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Fiberfab Bonito and a Fiero Build by benabelly
Started on: 12-21-2013 09:21 PM
Replies: 64 (4258 views)
Last post by: GODFATHER on 02-07-2017 03:16 PM
benabelly
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Report this Post12-21-2013 09:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi,

My name is Brian I'm originally from NY and I live in Florida. I've had/built cars since I was 13. I've been through a few '55-'57 Chevy's, a '47 Dodge, '49 Austin A40, '51 Henry J, '69 Coronet, another Austin A40 and a few other cars I'm sure I'm not remembering. Last year I accidentally found a Fiberfab Aztec GT II on Craigslist and sold the second A40 to buy the Aztec. It's a fliptop car on a VW chassis. It's in great shape and will go anywhere you wan it to, but could probably use a little restoration which will wait until it just doesn't run anymore.

In the process of trying to sell the Austin,which took a lot longer than I thought it would, I found a Fiberfab Bonito in Tampa. So far, I've found 2 Bonitos in the U.S.. One is mine and one is in Georgia, (If I remember correctly.). I tried to buy the Bonito last year but couldn't agree on the price with the owner. Earlier this year, I was just looking around on the same website where I'd seen the Bonito originally and it was back after the ad had been removed months earlier. It turns out the relisted only 2 days earlier. So I went to look at it again and this time the owner and I were able to agree on a price.

The Bonito has been sitting in my shop since then. I've gone through several ideas about how to build it - except for the VW chassis. I love the Aztec, but I'd also like to be able to pass someone on the highway if necessary. I have a '65 Corvair that isn't worth rebuilding, but would make a good base for the Bonito. I also considered both C3 and C4 Corvettes. And of course the Fiero.

A few days ago a nice '85 GT 4 speed car on Craiglist and - after checking here to find out what to look for when buying a Fiero - I bought it.

I've liked the idea of building the Bonito as a mid-engined car and both Corvette options put the engine up front and the Corvair is very incomplete, just a shell, and would've required a lot more parts buying and money.

Plans are to get the Bonito body on the Fiero. Either as one piece, which it is now, or by splitting it up and using the front end and rear end and maybe using the Fiero roof. The width of the Fiero is the biggest obstacle, but I have done a few photoshop images of the Bonito widened, and lengthened for the Corvette, and it looks good wider and/or longer.

The Fiero is a running, drivable car. NO rust. The engine will stay stock for now. I love the idea of a V12 longitudinally, but that will have to wait. I will avoid Chevy engines at all costs. There's enough of that going on out there.

Question: Where are the threads that tell you how to take the body panels off your Fiero? I mean one thread that shows all the panels being removed. I've searched 20 different search phrases and I can't find them. Can someone post a link?

Now let's see if I can post a couple pictures...

Stock



6 inches wider, front and back:





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donnie072003
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Report this Post12-22-2013 12:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for donnie072003Click Here to visit donnie072003's HomePageClick Here to Email donnie072003Send a Private Message to donnie072003Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looks like a pretty cool project. Is the wheelbase about the same as the fiero? As far as a thread on removing body panels goes I haven't seen one but I have removed every panel on a fiero besides the roof and rear upper clip.most everything is pretty self explanatory when you look it over. I know the roof panel and rear upper clip have bolts in the roof structure. Headliner has to come out to access those. Also there is some very hard to remove sealing goop between the clip and the roof panel. The a pillar parts are hard to remove without breaking them and ive seen several threads where the glass got broken trying to remove the roof panel.
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Report this Post12-22-2013 12:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jb1Click Here to Email jb1Send a Private Message to jb1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
would love to find one to build , seen a few over the years always on a vw pan, be very interesting on a fiero.. will be watching this build.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-22-2013 12:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
donnie072003, the measurements are really close. The wheelbase is off by about an inch. The Fiero is shorter. The Fiero I have is lowered so the height is 43". The way the Bonito is sitting on the homemade dolly, it's just happens to also be 43" tall. If you line the 2 cars up with the tires on the Fiero as close to centered in the wheelwells of the Bonito as possible, the front of the dash to the back of the interior of the Fiero is the same length as the front of the dash to the front of the rear window on the Bonito. In other words, the interiors are the same length. The rears of both cars line up and the Bonito is nose is longer.

The Bonito is 65" at the front fenders. It's 64 1/2" at center of the rear wheelwells. The Fiero is 6" wider. That's the big difference.

I need to get some good side view pictures of the Fiero so I can try superimposing the Bonito over it as well as cutting the Bonito picture up and seeing if just using the front end and rear end, kind of like some of the GT40's are done, will work. OR I have to try fitting the whole body down over the Fiero chassis, which means cutting off the windshield pillars and roof.

After I get the pictures I'm going to start taking the body panels off the Fiero.

I'll post pictures here as things progress.

jb1, thanks for your interest.
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motoracer838
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Report this Post12-22-2013 02:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to Pennocks

I've been involved in kits and replicas for a long time and have never seen a Bonito before, looks really cool, What windshield does it use and how hard are they to come by? I ask because some of the stuff out of the '60s used some pretty exotic glass, that can cost more than the rest of the car these days.

Joe
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tebailey
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Report this Post12-22-2013 09:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just put a Kelmark body on a Fiero, you have your work cut out for you. It's not an easy fit. The PO on mine did a butcher job that took the first year to undo. Check the kit car thread I just posted a pic there.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-22-2013 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Joe, the Bonito was made in Germany by a company that bought the rights to use the Fiberfab name over there. They made them from '69 to '79. There are a lot of pictures of them from Europe if you Google "Bonito". The rights to the body have changed hands a few times and I think there's a British company that used to make them and will still make one if you special order, but they're not in the kit car business primarily anymore. The windshield is from the Ford Taunus 12m P6. The rear-window is Opel Rekord Coupé (late 60-s). Both of them are nearly impossible to get. I don't think either of them was ever available in the U.S. My car will probably end up with some sort of Fiero windshield, or Corvair. The rear window is flat, so that's no big deal.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-22-2013 10:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
tebailey, the Fiero was definitely not the easiest choice of the cars I had in mind as donors. The C3 Vette was probably the easiest because I was just going to use a shortened rolling chassis and make a new floor. But I want that "engine under glass" look and I couldn't do that with the Vette. Well, sort of, the engine would've been so far back it would've been under the windshield. Wrong glass.

This orange car is kind of interesting because they've closed in the cockpit/fastback and have an engine cover that's looks very Fiero-ish. (Can't post. PIP can't find the server. Maybe later. Yay! 500th try was successful!)

Your car looks good. You need to post bigger pictures!

[This message has been edited by benabelly (edited 12-22-2013).]

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fierogtlt1
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Report this Post12-22-2013 10:55 AM 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
Great project...Will definitely be watching.
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Report this Post12-22-2013 02:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
See if this works.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-22-2013 03:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Found you over there.
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tebailey
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Report this Post12-22-2013 04:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Feel free to join the Kelmark forum, they opened it up to most kit cars. A lot of the info over there will be of help.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-23-2013 09:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Joined.
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MinnGreenGT
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Report this Post12-24-2013 02:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MinnGreenGTClick Here to visit MinnGreenGT's HomePageClick Here to Email MinnGreenGTSend a Private Message to MinnGreenGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very interesting project...

Funny too, that I was trying to figure out WHAT this car was in 2005, after seeing some pictures my Dad shot of one back in 1972!

http://www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin...ad=20060206-6-036583

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

Looking for Fiero posters?

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benabelly
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Report this Post12-26-2013 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MinnGreenGT:

Very interesting project...

Funny too, that I was trying to figure out WHAT this car was in 2005, after seeing some pictures my Dad shot of one back in 1972!

http://www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin...ad=20060206-6-036583



Wow! It took a while before someone figured out what it was.

I'm downloading those pictures, if you don't mind.

Everyone else, I just got done getting all the panels off. It's stripped. I'll post pictures later. I have to get cleaned up for dinner now.

It was pretty easy. I have a set of links from this site about panel removal that helped. I'm going to post them here later. It might make it easier for other people to find them all if they're listed in one place.

Tomorrow, measuring and - probably - slicing up the Bonito.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-26-2013 06:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pictures:







I have some of the front, but they're still on my phone. I'll post them later.
Helpful links when removing body panels for body panel removal or removing fender or removing rear clip or removing sail panels and so on....
Body Panel Removal Link 1

Body Panel Removal Link 2

[This message has been edited by benabelly (edited 12-26-2013).]

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fierogtlt1
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Report this Post12-27-2013 12:01 AM 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
Where in Florida are you located?
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-27-2013 01:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm in Geneva.
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fierogtlt1
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Report this Post12-27-2013 01:43 AM 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
 
quote
Originally posted by benabelly:

I'm in Geneva.


http://www.centralfloridafi....com/forum/index.php
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-27-2013 08:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, I'll sign up.
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Report this Post12-27-2013 06:25 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
We have a CFF club meeting next Thursday if you want to attend.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-31-2013 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Some pictures. I would have had them up an hour ago, but I was looking for a slideshow script for the new website.

So here's a few

No roof:



Split in two:



Gutted:



Quartered:



Mating (C'mon baby, you know you like it. Oh yeah.)



Spawning:

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tesmith66
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Report this Post12-31-2013 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Geez, dude. You're almost done! Take tomorrow off, then get back to it and be finished by the weekend. You could probably squeeze in an engine swap if you skip lunch.

Enjoying the show!

------------------
1986 SE Aero coupe.

3.4 DOHC swap is complete and running, now just have to finish the rest of the car...

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benabelly
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Report this Post12-31-2013 06:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I wish. I am going to finish cutting out the old wheelwells tonight. This way I can get the 2 quarter panels to stay on the car.
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benabelly
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Report this Post12-31-2013 10:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I ran out of Sawzall blades or I'd have both sides done. I hope Home Depot is open tomorrow.

The gap between the Bonito roof and the Fiero b-pillar:



After trimming the original wheelwell out and also some of the door jamb. The Bonito panel is too short. The rocker is in the way of the door. I'm going to cut the bottom of the quarter off just at the point where the wheelwell lip ends and eventually extend it downward. There's going to be some cutting of the current 1 piece quarter/roof panel.



The roofline looks great!



From the back.



3/4 view, sort of:


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tesmith66
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Report this Post01-01-2014 07:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looking good. You're gonna have to rework the decklid area a bunch to get engine access.

Every time I see that thing from the rear it reminds me of a first gen Camaro.
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Report this Post01-01-2014 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ArchieClick Here to visit Archie's HomePageClick Here to Email ArchieSend a Private Message to ArchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is going to be cool thread to follow.

Archie
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tesmith66
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Report this Post01-01-2014 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It's about time Archie gets to sit back and watch a build like this!

Hey benabelly, make sure to check out Archie's builds in the construction zone. Specifically, the Miura and Dino builds, as they are very similar to what you are doing.
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benabelly
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Report this Post01-01-2014 02:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I went through the whole Miura thread.

About engine access, I'd like to have the back of the car open, like my Aztec:

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Report this Post01-01-2014 04:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That would be good, my Kelmark body gave good access for a VW drive line. Access for the Fiero is a whole nother story. As long as I don't need to change my rear struts, I can at least get to most of the stuff on the ole duke.
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Report this Post01-01-2014 04:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jwct7Click Here to Email jwct7Send a Private Message to jwct7Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ahh, the Bonito,,,, I lived in Britain and it was the first Kit Car I fell in love with back in 1982 when I picked up my first magazine. I didn't like the VW idea but a few years later when I was ready to build it, it had changed hands and a new company called it the Seraph. This car was a basic spaceframe (I believe) and used Ford Cortina (Mustang II) suspension and Pinto engine up front. I think it had a Capri windshield, but I like your idea of staying with the Fiero "A" pillars etc. Good Luck with your project, I will be watching intently.
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benabelly
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Report this Post01-01-2014 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
jwct, the company that renamed it Seraph is in England, I think. The last I read on their site, they'll still make you one.

I'd like to make the front end flip up too.

I got more Sawzall blades earlier. I'm going out to the shop tonight to cut up the right side quarter panel, so I'll have pics of both panels on the car later. Maybe I'll get to the structure under the front section too. I'm not sure, but I think that might slip down over the Fiero once it's cleaned up underneath. So maybe picture of that too. The front of the Bonito was wider than the rear, not as wide as the Fiero, but it should lay over the Fiero once it's cleaned up inside.

Thanks for all the interest and encouragement, everyone.
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benabelly
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Report this Post01-02-2014 12:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got the second quarter panel setup and started cutting the guts out of the front end. There's a lot more to cut out there, but it got late and I was worried about the neighbors being bothered by the noise, so I stopped. The rocker panels have to come off too.

The front will be on the car tomorrow.

Some pictures:

Both quarter panels on the car:



The underside of the front end. ALL the insides need to come out. I tried leaving the wheelwells, but they have to go:



Some gutting, but not enough:




The original Fiberfab label! Wow!



More mating:



All filled in and done! (Not really, but it looks that way, doesn't it?)




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Report this Post01-02-2014 01:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Big PaulClick Here to Email Big PaulSend a Private Message to Big PaulEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is an awesome build! I will be following it closely! Keep up the good work!
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Report this Post01-02-2014 08:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I see an open window in that last pic. You think that just because you live in Florida you can open the windows and enjoy the warm air any time you want?

Woke up to 14 degrees and 4" of snow this morning

Keep up the good work! It's keeping me all warm inside. (Literally- I'm warm because I'm INSIDE, looking at this thread.)

------------------
1986 SE Aero coupe.

3.4 DOHC swap is complete and running, now just have to finish the rest of the car...

[This message has been edited by tesmith66 (edited 01-02-2014).]

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benabelly
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Report this Post01-02-2014 09:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Funny.

I was sweating last night. I made the mistake of taking off the long sleeve shirt I had on to keep the fiberglass off me. But don't forget, I'm from N.Y.C., I know cold weather. Plus the temps have gotten into the 20's at night a few times since we moved here 3.5 years ago. I didn't like that.
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benabelly
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Report this Post01-02-2014 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for benabellySend a Private Message to benabellyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
QUESTION:I marked up the picture below. The front fenders won't go in towards the center of the car because the Bonito headlight buckets are hitting what I guess is the front bumper frame of the Fiero. I can cut out the headlight buckets on the Bonito, but then I have almost no way of putting any kind of headlights on/in the Bonito fenders. I'd have to have the Fiero headlight popup. I don't want that.

Here's the actual question: What's in that pop up headlight area besides the headlights and just in front of them, the bumper? Can I cut the end of the bumper frame off outside of what appears to be the front frame rails (Red line)? Can I remove everything that's on the Fiero in the area covered in red?

If I can eliminate a length of the bumper outside the frame rails and remove the Fiero headlight assemblies and any sheetmetal that's under them, the Bonito fenders will slide towards the center of the Fiero. There are other issues with the fenders not fitting at the back, but that's what's wrong up front.

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Report this Post01-02-2014 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for s550wSend a Private Message to s550wEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
4 nuts hold the headlights in. either 11 or 13mm size. My memory is there is a main frame brace at the inside edge of each headlight that is most of the front bumper support on each side. You might check out threads for Norm's front end. My memory thinks that some of the metal there might be removed to fit it.

http://www.normsfiberglass.com/fiero.html
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Report this Post01-02-2014 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The PO of mine had sawzalled all that out for the Kelmark body. But I'm using the VW buckets for the Kelmark headlights. Pop-up headlights can cause too many problems.
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Report this Post01-02-2014 03:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The front bumper is actually attached to the ends of the lower frame rail, not the upper one. Many folks do just what you are suggesting: remove the headlight assemblies and cut out the front corners of the upper frame rails to install various kit car bodies, though it weakens the chassis in front quarter collisions.
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