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seeking advice on 88GT by Andrew Berko
Started on: 02-04-2019 09:57 PM
Replies: 10 (209 views)
Last post by: mender on 02-08-2019 10:48 AM
Andrew Berko
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Report this Post02-04-2019 09:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew BerkoClick Here to Email Andrew BerkoSend a Private Message to Andrew BerkoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Dear fellow Fiero enthusiasts,

A year ago at age 51 I purchased my very first sports car - a beautiful '88 Fiero GT with only 1,800 original miles.

Since then I replaced all interior and exterior lights with LED from Blacktop Racing, bought some old seats and had reupholstered in leather a la Mr. Mike (still have the original seats which are in perfect condition), and replaced all speakers. The car is a gem and a lucky survivor. I've since put 1,000 miles on her and continue to keep her covered and garaged - she's never been touched by rain, snow, salt nor ice.

The vehicle itself is stock and I plan to keep it this way. Although the brakes are fine and the suspension seems good, I was considering the following:

1. Replace the rotors with air-cooled rotors from Fiero Store (~$249 with new pads).
2. Replace 30.5 year-old front shocks and rear struts.

Questions/advice sought:
1. Should I replace the calipers as well with something stronger (more cylinders)? Although I've taken her up to 100mph (to make sure she could handle this, and she did beautifully) my driving habits are calm/"normal" but I do take her up to speed (80 +) with some fast-then-normal cornering on occasion, but never do I beat on the vehicle.

2. Are the Koni shocks/struts significantly better than Monroes? I prefer a softer ride and although Konis are likely superior (performance-wise) I question if I'll appreciate the (significantly?) stiffer ride.

3. After 30.5 years, should I replace the coil springs as well (at the same time as the new shocks/struts).

Presently the vehicle rides fine and is extremely clean underneath. My only complaint is the well-known steering wheel jostle after going over a bump or pot hole (the front end bounces, followed by a pronounced "bang" sensation, depending of course on bump size or pothole depth). I wonder if new shocks/struts and perhaps new springs will isolate the bounce and help minimize the "bang".

Thank you in advance for any advice or recommendations you may have.

Sincerely,
Andy on Long Island

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Notorio
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Report this Post02-05-2019 12:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice score on your part! I'll look forward to hearing the answers as well.

The 3 different Fieros I have bought over the last 10 yrs were all 70K+ miles and shortly after purchase required replacement of the clutch slave cylinder and the master cylinders due to minor fluid leaks. Also a couple of stuck brake cylinders. I wouldn't think that coil springs would go bad from lack of use but shocks and struts might be another story.

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Notorio
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Report this Post02-05-2019 12:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hmmmnn, just thinking about a later disaster I had and curious what the Forum will say. Should the OP be checking the AC Orifice Tube to look for signs of Black Death? My thought was you want to prevent that failure mode, not diagnose it after it happens and destroys many $$$ parts.

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wftb
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Report this Post02-05-2019 07:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The 88's have the best brakes. They already have vented rotors. They do not need anything, especially with so few miles. I do not subscribe to the theory that if a car is old you need to go around and change every rubber hose, spark plug wires and on and on. If it was stored indoors, it will be fine. Sunlight is what kills rubber, not it's age. I have lots of original hoses on my 86 Fiero and my 91 Civic wagon. I replace them when they start to swell from pressure when the car is running. As far as the noise coming from the steering column and your struts and shocks, older cars just do not handle big bumps and potholes the way new cars do. The just were not designed with bad roads in mind. Wash the shocks clean before you take it for a ride. When you come back, look for signs that they are leaking oil. If they are not leaking, you will gain nothing in ride quality by replacing them.

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Gall757
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Report this Post02-05-2019 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Fieros are very sensitive to a good alignment and good tires. If your tires are 10 years old, they should be replaced even if they look perfect. Softer compound is better. The stock 88 suspension is more comfortable than previous years or 'performance' parts like koni shocks.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 02-05-2019).]

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fierosound
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Report this Post02-05-2019 10:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Andrew Berko:

A year ago at age 51 I purchased my very first sports car - a beautiful '88 Fiero GT with only 1,800 original miles.


Welcome aboard!

Sounds like you got yourself quite an excellent car.

As stated above, there's no point changing things "just because" if there's no indication anything is wrong.
Instead, do a thorough inspection and "replace as needed".

The 88'ss had the new brakes and suspension design that "fixed" earlier issues.
Brakes have vented rotors, but pads with BETTER compounds are available now for better stopping power.
Flushing the brake and clutch hydraulic system wouldn't hurt as brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the air.
Leaking shock or strut - change for sure ("performance parts" will ride stiffer).
Hoses - if they're spongy or hardened - yup, they could blow.
If tires are very old - definitely.

If engine/transmission fluids have been changed and engine runs fine - nothing else to do.

------------------
My World of Wheels Winners (Click on links below)

3.4L Supercharged 87 GT and Super Duty 4 Indy #163

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 02-05-2019).]

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Spadesluck
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Report this Post02-05-2019 11:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SpadesluckSend a Private Message to SpadesluckEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just drive the car! Its 30 years old, if something goes out replace it.

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cvxjet
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Report this Post02-05-2019 11:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cvxjetClick Here to Email cvxjetSend a Private Message to cvxjetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Old tires are bad.....They won't stick and they ride harder because of the rubber hardening; My van has General tires that still have tread but are at least 4-5 years old......I can only use half-throttle at DRY stops to accelerate...(Getting new tires soon).

The brakes are good and already vented (The 84-87 Fieros had non-vented)......Unless you drive really fast/hard all the time the Konis are very expensive...Get the KYBs.

Two things kill rubber (Seals & hoses)......Sun and Heat....SInce the car has low miles and has been inside most of its life it should be fine......Just inspect your hoses and seals for leaks and/or swelling every so often (Once a month).......Tires, because of the formulation of the rubber on the tread for traction, can go bad simply from age.

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olejoedad
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Report this Post02-05-2019 12:25 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

No need to reach the springs.
Replace shocks/struts.

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Andrew Berko
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Report this Post02-08-2019 09:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew BerkoClick Here to Email Andrew BerkoSend a Private Message to Andrew BerkoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate each response. This is a great forum and the people on it are truly great.

The 4 rotors I have are all smooth. I know the 88 GT's are supposed to be vented. It's possible one of the two prior owners replaced the originals, but with only 1,800 verified original miles I doubt it.

I think the best advice was just to drive and enjoy her. I will put her on a lift though and make sure the shocks and struts are clean. I'll also consult my trusted mechanic whether or not to replace them and install new rotors, etc. I'll definitely pass on replacing the springs.

I'm going to try and post a picture or two of my Fiero if I can figure out how to on PFF.

The Fiero is a great car. It's comfortable, roomy, fun to drive, reliable, built very strongly, and looks gorgeous. I'm amazed at how sturdy and strong the construction is throughout - Pontiac built a quality product and 30-35 years later their Fieros are still turning heads and continue to enjoy a huge and dedicated fan base. I see tons of corvettes, camaros, mustangs (especially mustangs) on the roads today but relatively few Fieros. For me, this is what makes the Fiero special due to it's uniqueness and relative rarity.

Again, thank you all.

Andy

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mender
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Report this Post02-08-2019 10:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for menderSend a Private Message to menderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Here's a comparison of solid disc to vented rotors:
https://www.cquence.net/blog/types_of_rotor_vanes/

You might be thinking of drilled rotors.

My answers to your questions:
1. Unless your calipers are leaking or seized/dragging, your stock ones will be fine for what you're doing. I know of people who endurance race with the stock calipers.
2. Sometimes a step up in shock performance will give a better ride by controlling the body better. I would suggest using KYBs all around, slightly firmer but still decent .
3. Springs usually survive for the life of the car unless they get rust pits in them. That makes a weak spot and the spring breaks. I doubt that your car will have any issues.

[This message has been edited by mender (edited 02-08-2019).]

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