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Reminder of why a Fiero was always my second car. by Songman
Started on: 10-12-2013 02:23 PM
Replies: 25 (821 views)
Last post by: jscott1 on 10-19-2013 04:09 AM
Songman
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Report this Post10-12-2013 02:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SongmanClick Here to visit Songman's HomePageSend a Private Message to SongmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've always loved Fieros. The latest one I bought is my 50th since 1991. After a couple of years of not having a Fiero, I am quickly getting reminded why they were always my toy cars and never my daily driver. Just as soon as I get one thing fixed, something else breaks. Two weeks ago, it was a nice trail of oil everywhere I went. This week, it is coolant. Thinking it might be time to bump the engine swap up, instead of replacing the water pump and waiting for the next thing on the 2.8 to break. But I am having a ball driving it when it's not broken!
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smartaxel
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Report this Post10-12-2013 03:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for smartaxelClick Here to visit smartaxel's HomePageClick Here to Email smartaxelSend a Private Message to smartaxelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I attribute it to age and previous owner care. I have a 3000gt that I thought would be reliable. It's been down more then it's running- and it's horribly complex and a pain to fix. My 3.4 Fiero, on the other hand, was rarely (if ever) broken down. On the 3.4 Fiero I did all the swap work myself and replaced everything with new parts (at the time). It was more reliable than my daily driver. I'll say this.. I always have a second car for any vehicle I own. Everything will break down at some point and it's nice to be prepared for that. But, older cars will definitely break down more often if they haven't been fully re-done.
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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post10-12-2013 04:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There's a reason mine became relegated to project status a while ago.
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sco77
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Report this Post10-12-2013 06:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sco77Click Here to Email sco77Send a Private Message to sco77Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I could daily drive mine if I wanted to, I just choose not to so it will last longer.

------------------
86 Fiero GT 4spd - L67 swap: VS cam, GenV
98 GTP - Some mods

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jscott1
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Report this Post10-12-2013 06:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I love my Fieros, but I gave up driving them daily about 9 years ago. Not that a 30 year old car can't be a daily driver, but I don't know that I want to rely on 30 year old engineering for my daily commute, (no air bags, no anti-lock brakes, etc). Not only that I have at least one close call with crazy Houston drivers daily. I don't want to see my Fieros wrecked.
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TXOPIE
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Report this Post10-12-2013 06:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too love my Fieros and Barbie (my 88GT) has been my daily driver for over a year now and ZERO issues!
But she has been cared for her entire life with regular maintenance.
Now once BluDrm (my heavily modified 86GT) is finish in the next few weeks, I will start driving it as my daily.
But almost every part on the car has been brought to factory or better condition with a lot of upgrades...unfortunately...no airbag!
That would be the only piece I would have added if possible that I didn't.
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MstangsBware
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Report this Post10-12-2013 09:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MstangsBwareClick Here to Email MstangsBwareSend a Private Message to MstangsBwareEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have DD a Fiero for the last 15.5 years and can say I havent had alot of issues out of all those years. This last year has been the least amount I have driven my Fiero cause of car pooling and doing much needed cleaning on the swap. Once it goes back together I will fo back to DD it.....

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rbell2915
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Report this Post10-12-2013 09:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rbell2915Click Here to Email rbell2915Send a Private Message to rbell2915Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I drive my Fiero to school every day. My father and I are doing the Grand Am upgrade right now. I prefer driving my car, than driving a car with airbags. I'm just not into the idea of something exploding into my face during a crash.
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Raydar
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Report this Post10-12-2013 10:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
They are not any less reliable than any 25 year old car.
A lot of it depends upon how well they were maintained by the previous owners. (Not everyone is as obsessive as we are.)
It also depends upon how long they have been sitting, as you discovered, IIRC, with your low mile GT, a few years ago.

I wouldn't anticipate any difficulty with climbing into my Fiero and driving it anywhere in the country. Just drove it to Indy and back without any issue at all, other than the A/C dying (which I sort of anticipated.) But then, most everything has been replaced or upgraded.

BTW... PM sent (to songman)

------------------
Raydar
88 Formula IMSA Fastback. 4.9, NVG T550

Praise the Lowered!

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 10-12-2013).]

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JJFieroFan
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Report this Post10-13-2013 09:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JJFieroFanSend a Private Message to JJFieroFanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think a properly cared for (by prior owner) Fiero or GT is pretty darn dependable. But they are easy to let go and little things that are wrong seem to pile up. They are definitely high maintenance. I had an 85 that I bought new and I did go to the dealership a lot. I was never stranded, but we were fixing things a lot. I am on my third one (87 GT with 130,000) and this one seems very similar to my old faithful. Knock on wood. It was owned by the same family for 15 years and I think that is the key. It is tough to catch up on 26 years of neglect. Being a girl I am not so good with the wrenches, but so far, so good.

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JJFieroFan
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(3/24/85 to10/6/91)
Current owner of (clone) 85 2m6 and 87 Fiero GT
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JJFieroFan
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Report this Post10-13-2013 09:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JJFieroFanSend a Private Message to JJFieroFanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
By that I meant being female I do not always have the strength to wrench off those old bolts.
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Report this Post10-13-2013 02:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My white GT was fairly unreliable but once sorted this car has become as reliable as any other American car. Most Fiero reliability issues (in my opinion) can be attributed to poor maintenance techniques. (Fix stuff only after it breaks....never when it begins to show its first symptoms of failure or replace an item when it's had enough wear and tear)
On another note, besides all those reasons it's better to go Japanese for maximum daily driving dependability. In my opinion they are one huge notch above American cars when it comes to reliability. My Fiero's will never ever come close to my Toyota 22Re 4 cylinder in reliability. 330K and still going. I'm hoping to make it to 500K.
Kit
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Songman
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Report this Post10-15-2013 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SongmanClick Here to visit Songman's HomePageSend a Private Message to SongmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I bought the GT with full intentions of going through it. This thread was sort of tongue-in-cheek. Right now my biggest decision on is LS engine, 3800SC, or something entirely different. Whichever way I go, I'm enjoying driving a Fiero again.

Kit, do you still have the Reatta.
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jscott1
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Report this Post10-15-2013 09:00 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 Kitskaboodle:

My white GT was fairly unreliable but once sorted this car has become as reliable as any other American car. Most Fiero reliability issues (in my opinion) can be attributed to poor maintenance techniques. (Fix stuff only after it breaks....never when it begins to show its first symptoms of failure or replace an item when it's had enough wear and tear)


I'm going to have to disagree with this one. The issues which resulted in my GT coming home on the flat bed were not normal maintenance issues, instead things like fuel pumps, ignition modules, catalytic converters and distributors.

Even after I sorted out my GT with all new ignition parts I have replaced the distributor three times in this car. The previous owner a couple of times before that. Modern cars don't have issues like that. First of all they don't have distributors and they typically go over 100,000 miles without major components failing. No one will ever convince me that a Fiero even with all new parts is as reliable as a modern car. It's just not possible.
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Kitskaboodle
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Report this Post10-15-2013 09:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes, I still have the Reatta. I take it to Burbank every year for the All GM Car show in Van Nuys.
Give me an email and I'll shoot you a pic.
Kit
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Raydar
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Report this Post10-15-2013 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Songman:
...Whichever way I go, I'm enjoying driving a Fiero again.



Cool! Congrats!
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Steven Snyder
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Report this Post10-15-2013 11:59 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 SnyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Glad to hear you got another Fiero, Dale!


I think it's all about previous owner and maintenance...

I put over 60,000 daily driven miles on my 3.4 DOHC '88 Fiero until I got a second car.
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Songman
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Report this Post10-16-2013 12:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SongmanClick Here to visit Songman's HomePageSend a Private Message to SongmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Kit, email me at songman64 at gmail. Would love to see what you have accomplished with the Reatta. I think I only still have one picture of it from when I had it.

Steve, I wish I would have had the car in time for the RFTH. Maybe next year. I come to N GA quite often. Let's get together sometime.

Steven, I know you said you were going to be in China this weekend, but do you know if any of the other LA or SD guys are going to be able to make the Coast Run?

[This message has been edited by Songman (edited 10-16-2013).]

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Kitskaboodle
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Report this Post10-16-2013 10:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
3 awesome Reatta pics have been sent your way.
I know you really liked that car Dale. Not to worry, she is alive and doing well.
Kit
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Report this Post10-16-2013 10:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My '87 Fiero was a daily driver for over 10 years. It was a pain in the butt at first, mainly because the previous owner didn't maintain it properly. After I got it sorted out, it was as reliable as any other car. Although I have to admit that "getting it sorted out" meant an engine swap, rebuilt transmission, complete suspension and brake overhaul, cooling system overhaul, climate control overhaul, etc.

That said, the Fiero is now my second car. My daily driver is an econo-box that gets almost twice as much fuel economy. On the rare occasions when the DD is down for repairs, I can use the Fiero as a backup, because it's perfectly reliable now.
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Report this Post10-16-2013 11:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Songman:

I've always loved Fieros. The latest one I bought is my 50th since 1991. After a couple of years of not having a Fiero, I am quickly getting reminded why they were always my toy cars and never my daily driver. Just as soon as I get one thing fixed, something else breaks. Two weeks ago, it was a nice trail of oil everywhere I went. This week, it is coolant. Thinking it might be time to bump the engine swap up, instead of replacing the water pump and waiting for the next thing on the 2.8 to break. But I am having a ball driving it when it's not broken!


Yeah if youd kept the first one youd only have fixed stuff once.
You are likley buying other peoples problems.
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Report this Post10-16-2013 02:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:No one will ever convince me that a Fiero even with all new parts is as reliable as a modern car. It's just not possible.


During the warm (but not hot or cold ) months I DD a 1962 Ford Falcon. The only time in three years it has left me stranded is when someone stole the battery from my work parking lot. The rest of the time, I DD a 1985 Saab. The only time its ever left me stranded is when (wait for it) the battery died - and that was about a month ago. I actually bought my Fiero to replace the Saab as DD for 2013 - the Saab has 250k on it, and I wanted to do some upgrades. I got a little sidetracked on the Fiero (because reading everyone's posts around here gets me excited), so it ended up going under the knife this year. Next year, though, the Saab will be getting a refresh and the Fiero will be getting me to work. I have zero reservations about its ability to do that. Old cars can be every bit as reliable as new cars. I haven't DD'ed anything newer than 20 years old in probably 10-15 years. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been stranded, and at least a couple of those have been self-inflicted - like knowing something is not healthy (like the battery in the Saab) and pushing it anyway.

There is nothing magic in new cars, certainly nothing that can't be replicated or approximated in old ones. I think the big thing old cars have going for them is fewer electronics. Don't get me wrong, I dig fancy new fuel injection and ignition and all that, but when a coil pack fails it tends to just go. When a distributor fails, it tends to give lots of warning and hours, days, or weeks of reduced performance before finally croaking. When I take road trips in the Saab, the two spare parts I carry are a spare ignition module and spare mass air flow meter - two things that might just die on me. I'm not carrying anything mechanical, because mechanical things tend to give warning. IMHO, more electronics equals more opportunity for spontaneous failure and total stranding. Less of them equals more opportunity for getting where you're going, even if it may not be in total comfort.
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jscott1
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Report this Post10-17-2013 03:01 AM 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 thesameguy:


During the warm (but not hot or cold ) months I DD a 1962 Ford Falcon. The only time in three years it has left me stranded is when someone stole the battery from my work parking lot. The rest of the time, I DD a 1985 Saab. The only time its ever left me stranded is when (wait for it) the battery died - and that was about a month ago. I actually bought my Fiero to replace the Saab as DD for 2013 - the Saab has 250k on it, and I wanted to do some upgrades. I got a little sidetracked on the Fiero (because reading everyone's posts around here gets me excited), so it ended up going under the knife this year. Next year, though, the Saab will be getting a refresh and the Fiero will be getting me to work. I have zero reservations about its ability to do that. Old cars can be every bit as reliable as new cars. I haven't DD'ed anything newer than 20 years old in probably 10-15 years. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been stranded, and at least a couple of those have been self-inflicted - like knowing something is not healthy (like the battery in the Saab) and pushing it anyway.

There is nothing magic in new cars, certainly nothing that can't be replicated or approximated in old ones. I think the big thing old cars have going for them is fewer electronics. Don't get me wrong, I dig fancy new fuel injection and ignition and all that, but when a coil pack fails it tends to just go. When a distributor fails, it tends to give lots of warning and hours, days, or weeks of reduced performance before finally croaking. When I take road trips in the Saab, the two spare parts I carry are a spare ignition module and spare mass air flow meter - two things that might just die on me. I'm not carrying anything mechanical, because mechanical things tend to give warning. IMHO, more electronics equals more opportunity for spontaneous failure and total stranding. Less of them equals more opportunity for getting where you're going, even if it may not be in total comfort.


You've been driving old cars so long that you don't even know what you are missing. I drive across country in a new car and guess what I bring? Nothing, nada. No spare parts, no tools, nothing. Because nothing ever breaks.

I agree that most mechanical parts give warning before they fail, but with electronics not so much. I have had ECMs just let the smoke out without warning. And when my distributor went out, I had just had the car emissions tested the day before and it passed with flying colors. There was no warning when it just went poof.

The Fiero is a great car from the 80s, and I'm glad you enjoy daily driving it and other old cars, but those days are gone forever for me. No amount of anecdotal evidence will convince me that 80s technology is as good as 2013. GM in particular cut a bunch of corners to save a penny here and a penny there. When you buy the new parts they have the same design flaws so they are not really any better. And don't get me started on the suspension. In stock form it's horrendous by today's standards.

For me the Fiero is what it is, a fun little car from the 80s. Virtually any car made today is going to be better in every way measurable. Just my $0.02
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Report this Post10-18-2013 01:58 AM 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 SnyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote

Steven, I know you said you were going to be in China this weekend, but do you know if any of the other LA or SD guys are going to be able to make the Coast Run?


I haven't talked to anyone else recently, but if I talk to Chris West before I go I'll mention it to him for sure!
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Report this Post10-18-2013 04:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroTonyClick Here to Email FieroTonySend a Private Message to FieroTonyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


You've been driving old cars so long that you don't even know what you are missing. I drive across country in a new car and guess what I bring? Nothing, nada. No spare parts, no tools, nothing. Because nothing ever breaks.

I agree that most mechanical parts give warning before they fail, but with electronics not so much. I have had ECMs just let the smoke out without warning. And when my distributor went out, I had just had the car emissions tested the day before and it passed with flying colors. There was no warning when it just went poof.

The Fiero is a great car from the 80s, and I'm glad you enjoy daily driving it and other old cars, but those days are gone forever for me. No amount of anecdotal evidence will convince me that 80s technology is as good as 2013. GM in particular cut a bunch of corners to save a penny here and a penny there. When you buy the new parts they have the same design flaws so they are not really any better. And don't get me started on the suspension. In stock form it's horrendous by today's standards.

For me the Fiero is what it is, a fun little car from the 80s. Virtually any car made today is going to be better in every way measurable. Just my $0.02


One thing that you forgot to mention that you do bring with you and your new car. Your car payment book.


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jscott1
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Report this Post10-19-2013 04:09 AM 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 FieroTony:


One thing that you forgot to mention that you do bring with you and your new car. Your car payment book.



Yeah well it doesn't have to be a brand new car. My 07 Chevy has been paid for now a couple of years and with 100,000 on the clock it's still more reliable than any Fiero that I own.
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