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NS F355 Project by Yarmouth Fiero
Started on: 06-24-2012 10:59 AM
Replies: 720 (35971 views)
Last post by: Burning Oil on 09-27-2015 01:20 AM
Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post06-24-2012 10:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

On a prompt from a very experienced and knowledgeable PFF member, I have decided to start a post on a project that has been 20+ years on the shelf.

History:
Bought an 85 Fiero off the showroom floor fall of '85 at Bonnyman Pontiac. It was the only one they had in stock. It was red with grey cloth interior, 4cyl, 5 speed manual. Nothing fancy but it caught my eye so I plunked down $16,000 cash and waited all day for them to prep it for sale. Took the typical lumps from my friends about my new plastic car. But man, it was a fun ride. Drove it for 2 summers all over Canada and eastern states with my new girlfriend (now wife). Stored it during the winters while I sailed the world on oil tankers.

Fast forward to 2012 and 3 kids, two homes, 2 dogs, 7 years of university, a couple jobs and its time to start what I always knew in my heart was coming, my little red Fiero was going to change its looks and its performance..... in a big way.

I had been following the various Kit car magazines over the years, sketched out some ideas, jotted down my thoughts, all the while, keeping the dust off my furure project. The engine went in an S-10, various body parts went out the door, the interior went in the attic for future use, probably all too familiar to many of you.

Then I recently stumbled on PFF and a whole new world of information and possibilities came into view. Together with my 2 sons, we have been reading and researching as much information as possible. We have a good idea of what we want as an end product but very little knowledge and experience about how to get there. I've also had the incredible fortune to meet in person, fellow Fiero enthusiast Bloozberry who is one of the few local PFF participants. There is suddenly a very bright light at the end of that long-g-g-g-g project tunnel. So here I go. Our dream car will hopefully include the following:

An F355 Spyder style body
A total suspension, brake and performance upgrade
A well engineered structural upgrade for the stretched spyder chassis
A mild SBC with 250+ hp and the original 5 speed gearbox
A killer paint job ( boys and I are still doing the rock, paper, scissors, spock to decide on red or yellow)

I've included a picture of a sketch I did, I think before the boys were even born. What the spiders and moths haven't eaten is still hanging over the work bench.

With my very brief time here on PFF so far, I have already had several helpful comments regarding our project from fellow PFF members and I am looking forward to much more input over the next few years. I'll try my hardest to keep everyone up to date on the progress and include pictures where ever possible.

So here I go with a mint 85 Fiero chassis, a somewhat clean workspace and two teenagers who are seriously pumped about one day driving their finished car through town. I suspect when its all done, we'll be building a second car just to keep the peace.

Sincerely

Yarmouth Fiero





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IFLYR22
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Report this Post06-24-2012 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IFLYR22Click Here to Email IFLYR22Send a Private Message to IFLYR22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Beautiful!
Will be watching this!

What is your projected time frame for completion?

Have you settled on a specific suspension and brake upgrade route?

I have been working on a complete redo of an old car myself. It looks like I may have it done sometime next year, after 4 years of work so far.

-Dave

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Report this Post06-24-2012 12:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

One of the funny stories Yarmouth Fiero related to me yesterday during his visit was that to keep the family pressure to sell the car manageable over all these years, he's been parting it out to make it less attractive. Who'd want to buy an old Fiero skeleton? Looks like the strategy worked. The pressure must have been mounting again though because he recently cut it in half! (look closely, you'll see the frame extension in the works).

I'm subscribed.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post06-24-2012 01:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks IFLYR22. I hear alot of positive comments about the HT suspension and brake upgrades so I may lean in that direction. I guess the first thing is to nail down the wide body requirements of the 355. But I like that they work with you on your specific requirements and also offer a range of options to suit your budget and goals. But I'm always open to suggestions on other suitable suppliers.

With regard to time line, I would like to have it completely done 4 years max so that my youngest son who's building it with me can drive his prom date in style. Realistically, he may end up driving his prom date is a modified Fiero without a complete and painted body. I hope his future date has a good sense of humour.

I have a ton of stories Blooz and I'm sure we'll share them over the next few years. The engine was the first to go. I was in 2nd year of my engineering degree, the house needed a new roof, my daughter was wondering why mommy was so mad... " she'll be ok honey...please just hold the wrench so we can get this engine off the cradle and out the door. The nice boy next door needs it for his truck". The most recent frame cut was in response to that familiar " when are you going to get rid of that useless fame and make room for the family van?". If I don't start buring wire soon, I may be moving closer Blooz

[img]http://images.fieroforum.com/2012/IMG_0033.JPG

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post06-24-2012 01:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Oops. Still learning how to post pictures properly. Here is a picture of my daughter and I preping the engine for the S-10 for the nice boy next door. She's off to college this year. Talk about a project taking generations to complete

edit: removed photo of family member

[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 02-23-2015).]

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IFLYR22
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Report this Post06-24-2012 05:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IFLYR22Click Here to Email IFLYR22Send a Private Message to IFLYR22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

One of the funny stories Yarmouth Fiero related to me yesterday during his visit was that to keep the family pressure to sell the car manageable over all these years, he's been parting it out to make it less attractive. Who'd want to buy an old Fiero skeleton? Looks like the strategy worked. The pressure must have been mounting again though because he recently cut it in half! (look closely, you'll see the frame extension in the works).

I'm subscribed.


Ha ha... brilliance!

I have had the Ryan/Held/HT/Westshore fabricators suspension and brakes on mine since 2000/2001. Have not had any real complaints, just some annoyances.

-Dave

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post06-24-2012 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm a big fan of "one stop shopping" where possible but as we are going to upgrade so many things, it may not be possible. I ordered a set of sway bars from the Fiero Store just to get a "feel" for the shipping / customs charges as well as the reception to shipping to Canada and paying with Canadian funny money. It went very well and while the extra charges to get across the boarder are not insignificant, I was very happy with the service and quick delivery.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-02-2012 02:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Chassis reinforcement for my 355 Spyder

There does not seem to be any end to the online discussion regarding the proper reinforcement of a Fiero chassis for a 355 Spyder. There appears to be as many opinions as there are Fieros, which makes sense I guess. Reading through old build threads, it seems the discussions always center around a few key topics:

1. X frame or no X frame
2. How to properly tie in the reinforcements to the existing longintudinal frames to counteract sagging
3. How to reinforce the chassis transversely to counteract twisting

While many of the threads failed to come to any kind of census, one common theme appeared.......

DO NOT CUT THE ROOF OFF UNTIL AFTER ALL THE REINFORCEMNTS ARE DONE.

It seems that in the end, most of the people who undertook the challenge and went through with the chassis upgrades, seem to be happy with their individual results, although there are a few that state they regrete doing it. As the topic seemed to reach a climax around 2003 ( based on dates of old build threads), I would be curious to see how the various modification styles are holding up almost 10 years later.

Regardless, I will continue to forge ahead with my plans to build a 355 Spyder and "borrow" as many ideas from previous builders as I can. To date, I have the rear section of my 85 chassis separated from the forward section and moved back out of the way for now. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing a 3" chassis stretch as well so having the back half out of the way during the chassis reinforcement provides lots of working room.

I hope my next comment does not open up old wounds from threads a decade old, but I will not be installing the infamous X frame under my chassis. Apart from the fact that I will be needing all the ground clearance I can get because Nova Scotia roads suck for the most part, I just don't see the benifits to adding that much structure and weight down low in the horizontal plane of the car. That is all I will say on that matter.

One thing I did notice in many of the old threads on this topic is that many builders ( not all) used relatively small structural shapes for the main reinforcement, ie 1" x 1", 1" x 2" or they went very heavy on plate thickness, ie 3/8" plate. I'm not sure but I think this is because many of the reinforcements did not including removing the existing rocker frames. Since the 355 body is quite wide compared to the original Fiero chassis, especially in the rocker panel area, I have decided to go big...... I'm talking 3" x 5" square structural tubing, laying on its side and removing the existing rocker frames. The existing rocker frame flanges will remain as they will provide something substantial to weld the new frames to. I should be more specific and say that I will be using two structures welded together to give a final dimension of 3" x 5". I will use a 3" x 3" and a 2" x 3". The reason is that once they are welded together, they will provide the structural shape and dimensions I desire plus have a substantial double thickness vertical web down the length of the tubes. This will increase the tube stiffness substantially and allow me to use a thinner wall thickness without worrying about the tube collapsing in the middle when loaded up.

This 3" x 5" frame will form the new rocker frame and connect the A pillar and the B pillar. At this time I will only talk about the B pillar. I want to retain the existing B pillar as much as possible in the area of the door jam so the 3" x 5" will rise vertically at the position and angle of the firewall.




Since I am only mocking this up with cardboard at the moment, I did not cut into the existing B pillar, however, the 3" x 5" tube will pass through the existing sheelmetal and get fastened in place using an appropriate technique. The 3" x 5" tube will be capped when finished. The next picture shows how the top of the 3" x 5" tube will tie into the top longitudinal frame and an extension plate on the lower end of the 3" x 5" tube will tie into the lower longitudinal frame.



The next item of business is to reinforce the firewall as this seemed to be a key issue for many builders before me. As I don't want any new structure to infringe on the cab, I have decided to use a triangulated truss using 1" x 1 1/2" square tubing on the engine compartment side of the firewall. While this structure is relatively small in section, having it triangulate as well as tie into all 4 longitudinal fames should provide adequate stffening to the firewall. When the car is finished, the 1" thick frames should be hidden by a heat reflective insulation blanket. On a side note, I haven't removed my rear window yet as it adds additional support to the car until the reinforcements are completed. However, there does appear to be a sheet metal tube under the window that connects the two upper longitudinal frame rails. After the window is removed, I'll evaluate this frame and see if its worth upgrading as it will form the top of the triangulated truss.



So I think I have covered most of the bases with regard to the rocker frame, B pillar and firewall. The next order of business is to work on the connection of the rocker frame to the A pillar. This will be more difficult as the 5" rocker must transition down to a much narrower A pillar. My goal here is to keep the stock locations for the two door hinge mounting points. There has also been much discussion regarding the need to tie the reinforcements to the front cross member. However, I don't see how this can be accomplished and also, what is to be gained by this modification.

I look forward to hearing from members who have gone through this process and I welcome suggestions, comments and chuckles.

As well, I'm not sure how this thread gets moved to the Construction Zone, whether its by votes or comments from those of you following my thread. However, I sure hope I get moved out of the Technical Section soon as a few days of no bumps and you find yourself back on page 6

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post07-02-2012 08:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nothing like diving in with both feet! The cardboard mock ups are a great way to visualize how it's all going to interconnect even before you turn on the welder. One of the nice things about getting away from the stock body is the extra room for things like the chassis mods you're planning. The F355 is so much wider than stock that you can get away with hiding these members quite well, and the three inch frame stretch gives you the room behind the firewall to do some stiffening too.

A couple things to note:

- those B pillar extensions that extend to the new rockers will block the door scoops... that's no biggie if you're not planning to use them to feed air in the engine bay or through relocated radiators;

- I'm not sure if you're done massaging the tops of those B pillar extensions or not but you won't be abble to leave them squared off and jutting out like that... while the overall F355 body is 6" wider than the Fiero, it's about the same width as the Fiero at the door tops, and bulges outward from there;

- I agree with you about not tying in the reinforcements to the front crossmember... I can't see how that would work either;

- As for getting your thread in the Construction Zone, check out the first two posts in the list at the top of the Zone. One of them is "Posting Rules" and the other is "About: The Construction Zone". All you need to know about how to get this thread moved into the CZ is there. Basically you have to tough it out in another area first until you've shown you're sticking around and in it for the long haul.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-02-2012 08:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the great comments Blooz. I agree that the 355 does offer enough room that all the chassis mods can be easily hidden from view. I was reading a 355 build thread elsewhere and the builder has added some significant steel work from the roof to the aft end on the engine bay and it all appears to get hidden from view by the bodywork.

With regard to the door side scoops, I thought I had measured atleast +5" of clearance between the inner edge of the rocker scoop and the inner edge of the door sill so I assumed the door scoop would have the clearance. My 3" x 5" vertical frame is only about 1/2" outboard of the original B pillar frame at its widest point. I do want the option to have additional rads or at least a good sized air intake for the SBC. I'll take a picture shortly and post it.

After I posted the pics I realized that the tops of the B pillars would have to be cut down to allow the body curves to sweep past them. Do they make cardboard cutting blades for a recip saw? ha-ha-ha

I'll keep posting to the TD & Q for now and hopefully Mr Pennock will smile on me. Perhaps a box of fresh Yarmouth lobster or Digby scallops would help my cause

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-02-2012 09:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hi Blooz

Here is a picture I just took showing how far the 3" x 5" frame extends past the original B pillar metal work. From the outer edge of the 3" x 5" to the outboard edge of the firewall is exactly 5" and this edge runs almost vertical. I am hoping the inner edge of the door scoop will clear this. If not, does this mean the scoop actually goes through the existing B pillar?



I added a dotted line to show where the 3" x 5" could be trimmed to clear the body work. I'll confirm the actual measurements before I start cutting steel.

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Report this Post07-02-2012 10:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

That looks good... plenty of room for the scoops. Somehow in the other pictures it looked like the 3 X 5 was sticking much further out that that... maybe I got too much sun today too.

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Report this Post07-02-2012 11:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 355FieroSend a Private Message to 355FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yarmouth Fiero;

Welcome to the world of replicas. You did the first part very well. Good call on not cutting the roof off. The Firro firewall is the weakest part of the frame as soon as you cut the roof out of the unibody.

The one lice I would recommend on your reinforcements is to make the bottom of the b-pillar wider so it gives more of a triangulation against the b-pillar. The bottom of the firewall is where it flexes the worst so making that the strongest will do you well when removing the roof.

Looks good. Looking forward to seeing more. I also sent you a pm about a body you might be interested in on East Coast.

Cheers
Don

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Report this Post07-03-2012 12:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ericjon262Send a Private Message to ericjon262Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm loving everything so far with one exception.... PLEASE don't do a SBC, there are so many cooler more unique combos out there to be done!

------------------
there's a Group on 60degreeV6.com for us 660 Fiero owners!

Fiero Owner's group on 60degreeV6.com

I know these lines Look crooked on paper, but I swear I've got them straight in my head.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-03-2012 07:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks Blooz, I took alot of pictures before I got a couple that didn't look weird. I even went back and marked the mock up with a few dimensions because the B pillar looked 8" wide at the top. I even ran out to double check what I had done because it didn't look right at all. Isn't that what they say " measure twice, shoot once". I'm hoping to get better with the camera as the build progresses.

I responded to your PM Don. Thanks for the advice regarding the shape of the B pillar. I agree that it should be angled inward however I was trying to keep it just a little wider than the existing B pillar metal work to allow a strong connection between the two pieces. I will be altering the actual configuration of the cardboard mock up for a number of reasons and I'll try to incorportate your suggestion at the same time.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding engine choice ericjon262. I agree that the SBC in the fiero may be a little "90's" and I am certainly open to suggestions regarding other engine choices. I haven't made a final commitment to engine selection yet and I'll certainly check out the link you provided.

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Report this Post07-03-2012 07:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I like your plans with the chassis reinforcement, but I wouldn't have it stay so close to the B-pillar and angle it as much as possible to get it as close as possible to the strut tower. The strut tower is the main load point for the rear and tying your reinforcement directly into it should work better than just reinforcing the passenger compartment and relying on the longer rear frame rails to take it from there. Here is the last one I did with 2x3 1/8" wall, it was for a stock body, so the fuel filler tube kept me from going any further back (but you could always add some gussets or smaller tube triangulation):


For the front, I sectioned into the lower a-piller frame and inserted the tube. With the angles of the tubes, I was able to tack everything in place, remove the tubes for full welding, then slide them back into place for welding to the chassis.


Here is a teaser pic for the underside:

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Report this Post07-03-2012 07:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Oooo... a flat panel bottom... cool.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-03-2012 07:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Awesome pictures and suggestions fieroguru. It never occured to me to move the support further back. I love this idea and it makes sense structurally. I love how you handled the A pillar and transverse stiffening too.

Did you build a jig to rotate your chassis? That is a whole new way to look at a fiero.....that's not sitting in a ditch.

Mind if I ask what wall thickness you use for your structural tubes?

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-03-2012 08:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Sorry Fieroguru. I see you stated 1/8" wall tubing. I was a little mesmerized by the pictures

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Report this Post07-03-2012 12:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am away from the computer for a couple of days, but I can pm you more pictures after the 4 th if you would like.

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Report this Post07-03-2012 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am away from the computer for a couple of days, but I can pm you more pictures after the 4 th if you would like.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-04-2012 09:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the great pics in the PM Fieroguru. As you suggested, we made a change to the position and angle of the 3 x 5 so that it passes past the B pillar and then angles upward to the top longitudinal frame as far back as possible. We set the stock wheel in place with the 3" frame extension and using the dimensions from Blooz's Stage 3 drawing for wheel diameter and width, ride height and rear track dimension we located the point of intersection of the new frame and the top longitudinal that should be well clear of the suspension travel. Using the photos Don posted as a rough guide for the location of the fuel fill, I think we arrived at a suitable rough layout for this part of the frame reinforcement. Although at the moment, my hopes of using the door intakes to feed airflow into the engine compartment may be impeded. We may refine this frame a little further.




Next step is to rough in a design for the A pillar reinforcement.

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Report this Post07-05-2012 03:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 355FieroSend a Private Message to 355FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Graham;

Looks good for reinforcing. You may want to also put some plate gusseting in between the brace going up to the upper frame rail and the firewall. This will add additional strength to the bottom of the Fiero firewall which is what flexes the most after cutting off the roof.

Another item you can use to reinfirce the firewall is a set of 1/8 or 3/16" plates cut at tapered angles on top of the back of the centre console and welded to the firewall. The bottom of the braces would be about2.5-3" wide and the top can be down to 1-1.5" wide and you sit these on each of the rails that run along the top of the centre console. This ties the firewall into the centre console very well which is a key structural piece of the unibody.

Keep the pics coming.

Cheers
Don

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-05-2012 03:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the advice Don. I'm a ship builder so I certainly like the idea of lots of gussets. I'll bring more cardboard home tonight. I also printed off some full size images of Ferarri wheels to hide those nasty stock wheel that came with the car in 1985. They are in amazing shape though for being 28 years old.

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Report this Post07-05-2012 06:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Those stock steelies look better than the styrofoam ones I made for my car! The rear ones were still on it when you came to visit if I recall.

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Report this Post07-05-2012 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Good-bye steelies....hello Ferrari wheels..........whoa baby.... who ordered the 21" wheels? I gotta check the print scale on that plotter

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post07-06-2012 09:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Sadly... its always the youngest of the family who draws the short straw for the fun jobs.........like drilling out the old cradle bushings and deburring the new steel inventory

Sure its fun to burn wire but I keep telling them they'll appreciate their car more if they do all the little jobs along the way.



edit: removed photo of family member

[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 02-23-2015).]

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post08-11-2012 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Progress is slowly moving forward with a focus on the 3" frame extension. As well, I have been working on a 3D model of the chassis using RHINO which I will use to not only document the chassis modifications but also construct an accurate 3D model of the entire chassis which can then be used develop a body, using the original Fiero body mount points where possible.

While I use RHINO for work, measuring the Fiero chassis with all its stamped sheet metal panels and translating this into a somewhat accurate 3D drawing is proving to be a huge challange and thus a slow, time consuming process. But like all Fiero projects, baby steps are the only way to go.

Here is an image of the driver side rear upper and lower chassis frame rails showing the 3" chassis extension with extension pieces in place as well as the sheet metal to blend the extensions seamlessly into the existing frame rails.



The upper frame rail extension piece was fabricated from 1/16" sheet and formed to duplicate the non rectangular cross section of the upper frame rail. The peice is 8" long which will allow the part to be inserted 2 1/2" into each end of the original frame rail with a 3" extension. The part couldn't be much longer as the frame rail changes cross section geometry beyond this point. I added a few 3/4" dia holes in the sides of the frame rails to allow for plug welding of the extensions.

The extensions are tacked welded in place in these photos. Also note our typical Yarmouth foggy summer weather has quickly turned my newly fabricated parts a bright red on the surface. Once full welding commences, this nasty red oxide will be history.



The lower frame rail extension pieces were fabricated from 4" x 2" x 1/8" HSS which were split and rewelded to form the necessary 4" x 1 3/4" x 1/8" dimensions. They were also given a 5 deg kink about mid length to match the original frame rail geometry. Again, the pieces are 8" long due to the narrowing of the lower frame rail geometry.



The rear section of the chassis was then moved in position and the alignment checked in 6 positions before the parts were tacked in place. The alignment was then checked a second time. Before the chassis was ever cut, datum points were punched into the chassis on either side of the cut to allow for realignment and confirmation of the stretched length during assembly as well as before and after welding.





Once final welding is complete, new sheet metal parts will be added to cover the extension pieces and welded to make the final installation both strong and hopefully somewhat invisible to the casual observer.

Following completion of the chassis stretch, installation of the rocker panel reinforcement and firewall strengthening will begin, prior to removal of the roof on this Spyder project. The design work for this is well underway.

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84se2m4
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Report this Post08-12-2012 01:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84se2m4Click Here to Email 84se2m4Send a Private Message to 84se2m4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wooo another nova scotian! The car is coming along, best of luck!

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Sage
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Report this Post08-12-2012 11:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Subscribed!

HAGO!

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post08-12-2012 11:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks 84se2m4 and Sage. I'll try to keep the updates rolling in.

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post08-12-2012 02:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Aha! Good to see you're still at it, though I didn't have any doubts. I know first hand how long it takes to create some decent drawings... far more work than what shows. I missed out on an opportunity to visit you this past week but will be up in your neck of the woods again for the Yarmouth Air Experience 2012 (the mini-air show) 21-22 August. I'll bring my bubble level and carpenter's square.

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fierogt28
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Report this Post08-12-2012 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt28Send a Private Message to fierogt28Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

YF, nice to see another maritimer at our fiero hobby.

That 85 fiero looks to be in really nice shape frame-wise. You don't see to many around in that condition.

I'll be following this thread as long as the build goes. I'm just as interested for Blooze's N* build too.

Its fun to see details posted while progress is recorded..:P

Thanks,

------------------
fierogt28

88 GT, Loaded, 5-speed.
88 GT, 5-speed. All original.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post08-12-2012 09:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hi Blooz, yes we are still at it. I got a little side tracked with summer racing but now that the season is almost over we'll get back on track. You are right about drawings for these projects. I know they'll be very benificial as the build progresses but holy smokes, the engineers at GM threw in as many twists, bumps and dimples as they could on these chassis. The engine cradle alone has been a beast to model in 3D..... and its still not finished. Hope you can stop by during the air show. The one they held a couple years ago was incredible for such a small air field. I'm also eager to see what you'll be driving.

Hi fierogt28, nice to hear from you. My frame is basically in show room condition. It only saw 2 summers of driving before it went into storage back in 88. I am sure the Fiero purists on this form must totally cringe when they read about how some of us "modify" perfectly good cars. Maybe that is why the build threads have their own section....... so if you can't stand to watch a car being dismantled, then you don't have to look.

I also agree that we are all eagerly waiting for the next installment of Blooz's build thread. Its been a while so you know we're going to see some dramatic developments.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post08-22-2012 04:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Proceeding ahead with the 3" chassis stretch, the reinforced extensions were fitted inside the existing upper and lower frame rails and then welded along all possible sides. I also added 3/4" holes in the original frame rails to allow for a few plug welds as well.










While I did prep all surfaces and edges to remove all paint and zinc undercoating, I did forget to remove the undercoating inside the frame rails in way of the welds ( of course these chassis's were probably zinc dipped once welded). It caused some grief when welding as the splatter from the zinc repeatedly fouled the tip. Mental note to remove ALL foreign material before welding the rocker reinforcements which are next on the agenda.

The next step to finish off the chassis stretch is to cap all four extensions with 1/16" sheet metal and then sand smooth, prime and paint.



Its alot more work but once its all done, the extension should be all but invisible....... to the untrained eye.

Thanks for stopping by Blooze and looking over my project and discussing your project as well. It is a huge boost to know you are not going completely off track.

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fieroguru
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Report this Post08-22-2012 05:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am glad to see you are taking the extra step to clean up the overall appearance of the extended portion. It takes more work, but in the end it shows that you were more concerned with the details than just getting the swap done as quickly as possible. Keep up the good work!

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Sage
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Report this Post08-22-2012 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nicely done! Have a friend that used basically the same technique to graft two Corvette frames together, producing a result that was hard to tell had been altered from factory.

What you show as plans for the rocker frame upgrade with fieroguru's suggestions, should make that frame pretty much flex free, at least in theory, and I'm betting in practical application as well!

Thanks for the update.

HAGO!

(edit cause I type too fast sometimes!)

[This message has been edited by Sage (edited 08-22-2012).]

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post08-22-2012 08:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the support and advice Fieroguru and Sage. I am hoping that these modifications result in a strong, safe chassis when I'm all done. Please feel free to offer suggestions when and where you see fit.

I had some inspiration today at an air show in town when a friend took me up in his home built plane. All I could think at 2000 ft was if he can build a chassis to get us in the air, keep us in the air and get us back on the ground safely, then surely I can build a car chassis to simply stay in one piece on the highway.

BTW..... at the airshow today I saw some of Blooze's handywork as a member of a team reconstructing vintage aircraft. He certainly has many talents when it comes to precision fabrication and construction beyond the automotive world. His F355 is surely going to fly.

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post08-23-2012 07:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Aw shucks... thanks YF for the compliments... but I'm starting to think you're buttering me up to ask me some huge favor.

The frame extension looks great, though at this stage it seems like an awful lot of work for such a small increase in wheelbase. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely worth the effort because once you get the body on, those extra 3 inches change the car's proportions in a way that makes all the difference. Keep up the good work.

[This message has been edited by Bloozberry (edited 08-23-2012).]

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Austrian Import
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Report this Post08-23-2012 02:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yarmouth, since you're already in Rhino, will you reuse the stock struts, or will you redesign the suspension?

If the latter, please visit my thread, and share your insights either here, or there:
Redesign a Fiero suspension for better geometry (Solidworks, ProEngineer, etc)

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