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Help budgeting a 2.8/3.4 rebuild by nfswift
Started on: 10-02-2007 06:03 PM
Replies: 10
Last post by: heybjorn on 10-07-2007 03:16 PM
nfswift
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Report this Post10-02-2007 06:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nfswiftClick Here to Email nfswiftSend a Private Message to nfswiftDirect Link to This Post
So I'm getting sick and tired of hearing the wrong things from the wrong shops.

I took my car in to have excessive heating problems diagnosed and got a quote for 1,800 dollars because of "bad head gaskets"
Well coulda fooled me, I just put 1,000KMs on the car with no problems aside from running hot after highway time (4 speeds ride high at about 3000RPM at 100-110KMPH). No noticeable smoke from the exhaust, possibly because I'm running straight water due to a small leak, but there should still be steam, there is no water fouling my oil, and there was no noticeable power/compression loss and I'm still getting 300km approx per tank of gas out of an 86 (small tanks?).

So seriously, 1,800 budgeted right could nearly get me a 3800SC swap!!

Is the shop just bull&#@% me or what because I was still charged 120 dollars for labor to tell me something very inconsistent! What should I be looking at for a rebuild, should I just chuck the 2.8 and pick up a 3.4 core?

I am really doing this on a tight budget, so doing it cheaply is key, reliability hopefully will be greatly improved over the stock 2.8, which has been not so stellar.

Any suggestions/input?
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timgray
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Report this Post10-02-2007 06:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for timgrayClick Here to visit timgray's HomePageClick Here to Email timgraySend a Private Message to timgrayDirect Link to This Post
go elsewhere, the shop is more than likely trying to give you a "go away" price and problem.
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project34
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Report this Post10-02-2007 07:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for project34Send a Private Message to project34Direct Link to This Post
nfswift, I think timgray brings up a good point:

 
quote
Originally posted by timgray:
go elsewhere, the shop is more than likely trying to give you a "go away" price and problem.

However, if a place you can trust also leads you to conclude that your 2.8L needs a rebuild, then yes, I suggest doing what you've asked about:

 
quote
Originally posted by nfswift:
...should I just chuck the 2.8 and pick up a 3.4 core?


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uhlanstan
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Report this Post10-05-2007 02:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for uhlanstanClick Here to Email uhlanstanSend a Private Message to uhlanstanDirect Link to This Post
Small leak? where is leak,?you need to stop leak so you can see if water level goes down,location of leak is critical to your post,is it at head?? ask 4 of your friends where they have thier car serviced if they know honest garage ,,I do most of my own work but sometimes I take to garage I have used for 10 years and I was mechanic..

[This message has been edited by uhlanstan (edited 10-05-2007).]

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post10-05-2007 09:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonDirect Link to This Post
If you can't maintain proper coolant system pressure the engine will likely overheat. The purpose of the pressure is to keep the water from boiling. You shouldn't be able to drive a car with a blown head gasket very far. Have you tried driving it without the thermostat and with the cooling fan running continuously? Those to conditions will not prevent an engine with a blown head gasket from over heating so if you do it and the problem goes away the gaskets are fine and you may have a radiator or possible water pump problem. Have you confirmed that your coolant fan is working.

If the head gaskets prove to be fine I would go back and get my cash from the shop that mis diagnosed it, and report them to the department of agriculture if they don't cooperate in some way. It doesn't take $120 worth of labor to diagnose a blown head gasket on a Fiero that I know of.
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GT-maniac
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Report this Post10-06-2007 02:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GT-maniacSend a Private Message to GT-maniacDirect Link to This Post
Well 1800 does seem to be a bit steep. I had the bottom end of my 2.8 rebuilt by a shop for about $ 600 a few years ago. I had them inspect the heads too which turned out to be fine and didn't need any work. Still with all the other things I did like a new Alt new starter, cleaned the injectors etc. the bill was probably around $ 1000 when it was done. Rebuilding a 3.4 would be the way to go for more power, keeping the stock look etc. But would likely cost slightly more, you'd have to buy the block at least anyway.
I rebuilt my 2.8 because I had a couple lying around and it was the cheapest way to get a good running motor. If you don't want to do that I'd start looking for a used 2.8. There's usually some around as everyone is busy pulling out there 2.8's to stick V8's in. Some are perfectly fine running motors. That's how I got the motor for my 85 GT. The guy pulled out the 2.8 with only 135K on it to put in a DOHC motor. That was 3 years ago and it's been the most reliable motor so far, never have any trouble with it.

------------------


85 WS6 GT partly modified
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nfswift
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Report this Post10-06-2007 05:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nfswiftClick Here to Email nfswiftSend a Private Message to nfswiftDirect Link to This Post
In response to the mentioned questions.

The leak is very small from what I can see, it is down around the bottom of the block from one of the return pipes, I'm not sure which as I can't see or reach it, it is on the right hand side of the car though. My coolant level remains somewhat constant, and loss is very gradual and slow so far.

I have not tried running with no stat or leaving the fan ON, I may try this and see how my temp gauge reads, the gauge is very inaccurate but I have established "normal" and "NOT GOOD" since I started driving the car.

I have a shop I can trust lined up and hopefully he can give me a better idea of what I'm dealing with. If he does confirm a different issue with my car I will definitely consider "asking" for reimbursment from the other shop. Giving someone the run-around is VERY bad business...

Like I said, head gasket seems SOO unlikely to me, seeing as I have put just shy of 1000KM on the car and only had heating issues come up now. I am considering rad clogging as well as the fan failing now, but am not sure, hopefully my shop and tell me and that will be the end of it.

The shop charged a total of $101 for 1.25 hours labor plus a hazardous mats charge (coolant?), plus taxes, plus 10 dollars for shop supplies.

Then quoted me all the supplies and labor and finally taxes for a total of $1,804 for the rebuild... I found it ironic that they quoted me 256 dollars for a "head set" as well as $135 for "misc. gaskets and seal" seeing as I went to NAPA, had them quote me for a head gasket set+bolts for a 60*V6 and was told it was 156 dollars total...

I'm starting to like this shop less and less.
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88 Silver Formula
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Report this Post10-06-2007 06:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88 Silver FormulaClick Here to Email 88 Silver FormulaSend a Private Message to 88 Silver FormulaDirect Link to This Post
well i had a shop put together my swap, all they did was took a suplied long block oil pan to heads and everything inbetween, they removed old engine, put that long block in and put all of the accerssries on it + the intakes from the old engine, they charged me $1,796 total. i suplied the long block+heads already installed
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project34
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Report this Post10-06-2007 06:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for project34Send a Private Message to project34Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by nfswift:

I have a shop I can trust lined up....

Regardless of the validity [or not] of the rates the earlier shop quoted you, I'd go with the one you trust, and leave it at that.

I think timgray may have hit it on the head previously in this thread, that the earlier shop gave you a high, "Go away!" cost estimate.

I'm reminded of the adage, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!"
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82-T/A [At Work]
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Report this Post10-06-2007 11:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:

If you can't maintain proper coolant system pressure the engine will likely overheat. The purpose of the pressure is to keep the water from boiling. You shouldn't be able to drive a car with a blown head gasket very far.


Ever seen someone try? It's pretty funny... a HUUUGE steam cloud when they take off from every intersection, and a continuous stream of steam from their exhaust. Almost makes you think they're driving a Stanley Steamer.

It's kind of mean, but whenever I see a car like that (just barely making it), I almost want to follow it to watch the big finale when the motor finally gives out. We see that a lot here in South Florida. There's no vehicle inspections, so you can pretty much register and drive whatever you want. If you find a car in the woods and you can get it moving under it's own power... that's good enough for the state.

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Todd,
2006 Pontiac Solstice
2004 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible (Wife's Car)
2002 Ford Crown Victoria LX
1987 Pontiac Fiero SE / V6 (3.2) 5-Speed
1984 Porsche 944 5-Speed
1981 Pontiac TransAm (Olds 455BB)
1973 Volkswagen Type-2 Transporter

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heybjorn
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Report this Post10-07-2007 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for heybjornClick Here to Email heybjornSend a Private Message to heybjornDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 82-T/A [At Work]:


We see that a lot here in South Florida. There's no vehicle inspections, so you can pretty much register and drive whatever you want. If you find a car in the woods and you can get it moving under it's own power... that's good enough for the state.




Not much longer. Our CINO ( conservative in name only ) governor has issued an executive order to require FL to use CA's emission standards. If EPA agrees, we will eventually have testing. That will certainly lead to whole vehicle inspections.

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