Just to throw some specific data in:1988 FIERO ENGINEERING HIGHLIGHTS
In its final year of production, the Fiero received a $30,000,000 redesigned
indepenent front and rear suspension systems and revised four-wheel disc
brake system making it a true sports car. The changes are as follows:
Elimination of the steering damper assembly
Relocation of shock (inside spring / coil over)
30% shorter spindle length (90 to 64mm)
30% shorter scrub radius (49 to 35mm)
20% reduction in king pin angle (7 degrees to 6 degrees)
20% longer upper control arm length (177 to 214.2mm)
25% longer lower control arm length (280 to 350mm)
12% shorter turning radius (11.4 to 10.2m)
Larger stabilizer bar (22 to 28mm)
1988 Engineering Highlights
Redesigned chassis cradle for suspension attachments
Cradle hard mounted to the frame
New tri-link design allowing for specific tuning of each component
Increased rearward rear wheel motion with jounce for reduced harshness
Lower spring rates (44N/mm to 25N/mm)
Inclusion of 22mm stabilizer bar with the WS6 suspension package
This info presented, I know that the rest of this will cause much gnashing of teeth amongst the NON '88 owners here. I may even get flamed. But I will take that risk, lol.
But, I have owned EVERY year Fiero. And ultimately, the simple reality is that the '88 suspension is better. Period. Why? Not because of "my opinion," but because of the truth in the engineering. The early cars had hodge-podge mis-matched FRONT suspensions on BOTH ends of the car that were NEVER meant to be used together- Chevette at the front, Citation at the rear. They didn't change that much from the donor cars.
So, when you consider "dive" and "squat," as well as many other factors, and then compare these TWO FRONT suspensions, guess what you get? A mess in the handling department on the whole due to these geometry problems. Modding the early cars helps, sure, but stiff bushings and springs can't change geometry. They mask the problems at best.
I will try to find the articles on the '88 that specifically discuss how the '84-87 Fieros had front and rear suspensions that actually "fought" against each other rather than working together due to these issues. The '88's, though still not complicated by even 80's standards, were DESIGNED together and were what the engineers planned from the beginning. What they got was parts bin dollar savings and they made due. It boils down to this: If the '88 suspension WASN'T a huge improvement over the '84-87 cars, GM would NOT have spent $30 million making it happen. The Fiero simply did not handle like a car in it's "class" should have, and GM put the money in to it to change that in '88.
I love all Fieros. I still have an '87. But '88's are better cars.
[This message has been edited by FieroFanatic13 (edited 04-07-2014).]