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AM4 advantages over my current car... by rednotdead
Started on: 03-15-2014 05:44 AM
Replies: 21 (694 views)
Last post by: Formula88 on 03-16-2014 05:40 PM
rednotdead
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Report this Post03-15-2014 05:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've always wanted a Fiero, and I've been thinking about it more seriously recently now that I have some funds.

I had thought the V4 would be best - better on gas, but still fun to drive and still a Fiero. But some things I've been reading recently, as well as a test drive I did in a V6 last week, have made me hesitate. My current daily driver (and indeed the car I learned to drive on and the only car I have any real experience with at all) is a '91 Honda Civic. My worry is that the V4 doesn't offer any advantages over the Civic at all peformance-wise; both have similar horsepower, and the Fiero is much heavier to boot. Furthermore, apparently the handling of non-'88 model Fiero's leaves something to be desired - so they say.

I had the chance to drive a V6 1986 Fiero advertised on Craigslist. The test left me impressed with the power (again, I would be easy to impress given the wimpy cars I am familiar with) but the handling was.. definitely a bit...boatlike. I remember how dramatically zippy and agile the Honda felt afterwards in comparison. If that V6 werere placed with a V4... then I'd be concerned.
So, V4 or V6, if I want something that gives me more than what I already have in my Honda? Is the V4 really just an awesome looking commuter car, or does it actually have sports-car like qualities that set it apart?

Forgive me if I'm overlooking something major - I've only just started becoming interested in cars. Thanks!
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Report this Post03-15-2014 06:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
To start out, neither the Fiero nor your civic have "V4 engines," they are I4 engines, otherwise known as inline engines. All 4 cylinders are in a line, as opposed to larger V6 and V8 engines where half of the cylinders are on one side of the engine and the rest are on the other, but that is a different discussion.

Yes, the Fiero weighs a little bit more than your civic, only around 700 pounds though.

The Fieros don't handle the greatest, but there are modifications that you can make to make them significantly better.

The 2.5L 4cylinder only made 110 horsepower at the max, where the 2.8L made 140, all depending on who you ask.
There are many different engines you can swap into these cars to make them faster, almost anything will give you more power and make it more fun.
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dobey
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Report this Post03-15-2014 09:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DKcustoms:
All 4 cylinders are in a line, as opposed to larger V6 and V8 engines where half of the cylinders are on one side of the engine and the rest are on the other, but that is a different discussion.


Except for all the ones that aren't. The classic air-cooled VW boxer 4, and the Subaru boxer 4 cylinder engines, for example.There are also plenty of V4 engines in the wild: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V4_engine

Swapping a V4 into the Fiero might not be the best thing to do though.
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fierosound
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Report this Post03-15-2014 10:52 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
It sounds to me like you've talked yourself into keeping your Honda

Keep in mind the Fiero is 30 years old, and automotive technology has come a long way - lighter materials, better handling and better engine performance.

Any old car will require work AND $$$ to get performance and handling up to modern standards - and there are limitations even then.
You thought the V6 GT was slow - anything to improve that will likely not ALSO increase the mileage to better than what you're getting from your Honda.

People are swapping Turbo/Super'd Ecotec 4-cylinders in - but that a lot of work and $$$ too.
While better gas mileage than a V8 swap - it likely will still not equal the Honda's gas mileage.

Sometimes you can't have both...


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

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 03-15-2014).]

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Diamond Dave
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Report this Post03-15-2014 12:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Diamond DaveSend a Private Message to Diamond DaveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well for one I4 engines came stock with 90 to 92 horsepower and were refered to as iron dukes. Unlest you turbo or supercharge they were notorious for being gutless. I drove a girlfriends ans was turnee off by it lack of getup and go. The V6's put out 130hp in the early models and 140hp in the later models, still not a power house. Much better breathing but still a bit anemic. Again turbos and superchargers remedie this situation. You will still get about the same mpg if you can keep your foot out of it. (What fun is that.)

This is why most people who are looking for a big increse in horse power are going to likely put a V8 in it, upgrade the suspension and transmission to handle the pkwer. At 2900 pounds this car will then take to task most other cars with similar setup. Weight is still king over equal horsepower and always will be. Still a big debate over which is the best V8 to put in. I personally like the much higher reving V8 like the Northstar. When others are forced to shift I still have 3000rpms of pull left. Plus the sound of a four cammer is sooooo muuuuch more fun to listen to. Put a set of magnaflow mufflers on a caddy and fall in love with the sound of a motor again. D*mn thats sweeeeeet. Yeehaw!
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Boostdreamer
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Report this Post03-15-2014 01:17 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
You're in LA California, right? I don't think CA allows engine swaps, do they? If not, you're stuck with a max of whatever the V6 can pump out. Unless you sneak a 3.4 in there and they don't notice. All the intake stuff bolt up so I don't know if there is ANY outward indication of the larger displacement inside.

If you want to know about V-4 engines, check my thumbnail pic to the left!
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Report this Post03-15-2014 03:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Boostdreamer:

You're in LA California, right? I don't think CA allows engine swaps, do they? If not, you're stuck with a max of whatever the V6 can pump out. Unless you sneak a 3.4 in there and they don't notice. All the intake stuff bolt up so I don't know if there is ANY outward indication of the larger displacement inside.

If you want to know about V-4 engines, check my thumbnail pic to the left!


CA allows engine swaps, but getting them through CARB inspection can be a pain, more so if you do a swap with an engine mated to a type of transmission the engine didn't come with.
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rednotdead
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Report this Post03-15-2014 03:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the responses guys. And for the clarification on the "V4"... derp.

I will obviously have to keep my Honda - I was just wondering if the 2M4's possess any advantages over it at all to justify the purchase. It would be sort of a bummer if my "fun car" is less fun to drive than my daily driver. It sounds to me like it doesn't...

Yes, the Fiero is 30 years old, but my Honda was designed only several years later (of course I realize this isn't really a fair comparison).

I may just try for an 2M6 I suppose. Even the stock engine is enough power for me.

(Edited)

[This message has been edited by rednotdead (edited 03-15-2014).]

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Boostdreamer
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Report this Post03-15-2014 03:29 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
You're hitting a nerve.

It's 2M4 and 2M6. Two seat, Mid engine, 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder.
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Report this Post03-15-2014 03:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's the best place for the old Iron Duke!

On it's way to the scrap yard (or boat anchor manufacturing plant)!
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yellow peril
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Report this Post03-15-2014 04:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for yellow perilClick Here to Email yellow perilSend a Private Message to yellow perilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
ouch that hurts. I love the old dukes. wish it was going to my house.
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Report this Post03-15-2014 05:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:
Yes, the Fiero is 30 years old, but my Honda was designed only several years later (of course I realize this isn't really a fair comparison).


Not really "later" as it were. The 4th gen Civic was 87-91, and mechanically shares a lot of the technology of the previous generation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...fourth_generation%29

"Fun to drive" is all relative. The Civic is a bi tlighter than the Fiero, close to 600 lbs depending on the model, but also depending on the model you aren't making more horsepower than the 2.5L in the Fiero. The Honda engines also make their power in the higher end of the RPM range, where the Fiero's engine makes torque at lower RPMs. If "fun" to you is taking off from a stop, the Fiero will be more fun. If "fun" is revving the engine to 6500 RPM, then your Civic might be more fun to you. But even the 2.5L 4 cylinder in the Fiero makes a fair bit more torque than the D16A6 that came in the top end Civic Si in 1991, at 132 ft-lbs vs. 100 ft-lbs for the D16A6.

I have a del Sol, as well as a Fiero GT, and while they are both fun to drive, they are fun to drive in different ways. The Fiero gets more looks, and just feels racier. Both of them being the top of the line models for their year, and being stock for stock, the Fiero is more fun to drive, for me. It might be 25 HP less than the del Sol has, but the 2.8 makes about 50 ft-lbs more torque, and in the low end, vs the 7500 RPM peak of the B16 in the Honda.
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rednotdead
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Report this Post03-15-2014 08:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


"Fun to drive" is all relative. The Civic is a bi tlighter than the Fiero, close to 600 lbs depending on the model, but also depending on the model you aren't making more horsepower than the 2.5L in the Fiero. The Honda engines also make their power in the higher end of the RPM range, where the Fiero's engine makes torque at lower RPMs. If "fun" to you is taking off from a stop, the Fiero will be more fun. If "fun" is revving the engine to 6500 RPM, then your Civic might be more fun to you. But even the 2.5L 4 cylinder in the Fiero makes a fair bit more torque than the D16A6 that came in the top end Civic Si in 1991, at 132 ft-lbs vs. 100 ft-lbs for the D16A6.
.


Thanks for this response, it clears things up quite a bit. I hadn't considered torque or RPMs... Damn I'm a newbie, got myself some reading to do.
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David Hambleton
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Report this Post03-15-2014 09:34 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
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:
I've always wanted a Fiero, and I've been thinking about it more seriously recently now that I have some funds.


Try it - you'll like it!

I ordered an '84 SE in Sep 1983. I liked the looks, the unique layout & construction, and the plastic body panels. It arrived 08May1984 & it's still a daily driver with over 363,000 kilometers (225,550 miles) on it. I got an '88 Formula in Mar2008 with only 5,200 kilometers (3,231 miles) on it. The seller bought it for his son when he was born; the son grew up & chose a Mustang convertible instead. I got an '86 coupe in Jan2011 in case the '84 breaks down & needs some time out for repair. The '86 needed some rehabilitation; some cosmetic stuff & an engine replacement this past fall... it shares daily driver duties with the '84.

I like to drive the '84 (2.5L 4 speed) - it's almost 30 years old! I like to drive the '88 (2.8L 5 speed)- it's in 'like new' condition! I like to drive the '86 ('87 2.5L 5 speed) - I guess because I brought it back to life (& I like the 5 speed on the highway).

As far as performance & handling, the 2.8L is noticeably faster & sounds much better particularly over 3,000 rpm. For 'normal' legal driving, you may not notice much difference in the handling between the '88 & other years, particularly if the other years have the sport suspension option.

If you need to weigh the advantages of a Fiero over a Honda to justify the purchase, you should probably stick with the Honda.
A Fiero has to appeal to you in a way that defies logic, since almost all other late model cars are "better".
That said, it's rare for any car to be a cheaper ride than my '84. Less than $0.07 per kilometer ($0.11 per mile) for the purchase & all maintenance expenses & repairs over the last 30 years.


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rednotdead
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Report this Post03-16-2014 12:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:

A Fiero has to appeal to you in a way that defies logic, since almost all other late model cars are "better".
That said, it's rare for any car to be a cheaper ride than my '84. Less than $0.07 per kilometer ($0.11 per mile) for the purchase & all maintenance expenses & repairs over the last 30 years.



Oh trust me, it does appeal to me in an illogical way... very much so.

Would it be fair to say, that a 4 cylinder Fiero picks up quicker due to higher torque at low RPMs, but then has a harder time accelerating at freeway speeds to 60 mph and beyond? Looking at the figures, my Civic puts out only 90 torque at 4500 RPM (versus 132 at 2800 for the Iron Duke Fiero)... something that completely, utterly sucks when trying to accelerate up an I-405 onramp with 20 LA motorists behind me. I'd just really prefer to avoid that in a Fiero, if at all possible.

Of course, all these questions would be answered as soon as I get a chance to test drive a 4 cylinder. I'm only speculating from a computer at this point.

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Report this Post03-16-2014 09:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:
Would it be fair to say, that a 4 cylinder Fiero picks up quicker due to higher torque at low RPMs, but then has a harder time accelerating at freeway speeds to 60 mph and beyond? Looking at the figures, my Civic puts out only 90 torque at 4500 RPM (versus 132 at 2800 for the Iron Duke Fiero)... something that completely, utterly sucks when trying to accelerate up an I-405 onramp with 20 LA motorists behind me. I'd just really prefer to avoid that in a Fiero, if at all possible.


That's pretty much it. You won't have a terribly hard time getting to 60 MPH in either car, because the gearing is mostly set up to deal with the lower torque in either. However, in either one, if you're cruising down the highway at 60 MPH and come to a large grade, or need to pass someone and accelerate quickly from 60 MPH, then you're going to have to shift down to a lower gear. Do you spend most of your time driving on the highway, or in stop-and-go traffic?
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Report this Post03-16-2014 10:11 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 rednotdead:

I had the chance to drive a V6 1986 Fiero advertised on Craigslist. The test left me impressed with the power (again, I would be easy to impress given the wimpy cars I am familiar with) but the handling was.. definitely a bit...boatlike. I remember how dramatically zippy and agile the Honda felt afterwards in comparison.



I'm wondering about the condition of that GT you test drove.
Sounds like it had a tired engine and worn out suspension.

The cheaper the car, the more you'd have to put into it to "make it right". An old Fiero (or any "old" car) is not something to start with if you don't have any $.
There's lots of unfinished projects around where people thought it would be cheaper to build their "dreamcar" from a $500 junker than buy a "good one" to start with.
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rednotdead
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Report this Post03-16-2014 01:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


That's pretty much it. You won't have a terribly hard time getting to 60 MPH in either car, because the gearing is mostly set up to deal with the lower torque in either. However, in either one, if you're cruising down the highway at 60 MPH and come to a large grade, or need to pass someone and accelerate quickly from 60 MPH, then you're going to have to shift down to a lower gear. Do you spend most of your time driving on the highway, or in stop-and-go traffic?


More time on the highway, but it's the get up and go speed which I find more important than high speed acceleration. It tends to be that if I can't pass someone easily in my Civic, then I probably didn't need to anyways.
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rednotdead
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Report this Post03-16-2014 01:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

rednotdead

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quote
Originally posted by fierosound:


I'm wondering about the condition of that GT you test drove.
Sounds like it had a tired engine and worn out suspension.

The cheaper the car, the more you'd have to put into it to "make it right". An old Fiero (or any "old" car) is not something to start with if you don't have any $.
There's lots of unfinished projects around where people thought it would be cheaper to build their "dreamcar" from a $500 junker than buy a "good one" to start with.


Yeah, that's a distinct possibility. The guy who had it didn't drive it much, he had intended it as a project car , and seemed to be entirely unaware of the part history of condition other than "it runs fine". Parking break was broken, there was foil holding a couple of the hoses together, and eventually there was some smoke coming from the transmission which I figured resulted from a slipping clutch (at one point I mistakenly started from third gear >< , and while normally I would expect the engine to die immediately, it just kept running. I bad about having done that). I could have gotten it for 800, but walked away.
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Report this Post03-16-2014 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:
More time on the highway, but it's the get up and go speed which I find more important than high speed acceleration. It tends to be that if I can't pass someone easily in my Civic, then I probably didn't need to anyways.


Find a good 87 or 88 coupe with the 5 speed. It'll have more power than your Civic has, and can get 40+ MPG on the highway.
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Report this Post03-16-2014 05:20 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 have an 85 Duke 5 speed that I love to drive, as you said it is a low revving torquey engine and that makes it fun to drive for me. The 5 speed also makes it good for freeway cruising. I also have an 85 GT V6 that I like a lot, its a recent purchase so it needs some things like new shocks and tires but it sounds really good. the duke accelerates from 0 to 30 as fast or faster as the V6 but past 30 mph the GT gets faster.
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Report this Post03-16-2014 05:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:

I will obviously have to keep my Honda - I was just wondering if the 2M4's possess any advantages over it at all to justify the purchase. It would be sort of a bummer if my "fun car" is less fun to drive than my daily driver. It sounds to me like it doesn't...



That depends on what you consider an "advantage." Drive one and see if it's more fun. That's the advantage. If it isn't, keep the Honda.
Keep in mind how any 30 year old car performs is greatly dependent on how it's been maintained. If the suspension is worn out, and your Honda is in good shape, the Honda will handle much better. Even with both in good shape, they will feel different. It's up to you to decide which you prefer.

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