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Possibility of updating early cars with suspension from '88? by KZ88
Started on: 05-15-2019 01:38 PM
Replies: 16 (404 views)
Last post by: KZ88 on 06-02-2019 10:29 AM
KZ88
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Report this Post05-15-2019 01:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hello all. New member, though I've been reading the forum for a long while.

So, for the last three years, I've owned an '88 2.5 that I rescued from a field it sat in for around 15 years. Got it back on the road about two years ago, after putting in a used engine. Over my three years owning the car I also replaced or rebuilt all the brakes, went through the suspension, etc. Anyway, after much time, effort and money it has been super reliable for both fun driving and daily driving.

And then, three weeks ago, I was running an errand, the driver of a Ford F-250 failed to yield, and suddenly my little red Fiero was history.
I'm not really sure what car I'm going to buy next, but there's not many '88s for sale near me, to my knowledge. I do know of a few earlier cars up for sale, however, which leads to my question: Is it a major headache to swap the rear subframe/suspension, engine/tranny, brakes, etc. from an '88 4 cyl to an earlier car with either engine?

Alternatively, does anyone know of any decent '88 notchbacks for sale in Iowa or surrounding states? (I don't have a huge budget, and so far the other driver's insurance company is moving really slowly.)

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KZ88
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Report this Post05-15-2019 02:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I should clarify, my Fiero's left front was destroyed, and the chassis itself is a write off, but the rear of the car is intact, hence the question.

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Lou6t4gto
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Report this Post05-15-2019 02:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lou6t4gtoClick Here to Email Lou6t4gtoSend a Private Message to Lou6t4gtoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

CAN be done, but you'll need different upper plates

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Flying_Dan
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Report this Post05-15-2019 02:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Flying_DanClick Here to Email Flying_DanSend a Private Message to Flying_DanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I just scored a complete 88's rear I'm going to put in my 85'. Yes, it's worth the work to swap if you have a good early Fiero.

There are threads on what it takes to swap front and or rear. Nothings super easy. But if you find ( like I did ), an early Fiero in great shape and a 3400 tuned that scoots. Grab it and upgrade it.

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cvxjet
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Report this Post05-15-2019 09:00 PM 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

I have an 85 SE V6 that I converted to 88 rear subframe/suspension....It made a substantial difference in the ride and the handling....Also, since the subframe is attached directly rather than with rubber bushings, it acts more as a reinforcement to the frame, making the chassis more rigid.

You will need top strut hats to relocate the strut top mounting point forward and inward, and need also to convert the rear struts to coilovers to clear the strut towers. The hats are really simple and can be homemade.

Using the rear 88 brakes, you would need to convert the fronts to 88s also, using C4 Vette 12" discs- Sluppy123 here on Pennocks makes brake caliper adapters and also aluminum hubs that keep the un-sprung weight down.....In the proportioning valve, I used the red plunger with the softest spring out of all the valves.

The front subframe/suspension swap is more involved; You must cut and modify the frame on the receiving car......And also, the hubs are not as resilient, and a good, dependable replacement is somewhat difficult to find. Truthfully, the 88 front is better, but it is only slightly better- the earlier suspension is more resilient- regular separate bearings that can easily be replaced and repacked......I was going to swap an 88 front into mine, but am glad I did not.

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Shho13
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Report this Post05-16-2019 12:40 AM 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

This is my nightmare... Sorry for your loss... at least you're ok.

Lots of guys say that an 84-87 front and 88 rear is a better way to go; rear cradle and suspension swap while keeping the front suspension from the pre 88s. Very possible and documentation to do this job here!

Good luck if you decide to do it! Otherwise, just wait it out, a nice 88 will show up eventually!

------------------
"Discord"
Red 1988 GT under restoration!

Let's Go Mets!

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

[This message has been edited by Shho13 (edited 05-16-2019).]

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RussellCupples
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Report this Post05-16-2019 09:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RussellCupplesClick Here to Email RussellCupplesSend a Private Message to RussellCupplesEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I have an 88 and it's handles like a true supercar .I love the front and rear suspension .

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KZ88
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Report this Post05-22-2019 11:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Update: I've picked up a running 1984 4cyl with the 4 speed manual (My last car was an automatic, so I'm pretty excited). It sat in storage for years before I bought it, so the interior has a distinctly mousy smell, but the rest of the car is in great shape. The body has a bit of paint cracking and couple of chips, but other than that, it looks fantastic.

My main goal for right now is getting the smell & stains out of the interior and going over the rest of the car to make sure it's roadworthy. I'm probably going to hold of on the rear suspension conversion for now.

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theogre
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Report this Post05-23-2019 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Note the 84 is not the same as others for different reasons that an 88.
84 wiring is like that so don't just follow directions for 85-87 cars.
Other parts are different but close to same as others like use same bushings for suspension as 85-87.
But 87-88 L4 Motor is much different and put in 84 is about same work as V6 and not just wiring issues. Start w/ See my Cave, Duke Quick Ref

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


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olejoedad
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Report this Post05-23-2019 11:13 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

If I were swapping an 84, I would update the wiring to 85 and up configuration by extending the C-500 harness and installing a Battery Junction Terminal.

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MulletproofMonk
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Report this Post05-24-2019 12:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MulletproofMonkClick Here to visit MulletproofMonk's HomePageSend a Private Message to MulletproofMonkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by cvxjet:
Using the rear 88 brakes, you would need to convert the fronts to 88s also, using C4 Vette 12" discs- Sluppy123 here on Pennocks makes brake caliper adapters and also aluminum hubs that keep the un-sprung weight down.....In the proportioning valve, I used the red plunger with the softest spring out of all the valves.


Why do you need to use the 88 front brakes? I have a full 88 cradle with adapters and was just going to use my Grand Am brake upgrade on the front...

------------------
-Brian

My 87 GT Poly Suspension Upgrade (all pics) thread
Removing the roof panel
My HUD install thread
Modified stock air canister and base to 3.5 inch for 3800na

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Will
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Report this Post05-24-2019 03:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The Beretta rotors are actually smaller than the '88 rotors. Go to a LeBaron rotor 11.25 kit up front...

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KZ88
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Report this Post05-25-2019 01:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Note the 84 is not the same as others for different reasons that an 88.
84 wiring is like that so don't just follow directions for 85-87 cars.
Other parts are different but close to same as others like use same bushings for suspension as 85-87.
But 87-88 L4 Motor is much different and put in 84 is about same work as V6 and not just wiring issues. Start w/ See my Cave, Duke Quick Ref

Yep, I know the '84 is a very different engine, and a different car. For now, I'm just going to leave the original engine and sub frame/rear suspension in the car and hopefully have it back on the road before too long. Gotta take advantage of the summer months!

[This message has been edited by KZ88 (edited 05-25-2019).]

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KZ88
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Report this Post05-25-2019 01:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Finished stripping the interior tonight. Plan for the weekend is to clean the seats, carpets & floormats (The mice really did a number on them), clean all the interior trim, reupholster the headliner and repair the wiring harness, which shows definite signs of having been chewed.

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Mark A. Klein
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Report this Post05-27-2019 02:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mark A. KleinClick Here to Email Mark A. KleinSend a Private Message to Mark A. KleinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Have you heard of Heartland Fiero Club in Iowa. I live in pleasantville IA I currently only have 6 Fieros - none of them currently running.... I have a LOT of parts though...

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olejoedad
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Report this Post05-27-2019 03:03 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

 
quote
Originally posted by MulletproofMonk:


Why do you need to use the 88 front brakes? I have a full 88 cradle with adapters and was just going to use my Grand Am brake upgrade on the front...




You need to pay close attention to caliper piston sizes when mixing and matching calipers.

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KZ88
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Report this Post06-02-2019 10:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KZ88Send a Private Message to KZ88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Mark A. Klein:

Have you heard of Heartland Fiero Club in Iowa. I live in pleasantville IA I currently only have 6 Fieros - none of them currently running.... I have a LOT of parts though...

I'll have to check that out, I knew there was a Fiero club in Iowa, but didn't know the name.

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