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new member, considering a fiero. by mountaineerjeff
Started on: 02-18-2014 06:08 PM
Replies: 32 (917 views)
Last post by: mountaineerjeff on 09-11-2014 07:14 AM
mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey guys, just got registered but have been lurking around for a little while. I'm a big time car guy in search of my next car. Needless to say the fiero is at the top of my list. I figured I'd start a thread to see what I should be looking for when buying a new fiero. From what I've researched it seems to be worth it to wait on finding a 88. The handling and driving experience is a big part of the reason I'm looking for a new car. While I like the fastback, I kinda like the notch too, so it's really just up to me finding a good deal on either a formula or a gt.

What should I look out for? Worst areas for rust? Is a 88 worth holding out for?

Thanks.
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
keep in mind an 88 Fiero is 26 years old that had a limited production run so may be hard to find a "pristine" one. Frame rails hidden from view are prone to corrosion. To check for rust, pull back the trunk carpet area along the sides to see how much, if any, of the trunk is corroded. They are out there, I know of a an 88 Formula with less than 3000 miles on the clock for $12K. However it has been "resting" for a few years.
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:22 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
I think how you intend to use the car would determine if you only buy an 88 or not. If your not going to autocross or race the car I don't see why an 85 thru 87 wouldn't make a fine fun ride.
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for VenturaSend a Private Message to VenturaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I own an '84 and a Formula. Both are roadworthy and reliable. In my opinion, the 1988 models are much better. There's one other thing to consider. With an automatic trans you'll be running 3100 rpm's at 70 mph. The 5 speed Getrag with drop the rpms to about 2400 at 70 mph.
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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm no stranger to rust or high maintenance vehicles, or ones that parts are hard to find. I basically have some cash saved up, and am looking for a summer DD with a/c. Instead of getting something reasonable, I started looking a fieros, and c4 corvettes. I have no problem maintaining a car, I just don't want to buy one doomed from the get go.

Should I post a wtb ad?
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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post02-18-2014 06:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

mountaineerjeff

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Member since Feb 2014
 
quote
Originally posted by Ventura:

I own an '84 and a Formula. Both are roadworthy and reliable. In my opinion, the 1988 models are much better. There's one other thing to consider. With an automatic trans you'll be running 3100 rpm's at 70 mph. The 5 speed Getrag with drop the rpms to about 2400 at 70 mph.


Sorry I didn't bring that subject up, but it's because it's not even a subject to consider....cruising rpm don't matter much to me, but it will Def need to be a manual trans.

Like most fieros, if I find one, I only plan on driving it this upcoming summer. Then it will go under the knife for a modern power plant.
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Report this Post02-19-2014 08:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mountaineerjeff:

I'm no stranger to rust or high maintenance vehicles, or ones that parts are hard to find. I basically have some cash saved up, and am looking for a summer DD with a/c. Instead of getting something reasonable, I started looking a fieros, and c4 corvettes. I have no problem maintaining a car, I just don't want to buy one doomed from the get go.



Agreed. Always get the best condition you can find.
That way you get can to "updating" rather than rebuilding.

There's lots around http://claz.org/classifieds/vehicles/cars?q=fiero
1988 Mera http://www.hemmings.com/cla...c/fiero/1520981.html


------------------
Calgary time/temp

3.4L Supercharged 87 GT Click me
Super Duty 4 Indy #163 Click me

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 02-19-2014).]

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Report this Post02-19-2014 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buy the best one and closest to what you want out of the box on your budget. If you want to do a 3800 or V8 conversion, Id try to find one already running unless you just want to do the work yourself. Dont be tempted to buy a total beaterupper thinking its cheaper to fix everything.
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Report this Post02-19-2014 03:42 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
And try to buy an 88 that is as close to stock as possible.
Kit
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Report this Post02-19-2014 10:17 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
A car is like a house. Make sure the frame is good and the rest can be fixed. I would not pass a good 87 in hopes of finding a similar 88. I bought my 86 GT about 18 months ago. It had about 62K miles and was in great condition. Very original and very complete. I paid $4200 which I thought was a decent price. Even a car like mine, that had been garage kept and used sparingly, needed a bunch of work. In fact, the engine dropped a valve last fall and I had to put another V6 in it. I had to work on the headlights, the stereo, the carpet, the brakes, the wipers, the steering wheel, the alignment, the AC, etc, etc. I just recently got everything working correctly with no codes or problems. There are still upgrades I'd like to do such as the bigger brake booster.

The bottom line is, whatever you buy, it is likely to need work to be reliable. Just make sure you buy something that will be worth your time, money, and effort. No sense throwing money at a pile of crap that won't polish.
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Report this Post02-19-2014 11:45 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
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Report this Post02-20-2014 01:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KentsOkayClick Here to Email KentsOkaySend a Private Message to KentsOkayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another new guy here! I daily drive a C4 Corvette, and am considering a getting a Fiero as a hooning about in the mud fun times car. Getrag manual is the way to go? Im also hunting about for late models, but they seem hard to come by. Why is it all the classifieds say the Fiero is a "must sell?". You'd think the damn things where cursed or something!
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Report this Post02-20-2014 07:58 AM 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
I think the reason you see so many must sells is because the Fiero is a cheap sports car to buy so a lot of people with very little money buy one and then can't afford to keep up with the inevitable repairs that any 26+ year old car is going to need. Good luck finding an unmolested 88, all the ones I've looked at were really molested.
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Report this Post02-20-2014 08:40 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 mountaineerjeff:

Worst areas for rust?

Thanks.


Worst areas for rust /best areas to quickly look and feel I would say are these, the metal above the rear tire which is a lip near the strut, and the trunk seams, you pull the carpet back and see how rusty it is.



pic not mine
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Report this Post02-20-2014 11:15 AM 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
Boy that ones stripped to the frame! I wonder if they ever got it back together.
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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post05-18-2014 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
well I have been looking up and down. I picked up another DD project to hold me until I find a fiero.

I have found a few 84-87 models, but so far I have only been able to find a single 88. its a red formula. but the interior is rough, the pass quarter needs repaired, and there seems to be a decent surface rust. I havent been able to find any holes, but I looked it over in the dark. its cheap, but its also gonna take a $200+ tow bill.

I also found a 85 notch. its a 4 cylinder 5 speed. original owner, clean in and out, runs and drives, and is much closer. also its black, which Im much happier with, not really wanting a red one.

The 88, wants 550, plus 200 for delivery. 85 is 2000. Im thinking of offering 300 for the 88, so I have 500 total in it all said and done. so my question is, whats do you guys think?

Im thinking about offering 1500 for the 85, then buying the 88 too. then take the 88 apart to basically convert the 85 over.

Is this possible? Im thinking pull the front and rear subframes, then build/restore/mod them while keeping the 85 complete. then do my motor build and install it into the 88 cradle, then just swap the whole thing out at once.

anything that keeps the 85 4 cylinder from being converted into the 88 formla?
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Report this Post05-19-2014 07:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Getting the 88 cradle to work on the other years is a real PITA.

Not only that, the 88's had the "best" suspension of all the years, so it will take some fabrication to get those components to work on the 85.

I would almost think it would be easier to use the 88 frame/chassis/ and other parts that can be saved, and put the body panels and such from the 85 onto the 88.
I think other members will agree.

Buying two, I think is a great idea, I wish I had the resources and room to do that myself.
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Report this Post05-19-2014 08:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for no2pencilClick Here to Email no2pencilSend a Private Message to no2pencilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/069178.html

Check out this listing in the mall! Sounds just like what you described, except it's not an '88.
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Report this Post05-19-2014 08:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
new member, considering a fiero. by mountaineerjeff

Run Away, run screaming into the night as fast as your feet will carry you!

These things are like potato chips,

"You can't have just one!"

OK I'm kidding, well not really, not completely, you say you have been lurking and you still joined, is wrong with you? Did you get dropped on your head as a child repeatedly, or were lead paint chips a diet staple for you?

 
quote
Originally posted by mountaineerjeff:

1. What should I look out for?
2. Worst areas for rust?
3. Is a 88 worth holding out for?



1. The guys here Jealousy will be huge!
2. Cradle, you don't want your babies engine falling out of bed!
3. NO, you need to crawl before you learn to walk, meaning you need to learn how to work on one first

just messing with you, welcome aboard the nut house !

Steve


------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 05-19-2014).]

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Shade Tree Fiero
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Report this Post05-19-2014 07:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Shade Tree FieroSend a Private Message to Shade Tree FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have 88 i am willing to sell pm me if you like .
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Report this Post05-20-2014 01:09 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 mountaineerjeff:
What should I look out for? Worst areas for rust? Is a 88 worth holding out for?

Thanks.


In my opinion...yes. The brakes alone make the 88 worth it. Yes the other years can be upgraded, but so can the 88. The C4 Corvette brakes are practically a bolt-on upgrade. The geometry of the 84-87 is sub-optimal and unless you replace it with a tubular suspension it's always going to be worse than an 88.
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Report this Post05-22-2014 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Alright, so no way around it, gotta wait for an 88. I live in WV so finding a decent example at a decent price is always a hard thing to pull off. The cheap 88 I found most likely isn't going anywhere, but it seems like it's a bit too rough to save.
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Report this Post05-22-2014 08:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've been driving my '84 SE 2.5L 4 speed for over 30 years now for over 364,000 kilometers (226,000 miles).
I still really like driving it & don't 'baby' it (although no one would notice except maybe for cornering speeds).
It's on 225/60 x 14 BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires.

I got an '86 coupe 2.5L 5 speed in early 2011 that needed TLC & swapped in an '87 2.5L last year to get rid of a death rattle.
It has 121,000 kilometers (75,000 miles) on it & compared to the '84 SE, the handling is softer & less precise feeling.
I like driving it for the 5th gear, & because I've fixed a lot of little issues and did my own swap.
It's on '88 wheels with 205/60 x 15 front & 215/60 x 15 rear Michelin Harmony tires.

I got an '88 Formula 5 speed in early 2008 (while looking for something like the '86 above). It was in showroom condition with only 5200 kilometers (3231 miles) on it so I couldn't pass it up. I like driving it because it's like new. It certainly accelerates better, but for the public road driving I do, I don't notice a significant handling improvement over the '84 SE.
It's still on the original Goodyear GT+4 tires; same stock size as the '86 above. (Always stored inside & in better condition than some 5 year old Michelins I have on another car...)

I wonder if the handling discussions might be less polarized if they differentiated between sport suspension and standard models when comparing to the improved '88 versions. For normal street driving, I suspect most drivers wouldn't notice much if any difference...

Maybe the best way to decide what you like is to try a few, as many here on the forum have! (You don't have to have them all at the same time...)

[This message has been edited by David Hambleton (edited 05-22-2014).]

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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post09-03-2014 03:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Figured I'd bring this thread back, instead of starting over. I'm still looking for a decent 88 in a good price range.

Right.now I have found 3.
One is auto 4 banger but is pretty nice inside and out.
Next is 4cylinder 5 speed. New paint job, but questionable interior.
Last is my favorite. Black formula, runner,decent price,mileage etc, but 2-3 times farther away then the rest.

So my new question. I've been looking for v6 manual, but if I'm going to swap it eventually, does it matter? Same for the auto? Or do they have other parts that aren't as sporty like brakes etc?

Plan is a more modern ecotec with manual trans to be dropped in eventually, so I want to start with the best beginner as possible. So if auto or motor is irrelevant then I'll just get the cheapest and closest one, but if it's a nightmare to go from auto to manual or from ironduke to ecotec, then I'll just make the trip to get the formula that I like more anyway.

Thanks for being patient, if you haven't gathered from the time passing I am committed to a fiero, just patient enough to wait on the right one. I don't typically sell my cars so when I buy one it's for good.

[This message has been edited by mountaineerjeff (edited 09-03-2014).]

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Report this Post09-03-2014 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for benoitmalenfantSend a Private Message to benoitmalenfantEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mountaineerjeff:
So my new question. I've been looking for v6 manual, but if I'm going to swap it eventually, does it matter? Same for the auto? Or do they have other parts that aren't as sporty like brakes etc?

Plan is a more modern ecotec with manual trans to be dropped in eventually, so I want to start with the best beginner as possible. So if auto or motor is irrelevant then I'll just get the cheapest and closest one, but if it's a nightmare to go from auto to manual or from ironduke to ecotec, then I'll just make the trip to get the formula that I like more anyway.


It's not a nightmare to go from auto to manual but if you find a manual that you like I would get it over an auto, it'll save you the conversion.

When it comes to the different versions (GT, Formula, Coupe) it depends on what you're planning to do with the car. I would get the one with the most equipment (A/C, power windows/mirrors etc.) that way it again saves you from doing the conversion later if you decide you want options that were not factory installed. On top of that, you'll enjoy the car more in the meantime until you do your swap.

------------------
Ben
87 GT / 88 GT
84 Indy #1863

[This message has been edited by benoitmalenfant (edited 09-03-2014).]

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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post09-03-2014 08:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So as long as it's an 88 I'm good. As far as options I don't really care, I typically go for the lowest trim just to avoid complications with 30 year old technology.

As far as coupe vs formula I wasn't sure if it would be too much harder with the 4 cylinder to swap due to axles or trans etc. Nothing that is above my skill set, just wondering in case I have the choice. But right now I'm leaning towards the formula I found, with it being a v6 it will at least be enjoyable enough to drive until I get the new motor built
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Report this Post09-03-2014 09:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for johnyrottinClick Here to Email johnyrottinSend a Private Message to johnyrottinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buy the best physical condition one you can with a body style you like. 84s to 88s the handle is so minor different that unless you are running it very hard (autocross, etc.) you will notice little to no difference. I have driven well setup 84s to 87s that would outhandle an 88 easy and with not too much et into suspension parts. Main point is to look out for known rust spot areas and know what you can and cannot fix. As for engines, there are so many reasonably priced upgrade alternatives you needn't worry too much about the underpowered plants in them...unless you are going for keeping it original/stock.

Bottom line: find one you like and enjoy!!!
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Report this Post09-04-2014 04:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well it will be a car that will be ran very hard. So the suspension and brakes and overall rigidity will be things that I will notice. I just wanted to make. Sure that 88s had the same cradles/suspension/brakes despite they're motor/trans.
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Report this Post09-04-2014 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DooberSend a Private Message to DooberEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have an '87, someone took relatively care of it before I got it, they had already done a few upgrades (short shifter, aftermarket front/rear sway bar, poly bushings for the rear control arms). Consider manual mirrors, the power mirror switches are difficult to find (not reproduced), and if you can find one, they're usually not cheap. Firebird/Camaro mirror switches will work, but the mount is different from the FIero... power window switches are reproduced though. The console skeleton is usually pretty brittle, so may need repair, and the console/radio surround padding often comes loose from the skeleton.

That said, I'd try to find a FIero in a dry climate if you're willing to travel at all... best bet is to start with a solid foundation. I bought GT Jan. of '12 with 140,000 miles (2.8/5-speed). Up to almost 170,000 now, and all I've had to do maintenance-wise is (most recent to oldest) an ignition module (common since the engine compartments get so hot), and the clutch master/slave cylinders. I changed the upper ball joints because I thought they had some play, but turned out I was wrong... time for some upper a-arm bushings. Aside from that it also needs some engine/trans mounts. I don't drive it easy most of the time (keeping up with crazy Tucson drivers), and it still gets around 28mpg city - I do short shift it slightly partially because it makes a decent amount of torque through most of its rpm range.
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Report this Post09-10-2014 04:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think I have found a way to get the better, yet farther away one. Everything seems to check out and is within my limited price range, gonna have someone check it out for me before I make the trip, but should turn out for the good I hope.

Black 88 formula. V6 5speed, and even has my preference grey interior (over tan)
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Report this Post09-10-2014 07:04 AM 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
Yes make sure you have someone look at it who knows what to look for. Pictures really don't tell anything.
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Report this Post09-10-2014 11:56 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
 
quote
Originally posted by mountaineerjeff:

I think I have found a way to get the better, yet farther away one. Everything seems to check out and is within my limited price range, gonna have someone check it out for me before I make the trip, but should turn out for the good I hope.

Black 88 formula. V6 5speed, and even has my preference grey interior (over tan)


I'm glad your focusing on a Formula rather than an 88 coupe. Besides the V6 the Formula is better looking and more desireable anyways .
My reminder to you is this : Fiero's tend to be abused animals. Look over the car carefully, especially underneath the car! I am truly amazed at people who buy Fiero's and don't even take the time to look underneath the car for dings & dents in the crossmember and cradle , rust , crushed coolant tubes , etc.
Kit
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mountaineerjeff
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Report this Post09-11-2014 07:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mountaineerjeffClick Here to Email mountaineerjeffSend a Private Message to mountaineerjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It seems solid.from speaking to the owner, and the person I want to look at it will know.enough, plus I.ultimately have the final.say, if rust is too bad.

I never really cared if I went with a gt or a formula, but whichever comes up and at a good price
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