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Newbie wants a Fiero... a few questions by I_N_J
Started on: 07-08-2015 09:02 PM
Replies: 21 (391 views)
Last post by: I_N_J on 07-14-2015 03:01 PM
I_N_J
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Report this Post07-08-2015 09:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Alright... First poster here... Here we go.

Firstly, My name is Ivan. As of right now, I'm 15 years old. Yes, I know I don't have a license yet. However, I've been working in a relative's landscaping business for the past few years and have a bit of money saved up for a car. A while ago, I decided I wanted a Fiero. Now, being that I'm going to have to put work into any Fiero, I figured "Why not get one before I'm 16, that way I can fix whatever needs fixing before I need to start driving it". So, I've just started looking at Fieros.

So now I have a few questions...

Firstly, any major difference performance wise between the 4 speed manual and 5 speed manual transmissions? I know most people like the fastback designs, but I like the notchies more. I don't have the money for an 88 formula, and I don't really want one because of the lack of options and nonavailability of suspension parts, so I've been looking mostly at 86s, as that's what pops up most for me. Now, I believe there were two designs made in 1986? The 86 GT with the notchback, then an "86 1/2" released later with the fastback, and they added the 5 speed in the later batch, right? So with all that being said, I haven't been able to find a notchback with a 5 speed in it. Are there any major downfalls with a 4 speed?

Next, anything I should count on having to replace? Like, anything that I should replace right away before it breaks? I know it's going to break sometimes, it is a 30 year old car, but what should I do right away? I know the vacuum tubes like to go bad, and when the AC dies I'm gonna have to convert it from R22, but are there any other parts that just are going to go bad?

Are there any particular things that I should watch out for when looking? I know it's a 30 year old car and I can't exactly be picky, but are there any problems that should really be red flagged when I'm looking at one? The last thing I need is to spend a bunch of money on the car, just to find out I have to spend a bunch more on a new whatever it might be.

As of right now, I'm planning on going to take a look at this one...

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5032309442.html

Could any experienced fiero guys let me know how that looks?

I'm a little worried because I've never seen an 84 to 86 fiero before...

And because it was an 84, I should ask... other than the oil pan thing with the iron duke, are there any major flaws to the 84 year? Any huge performance differences between the 84/85/85/87? I know the 88 got it's own suspension, but how about the ones before it?

And yes, I know it's going to need some paint eventually, but It doesn't look bad and like I said, I can't really be picky when it comes to 30 year old cars.

So just from looking at that, is it worth taking the time to go take a look at it?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Report this Post07-08-2015 09:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MichiganmanClick Here to Email MichiganmanSend a Private Message to MichiganmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Watch out for rusted thru areas. Particularly trunk corners, rear frame rails, and cradle.
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Report this Post07-08-2015 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zzzhuhSend a Private Message to zzzhuhEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the forums!

First thing is first, that CL link you provided looks pretty bad. I went ahead and snooped around on the detroit metro area and found so many Fieros that I even wanted a couple, like that Formula.

I wouldn't risk getting a Fiero that has been converted from an 84 to an 86 (which doesn't necessarily makes sense?)

Getting an 86 Fiero is better than an 84, it just is. The first production year, especially if it is/was a unique car it's going to have a lot of issues. You mentioned your 15, and commitment is hard so I'd go find a better looking fiero.

Here are some that I would check out.

Automatic:
http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5097286011.html

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5088825464.html

(the yellow is a little faded, but I love that color)

Manual:

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5076744276.html

(weird interior, yet it is cool that they converted this)

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5089833280.html

(extra parts he shows don't seem necessary, but if they come with the car I'd take em.)

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5085931731.html

(this one is an 'iffy' especially for $2,000. He knows who Rodney Dickman is, but it seems like a lot of parts might need to be replaced.)

Those are the ones that seem better than the one you showed, mainly cause of the years built.

Now for the 4 speed vs 5 speed.

I have driven both, the Getrag shifter seems smoother and is better for commuting (better gas mileage). The 4 speed has a stronger case, and can handle more power. It also has good final drive ratios that is more for city cruising.

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Report this Post07-08-2015 09:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lou and BlueClick Here to Email Lou and BlueSend a Private Message to Lou and BlueEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the forum Ivan. Good luck with your search .

Mines kinda rusty but i love it!

As Mater said "Whats wrong with rusty old cars?"

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Baldwin, Long Island, NY
"My mind spins like helicopter blades." -G. Rossdale
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3800sc series 2 swap in progress--IT'S ALIVE !!!!!
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I_N_J
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Report this Post07-08-2015 09:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zzzhuh:

Welcome to the forums!

First thing is first, that CL link you provided looks pretty bad. I went ahead and snooped around on the detroit metro area and found so many Fieros that I even wanted a couple, like that Formula.

I wouldn't risk getting a Fiero that has been converted from an 84 to an 86 (which doesn't necessarily makes sense?)

Getting an 86 Fiero is better than an 84, it just is. The first production year, especially if it is/was a unique car it's going to have a lot of issues. You mentioned your 15, and commitment is hard so I'd go find a better looking fiero.

Here are some that I would check out.

Automatic:
http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5097286011.html

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5088825464.html

(the yellow is a little faded, but I love that color)

Manual:

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5076744276.html

(weird interior, yet it is cool that they converted this)

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5089833280.html

(extra parts he shows don't seem necessary, but if they come with the car I'd take em.)

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5085931731.html

(this one is an 'iffy' especially for $2,000. He knows who Rodney Dickman is, but it seems like a lot of parts might need to be replaced.)

Those are the ones that seem better than the one you showed, mainly cause of the years built.

Now for the 4 speed vs 5 speed.

I have driven both, the Getrag shifter seems smoother and is better for commuting (better gas mileage). The 4 speed has a stronger case, and can handle more power. It also has good final drive ratios that is more for city cruising.



Ah, the other thing I forgot to mention... I do want the car to be a manual. For as long as I can remember, I've been planning on getting a manual. They're just so much more fun.

I went and took a look at that first manual you linked last week. The one in Farmington hills. It's in really rough shape. The paint on the top is faded and cracked in parts. The engine sounds baaaaad. There's definitely more wrong than just the bad valve he listed. I tracked him down on these forums too and found that it has an idle problem in the winter that he didn't tell us about. Not buying from someone who is hiding stuff from us, so that one's out.

My dad (a car guy who's been a mechanic for 30-something years and has been working at GM for 27) Advised me to stay away from that convertible one. They never did make Fieros convertible, did they? The owner had to have done that himself. Probably a good thing, because the guy cared about it and probably did the work it needed, but what pops says goes.

That last one seems like too much work for me, and overpriced. I know I'm going to have to work on any fiero, but $2000 for one that's already leaking oil and fuel seems a bit high, right? Or am I just being unreasonable? I know they have the gasket issue that causes it to leak oil sometimes. I'd have to drop out the engine and everything, right? It's also got the small things like the turn signal and side marker.

And what are some of the other issues with the 84? I thought most of them were with the gasket that leaked oil, the shallow oil pan, and the wiring's routing. The iron duke stuff.

So I guess I should just keep looking and waiting? The last thing I want is to rush into this and get a bad car.

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Report this Post07-09-2015 03:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for E.FurgalSend a Private Message to E.FurgalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome,
The 1984 issues are that it was the first year, and had some things that are different from the 85 up.. wiring being the biggest. flat tappet cams in the 4 banger

The difference in the 4spd and 5 is your wallet, as the 5spd has overdrive (5th gear) lowering engine rpm on the highway..
nothing wrong with the 4spd, and the mpg difference isn't all that big, but people rather have o/d my 84 is an auto, but at 60mph the engine rpm is close to 3000. and with most highway speed limits 65 or more, running that fast can be noisey with the engine right behind you.. some love an engine singing it's song, others want non of that.. hint lambo's and ital. red heads are very loud while they sing..

I haven't looked as I don't own an 88 but I think Rodney's has the 88 parts covered, if that's the reason it's off your list.. look first as I haven't

I know you are 15, so let me give you some wisdom, every seller of a car keeps secrets about what is wrong with it.. some more than others, remember buying a used car is buying someone elses headache.. it's just the way it is.. 99% of the time..

I might have missed it, but I didn't see if you had to have the v6 or not.. just that you want a man pedal..

As you hunt, well, really before you hunt anymore, make a list of what "issues" you and your dad are willing to handle and what ones you are not or can't..
There is rust and then there is rot, learn the difference many of these gocarts have rust, it's the ones with rot that you steer clear of.
faded paint or a crack in a panel most times= lower price , many cars out there with nice shiney paint, that are pigs, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.. but many a flipped car is shot color and sold for way to much, because it "looks good"

good luck..

[This message has been edited by E.Furgal (edited 07-09-2015).]

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Report this Post07-09-2015 11:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by E.Furgal:

Welcome,
The 1984 issues are that it was the first year, and had some things that are different from the 85 up.. wiring being the biggest. flat tappet cams in the 4 banger

The difference in the 4spd and 5 is your wallet, as the 5spd has overdrive (5th gear) lowering engine rpm on the highway..
nothing wrong with the 4spd, and the mpg difference isn't all that big, but people rather have o/d my 84 is an auto, but at 60mph the engine rpm is close to 3000. and with most highway speed limits 65 or more, running that fast can be noisey with the engine right behind you.. some love an engine singing it's song, others want non of that.. hint lambo's and ital. red heads are very loud while they sing..

I haven't looked as I don't own an 88 but I think Rodney's has the 88 parts covered, if that's the reason it's off your list.. look first as I haven't

I know you are 15, so let me give you some wisdom, every seller of a car keeps secrets about what is wrong with it.. some more than others, remember buying a used car is buying someone elses headache.. it's just the way it is.. 99% of the time..

I might have missed it, but I didn't see if you had to have the v6 or not.. just that you want a man pedal..

As you hunt, well, really before you hunt anymore, make a list of what "issues" you and your dad are willing to handle and what ones you are not or can't..
There is rust and then there is rot, learn the difference many of these gocarts have rust, it's the ones with rot that you steer clear of.
faded paint or a crack in a panel most times= lower price , many cars out there with nice shiney paint, that are pigs, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.. but many a flipped car is shot color and sold for way to much, because it "looks good"

good luck..



Ok, thanks. This response did help a lot.

So as far as what we're willing to work on, we can do pretty much anything that doesn't require us to drop out the engine. We don't have the equipment to raise the car to drop it out.

So don't worry so much about the looks, but rather about all the stuff that makes it go?. Is that what you're saying? Or am I missing it? Yeah, I really just want something that's decent. I need the engine to last me a few years, but once I'm older, have more experience and money, I'd ideally like to put in a 3.1 or 3.4.

so what I'm looking for is something that's solid rust-wise, and has an engine that I can work with. Paint and body stuff can always be changed.

Alright, with that said, here's another one I saw. The paint looks pretty bad, the engine looks a little dirty, and there's a bit of information that he left out, but would it be worth looking into?

http://detroit.craigslist.o.../cto/5104391907.html
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Report this Post07-09-2015 06:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Riddick85Send a Private Message to Riddick85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I actually almost went to look at that one since it's only like 4 cities south of me but i don't really need fiero number 4. Looks like a decent one in my eyes if the rust isn't bad.
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Report this Post07-09-2015 07:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for E.FurgalSend a Private Message to E.FurgalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think you might be better off looking outside your area also.. a trip a few 100 miles to get a car that is outside the rustbelt. can be worth the cost in time and money..
not say'n you won't find a nice one in your area, just widen your search
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Report this Post07-09-2015 08:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by E.Furgal:

I think you might be better off looking outside your area also.. a trip a few 100 miles to get a car that is outside the rustbelt. can be worth the cost in time and money..
not say'n you won't find a nice one in your area, just widen your search


Hmm. I'll start looking in different areas on craigslist then. I'd love to go down south and get one, but I don't like having to put the money that would go towards the car into gas money. And when we're taking a suburban that gets all of 14 miles to the gallon, it adds up quickly...

And I emailed the seller of the black 86 one linked above. His information was a bit lacking in the craigslist post, but if we like the information he gives me when he replies, we'll probably be going to take a look at it.

I'm not too fond of it being the fastback style, but I guess I really can't really be picky when it comes to used 30 year old cars.
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Report this Post07-09-2015 09:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tom10122Click Here to Email tom10122Send a Private Message to tom10122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by I_N_J:


Hmm. I'll start looking in different areas on craigslist then. I'd love to go down south and get one, but I don't like having to put the money that would go towards the car into gas money. And when we're taking a suburban that gets all of 14 miles to the gallon, it adds up quickly...

And I emailed the seller of the black 86 one linked above. His information was a bit lacking in the craigslist post, but if we like the information he gives me when he replies, we'll probably be going to take a look at it.

I'm not too fond of it being the fastback style, but I guess I really can't really be picky when it comes to used 30 year old cars.


I really would just burn the gas if it means you get a better car, 14mpg isn't that bad i went to check mine out in my f250 , 8mpg Also , alot of people like the fastback (myself included) , so you could probably trade that fastback clip for a notchie pretty easily

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Report this Post07-09-2015 10:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by tom10122:


I really would just burn the gas if it means you get a better car, 14mpg isn't that bad i went to check mine out in my f250 , 8mpg Also , alot of people like the fastback (myself included) , so you could probably trade that fastback clip for a notchie pretty easily


Alright, I'll keep my eyes open for cars in other areas then.

I think I'm pretty much set for now. If I have more questions, I'll be back. If and when I buy a Fiero, I'll be back.

Thanks a lot everyone for all the help,
Ivan
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Report this Post07-10-2015 07:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MeistromichaelClick Here to Email MeistromichaelSend a Private Message to MeistromichaelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post07-10-2015 08:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MichiganmanClick Here to Email MichiganmanSend a Private Message to MichiganmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a 1988 notch for sale in this forum's mall. I dropped the price.
It is also on lansing Mich craigslist at: http://lansing.craigslist.org/cto/5085099190.html
It is a project. I will send more details if you want.
Make offer if interested.
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Report this Post07-10-2015 09:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Akron car is worth a look IMO. Got to watch for leaky t-tops though. However the interior looks good. If it runs well I'd snatch it up for 2000. As long as the rust situation is good.

[This message has been edited by Jason88Notchie (edited 07-10-2015).]

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Report this Post07-10-2015 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Meistromichael:

88 4cyl 5 speed t-tops
http://akroncanton.craigsli.../bar/5094165242.html

85 gt 4 speed
http://flint.craigslist.org/cto/5087265173.html

Oh, that T-top is beautiful. Not on the top of my list because of the iron duke, but if we don't like the other ones that we're going to look at, this one will surely be checked out.

That 85 looks pretty good though. I'll keep that one in mind.


 
quote
Originally posted by Michiganman:

I have a 1988 notch for sale in this forum's mall. I dropped the price.
It is also on lansing Mich craigslist at: http://lansing.craigslist.org/cto/5085099190.html
It is a project. I will send more details if you want.
Make offer if interested.


Hmm. Again, not on the top of my list. But if my list gets changed around after looking at a couple, I'll contact you.

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Report this Post07-13-2015 04:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for StrappadoClick Here to Email StrappadoSend a Private Message to StrappadoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You still have some time to wait till you can drive your car, why not wait and save up a little more. Buying a 30 year old fixer upper can be a daunting task. Most of the more experienced car guys don't set out for a specific car, they find one that is a good start base and then get imaginative with it. not saying you wont find an ideal car but it can be difficult to be patient for one to come around

There are several nice cars that come up around the 4500-5000 mark that have all the expensive little work done. And you would be surprised how fast the expenses on parts for a 30 year old car can pile up. Its all the little things you don't think of. If you end up paying 2000 for a car and need to drop another 2-3000 to make it road-able and pleasant for yourself to drive, you might as well start off with a better car. And don't worry even with paying 4500-5000 dollars you wont miss out on the self car repair experience, you will be surprised how much you will be underneath your car doing tweaks and repairs.

Please don't get me wrong. I love doing car projects. i love wasting money and time on it but it can be frustrating dealing with downtime when its your first and only car.
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Report this Post07-13-2015 05:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Strappado:


You still have some time to wait till you can drive your car, why not wait and save up a little more. Buying a 30 year old fixer upper can be a daunting task.

There are several nice cars that come up around the 4500-5000 mark that have all the expensive little work done. And you would be surprised how fast the expenses on parts for a 30 year old car can pile up. Its all the little things you don't think of.

Please don't get me wrong. I love doing car projects. i love wasting money and time on it but it can be frustrating dealing with downtime when its your first and only car.



Excellent advice. After owning fieros for more than 10 years, something finally sunk into my head - it's a HOBBY car. It's like a shoe with a broken heel that you can't take off. Everytime you need to go somewhere, you'll need to consider your car. Will it make it ? Even if it's in good shape, do you have enough gas (11 gallon tank won't get far) and how much stuff / people need to go (Very limited room).

Do yourself a favor - buy a nice mustang first then get a fiero .
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Report this Post07-14-2015 01:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DylproClick Here to Email DylproSend a Private Message to DylproEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For me the biggest thing when I buy a car is can I sell it and get back roughly 60-70% of what I put into, purchase price and everything. There's a lot of good cars out there and you'll be much better off waiting and buying a GOOD Fiero instead of a junker 1500 dollar car. To make that worth anything down the road you'd be sinking a lot of money in. A good GT with relatively low mileage for around 3000-4000 I think is your best bet. While you can't know whether or not fieros will appreciate in value, they've gotten to the point that good ones with lower mileage will never lose value. You buy a 3500 dollar car, a year from then if you decide fieros aren't your thing you can sell it for 3500.

Don't be set on ONLY. A fiero though. Lots of good, cool cars for your price range. My first car was a 1000 dollar Taurus SHO, rusty as hell but I'll tell you one thing, would blow the doors off my 88 Formula. Miatas are also very good cars as well and if you can find a good NA, they've been on the same cusp of collectibility that Fieros have been. Not for sure, but probably wouldn't lose value. Then again look at the prices of RX-7s lately and you may think a Miata is a pretty damn good investment.
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Report this Post07-14-2015 01:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tom10122Click Here to Email tom10122Send a Private Message to tom10122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dylpro:

For me the biggest thing when I buy a car is can I sell it and get back roughly 60-70% of what I put into, purchase price and everything. There's a lot of good cars out there and you'll be much better off waiting and buying a GOOD Fiero instead of a junker 1500 dollar car. To make that worth anything down the road you'd be sinking a lot of money in. A good GT with relatively low mileage for around 3000-4000 I think is your best bet. While you can't know whether or not fieros will appreciate in value, they've gotten to the point that good ones with lower mileage will never lose value. You buy a 3500 dollar car, a year from then if you decide fieros aren't your thing you can sell it for 3500.

Don't be set on ONLY. A fiero though. Lots of good, cool cars for your price range. My first car was a 1000 dollar Taurus SHO, rusty as hell but I'll tell you one thing, would blow the doors off my 88 Formula. Miatas are also very good cars as well and if you can find a good NA, they've been on the same cusp of collectibility that Fieros have been. Not for sure, but probably wouldn't lose value. Then again look at the prices of RX-7s lately and you may think a Miata is a pretty damn good investment.


According to Hagerty a Daily driver 88 is worth about 7k right now which is about a 2k increase. Miatas are still being made so I don't think they are as collectable, maybe the early ones. But you still need to put up with the "Girl car" comments instead of "don't they catch on fire?"
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Dylpro
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Report this Post07-14-2015 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DylproClick Here to Email DylproSend a Private Message to DylproEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by tom10122:


According to Hagerty a Daily driver 88 is worth about 7k right now which is about a 2k increase. Miatas are still being made so I don't think they are as collectable, maybe the early ones. But you still need to put up with the "Girl car" comments instead of "don't they catch on fire?"


A car is only worth how much someone will pay for it. You'd be hard pressed to find many people willing to spend that much on a daily driver 88. I bought my Formula for 3000. And if you look in the mall at what others are charging for 88 GTs you see the 5000 range more than anything else. And what are you defining a daily driver as? High mileage or what? I've seen many daily driver 88 GTs sell for well below 3000.

On the Miata, I don't follow their market very much but last I heard NA (First gen) Miatas have been rising. Obviously good ones will bring more as with any older car. Just because a car is still being made doesn't mean certain models won't still be collectible.
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Report this Post07-14-2015 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for I_N_JSend a Private Message to I_N_JEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, I really have been thinking about the type of stuff you guys just said lately.

I was kinda iffy on a Fiero for a little bit, but I thought about it, and I do think I can make it work. I'm going to have to work on it, and it's not always going to be running. However, we do have a family car that just sits for whoever needs to use it. So if my car isn't running, and I absolutely need to be somewhere, I can take that.

Working on it isn't an issue either. I've got the internet, and then my dad, my brother, and a cousin who all have offered to help me with it when I get it. I guess people really are interested in Fieros. you don't really see them too often, I guess.

I don't need the car for school, I can always just take the bus or ride with one of my siblings. So if the car isn't running then, not a huge deal.

I also don't need it for a job. Now, I'd like to have it so I can get a job in machining, but if I can't drive, I can just keep working landscaping. And one of my relatives who owns the company I work for lives very near to me, so I never need to drive myself to or from the job sites anyways.

Really, until I turn 18 and move out, I'll never NEED a car. So after considering that, I think I'd be alright with a Fiero.

What do you guys think about my position and getting a Fiero after that? Am I missing something, cause it sounds like it'd be alright to me. Or am I just being unrealistic and not thinking like most all high schoolers are?

Thanks

[This message has been edited by I_N_J (edited 07-14-2015).]

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