That's like waaaaay waaaaaayy more timing than I would expect. Is there an explanation?
In a computerized system, the ECM handles all of this. All you do is set base timing.
The SD4 guide calls for 34-38 degrees total advance (base + centrifugal advance). Race applications would not bother with a vaccum advance distributor, but I have the the vacuum advance for part throttle/highway cruise. Seems to work fine. Lots of articles around dealing with non-computerized HEI ignition:
Engine is in the car!! What'cha think? Looks good to me
A general view of the engine as installed. I managed to find and ceramic coated the heat shield for the upper firewall that protects the A/C hoses, wiring and electrical connector going through the bulkhead. In later years, this electrical connector was moved next to the battery. This heat shield is different for A/C and non-A/C cars.
The only engine parts we reused were the Crane Gold Race 1.7 roller rockers.
When the head was rebuilt, the hole at the front of the head was plugged and a stock thermostat housing was installed in the factory location at the back of the head. This allowed use of a stock coolant hose instead of the junk hose/adapters/bypass setup that came with the car.
A new AC Delco pump (TBI uses 14 lbs) had been installed in the fuel tank. In order to use a carburetor, the fuel pressure needs to be cut to 5 lbs, so a Holley adjustable fuel pressure regulator was installed after the fuel filter. Because of the closeness to the trunk firewall, a Holley carburetor will not fit due to its overhanging fuel bowls.
There's only about 1-inch of clearance past the end of manifold, so in order to use a Holley, the trunk wall would need modification. This would be similar to what was done on the actual Pace Car to accommodate the air cleaner, but you can see how tight everything is.
I decided to use an Edelbrock AVS 4-bbl carburetor because its body arrangement fits. It is a 500cfm carb but that's the smallest they make (a little too big, but more on that later). Edelbrock Performer/Thunder carbs are essentially clones of the Carter Super-Quad AFB/AVS series of carburetors. The Edelbrock carbs are cast by Weber these days.
Here's where the installer of the SD4 seemed to give up when they installed the engine with the Weber sidedraft carbs. The carb requires connection for the throttle cable, cruise cable and transmission TV cable and the Webers only had a bracket for the throttle cable. In addition, a TPS is also required on the throttle for the ECM to control torque convertor lockup. There's no "off the shelf" brackets for any of this.
For my carb setup, I decided to adapt and modify the "throttle wheel" setup GM had used with 87 and up TBI Duke engines. An 87 Fiero throttle cable, cruise cable and TV cable all connect to this wheeled contraption and only 1 cable then attaches to the carb's throttle. This simplifies everything!
The wheel also gives you a 90-degree turn, allowing the control cables to run between the valve cover and carburetor. A TPS was also attached to the bracket and connected to the carburetor's throttle.
An open-topped air cleaner from a Cavalier Z24 was mounted in the same area where the air cleaner is located in later model V6 Fieros. The stock cruise control parts (vacuum canister, diaphram, solenoid etc) were removed and a less bulky Delco electronic cruise unit was installed below the air cleaner.
Some wrecking yard searching yielded two flex air pipes to connect the 3" aluminum tube that is plumbed from the air cleaner to the ATI carb bonnet
Getting at the Duke's oil filter has always been a problem. From above, it's basically under the alternator and unreachable. From below, it's not bad with a manual transmission and bloody awful with an automatic (likely why 88's had the filter IN the oil pan). It's IMPOSSIBLE with the added length of the 4T60 4-speed auto. You can't even see the oil filter!
A Trans-Dapt remote oil filter adapter had already been installed on the engine and I decided to make good use of it. There's a way to keep these from leaking. I bought the remote oil filter bracket, mounted it, and got new braided lines made up to connect it.
I decided to put it in the right wheelwell beneath the "shelf" on the trunk's right hand side. Braided lines carry oil to/from the engine. This location make oil filter changes much easier. The wheelwell liner/splash shield protects the installation from road debris and the filter can be reached from below the bumper with an extension.
It's also not a big deal to pull the tire and a portion of the wheelwell liner if needed. I do my own oil changes - can't trust anybody with this
UPDATE: Removed remote filter stuff when I switched to a Getrag 5-speed. The stock filter location is OK with a manual transmission.
Indy scoop or not??? An Indy scoop is more for appearance than anything else. Had I found an Indy scoop with working strobes - I would have considered using it because of it's novelty appeal.
Otherwise, the scoop does not lend itself easily to being functional and makes it a pain to open the decklid. It also looks dumb sitting over top of the central decklid grill. I would have changed over to a solid decklid and the louvered side vents had I found a strobe-lighted Indy scoop.
Personally, I liked the look of the dual over-the-roof Fi-Air-O scoops better. These come up on eBay every now and then, and I managed to snag a pair painted gloss black.
Both sides can be made functional and they aren't a hindrance everytime you want to open the decklid. They definitely catch people's attention sticking over the roof like Mickey Mouse "ears".
The scoop on the left, feeds directly into the open-topped Cavalier Z24 air cleaner I mounted below it. The one on the right feeds cool air into the engine bay beside the battery. With the central grill allowing heat out, the engine heat gets well vented with the car moving.
The previous owner sold the original Indy wheels. Rather than looking for another Indy set, I decided to find and install a set of 15"x6" Dodge Daytona wheels. I like the look of these better anyway. These are the only wheels, OEM or aftermarket, that come closest in appearance to the actual Pace Car wheels.
They have a smooth polished center disk, with a series of 16 holes along the outer edge and are also a vintage that doesn't look out of place for a 1984 car. They were installed with all new lug nuts, wheel locks and black lug caps. I used the GT tire sizing of P205/60R15/front and P215/60R15/rear.
Goodyear tires would have been standard, but they did not have the correct size tires with Raised White Letters (RWL).
Firestone Indy 500 would have been really cool too, but again they didn't have RWL in the sizes required.
I settled on BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires, about the ONLY brand tires with RWL in a complete range of sizes, including GT sizing: P205/60R15/front and P215/60R15/rear. While I'd never use RWL on my GT, I think the white letters on a white "race car look" Indy is a nice combination. It just "looks right" to me
Most people seem to agree, because you can't stop anywhere - not even a red light - without people wanting to engage in a conversation about the Indy.
Of course, even after looking at the door decal, they still ask "What year is it"? DOH!!!
[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 03-04-2019).]
Tony, having seen the car from the pick up moment, I am extremely impressed with the outcome. Having talked to you many times during reconstruction, and sometimes helping, I still did not know the extend of the work you did. I would not, however, have expected anything less from you. JOB WELL DONE. My hat is of to you........... Santa Nic
Thanks guys. But at this point, it doesn't look quite as good as the photos if you walk around it in person. As I learned the HARD WAY (expensive too) even a "20 foot car" CAN be made to look great in photographs. You only use the "right" photos from clever angles that highlight the good points and deliberately HIDE the car's flaws.
This Indy was nowhere "near mint" by any stretch of the imagination (except in Chester's) and neither was the paint. The car had been in an accident, the damage poorly repaired (or not at all), the clear coat was etched from tree sap and there were many other flaws in the paint and body - none of which was even hinted at.
The final touches, just done in September 2008. NEW PAINT!! A long hard road since I had received the car in August 2006.
New paint was the ONE THING I thought I wouldn't have to do. The paint is the single most expensive NEW thing when restoring a vehicle (you don't use Maaco on something like this). Cost almost as much as buying the car in the first place!
The Indy had under 19,000 miles and was pitched as being "nearly mint", but in reality, the car had body damage from an undisclosed accident, the clear coat was etched and there were many other flaws in the paint that made it necessary to repaint the entire car.
The underside of the hood and decklid had already been repainted when I had the necessary repairs done on them, so only the exterior bodywork and all doorjambs (edges) were to be painted. To assure the best paint coverage, I stripped the car of the moldings, mirrors, ground effects, gas filler etc. and transported these in a box to the shop.
Here's the car as it came off the trailer back from the paint shop.
It would take me another 2 weeks to put it back together, realigning fenders and several panels including the driver's door to get the gaps "just right". All the parts that were dismantled: the scoops, decklid side panels, mirrors, gas filler door, moldings and miscellaneous "small bits" were reassembled and reattached to the Indy with all new hardware.
The rear tail-lights had also been completely disassembled for cleanup and reconditioning, prior to reassembly and reinstallation on the car while it was away being painted.
As you can see, I repainted the car with all white moldings as on the Indy #1 Pace Car. With the door decals and red fader stripe, the black molding just seemed to become a "distraction". The white moldings give the car a cleaner look. A medium tint was applied to the door's window glass.
All new decals from Paul at www.fierosails.com were applied. I used the Dark Grey Pace Car door decals. The faded Pontiac Arrow emblems in the sail panels were replaced with NOS pieces from www.fierowarehouse.com .
I found a pair of NEW Wing Emblems for the front fenders. I just hadn't installed them yet when I took these pictures.
Paul also made the 3-color Pontiac Racing decal that is applied to the rear window and stands out sharply against the dark rear window tint and he worked with me to design the SD4 on the Indy Fiero decal on the rear decklid (it only looks crooked in the pictures).
I recently came in the possetion of a 1986 Fiero GT fastback, had three at one time before that and I am ashamed to park any of mine in the same parking lot as either of Tony's cars. I am proud to know Tony and watch him do the quality work he does. You should see his Bike! It is stock, but looks like it came out the factory and was detailed after that. Thanks Tony...........
I have been watching this thread with interest. I saw Tony's other car (at the 20th) and if was flawless.
This one appears to be nothing less. Bravo!
Thank you. I can only imagine the work involved in those totally stripped "rotisserie" car restorations. Thankfully, I didn't have to go that far. But it still amazes me when I see an engine swap where the "new" engine went in the engine bay without any effort to clean either of them up first. A few cans of spray paint aren't that expensive!
I thought by outlining the steps taken in this build, I could show the results from going just the extra step of cleaning up the engine bay and painting everything that goes on the cradle before it goes back in the car. At the same time, it's easy to cleanup the wiring harnesses and make any changes necessary to hide them for a less cluttered look. Even small details like installing hose clamps so the adjuster is UNDER the hose out of sight (all you see is the stainless steel band) helps reduce clutter.
This bit of extra work can make anything look like a "new engine under the hood". It makes the difference between a mediocre job and something you can take to car shows.
[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 11-30-2008).]
Great thread about fixing problems. Now that you have most of the problems fixed, tell us a little bit about how it starts, runs, sounds drives, handles accelerates, makes you feel, etc.
Still working making it run/drive as good as it looks. Not fully broken in, so don't ask for dyno or 1/4 mile times.
Starts OK, idles like crap, cruises good, WOT is terrible - falls on it's face. TERRIBLE mileage - you can watch the fuel gauge needle move as you drive. Loud as hell, handles like crap, and can't get ECM to control TCC properly. Makes me feel sick to over how much went into this, and often wish I never bought it - since it wasn't really what I THOUGHT I was getting. Thanks Chester.
I already HAVE solutions for all the problems and they WILL be solved. It's "small potatoes" compared to the work I've already done over 2 years, but WINTER has arrived and I can't really work on it very often now.
But I do have a Delco electronic cruise control setup working with the stock Fiero VSS using a Delco buffer/amplifier. I'll post details on that next week (need to get pictures).
[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 12-06-2008).]
This car is cursed!! Spark plug #3 has stripped the aluminum head!!
I used anti-seize and always clean the plug's threads and plug hole threads before reinstalling plugs. I am EXTREMELY careful, and use a small hose on the spark plug to run them to avoid cross threading. I then use a ratchet to seat them, and then use a torque wrench so as not to overtighten them. Absolutely not sure how in hell this happened!!
Anyway - now have to look at my options on how to fix this. A shop fixed a problem like this on my last van (previous owner cross threaded it) without pulling the head.
You can install a helicoil, or berret yet a threaded insert, and you CAN try it with the haed on the car, collecting the swarf with a lump of grease on the tap but it always makes me nervous. Pulling the head is the best way, but if you don't, I suppose the softer alloy swarf is less likely to cause problems if it does go though than steel or iron. Good luck.