Finally , the tail light panel is pretty much in a finished state. Awaiting arrival of WEB Electric sequential controllers for the lights. I have the blind nut mounts ready to epoxy in place to hold the panel in,and that should finish up this area. I will likely move on to the custom nose, now. It may be slow going since we are going to Texas for a family wedding.
Looks good. I like the subtle wide body look. If I may make a suggestion, I think the Caddy taillights could work, but I think they would look even better if you recessed them a little more into the panel. I would make the recessed area a concave bowl with the lights sticking out of the middle. The back end would look like the business end of a Saturn V rocket!!
In order to get a rough shape, the foam can be cut easily with a drywall saw- sort of like a pointed woodworking saw but with coarser teeth. It can be cut with a utility knife and snapped off, as well. To shape the foam I use a Stanley Sureform file (cheese grater) with the slightly rounded blade. Once the rough in is done, then I use 36 to 50 grit sandpaper with the sticky back and applied to an 1 1/2 inch dowel when doing the curved areas. If the surface is flat, use whatever sanding block you have. The foam is the easy part, getting the fiberglass done right has been my nemesis on this type of project. I'm sort of at a standstill on this project since summer has been getting in the way-garden, yard, car shows, a balky small block in my V8 Fiero. I have finished up the interior and am deciding whether to install the good stock motor I have, next, or build the nose for the car .
It has been a while since the last progress update, summer really takes it's toll on the car projects.I made a little more progress on the mini wide body project over the last few days. I was able to get the homemade front compartment battery box installed. Also added a Champion radiator that I purchased 2 or 3 years ago just for this project.
This project has been pretty slow through the summer. I did remove the engine, so I can replace it with another 2.8 that I saved when we bought the storage locker full of Fiero parts some months ago. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/065189.html I decided to get the car running under it's own power before finishing the body work. I have removed the battery box and am starting cleanup of the engine bay before transferring the good motor to the 88's cradle. I discovered that both coolant tubes had been bent closed- no wonder the motor had blown a head gasket and kept overheating. Slow progress, but progress non the less.
Finally, a little progress! I am getting ready to replace the bad motor with a good 2.8, but have had to change the harness and some of the sensors and alternator because the motor is from 86/87 not an 88. Today I worked a little on the rear quarter panel, got it close to final. Then I installed a new fuel filter. Then reinstalled the heater hose connection which had apparently come apart during an over heating episode. To prevent the overheating I cut out the crimped section of the stainless radiator pipe and replaced the bad section with a double clamped radiator hose section. The drivers side needs done as well, though I am going to check out our stash of parts and see if we have a good one, since it has no less than two crimped locations causing it to be almost completely closed. The more I work on this car, the more problems I find. Guess that's what you get for $800. More later. And, the controversial 59 Caddy tail lights are going to appear as front signal/parking lights once I get to working on the front facia. Clear lenses of course. If they are too ugly, they can always be replaced with something less ostentacious.
I relaced this section--
Worked on ths quarter panel, yesterday.
Getting closer to installing this on the cradle- once my brother in law returns the engine hoist.
And a set of coilovers I assembled yesterday-300# -10"springs due from Summit monday. Some 7" Honda springs are pictured for mock up.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 03-28-2014).]
I used Foamular brand, I believe it is the 250 series. I used epoxy resin, since the polyester can attack the Foamular. If you use urethane foam (it usually comes with foil on it so you have to tear the foil off) then you can use polyester resin without a problem. The other reason I have used epoxy, is that it seems to have better adhesive qualities and sticks to the different substrates, that make up a Fiero, better than the polyester.
I got a little acomplished today. Assembled the coil overs with the 10"/300# springs. Finished repairing and reinstalling both coolant tubes. And was able to install the positive battery cable to the front battery box. I shielded the cable in 1/2" flexible pvc conduit and ran it alongside the tank. Still have to do the negative side. And then I messed with the front facia concept a little. I bought a Priuss aftermarket grill on EBay which I think is going to fit just fine. I set the pieces up on the facia base just to get an idea if all would work size wise. Yep! Two more Caddy lights facing forward. It will take some serious imagination to get an idea of what is in my mind. Sure hope it works!
Man- am I slow at this project. It will get completed-unless I get too old and die first. I finally have the motor ready to go into the car. It was a pre 88 motor, so had to get the correct flexplate for the motor and switch the wiring harness and a whole bunch of other stuff.
I have been focusing on getting the air conditioning working once the car is built. I purchased a new compressor from Rock Auto along with the accum./dryer and orfice tube. I then flushed all the lines and have been waiting for the new condenser. It arrived today from Fiero Fiberglass. Its a good product and Jim was great to work with. I paid $800 for the car, and have about $600 in the air cond., alone. This probably is not a very good investment, especially when I get done with all those Caddy tail lights.
I know this project is not everyone's idea of a Fiero, but it sure is an entertaining project, for me, and I promise one day it will be finished. Hopefully sooner than later. Thanks for looking. Bryan
Got the motor ready to install, by setting it on the legs of the engine hoist.
And, raised the car way higher than I've ever been comfortable with! Don't think I'll ever get used to this part of Fiero work.
Slid the motor under the passenger fenderwell with a little over an inch to spare.
Reattached the hoist and pulled the motor up untiI I could get the front cradle bolts in. No real picture ,here. Then I used a floor jack to raise the rear of cradle into place. Then lowered the car down using the engine hoist, to about 41" to the fenderwell.
Set a third pair of jack stands under the rear of the cradle to stabilize everything before crawling around under the car to start hooking things up.
Finally the motor is in place and I have been reinstalling all the items to get this thing running.
Man this is a really nice project. congrats man!!! Myself,,,, i'm on the shelf about the tail lights.i would like to see them recess more into the body but that's just me ,,really really nice car..God speed !!
IT RUNS!!! I got everything hooked up today and amazingly after many tries, it fired, ran ragged and then finally purred like a kitten. After a few shutdowns to check on things, I let it warm up to operating temp and it stabilized at about 900 RPM idle. No smoke, no knocks and 45 lbs. of oil pressure at warm idle. This engine came from a storage locker that I purchased a couple years ago. My hunch was that it was a good runner since all the spots where dirt, moisture or animals might get in, had been sealed off. Lucky me. The next step is to get it off the jack stands and see if the transmission works correctly. The torque converter lockup wiring had been disconnected, so I replaced the solenoid and dropped the pan, put in a new filter and new trans. fluid. It worked well before except for the lockup, so hope the problem is solved. Then, more body work.
An update. Got the engine running correctly and drove it a block down the street. Had to adjust the TV cable to get it to upshift- so far only drove fast enough to verify the 1-2 shift. I'm pretty happy with the motor/trans so far. I started work on the nose, so have a couple pictures of the basic progress. Lots of measuring and bracket making and adjustments to get things symetrical from the center line. I'm waiting for the adhesive to set up before moving forward. It was 23 degrees this a.m., so the foam adhesive has not set well overnight in my wood stove heated shop.
Base and grill with brackets road clearance at about 5 1/2"
Flat sheets glued up using urethane foam- I can use either epoxy or polyester fiberglass resin on this foam.
Not all the cut foam is in place, waiting on the adhesive to set. I plan on leaving the foam in place, but hope to make the nose removable unlike my V8 car which is not easily removable without damaging it.
That is it for now. Thanks for looking- still a lot to imagine at this point!
Some pictures of the nose project. Crude so far, but the rough in is done. I will now pull the foam off and fiberglass the inside and bottom of the plywood base before reassembling and doing final contouring prior to fiberglassing the outside. The concept is there- even the Caddy parking/turn signals. The areas on the sides that are marked with magic marker will be hollowed out and will have LED strip lights with white running lights/orange turn signal in one strip. I purchased some already, but they are exposed LED's and I need to find some that are enclosed in a flexible clear cover. Still looking. Almost two years and not nearly finished. Goal is paint by spring!
Steel, no offense taken, the lights are controversial at best. I see them as a challenge. The rears can still be replaced with the stock GT tail lights. The front could be done with shorter, less ostentacious lights if I decide to change them out later. Still a lot to do!
Thanks for the replies people. I took everything apart and fiberglassed the bottom of the nose. Will let it dry and try to do the inside of the bottom tomorrow. Then I can reassemble and do the final forming. That Fiat's lights under the windshield would work well. Looks like they are more driving lights than park/turn lights, though. That sure is an ugly Fiat- and I like Fiats!
A quick update. Progress is being made, though a lot of it can't be seen in the pictures. I have assembled the 4 pieces of facia together into one piece. The wiring has been rerouted to hook up to the front park /turn lights. The mounts for the park lights have been glassed in. The backside of the nose has been fiberglassed. Yes, I know that the outside still looks pretty rough, but it is moving slowly toward a final shape to be glassed over. I will add about a half inch of foam to the sides in order to get rid of the slab sided look and then shape the grooves in the sides as well. I pulled the car outside for the pictures since it was sunny and 60 in Northwestern Oregon today. Sorry -all you North Easterners! Thanks for looking.
And, an outdoor peek at the controversial tail lights!
I added foam to the sides and believe I succesfully got rid of the slab sides. Then I roughed in the grooves that wrap around from the front and along the side. Next I will do some final sanding and then use thickened epoxy resin to do any filling necessary and then-finally- fiberglassing. Thanks for looking.
Well, I tried using epoxy thickened with micro balloons as the sandable filler to get the final sanded shape before fiberglassing. It turns out that the epoxy was just too hard to sand when applied to the urethane foam being used as the base for the nose. I had used the same thickened epoxy on my first nose project and it worked fine. That nose was made with Foamular 250 which has a higher density and is more uniform in overall makeup. When I tried to sand the epoxy on this project it required too much pressure and caused the foam under to degrade and cause gouging of the overall project. So, I decided to skim coat the foam with lightweight body filler and then sand to final shape. I have about 90% of the filler applied, but very little is to final shape. I've posted a few pictures of the snail paced process. A lot of man hours, but not a lot of change.
It's been a while, again. Fiero nose is final shape and ready to be fiberglassed. Then the yellow thing in the foreground came into the garage and has sucked up a lot of time. Nearly on the road, so will soon be back at the main topic. Paint by midsummer is the goal.
Been a looong time since I posted anything about the mini wide body. But this evening I had to pull it out of the garage to be able to access the attic area of the shop. So, while out I snapped a couple photos of the nose concept minus the fiberglass. Almost ready for glass but I probably said that a year ago. It will be finished, once the rental house gets its facelift and the lawn edge stones get placed here at home, and on and on.