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Opinions on the early 90s Pontiac Trans Sport? Steel frame, plastic body like Fiero by cebix
Started on: 11-28-2016 05:17 PM
Replies: 20 (258 views)
Last post by: cebix on 05-14-2017 05:37 PM
cebix
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Report this Post11-28-2016 05:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

They were quite popular here in Europe and can be bought really cheap. I like that there should be no real rust problems because of the Fiero-like build with a galvanized steel frame and plastic/fiberglass body panels.

Any opinions on them? Are they reliable? If any 25+ year old car can be considered reliable... Anything to look at when buying one? I like the styling and I need something with more luggage space than the Fiero. Any parts interchangeble on these with the Fiero?

[This message has been edited by cebix (edited 11-28-2016).]

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tebailey
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Report this Post11-28-2016 08:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Watch for rust at the rear axle. My daughter just got rid of hers today, I've welded the rear axle back in 3 times.

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cebix
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Report this Post11-28-2016 08:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You mean the rear suspension? I thought they were front wheel drive cars?

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tebailey
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Report this Post11-28-2016 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

They are front wheel drive, but the frame around the rear axle mounts rusts bad, then the rear axle breaks loose.

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cebix
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Report this Post11-28-2016 09:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Oh that's what you mean. I'll remember that, thanks for the tip. Any other problems/issues with the car? Any good things worth mentioning? Ride/power/sound insulation, etc.?

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Patrick
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Report this Post11-28-2016 09:06 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 cebix:

Any parts interchangeble on these with the Fiero?


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tebailey
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Report this Post11-28-2016 09:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The only other major problem she had were the 3.4 headgaskets.

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post12-02-2016 10:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:



Ignore Patrick's post; he's nutty. Those won't fit either vehicle, but the windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, coolant, motor oil, chassis grease and tire air will fit ok.

I bought a new '92 with the 3800 V6. For the first 5 years, there were no repairs. After that, it averaged $1500 per year in frequently unusual breakdowns, including 2 harmonic balancers, door latches, seat belt retractors etc.
After 17 years, the $1500 needed doubling, the transmission was acting up, the headliner was tacked up - so I donated it to a charity organization looking for old cars.

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Patrick
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Report this Post12-02-2016 11:32 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 David Hambleton:

Those won't fit either vehicle...


Au contraire, I have a set of those chrome beauties on my Formula at this very moment.

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post12-02-2016 11:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ok, lol! Without any taper, they're not for stock wheels... or perhaps I'm imagining the wrong size.

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Patrick
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Report this Post12-03-2016 12:00 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 David Hambleton:

Ok, lol! Without any taper, they're not for stock wheels... or perhaps I'm imagining the wrong size.


You're imagining the wrong component!

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Blacktree
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Report this Post12-03-2016 12:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Back in the 1990s (and early 2000s), the 3.4 V6 in the TransSport was a popular Fiero engine swap. The engines and transmissions use the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the Fiero (i.e. the GM FWD pattern). So basically any engine that would bolt up to a Fiero transmission can bolt up to the TransSport transmission (assuming the engine bay has enough room). Personally, I'd be tempted to put a 4.9 V8 in it.

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Raydar
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Report this Post12-05-2016 09:36 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

Cooter (from this Forum) used to have the Oldsmobile version of that van, with a 4.5 Cadillac engine swapped in.
Instead of a "mini van", he called it "the manly van".

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Stubby79
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Report this Post12-05-2016 11:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:

Ok, lol! Without any taper, they're not for stock wheels... or perhaps I'm imagining the wrong size.


Those are valve caps for the wheels/tires.

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post12-05-2016 12:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ahhh... yes, of course! Lol! The hex threw me off.

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Left Ventricle
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Report this Post04-22-2017 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Left VentricleSend a Private Message to Left VentricleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I owned a '95 Trans Sport for a few years. I liked it.



It had the Buick V6. Great engine. 18 mpg in the city no matter how I drove it and 27 on the highway. I know the Euro versions got different engines and transmissions, including a variation of the Quad4 and a manual!

The drivetrain was solid, even at over 200k when I got rid of it. The subframe is shared with the A-body Century, and the 3.8 drivetrain, suspension, steering, and brakes are from an H-body Bonneville. The entire rear suspension, brakes, and axle are also from an A-body Century. The only "major" amount I spent on it was a little under $800 to refresh the cooling system. The door handles are made of the cheesiest cheese metal and snap if you cough and fart at the same time. The interior is this eclectic parts bin mix, with a gauge cluster from a Grand Prix, light and wiper switches from a Sunbird, HVAC controls from a W-body Cutlass, two glove boxes and a cubby below the cup holder, overhead sunglasses storage from an S-Blazer, and many other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. The dash board is enormous, and takes a while to get used to. The doors are a weird shape, curved at the top, so you have to be careful you don't bean yourself on them. Some of them had a power sliding door, which is about the coolest thing ever, and it makes a sound that anyone who has grown up in one will instantly recognize. The spare tire is stowed under the rear floor much like a truck.

You would need to look at the same sorts of things you would look at with any used car. Drivetrain quality, steering and suspension, tires, brakes, etc. Make sure all the doors and the hatch open and close as they should.

A Trans Sport or Silhouette would make a great runabout for the family.

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cebix
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Report this Post04-23-2017 05:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cool, thanks! Though I see this is the later model, its body made of steel rather than the previous' fiberglass.

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post05-13-2017 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Are you still thinking about getting a TransSport?

In 1992 I was driving my '84 SE and my wife had an '86 Oldsmobile Calais. We had two boys and twins were on the way so I ordered a '92 TransSport.
There were no issues for the 1st 5 years; it was mostly used when the six of us were going somewhere and I used it in the winter to preserve the Fiero.
I liked its utility and how it drove, but the brakes tended to pulsate despite many efforts to resolve that issue.

The sixth through 17th year averaged $1500 per year in repairs; in the 17th year it was going to be a $3000 year and the transmission was acting up so I had it picked up by a charity.
The 3.8L engine was good except it had 2 harmonic balancer replacements; the rest of the repairs were body and interior issues that I thought were mostly unusual failures.
I bought a 2009 Montana as a replacement; so far it's been better for reliability.

I still use the Fiero; it has 375,600 km on it and has about $5000 to go to match the TransSport's repair bills.

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cebix
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Report this Post05-14-2017 05:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yeah I think I'm over it now. The main thing that attracted me to it was the fiberglass body so I wouldn't have to worry about rust. But I see there's a lot more stuff to worry about. Thanks for the writeup!

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Patrick
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Report this Post05-14-2017 03:02 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 cebix:

The main thing that attracted me to it was the fiberglass body so I wouldn't have to worry about rust.


Yeah, a non-rusting body was certainly a major attraction for me in regards to getting into Fieros 20 years ago... but I've learned to appreciate (or cope!) with its other features.

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cebix
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Report this Post05-14-2017 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cebixSend a Private Message to cebixEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Yeah, a non-rusting body was certainly a major attraction for me in regards to getting into Fieros 20 years ago... but I've learned to appreciate (or cope!) with its other features.


Totally. I'd rather redo the suspension, rebuild the drivetrain or mess around with the electrics and electronics than even touch up metal bodywork.

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