pre-88 spindle with 88 front suspension (Page 1/1)
Wererabbit91 JAN 25, 08:56 PM
I have an 88 that I am building up for track days (road racing, hpde) and I know the front knuckle/bearing won't last long. I have never heard about any track failures with the pre-88 front spindles. Can I use the pre-88 front spindle and hub with my 88 control-arms and steering rack?

My main concerns are:
1. Do the upper and lower ball joint shafts have the same angle and length between pre-88 and 88?
2. Will the steering arm or toe-link be an issue?
3. Are the kingpin angles the same?

What do you think?
cvxjet JAN 25, 11:40 PM
The kingpin angle is different which would necessitate a custom A-arm.....also, the location of the wheel mounting surface is different- You would need wheels with substantially more

I believe that someone was converting 88 fronts to a rear (or FWD front) bearing which eliminated the bearing weakness. Can't remember where I read that, though....
I don't know if this may help but the Ryan suspension book might 2nd one from the left.
Craig71188 JAN 26, 03:46 PM
Cleaning and repacking the front bearings with quality grease can help longevity. Also, not going overboard on wheel/tire sizes and losing as much weight from the car helps as well.

If you're interested, I am liquidating my '88 road race / ecotec project and all my parts to focus on my GT1 tube frame Fiero. Just been too cold to go out and get fresh/complete pics of everything.
Wererabbit91 JAN 26, 08:59 PM
Thank you for the replies! I will have to continue digging and hopefully find some pre-88 front suspension in a local pick-n-pull. If the ball joints will work I will see how far out it pushes the brake rotor and wheel. I might use the adjustable upper A-arm kit from West Coast Fieros.

Thank you for the link to those manuals. Unfortunately I don't think they will have any of the suspension dimensions or diagrams I would need.

I thought the 88 front bearings are a self contained hub package so they aren't rebuildable. I know Rodney's are rebuildable, but last I saw they do not perform well on track even with high quality grease. As to loading on the bearings:
1. LS4 4T65E swap
2. I don't plan to strip out the car for track
3. I would like to run R compound tires
4. I eventually plan to have real aero on this car, so I will eventually need a suspension designed to take higher loads than what they had in the 80s for economy cars.

Craig (or anyone for that matter) what has been your experience with tracking Fieros and their hub/bearing life? I think I have read through every bearing post on here, and they all complain about very short life on 88 fronts. The rears last a bit longer. The best is pre-88 fronts and the Grand-Am mod for the pre-88 rears. The only stock setups I have seen last a full weekend have been fully stripped out track cars with no more than 225 wide tires.
Craig71188 JAN 27, 04:49 PM
I do not have a time for how long the '88 bearings will last. The car is still in the "project" phase - now in storage. Knowing the issues with the front bearings we made several choices in how we would approach the build:
1) Stay with a 225/45-15 tire (15x7 rim)
2) Use stock rotors & calipers w/good ducting and race pads
3) Strip car to lightest possible weight

Knowing the front bearings were the weak link, we approached it as trying to minimize load on the bearings by staying lightweight in both sprung & unsprung weight. Having watched multiple teams on multiple platforms "overtire" their cars in endurance racing and then try to jump through hoops to make parts never designed for those loads work, this seemed the more logical approach. All platforms have their limits and when you choose to press outside those, the farther you go, the more expensive it gets!

Our goal would be to get 24 hours out of a set of freshly prepped bearings (no play / visually inspected / cleaned / repacked with good grease) - realistic or not?!?!?

[This message has been edited by Craig71188 (edited 01-27-2022).]

Wererabbit91 FEB 02, 08:56 AM
Thank you Craig. I agree tire tech has advanced considerably in the past 40 years, and the bearings were never designed with the loads in mind that wide modern compounds can produce. To me, that is the biggest issue with Fieros and prevents them from being competitive with modern tech. For now I'll just keep an eye on the OEM bearings I have, and I purchased a set of Rodney's rebuildable hubs for when the originals go bad.

I have some ideas about how to upgrade the hubs and knuckles, but that will be a different thread in the future.