I have a 1988 2M4 SE with a blown out 5 speed Isuzu that I’ve finally had the time, tools, and assistance to get taken apart. The motor is now free and clear of the body, and now I’m in crunch time. What do I do with it?
Firstly, I’m fairly certain I don’t want to do a V8 swap. As enjoyable as it would be to blow the doors off all the kids Mustangs (I live near the U of M, there’s to many of them), that’s really not my personality. I’d love to turn it into a peppy grand touring car, tho even that implies an engine upgrade. My initial instincts are to strip the 2.5L Iron Duke down, bore out the cylinders some, and rebuild it with whatever performance parts I can get my hands on for that motor. I understand “Iron Duke” and “performance” aren’t words usually associated with each other, but really, I’d be fairly happy with getting 120hp into the car.
I’m really torn between 2 things. First, I like the idea of keeping nearly everything stock in the spirit of keeping it a factory Fiero. Second is making it the car it should have been.
In that, I turn to the guru’s here. Suggestions and guidance would be appreciated. And I'm really fielding opinions - I know there are a lot of hard core V8 swap fans out there, but are there any Duke fans?
Yes, there are quite a few Duke fans...but they would be quick to tell you that at 120 hp. your duke would not last long. It seems that General Motors optimized the crank shaft to about as light as possible, and it's not that reliable when it's making that much more horsepower. Check out the search function for a number of other choices in both 4 and 6 cylinder. The original 2.8 takes a lot of grief, but it does just what you are talking about, and can be found for not much money.
I have a 1985 2M4 that had been parked for years before I got it. I have went thru it completely and while it is definitely no speed demon it is fun to drive and cruises easily at 70 to 75 mph. I think the duke will hold up fine if it is not over revved. One think I like about it is that I can actually accelerate thru the gears while driving and still not get a speeding ticket which you can't really do with an engine swap car. I also have an 85 GT which in fun but I wouldn't say its more fun. Each to their own, I am certain that the supercharged and V-8 cars are a blast too.
Probably one of the easiest and most economical upgrades you could do would be to drop in a 93-95 Camaro/Firebird 3.4 V6. There are a few upgrades available that would bump it from 160 hp in it's stock form to somewhere shy of 200 hp, depending upon how much extra you wanted to put into the engine. As already said, there's not much you can safely do to the Duke engine. It wasn't intended to be a performer.
Engine bay wiring harnesses and ECM's can be obtained from junk yard cars or from people here who are doing other engine swaps. If you intend to stay with the Isuzu transmission, it probably would be just as cheap to locate another trans, as opposed to having yours rebuilt.
Just a note about the 2M4 SE designation. There's no such animal in the 88 model year. The SE model was dropped at the end of 87 and the 2M4 and 2M6 designations were also eliminated. The 4-cylinder 88 was just a Coupe with the only other two models offered in 88 being the Formula and the GT.
Welcome to Fiero ownership. A love-hate, joyous-disappointing affair.
Took my transmission to a family friend at his shop in ypsilanti thursday afternoon to get an estimate on a rebuild. The next morning, I was told it was to far gone to be saved. RIP.
Now that I have a large collection of paper weights, we are looking at other options. I have a couple leads in the area for V6 engines out of 86/87 Fiero's. I don't know yet wether they are automatic or manual. I'm also now leaning more towards the 3.4 engine swap, as it looks to be fairly straight forward. My biggest concern is that I have the engine cradle for the Duke. Does anyone know if A) It would be an ideal situation to modify this cradle for the 3.4 and B) if not, could i take the cradle from any other V6 Fiero and just bolt it into my car?
Others on here know more than me but I don't think there's any difference between the V6 and 4 cylinder cradles.
I've only replaced and done engine swaps on Fiero V6 cradles. The Duke engine mounts differently so I would assume that there is a difference.
------------------ " THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Powerlog manifold, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Flotech Afterburner Exhaust, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, HP Tuners VCM Suite. "THE COLUSSUS" 87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H " ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "
1988 SE? I don't believe that model exists for that year. When I had my 88 coupe I wanted to make it an SE with all the options that an SE would have.
Yeah, I've already been told that. It's just the coupe. I'm leaning now towards a rest-mod, updating as much as possible. But still, the priority is the engine and transmission. I'm strongly leaning now towards a 3.4 from a camero. I know i'll need a few parts off a 2.8 V6, not to mention i have to figure out what transmission to put on it. Does anyone know if I can put a 5 spd getrag on the 3.4? and if so, any complications i should know about?
The 3.4L out of the Camaro/Firebird uses the same 60 degree bolt pattern as the Fiero Getrag 5 speed, so they will bolt up. The engine will require relocation of the starter to the other side of the block. Rodney Dickman sells a jig to accomplish this, and there's many write-ups on the 3.4L swap as it's incredibly common.
Yes as said above there is no "SE" trim level, nor a "2M4" trim level, for 1988. Pontiac for 1988 simply called the base model car "Fiero." The thinking is that the "SE" trim level was likely dropped for last year of production to make room for the "Formula" trim level. Additionally, less than 4,000 SEs were sold in 1987. The SE trim level was the only Fiero still using the ribbed belt line, while all the other Fieros had moved into the rounded molding body style.
I've been doing a lot of research already on this 3.4 swap, and it sounds better and better the more i read about it. I personally don't have the skills to do a lot of it, but have a large circle of friends that have been helping me out, and, of course, the huge resource that is PFF. Things were cemented this morning when I went to pick up my stripped down 5 spd Isuzu trans that was in the car. the results? A bearing tore apart and sent shrapnel thru the rest of the trans, taking out most of the low gears brass components.
I do have another several getrag transmission. Since it seems that most of the swaps i've seen start with the getrag, and i need to find one. I now know it should just bolt on (thank you Fiero84Freak) BUT, since i'll probably be getting one from a FWD Cavalier/Beretta, i need to get more specific about it. Car-part.com shows two options, a cable driven speedo or an electric speedo. presumably with the fiero and 3.4, i'd want the electric.
Something else I just thought of (and as of this moment I haven't done any research on it) - I have a 4cyl car. Is it realistic, mounting wise, to be able to mose to a V6? Anyone do something like this before?
I'm sure I'll come up with more questions as this moves along. sardonyx247 post is def going to be a big help, and is my inspiration for this. I've already checked out Rodney Dickmans articles and store, amongst others. There's a lot of great information out there, and I already feel grateful for that.