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Making the Fiero a Real Sports Car by RilesOfSmiles
Started on: 08-17-2013 02:01 AM
Replies: 9 (447 views)
Last post by: MadMark on 08-17-2013 07:51 PM
RilesOfSmiles
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Report this Post08-17-2013 02:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RilesOfSmilesClick Here to Email RilesOfSmilesSend a Private Message to RilesOfSmilesEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Now I know its considered to be a sports car by some but the thought occurred to me today to take my 86 gt and make it a high speed high performance car. Maybe the way it would be made today. The car in question is my 86 gt daily driver and it has worn suspension, damaged bumpers, the drivers window doesn't like to roll up and down, the wheels and tires are from an 85 se, the engine runs pretty well, its unstable at high speed, it has the 4 speed manual with a bad 2nd gear syncro, the right headlight doesn't pop up, it just hit 149,000 miles, but I have a chrome cigarette lighter!

She sounds great doesn't she? Anyway I was thinking about things I could do do make it a highly competitive sports car. Which means making it easily capable of high cruising speeds, and high cornering limits. Basically a lot of C5 corvette parts. I want to keep the 2.8 and the 4 speed for the time being to preserve the spirit of the Fiero.

Now for the high speed wandering and instability I'm not sure what is wrong. It got new tires, shocks, struts, and an alignment about 1,000 miles ago. Changing lanes can be outright frightening depending on the condition of the road and requires a death grip with both hands on the steering wheel at times. I think the issue is a mix of worn suspension and too much front end lift. To fix this I'm thinking:
-a vented hood
-larger tires that fill the wheel wells for lower rpm cruising
-figure out what the heck is going on with the suspension at high speeds

Now as for making it handle like a sports car:
-C5 corvette brakes
-wide, sticky tires with emphasis on wideness and stickiness
-stiffer springs
-idk what else

As you can probably tell I'm not completely sure what I'm doing. If you guys have any ideas I would love to hear them!

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VF1Skullangel
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Report this Post08-17-2013 04:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for VF1SkullangelClick Here to visit VF1Skullangel's HomePageClick Here to Email VF1SkullangelSend a Private Message to VF1SkullangelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Get a 3.4 out of a Camaro. Its basically a 2.8 but better. Turbo it. It will be brought up to modern standards.
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f85gtron
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Report this Post08-17-2013 05:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for f85gtronSend a Private Message to f85gtronEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check, repack, adjust your front bearings....that causes a lot of wandering and unstable lane change.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post08-17-2013 07:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Suspension geometry (especially in the rear) is the area than needs the most work to update it to "sports car handling".
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MadMark
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Report this Post08-17-2013 08:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Start out by getting the suspension back up to snuff. Replace the rubber bushings with Poly, new shocks and struts and get a great alignment not just having someone tweak the toe in to make it go straight. Fixing the suspension will make it operate like it should without the scary feeling. Once you have all of that done then think about doing some other things like:

New wheels and tires with 17 or 18 inch rims
Coil overs on both ends
Improve the brakes, there are many different ways to do this and you don't necessarily need to C5 brakes to get much better.
If you want to stick with the 2.8 change to a 4T60 non E transmission. Better gas mileage and better performance.
Get a different engine: 3.4, 3800 SC, Small Block Chevy, North Star or whatever

In the end make it yours, but please start by making it safe with fixing the suspension.
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KY87fierogt
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Report this Post08-17-2013 09:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KY87fierogtClick Here to Email KY87fierogtSend a Private Message to KY87fierogtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MadMark:

Start out by getting the suspension back up to snuff. Replace the rubber bushings with Poly, new shocks and struts and get a great alignment not just having someone tweak the toe in to make it go straight. Fixing the suspension will make it operate like it should without the scary feeling.


In the end make it yours, but please start by making it safe with fixing the suspension.


I agree with this!!

Did they do a 4 wheel alignment? Aligning just the front is not good enough!! I replaced all ball. I replaced cradle bushings and struts in the rear, all bushings in front, shocks, ball joints, tierods, and steering rack. On the way to have it aligned it acted EXACTLY how you describe. It took them 3 hours to align it...........It is a whole new car now!!!

Check all your bushings(incl. cradle), struts, shocks, ball joints, tie rods, etc.....
If all is fine probably just need a good alignment.

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MadMark
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Report this Post08-17-2013 10:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Also, before you get it aligned, if you have an 88 at least, go to Rodney Dickman and invest in new paddle nuts & bolts. Otherwise you could spend a lot of money & time redoing the alignment.
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Stainless1911
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Report this Post08-17-2013 10:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Stainless1911Click Here to Email Stainless1911Send a Private Message to Stainless1911Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Find a guy that knows how to (and likes to) work on Fieros.

I paid 460 for an alignment that didnt work, then took it to Davison Automotive where they fixed it right, in an hour instead of a day, and only charged me a normal and acceptable rate for an alignment. It was under a hundred.
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crashyoung
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Report this Post08-17-2013 07:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Tear it down and build it up with better parts.
The budget is your only limit...
If you want it for the track only, it will be a stiff
car, but if you want to street it, get it a little softer.
Engines and trannys are mild to wild, what is your goal?
If you are going to tear it down, then change the drive
train because it will be easier then, not later.
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MadMark
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Report this Post08-17-2013 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was on my cellphone earlier or I would have elucidated what I posted before. I have an 88 that has had problems with alignment for about 4 years. I would get it aligned but it would go out shortly afterward. Kept working on it and it just kept going out of alignment. Some of the alignments were done very well and some weren't. Some places charged a lot and others didn't and no the more expensive ones were not the best for alignments.

I finally posted on Pennocks about the problems I was having with keeping it in alignment and someone suggested that I buy new paddle nuts and bolts for holding the upper A-arms in place to the cradle. I first bought some from the Fiero Store and then someone else said that the ones from Rodney Dickman were stronger and the paddle nuts were crimped so that they would not back off. So I bought a set from Rodney. And they were visibly much beefier. So that is what i used. I went to a local mechanic in Owosso, where I live and had him do the alignment using these new parts. Finally it seems that the alignment is staying in-place. It has been a couple of thousand miles and it is holding just like when it was first aligned.

Also, when your alignment is out on the Fiero, no matter the year, it will be scary to drive. It will try to ride up the crowns in the road. When you go over the centerline it can jerk you badly enough that you think it is going to wreck you. However, if you drive the Fiero and it is aligned properly it is like driving a gokart. It is an impressive cornering machine. And if your bushings or tie rod ends are worn then your alignment will never be right. So take care of those first if you have problems there. Then get it aligned. You will be impressed with how well it corners. It just doesn't have much horsepower stock though. But, I have followed veteran Fiero owners with 2.5 engines on twisty roads and they get through the turns pretty well. They just never slow down and even with a 3800 SC you have to work a little bit to keep up with them. So the engine you have and the available horsepower you have kind of determines how you approach cornering.

So have fun. Get it safe and go for it.
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