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How is the Fiero as a sports car? by Rn2016
Started on: 08-31-2016 04:46 PM
Replies: 227 (3014 views)
Last post by: dobey on 09-19-2016 08:48 AM
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Report this Post09-01-2016 08:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ITR SOLSend a Private Message to ITR SOLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There's one thing I'll add to this...

I think Rn2016 needs to define what they think the minimum threshold of requirements is for a car to have in order to be considered a sports car in the first place. Without that context, there can't be any way to know how to answer. We all have a different concept of what a sports car is in one way or another. If someone spells out what makes a car a sports car, then by that definition we can make a reasonable comparison. Otherwise you get what's happening here, debating the meaning of words and ideas, with everyone arguing that theirs is right over anyone else's.
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Report this Post09-01-2016 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ITR SOL:
There's one thing I'll add to this...

I think Rn2016 needs to define what they think the minimum threshold of requirements is for a car to have in order to be considered a sports car in the first place. Without that context, there can't be any way to know how to answer. We all have a different concept of what a sports car is in one way or another. If someone spells out what makes a car a sports car, then by that definition we can make a reasonable comparison. Otherwise you get what's happening here, debating the meaning of words and ideas, with everyone arguing that theirs is right over anyone else's.


Well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Fiero repeatedly states the Fiero is a sports car.

There's really no debating whether it is a sports car or not. It is. Whether various people personally perceive it as not a sports car is irrelevant, and you end up with a lot of the misinformed opinions that have been reflected in this thread, if you try to discuss said personal opinions.
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Report this Post09-01-2016 09:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
The problem seems to be the 88 front suspension, right? So why not instead of buying a 87 and swapping in the 88 rear cradle/Suspension, just buy a 88 and swap in the 87 front suspension? Then you would have a 88 car. There were more improvements in the 88 cars besides suspension, correct?

You mentioned getting a clean 4cyl. instead of a V6 if I'm upgrading the engine anyway. So the only difference between the V6 and 4 cyl. is the engine? The rest, meaning suspension, brakes, 5 speed gear box etc are all the same? Also in the 88?


There is nothing wrong with the 88 front suspension. There are people who race 88s all the time. And unless you're tracking the car all the time, and abusing the bearings with very hard cornering, the stock bearings will probably be fine. As long as the seal is good and they aren't getting all rusted up, they are fine. If what you want is an 88 because of the suspension, then get an 88. If the bearings go, deal with it. The available replacements for the pre-88s are no different from the ones for the 88s in terms of quality. None of them are as good as OEM were, and there are no OEM options being mad any more.

As for differences between the 4cyl and V6, no the engine is not the only difference. The base suspension was different from the GT/Formula (WS6) suspension. On the other hand, if you're going to lower it with coil overs, install aftermarket sway bars, and such, then having that option or not matters a bit less. If you want to drive it stock for a while with the better suspension, don't waste your time on a 4 cylinder car. The transmission is also different for the 4 cylinder cars. The 5-speed Getrag was only available late 86-88. The 5-speed Isuzu trans in the 86-88 4 cylinder cars is a weaker trans than the Getrag, and the gearing is better suited for the lower torque 4 cylinder, though people have used it with various V6 engine swaps.
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Report this Post09-01-2016 09:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cvxjetClick Here to Email cvxjetSend a Private Message to cvxjetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
HyperV6- That last post was very good.....I suspect that an Absolutely perfect sportscar would be boring......Some flaws add character.....I said some, dang it!!!!

Rn2016, don't know where you live, but if you were in the bay area, I'd give you a ride in mine- Owned it since new(85)...3.4 V6, Getrag 5 spd, 88 rear, Late GT upper body...Otherwise basically stock...It's a lot of fun, yet not perfect.

Best bet is to drive a decent V6 5 spd for few minutes and see if you like it......It is MUCH more comfortable than any of the old Italian supercars(Pantera, Lambos, 308 Ferraris, etc.) and more reliable- barring abuse by PO.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 04:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


Well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Fiero repeatedly states the Fiero is a sports car.

There's really no debating whether it is a sports car or not. It is. Whether various people personally perceive it as not a sports car is irrelevant, and you end up with a lot of the misinformed opinions that have been reflected in this thread, if you try to discuss said personal opinions.


Guys, I think there is some confusion here. Let me reiterate that the Fiero is a sports car. It ABSOLUTELY IS a sports car. I'm not questioning that. Note that the title of my thread is not "Is the Fiero a sports car?". The title is "How is the Fiero as a sports car?", which shows I think it is a sports car and only want to know how good of a sports car it is.

The problem is that only being a sports car by definition is not enough. Many times manufacturers plaster ground effects and wings on cars and call it a sports car but it drives nothing like one. Many times it looks like sports car but drives nothing like one. The Fiero has been accused of that by the press and public since the beginning. I just wanted to get it from the people who actually own the cars. But by definition, of course it is a sports car. No way around that. The question is, is it a good one? But I think I already got my answer by some of the posts here and also by reading in between the lines.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 04:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Rn2016

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quote
Originally posted by dobey:


There is nothing wrong with the 88 front suspension. There are people who race 88s all the time. And unless you're tracking the car all the time, and abusing the bearings with very hard cornering, the stock bearings will probably be fine. As long as the seal is good and they aren't getting all rusted up, they are fine. If what you want is an 88 because of the suspension, then get an 88. If the bearings go, deal with it. The available replacements for the pre-88s are no different from the ones for the 88s in terms of quality. None of them are as good as OEM were, and there are no OEM options being mad any more.

As for differences between the 4cyl and V6, no the engine is not the only difference. The base suspension was different from the GT/Formula (WS6) suspension. On the other hand, if you're going to lower it with coil overs, install aftermarket sway bars, and such, then having that option or not matters a bit less. If you want to drive it stock for a while with the better suspension, don't waste your time on a 4 cylinder car. The transmission is also different for the 4 cylinder cars. The 5-speed Getrag was only available late 86-88. The 5-speed Isuzu trans in the 86-88 4 cylinder cars is a weaker trans than the Getrag, and the gearing is better suited for the lower torque 4 cylinder, though people have used it with various V6 engine swaps.



I understood that there is nothing wrong with the 88 front suspension. I get it that the problem is if the bearings wear out replacements can't be found. I get that.

My question still valid concerning buying a 87 and replacing the rear suspension with a 88's. Why not instead of buying a 87 and swapping in the 88 rear cradle/Suspension, just buy a 88 and swap in the 87 front suspension?


Sad news about the 4 cyl. not being the same suspension as the V6. They are normally much cheaper. I just saw a very clean 1988 4 cyl. for like a grand. I would not care about the gearbox as if I replaced the engine I would most likely get a 6-speed box in there too. But if the rolling chassis is not as good as the already seemly not fantastic V6's then there is not much point.

[This message has been edited by Rn2016 (edited 09-02-2016).]

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Report this Post09-02-2016 08:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:


I'm sorry. But you went quite off topic. I don't want a perfect car and never said I do.

I actually said I would prefer a Pantera or Countach over a modern supercar. That should tell you I'm not looking for a perfect sports car.


Not off topic here just trying to get at what your point is. Your questions appear to move much and people generally do not cross shop Pantera's with Fiero's and other cars you have listed. We gave the answer but then you continue to come up with odd angles to this.

I am just chasing your line of questions. I think that this is why so many here are not answering your questions as you would like as the line of questions are not cohesive.

We have given the answers on this car and you just need to drive them and see if it fits what you want. We can no more pick your car for you than you can pick out favorite color.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 10:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
I understood that there is nothing wrong with the 88 front suspension. I get it that the problem is if the bearings wear out replacements can't be found. I get that.

My question still valid concerning buying a 87 and replacing the rear suspension with a 88's. Why not instead of buying a 87 and swapping in the 88 rear cradle/Suspension, just buy a 88 and swap in the 87 front suspension?


Sad news about the 4 cyl. not being the same suspension as the V6. They are normally much cheaper. I just saw a very clean 1988 4 cyl. for like a grand. I would not care about the gearbox as if I replaced the engine I would most likely get a 6-speed box in there too. But if the rolling chassis is not as good as the already seemly not fantastic V6's then there is not much point.


There are replacements available for the 88 bearings. The problem is that for people who race them, the replacement bearings are not as sturdy as the OEM bearings, and must be replaced much more often, when you track the car every weekend with very hard cornering on sticky tires. For a street car, when you always drive on street tires and aren't cornering it as hard as one might at a race track, there isn't really any problem with the replacements.

As for the suspension, the chassis itself is the same. It's only really the shocks, springs, and sway bars that are different. If you're buying a car for $1000, those things probably need replaced anyway, at which point you might as well just go beyond even the stock WS6 option if what you want out of the thing is a "true sports car" feeling. There are plenty of options in that area.

So if your plan is to build the car up to be what you want, then an 88 coupe would be a fine start. There are two LS3 swaps with fastback rears in my local club here, that both started out as 88 coupes. But don't expect it to be a fast car in the stock trim.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 01:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


There are replacements available for the 88 bearings. The problem is that for people who race them, the replacement bearings are not as sturdy as the OEM bearings, and must be replaced much more often, when you track the car every weekend with very hard cornering on sticky tires. For a street car, when you always drive on street tires and aren't cornering it as hard as one might at a race track, there isn't really any problem with the replacements.

As for the suspension, the chassis itself is the same. It's only really the shocks, springs, and sway bars that are different. If you're buying a car for $1000, those things probably need replaced anyway, at which point you might as well just go beyond even the stock WS6 option if what you want out of the thing is a "true sports car" feeling. There are plenty of options in that area.

So if your plan is to build the car up to be what you want, then an 88 coupe would be a fine start. There are two LS3 swaps with fastback rears in my local club here, that both started out as 88 coupes. But don't expect it to be a fast car in the stock trim.



Thanks. So if the suspension itself is the same, and only the sway bar, shocks and springs are different (what about bushings?), then as you say, in a used car of that age, you normally replace at least the shocks anyway. So might as well replace the rest too. Then if this is the only real difference besides the engine and gear box, I guess there is really nothing to lose in getting a 4 cyl.? Just making sure I'm not overlooking anything.

By the way, what exactly is the WS6 package for the Fiero?
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Report this Post09-02-2016 01:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
Thanks. So if the suspension itself is the same, and only the sway bar, shocks and springs are different (what about bushings?), then as you say, in a used car of that age, you normally replace at least the shocks anyway. So might as well replace the rest too. Then if this is the only real difference besides the engine and gear box, I guess there is really nothing to lose in getting a 4 cyl.? Just making sure I'm not overlooking anything.

By the way, what exactly is the WS6 package for the Fiero?


I can't seem to find a detailed list, but the name of the option is "Performance Package, special." For the suspension, I think it was mostly the springs and sway bars. I don't recall specifics beyond that. But like I said, if you're just going to upgrade stuff from the get go, then you can just go ahead and upgrade the suspension as well.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 02:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


I can't seem to find a detailed list, but the name of the option is "Performance Package, special." For the suspension, I think it was mostly the springs and sway bars. I don't recall specifics beyond that. But like I said, if you're just going to upgrade stuff from the get go, then you can just go ahead and upgrade the suspension as well.


OK. Thanks.

It shouldn't be hard to do it yourself either, I would think?

And are there suspension upgrade kits ready to go for the Fieros? What about engine upgrade kits? Apart from the engine itself, naturally.


And I guess given your replies it's safe to say you don't really see the point of buying a 87 and swapping in the 88 rear cradle/Suspension over just buying a 88, as suggested before in the thread?

I'm not thinking about tracking the car.

[This message has been edited by Rn2016 (edited 09-02-2016).]

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Report this Post09-02-2016 02:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
OK. Thanks.

It shouldn't be hard to do it yourself either, I would think?

And are there suspension upgrade kits ready to go for the Fieros? What about engine upgrade kits? Apart from the engine itself, naturally.


And I guess given your replies it's safe to say you don't really see the point of buying a 87 and swapping in the 88 rear cradle/Suspension over just buying a 88, as suggested before in the thread?


Yeah, it shouldn't be too hard to install the sway bars and upgraded springs/shocks if you know what you're doing (or really, even if you don't). It's just buying the parts and doing the work, assuming you have the tools, time, and space, to do it.

Can't really say much about suspension upgrade kits. I bought a bunch of separate parts for my 87GT when I did the suspension upgrade on it. Lowering springs, fully poly, shocks/shots, and the miscellaneous hardware for the suspension. The springs I got are no longer made, and don't fit on the 88s anyway. You can easily build coil-overs for the rear though. And I think a lot of people are using earlier year cut springs, on the front of the 88s when doing rear coil-overs. Don't recall exactly how much they cut them or if it was front or rear springs moved to the front, though.

There's kits from V8Archie to install an LSx (except the LS4) V8, and the F40 six speed manual. The complete kits end up being pretty expensive, on top of the engine, wiring, and trans. I don't think anyone is really making full kits for other engines at this point.

Yeah, I wouldn't bother trying to stick an 84-87 front suspension on an 88. It's not really worth the trouble. For that matter, I personally wouldn't even bother swapping to the 88 rear cradle and suspension on an earlier car, unless I was going to track it, and maybe not even then. 88s are rare enough as it is. Not like there's a warehouse with a hundred thousand NOS cradles sitting in it somewhere.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ITR SOLSend a Private Message to ITR SOLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


Well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Fiero repeatedly states the Fiero is a sports car.

There's really no debating whether it is a sports car or not. It is. Whether various people personally perceive it as not a sports car is irrelevant, and you end up with a lot of the misinformed opinions that have been reflected in this thread, if you try to discuss said personal opinions.


I feel that this is debating just for debating sake. Saying that if Rn2016 provided a context for comparison it would allow for more structured / helpful answers is still valid. In other words "compared to what"? There will always be room for interpretation but specifying what contrast / comparison to use cuts down on some of the debate over interpretation of what everyone thinks they were askIng.

[This message has been edited by ITR SOL (edited 09-02-2016).]

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Report this Post09-02-2016 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ITR SOL:


I feel that this is debating just for debating sake. Saying that if Rn2016 provided a context for comparison it would allow for more structured / helpful answers is still valid. In other words "compared to what"? There will always be room for interpretation but specifying what contrast / comparison to use cuts down on some of the debate over interpretation of what everyone thinks they were askIng.



As you can see, we are past that now.

I'm seriously considering getting a Fiero and I'm now doing research on what it will take, my options concerning upgrades vs keeping it stock, and what will take to maintain and run the car for the foreseeable future.

And Dobey is being a lot of help.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 05:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Rn2016

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quote
Originally posted by dobey:


Yeah, it shouldn't be too hard to install the sway bars and upgraded springs/shocks if you know what you're doing (or really, even if you don't). It's just buying the parts and doing the work, assuming you have the tools, time, and space, to do it.

Can't really say much about suspension upgrade kits. I bought a bunch of separate parts for my 87GT when I did the suspension upgrade on it. Lowering springs, fully poly, shocks/shots, and the miscellaneous hardware for the suspension. The springs I got are no longer made, and don't fit on the 88s anyway. You can easily build coil-overs for the rear though. And I think a lot of people are using earlier year cut springs, on the front of the 88s when doing rear coil-overs. Don't recall exactly how much they cut them or if it was front or rear springs moved to the front, though.

There's kits from V8Archie to install an LSx (except the LS4) V8, and the F40 six speed manual. The complete kits end up being pretty expensive, on top of the engine, wiring, and trans. I don't think anyone is really making full kits for other engines at this point.

Yeah, I wouldn't bother trying to stick an 84-87 front suspension on an 88. It's not really worth the trouble. For that matter, I personally wouldn't even bother swapping to the 88 rear cradle and suspension on an earlier car, unless I was going to track it, and maybe not even then. 88s are rare enough as it is. Not like there's a warehouse with a hundred thousand NOS cradles sitting in it somewhere.



I think I will just try my best to get a 88 V6 then. It seems like the best and easiest option going forward. So I still have an OK engine for the beginning and will upgrade as I go. If I get a clean 88 V6, what would you recon I should start upgrading first? Engine?

Is there a resource where I can find out the most usual upgrades, upgrade musts, available kits etc, besides just looking through the whole forum?

Thanks!
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Report this Post09-02-2016 05:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
I think I will just try my best to get a 88 V6 then. It seems like the best and easiest option going forward. So I still have an OK engine for the beginning and will upgrade as I go. If I get a clean 88 V6, what would you recon I should start upgrading first? Engine?

Is there a resource where I can find out the most usual upgrades, upgrade musts, available kits etc, besides just looking through the whole forum?

Thanks!


It's still a ~30 year old car, so I would start with whatever it needs to be driveable and safe. Depending on the car you buy, it might need new suspension components, simply because the originals are still there and long worn out. A good tune-up would probably be good too, and maybe an oil change. You never know what the previous owner might have done. A cleaned up distributor cap and wires can make them look new, even if they aren't.

As for a resource for that info, this forum is basically it. There's some bad blood between certain vendors and so there isn't really a single place to shop from and buy everything you need on one ticket. Vendors come and go, too.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 05:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:

If I get a clean 88 V6, what would you recon I should start upgrading first?


I vote for dropping the front end down an inch or so in relation to the back. The 88's all sat too high in the front from the factory.
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Report this Post09-02-2016 07:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ITR SOLSend a Private Message to ITR SOLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


It's still a ~30 year old car, so I would start with whatever it needs to be driveable and safe. Depending on the car you buy, it might need new suspension components, simply because the originals are still there and long worn out. A good tune-up would probably be good too, and maybe an oil change. You never know what the previous owner might have done. A cleaned up distributor cap and wires can make them look new, even if they aren't.

As for a resource for that info, this forum is basically it. There's some bad blood between certain vendors and so there isn't really a single place to shop from and buy everything you need on one ticket. Vendors come and go, too.


There's a lot of truth in this. Since many of the vendors on here haven't played well together, it's a very incomplete market, and a lot of vendors have packed it in and stopped producing parts in recent years. So combine that with the fact that Pontiac is gone, and there is zero factory support, it reveals a major issue for some things.

You might get tempted to grab a barn find because it's a good deal on a relatively unmolested car, but then you realize that everything made of rubber has dried up and rotted out, or that the metal under the perfect looking panels has cancer because someone let it sit in a field with moisture collecting under it.

Take your time. Remember, there might be good deals on cars that haven't been fully neglected, and they might have put in a lot of time and money, getting you halfway there. Are you willing and able to do the work yourself?
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Report this Post09-05-2016 01:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ITR SOL:

You might get tempted to grab a barn find because it's a good deal on a relatively unmolested car, but then you realize that everything made of rubber has dried up and rotted out, or that the metal under the perfect looking panels has cancer because someone let it sit in a field with moisture collecting under it.

Take your time. Remember, there might be good deals on cars that haven't been fully neglected, and they might have put in a lot of time and money, getting you halfway there. Are you willing and able to do the work yourself?


Yup. It should be obvious, but I keep telling guys to start with the best car they can find.
Even if it costs more, it will SAVE them a lot of money in the long run. Many here will agree.

Found one: http://www.autozin.com/88-p...msource=localfeedint

More: http://claz.org/classifieds?q=1988+fiero

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 09-05-2016).]

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Report this Post09-05-2016 03:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
First off .... you have to define WHAT you think a sports car is. A 1964 MGTD is a sports car. It wont take a curve over 35 mph, takes 10 seconds to get to 60 mph and stops like a railroad car...but theyre fun to drive. Does a Fiero handle like a Ferrari or Audi R8 ?.....no, but they are fun and very capable performing.

As for automatic or stick, days are a changing. Is a Fiero automatic a performance machine...no. Audi, Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette automatics are fine. The change over to automatics is becoming common. I drive a newer Bentley Continental GT. It has an 8 speed auto trans and I guarantee no human can go thru the 8 gears as fast as it does it by itself. Its went thru 2 gears before you even thought about changing one. For those makes that still offer sticks, the automatic versions...like Corvettes...will outrun them everytime. The plus is you never will have a missed shift. As always there are exceptions. Ive driven a friends R8 auto and its got a very unusual shifting system that I think makes it very slow. Its like the engine goes down to idle before every shift. I havent driven a stick version to compare it too.
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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm a little late to this thread and a lot of ground has been covered. But my recommendation is look for a clean 88 4 cylinder car and lose the engine for a supercharged V6. Best bang for the buck. If you want something a little lighter then a newer aluminum engine.

Under no circumstances would I try to upgrade a stock Fiero V6 engine. They were adequate 30 years ago, but they are junk by today's standards and don't have a lot of room for improvement without self destructing. If you want the stock engine look then get a pushrod 3.4L V6 block, dress it out with Fiero parts and throw a turbo on it. The Fiero heads will be horrible, but the turbo will overcome most of that.

You already know suspension and brakes can be upgraded to whatever level of handling you desire. If you want a turn-key really nice car out of the box car then a stock Fiero is not for you. The 80s GM cars were horrible in general, no apologies, it is what it is. Most folks here like Fieros because of what they can do to them for not a lot of money. Most all the parts are still available at the local parts store, (except maybe the 88 front wheel bearings as discussed earlier). If you like stock cars as I stated earlier, the Fiero may not be for you.

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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


It's still a ~30 year old car, so I would start with whatever it needs to be driveable and safe. Depending on the car you buy, it might need new suspension components, simply because the originals are still there and long worn out. A good tune-up would probably be good too, and maybe an oil change. You never know what the previous owner might have done. A cleaned up distributor cap and wires can make them look new, even if they aren't.

As for a resource for that info, this forum is basically it. There's some bad blood between certain vendors and so there isn't really a single place to shop from and buy everything you need on one ticket. Vendors come and go, too.


Thanks. That is good advice. I'm definitely looking for the cleanest 88 I can find and then see what needs to be done. Thanks.

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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Rn2016

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quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

I vote for dropping the front end down an inch or so in relation to the back. The 88's all sat too high in the front from the factory.


That's interesting information. Any practical reason Pontiac set the 88 cars higher in the front? Thanks.

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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Rn2016

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quote
Originally posted by ITR SOL:


There's a lot of truth in this. Since many of the vendors on here haven't played well together, it's a very incomplete market, and a lot of vendors have packed it in and stopped producing parts in recent years. So combine that with the fact that Pontiac is gone, and there is zero factory support, it reveals a major issue for some things.

You might get tempted to grab a barn find because it's a good deal on a relatively unmolested car, but then you realize that everything made of rubber has dried up and rotted out, or that the metal under the perfect looking panels has cancer because someone let it sit in a field with moisture collecting under it.

Take your time. Remember, there might be good deals on cars that haven't been fully neglected, and they might have put in a lot of time and money, getting you halfway there. Are you willing and able to do the work yourself?



You are right! I will look for the cleanest 1988 car I can find. Thanks.
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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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quote
Originally posted by fierosound:


Yup. It should be obvious, but I keep telling guys to start with the best car they can find.
Even if it costs more, it will SAVE them a lot of money in the long run. Many here will agree.



Yes, it makes perfect sense.

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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

First off .... you have to define WHAT you think a sports car is. A 1964 MGTD is a sports car. It wont take a curve over 35 mph, takes 10 seconds to get to 60 mph and stops like a railroad car...but theyre fun to drive. Does a Fiero handle like a Ferrari or Audi R8 ?.....no, but they are fun and very capable performing.

As for automatic or stick, days are a changing. Is a Fiero automatic a performance machine...no. Audi, Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette automatics are fine. The change over to automatics is becoming common. I drive a newer Bentley Continental GT. It has an 8 speed auto trans and I guarantee no human can go thru the 8 gears as fast as it does it by itself. Its went thru 2 gears before you even thought about changing one. For those makes that still offer sticks, the automatic versions...like Corvettes...will outrun them everytime. The plus is you never will have a missed shift. As always there are exceptions. Ive driven a friends R8 auto and its got a very unusual shifting system that I think makes it very slow. Its like the engine goes down to idle before every shift. I havent driven a stick version to compare it too.


Hi Roger,

We are a bit past that by now.

In the mean time I have decided the Fiero is worth a look as a sports car. So I will be looking for a clean 1988 car. I'm not expecting a stock Fiero to handle like a new Ferrari or R8. I actually think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect from it based on all the replies here. I'm more interested now in understanding how much I can improve it to move it towards handling like that Ferrari or R8.

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Report this Post09-05-2016 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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quote
Originally posted by jscott1:

I'm a little late to this thread and a lot of ground has been covered. But my recommendation is look for a clean 88 4 cylinder car and lose the engine for a supercharged V6. Best bang for the buck. If you want something a little lighter then a newer aluminum engine.

Under no circumstances would I try to upgrade a stock Fiero V6 engine. They were adequate 30 years ago, but they are junk by today's standards and don't have a lot of room for improvement without self destructing. If you want the stock engine look then get a pushrod 3.4L V6 block, dress it out with Fiero parts and throw a turbo on it. The Fiero heads will be horrible, but the turbo will overcome most of that.

You already know suspension and brakes can be upgraded to whatever level of handling you desire. If you want a turn-key really nice car out of the box car then a stock Fiero is not for you. The 80s GM cars were horrible in general, no apologies, it is what it is. Most folks here like Fieros because of what they can do to them for not a lot of money. Most all the parts are still available at the local parts store, (except maybe the 88 front wheel bearings as discussed earlier). If you like stock cars as I stated earlier, the Fiero may not be for you.

Jonathan


Hi Jonathan,

Better late than never as they say.

Your recommendation to look for a clean 88 4 cylinder car and swapping the engine for a supercharged V6 intrigues me. Since it seems the suspension and other bits of the 4 cyl. cars seem to be inferior to the V6 cars, that will need to be upgraded too along with the engine. So you think the price difference between a V6 and a 4 cyl. is so much that it would make getting the 4 cyl. the cheaper way, even though I would also have to upgrade the suspension etc? Are the 4 cyl. cars that much cheaper? This is all very interesting. Thanks for the tips.


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Report this Post09-05-2016 05:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:

Any practical reason Pontiac set the 88 cars higher in the front?


To make 'em look like they're always accelerating? I dunno, but after you look at a few (un-altered) 88's you'll know exactly what I mean.
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Report this Post09-05-2016 05:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
Hi Jonathan,

Better late than never as they say.

Your recommendation to look for a clean 88 4 cylinder car and swapping the engine for a supercharged V6 intrigues me. Since it seems the suspension and other bits of the 4 cyl. cars seem to be inferior to the V6 cars, that will need to be upgraded too along with the engine. So you think the price difference between a V6 and a 4 cyl. is so much that it would make getting the 4 cyl. the cheaper way, even though I would also have to upgrade the suspension etc? Are the 4 cyl. cars that much cheaper? This is all very interesting. Thanks for the tips.


If you want to save the most money, look for one that's already had the 3800SC swap done. It probably will also already have had some upgrades to the suspension and brakes done. Tr to find something that's closest to your end goal, rather than further away from it.
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Report this Post09-05-2016 06:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:


Hi Jonathan,

Better late than never as they say.

Your recommendation to look for a clean 88 4 cylinder car and swapping the engine for a supercharged V6 intrigues me. Since it seems the suspension and other bits of the 4 cyl. cars seem to be inferior to the V6 cars, that will need to be upgraded too along with the engine. So you think the price difference between a V6 and a 4 cyl. is so much that it would make getting the 4 cyl. the cheaper way, even though I would also have to upgrade the suspension etc? Are the 4 cyl. cars that much cheaper? This is all very interesting. Thanks for the tips.



The differences in suspension between the 88 4 cylinder cars and the V6 are trivial, the geometry is idential. Maybe different spring rates, maybe not. A survey over the years has not revealed a consistent pattern among which cars got which springs. Shocks will be worn at this point and replace with whatever you want. The 4 cylinder are not supposed to have a sway bar in the back but I had one that did. Maybe it was added but the point is a sway bar is easy to add. So that is the full extent of the differences, if any.

Everything else being equal a 4 cylinder car should be cheaper.
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Report this Post09-07-2016 04:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

To make 'em look like they're always accelerating? I dunno, but after you look at a few (un-altered) 88's you'll know exactly what I mean.


I would say in this day and age it's probably hard to find one which is still stock. Specially looking online for pictures. Probably why I never noticed. But it's interesting to know. I will definitely drop it a bit then.

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quote
Originally posted by dobey:


If you want to save the most money, look for one that's already had the 3800SC swap done. It probably will also already have had some upgrades to the suspension and brakes done. Tr to find something that's closest to your end goal, rather than further away from it.



I think this will be hard to find. I think most who have done such a swap love the car and intend to keep it. Either that or they will want a lot for it. But I will keep my eyes open.
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Report this Post09-07-2016 04:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


The differences in suspension between the 88 4 cylinder cars and the V6 are trivial, the geometry is idential. Maybe different spring rates, maybe not. A survey over the years has not revealed a consistent pattern among which cars got which springs. Shocks will be worn at this point and replace with whatever you want. The 4 cylinder are not supposed to have a sway bar in the back but I had one that did. Maybe it was added but the point is a sway bar is easy to add. So that is the full extent of the differences, if any.

Everything else being equal a 4 cylinder car should be cheaper.


It's good to know the differences are trivial. By what had been posted I had the impression the differences were substantial. I think apart from being luck to find one already with a 3800SC in, the 4 cyl. may the cheapest way then for a project car. If I will have to replace the tired stock V6 might as well not pay for it in the first place. The only advantage of buying a V6 is that I will be able to drive it while I get the time and resources to do the swap. While by the sound of it the 4 cyl. cars are much much less fun to drive, so it would have to be a buy it and swap it right away kind of deal.

[This message has been edited by Rn2016 (edited 09-07-2016).]

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Report this Post09-07-2016 04:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rn2016Send a Private Message to Rn2016Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On a different note and not related to my topic, but I thought I would post it here instead of starting a new thread, what's up with all the replicas using Fieros?

I knew this was done but had no idea of how much.

What puzzles me is all the structural changes people to do the car just to achieve the correct visual proportions.

Like stretching the Fiero chassis. How much havoc does it hack in the car's performance? I mean the car was designed and balanced to be the length it is. Making the engine sits further back will sure unbalance it? And the handling and other things will be affected. Ok, if it's only 3" like for F355 replicas may not be too bad. But I have seen stretches like 10" or more for Lamborghini replicas. This has to affect the car. I guess in terms of rigidity as well, but that can at least be made strong enough. But the length will certainly throw something off. Because the stretch is done between the engine and the cabin. So the engine is pushed back.

So I can't see how this change wouldn't affect the car's drive-ability and handling. Unless these are just show pieces and they don't care for the performance?

Also the chop tops must play some role in safety and rigidity? If you roll over in a chop top you will sure get hurt more? And are all people who do chop tops shorter than 6'? Because how do they fit in it?

Those were just things I picked up on during my Fiero research which made me curious.

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Report this Post09-07-2016 08:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:
On a different note and not related to my topic, but I thought I would post it here instead of starting a new thread, what's up with all the replicas using Fieros?

I knew this was done but had no idea of how much.


The Fiero is a space frame chassis with bolt-on plastic body panels. This makes it a very good choice for bolting on fiberglass panels that make it look like an expensive Italian car. So lots of people have done so. They also became very cheap to get, in the 90s. Cheap, interchangeable body panels, and easy to swap drivetrain, makes it a very good platform for kit cars.

 
quote

What puzzles me is all the structural changes people to do the car just to achieve the correct visual proportions.

Like stretching the Fiero chassis. How much havoc does it hack in the car's performance? I mean the car was designed and balanced to be the length it is. Making the engine sits further back will sure unbalance it? And the handling and other things will be affected. Ok, if it's only 3" like for F355 replicas may not be too bad. But I have seen stretches like 10" or more for Lamborghini replicas. This has to affect the car. I guess in terms of rigidity as well, but that can at least be made strong enough. But the length will certainly throw something off. Because the stretch is done between the engine and the cabin. So the engine is pushed back.

So I can't see how this change wouldn't affect the car's drive-ability and handling. Unless these are just show pieces and they don't care for the performance?


Not necessarily. Stretching opens up a whole new range of engine swaps as well, and it's much easier to fit a longitudinal swap in. Depending on how well the stretch is done, the rigidity may remain as well. It's also common with such stretched builds to go with the wider track suspension setup too, which helps in the handling department.

 
quote

Also the chop tops must play some role in safety and rigidity? If you roll over in a chop top you will sure get hurt more? And are all people who do chop tops shorter than 6'? Because how do they fit in it?

Those were just things I picked up on during my Fiero research which made me curious.


The chop tops should be just as safe and rigid as the stock Fiero, really. The outer surrounding structural metal remains in tact. It might even be slightly better, as the angle of the A pillars is lowered a tiny bit, which is more likely to result in anything hitting the windshield area to be deflected up and over the car, assuming weight, velocity, and angle of impact aren't enough to overcome that of course. I think many of the taller folk with the chop top also lower the seats. Everyone I know that owns a chopped Fiero though, is like 6'3" tall.
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Report this Post09-07-2016 10:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by dobey:

I think many of the taller folk with the chop top also lower the seats. Everyone I know that owns a chopped Fiero though, is like 6'3" tall.


I sat in one with stock seats and it would be a no go for me at 6'2. Never sat in one with dropped seats.
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Report this Post09-07-2016 10:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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quote
Originally posted by Rn2016:

On a different note and not related to my topic, but I thought I would post it here instead of starting a new thread, what's up with all the replicas using Fieros?



Best starting point

Usually when they stretch it they also widen the stance. Sometimes changing the control arms too. No reason it should harm the ride IMO when math is done right.

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Report this Post09-07-2016 01:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

I think many of the taller folk with the chop top also lower the seats. Everyone I know that owns a chopped Fiero though, is like 6'3" tall.


They've all got neck problems by now then.

I'm 6'3". Here's a picture from years ago of me sitting up straight in John Carlo's choptop...




Lowering the seat an inch won't make any significant difference in comfort, or lack thereof.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-07-2016).]

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Report this Post09-07-2016 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

They've all got neck problems by now then.

I'm 6'3". Here's a picture from years ago of me sitting up straight in John Carlo's choptop...

Lowering the seat an inch won't make any significant difference in comfort, or lack thereof.


I think his chop was more chopped than most, as he didn't use Archie's kit, and he likes to go a bit crazy with the body work. Isn't he like 5'5" or something?

Those don't look like stock seats either. Maybe they also sit a little higher than the stock seats do. (edit: Hard to tell what they are, from the exaggerated effect on that pic.)

[This message has been edited by dobey (edited 09-07-2016).]

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Report this Post09-07-2016 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

...he didn't use Archie's kit


A friend of mine in Washington State owns a white Archie choptop. He's brought it up here to autocross a couple of times. It looks great. It has tons of power. I've driven the car. I hate it... I simply do not fit.

I even found an old post about it...

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick Here:

I'm 190 lbs... 6'3" tall... and fit just fine in my '94 Hyundai Elantra, which has plenty of headroom and legroom to spare. The only car I don't fit in at all is the Archie choptop that a friend of mine owns. I honestly just hate sitting in/trying to drive that car.



[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-07-2016).]

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