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Grand Am upgrade by fieroluv
Started on: 11-16-2006 09:20 PM
Replies: 49
Last post by: CopperBender on 01-13-2008 02:20 PM
William Federle
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Report this Post01-12-2008 07:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for William FederleClick Here to Email William FederleSend a Private Message to William FederleDirect Link to This Post
I have a 1984 Fiero and I did the rear upgrade with front Grand Am brakes and it stops much better now than it did with the previous brakes. The previous brakes were remanufactured calipers and new rotors. The new ones are new calipers (I think) and new rotors. I'm saving up to get the wildwood spot calipers that operate with a lever. I'm going to fabricate a bracket to attach them to the bottom of my struts and use the stock ebrake cable system to operate them. I think they will work more reliably than the stock Fiero e-brake. I think they cost about $55.00 apiece at Summit Racing.

In a different thread someone said that they weren't effective enough to lock the rear wheels, but what I am after is to be able to hold my Fiero on a hill. My driveway is pretty steep and if I just park my Fiero in gear, it will slowly creep down the driveway a little at a time. I don't think it would take much friction to stop it. When I finally get the mod put in, I'll post a thread to say how it worked.

[This message has been edited by William Federle (edited 01-12-2008).]

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Hudini
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Report this Post01-12-2008 08:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:
After some research online, it would seem that the stock Fiero master cylinder and the early '90s S10 master cylinder have the same size cylinder bores. So switching to a S10 m/c is a waste of time and money.


Did you take apart both and measure to make sure? Just wondering.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-12-2008 12:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
No, I did not. All I really cared about was the fact that it performed the same as the stock Fiero master cylinder. Brake pedal effort was the same. And I still had an inch of slop in the pedal (with Grand Am brakes). Why spend money on a new master cylinder that works the same as the old one?
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CopperBender
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Report this Post01-12-2008 01:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CopperBenderClick Here to Email CopperBenderSend a Private Message to CopperBenderDirect Link to This Post
Earlier in this post it was suggested that replacing the standard brake booster with a larger diameter one from an S-10 is a viable option. This mod is what I would politely call "BMFH engineering." Using a sledge hammer to make something fit is NOT the way to do it... period. I have been building hotrods, restoring classic cars and motorcycles for over 30 years and have yet to use a sledge hammer to make anything fit. In this particular case, if more braking power is desired via a more powerful brake booster, use a dual diaphragm unit of the original or smaller diameter. It will be a little longer, most likely requiring relocating or making new brake lines but it will be a much more elegant solution than beating the h-ll out of your car. The following site has dual diaphragm boosters and installation instructions at very reasonable prices. www.mbmbrakeboosters.com They are even available in stainless or chrome. And no, I have no financial interest in the site. "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right." "It's just as easy to do domething right as to do it wrong."
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Fierostarvin
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Report this Post01-12-2008 05:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FierostarvinSend a Private Message to FierostarvinDirect Link to This Post
This is almost on topic. I have an 84 I'm putting an 88 cradle in with the engine swap. How do you think the Grand Am fronts would work with the 88 rears?

[This message has been edited by Fierostarvin (edited 01-12-2008).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post01-12-2008 06:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
I wouldn't call the S10 Brake Booster "BMFH Engineering".

My Grand Am brake conversion was done by a Licensed GM mechanic in a dealership.

I have driven a Fiero with just Grand Am rotors on an otherwise stock system. I found it to be downright scary compared to mine. The larger calipers need a better booster, and the Blazer/S10 fits like a glove.

I have the Fiero MC, Grand Am rotors all round with Grand Am calipers on the front and Cadillac calipers on the rear. I have the Blazer booster. The braking is excellent by any standard. On a downhill brake, I can just lock up the fronts a bit, and on the flat, it stops fast without locking up.

It is not an expensive conversion, and it is a safe one. You can get fancy on any equipment, but fancy doesn't mean the plain one is unsafe.

Just my .02

Arn
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CopperBender
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Report this Post01-13-2008 12:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CopperBenderClick Here to Email CopperBenderSend a Private Message to CopperBenderDirect Link to This Post
Go to this site and look at the way they get the S-10 brake booster to fit. http://www.fierodotcom.com/viewtopic.php?t=150 Look at pictures 7 and 8. That is what I call BMFH Engineering. I agree that a more powerful brake booster is needed for this upgrade and perhaps even for the stock system. I just have a problem with the way in which it is accomplished. The cost to install a dual-diaphragm booster is about the same as installing one from an S-10. In addition, it is easier to install, looks better (especially stainless or chrome) and does the job just as well. Where's the negative aspect?
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Hudini
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Report this Post01-13-2008 12:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniDirect Link to This Post
The negative is most likely cost. That is the reason for the Grand Am brakes over Lebaron or Corvette brakes. Plus you get to keep the stock wheels. (and we are CHEAP!)

If you want to see some real "BMFH" engineering take a look at "Jags that run". They squeezed a V8 in an S10 Blazer where you either completely cut out the transmission hump or you "resized" it with an 8lbs sledge to fit the V8 trans bellhousing.
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Jim Gregory
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Report this Post01-13-2008 01:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jim GregoryClick Here to Email Jim GregorySend a Private Message to Jim GregoryDirect Link to This Post
About that "squirting up out of the reservoir" business:

That happens because when your foot's not on the pedal the M/C piston retracts so that there's an open passage ( or 'port') between the reservoir and the space in front of the piston. When you apply your foot, the first couple of millimeters of piston travel closes that passage. HOWEVER, UNTIL it closes there's a backflow of fluid from in front of the piston into the reservoir!

Those few millimeters of M/C piston bore is where the great majority of wear takes place in the Master Cylinder. As wear accumulates, the piston must travel greater and greater distances past the port to achieve a seal, and so (as wear accumulates) there's a greater backflow of fluid from in front of the piston into the reservoir!

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CopperBender
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Report this Post01-13-2008 02:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CopperBenderClick Here to Email CopperBenderSend a Private Message to CopperBenderDirect Link to This Post
Hudini -

Cost is not an issue in this case.
1997 S-10 Blazer Brake Booster Ė AutoZone = $99.00
1984 Fiero Brake Booster Ė AutoZone = $110.00

7Ē Dual Diaphragm Brake Booster from www.piratejack.net (the retail site for MBM products)

Standard = $99.00
Chrome = $109.00
Stainless = $149.00

8Ē Booster prices are similar.

NOTE: The above prices do not include core charges.

Getting a brake booster from the wrecking yard for anything but use as a core is suicide. You donít know what condition the diaphragm is in. It may seem fine but could fail without warning.

Iíve attended hundreds of car shows over the years and the folks who enter their cars take a lot of pride in them. Iíve looked at many build and modification threads here and at other Fiero sites; as a rule all of the Fiero owners take great pride in their cars. Pride in your ride is what owning a unique car like the Fiero is all about. To my way of thinking, when I drive my Fiero on the street, it is simply a one man car show. They are rare enough to have people want to look at them and ask questions. There is no way I could ever lift my hood to show off anything that I had used a sledge hammer to install. Even if it cost a little more to do it right, Iíll gladly pay that cost as the price of owning and maintaining the only American made mid-engine sports car.

BTW Ė I dropped a SBC 350 into a Vega way back in 1976. (Also, Muncie 4-speed and 12-bolt GM rear end.) I didnít use a sledge hammer to do it. I cut out the firewall, fabricated a new one with relocated heater/AC condenser housing and welded it into the car. The point is that when the install was complete, it looked like a factory job. You could not tell that the firewall had ever been replaced. Most people could not tell the difference unless you parked a stock Vega beside mine.
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