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Just bought a Fiero - Questions.. Lots of questions. by 88formulafastback
Started on: 01-26-2014 11:40 PM
Replies: 20 (736 views)
Last post by: KurtAKX on 02-03-2014 10:12 AM
88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-26-2014 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hey guys. Been a long time since I've been on here at any length. Had an 86 SE when i was 18 and absolutely loved the car. Eventually I went off to college and decided I needed something a little more reliable and with fewer miles, so I sold the car. Twelve years go by and I'm driving home from work one evening and see a silver fastback with a for sale sign on it. took a look at it, as I had been looking for a weekend/project car, but thought it was a little over priced, even so, i eventually talked myself into give the guy a call. Upon talking to him I find out that not only is it an 88 formula with a fastback conversion, but it has a 3.4 DOHC and the 5 speed Getrag as well. also it has a wider tires and keyless entry. Not bad. So obviously, long story short; I bought the car.




However, its the dead of winter, which keeps me indoors with plenty of time to think about what the car needs. Very few fieros are without some quirks at this point, so here goes:

* First and foremost, it seems the coolant fan isn't coming on to keep the car cool at low speeds. Are there any common causes for this?

* Secondly, the Tachometer isn't working. Any common causes for this? I wasn't entirely sure if it could have anything to do with the engine swap. But in an effort to start on the cheap fixes first; I just ordered a use tach off ebay to see if that fixes the problem. And I figure while I'm gutting the instrument panel this would be a good time to go ahead and order a set of white out gauges and replace all of the bulbs. LED anyone?

* The shift knob is shortened on the car, but even with that, the shifter feels a litter stiffer that it should and when shifting I'm not nearly as "sure of myself" about putting it in the right gear as I am with other cars. Is there anything that can be done to make the stick pattern a little more obvious?

* Are there any commonly neglected maintenance issues I should address before getting her on the road too much? What would be the first thing you guys would worry about? Any minor upgrades that are well worth the effort?


* I'm a firm believer that with great power should come greater breaking. anybody know (or wanna link a thread to) the most practical/cost effective way to upgrade the breaks on an 88?

* I've discovered that I freakin love the V8 Archie rocker panels. Though I've noticed that you only ever see them on the GT models. not sure if it matters or not.. Anyone have any experience with these? Just curious to get some info/feedback before I drop another $500-$700 into the car.



Glad to see the Fiero community still as strong as it is! I'll keep you guys updated as the car progresses.

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zmcdonal
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Report this Post01-27-2014 12:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice ride! Very nice.

I think the cheapest easiest brake mod for the 88 is fieroguru's 13" rotor kit that uses the stock 88 calipers. If you do a search it should be pretty easy to find info and pricing.

As far as fan, I would check the relay and temp sensors for it, not sure if the ecm controls that on the dohc or not.

Tach could be from the swap, I know in the 2.8's the tach filter is usually a cause of issues but I'm not sure if the dohc has one or works the same.

I'm sure someone will chime in with more knowledge.

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[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 01-27-2014).]

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88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-27-2014 01:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the info! I'll look into the brakes.
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post01-27-2014 09:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
* First and foremost, it seems the coolant fan isn't coming on to keep the car cool at low speeds. Are there any common causes for this?


Normally it is the temp sensor, but with the DOHC I do not know its location.

 
quote
* Secondly, the Tachometer isn't working. Any common causes for this? I wasn't entirely sure if it could have anything to do with the engine swap. But in an effort to start on the cheap fixes first; I just ordered a use tach off ebay to see if that fixes the problem. And I figure while I'm gutting the instrument panel this would be a good time to go ahead and order a set of white out gauges and replace all of the bulbs. LED anyone?


The 60degreev6 tach very likely would not work with the DOHC ignitions system. Look for a DOHC compatible tach

 
quote
* The shift knob is shortened on the car, but even with that, the shifter feels a litter stiffer that it should and when shifting I'm not nearly as "sure of myself" about putting it in the right gear as I am with other cars. Is there anything that can be done to make the stick pattern a little more obvious?


You need the stock shifter. The short one increases stiffness and the shorter throw takes some getting used to. In cold weather the shifters stiffen up also.

 
quote
* Are there any commonly neglected maintenance issues I should address before getting her on the road too much? What would be the first thing you guys would worry about? Any minor upgrades that are well worth the effort?


Check the fluids, all of them. You may need to change oil. You may want to switch to Synchromesh fluid in the tranny

I don't know the '88 brakes but if you run a search in the tech archives in the forum, you'll find them.

Good luck

Arn
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KissMySSFiero
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Report this Post01-27-2014 10:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KissMySSFieroClick Here to Email KissMySSFieroSend a Private Message to KissMySSFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
check Fieroguru in the mall. He makes a 13" brake kit that's priced right. it's in the mall.

I'd help more, but you didn't show engine pics. And that's just wrong.

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Silicoan86
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Report this Post01-27-2014 03:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The fan is ECM controlled for the DOHC. Pin A9 on the ECM should be connected to pin D1 on the Fiero's C500 connector via a dark green/white wire. That'd be the first thing I'd check.
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Csjag
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Report this Post01-27-2014 05:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Make sure you take the blower motor and resistor out and cleanout any leaves that could cause a dashboard fire. Beautiful car!
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Custom2M4
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Report this Post01-27-2014 09:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Custom2M4Click Here to Email Custom2M4Send a Private Message to Custom2M4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice car! The reason you don't see those side skirts on a non gt is because they look stupid without bumpers to match the ground effects. Your coupe bumpers will be vertically challenged about 2" over the gt ones at the bottom.

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bcampbell
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Report this Post01-27-2014 10:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bcampbellClick Here to Email bcampbellSend a Private Message to bcampbellEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The DOHC uses the same DIS pack as the other 60*V6s Gen II and Gen III. The signal is compatible with the stock V6 tach (3x signal). It's possible that the tach was never wired in when the swap was done.
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88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-27-2014 11:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wow. lots of feedback in a short amount of time. Thanks! Now I'll do my best to reply to everyone. Though, I do need to clarify that the car may[i] not be a dual overhead cam. I simply assumed that it would be bc it's the same size as the engine in my 2004 grand am GT (SC/T package!) which [i]is a DOHC. I've since looked online and found out that most of them actually aren't.. my bad everyone. I'll check on this in the next few days, as the car is currently down the road at my dads. I unfortunately do not have a garage, whereas there is plenty of space there. Also, I'll be sure to get some pictures of the engine and maybe some of the interior. sorry SSFiero. lol.

I also found the 88 brake upgrade on the mall. Does sound pretty appealing. My only fear is the price of buying the corvette rotors. I'll do some pricing and see what the total job is going to cost.

And all the fluids look good... but has anyone's dashboard ever caught on fire from the blower?? wow.

And good call 2m4. makes sense. makes me wonder if the make a lower air dam for the Formula like they do with the GT versions, bc otherwise the back would be fine. Though (and I'm sure bad rating my ensue for me even saying this) I wouldn't be totally opposed to changing out the bumpers for the GT ones. I had them on my SE and they look a little more "classic Pontiac" in my opinion. don't hate me.

In the mean time, here's a pic of some stuff I've already got plans on putting in the car. I have a spoiler painted to match the car also.. but I'm thinking I kinda like the wingless look. At least for now.

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Raydar
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Report this Post01-28-2014 05:33 PM 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
Hah! My favorite body style!

Welcome to our obsession.

Fieroguru's kit doesn't use Corvette rotors. They are, however, commonly available rotors off of a GM vehicle.
I have that kit on my car. I recommend it highly.




------------------
Raydar
88 Formula IMSA Fastback. 4.9, NVG T550

Praise the Lowered!

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88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-29-2014 09:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks raydar. Nice ride. Lol. Another reason I need the quarter/rocker panels in my life.
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KurtAKX
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Report this Post01-29-2014 10:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KurtAKXSend a Private Message to KurtAKXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88formulafastback:


Wow. lots of feedback in a short amount of time. Thanks! Now I'll do my best to reply to everyone. Though, I do need to clarify that the car may[i] not be a dual overhead cam. I simply assumed that it would be bc it's the same size as the engine in my 2004 grand am GT (SC/T package!) which [i]is a DOHC. I've since looked online and found out that most of them actually aren't.. my bad everyone. I'll check on this in the next few days, as the car is currently down the road at my dads.


nope, the Grand Am SC/T isn't a DOHC either.

Do you know what a camshaft is?
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88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-29-2014 01:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yeah. the camshaft moves the lifters, which in turn moves the pushrods. though i admit my mechanical knowledge is somewhat limited and pales in comparison to a lot of the folks on here. which I guess, is why I'm here.
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craigsfiero2007
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Report this Post01-29-2014 02:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for craigsfiero2007Click Here to Email craigsfiero2007Send a Private Message to craigsfiero2007Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Post Up a Pic of your engine and everyone can tell you what you got. GM made quite a few 3.4 motors in various flavors. Welcome to the Addiction! You have a nice start to your Fiero herd.
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labbe001
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Report this Post01-29-2014 02:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for labbe001Send a Private Message to labbe001Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the madness...glad to see another Fiero freak in the state
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KurtAKX
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Report this Post01-30-2014 10:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KurtAKXSend a Private Message to KurtAKXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88formulafastback:


Yeah. the camshaft moves the lifters, which in turn moves the pushrods. though i admit my mechanical knowledge is somewhat limited and pales in comparison to a lot of the folks on here. which I guess, is why I'm here.


Sorry, that sounded way worse than what I meant.

What I was driving at, is that you can quickly tell if an engine is DOHC or not by looking at it, versus having to read it on a website once you know what you're looking for.


So looking at the above, you'll now know what's what at a glance.

For example, choose which of the two engines had dual overhead cams based on the images below:
This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

Another quiz, only one of these is DOHC.




Regardless of what anyone tells you, if there isn't room on top of the cylinder head for two bumpy sticks of metal, you know what you've got.
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carbon
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Report this Post01-30-2014 10:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Grand Am V6 is a pushrod 3400SFI engine. Here is a nice one in a Fiero.


The 3.4L DOHC or TDC came in W-body cars. Here is a nice one in a Fiero.
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carbon
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Report this Post01-30-2014 10:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

carbon

4767 posts
Member since Apr 2004
Kurt, your pics are too damn big... and you're still being condescending.
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88formulafastback
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Report this Post01-31-2014 12:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88formulafastbackClick Here to Email 88formulafastbackSend a Private Message to 88formulafastbackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Kurt (I think). Only some of your quiz photos would load on the page due to the size. however, the yellow one would be a dual overhead. Mine is a pushrod. Forgive my ignorance. Speaking of that though, the red DOHC in carbons picture looks freakin sweet. Thx Carbon. Speaking of which, you craig and labbe should post pics of your rides. Which bring me to mentioning that I really thought the gallery would be a little bigger considering the volume of people on this site.. I'm sure it'd take up a lot of space though. but blah, blah, blah -
I was planning on getting some pics posted and some work done (the cooling fan!) to the car yesterday, however on Tuesday, on the way home from work, I got trapped on a frozen road and had to abandon my other car. on top of that, the back wheel is now bent inward at the bottom.. a problem I'm sure was caused by the tow truck people, as the car was fine when I got out of it. anyways, at the moment, I have no means of transportation and other things to spend my money on. So, we'll see what i can get acomplished tomorrow. I'll keep you guys posted.

p.s. Raydar - factory sunroof?
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KurtAKX
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Report this Post02-03-2014 10:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KurtAKXSend a Private Message to KurtAKXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88formulafastback:

Thanks Kurt (I think). Only some of your quiz photos would load on the page due to the size. however, the yellow one would be a dual overhead. Mine is a pushrod. Forgive my ignorance. Speaking of that though, the red DOHC in carbons picture looks freakin sweet. Thx Carbon. Speaking of which, you craig and labbe should post pics of your rides. Which bring me to mentioning that I really thought the gallery would be a little bigger considering the volume of people on this site.. I'm sure it'd take up a lot of space though. but blah, blah, blah -
I was planning on getting some pics posted and some work done (the cooling fan!) to the car yesterday, however on Tuesday, on the way home from work, I got trapped on a frozen road and had to abandon my other car. on top of that, the back wheel is now bent inward at the bottom.. a problem I'm sure was caused by the tow truck people, as the car was fine when I got out of it. anyways, at the moment, I have no means of transportation and other things to spend my money on. So, we'll see what i can get acomplished tomorrow. I'll keep you guys posted.

p.s. Raydar - factory sunroof?


No one will be able to put one over on you now, regarding engine configuration.

Were you in that ice-pocolypse?

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