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Lowering an 88 Formula ??? by 85LAMB
Started on: 02-26-2015 12:40 PM
Replies: 20 (746 views)
Last post by: Raydar on 03-03-2015 09:42 PM
85LAMB
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Report this Post02-26-2015 12:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85LAMBClick Here to Email 85LAMBSend a Private Message to 85LAMBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey guys,

I would like to lower an 88 Formula.
to begin I would like to lower the front so that the car does not look like the nose is higher.

I read that one can use the frt springs from a pre 88 and cut it to lenght.
How much would 86 GT frt springs lower the front, if I cut 1 1/2 coils n install on a 88 ?


I also read that one can use the frt springs from an 88 and installed them on the back of an 88 and lower the car that way.

How would one go about installing them ?
I Have installed lowering springs on another Fiero, but I am not sure how the frt 88 springs would be install on the back.
Would one have to weld a collar for the top ?
How much would one have to cut to be able to lower the back about 1.5 inches ? ( which would make the wheel gave about 2" )
any picture and intructions would be greatly appreciated

The car right now has about 3.5" of wheel gap on the rear,
I would like to bring that down to maybe 2" of wheel gap and have the frt matching the hight.

Thanks for any help in advance

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olejoedad
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Report this Post02-26-2015 02:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cutting the stock 88 springs is also an option.
One and one half coils in front and three fourths to one full coil in back should put you where you want to be.
Cutting the stock springs will increase spring rate by (as a guess) 20% over stock, so the ride quality will not be horrible.
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Reallybig
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Report this Post02-27-2015 01:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ReallybigSend a Private Message to ReallybigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check my 88 4.9 engine swap thread. Not sure which page, but lots of pics when I put the fronts in the back and cut 85 springs up front

The thread is something like "Let's replace my 88's 4cylinder with a 4.9!" Hope it helps
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Patrick
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Report this Post02-27-2015 02:10 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 85LAMB:

I also read that one can use the frt springs from an 88 and installed them on the back of an 88 and lower the car that way.


If I recall correctly, that's what Raydar here on the forum has done. Send him a PM and ask his advice.

I used a set of Fiero Store lowering springs on my '88. They've lowered my Formula down to where I like the look of it, but I find the front springs just a little bit too soft for autocross. I may cut up a set of pre-88 front springs and try them in the front instead. I suspect they'll be a little stiffer.
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85LAMB
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Report this Post02-27-2015 11:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 85LAMBClick Here to Email 85LAMBSend a Private Message to 85LAMBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks a lot for all the replys

Reallybig:
I am surprised I never read your build thread, that is exactly what I needed.... BUT,
all your suspension pics are red X
I would love to be able to see the ride hight with your mods on the suspension.
Please..... see if you can check your pics

thanks again guys,
I am hoping to do this once
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Report this Post02-27-2015 11:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I hear drop ball joints are a good way.
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Patrick
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Report this Post02-27-2015 02:43 PM 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 85LAMB:

Reallybig:
I am surprised I never read your build thread, that is exactly what I needed.... BUT,
all your suspension pics are red X
I would love to be able to see the ride hight with your mods on the suspension.
Please..... see if you can check your pics


I just discovered something very odd.

In Reallybig's thread that you've mentioned, Let's replace my 88's 2.5 with a 4.9!, all images were just fine... when I viewed them while using the Chrome browser.

When I used IE 9 as the browser, all the images in the thread were little red X's ... but that only happened the first time I opened the thread. After closing IE and opening it again, and then re-opening the thread... all the images were now there.

I can see that the images are hosted on the forum's own server (which is good), so I have no idea what the hiccup is/was.

Lots of good stuff regarding the suspension on page 8.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 02-27-2015).]

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85LAMB
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Report this Post02-27-2015 06:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85LAMBClick Here to Email 85LAMBSend a Private Message to 85LAMBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks a LOT guys
I am now able to see the pics that Reallybig posted on his thread n that is exactly what I needed.

Reallybig:
how do you like the ride on your car after you lower it ?
is it a much stiffer ?
how does it handle ?

Again, thanks a lot

PS a big thanks to Fieroguru also for the nice write up on the link below
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...130314-2-110944.html

[This message has been edited by 85LAMB (edited 02-27-2015).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post02-27-2015 06:59 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


Kind of hard to see, but this is an 88 Formula, with 86 GT springs in the front, cut by 1.25 coils, and 88 Formula front springs in the rear, cut by 1 (I believe) coil.

I used 3" exhaust tubing, welded to the top plates, to keep the rear springs centered.

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

Praise the Lowered!

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Report this Post02-27-2015 07:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jims88Click Here to Email Jims88Send a Private Message to Jims88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

I used a set of Fiero Store lowering springs on my '88. They've lowered my Formula down to where I like the look of it, but I find the front springs just a little bit too soft for autocross. I may cut up a set of pre-88 front springs and try them in the front instead. I suspect they'll be a little stiffer.


Patrick what was your impression of the ride difference with Fiero store springs, compared to your stock 88 springs, since as you mentioned, they were a little to soft for autocross?

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85LAMB
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Report this Post02-27-2015 07:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85LAMBClick Here to Email 85LAMBSend a Private Message to 85LAMBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Raydar:
Thanks for posting the pic of your car,
The stance is great, I would love it if my car sat that way.

you welded the 3"exhaust tubing directly to the top plates ?
or did you have to add a flat piece like Reallybig did ?

Please tell us:
How do you like the way the car handles ?
How is the ride ? is it stiff over bumps ?
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Patrick
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Report this Post02-27-2015 08:03 PM 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 Jims88:

Patrick what was your impression of the ride difference with Fiero store springs, compared to your stock 88 springs, since as you mentioned, they were a little to soft for autocross?


With the stock suspension, the Formula rode like a Cadillac... but wasn't the best for handling. It now handles around town and on the freeway just fine. I like it a lot, and if I wasn't autocrossing the Formula, I wouldn't even consider making any further changes to the suspension.

Along with the lowering springs I have KYB shocks in the front (stiffer than Sensa-Trac shocks), Sensa-Trac struts in the back (stiffer than KYB struts), Rodney Dickman 158 mm zero-lash end links in the front, rubber bushing end links in the back, poly sway-bar bushings in the front, rubber sway-bar bushings in the back, cut down bump stops in the front, flipped over strut "hats" in the back.... and the battery is now mounted up front.

You can see that I've tried to stiffen the front up as much as I can relative to the back (except for using the stiffer struts), and it feels great, but it still might be just a little bit too soft for hard turns at speed at autocross. The front of the car rolls just a bit more than I like when it's pushed on the track, and I'm just debating whether the actual difference in handling/elapsed time will be worth the hassle to swap out the front springs. Who am kidding, I'll probably do it.

My '84 duke with modified suspension didn't roll at all in the corners (when it was my autocross vehicle), and I guess I'd just like this '88 Formula to handle in the same fashion. Theoretically, with the '88 suspension the Formula should eventually handle better than the tweaked '84 (although what does affect the handling negatively is the added weight of the 2.8 compared to the 4-banger duke).

With my buddy and I both in the car in this picture, it's carrying about 430 lbs of human cargo. 225/50 series tires on 16" rims.



Yeah, it rains here on occasion...

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 05-16-2020).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post02-27-2015 08:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Be careful not to lower to much. My car has had six different owners. Some where in its life some one lowered the front. To much! And with the 17" wheels and tires the P.O. put on, the car sat so low in the front the tries would rub. I have put some spacing material in the fronts and the front is now off of the tires.


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Report this Post02-27-2015 08:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

solotwo

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quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

With the stock suspension, the Formula rode like a Cadillac... but wasn't the best for handling. It now handles around town and on the freeway just fine. I like it a lot, and if I wasn't autocrossing the Formula, I wouldn't even consider making any further changes to the suspension.

Along with the lowering springs I have KYB shocks in the front (stiffer than Sensa-Trac shocks), Sensa-Trac struts in the back (stiffer than KYB struts), Rodney Dickman 158 mm zero-lash end links in the front, rubber bushing end links in the back, poly sway-bar bushings in the front, rubber sway-bar bushings in the back. And the battery is now up front.

You can see that I've tried to stiffen the front up as much as I can relative to the back (except for using the stiffer struts), and it feels great, but it's still might be just a little bit too soft for hard turns at speed at autocross. The front of the car rolls just a bit more than I like when it's pushed on the track, and I'm just debating whether the actual difference in handling/elapsed time will be worth the hassle to swap out the front springs. Who am kidding, I'll probably do it.

My '84 duke with tweaked suspension didn't roll at all in the corners (when it was my autocross vehicle), and I guess I'd just like this '88 Formula to handle in the same fashion. Theoretically, with the '88 suspension it should eventually handle better.

With my buddy and I both in the car in this picture, it's carrying about 430 lbs of human cargo. 50 series tires on 16" rims.



Yeah, it rains here on occasion...



I like your hood scoops. Do you have any means of water drainage? Or keeping the water from pouring on the fan?

I drive my car year round and would need a system to keep the elements at bay.
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Report this Post02-27-2015 08:21 PM 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 solotwo:

I like your hood scoops. Do you have any means of water drainage? Or keeping the water from pouring on the fan?

I drive my car year round and would need a system to keep the elements at bay.


Hey, this car is also my daily driver... and is parked out in the open (read rain) all year long. No namby-pamby garages for my cars.

When we mounted those vents on the hood, we purposely put them back as far as possible without messing with the "sealed" front compartment. That hood is now on it's third Fiero, and it was on my '84 duke for five years. Its fan suffered no repercussions. When sitting, I believe water on the hood falls between the fan and the front compartment... and when driving (or when the fan is on), air is being forced up and out and back through the vents. I'm really pleased how well these vents have worked out for cooling purposes. They probably also help front stability somewhat at high speed, but I have very few opportunities where I normally drive to go over 80 mph or so.

Edit to add: This doesn't happen too often, but under perfect conditions, rainwater/ground water that's collected on the bottom of the radiator (or its support) will start to steam when the engine gets hot and this steam will ooze out through the hood vents while I'm sitting at a stoplight. Looks real mean. (Of course the first time it did this, I thought the rad had started to blow!) I need to get a picture of this some day.

This video HERE of my Formula demonstrates just how much the front suspension moves up and down while autocrossing. I was surprised!

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 02-27-2015).]

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Report this Post02-28-2015 02:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scott2scottClick Here to Email Scott2scottSend a Private Message to Scott2scottEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Anyone. ?
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Scott2scott

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Sorry wrong post. Using my phone. Didnt mean to post anything here.
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Reallybig
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Report this Post03-02-2015 03:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ReallybigSend a Private Message to ReallybigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Glad my pics were of help and showed up after a while! The car isn't that much lower than stock and could use another inch lower in the front i think for visual purposes. I upgraded the rear to poly bushings and still haven't switched the fronts. I'd say that the ride is considerably stiffer but how much of that is poly bushings or increased spring rate is arguable. Handling? Well the base 88 didnt come with a rear sway bar and i believe that would make a big difference from stock suspension. In the winter i run stock 14" wheels with snow tires that dont help handling given their sidewall height. In the summer, its 18" rims with 225 width and 40 sidewall. They tend to make the car pull left or right depending where the bumps in the road are especially without power steering.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 12:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Reallybig:

Glad my pics were of help and showed up after a while! The car isn't that much lower than stock and could use another inch lower in the front i think for visual purposes. I upgraded the rear to poly bushings and still haven't switched the fronts. I'd say that the ride is considerably stiffer but how much of that is poly bushings or increased spring rate is arguable. Handling? Well the base 88 didnt come with a rear sway bar and i believe that would make a big difference from stock suspension. In the winter i run stock 14" wheels with snow tires that dont help handling given their sidewall height. In the summer, its 18" rims with 225 width and 40 sidewall. They tend to make the car pull left or right depending where the bumps in the road are especially without power steering.


In the winter though a higher sidewall height and lack of a rear sway bar may hep with traction on slippery roads in my opinion.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 10:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ReallybigSend a Private Message to ReallybigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


In the winter though a higher sidewall height and lack of a rear sway bar may hep with traction on slippery roads in my opinion.


I agree thoroughly! Thats why i haven't put one on. She pulls though the drifts like a mountain goat!
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Raydar
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Report this Post03-03-2015 09:42 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
 
quote
Originally posted by 85LAMB:
...
you welded the 3"exhaust tubing directly to the top plates ?
or did you have to add a flat piece like Reallybig did ?

Please tell us:
How do you like the way the car handles ?
How is the ride ? is it stiff over bumps ?


It's been a while. Trying to remember.

The plate that has the rubber bushing in it...
That plate was flipped over, in order to allow more suspension travel. (This places the bushing on the "top" side of the shock tower, instead of flush with the top surface.)
The 3" tubing was welded directly to that plate. Seems like I used a cupped washer on both sides of the bushing.
That plate is sandwiched between the "cupped" piece, that used to hold the top of the spring, and the shock tower.
The "usta-be" front spring has a rubber insulator installed on the top, where it meets the plate, and the bottom, where it rests against the normal perch, on the strut.

With the new struts and shocks, it actually rides better (less harshly) than with much more "stock" setup, and the old tired dampers.
With the current setup, with poly in all the bushings, it still rides decently smooth.
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