Pennock's Fiero Forum
  Technical Discussion & Questions
  First Fiero experiences and what lead me to start a 3800sc swap

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


next newest topic | next oldest topic
First Fiero experiences and what lead me to start a 3800sc swap by Gunganking
Started on: 06-29-2020 12:00 AM
Replies: 17 (285 views)
Last post by: Franked on 07-10-2020 02:47 PM
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-29-2020 12:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey guys Gungan here. (If you know Star Wars that’s where the name came from)

I’ve been a forum reader for a while but never really joined. Was usually able to gather most information when I wanted it as a guest. But today’s the day I joined, that’s because before I’ve never owned a Fiero, until a few months ago. This thread is go to be about what I’ve experienced so far and future plans

This past March, I finally pulled the trigger on buying a Fiero. I fell in love with Fieros in high school after first seeing a white fastback GT, and I didn’t even know what it was back then. I had an itch for a little project, something to tinker on. My buddy found a Fiero for sale about 4 hours south from me. We hopped in my truck the next day with a dolly to check it out. Little did I know it was going to be doing a lot more than “tinkering”

It’s an 86 GT 4 speed Had 147k miles on it. Supposedly sitting for two years, but evidence later on makes me think it was longer, but who knows Didn’t run. Underbody and truck were super clean. Only a small rust hole in the drivers wheel well and in the passenger wheel well as well. Nothing to be worried about. Floor pans clean. (Yes I know there are people who say I towed it wrong. Since it’s a manual don’t have to worry about lack of lubrication, and it handled very well on the 4 hour drive back) Got home, went on eBay and ordered a service manual for it.

(Little did I know that next day at work I was to be temporarily laid off due to COVID)

Took a few days to actually tinker with it but I started with getting it running. I got a cheap battery for it and went to work. Found out I didn’t have spark. Noticed I didn’t have Tach signal while cranking. Perfect that’s where to start, with the ignition system. Ohmed our the coil, perfect. Next onto the pesky ICM and pickup coil. I was 99%sure it was an ICM at this time but wanted to double check because a bad pickup will cause the problem. Took the distributor cap off, boom green goblins in the connector for the pickup coil. Cleaned up the pins and rechecked. Now have tach signal while cranking. Perfect! Little did I know this will bite me in the ass later on. Plugged the coil back in, car fired right up up. OH MAN THAT WAS EASY. This is where the trouble started... I knew the brakes were sketchy. Had a stuck caliper in the front but was able to be freed up. Hopped in it to putz around in, POP there goes a brake line. Ugh okay. Let me try limp it around. Put it in first, Let the clutch out, car only creeps. Rev it up and car doesn’t move any faster, the clutch is smoked on this thing. Aw maaaaan. Found out why the PO parked the car... Now I gotta put a clutch in this thing in my driveway????? Over the next 2.5 months this was my project.

It’s getting late and will continue the story tomorrow[img]http://images.fieroforum.com/userimag es/Gunganking/9DDD12CA-F123-4056-9005-D390668C4DBF.jpeg[/img]

[This message has been edited by Gunganking (edited 07-05-2020).]

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Gall757
Member
Posts: 10602
From: Holland, MI
Registered: Jun 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 88
Rate this member

Report this Post06-29-2020 08:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the Forum!
IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-29-2020 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Gall!
IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-29-2020 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So when I got the Fiero running, I had a list of problems that I noted down to take care of

First things first.
- Needs new battery tray
-Clutch needed replaced
-Brake lines
-Fuel gauge inop
-Coolant temp gauge inop
*cooling fans did turn on
-A/C inop
-Code 33 would pop up from time to time

I did some research and figured out I would do some repairs while the engine was out, like solid cradle bushings from Rodney. Also I picked up some poly engine mounts off of Facebook Marketplace. Got a clutch from RockAuto, the molded brake lines and braided steel hoses from The Fiero Store, as well as their fuel sending units. I also ordered a new fuel pump just to be safe. Also got a coolant temp sender, and while doing research I came across the mod to stop the pegging of the coolant temp gauge on cranking. I would perform that mod later. Code 33 I thought would be resolved by a leaking EGR feed tube. So I ordered one of those as well.

Next was to drop the cradle. Had to go out and buy some new heavier weight jack stands and borrowed a friends cherry picker. And just started ripping and tearing. First time pulling and took me 4-5 hours.
Now it’s time to go through everything since the engine is out. And found a few problems

-slave cylinder bracket was broken.
-alternator bracket was cracked.
*along with the lower mounting bolt threads stripped from the alternator, needing a nut on the backside.
-3 exhaust manifold bolts were broken. 2 on the firewall side, 1 on the back side.
A/C was inop due to the rubber line on the firewall was cut
-Valve covers leaking oil.
-Axle seals leaking oil.

I tore everything apart and split the engine and trans on the parents trailer

Great way to work but that’s what I have to work with at home
I took apart the clutch and found another unexpected problem. Not only was the clutch smoked, the flywheel was really really worn as well


For the sake of time. I was able to source an almost new flywheel from a friend, and on that note. I was able to find another A/C line and compressor from a guy local to me who actually has a 3800sc swap Fiero.

I will update the story more tomorrow
IP: Logged
Dennis LaGrua
Member
Posts: 13419
From: Hillsborough, NJ U.S.A.
Registered: May 2000


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 320
Rate this member

Report this Post06-29-2020 10:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good luck on the swap and welcome to the forum. As for the 30+ yr old 147K mile transmission, its probably a bit worn; I would go over that and make sure that all of the bearings are tight and in good shape.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

IP: Logged
theogre
Member
Posts: 29125
From: USA
Registered: Mar 99


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 549
Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 08:38 AM 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
⚠️ Warning: Doing Stuff Like This Can Kill You!



Never use Concrete or Clay bricks/blocks to support any load for working on a car.
That has hurt or kill many people every year but you don't hear/see in "news" 99% of times.

Many things besides concrete can drop a car and without warning.
Worse two feet of stands here are on sides of box section with nothing under. Is a wonder they didn't fracture already.

See my Cave, Safe Jacking and Jacking to Clear Engine

------------------
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)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

IP: Logged
sourmash
Member
Posts: 594
From:
Registered: Jul 2016


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 09:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can use wood instead.
IP: Logged
MarkS
Member
Posts: 424
From: Flemington, NJ
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 09:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MarkSClick Here to Email MarkSSend a Private Message to MarkSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just an FYI, the V6 flywheels prior to 1988 are not neutral balance, the engines prior to 1988 are external balance. Make sure the flywheel you get is from a car prior to 1988 otherwise, vibration problems. Your making great progress!
IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 09:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you for the concerns Dennis and Ogre, I quickly learned that lesson when I got chewed out by multiple people I lowered the vehicle down on just the jack stands positioned on the rear frame rails without bricks to support them, thenused Sourmash’s method when I reinstalled the engine later on.

Mark the flywheel I later installed was from a pre-88 engine, I was wondering why only new 88 flywheels were available but luckily a friend came through with one of his
IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 09:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 10:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So while I had everything apart, I ordered more parts, including a welder to install the new battery tray. But i was lucky that a few other parts came in including my fuel sender and brake lines and braided steel hoses. So I went to work on those.

One of the first things I noticed was that the front fuel tank strap was held up by zip ties

Luckily McMaster Carr is a few minutes from my house and was able to pick up a new T bolt for the strap when I put the tank back up. Once I got it down and the sending unit out, found the typical rusty tank problem.

I wasn’t looking to spend how many days trying to source a newer, better tank So I drained out the fuel and spend hours flushing it out with clean fuel and a pump (fuel safe lol) and I stocked up on fuel filters. This lead me to the decision that I was going to take the fuel rail and injectors out to clean, since I saw posts before about people having rust in the rail.

After cleaning and installing the new pump on the sending unit (I also delete the pulsator as well) Which, I’m not going’s to lie. I didn’t follow the directions that I might have to bend the float to clear the baffles that the fuel sending unit comes with and figured that “it’ll be fine!” Well that thinkin bit me in the a** later on.

I don’t have many pictures of the process of installing the Fiero Store brake lines. Though I would say two things. One: The rear lines did require some re-bending. Had one that the line was bent in the opposite direction it needed to. And no. It wasn’t one of the “shipping bends” that they use
Two. And this is on me. It would’ve been A LOT easier if I just removed the spare tire tub! Oh man did I fight with that. Just got lazy. I didn’t learn that until I converted the A/C O Rings for R-134...

[This message has been edited by Gunganking (edited 07-05-2020).]

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 10:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Gunganking

9 posts
Member since Jun 2020
And Dennis I do plan on going through the trans when I pull this stock unit out again. Thinking of using the LSD that someone makes, I can’t remember off the top of my head. Just need to source bearings and synchros
IP: Logged
theogre
Member
Posts: 29125
From: USA
Registered: Mar 99


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 549
Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 03:51 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
Is an asphalt surface? seems to be.

Jacks and stands on asphalt can fail too and often doesn't need high heat to weaken it. Asphalt will move some to a lot just from Pressure under jack wheel, stand feet, etc. in hours to days. Many driveways and parking lots have asphalt that's barely holding itself together to start w/ so no-one can guess if your case is better or worse.
So Having car low while working on the cradle is good thing. Set to lowest point as possible. Even then keep kids pets etc. out.

 
quote
Originally posted by sourmash:
You can use wood instead.
Many times Wood can have problems too but depends on Many issues. Too many to post easy here.
Is why there are rules for wood cribbing etc.
Wood Doesn't have to be rotten to be weak. More so when have Point Loads like stand feet above and so on.
Worse when dealing w/ plywood etc and outside use because many glues used to make them aren't "water proof."
Don't use MDF, "Chip" Board, and related at anytime.
IP: Logged
sourmash
Member
Posts: 594
From:
Registered: Jul 2016


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 05:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oh, I know. There are plenty of dumb people in the world who need someone (anyone) to teach them to proper use of wood.
Don't forget that steel is often problematic as well. Nobody can tell the stresses, tolerances or even failure points. Unless your chosen material has been recently submitted to a qualified lab with peer reviewed, calibrated test equipment that's accepted, UL listed, professionally recognized, taxed and licensed by a regulatory organization, you're just thumbing your nose at safety. Next thing you know there's money missing off the dresser and your daughter's knocked up. I've seen it a hundred times.
IP: Logged
Spoon
Member
Posts: 3417
From: Sadsburyville, PA. 19369 / USA
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score:    (16)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 59
Rate this member

Report this Post06-30-2020 06:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpoonSend a Private Message to SpoonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OMG...that driveway appears to be on an incline plus everything else everybody else has mentioned. At lease here (see pic) the guy has half a chance of the vehicle rolling away from him or onto him.



Spoon

------------------
"Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne." - Kurt Vonnegut

IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-05-2020 12:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It’s been a few days but I can finally update the story while I wait for a bunch of 3800sc swap parts to arrive.

As stated before I just replaced the brake lines and installed braided steel hoses. I reinstalled the fuel tank (for the first time at this point) and started to convert the A/C to R-134.

This was actually a relatively easy job. Especially after I figured out how easy the spare tire tub was to remove. Made access to the fitting on the drivers front frame rail much easier. This discovery would have shaved probably an hour and a half off the time it took me to replace the brake lines
Along with replacing the O rings. I did the due diligence of replacing the accumulator because the system was open for so long. While there. I took the blower motor and resistor out to take a gander inside. Wow that was absolutely disgusting and packed with mouse nest. Thank god it got cleaned out.

After that job was completed I changed out the two switches mounted in the compressor. The Fiero Store sells one of the new style switches for $50... I actually did some research on the forum to find the part numbers and was able to find them both for ~$35 shipped to my house! Not bad. Fingerprints Workshop on YouTube has a video of him converting the compressor switches for clarification. I wired the switches up slightly different than him but either way does the job
(I also installed new front radiator hoses during this point that I got from the Fiero Store. I had to shorten the hoses to have them fit)

Now most of my parts arrived to start on the engine. Decided to tackle the most time consuming part, the broken exhaust manifold bolts. I had 2 initially, but one broke upon removal on the rear of the engine. I ordered Rodney Dickman’s Exhaust manifold bolt Jig to help.

Review time:
Rodney’s jig lined up perfect, and the various inserts used in junction with the drill bits worked amazing. Only issues I ran into were with the drill bits and thread tap themselves. I burnt through the two bits not even halfway through the first bolts. BUT I went out and bought more bits the same size and I burnt through them very quick as well. And I tried everything, lube, no lube, more pressure, less pressure, more speed, less speed. I guess I can’t use a drill correctly

As for the tap, which I do know how to use haha, it broke the first hole as well. I replaced with an Irwin tap that I had and had no trouble.
Overall 10/10 recommend Rodney’s jig. Just make sure you know how to drill metal haha


Reinstalled the exhaust manifolds and started with the intake manifold. I removed the upper intake manifold and of course, a lot of the vacuum lines cracked. I replaced those later with Dorman lines later. With the upper intake removed. The coolant lines to the throttle body were deleted, with the inlet and outlets just capped off with rubber caps and hose clamps for now

I proceeded to remove the fuel rail and injectors to clean.
Went the route of deleting the cold start injector, just because of all the problems I’ve heard, and because I didn’t want to wait for a rebuild kit. I plugged the fuel rail with a drain plug of the same thread pitch and plugged the hole on the lower intake with a freeze plug mentioned in another thread I read on here. Later on I made the decision that I was going to reverse that and reinstall the cold start injector. I didn’t like the crank times later on being in the solid 6-7 second range just for the car the sputter the first time it fired after sitting. Once it started, it would fire up quickly.

I removed the fuel rail and injectors, injectors “Appeared fine” at this point in time, and found no traces of rust from the tank accumulated in the rail. That’s great! I still replaced the fuel pressure regulator, and cleaned the injectors in an ultrasonic cleaner. Took care not to completely submerge the injectors to prevent solvent from entering the injectors through the connector face.

Removed the middle intake plenum and replaced the valve cover gasket and PCV grommets. Reinstalled the middle plenum with new gaskets. Installed the fuel rail and injectors

Side note: 5/6 injector retaining clips were destroyed upon removal. I was able to reinstall the injectors without the retaining clips successfully without fuel leaks in the future. So a +1 to saying you don’t “need” them that there were a few discussions on the forum that I read on when my clips were destroyed.

Replaced all of the broken vacuum lines that ran under the intake and replaced the leaking EGR feed tube. And finally reinstalled the upper intake plenum. ( I also replaced the EGR valve stand off due to the feed tube nuts and studs being so rotted away so I got that from the Fiero Store as well)

This point it’s time to install the few little things left.
Replaced the broken alternator bracket, (but kept he same alternator for now) installed new belts for the a/c and alternator. Replaced the spark plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. Now time for the exhaust

Y Pipe was reinstalled with a New O2 sensor for good measure.
I also bought The Fiero Stores catalytic converter delete pipe due to my Cat being rotted out, and where I live you don’t have to do emissions testing on vehicles build before ‘96. And I gotta say. I either didn’t do enough research but the pipe didn’t fit well. The flange side that connects to the Y pipe is a different size, and didn’t like the stock doughnut gasket. I had to actually shave down the gasket to it to somewhat seal. Also the bends of the pipe didn’t match up well. It took a lot of man handling for it to fit



At this point the engine was ready to be reinstalled into the car!

[This message has been edited by Gunganking (edited 07-05-2020).]

IP: Logged
Gunganking
Junior Member
Posts: 9
From: Illinois
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2020 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GungankingSend a Private Message to GungankingEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On to the next one!

I got the engine installed pretty quickly. The only headache was the slave cylinder decided to seize while bleeding it. I had to order one but it didn’t stop me from firing it up!

Well. Needless to say she ran...... but not very well. She still didn’t run quite right. Easing into the throttle helped her rev better, but wasn’t great. At this time it was getting late and would decide to mess with it the next day.

Next day came..... car decided that it didn’t even want to start that day I got really aggravated and let it sit for 2 days. Guess what? It fired right up that day I decided to mess with it again but one thing I did notice, it would die after about 5 minutes of running. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. I didn’t Check that out till later. First I decided to take care of the misfire it had.

I followed the service manual procedure for figuring out misfires. Disconnected the IAC and started unplugging spark plug wires one by one to notice a change. Boom. Found a dead miss on cylinder 4

I started to get worried at this point. Knew I had new plugs and wires, gapped correctly. With strong spark as well. So I ran a compression test on that cylinder to make sure everything was kosher, 135psi dry compression. Well. There’s only three things needed for fireworks Air, Fuel and Spark, so I went with fuel is my culprit. Even though I cleaned the injectors, I had one not working properly. Ordered 6 Bosch injectors off RockAuto for $100 shipped.

Popped in the new injectors, oh man! What a night and day difference! She ran great! When she ran.....

Once again she would start when she wanted. This time I noticed the fuel pump wasn’t turning on with the key.a buddy of mine was helping out with this as well. Checked the fuse, good. Checked for voltage at the test port on the diagnostic connector. Nothing. Applied 12v at the test port, fuel pump fired right up. I have a problem with the control system. Checked for power at the fuel pump relay pump side, 12v. Jumped the two terminals, fuel pump fired up. Okay. Checked power at the ECU side of the relay. 12v huh? Okay if everything has power when it needs to, and the pump works when supplied power, why doesn’t it work? I even Ohmed the relay to make sure it didn’t have excessive resistance when turned on. .5ohms. Swapped relays with the A/C. STILL THE SAME THING THE PUMP WOULD WORK WHEN IT WANTED TO!! I’m aggravated at this point. But managed to catch it in the act. I tugged on the wires at the relay and boom the pump would cycle demon the way the wires were moved, took it apart and found spread pins. Replaced the relay with a new updated style from Autozone and everything on the fuel pump side worked great.

Until she didn’t want to start again.....
IP: Logged
Franked
Member
Posts: 11
From: Bay area, California
Registered: Jun 2020


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-10-2020 02:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FrankedSend a Private Message to FrankedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Any updates?
I will be bringing home a car that supposedly runs, but I have never seen it run, I have known the owner of it for a long time,(10yrs) he has never had it on the road since I have known him, but has moved it a couple times in the last 4-5 years.
I expect to have to deal with probably every issue you are dealing with, plus a new master for brakes(any old, "bin settin a lil while" car) I ever get needs a master, for some reason..
You are getting quite a bit done quickly, I am impressed, I cant seem to move that fast on projects anymore.
Frank
IP: Logged

next newest topic | next oldest topic

All times are ET (US)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock