Hey gang: So my 1986 Fiero, 2.8 V6, seems to be running pretty good, (have some minor issues to hammer out, but the reason for this thread is to gather info).
I want to swap out the 2.8 for something more powerful, and hopefully more reliable. Was thinking the 3800, as I hear and read lots about this one. BUT I am in Canada and a mechanic here told me finding a 3800 of that era will be more challenging as the ones with throttle Body? (I'm not a mechanic, so bear with me), not made in Canada, or really hard to find.
He suggested I look at a 3.4 and specifically NOT one from a Camaero BUT one from a minivan or pick up because minivan or Pick up would have a throttle body fuel injection? And something about this kind would be more compatible with hiring harness and not having to rewire everything??? Does this make any sense? Can someone enlighten me a bit, as I'm not a mechanic. I want to do brake up grades and maybe brake booster upgrades myself... but an engine swap is WAY above my abilities. Any insights would be helpful!!!! Thanks
[This message has been edited by branger (edited 11-19-2018).]
So glad to hear your response! Just reading on line about the rants and complaints about the 2.8 Fiero V6. I am not interested in a race machine, but want something fun and reliable (no, I don't want a Honda Civic, lol). But have heard so many differing opinions about the 2.8, thought maybe an engine swap might be the way to go. The only issues I'm having with the engine so far, are that sometimes the check engine light comes on and when I turn the key it tries to turn over, but doesn't start, then I jIggle the plug wires, and the wires on top of engine and starts right up right away (maybe need to change out plug wires?). Also, has a rough wavering idle for the first 5 min or so, but then after driving for a while idle slows down quite nicely at intersections after warmed up. Breaks seem to be not very good and finally, I think e-brake sticks, when I engage it, then disengage pinging warning sound stays on, and have to shut engine off then restart for hand brake warning to stop... thoughts? THANKS!!!
The 2.8 is reliable. A lot of them were built, so it will make some vocal owners unhappy, but I think you put your finger on why........normal maintenance was ignored. If you take the time to get things running properly, the 30 year old technology will do you proud....and you will save lots of time and money.
Having to "jiggle the wires on the top of the engine" says to me you've probably got some bad wiring to coil or distributor or both. I'd be looking at how good the connectors etc are on all these, you can get new pigtails from The Fiero Store. First stop would be to check over the pickup coil wiring in the distributor.
The brake thing could be the "blue dingy thingy" is bad, you need to do a search on it.
The rough idle is probably a vacuum leak somewhere, maybe even a cracked egr tube.
As for weak brakes, they are somewhat weak by modern standards when they are totally new
Sounds to me like you really need to find someone who knows maintenance on mid eighties fuel injected engines and who at least has worked on a Fiero before
Thanks guys, I have only owned it for a month, but plan on restoring it and upgrading where appropriate, I bought it from a gentleman anwho is 82, bought had it since new. So, it just needs some TLC, and I plan on doing that. It's a sweet ride, but want to make it immaculate. Any other thoughts are always welcome, thanks!
IMO, swapping in a 3.4 V6 isn't worth the cost and effort, unless the 3.4 is heavily modified. The Camaro 3.4 only has 20HP more than the Fiero 2.8. The TBI 3.4's have less HP than that. You're basically swapping an engine for 10HP.
If you just want an extra 10HP, you can easily get that from your 2.8 V6. Just port the exhaust manifolds, and swap in some 1.6 ratio rocker arms.
difference in the 2.8 to 3.4 is TORQUE, not so much Horse power. Torque is what "moves the car", Torque is what you "FEEL". a 3.4 is very Easy, just use Your existing intake manifold and throttle body. > no wiring or different mounts needed. I have had a 3.4, not bad, but now I have 2- 3800SC cars. 3800s need a new Harness, computer, Mounts, Transmission....$$$$$$$
difference being : about $1200 just in" parts" PLUS the engine and tran, axle etc. as opposed to almost nothing but the cost of a 3.4 shortblock. just an answer to the "Mechanics" advice about a truck engine over a camaro/firebird. if the 2.8 is good and that's All you want, leave it be.