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).]