So I put in the new fuel pump .The occasional stumble is gone , but it still loses power above 6100 rpm .Fuel guage still does not work , but I know why now .I have some pics I will post later to explain what is going on .I decided to try my bigger injectors , still no change .I had to change the injector constant and do a rewrite with my HP tuners so I ran a scan with my laptop to see what is happening .At anything above 6100 rpm , the tach display flashes red and the fuel gets partly cut ,kind of a soft landing that prevents any more acceleration .Somehow , the new version of HP tuners does not allow that parameter to change .And even though I tuned a 7000 Rpm fuel cutoff when I originally tuned the car , as soon as I hooked up the laptop to the car with the new version , it reverted to factory values for fuel cutoff and the speed limiter is as far as I can tell back to about 108 mph .I am emailing back and forth to find a solution but no luck so far .They were not aware of this problem .
My tuning woes continue .The fuel cutoff is fine , there is something else wrong and I have not been able to figure it out . I have changed my tune a lot from what it was , actually downloaded one of my old tunes out of the repository and started over , but I am still having trouble with WOT above 6000 rpm .Everything else is better , high gear low rpm rollons are much stronger now and it comes out of the hole great .But above 6000 in WOT , it still loses power until I back off the throttle .I am starting to think my water meth system is not spraying .Getting about 8 degees of KR when the power drops off .I have most of thursday off to figure it out , but gone for the weekend .On the bright side , I have nothing to complain about with my new suspension . I just do not remember having so much trouble tuning before .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 08-21-2016).]
I have run a lot of scans , backed off the timing at high RPM and nothing seems to help : still getting about 8 degrees of KR at WOT around 6300 RPM .I took the charge pipe off at the throttle body to check the water meth and it is spraying fine .I am beginning to suspect I am getting false knock sensing .A lot of people on ecotec.com had this problem when they went to poly motor mounts . And I now have a home made upper poly motor mount . I am going to see if I can add a bit of rubber in there to see if it changes anything .In the meantime , I am running with a 6300 RPM rev limit . The car is running very strong , the reason I like a 7000 limit is it saves a shift when I do a 0-60 run , resuting in a faster time . It probably would not affect the 1/4 time , but I have never been to a strip with this car so I would not know .
Still playing around with the tuning .I have not had a chance to do anything with the motor mount , but I am making some progress in understanding what is happening .I have been trying to get a commanded Power Enrich AFR of 11 during high boost high rpm mode .The most it will give me is 11.5 , even though right now I have the tables set to 10 . I think I need a commanded value of 11 to get rid of the knock if it isn't false knock .There are modifier tables and I changed some of them and still no change in the PE AFR . And I managed to lower the KR but now the car does not run as strong except under WOT .So now I have to undo some of the things I changed to get back to where I was .I put the bigger HX for the air to water charge cooler back on but that had very little affect , slight decrease in IAT . I am going to add a brace to the motor mount and see how that works .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 09-07-2016).]
The brace did not seem to make an improvement in the knock problem .It does make it less prone to movement so I still consider it an improvement . My lack of knowledge of tuning is a problem , but I am doing a lot of research and making slow progress .I found out that on my ECM that when any knock is detected , it immediately changes to the Low Octane spark tables .This caused power to fall right off at about 6100 RPM . I had left all the LO tables alone , thinking they were irrelevant . So I rewrote those tables in the high RPM areas and that made a decent improvement .Also the VE offset seems to be critical .Stock seemed to be 20% , I have tried 40 % and then back to 20% and now I am running 45% .Higher values make the car smoother and keep LTFT and STFT in the green range .I noticed on one tune , the VE offset was 60 % . I may try that figure and if it does not help , go back down to 45 % .
I have done a lot of tuning and I have come to the conclusion that the power drop off at 6300 is caused by my new 2" exhaust setup .The give away was I did a scan with the PE shut off and got the same results as with it on .I started looking at the KR and realized it really was not that bad compared to older scans. So I am pretty sure that my 2" piping is at least 1/4" to small .The 20G turbo is getting strangled by the low flow of the 2" system .I put the smaller piping in to promote low end response ( and it did ) but I did not realize how much it would affect the higher revs .I thought the blow off valve was leaking but a new one did nothing .Bumping up the boost did nothing as well . So , I am going to make a new 2.5 " exhaust .Should not cost much , I can salvage most of it from my old exhaust and I have a ton of extra pipe bends .I will need a new flex pipe , I don't have another short 2.5" laying around .
Yesterday I looked around the garage and came up with enough bits and pieces to cobble together a new 2.5" exhaust system .The only thing I had to buy was a short flex pipe , 22.00 from Spikes Auto Parts and he had it in stock .I had the day off so I started at 8:30 am and other than lunch I worked straight through and had it done by 7:00 pm .Not a thing of beauty , I had to weld 3 short straight pipes together to make the cat back pipe but it works and only one leak in a spot that does not matter .And it has solved my lack of power above 6300 rpm - it now revs and pulls really strong right up to the 7000 rpm redline I have it set at .The welds are pretty rough , I kept blowing holes in the thin stainless pipe I used .
I did not get the angle on the tail pipe right , something I will fix with a vband coupler when I can pick one up:
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 10-12-2016).]
New 4.12 sq " area dual piston willwood calipers .Hoping the reduction in area from the old single 2.5" diameter piston (4.9 sq ") will end my right front lockup problems .Other than stock ,every brake setup I have used has had right front lockup .Still stops straight and in short distances , but the smoke show coming from the right front tire is beyond annoying . here are a few pics of the new calipers , these are Willwood #120-11872-RD
If these don't work , I am going to gut the proportion valve and install a bias valve going to the rear brakes .I am going to have a collection of Willwoods to sell in the mall soon .Now that I have solved my engine tuning problems , I can concentrate on brakes and chassis tuning .
These calipers have made a big improvement . Stopping much better .But now both fronts lock up when you really jump on the brakes .Not locking up completely , a lot less smoke and good that both fronts are now doing the same thing . I am looking in to new stickier tires in slightly bigger sizes .Going to 215/55/r16 in the front and 255/50/16 in the back .This will maintain the width spread of 40 that I have now that works really well .I would like to get another set of Kumhos but they no longer make the same tire as I have now in the sizes I need .So far , the BFG G-Force Sport Comp- 2 seem to be the only Hi-Po summer tire that will do the job in my sizes .And it has great reviews . Most MFR's have very little in a 16" wheel size in a summer only tire .
I decided not to get the new tires till next spring .I will be lucky to get a month of driving on them before it gets too cold to drive summer tires .Too bad but it just does not make sense right now .I have ordered a Wilwood (260-11179) adjustable proportion valve to replace the stock prop valve with .Read the spec sheets and it will allow up to 50/50 front/rear brake bias .Fully adjustable with a knob on top , 2 inlets and 2 front outlets and 1 rear outlet . Very hopeful this will let me get rid of the front lockup once and for all .Hopefully here on Thursday .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 10-17-2016).]
I admire your perseverance to stay with this project for as long as you did and meet the challenge. There are some clever work-arounds and some interesting solutions but many kudos; you did accomplish a difficult swap. It seems that you while you proved that the Ecotec Fiero swap is certainly doable; if it were easier, we might see more Ecotec swaps. Its an excellent engine choice just begging for a plug and play solution but I did notice that P & P solutions in the form of a harness and PCM are available online for some Ecotecs and Roger Thelin still makes the mount swap parts. If you come down to Fieros at Carlisle in 2017 I would love to see your swap.
------------------ " 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, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, 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 "
Thanks for the reply Dennis .This is a long thread full of all my success and failures but one thing most people don't realize is that when I first got this swap running , it only took 6 weeks to get it on the road .I just continue to change things because this is a hobby car and I hope to someday to get it exactly the way I want it . I think I have only not driven the car for 2 summers out of the last 10 .A lot of the stuff I have been doing to the car lately really do not have to do with being ecotec powered , it is just easier for me to continue to add to the thread .I hope to have time after I retire (this coming March) to go to a lot of Fiero related events and Carlisle will be one of them .
I have been driving the Fiero and tuning the suspension for about 3 weeks now. At the end of last season I made changes to the brakes and I am very happy with the way they came out. So I have been concentrating on the rear suspension, the latest change being dropping all the way down to 200 lb. 10" springs in the rear of the car.I started last year with 450 lb 9" springs, then went to 350 lb 10" springs because the 450's just seemed too stiff. Keep in mind when I still had struts on the car it had 350 lb 12" springs on it. I always thought that gave more body roll than I like so when I changed the suspension, I went with the heavier springs. Even with the 350's it still seemed too stiff. I would stand in the trunk and bounce the car up and down and it seemed like it was barely moving. So rather than order a 300lb set of springs I decided to try the 200lb 10" springs I had laying around from my dead in the water Locost build. My logic was to start with these springs and then go up in weight from there if needed. To my surprise these turned out to be what I needed. I set up the ride height and decided to try the shocks on the stiffest setting, compression and rebound. I rode about 5 miles like that and then stopped every 5 miles and backed them down 2 clicks at a time until I had a comfortable ride. Each knob has 18 settings and I ended up at about +10 for compression and +7 for rebound. At the stiffest settings the ride was back spasm inducing harsh. The body roll stayed the same as it was with the stiffer springs, something I thought would not be possible. The car corners flat and really tracks around a corner. The overall ride is not as good as my old strut suspension, simply not as smooth over bumpy roads. But that is a trade off I can live with.I hope to finally get to a track day this year to see how it works when I really push it.
I decided to try the minimum settings on the rear coilovers. I had set them to the point that I thought was a good compromise between harshness and cornering force but I wanted to see what the softest settings would be like. On the lowest settings, it rides like a Fiero with brand new monroe shocks on it. Maybe QA1 has a forum for these shocks where I could learn all about how they work but I have been just working blind here. I have learned that the lowest settings basically replicate what a factory stock shock gives you. Right now my Fiero is smoother than my wifes loaded hardtop convertible 2012 Miata.The only time I am going to crank the settings up will be when I go to a track day.
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 05-14-2017).]
I noticed that the lower ball joint on the rear passenger side had seen better days so I changed it out. That threw the alignment out of wack , and then I started noticing some squirming in the back that seemed to be getting worse. I took both wheels off to tighten and check everything and then I realized the upper control arm bushing nuts needed to be tightened up. I had left them a little on the loose side while I built the new tie rods so I could move it all up and down by hand. They are locking nuts so no danger of falling off but the bushings got a little sloppy, hence the squirming. Tightened the nuts up and that problem went away. I did an alignment using a 4' straight edge and a tape measure and it looks like I have it close enough, the steering wheel is centred again. I am waiting to get my new tires before I pay for another alignment. I also increased tire pressure to 42 rear and 40 front to reduce sidewall flexing. Max is 51 PSI for these tires so lots of room there. Today I am taking the car to Grand Bend Raceway for road course lapping. If it goes well, then I am going to leave the setup basically the same but make a proper upper mount setup with a built in adjustment system and arms with better bushings. If things do not go as expected, then I have a lot of ideas for a redesign of the upper arm system. The way it is working now, I am expecting good things at the track.
The layout was the screaming alien. Track is part of the Grand Bend airport.
I was a little surprised at the speed of the cars in the group I went out with. These guys are serious track day people. For the first 4 laps or so I just tried to get faster and stay out of everyones way. So I got passed. A lot ! Then I got it figured out and I managed to stay in front of some of the cars. My old Kumho tires were howling for mercy on every turn so I was sadly lacking grip compared to everyone else. A lot of the cars were running racing tires and the rest with newer style high performance summer tires. The track was also quite a bit longer and higher speed than I was expecting. I only went out for one 15 minute session. The airport was expecting some landings so they were not allowing a cool down lap. The car ran slightly hotter than normal on the track but nothing high enough to be concerned about. I should have cooled down with a slow drive in to Grand Bend and back, instead I just did a slow lap of the pits and that was not enough. About a minute after I parked, a plastic heater hose T developed a hole and I lost about a 1/2 gallon of coolant. Before leaving for the track I decided to take some spare fittings, hose and some clamps and a set of tools. And a gallon of demin water. I have never trusted the fittings I used so better safe than sorry. So after letting things cool down my wife and I changed out the melted fitting with the hopefully better fitting we had. And then after about 1/2 hour of filling and burping we were on our way home. I learned that to run this track my springs are too light. Way too much body roll. My tires suck but I new that already. My suspension works really well, no surprises there.The car is just as neutral on the track as the street. When I got a bit loose it was usually the whole car sliding, not the rear fishtailing or a front end plow. Very easy to just brake or back off the throttle and get the car back on line. I never put a wheel off the track. The brakes worked well, I could really stomp on them and not have lockup. And they stopped really well, as I found out when I stayed on the gas too long on the main straight. I was smelling the pads by the end of the session so maybe some race pads would be a good idea. I am going to put on the heavier springs I have. Might get a set of race tires instead of buying BFG's. Just get hi performance all season tires for the street. And check out what better pads are available.
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 07-22-2017).]
Very cool work! I love my Bridgestone Potenza S04 Pole Positions, they are an ultra summer tire and have awesome grip, I think the only other summer tire that outgrips them is the Michelin Pilot Super Sports, but I went with the Bridgestones because they have AMAZING wet grip, as in I have never lost traction in the rain no matter how hard I drive.
I have them on my WRX for almost 30,000 miles and they have plenty of life left. I have dedicated snow tires and rims for the winter.
I have had good luck with both Hawk and EBC pads in the past, they all make a buttload of dust no matter what reviews say. I use Hawk HPS pads (high performance street).
Also something that can improve track braking is using some DOT 5.1 fluid, Bosch makes some that is readily available at autoparts stores. Flush your system using that and then the brake fluid can take much more heat without degrading.
Some adjustable swaybars are also a great choice for tuning the turn in at the track, and don't forget how much affect altering alignment and also setting cross weights can make! Find a buddy with a set of racing scales to get your cross weights set up correctly.
Thanks for the comments and tips for setup. I have not had time to do anything to the car but I hope to have a bit of a plan in place soon. Decided to change the springs out first and see how that works and go from there. Hope to get another track day in this month.
I might be able to make it out to one more track day so making a few changes. I installed the 10" by 350 lb springs into the rear coil overs and put the 450 lb by 9" springs into the front coil overs. While I had the rear springs out I installed some rod end bushings in to the shock mounts. These take care of the misallignment between the shock mounts. Better freedom of movement.
One thing I have not been happy with is the rear camber adjustment with the present setup. I cant get enough negative camber the way it is, not enough room between the shift linkage. I thought about making a different upper ball joint mount and new control arms but could not come up with anything that did not entail a ton of work. I wanted the ball joint lower and further out to reduce the kingpin inclination.Where the ball joint is now I cant put bigger tires on because they would rub against the bj housing. So I have decided to experiment with two upper links per side. I got some aircraft rod ends made by Radial Bearing Corp and combined them with swedged tubes and some delrin bushings I have had for a while now:
These will be mounted with frame tabs on the chassis for the delrin ends and the rod ends will be mounted by a long 5/8" grade 8 bolt directly on either side of the strut stub. The chassis mounts will be further outboard than they are now and the rod ends will be down and further away from the frame, lessening the kingpin angle and giving the tire clearance I am looking for.
The new upper arms will sit in this general vicinity:
I was hoping to weld the tabs in place without carving off the old arm mounts but no such luck. And the bolts I have are 1/2" too short so I cannot do anymore til they come in.
I could not get a decent shot of the clearance between the wheel and the rod ends but there is about 1/4" at the closest point. Got some stainless tube today to try to get rid of the rubber lines around the turbo. A little heavier than I wanted but I can still put a bump in it with this tool I got from Earls'.
I have been doing a lot of work trying to make a new upper arm setup and basically my idea to use rod ends and adjustable upper arms with the pivot on the other side of the strut stub did not work out. Using this setup I found that the wheel would be moving forward as it moved up in to the wheel well and the camber gain was going the wrong way as well.
One nice thing about all this experimenting is that I did not have to hack up any of the old suspension pieces so when I decided to take a step back all I had to do was weld the old mounts back in place and bolt it back together. I got rid of the stack of washers you can see below by adding another 1" X 2" channel on top of the old mount:
The main reason I wanted to change to a new arm setup was for ease of adjustability. Taking the wheels off and putting them back on while the car is on the alignment rack is time and money consuming. The arms are bolted to a 1/4" thick piece of steel flat bar with a 1/2" grade 8 nut welded to it that can slide back and forth inside the arm mount channel. I made an adjuster that can slide the flat bar back and forth inside the channel. This is it:
So now to change the camber setting I just loosen the upper arm mounting bolts and crawl under the car with a 9/16 wrench and move the arm where ever it needs to go. I dont even need to jack the car up to do this. This is not a good picture of the adjuster welded in place but here it is:
The other thing this allows me to do is adjust the angle of the inner arm mounting axle (cant remember what it is called ) to get it to perfectly match that of the lower arm. And I am quite happy to retain the upper ball joint and not have to deal with the extra maintenance of the rod ends. Not too happy about all the money I have spent on the parts I am not going to use, but I have learned a lot and in the end have made a big improvement.