality looks pretty good. But it's made for the fastback, which has a slightly different rear profile from my notchback. So I'll need to tweak it a bit. Plus, I'll need to perform the diffuser mod on it. That should keep me busy for awhile.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 07-29-2009).]

    Jake_Dragon MSG #259, 07-30-2009 08:59 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    On a side note, this also means that sometime in the near future, my front fenders (which are attached to the hood) will need to be replaced. The fiberglass and plastic are starting to separate.


    How are the doors holding up? I haven't glassed mine yet and I'm starting to thing I may want to come up with a backup plan.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #260, 07-31-2009 12:23 PM
          The doors are holding up well, so far. They don't undergo as much stress, nor experience as much direct sunlight as the hood. That said, I may be making fiberglass door panels as well.

    Jake_Dragon MSG #261, 07-31-2009 05:51 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    The doors are holding up well, so far. They don't undergo as much stress, nor experience as much direct sunlight as the hood. That said, I may be making fiberglass door panels as well.


    Same here but with the current projects and the way things keep breaking I wont get to it for years.
    I may just break down and make some flush moldings for the doors and rear quarters.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #262, 08-01-2009 02:14 PM
          If / when I do make the fiberglass door panels, I'll of course make molds. Just FYI

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #263, 08-05-2009 05:25 PM
          I've started work on the rear fascia. In order to perform the "diffuser fascia" mod on the new fiberglass fascia, I decided to take a casting from the old one. The original mold (which was made from scrap wood and styrofoam) has deteriorated to the point of being unusable.

    Below, you see a shot of the rear fascia being prepared for the casting process. I used several coats of parting wax, and a couple coats of PVA film.



    24 hours later...



    I was a little surprised. The casting actually started separating from the fascia on its own! Removing it was quick and easy. Here's what the raw casting looks like.



    The next step will be to chop out the appropriate area of the new fascia, and use the casting to mold in the new diffuser section.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #264, 08-08-2009 07:34 PM
          I don't think I mentioned this before, but my aftermarket wheels didn't come with centering rings. So I was relying on the wheel studs to keep the wheels centered. That wasn't working out so well. I got tired of my wheels getting knocked off-center when I hit potholes and stuff.

    I asked a local club member to make some wheel centering rings for me. Here's what I got:



    They're machined from aluminum. I installed them today, and they're a perfect fit. Thanks, Marc!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #265, 08-30-2009 08:17 PM
          I've made some progress on the new "diffuser fascia". The casting I mentioned earlier was used to mold the diffuser section into the fiberglass fascia. Here are some photos of that.

    First of all, I marked the area to be cut out of the fascia. The red line shows where it will be cut. (the fascia is upside-down)



    And here it is after cutting.



    Then, I molded in the diffuser section. The photo below shows the new fiberglass fresh from the mold. It's a little rough at the seams.



    After some sanding and smoothing, it looks better.



    The next step in the project should be deleting the molding. That was the whole point of using the fiberglass rear fascia. I can grind off the molding and use fiberglass to fill the voids, with no worries about it falling apart.

    I'm also considering a couple other tweaks, but haven't made a final decision yet.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    fierofury MSG #266, 10-16-2009 11:10 AM
          Its looking good man! Do you plan on taking it back to the dyno?


    PM sent


    bkcamaro (bkcamaro@yahoo.com) MSG #267, 11-11-2009 01:41 PM
          cant wait to see it when its all done



    2.5 MSG #268, 12-02-2009 01:40 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:


    Also notice that I left a crease along the top edge of the trim channel, instead of rounding it off. That crease coincides with the seam between the hood and fenders. I plan to carry that crease all the way back to the rear fascia, where it will meet the seam between the decklid and fascia.



    I really like this mod.
    This car will be sooo sweet .


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #269, 02-28-2010 10:19 PM
          I just realized it's been 6 months since my last post. Wow, how time flies.

    I haven't made any major changes or upgrades since my last post. But I've done a lot of small things. Some examples:

    -- Install stainless fuel lines from the Fiero Store
    -- Upgrade to 19 lb/hr fuel injectors
    -- Upgrade to MSD Blaster ignition coil

    Oh, and I've been driving the car a lot.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    nosaint MSG #270, 03-02-2010 04:51 PM
          awesome read, nice job and keep it going

    FieroDev MSG #271, 03-02-2010 05:25 PM
          Any updates on your dash??

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #272, 03-03-2010 11:36 AM
          (the custom interior project was abandoned)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #273, 03-05-2010 01:31 AM
          I forgot to mention that I installed a gear-reduction starter from a mid-90s 3.4TDC engine. I bought the highest power version I could find, to be sure that it would be powerful enough to crank my engine. For some reason, the stock Fiero starter was having trouble cranking the engine after it warmed up. In the photo below, the gear-reduction starter is on the left.



    In addition to being more powerful than the stock Fiero starter, it's also 5 lb lighter. The gear-reduction starter has no trouble cranking my engine, even after it's warmed up. It also makes this cool high-speed electric motor sound.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #274, 03-06-2010 06:37 PM
          (remove outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #275, 03-07-2010 07:12 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Squeaky (jaysonstevenson@live.com) MSG #276, 03-07-2010 11:20 PM
          Nicley done!
    What size speakers are you planning on installing in the dash?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #277, 03-08-2010 09:49 AM
          (the custom interior project was abandoned)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #278, 03-10-2010 09:15 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    aeffertz (alex@bikeguide.org) MSG #279, 03-10-2010 09:38 PM
          Doors are way sweet!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #280, 03-13-2010 03:32 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #281, 03-14-2010 03:38 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #282, 03-16-2010 06:19 PM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #283, 03-26-2010 03:50 PM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Sofa King MSG #284, 03-27-2010 08:11 PM
          Hey B,

    I'm really enjoying this build. Keep up the great work!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #285, 03-28-2010 11:51 AM
          Thanks!

    Also, a local club member hooked me up with a set of notchback sail panel scoops. I had considered building something similar, to pump some air into the void behind the rear window, and hopefully reduce aero drag a bit. So this was a windfall for me. I should be installing those soon.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #286, 03-28-2010 02:56 PM
          Here's a quick shot of the sail panel scoops during test-fitting. I've decided to mold them into the rear clip.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    skuzzbomer MSG #287, 03-28-2010 06:25 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Also, a local club member hooked me up with a set of notchback sail panel scoops. I had considered building something similar, to pump some air into the void behind the rear window, and hopefully reduce aero drag a bit.


    You have to get a pic of the back of those up... I'm trying to figure out what you mean - wouldn't that increase drag?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #288, 03-28-2010 07:12 PM
          Alright, will do.

    On an otherwise stock Fiero, the sail panel scoops won't be functional. But I modified the rear clip to reduce weight (see Page 2 for details). And I deleted the black triangular panels above the engine grates. So when the scoops are glassed in, there will be a clear pathway through the scoops and the rear clip, into the rear window area. I'd like to think the extra airflow into the rear window area will reduce aero drag a bit. And maybe the extra airflow across the decklid will make the rear spoiler a little more effective. But there are no guarantees.


    kyunderdawg MSG #289, 03-28-2010 10:10 PM
          As always, Blacktree.....very cool car. Did I miss somewhere or have you decided what color to paint it?

    Paul


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #290, 03-30-2010 10:09 AM
          I haven't settled on a color scheme yet. Although, I'm pretty sure it will be some shade of silver or metallic gray, with black trim. There's an open discussion on the subject in this thread.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #291, 03-31-2010 10:06 PM
          I've started installing the sail panel scoops. I ran into a little problem, though. You see, the Fiero's sail panels have a slight curve from top to bottom. But the scoops were flat. So I had to bend them. That involved cutting slits in the outer edges of the scoops, and using clamps to bend them. I then laid down some fiberglass to hold the shape. See photos below.





    The next step will be to remove the rear clip, and put in some fiberglass on the underside of the panel, to reinforce the seams where the scoops meet the rear clip.

    BTW, I used glass mat with epoxy resin on the outside, but will be using glass cloth (also with epoxy resin) on the underside. The mat on the outside won't cause "print-through" in the surface finish. And the cloth on the underside will reinforce the panel. The epoxy resin adheres to SMC better than polyester resin.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #292, 04-02-2010 04:24 PM
          Over the last couple days, I've been laying up fiberglass on the rear clip. The epoxy resin takes a while to harden. So progress is slow.

    Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to clean up and paint the frame rails. I also re-routed some of the wiring that crossed over top of the frame rails. The wiring now goes through the frame rail on the driver's side, and underneath it on the passenger side. And all that crummy foam rubber stuff is gone.



    oops, I forgot one of the photos

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #293, 04-03-2010 08:22 PM
          Today, I re-installed the rear clip and started smoothing out the outer surface.



    LOTS and LOTS of sanding...

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #294, 04-04-2010 03:48 PM
          The sail panel scoops are done, for the most part. They still have a few minor imperfections, but I'll deal with that soon enough. Here's the "victory shot":



    I'm so used to seeing the black sail panels there, that the primer gray looks "wrong". Hmm... maybe I'll paint the scoops black.

    Anyway, here are some shots of the backside of the panel. First, you see the scoops shortly after attaching them to the rear clip. I haven't started the fiberglass work on the backside yet.



    The rear clip has a bevel molded into it, where the sail panels fit. But with the scoops, that bevel just gets in the way. It also blocks some of the airflow. So I chopped it out. I also chopped out some of the structure underneath, which originally supported the sail panels and trim pieces and stuff. When I was done, the rear clip was basically just a skin. Below, you see the final result.



    The air coming in the scoops now has a clear, unobstructed path back to the rear deck. See photo below.



    Now if you don't mind, I'm going to relax for a little bit.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #295, 04-07-2010 04:30 PM
          Remember those dual hood scoops I talked about on Page 7? Well, I'm finally getting around to installing them. But, there's a twist. I decided to make one modification. Instead of the scoops aiming straight back, I built an angle into them. With both scoops sitting side-by-side, there's a V-shaped notch between them. See photos below.





    Here's one last shot of the old hood vent. It's about to go bye-bye.



    BYE-BYE!



    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #296, 04-08-2010 05:54 PM
          I got the vent scoops glued in. As mentioned earlier, there is a v-shaped gap between them. I had to fill that in with fiberglass. To accomplish that, I attached a piece of thin aluminum sheet to the hood using double-sided tape. Then I laid up fiberglass on the underside.

    Here's the top view:



    And the underside:



    Getting the scoops onto the hood was the easy part. Now everything needs to be blended in and smoothed out.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #297, 04-09-2010 12:35 PM
          Is anyone else having trouble seeing all the photos? It seems like about half of them aren't showing up.

    Sofa King MSG #298, 04-09-2010 12:50 PM
          The pics are "not" showing for me either

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #299, 04-09-2010 01:23 PM
          I host the photos from a spare computer in my house. But our internet connection has been spotty for the last several months. I think I'll just dump them all into my Photobucket account.

    I'll let you all know when the transfer is complete. Sorry for the trouble.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #300, 04-09-2010 05:22 PM
          From here, it looks like the transfer was successful. Most of the photos should be working now.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #301, 04-09-2010 08:17 PM
          More progress on the dual hood vents. First of all, I fiberglassed them in from the underside. The scoops are blended into the hood. I also built a ledge for the trunk weatherstrip.



    Here's another shot, with a fresh coat of primer.



    After finishing with the underside, I went to work on the topside. Unfortunately, the Sun set before I could do much. But I at least got some sanding done.



    I should be able to finish up the topside tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #302, 04-10-2010 08:33 PM
          I was able to finish the hood, but not in time to install it. So the hood will have to spend the night in the workshed.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #303, 04-11-2010 02:10 PM
          I was able to install the hood this morning. Thanks to the design of the vent scoops, no modifications to the trunk were needed.



    I think they look better than the old vent scoop. And they seem to function just as well.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #304, 04-11-2010 02:48 PM
          Lets see a shot of the car from a couple steps back! Gotta see how the new hood and sail panel scoops look together!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #305, 04-11-2010 04:06 PM
          Here are a couple more photos:





    Unfortunately, the matte primer finish is "camouflaging" the contours. Next time I wash the car, I'll try to get a shot of it wet. That should do the trick.

    Edit to add: Now I'm thinking of making a split grille in the nose, to match the hood vents. Hmm...

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Gokart Mozart MSG #306, 04-11-2010 10:26 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:





    Get some leaves stuck down there and it'll look like you're picking it's nose

    Actually several of your mods are close to ideas I have and they're looking good!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #307, 04-12-2010 10:22 PM
          Haha, that's funny.

    Actually, I have a piece of hex mesh that I want to use to make some grilles for the hood vents. I'm sick of vacuuming leaves out of the radiator fan housing.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #308, 04-17-2010 06:54 PM
          Today, I performed the $100 Brake Upgrade. It actually cost me about $140, though. The upgrade involves replacing the Fiero brake booster with one from a Chevy S10. My Fiero has the Grand Am brakes front and rear, along with the Blazer master cylinder. And while I like the brake setup, the pedal effort is a little too much. The bigger brake booster should remedy that.

    Since the pushrod on the Fiero booster is much longer than the one on the S10 booster, it's necessary to chop off part of the Fiero booster's pushrod and attach it to the S10 booster. Below, you see the Fiero booster, with the pushrod chopped.





    And here's a shot of the eyelet chopped off the S10 booster. Also notice that I cut threads on the rod, so I could attach the rod from the Fiero booster to it.



    Below, you see the rod from the Fiero booster attached to the S10 booster. I cut threads on both rods, and used a coupling nut with jam nuts to hold them together.



    The S10 booster is bigger than the Fiero booster, so I had to make some room for it. I had to re-route the clutch hydraulic line, and beat on a small section of the chassis with a hammer to make the necessary space. The photo below shows the area that needed to be pounded in (outlined in green).



    And last but not least, here's a shot of the S10 booster installed.



    I'm also happy to report that the S10 booster did exactly what I hoped. The brakes are more powerful now. And I don't need to stand on the brake pedal to make a panic stop.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Gokart Mozart MSG #309, 04-19-2010 09:41 PM
          What's the clearance under the booster?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #310, 04-19-2010 10:42 PM
          There isn't much clearance along the side, where I had to beat on the chassis... maybe 1/16" at the smallest point. I know the booster canister deflects under vacuum, but haven't yet had a chance to see what the clearances are like under vacuum.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #311, 04-23-2010 09:11 PM
          Clearance around the booster seems to be fine.

    I decided to do some more work on the fiberglass rear fascia. I had to correct one problem, though. The fiberglass piece was made to fit a fastback, but my Fiero is a notchback. On my Fiero, the tail light section is angled, whereas on the fastback, the tail lights are almost vertical. If I put the fastback fascia on my Fiero, it would look funny.See photo below.



    To correct this problem, I made a casting of my original rear fascia, and used it to mold the correct profile into the fiberglass one.





    Here you see the top section cut out of the fiberglass fascia.



    And finally, the notchback profile molded in.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    countach711 (johngates@hotmail.com) MSG #312, 04-25-2010 12:18 AM
          THIS is a cool project you've got going on, nice work too! I'll enjoy watching this one and thanks for the tips on the brakes upgrade, I need to do the same. Positive for you!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #313, 04-25-2010 05:26 PM
          Thanks!

    BTW, it seems my new rear fascia has developed a split personality.



    Hmm...

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #314, 04-30-2010 02:26 PM
          ... And now my fiberglass rear fascia is mating with the decklid!



    Seesh... leave some car parts alone in the workshed overnight, and look what happens.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    FierociousGT MSG #315, 04-30-2010 04:48 PM
          Looking good Mike!

    EDIT:
    Just saw your dash mod...

    [This message has been edited by FierociousGT (edited 04-30-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #316, 05-01-2010 09:48 PM
          Thanks, Dave

    The old diffuser fascia came off last night. It won't be going back on my Fiero. Say goodbye to the old diffuser fascia, everyone!



    Today, I test-fitted the modified rear end ( I don't think I can just call it the decklid anymore ). It took longer than expected, due to interference with the plastic energy absorber. I really did not want to remove the energy absorber, but it caused so many interference issues that I eventually threw in the towel and removed it.

    I also had to re-route some of the wiring for the rear lights. For example, the license plate lights swing up with the rear end now. So their wiring had to be routed through the decklid. I also deleted the rear side markers, and mounted the reverse lights (fog lights) to the rear impact beam. Here are a couple photos:





    I didn't have enough time to install the lower (diffuser) section. I'll have to do that tomorrow.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #317, 05-03-2010 07:29 PM
          Installing the bottom section took longer than expected. But I was able to engineer a mounting arrangement that works to my satisfaction. There's a bracket mounting it to the bottom of the trunk (near the muffler), another mounting it to the impact beam (behind the license plate), and a couple rods holding up the outer ends. I also decided to add a couple alignment pins, to help keep the top and bottom sections lined up with each other. In the photo below, you can see one of the rods holding up the side, with the alignment pin sticking up (it's actually a bolt). The top section has matching holes, with brass bushings.



    Here are a couple shots with the rear lid open. If you look closely, you can see the brass bushings in the bottom lip of the lid.





    And lastly, a shot of the lid closed. As you can see, there is still plenty of finish work left to do. But at least the body panels are installed and fitted.



    I need to make some fins to put in the diffuser, too.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-02-2017).]

    85LAMB (linck777@netzero.com) MSG #318, 05-03-2010 10:43 PM
          Good job man
    That is a lot of work.
    I will see you thursday for the meeting.
    Please remember to bring the CD's n the other things


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #319, 05-03-2010 11:10 PM
          Thanks, dude... both for the compliment and the reminder.

    Yeah, it is a lot of work. But it's worth every bit.

    I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but I'd like to do something similar to the front end. In other words, the ground effects will be stationary, but everything else will swing up. But... we'll have to see about that.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #320, 05-04-2010 08:39 PM
          Nothing really exciting happened today... just a lot of sanding... and filling pinholes... and more sanding.

    I did get a prop rod, though. Specifically, I got a hood prop from a mid-80s T-Bird in the salvage yard. The rear end is too heavy for the gas struts I was using to hold up the decklid. And if I get stronger gas struts, they'll probably bend the firewall. Hence the prop rod.


    Gokart Mozart MSG #321, 05-04-2010 08:42 PM
         

     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:
    ( I don't think I can just call it the decklid anymore )


    Front and rear clamshells?

    whoohooo! page 9!

    [This message has been edited by Gokart Mozart (edited 05-04-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #322, 05-04-2010 09:05 PM
          That's the plan. A clamshell front end will allow me to perform a couple other mods I want to try on it. But we'll get to that later.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #323, 05-05-2010 09:36 PM
          Today, I installed the hood prop, made and installed some more brackets to help align the body panels, and did a lot of sanding. Below, you can see a few photos of the hood prop. I installed it inside the trunk, on the forward edge. This will keep it out of the elements (and away from engine heat).



    Here's a closeup of the mounting bracket for the hood prop. It's just a piece of aluminum angle bracket bolted to the bulkhead.



    And finally, here's a shot of the prop rod in the stowed position. About halfway down the rod, there's a hook holding it in place. The hook keeps tension on the rod (pulling it against the bulkhead), so the rod doesn't flop around.



    Tomorrow, I should be able to spray a coat of primer on the rear end. Then I'll be going to the Central Florida Fiero Club meeting for show-n-tell.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #324, 05-06-2010 11:23 PM
          Good news: I was able to primer the rear end today. However, I forgot to stock up on lacquer thinner. So after that ran out, I had to switch to rattle-cans. As a result, the rear end has 3 shades of primer gray on it... LOL.





    I think I'll finish up the dash and console next, then get to work on the nose.

    Edit to add: I just realized that the last bit of side molding has now been deleted from my Fiero. My Fiero is now molding-less!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    fierofury MSG #325, 05-06-2010 11:46 PM
          Man does that look sweet! I really like how the "Pontiac" is still included on the rear. What color do you plan on painting your car?

    [This message has been edited by fierofury (edited 05-06-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #326, 05-06-2010 11:54 PM
          Thanks for the compliment.

    I decided to keep the "PONTIAC" on the rear bumper, because IMO it belongs there. GM killed the Pontiac division. So I'm going to "represent", so to speak.

    I haven't decided on a specific color yet, but the body will be painted some shade of silver or metallic gray. The ground effects will be semi-gloss black... with stickers... LOL.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #327, 05-12-2010 09:31 PM
          (removed outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    FieroDev MSG #328, 05-13-2010 01:05 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:




    Just an idea... Have you ever thought of moulding your spoiler stands to the rear clip? either way you're doing a great job!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #329, 05-13-2010 09:27 PM
          Actually, I had considered it. But I've used so many different rear spoiler setups on this car, making one permanently mounted would be a pretty bad idea. Imagine all the grinding that would be involved...

    I helped out a fellow club member with his Fiero today, so no progress on the Freak. I'll probably work on it a little this weekend, though.


    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #330, 05-14-2010 12:48 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:


    I helped out a fellow club member with his Fiero today, so no progress on the Freak. I'll probably work on it a little this weekend, though.


    Thanks Mike for the assist. I got to see Mike's latest improvements in person today, and i must say it is pretty awesome.

    [This message has been edited by exoticse (edited 05-14-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #331, 05-19-2010 08:15 PM
          Thanks, Tony.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Tony Kania MSG #332, 05-19-2010 08:36 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:



    Hmm... I wonder what those black lines are for?


    Dude! You are installing an Etch-a-Sketch!? How cool!

    Ok, no mas. You car just has the best stance. It has to be a blast to drive?



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #333, 05-20-2010 10:44 PM
          Today, I helped a local club member (PFF username exoticse) bring home a 3800SC for his choptop project. So no progress on the Freak.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #334, 05-20-2010 11:19 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Yeah, etch-a-sketches are great... FOR ME TO POOP ON!

    Yeah, the car is pretty fun to drive. It's basically like a big go-kart. One of these days, I'll get this new clutch installed, and I'll be able to use more than half throttle. Then I can hit the dyno, and the drag strip, and stuff.

    Today, I helped a local club member (PFF username exoticse) bring home a 3800SC for his choptop project. So no progress on the Freak.



    Thanks !







    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #335, 05-21-2010 07:36 PM
          I got tired of looking at raw fiberglass, so I painted the underside of the rear end (semi-gloss black).

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    skuzzbomer MSG #336, 05-21-2010 08:51 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I got tired of looking at raw fiberglass, so I painted the underside of the rear end (semi-gloss black).


    bellissimo

    I like it. a lot.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #337, 05-24-2010 11:12 PM
          (remove outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #338, 05-25-2010 08:57 PM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #339, 05-26-2010 06:28 PM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #340, 05-27-2010 05:54 PM
          I did a little "somethin-somethin" to my shifter.



    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    85LAMB (linck777@netzero.com) MSG #341, 05-28-2010 11:03 AM
          I really like the emblem

    I have to ask you where is that shifter from ?

    I don't think it is from the Fiero since its chrome, it looks really nice plus I like the shift knob.

    Keep up the good work.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #342, 05-28-2010 11:10 PM
          Thanks for the compliment.

    I bought the shifter knob from Summit Racing. It fits M16 x 1.5mm thread. The shifter arm is a modified stock unit. I cut out the top part of the arm, and welded in a long bolt (with the bolt head cut off) in its place. It was actually pretty easy. You'll be able to see it in person at the next CFF meeting.

    edit to add: I almost forgot, I got the emblems (two of them, one for the dash and one for the front grille) from Paul at fierosails.com

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-28-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #343, 06-02-2010 01:07 PM
          (remove outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Tony Kania MSG #344, 06-02-2010 01:29 PM
          As always, "itsa very niiiice!"

    Question: What did you use to paint your headers? Have you used it before? how long does it last? Thanks in advance....

    Tony


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #345, 06-02-2010 02:01 PM
          The header paint is kind of a long story. When I first got the headers, I painted them with DEI Hi-Temp Silicone Paint, then wrapped them with header wrap (and hosed down the wrap with more silicone paint). The silicone paint held up OK, but needed a little touch-up every so often. Unfortunately, the header wrap trapped water and caused the pipes to rust.

    When I got rid of the header wrap, I decided to try the POR-20 Black Velvet exhaust paint. Supposedly, it was the next best thing to ceramic coating. Yeah... right. The POR-20 looked awesome for a couple months, then started chipping / flaking off. That kinda pissed me off, considering the lengths I went through to clean and prep the headers (wire wheel, acid dip, sandblasting, acetone wash). The rust you see in the first photo above is the ate-up POR-20 paint. I touched it up with some DEI silicone paint I had leftover, as a temporary measure.

    When I drop the engine later this month to replace the clutch, I'll be repainting the headers with the DEI silicone paint... and throwing the leftover POR-20 in the trash. I don't want to give the POR-20 away, because I feel like I'd be doing the person a disservice.


    fierofury MSG #346, 06-02-2010 05:03 PM
          Looks good. Is your Trueleo intake powdercoated?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #347, 06-02-2010 05:54 PM
          Actually, that's Dupli-Color ceramic engine paint. It's good stuff. You just have to be careful not to nick / scratch it. The intake is painted iron gray with a gloss clear-coat. And all the bracketry is painted semi-gloss black (no clear-coat).

    I bought it from the local auto parts stores. But if you can't find it locally, Summit Racing sells it too.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 06-02-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #348, 06-03-2010 12:09 PM
          Today, the Freak got a new pair of tires. Saturday before last, my right rear tire blew out on the highway. And the left rear was getting pretty worn. So I replaced both.

    I'd also like to thank Frank Martin (aka Dragon) for loaning me a wheel and tire, so I wouldn't have to drive 50+ miles home on the donut spare.


    fierofury MSG #349, 06-03-2010 12:42 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:
    I'd also like to thank Frank Martin (aka Dragon) for loaning me a wheel and tire, so I wouldn't have to drive 50+ miles home on the donut spare.


    Would that even be possible with a lowered fiero? My fiero is lowered as well and shoot, driving with a spare would make me nervous! Glad you didn't have to try it especially with all the body work you have done!

    [This message has been edited by fierofury (edited 06-03-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #350, 06-03-2010 01:25 PM
          I've driven on the donut spare before. It isn't fun, but is do-able. I'm just glad the tire didn't fly apart when it failed. That would have REALLY sucked.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Steven_Kreg (stevenkreg@yahoo.com) MSG #351, 06-04-2010 08:25 PM
         
    Thanks for taking the time to document your build, its fun to watch.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #352, 06-05-2010 05:06 PM
          I decided that while I have the engine out, it would be a good time to tackle a couple other jobs. For example, upgrading to a 2.5" exhaust.



    The Trueleo Y-pipe is 2.5" diameter at the bottom. They attach a reducer to the bottom, so you can use a stock-size exhaust. I'm going to cut that off and run 2.5" pipes out to the muffler. I also noticed that my Ocelot muffler has 2.25" flanges, with reducers welded on to fit the stock-size (2" diameter) pipe. So I'll cut off the reducer for the inlet pipe, and replace it with a 2.5" to 2.25" reducer to fit the new 2.5" pipe.

    I'm still waiting on a few more parts, though. When those parts come in, the fun starts!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #353, 06-09-2010 04:46 PM
          More goodies arrived today: an oil cooler with an 8" fan.



    If all goes according to plan, I'll be dropping the cradle on Friday.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #354, 06-09-2010 08:10 PM
          Today, I built a fan shroud for the oil cooler. There are pre-made fan mounting kits available, but they usually mount the fan right on top of the oil cooler. I don't like that arrangement, because only the area directly under the fan blades gets airflow. My homemade shroud spaces the fan about an inch away from the oil cooler, so air can be pulled through all the cooling fins. Here are a couple photos.





    I also bought a thermostatic fan switch for the oil cooler fan (on at 180°F, off at 170°F), but it hasn't arrived yet. I hope it gets here by Friday!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #355, 06-09-2010 09:03 PM
          Your fan box looks great (do you have a brake?). I was planning on mounting mine and venting it through the side vents, so I'd like to hear your reasoning. Where are you mounting the oil cooler? Why is it you need the fan?

    Bob


    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #356, 06-09-2010 09:29 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by RCR:

    Your fan box looks great (do you have a brake?). I was planning on mounting mine and venting it through the side vents, so I'd like to hear your reasoning. Where are you mounting the oil cooler? Why is it you need the fan?

    Bob


    Everything so far looks great, I have the same questions as RCR though. If the car is seeing regular use and sees maybe short spirited driving, whats the purpose of the oil cooler?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #357, 06-10-2010 12:52 AM
          The oil cooler is probably overkill. But then again, most of the other mods aren't really necessary either. I'm sure the same could be said for many of the mods on our cars.

    Anyway, the shroud is made of 1/32" aluminum. It's pretty easy to bend. I actually did the bending in a vice, using the vice jaws and a couple blocks of wood as a makeshift bending brake. Then I used a flat-face hammer to square off the edges. It may seem complicated, but was actually pretty simple and straightforward.

    The plan is to tuck the oil cooler into the open space behind the passenger side quarter-panel. I will not be adding an air scoop. So there won't be much airflow through the area. That's where the fan comes in. It will draw fresh air into the oil cooler, from underneath the car. And thanks to the mods I made to the rear clip and sail panels, there is an escape path for the hot air.

    I'm also thinking of using a temporary indicator lamp, so I can monitor the operation of the oil cooler fan. If it doesn't activate very often, then I may nix the fan, or the oil cooler entirely.


    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #358, 06-10-2010 01:06 AM
          Sounds good, where did you buy it from?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #359, 06-10-2010 01:34 AM
          I bought the oil cooler at a local auto parts store. It's a standard 7.5 x 12" unit, with the sandwich adapter, hose, mounting hardware, etc (CarQuest part # 77451 HTR). I bought the fan separately from Jeg's. It's on sale for $36.99 ( LINK ). And I bought the fan switch on eBay for about $10 shipped.

    On a side note, I really hope this new clutch works out. I'm itching to get the Freak back on the track.


    fierofury MSG #360, 06-10-2010 06:46 PM
          Cool...

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #361, 06-11-2010 10:19 PM
          Today, I dropped the cradle and removed the old clutch.



    The pressure plate and friction disc were wet with oil. It looks like the transmission input shaft seal is leaking. That's probably why my clutch was slipping. And the input shaft seals for the Getrag are apparently more rare than leprechauns. That sucks.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #362, 06-12-2010 12:10 AM
          Wasnt that a rebuilt tranny too?

    [This message has been edited by doublec4 (edited 06-12-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #363, 06-12-2010 12:23 AM
          Yep, I bought it from ManTrans.com in 2007. I sent them an email to see if they can send me a replacement. Keep your fingers crossed!

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #364, 06-12-2010 12:26 AM
          Yeah I remember a while ago when you replaced the trans. I can't believe its already leaking. Good luck!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #365, 06-12-2010 03:16 PM
          Today, I "resurfaced" the flywheel and installed the new clutch. I put the word "resurfaced" in quotes, because on my aluminum flywheel, the friction surface is replaceable.



    The new clutch is a Clutchnet "green" disc with a solid hub, and a stock replacement pressure plate.



    I also installed a newer oil pressure sender unit. The new one came from an early 90s FWD car with a 3.1 V6. It is noticeably smaller than the Fiero unit.



    The new one is on the left. I also noticed that these smaller sender units are installed directly into the engine block on the FWD cars, and they don't interfere with the A/C compressor. So I decided to do the same. I won't know for sure if it fits until I re-install the engine, since the A/C compressor is still attached to the lines.

    I also installed the sandwich adapter for the oil cooler, along with its fan switch. Below are before and after photos of the pressure sender and sandwich adapter install.

    BEFORE



    AFTER



    I also decided to relocate the C500 and power distribution block to the firewall, next to the passenger side decklid hinge. It looks like I may be able to do that without having to modify any wires. That would be cool.

    After I finish that, and install the oil cooler, I'll be twiddling my thumbs until I can get an input shaft seal for the transmission.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #366, 06-12-2010 07:02 PM
          I have good news and bad news. First, the bad news: with the added bulk of the shroud and fan, the oil cooler won't fit under the quarter-panel. The good news is since I relocated the C500, there is now plenty of room to install the oil cooler in the stock battery location (the battery is up front). And since the C500 now sits a few inches lower than it used to, it will be hidden under the oil cooler.

    That wasn't how I planned things to work out. But I can roll with it.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #367, 06-14-2010 11:45 AM
          UPDATE: ManTrans is sending me a replacement input shaft seal. I should get it in a day or two. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do with the car until then.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #368, 06-15-2010 07:29 PM
          The input shaft seal arrived via UPS this afternoon. YAY! Now I can get back to work on the car!



    It was kinda pricey though... about $112 with tax and shipping.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #369, 06-16-2010 07:43 PM
          SUCCESS! The transmission is fixed. And the engine / tranny are back on the cradle. Unfortunately, a rainstorm rolled in. So I had to stop. Tomorrow, I should be able to tackle the exhaust.

    Just for kicks, here are a couple shots of the transmission work. First of all, the poor Getrag torn apart.



    And the transmission re-assembled, with the new input shaft bearing / seal unit.



    After I pressed the old input shaft seal out, I could easily tell that it was leaking oil. Inside the unit, there was a trail of oil and dirt leading from the seal out to the end. And when I stuck my finger inside the seal, it felt worn.

    I'm glad that's been taken care of.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #370, 06-17-2010 05:49 PM
          I was hoping to build my 2.5" exhaust today, but Mother Nature had other plans. I spent so much time dodging rain clouds, I wasn't able to get much work done. Hopefully, the weather will be better tomorrow.

    Gokart Mozart MSG #371, 06-18-2010 04:43 PM
          build another a-frame and get 3 tarps

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #372, 06-18-2010 09:57 PM
          I made some progress on the exhaust today, but ran out of pipe. Crap! Gotta go buy another mandrel-bent piece.

    (I don't want to use crimped pipe)


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #373, 06-22-2010 02:52 PM
          Today, I stuffed the drivetrain back in the Fiero. The exhaust still isn't finished, because the new pipe hasn't arrived yet. But I should be able to finish the exhaust with the engine in the car. Here are a few photos of the drivetrain just before I re-installed it.







    HERE WE GO!


    hehe

    While I had the drivetrain out, I also decided to make a few minor upgrades and tweaks. I already mentioned the oil cooler and newer oil pressure sender unit. But I also did the following:

    • Retrofit a heated O2 sensor -- I used a spare relay, wired in parallel with the fuel pump relay, to control the heating element in the new O2 sensor. It's mounted on the firewall, next to the fuel pump and A/C relays. I do a lot of stop-n-go driving, and short hops. So hopefully this will improve my fuel economy.

    • Relocate the C500 and power distribution block to the firewall -- Now, the wiring bundle going from the front of the engine to the C500 isn't hanging over the spinning pulleys. That always made me nervous.

    • Install a vacuum solenoid for the charcoal canister -- My throttle body doesn't have ported vacuum, which is needed to operate the charcoal canister. Up until now, it was disconnected. But my 7730 ECM is able to control a solenoid-operated charcoal canister. So I bought a solenoid and hooked it up.

    • Repaint the exhaust manifolds -- The POR20 paint did not last very long at all. I was really disappointed. So I cleaned off the rust, and the remnants of the POR20 paint, and sprayed on some DEI hi-temp silicone paint.

    • Run wiring for an upshift light -- My Fiero originally had an automatic transmission, so it doesn't have any wiring for the upshift light. The electrical connector on the gauge cluster has some weird "wiper" style contacts on it. And I didn't have any spare pins for that. So for now, the wire for the upshift light is just hanging loose.

    • Delete the trunk light -- That thing never worked, anyway. Every time I replaced it, the stupid thing broke almost immediately. So I ripped it out, and deleted the wiring. I'll add in a "trunk light" to the rear deck sometime in the future.

    • Re-tape the engine wiring harness -- the tape was getting a little torn up in a few spots, so I just re-taped the whole thing. This time around, I used aluminized A/C ducting tape (rated for 270°F), covered with 2 layers of aluminum foil tape. If that can't take the heat, I don't know what will.

    The rest of the exhaust pipe should be showing up tomorrow. So I should have the exhaust finished up pretty soon.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #374, 06-24-2010 12:14 AM
          Quick update -- the drivetrain is installed, and the car is almost ready to roll. I just need to paint the new exhaust (which I welded together today) and install it, and wire in the oil cooler fan, and it's done.

    Man, building a custom exhaust is tedious work!

    Just a couple notes:

    The late-model oil pressure sender fits nicely behind the A/C compressor. As I mentioned earlier, it's mounted directly to the engine block, no long tube. The sender unit came from an early 90s GM FWD car with a 3.1 V6, if anyone is interested. It uses a different (smaller) electrical connector from the Fiero unit, which will need to be spliced in.

    I was able to relocate the C500 without having to modify any wires. That was a surprise, and a relief. I drilled out the two spot-welds that attach the C500 mounting bracket to the chassis, and moved the bracket to a convenient spot on the firewall. Just to the right of the passenger side decklid hinge, the firewall has a small bracket with a hole in the center. I attached the C500 mounting bracket using a short bolt, and "badda-bing badda-boom!" Done!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #375, 06-24-2010 10:28 PM
          Good news! I painted and installed the new exhaust, and wired in a relay for the oil cooler fan. After finishing with that, I started the engine and let it idle for a while, to bake the exhaust paint, prime the oil cooler, etc. The bigger exhaust pipe makes the sound a little deeper. After about 10-15 minutes of idling, the oil cooler fan started cycling on and off (the fan switch comes on at 180°F, and off at 170°F).

    I still need to finish putting the car back together. But that shouldn't take long.

    Sorry for the lack of photos, but I'm working on a deadline. The car has to be drivable, with any bugs worked out, by Saturday morning.


    85LAMB (linck777@netzero.com) MSG #376, 06-25-2010 12:42 PM
         
    I hope you get everthing worked out

    I'll see you on Saturday.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #377, 07-02-2010 05:50 PM
          Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been enjoying the car. I went to a car show last Saturday, and the CFF club meeting yesterday. Everything seems to be working fine. A few notes:

    -- The oil cooler has increased engine oil capacity by about 0.5 quart.

    -- I noticed that in slow traffic, or long stretches of sitting idle, the oil cooler fan will cycle on and off regularly. This was a bit of a surprise, since the fan is set to come on at 180°F. It makes me wonder just how hot the oil was getting previously. As a general rule, when the oil temperature goes above 190-200°F, engine life will decrease accordingly.

    -- The 2.5" exhaust pipe has changed the exhaust sound a bit. It sounds a little more "authoritative", and a little louder. I'm glad I kept the catalyst. Because without it, I think the exhaust would have been too loud. Even now, I have to shut off the engine when ordering food-like substances from the drive-thru... or yell at the microphone.

    As soon as the new clutch breaks in, I'm going drag racing. Only 300 miles to go...

    Here's a quick shot of the engine bay:



    If you're wondering where the oil cooler fan is, it's underneath the oil cooler, as a "pusher". I didn't want leaves and junk getting caught in the fan blades, and possibly damaging the oil cooler. With this setup, leaves are blown off the oil cooler harmlessly.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #378, 07-02-2010 07:31 PM
          Looks fantastic. The airflow naturally escapes those vents anyways, so the fan pushing underneath works out perfectly. Where did you tap into to get oil out, and where did you put your oil return line? I don't know if I missed that.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #379, 07-02-2010 08:08 PM
          The oil cooler uses a sandwich adapter. The fan switch sticks out the side of one of the hose fittings. If you look closely, you can see it in this photo:



    The sandwich adapter has thermostatic valve in it. It doesn't send oil to the cooler until the temperature goes above 160°F. So I don't have to worry about the engine running too cold in the winter... not that it's a real concern here in Florida.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #380, 07-09-2010 07:11 PM
          (remove outdated material)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #381, 07-10-2010 11:53 AM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #382, 07-13-2010 06:26 PM
          .

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    kk86 2m6 MSG #383, 07-14-2010 12:37 AM
          you are one patient man. the car is coming along very nicely. i cant wait to see it finished =D
    i love the interior. awesome ideas all around. its my favorite build on here.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #384, 07-14-2010 01:39 PM
          Thanks!

    When working within a budget, you either have to think small or learn patience. I'd rather be patient.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Fieroseverywhere (caalon777@hotmail.com) MSG #385, 07-14-2010 04:09 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    So from there on out, it's just maintenance... and enjoying the car.


    Ha! I've heard and said that before. For some reason it never works out that way. There is always "another small change" you want to make. The word "done" does not exist in fiero language.

    Everything is looking great so far. Keep up the excellant work!

    [This message has been edited by Fieroseverywhere (edited 07-14-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #386, 07-14-2010 09:21 PM
          Hehe, good point.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #387, 07-19-2010 02:55 PM
          Just a quick update: that little oil pressure sender I installed turned out to be the wrong one. It was an "idiot light only" sender. As a result, my oil pressure gauge didn't work properly. I replaced the sender unit with the '88 Fiero style, and now the gauge gets a reading. I was still able to install the sender unit directly into the engine block, but clearance behind the A/C compressor was really tight.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #388, 07-22-2010 07:34 PM
          I got some goodies from Moates today: a "Burn2" chip programmer, and an EEPROM chip with adapter. I was able to program the new chip, and drive the Freak around a bit with it installed. WOOHOO!

    Here's a photo of the new chip and adapter installed.



    NOTE: In the fall of 2017, I replaced the 7730 ECM with a MegaSquirt. You can read about that on Page 13.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-23-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #389, 07-31-2010 05:01 PM
          Unfortunately, I haven't done much work on the Fiero lately. It's just too freaking hot outside. For example, today the actual temperature was 97 degrees, with a heat index of 110. Forget that!

    Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #390, 08-11-2010 10:02 AM
          Do you have wideband to check your A/F ratios after you burn dif chips? BTW: It's looking good.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #391, 08-15-2010 07:49 PM
          Nope. I just drive around and watch the BLM readings on the scanner. That's not the best way to do things, but is better than nothing.

    With the 19 lb injectors and the previous tune (which was tuned for 17 lb injectors), the engine was running really rich. I could smell raw gasoline coming out of the tailpipe at cold start-up. And BLM readings were in the low 100s / high 90s during idle or light load. That's pretty freaking rich.

    After some tweaking, I got the BLMs in the 120s. And the engine seems to run smoother when cold.

    But I think in order to get it "just right", I'll have to beg / borrow / steal a wideband O2 setup and start playing with the VE tables. But I probably won't get around to that until the weather cools down a bit. Summertime in Florida isn't exactly a fun time to be outside working on a car.


    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #392, 08-26-2010 12:46 PM
         

    Hey Mike how is the dash coming along ?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #393, 08-28-2010 09:43 AM
          (The dash was never finished. I ended up ditching the whole interior project, and stripping out the interior for weight reduction.)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    fierofury MSG #394, 11-01-2010 08:17 PM
          Any updates?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #395, 11-25-2010 12:57 PM
          OK, I have an update. I decided to convert to DIS. So I snagged a few parts...



    Thankfully, my 3.4 V6 already has provisions for DIS. The crankshaft has the trigger wheel built in. And the engine block has the hole in the side for the crank position sensor (which I installed already). I'll have to splice the electrical plugs into the wiring harness, and make some brackets for the DIS brick. But that shouldn't be hard.

    Also, my custom ECM setup is going to make things easier. The 7730 ECM has a programmable PROM chip. And I have a programmer. So when I install the DIS hardware, I can load a bin file for DIS and it's good to go.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    mattwa (mattwa.inc@gmail.com) MSG #396, 11-25-2010 06:17 PM
          Awesome, finally going to DIS I see. That is the way I setup mine from the start, works better then the dizzy and is much more durable. Where are you planning to put the coilpack at? Also, since its not in the picture, I'm guessing you have the plug for the distributor?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #397, 11-25-2010 08:01 PM
          Yeah, I have the "dummy distributer"... just forgot to put it in the photo. The ignition brick came from a 3100 SFI, and was mounted on the rear valve cover (i.e. the trunk-side valve cover in a Fiero). The cylinder head on my 3.4 just happens to have bolt holes where the ignition brick's mounting bolts would go. And there's plenty of open space in that area. So I think I'll put the brick right there.

    mattwa (mattwa.inc@gmail.com) MSG #398, 11-25-2010 10:02 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Yeah, I have the "dummy distributer"... just forgot to put it in the photo. The ignition brick came from a 3100 SFI, and was mounted on the rear valve cover (i.e. the trunk-side valve cover in a Fiero). The cylinder head on my 3.4 just happens to have bolt holes where the ignition brick's mounting bolts would go. And there's plenty of open space in that area. So I think I'll put the brick right there.


    Sounds good. Not having the Distributor and coil there really cleans up that area. I also moved the gauge temp sensor to the other cylinder head to clean up the wiring as much as possible. I don't recommend this though, as the hose going to the themostat housing is right there and my current solution is kinda crappy.

    [This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 11-26-2010).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #399, 11-26-2010 01:37 PM
          Today, I mounted the ignition brick to the engine. It was even easier than I expected. I just stuck a couple studs in the cyl head, and bolted it on. I also made a heat shield (aluminum) to keep exhaust heat away from the coils.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #400, 11-29-2010 04:41 PM
          Good news! The DIS setup is installed and running.

    (see next page for photos)

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #401, 12-04-2010 04:00 PM
          My new spark plug wires came in Thursday. So I decided to take a couple photos.





    Tomorrow, I'll be going to the drag strip, to see just what this 3.4 V6 can do. This will be my first chance to really open it up. Hopefully, all goes well. Keep your fingers crossed!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    blkpearl (bodylinesfitness@cox.net) MSG #402, 12-05-2010 02:00 PM
          We have basically the same exact setup, mine is just not nearly as cleaned up and in good order like yours.

    But I have a 3.4 with Trueleo intake, headers, and few other things.

    2 questions. What Throttle body are you using? If stock are you going to go bigger?

    and second where did you find The DIS plug/ gear thing for the Distributer shaft hole? From a DIS GM car?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #403, 12-05-2010 03:02 PM
          The throttle body is from a Buick Grand National (59mm diameter, from the turbo 3.8 V6). I turned it upside-down, so the throttle linkage would be on the correct side.

    All the DIS parts were pulled from a 3100 SFI V6. That includes the "dummy distributer", crank sensor, etc. But any 60-degree V6 with DIS will have that. I picked the 3100 SFI, due to the mounting location of the DIS brick. The older 2.8 and 3.1 engines mounted the DIS brick on the side of the engine block (firewall side on the Fiero), down by the starter. That would make it a pain to work on in the Fiero.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 12-12-2010).]

    La fiera MSG #404, 12-13-2010 04:24 PM
          Very well done! Dynoed that 3.4 yet?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #405, 12-13-2010 05:31 PM
          I should be getting it dyno'ed soon. Right now, funds are kinda tight. Plus my laptop computer croaked, so I can't datalog. And my old OBD-1 scanner doesn't seem to be compatible with the new ECM programming. So I'm SOL on that front... at least for now.

    Right now, the car is drivable. And it made it down the track without blowing up (hehe). But it's not running at full power. However, I can tell you one thing. This engine pulls hard all the way up to the rev limiter (currently set at 6000 RPM). I was kinda surprised by that.

    After the holiday season is over, and my bank account recovers, things should be picking up for the Freak project.


    La fiera MSG #406, 12-13-2010 09:36 PM
          Kool, glad to hear that it is running strong. Keep us updated!

    Rei Moloon


    mattwa (mattwa.inc@gmail.com) MSG #407, 12-14-2010 01:46 AM
          Well at least you are able to run down the track and actually work on your Fiero right now. My Fiero is covered in about 5 inches of this white stuff called snow..Ever heard of it? Plus being -2 outside with windchill makes it a little more challenging.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #408, 12-14-2010 05:56 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by mattwa: My Fiero is covered in about 5 inches of this white stuff called snow..Ever heard of it?

    You mean, that white spray foam with the sparkles on it?

    Yes, I have memories of snow from my childhood. (I'm originally from Michigan)


    85LAMB (linck777@netzero.com) MSG #409, 12-16-2010 09:11 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:
    I should be getting it dyno'ed soon.


    Hey, let me know when you go to the dyno,
    I would like to see


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #410, 12-18-2010 03:34 PM
          No problem, Lincoln. I'll let you know.

    In related news, last night I ran a 15.4 @ 91 MPH. While the ET is nothing to brag about, the trap speed seems to suggest the car is capable of mid / high 14's. I need to save up for a new laptop computer and wideband O2 setup, and do some tuning. Because right now, the ECM is running on a "best guess" tune made from a mish-mash of a couple other bin files.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 12-18-2010).]

    Kento (kento@triad.rr.com) MSG #411, 12-20-2010 02:22 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by 85LAMB:


    Hey, let me know when you go to the dyno,
    I would like to see



    Hiya Lincoln,

    whats up with your project?



    mattman134 (mattman134@msn.com) MSG #412, 03-29-2011 02:35 PM
          bump to keep out of archives

    Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #413, 04-26-2011 07:55 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    No problem, Lincoln. I'll let you know.

    In related news, last night I ran a 15.4 @ 91 MPH. While the ET is nothing to brag about, the trap speed seems to suggest the car is capable of mid / high 14's. I need to save up for a new laptop computer and wideband O2 setup, and do some tuning. Because right now, the ECM is running on a "best guess" tune made from a mish-mash of a couple other bin files.



    Yes indeed, you need to find out what your A/F ratio is. My 87GT - 2.8 with our headers, intake, stock cam, stock injectors, stock chip had a good A/F ratio -before I tore it down to add more goodies-, but you yours could easliy need more tuning.

    BTW: If you do get a wideband you can tune it really close without dyno time. It's lil bit of PIA and takes two people, laptop for the wideban, volt meter to measure MAP sensor volts and the car on the road to real-world under-load readings, but it can be done, If you need more spacifics let me know. Also, I don't recall if you requested an extra bung adapter for a widebad on you Y pipe. If not, you may want to add one as there can be a big dif between exhaust gas temps in Y pipe and those at the tail pipe.



    JesseM (jesterking33@hotmail.com) MSG #414, 04-28-2011 02:47 AM
          MMMM I love what you have done with your car! the 3.4 pr just seems to get more appealing by the day. BTW do you have any updates?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #415, 05-08-2011 06:21 PM
          It's been awhile since I updated this thread, and for good reason. I've been working 2 jobs, saving up to buy another car to use as a daily driver. I bought the daily driver earlier this week. So now the Fiero is officially a "second car".

    You all know what this means, right? The Fiero will no longer need to be comfortable to drive on long trips. It won't need to carry any passengers. And the fuel economy suddenly matters a lot less. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, all of which will make the car more fun to drive, and improve its performance.

    I've always wanted a street-legal race car. Now I'll get to build one.

    The first step in the transformation is to get rid of all the dead weight. Stuff like the HVAC system, spare tire, jack, interior trim and carpet, windshield washer bottle, and even the passenger seat can go bye-bye.

    That said, I'm still working 2 jobs. So I don't have much free time. I'll post updates when available.


    Gokart Mozart MSG #416, 05-08-2011 06:59 PM
          What's your DD?

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #417, 05-09-2011 11:48 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    It's been awhile since I updated this thread, and for good reason. I've been working 2 jobs, saving up to buy another car to use as a daily driver. I bought the daily driver earlier this week. So now the Fiero is officially a "second car".

    You all know what this means, right? The Fiero will no longer need to be comfortable to drive on long trips. It won't need to carry any passengers. And the fuel economy suddenly matters a lot less. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, all of which will make the car more fun to drive, and improve its performance.

    I've always wanted a street-legal race car. Now I'll get to build one.

    The first step in the transformation is to get rid of all the dead weight. Stuff like the HVAC system, spare tire, jack, interior trim and carpet, windshield washer bottle, and even the passenger seat can go bye-bye.

    That said, I'm still working 2 jobs. So I don't have much free time. I'll post updates when available.


    heyyyyyyyyyy ! where am i going to sit !?!? hehehe

    Hopefully mine will be here soon so we can hit the meetings in a pair of fieros !



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #418, 05-09-2011 03:48 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by exoticse: heyyyyyyyyyy ! where am i going to sit !?!? hehehe

    I'll throw a milk crate in the passenger side... LOL

    The new daily beater is a 2001 Saturn. I got it cheap because it had a couple mechanical issues (which I easily fixed). But the body and interior are in very good condition. The engine doesn't leak fluids or burn oil. And the ride is pretty smooth. All in all, it's a pretty decent car.


    hairballrm (rmeyner@projectorretrofit.com) MSG #419, 05-09-2011 04:14 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by exoticse:
    heyyyyyyyyyy ! where am i going to sit !?!? hehehe


    Weld in a old steel tractor seat just like "stuntman Mike".



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #420, 05-12-2011 07:26 PM
          LOL, that's funny. Those metal seats are kinda heavy though, aren't they? Maybe I could just chop down a plastic lawn chair...

    Anyway, the Jenny Craig diet has started. Some of the easy-to-remove stuff is now gone... spare tire, jack (and associated brackets), windshield washer tank (and hoses, and squirt nozzles), and some of the interior trim.

    I didn't take any photos, because that's not really anything noteworthy or exciting. More to follow, as time permits.


    Reallybig MSG #421, 05-12-2011 07:51 PM
          Perhaps they make carbon fiber tractor seats?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #422, 05-14-2011 07:11 AM
          The weight reduction has commenced! Yesterday, I removed the entire HVAC system from the Fiero.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #423, 05-14-2011 11:19 AM
          How much do you figure that weighs?

    mattwa (mattwa.inc@gmail.com) MSG #424, 05-14-2011 04:55 PM
          Wow, I want to remove all the A/C stuff from my Fiero in the future, i think.

    That has to be 100lbs at least off that fiero.

    [This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 05-17-2011).]

    JohnW (johnw51@verizon.net) MSG #425, 05-15-2011 11:40 AM
          Any idea how much the car currently weighs?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #426, 05-15-2011 08:33 PM
          Last time I went to the track (about 3-4 months ago), the Fiero weighed in at 2600 lb.

    Like you guys, I was expecting the HVAC system to weigh around 100 lb. But according to my bathroom scale, it's more like 75 lb. That includes all the ductwork under the dash, enough coolant to fill the heater core, enough refrigerant to charge the A/C, and all associated nuts/bolts/brackets.

    I also wieghed the spare tire, jack, windshield washer bottle (and its contents), and all associated hardware. That came in at about 40 lb.

    By the time I'm done stripping the interior, the Fiero's weight should be in the low 2400s.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-16-2011).]

    JohnW (johnw51@verizon.net) MSG #427, 05-17-2011 12:59 PM
          I would consider 2600 lbs light. That was approximately the weight of my 88 couple in autocross racing trim with about 3 gallons of gas. My 88 Formula was around 2700 lbs in the same configuration. I'm curious to see how much my 88 GT weights with all the power options and automatic trans.

    I like your gantry. I'm planning to build a similar one for my transmission swap project. Is there anything you would've done differently with the one you have?

    [This message has been edited by JohnW (edited 05-17-2011).]

    mattwa (mattwa.inc@gmail.com) MSG #428, 05-17-2011 05:03 PM
          2400 seems like a good guess, however that depends on how much weight was lost or gained with your decklid and hood "mods".

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #429, 05-18-2011 12:25 AM
          I haven't done any body work since my last trip to the drag strip. The weight I listed above includes the custom hood and decklid.

    Also, I forgot... last time I went to the track, some of the stereo system was still in the car. I forgot to weigh that when I removed it. The stereo gear is just under 25 lb. So altogether, I've pulled about 140 lb out of the Fiero already.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #430, 05-23-2011 08:50 PM
          Work on the Fiero has been slow, due to working 2 jobs, and some auto repairs (for customers) during what little free time I have.

    That said, I've removed more "useless fat" from the Fiero. The following items are now gone:

    -- Interior Trim
    -- Headliner
    -- Firewall Cover (whatever it's called)
    -- Trunk Carpet
    -- Dome Lights

    I've also started trimming down the vehicle wiring harness. As it turns out, there was a lot of unused wiring. The wiring for the following items has now been deleted:

    -- The Stereo System
    -- The entire HVAC system
    -- Power Locks and Windows (the car didn't have them anyway)
    -- Rally Gauges (the Fiero has a gauge cluster from another car now)
    -- Rear Window Defroster
    -- Parking Brake Warning Light (no parking brake)
    -- Dome Lights

    I didn't just snip wires a foot or two from the electrical plugs, either. I traced some of them all the way back to the fusebox, and others to splices where they met other wires. So there aren't any snipped wires hanging loose.

    I also made a blank-out plate to cover the gaping hole where the HVAC ductwork used to be. Sorry, but no photos yet.


    doublec4 (doublec4@hotmail.com) MSG #431, 05-24-2011 02:40 PM
          Sounds like you're really taking the weight loss plunge lol. Should feel very spartan by the end of it.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #432, 05-24-2011 11:17 PM
          Yeah, I'm getting pretty serious with the weight loss. At this point, I'm looking at the reverse lights (I have fog lights in the rear as reverse lights) and the third brake light, and thinking "hmmm... do I really need those?" I think they're legally required, though. I wouldn't want to get pulled over on the way to/from the track, because my lights aren't legal.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-24-2011).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #433, 06-16-2011 01:44 AM
          The interior is completely stripped now. It's all bare sheet metal, except for the driver seat, instrument panel, and controls. I need to clean up a few stray wires, then hose down the interior with truck bed liner (to protect the metal).

    When I finish with that, I'll post a few photos.

    I recently drove the Fiero to a car show / club meet. The drive was over an hour in each direction. Oh, man! It was fun, because the performance (in all aspects) is noticeably better now. But the noise, vibration, and lack of climate control in the cabin causes driver fatigue. I definitely will not be driving the Fiero on long trips anymore.

    Did I mention it was fun?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #434, 06-18-2011 05:39 PM
          Got some goodies for the Freak... Rodney Dickman urethane mounts. I already have Rodney's adjustable dogbone. So my drivetrain will have all urethane mounts.



    I got the lower engine mount and bracket from a local club member (Pappy). And I ordered the tranny mounts from Rodney's website.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #435, 06-21-2011 01:38 AM
          Good news! I got the mounts installed.

    Bad news: The engine position has shifted slightly, so now the exhaust hits the cradle.

    Looks like I'll be doing some exhaust work.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #436, 07-05-2011 11:25 PM
          Exhaust work complete! In addition to making the adjustments to the exhaust, I also deleted the catalyst.



    With the catalyst gone, the exhaust sounds (and smells) more "raw". I like the sound, not so sure about the smell.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    1988holleyformula MSG #437, 07-07-2011 05:39 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Exhaust work complete! In addition to making the adjustments to the exhaust, I also deleted the catalyst.


    With the catalyst gone, the exhaust sounds more "raw". I like it!


    How much weight was saved deleting that?

    Weight reduction and better exhaust note, good mod!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #438, 07-09-2011 06:08 PM
          I don't think I dropped much weight removing the catalyst. But I'm sure it freed up a few ponies.

    Reallybig MSG #439, 07-10-2011 04:17 AM
          Scrap dealers will pay around 30-50$ for used cats. less weight, more power, and money in your pocket...could be a win win win modification!

    dajack761 (dajack761@gmail.com) MSG #440, 12-22-2012 11:21 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Let's switch attention to the diffuser and cat-back exhaust for a minute. If you look through the "Diffuser Fascia" thread, you'll notice that I had a bullet-style muffler sticking out the back of the car. It took up space inside the diffuser... space which could've been used for moving air. With my new Ocelot exhaust, I eliminated that. The muffler is tucked in between the engine cradle and the "license plate pod" in the rear fascia. And the muffler's outlet pipes are cut short. See photo below.



    Here's a shot of the unobstructed rear diffuser.



    I guess you could call it the "stealth exhaust".


    That rear diffuser is awesome. Who's handy work is that?


    zkhennings MSG #441, 01-30-2013 02:34 PM
          Blacktree I love this thread and you are really good with fiberglass. I plan on doing something similar with the tunnel cover. I like the streetable racecar kind of feel And I really like that you have preserved the 3.4/2.8 engine. I am not doing as much body modification as you but I am in the middle of similar performance upgrades. Really good work.

    fierogtlt1 (fierogtlt1@bellsouth.net) MSG #442, 06-11-2013 11:18 PM
          I finally got to see this car in person and I got to say pictures do it no justice.And his fiberglass and customizing skills are amazing.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #443, 02-09-2016 12:34 AM
          OK, so I've been REALLY lazy about updating this thread.

    Here's a little project I did in 2013... '88 cradle swap. I sourced a cradle and rear knuckles locally, and cleaned 'em up for the swap. The KYB struts from the existing suspension were re-used (but with the spring perches removed). I got coilover sleeves and 350 lb/inch springs from Summit Racing, and the strut relocation kit from Arraut Motorsports. I also decided to "roll my own" lateral and toe links, using aluminum tubes and rod-ends.

    Here are some photos of the various parts:

    '88 brake calipers with pads


    The rod-end links, compared to the originals


    Custom strut hats from Arraut Motorsports




    Assembled coilovers


    '88 rear sway bar with urethane bushings



    Below are a couple shots of the suspension links being test-fitted to the cradle:





    Modifying the coolant crossover tube for suspension clearance


    Modified exhaust, to fit the new cradle


    The assembled rear suspension


    And last but not least, the car back on the road

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-25-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #444, 02-09-2016 12:44 AM
          Also, in late 2013 / early 2014 I replaced the Grand Am front brakes with LeBaron rotors and GM metric calipers. I bought caliper mounting brackets from V8 Archie. The car already had braided stainless caliper hoses. Also, the front hubs had already been turned down to fit under the Grand Am rotors. So swapping in the new brakes was pretty quick and easy.

    Here are some photos of that project:

    The new brake hardware


    The LeBaron rotor compared to the Grand Am rotor


    A couple shots of the front wheel, before and after the LeBaron brake upgrade:





    Side note: the LeBaron brake upgrade just barely fits under 15" wheels, but has plenty of breathing room under my 17" wheels.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-25-2017).]

    Lurate (lurate@mac.com) MSG #445, 02-10-2016 12:08 PM
          incredibly good looking engine / cradle work......

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #446, 02-10-2016 01:52 PM
          Thanks! You can do a lot with a wire brush, a power washer, and some POR15.

    The next project is a new intake manifold. I was able to acquire one of the Ryan Falconer racing intakes, and plan to install it on my 3.4 V6. I also want to upgrade the rest of the engine, to make better use of the intake. So the intake won't be just for looks.

    Here's what the Falconer intake looked like when I bought it:



    It's an ITB (individual throttle body) intake. There is no common plenum. Each intake runner has its own throttle plate. This setup has its advantages, and its own disadvantages as well. First of all, the intake has big ports which can flow a lot of air. The ports are also pretty long, which should provide good low-RPM torque. The result is a broad, flat torque curve with great high-RPM breathing.

    The downside is that getting 6 throttle bodies synched-up can be a pain. And to add insult to injury, this intake doesn't have provisions for adjusting the throttle plates individually. You can only adjust either side, i.e. 3 throttle plates at once. The other downside is getting vacuum for stuff like the brake booster, MAP sensor, etc. Same goes for idle air. Since there is no common plenum, vacuum and idle air needs to be run to each intake runner. And of course, the intake would be sucking in hot air from the engine bay.

    I decided I didn't want to deal with any of that. Instead, I decided to build two plenums, and install dual throttle bodies. I'll still get the great torque curve and high-RPM airflow, but without the headaches of making ITBs work. Plus, I'll be able to pull in fresh air from the fender. I'll be fabricating the plenums from scratch, and using a dual throttle body setup from a Chrysler V6.

    I started on the dual throttle body project, but haven't finished yet. Progress has been slow. And to be honest, it's a back-burner project. But I'll post updates when they become available.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Reallybig MSG #447, 02-14-2016 01:53 PM
          Sweet intake!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #448, 06-30-2016 10:11 PM
          Yesterday, I finally got around to fixing the clutch. The clutch would not disengage. After pulling the transaxle, I found out why. The pressure plate, friction disc, and flywheel had all rusted together. I had to pry them apart! I guess that's what happens when a car sits too long in Florida.

    Luckily, I was able to clean up the pressure plate and flywheel with a wire brush. And there just happened to be a 6-puck ceramic friction disc sitting on the shelf. So that went in.



    Next I need to look for some tires. The Jetta got a new set of 17" wheels, so the tires from the Fiero got transferred over. That was really just an excuse to buy higher performance tires for the Fiero. But for the time being, the Fiero is tireless.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #449, 07-05-2016 06:38 PM
          Did I ever mention that I installed an Odyssey battery in the Fiero? Since the entire HVAC system has been removed, a blank plate was installed in place of the ductwork box. And the new battery was installed on the blank plate. I also installed a master cutoff switch. See photo below.



    Today, I checked off another box on the Fiero's to-do list. The car has been using a stock replacement fuel pump. And after looking up the specs on that fuel pump, it became apparent that it was inadequate for this engine. So it got replaced with a pump made for the LT1 (C4 Corvette, and some other vehicles). The new pump flows about twice as much as the stock Fiero unit. The Fiero V6 pump is rated for 16 GPH, whereas the LT1 pump is rated for around 32 GPH. So fuel supply shouldn't be an issue anymore. Below is a photo of the new pump and strainer:



    PUMP: Delphi FE0114
    STRAINER: Delphi FS0177


    The pump doesn't come with a strainer. It had to be purchased separately.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Inferno (infernoz24@hotmail.com) MSG #450, 07-28-2016 02:19 AM
          AND????????? I need to see more more more! LOL

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #451, 07-28-2016 11:04 PM
          The Fiero got some new tires: Continental ExtremeContact DW, 205/50-R17 front and 225/45-R17 rear. I've only driven about 25 miles on the new tires, so they aren't broken in yet.

    Also, more new stuff coming. Here's a hint: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/074316.html



    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #452, 07-30-2016 02:13 AM
          Mike check your pm.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #453, 08-06-2016 04:22 PM
          I made some time to work on the Fiero this weekend. Today, we're getting the Koni struts ready for the coilover hardware. First, those spring perches need to come off. I get the feeling I've done this before...



    The welds for the spring perches were ground down just enough to let the coilover sleeves fit over them. I want a snug fit, so the sleeves don't move around. I also wrapped gaffer tape around the base of the strut, so the bottom of the sleeve would also be snug. See below.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #454, 08-07-2016 08:56 PM
          The Koni struts are installed. Wow, the difference is noticeable! I had some fun driving around and playing with the stiffness settings. I also replaced both front brake calipers, because they were dragging. While I was at it, I also decided to paint all the calipers red. Below is the "money shot", the upgraded rear suspension with pretty brake calipers.



    Now I think the front suspension needs some attention. I really like having adjustable coilovers with adjustable dampers in the rear. So the front should probably have something similar. After the front suspension is sorted out, I'll get back to the engine mods.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-23-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #455, 09-11-2016 08:14 PM
          Just a quick update: I've contacted Arraut Motorsports and West Coast Fieros regarding front suspension options. After some consideration, I placed an order with WCF. The Freak will be getting Koni shocks and tubular control arms up front. I'm still looking into front spring options.

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #456, 09-13-2016 11:06 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Just a quick update: I've contacted Arraut Motorsports and West Coast Fieros regarding front suspension options. After some consideration, I placed an order with WCF. The Freak will be getting Koni shocks and tubular control arms up front. I'm still looking into front spring options.


    Sweeeet ! Car just keeps getting better and better !


    Stubby79 MSG #457, 09-17-2016 12:11 PM
         

    timenewton (timenewton@yahoo.com) MSG #458, 08-14-2017 03:17 PM
          I enjoy watching this thread, but it hasnt been updated in awhile. Do you think that getting the photos back up would be possible?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #459, 08-23-2017 12:49 AM
          I don't have much free time any more. So getting all those photos back up will take a long time. Same goes for progress on the build. But the car is driveable. I just haven't done any mods or upgrades lately.

    Actually, the only thing I've done lately is fix a fuel supply issue. The little piece of hose on the fuel pump ruptured. While I had the tank out, I decided to clean it up a bit. There was some surface rust on the sides. I hit it with a wire brush and some phosphoric acid, then sprayed on some galvanizing compound. I also replaced some of the rubber hoses, and replaced all the hose clamps with new fuel injection clamps.

    Here are before and after shots of the tank:





    Next up is some front suspension work... as time permits.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #460, 08-24-2017 12:11 AM
          OK, got some of the photos re-uploaded and working again. There are literally hundreds of photos in this thread. In order to preserve my sanity, I'm going to be cutting out stuff that is no longer relevant to the project. In addition to reducing my workload, it should also help keep this thread focused.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 08-24-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #461, 08-31-2017 04:46 PM
          Remember those custom control arms that I bought from WCF? I finally took the time to clean 'em up and paint them with POR15. I also got some other goodies.



    I'm also going to strip down the front section of the chassis, clean it up, and paint it with POR15. And I'll do the same for the front suspension crossmember.

    Right now, it's 96°F outside with a heat index of 105... can't wait for fall to arrive.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-01-2017).]

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #462, 09-01-2017 10:39 AM
          😮

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #463, 09-04-2017 05:51 PM
          Since I had the day off for Labor Day, I decided to labor on the Fiero for a bit. I was able to remove the old suspension, with some cursing, some PB Blaster, and a torch. Here's the obligatory "parts on the floor" photo:



    I also started stripping down the front portion of the chassis. It's starting to look pretty bare.



    I was able to clean up the spindles and hubs, and paint them with POR15. I didn't repaint the caliper brackets, because they already have POR15 on them.



    That's it for today. See ya next time.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #464, 09-08-2017 05:36 PM
          Some more goodies arrived.



    Unfortunately, hurricane Irma is headed right for us. So there won't be any updates for awhile.


    RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #465, 09-09-2017 11:46 AM
          You've got a great thread, Blacktree. Lot's of great stuff. It's good to see a lot of the pictures back. Thanx for the effort.

    Bob


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #466, 09-24-2017 03:47 PM
          Thankfully, Hurricane Irma didn't hit us too hard. And Maria is going to miss us. So now that the hurricane clean-up is done, I can get back to work on the Freak. Today, I finished stripping down the front end. It's looking pretty sparse now.



    The next task is to thoroughly clean it, and paint it with POR15. I also need to drill out a couple crossmember-to-chassis bolts that broke.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #467, 09-28-2017 08:42 PM
          The entire front section of the chassis has been painted with POR15. And now I have little black spots all over my arms. YAY! Here's a photo of the freshly painted chassis:



    Now that this stuff is done, I can get to work on the front suspension.


    La fiera MSG #468, 10-01-2017 01:36 PM
          That is dome excellent progress mike! We should go to a track day together next year either in Daytona or Moroso or Sebring!
    You already got the car for that, its time to shake it down


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #469, 10-01-2017 07:16 PM
          That sounds like a great idea! I'd love to get this car out on a road course.

    I've started working on the front suspension. The first thing I'm doing is modifying the front crossmember. If you scroll up, you'll see some coil-over hardware in a photo up there. I'm not doing actual coil-overs, but instead am going to make adjustable spring perches. So the ride height will be adjustable. Those springs in the picture are coilover springs for a Mustang II. They're rated at 500 lb/in.

    Those cone-shaped pieces (with the rubber bump-stops on them) on the crossmember need to go bye-bye, to make room for the custom spring perches. Below you see the cone piece, before and after removal. Drilling out the spot welds makes removal easier.





    I started fabricating the new spring perches, but didn't get them finished today. So stay tuned.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-01-2017).]

    La fiera MSG #470, 10-01-2017 08:20 PM
          I have 350lbs coils all around from WFC, I like a little of weight transfer. As far as the shocks I will modify the KYB's to make them 50% stiffer than the Konis.

    [This message has been edited by La fiera (edited 10-01-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #471, 10-02-2017 05:55 PM
          OK, so I made a mistake. I forgot to get some bump stops for the new spring perches. So the fabrication will have to wait until the bump stops arrive. In the meantime, I decided to test-fit the pieces together. Below, you see what the new spring perches will look like, compared to the old ones.



    And here's a shot of one spring perch test-fitted in the crossmember.



    Side note: all the old photos are back. I'm glad that's done.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-02-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #472, 10-03-2017 06:35 PM
          Today, I made another modification to the suspension crossmember. Or maybe "repair" is a better word. Let me explain...

    The '84-87 Fiero front suspension crossmember has metal sleeves that hold the upper control arm bolts. Those sleeves loosen up over time, due to wear and corrosion. Mine were so bad that I could wiggle the upper control arms back and forth about 1/4" either direction. I'm sure that didn't do any favors for suspension alignment.

    I brainstormed a bit, and decided to try filling the sleeves with epoxy. The idea was to stick a new UCA bolt in the sleeve, then inject epoxy into the sleeve so it conforms to the shape of the bolt. Hopefully, that should provide a nice tight fit. I wrapped some aluminum foil around the bolts, so the epoxy wouldn't stick to them. And I drilled small holes in the sleeves for injecting the epoxy. See photo below.



    I squeezed in the epoxy until it started oozing out both ends of the sleeve. I'll let it cure overnight.

    Hopefully, loose upper control arms will be a thing of the past.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-03-2017).]

    La fiera MSG #473, 10-04-2017 10:06 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Thanks! You can do a lot with a wire brush, a power washer, and some POR15.

    The next project is a new intake manifold. I was able to acquire one of the Ryan Falconer racing intakes, and plan to install it on my 3.4 V6. I also want to upgrade the rest of the engine, to make better use of the intake. So the intake won't be just for looks.

    Here's what the Falconer intake looked like when I bought it:


    It's an ITB (individual throttle body) intake. There is no common plenum. Each intake runner has its own throttle plate. This setup has its advantages, and its own disadvantages as well. First of all, the intake has big ports which can flow a lot of air. The ports are also pretty long, which should provide good low-RPM torque. The result is a broad, flat torque curve with great high-RPM breathing.

    The downside is that getting 6 throttle bodies synched-up can be a pain. And to add insult to injury, this intake doesn't have provisions for adjusting the throttle plates individually. You can only adjust either side, i.e. 3 throttle plates at once. The other downside is getting vacuum for stuff like the brake booster, MAP sensor, etc. Same goes for idle air. Since there is no common plenum, vacuum and idle air needs to be run to each intake runner. And of course, the intake would be sucking in hot air from the engine bay.

    I decided I didn't want to deal with any of that. Instead, I decided to build two plenums, and install dual throttle bodies. I'll still get the great torque curve and high-RPM airflow, but without the headaches of making ITBs work. Plus, I'll be able to pull in fresh air from the fender. I'll be fabricating the plenums from scratch, and using a dual throttle body setup from a Chrysler V6.

    I started on the dual throttle body project, but haven't finished yet. Progress has been slow. And to be honest, it's a back-burner project. But I'll post updates when they become available.



    Well, you could use this manifold to its full capacity and the way it was intend it to be if you had a more friendly ECM set up. With the 7730 you have you are limited. But if you get a MegaSquirt you can run it with Alpha N or ITB mode. In Alpha N you dont need a MAP sensor, its load its based on TPS position, like having a carb! The MS has the capability to run that manifold the way it was intend it to be. Not to mention other capabilities like Lauch Control and Flat Shift! Just a thought

    [This message has been edited by La fiera (edited 10-04-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #474, 10-04-2017 10:34 PM
          Good news: the UCA bolts didn't get stuck in the crossmember (hehe). And the fit is pretty snug. I just hope the epoxy holds up to being beat on by a racing suspension. Still, it should be an improvement over what it was.

    As for the intake: the design has already been finalized. The twin plenum / twin throttle body setup is going to happen. As a matter of fact, the engine upgrades will start right after the front suspension is finished.


    La fiera MSG #475, 10-05-2017 07:29 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Good news: the UCA bolts didn't get stuck in the crossmember (hehe). And the fit is pretty snug. I just hope the epoxy holds up to being beat on by a racing suspension. Still, it should be an improvement over what it was.

    As for the intake: the design has already been finalized. The twin plenum / twin throttle body setup is going to happen. As a matter of fact, the engine upgrades will start right after the front suspension is finished.


    That's awesome Mike, cant wait to hear that beast!! When I go to see my brother in Orlando you HAVE to give me a ride!



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #476, 10-05-2017 12:01 PM
          Does this mean I have to install a passenger seat?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #477, 10-05-2017 07:37 PM
          Today I made a sizing jig for the control arms. Since the new ones have adjustable rod ends, I want to make sure they're adjusted correctly. I figured the best way to do that would be to make a jig from the original control arms, then adjust the new ones til they fit in the jig. The jig is made of some scrap wood I had laying around. It doesn't need to be super-precise.



    Sorry for the crappy photo. It was starting to get dark.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-05-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #478, 10-06-2017 04:56 PM
          Here's a shot of the new control arms being fitted in the sizing jig.



    La fiera MSG #479, 10-06-2017 11:09 PM
         
     
    quote
    [B the Fiero's weight should be in the low 2400s.



    Mine is 2260 at the dumpster scales!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #480, 10-08-2017 11:27 AM
          I finished fabricating the spring perches, and welded them into the crossmember. I cleaned it up, and thoroughly washed it, to prepare it for POR15. Below you see the modified crossmember drying in the sun.



    Not only do the new spring perches allow mounting of coilover hardware, but they're also about an inch shorter than stock. I did that to account for suspension lowering.


    La fiera MSG #481, 10-08-2017 10:59 PM
         

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #482, 10-09-2017 01:38 PM
          Achievement Unlocked: Adjustable Spring Perches



    La fiera MSG #483, 10-09-2017 08:43 PM
          That looks nice!!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #484, 10-10-2017 04:03 PM
          The front suspension is coming together nicely.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #485, 10-11-2017 04:01 PM
          Today, I put the finishing touches on the suspension install. Then I drove the car around for a bit. Wow, the new suspension is nice! And it has soooo much adjustability now.

    I stopped in a parking lot to snap a couple photos:





    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to install the Wilwood calipers yet. They use a different type of hose fitting, so the banjo bolts from the Caddy calipers wouldn't fit. So I put the Caddy calipers back on, and ordered some fittings.


    La fiera MSG #486, 10-12-2017 08:19 AM
          That looks awesome Mike!!
    Where did you get that Pontiac windshield banner?


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #487, 10-12-2017 05:10 PM
          I got the banner from Fiero Thomas in The Mall.

    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/074306.html


    La fiera MSG #488, 10-12-2017 11:34 PM
          Thanks!!! I'll order one GOLD tomorrow!!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #489, 10-14-2017 03:41 PM
          Two steps forward, one step back...

    The fittings arrived, and I was able to install them into the calipers. I tried to install the calipers, but the brake hoses are too short.

    Time to order some longer hoses.


    La fiera MSG #490, 10-15-2017 09:34 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Two steps forward, one step back...

    The fittings arrived, and I was able to install them into the calipers. I tried to install the calipers, but the brake hoses are too short.

    Time to order some longer hoses.


    That sucks!!!!! I know the feeling!!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #491, 10-18-2017 05:51 PM
          got brakes?



    wftb (danjesso@bmts.com) MSG #492, 10-19-2017 06:26 PM
          You are going to love your Wilwoods. They look great and they work great.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #493, 10-19-2017 07:42 PM
          The main reason for getting the Wilwood calipers was to correct the brake balance. With standard GM Metric calipers in front (2.5" bore) and stock '88 Fiero calipers in back (1.9" bore?), the brake bias was WAY too front-heavy. The rear brakes were barely doing anything.

    I found some Wilwood calipers that are drop-in replacements for the GM Metric ones, with a 2" bore size. That should help with the brake bias. Plus the Wilwood aluminum calipers weigh less than the GM Metric ones. That's what I call a win-win.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-20-2017).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #494, 10-20-2017 07:33 PM
          I got a new video camera, and some mounting hardware. So I thought I'd hang the camera off the car and go for a spin. Unfortunately, most of the video that I took was garbage. But here's a quick clip that isn't too bad...



    Man, gotta do something about that wind noise!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 10-20-2017).]

    wftb (danjesso@bmts.com) MSG #495, 10-20-2017 10:58 PM
          I am running Wilwood 120-11872-RD calipers on the front of my Fiero. These are 1.62" diam dual piston aluminum calipers with a total of 4.12 square inches piston area. By themselves on my car they are not enough to prevent the right front tire to lock up under hard braking . I am running a stock rear brake system(1986 GT) but the lock up happened when I had 2.5" piston rear calipers as well. I disabled the stock proportioning valve and added a wilwood adjustable proportioning valve to the front brake system and adjusted the brakes to get the rear brakes to take enough load to prevent the fronts from locking up. It works great on the street and on the track it is also great. I can stand on the brakes and stop in a straight line without lockup.I was thinking you might have the same front calipers as me.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #496, 10-21-2017 11:45 AM
          I went with the single 2" piston, because it's the "easy button" solution to the brake bias problem. I also don't want to install a prop valve on the front brake circuit.

    wftb (danjesso@bmts.com) MSG #497, 10-21-2017 07:20 PM
          I just looked that caliper up on Wilwoods website and it was not available when I ordered my latest calipers. The caliper i went with has more area than I wanted but it was the only one close to what I wanted at the time.

    La fiera MSG #498, 10-24-2017 09:50 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I went with the single 2" piston, because it's the "easy button" solution to the brake bias problem. I also don't want to install a prop valve on the front brake circuit.



    This is what I did to solve that problem. The car stops much faster with more rear bias but if you are not an experience driver you 'll poop on your pants.
    Like Mario Andretti said, "Brakes are not only to slow that car down, you know?"



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #499, 01-05-2018 01:21 AM
          I haven't posted anything lately, because I haven't done much with the Fiero (aside from driving it). With the holiday season, the cold weather, etc, the Fiero got put on the back burner.

    That said, I just ordered one of these: https://www.diyautotune.com...pin-unassembled-kit/

    It should be a nice upgrade from the old 7730 ECM.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #500, 01-13-2018 09:07 AM
          Slowly but surely, I'm making progress on the MegaSquirt build.



    I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... hope it isn't a freight train!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #501, 01-16-2018 02:04 PM
          The MegaSquirt ECU is ready to install.



    One hurdle I had to overcome was the wiring for the fuel pump relay. The GM method of activating the fuel pump relay is to have the ECM send power to the relay coil. But the MegaSquirt grounds the relay coil. So I had to convert the relay's ground wire to a 12-Volt ignition wire. I chose switched ignition instead of a direct battery connection, to reduce the risk of a "run-away" fuel pump.

    The MegaSquirt is installed now, but still needs some configuration. I started going through the basic configuration, but ran out of time. Such is life...

    Side note on MegaSquirt with GM DIS: the DIS module has a built-in delay for the spark signal. The delay is 60 degrees of crankshaft rotation. So you need to add 60 degrees to the trigger angle/offset value to account for it. So for example, if you want 10° of base timing advance, you need to set the trigger angle to 70°.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 01-16-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #502, 01-16-2018 08:39 PM
          Well, it idles...



    It definitely needs tuning, though. Now I start the laborious process of copying data from one tuning format to the other. Yay, and stuff...

    Edit to add: If you're wondering why the 7730 ECM is still in there, it's being used as a speedometer converter. The MegaSquirt doesn't do that. And I can't hook up the VSS directly to the speedometer. My transmission has a magnetic VSS, and my wheels are a different diameter from stock. The 7730 ECM can convert the VSS signal into something the speedometer can understand. Plus it can calibrate the speedometer for wheel size changes. Why buy a speedometer converter, when I already have one?

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 01-18-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #503, 01-21-2018 06:58 PM
          The MegaSquirt is nice and cozy in its new home.



    I drove the car around a bit today, and it seems to work pretty well. It needs some fine tuning, but that can wait until after the engine mods are completed. Speaking of which, I should be dropping the cradle soon for the engine overhaul.


    La fiera MSG #504, 01-23-2018 03:38 PM
          Are you going to do a complete overhaul?

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #505, 01-23-2018 04:07 PM
          The engine has low miles and is in good condition, so it shouldn't need a full rebuild. But I'll be installing some go-fast goodies... that camshaft you gave to me with solid lifters, double-roller timing chain, ported heads, full-roller rockers, the Falconer intake, etc.

    Maybe the term "make-over" would be more appropriate than "overhaul"?


    La fiera MSG #506, 01-24-2018 08:55 AM
          What fixture did you build to take the cradle out? I always take the engine through the top is much easier for me.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #507, 01-26-2018 06:14 PM
          I built a gantry to lift the car, and a dolly to roll around the cradle assembly. Here's an older photo of the gantry:



    And here's a photo of the dolly:



    The sides on the dolly are angled slightly, to match the shape of the cradle. As you can see, the construction is really simple.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #508, 01-28-2018 05:05 PM
          And out she comes!



    Looks like I'll have a Trueleo intake for sale in the near future.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #509, 01-29-2018 07:31 PM
          Today I installed these parts into the engine:



    That's the "Le Mans" camshaft from Rei Moloon (aka La Fiera), with solid lifters and a Cloyes double-roller timing set. The Lifters (and camshaft lube) were from Schneider Racing. Each lifter has a tiny oiling hole in the face, to provide direct oiling to the cam/lifter interface. That's a high lift camshaft, and I'll be using pretty stiff valve springs. Plus, the engine oil is kinda thin (5w20). So I want to make sure there's oil going directly onto those cam lobes.

    Here we have the lifters taking a bath:



    Below, you see the crankshaft snout chillin' with an ice pack.



    I also baked the crankshaft gear in a toaster oven. With the gear nice and hot and the crank snout nice and cold, the gear slipped on pretty easily. It just took a couple taps with a mallet to get it fully seated.

    And last but not least, here's a shot of the parts installed:



    That's it for today. See ya next time.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #510, 01-29-2018 10:14 PM
          I forgot to mention something I noticed about the original timing chain. Keep in mind I bought the 3.4 V6 as a new crate engine. It came with a stock style timing chain. I've only put about 15k miles on the engine, but the timing chain was already starting to stretch. I was able to wiggle the old timing chain about 1/8" in either direction. And I could see the chain going slack on one side when I turned the engine by hand. So apparently, even a moderate performance camshaft with medium stiffness valve springs can stretch out a stock style timing chain pretty quickly. That was disappointing.

    Long story short, I'm glad I got the double-roller. Because this new valvetrain setup will wreck a stock style timing chain in no time.


    La fiera MSG #511, 01-30-2018 03:44 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I forgot to mention something I noticed about the original timing chain. Keep in mind I bought the 3.4 V6 as a new crate engine. It came with a stock style timing chain. I've only put about 15k miles on the engine, but the timing chain was already starting to stretch. I was able to wiggle the old timing chain about 1/8" in either direction. And I could see the chain going slack on one side when I turned the engine by hand. So apparently, even a moderate performance camshaft with medium stiffness valve springs can stretch out a stock style timing chain pretty quickly. That was disappointing.

    Long story short, I'm glad I got the double-roller. Because this new valvetrain setup will wreck a stock style timing chain in no time.


    Yep,the stock chain on my 2.8 did the same thing at 5k.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #512, 01-30-2018 08:40 PM
          Today I installed this into the engine:



    It's a windage tray from a 3.4 TDC, with matching main cap bolts. The Fiero main cap bolts don't have the little threaded studs on the ends.

    Some slight modification was required to install it. The oil dipstick interfered with the windage tray, so I cut a notch to make clearance. See photos below.





    And here's a shot of the windage tray installed:



    I rotated the engine by hand a couple times, to make sure there are no clearance issues. Everything checks out. So now, it's on to the next engine mod. See you next time.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #513, 01-31-2018 08:32 PM
          OFF WITH IT'S HEADS!!!



    I pulled the heads, so I can start the head work. The cylinder bores look good. The piston tops look good. I checked the piston-to-deck clearance, also. The pistons are supposed to be 0.010" below the deck, and I already ordered 0.030" thick head gaskets (to get that magical 0.040" quench height). Thankfully, the piston-to-deck clearance was right on. So my Cometic MLS head gaskets are good to go.

    Also, I noticed something odd in the lower intake.



    One of these ports is not like the others. One of these ports is doing its own thing...

    The intake port for cylinder #3 is noticeably dirtier than the rest. I looked into the upper intake, and the "skid mark" continues up into the plenum. I guess for some reason, the PCV gases must have decided to go down that particular intake port.

    That's it for today. See ya next time.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 01-31-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #514, 02-01-2018 05:50 PM
          I think I figured out what's going on with that one intake port. I filled the ports in the heads with water, to see if any of the intake valves are leaking. Two of them were leaking very slightly, and one was leaking noticeably. Guess which one!



    Yeah, that's the intake valve for cylinder #3. So apparently, some of the combustion gases were back-feeding up the intake. It wasn't enough to make the engine run bad, but enough to dirty up an intake port.

    After that, I measured the combustion chamber volume. I might decide to unshroud the valves. So I think it's a good idea to have before and after data. Plus this will help me decide how much to shave off the heads.



    That's it for now.


    La fiera MSG #515, 02-03-2018 09:37 AM
         

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #516, 02-03-2018 05:04 PM
          The heads are stripped.



    I also removed the rocker studs, because the new rockers use different studs.

    Now I can start doing some port work.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #517, 02-08-2018 01:47 PM
          The port work on the heads is finished. I dropped them off at the machine shop yesterday. They'll be getting a valve job and a shave.

    The holes in the mounting flanges on the Trueleo headers are sized to match the stock exhaust ports in the heads. But my exhaust ports aren't stock sized anymore. Since the primary pipes are larger diameter than those holes, that gives me room to enlarge the holes. Below you see a hole that's been enlarged compared to one that hasn't.



    I was able to gasket match all the holes, and still have a little room between the edge of the hole and the inside of the pipe.


    La fiera MSG #518, 02-08-2018 11:40 PM
          I recommend an OS handle on the passenger side after all these mods.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #519, 02-09-2018 09:50 PM
          The headers are cleaned up and repainted. I started wrapping them, and realized that I greatly underestimated the amount of wrap that was needed. Oops! Time to order some more.

    Also, here's a quick comparo shot of a new valve spring and an old one. The new spring and retainer are on the left.



    That's no trick of the camera; the new valve springs are taller. And the retainers are dished, to compensate for it. The new spring and retainer combo can handle about 0.550" valve lift.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #520, 02-10-2018 05:56 PM
          Here's another comparo shot: the Falconer lower intake (on the right) vs the Fiero lower intake. Notice any differences?



    Since I'm waiting on the machine shop and the big brown Fiero parts truck, I decided to tackle something else today. The firewall heat shield was starting to get a little worse for wear. And since the drivetrain is out, this is a good time to give it some TLC.

    BEFORE



    AFTER


    That's it for today. See you next time!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #521, 02-11-2018 08:17 PM
          Today I trimmed some ugly fat from the engine wiring harness.



    That's mostly A/C related wiring. But I also removed the MAP sensor wiring, because the MegaSquirt has a built-in MAP sensor. I also deleted the original O2 sensor wiring, since I have a stand-alone wideband setup.

    And speaking of ugly fat...



    The charcoal canister and all associated vacuum lines also went bye-bye. Now this is the part where I say "Don't try this at home". If the car was still a daily driver, I would have kept the charcoal canister. But it's basically just a toy now. Since my Fiero is an '87 model, it has the expansion tank in the passenger wheel well. So I shouldn't have to worry about fuel spilling out the vent line. I installed a short piece of vacuum hose, with a little filter on the end, where the charcoal canister line used to connect to the expansion tank. So the fuel tank can still vent. The little filter keeps crud (and bugs) out of the tank.

    And last but not least, I decided to move the fuel pump relay into the cabin. The main goal here is to get the relay out of the elements. There are a couple extra relays, for possible future upgrades.



    That's it for today. Hopefully some goodies will arrive tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!


    turbo86se (jstup301@gmail.com) MSG #522, 02-12-2018 08:10 AM
          Got a pic of that little filter for the tank vent? That's a great idea for eliminating the evap canister. On my to-do list getting this thing back together.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #523, 02-12-2018 08:23 AM
          I didn't think to snap a photo. But it's a small engine (i.e. lawnmower) fuel filter. I grabbed it off the shelf at a local auto parts store for less than 5 bucks. Just FYI, the vent line for the fuel expansion tank is 1/4" ID.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-12-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #524, 02-13-2018 10:17 PM
          The headers are ready to rock.



    I cleaned off the rust, painted them with VHT exhaust paint, and wrapped them with "lava rock" header wrap. I've never used it before, but it's supposed to be better than the standard fiberglass wrap. I guess time will tell. But it does look cool.

    Also, I was not very impressed with the locking ties that I bought. They're basically like zip-ties, but made of stainless steel. There's a special tool that you use to tighten them. I bought that tool, and made sure I used it properly. But still, I ended up ruining several of the locking ties. They're really flimsy. Next time around, I think I'll use hose clamps.


    turbo86se (jstup301@gmail.com) MSG #525, 02-16-2018 03:07 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I didn't think to snap a photo. But it's a small engine (i.e. lawnmower) fuel filter. I grabbed it off the shelf at a local auto parts store for less than 5 bucks. Just FYI, the vent line for the fuel expansion tank is 1/4" ID.



    Awesome thank you for the tip. Probably just pick one up from Rock Auto. BTW, would you have the part number for the Cloyes double roller timing set? Would be great insurance for this cammed 2.8 I'm going to use. TIA!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #526, 02-16-2018 03:17 PM
          Here's a link to the double-roller timing set at Summit Racing: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-9-3137

    La fiera MSG #527, 02-18-2018 10:30 AM
         

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #528, 02-18-2018 10:20 PM
          Unfortunately, the machine shop is taking their time with my cylinder heads. So I have to find things to do until they're ready.

    In the meantime, I installed a brake light switch on the clutch pedal, for use with the 2-step rev limiter.

    The Falconer intake and a homemade dual plenum setup are also going to be part of this build. Since I'm waiting on the heads, I might as well do some work on that. I had actually started on the plenums some time ago, but shelved the project (both literally and figuratively).

    Before shelving the project, I made all the velocity stacks and started on the plenums. I had to make some new velocity stacks, because the original ones are too big to use with the dual plenum setup. In the photo below, the new ones are in the foreground. The originals are in the background. The velocity stacks are made from aluminum tubing, with some creative use of a hydraulic press.



    The plenums will be made from half of a square tube combined with half of a round tube, to make a D shape. See photo below.



    Below is a mock-up of the new velocity stacks with one of the plenum pieces.



    That's it for now. Let's hope the heads are ready soon.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-18-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #529, 02-19-2018 08:54 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Unfortunately, the machine shop is taking their time with my cylinder heads. So I have to find things to do until they're ready.

    In the meantime, I installed a brake light switch on the clutch pedal, for use with the 2-step rev limiter.

    The Falconer intake and a homemade dual plenum setup are also going to be part of this build. Since I'm waiting on the heads, I might as well do some work on that. I had actually started on the plenums some time ago, but shelved the project (both literally and figuratively).

    Before shelving the project, I made all the velocity stacks and started on the plenums. I had to make some new velocity stacks, because the original ones are too big to use with the dual plenum setup. In the photo below, the new ones are in the foreground. The originals are in the background. The velocity stacks are made from aluminum tubing, with some creative use of a hydraulic press.



    The plenums will be made from half of a square tube combined with half of a round tube, to make a D shape. See photo below.



    Below is a mock-up of the new velocity stacks with one of the plenum pieces.



    That's it for now. Let's hope the heads are ready soon.



    Looks nice! Those home made Velocity stacks will move the powerband a couple of RPMs upwards and the low end will suffer a bit. What's your final gear ratio?



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #530, 02-19-2018 11:21 PM
          I designed the plenums and velocity stacks using Helmholtz Resonator equations. The entire "intake package" should improve volumetric efficiency in the 5000-6000 RPM range. That should help with the upper RPM breathing, which we all know is a weak point of the iron heads.

    I have a PDF file with some pretty useful information for designing intake manifolds and plenums (single plenums, dual plenums, and ITBs). There's a lot of math involved. But if you're interested, I can give you a copy.

    Also, I picked up the cylinder heads today. So I'll be assembling and (hopefully) installing those tomorrow.


    La fiera MSG #531, 02-20-2018 07:37 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I designed the plenums and velocity stacks using Helmholtz Resonator equations. The entire "intake package" should improve volumetric efficiency in the 5000-6000 RPM range. That should help with the upper RPM breathing, which we all know is a weak point of the iron heads.

    I have a PDF file with some pretty useful information for designing intake manifolds and plenums (single plenums, dual plenums, and ITBs). There's a lot of math involved. But if you're interested, I can give you a copy.

    Also, I picked up the cylinder heads today. So I'll be assembling and (hopefully) installing those tomorrow.


    Sure, I'll take a copy. I love math puzzles!



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #532, 02-20-2018 11:00 PM
          Today, I installed the heads. Here's one last look at the Cometic MLS head gaskets, before the heads go on:



    Also, the valves were back-cut and swirl polished. The machine shop also did a 3-angle valve job.



    I tried to get some photos of the port work, but they didn't turn out very well. Here's the only photo that turned out halfway decent:



    As you can see, I did some bowl blending. The exhaust valve bowls were pretty terrible... lots of sharp edges and some "humps" protruding into the bowls. I had to spend a lot of time on them. I also widened the floors on the exhaust ports. And I carried that all the way out to the end of the port. So now they're almost D shaped. On the intakes, I sharpened the vanes (to make them more aerodynamic) and slimmed down the huge divider that leads up to the valve guide boss. I also trimmed down the valve guide bosses, because they were sticking way out into the airflow path.

    And last but not least, there was casting flash inside the combustion chambers! I couldn't believe it. It was all around the valve seats. Those bits of casting flash are possible hot-spots which could cause detonation. Plus they partially obstruct airflow around the valves. So I got rid of it all. But I didn't feel like polishing the chambers. So I left it at that. It's still an improvement.

    Anyway, that's it for now. See ya next time!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-21-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #533, 02-22-2018 08:04 PM
          Those roller rockers look so nice. It's a shame they'll be hidden under a piece of sheet-metal.



    I checked the installed height on the valve springs, and it was about 1.750", which is perfect. With the valves fully open, the spring height is just over 1.200", which matches the cam specs. And the springs are nowhere near coil bind at full valve lift. BTW, those tick marks on the roller rockers are from when I set (and then double-checked) the valve lash. I marked each one with a Sharpie marker after adjusting it, to avoid confusion. Naturally, I had to turn the engine by hand several times during that process. If there were any interference issues, they would have been evident.

    A project like this involves dealing with lots of minor details. For example, the engine oil dipstick interfered with the new intake. So I had to "massage" the dipstick tube a bit.



    Also, the base of the thermostat housing ever-so-slightly interfered with one of the intake ports. Yes, the Falconer intake ports are that big. So I had to trim it just a tiny bit. I didn't get a photo of that.

    There are lots of other details to be dealt with as well, for example relocating the ignition brick (because it interferes with the new intake), relocating some of the engine sensors and their wiring, fabricating vacuum lines, fabricating a fueling system, fabricating a throttle cable bracket, etc etc. Long story short, I'm down to the last 20% of the project, which causes 80% of the headaches.

    Anyway, that's it for now. Later!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-22-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #534, 02-24-2018 09:24 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    Those roller rockers look so nice. It's a shame they'll be hidden under a piece of sheet-metal.



    I checked the installed height on the valve springs, and it was about 1.750", which is perfect. With the valves fully open, the spring height is just over 1.200", which matches the cam specs. And the springs are nowhere near coil bind at full valve lift. BTW, those tick marks on the roller rockers are from when I set (and then double-checked) the valve lash. I marked each one with a Sharpie marker after adjusting it, to avoid confusion. Naturally, I had to turn the engine by hand several times during that process. If there were any interference issues, they would have been evident.

    A project like this involves dealing with lots of minor details. For example, the engine oil dipstick interfered with the new intake. So I had to "massage" the dipstick tube a bit.



    I'm down to the last 20% of the project, which causes 80% of the headaches.

    Anyway, that's it for now. Later!



    I sympathize with you Blacktree!



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #535, 02-25-2018 12:43 PM
          Here's another comparo: the Falconer upper intake vs the Trueleo unit. Notice any differences?





    That's the difference between 1.5" and 2.0" diameter intake ports.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #536, 02-25-2018 04:06 PM
          It's starting to look like an engine.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #537, 03-01-2018 07:10 PM
          Lately I've been playing the "wait for shipping" game. But despite that, I was able to install the fuel pressure regulator and mock-up some of the fuel lines. I decided to run the fuel rails returnless, to reduce clutter. There's still a return line, but it only goes to the regulator.



    I also was able to tackle most of the vacuum routing. I was originally going to make a balance tube between the plenums and use that for vacuum signal. But the previous owner of this intake already made something to act as a vacuum manifold, with a vacuum line going to each intake runner. He just didn't do a very good job of it. So I tweaked it a bit.

    The twin throttle body setup came from a Chrysler V6, which has the idle control built into the manifold. So the throttle bodies have no provision for idle control. I decided to use a F.A.S.T. idle air adapter, which conveniently uses GM idle air valves. I mounted it on top of the vacuum manifold, to distribute idle air to each cylinder.



    The vacuum lines for the MAP sensor and fuel pressure regulator will NOT attach to that vacuum manifold. Instead, they'll attach to vacuum ports on the throttle bodies (there's one on each throttle body). I did this for two reasons. First of all, the throttle body vacuum ports are literally right behind the throttle plates. This means the MAP and FPR will have instant feedback. Second of all, since they're physically separated from the other vacuum stuff, their vacuum signal won't be affected by the idle valve or the brake booster.

    And just for giggles, here's a top-down look at the engine. That intake is Xbox huge, LOL!!!



    The plenums aren't finished yet. But technically, there's no reason why the engine has to stay on the floor. As the Roadkill guys would say, "it's time to throw this garbage back in the car".

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 03-01-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #538, 03-02-2018 03:03 PM
          It looks like a vintage flat 6 Porsche engine! Looking good!

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #539, 03-06-2018 06:53 PM
          The engine is in the car, but the install isn't finished. More waiting on shipping...

    Anyway, here's some filler material.

    Whenever you try something new, you often make mistakes. This was the case when I was making the velocity stacks for the new intake plenums. Below is a photo of two "failed" velocity stacks.



    The velocity stacks are made from aluminum tubing. And they need to be 2" inside diameter. But the only aluminum tubing I could find was 2" outside diameter. So I had to expand the 2" OD tubing. I annealed the tubing with a torch, to make it more malleable. Then I used an exhaust pipe expander to enlarge it. Apparently, I didn't anneal one of the pieces properly. So it split in half while I was enlarging it.

    Also, I don't have the equipment (or experience) to weld aluminum. So I'm brazing it instead. While I was brazing one of the velocity stacks into the plenum base, I got careless with the torch and burned a hole through it.

    Fun stuff!

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 03-06-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #540, 03-17-2018 03:17 PM
          For the last week or so, I've been playing "mail order tag"... buy some parts, go to install them, realize more parts are needed, etc. Pretty tedious stuff. Plus, I have to "play Tetris" a bit to make things fit. That said, I did get the fuel system sorted out. And I reinstalled the oil cooler, with new lines. I had to make new lines to clear the fuel pressure regulator. See photo below.



    After installing the engine in the car, I noticed another issue. The firewall side plenum won't fit in the car! There isn't enough space between the intake manifold and the firewall. Right about now, I'm wishing it was a tunnel ram intake. This intake eats up a lot of space in the engine bay.



    I think I have a solution for that, but it involves more Tetris. More on that later.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #541, 03-19-2018 07:36 PM
          OK, got the plenum to fit. To make room, I had to:

    1) Shorten the velocity stacks by one inch
    2) Relocate the engine oil dipstick (again)
    3) Perform some hackery on the PCV system
    4) Flip the throttle bodies upside-down



    I'm also going to have to shorten the linkage between the throttle bodies, since they're about 2" closer to each other now. And I'll need to extend the throttle cable, because the throttle bellcrank is now on the trunk side plenum. Yay...


    La fiera MSG #542, 03-20-2018 07:40 PM
         

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #543, 03-23-2018 08:20 PM
          OK, got the throttle linkage and cable handled. I "cheated" by running the throttle cable through the middle of the intake. That allows the cable to reach with no modifications. I added a tab to the linkage to attach the cable.



    This also leaves more room on the trunk wall to mount the ignition brick. WIN / WIN!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #544, 03-24-2018 08:13 PM
          The ignition system is installed. I turned the ICM mounting bracket around 180 degrees, made a few minor mods to it, and it dropped right in. The spark plug wires were able to reach all the plugs, too.





    I also refilled the coolant and primed the oil system. I just need to re-install the vacuum stuff and prime the fuel system, and the engine should be ready to run.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 03-24-2018).]

    Tony Kania MSG #545, 03-25-2018 11:52 AM
          Interested to see this run.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #546, 03-25-2018 06:18 PM
          I thought I was going to run the engine today... but the engine had other ideas.

    The fuel rails are not sealing to the injectors. I have several sets of injectors, so I had plenty of O-rings to try out (some of which are new). It made no difference. So I removed the rails, measured the injector holes, and compared them to a Fiero fuel rail. The holes in the Falconer fuel rails are about 0.015 - 0.020" oversize. I'll have to look for some slightly bigger O-rings.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #547, 04-01-2018 02:29 PM
          Good news: the bigger o-rings worked. I also had to replace the radiator fan relay, chase down a couple leaks, and do a lot of tuning. Just getting it to start and idle without stalling took several days. The engine basically wanted more of everything... more spark timing, more fuel, more air. I had to double the idle air values, just to keep it from dying immediately on start-up. And the VE table had to be increased across the board.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 04-29-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #548, 04-01-2018 04:32 PM
          Awesome Mike!! You'll have to find a "long" piece of highway and let it rip and you'll find out what that cam can do
    at the top end!
    Post some video if it revving! I'd like to hear it, wait! I'll be going to FL in a couple of weeks to pick up my trans. I can hear it inperson!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #549, 04-01-2018 07:01 PM
          Here's a quick-n-dirty video from my "GoPro wannabe" camera. The audio isn't the greatest. But at least you can see/hear it running.



    Notice how choppy the idle is. IMO, it sounds pretty wicked. It sounded authoritative before, but this is a whole new level. I can't wait to drive it.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 04-29-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #550, 04-01-2018 08:20 PM
          It sounds wicked indeed!! Once you drive it you may find it a bit sluggish at low to mid because of the LSA and Duration combination of the cam.
    The way to cure that is to fine tune the Acc. Enrichment and timing. You can have more timing advanced at low to mid and retard and lean at top end.
    That is how I'm able to get the best response and top end power safe. It will take some trial and error but you'll get it right.

    I'm going to an Instructor Clinic in West Virginia this upcoming weekend and the following weekend I will be going to Orlando to pick up the trans.
    Let's make plans to meet, I'd like to see and hear that beast and if I can help you in anything I will. I think you have everything under control.!

    PS. Make sure you set the REV Limiter!

    [This message has been edited by La fiera (edited 04-01-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #551, 04-04-2018 08:52 PM
          There were some 'minor interference issues' with the decklid. So for the time being, I cut a hole in it. I'll probably glass in a scoop, or make the decklid "blister" a little higher, when I get around to Rear Clamshell 2.0.





    Also, I'm still waiting for the intake piping to arrive. Then I need to figure out what to use as an air filter. But it's nice to have the car back on the ground, with all 4 wheels on it.


    Tony Kania MSG #552, 04-05-2018 10:28 AM
          I want to drive your Fiero one day. You can drive mine.

    Enjoy...


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #553, 04-07-2018 07:29 PM
          Today the Freak got a much needed bath. I also fiddled with the startup and idle settings some more. Tuning this new setup is turning out to be a lot of work! But I finally got it to a point where it will start and idle on its own (i.e. without touching the gas pedal).

    I swear, I heard the engine saying "Feed me, Blacktree!"

    Tomorrow, I want to drive it around a bit, so the MegaSquirt can do its auto-tune thing. I might try to get some video footage, but no promises.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #554, 04-07-2018 10:13 PM
          Here's a trip down memory lane: a thread about the Falconer intake that Kris Munson (RIP) installed in his Fiero.

    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...030531-2-029631.html

    That's my intake. I bought it from Mrs. Munson after Kris passed away.


    La fiera MSG #555, 04-08-2018 10:35 AM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    I swear, I heard the engine saying "Feed me, Blacktree!"
    .




    Don't worry about the footage now, get the tuning sorted out and then get us a nice footage of it sreamming and spitting fire in decel! (you can make the car do that with the MS)

    https://youtu.be/5KDPgKnsHLY

    This guy explains very detailed and easy how to properly use the VE Analizer feature on MS. He has more "How to" on MS.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #556, 04-08-2018 05:11 PM
          I did some driving around today with the auto-tune. The VE table was a bit off. But that's to be expected, because it was guesstimated. It still needs more "auto-tune time", to correct the rest of the VE table.

    Aside from that, there was some good and some bad stuff that happened. First of all, it looks like the distributer o-ring went bad. I have a spare, and will install it when I get a chance. The good thing is that it seems the "hot restart" issue, which has plagued this engine for a few years now, has gone away. I tracked it down to a bad battery cable connection. The cable itself was loose inside the terminal connector. I guess the soft metal loosened up over time. So I replaced it with a solid brass terminal. Now she fires up every time.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #557, 04-12-2018 09:06 PM
          The leaky o-ring has been fixed. But I found another issue. I was tweaking the engine/tranny mounts to try to get some more firewall clearance, and one of the tranny mount bolts pulled the threads out of the bolt hole. The bolt in question goes into the transaxle casing. So I'll drill and tap it for the next size up.

    La fiera MSG #558, 04-13-2018 08:33 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by Blacktree:

    The leaky o-ring has been fixed. But I found another issue. I was tweaking the engine/tranny mounts to try to get some more firewall clearance, and one of the tranny mount bolts pulled the threads out of the bolt hole. The bolt in question goes into the transaxle casing. So I'll drill and tap it for the next size up.


    Teething problems, its normal in a new build. Keep going going!



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #559, 04-14-2018 08:08 PM
          Nothing really exciting happening right now. Although I did tackle that stripped bolt hole. Because of the location, it was kind of a PITA.



    But I made it work.



    I'm still waiting on the intake piping; should be here on Tuesday. Then I can fit that up and start making an air filter box.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #560, 04-24-2018 07:53 PM
          Quick update: The engine now has induction pipes. These are an important part of the Helmholtz Resonator design. Without the air column in the ram pipes, the resonator won't work as well. They're made from aluminum heater hose, and two of the old velocity stacks.



    I'm probably going to make an air filter box out of fiberglass. There's plenty of room in that area for it. It can pull in fresh air from the fender area.


    La fiera MSG #561, 04-25-2018 07:47 PM
          That looks great! You'll enjoy the engine sound at hi rpm with those ram pipes!

    La fiera MSG #562, 04-27-2018 08:23 PM
         

    Hey look what I found in my memorabilia! I think I can recognize that intake!


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #563, 04-28-2018 07:23 PM
          Here's another quick-n-dirty video. This one is cold start-up. Getting to the point where I could just turn the key and it goes *vroom* took some effort. But that's one of my pet peeves. I don't like to fiddle with the gas pedal or do any special procedure to start it up.



    I think the cold idle needs just a little more tweaking, and then I can check that box.


    La fiera MSG #564, 04-28-2018 09:05 PM
          Sounds pretty good! What RPM does it idle? I don't have an IAC and mine starts cold a about 950RPM and when fully warm at about 1000-1100RPM. Since most of the time it'll be on the track I really don't need a good idle speed.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #565, 04-28-2018 10:05 PM
          On cold startup, it sputters a bit then idles around 1100-1200 RPM. After it warms up, the idle is around 900-1000 RPM. Cars typically idle faster when cold, to help the engine warm up. So I tuned the idle to do that.

    I'm using the open-loop idle mode, because the closed-loop idle doesn't work very well with the new setup. Whenever I enable closed-loop idle, the engine sputters and dies. That sucks, because the closed-loop idle allows me to tell it what RPM I want, and the ECM makes the necessary adjustments. Open-loop idle can't do that. So the RPM fluctuates a bit. You can hear that in the video.

    The car is perfectly driveable. But the fluctuating idle annoys me. I guess you can't have everything, right?

    PS -- I performed a compression check the other day, and all cylinders came in between 145-150 PSI. That roughly equates to 10:1 compression ratio, which was my goal for the build. I'm pretty happy with that.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 04-28-2018).]

    La fiera MSG #566, 04-28-2018 11:26 PM
          Great! One thing I learned was that idle is very responsive to timing. Look where the engine is at idle and make sure the timing is the same. Different timing equals hunting idle. With that bigger cam and more air volume at lower velocities you need higher timing at low to mid. At high rpm retard some and you'll have the best results.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #567, 04-29-2018 04:21 PM
          Good news! I got closed-loop idle working. Now the ECM will automatically adjust to maintain a certain RPM.



    I also adjusted the spark timing table, as Rei suggested. That helped, as well.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 04-29-2018).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #568, 05-03-2018 08:34 PM
          The engine developed a slight miss recently. I noticed one of the coil packs had a crack in the housing. Plus the other two were pretty old. So I replaced all 3 with Delphi units. The two old ones can be used as spares.

    Also, the big brown Fiero parts truck stopped by today:



    Finally, the Freak is getting a proper racing harness. Yeah, I know... took long enough.


    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #569, 05-07-2018 08:15 PM
          The harness is installed.



    The lap belt uses the stock mounting points. The bolt for the floor belt goes through the driver side frame rail. And the shoulder belts attach to the firewall, with load spreading plates. The shoulder belts can also be wrapped around a roll bar, if I install one in the future.

    I took the photo below, just for kicks. But you can see that I lined up the mounting points with the holes in the seat.



    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #570, 05-25-2018 12:52 PM
          There's nothing exciting to report right now. I've been driving it around a bit, letting the autotune do its thing. Some of the results are surprising. For example, the VE table is in the triple-digits between 2000 and 5000 RPM (at WOT). I thought naturally aspirated engines didn't go above 100% VE? I should probably take a log of the injector duty cycle at WOT, to see if they're being overworked.

    Anyway, I also had to renew the tags on my cars. The Fiero was eligible for an antique tag. So I got one.



    La fiera MSG #571, 05-27-2018 10:59 PM
          Mine is in the triple digits from 2600 to 7300rpm. You'll have to fine tune it at a dyno to get the most out of it. The dyno must simulates road loads like a Mustang dyno.

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #572, 04-22-2019 12:45 PM
          This thread hasn't been updated for awhile, because I lost interest in the project. As a matter of fact, I'll be parting out the Freak very soon. Keep an eye on the Mall section for some deals on Fiero parts.

    exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #573, 04-23-2019 05:05 PM
          No way ! Say it isn’t so !! 😮

    [This message has been edited by exoticse (edited 04-23-2019).]

    La fiera MSG #574, 05-01-2019 09:51 PM
          PM sent

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #575, 05-04-2019 10:00 AM
          This thread is now going to switch from building to dismantling. If that bothers you, I suggest using the Back button on your browser. Also, sending its parts to good homes is a much better outcome than leaving it to rot in a salvage yard.

    Some prominent members of the Fiero community have expressed interest in parts of this car. So the Freak will live on, in other people's projects. For example, the Hella headlights went to Fieroguru. Some of the bodywork and suspension are going to La Fiera. And a racing team has expressed interest in parts of the car. It'll be interesting to see what these guys do with those parts.

    I'm already looking forward to the next project car, which is also going to be pretty cool, and a little crazy.

    [This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-05-2019).]

    Blacktree (m.blacktree@gmail.com) MSG #576, 05-17-2019 12:35 PM
          As mentioned above, Fieroguru bought the Hella headlights.



    Also, La Fiera bought the Koni dampers, and coilover hardware.

    The 7730 ECM and tuning hardware are sold. The shifter and cables went to a good home.

    I also removed some things, to keep for the next project car. I'll be keeping the racing seats and harnesses, the MegaSquirt computer, and the Odyssey battery. I also put the tires on my daily driver. That was a nice upgrade!

    There are still lots of good parts on this car, and I don't want to see anything go to waste. I should be posting some more stuff in The Mall soon.


    DaveC MSG #577, 06-09-2019 06:46 PM
          I haven't been here for quite a while, seeing as how I also parted out my Fiero, but I did want to drop by and say "HI" to you Blacktree.
    Are you giving up on Fieros, or just culling the herd??
    You've been a valuable member for many years, and I appreciate your input here.
    I recently got back into Fieros when I was hired to do a custom '88 GT engine build with the Camaro PR 3.4 V6, turbo, and Holley Super Sniper on an Edelbrock intake. WOW! I never knew it could be so good with that top end!
    Any way, just wondering if you'll still be around since there aren't many build threads on here any more. It's quite shocking really. I come from 23 years of ownership, and it's like the zeal for Fiero is fading away. Kind of depressing in a way.
    Hope all is going well with you.
    Best,
    Dave


    La fiera MSG #578, 06-11-2019 09:51 PM
         
     
    quote
    Originally posted by DaveC:
    and it's like the zeal for Fiero is fading away. Kind of depressing in a way.


    Maybe you got depressed and need some medicine. But for a lot of real Fiero enthusiasts including me, this is real. Fiero for ever!!
    Knowing Mike, he'll be back regardless of what project he has now. Middle age crisis thing! Lol!