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Steering by nitroheadz28
Started on: 05-21-2010 01:42 PM
Replies: 15
Last post by: nitroheadz28 on 05-22-2010 01:46 AM
nitroheadz28
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Report this Post05-21-2010 01:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Direct Link to This Post
So I did a quick search on this, and didn't come up with much. I originally used to think that 84-87 models had no power steering, and that the 88s had an assist. I've read through some conflicting data, but I see that that assist was just a prototype- and the 88s have no power steering, but a revised steering rack correct?

So my issue is, I live in NYC. I'm still looking for the perfect Fiero for me, and this is going to by my main car for weekend escapades and driving to school (90% highway miles)... Still, being that I do live in Brooklyn- I'm weary about the lack of power steering. So my main question being, do you guys have issues parallel parking/ maneuvering this car in tight spots?

Thanks PFF!!

Tom.
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CaravanBill
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Report this Post05-21-2010 01:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CaravanBillSend a Private Message to CaravanBillDirect Link to This Post
Personally, I don't have any trouble living without power steering on my Fiero. As long as you are rolling it is never a real problem.
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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post05-21-2010 02:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTDirect Link to This Post
Power steering is one of the most "debated" topic that I have seen here on PFF. It boils down to two things (in my opinion) 1: driver preference and 2: driver need. Some Fieros have big front wheels and some "less than optimal" wheel offsets that can make the car harder to steer at slow and no speed. Some other driver "needs" are physical limitations such as heath or strength. Driver preference is a case by case basis because everybody has different wants and expectations from a car.

I wanted FAST steering so I put in a power steering rack from a 2000 Camaro SS for its MUCH faster ratio. The faster ratio puts the driver at a mechanical disadvantage compared to the stock rack. Thus, the need for power assist. I LOVE my fast ratio power steering, it works for me and does what I expected it to do.

I will say that most of the "debate" comes from people that speak out of ignorance. They have never driven my car or any other Fiero with fast ratio power steering. In my opinion that makes there responses worthless. I cant imagine Car and Driver doing a driving review of a car they have never driven? But for some reason we have some people that just got to be that guy?
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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post05-21-2010 03:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
Call me ignorant of Power-assisted Fieros (never driven one), but I like mine just fine without it (85GT). It can be a bit of a pain to turn around in a tight spot, but otherwise I don't really have problems to speak of.
Maybe it's because I'm still young and don't mind putting a bit more effort into it. In my experiences, it's not that bad at all.

Also, none of my friends want to get behind the wheel of my car because of it - they don't think they can handle having to use more than one hand to take a tight corner (tip: if you have to go around a fast bend, use both hands to keep control - otherwise, you might feel it trying to pull away from you)
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Hulki U. My-BFF
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Report this Post05-21-2010 03:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Hulki U. My-BFFClick Here to Email Hulki U. My-BFFSend a Private Message to Hulki U. My-BFFDirect Link to This Post
I run 17s all the way around and I honestly never felt myself needing power steering, tight spaces or not. I like being able to feel what the car is saying about how I am driving and the road.
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RockyBalboaLives
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Report this Post05-21-2010 03:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RockyBalboaLivesSend a Private Message to RockyBalboaLivesDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Hulki U. My-BFF:

I run 17s all the way around and I honestly never felt myself needing power steering, tight spaces or not. I like being able to feel what the car is saying about how I am driving and the road.


I concur with Hulki, without the power assist, it feels more "race car" like to me, like you are one with the machine.. Everybody has there preference and I bet a power assist is very nice, I for one don't really see the "need" for it..

[This message has been edited by RockyBalboaLives (edited 05-21-2010).]

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dobey
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Report this Post05-21-2010 03:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RockyBalboaLives:
I concur with Hulki, without the power assist, it feels more "race car" like to me, like you are one with the machine.. Everybody has there preference and I bet a power assist is very nice, I for one don't really see the "need" for it..


You realize that Formula 1 cars all have power assist steering, right?

The "race car" feel has more to do with the rack ratio, than whether or not it is power assisted. My Mini Cooper also has the go kart feel to the steering, and it's certainly power assisted. But the car is built to hug the curves. Due to the size of the car, the balance, and suspension, on the Fiero, it is much less "necessary" than if it were a Lincoln Town Car, certainly. Of course, I wouldn't want to drive the Lincoln in Brooklyn, even with power assist. But that's why I have a Mini.
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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post05-21-2010 04:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RockyBalboaLives:


I concur with Hulki, without the power assist, it feels more "race car" like to me, like you are one with the machine.. Everybody has there preference and I bet a power assist is very nice, I for one don't really see the "need" for it..



This is exactly the kind of thing that comes up in "power steering" threads. Don't get me wrong here, you are very welcome to share your opinion but you missed the mark. Power steering has little to do with the feeling of a sports car. The feeling is from the combination of several things, one of the most prominent is the steering response. For example, the rack I used has a higher ratio that makes it much harder to steer but I get snapneck steering response. The assist brings the steering effort back down to near stock. My power steering Fiero "feels" just like any other 88GT on the freeway. BUT at a dead stop I can turn the wheel with one hand and I don't have to turn the wheel as far because the faster ratio. On mountain roads, hair pin turns don't even require me to steer hand over hand. The wheel only turns about 1/2 turn or less on the tightest turns. THAT is what makes a Fiero "feel" like a race car.

This is one of the things people really have to feel first hand to understand. I have let many people drive my Fiero just to show them that the F body ratio is SOOO much better than the stock Fiero ratio.

But everybody is different. You have to ask yourself what you want the car to do for you. Why go thru the trouble of installing power steering? For me it is worth it, VERY worth it. If all you are talking about is assisting the stock Fiero rack then it would not be worth it to me.
If you want to make your Fiero feel like a race car then you DO want power steering to go along with the faster ratio upgrade needed to get that race car feeling.

[This message has been edited by Rickady88GT (edited 05-21-2010).]

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katatak
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Report this Post05-21-2010 04:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakDirect Link to This Post
I have never driven a Fiero with power steering there for I do not know what I am missing. I will say that the stock Fiero steering does not bother me at all. I can say this. I have an 88 with 17" wheels that are spaced out 1.5" in the front so center to center is 3" wider than a stock 88. The 17's have 225/45 in the front. I also have an all stock 88 Formula - steering effort on the Formula is a lot easier than the 88 coupe with 17's/225/45's. Probably has more to do with center to center/geometry and the fact that the 88 coupe is most likely heavier in the front (XTC body). However, the 88 Coupe has a 4.9 in it so one would think that it would be lighter in the front due to the added weight in the back??? I just do't know yet.

Now having said all that, I have an 86 Coupe with a 350 SBC - stock 14" salad slicer stock wheels (hi tech I think) - the steering effort on this car is very light - is it due to engine weight in the back? Or is it the difference between an 88 Formula rack and a 86 Coupe rack? I am not sure of differences in racks and ratios. I would love to setup the 88 XTC with something like Rickaddy88 is using. Not sure it's necassary on the stock Formula and would not appreciate it on the 86 - it mainly runs in straight lines.

I do drive the Formula everyday in city traffic and do not have any issues with the steering effort required for paralell parking and in and out of parking lots, etc.

[This message has been edited by katatak (edited 05-21-2010).]

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LZeppelin513
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Report this Post05-21-2010 04:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LZeppelin513Click Here to Email LZeppelin513Send a Private Message to LZeppelin513Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by nitroheadz28:
So my issue is, I live in NYC. I'm still looking for the perfect Fiero for me, and this is going to by my main car for weekend escapades and driving to school (90% highway miles)... Still, being that I do live in Brooklyn- I'm weary about the lack of power steering. So my main question being, do you guys have issues parallel parking/ maneuvering this car in tight spots?
Tom.


Do Fieros require more effort than modern cars at parking lot speeds to maneuver? yes

However, it shouldn't be a problem if your a healthy individual, even where parallel parking is required. Both me and my girlfriend have been driving our fieros daily. We live in Seattle and have to parallel park on the street in front of the apt everyday. She is a 115 pound college student and still loves her car. She admits that the steering took some getting used to at first but doesn't care anymore.

My recommendation for you: The 88s are slightly easier to steer at low speeds due to front geometry (less scrub radius). Get an 88 with some high offset, light front wheels with a 205 or less tread width and it will be nearly as simple to maneuver as with power steering.

edit to add: a cheap option for wheels would be some used factory subaru wheels. They have 5X100 pattern and are usually very high offsets.

[This message has been edited by LZeppelin513 (edited 05-21-2010).]

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nitroheadz28
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Report this Post05-21-2010 07:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by LZeppelin513:


Do Fieros require more effort than modern cars at parking lot speeds to maneuver? yes

However, it shouldn't be a problem if your a healthy individual, even where parallel parking is required. Both me and my girlfriend have been driving our fieros daily. We live in Seattle and have to parallel park on the street in front of the apt everyday. She is a 115 pound college student and still loves her car. She admits that the steering took some getting used to at first but doesn't care anymore.

My recommendation for you: The 88s are slightly easier to steer at low speeds due to front geometry (less scrub radius). Get an 88 with some high offset, light front wheels with a 205 or less tread width and it will be nearly as simple to maneuver as with power steering.

edit to add: a cheap option for wheels would be some used factory subaru wheels. They have 5X100 pattern and are usually very high offsets.



Thank you sir, thats what I was looking for.. I'm not looking at the prospect of installing power steering into my car, I was merely asking if you guys have issues maneuvering in tight spots. I drive an 09 Cobalt right now, which has immensely over boosted power steering- I can do it with my pinky.. I really don't mind the extra effort at all, but I was just being realistic about it because the reality is that I do live in the city- and I will have to parallel park the car. I guess the best solution for me to see if its going to be a pain the ass is to drive someone's Fiero- or just wait till I'm find the right one and feel it during the test drive. Worst case scenario, I'll install a power steering system if necessary.. But I doubt it will be cause this is going to be an all highway car with the exception of parking on my street and surface streets leading to and from the highway.

Thanks a bunch guys! Tom.
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Report this Post05-21-2010 08:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
A thing to remember... There are a couple different steering ratios available on Fieros.

The Base coupes had a slower steering ratio than the GTs (WS6 suspension package) and the 88s all have the same steering ratio stock. I'll see if I can dig them up real quick.

Here...

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

I have a book entitled "Fiero: Pontiac's Potent Mid-Engine Sports Car" by Gary Witzenburg, copyright 1990, published by Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers. It states in a table the following for the steering gear ratios:

19.2:1 ratio (fast)
1984 Coupe/Sport Coupe/SE
1985 - 88 GT
1988 Coupe

22.0:1 ratio (slow)
1985 -87 Coupe/Sport Coupe/SE


They were going to put in a faster ratio for the 88s (to go along with the power steering) but that obviously never saw the light of day.
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nitroheadz28
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Report this Post05-21-2010 09:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Direct Link to This Post
Thank you sir! Yeah I'm waiting for a decent 88GT to find its way somewhere close to me, too bad that its taken so long. Hopefully I'll be an owner by fall at the latest, maybe if I get desperate I'll snap up an 87 I guess.
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Report this Post05-21-2010 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero84FreakClick Here to Email Fiero84FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero84FreakDirect Link to This Post
Be advised that as skuzz said above all '88s will have the same updated rack you are speaking of, that's including the GT, Formula, and duke coupe. As I own both an '88 Formula and an '86 GT I can tell you that there is some difference between them but not as much as you would think. What I notice to be the biggest difference between the cars is that I essentially can travel quicker (in terms of slow movement) with my '88. It's kind of hard to explain, but I guess a better term is that there is slightly less movement in the '88. Where as far as steering effort goes my '86 GT only requires maybe slightly more in parking. I parallel with the '86 GT frequently as it's my daily driver, and it's a breeze. I've also have owned an '84 and an '87 and both of those were relatively easy as well.

Have you actually driven a Fiero before? I was a bit confused by your original post.

[This message has been edited by Fiero84Freak (edited 05-21-2010).]

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FieroRumor
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Report this Post05-21-2010 09:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
Parking has been different in each of my Fieros - The 85 GT took both hands, it had non standard rims/tires. The Formula took two fingers, it was stock w/ new Rubber (or poly, I forget) The 86 takes both hands, nonstandard rims/tires...

I hate parking, but it's because I worry about how others leave their spots (by hitting the car in front and behind) The Aero Nose doesn't appreciate that sort of thing...I try to find spots where I am in the front.

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nitroheadz28
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Report this Post05-22-2010 01:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero84Freak:

Be advised that as skuzz said above all '88s will have the same updated rack you are speaking of, that's including the GT, Formula, and duke coupe. As I own both an '88 Formula and an '86 GT I can tell you that there is some difference between them but not as much as you would think. What I notice to be the biggest difference between the cars is that I essentially can travel quicker (in terms of slow movement) with my '88. It's kind of hard to explain, but I guess a better term is that there is slightly less movement in the '88. Where as far as steering effort goes my '86 GT only requires maybe slightly more in parking. I parallel with the '86 GT frequently as it's my daily driver, and it's a breeze. I've also have owned an '84 and an '87 and both of those were relatively easy as well.

Have you actually driven a Fiero before? I was a bit confused by your original post.



I apologize if I did confuse you, no I have not ever driven a Fiero before.. In fact I've only seen them in person twice.
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