NEW BRAKE LINES all around.. New bushings on upper and lower, inner and outer tie rods, ball joints, shocks, calipers, hubs, bearings. Use your torch a lot. You could powder coat the parts as they are stripped and polished. Not so bad.
look behind the trunk carpet, look under the car completly: at the floor, and look above where the engine cradle meets the frame.
Yeah, this may be where there is a glimmer of hope. Everything above about 1ft. doesn't seem too bad. The engine and where the engine cradle and frame meet look, dare I say, decent. I'm definitely going to have to weld new lugs into the floor for the seats and get new seat frames...they are completely gone in places...which makes me think there is going to be some floor pan work. Ooof. I'm guessing the gas tank is going to be a goner too.
I am more of the school of thought that even if something is free, sometimes it is better to leave it.
A "free" car that will cost hundreds of hours of labour , lots of parts, lots of trips to the store, etc. is actually very expensive- and still worth a lot less than a car that wasn't a basket case to start with
Me personally, I would grab one that is not rotten and save a bunch of swear words, busted knuckles, rust particles falling into my eyes. etc...
Yup, Don't do anything until look at bottom of car and rear frame hidden by rear inner fender.
Originally posted by IrnDuke: I just want to know how long the road is that I am in for. I am hoping this isn't completely hopeless. Anyone out there have any experience in heavy-rust restores? Any sage words of advice?
Major rust rot on car frame areas often = junk car but you get fools claiming can "rebuild" them.
Rotten parts that bolt to the car can replace but above pic's is going to Eat time and a lot of money. Example: You may/likely need a whole front end. Not replacing rubber bushings etc. Top bracket over spring etc rusted bad is a big problem. S-rack can hind "rust" in the rubber mounting.
Many Suspension parts like many bushings have Class 10.9 or better hardware and will need same if cut or heated. If the bolt etc isn't rusted can split the seem in inner tube and use spray oil and wait for oil to work. See my Cave, Bushings
------------------ 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)
DEFINATELY pull the rear wheels and wheel well liners off both sides and inspect the upper frame rails and cradle mounting spots before you do anything else. As stated, sometimes its better to cut your losses and find something else. Frames can be fixed or even replaced but it's not quick, easy or cheep unless your good with metal fabrication and welding.
Thanks for all the replies everyone!!! I'll try pulling those panels this weekend and taking a look. As I have dug deeper, it seems that most of the damage seems to be confined to the subframe. I'll post results after this weekends dissection and discovery!!!
------------------ **** Stupidly fearless. 1984 Fiero Sport Coupe #242064
Who was I kidding, "...this weekend". I had to rush out after some delicious Culvers and pull those well covers off. The suspense was killing me. Here's the verdict.
Passenger side has the "normal" battery damage and a few spots in the frame, but doesn't look completely out of the question for some weld patching.
Driver's side is a different story. I am hoping you all can tell me that all hope is not lost and I can repair this. This is a marathon for me, not a sprint, so I am willing to put in time and patience. But, if it really is too far gone then....I guess I'll have to cry uncle. There is a big hole in the trunk bay—no biggie. But, it is these horizontal members next to the suspension that have me a bit worried. Someone give me some hope here.
[This message has been edited by IrnDuke (edited 08-05-2020).]
It is no longer a logical task, but if you love the challenge and have the time, you could save it. I am amazed by the restore that RWDPLZ did on his car, and if you can read and understand his thread and feel you want to do it....good for you. The sensible thing is to part out this car, save your money, and find something requiring less work. (it won't get any better sitting in a barn for more years.... )
Honestly, cut your losses. Save the parts that can be saved for your next project or part out the car. Depending on what you paid for it, you might make a few bucks. But based on the pictures you've posted, I'd be worried about driving it. The bright side is you'll know what to look for next time.
Good luck with the search.
------------------ Mike in Sydney
[This message has been edited by Mike in Sydney (edited 08-06-2020).]
Ditto on rockers, this is the pass side which was much worse then the driver's side above. I sem to recall I just patched the driver's side but this side was gone.
I used what was left of the old trunk corner and some sheet metal to replace the driver's side trunk
Overall it saved the car, or at least kept it going for a few more years. Sold it a year or so later as it had lots of other rust issues and really wasn't long for this world. I enjoyed doing it as I'd never done that much frame/metal work before but honestly, I wouldn't do it again unless the car was really special to me. Yours looks to be in much worse shape overall so personally I think you'd be better off finding a better starting point and parting out what you can from this one.
It isn't as bad as mine if the strut tower hasn't separated from the lower rail yet.
If you can weld, or want to invest in the equipment and learn, go for it. I don't know where people live that they can just go spend a few dollars and 'get another one' but it really isn't practical where this kind of frame rot occurs with the modern cost of shipping and the way Fiero values are right now. You could spend $2000 on another car and $800 in shipping it, and very well end up being in the same predicament.
Originally posted by RWDPLZ: I don't know where people live that they can just go spend a few dollars and 'get another one'
Québec, and a willingness to travel 8+ hours to find the right Fiero, including visual on-site inspection? Also the willingness to use up vacation days for the purpose of Fiero shopping.
Here is my $2200 CAD Fiero (this one happened to be 1/2 hour away from my home in Grand-Mère):
Not bad, I got away with three small patches in the trunk, one patch near the battery, and a battery tray replacement. It really didn't need much.
Here we can see the small battery tray area patch I did:
You can get decent for cheap, but I can't say I fully agree with the "scrap it it's rusty" mantra we have here. If we always apply this mantra, well we're encouraging our favorite cars to be scrapped. At some point, to prevent Fieros from going extinct, they must be repaired.
[This message has been edited by pmbrunelle (edited 08-06-2020).]