Okay- I recently picked up a 21,000 original mile '87 GT. Still had the original Goodyears on it, along with most everything else. Now, doing the famed "bounce" test, the shocks and struts "seem fine," but I am not a certified suspension guy and find a test like this dubious at best, lol.
Sooooo...My question is, what are the chances that my 27 year old shocks and struts are actually GOOD? I gotta believe that even IF they are still functioning as they should, that almost ANY modern aftermarket replacement would be superior anyway?
My 27 year old shocks and struts passed the bounce test but had completely failed in the compression stroke. Gravity would collapse them once I had them out of the car. New shocks and struts made a noticeable improvement.
Modern equivalents for the Fiero are all going to be about the same as factory, unless you go with high end or performance parts, really you get what you pay for, mostly in how long they will last. And what qualifies as an improvement is quite subjective. I like a stiffer ride than stock, and others may like a softer ride than stock for a smother highway experience.
Personally, I would get new hardware if it is to be a daily driver. At 20k miles, it has most likely been sitting, and all the rubber likes to sit as much as it likes to be abused. So even if it is O.K. now, they may degrade exceptionally fast once you start driving it again.
Monroe has "premium" hardware for front and rear (and standard for front only), they are Sensa-trac line shocks and struts, part# 71814 (R) and 5921 (F)
It's potentially cheap, too. My '88GT passed the jounce test but leaked front and rear. I bought new struts and shocks by Monroe --- $122 from Rock Auto, shipped. I then got a $60 rebate (really). Price was important, but I avoided more costly shocks because my 76 year old back wants a comfortable ride. This did the trick perfectly. The car really seems much better, with no bump steer, no torque steer, and an excellent ride.
It took several hours to replace those parts plus new urethane bushings.
Okay- I recently picked up a 21,000 original mile '87 GT. Still had the original Goodyears on it, along with most everything else.
What a GREAT find congratulations on that!! I thought about keeping my struts and shocks too, since they had only 47K on them. But the age and life/expectancy thing of the original OEM parts made up my mind to replace them. I had to use a cut-off wheel to get them out.
The front shocks are easy to Replace start there check out the rear struts use some penetrant to soak down into the strut stud,, in case you replace them the rear GM A.C Delco are very,very ,very long life & may still be servicable check them out completely & you may save some sheckles by running them until they colapse or you give it up the stock Fiero seats are excellent you can install softer rear springs on the struts if you have a bad back
Just changed out the front and rear on my 85 originals, they were beyond done! My car is pretty much rust free even with almost 180k on the clock but all the hardware and such still looked like new, just dirty. I was and easy job with one exception, I ordered two Raybestos cam bolts for the rear and one was a smaller size in the right box. Took some time to sort that out because of mail order issues so in the meantime I ordered one from NAPA, big mistake! Right size but cheap quality and to prove it the cam washer on the nut side shattered into 5 pieces as I was putting the finial torque on it. I know I had it in the right place and there should have been no issue but it did! I suggest skipping NAPA for that part and finding the Raybestos version, worked outstanding!
The front shocks were worn out on both my 85 2M4 and 85 GT but they both have the WS6 suspension which is very stiff and I can't get the rear suspension to depress more than a half inch when I press on the rear fender. Does this mean the struts are okay, they both ride much better with the new front shocks.
I replaced mine last year , the ride didn't feel bad but decided to replace both shocks and struts. this show me replacing the struts. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/128257.html Mine still had the original tires as well , lost one last year so it only goes out if I borrow my wife's wheels. The tires did not look bad, but looks can be deceiving better to error on the side of safety .