What kind of (reliable) horsepower is the 2.8L capable of? Can you reach 200 HP with tweaks to the bore, intake and exhaust?? My Formula has 207,XXX on the odometer. The car is in great shape so I plan to restore it starting next winter. I always figured I would swap it out for a 3.8 SC, but that is more work than I would like to take on. If I can squeeze 200 out of the 2.8L I would be happy with that!
If you already have any kind of motor swap on your mind, I wouldn't waste any time dumping money into the 2.8. You will spend a lot of money, and in the end I don't think you will be happy with the end result.
I personally bought an 87 GT with a built up 2.8 (ported intake, exhaust, heads, mild cam bigger springs, blue-printed and balanced, bigger injectors, 7730 ecu swap, 4t60 auto swap etc., everything you could do to a 2.8 without a turbo or supercharger.) And in all honesty, it really doesn't feel that much better than stock, especially when I look at the $$ on the reciepts for what has been done to the drivetrain.
Again, "They say" every 100lb loss equals 10HP. If so, I picked up the equivalent of another 7-9 HP by reducing the weight.
So total improvement is somewhere around 30HP which feels about right to the "butt dyno".
I can also say that having put a lot of mods on a lots of cars over the years, many of them were almost undetectable. I'd say the same for the Fiero until I added the 1.6 rockers. It pulled all the other mods together. Without sounds too touchy, feely, there's a harmony under the hood.
So you can tell I'm quite happy with the performance of the car now. Well balanced handling and it feels so much more responsive.
That said, it might not be enough of an improvement for you if you really are looking for 200HP.
A 3.4 isn't a bad idea if you're looking for a fresh block and you might see some gains vs your warn 2.8 if it is getting low on compression. If your looking for a target HP, a 3800 sc is more economical.
Thanks for all the posts guys. I guess the main objective would be to take the 2.8 and rebuilt it. So while I am at it, improve the performance of it with this and that. I have never dug into an engine before so for me I think it would be a rewarding experience to take the trusty 2.8L and give it new life. Plus I am a sucker for the venerable red "Fiero" intake plenum! A good friend of mine is a diesel mechanic who plays around with a Fox Body Mustang who has the skills to assist me in a rebuild.
Plus I am a sucker for the venerable red "Fiero" intake plenum!
That's one of the bonuses of the 3.4, you can use all the Fiero top end stuff. The biggest modification is the starter location, the 3.4 starter location interferes with the transaxle/axle. There's a shelf to mount it in the correct location for the Fiero, you just have to drill and tap the mounting holes, there are jigs available for this.