Pennock's Fiero Forum
  Technical Discussion & Questions - Archive
  Can a pre 88 handle as well as a 88

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


Can a pre 88 handle as well as a 88 by engine man
Started on: 04-20-2008 05:14 PM
Replies: 26
Last post by: fiero-iwan on 04-23-2008 04:07 PM
engine man
Member
Posts: 5215
From: Lebanon NH
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for engine manClick Here to Email engine manSend a Private Message to engine manDirect Link to This Post
Ok do any of you know if by puting in the aluminum cradel bushings and fixing the rear steer will it handle as good as a 88 or can it be made to handle better
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
pswayne
Member
Posts: 1282
From: Lawrenceville, GA USA
Registered: Sep 2006


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 06:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pswayneClick Here to Email pswayneSend a Private Message to pswayneDirect Link to This Post
It should be close in some respects, but the steering won't feel as good. They changed that end on the 88's, too.
IP: Logged
linuxpowered88
Member
Posts: 1220
From: Johnson City , TN , USA
Registered: Sep 2007


Feedback score:    (7)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 06:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for linuxpowered88Click Here to Email linuxpowered88Send a Private Message to linuxpowered88Direct Link to This Post
I think the 84-87 can be upgraded to handle as well or better than a STOCK 88 but with the same money put into an 88 it will again out handle the pre 88's. Its all about where you start. it isn't going to be Huge either way the bump steer is the 84-87 biggest issue.
IP: Logged
Raydar
Member
Posts: 38443
From: Carrollton GA. Out in the... country.
Registered: Oct 1999


Feedback score:    (11)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 451
Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 07:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
One of the local (to the forum) autocrossers swears that the best handling Fiero is an earlier car with an 88 rear cradle/suspension bolted in.

------------------
Raydar
88 4.9 Formula IMSA Fasback..........................88 3.4 coupe -soon to be something other than red

Read Nealz Nuze! Praise the Lowered!

IP: Logged
engine man
Member
Posts: 5215
From: Lebanon NH
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 10:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for engine manClick Here to Email engine manSend a Private Message to engine manDirect Link to This Post
So the 88 rear in the pre 88 is the best way to go
IP: Logged
uhlanstan
Member
Posts: 6446
From: orlando florida
Registered: Apr 2007


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 427
User Banned

Report this Post04-20-2008 10:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for uhlanstanClick Here to Email uhlanstanSend a Private Message to uhlanstanDirect Link to This Post
NO NO the early fiero is in no way close to the 88..I,m sure there are autocrossers who use the earlier car with modifications to equal the 88.. this always adds to my red bar
The 88 is a quantum leap forward... the original fiero was build from the G M parts bin for price a cute car for secretaries a ladies car women loved the fiero it was sold to the G M execs as a ladies car it is the only way it could come to market .. the magazine writers slamed the handling over and over,, year after year this was the only reason the 88 was improved.. the designers and engineers may tell you different now ..when I got my first fiero I read every thing I could on the fiero.I still have some of the original articles I cut out from the original test..
page 104 motor trend jan 1986..a long term test of the improved GT ,, on the improved fiero suspension"it feels disconnected" it got worse from here
My purpose is not to be decisive or to earn the scorn of other fiero lovers it is just the facts.. never over look the faults of the fiero..even to the detractors who scorn our cars ..Let those on the forum know the truth and make thier own decisions,they will make better decisions and our cars will improve
Want to race where handling is an issue start with an 88.you handycapp your selve with an earlier model
In 1984 road and track said nice things about Fiero handling they wanted G M,, (the purpose was) to improve it tho(they knew G M)
IP: Logged
jconnor34
Member
Posts: 494
From: morton, il 61550
Registered: Oct 2005


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-20-2008 11:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jconnor34Click Here to Email jconnor34Send a Private Message to jconnor34Direct Link to This Post
85 2.8 (modified) SE, poly throughout, heavy duty shocks & struts, rear swaybar, ultra high performance tires: handles as well as an 88 for aggresive driving in all road configurations. Competitive racing: wholly different issue with wholly different requirements. All said: depends on what you want your car to do.
IP: Logged
ray b
Member
Posts: 10002
From: miami
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 304
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 03:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bDirect Link to This Post
88's doNOT beat you to death
esp if you tighten up the car earlyer with poly and good shocks
and an anti roll bar on the rear [ that raises the spring rates ]
the will feel tight but you will also feel the bumps

the 88 will ride so much smoother while handleing better
and the bump steer is almost gone too

so yes you can make the early car handle BUT the ride quality will be a bwitch
sorry but in the real world you can NOT make a 84-87 like an 88

------------------
Question wonder and be wierd
are you kind?

IP: Logged
CoryFiero
Member
Posts: 4341
From: Charleston, SC
Registered: Oct 2001


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 109
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 03:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CoryFieroSend a Private Message to CoryFieroDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by engine man:

So the 88 rear in the pre 88 is the best way to go


No, that's just something people without 88's say.

Best way to go would be the 88 rear and the 88 front.
IP: Logged
RideZiLightning
Member
Posts: 1540
From: Tacoma, WA
Registered: Jul 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 153
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 04:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RideZiLightningSend a Private Message to RideZiLightningDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by CoryFiero:


No, that's just something people without 88's say.

Best way to go would be the 88 rear and the 88 front.


And you've driven the combo?

I own (2) 86s paired with 88 rear and the original front, and they do handle better than both my Formulas and a friends 88GT.

All of those have new bushings, motor mounts & shock/struts
IP: Logged
tjm4fun
Member
Posts: 3781
From: Long Island, NY USA
Registered: Feb 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 141
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 06:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tjm4funClick Here to Email tjm4funSend a Private Message to tjm4funDirect Link to This Post
I had an 86 se v6, and now an 88 gt. There is almost no comparison in the handling. not that the pre88's are bad, but they have some issues and IMHO in stock form are not close to an 88. even with the worn out bushings, shocks and the POS eagle gt's that came on my 88 when I got it with 148k miles, it was better than the 86 with only 30k miles and new t/a rubber.
If I had to guess tho, the cradle swap would be the biggest factor if the car is driven on regular roads. the decrease in the bumpsteer makes the ride just feel solid. the geometry of the pre88 rear (and front) is differrent, and at best you wll be much improved, but I doubt that it will ever make it to the stock level without more work and expense than a cradle swap.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Oreif
Member
Posts: 16460
From: Schaumburg, IL
Registered: Jan 2000


Feedback score:    (19)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 442
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 07:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for OreifClick Here to visit Oreif's HomePageClick Here to Email OreifSend a Private Message to OreifDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by CoryFiero:


No, that's just something people without 88's say.

Best way to go would be the 88 rear and the 88 front.


No it is not "what people without an 88 say.
If you go thru the archives George Ryan had an 88 and swapped the front of an earlier fiero onto it and it handled way better than a stock 88. He autocrossed the car.
Here is a thread on how to do it by David Gamache:
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...041015-2-047764.html

As for upgrading an earlier suspension to handle as well or better than a stock 88 is not that hard to do. It is also less expensive to upgrade the earlier one due to price of parts and ease of locating them. My car handles better than a stock 88 in terms of cornering. The only draw back (to some) is that the ride is stiffer. Then again some prefer the stiffer setup when used for performance driving.

Here are some of my observations:
The 88's steer very well (which could also be why the EPS was not "pushed" to be used.) The earlier suspension can have the steering effort reduced just by using poly bushings on the control arms. The poly takes some of the flex out of the front suspension and gives it a much better feel and eases effort. The only downside is the car does ride a little stiffer, But many prefer the stiffer ride especially if they are modifying the suspension for performance use. (AutoX, road racing, etc.)

The bump steer on the earlier suspension can be corrected with a kit and once done, It will feel very close to the 88's.

The earlier suspension's two main problems were the bump steer and a lot of flex. Poly bushings and aluminum cradle bushings will eliminate a lot of the flex. The Held kit will remove the bumpsteer.


 
quote
Originally posted by uhlanstan:


The 88 is a quantum leap forward... the original fiero was build from the G M parts bin for price a cute car for secretaries a ladies car women loved the fiero it was sold to the G M execs as a ladies car it is the only way it could come to market


That is inaccurate. Pontiac used the "off-the-shelf" parts because GM corp wanted it to be an "economy" car and it was the only way Pontiac could get it past the "bean counters".
The 88's were not a "quantum leap" all they did was remove the three things that were considered the low points of the earlier suspensions: Bump steer, flex, and braking.

 
quote
Originally posted by uhlanstan:
. the magazine writers slamed the handling over and over,, year after year this was the only reason the 88 was improved.. the designers and engineers may tell you different now ..when I got my first fiero I read every thing I could on the fiero.I still have some of the original articles I cut out from the original test..
page 104 motor trend jan 1986..a long term test of the improved GT ,, on the improved fiero suspension"it feels disconnected" it got worse from here
Want to race where handling is an issue start with an 88.you handycapp your selve with an earlier model
In 1984 road and track said nice things about Fiero handling they wanted G M,, (the purpose was) to improve it tho(they knew G M)


Road and Track said nice things about handling because in 1983 there wasn't much to compare it to except the RX7. (Which was the main competition in the IMSA races) By mid 84 and up to 1987, The suspension complaints were because the smaller, lighter MR2's were used to compare the Fiero's to. The RX7 which was actually closer to the Fiero in terms of size and weight still handled worse than the Fiero. The MR2 was actually in a different class than the Fiero and RX7 for IMSA racing.

Motor Trend is more import bias'd and always compared the Fiero to the MR2. Sorry but comparing a heavier and wider car to a smaller and lighter car, The smaller and lighter car is going to always feel more agile and a little quicker. The only similarities between the MR2 and the Fiero was the fact that both were mid-engined and had 2 seats. Everything else between the two car is bias'd towards the MR2. Even the 88's with the re-designed suspension and better braking was always "second" to the MR2. Yes many magazine stated that the 88's were much improved, But they still rated them second behind the smaller MR2.

BTW ~ The 88 suspension was ready to use back in early 1986. Pontiac orginally wanted to use it on the new "Fastback GT's" but GM corp did not approve it until spring of 1987 so it ended up on the 88 model year.

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

Happiness isn't around the corner...
Happiness IS the corner.

ZZ4 Powered !!

IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14104
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 188
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 11:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadDirect Link to This Post
I have a modified 86 and 2 88's.

The modded 86 outhandles the 88's and rides stiffer. Bumpsteer is NOT an issue.

I will be able to comment with more info when I finish modding the 88 Formula.

I would comment that drop throttle oversteer is a bigger issue than bumpsteer - and the 88's are worse than the modded 86.

I would also add that DTO is a function of the midmotor design.

(Mods - lowering springs, poly, KYB, ADDCO front and rear bars, all new ball joints, links, rods, ends, etc)
IP: Logged
Old Lar
Member
Posts: 13754
From: Palm Bay, Florida
Registered: Nov 1999


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 214
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 01:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarDirect Link to This Post
I have an 87 GT and an 88 GT. What I have discovered that over the road driving, I'm not as beat driving the 88 during long road trips. I routinely will drive 9-11 hours during a stretch and after 9-11 hours in the 87, I'm just more tired. This is not spirited driving, but just cruising down the road from point A to point B, usually on cruise control at the speed limit. The 87 is a five speed, while the 88 has a 4t40 auto, if that makes any difference. The turning radius in the 88 is shorter than in the 87. Both cars have had poly mounts, but they still have the stock suspension configuration.
IP: Logged
AutoTech
Member
Posts: 2385
From: St. Charles, Illinois
Registered: Aug 2004


Feedback score:    (7)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 109
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 02:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AutoTechClick Here to Email AutoTechSend a Private Message to AutoTechDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

I would comment that drop throttle oversteer is a bigger issue than bumpsteer


x2

That can be scary
IP: Logged
Steven Snyder
Member
Posts: 3311
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2004


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 106
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 03:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Steven SnyderClick Here to visit Steven Snyder's HomePageClick Here to Email Steven SnyderSend a Private Message to Steven SnyderDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Oreif:
Here are some of my observations:
The 88's steer very well (which could also be why the EPS was not "pushed" to be used.) The earlier suspension can have the steering effort reduced just by using poly bushings on the control arms. The poly takes some of the flex out of the front suspension and gives it a much better feel and eases effort. The only downside is the car does ride a little stiffer, But many prefer the stiffer ride especially if they are modifying the suspension for performance use. (AutoX, road racing, etc.)


The 88's have a small scrub radius. That's why the steering feels better on them. Poly bushings in an earlier suspension cannot possibly change the steering effort. They might make it feel better (less play in the suspension) but they don't change anything that affects effort. Besides a bit of movement due to caster pushing a wheel up (which would be harder because there is no rubber bushing to compress), there is no control arm motion when you steer.


Comparing a stiff 84-87 suspension to a soft 88 suspension is comparing apples to oranges. If you reduce wheel motion enough, any suspension geometry will work quite well, because the geometry doesnt matter much if the wheel isn't moving.
IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14104
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 188
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 04:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadDirect Link to This Post
/\ /\ /\ /\ /\

Exactly - long suspension travel = camber change = bumpsteer

Or, another way - body lean = camber change = bumpsteer

Stiffen it up, take the roll out of it - bumpsteer is no issue.

My 88's have worse drop throttle oversteer than my 86. Again - due to less weight transfer due to stiffer springs and higher daqmping rate on the shocks (the rear sway bar mounting ahead of the rear arms on the 86 also plays into that).
IP: Logged
jscott1
Member
Posts: 21674
From: Houston, TX , USA
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score:    (15)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 415
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 07:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:


My 88's have worse drop throttle oversteer than my 86.


You might have something loose on the 88. When I first got my 88 it had so much drop throttle oversteer I would almost lose control from the push I would get when I let off the throttle. A little tightening of the bolts and all is well.

IP: Logged
Steven Snyder
Member
Posts: 3311
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2004


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 106
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 07:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Steven SnyderClick Here to visit Steven Snyder's HomePageClick Here to Email Steven SnyderSend a Private Message to Steven SnyderDirect Link to This Post
Yeah on the 88 the long bolt that holds the lateral links to the knuckle can get a little bit loose and cause some wacky on-throttle/off-throttle transition behavior.
IP: Logged
engine man
Member
Posts: 5215
From: Lebanon NH
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 08:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for engine manClick Here to Email engine manSend a Private Message to engine manDirect Link to This Post
sound like to me it needs polly bushings and bump steer kit from held and cradle bushings big sway bars but softer spring to get the ride back so it not so stiff but bigger sway bars will make up for the softer spring in the corners
IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14104
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 188
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 09:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadDirect Link to This Post
/\

Huh?
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
tjm4fun
Member
Posts: 3781
From: Long Island, NY USA
Registered: Feb 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 141
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tjm4funClick Here to Email tjm4funSend a Private Message to tjm4funDirect Link to This Post
if you have any drop throttle problems, you have an issue in the rear suspension, PERIOD. even the worn out rear did not exhibit any change from throttle back. with the new all poly and new rubber, it only did it til I had it aligned. I can wind it out in 3rd to 75, then drop it back and downshift hard and the rear tracks dead true. if yours gets loose and shifts to any side on throttle let off, then you need to go over the suspension carefully, you have a problem.
IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14104
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 188
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 09:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadDirect Link to This Post
DTO happens when turning under acceleration and letting off the throttle - if it happens in a straight line, yeah, somethings loose or worn out. In my 86 I can get off throttle (2 - 3 shift, 3 - 4 shift on entry ramps, hard braking IN the corner, etc) - it's stuck, period. In the 88's (stock, suspension good shape, new shocks/struts) when you let off in a corner the sensation of the tail getting loose is there. Not uncontrollable, not unsafe, just some DTO that the modded 86 no longer exhibits.

The posted question was - Can an early Fiero be made to handle as well as an 88? My answer (with the caveat of then you compare modded to stock) is that, Yes, you can get an early Fiero to handle as well or better. As pointed out above, it depends on what you want you car to do.
IP: Logged
Capt Fiero
Member
Posts: 7656
From: British Columbia, Canada
Registered: Feb 2000


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 260
Rate this member

Report this Post04-21-2008 09:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Capt FieroClick Here to visit Capt Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Capt FieroSend a Private Message to Capt FieroDirect Link to This Post
Dang I can't believe all the 84-87 haters out there. I have an 88GT and an 85GT.


Can I make my 85GT outrun my 88GT in a corner. You Bet.

However the trade off is my 85GT rides like buckboard wagon. You feel every bump, bang and rut in the road.

Take an 85-87 Fiero. Note I leave the 84 out of it, as there was something GM changed in 85 due to the 84 being even worse than the 85 suspension.

But back to topic.

Take an 85GT.

$200 for lowering springs
$200 for Poly Bushings
$ 50 for a spare front bar mounted to the back.

16" 50 series rims and rubber, or larger.

You can go nuts and go with better shocks and struts,
Bump steer correction kit, whatever you want.

In the sheer money aspect of it,

If you pick up an 85GT for $2500 and an 88GT for $5000 For $1000 you can get the 85GT to perform as well on a track as an 88GT. Then still have a few bucks left over to customize it. Not to mention the fact that the 85GT and 4spd was actually faster in every acceleration contest over the 88GT.


Now as to the hybrid guys, running early front suspension and late model rear suspension, its not just a rumor its a fact. Tested by countless Fiero owners on tracks around the country. Just hit up the "Fiero Racing List" which is made up of dedicated Fiero Race Car drivers. The local Fiero shop also a member of this board goes by Watts, has an 87 coupe with 88 Formula rear suspension and a Turbo 2.8 for an engine. He has driven a lot of different configurations and says that is why he built his car the way he did, its simply the best setup going.

------------------
85GT,93 Eldorado 4.9, 5spd Dual O2 Custom Chip, Custom Exhaust. MSD Everything Capt Fiero --- My Over View Cadero Pics Yellow 88GT 5spd Factory Stock.

IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14104
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 188
Rate this member

Report this Post04-22-2008 06:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadDirect Link to This Post
/\ /\

What he said!!!!!
IP: Logged
engine man
Member
Posts: 5215
From: Lebanon NH
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-22-2008 08:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for engine manClick Here to Email engine manSend a Private Message to engine manDirect Link to This Post
thanks for all the info it helps i think all pre 88 owners like me
IP: Logged
fiero-iwan
Member
Posts: 352
From: Eindhoven,Netherlands,Europe
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-23-2008 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fiero-iwanClick Here to Email fiero-iwanSend a Private Message to fiero-iwanDirect Link to This Post
I wouldnt be too sure about that.

just joking.....bump
IP: Logged



All times are ET (US)

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock