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Fiero Repair in Chicago by jrock1956
Started on: 02-10-2015 02:52 PM
Replies: 21 (596 views)
Last post by: jrock1956 on 02-19-2015 03:10 PM
jrock1956
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Report this Post02-10-2015 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My GT has been sitting for about 2 years and I finally have the resources to get her fixed. But I need to find a decent mechanic in or around Chicago to have it towed to. The last time it was running it just died and would crank but not start. I suspect the ignition module but I'm not sure. Any help would be appreciated.
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Report this Post02-10-2015 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the Forum!

You need to get in touch with somebody at NIFE.

http://www.fierofocus.com/
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post02-10-2015 07:34 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
My recommendation: jrock1956. He does great work. Good at diagnostics. Works cheap. I heard he takes modules to stores like autozone or o'reilly's to get modules tested free. He offers a moneyback guarantee. Makes housecalls. You won't be disappointed!
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Report this Post02-10-2015 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JfrostSend a Private Message to JfrostEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Where in Chicago are you? I have some spare ignition parts from a V6 I'm parting out that could be useful. Also, if I have time this weekend I could come out and help you to see if we can get her running.

------------------
Project L67 Fiero

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jrock1956
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Report this Post02-10-2015 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jfrost:

Where in Chicago are you? I have some spare ignition parts from a V6 I'm parting out that could be useful. Also, if I have time this weekend I could come out and help you to see if we can get her running.


I'm located near Chicago Ave and Central Park. I won't be in town this weekend but I could use the help whenever you have the time. She's been sitting awhile so a few more weeks won't matter. Thanks
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Report this Post02-10-2015 11:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

jrock1956

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quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

My recommendation: jrock1956. He does great work. Good at diagnostics. Works cheap. I heard he takes modules to stores like autozone or o'reilly's to get modules tested free. He offers a moneyback guarantee. Makes housecalls. You won't be disappointed!


What person is this 85 SE VIN?
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Report this Post02-11-2015 04:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for project34Send a Private Message to project34Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

My recommendation: jrock1956. He does great work. Good at diagnostics. Works cheap. I heard he takes modules to stores like autozonlly's to get modules tested free. He offers a moneyback guarantee. Makes housecalls. You won't be disappointed!

It looks to me like 85 SE VIN 9 has just recommended you to yourself, jrock1956.

That represents the first time I've ever seen anyone do something like that on this forum.

Despite that bit of apparently ill-considered or unproofed inanity on the part of 85 SE VIN 9, welcome to Pennock's Fiero Forum, jrock1956.

I'm hopeful, if no longer overly confident, that your lucidly-written inquiry will receive an equally lucid --- and helpful --- response from one or more of the very helpful people on this forum.

[This message has been edited by project34 (edited 02-11-2015).]

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Report this Post02-11-2015 07:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for slazoSend a Private Message to slazoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi. I use Golf & Crawford Shell in Skokie. Ask for Gus. He and his mechanic are both very good, and have done a lot of work on my 88 Formula. Gus owned a Fiero or 2 some time ago, so he's familiar with them. He's very fair and honest, a genuine good guy, and the labor is only $85/hour. In addition, since Fiero parts can be hard to come by, you can bring your own.

http://www.whitepages.com/b...ll-station-skokie-il
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Report this Post02-11-2015 07:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by project34:

It looks to me like 85 SE VIN 9 has just recommended you to yourself, jrock1956.



Like we say: "Pontiac Fiero - Turning ordinary people into mechanics since 1984."

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Report this Post02-11-2015 09:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by project34:

It looks to me like 85 SE VIN 9 has just recommended you to yourself, jrock1956.



It's true that here on the forum, we often recommend that owners do their own work. Usually they can get through any problems by asking for advice on PFF, and the price is right! Sometimes it's a matter of necessity, but in this case, there are plenty of folks around Chicagoland that know Fieros if jrock1956 chooses not to get greasy.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 02-11-2015).]

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Report this Post02-11-2015 11:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by slazo:

Hi. I use Golf & Crawford Shell in Skokie. Ask for Gus. He and his mechanic are both very good, and have done a lot of work on my 88 Formula. Gus owned a Fiero or 2 some time ago, so he's familiar with them. He's very fair and honest, a genuine good guy, and the labor is only $85/hour. In addition, since Fiero parts can be hard to come by, you can bring your own.

http://www.whitepages.com/b...ll-station-skokie-il


Thanks for that recommendation, I will definitely put them in my files. I also got a response from NIFE on Facebook and someone told me about Dave Armstrong a longtime Fiero mechanic at ACE Mufflers in Chicago. But he retired and moved to Florida.
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Report this Post02-11-2015 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by project34:

It looks to me like 85 SE VIN 9 has just recommended you to yourself, jrock1956.

That represents the first time I've ever seen anyone do something like that on this forum.

Despite that bit of apparently ill-considered or unproofed inanity on the part of 85 SE VIN 9, welcome to Pennock's Fiero Forum, jrock1956.

I'm hopeful, if no longer overly confident, that your lucidly-written inquiry will receive an equally lucid --- and helpful --- response from one or more of the very helpful people on this forum.




That kinda went over my head because I thought this was a Fiero Forum and not a comedy forum. I have worked on my GT trying to get her running for the past year, but no luck. That's why I'm leaving it to someone with more experience than I.

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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post02-11-2015 06:35 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
Sorry to throw people off. I used to live near Chicago and looked long and hard for Fiero mechanics.

Although I did get Koni's put on by Skokie CarX, tires by Firestone at Harlem and Wilson, oil changes by Oil Express in Des Plaines north of Oakton on Lee, a couple oil changes at Grossinger by the Lincolnwood Mall, and some help from PepBoys in Skokie on Touhy I've also had major problems with all except PepBoys, where I never actually had any repairs done, and Firestone. I also had a major brake job done by Sunset in Highland Park.

To put it simply, my experience and opinion is you might as well at least try to do it yourself because you're likely to end up doing it over or having to help even after you pay hundreds to have the work done. CarX did fine on the Koni's, but insisted I needed the harmonic balancer replaced. They didn't have the tools, left the alternator unplugged, broke the alternator bracket, overtightened the A/C compressor belt, ruining the bearing, and so on.

The dealer (Grossinger) replaced the leaking oil pressure sender with a new one I supplied, but then they couldn't get it started. On the plus side their computer noted that the car had been there before, also for a starting problem, before I bought it.

The Oil Express guys are used to the Fiero by now and know where the engine and oil filter are and that they're supposed to grease the suspension as well, but the first time I had to buy another filter wrench to tighten the filter. Another time they (apparently) took it upon themselves to reconnect the trunk light, leading to a dead battery.

PepBoys lets you schedule work online, but when you get there they have always said (on Sundays, mostly), "we don't have anybody here today to do that."

The brake job at Sunset worked out fine in the long run, but it was mighty expensive (over a thousand bucks) and took three days. I supplied nearly everything, including parts from calipers, hoses, and rotors, all the way down to hose clips and screws. I even emailed photos of how the lines were originally routed and supplied torque and other specifications. They bought a new caliper and kept the core and the core charge. It's been over a year without problems, but the lines and hoses aren't routed the way they should be IMHO.

The problem you will likely run into time and time again is that mechanics don't know much about the Fiero. You either have to pay for them to learn or provide the information as you go along. Even then it's kind of a crap shoot. I'm glad I had CarX do the shocks and struts. There's no way I would have done that myself and I didn't need to do anything besides provide the parts, which were shipped direct from Tirerack.com. But the same place was a disaster on replacing the harmonic balancer. If I had it to do over I would have ignored his advice, taken my chances, and done the work myself. I'm still gathering parts and tools to do the job over!

Yours sounds like a problem you can solve yourself for much less than it will cost even to get the car to a mechanic. Removing the module and taking it to a retailer who will test it for free might be all you need and will cost you very little. There are lots of other tests you can do cheaply that are outlined in numerous threads you can find using the search function. Even if you use Google or another search engine it will likely lead you back to a PFF thread. This advice is all free. So is advice specific to your problem from countless members with years of experience with similar problems on very similar cars.

Members have spent lots of money, time, and advice from other members and still ended up finding the solution themselves.

The Fiero is a car that really rewards those who are willing and able to work on it themselves. For a very small investment you can get a very interesting and useful car that can be modified to rival top makes in both performance and curb appeal. On the other hand some people say their Fiero was nothing but problems. I doubt the latter did much work themselves.
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jrock1956
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Report this Post02-12-2015 10:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

Sorry to throw people off. I used to live near Chicago and looked long and hard for Fiero mechanics.

Although I did get Koni's put on by Skokie CarX, tires by Firestone at Harlem and Wilson, oil changes by Oil Express in Des Plaines north of Oakton on Lee, a couple oil changes at Grossinger by the Lincolnwood Mall, and some help from PepBoys in Skokie on Touhy I've also had major problems with all except PepBoys, where I never actually had any repairs done, and Firestone. I also had a major brake job done by Sunset in Highland Park.

To put it simply, my experience and opinion is you might as well at least try to do it yourself because you're likely to end up doing it over or having to help even after you pay hundreds to have the work done. CarX did fine on the Koni's, but insisted I needed the harmonic balancer replaced. They didn't have the tools, left the alternator unplugged, broke the alternator bracket, overtightened the A/C compressor belt, ruining the bearing, and so on.

The dealer (Grossinger) replaced the leaking oil pressure sender with a new one I supplied, but then they couldn't get it started. On the plus side their computer noted that the car had been there before, also for a starting problem, before I bought it.

The Oil Express guys are used to the Fiero by now and know where the engine and oil filter are and that they're supposed to grease the suspension as well, but the first time I had to buy another filter wrench to tighten the filter. Another time they (apparently) took it upon themselves to reconnect the trunk light, leading to a dead battery.

PepBoys lets you schedule work online, but when you get there they have always said (on Sundays, mostly), "we don't have anybody here today to do that."

The brake job at Sunset worked out fine in the long run, but it was mighty expensive (over a thousand bucks) and took three days. I supplied nearly everything, including parts from calipers, hoses, and rotors, all the way down to hose clips and screws. I even emailed photos of how the lines were originally routed and supplied torque and other specifications. They bought a new caliper and kept the core and the core charge. It's been over a year without problems, but the lines and hoses aren't routed the way they should be IMHO.

The problem you will likely run into time and time again is that mechanics don't know much about the Fiero. You either have to pay for them to learn or provide the information as you go along. Even then it's kind of a crap shoot. I'm glad I had CarX do the shocks and struts. There's no way I would have done that myself and I didn't need to do anything besides provide the parts, which were shipped direct from Tirerack.com. But the same place was a disaster on replacing the harmonic balancer. If I had it to do over I would have ignored his advice, taken my chances, and done the work myself. I'm still gathering parts and tools to do the job over!

Yours sounds like a problem you can solve yourself for much less than it will cost even to get the car to a mechanic. Removing the module and taking it to a retailer who will test it for free might be all you need and will cost you very little. There are lots of other tests you can do cheaply that are outlined in numerous threads you can find using the search function. Even if you use Google or another search engine it will likely lead you back to a PFF thread. This advice is all free. So is advice specific to your problem from countless members with years of experience with similar problems on very similar cars.

Members have spent lots of money, time, and advice from other members and still ended up finding the solution themselves.

The Fiero is a car that really rewards those who are willing and able to work on it themselves. For a very small investment you can get a very interesting and useful car that can be modified to rival top makes in both performance and curb appeal. On the other hand some people say their Fiero was nothing but problems. I doubt the latter did much work themselves.


Thanks for the reply 86 SE VIN, I've been a Fiero owner since 1987 which I purchased new. Even back then I had problems getting repairs done properly, even from the dealer I purchased it from. My current 86 GT has never seen a repair shop since I owned her, I did all the work myself except oil changes. I've been working on this current problem for well over a year and I've done the Google search, PFF search, swapped out IM's and various other homemade solutions and notions and potions. And like I said in my first post, I have the resources now to send her out to get her repaired, pampered and put back together (fingers crossed). And I figured in a metropolitan area as large as Chicago, there should be someone that has had some experience with a good mechanic and or shop. I've gotten some great responses here and on NIFE. So by the time the first 60 degree day hits Chicago, I should be rolling in my 86 and not rolling around under the hood.

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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post02-12-2015 02:57 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
My 85 SE is in the same boat. It sat for two years, then I put a new battery in. It started fine considering. It ran poorly, I had to replace the ICM, it still ran bad, but I drove it a little. The tach reads high, it backfires, and it cut out once, just instantaneously.

I put some racing gas in, one rainy day it wouldn't start on the way to work, but later that day it finally did. So I put more racing gas in. One morning it wasn't starting. It hasn't started since then. It cranks fine.

The spark looked a little weak. I replaced the module connector because it was loose and the lock tab was broken off. Also the coil wire because the connector was full of rust. Still no.

One person who had this problem discovered that the gap was too big for his race car. By reducing the gap he got it to start and run. It could easily be a gas problem in my case (and yours) from sitting for a long time, but it did run after two years. The gas should be better than it was the first time it started after sitting over two years.

One thing that did come up over those two years is a hole in the filler neck. Gas now runs out and doesn't stop like it should. I think this also affects the vacuum system. Leaking or plugged injectors are a definite possibility for both of us. A new few filter is probably in order as well.

There is a place at Addison and Milwaukee that gets lots of good reviews, but I haven't even tried to go there. There is another place at Forest Park and Harlem/Irving that works cheap that might be worth a try. Grossinger apparently solved no-start conditions on the SE twice.

The SM says to try holding the pedal to the floor to clear flooding. It may have helped the first time.

I haven't done fuel checks before. I don't have a gauge. They have them at Harbor Freight. So far I haven't even pulled the plugs to see if they're wet or dirty.
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Report this Post02-13-2015 11:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

My 85 SE is in the same boat. It sat for two years, then I put a new battery in. It started fine considering. It ran poorly, I had to replace the ICM, it still ran bad, but I drove it a little. The tach reads high, it backfires, and it cut out once, just instantaneously.

I put some racing gas in, one rainy day it wouldn't start on the way to work, but later that day it finally did. So I put more racing gas in. One morning it wasn't starting. It hasn't started since then. It cranks fine.

The spark looked a little weak. I replaced the module connector because it was loose and the lock tab was broken off. Also the coil wire because the connector was full of rust. Still no.

One person who had this problem discovered that the gap was too big for his race car. By reducing the gap he got it to start and run. It could easily be a gas problem in my case (and yours) from sitting for a long time, but it did run after two years. The gas should be better than it was the first time it started after sitting over two years.

One thing that did come up over those two years is a hole in the filler neck. Gas now runs out and doesn't stop like it should. I think this also affects the vacuum system. Leaking or plugged injectors are a definite possibility for both of us. A new few filter is probably in order as well.

There is a place at Addison and Milwaukee that gets lots of good reviews, but I haven't even tried to go there. There is another place at Forest Park and Harlem/Irving that works cheap that might be worth a try. Grossinger apparently solved no-start conditions on the SE twice.

The SM says to try holding the pedal to the floor to clear flooding. It may have helped the first time.

I haven't done fuel checks before. I don't have a gauge. They have them at Harbor Freight. So far I haven't even pulled the plugs to see if they're wet or dirty.


Actually my GT was running fine because I had already did a tune up, oil change, put gas stabilizer in every winter. It wasn't a daily driver but I would start it at least once a month. And one day as I sat inside letting her warm up, it just shut off and wouldn't restart. Gas was 3/4 full, I could hear the fuel pump whining as I turned the key but no go. When I return from my trip next week I will charge the battery and have it towed.

Thanks for the tips 86 SE. I will post again later on my progress.
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Report this Post02-13-2015 05:16 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
Two little questions: Does the tach register when you crank? Please describe in more detail how it stopped. Sputter and stop? Sudden stop? Was the car warm or hot when it stopped? I'm still hoping to learn something that doesn't involve fuel system work.
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Report this Post02-19-2015 10:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

Two little questions: Does the tach register when you crank? Please describe in more detail how it stopped. Sputter and stop? Sudden stop? Was the car warm or hot when it stopped? I'm still hoping to learn something that doesn't involve fuel system work.



Sorry for the late response. My GT was running fine before the stoppage with no coughs or sputters. I had recently taken my last Illinois smog test and passed with no problems. But to your question, she just stopped dead cold. It will crank but will not turnover. I recently found out about the tach method, but due to weather conditions and the amount of snow she's currently buried in (under a car cover), I haven't had chance to try that yet.

[This message has been edited by jrock1956 (edited 02-19-2015).]

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Report this Post02-19-2015 01:37 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
Maybe in March the temperature will get above freezing!
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Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

Maybe in March the temperature will get above freezing!



I hope so. LOL
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Report this Post02-19-2015 03:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ag9123Click Here to Email ag9123Send a Private Message to ag9123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've had a hard time finding a mechanic in Chicago that's ever even seen a Fiero. I was trying to get my cradle bushings replaced and tried 5 or 6 different shops. Some said "absolutely not", others quoted me outrageous prices in the hope that I would run away as fast as possible. Still looking...

------------------
1984 Indy Fiero

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Report this Post02-19-2015 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jrock1956Click Here to Email jrock1956Send a Private Message to jrock1956Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by ag9123:

I've had a hard time finding a mechanic in Chicago that's ever even seen a Fiero. I was trying to get my cradle bushings replaced and tried 5 or 6 different shops. Some said "absolutely not", others quoted me outrageous prices in the hope that I would run away as fast as possible. Still looking...



As soon as the weather breaks I will be giving some of the people that were recommended to me a call. ACE Muffler on Irving Park says they can work on Fieros. They had a guy there that was a Fiero owner and mechanic but he retired. If I had a garage, I would be a master mechanic by now. LOL
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