Hey guys, I first joined up here in 2008 when I started this project and it's still ongoing. It's a looong story so I won't bore anyone with the details, but I'm at my wit's end and I don't know what to do.
I had my Fiero at a shop who said they could replace my 2.5L 4-cyl with a 3.8L NA 3800 Series II engine, which I purchased. I got an adapter plate that's supposed to bolt to the transaxle from... I think it was West Coast Fieros? It's been a few years I don't remember. Anyhow they kept blowing me off and I was broke anyhow so no biggie. 5 years later they had the old engine pulled but water got into the transmission.
I have it at another shop but when they discovered my Isuzu 5-speed was ruined the project ground to a standstill. It's been months now and I'm again getting the runaround. A friend of mine suggested replacing it with a Getrag 5-speed, and gave me a list of compatible donor cars where such a beast could be found. I forwarded that to the shop but still nada.
Out of desperation I called another shop asking if they'd be willing to take on this project but they said since I don't have a transmission, they refused to take me on as a customer. The shop it's at right now is basically just sitting on it, and I have no idea what to do next.
I'm not a mechanic, I'm an IT guy, I just love my Fiero and I'm willing to do almost anything to get it back on the road. I've already sunk $4000-$5000 into this project and I'm willing to spend whatever it takes, I just can't find anyone who's willing to help.
I don't know if this should be on the Mall side or where I should put this post but does anyone have any suggestions? Would anyone be willing to help? I'd even pay someone to do some consulting for this shop, or to help me find a shop, help me find a transmission, anything! It's been 7 years now I've been trying to get this done and I just keep running into one obstacle after another, so I'm turning to the Fiero community.
I have no idea what you should do....but here are a few random thoughts:
1. If your mechanics don't know what they are doing, but they know that you know less than they do...it's a recipe for no action. (especially if the parts are in their shop). 2. You don't need an adapter plate....If your mechanic thinks you do, take your parts and run. 3. Transmissions for that motor are not difficult to find. If a mechanic does not want to do it because there is no transmission, he is lazy or does not know how to do the job. 4. Look for ability to trump location....If you find the right guy that is 1000 miles away, use him......you will be very glad when the car is done. Looking at your town from GoogleMaps, I'd say that there is not a lot of Fiero expertise locally.
[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 05-07-2015).]
Are you referring to the 3800 engine mounts as adapter plates?
How did water get into the Transmission? Anyway not important going forward I guess.
Your options is pretty much obvious you need to buy yourself a transmission, they are listed for sale in the Mall frequently or find one off craigslist/ebay, another option to save yourself some money you can take your friend's list and go down to the local Pick-n-Pull an pull one out yourself. If you get a non-fiero getrag you will need Rodney's FWD Getrag Into Fiero Conversion Kit
$4000-$5000 isn't that uncommon to spend on a swap but if it hasn't even been done yet I have to ask what have you paid for so far?
[This message has been edited by Fiero Vampire (edited 05-07-2015).]
How did it get water in it? The shop it was at for five years had the engine pulled while the car was left out in the elements. Yes I agree they probably owe me a transmission but these people have no honor or integrity whatsoever, it'd be like getting blood from a stone.
Where'd all the money go if it's still in pieces?
$1000 or so for the engine and various parts (alternator, computer, etc.), $3000 for a new paint job and body work, $800 or something for 17" wheels, and I think something like $200-$400 for a new suspension kit with anti-sway bars.
The info my friend gave me is this:
The 5 speed found on the following vehicles are the best choice. There are some later models ones that can be made ot work but this is the easiest route:
Chevrolet Cavalier 1987-89 Pontiac 6000 1987-88 Chevrolet Beretta 1987-89 Chevrolet Celebrity 1987-88 Chevrolet Corsica 1987-89 Cadillac Cimarron 1987-88 Oldsmobile Fierenza 1987
Here is a good resource as to what is needed (brackets etc) to retrofit into the Fiero:
Rodney is pretty busy running a parts business....PFF members can help you along the way, and if you ask enough questions, you will learn a lot. Learn how to post pictures on the forum and ask away.....no question is too stupid!
[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 05-07-2015).]
Well Rodney isn't in the business of finding transmissions just the kits needed to install them. (Well those kits and a lot of other cool Fiero Products, the guy makes awesome stuff!)
Ok so you actually only have $1000 towards your swap so far, to be honest the loss of the Isuzu could be seen as a good thing, better to replace it now than later, they are terrible transmissions for a 3800 swap anyways and is just a matter of time before it would have failed anyways. Hell mine failed behind a 2.5.
First things first, if I was you I would be placing a WTB: Getrag Transmission post in the Mall and see what offers and prices you get.
shops around here won't even look at a swapped car let alone a fiero swap. unfortunate the run around you've been getting on yours. if you have a place to put it I would get it out of the shop it's in before parts start missing or they damage something on your car.
------------------ 1986 Fiero GT fastback SC3800 3.4 pulley, LS1 TB 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with "big boy" 5.9 motor 1986 Honda Goldwing SEi 1200 fuel injected
you are about 4 hours from Kansas City MO and Wichita Kansas there are some good people there along with Joplin MO and Independence KS that can help you if you can link up with them. I have many Fiero friends on Facebook in those areas.
[This message has been edited by Drew-py (edited 05-07-2015).]
Yep, like I said I'm already $5000 or so into this project so it's not really a money thing. I'm even at the point where I'd be willing to entertain an alternate swap and put the 3800 I bought up on Craigslist or something. That'd be sad but whatever.
The shop I have it now, they're good people, honest. I'm not really worried about them they're just over their heads with it. They recommended another shop around here called "Custom Motor Concepts" who do a lot of that sort of thing but they turned me down. I contacted a shop in Texas called "The Car Shop" http://www.tcsauto.com/node/9 and they turned me down too (or never called back). I called V8 Archie but he said (A) he only does V8s and (B) he's semi-retired, already booked up.
At this point I'm willing to go anywhere within the continental United States to get this done. I just have no idea how to find a shop that's willing or able. I guess I'll just Google it and start calling all the shops I find until one jumps at it.
I feel like it's my life's mission to get this one particular Fiero back on the road. I'm willing to ditch the 3800 block, but not the project.
So, if anyone reading this knows someone, or is willing to take my money, let me know!