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Another Northstar/F40 Swap. by 1986 Fiero GT
Started on: 09-13-2010 02:13 AM
Replies: 85 (4609 views)
Last post by: Thunderstruck GT on 03-10-2016 08:44 AM
1986 Fiero GT
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Report this Post09-13-2010 02:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Okay, okay, it's really an Aurora/F40 swap...but what's the difference?

Quick history of the car...bought it in 2005 when I was a senior in high school. Drove it for just over a year, then I let a ladyfriend drive it and she toasted the clutch. A year later, I've finally got the clutch replaced and now I've got an impossibly high idle (~2,500 RPM) and no amount of new sensors, seals or vacuum lines would bring it down. Sometime in 2007 or 2008, it went up on the jackstands for the last time and sat there ever since. Now, almost 3 years later, I'm slowly nearing completion.

Here's how she looked when I took her to my shop in July:



Here's how she looked within a few hours of getting there:



There's a few other random modifications being performed at the same time, such as Fiero1Fan's 90MM Hella Projector buckets with the 90MM modules.

Here's just the passenger side installed, mainly so that I could measure/check battery box clearances before I fabricated it:



Here's both:



Threw some paint on them:



Then I put some modules in them:



Then I put the hood back on (which is still horribly misaligned):



After I verified clearances and such, I got to work on fabricating my battery box to go under the passenger headlight. I used 1/8" mild steel angle iron. Worked pretty well. I didn't seem to take any pictures while welding it, other than this one, after I caught myself on fire:



And here's the final product, painted and welded in:



From the side:



From the front:



…and after I got the headlight assembly back in:



After I got that all finalized and mounted, I ran the 1/0AWG power wire from the battery to ground (a whopping 4" away), and 1/0AWG wire from the battery through the front compartment to a distribution block also mounted on the 1/4" ABS airbox replacement panel.

Here's the power wire coming from the battery:



…then snaking through the front compartment:



…and finally ending at the D-block. There will be another run of 1/0AWG coming from here to the alternator, then 4AWG from the alternator to the starter motor:



Then I started replacing all of the factory wiring with a universal 21-circuit fuse-block system. It came from eBay, but I'm fairly certain it's a Hoffman Group "Keep it Clean" system. It's got a "Keep it Clean" horn relay, anyway.

Here's the car over by my welding station so I could weld a stud onto the front frame rail to act as a grounding point:



…and when I started wiring it:



Here's the fuse block with the ignition and multifunction switch connectors plugged in:



…and the fuse block nicely mounted on my 1/4" ABS airbox replacement panel:



Now onto the good stuff, the heavy fabrication.

The F40 notched for the top-mounted Northstar starter:



Here's the 3/16" flat stock I'm using for the mounts. All hand-cut with a jigsaw, then welded together with my Hobart:



Here's the "finished" mounts. The tubing used for the poly is actually the two ends from my factory dogbone. Worked out pretty well, I feel:



Here's the forward mount on the transmission:



Here's two shots of the rearward mount:





…and here's both, partially mounted:



Here's most of the drivetrain, just thrown in to check clearance:



That about does it for build pics for tonight…just catching you guys up on the past few months of work.

Here's my welding rig:



…and here's the car every night when I put it to bed at around 4AM:



I'm supposed to work today from around 6AM to 7PM, so I may or may not have the energy to work on the car tonight…but if I do, I'll finish the cradle-side of the transmission mounts. Updated pics to follow as I take them and work on the car, obviously. If there's anything specific you'd like to know more about or see pics of, just ask and I'll do my best to answer.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 03:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KissMySSFieroClick Here to Email KissMySSFieroSend a Private Message to KissMySSFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
looks good so far. How long do you expect this one will take to complete?

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SSFiero@Aol.com 87 Gt-5spd-62k miles.

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Report this Post09-13-2010 08:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I hope to drive it out of the shop by the end of the month. If I keep up these 6+ hour nights 5 nights a week, I feel that's attainable.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 11:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice work! What do you do in your spare time? Could you make a kit? Archies stuff is amazing but pricey.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 11:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GADJetSend a Private Message to GADJetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 1986 Fiero GT:

I hope to drive it out of the shop by the end of the month. If I keep up these 6+ hour nights 5 nights a week, I feel that's attainable.


Nice work. I just hope you get enough rest to compensate for the hard work your putting into it. Looks good so far.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 11:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice work! What do you do in your spare time? Could you make a kit? Archies stuff is amazing but pricey.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 12:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HockadaySend a Private Message to HockadayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
odd place for a battery! Will you be able to drop it from underneath the car? ( sorry if you said you had a solution I may have skimmed over that part...the pant leg got my attention lol ) Are you concerned about putting all that weight up in your front right corner?

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In recent times, the custom aftermarket car/automobile roadwheel has become a status symbol. These wheels are often incorrectly referred to as "rims". The term "rim" is incorrect because the rim is only the outer portion of a wheel (where the tire is mounted )

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Report this Post09-13-2010 06:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Hockaday:

odd place for a battery! Will you be able to drop it from underneath the car? ( sorry if you said you had a solution I may have skimmed over that part...the pant leg got my attention lol ) Are you concerned about putting all that weight up in your front right corner?



It is perhaps a bit strange, but I am by no means the first to relocate the battery there. The battery comes out only from the top. Yup, I've got to pull my headlight assembly to get it out. Oh well, I'm okay with that. There's a 200A breaker just below the forward bulkhead of the front compartment, mounted on the framerail. If for any reason I need to disconnect, I just trip the breaker. Not concerned with weight, as the battery weighs only 10 pounds or so...very light. Even still, any weight on the far opposite corner will help offset my weight, ever so slightly. Plus, it just plain gets the battery out of the way.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 07:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...and about making the mounts. I'd love to do that, but unfortunately the cradle needs to be modified to fit the Northstars. As every modified Northstar cradle is different, my F40 mounts will fit my cradle and my cradle only. Truthfully? It's not hard. I just fired up my MIG for the very first time about 2 weeks ago. The 3/16" steel cuts very nicely with a jigsaw and a thick metal blade. Just take your time, make templates out of cardboard first and weld away.
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Report this Post09-13-2010 08:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Team Race-TechSend a Private Message to Team Race-TechEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a question about the poly brackets you made. Do the mount on the stock location on your cradle? if so did you also have to make up some new brackets as well? I like your build so far, keep up your good work and feed us more pictures.

http://i729.photobucket.com...PartiallyMounted.jpg

Does your F40 tranny sit in the stock location as the fiero 5 or 4 speed??

http://i729.photobucket.com...rivetrainTestFit.jpg


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Report this Post09-13-2010 08:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for budsSend a Private Message to budsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Lookin good The end result will amaze you !!!
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Report this Post09-14-2010 12:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Since OBDII PCMs for these engines are still made out of unobtanium, I'm running a '7730 until something OBDII actually manifests. Having said that, I need to repin a factory Aurora harness to the '7730 connectors. I remember finding a website a few years back that sold the pins for those connectors, but I can't seem to find it again. Anybody have any ideas? I'm almost done with the mounts, so it's going to be time for finishing the wiring very shortly, and hopefully I can drive this thing out of the shop in a few weeks.
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Report this Post09-14-2010 03:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

1986 Fiero GT

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Got a bit more work done. Sorry for the giant pics, didn't get a chance to resize.

Started fabbing the forward cradle half of the transmission mount, only to find out that the head of the lower bolt on my new mount hits the crossmember. Easy fix...just notch it:







So after I finished that, I started back on the mount. No real specific descriptions here, just more pics:











When I tried to assemble the three complete mounts, I find out the transmission is sitting higher now, because it's resting on the cradle? Gah, oh well...tomorrow's another day. Just need to persuade the cradle a bit, I suppose :



...and how she's sitting now, after I left:



More tomorrow night/early morning. My goal is to finish the mounts.

EDIT: Just for the record, I know some of the welds are pretty damn ugly. Again, I only picked up a MIG for the first time a few weeks ago. I think I'm doing just fine. Despite their appearance, they're definitely strong as hell. Great penetration (verified by a few buddies who are welders by profession).

[This message has been edited by 1986 Fiero GT (edited 09-14-2010).]

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Report this Post09-14-2010 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Have you made a decision regarding the flywheel/flexplate clutch issues? Zac's 88gt solution or custom thick flywheel?
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Report this Post09-14-2010 03:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Great thread, keep it up.
At least you are learning to weld on something thick, try learning on exhaust pipe and you get something like this:



(I did get better at it later, honest!).

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Report this Post09-14-2010 09:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dratts:

Have you made a decision regarding the flywheel/flexplate clutch issues? Zac's 88gt solution or custom thick flywheel?


I actually have a copy of Zac's solidworks file for his spacer, so I'll be using that along with a Clutchnet pressure plate and disc.

Thanks for the encouragement, Dave...hopefully this will allow me to hone my skills enough so that I can weld exhaust. I'm going to want to build a set of headers and crossover this winter, so hopefully I'll be able to. The thick steel does make things easier...it's far more forgiving to rookie mistakes.
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Report this Post09-14-2010 09:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

1986 Fiero GT

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quote
Originally posted by Team Race-Tech:

I have a question about the poly brackets you made. Do the mount on the stock location on your cradle? if so did you also have to make up some new brackets as well? I like your build so far, keep up your good work and feed us more pictures.

Does your F40 tranny sit in the stock location as the fiero 5 or 4 speed


The engine/transmission interface plane is in the same location as the factory plane, according to the original cradle builder. His design accommodated a Getrag, so obviously I had to modify, heavily, that setup to accept the F40. None of the mounts are stock any longer...I had to start from scratch will both transmission mounts.
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Report this Post09-15-2010 07:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The thing with exhaust pipe is that you are trying to butt weld very thin metal. When I did the pipe on my 88 duke I cut of short (about an inch or so long) connectors from a length of pipe that 'just' fit inside the regular pipe. The extra metal helped to prevent blow through when welding and also strengthened the joint. Might not be as efficient overall but I figured it's only making the pipe very slight smaller inside and worth it.
The real secret though is lots of very short welds, almost stitching it, and give it time to cool between each 'stitch'.

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Report this Post09-15-2010 08:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

The real secret though is lots of very short welds, almost stitching it, and give it time to cool between each 'stitch'.



Yea, kinda what I figured. I'd imagine warpage is a huge concern with such thin metal as well.

Also, I finished the rear transmission mount last night. I'll post pics sometime later on in the day as posting lots of pics from my iPhone is a bit of a pain in the ass. She's getting there!
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Report this Post09-17-2010 11:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
More pics...finished the cradle the other day and finally got around to posting the promised pics.











...and finally, I present the finished cradle:



Next up on the docket is finding an axle solution. From what I gather, 2005-6 Cobalt SS 5-Speed MU3 axles/intermediate shaft are just about bolt-in. I'll be finding a set of those here shortly, and verifying this. Stay tuned.
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Report this Post09-18-2010 01:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GADJetSend a Private Message to GADJetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 1986 Fiero GT:

.



For someone learning to weld with a mig gun for the first time..... This looks really nice! Keep up the hard work.
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Report this Post09-18-2010 07:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It looks from the pictures that you're using four mounts, two on the tranny and two on the engine, but you haven't posted any pictures of the engine mounts so far. What does the engine mount that bridges over the axle on the trunk side of the engine look like? I'm especially interested in the part that bolts to the engine rather than the part welded onto the cradle.
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Report this Post09-18-2010 01:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The only reason I haven't posted specific pictures of those is because I didn't make them. I can see how that would be relevant to a swap thread though...I'll get some pictures for you tonight.

Have you decided on an ECM for the Northy in your 355 project yet?
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Report this Post09-18-2010 04:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That'd be great... thanks. As for my choice of ECM, I'm waiting for the last possible moment to make a decision, that way I'll be able to cash in on the latest possible developments... so no, not yet but I am expecting to use an OBD2 system regardless.
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Report this Post09-18-2010 07:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Got those pics for ya, Blooz.

Here's the rear mount:



...and the mounting to the block:



Just for posterity's sake, here's the front mount. Very well designed and built:





Let me know if you need more...

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Report this Post09-18-2010 10:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the pics... I see now that you'll need to change that rear engine mount to accommodate the Cobalt SS intermediate axle, since your current mount will interfere with the mounting of the axle's outer bearing block. There are others who have already done it, but I'd like to see what you come up with too. When you get that sorted out, you'll have to post some more pictures.
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Report this Post09-18-2010 11:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mcaandaClick Here to Email mcaandaSend a Private Message to mcaandaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That bearing block will be the death of me. I have played with and played with that dang thing and still have not come up with something that I think is a final solution that will be suitable for calling final.

Blue - I have not seen anything for mounting on those in the other threads - can you by chance post a link to the location so we can take a look at it? I have something cheesy installed currently just to get it into the car ( I needed to hurry on it being that I was moving from WA to IL ) and have not had a chance to get back out there to fix it for a final.

Here's the kinda cheesy mounting that I had w/ that thing - which I still cuss when I think about it...

To just get it in there I shimmed what is more or less a "T" so that when you spin the shaft there is no binding. I did notice that if its not placed just in the correct position, things get pretty sketchy with it fast which will equate to failure if its not located correctly. Yet another reason that I need to come up with something different than what I have temp in there.

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Report this Post09-19-2010 07:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mcaanda:

That bearing block will be the death of me. I have played with and played with that dang thing and still have not come up with something that I think is a final solution that will be suitable for calling final.

Blue - I have not seen anything for mounting on those in the other threads - can you by chance post a link to the location so we can take a look at it? I have something cheesy installed currently just to get it into the car ( I needed to hurry on it being that I was moving from WA to IL ) and have not had a chance to get back out there to fix it for a final.

Here's the kinda cheesy mounting that I had w/ that thing - which I still cuss when I think about it...

To just get it in there I shimmed what is more or less a "T" so that when you spin the shaft there is no binding. I did notice that if its not placed just in the correct position, things get pretty sketchy with it fast which will equate to failure if its not located correctly. Yet another reason that I need to come up with something different than what I have temp in there.





First think I would suggest is ditching the OEM bracket housings and starting with just the bearing... much easier to package. For properly locating the end:
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:
Then I needed a way to properly position the bearing end of the intermetiate shaft so it was properly lined up. Still had the equinox inner tripod on the shelf with no plans for it, so it became the centering device. Drilled a piece of angle for one of the oil pan holes then welded it to the tripod with it tight in the tranny.


Then remove it, install the intermediate shaft and insert the equinox tripod into the end of the shaft and bolt it back in place... now the intermidiate shaft is tight and solid in the proper position for fabricating the bearing support.




I ended up using a stock passenger axle with a modified torrent/fiero tripod for by swap and bypassed the intermediate shaft all together.
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Report this Post12-20-2010 03:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BMTFIEROClick Here to Email BMTFIEROSend a Private Message to BMTFIEROEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
BUMP
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Report this Post01-23-2011 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hah, thanks for the bump, BMT!

Been a while since I've done any real appreciable work, but I've gotten back on it in the last few days. Obviously, this means pictures. More tonight when I get home in a few hours.
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Report this Post01-23-2011 10:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Weak...double post. I'll edit with pictures shortly.

[This message has been edited by 1986 Fiero GT (edited 01-24-2011).]

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Report this Post01-24-2011 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GADJetSend a Private Message to GADJetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 1986 Fiero GT:

Hah, thanks for the bump, BMT!

Been a while since I've done any real appreciable work, but I've gotten back on it in the last few days. Obviously, this means pictures. More tonight when I get home in a few hours.


tick tock my friend... Its the 24th now. I really dont wanna be pushy just keeping ya on your toes! :P
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fieroguy123
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Report this Post01-24-2011 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguy123Click Here to Email fieroguy123Send a Private Message to fieroguy123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I understand that this is a completely unrelated set-up, but I have an idea that might work for you guys.
I'm running a 2.0T with 5spd getrag in my car, and the factory intermediate shaft "cardan joint" from the turbo sunbird. It looks an aweful lot like the one you guys are having issues with, but I believe its about 5 inches shorter (guessing from the picture) and it has a steel plate where you guys have the alluminum T-block. If what I am using shares the same number of splines tranny side, then it might be a good option.

With my getrag mounted in stock location, the passenger side axle consists of the intermediate shaft and the drivers side CV Joint from the 91' Eagle Vision.

If you have a way of measuring where your trans is in comparison to the factory location and its not too far out, then this set up might just work for you.

You can see a picture of the intermediate shaft on my Cardomain page. Just search turbo 2.0 fiero
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1986 Fiero GT
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Report this Post01-25-2011 06:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sadly, no new work for a few weeks.

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post01-25-2011 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What the heck did you do? It doesn't look good.
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1986 Fiero GT
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Report this Post01-25-2011 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Got hit with my angle grinder. Only needed 7 stitches, no worries. I'll post more pictures, if the majority aren't squeamish. Pretty Gnarly.
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fieroguy123
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Report this Post01-25-2011 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguy123Click Here to Email fieroguy123Send a Private Message to fieroguy123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can't post a picture of the glove and leave us without the carnage! Post the pics! (Probably no women in this thread anyway)

------------------
May the Lord guide me where I must go. May the Fiero get me there in style

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cptsnoopy
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Report this Post01-26-2011 01:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, bring on the Vampires!

Sorry man, loosing good building time is just wrong!

Charlie
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GADJet
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Report this Post01-26-2011 10:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GADJetSend a Private Message to GADJetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Geez! When I saw that glove I thought you cut your finger off! >.< Glad its only stitches!
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1986 Fiero GT
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Report this Post01-26-2011 09:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986 Fiero GTClick Here to Email 1986 Fiero GTSend a Private Message to 1986 Fiero GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Moar bloodshed:

















and finally:



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