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Seed money available- interested? by cam-a-lot
Started on: 10-28-2013 08:27 PM
Replies: 34 (1226 views)
Last post by: Boostdreamer on 11-07-2013 08:46 PM
cam-a-lot
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Report this Post10-28-2013 08:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The only reason I have a Fiero is out of nostalgia. It was the first "cool" car I owned when I was young, had many of them, and still brings back memories. I enjoy it because it is simple and a little different, but have no illusions about it as any kind of performance machine, status symbol, or penis extension. It is an overweight, underpowered, 1980's economy car with a cool look. With that said, it has a loyal cult following, and I have enjoyed the people I met (even the battles I have fought with some "vendors" ). Other car clubs I have belonged to seem to have a much stronger vendor base due to supply and demand. BMW and Porsche for example, have a ton of solid vendors, even for antique 25-30 year old models. Fieros are pretty much forgotten in automotive history, so we are stuck with flaky, fly-by-night vendors (with notable exceptions such as Rodney, FieroStore, BMWGuru, Fieroguru, etc.).

The reason for my post is my frustration at finding a half decent vendor to provide parts and support for engine swaps. I don't want to rehash the past, but I have had a bad experience. Others have had similar experiences with Whodeanie,FOY, Lloyde, etc. Regardless of what the reasons are, this is very frustrating. Let's face it. People putting money into the 2.8 and especially the 2.5 engine are pissing in the wind if they want a modern, powerful, reliable drivetrain. The only logical thing to do if you want power and reliability is to put a decent engine into the car. Here is the problem...... Many people such as myself have the brains and the money, but don't have the time, tools, or knowledge to figure out how to fab the parts needed. Others that do have the skills on this forum often seem to be one paycheck away from starvation, so vendors end up being flaky, unreliable, and generally not worth the risk.

Long story short, I am willing to put up some seed money to help someone who DOES have the skills, knowledge, and work ethic to create proper swap kits. I am not talking about promising to make kits after a deposit is received... that is hokey. I am talking about designing, making, and keeping parts in inventory. When someone makes a purchase, we ship. Just like Rodney. No screwing around, no chasing people.

I am not doing this to make money- I don't think for a second that there is profit to be made in the Fiero crowd. I am doing this to help others in my situation, to invest and get back my investment, and hopefully keep a few of our glorified Chevettes on the road.

I am offering $10,000 seed money. I am also offering to laser/waterjet cut all necessary parts if you do the design/engineering work. I don't want to, nor do I have the skills to design and test the kits. I am able to write the checks, and I am able to cut the parts. You do the testing, you do the welding, you deal with any irate customers/returns, etc.

The kits should include mounts, exhaust, wiring harness, and intake. We should limit the choices and make the customer adapt to our choices, not try to adapt to theirs- as lack of uniformity will create confusion. The kits need to be for 3800 and Ecotec motors.

I don't give a crap about your credit rating, and I don't want to put a lien on anything. A handshake, and we have a deal. Once I get my investment back (and you'd better fix up my car in the process....LOL), you will retain 100% control of the business and profits.

Darth
Mustangsbware
Justinbart
Dennis L
anyone else....

Ball's in your court if you think you can make a few bucks with this. I am ready to take the gamble

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Blacktree
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Report this Post10-28-2013 09:00 PM 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
Just FYI, there's already a guy who makes Ecotec swap kits. His name is Roger Thelin. I've met him in person many times (he lives here in Florida), and had some "hands-on" with his Ecotec swap hardware. He makes high quality stuff. He just doesn't advertise much.

That said, I think a complete 3800 swap kit would be a great idea. One of the biggest complaints I hear from 3800 swappers is having to track down all the necessary parts from a handful of vendors, and make all those parts play nicey-nice with each other. I call it the "Jedi swap", because it's like building your own light sabre.
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Danyel
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Report this Post10-28-2013 09:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DanyelClick Here to visit Danyel's HomePageSend a Private Message to DanyelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think this is a good idea .... just like Archie that makes COMPLETE V8 swaps there should be a vendor / fabricator for a 3800 series engine ..... so lets see who's gonna step up to the plate!!!!

regards
Danyel

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JimmyS
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Report this Post10-28-2013 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JimmySClick Here to visit JimmyS's HomePageClick Here to Email JimmySSend a Private Message to JimmySEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You have my attention.

I have no experience whatsoever with the ecotech swaps but do have 3800 experience. The biggest problem with 3800 swap kits is variety. Series 1,2 & 3, auto or manual. pcm location, alternator location, egr or no egr, evap or no evap, tune and so on.
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JohnWPB
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Report this Post10-28-2013 11:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JimmyS:

You have my attention.

I have no experience whatsoever with the ecotech swaps but do have 3800 experience. The biggest problem with 3800 swap kits is variety. Series 1,2 & 3, auto or manual. pcm location, alternator location, egr or no egr, evap or no evap, tune and so on.


I see what you are saying, however....


I think this is why he made a point of saying this:

 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:
We should limit the choices and make the customer adapt to our choices, not try to adapt to theirs- as lack of uniformity will create confusion.


That makes sense to me. Do the basic of what is needed. Exhaust does not change, I don't THINK based on manual or Auto... ot may I have never done the swap. The PCM mounted where the stock one is now (They don't want it there, then they have to move it on their own), pick a place for the alternator and stick with it (Consensus on what seems to be the best), Include the EGR (if customer does not want it, then they can decide to not use it when they get the kit... that or leave it out of the kit to save cost, and its up to the customer to bypass or do their own thing to resolve it). As for tuning, this is a kit, and that will have to be done by the customer / their mechanic when the engine is all installed in their car.

It's a matter of getting it down to the bare minimal, (axels, flywheel, exhaust ect ect...) and with that have a successful working swap. Any other alterations on the end of the customer, is up to them to do their own customizing.

Overall I would rate this as a good project, and certainly something that is needed.

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Fieroking
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Report this Post10-28-2013 11:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FierokingClick Here to visit Fieroking's HomePageClick Here to Email FierokingSend a Private Message to FierokingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
While I agree in principle with what you propose. I disagree with your "lets make the customer fit to us" statement. The great thing about the Fiero is the large number of different power plants that can fit into our cars I have done a number of swaps using 4 different engines and I wouldn't want "just another 3800 swap" or "just another Ecotech swap" in my car.

I do have available, engine mounts, low mount alternator bracket and axles for the LS4 swap.

Joe Sokol

------------------
85 SE Daily driver with a 3.4 DOHC OBD II
88 Formula/GT 4.9 Allante Intake (My Baby)
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DIY_Stu
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Report this Post10-29-2013 12:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DIY_StuClick Here to visit DIY_Stu's HomePageSend a Private Message to DIY_StuEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cam-a-lot, you'll never get your investment back in any time before your funeral. Example, one made 3800 mounts 3 others copied it. One made low profile headlight buckets and now two others copied it. Same with dews. But I see your point at the same time, one stop shop. Wish there was one before I gave my car away.
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Report this Post10-29-2013 04:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LunaticClick Here to Email LunaticSend a Private Message to LunaticEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey Pete.

This is a very nice gesture for the Fiero crowd. They're are very talented people on this site and I'm sure this could become a reality for someone. Someone perhaps who has a well-equipped shop, space and time. I have a well-equipped 1 1/2 car garage that I work from. I also work in a fab shop where I have full access to all the cool tools. Like a 3500 watt CNC Mitsubishi laser. I enjoy designing and making "my own" brackets, spacers, etc. Sadly, I simply don't have the space to start a manufacturing business. If someone had space, here in Kitchener Ontario, I'd like to hear from them. I could offer "for free" some fab services. (CNC brake, laser cutting, etc). I hope this pans out for all of us! Long live the Fiero.
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cam-a-lot
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Report this Post10-29-2013 05:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Folks

Just some clarification.

I am willing to cut the parts myself. I don't have the skills or experience to design and test fit the parts, but if someone gives me a CAD drawing, I can cut them. This means you do not need your own CNC machine. In terms of not getting back my investment- let me worry about that. It is not as if I am going to cut a check to someone for $10k and tell them to go have fun. What I am suggesting is that I am willing to fund the R&D, welding fixtures, inventory for the first few sets, etc. Money would be spent gradually and wisely. The $10k is the maximum I am willing to risk- it is quite possible that it will take less. Nothing would be sold without having inventory in stock. Full payment would be required up front. This is how real business works.

I would not be negotiable on creating a wide variety of kits. For example, we would have one PCM location, one coil pack location, and one exhaust setup. My PCM, for example, is in the stock Fiero location- which is retarded. It is hot as hell- it should have been in the engine compartment. If a customer doesn't like how the kit is, then they don't need to buy it. One thing I would insist on is to have an ecotec kit. Given that it can produce gobs of power, weighs a lot less, and is readily available, I think that this is an engine that needs more attention than it is currently getting. I have no interest in V8 swaps- no need to re-invent the wheel. Anyone interested knows how to find Archie.

I am not particularly worried about someone copying the kit. While this is a possibility, it is unlikely- since most people are decent and also lazy Many of us (including myself) have purchased Fieroguru's 13" brake kit for a pretty penny. Could I copy it and sell it for less? Absolutely. Would I ever do that? Hell no... He did the work, asked politely for customers not to share confidential data, and so far it appears that everyone has respected his investment.

I don't want to keep this thread/offer open forever. Perhaps a week or two, just to see if there is legitimate interest. No dreamers please- only reply if you have the skills and time to work on this. If you have personal drama, health problems, or serious money problems, than messing around with Fiero parts should be very low on your priority list.

[This message has been edited by cam-a-lot (edited 10-29-2013).]

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TXGOOD
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Report this Post10-29-2013 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think it`s a great idea.
For those who have done the swap maybe they don`t want to have "just another" 3800 swap but for the people who haven`t done the swap I think they would like to have one that would have all of the parts and the R & D already done to where all they would have to basically do is bolt it together, plug it in and go.
I know it`s not that easy but having all of the fabricating already done would be a big plus considering the engine bay probably doesn`t vary much from Fiero to Fiero.
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Report this Post10-29-2013 11:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What a great offering.
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Report this Post10-29-2013 12:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierocarpartsClick Here to Email fierocarpartsSend a Private Message to fierocarpartsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think one stop shopping would be nice for most people. Use Archie's business model for the V-8. It seems to work. Mstangs seems to have the experience and no one has heard negative about his installs, maybe he will take up the torch. Sourcing out the harness might be an option. Make a video of the install, the rest would simply be inventory, shipping and tech help.
Great for you to make the offer.
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Report this Post10-29-2013 02:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROFLYERSend a Private Message to FIEROFLYEREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Being the last one that would ever want any thing to do with a certain person I will leave that aside for now.
Problem here is you can make up a dozen sets of mounts for just one swap using just one engine and one tranny and even use say three or four different cradles to make them on and test the fitment with and as soon as you sell them in bulk you will get a lot of they do not line up comments and the holes needed to be elongated to fit.
The Fiero has poor fitment issues when it comes to mounting and either the tolerances were too lax or just age has caused things to no longer line up nice and straight.
When installing stock parts on a stock engine with rubber mounts and rubber dog bones and on the non 88 cars the rubber cradle bushings there is lots of room to move things around and force them to line up. Now on an 88 or an older Fiero with say Rodney's aluminum bushings and poly mounts and a poly dog bone you now have a hard time making a part that will fit in all Fieros.
I have seen cases where some one buys a complete drop out from one Fiero to put in another and the mounts have to be modded or the mounting holes elongated to bolt in then the dog bone does not line up or the low mount alt suddenly hits the trunk on the new car.
This is not even looking at an exhaust that clears the cradle on an 88 and the trunk wall by a few mm or maybe 1/4 inch when being made so the trunk does not have to be cut that will not line up and fit on another 88. Now add in the differences in the 4T65E tranny alone where depending on the year you need different mounts and even different parts that come off the bell housing or for example an F23 or F40 swap making the shifter brackets where you only have so much shifter movement so either first gear is hard to get or reverse or if you really take the time on the car you get it bang on this set up will not work as well if mounted into another Fiero with a different shifter and tranny.
Now you look at stock mounts again for example an 88 V6 with a getrag will bolt right into an 87 as long as you change over to the 87 engine mount bracket and mount but build a bracket for say an F23 on an 88 cradle and the bracket will hit the 87 and older cradle where the rear tie rod mounts.
Then look at price some like to complain about how much they have in their cars but with a kit like for example to ones I make from time to time that sell for around $1,000 depending on engine and tranny and compare to say Archie which has a very nice kit with all the machine work to do it that will cost you what over $3,000 to get or more. We drive Fieros here not Corvette's or Ferrari's that are worth a lot more in most cases and even more is we have cars no longer made that have no support from the manufacturer that built them making things a lot harder to come by parts wise.
Yes a nice kit with laser cut pieces and perfect welds that have perfect fitment that allows no or minimal engine movement would be great and also expensive putting the kit out of reach cost wise for a lot of people and that is if some one can find a way to make one kit actually fit all Fieros not just the one the kit is made on.
Not trying to sound negative just talking from experience after many years of doing engine swaps, making parts and dealing with the people who own these cars of ours most of which are great people.
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Grantman
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Report this Post10-29-2013 04:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GrantmanClick Here to Email GrantmanSend a Private Message to GrantmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
so it's not possible to create a standard kit for a 3800 with a 4T65E with mounts, exhaust, belts, brackets, dogbone, bolts that will bolt right in? That my 86 cradle will be so different than someone elses' 87 cradle that fitment will be compromised and I'll need lots of modifications?
doesn't seem possible that even back in 86 that tolerances would be that loose.
the only way to make sure of fitment is the car in the shop everything custom made on the spot? Not being sarcastic, I just am asking I have no experience from which to draw from. My 3.4/4T60 is pretty much a no brainer compared to what the rest of you do.
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Report this Post10-29-2013 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for silver 85 scClick Here to Email silver 85 scSend a Private Message to silver 85 scEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am more than willing to help out. I work for a job shop and have access to Inventor, Auto Cad, and Solid Works. I also have 18+ years experience in manufacturing and design. I have access to all the equipment in the shop. We have a sheet roller, cnc structural roller, robot wekder, spot welder, mig welders, tig welders, lasers, cnc press brakes, cnc panel bender,cnc punch press, pem setter, iron worker, mills, small lathe, cnc saw, and a Bentec machine. We now have a Faro arm for reverse engineering, and a Virtek scanner that can also be used for reverse engineering. I have a weather pak connector tool for wiring and a source for weather pak connectors, terminals, and seals. I can do full documentation and schematics once everything is mapped out. www.Gieseco.com is our website. We specialize in low volume production runs which would be perfect for this application. As for fixtures I have found the best way to go is to slot and tab all the parts so they fit together like a puzzle. You would be amazed at how 1-2º messes up things. You would also be amazed at how things get out of alignment from the heat of the welds. I think it can be done with patience and a lot of attention to detail. I even know of two cars that are local that have the 3800 super charged swap done. One is an '84 and the other an '88.


Rich
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FIEROFLYER
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Report this Post10-29-2013 05:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROFLYERSend a Private Message to FIEROFLYEREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I do a swap I make all the parts on the engine right on the cradle getting the swap then the final things like the dog bone are with every thing right in the car so I am sure every thing is lined up nice and straight and level.
I have taken say a dog bone bracket then from that car and tried to mount it on another car getting the same swap and it would be off. Now we are only talking on average a small amount say a max of 1/4 of an inch but that is enough with a poly dog bone to become a problem.
Now on swaps using the Fiero factory rubber mounts with a rubber dog bone that little bit off means a lot less.
How many times have people found say removing or installing a dog bone on a stock Fiero that the engine needs to be pulled back or pushed forward to get the bolt in or out or that the dog bone rubber is worn or bent to one side form misalignment now add in poly mounts and a poly dog bone and it is worse or just not usable in some cases.
Making a swap harness is no biggie and there is no need to make it only one way, making mounts for the matching year is also not too bad the tranny mounts pretty much always line right up it is the mounting holes on the cradle for the engine mount that is usually off slightly which can be fixed by elongating the holes. How many times have you seen on here that so and so's mounts did not line up and the holes were off.
But really if you just paid good money for the mounts are you going to like having to elongate holes for it to fit and if it is poly again over rubber the alignment is even worse.
So basically the harness yes no problem the tranny mounts are a go the engine mount iffy and the dog bone bracket well that is most likely a no go. The biggest problem is the exhaust, if you go the stock route wrapped around the engine it is much easier to line things up but it is a very long exhaust unless you go headers or custom manifolds and even then it is tight for making sure the tail pipes line up and the muffler does not hit any thing.
Go the non stock route and tolerances are very tight the 88 with its different cradle is even tighter for a muffler with out modifying the trunk. of course you could just go with the use it our way or do with out and build the exhaust system strictly for swaps losing the lower portion of the trunk then only issue is having the tail pipes line up or go with way too small of mufflers that do not flow enough for an engine like the 3800SC.
I am not trying to destroy the idea of a perfect kit I am just pointing out the problems in making one and in the end hope some one can come up with a perfect kit that fits all cars and does not break the bank for most people wanting to buy it.
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DIY_Stu
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Report this Post10-29-2013 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DIY_StuClick Here to visit DIY_Stu's HomePageSend a Private Message to DIY_StuEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On the exhaust route, build the majority then leave the needed slack in the long direction at the problem area. Then the muffler can loose and the exhaust tips and pipes can be tacked... Then... I doubt anyone would complain with having an exhaust shop finish the final welding or using the sleeved clamps to clamp it together.
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Darth Fiero
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Report this Post10-29-2013 07:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Like Flyer said, it is better to build a set of mounts to each specific swap we do to ensure the best fit and finish possible. Mass production of mounts can be problematic for all end users due not only to the (relatively) poor production tolerances GM built these cars with, but also with the different direction each person may take their swap as well as what transmission they are going to use.

If you were going to produce a complete swap kit, there would basically need to be 4 basic/different kits produced, and of those, many variations available for each. Why? Because we are working with 2 different design engine cradles (84-87 vs. 88) and two basic different types of transmissions (manual and automatic). On top of that, you've got many different variations to consider when it comes to other aspects of these cars as well as what people are building. 84-86 vs. 87-88 cooling systems; 84 wiring vs. 85-88 wiring, 4 speed vs. 5 speed vs. 6 speed manual transmissions; 3 speed 125-C vs. 4-speed 4T60-E vs. 4-speed 4T65-E vs. 4-speed 4T80-E automatics; etc.. Things are going to get complicated very quickly.

I have been approached by many people who want me to make mounts and other parts for 3800 swaps for mail order sales. Considering just the mounts - the problem with my mounts is that welding IS required in order to install them. Welding is going to be required in at least one location on the cradle and drilling holes will be required for other locations. I cannot make a 4-point mounting kit that is 100% bolt-in and is AS STRONG as what I currently produce. The 4-point mounting system is what I use and highly recommend be used for all auto trans swaps. Manual trans swaps can use a 3-point mounting system + dog bone (similar to what was used stock). The reason why I don't recommend a 3-point + dog-bone mounting system for automatic swaps is because the added weight of the automatic (especially if you are using a modern 4-speed auto) puts a lot of stress on that one mount that installs below the crank balancer. Not only that, but running a semi-solid (poly) dog-bone mount transmits a lot of vibration and noise into the chassis which is the no.1 complaint I hear from customers who own 3800 swapped Fieros (ie: idle vibration and noise produced by these engines). My current version of mounts utilize rubber control arm bushings which offer a significant amount of vibration and noise isolation between the powertrain and cradle as well as high strength and durability characteristics while minimizing powertrain movement within the engine bay during operation.

I don't want to shoot anyone's dreams of producing a "kit" down but I have seen it before and foresee too many problems trying to sell a kit for "everyone". I have seen people try to sell complete custom mount kits for 3800 swaps in the past and have read complaint after complaint posted on this forum about how none of the mounting holes lined up properly when they were used. I think you are going to run into this problem as well as some of the others I discussed earlier. It would be far easier to produce a complete swap kit if GM changed nothing in the design of the Fiero during the entire production run AND if they had better quality control. But they didn't. And this is one of the reasons why I decided against producing a complete swap kit of my own.

One other issue to consider is there are already a number of people who sell / make / modify parts for 3800 Fiero swaps. One could buy nearly everything needed to do this conversion on their own. So you're going to be competing with those existing and future vendors.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to help / contribute / make money on mail order sales of parts. Much less liability in that vs. what I currently do.

-ryan
------------------
OVERKILL IS UNDERRATED

Custom GM OBD1 & OBD2 Tuning | Engine Conversions & more | www.gmtuners.com

[This message has been edited by Darth Fiero (edited 10-29-2013).]

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cam-a-lot
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Report this Post10-30-2013 02:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Excellent advice, thanks to those who chimed in. I knew about some of the pitfalls, but there are a few others raised that I didn't know about. By the way, what I meant by complete kit was not quite clear. I don't propose selling EVERYTHING needed for the swap- there are far too many parts involved. I don't think that we would want to try to make an exhaust and ship it- what I meant to say was that the kits would be designed to fit with 2 types of exhaust, and that's it. Factory manifolds, and headers, like the nice ones that 86Toy makes, for example. I didn't mean to imply that we would make a complete exhaust and sell it. We would need to limit choices, otherwise it would be mayhem. Off the shelf items like fuel pumps, etc would not be stocked- part numbers and links would be provided.

I didn't realize that there is such a big variance in manufacturing tolerances on the cradles- this is a big problem and may be a deal breaker.

I appreciate all the comments- it is better to go in with eyes wide open for sure. I will wait a few more days to see if anyone wants to invest their time in this- as I have neither the time or the knowledge. So far, no takers.
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Report this Post10-30-2013 08:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KOSClick Here to visit KOS's HomePageSend a Private Message to KOSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:

Excellent advice, thanks to those who chimed in. I knew about some of the pitfalls, but there are a few others raised that I didn't know about. By the way, what I meant by complete kit was not quite clear. I don't propose selling EVERYTHING needed for the swap- there are far too many parts involved. I don't think that we would want to try to make an exhaust and ship it- what I meant to say was that the kits would be designed to fit with 2 types of exhaust, and that's it. Factory manifolds, and headers, like the nice ones that 86Toy makes, for example. I didn't mean to imply that we would make a complete exhaust and sell it. We would need to limit choices, otherwise it would be mayhem. Off the shelf items like fuel pumps, etc would not be stocked- part numbers and links would be provided.

I didn't realize that there is such a big variance in manufacturing tolerances on the cradles- this is a big problem and may be a deal breaker.

I appreciate all the comments- it is better to go in with eyes wide open for sure. I will wait a few more days to see if anyone wants to invest their time in this- as I have neither the time or the knowledge. So far, no takers.


With the proper engineering I am not sure there are as many issues that have been mentioned. Make it so the customer has to drill their own holes instead of worrying about alignment issue etc. I dont see how that is an issue at all. Actually I havent read one deal breaker yet as far as this is concerned. There are many individuals that sell parts but as you said if you want to be a one stop shop and there are known variances then those can be accounted for and designed into the final product. Even if that means that a customer has to do some leg work on their end to understand what "kit" is needed. As long as there is a detailed instruction of what to look for or what to measure etc I dont see that being an issue.

If someone wants a custom set up then have at it, and shop around to individual sellers. As for a close to turn key kit I think it is something that is needed for this market. If it can be engineered right there may be more swaps done. I know I am currently collecting the parts to finish mine and it is a pain in the ass. I have a small shop in my garage (lathe, cnc mill, mig etc etc) and I imagine I will have to fabricate most stuff myself. But even with all of these tools I would easily buy a completed kit swap kit with the majority of parts (depending on price of course). Would make things much simpler. I personally would rather drill a couple of holes and do some final welding than have to measure cut, drill, weld multiple times for everything I need then install.

The biggest deal breaker will be being able to get the PROPER R&D done to be able to produce the right parts. If you want to pm me I can offer some advice on how I used to do my R&D when I had my motorcycle business back in the day and sold to 8 countries through 25 distributors and even had some of my stuff show up in motorcycle magazines.

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Dan
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Boostdreamer
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Report this Post10-30-2013 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I always thought if I ever won a lottery I would finance a tractor-trailer and crew to be traveling Fiero experts. Kind of the Fiero A-Team, to use an 80's description. The trailer would have all the cutting, welding, diagnostic machines, dyno, and parts that any Fiero would need. The tractor would be the extended kind with room for several crew members or better yet, set it up like a double trailer with one being a camper. It would not have to be operated by the same people or even all the time. There could be a rotating list of people who just would like to spend a week or two on the road in a Fiero adventure volunteering their time. It would have been perfect for the Tyler's Toy project or other community service projects. It could be set up at major car shows and expos. It could be scheduled to be certain places on certain dates and owners in that area could register for services during that time span.

Of course that is big dreaming, but could this idea be scaled down enough to make it financially possible while still being effective? Maybe use a bread truck? Members offer the use of an extra bedroom to the operators? Used tools and equipment? Accept your donated parts as it travels through your state? "Buy me a hubcap" button on this forum like the "Buy me a Beer" option that would let people make donations? Ask other vendors to increase their prices by 5% in order to support the traveling truck? Of course you would charge the people getting the services.

What would this accomplish?
First it will be a first! I don't know of any other car-specific support truck owned and operated by the members of that car club.
It could become part of your Fiero Bucket List. "You know, before I die, I'd like to travel out west on the Fiero Truck and spend about two weeks seeing the scenery and helping folks."
It would look great on a resume. Community service AND a unique work experience.
It would help people! The original request to find someone here who possesses ALL the skills needed to make a complete 3800 swap kit is a daunting task. There are many skilled craftsmen here but most specialize in one medium or another. It would be easier to say Member X supplies the mounts, Member Y makes the harnesses, Member Z makes the exhaust, and they all send them to Member A who manages the use of the truck.

Just a dream? Maybe it is a seed for your seed!

------------------
Jonathan

'68-69 GTO Nose - The Project has Begun!
My '85 L67 Build Thread

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Report this Post10-30-2013 11:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopClick Here to Email rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
"Would you like brakes with that 3800 ? " Supersize me !
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Report this Post10-30-2013 03:21 PM 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 rourke_87_T-Top:

"Would you like brakes with that 3800 ? " Supersize me !




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qwikgta
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Report this Post10-30-2013 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When doing my 3800 swap I found the easy part was getting all the parts, and making them fit my car. Yea, I had to "tweak" the WCF mounts a little to make them work, but what's the big deal? My biggest issue was the FORUM. yes, the FORUM is filled with so much information that its hard to find, read and believe it all.

Look up 3800 Axle information, try to find help making a harness w/ digital CC, how about the NA 3800 crowd, not a lot of data for us "supercharge challenged" folks.

I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to figure out what threads are full of crap, and get rid of them. Lets create a "3800 axle - truth/myth" thread. (Only one, and get rid of the rest) I'd rather find a "3800 from start to finish" thread, or "Want an Ecotec - read this first".

I know we (I) ask a lot of questions, but the one thing that just chaps my ass is the number of idiots who chime into every thread with "I think you do it like this..." or " I don't have any firsthand knowledge, but I'd suggest...". STAY OUT. Also, how about after we get the answer and it works, post that back into your thread. I did this the other day after I found an answer to my very own "3800 axle thread".

We also have a few folks who always, and i mean always help out, and the best part is that the information they share is accurate.

I don't have an answer for the OP question, it may be too difficult to create a "one size fits all" swap kit, but i'd like to figure out how to better database the data we already have.

Rob

[This message has been edited by qwikgta (edited 10-30-2013).]

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Report this Post10-30-2013 06:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
While I think the offer of some seed $$ to help someone develop a kit is a nice gesture, the issue will be finding the "right person" to take you up on your offer.

The vast majority of people or current vendors (full-time or part-time) who are capable of taking on this project have likely already looked into it a time or two and decided not to proceed. The devil is always in the details and people/vendors who take pride in their work & reputation, only do things a certain way. To these people, fitment issues or requiring a customer to modify parts for use is a no-go.

To get past the tolerance issues with the cradle, you need to measure a large # (like 25 to 100) of cradles of each type (84-87 and 88) to get a sampling of the variation and have a better idea of where the mid point of the variation is, then design your mounts to the midpoint and possibly use an oversize hole (or slotted in the direction of variation) to help compensate for the rest of the variation. This will reduce the magnitude of the variation seen during install vs. someone building a fixture off a single cradle that could be at the variation extreme (or even bent/tweaked), which will likely have more fitment issues. But who has easy access to enough cradles or is willing to take the time to do this with a high level of accuracy (+/- 1/32")?

The other huge issue (in addition to the all the engine/tranny variations) is drivetrain placement in 3D (front to back, side to side, and elevation). Most non-V8's have +/- 1" or more opportunity for movement in most directions, so it happens. Sometimes the transmission dictates the placement (like a 4T65e-hd on an 88 cradle), other times its the engine (valve cover, accessory drive, etc). To avoid trimming/denting sheet metal, is also a reason for altering the placement, as well as, trying to get a lower CG or to avoid notching the decklid. Everyone weighs the compromises of drivetrain placement differently, so engine and transmission mounts (and drivetrain placement and the needed axles) vary a great deal from vendor to vendor, which is why there are so many issues with mixing/matching parts between vendors.

Now if someone wanted to make the most universal set of transmission mounts, you really have to R&D every common swap in an 88 engine bay to find the range of placements that fit. Then take all that data for each combo and start comparing them to see if you can find a single location that works for 80% of the combos. This will be the optimized placement. Then start taking a hard look at the various transmission bosses and find similarities to reduce # of mounts needed. For example, the Getrag and 4 speed have 3 bolt bosses in common on the front side, so if your mount only uses these 3 holes, it will fit both transmissions. On the rear, the bosses between the 4 speed, Getrag and Isuzu are very close, but the height of the bosses is slightly different. So build your mounts for the tallest bosses, then add machined spacers for the shorter ones. The F40 and F23 are completely different (in more ways than just mounts).

Once you know what combos your transmission mounts can work for, then focus on all the needed engine side parts to offer the full fit for each engine combo. You might also want to see what chassis mods are needed for the other 20% of engine combos that don't fit and see what it takes to make them fit. The engine side will also get complicated due to changes in engines/accessories by engine type, application, year, or all 3. For example, do you keep the stock fiero A/C and Alternator, or use the ones off the new engine...

After all that is done, then partner with a harness guy and let him custom fit a harness to each of your swaps so when he sells a harness for your kit, your customer gets the best fitting/visually appealing harness vs. a more universal one.

Many will say that I am making it way to complicated, and that's their right. My intent was to share the way I would approach the issue...

If you take the easy route at the start and just make say a 3800 kit for the auto and manual transmissions. When you want to expand to another engine family (like the ecotec) to grow your business (or to meet the requirements of the seed $$$), then you will have to completely design the entire mount package yet again. Since you will then have many different mounts for the various applications, it will be easy to grab the wrong one and send the wrong part out.

[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 10-30-2013).]

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VariousVices
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Report this Post10-31-2013 02:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for VariousVicesSend a Private Message to VariousVicesEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Im down!! and would be willing to invest as well.......I have a fiero SE , a running ecotec cavalier, a running small block 3rdgen TA, all id need is a 3800 (and Ive been looking) and id have all the popular swaps covered.....I have the skills and the timing is perfect because the winter "dryspell" for the remodeling trade is here so Ive got waaaay too much time on my hands . I can literally devote 16 hours a day to this project.

I ve been a lurker on the forums for years and am on my third Fiero, and would jump at the opportunity to make a business out of my love of automotive customizing, and this could be it. I have had grease under my nails since I could ride a bike, and have "built", customized, or extensively repaired the following: 93 Geo Storm (don't laugh) 87 Fiero ,76 Corvette, 84 Fiero, 93 Mustang, 84 Trans Am, 04 Cavalier, 01 Protégé, 97 Mustang, 94 Ranger, and a 86 Chevy custom deluxe.......ex local 28 Iron worker, no stranger to metalwork or fab plus Ive got my welding guru that lives literally 1 minute away.......

I have performed and wired motor swaps before, and the info is here for all of the popular swaps .....lets do this, you supply the capital, Ill supply the cars and powertrains and the labor to keep an inventory of swap parts and kits for the Fiero at the best possible prices ......I have an 86 manual fiero id shop around for a cheap 88 for mount fab.....I have access to several pick and pulls that have acres of awesome inventory and great prices on FWD motors and trans...........I know my post count isn't high but ive been around since 02, I just suck at typing so I don't post, plus the info is out there if you look so most questions are answered.......Id even be willing to hire "consultants" from this community for information that the pros mentioned in the first post, who would be willing donate time and knowledge to make this endeavor succeed quickly. id give updates and you can be as involved as you want (expense reports ect.) we can iron out the details on the phone, My name Is Tony, I pmed you my number im in central VA. hope to do business with you soon.

and as far as quality, fit and finish, and customer satisfaction , all parts will be Guaranteed and Warrantied by product replacement or refund. Any customer issues will be used toward product refinement if necessary. the only product I can see benefiting from being made to order is the harness due to the many options that exist when building one.

OK lets do this!! I am confident that we can do this. Im offering up a Cavalier I bought brand new, a Fiero, and all my time, space, tools, knowledge and whatever else needed. Im ready to take the gamble.
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Report this Post11-02-2013 05:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for heavyRfootClick Here to Email heavyRfootSend a Private Message to heavyRfootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a big miller trailblazer welder able to do mig tig and stick also have a plasma. as long as I can get blue prints and all materiel needed to be welded I would be in as long as I can get paid for my material IE gasses, wire, stick and a little bit of my time. im trying to start my own bussines and this would be a great step I think to be able to get me up on my feet. I would have to do it in between being a dad and full time job but I would get them done. I don't have any swaps under my belt so we would need someone to atleast try the first few sets if you want to do it like that. one other thing is I would have to have the shipped to me and paid for shipping out. im one of the ones close to starvation kinda thing but willing to help out a great community.

[This message has been edited by heavyRfoot (edited 11-02-2013).]

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mmeyer86gt/gtp
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Report this Post11-02-2013 05:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mmeyer86gt/gtpClick Here to Email mmeyer86gt/gtpSend a Private Message to mmeyer86gt/gtpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
invest in a 3d printer to make parts for our dash that keep breaking along with a new module speedometer holder to hold the firebird next gen gauges.

I just did my 3800 mounts took about 3 days course i had to weld all the points. but the amount of jigs needed for a 3800 swap is extensive along with the number of people willing to pay that kind of money for mounts is small. i am thinking the above idea to make parts for all owners not just modders is a more lucrative market.

[This message has been edited by mmeyer86gt/gtp (edited 11-02-2013).]

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cam-a-lot
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Report this Post11-04-2013 07:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Interesting thought on the 3D printer. It would probably make a lot more sense if I had the time and interest to research other vehicles and make components for dashboards, etc. However, I don't want to focus time on making parts myself, as I will lose $500 for every $100 I earn on such a distraction.

Several people PMd me interested in taking me up on my offer. I asked each one to email me pictures of their swaps, past mounts, etc. NOT ONE actually followed through and sent me pictures, so it appears that there is no qualified candidate interested in this offer. Offer is off the table.

Thanks to everyone who provided advice- I wasn't planning to make a penny with this: I was just hoping to help enable someone to provide a much needed service.
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TXGOOD
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Report this Post11-04-2013 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I find it odd that companies have been selling swap kits for different engine and transmissions to go into cars that they never came in for years with at least a little success.
It`s not like each cradle of the Fiero was welded sitting on the ground or something.
I would think they had jigs.
It looks like s person could just make the brackets with elongated holes and once everything was sitting on the cradle then you would do the final tightening.
That`s the way a lot of assemblies generally work. It says "Do not tighten until all parts have been installed"
I guess though since the offer has been withdrawn it`s a moot point.

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Report this Post11-04-2013 08:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DIY_StuClick Here to visit DIY_Stu's HomePageSend a Private Message to DIY_StuEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Two words... CRATE SWAP!

Cradle without suspension, With Exhaust Ran sprung and braced for shipping, Mounts mounted, Harness and computer sitting there Tubing ready to hook up etc etc etc... It's not their fault your engine and trans don't fit!

:P
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BV MotorSports
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Report this Post11-07-2013 03:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BV MotorSportsClick Here to Email BV MotorSportsSend a Private Message to BV MotorSportsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There is one person that comes to mind. Fierobsessed. Have a look at his 3.4DOHC swap thread in the tech section and tell me that guy isn't the one to talk to. His engineering work is second to none.
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Report this Post11-07-2013 04:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogtlt1Click Here to Email fierogtlt1Send a Private Message to fierogtlt1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You could easily start a business making interior pieces like Dashes,Door Panels,Center Consoles,Skeleton's,Shifter Plates and many other items.Withas little as $1,000.

[This message has been edited by fierogtlt1 (edited 11-07-2013).]

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Rick 88
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Report this Post11-07-2013 07:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rick 88Send a Private Message to Rick 88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If someone was going to invest in a new swap kit I would vote for a 3.6 Camaro V6 kit. These engines produce excellent power (323 hp.) over a wide rpm range (6k plus rpm) and get up to 30 mpg too. Since they are 90 degree aluminum V6's they would even weigh less than most other engine swaps. I would love to have one of these engines in a Fiero.
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Report this Post11-07-2013 08:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DIY_Stu:

Two words... CRATE SWAP!

Cradle without suspension, With Exhaust Ran sprung and braced for shipping, Mounts mounted, Harness and computer sitting there Tubing ready to hook up etc etc etc... It's not their fault your engine and trans don't fit!

:P


This would be the way to do it. It would also allow some owner input since every one will be built as a complete unit. If the owner wanted a mandrel bent exhaust and didn't mind cutting the trunk, he could have it. If he wanted a Getrag or HD tranny, he could have that. If he wanted all the wiring hidden as much as possible, he could request that. Or, the supplier could just make what made him happy and when it was done, he could just advertise it as ready to install with ___ specs.

Jonathan

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