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1988 Formula Resto Project by BZAnathema
Started on: 02-05-2014 08:02 AM
Replies: 5 (261 views)
Last post by: BZAnathema on 02-07-2014 09:34 AM
BZAnathema
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From: Indianapolis, IN, USA
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Report this Post02-05-2014 08:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BZAnathemaClick Here to Email BZAnathemaSend a Private Message to BZAnathemaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm starting a build thread for my white '88 Formula to keep me motivated to restore it. I picked it up in August for $600 with a blown heater core and an "iffy," to quote PO, transmission. It's my first car and I'd like to restore it to all its former glory. Since it's also my DD, I can only do the necessary work a bit at a time. Here's the car just after its first wash:



And the engine bay (not the best, as you can see, but clean enough to work with):



The very first thing I did was replace the heater core. Here's a picture of my triumph over the first major mechanical work I'd ever done (note the ugly crusted coolant on the lines...eww):



I don't have any pictures of the ATF fluid/filter change process, but following that, the transmission is much better. I'm seeking a professional inspection, but it's drivable. Had new tires put on as well.
I currently have the passenger seat pulled out for the sake of cleaning the carpet and sanding the rails (ugly picture, sorry):



I'll pull out the driver seat too, but I'll have to cut through the nuts. The connecting wire between the rail locks is broken, but I can't reach the mechanism. I'll have to replace that seat in its entirety I'm sure.
Passenger side interior of car before (I'll get this image when I go out to the car today. We got 7 inches of snow in Indianapolis so I'm gonna stay inside until this afternoon):

So yeah, that's that. It's a pretty car, I hope I can do it justice. One decision I'm still trying to make is what to do about the 3.4PR (L32) in the back right now. Part of me says leave it (maybe even turbocharge it) and make the car have more of a sleeper feel to it than a complete resto, but another part says store the engine and find a 2.8 to swap back in. I'm leaning more toward the former, but I'll consider the latter if you guys think a complete restoration is a more honorable goal. Thanks for being an excellent resource, PFF.

[This message has been edited by BZAnathema (edited 02-05-2014).]

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Gall757
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Report this Post02-05-2014 09:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There is no visual difference between what you have and an original 2.8, so changing the engine is busy work. Chances are pretty good that you will have to replace the transmission. The Fiero crowd is averse to declaring anything 'honorable' or not.....we pretty much do whatever.....
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Csjag
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Report this Post02-05-2014 06:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looks amazing for a $600 car, good job on the heater core. Maybe if you end up having to redo the transmission you could swap in a 4 speed automatic.
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Formula88
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Report this Post02-06-2014 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Judging from the looks, it doesn't need much "resto". I'd just repair what it needs and maintain it.
Leave the 3.4. It's almost visually identical to the OEM 2.8. That's why it's a popular swap.

Looks like you got a serious STEAL! Congrats on a beautiful car.
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DKcustoms
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Report this Post02-06-2014 05:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Congrats on a great first car!
Can't wait to see your progress.
Should turn out to be a great project, and it seems like you have some mechanical skills already that should help you out.

I picked up my first fiero in June without a motor, once that's done I'll be repairing minor stuff like you.
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BZAnathema
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Report this Post02-07-2014 09:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BZAnathemaClick Here to Email BZAnathemaSend a Private Message to BZAnathemaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, my dumb #%$ killed the battery by leaving the door open pulling the seat out. So I'll have to jump it this afternoon and try to get it charged back up. It's too cold for this crap!
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