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So, the Fiero died. Couple questions. by thesameguy
Started on: 05-18-2015 06:24 PM
Replies: 29 (774 views)
Last post by: thesameguy on 06-29-2015 03:05 PM
thesameguy
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Report this Post05-18-2015 06:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pulled into an appointment and the '87 GT sputtered and died. Gave no warning signs whatsoever, and it has had zero problems in the 2.5 years I have been driving it. I am not mad.

It won't restart - it almost did but just puffed fuel and that's about it. I am leaning towards an ICM or maybe a coil failure, but I am not in a position to diagnose it. I will be working for about an hour, so I am hoping whatever is angry will cool down and be happy long enough to make the 15 mile drive home.

Question: Does the fuel pump ALWAYS prime with the key, or only sometimes? I have never paid attention! I heard it prime during one attempt to restart but not since. I assume this is normal.

Any thoughts? Worth letting it cool down or should I just get a tow truck queued up?
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Gall757
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Report this Post05-18-2015 06:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This sounds like classic ICM. The fuel pump always primes, but there is a time delay. If you turn the key right away it won't. If it starts when cool, it's definitely the ICM, and you won't make it home....sorry.

If you can rustle up an ICM, you can fix it on the spot with a screwdriver. Maybe Autozone will deliver!....

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 05-18-2015).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post05-18-2015 06:48 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
How much gas does the gauge show?
My Fiero used to suck wind at 1/4 tank, indicated.
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Riddick85
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Report this Post05-18-2015 07:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Riddick85Send a Private Message to Riddick85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If it doesn't start or the next time it doesn't start, watch the tach. It should move to a couple hundred rpm if everything is working as it should. If it stays at zero probably icm or pickup coil.
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Report this Post05-18-2015 07:17 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
Classic ICM symptom is no tach movement when cranking.........
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thesameguy
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Report this Post05-18-2015 08:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Came back out to the car after letting it sit for an hour and it fired right up. Had a helper follow me to an auto parts store where I bought a crappy ICM and then we decided to head to their place - about 7 miles - to replace it. Everything was going fine until I ended up at an uphill intersections inexplicably backed up forever, at which time it decided to die. I am now waiting on a screwdriver to fix it.

While looking around, I discovered the ticking time bomb that is this car's ignition system. Both connectors on the coil are shattered, the coil HT terminal is significantly corroded, one screw on the distributor cap is shredded, and there is only one screw holding the ICM down. Total class act back there! I should never have taken for granted that the shop that did the engine swap (3.4pr, before I owned it) was worth a crap. On the upside, I have had 2.5 years of totally trouble free motoring like this, so whatevs.
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Report this Post05-18-2015 09:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pulled the ICM and found No Thermal Paste underneath it, which is pretty awesome. Replaced the module, still wont start. There does not appear to be any spark, so I guess it's either a bad new ICM, bad pickup coil, or a bad ignition coil. I am done messing with it right now, so AAA is taking us home.

As he loads it onto the flatbed, I can't help but notice one wheel stud is broken on each of the rear hubs. They weren't like that two weeks ago when I checked air pressure, so it's another fun broken thing. Stoked that there is strong evidence of how hard I drive it. Looks like the Fiero gets to chill while I order it some parts.
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Report this Post05-19-2015 12:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So, the ignition coil looks good - Primary Resistance is 0.7-0.8 ohms, bouncing around a little. Secondary resistance is 5.8kohms. It's an MSD coil, so probably a little off from a factory coil. Still within reason. The pickup coil not so much - resistance between the terminals is 23mohms... like, 23,000 ohms. Spec I believe is ~1ohms. So, it's a little off. It's actually really off:



There is also this fun bit on the distributor cap (notice the bottom screw):



And this stuff on the ignition coil:



And, just for grins I've got one of these on each side:



Does anyone have any experience with Cardone new or reman distributors? About $70 buys a reman distributor that includes a new ICM, cap, rotor, and pickup coil. Seems like not a bad deal. I mean, the parts are a little more than half that, but having everything just show up ready to plop in seems like not an all bad deal.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 05-19-2015).]

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Riddick85
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Report this Post05-19-2015 02:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Riddick85Send a Private Message to Riddick85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I bought one of those distributors and never had a problem with it over many years of use. The ICM that came with it well.... that died off after a few months. I would say go for it but keep a spare ICM and proper screwdriver with you just in case.

Also I had one of those MSD coils and that I bought new and it died in a short amount of time too(less than a year). If yours has worked for awhile with no problems, that's great but I would suggest having a spare one of those too. Maybe not in your car like the ICM but have an extra. Gotta love these finicky ignition systems.
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Report this Post05-19-2015 08:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On your wheels check and see if the center hub firs the wheel center hole, wheels are always best when hub centric, and not just centered by the lug nuts. I think busting studs is pretty rare.
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Report this Post05-19-2015 01:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Riddick85:

I bought one of those distributors and never had a problem with it over many years of use. The ICM that came with it well.... that died off after a few months. I would say go for it but keep a spare ICM and proper screwdriver with you just in case.


Well, I now have the one I bought yesterday as well as the one that was originally in the car and apparently not bad. Since I dumped the spare tire I suppose I have some room to carry a spare ICM and some tools.

 
quote
Also I had one of those MSD coils and that I bought new and it died in a short amount of time too(less than a year). If yours has worked for awhile with no problems, that's great but I would suggest having a spare one of those too. Maybe not in your car like the ICM but have an extra. Gotta love these finicky ignition systems.


I'm not sure how old that coil is, but it's at least four years old and I think ten. I don't have a receipt for it, but it seems consistent with work done in 2005 for which I do have a receipt. I actually have an MSD coil in my XR4Ti, too, and it's never had a problem. OTOH, one I bought years ago for my Saab choked in what'd be a year of normal driving - about 9,000 miles. It was an embarrassment.

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Report this Post05-19-2015 01:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

thesameguy

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quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

On your wheels check and see if the center hub firs the wheel center hole, wheels are always best when hub centric, and not just centered by the lug nuts. I think busting studs is pretty rare.


The wheels are not hubcentric, but there are centering rings. I'm blaming the failure on old studs subject to loads they probably weren't designed to support - sticky 245s on 17x8s.

Edit: Or, it could be the idiots who put the tires on. I just remembered that I didn't install the rear wheels, I let the tire shop do it. How much you wanna bet all the lugs are grotesquely overtorqued? Another thing I should have checked. Go me.
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Report this Post05-19-2015 02:23 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 thesameguy:


The wheels are not hubcentric, but there are centering rings. I'm blaming the failure on old studs subject to loads they probably weren't designed to support - sticky 245s on 17x8s.

Edit: Or, it could be the idiots who put the tires on. I just remembered that I didn't install the rear wheels, I let the tire shop do it. How much you wanna bet all the lugs are grotesquely overtorqued? Another thing I should have checked. Go me.


Yep, I was going to recommend rings next. Yep could be someone over torqued.
Hey dont beat yourself up too bad, things happen.
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Report this Post05-19-2015 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm really not all that upset. The Fiero has been a total joy to own largely on account of how neglectful I've been able to be of it. I just jump in and drive it all the time, no worries. It was inevitable things like this were going to pile up and bite me in the ass, and they did it yesterday. I'm okay with taking it off the road for a month while I perform some remedial measures on it. It's an old car, it deserves some attention.

I ordered the Cardone distributor from Amazon - it was $7 more than rockauto but $9 less in shipping. I need to get some connector part numbers and figure out what the options are for new wheel studs.
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Report this Post05-22-2015 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cardone distributor installed, car now runs predictably. I did what I think to be an admirable job installing it, but I still need to check the timing - although, really, it's bloody close to where it was.

I'm putting together a small shopping list of studs, plugs, wires, and some replacement connectors. I was hoping to have that stuff to work on over the long weekend but it ain't gonna happen. C'est la vie. At least I don't have to push the car around the driveway anymore.
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Report this Post05-22-2015 04:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Shho13Click Here to Email Shho13Send a Private Message to Shho13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I know the four pin connector that goes into the ICM is PartsMaster PN: 84072

I just replaced mine the other day because the PO broke the securing tab on top.


This is the bigger four pin connector on the right side of the distributor.

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Report this Post05-22-2015 06:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rockauto carries all the connectors as pigtails - but what's weird is the dramatic price differences! Also, I really, really hate soldering pigtails on - it looks ugly and adds a failure point (albeit a minimal one). I really prefer to extract the pins and just replace the connector housings. However, I've found sometimes the cheap connector pigtails are not made the same way as the factory parts and extracting the pins is not possible, so I'm hesitating on buying the cheapo Standard parts or the VERY expensive Delco parts. For example, HP4605 and HP4595 are the two Standard connectors for the coil at about $18 for the pair. The same parts from Delco run $40! Standard S909 is both connectors for the ICM at $12, the same pair from Delco is $34. $30 for all three from Standard or $74 from Delco. Nutso!

The coil connectors were used up until 1996 on the 5.7l and 4.3l so I am tempted to try and junkyard a newer set. The ICM connectors obviously died with distributor based ignitions around '90, so that will probably have to be new.
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Report this Post05-22-2015 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Rockauto carries all the connectors as pigtails - but what's weird is the dramatic price differences! Also, I really, really hate soldering pigtails on - it looks ugly and adds a failure point (albeit a minimal one). I really prefer to extract the pins and just replace the connector housings. However, I've found sometimes the cheap connector pigtails are not made the same way as the factory parts and extracting the pins is not possible, so I'm hesitating on buying the cheapo Standard parts or the VERY expensive Delco parts. For example, HP4605 and HP4595 are the two Standard connectors for the coil at about $18 for the pair. The same parts from Delco run $40! Standard S909 is both connectors for the ICM at $12, the same pair from Delco is $34. $30 for all three from Standard or $74 from Delco. Nutso!

The coil connectors were used up until 1996 on the 5.7l and 4.3l so I am tempted to try and junkyard a newer set. The ICM connectors obviously died with distributor based ignitions around '90, so that will probably have to be new.


If the metal tabs on the end of the wires that go into the plastic plug are good all you need to replace are the plastic. the tabs are easily removed from the plastic with a needle stuck in from the wire side. if you look at the plug you have from the wire side you will see the "lock Tab" you have to push down in order to release the tabs from the plastic. Simply pull the pig tails out of the new plug and put the old ones in your new one. make sure you clean the tabs well before installing them in and that the "lock tab" is back in its original position as well.

Steve

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Report this Post05-23-2015 10:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, I'm good with pulling terminals out of housings, but I've found more than one example of modern uber-cheap replacement connectors that are not assembled like factory ones and the terminals are not removable. They're molded in. VERY annoying. I'm wondering if the less expensive Standard connectors are like that or whether they're just cheap because they don't say Delco.

I retimed the Fiero today, and found that the guys that put the motor in also installed the plug wires "wrong." They are rotated two towers clockwise from the factory position. I wish I'd known that before I replaced the distributor, but whatever. Took me a while to set the timing as every time I changed the timing the idle speed would change and it'd take a while for the computer to adjust the idle so I could keep clocking the distributor. All seems well now - 10 degrees at about 900rpm. Engine starts/runs/sounds good.

Spark plug wires have definitely had it - I gave myself a nice jolt while clocking the distributor and grabbing in the wrong place. Oops!
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Report this Post05-24-2015 09:13 AM 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
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


If the metal tabs on the end of the wires that go into the plastic plug are good all you need to replace are the plastic. the tabs are easily removed from the plastic with a needle stuck in from the wire side. if you look at the plug you have from the wire side you will see the "lock Tab" you have to push down in order to release the tabs from the plastic. Simply pull the pig tails out of the new plug and put the old ones in your new one. make sure you clean the tabs well before installing them in and that the "lock tab" is back in its original position as well.



The terminals in the 4 pin ICM connector are pull to seat so this won't work. If you had the right crimper you could cut off the ICM connector, push the cut wire through the positions of the new connector. Then crimp on the new terminals and pull them into the connector. It is very hard to crimp properly without the correct tool so I don't view this as a good solution.

Using solder and shrink tube, and staggering your splices, and using a pigtail long enough you should be able to 'bury' the splices in the wiring harness. Soldered splices when done right won't fail. The end result will look factory.

Paypal me at gofast@reddevilriver $25 and I'll make up a new connector with the right color wires, staggered and long enough to bury the spices in harness. I'll include some shrink tube also. If you want.

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Report this Post05-24-2015 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ah, that sucks - but may be okay! They look like Metripack connectors, but I don't know what series. They look smaller than the 150 and 280 series I usually work with, but I probably have the crimper. Do you happen to know what series they are?
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Report this Post05-24-2015 08:14 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
They are MetriPack 150.2

http://catalog.delphi.com/c...k_Series_Section.pdf

I have 12162191 - The four position connector with a Blue seal and 12103881 terminals here. The crimp on the wires are going to be right but the crimp on the insulation of the Fiero's PVC might not work. The insulation on the 80s cars is huge compared to the current TXL insulation. As long as you can get a good crimp on the wire strands you should be good.

If you can crimp the rubber seal Metripack 150 these are the same at the strands. These have a second crimp that is supposed to crimp on the wire insulation. The type of crimper needed is the double butt cheek type.



$10.00 for the connector and 6 terminals (2 to fu) shipped to the US if you are interested.

[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 05-24-2015).]

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thesameguy
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Report this Post05-24-2015 10:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is awesome - I think there should be enough slack in the wires to cut & do another crimp, and I think those are the exact crimpers I have... although mine are labelled 12345 instead of ABCDE. PM your paypal addy?
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Report this Post05-25-2015 07:00 AM 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
gofast@reddevilriver.com

Make sure you scrape the wires clean if they are black when you first strip them. Air/water runs up the end of the wires sometimes and corrodes them. Just scrape the corrosion with a knife blade off till you get shiny copper.

If the holes in the blue seal are too small you can reuse the green seal on your existing connector, but it would be better to use the new seal if possible.

[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 05-25-2015).]

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Report this Post05-25-2015 12:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a selection of seals too so I'll figure out what works.

You should have the payment shortly.

Since you have these terminals, any chance you also have a source for Tyco Amp Junior Timer contacts? I need a specific male/pin that is impossible to find anywhere. Small AWG but a reasonably large terminal - I think 4.8mm but would have to check.
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Report this Post05-25-2015 03:48 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
No sorry none of those pins. That connector however looks just like an injector EV1 connector

https://www.google.com/sear...oAg&biw=1280&bih=685

Let me know if you want me to include one or more of the connectors with terminals.

The ICM connector uses a single 4 wire seal.

[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 05-25-2015).]

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Report this Post05-26-2015 02:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It is roughly the same connector, just larger. The smaller ones are easy to find, even in the male side. It's the larger ones that are impossible, and of course the larger ones I need.

It's not world-ending, I'm just trying to find a clean way to replace the power lock relay in an old Saab, and for whatever reason this *one* connector is essentially unique in the entire car.
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Report this Post05-29-2015 02:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Got the terminals & crimped 'em on. One down, two to go.

It turns out, BTW, the factory coil connectors are molded one piece affairs. You cannot remove the terminals from them. I ended up using Permaseal butt connectors to splice the new ones onto the factory harness. The replacement Standard brand connectors are bought *are* modular, so if the housing fails again I can just replace it.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 05-31-2015).]

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Report this Post05-31-2015 05:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, so maybe there is some sort of omnipotent force out there in the universe. If the Fiero's pickup coil hadn't failed, I might never have noticed the broken wheel stud until something bad happened. If I hadn't fixed the broken wheel stud, it might have taken something very bad happening to find this:



Both sides are the same, totally frelled. Bah. Not sure why this is happening... it's not like the car is 30 years old. Oh, wait.

I did get all the studs changed, It was not awful. I used my handy ball joint tool to remove the old studs



Most were in ok shape, but two totally shattered. I am positive the 8^(&*$# place that replaced the rear tires grotesquely overtorqued the nuts. I had to stand on a breaker bar to remove more than one of them. I really want to support this place - they are friendly, locally owned, and nearby - but I've about had it with their quality control.



My Lisle wheel stud installer put new ones in with zero fuss



Took about an hour per side, I wasn't hurrying. Could have been way worse. A couple specialty tools and copious air power made it pretty painless.



Er, a couple specialty tools, air power, and copious Rockstar made it pretty painless.

Now I get to go hunt for new brake lines. I will probably cheap out and buy factory rubber ones, but am considering the Russell braided stainless. Not interested in a discussion about the merits of either.

I am also considering the possibility of a C4 rear brake swap using Corvette calipers. Working new calipers, pads, and rotors into the hose swap isn't totally dumb... fewer openings of the hydraulic system would be ok by me. However, I can't find any recent discussions on the matter, which leads me to believe for whatever reason this swap hasn't panned out. My motivation would be primarily getting rid of the Fiero calipers, which are quite a bit more expensive than the Corvette ones! I wouldn't be mad at having matching front & rear brakes, either.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 05-31-2015).]

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Report this Post06-29-2015 03:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I used ad Advance Auto Parts $40 off a $100 purchase to pick up some Russell stainless steel brake lines for $60. At about $8 more than quality rubber lines, it was a no brainer.

It wasn't nearly the PITA I thought it was going to be, and I'm glad it's done.




I've never used Russell brake lines before, and they are kind of a mixed blessing. I enjoy that they are coated top to bottom, and that dotted line is a nice touch to ensure the brake line isn't twisted. The fittings, however, are a little lacking. The body side doesn't have a "washer" to set against the bracket like the factory lines do, and the knuckle side has an oddly cut banjo fitting. Ultimately, that's ok - what I do not like is that the factory lines have a metal section to direct the line away from the wheel, but the Russells are flexible top to bottom. This may pose a problem. and I have no idea why they would do this. Working in my favor is a much larger than factory wheel that may keep the entire thing wheel inside the rotating parts. Fingers crossed!

Initial drives are good, and pedal feel is definitely improved. I believe the cracking rubber pictured above is just the outer protective layer and does not figure into the actual mechanical qualities of the brake lines, but I don't know so I can't rightly say "stainless steel is better than rubber" in this application. Not too worried about it - they fixed my issue, cost no more than stock lines, and even if they aren't an improvement they certainly aren't a step backwards.

With any luck, this is the last Fiero work for me in 2015. Looking forward to another year of reliable mid-engine motoring!
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