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need ideas for the fiero faq by gumert
Started on: 08-22-2004 02:02 PM
Replies: 47
Last post by: gumert on 11-04-2004 01:16 PM
gumert
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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
As most of you know, the majority of car forums out there have some type of FAQ. The idea has been tossed around here a few times whenever Cliff would ask for input as to how to make the forum better, but when it came down to it no one wanted to spend the time to actually do it.

Let's just call this my first real contribution to the forum.

I sent Cliff a pm informing him of my intentions and he supports the idea. He wants as much input into the FAQ as possible, hence this thread getting started. He also wants it to cover stock (or presumably near stock) things. So start thinking up things that go wrong, easy stock upgrades, or things that people who are new to the forum (or new to the fiero) would want to know.

I'm currently envisioning some type of outline so that the FAQ will be easy to use. In theory, I would eventually like everything (other than the bolded topic) to be a link to a good thread (no unanswered threads please) or a write-up hosted anywhere. I will send an e-mail to anyone who you guys want to link to asking if it's ok.

Post ideas with links and I will add them. If you want me to change something, post that and I will change it. Hopefully we will be able to get a working FAQ together. If anyone has any good sources to fill in what I started (all the things that should be links that are not linked), post those as well.

Thanks to all. I will be sure to + all those who help.

If you want to talk engine swaps, go here. That info will probably make its way here eventually, but for now this for is stock cars only.


======================
What I have thus far
======================
Whenever you see (1, 2) 1 and 2 link to seperate pieces of info. It would probably be a good idea to check both links out.

Fiero Info
General
- Before you ask, the lever to pop your gas tank is behind the driver's seat
- The weird noise you hear for the first two seconds after you turn the key is your pump presurizing the fule lines. This is normal. If you dont know what I'm talking about, you might want to replace your pump
- To find out the year of your car check the inspection sticker (depending on your state) or the white sticker on the inside of the driver's door
- If you want to know what options are orginal to your car look under the hood, above the left wheel well, should be a sticker with a bunch of 3 character codes. Those are RPO codes. You can find out what they mean here
- If you want to decode your vin (find out when and where it was produced along with other info) click here
Technical
- Tranny Ratios
- link to engine specs page that I will create later (have the info already)
- link to gen info page that I will create later (have the info already)


What to look for when looking at/test driving a fiero
...............
...............
(give me stuff to put here )
...............
...............


Parts
New OEM
- Engine Parts - as the name says sugests they carry a full line of 60* engines (v-6), kits, cams, forged pistons, etc
- Rodney Dickman - good source for aftermarket parts. Run by a nice, friendly guy.
- West Coast Fiero (WCF) - primarily a performance site, they tend to be a bit pricy. Then again, you can't find most of this stuff anywhere else
- The Fiero Store - good source for OEM GM parts, aftermarket, and performance upgrades
- Fiero Sails - replacement sail panels and decals
Performance Parts, engine swap parts, etc
- Find a complete vendor listing here
Parts from other cars
- First gen (84-86) headlights can be found in 82-86 Firebirds
- Second gen (87-88) headlights can be found in 87-92 Firebirds
- Your front suspension came from a Chevette
- Your mirrors came from a Firebird
- A more compelte list of common parts and 'upgrades' from other cars can be found here - brakes, seats, etc (not stock parts)


Useful Links
- Tire size calculator - figure out what size tire to buy for any given rim size to keep your speedo accurate
- The Ogre's Cave - Created and maintained by PFF member theogre. Amazing source of fixes.
any other links?


Safety
Fiero = fire?
- Yes, they burn but usually due to other things
- It hasn't really been an issue since '84
- You should always keep a fire extinguisher in your car, regardless of make/model
Crash Tests (5 star)
- Good Fiero safety artical
- Color crash test pictures
- More crash test pictures


Common Problems
General
- Decklid spring adjustment (1, 2)
- Tranny Seal R&R
- Fuel pump R&R
- Decklid won't stay up
- Headliner repair (1, 2)
- T-top headliner repair (need good non-sunroof headliner)
- Fix all the scratches in your tail lights (1, 2)
- Repairing your interior console (1, 2)
- Cime unit problems (The cave also has a good artical on this, see the above links section)
- Fix your water leaks (t-tops only)
Fixing codes
- ECM code list (check this if your check engine light is on)
- how to fix code 32
any other good threads/links for fixing other codes?
Headlights
- First Gen (84 - 86)
- Trouble shooting
- other source of parts: 82-86 Trans Am = exact same motors - if you want to keep stock and can't find parts (and donít want to pay for Fiero Store replacements)
- Rebuilding your motors (with lots of pics)
- How to convert to second gen
- Second Gen (87 - 88)
- Trouble shooting (scroll down some)
- Rebuilding your motors


Cheap/common upgrades
- Alarm and Remote Start Wire Guide
- Add keyless entry to a car that didn't come with it (1, 2)
- Aluminum dash - replaces the stock grey gauge surround as well as other misc interior pieces
- Dash Scan from Oliver - displays useful info above the tach
- HUD (heads up display) - project your speed (mp/h or km/h) onto your windshield
- DIY Air/Fuel monitor - make a simple circut that will moniter your air/fule ratio and display it via LED's


Performance w/ stock parts
2.8 mods
- anyone know of a good 2.8 build thread?
2.5 mods
-duke build thread
- anyone know of any more duke build threads?
Handling
- Adding limited slip
- Sway bars (1, 2)
- Sway bar discussion
- lowering? Poly vs rubber?

Current as of 10:50 PM Eastern 9/7/04

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 09-07-2004).]

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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
Two more venders I forgot already:
Fiero Sails - replacement sail panels and decals
Fiero shop - fiberglass, Fiero appeal, interior mods
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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for litespdSend a Private Message to litespdDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:

Two more venders I forgot already:
Fiero Sails - replacement sail panels and decals
Fiero shop - fiberglass, Fiero appeal, interior mods

You also forgot Ed Parks' Fiero Factory, Twin Lakes Fiero, and Kick Hill Fiero Parts.

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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by litespd:
You also forgot Ed Parks' Fiero Factory, Twin Lakes Fiero, and Kick Hill Fiero Parts.

Link me and write a sentence about each. I've never dealt with any of those three, so I donít know anything about them.

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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
Engine Specifications:

All the available specifications to the 2.5L and V6 engines, and transmissions

ex.

2.5L Inline 4 "Iron Duke" (84-85) "Tech 4" (86-88)
92HP @ __rpm
13X lb-ft of torque @ ___

4 speed transmissions:

gear ratios:
1st: _____
2nd: ____
final: ____

etc.

-------------

Fiero Safety:

pictures of the two crash tests, and it's 5 star front and rear crash test ratings.

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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:
2.5L Inline 4 "Iron Duke" (84-85) "Tech 4" (86-88)
92HP @ __rpm
13X lb-ft of torque @ ___

2.5 i4:
92 HP @ 4000 RPM
134 lb-ft @ 2,400 RPM
as of 1984

2.8 v-6:
140 HP @ 5200 RPM
170 lb-ft @ 3600 RPM
as of 1985

Post if your have diffrent #'s

Started a thread in technical q/a to get the tranny ratios.

Guys - the idea of this tread is for you to give sugestions. It would be nice if you had stats/links/whatever to go with those sugestions so I dont get stuck doing the reaserch

Edit: thanks RWDPLZ. + for you, but you already have one from me

Edit 2: tranny ratio thread here if you know anything about them, go post it!

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 08-22-2004).]

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Report this Post08-22-2004 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:
It would be nice if you had stats/links/whatever to go with those sugestions so I dont get stuck doing the reaserch

I know, I know, I'm still looking through the archives. Where's MinnGreen when you need him?

EDIT: Just found a bunch of specs in the back of my 84 manual, I'll get them typed up here in a few minutes. I'll see if my 86 manual has the V6 specs.

[This message has been edited by RWDPLZ (edited 08-22-2004).]

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Report this Post08-22-2004 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
For torque, it might be 134.2 ft. lbs. @ 2800 rpm ?

From the 1984 Pontiac Fiero Owner's Manual, pg. 6-1. Modified slightly for easier reading.

VIN Engine Code R
Displacement...............................2.5 Liter
Type............................................Inline 4
Fuel Delivery......Electronic Throttle Body Fuel Injection
Valve Arrangement.......................In-Head
Compression Ratio.......................9.0:1
Firing Order.................................1-3-4-2
Bore............................................101.6 mm (4 in. )
Stroke.........................................76.2 mm (3 in.)

Wheelbase..........2372 mm (93.4 in.)
Track- Front.........1468 mm (57.8 in.)
Track- Rear..........1491 mm (58.7 in.)
Length.................4082 mm (160.7 in.)
Width..................1750 mm (68.9 in.)
Height..................1191 mm (46.9 in)

Capacites
Fuel Tank............38.6 Liters (10.2 Gal.)
Cooling System
-Automatic Transaxle..............13.3 Liters (14.0 Qt.)
-Manual Transaxle..................13.1 Liters (13.8 Qt.)
Crankcase.............................2.8 Liters (3.0 Qt.)
4 Speed manual Transaxle......2.8 Liters 5.9 Pt. )

Also might add
Reccomended Oil....................SAE 5W30
Spare Tire Pressure.................60 PSI
Tire Size- 13 in. wheel..............185/80R13
14 in. wheel.............................215/60R14
steering...................................rack and pinion
Fully independant suspension with 4-wheel solid disc brakes
Weight....................................2590 lbs. (seems to vary quite a bit between models and transmission option though)

Well that's a start

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Report this Post08-22-2004 03:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post08-22-2004 03:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:
Reccomended Oil....................SAE 5W30

Well that's a start

I'm probably going to avoild oil weight, despite what the factory manual says, because of differing opinions on this topic.

And yes, that is quite a start. I would give you another + if I could. Maybe someone else will

Edit: e-mail #1 sent to another site's admin

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 08-22-2004).]

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Report this Post08-22-2004 03:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:


I'm probably going to avoild oil weight, despite what the factory manual says, because of differing opinions on this topic.

Yeah, I actually use 10W30 myself

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Report this Post08-22-2004 04:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for litespdSend a Private Message to litespdDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:


Link me and write a sentence about each. I've never dealt with any of those three, so I donít know anything about them.

The Fiero Factory: http://www.thefierofactory.com/ Parts, service, engine swaps, and just about anything else you can think of. Located in Alabama.

Twin Lakes Fiero: http://www.twinlakesfiero.com/ Again, Parts, service, engine swaps, and everything Fiero. Located in Illinois.

Kick Hill Fiero Parts: http://www.kickhill.com/fiero.html Lots and lots of parts at good prices. Located in Connecticut.


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Report this Post08-22-2004 04:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
Thanks. I also added Archie to that list. Duno how I forgot him.
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Report this Post08-22-2004 04:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroBUZZSend a Private Message to FieroBUZZDirect Link to This Post
Just me, but as there is already a nice Fiero vendor section, why would you include all that in a FAQ section?

If someone is too dumb to click the vendor link, then they are likely way too dumb to click 50 links in a FAQ section.

All you need in a FAQ section are topics that seem to draw 2 or 3 posts a day.
- headlights
- tranny types and facts
- basic info on best fluids and stuff like wheel offsets and patterns.
- etc

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Report this Post08-22-2004 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarDirect Link to This Post
The vendor list at the bottom of the page. Maybe that link just needs to be made apparent. The main page has a nice write up on trouble codes.

I agree that a Fiero FAQ link is needed to answer questions.

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Report this Post08-22-2004 05:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Old Lar:
The vendor list at the bottom of the page. Maybe that link just needs to be made apparent. The main page has a nice write up on trouble codes.

I agree that a Fiero FAQ link is needed to answer questions.

Hrm. I need input on this one. The vendor's list is pretty large and would make the faq pretty cluttered. Should I just link to it or should I put a few major vendors on the faq and then link to the vendor's list for the odds and ends? If that happens, then what makes a person a major vendor? Lots of reference like Archie, Rodney, the Fiero Store, and Fiero Sails? Maybe change vendor to parts and only put the people who offer oem parts? No body sites, etc. Just stock parts (but if they also carry aftermarket then they can stay on it)?

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Report this Post08-23-2004 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
To put it a diffrent way: what's the one thing you always wanted to know about your car when you got it? Anything at all.
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Report this Post08-23-2004 08:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
To open the gas cap you need to pull the lever inside the car behind the driver seat.
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Report this Post08-23-2004 10:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:

To put it a diffrent way: what's the one thing you always wanted to know about your car when you got it? Anything at all.

"What's that noise?"

-To see when your car was made, check the white sticker on the inside of the driver's side door

-Q: What Options originally came with my car? A:under the hood, above the left wheel well, should be a sticker with a bunch of 3 character codes. These are the RPO codes, and are what options originally came on your Fiero from the factory.

-What other cars can I get ____ parts from?

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Report this Post08-27-2004 10:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
My final bump. If there isnt any interest then I cant do much.
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Report this Post08-28-2004 01:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lurkerClick Here to Email lurkerSend a Private Message to lurkerDirect Link to This Post
tranny fluid = syncromesh
decklid spring adjustment//www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20040710-2-046681.html among many others
oil pan r&r
testing the fuel pump from the aldl
tranny seal r&r http://www.mtsu.edu/~mkr2c/trannyseal.htm
fuel pump r&r http://www.mtsu.edu/~mkr2c/fuelpump.htm
pointers to link on code retrieval//www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin/main.cgi?ECMCodes,
headliner repair//www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin/main.cgi?RecoveringHeadliner,
threads on repairing interior consoles

[This message has been edited by lurker (edited 08-28-2004).]

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Report this Post08-28-2004 03:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for The_IkonClick Here to visit The_Ikon's HomePageSend a Private Message to The_IkonDirect Link to This Post
How about a detailed section about engine swaps?! What are the best swaps, cost involved, time, parts needed, performance gains... This topic is always around. MAybe a true how to section...

Car specs, 0-60 times... 1/4 mile times... with different swaps, trannies, stock engine/tranny...

Just a few thoughts...

Ikon

------------------
85' Fiero 5spd notchback
http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bigtime1911/album?.tok=phlWNyABDV9Lapf.&.dir=/2a9c&.src=ph

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http://photos.yahoo.com/the_ikon1911

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Report this Post08-28-2004 10:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MsBethClick Here to visit MsBeth's HomePageClick Here to Email MsBethSend a Private Message to MsBethDirect Link to This Post
Don't give up ... new folks really need this - the older members may have forgotten what it is like to be a newbie...

You might want to add a link to the vin decoder, the t-top registry, clubs, Boomtastic Racing .... for t-top locks, Fierographix for decals. And Ray Paulk for Fiero Toys if you can find his site. Also Dave K. from near New Orleans has all the fiero literature.

------------------
MsBeth~MsBethsFieroGarage Boomtastic Racing
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.- Henry David Thoreau
Proud mother of a soldier!!! HOOAH!!!

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Report this Post08-29-2004 05:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MsBeth:
Don't give up ... new folks really need this - the older members may have forgotten what it is like to be a newbie...

Thanks, that was what I wanted to say but didnt actually want to type

No engine swaps yet - wait util the basics are covered first (edit: started a thread on this. Might get used later. Trying to keep this thread as stock as possible until more issues get addressed. //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/045126.html )

Those of you who dont already have a + from me have one now.

Things I need
- info on how you can test the fuel pump from the aldl
- year range for firebird headlights that fit our cars
- more useful links
- first gen headlight troubleshooting thread/write up
- first to second gen headlight conversion thread/write up
- more as I come across them (or as you guys post them )

Keep the comments coming

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 08-29-2004).]

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Report this Post08-29-2004 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SLagrec1Click Here to Email SLagrec1Send a Private Message to SLagrec1Direct Link to This Post
Here's a few I haven't seen.

Cool electronics:
Dash Scan from Oliver: http://www.fieros.de/en/ds/index.html
Air Fuel Mixture LED gauge, DIY: http://www.autospeed.co.nz/cms/article.html?&A=0217
HUD from Riceburner/Oliver: http://home.comcast.net/~riceburner98/Heads_Up_Display.doc

Other electronics: Chime unit: http://www.michiganfieroclub.org/chime.htm

Sound insulation from Jegs: http://www.jegs.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=109637&prmenbr=361

Tire size calculator: http://www.fieroshop.com.au/tyrecalculator/

Junkyard upgrades thread: //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/026186-2.html

Water Leaks: http://fierottop.com/waterleak/

Safety comparison: http://members.fortunecity.com/lowkey88/crashtest.htm

Is this the kind of stuff you're looking for? If so, I've got more.

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Report this Post08-29-2004 10:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for shop_rat45Click Here to Email shop_rat45Send a Private Message to shop_rat45Direct Link to This Post
Alarm and Remote Start Wire Guide http://www.remotestartdepot.com/pff.htm

I did this a while back. Hope it helps

Kris

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Report this Post08-29-2004 10:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by SLagrec1:
Is this the kind of stuff you're looking for? If so, I've got more.

Cliff wants everything to relate to a stock Fiero. I orginally had a vendors list going on tup, but I realized that one already exists so I cut back to only OEM dealers and put a link to the vendors list. If you have more vendors e-mail/pm them to cliff so he can add them to his list.

I'm looking for anything technical, any questions you had when you got the car, common problems/fixes/easy (cheap) upgrades. Basically anything you would want to know about (or that could help you with) a stock car.

 
quote
Hope it helps

Every little bit helps Besides, you just got a plus.

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 08-29-2004).]

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buddycraigg
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Report this Post08-30-2004 12:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for buddycraiggClick Here to Email buddycraiggSend a Private Message to buddycraiggDirect Link to This Post
oliver has a good write up on headlight trouble shooting.
http://www.fieros.de/en/articles/headlight.html

although i have seen some intermittent problems not follow suit.

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Paul Prince
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Report this Post09-01-2004 12:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Paul PrinceClick Here to Email Paul PrinceSend a Private Message to Paul PrinceDirect Link to This Post
www.engine-parts.com sells a full line of 60* engines, kits, cams, forged pistons, etc............Paul
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gumert
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Report this Post09-02-2004 12:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by buddycraigg:
although i have seen some intermittent problems not follow suit.

Yeah, same here. The one thing I think I would change would be to add a little about switching the two headlight motor relays to see if that cures any random problems you have with one side only closing/opening and not going the other way. It is covered in there, but it's not as clear as it otherwise could be for us slower people

You already had a plus buddy, so I cant give you another. Paul, on the other hand, just received one.

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gumert
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Report this Post09-06-2004 01:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
Shameless bump
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post09-07-2004 05:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:

Shameless bump

Ditto

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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post09-07-2004 06:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
One thing I keep seeing ove and over is "what to look for when buying a Fiero," that could be a good addition.
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Report this Post09-07-2004 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:

One thing I keep seeing ove and over is "what to look for when buying a Fiero," that could be a good addition.

And "what to look for when test-driving a Fiero".

Actually, that should be the first chapter: "Buying a Fiero".

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gumert
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Report this Post09-07-2004 10:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
And "what to look for when test-driving a Fiero".

Actually, that should be the first chapter: "Buying a Fiero".

Thanks for stepping in Cliff. I was actually about to PM you to say that the thread is basically dead and this is what I have

These are my ideas:

- Check frame rust (easiest spot is the trunk - pull the carpet back)
- Check the struts by giving the car a good sideways shake from the quarter panel. The car shouldn't rock back and fourth that much if at all. Another thing to try here is rest your foot on the top of one of the tire's sidewalls and then push out with your leg. Immediately after you push with your foot, take it off the wheel (kind of a kicking motion but you don't actually forcefully kick the tire - just push on it). The car shouldn't sway or bounce back and fourth.
- Headliners are a common problem (age) but are fixable for 5 to 25 dollars depending on material used.

I also just went through every link I have up there and pulled the thread name. That way when it eventually goes into the archive it will be easy for me to find and fix broken links (just search the archive w/ the thread name only option).

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Report this Post09-08-2004 04:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockDirect Link to This Post
A few more tips what to look/listen for when buying a Fiero (please correct me when I'm wrong):

Pre-Start checklist

  • Check for oil-spots under the engine. A few drops is fine (and almost unavoidable with an old engine and modern oils). A puddle is not.
  • Check the bottom of the oil pan. If it's completely covered with oil, then that's bad. A little "sweating" is ok. Completely dry is suspect.
  • Check for coolant spots under the complete length of the car. It should not leak coolant. Ever.
  • Open the engine compartment (it's in the back ). Check for dirt/oil. Dirt is ok, but you should never find oil-spots or very black spots on for instance the spark-plug wires. This usually indicates a gasket leak.
  • In the engine compartment, check if the EGM is still there.
  • In the engine compartment, check for weird, out of place wires. This usually indicates a wiring problem that they solved/try to solve.
  • In the engine compartment, check for rust around and under the battery. Try to wiggle the battery. It should not.
  • Check for uneven tire wear. Uneven tire wire is an indication of mis-aligned wheels most of the time, but it can also mean the car has been in an accident and has a slightly bent frame. If you find uneven tire-wear, check for other indications it has been in an accident (some places have fresh paint while the surrounding area has not, for instance).
  • Check the "rubbers around the wheel axis" (<- insert real name here, I just woke up and I can't remember what they are called). They should be clear of oil or grease.
  • Check the shocks and springs by pushing the car down. You should not hear any noises (not even squeaks) and the car should spring back fast. Push above every wheel first, then in the middle between the front and rear wheels. It should spring back evenly.

Starting checklist

  • (Auto: ) Put car in Drive, try to start. It should not. Do the same for the other gears.
  • Turn the key to "ON", you should hear the fuelpump come on for approx. 2 seconds. It should not stay on longer than that. If it doesn't come on the car won't start.
  • With the key still in the "ON" position, check the "Check Engine"/"Service Engine Soon" light. It should light up. If it doesn't then the bulb has been removed which is usually done to hide problems.
  • Turn the key to "IGN". If the engine is cold it should start within 2 revolutions of the engine without applying throttle. If the engine is hot, it might take a bit longer but it should always start fairly quick (and always without applying throttle). If it takes much longer than that to start, or you need to apply throttle to start, then that's an indication of a problem.
  • If the engine is hot, the RPM should drop almost immediately to between 700-1000
  • If the engine is cold, the RPM can stay above 1000 for a while.
  • If the car hasn't been driven for quite some time, the RPM can surge - which is nothing to worry about.

Pre-drive checklist (with engine running)

  • Listen for unusual sounds. If you hear bubbling, this means the coolant system has air in it. Easy to solve, but there shouldn't be air in it in the first place. Air in the coolant system can be an indication of a coolant leak.
  • Check the e-brake.Pull the e-brake all the way up. Put car in gear/Drive. A good working e-brake should prevent the car from moving. Do the same for Reverse.
  • Check the headlights. They should both pop-up of course.
  • Turn on the emergency light. If the car has an aux-pod, check the voltmeter. If the voltmeter drops more than a volt whenever the turnlights come on, then that's an indication of either faulty wiring, a bad alternator or bad battery. If the car doesn't have a voltmeter, open the driver's side door and watch the roof-courtesylight carefully. It should not drop in brightness.
  • (make sure e-brake is released). Press the brake and put into gear. The car should not stall. A stalling car can indicate a vaccuum leak.

While driving

  • If possible, always drive with your window open. This lets you notice strange sounds/smells.
  • You should not hear strange sounds, feel strange vibrations, or smell weird things (unless you or your passenger had mexican food for the past few hours).
  • Watch how fast it takes the engine to reach operating temperature (160F-170F) under normal driving conditions. It should never take less than 5 minutes (even when it's hot outside) and should never take longer than 15 minutes (even when it's cold outside).
  • While driving, check if the car pulls to on side. Do the same while braking. Obviously, it should stay straight. If you feel a "whobble" when you brake, then this is either an indication of a bent brake-disc, or a loose caliper.
  • When the engine is at operating temp, apply kick-down (both while driving and from stand-still). It should not stall. Release throttle. If you hear "pops", then this might be an indication of a failing ignition module (amongst other things).
  • With the engine idling and the car at full stop, and you hear an "air-sucking" noise, then that's normal.

Those are just a few things from the top of my head.

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gumert
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Report this Post09-08-2004 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Turn on the emergency light. If the car has an aux-pod, check the voltmeter. If the voltmeter drops whenever the turnlights come on, then that's an indication of either faulty wiring, a bad alternator or bad battery. If the car doesn't have a voltmeter, open the driver's side door and watch the roof-courtesylight carefully. It should not drop in brightness.

I thougth that a little bounce when the turn signal went on was normal? I've read it in a few threads here. I also have something to check for when the engine is idling: glowing manifolds.

Edit:

 
quote
While driving, check if the car pulls to on side. Do the same while braking. Obviously, it should stay straight. If you feel a "whobble" when you brake, then this is an indication of a bent brake-disc.

I had that problem with my camaro but it wasn't a bent disk. It was a loose caliper.

[This message has been edited by gumert (edited 09-08-2004).]

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post09-08-2004 02:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gumert:

I thougth that a little bounce when the turn signal went on was normal? I've read it in a few threads here.

Yes, a little is ok, but it should never drop more than a volt or so.

 
quote

I had that problem with my camaro but it wasn't a bent disk. It was a loose caliper.

Ok, I'll add that.

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gumert
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Report this Post09-11-2004 08:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gumertClick Here to Email gumertSend a Private Message to gumertDirect Link to This Post
Cliff, you have a PM

(bump)

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