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I am the proud new owner of a 3800SC Fiero. I am sure I will have lots of questions. by zmcdonal
Started on: 06-09-2014 03:27 PM
Replies: 136 (5360 views)
Last post by: zmcdonal on 06-02-2017 12:51 PM
zmcdonal
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Report this Post07-16-2014 05:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yesterday I was able to get the gauge cluster installed. Unfortunately I discovered it needs a new battery, it won't even hold enough charge to start the car after being on the charger all day. Not a huge surprise, the battery had been sitting dead for over a year before I put it in the car and threw a charger in it, it lasted a little while after that. One question I do have is if I should replace it with the regular size battery that the Fiero calls for since it now has a larger motor, or should I get a battery for a 2004 grand prix? The battery had been relocated to the front so space is not a huge issue.




[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 07-16-2014).]

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solotwo
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Report this Post07-16-2014 10:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
make sure you have some GOOD spark plug wires. The 3800 makes a lot of heat and confined in the fiero engine bay it gets hot. I have some ZZP 10.5 wires and one of the boots is bad.
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Report this Post07-18-2014 01:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

The 3800 makes a lot of heat and confined in the fiero engine bay it gets hot.



(!?!) The 3800SC runs cooler than a stock 2.8 ...
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Report this Post07-18-2014 07:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:


(!?!) The 3800SC runs cooler than a stock 2.8 ...


Well that baby is real hot. Even after a half hour when I was installing a new plug wire and routing it, it was REAL warm!
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olejoedad
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Report this Post07-18-2014 08:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The stock sized series 75 battery will be fine.
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post07-18-2014 07:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was able to get the seatbelts cleaned up today. It is amazing how nasty the water looked afterwards. I used a little dawn dish soap and a scrub brush, It seemed to work really well, I submerged the entire belt (not the mechanism box part of course) in the soapy bucket and then scrubbed them, and hosed them off afterwards to get all of the soap out, and then hung them up to dry out.


They were so dirty that the belt material was actually kind of stiff which is pretty gross. Here are a couple pictures how they turned out after they dried and were installed.



The front mount battery does not have anything that holds it in place aside from the cables themselves which probably isn't a very good idea. Not to mention that the cables need some work, there is almost not usable loop end on the positive cable, and I'm pretty sure that everyone would consider it a bad idea for the negative cable have a red end on it. I'll fix those later.

I decided to take the old battery tray that I took out of my parts car and cut it up to use for the battery hold down.

This is what I ended up with after I cleaned it up and undercoated it.

Now I just need to mount it to the battery box and it should look like a factory installed front mount battery.

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rpro
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Report this Post07-18-2014 08:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rproClick Here to Email rproSend a Private Message to rproEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
wow, I just spent the last 30 minutes reading this thread. Congratulations on a job well done. This car is turning into something near spectacular.
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post07-30-2014 05:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rpro:

wow, I just spent the last 30 minutes reading this thread. Congratulations on a job well done. This car is turning into something near spectacular.


Thanks you, it's got a ways to go but I plan to do everything right the first time, so hopefully it will turn out well.

I finished up mounting the front battery mount this afternoon. I think it turned out pretty good. The battery sits a tiny bit crooked because that's the way the bracket is made, I wish I would have noticed that so I could compensate for it before I drilled the holes. I'm still not sure which side I want the terminals to be on. I am leaning towards having the terminals in the front so I don't have to worry about shorting them out if I ever put anything else up there.




It holds it really well. There is a little flex if you pull up on the handle on the battery but that is just the fiberglass box flexing.
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85sliverGT
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Report this Post07-30-2014 06:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85sliverGTClick Here to Email 85sliverGTSend a Private Message to 85sliverGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Zach it was good talking to you last weekend. I really like how your battery hold down looks, great idea. I may have to switch mine over to your way...yours looks much cleaner!

Blake
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Report this Post07-30-2014 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Using an Archie battery box with a 75 series battery and forward facing terminals, the spare tire holds the battery in place with no movement.
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Report this Post07-30-2014 09:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Using an Archie battery box with a 75 series battery and forward facing terminals, the spare tire holds the battery in place with no movement.



I have done the same.
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post08-07-2014 06:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85sliverGT:

Zach it was good talking to you last weekend. I really like how your battery hold down looks, great idea. I may have to switch mine over to your way...yours looks much cleaner!

Blake


Yeah it was good talking to you too. You gave me some motivation to finish up my wrap when I get time, I was considering throwing in the towel at one point.

As for using the spare to hold the battery in the box, I am still not sure what kind of spare if any I will end up running since I have the hub conversion and the bigger brakes, so I will need another method for holding my battery in place.

I was able to fix the coolant leak that I had coming from the bottom of the rear coolant fill reservoir, all I needed was a new fitting. The side and the bottom of the tank require the same size fitting but for some reason the previous owner used a smaller one on the bottom that did not allow the hose to properly seat and clamp to. Old one on the left, new one on the right. Needless to say the hose fits much better now.


I redid the battery cables up front, I was able to reuse the original Fiero cables that I had kept from my parts car. The way cables are done for this front mount battery setup is probably not ideal, but it will work for me for the time being. The ground is only grounded to the chassis and not run all the way to the block which I know is frowned upon by some. The positive cable is run all the way to the front compartment and then has a stud that passes through using some kind of threaded grommet setup and then only requires a short cable to go from there to the battery.
before:

He used some kind of positive cable for the negative, but aside from the end being red, the end was all busted up so the terminal bolt no longer stayed in. The cable he used for the positive had a broken loop on the end making it very difficult to connect.
after:



I probably could have shortened them up a little bit but I don't think they look too bad as is, gives you a little slack when hooking them up before fastening the battery down, and how bout that red goes to positive and black goes to negative, lol. There was an extra lead coming from the positive cable that is meant to go to the alternator on a stock Fiero, I just capped that off in case I ever decide to run an amp, HID's or other accessories that need a clean + feed.

So now that I was no longer leaking coolant and didn't need a jump to start it, I was able to let the car run a little while. I did not see an engine light, but I need to check to make sure the bulb is just not burnt out on the tan cluster I swapped in. For some reason it seemed that when the car was revved up it took a little while for it to settle back down to idle again. After closer inspection I found that the throttle cable was not secured in the bracket at the throttle body, it was pushed through but the little ears were not catching, so the throttle body would close as far as it could and the cable would creep back slowly. All it needed was to be rotated 90 degrees and the little ears clicked in place. I also found that the exhaust gets a little too hot for the rubber hangers apparently, they both melted through at the same time. Any suggestions on what to use there?
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post08-13-2014 09:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So I was able to work on the exhaust today. The hangers that gave way were real thin compared to the extra hanger that came with the car.
Here's how thin the ones that broke were

And here's what the extra one looks like

I'm not surprised they couldn't hold the weight.
So my first attempt was to replace the rubber parts of the hangers with a couple springs I picked up at the hardware store. It held really well but, it bounced around a lot, so I decided to try one spring, and I solid mounted the other side. Now it seems pretty solid but still has a little give to it. It's fixed well enough to get me by, I've got bigger things to address first, and it will definitely hold well enough until I can get it to my exhaust guy.


the end result I think turned out pretty well. They tips aren't perfectly even but pretty darn close, and they look way better than before the hangers gave way.
Before the hangers broke


After my $1.85 fix today

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 08-13-2014).]

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zmcdonal
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Report this Post09-25-2014 07:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I guess I haven't updated this in a while, I don't know how you guys with the super long super detailed build threads stay on top of it so well.

Lately I have been spending a bunch of time trying to get it running right. It has been throwing a P0300 Random multiple misfire code since I bought it. On my torque app for my phone when I scanned for misfires cylinder 4 and 5 were showing the most. I checked all of the wires, made sure there were in good shape and going to the proper cylinders, changed the plugs, found 3 rubber vacuum fittings that were in bad shape, ran some injector cleaner through it, cleaned the MAF sensor, checked the fuel pressure at the rail, swapped coils and checked resistance across the coils and across each injector. It did run slightly better but it was still showing misfires and throwing a code and the fuel trims were maxed and running really lean.

I finally figured out what was causing the misfire, I took my stethoscope to listen to each the injector pulse and make sure I didn't have a stuck injector and I discovered vacuum leaks at the injector o-rings. so $12 later and about an hour of my time and it runs like a totally different engine. The o-ring on injector 4 was really torn up, the rest of them looked to be in good shape, but must have not been seated properly or something. The new o-rings were beefier and the autozone listing said they were an improved design.


I took it for it's first drive before I figured out the injector o-ring problem, I thought maybe putting some miles on it might help. It ran really well except it seemed to surge and almost die when in gear like sitting at a light. I took it nice and easy since the engine light was still on, and it still seemed fast. When I got home I was running it in the garage to see if I could figure out the surge when it was in gear and sure enough, I got out of the car to see a bunch of smoke coming from the alternator and flames inside it. Thankfully it happened in the garage and not while I was driving.


Got the new alternator installed, and no more surging in gear, it runs much smoother.
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Report this Post09-26-2014 03:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zmcdonal:




You need some of Rodneys Fiero center cap decals to cover the BMW!

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 09-26-2014).]

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zmcdonal
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Report this Post10-01-2014 01:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


You need some of Rodneys Fiero center cap decals to cover the BMW!



I agree, I would actually prefer different wheels. I'll get there eventually.

So my fuel trims were much better after replacing the injector o-rings but the LTFT was still elevated. I decided to go back and check for small vacuum leaks. I think the injector leak was so massive that messing with any other potential vacuum leak really had no effect on the motor at the time. I disconnected the EVAP vacuum line and plugged it, and sure enough my fuels trims went down to an acceptable level. Since I do not own a smoke machine I decided to take the hose from my air compressor with as close to 0 pressure as I could get and hook it up to the EVAP vacuum line to pressurize it and see if I could feel or hear where my leak was. I found a couple where the hoses connected and got some new hose clamps on there. Hooked the EVAP back up thinking all was good, started the car and my fuel trims were high again. So I started thinking that maybe the Fiero charcoal canister could go bad or leak or something. So I pulled out the old one from my parts car and was getting ready to switch them out, when I decided to look on here because I didn't know how exactly the canister was supposed to be hooked up.

This is how it's supposed to be setup for an engine swap

Mine did not have a purge solenoid and my harness was not setup for a solenoid so it was just constantly pulling exhaust vapors into the throttle body. This is how mine was setup


I removed all the vacuum related evap stuff and just left the canister hooked up to the fuel tank hose, and I plugged the vacuum port on the throttle body.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 10-01-2014).]

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zmcdonal
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Report this Post10-03-2014 07:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well I took it on the first real drive yesterday. Any of the previous drives were very conservative and was pretty much babying it around to make sure there were no major problems (like the alternator catching on fire, or massive vacuum leaks). Yesterday I got to see some of what this thing can do. HOLY CRAP, it's fast!! And that supercharger whine is addicting. I drove it probably 10-20 miles, not too sure because my trip odometer was stuck on 0 most of the time. It finally started working when I was on my way home. I didn't do any WOT pulls with it, but I did get on it a bit. It is definitely the fastest car I have ever driven, hands down. I need to get it in for an alignment ASAP, this thing is a handful trying to slow down from anything over 40, the rear end is all over the place, a little scary. It makes my hopped up 2.8 feel like it can't get out of its own way.

I found the old radiator cap from my parts car and tried that on my fill tank to see if that would fix my leak. It fits WAY better than aftermarket motorad cap that was on there and it is no longer leaking from the cap. It still was leaking coolant from a set screw that was put in the side to plug where an overflow would normally go so I put some RTV around the set screw which almost cured my leak, guess I didn't use enough because it still bubbles and there is a tiny leak from it.

I also did a couple cosmetic things. I put the marker light covers I had on my other 87 before the 512 nose on it. And since it has a license plate holder on the front I took the old vanity plate that came on my other 87 and peeled off all the stickers from it and put it on the front.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 10-03-2014).]

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Report this Post10-06-2014 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Drew-pySend a Private Message to Drew-pyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zmcdonal:


I agree, I would actually prefer different wheels. I'll get there eventually.

So my fuel trims were much better after replacing the injector o-rings but the LTFT was still elevated. I decided to go back and check for small vacuum leaks. I think the injector leak was so massive that messing with any other potential vacuum leak really had no effect on the motor at the time. I disconnected the EVAP vacuum line and plugged it, and sure enough my fuels trims went down to an acceptable level. Since I do not own a smoke machine I decided to take the hose from my air compressor with as close to 0 pressure as I could get and hook it up to the EVAP vacuum line to pressurize it and see if I could feel or hear where my leak was. I found a couple where the hoses connected and got some new hose clamps on there. Hooked the EVAP back up thinking all was good, started the car and my fuel trims were high again. So I started thinking that maybe the Fiero charcoal canister could go bad or leak or something. So I pulled out the old one from my parts car and was getting ready to switch them out, when I decided to look on here because I didn't know how exactly the canister was supposed to be hooked up.

This is how it's supposed to be setup for an engine swap

Mine did not have a purge solenoid and my harness was not setup for a solenoid so it was just constantly pulling exhaust vapors into the throttle body. This is how mine was setup


I removed all the vacuum related evap stuff and just left the canister hooked up to the fuel tank hose, and I plugged the vacuum port on the throttle body.



what happens if you remove the EVAP canister all together. I ask because mine is gone. My car has been set up, running and tuned with no comments about it
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post10-06-2014 11:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Drew-py:


what happens if you remove the EVAP canister all together. I ask because mine is gone. My car has been set up, running and tuned with no comments about it


I'm no expert, but from what I read you need to keep the vent tube from the tank or you can have serious pressure issues. I saw somewhere where it was mentioned to put a small breather filter on it to keep particles out of the tank. Also there can be a fuel smell especially on hot days when vapors are escaping from the tank.
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Report this Post10-06-2014 11:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Actually used it for transportation today and drove it to work.
It's pretty funny because it already turns heads and it's nowhere near done on the outside.

What parameter in torque does everyone use to monitor KR? I have been using the top one labeled just knock retard but it's stayed at 0 the whole time, which is sweet if it's actually working. But from what I read kind if hard to believe with a gen v and a 3.4 pully with only 1.9 rockers and n* throttle body with ls1 MAF for supporting mods. Stock exhaust manifolds into 3" exhaust.
I've got an appointment set to get it aligned Wednesday, and then I plan to go to emissions after that. Hopefully it passes with no issues. I might have to pull my CEL bulb out before I get there because it's still throwing a code for O2 sensor heater circuit.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 10-06-2014).]

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Report this Post10-07-2014 08:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So the car seemed kind of squeaky and creaky on the inside for being a hard top car, especially for a car that I personally assembled the interior and put sound deadening in. Yesterday while waiting at a stop light I happened to notice that all of the fasteners inside the cabin that hold the roof skin on were missing. I knew it had a different roof skin put on it but who puts a roof on without any of the fasteners. When I was bolting the roof skin back on today I noticed that the three nuts that hold the rear clip were missing too! No wonder this thing noisy. With all the fasteners in place I took it for a spin around the block, no more squeaks.
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Report this Post10-07-2014 08:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for johnyrottinClick Here to Email johnyrottinSend a Private Message to johnyrottinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sure is looking sweet!
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Report this Post10-10-2014 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by johnyrottin:

Sure is looking sweet!


Thanks! I appreciate it.

Well I took it in for the alignment appointment Wednesday and they told me that my rear wheel bearings were shot, my drivers front bearing is shot, and my passengers upper ball joint is bad. Which were all new parts when the motor was put in and the suspension powder coated. I saw it while it was on the rack, there was some serious play in the rear wheels, I totally understand why it handled strange now.

When I got home I jacked it up and took the rear wheels off to inspect things for myself. It was hard to believe that the new bearings were toast. Well on the drivers side I found the tie rod nut did not have a cotter pin in it and was not even hand tight. I'm very glad that it did not come all the way loose while I was driving. Very thankful for that, and that I did not really take it over 35mph much. I snugged that up, but discovered that there was still a decent amount of play. Here is a video of how much play the passengers rear hub had.

Considering that the drivers one is just about as bad AND had a loose tie rod, I am surprised that it drove as well as it did. Kind of scary to think about now. I was able to get the hubs removed this morning and have new ones on the way from rockauto, unfortunately they will not be here until Monday. I think the cause of the failure in the rear was the axle nut not being torqued to 200 ft lbs, because when I removed them, I was able to break them loose with a medium sized breaker bar one handed.



I have to say, having everything new and freshly powder coated made it very nice to work on, almost didn't even get my hands dirty. After I get the rear back together I will investigate what is going on in the front end, hopefully it's nothing major or expensive. On the plus side it is giving me an opportunity to get to know what parts the car actually has in it. I am hoping that I can get everything tightened up so I can get it aligned. Then I have to go through emission testing, hoping everything goes well there. It would be nice to be able to be able to put a few miles on it before winter hits.
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post10-16-2014 10:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So I got the car put back together. For some reason this side of of fought me the whole way. As soon as I pulled the axle out if the plastic bag I had it in one of the rollers came off. So I got to spend a good deal of time collecting all of the little pin things which I'm sure have an actual name. Then I wasn't too sure where to put the pins so my first though was to put them in the roller and then put it on the tripod. WRONG. Then I put them on the tripod but was unaware that there was a little ring that is on the OUTSIDE of the tripod. So I got to fish a bunch of those little pins out of the greasy boot. Third time was a charm though.

I did drive it around the neighborhood, that's how I found out the zip tie failed, and it felt pretty good and I didn't hear and weird noises or anything. Definitely didn't seem as sloppy and unpredictable as before. So hopefully my conduit locknut spacers do the trick. Right now it's back in the garage so I can take a look at the front and see what's going on up there.

We'll after baking the car in and getting it on stands I found one of the needles that goes on the axle bearing so it looks like I get to pull the rear end apart again. Good thing I didn't get that boot clampto work.
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Report this Post10-16-2014 10:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So when I started checking things out up front I found that the wheels won't turn very far in either direction with the car on stands . I kind of thought it didn't turn very well when I drove it but I thought that may have been due to a really off alignment. The the banjo bolts run into the lower control arms. The lower shock mounts have already been modified and moved inward. With the car on the ground I lose a whole turn of the wheel from lock to lock. From research I saw people suggesting to make sure the calipers are on the proper sides. My bleeders are on the top, I didn't see anyone mention anything about using them upside down so I would think mine are right.

Here are pictures of how it looks with the suspension loaded with a jack under the control arm with enough pursue to lift it off the stands. [URL=http://s100.photobucket.com/us er/zdmcdonal/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20141016_132003_zpsg74dip3k.jpg.html][/URL][URL=http://s100.photobucket.com/user/zdmcdonal/media/Mobile%20Uploads /20141016_131857_zpsyfteblsy.jpg.html][/URL]

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 10-16-2014).]

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Report this Post11-09-2014 05:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I ended up swapping the calipers from side to side to move the banjo bolts up out of the way of the shock mounts.


This helped a decent amount but there is still some definite interference. It stops well and I like having the C4 brakes but when you end up with a steering radius of a school bus, it's not really worth the trade off. I am still losing almost 1/2 turn of steering in each direction. Instead of cutting up the shock mounts, I decided to upgrade even further and order a set of C5/C6 Corvette brackets from DoubleC4 that clock the calipers up slightly to avoid interference, also the rotor hats are not as deep on the 13" rotors, so the calipers are pushed out towards the wheels further.

I bought a set of Cadillac XLR calipers off of eBay which are the exact same as Corvette C6 calipers just with different writing on them. I kind of prefer the "XLR" script to the "Corvette" anyway, because only car people are going to know what an XLR is, everyone knows what a Corvette is. Plus I got a really great deal on them because no one is looking for XLR calipers.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 11-09-2014).]

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Report this Post01-16-2015 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Over the holidays some good things happened for my 3800. My brother was cool enough to buy me headers for Christmas, which is very cool. They are pacesetters, routing the exhaust my require a little creative thinking but after seeing a couple setups on here I have a pretty good idea of how to set up the exhaust.


So since I now had headers that I am itching to install, I figured I better take it through emissions before I start tearing it apart so I could get it plated. I was kind of nervous taking it there because I wasn't sure if it would pass, and I was not sure if I should tell them that it has been swapped to OBDII or just keep my mouth shut and let them run it as an 87 Fiero. One benefit to telling them that it is OBDII is that they can just plug it in and I don't have to hand over my keys to someone I don't know and don't trust. I decided to just keep my mouth shut and let them run it as an 87 Fiero, but since it has 17 inch wheels with some what of a lower profile tire, they could only do an idle test on it which was fine by me!

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Report this Post02-27-2015 08:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Bump, wondering if Spring is ever going to get here. I am so tired of all this snow.


I have been doing a lot of thinking on how to setup my exhaust with the pacesetters, and I think I have a good idea how to set it up. My plan is to use a Ferrari 355 muffler that I picked up locally for a good price. I know it isn't going to sound like a Ferrari, but it should still give it a unique sound and maybe take care of the usual raspy 3800 exhaust note in the higher RPM's. Since the pacesetter headers dump kind of low where the modular Y comes together, I am planning on not using the Y piece. Here is a pic I borrowed from Nosrac's 3800 build thread showing how low the headers dump compared to the cradle. I have done a few rough measurements and it looks like the muffler will be a pretty close fit width wise between the cradle mounting points.


This is what I plan to have the exhaust setup look like from underneath, looking up. Obviously the pipes for the outlets will have to be reworked and routed down to the cutouts in the bumper, but I think having the muffler laying flat above the pipes coming from the headers would give me the best fit and save as much trunk as I can.
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I will also have to fit cat's in somewhere because I live in one of the few counties in my state that requires emission testing. I am hoping that I can fit them close to the inlets on the muffler, opposite the flex pieces. If anyone has any suggestions or other ideas for me I would be interested in hearing them.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 02-27-2015).]

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Report this Post03-13-2015 07:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I uncovered it today and started it for the first time after its long winters nap. Fired right up on the first crank. I really need to get the plates for it and put it on the insurance so I can put some miles on it. I still have a short list of things that need to be done on it before I would call it reliable or dependable.
-half of the windshield has come loose again, will need to take it to a glass shop and have them reset the window.
-needs new tires, they are very bald, new wheels will come at the same time, still trying to decide which size and style wheels to go with.
-need to rebuild the steering rack or replace with new, the inner tie rods have some play, then will need a 4 wheel alignment
-going to replace the 12" C4 front brakes with 13" C6 rotors and calipers so I will have the full range of steering again.
-replace the ground cable for the battery so that it makes a more solid connection, very slow cranking after sitting for a while.

Most of that will all kind of need to happen at the same time. I kind of need the new brakes and calipers on before buying wheels so that I can make sure the calipers will clear, however I think the current wheels might interfere with the face of the caliper. I really don't want to have to install longer wheel studs and buy spacers just to make it to the wheel shop. But I want to be sure that the new wheels will clear the brakes without any issues. I also don't want to buy new tires before I fix the rack and get it aligned.

Other things I plan to do this season include
-installing the headers
-redoing the exhaust setup to work with the Ferrari 355 muffler
-hopefully install some usable trunk

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 03-13-2015).]

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Report this Post03-20-2015 07:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Recently I started working on getting my calipers all cleaned up and painted for the 13" brake upgrade. I used VHT engine enamel seems fairly forgiving and smooths out very nice. The can states to cure the parts in a oven after, since I don't have an oven I can use, I'm just going to go over them with my heat gun thoroughly for a while.

Brackets all cleaned up and painted:

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I found some 2oz condiment containers that I had laying around that fit over the pistons and boot PERFECTLY. Saved me a lot of trouble masking:

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They are stamped made in Australia, which I found interesting.
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Assembled with the bracket again. Waiting for the paint to fully cure before sanding the paint off of embossed "XLR" letters. Look at how well those condiment cups worked around the pistons. Very happy with the outcome.

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I ordered my rotors and am just waiting for them to arrive. These are going to look real nice on the car, now I just need to decide what wheels I want to put them behind.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 03-20-2015).]

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Report this Post03-21-2015 02:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just spent that past half hour or so reading this entire thread. Nice job so far! The interior is looking great, and I am really liking the brake calipers in the 2 tone. I SO want to put a 3800 SC in mine!

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Report this Post03-27-2015 08:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JohnWPB:

Just spent that past half hour or so reading this entire thread. Nice job so far! The interior is looking great, and I am really liking the brake calipers in the 2 tone. I SO want to put a 3800 SC in mine!


Thanks John, your car is looking good in the Daytona pics I've seen on Facebook recently.

Well I finally got the car plated and insured and took it for it's first legal drive after the swap yesterday. Damn this thing is fast!

My giant 13" rotors arrived the other day. These things are massive, I don't think I am going to have any problems in the stopping department. The really nice part is that I will not have to re-drill the bolt pattern in the rotors due to the hub conversion.

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I am still waiting for my brake pads to arrive and I ordered the bolts that I think I am going to need today. Figuring out what to order was a little bit tricky though because the threads on my knuckles have been drilled out for the current 12" setup, so I needed to figure out the proper length bolt to go all the way through the bracket and the knuckle and have enough room for a nut on the other side. I have a couple other sets of stock knuckles but these are powder coated and I would rather not mess with undoing the ball joints to swap them out. The bolts that the previous owner used on the 12" setup are definitely not long enough and a little sketchy in my opinion. Here you can see that the nut doesn't even fully thread onto the bolt with the current setup:
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I mocked up the brackets with the spare knuckles I had in my basement and I think I got a pretty good idea how long the bolts should be.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 03-27-2015).]

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Report this Post04-04-2015 09:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well I've got big news in the brake department, over the weekend I started working on installing my 13" brakes. I ran into a couple snags along the way though.

The first problem that I discovered was that the brackets did not fit properly due to my car having the Corvair hub swap done, apparently the offset of the hub is different than the stock Fiero rotor turned down into a hub. Instead of bolting the adapter bracket to the front of the knuckle, I had to bolt it to the back of the knuckle and use something as a spacer to center the caliper bracket on the rotor. This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

Figured that out and continued mocking evening up. I wasn't t sure if I would need to install longer wheel studs and run thin wheel spacers for my wheels to clear, so I was test fitting everything first. I found out that my wheels will clear and I didn't need longer wheel studs or to run spacers, so I was happy about that.
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I did discover that clearance was awfully tight though. This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.[URL=http://s100.photobucket.com/us er/zdmcdonal/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150403_122527_zpssdvsloql.jpg.html]This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.[/URL]

I had to peel the stick on wheel weights off in order for the calipers to clear. I will need to get the wheels rebalanced with the clip on style weights on the inside, until I get my new wheels. This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

I didn't have a c-clamp or anything to compress the piston, so I got creative and used a piece if wood with Rodney's ball joint separating tool. This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

And now just some more pics to show them off. This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.[URL=http://s100.photobucket.com/us er/zdmcdonal/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150403_160016_zpswnjgvvaw.jpg.html]This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.[/URL]

Back on the ground testing out the steering radius. It's so nice to have the full steering radius back.

[URL=http://s100.photobucket.com/us er/zdmcdonal/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150404_164745_zpsqebbtqtq.jpg.html][/URL]

I still haven't taken it for a spin yet but I creeped it back and forth in the garage and the pedal feels really good and they seem to grab with zero effort.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 04-04-2015).]

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Report this Post04-17-2015 08:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well over the past weekend I fixed a couple more things on the car. I ran my new ground wire in the front to a more solid location. The main ground was just a bolt that had been welded into the spare tire hub.


I ran it down to the frame where the horn bracket is mounted in the front.
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One of the fittings to the braided trans lines started leaking so I had to address that. I tried snugging the fitting and it seemed to help to an extent but was still leaking. I disconnected it and found that one of the flared fittings was not done very well and that was causing my leak.

This is the fitting that started leaking, of course it had to be on the car side of the line and not the flex hose side.


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The messed up flare.


Luckily I have a snake attachment for my Dremel tool, so I was able to cut the bad flare off the line from the top.



I replaced the flared fitting with a compression fitting, since I don't own a flaring tool and it would be kind of difficult to flare the line way down in there.


After I moved the main ground I thought I had my hard starting problem fixed, but during the time that I was starting it to check the new fitting for leaks, it had issues starting again. I removed all the grounds and cleaned the end of the grounds and the mounting points on the body. It still had issues starting. Luckily since I had the air intake off to access the trans line, my friend came over to give me some advice about the trans line and he noticed that the ground right above my starter was very loose.

This looks like a solid connection, right? LOL


After snugging up that ground I thought for sure that my hard starting problem would be gone, but it was still having issues. I put my battery charger on it and let the battery get fully charged, and then tried cranking it over and the battery went dead immediately. Luckily it was only like 6 months old so I went down to Autozone and got it replaced under warranty. I guess my battery didn't like all of those loose and crappy grounds. It starts by just barely turning the key now.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 04-17-2015).]

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Report this Post05-11-2015 04:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My latest project on the 3800 was an LED brake light that was left buried under the stack of parts when I bought the car. It wasn't made for the car and was too big to be mounted anywhere without modification, so I thought what the heck, lets cut it up. I didn't take any pictures before I started cutting it, but here are the two pieces sitting next to each other.


My intention was it cut it to tuck up under the lip of the rear clip at the top of the back window and have it barely visible unless it's lit. This is what's left of it and the piece I was intending to use.

Since the wires originally exited the back of the light housing that was no longer there, I carefully drilled a hole in the passenger side of the light and routed the wires out the side using the grommet that was originally on the light.
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I tested it with a 9 volt to make sure it even worked since I had just found in laying in a pile of parts, and then hacked it up.

I had originally planned to fasten the light housing to the the roof section, but after mocking it up, there are too many different contours and surfaces in that area to have a good mounting surface. Since my cut wasn't perfect across the back, and there was no longer a back side to the light, I went to the hardware store and picked up some 90 degree aluminum stock that I mounted to the top of the light and sealed across the back. That will give me a nice flat mounting surface across the back of the light to mount to the glass instead of trying to mount to the recess in the roof.



I used 3M double sided tape to mount it to the glass. Here are some pictures of how it turned out.


This is how it looks when it not lit.

I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I kind of wish I knew what the light originally came from because I wouldn't mind finding another one to modify for my other Fiero.
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Report this Post05-11-2015 04:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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Here is a short video I took the other day with a few somewhat aggressive pulls to around 60mph, nothing crazy and no WOT pulls yet. It was difficult to find a good place to mount the camera to be able to see the road and the speedo.
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Report this Post05-11-2015 04:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Over the weekend I tackled fixing my loose steering column. It seems like once you notice a little play, it progresses really fast. Here's a short video showing how loose it was.


I had never torn into a steering column that far before, the most I had done was replaced a turn signal switch. Overall it wasn't too bad of a job, took up the better part of an afternoon. I think one of the hardest parts was trying to get the tilt lever loose without chewing it all up. I ended up having to use vice-grips on it and still had a hard time getting it loose, was that thing torqued to 100ft/lbs or something?
All torn down, hoping I know how everything goes back together at this point lol
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Got it all back together and everything works, except for the key chime, which I'm not 100% sure if it worked or not before I tore it apart. No more loose steering column for me.
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Report this Post06-18-2015 12:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well it looks like I haven't updated this thread in a while. Well I've run into some issues getting my wheels with the shop I was using. Waited almost a month and the couldn't produce an order. Buying a set of wheels for your car is supposed to be a fun, enjoyable thing. It's a big expense and a difficult decision, but it's also a landmark day for a car enthusiast. I'd like to thank World of Wheels in Michigan City for totally screwing that up for me.

I've been saving for wheels and tires for my 3800 Fiero since I first bought it and knew I'd have enough money after tax time. I went to world of wheels in the winter after posting on Facebook asking for advice on a good wheel shop in the area and the owner started chatting with me. After explaining that my car has been built with parts from many different cars they said they need to measure to figure out what will fit properly. I was ok with that and told them I'd bring the car over in the spring when the weather cleared.

Jump ahead to May, I take the car over to their shop to talk wheels and remind them that they would need to measure. They claim that they don't have to measure and the wheels should fit just fine, and if not they'll make it right and find me something that I'll be happy with. (that should have been red flag number one) I get a written up estimate which, they messed up the tire and wheel sizes in which we were discussing. I get the typos straightened out and I make my final decision on May 15 and ask again if they are sure they don't want to check measurements before I give them a hefty deposit. That was a Friday, the following Monday was a holiday which may affect shipping but the wheels were estimated to arrive mid week the next week. It was only supposed to be 2 day shipping from New York.

Wednesday/Thursday of the following week arrives and I call to check what's going on, the owners not in and the guy said he'd call me back in 45 minutes. (no call back, red flag number 2) I call before closing and he claims to have just gotten in yeah right, sure, but for some reason has not received tracking info on my wheels yet. Tells me they should be in next week. So I call in the next week and he still has no tracking number or any idea where my wheels are. But I'm going out of town that weekend and they should definitely be in when I get back.

Following Monday I call to find out if my wheels came in, he'll look into it and give me a call back, I recieve a call saying there's a slight issue and we need to discuss how to move forward. Come to find out the issue is with their credit card, apparently their vendor had an out of date credit card info and cancelled the order and my wheels never shipped. I told them no big deal stuff happens, let's go ahead and reorder them, when would be an outside date for them to arrive, they tell me the end of the week again. I call in on Saturday inquiring about my wheels, they have no info on them, and tell me Monday/Tuesday.

End of my work day Tuesday rolls around and I still have not heard from them, so I give them a call. We have another small problem apparently. They were shipped the wrong sizes. Kind of curious why they didn't call me and let me know the wheels were in but there's a problem, instead I have to call to find out what's going on. I get pretty pissed at this point as we are closing in on a month since I gave them my deposit and walked in their store with the exact sizes I wanted, they didn't have to do anything except place the order because I had done my research.

Wednesday morning I drove to their shop to retrieve my deposit. Surprise surprise they didn't open on time, what kind of shop do you run here? As the owner is counting back my cash he says "oh no wonder we didn't get the right size, our invoice is wrong" , gee so was your estimate dumbass. WTF! My reciept was right because I double checked it before I left their shop and looked it over numerous times to make sure everything was correct. Would you admit that to your customer at this point? You look like an idiot.

Then the owner claims that he's now stuck with those wheels since they were a special order, I don't buy that for a second or why were you so confident that you'd make it right if they didn't fit. AND if it happens to be true that he IS in fact stuck with those wheels wouldn't that give them even more reason to measure in the first place to make sure they'll fit before placing the order?

Now I'm back to square one and since I've had so much time to think, I'm debating if I want to stick with that style wheel or go a different route now. Very frustrating.
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Report this Post06-18-2015 12:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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After I got my money back I went over to discount tire because I know they sell the wheel I was interested in. After chatting with the guy at discount tire things got more complicated. My car has had a 5x4.75 hub conversion done on it, I guess to make it easier to do the Corvette brake upgrade, not real sure what the previous owners motivation behind it was. But there is not a whole lot of wheel selection in the 5x4.75 pattern. My car is currently running BMW wheels which are 5x120mm. I tell the sales guy about the hub conversion and what wheels are on the car now and he proceeds to tell me that legally they cannot mount 5x120 wheels on my car if I were to order them. And I'm more than welcome to do it myself but if I buy them I own them. That was kind of my whole motivation for going to a shop was that if they don't fit it's on them. So just to clarify I told the guy that if I just wanted to replace the tires on my car and put the same wheels back on it they would refuse to service it and he said that was correct.

Now I know that 4.75 and 120mm aren't equal but there's no way he would have been able to tell unless I told him. And I don't know how unsafe it is, it seems from what I've read that s10 and blazer guys have been running them forever with no issues. After all the difference is 0.65mm's. So I'm not sure what I should do at this point.
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Report this Post06-18-2015 12:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So now I was pretty much on my own to figure out what will fit. So I just went out to the garage and pulled the rear wheel to see what markings were on it. Currently it has BMW 3 series wheels, the rears are 17x8.5 with a +50mm offset but I'm also using a approx 10mm spacer (I don't have a caliper to measure with). And I'm running 10" coilover springs.





I mounted the wheel back up without the spacer and it still bolted up ok and cleared the coilover. (pics of wheel mounted without spacer)





This is how the wheels fit with the spacers. Fitment isn't bad, the tire just looks small in the wheel well, and I don't want to lower it more because it already drags the cradle in my driveway sometimes when my blue one with the nicer stance does not.






Ok I just went out and measured from the surface the hub mates to, to a straight edge across the tire. It looks like 6 15/16" to the outside edge of the tire without the spacer in place.






Here's my home brew setup with a string taped to the fender with a lug nut tied on the end for weight.
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