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New '85 Fiero Owner - Lots of Questions! by Chantruese
Started on: 11-07-2014 11:31 AM
Replies: 11 (259 views)
Last post by: phonedawgz on 11-08-2014 12:40 PM
Chantruese
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Report this Post11-07-2014 11:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChantrueseSend a Private Message to ChantrueseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi All!

I just got my first Fiero ('85 V6 automatic) this last weekend, and so far I love this little car so much! So much personality, and it's not something you see every day. I've been glued to the forums because there are a handful of things that need fixing, and I've found help for some items already, but I'm kinda stuck on a few. Here's the laundry list, any help you guys can offer would be absolutely awesome!

1. Phantom wipers. This is really sporadic. I have times when I drive the car all over the place and don't get a single instance of this. Then sometimes it's super active. It's been cold and dry here, no recent rain or moisture, so I don't think it's water related. When it's bad everything triggers it -- blinkers, bumps, turns, and the "just because" wipe. Is the switch the first place to start, or should I start elsewhere based on symptoms?

2. Left front blinker doesn't flash when headlights are on, and the dash signal light blinks when the blinkers are on, but stays at about half brightness with blinkers are off and headlights are on. All the other signals work just fine (rear, markers, and the whole right side.) When the headlights are off, the front blinker works fine and the dash signal lights work as expected. We read that it could be a filament in the blinker/parking light that was causing the problem, replaced that last night, but it didn't fix it. What's the next best place to start?

3. Temperature gauge not reading. PO put in an aftermarket temp gauge, but it looks like there may be a leak around the original? Is it worth attempting to replace that, or just roll with aftermarket?

4. Hazards just stay solid when turned on. No blinking. Is this just another relay?


Here are things that are not working, but we have a plan in place:

1. Headlight motors don't work. I can turn the cranks by hand and they move up and down. We replaced the isolation relay, and put a relay in for the passenger side (it was missing), but no dice. You can hear the motors, but the crank on the top doesn't turn when you flip the switch. When we pulled the isolation relay, there was a bunch of gunk (almost looked like burnt oil) inside the plugs. Pretty sure that's not so good for electrical stuff. Thinking about swapping for 2nd gen GM headlights.

2. Oil gauge pegged at high. We picked up the parts for swapping the oil pressure sender over to the '88 version, so I'll let you know how that goes. Thanks, Ogre, for the info on this! I'm hoping that the oil leak is related to this, but it could be a bunch of different problems. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for any help!
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Chantruese
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Report this Post11-07-2014 01:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ChantrueseSend a Private Message to ChantrueseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A follow up -- some of the stuff I'm seeing about the phantom wipers involve swapping the switch out for one out of an S10, but that you lose intermittent functionality. Anyone done this?

[This message has been edited by Chantruese (edited 11-07-2014).]

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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post11-07-2014 02:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the forum and good job! No one I remember has figured out so many things so quickly!

I'd say the hazards and turn signal issue are likely the result of the wrong bulb or one of two filaments being broken.

Yes, the oil is likely coming from the sender.

The headlight motors likely need to be rebuilt. There are a number of sources for rebuild kits and stronger gears. I would just get the rebuild kits with plastic gears from the FieroStore. It takes some time and effort to rebuild them, but even more to upgrade. Please disconnect the battery before working on these things. They can easily ruin your hands if they start running unexpectedly, which they can because they always have power.

Check carefully for rust. I would take the wheel well liners out and see what needs to be done. There is a good chance you have rust there, extending into the trunk and around the battery. There may also be rust in the floor pans and front wheel wells. Also look at the radiator braces. It's not the end of the world, but the sooner you start doing something about these things the better.

You're right about the personality and stuff. I was looking at Google street view yesterday and saw what seemed to be a Fiero (at Church and East Main in Lake Zurich, IL), but it's definitely not. People think you're driving something exotic, and of course you kind of are.
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mckaymotoworks
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Report this Post11-07-2014 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mckaymotoworksClick Here to visit mckaymotoworks's HomePageSend a Private Message to mckaymotoworksEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome. Let me suggest an easy way to find most of your answers, the 'Search' function works well, but this Google trick works even better as it aggregates the search more narrow: Use Google to search ' xyz issue site:www.fiero.nl'
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imabaddude
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Report this Post11-07-2014 08:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for imabaddudeSend a Private Message to imabaddudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Chantruese:

Hi All!

I just got my first Fiero ('85 V6 automatic) this last weekend, and so far I love this little car so much! So much personality, and it's not something you see every day. I've been glued to the forums because there are a handful of things that need fixing, and I've found help for some items already, but I'm kinda stuck on a few. Here's the laundry list, any help you guys can offer would be absolutely awesome!

1. Phantom wipers. This is really sporadic. I have times when I drive the car all over the place and don't get a single instance of this. Then sometimes it's super active. It's been cold and dry here, no recent rain or moisture, so I don't think it's water related. When it's bad everything triggers it -- blinkers, bumps, turns, and the "just because" wipe. Is the switch the first place to start, or should I start elsewhere based on symptoms?

2. Left front blinker doesn't flash when headlights are on, and the dash signal light blinks when the blinkers are on, but stays at about half brightness with blinkers are off and headlights are on. All the other signals work just fine (rear, markers, and the whole right side.) When the headlights are off, the front blinker works fine and the dash signal lights work as expected. We read that it could be a filament in the blinker/parking light that was causing the problem, replaced that last night, but it didn't fix it. What's the next best place to start?

3. Temperature gauge not reading. PO put in an aftermarket temp gauge, but it looks like there may be a leak around the original? Is it worth attempting to replace that, or just roll with aftermarket?

4. Hazards just stay solid when turned on. No blinking. Is this just another relay?


Here are things that are not working, but we have a plan in place:

1. Headlight motors don't work. I can turn the cranks by hand and they move up and down. We replaced the isolation relay, and put a relay in for the passenger side (it was missing), but no dice. You can hear the motors, but the crank on the top doesn't turn when you flip the switch. When we pulled the isolation relay, there was a bunch of gunk (almost looked like burnt oil) inside the plugs. Pretty sure that's not so good for electrical stuff. Thinking about swapping for 2nd gen GM headlights.

2. Oil gauge pegged at high. We picked up the parts for swapping the oil pressure sender over to the '88 version, so I'll let you know how that goes. Thanks, Ogre, for the info on this! I'm hoping that the oil leak is related to this, but it could be a bunch of different problems. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for any help!


The phantom wipers, I'd say live with it, I put in a new switch and sometimes when I drive and take a right turn (because of how I place use my finger to flick it) sometimes it will make my wipers just go once. If you want to rebuild the steering column and potentially damage the upper bearing on the column or break the retainer, lose the bearing or what not (really really easy to do, go for it. All in all, you may want to do that just to go ahead and replace the actuator for the ignition, those wear and break over time, might be good just to replace that, replace the switch, and replace the upper bearings (does make a good difference in the feeling of the steering wheel on an almost 30 yr old car).

Blinkers, check all the bulbs, and check the flasher relay.

Most temperature gauges don't work in these cars, they get pegged. There's a few posts on here that tell you how to fix it and how to make it so it will stay fixed. GM screwed up the wiring at the factory and never fixed the wiring error.

That gunk in the relay keeps moisture out, if you don't have it in there, those relays up front won't last very long. Any water that gets in there will kill those relays fast. How did you get an isolation relay? Those things are rare, like holy grail rare. Damn you, I need one. If you hear the motor working but its not spinning the screw, it needs to be rebuilt.

Edit: BTW welcome to the crazy world of Fieros, also Dorman sells replacement wiper switches, pretty cheap without cruise, twice as much with cruise. If your car came with cruise and it's not working, chances are its the coffee can in back. A $10 replacement dorman vacuum reservoir ball with two inlets can usually fix it.

[This message has been edited by imabaddude (edited 11-07-2014).]

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imabaddude
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Report this Post11-07-2014 08:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for imabaddudeSend a Private Message to imabaddudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

imabaddude

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quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

Check carefully for rust. I would take the wheel well liners out and see what needs to be done. There is a good chance you have rust there, extending into the trunk and around the battery. There may also be rust in the floor pans and front wheel wells. Also look at the radiator braces. It's not the end of the world, but the sooner you start doing something about these things the better.



You have no idea the importance of this. Take out rear wheel liners, look at the engine cradle flanges where they connect to the control arms for rust. Check the cradle for rust or holes, and check the lower frame rails especially for rust. Check not just what you can see, look at them from underneath, feel with your hands, any holes starting repair them or have someone else do it.
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Chantruese
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Report this Post11-08-2014 01:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChantrueseSend a Private Message to ChantrueseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you SO much, Immabaddude! Hugely helpful information.

We replaced the oil pressure sender tonight with the '88 version, and VOILA, we now get pressure readings! Feeling very accomplished! Every time we fix a thing that was broken, I love the car just a little bit more. Thanks again, Ogre, for the great walk through. Made the whole thing super easy.

For the relays - literally, I just ended up getting them all from the guy that sold the car, one of many parts that came in a big garbage bag. We're likely going to try to convert over to the gen 2 setup, which would remove the necessity for all those parts, correct? If that happens, I'll gladly mail you all the relays I have.

I'm very lucky in two respects: 1. My dad owns a body shop and he's always worked on older cars (1985 is about when he starts grumbling about new fangled contraptions), and 2. He has buddies that are mechanics. We're scheduling some time with the mechanic to have him teach us as much as possible in the confines of a few hours. Hoping to run down some of the wiring, clean up some of the rats nests we have in there. There are a handful of electrical gremlins, would be nice to flush out a few of them.

After that, and a general tune up (new plugs, some new relays/switches, and a new dog bone because I hate the car shaking itself to death on acceleration), we'll spend some time with dad and get the car up on the hoist, start examining all of the metal for rust spots. It LOOKS pretty solid on initial check, but you never really know until you start sticking fingers in weird places and punching through rot.

We also degreased the engine and ran it over to the car wash, then power washed away the caked on oil. A clean engine is a happy engine! With the replaced oil sender, I'm hoping that we have fixed the oil leak, but that leads to my question. How does the oil pressure sender cause an oil leak? It looks like it's been leaking all around the engine (which is partly why we cleaned it, so we could see where the leak was coming from.) It seems like a malfunction in that just means that the gauge isn't accurate, not sure why it would leak as a result. The follow up is then, if I'm still leaking oil, is the distributor gasket the next best place to start?

Thanks everyone so much!!!
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Patrick
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Report this Post11-08-2014 01:41 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 Chantruese:

if I'm still leaking oil, is the distributor gasket the next best place to start?


If you're leaking oil... see a doctor.

If your engine is still leaking oil, yes, the distributor is a common source of oil leaks on the 2.8 engine. However, it's not a gasket... it's an O-ring. Get the high temperature tan colored one (info will show up in a search). The cheapo black rubber one will just get rock hard and end up leaking again.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 11-08-2014).]

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Chantruese
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Report this Post11-08-2014 01:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChantrueseSend a Private Message to ChantrueseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If I continue to leak oil, I will buy rubber sheets and see a doc.

If the CAR is still leaking, a new tan o-ring it shall be. Thanks!
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post11-08-2014 08:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oil does come through the old sensor, lots of it. Just one reason to upgrade.

You probably need the other mounts as well as the dogbone.
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Chantruese
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Report this Post11-08-2014 12:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ChantrueseSend a Private Message to ChantrueseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
We have all new motor mounts ready for install. Hoping that the mechanic can help us with putting them in. On a scale from 1 to terrifying, how bad is that job? Do you have to drop the whole engine? Any tips or things to look out for?
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Report this Post11-08-2014 12:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for phonedawgzClick Here to visit phonedawgz's HomePageClick Here to Email phonedawgzSend a Private Message to phonedawgzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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