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My New Fiero: The Voyage Home by blainelocklair
Started on: 02-22-2014 10:08 AM
Replies: 6 (224 views)
Last post by: rogergarrison on 02-22-2014 05:21 PM
blainelocklair
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Report this Post02-22-2014 10:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for blainelocklairSend a Private Message to blainelocklairEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Now that I've introduced myself and posted some pics of the car...

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/093539.html#p7

... I can tell the story of its journey from its former owner to its new one.

I bought the car in Charlotte, NC on Feb 9, 2014. It looked good and ran good, especially for a car that was 28 years old and pretty much original. As with all cars that are old enough to have been around for the Cold War, the Reagan Administration, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I knew that there would be maintenance issues to be dealt with. However, it was a nice Fiero, and I was looking forward to the drive home. The only gauge that wasn't working was the coolant temp gauge (foreshadowing).

I got on I-77 from Charlotte toward Columbia, and all seemed to be going to plan. Well, except that the car seemed... sluggish. It just wasn't keeping up with traffic. I would find out why within a few more miles. First, the check engine light came on. A few minutes later, the car started sputtering, and the coolant temp warning light came on. Then, the car stalled on the side of the interstate. Not quite how I envisioned the trip home working out. I turned on the heater to help dissipate some of the heat and popped the trunk to vent the hot air. Soon, steam and leaking coolant started spewing out. After a few cool downs and restarts, it finally limped here at about 10 mph, where I finally parked it, still running, for the night at this local Exxon:



The next day, I returned to the Exxon with a pickup truck and a U-Haul car trailer attached. My plan was to drive the cool car onto the trailer, a two minute event that wouldn't overheat the car again, then tow it home for repairs. Imagine my dismay when I found that the car wouldn't start. It would turn over, but just wouldn't fire up. There I was, about 150 miles from home, with no way to put the car on the trailer. I called a local tow company, and they came to the Exxon to assist. They loaded the Fiero on their truck, then backed up to my trailer and rolled it from their trailer to mine. The finished product looked something like this:



Note the Plasti Dip on the wheels, an issue I've corrected and will share in a future post.

After getting the vehicle home and following the factory service manual for ignition issues, I found the problem with the failure to start to be a faulty ignition coil. I replaced the coil, and the car started right up. The coolant leak was related to, of all things, a leaking hose on the coolant overflow tank at the base of the tank. There was also a very slight drip at one of the connector hoses between the coolant tube and block coolant tube on the driver's side, which I replaced. Oh, and you might remember earlier in this story that I turned on the heater to help dissipate heat. Well, that obviously didn't help too much, and I later found out why. First, only turning on the A/C would have manually turned on the radiator far. But, in this instance, it wouldn't have helped anyway. When I tested this at home, I found that the fan didn't come on when I turned on the A/C. Turns out, the radiator fan relay was burned out. A quick trip to the local parts store for a new relay, and the fan turned right on. I've also replaced all plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor. I've checked and topped off all fluids and checked the ALDL for codes (found one for the coolant overheat and one for EGR, a separate post down the road).

Overall, I've nursed the patient back to health. It's back up and running, and, except for what I believe might be an exhaust leak at the manifold and a rough idle, it's back in business. As time goes by, it will continue to get better, and I've learned from the experience. I enjoy owning the car, and look forward to seeing it become the Fiero that I have looked forward to owning for so many years.

[This message has been edited by blainelocklair (edited 02-22-2014).]

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Gall757
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Report this Post02-22-2014 11:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A lot of us will relate to your story. I was lucky enough to get home with my car, but by the time I got home I had a list of about a dozen things to fix.
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dematrix86gt
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Report this Post02-22-2014 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dematrix86gtClick Here to Email dematrix86gtSend a Private Message to dematrix86gtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The trips always start with Visions and big dreams but progress to a longer list the closer you get home. I traveled about 600 miles to get mine and they said it just needed a new Hyd system the reason it wouldnt go in gear. after driving it, that wasnt the problem. After weighing the good. Crate 3.4, new tires, Texas body (no rust) and the bad . Trans prob. I went ahead and bought the car. Trailered it home and rolled it into the shop and slanted the cradle pulled the trans and to my suprise they had the clutch disk in backwards. Mine as well was a quick fix. almost all the problems with these cars is people rig them to run or to get a quick sale. when repairing it takes just as much time. Mechanically mine is in excellent cond now, besides the Pig squeel from the belt (Dodgerunner to the rescue)
Im glad yours was just alot of little minor problems. To many People have been burned by sellers just to make that quick dollar. In my case the guy i bought mine from had a well known shop in Ft.Worth suburb install the clutch backwards. He was at a loss when i posted him all the photos and Pissed when the pic came in with a hole cut in the bottom of the bellhousing so they could shim the pressure plate .

Enjoy driving your new Fiero but when it comes to Repairs only you know exactly what you want out of the repair, and enjoy working on it , after almost 30 years they all need TLC from time to time.

On a diffrent Note Ill tend to buy a car from someone faster that has a detailed list of problems with the car VS someone that says it ran good when i parked it.

[This message has been edited by dematrix86gt (edited 02-22-2014).]

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rogergarrison
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Report this Post02-22-2014 12:37 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
Glad it worked out for the most part. When I buy a car, I never drive it home from anywhere out of town. I tow it with my dolly. After a thorough check out at home, I start driving it short errands gradually going farther away until Im confident of it. It may be several months before it gets to go out of town.
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Old Lar
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Report this Post02-22-2014 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Now you know what spare parts you carry with you. Coil, Ignition module, distributor, rotor etc. I carry a box of spare parts with me when I travel in my Fieros. The only part I've needed was a rotor, but I replaced the distributor at that time. Ignition modules have gone into other's cars.
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LornesGT
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Report this Post02-22-2014 05:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LornesGTSend a Private Message to LornesGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome!

I am a very newbie too. I had planned to drive mine back a couple of hours but was lucky enough to read a few horror stories here. After getting back here I have done what Roger has done. I decide after a brake pad lock up and small fire I would just breaker her down and hopefully finish it for spring. That not looking to be happening any time soon, everything I do and want to do just adds to more. For instance I am pulling the engine so I might as well clean up everything around that right!
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post02-22-2014 05:21 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
I agree, anyone with the V6 that dont carry a ziplock bag with a module, coil and required tools is asking for it. It only takes 5 mins to change if your familar with it. You can fix it and be on your way before anyone you call can get there. Ive changed 2 or 3 in a parking lot when mine quit.
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