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My 1986 Fiero GT (4spd) by 86.4SPD.GT
Started on: 03-31-2018 12:00 AM
Replies: 39 (799 views)
Last post by: Patrick on 04-15-2018 09:16 PM
86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-31-2018 12:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello,
My name is Ron, I am a new member here, and I recently purchased my second ever Pontiac Fiero.
A little history about how I became fond of the Pontiac Fiero: My first fiero was a red 1984 2M4 that I owned in 1993-94 when I was just out of high school. It was (to me) a very nice fiero that my stepbrother brought home after he finished his time in the US Army. He moved back around home with his new girlfriend, and soon had a baby on the way so he had to purchase a car with more than 2 seats. The Fiero was originally from Texas, and at that time it was 'only' about 10 years old with around 90K miles. I loved that car, so I was excited to take over on the remaining payments(about $1200 pay off balance). It was a very COOL first car for an 18 year old guy with a low budget and raging hormones!
I had a LOT of fun in that car for that spring/summer/fall of 1994. As winter approached in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and since the "brand new in the spring" RWL Kelly Chargers were now approaching an inner tube-like tread pattern on the rear 2 tires, I decided I would sell the car and find something that was more practical for what seemed like 6 full months of winter/snow traveling. Throughout my life, I always missed owning that car, although I am more realistic of what I actually had looking back with older eyes.
Now, fast forward almost 1/4 century:
I am now an active eBay buyer and every once in a while I like to fantasize about being 19 again and how much I liked owning that little red fiero. I was checking prices on a few fieros and although most of them have the usual ridiculous "1980 something" retail price tag, I came across one listing for a red/gray lower trim/interior 1986 Fiero GT with a 4 speed manual and 65,254 miles. Even though I've always wanted to someday get a 1988 GT with a 5 speed, the $2000 "buy it now" price and what seemed like a pretty original/unmolested 32 year old car caught my full attention so I decided to message the seller.
After a few days and exchanging a few messages with the seller, I decided to click the "buy it now" button.
The car is from Michigan (eek!), but so far it has proven to be in very good shape for it's age. The previous owner bought it for $900 with light front end damage and a bad clutch(the previous owner had a younger son who apparently couldn't drive a standard very well ). After he bought it and had it shipped to him, he had a friend of a friend at local dealership install a new clutch and a front side exhaust manifold. He drove it sparingly for about 3 years. The left front fender was replaced by the eBay seller with another used red fender. Unfortunately, the hood still has a crack in it right next to the headlight door. He also noted how the rear exhaust manifold would need either fixed or replaced. I have since picked up another used one in good shape, but I am deciding whether or not I want to risk replacing it/snapping bolts or just trying to weld the current manifold while leaving it on the car. It is a pretty small crack in a fairly easy to weld location.
After purchasing it on eBay, I just had the car shipped to me so I am now just waiting for the salt residue to disappear from the road surface before I officially get it on the road for the summer. For my own sanity, I did take it for a quick ~2.5 mile~ trip up the road a week or so ago, and everything seemed to function as it should. The clutch seems to function fine and the transmission shifts through all gears as it should.

I like threads with pictures so I will happily post pictures soon of the car from the very first full day that I owned it and after giving it a much needed hand washing.

Thanks for reading my novel and thanks in advance for anyone willing to check back and try to help as I have questions, which is what I plan to use this thread for.

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 04-20-2018).]

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Report this Post03-31-2018 01:05 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

Welcome Ron. To post pictures here (with a Windows PC), use PIP which was created by the owner of this site. Maximum image width - 1024 pixels. Max file size - 300 kb.

As a welcoming gesture, I've posted an image of your car.



 
quote
Originally posted by 86.4SPD.GT:

The car is from Michigan (eek!), but so far it has proven to be in very good shape for it's age.


Before you do anything with that Fiero, check for rust!


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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-31-2018 01:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick!
I sure am hoping that I don't find anything like that once I start digging into this car whenever the weather warms up. It is 'supposed' to be solid/no rust under the trunk carpet according to the previous owner. I asked him about any known rust issues and he said he wasn't aware of any and he did have the trunk carpet out at one time to clean it. I also asked if the mechanic mentioned anything to him when the motor was dropped out to replace the clutch, but he said that the mechanic never mentioned anything about rust issues. His mechanic is a friend of a friend, so hopefully he would have mentioned that. Maybe he did, and I will find out the truth later? I sure hope not!
I haven't pulled any of the rear plastic wheel well guards out yet, which is one thing that I am definitely dreading considering I don't know what may be underneath it. All of the metal that is exposed and easily viewed looks good so far with factory black paint on it all. I am realistic though and realize that this car is 32 years old and didn't come from Arizona. Hopefully it will prove to be in as good as shape as I hope it to be in.
I was just reading about how to post pictures here (PIP).
Once I figure that out, I will post some better pictures of the car immediately after I got it and gave it a bath........during a snowy day here in Pennsylvania
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Report this Post03-31-2018 02:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post






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Report this Post03-31-2018 10:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for shemdoggSend a Private Message to shemdoggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That car looks great nice find!

shem
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Report this Post04-01-2018 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike MorrisClick Here to Email Mike MorrisSend a Private Message to Mike MorrisEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good luck with it looks great
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Report this Post04-02-2018 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I finally messed around with the fiero a little bit on Sunday.
I haven't found anything yet that either surprises me or really disappoints me, so I am still pretty excited about owning one of these cars again.

After taking some time to get the car up in the air(a little, anyways) and peeking around underneath, I am very satisfied at what I see so far. There is very little surface rust on only small areas of the exposed framing where the factory black paint is just flaked/worn off. The lower 'frame rails' just inside where the lower A arms connect all look solid. The upper ones, the ones that are harder to see without removing the rear inner fenders, still have yet to be exposed and examined. I hope to make time to get both rear wheels pulled/inner fenders and check everything out better this next coming weekend. I'll be glad to finally know what is hiding underneath.

The previous owner explained how the front exhaust manifold was replaced when the new clutch was installed, but the rear one had a crack in it. Before I even got the car delivered, I purchased another one off of ebay that is crack free. I figured I would at least take a chance and try to weld it first before going through the trouble of replacing the manifold. It seemed to go OK, but I guess time will tell once I start driving the car and if it will continue to crack and warrant me replacing the manifold. I hear it is at least the "easy" one to do. I see a newer gasket behind that manifold, so at least I know it has been off of the motor and not been rusting on since 1986.

Crack in manifold:


After, with my "homeowner" welding skills applied:


Here is the view up at the passenger side lower 'frame rail':


And here is the driver's side lower 'frame rail':


Here is one of my next tasks(replacing the torque strut bushings):


I have read that when the bushing(s) show that much slop, that there is probably other worn mounts that will need replacing. I will have to climb around searching for these other mounts unless someone could offer some information as to where exactly these other mounts are located and where a good place to purchase them is. I have no problem installing stock or even aftermarket replacements to try and save some money. I purchased the red poly torque strut bushing only because they allow me to reuse my stock torque strut housing. Finding a stock torque strut seems impossible, or at least I couldn't find one anywhere. I did see the adjustable ones though.

Another thing which I'm learning is common is the rear trunk seal being bad after 32 years(expected, of course) and trying to purchase a good one now for a reasonable cost:



I am going to try to repair this one and maybe get a few more years out of it. It doesn't seem to allow any moisture in the trunk area as of right now, but I'm sure driving the car in a thunderstorm will test it's real function.

If anyone is actually reading this and would like to offer any tips on how to go about replacing the torque strut bushings, please share your advice. I've read the whole "put the trans in gear and rock the car" method, but I have briefly tried that and it didn't seem to move the motor even half of the distance it needs to go. I'm thinking of trying to persuade the motor to rock with a carefully placed floor jack and a block of wood.

Also, I'm thinking of using some black silicone to try and repair the trunk seal. Do you think this will work? Or, if anyone knows where one of those seals are, that is in good shape and at a good price, please let me know.

Thanks in advance for any input/advice.


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Report this Post04-02-2018 11:44 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 86.4SPD.GT:

If anyone is actually reading this and would like to offer any tips on how to go about replacing the torque strut bushings, please share your advice. I've read the whole "put the trans in gear and rock the car" method, but I have briefly tried that and it didn't seem to move the motor even half of the distance it needs to go.


I don't know how much more you need to move the engine before you can get the torque strut bolts out, but if you look at the bracket attached to the engine, you'll see that it's actually made up of two halves. I forget how many bolts are holding the back half, but one of them actually "pulls" the two halves together. See if you can get the added movement you need by loosening this bolt (with the other ones removed).

I'm glad to see you've mastered PIP... but why are you posting such tiny images? They're only 512 pixels in width! Compare them to the first image of yours I posted that's 1024 pixels in width. It's 2018, not 1998... let's see larger images!

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-03-2018).]

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Report this Post04-03-2018 04:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpadesluckSend a Private Message to SpadesluckEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Considering a Michigan car it is in very good shape that I can tell from the pictures. Have you pulled the carpet back in the trunk and taken a look there as well for rust? Under the battery?

You can get a trunk seal from The Fiero Store

[This message has been edited by Spadesluck (edited 04-03-2018).]

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Report this Post04-03-2018 05:02 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 Spadesluck:

Michigan car... Have you pulled the carpet back in the trunk and taken a look there as well for rust?


Especially considering where the car's from, I think Ron needs to go the whole hog and remove the rear plastic wheel well liners (as in the video above) to have a thorough look.
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Report this Post04-03-2018 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys for the replies.
I do have the battery removed, and just like the previous owner said the battery tray does have some surface rust going on. It isn't rotted by any means, but it will need to be cleaned up some with a wire brush, prepped with some rust converter, and a new coat of paint applied. It is still pretty cold here to be using paint/etc, so I will end up doing that when weather permits.
The previous owner did say that he had the trunk carpet out and it didn't have any holes or anything, but again I will definitely be pulling that out to see with my own eyes as well as pulling the rear wheels/inner fenders and getting a good look. I sure hope it proves to be solid underneath those plastic liners.
I will post back here when I get around to doing those things (with even bigger pics Patrick! ).
I am going to hold off on purchasing anything as far as a new trunk seal until I confirm that this car will be around for a while.
As long as this car turns out to be solid, I plan on keeping it for a while.
The interior is in pretty good condition. I will post some pics of that as well a little later on once I take some. It has the typical 'droopy' center console compartment door. I'm going to see if I can doctor it up some. It seems that 80% of the fireo interiors I've seen show that compartment door in the same or even worse condition.
When I had my 1984, I remember it being like brand new inside. Of course that WAS almost 25 years ago

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 04-03-2018).]

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Report this Post04-03-2018 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpadesluckSend a Private Message to SpadesluckEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just got rid of the center console door and put a fitted sub-woofer in there. I purchased a glove box that a forum member makes and have that instead. Much easier to use.
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Report this Post04-03-2018 11:57 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 86.4SPD.GT:

I am going to hold off on purchasing anything as far as a new trunk seal until I confirm that this car will be around for a while.


Good plan. This poor fella (from a recent thread) spent a bunch of money before he realized his newly acquired Fiero was rotted.

 
quote
Originally posted by 86.4SPD.GT:

I will post back here when I get around to doing those things (with even bigger pics Patrick! ).


Great, I look forward to it.
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Report this Post04-04-2018 10:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Patrick, I have been in close contact with "this poor fella" about the rust issues on his car.

It is very saveable.
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Report this Post04-04-2018 04:11 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 olejoedad:

Patrick, I have been in close contact with "this poor fella" about the rust issues on his car. It is very saveable.


Interesting. Keep in mind that the last thing Romocarguy posted Here was that he had "decided to abandon the restoration" due to the "considerable rust". If it turns out that this relatively rare '88 GT CJB T-top can still be saved (without breaking the bank), that's great!
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Report this Post04-04-2018 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Define breaking the bank.
Fieros are, and will be, a money pit.
We drive them because they put a smile on our faces.
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Report this Post04-04-2018 09:57 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 olejoedad:

Define breaking the bank.


It varies. When the purchase price (if bought recently) plus the cost to restore the car and repair the rust (labor included) is more than what the car can realistically be sold for... that to me qualifies as "breaking the bank".

I like Fieros just fine... but they're not exactly exotic cars that deserve extraordinary resuscitory attention. Personally speaking, I'm not interested in trying to resurrect a rotted Fiero. I've got more than one here that needs to be towed away and scrapped.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-04-2018).]

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Report this Post04-08-2018 09:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
After pulling out the rear wheel well plastics, I got a little bad news (for me anyways).
Although I am a little disheartened, I am not throwing in the towel just yet. I will admit, I was hoping to pull the wheel well plastics and see little to no rust, but unfortunately that was not the case.
I will say that considering where this car spent it's whole life, and the fact that it is 32 years old now, it is not as bad as it could have been. IMO, it is very much worth saving. The "holes" are in fairly easy to get to flat areas. The heavier 'framing' is actually in good shape with only surface rust (the pictures really do look worse than it actually is). Unfortunately, the corners of both sides of the mid/upper trunk level are shot. I'm guessing that (by the looks of things) the rust occurred because of water seeping down from the top of the car due to it having such a "flat" surface area and no good way for it to dissipate water.

I'll just let a bunch of pictures do some of the talking:












I know this probably doesn't surprise many veteran Fiero owners, or at least owners from my area of the country. To be honest, it doesn't really surprise me either. I wasn't so naive that I thought I was buying a MINT 1986 Fiero GT off of eBay from the state of Michigan, but I admit a small part of me was hoping to beat the odds. I know the pictures probably look pretty terrible to those not so familiar with cars coming from the rust belt, but I hope to repair it and get at least a few years of enjoyment out of this car. I didn't buy this car as an investment to make money from. I love the looks of these cars and plan to enjoy this car after doing a little work. In my head anyways, it isn't really THAT bad

I am going to remove the 'cooling fan' assembly from the rear trunk area next. Can anyone offer any tips such as anything NOT to do? Or is it a pretty straightforward procedure?

Wish me luck

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 04-08-2018).]

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Report this Post04-08-2018 09:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
And just to ease my mind so I could sleep a little easier this Sunday evening, I did take a wire brush to most of the rusty areas and then spray it with some rust converter spray can stuff.

I am going to spend more time once the weather finally allows.









Of course, the rust spray stuff wasn't completely dry before I snapped the pictures.
If anyone has any wisdom to share (other than telling me that I am screwed or chasing my own tail) PLEASE share your advice.
I am all ears (or eyes in this case).
Thanks!

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 04-08-2018).]

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Report this Post04-08-2018 10:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's as good as a 30 year old Michigan car is going to be. It's not dangerous.....but it's also not easy to fix. Removing and replacing that rust would surely 'Break the Bank' according to Patrick's definition. I would just enjoy the car, expecting that at some time in the distant future, it will need to be taken off the road.
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Report this Post04-08-2018 10:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Shho13Click Here to Email Shho13Send a Private Message to Shho13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's not the end of the world, rust wise. The rails are still mostly there, the holes in the sheet metal are all really non structural. In a few years, take the fender liners off again to see how it's holding up. Keep that Fiero off the snowy roads!!!

The rust converter will hold the rust off for a bit. Put a few more coats on there for added protection.

------------------
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Red 1988 GT under restoration!

Let's Go Mets!

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Report this Post04-09-2018 04:24 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 86.4SPD.GT:

I am going to remove the 'cooling fan' assembly from the rear trunk area next.


You don't mean permanently, do you?
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Report this Post04-09-2018 04:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys for the replies and the words of encouragement that I'm not so crazy in believing that this car isn't gone (yet, anyways).
It is nice to at least have a couple people offer their input after spending all the time taking pictures and typing this (semi-embarrassing) novel of how I purchased a car that definitely isn't from the Arizona dessert after all(sarcasm).

Patrick, I only plan to remove that 'cooling fan/blower' assembly(in the trunk) temporarily just to get better access to the passenger side rear trunk corner while patching it. Then, I will reinstall it afterwards. I do believe there is a reason that GM decided to install it in the first place.
I was actually hoping that someone may offer some input as to maybe what to look out for/avoid doing before I just start pulling bolts. Really, the only thing that has me even wondering is the semi sticky foam 'seal' which seams to join the fan to the plastic manifold assembly. It is going to get destroyed (I'm sure) while removing all of this. I will probably just somehow tape it back together(the sealed area) with either gorilla tape or something like that(?). I guess I can always just do a search later.

I feel a little weird trying to explain the dyslexic nature of this car. I hope to eventually learn the Fiero lingo so I will feel more confident that everyone knows which end of the car I am talking about.
Well, off to another start of a long work week.
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Report this Post04-09-2018 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's not in very bad shape, you caught it at the right time.
You can fix most of that at home with sheet metal, hand tools and your welder.
Cut out the rusted metal to where you can get a good well.
Make some patch panels out of sheet metal, fit it together, welding it up, primer, paint, seamseal.....
It will last for years.
Probably do it in a weekend or two.....
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Report this Post04-11-2018 09:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pokeyfieroClick Here to visit pokeyfiero's HomePageClick Here to Email pokeyfieroSend a Private Message to pokeyfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rust reformer is good stuff but if you want to really get the rust out.
Order some citric acid powder or acetic acid and mix in a little wallpaper glue.

It makes a wonderfully sticky goop that will allow you to use very little acid and allow it to stay on target by applying with a brush.
24hrs later you can get a wire brush and then wash it off. Make sure you blow off all the water because it will rust really really fast until it is coated with rust reformer.
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Report this Post04-11-2018 10:47 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 86.4SPD.GT:

Patrick, I only plan to remove that 'cooling fan/blower' assembly (in the trunk) temporarily just to get better access to the passenger side rear trunk corner while patching it. Then, I will reinstall it afterwards. I do believe there is a reason that GM decided to install it in the first place.


Ron, I'm glad to hear you'll be reinstalling the rear blower. Over the years, there have been numerous members here who have proudly declared that they've removed the rear blowers from their '85-'87 V6 Fieros... because the '88 V6 Fieros never had one. Of course they don't consider for a millisecond the changes Pontiac made to the 88's which rendered the rear blower expendable.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-12-2018).]

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Report this Post04-12-2018 05:55 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
Nice find!
I've seen way worse rust. Since you know how to weld, it shouldn't be a huge issue, though. As others have said, none of it is really structural.
The car looks really good.

Welcome to our obsession! (Or welcome back, as the case may be. )

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 04-12-2018).]

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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post04-12-2018 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello guys.
Thanks for taking a minute of your time to offer your input on my unfortunate rust situation.
I am going to put my efforts in getting those rusty areas cleaned up, patched, and repainted before it gets any worse. Although the car really does look pretty good considering it's age, I had a bad feeling that once I pulled those rear inner fender plastics out, that I may find exactly what I did. Although I am happy(at least) that it wasn't any worse.
Since there are many members here that are far more familiar with these cars, are there any other areas that could be hiding rust? Maybe under the front inner fender areas?
The rear cradle assembly really does seem to be in great shape, with only very minor surface rust in a few areas(nothing like the areas I have pictured). I am going to take a wire brush to those areas and get them repainted to prevent any of it to look like those other areas. This car will only be driven during the summer months as long as I own it.
Hopefully, I plan to get quite a few more years out of it as long as I don't find any other areas that prove to suffer the same fate as the areas I have shown in those pictures.
Just looking at the car from underneath, it really does look to be in good shape. I sure hope that I don't find any other areas that are hiding rust.

The current stock sized tires have good tread but are old and cracking. I plan to put new 17x7 wheels on it(+42mm OS) with 235/45R17 tires. However, I am still considering whether or not I want to put 16" wheels/235/50R16 tires on instead to have a little more sidewall on the tires which may offer a smoother ride(?). I want to eliminate having to purchase the almost obsolete 15" tire setup that is on it now though.
I know the whole wheel/tire subject has probably been beaten to death(like it is on almost any car forum, I'm sure), but I would be interested in hearing any personal opinions from anyone who has real world experience on that subject and these cars. I am limiting my choices to only 16" or 17".
What about the tire sizes I have in mind on all four corners? I want to stick with all 4 being either 16" or 17". Unless, of course, someone already knows that I may have issues with proper fitment on my otherwise stock 1986 suspension.

Thanks!

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Report this Post04-12-2018 11:27 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 86.4SPD.GT:

235/45R17 tires... or... 235/50R16 tires


You're not considering putting that width on the front, I hope.

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Report this Post04-12-2018 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, I was. I mean I was hoping to. I would like all four wheels and tires to be the exact same size for rotation purposes. Of course, I didn't buy anything yet. I take it those tires on the front are too wide then? I guess I will have to figure out the widest tire that will fit on the front (with the right offset that doesn't add a custom price tag) and keep very close to the overall diameter of the stock sized tire.
That is my only objective.
I did look through PAGES of people's rim selections, but of course there is barely any reference to actual fitment or barely any pictures of the cars with wheels/tires installed AND also the exact specific tire size they chose.
I still have some time for people to offer their input and steer me in the right direction.
I'm not completely against running different sizes front/back if it is completely necessary to get at least a semi-wide tire size on the rear AND have a tire that fits without rubbing on the front.
I'm all ears...I mean eyes
Thanks Patrick!

EDIT: THIS is how they compare to the stock rear tire size(~3/4"~ wider).
I guess that is why they are only 205's on the front?
I hope I don't have to stick to how the stock tires look on the car now. I don't like the difference between the front and rear as it looks now. Looks kinda 80's Joe Dirt-ish mismatched, IMO

EDIT 2: Never mind, I see that the 205 is only ~8"~ wide. I don't mind that so much but the IT sure seems like the rear tire (as it is stock) looks much taller than the ~1/2"~ it works out to be.

Anyone care to post pictures of their 17" (or even 16") wheel/tire selections on their car?

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 04-13-2018).]

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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post04-14-2018 12:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, before I got a FLOOD of replies I will just say that I do apologize for asking such thread killing questions all the time. I haven't "actively" tried to be a member of a car forum in about 10 years. I realize now that that car forum was by far the best car forum I have ever belonged to. It was also a forum focused on a somewhat popular 1980's car model(the 83-88 monte carlo ss). When I asked a question there(even if it was a 'dumb question') someone always seemed to respond to at least try and help a fellow member out. It always made owning that car seem a LOT funner and allowed me to attempt things I may never have tried. I can sense a little of that in this car forum as well but of course this isn't 10 years ago, and as a society, people definitely aren't the same

I did do some of my own reSEARCH here and although it didn't really help much, it did teach me that apparently a Pontiac Fiero ISN'T exactly a car that will (in it's stock form anyways) accept very many different sized(width) tires. Like I described in my novel above this one, I want to stick to the same sized overall diameter tires, just on different(bigger) sized rims. If the tires also could be wider, that would be great!
I would of thought that this would be a common objective, but after spending many hours searching here, I didn't find much information to confirm that YES this exact sized (16" or 17") wheel with this exact rim offset and this exact tire size will fit(and look better than the stock pizza cutter tires!) . Most people change their struts/springs/etc to a smaller diameter just to get wheels/tires to fit. I definitely don't want to do that. Yet, anyways.
I would like to lower the car eventually(reduce the excessive fender to tire gap that all these older cars seem to have), but when I do that, I don't want to have to buy all new tires/wheels.
So, whatever I install, they will still fit once the car is dropped a little. Hopefully, anyways!

From now on, I will just focus on doing the things that need to be done to this car using my own general car knowledge and the search feature to save on Pennock's bandwidth
If I do get new wheels/tires that actually fit the way I want, I will post pictures here and tell my 'secret' wheel/tire size measurements that may someday help others with the same objective as me.
It is finally starting to warm up a little here and I should be spending more time working on the car and less looking at a computer screen
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Report this Post04-14-2018 01:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A popular size combo with 17" wheels is 225/45/17 front and 245/45/17 rear.
My son has a lowered Formula that runs 235/50/17 front and 255/45/18 rear with no rubbing.
I run 215/60/15 front and 225/60/15 rear on my stock height Formula, and also have a set of 225/45/17 and 245/45/17 for it.
Before I put the 17's on it I need to upgrade the rotors to a larger diameter.
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Report this Post04-14-2018 02:37 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 86.4SPD.GT:

I would like all four wheels and tires to be the exact same size for rotation purposes.


Ron, in regards to the width of tires used in the front... it's not just a matter of what will fit. Front tire width greatly affects the feel of the steering. A wide tire in the front is much more difficult to turn with no power assist, especially while parking. Wide front tires can also have more of a problem with tramlining.

I used 225/50/16 on all four corners on my Fiero(s) while autocrossing, but on the street I much prefer 205/55/16 on the front with 225/50/16 on the rear. Makes for lighter steering... much more pleasant to drive on a daily basis.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-14-2018).]

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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post04-14-2018 03:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys for taking the time to offer your input.
olejoedad: I appreciate you explaining the sizes both you and your son are running, but unfortunately considering the differences in the 1988 models to my 1986 GT model I don't think that I would have the same fitment as you both have. If you are reading this, can you tell me why you would want to swap out to bigger rotors when using the 17" wheels? Is it just for better braking characteristics, or is there a reason that the stock rotors would HAVE to be swapped to larger ones when running a 17" wheel? If the 17" tire size would remain the same(or close to) the stock height, wouldn't that have little to no impact over the stock braking quality? I'm thinking that certain 17" wheel/tire combinations may even reduce overall wheel/tire weight on each corner compared to the stock 15" wheels/tires.
I have thought about the difference in 16" and 17" tires in general, and the fact that a thinner sidewall (but overall same tire height) would allow the driver to feel even more road imperfections. The lesser sidewall should improve handling though, with less 'squish' when cornering, I'd think.

Patrick: I will admit that I am a little oblivious to having a car without power steering, so what you are explaining has been noted and I will keep that in mind before I do choose new wheels/tires.
Do you(either of you) have any feedback as to whether or not the 16" tire would greatly be a better choice when trying to dampen road noise over the 17" wheel/tire of the same diameter? I do like the look of bigger wheels(within reason, of course) so I am thinking that a 17" wheel will be my choice. I don't like the rubber band looking tires(and the added cost to purchasing them) so I don't think anything larger than 17" will be in my plans.

If either of you(or anyone else) have pictures of your cars, along with any other additional specs of your wheel/tire combination(offset) that would greatly be appreciated. Or even a link to a thread here that would be able to offer me the information I seek. I haven't had much luck in finding pictures of many cars with aftermarket wheels installed AND listing the actual wheel size/offset and actual tire size they chose.
I will however keep trying the search feature. Again, I do realize how exhausting this subject tends to be on pretty much any car forum.
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Report this Post04-14-2018 03:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Some have mentioned that the larger diameter wheels with near factory overall tire/wheel diameter puts more mass farther from the rotational center, affecting braking performance.

Others have mentioned that they notice no difference.

I just don't like the looks of dinky rotors inside large diameter wheels.
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Report this Post04-14-2018 11:07 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 86.4SPD.GT:

If either of you(or anyone else) have pictures of your cars, along with any other additional specs of your wheel/tire combination (offset) that would greatly be appreciated.


I'd have to look up the specs of these wheels* but those are 225/50/16 tires all around on my lowered '84.



 
quote
Originally posted by 86.4SPD.GT:

I have thought about the difference in 16" and 17" tires in general, and the fact that a thinner sidewall (but overall same tire height) would allow the driver to feel even more road imperfections. The lesser sidewall should improve handling though, with less 'squish' when cornering, I'd think.


IMO, 16" tires of this aspect ratio (50, or lower) are not going to suffer from "squish" when cornering to any discernible degree on the street... and it hasn't been an issue for me at autocross either.

*Edited to add (due to PM inquiries) that those are long discontinued 16x7 wheels made in Australia by CSA. The model is called Ultra. The offset I have is 38... basically perfect for a 16x7 wheel on an '84-'87 Fiero. (The optimal wheel width and offset for an '88 is a bit more convoluted due to the wider front hubs.)

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-15-2018).]

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Report this Post04-14-2018 11:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick! Your car looks awesome and I hope to someday get a stance on mine closer to yours. That will be a while down the road of course

I have seriously spent most of the day reading literally HUNDREDS of threads on here and after all of that I had my mind made up that I was going with 16x7(+38 offset) wheels all around and 205/55 in the front and 225/55 in the rear. My thinking is that (if this fiero with a 4 speed is anything like the 1984 I had back in the day) I could use a slightly taller tire and it really not hurt anything the way I drive. I know that my speedo will be off about ~1.5~ mph at 65, but I remember the 1984 fiero I had seeming like it really DID need a 5th gear. I'm guessing that my 1986 with it's 4 speed will prove to be similar(if not exactly the same). I realize that the tire size that I chose will only be about ~1/2"~ taller overall, but that little bit of height should do nothing but help........a little anyways.

Then I spent some time searching for a set of wheels that I actually like while still being affordable(for me). There are many choices, but the wheel that I found that I actually liked only came in a 17" size. Most of the wheels that I see in the 16" size wouldn't look right on a Fiero(IMO anyways).So, back to more searching and hopefully I'll find something else in the 16" size that I like. If not, then I guess I will go with a 17" wheel. If that's the case, I will probably go with 205/50 up front and 225/50 in the rear.

If anyone sees my choices and thinks that I should reconsider my tire sizes, please let me know. It will still be at least a couple weeks before I order anything. TIA
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Report this Post04-15-2018 01:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pokeyfieroClick Here to visit pokeyfiero's HomePageClick Here to Email pokeyfieroSend a Private Message to pokeyfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Personally I'd be all about stopping the cancer before I cared what shoes I was wearing.
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Report this Post04-15-2018 02:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I understand your reply(sort of), but the car isn't exactly going to "break in half" (even the way it is right now and even if I didn't do ANYTHING at all to it) anytime soon. I will get those rust areas fixed. I know you don't have the car right in front of you to look at the way I do, but it really isn't bad enough for me to be THAT concerned with. Those are the only areas of rust that I have found on the car. I admit, the car has some minor rust issues going on in the areas I posted pictures of, YES. Is it unsafe or even in the realm of being bad enough that I can't preserve it for at least 3-5 more years without it ever being driven in snow/salty roads? In my opinion, NO!
However, the tires currently on the car are completely dry rotted and cracking all over the place. I will HAVE to buy new tires before I drive this car on a daily basis (during warmer/better weather). I have no reason to believe that I won't even with the rust areas I have shown pictures of so buying new tires (to me) is very important.

I am 'new' to fieros but I am not a complete retard when it comes to cars (even though I may seem that way to someone reading this thread, I admit).
I would, however, be a retard if I were to try driving this car on it's current severely cracked/dry rotted tires.

The car WILL be driven for at least 3-5 more years unless something major mechanically goes wrong with it. It has 65,254 original miles and seems to be mechanically fine with no problems. No matter what, I need new tires. I'm not going to spend my money on new 15" tires when I have every intention of getting rid of the 32 year old ugly (IMO) stock wheels anyway.
That is why I am spending my time thinking about what tires I want to buy instead of fixing the minor rust issues(which will be fixed very soon).
If the car was in worse condition as far as rust goes, I would better understand your comment.
Maybe it is just late, I am getting grumpy, and your comment wasn't meant to be the way I read it in my head?

Thanks for your concern about the rust issue, but please don't be

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Report this Post04-15-2018 09:16 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 86.4SPD.GT:

I have seriously spent most of the day reading literally HUNDREDS of threads on here and after all of that I had my mind made up that I was going with 16x7 (+38 offset) wheels all around and 205/55 in the front and 225/55 in the rear.


I suspect you've called for 55 (instead of 50) in the back just to help fill in the wheel wells a little more... at the sacrifice however, of additional "squish" when turning at speed.

If you made the rear tires 225/50, they'd basically be the same diameter as the 205/55 tires in the front, and IMO a perfect compromise for both looks and driveability.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-15-2018).]

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