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Allow Myself to Introduce . . . Myself. My New Fiero Assessment. by USMUCL
Started on: 02-03-2017 03:21 PM
Replies: 36 (841 views)
Last post by: USMUCL on 02-07-2017 10:08 PM
USMUCL
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Report this Post02-03-2017 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So . . .

As a teen and young adult, I went through 4 Fieros. At the age of 29, I picked up another Fiero that needed some work, but eventually gave up and dumped it after two manifold bolts broke in the head.

15 years after that, I'm back in the game at age 44. I just picked up an 86 SE V6 4-speed with less than 10k miles. This was my favorite body style -- the GT nose without the notchback rear. I know that the mileage can easily be cheated in these cars, but all indications are that it is legit. Came with the original window sticker, a copy of the original title, registration, etc, and it even has the original tires on it. All rubber seals are in good shape, and the paint looks showroom. Someone apparently had the underside coated in black some years back. The exhaust looks brand new. Seats, dash, and console all look showroom new.

Though it was obviously garaged, there is an amount of love needed on the car from just being 31 years old. When I pulled it off the trailer, it was leaking gas out of the cold injector connection gasket at the fuel rail. That pea-sized piece of rubber was a pain in the butt, but it is now fixed. I just changed out the oil/filter, fuel filter (which looked like it had already been done recently), air filter (the original was still in it and looking rough), vapor canister filter, distributor cap/rotor (someone had put a blue one on it that I found disgusting), and I put a Rodney Dickman short shifter on it (keeping the original shifter). I'm also going to put a 120 speedo in it, making sure to keep the original odometer reading. Will obviously hold on to the original speedo. The spark plug wires are the original red ones. I have not checked the spark plugs -- mostly cause I dread that I might have to change those back three

Though the tires are not dry rotting, I am putting on new for safety's sake. Will keep the old tires. The rims look great, with only a small amount of the clear coat beginning to peel on one or two of the rims.

The coolant looks like it was changed relatively recently, but I might do it again. The car was running cold, as someone had removed the thermostat. When I put a Duralast in it, I realized why -- it bent within 5 miles. A check on this forum revals that is a common problem. The Duralasts really are flimsy, and I suspect the PO used one and gave up when it bent. I quickly picked up another Duralast at Autozone and put a 3/32" hole in it, and it has survived 20 miles of high RPM runs. This makes me think that there is not a substantial pressure problem if that alone allowed the flimsy Duralast to work okay. Nevertheless, I ordered a Stant Superstat for it, and I will install that without drilling a hole -- if it bends, I'll assume the heater core/hoses are gunked up from years of sitting and change them out. I have never done the core, but it seems easy enough. I'm more worried about how hard it will be to get all the hoses that MIGHT be gunked up.

Though the car might have been in open loop for much of my driving so far (from running cold), it runs great! Not a miss.

The fuel sending unit is squirrely, yet another common problem. It pegged past full once and moves around a bunch as the fuel sloshes during driving. I have changed the sending unit out on these cars before and will do the same here . . . if the problem continues. The more I drive the car, the more stable the unit seems to get. Makes me wonder about gunk on the connections and such from sitting, so will see if it continues through multiple tanks of quality gas.

The headliner has bad spots, but that's an easy fix -- whether I have it redone or buy a whole new setup from the FieroStore. The optional subwoofer doesn't work, and the slider button doesn't do anything at all -- will check on the slider's wiring when I fix the headliner, and I will replace the sub (along with the 4 main speakers). If that doesn't work, I guess I'll look to the sub amp. The tape deck doesn't work, and I will probably change it out to a mid-90s Pontiac CD player. Will keep the old unit.

The transmission is nice and smooth (though the short shifter increased effort a little). I have already bought Syncromesh for the tranny. I'm a little nervous about changing it though . . . as a teenager, I lost the plastic gear in the transmission once when removing the speed sensor to check fluid level. I know it doesn't normally fall off, but . . . I wonder if I drain the fluid first, and then carefully pull the sensor up, if I would be able to easily see and retrieve the gear should it fall off this time?

The e-brake works like a charm, and someone apparently put steel braided lines on the rear. The brake and clutch fluid look a little dark, but not terrible. Will flush them eventually.

The headlight motors work good. One of the lights wouldn't go up at first without a little touch to the spinning knob on top. That has since corrected after simply using the lights a little - they both now work great. The oil pressure gauge bounces a little, a common sending unit problem. Don't know if I'll bother fixing that, since the new one might just do the same.

That's it! I'll post pictures soon. Thoughts welcome

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 02-03-2017).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post02-03-2017 03:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to PFF.

A couple of corrections...

 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

I just picked up an 86 SE V6 4-speed with less than 10k miles. This was my favorite body style -- the GT nose without the notchback rear.


I think you mean "without the fastback rear".... or conversely "with the notchback rear".

 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

I have not checked the spark plugs -- mostly cause I dread that I might have to change those back three.


It's actually the front three spark plugs that are a little more difficult to access.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 02-03-2017).]

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USMUCL
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Report this Post02-03-2017 04:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Okay, yea, that's what I meant. Thanks, I think.

Patrick, you were one of the ones who's saga I read up on, reference the bent thermostat. Looks like you thought it was the cheap Duralast at first, but finally decided it was your heater core bypass restriction that caused the bending?

There are a number of folks, both with stock 2.8s and with the 3800 swaps, who have said simply switching from the Duralast to the Superstat cured the problem. My theory -- in a new cooling system, there would not be enough pressure to hurt the flimsy Duralast. But, with only a moderate amount of flow restriction with age, the Duralast can't stand up. But perhaps the Superstat will . . .

Or, like in my case, a slight release of the pressure with a small hole in the Duralast was also enough to push it over the top.

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 02-03-2017).]

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Report this Post02-03-2017 04:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

Patrick, you were one of the ones who's saga I read up on, reference the bent thermostat. Looks like you thought it was the cheap Duralast at first, but finally decided it was your heater core bypass restriction that caused the bending?


Yeah, I suspect that the temporary added restriction of the heater core bypass collapsed the "arms" of the cheap thermostat. I've never had a problem since with any of the three Fieros that I've daily-driven.

Check your thermostat !

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Report this Post02-03-2017 04:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
But you also switched from the Duralast to the Superstat at the same time, right?

I have been unable to find an instance where the Superstat bent, with or without a drilled hole ...
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Report this Post02-03-2017 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

But you also switched from the Duralast to the Superstat at the same time, right?


Oh sure... After that experience I don't mess around with cheap thermostats any longer. All my Fieros have Stant SuperStat 45819 195° thermostats in them.
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Report this Post02-03-2017 07:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Point here, do you know the correction of the loop restriction was the solution versus the better thermostat?
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Report this Post02-03-2017 07:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome. PFF is full of information and there is a lot of people here that can help you out if needed
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Report this Post02-03-2017 07:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

do you know the correction of the loop restriction was the solution versus the better thermostat?


People have had cheap thermostats bend without any kind of a heater core bypass restriction. I really can't add much to what I originally expressed Here.
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Report this Post02-03-2017 08:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:
Okay, yea, that's what I meant. Thanks, I think.

Patrick, you were one of the ones who's saga I read up on, reference the bent thermostat. Looks like you thought it was the cheap Duralast at first, but finally decided it was your heater core bypass restriction that caused the bending?

There are a number of folks, both with stock 2.8s and with the 3800 swaps, who have said simply switching from the Duralast to the Superstat cured the problem. My theory -- in a new cooling system, there would not be enough pressure to hurt the flimsy Duralast. But, with only a moderate amount of flow restriction with age, the Duralast can't stand up. But perhaps the Superstat will . . .

Or, like in my case, a slight release of the pressure with a small hole in the Duralast was also enough to push it over the top.
Duralast and many other store brand caps and Tstats are MotoRad. Stant is better and made most Big 3 parts w/ just GM etc PN and label. Many "OEM" caps had Stant S logo too.

See my Cave, Heater and rest of section.
ANYTHING blocking heat flow will cause problems even if Tstat won't fail.
Bypassing a plug core won't cause problem.
Bypass the core can still have block plumbing.

Many claim plastic WP impeller will fail... But never bother to find the real problem cause by crush pipes, plugged plumbing, rad and/or heat core

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

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Report this Post02-03-2017 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to forum...can't wait to see some pictures!
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Report this Post02-04-2017 01:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
And a little bit of advice...

Make sure your thermostat is seated properly in the housing. If there are any mineral deposits or crud in the ring that the thermostat pops into, it may not let it go all the way in.
The cap should NOT press against the top of the thermostat when it's installed correctly.

Forcing it down with the cap will result in something that looks like the pic below. (I wondered why my Duke wouldn't warm up, or idle down. Found out. )


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Report this Post02-04-2017 01:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for E.FurgalSend a Private Message to E.FurgalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Welcome to PFF.

A couple of corrections...

It's actually the front three spark plugs that are a little more difficult to access.


Welp, when I open the engine cover and look at the engine the 3 plugs at the firewall are the back 3..
Maybe you look at the engine while on the roof of your car..
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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fastback97Click Here to Email fastback97Send a Private Message to fastback97Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello. Welcome and I am also new to the forum. I'm in the same boat as you. My first Fiero I bought in 1997, was without one for years and now I have two. Mine also need a lot o TLC but I am determined. As for the front 3 plugs. I changed those myself in my first Fiero when I was 17. I popped the dog-bone off and pried the engine back and there was plenty of room.

------------------
JimmyB.


Edit to get rid of Huge sig pic

[This message has been edited by fastback97 (edited 02-04-2017).]

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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by E.Furgal:

Welp, when I open the engine cover and look at the engine the 3 plugs at the firewall are the back 3..
Maybe you look at the engine while on the roof of your car..


Trying to be funny? Nah, I unfortunately know you better than that.

The front and back of my car remains consistent, and is not dependent on my location.

Furgal... forever a PFF troll.
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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fastback97:

As for the front 3 plugs. I changed those myself in my first Fiero when I was 17. I popped the dog-bone off and pried the engine back and there was plenty of room.


Yeah, that works. The other option for creating a bit more working space is to unbolt the decklid from the hinges and lift it out of the way... but after changing the plugs a couple times, it's all done by "feel" anyway and there's no real need to actually see anything.
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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fastback97Click Here to Email fastback97Send a Private Message to fastback97Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Yeah, that works. The other option for creating a bit more working space is to unbolt the decklid from the hinges and lift it out of the way... but after changing the plugs a couple times, it's all done by "feel" anyway and there's no real need to actually see anything.


Never thought of pulling the deck lid off. Nice! But really... Changing those front 3 plugs is childs play compared to my 00 GAGT. Those things suck!!
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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fastback97:

Changing those front 3 plugs is childs play compared to my 00 GAGT.


Okay, I admit it... I had to google to find out what the heck a "00 GAGT" was!

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Report this Post02-04-2017 03:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fastback97Click Here to Email fastback97Send a Private Message to fastback97Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Okay, I admit it... I had to google to find out what the heck a "00 GAGT" was!


Lol!! Sorry about that. I'm on the GAGT forum a lot. Grand Am GT for anyone else wondering. OP- I think it is great that you found a garage kept car. I'm jealous. Both of mine were outside for so many years that the sun not only destroyed the clear coat and paint but it even looks like it ate into the plastic on the roof.

[This message has been edited by fastback97 (edited 02-04-2017).]

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Report this Post02-04-2017 07:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, the front of the car is the front of the car. However the engine is positioned in the car is referenced the same way. The side nearest the front of the vehicle is the front of the engine.

Another way to change the plugs on the front of the V6 engine. Remove the air intake hose. Get up into the trunk with your feet planted in the bottom of it. Set your butt on the top of the tail lights and you can reach around both sides of the engine. A short extension, ratchet and spark plug socket will do the job. A standard length ratchet with a flex head will make it easier. The decklid 'recall' weather strip hinders this method a little.

By all means, if you don't have them, get a set of the metal sleeves that go over the spark plug boots. At least put them on the front plugs. Plug numbers 2, 4, and 6. Also, when reinstalling the boots, put a liberal amount of Dielectric Grease Compound inside each boot. The Dielectric Grease will help prevent tracking on the porcelain, keeps water from shorting a plug, and helps to prevent the boot from sticking to the plug. The metal sleeves can be used to twist the boot to break it loose from the plug should it stick. They exert force over the entire length of the boot. I have twisted boots in half because they stick to the plug. It's very difficult to get the remaining piece off the front 3 plugs when you're working by feel.
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Report this Post02-04-2017 08:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, all.

I will do the plugs eventually - have done them before, just not looking forward too it. With only 10k miles on the car, it shouldn't be a hurry. And the metal sleeves are there on the original wires

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Report this Post02-04-2017 11:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:
...
15 years after that, I'm back in the game at age 44. I just picked up an 86 SE V6 4-speed with less than 10k miles.
...


Pardon my manners. Welcome to our obsession!
Or maybe I should say, "Welcome back!"

Good luck with your project. Pics are always welcome.
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Report this Post02-04-2017 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
















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Report this Post02-04-2017 01:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks great!
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Report this Post02-04-2017 04:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fastback97Click Here to Email fastback97Send a Private Message to fastback97Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow! That car is gorgeous!
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Report this Post02-04-2017 05:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, Guys
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Report this Post02-04-2017 09:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Love the vintage car phone as well as the car!
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Report this Post02-06-2017 12:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TXOPIE:

Love the vintage car phone as well as the car!


Haha, yea I am leaving the phone -- it gets lots of attention, even though it doesn't power up or anything. There is even the original antenna on the back window and the hands-free mic hooked at the plastic trim above the driver's window.

I'm going to have to put a new cord on the handset though -- the one you see there has deteriorated to nothing over the past 3 decades.

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Report this Post02-07-2017 07:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fierochic88Click Here to Email Fierochic88Send a Private Message to Fierochic88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome! Looks like a beautiful candidate for Factory Stock at this year's Fieros at Carlisle show (www.mafoa.com for more info!) More importantly - welcome to another VA Fiero owner! There is a great group up your way. Hopefully, you'll be able to connect with some of them soon.

~ Jen

------------------
Silver 1988 GT
Cobalt Blue 85 GT 3.4
MAFOA Newsletter Director

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Report this Post02-07-2017 10:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierochic88:

Welcome! Looks like a beautiful candidate for Factory Stock at this year's Fieros at Carlisle show (www.mafoa.com for more info!) More importantly - welcome to another VA Fiero owner! There is a great group up your way. Hopefully, you'll be able to connect with some of them soon.

~ Jen



Thanks! I was literally just talking about the Carlisle Show not 15 minutes ago with a co-worker. I will look up that website.

Although will have I have put the stock shifter back on? I just installed Rodney Dickmans, LOL. Also, new tires going on today . . .

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Report this Post02-07-2017 11:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fierochic88Click Here to Email Fierochic88Send a Private Message to Fierochic88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There is a "regular" stock class that allows for "minor" changes. The shifter would be one. If you stick with the stock rims, you can still stay in the stock class. ;-)

~ Jen
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Report this Post02-07-2017 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

And a little bit of advice...

Make sure your thermostat is seated properly in the housing. If there are any mineral deposits or crud in the ring that the thermostat pops into, it may not let it go all the way in.
The cap should NOT press against the top of the thermostat when it's installed correctly.

Forcing it down with the cap will result in something that looks like the pic below. (I wondered why my Duke wouldn't warm up, or idle down. Found out. )



By the way, got the Stant Superstat yesterday. What a difference over that Duralast. It is like the difference between aluminum foil and iron, LOL. So much more hardy. I made sure the housing was clean (it was), lubed the stat o-ring, and got her in. Went for a 20 mile drive and no problems. I am optimistic that the flimsiness of the Duralast was the only problem.

By the way, I disagree with one thing above -- I think when properly seated, the top of the thermostat does touch the cap -- that is what holds it tight in place. Otherwise, it would move up with pressure and allow coolant to escape by the sides of the o-ring. The "click" into place is no way enough resistance without the handle resting against the cap, in my calculation.

But, I get the intent of what you are saying, i.e. that it needs to be fully seated and the cap shouldn't be forcing it down or twisting the top handle of the thermostat.

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 02-07-2017).]

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USMUCL
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Report this Post02-07-2017 11:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

USMUCL

587 posts
Member since Jan 2017
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierochic88:

There is a "regular" stock class that allows for "minor" changes. The shifter would be one. If you stick with the stock rims, you can still stay in the stock class. ;-)

~ Jen


EDIT: Found the answers

[This message has been edited by USMUCL (edited 02-07-2017).]

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Indyellowgt
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Report this Post02-07-2017 04:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IndyellowgtClick Here to Email IndyellowgtSend a Private Message to IndyellowgtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Beautiful SE! ORIG rubber too! LOVE seeing survivors like this.. I'm such a sucker for a silver aero car wirh a spoiler! 👍👍
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USMUCL
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Report this Post02-07-2017 05:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Indyellowgt:

Beautiful SE! ORIG rubber too! LOVE seeing survivors like this.. I'm such a sucker for a silver aero car wirh a spoiler! 👍👍


Thanks! I took the wheels in today for new tires -- I just couldn't take the safety risk to drive around on 31 year old tires, even if they are not dry-rotted. Keeping the old tires though . . . .

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Patrick
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Report this Post02-07-2017 06:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by USMUCL:

...when properly seated, the top of the thermostat does touch the cap -- that is what holds it tight in place.


That's been my experience as well with several different Fieros.

By the way, that picture above is one I took and uploaded years ago of my old thermostat. Anyone who might like it as a spare can contact me.
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USMUCL
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Report this Post02-07-2017 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for USMUCLSend a Private Message to USMUCLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
LOL I kept my Duralast also so that I could compare to the Stant. Huge difference
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