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Thinking of buying a 1988 Fiero Formula ????? by coolink13
Started on: 10-03-2020 04:37 PM
Replies: 18 (359 views)
Last post by: coolink13 on 10-17-2020 07:58 PM
coolink13
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Report this Post10-03-2020 04:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello Everyone , This is my first post. I came across a V8 powered Formula . It has 214K on it.. A early nineties Corvette 350 with a TPI set up. BBK throttle body. Factory manifolds. new lower end. Has AC installed but not charged . so could not test that.. Has a speed manual . stock clutch. Power windows , rear defrost , auto Trunk release. Paint is excellent all rubber seals look excellent. All glass looks excellent. Could use a drivers seat cover. Has after market cd and amp installed. All gauges worked . Factory wheels look new. tires are so so? I don't Have Photos to post.. I was wondering what a fair price would be? They are asking 10K Any input would be helpful. Thank you
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Patrick
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Report this Post10-03-2020 06:07 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
I think you're going to find that prices can be all over the place, largely depending on supply and demand in the particular area.

I'll also add that no matter how good a Fiero might look and/or run, you've got to check for rust in the problem areas... before you buy.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 10-03-2020).]

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olejoedad
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Report this Post10-03-2020 07:57 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
If you're not mechanically inclined, a drivetrain swapped automobile of any type may not be for you.

Most shops won't touch them for repairs or even simple tuneups.

The stock clutch is a ticking bomb.

Did you ask the owner why they are selling?
Does the car come with complete documentation?

Ten grand will buy a lot of decent cars of many kinds - but it is very high for Fiero unless it is very, very exceptional.
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fierofrenzy
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Report this Post10-03-2020 08:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofrenzyClick Here to Email fierofrenzySend a Private Message to fierofrenzyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
hey Coollink.... I own an 88 Formula. I think its awesome. But as far as your first Fiero being one with a swapped in V8.... well, unless your very very mechanically inclined , I'd stay away from that car. The Fireo your looking at was not designed for a 350 V8, so Im sure problems will arise, if they havent already. Why this fellow selling it anyway ? If your set on buying a Formula then I'd advise finding a basically stock one. And if you have 10 grand to invest, you'll definately find a gem. Just my opinion of coarse, but I wouldnt do it.
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formulaWA
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Report this Post10-03-2020 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for formulaWASend a Private Message to formulaWAEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You could buy my Formula for 10K. Not a swap but it is a "new" factory original Formula with 2,000 original miles and the original tires.
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coolink13
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Report this Post10-03-2020 09:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you to everyone for the responses . I am Very Mechanically inclined being a 30 year master tech. But a good thing to point out.. I think i can get get the car for about 7500 -8000. I wanted something with some power.. Although I don't like the 4 speed in it.. he has a racing clutch . I don't remember the brand. As far as rust I didn't see anything in the visual areas. I asked about the frame areas behind the plastic. he confidently said no rust. being around cars in new England I do realize there could be surprises. He is selling it because of bad knees and is older now. The car does come with a spare radiator AC compressor spare sunroof. and some things I may be forgetting. I don't want a stock Fiero. Thanks again for all the valued input.
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Patrick
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Report this Post10-03-2020 09:39 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 coolink13:

As far as rust I didn't see anything in the visual areas. I asked about the frame areas behind the plastic. he confidently said no rust.


That's what most sellers say, no matter if they themselves know or not.
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pmbrunelle
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Report this Post10-03-2020 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by coolink13:
I am Very Mechanically inclined being a 30 year master tech.


Well, you'll probably need to rely on those skills. It's rare that auto modifications are performed with the care and quality of the original factory parts.

If I wanted a swapped Fiero, I'd buy a stock one and swap it myself.

Too much probability of bullshit and corner-cutting with a modified car. Just my two cents...
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coolink13
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Report this Post10-04-2020 07:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks again for the continued replies. I have Decided to walk away from this one. Going to look at another today. Not modified . low miles 1988 formula automatic. Has crank windows. I think in the 60K range, was told needs a engine. That one is 3200. I am not interested in it for that Price.
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ltlfrari
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Report this Post10-04-2020 10:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
People (sellers out to make a buck or three) seem to think (or at least say) that Fieros 'will soon be a collector car' and want an arm an a leg for non running pieces of scrap.
In my opinion, anything that 'needs an engine' is little more than a non running but rolling chassis and should be priced as such, given that scrap price for a chassis might be a couple of hundred dollars.
That said, proces do seem to be going up (slowly) with some VERY NICE examples asking and sometime commanding 10k but most are nothing special, except to the seller, and should be priced accordingly.
The secret, especially for a swap, is to find a good solid donor chassis. Everything else is fixable and pretty much EVERY problem ever encountered on a Fiero has been posted about and solved on here so it's not like you are alone, which is why I still have, even though I am 'old' and 'have bad knees'!

Good look with your search and welcome to the madness.
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coolink13
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Report this Post10-04-2020 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you ltlfrari. Its always madness whatever I get into. I did come across another 88 Formula. Extremely clean underneath wear I could see. only 67K on it. interior in excellent shape. crank windows automatic with cruse. AC. Was able to turn it over . but no start he says the guy he got it from said it needed a engine. Who knows. But I am thinking about it as it does. He is pretty firm at 3200 What do you Guys think of that price??
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Patrick
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Report this Post10-04-2020 05:51 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 coolink13:

He is pretty firm at 3200 What do you Guys think of that price??


$3200 for a Fiero that won't start and needs an engine? Madness.

It's petty difficult, if not impossible, to determine what else an old car requires if you can't even drive it around the block.
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pmbrunelle
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Report this Post10-04-2020 07:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well if you're going to do a V8 swap, then the non-running engine isn't much of a problem, right?

The most important thing to look at is rust.

After that, paint. Paint is expensive to get redone.

Supposing that the car is rust-free, and the paint is shiny like on this Formula:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/coconv/27172015153/

The $3200 Formula could be an option worth entertaining...

[This message has been edited by pmbrunelle (edited 10-04-2020).]

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coolink13
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Report this Post10-04-2020 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I will be doing a 3800 swap. Unless I find a V8 for the right price. The paint is not shiny like that.. Buts Very good. if I was to get it Paint is not even on the list as it is right now. its clean. interior is near perfect for a 32 year old car. In my climate to find something like is hard to do.. Least I could see it. I don't love it at that price but he does have a 84 parts car which is rough. but I would like to take the 5 speed and clutch pedal and anything else related to manual trans. could probably have that with the car. I was hoping to get him down to 2800.00 He does not need to sell it at all . I need to figure out how to load images from my phone and I will post them.
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Report this Post10-10-2020 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've had a few stock v6 fieros, a 3800 SC swap and an L98 v8. The V8 is my favorite and its a lot less problems than the stock v6 and more reliable. You'll never match the low end torque of a V8 and that's the only one I'd recommend to you. If you wanna come here, I'll give you my 5 speed with heat-treated gears if you swap in an automatic for me.

I bought an all original 1988 formula with 42,000 original miles for $3200. Old guy in San Diego that also gave me an article saying fieros would be collectors items bringing $40k. It was the worst fiero i ever had. Original plastic radiator cracked, leaked and left me stranded. (Thanks to John for the rescue in Lake Tahoe) . Original alternator cooked, failed and left me stranded. Original pick-up coil failed and left me stranded (at home that time). Shocks and struts leaked and needed replaced. Radiator hoses and belts needed replaced. Tires needed replaced. The local guy with a flatbed was giving me a discount i called him so much.

And don't forget the R-12 in the AC system that will need to be dealt with. By the way, SEARCH this forum for "black death" in the AC system if AC is important to you.

Also be aware that the 84 had some features unique to it (including some of the wiring) so its not really a good choice for a parts car. An 87 would be ideal for the gen 2 headlight system and larger gas tank. Tell him to forget about $3200 for a non-runner - for $5000 you'll get a decent corvette .

Just my free advice, but I'd buy a car that was maintained with high miles before i'd buy a low miles car. Get a V8 or sooner or later you'll wish you did.

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 10-10-2020).]

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coolink13
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Report this Post10-12-2020 10:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
PaulJK

Thank you for the free advice. Thank you for the offer on the transmission. I you lived in NH I may take you up on it. I am all over the place currently found another 1988 4 cyl with some upgrades, he wants 6K too much I think. Also found a running 1988 GT with 72K he wants 7500. I also found someone that has a 1998 buick regal GS engine and transmission with 153K video of it running. with some minor upgrades. for 575.00 PCM harness axles everything. V8 are to find. one on ebay that keeps going down.
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Report this Post10-12-2020 12:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:

Old guy in San Diego that also gave me an article saying fieros would be collectors items bringing $40k.


I can't count how many old guys I have met in the last 20 plus years that have convinced themselves that a 1988 Fiero is some kind of holy grail that will be a great investments and quadruple in value. I think these are guys who are old enough to rememember the glory days of the muscle cars in the late 60's and are regretting not stashing away a GTO Judge, Super Bee, 455 SD Trans Am or GT 500 Shelby.... The reality is that if someone was to buy a brand new 88 GT , i.e. $18K USD taxes in, and put it away for the next 30 years, he would be lucky to get as much as the car bought brand new. After adjusting for inflation, it is a money loser- not to mention the cost of maintenance and storage all of those years.

But this won't stop the "secret brotherhood" of old guys who stash away mint or rusty 88 Fieros and let them rot away... waiting for the magical $40,000 offer to come in!


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Report this Post10-17-2020 06:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
New buyer? Patrick touched on it but I will elaborate further. Before you buy any Fiero remove the wheels then take out the wheel house liners. Now look up with a flashlight. That's where the frame rails rust out. If you see a lot of rust up there that is structural damage so STAY AWAY as the car is junk As for what an 88 Formula is worth? Anywhere from $500-$4500 depending on mileage and condition. Its not a high demand collectible car.

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coolink13
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Report this Post10-17-2020 07:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for coolink13Click Here to Email coolink13Send a Private Message to coolink13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks again for the advice and valuable information. I am a new buyer. I know they are not a high value car. But was curious what the average purchase price was. Will be looking at a 1985 SE. Well modified and updated that runs. Comes with most of the 3800 swap plus a new F40 transmission.
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