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TargaTrouble's Lucky streak, and eventual(hopefully) Build thread! by TargaTrouble
Started on: 05-17-2015 01:01 AM
Replies: 15 (640 views)
Last post by: TargaTrouble on 07-20-2015 12:40 AM
TargaTrouble
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Report this Post05-17-2015 01:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello everyone!

I was a long time lurker, and now I FINALLY have a reason to join the community and post!

To start, I never really knew much about Fieros. In fact for the first 18 years of my life I didn't know they existed.

A co-worker of mine had one when I worked at an electronics supply store in 2011, but it never stuck out to me as anything special.

4 years later, I see one in the parking lot of a performance auto body shop. It was gorgeous, yellow with black/blue trim, and spoiler. For some reason, briefly seeing it caught my attention.
The next day at work, out of curiosity, I started googling things about them and quickly ended up here. A few days later, after successfully thinking about them the whole while, I decided to turn to the Mecha of cars up here in Alaska, Craigslist.

A quick search brought up 3 Fieros for sale, 2 of them running and driving, the third being a parts car with all the body panels off, and the frame apparently "rusty"

The nicest of the three was I believe an 86, Shiny Clean Silver, with huge chromed out rims. They wanted $4,500 for it, and at the time I was next to broke, so that one was a no go.

The other two, the running and driving one, and the parts car, I found out were owned by the same guy. Total, he wanted $4,600 for both. That, again, wasn't going to be possible, but he also had mentioned that he was in the market for an enclosed trailer, because him and his family were moving.

After some thinking, I decided to see what there was on craigslist for enclosed trailers, and out of some crazy stroke of luck found one for the grand total of $900. It needed a few things, namely tires, a paint job, a VIN, a Title, and Registration.


So I told the owner of the Fieros that I could get an enclosed trailer, and if he would be willing to trade the two Fieros for it. After looking at some photos I got of the trailer, the owner of the cars agreed to trade once I had finished the trailer!

I was very excited, because I already had looked for some tires, and looked up getting it VIN'd, titled, and registered, and it seemed to be a fairly straight forward process. Of course it couldn't be easy, or straight forward in anyway, and this one week project turned into 6 weeks of fighting weather, money, and problem after problem.





3 coats of paint, new lights, repacked bearings, replaced wheel studs, 4 sets of rims, 2 sets of rubber, new door hinges, multiple cans of Metal paint, almost losing all the hard work when the darn thing came uncoupled and the safety chains went, repairing the jack stand twice and 6 weeks later, I finally, FINALLY, FIIIIIIINNNNAAAAALLLLLLLLY made the trade. For so long, it didn't seem like it would, or even could work out. There were a LOT of people involved in getting the trailer completed (and there are many, many dedicated friends, and a very supportive girlfriend helping along the way) who gave long hours to help me get it done, and I couldn't thank them enough.


After all the hard work, I finally got my car home.

Now Mind you I didn't go look at the car in person until the day I traded for it, and I only had photos and the internet to fill out my mental image of it. I was worried that the initial love of it would be diminished when I actually saw the car in person
or drove it and didn't like how it felt.

But I was completely blown out of the water. I loved it! Even with the shakes, creaks, and squeaks, that v6 was still kicking pretty strong. I loved how it drove, how it looked, how it felt. EVERYTHING. Which I hadn't expected, not one bit.

After jacking it up to get the tires off to go pick up the parts car, I realized how horrible of condition this thing was kept in. It was NOT a daily driver, and I am officially the 4th owner. It sat apparently for 2 of the 4 owners, both CV's are toast, boots split all the way around. All the rubber, seals, bushing, boots, cracked and leaking, just an utter wreck. The motor mount rubber is gone through, and I think it leaks oil out of a few spots, but I haven't had a chance to look.

But I couldn't be more excited. I've always wanted to do a ground up refurbish, and everything I've been looking at and reading says these are great cars to do it with.




The most amazing part to me, was that the parts car was apparently from Hawaii? and the old owner had a Lambo or Ferrari Body kit on it? Which is evident by the ebay special 4 point race harness, and the spray painted parts.




That's not the cool part, the COOL part was that they had started to do a 3800SC II swap! With a 5 speed manual transmission! Everything was in, shift linkage, transmission bolted up, almost all the mounts, only thing not done/installed was the computers, and wiring harness. Other than that it was pretty much ready to go, but i'm hoping to buy some Brand-X swap mounts when they become available in hopes of swapping that 3800SC into the running and driving one.

And Now, Finally, the Cars!

1986 Pontiac Fiero
2M6 SE
Black with scoop sideskirts and rear wing, and T-Tops
Runs and Drives

To me, this car is gorgeous. I didn't think I would like the sidescoop skirts, but honestly I love them, kinda makes it seem wider. But upon closer inspection, the window seals are rotted, all the rubber, bushings, seals, T-Tops, CV axles, EVERYTHING that could be weather/age damaged, has been. Paint is almost nonexistent, and primer is the only thing in a lot of places. The front bumper has a spliter lip thing that adds an extra 3" on the bottom of the bumper, which makes it SCRAPE every time I go into or out of my driveway/parking garage at work. It unbolts from the rest of the bumper, just have to fab up a spliter to direct more air at the radiator. The motor runs good, and the tranny shifts good still. Only thing is, it sounds like it has some lifter noise. I only drove it a bit before I parked it to get it into tip top shape. Another problem is, like almost ALL T-Tops, mine leaks. And Living in Alaska makes that kind of a bummer. I've read up on making the Camaro seals and another set of seals into the T-Top seals, but I also have to completely disassemble the car and hunt down body leaks and all that jazz. But Again, another exciting aspect of this car I fell deeply in love with.

I wanted to do a rebuild on one, or both, of my 2.8L V6's, AND the 3800 SC. So I ran into some interesting paperwork that I have questions about, apparently the motor already had work and I need help understanding the very vague paperwork, but that will be at the end of this post.














And along with the parts car, I got almost a complete set of body panels! In a deep red. Only thing wrong with them is the front left fender piece is cracked, easily repairable.

1987 Pontiac Fiero
2M6 SE
(WAS) Red, currently has 3800SC Series II with 5 speed manual tranny(Not sure which one, P/O said it was the Fiero 5 speed, but need to drop it to confirm)
This was the Lambo kit Car, which the P/O ripped off to put on another car but didnt feel like swapping the 3800. Haven't had a chance to look at the 2 harnesses I got along with 2 computers apparently for the swap. It has the GT gauge cluster, goes to 120, cant wait to swap that over to the running one. Already started looking up the forum members who are starting to make the mounts, like the Brand-X ones, and the person to modifies/makes the harness to custom specs. But any advice on stuff that would be needed is greatly appreciated.











And after a week or two of having my new obsession and swap car, my Craigslist watcher finds another Fiero!

Parked up 50 miles from my house, the guy wanted $250 for it. So after a $180 tow(cheapest I could find short notice) my third Fiero in a month was delivered in front of my house!


1985 Pontiac Fiero
2M6 SE
Black, zipstripped on body
Sunroof
Car is in pretty OK shape, the exterior is in need of primer and paint, needs lots of nuts and bolts all around, but apparently the motor cranks, needs a fuel pump and battery, think i'm going to try to fire it up here tomorrow or during the week.
Interior is great, except the drivers seat. Tear parallel to a seam, hopefully the girlfriend can attempt to stitch it. The Seats have the headrest speakers, and the dash is almost wholly intact. No carpet, don't really mind that, if I put carpet in it'll be from Mr. Mike or a custom interior, but that's WAY down the road.









In my excitement I decided to pick up some goodies that I thought would be useful




So I currently consider my self very lucky. I picked up 3 Fieros for under 2000. Totaling out at 3 Cars, 3 motors, 3 transmissions, 3 sets of body panels, lots and lots of parts and spare parts. The P/O of the 2 Fieros I got at once said the frame was totally ruined on the parts car, said it was totally rusted out. I jacked it up, got under it, found almost no rusting, I don't think he really took a good look at it, a little work in some places and I have three perfectly usable frames.

Now on to some strange Technical stuff that i'm hoping you wonderful people could help me figure out.


This is an invoice from 1998 at a Local Car shop where it seems the motor was rebuilt. From what I can derive from this vague invoice, the motor blew, and damaged two cylinders. The shop Bored out two cylinders, and took them back to stock bore by sleeving them? This is where I get kind of lost, never having dealt with rebuilding, boring, sleeving, or redoing pistons and rings, I have no idea what they did. It says -060 for pistons? which to me looks like -.060, and then for rings they have +.060... Now this is where i'm COMPLETELY lost. Did they actually make the engine the stock bore? did they only bore out two cylinders and sleeve them to stock, or did they bore all the cylinders to a new bore, and are using different sized pistons? Forgive me if this is an extremely naive line of questioning, or if I should be able to find out on my own, I've tried and cant seem to make sense of the numbers. To me, if they were to bore all cylinders, they would have sleeved them all, but the invoice only calls for 2 sleeves, but then the piston and ring sizings throw me for loop. I really want to rebuild the motor/s but I don't want to start ordering a rebuild kit without the appropriate sized items.

Whew, that was a lot to get out, hopefully its coherent and orderly, but I know i've missed something so I'll be updating this probably more often than I should. So far I've had a lot of fun reading everything on the forum, and can't wait to learn as much I can.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far, serious progress to come, finances and girlfriend allowing.
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Tony Kania
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Report this Post05-17-2015 10:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Best first post ever. A warm welcome...
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Csjag
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Report this Post05-17-2015 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the forum! Check RockAuto.com for some of your replacement parts. On some parts even after paying for shipping they have the best price. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum.
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Report this Post05-17-2015 12:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for no2pencilClick Here to Email no2pencilSend a Private Message to no2pencilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would say welcome to the madness, but you're already knee-deep in it.

Awesome post, thank you for sharing!
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Raydar
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Report this Post05-17-2015 06:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looks like everything is "stock plus .060"
The two liners are probably because two of the bores were damaged beyond the .060.
Instead of scrapping the block, they installed sleeves.

Good luck with your project(s)!

And welcome to our obsession!

------------------
Raydar
88 Formula IMSA Fastback. 4.9, NVG T550

Praise the Lowered!

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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post05-18-2015 12:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you for the warm welcomes, and thank you for the link! Spent a long while just browsing their selection of parts, will be making many purchases through them.

Its funny that you say madness, 3 people in the same day mentioned that I might have an addiction, and I'm starting to believe it.


 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

Looks like everything is "stock plus .060"
The two liners are probably because two of the bores were damaged beyond the .060.
Instead of scrapping the block, they installed sleeves.



Thank you for the response! My confusion stems from the invoice, and next to pistons it says "2.8 -060" and then the Rings say "piston rings +060". Does that mean that the pistons are -.060 from stock size, and the rings are +.060 to make up for the gap of the pistons? I don't really understand how the sizing's matter between pistons and ring, I've never dealt with a rebuild, or replacing pistons or rings. I've tried to google things about it, but keep coming up short, mostly don't know what to search for.

I might have to contact the company that did the work originally, they're still open according to google. Just hope they kept their records from 1998...

[This message has been edited by TargaTrouble (edited 05-19-2015).]

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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post06-23-2015 12:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello All! Sorry about the lack of updates, Life likes to present me with things I HAVE to do when there's things I WANT to do.

Now for an Update:

Since I last posted, a few things have happened, and the majority was sadly unrelated to the Fieros. But they are important to me and eventually the Fieros because I have to know how to do this stuff, and I'm more than happy to learn!

First hurdle that sprang up:
Girlfriend recently started a new job as a delivery driver on a Military base, just as a time filler till something she really wanted to do came along. It was a job I previously worked and actually rather enjoyed. Being on base makes it a safe work environment, almost zero chance of being robbed or anyone messing with your vehicle. And those military guys tip extremely well for cute Delivery Girls.

Seemed like it would be something that wouldn't be too awful, so we decided to revive our 1999 Acura 3.2TL. This was the same vehicle I used for many months for the exact same job, so we prayed it would still be a good work horse. This is about where logic and forethought failed me.

The Honda v6 currently in the car has 266K, and is on its second transmission, common problem being owners not understanding the Sport Shift Mode, and burning out the transmission. The vehicle received zero love from the last 3 owners, including the Girlfriend's parents who gave us the vehicle.

So a few years back we started fixing it up, actually got all 6 cylinders to fire, in the right order, at the right times and everything!
Until it went back to the parents for 6 months while they got their vehicle fixed...

It was returned to us making a horrible ticking/flapping sound, and no oil to speak of. It had an oil leak from the V-Tec solenoid, and required oil every so often. And I notified them of this, but they neglected to check it, and the motor suffered because of it. The suspension had also never been replaced, literally none of it, and so it needed, and still needs almost new everything all the way around. Ball Joints, tie-rod ends, struts, coils, bushings, motor mounts, wheel bears/seals, EVERYTHING.

Long story short, used it for work, and to take us south for a summer for commercial fishing, and then parked it for over a year.

Fast forward to the girlfriends 3rd official day at work here about a month ago, and I receive a picture from her



My initial thought was "Oh man, sucks for whoever that is."
and then I thought that the oil filter looked familiar....

Yeeeeeuuuuuup, Popped a ball joint. Ugh, well guess it's time to learn to do those.



Not too bad, I thought more would have been damaged, but the only things seemed to be the ball joint, the Passenger CV axle (which was sadly brand new, maybe 1000 miles on it :/ ), and the brand new oil filter -.-

After a bit of reading and consulting with technician friends/ The Interwebs, I rented a ball joint press and started to change out the broken ball joint.

Or attempt to.

The way the Ball Joints press into/ out of the back of the knuckle was odd, everything Id seen or read said they should be removed opposite of how I had to, I should have snapped a few pictures but failed to out of frustration.

The ball and stud were still in the LCA, and the Cup was still pressed into the knuckle, but now they are separated. Should be a piece of cake, way more room to work, all that jazz right?

This thing was STUCK. The press, since it was really set up to only remove a range of Ball Joints, was about -125% useful. Didn't do squat, couldn't really mount it properly either, so that was a no go. Tried a pickle fork, wasn't wide enough. So the only thing left was the tried and true, BFH method.



SUCCESS! After a sea of PB Blaster, lots of blow torch time, and numerous whacks from a sledge, IT FINALLY POPPED OUT!

Next step was getting the cup out of the knuckle, tried the press again, no dice, tried finding a suitable punch or extension to fit into the cup to pound against, that wasn't working. Nothing was working, patience was at an all time low, so I took a swing at the bottom of the cup trying to relieve some aggression, and it popped up a good quarter inch.

So to get a surface to smack the rest of the cup out, I set the ball against the rim of the cup that it popped out of, and lightly tapped it back in just to hold it in place. A few good whacks later, and it was free!



And for once, the press was useful! After getting the appropriate configuration of rings and disks on the press, pushed the new passenger side ball joint in, replaced the CV axle and oil filter, and that side was completed.



For safety sake, I decided to replace the other side as well, good maintenance and what not.

The next day I dove into it. It was going to be the quick side, the side that I DIDN'T have to fight 260k of rust and road grit packed in and around to get out.

I was wrong.

6 hours in, only managed to mushroom the stud slightly. And we were hitting it HARD. 2 blow torches, Aerokroil, PB, 2 different sledges, and NOTHING. Maybe 1/16" of vertical movement, but that's as far as it got after 6 hours of pounding. At this point me and my buddy Logan sitting in front of the car, defeated. Nothing was working. There was no binding, no pressure on it keeping it from separating. We kept coming back to the same thing.

Literally it came down to "We just have to hit it...h..harder?" which was such an impossible concept, since we had been giving it our all for 6 hours.

A few more helping hands showed up, but still wouldn't budge. And these are able-bodied, mechanically-inclined gentlemen, so it was that I was just being a wuss about it, it was stuck good!

But Finally, after expending all of our energy, the stupid thing finally popped out.

At this point it was far past when I could safely get enough sleep for work, so we decided to just put it all back together.

A few castle nuts, an oil filter, cleaning out a solenoid gasket housing, a new CV put In, and she is complete!
The Girlfriends car is now road-worthy again (ish) and now not a pressing concern.

With the Acura done, there's nothing else tying me up from working on the Fiero!.... errr.... right?


Annnd WRONG!

More to come shortly, finally getting a chance to update this!

(Edited to add picture, general spelling derps, the usual)

[This message has been edited by TargaTrouble (edited 06-23-2015).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post06-23-2015 11:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry. I missed your response, before. (I don't have Forum access at work. By the time I get home, many threads are bumped way down, and I lose track of them.)

 
quote
Originally posted by TargaTrouble:
...
Thank you for the response! My confusion stems from the invoice, and next to pistons it says "2.8 -060" and then the Rings say "piston rings +060". Does that mean that the pistons are -.060 from stock size, and the rings are +.060 to make up for the gap of the pistons? I don't really understand how the sizing's matter between pistons and ring, I've never dealt with a rebuild, or replacing pistons or rings. I've tried to google things about it, but keep coming up short, mostly don't know what to search for.

I might have to contact the company that did the work originally, they're still open according to google. Just hope they kept their records from 1998...



If the cylinders (and/or sleeves) are .060 oversized, then the pistons and rings would both have to be approximately .060 larger, in order to fill the larger bores. Pistons are just about always stock, or oversize.
Bearings, OTOH, are just about always stock or undersize. (This to accommodate the appropriate machine work that usually takes place for a rebuild. Cylinders get larger. Crank and rod journals get smaller.)

The TL is a cool car. Typical of a Honda, they'll probably freaking run forever.

Good luck!
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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post06-26-2015 01:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Raydar:
No problem, I understand completely. I'm just grateful that you came back and elaborated, that helps immensely, I understand a lot better now. According to the P.O, the rebuild on the 2.8L V6 took place 10k miles ago, so I'm hoping I can get away with tearing the block down completely, getting a new gasket set, and putting it back together(very carefully mind you). My problem with the statement of it being rebuilt 10k miles ago, was that that was done in 1998, and it hasn't had much love since. It LOOKS like there's an oil leak, but maybe the block is just grimy. Sounds good, accelerates nice, except a thicker throttle, which isn't even that bad. But haven't really checked it out yet.

The TL has been an extremely fun little car, so fun that we had hopes of getting a low-milage donor of the same series, and swapping in a manual transmission, but as time passes we're realizing that it might be time to bite the bullet and get a new vehicle. 266k and rising, needs new suspension, transmission, motor, and panels, and can't get anything stock. We're also considering slapping in bottle and boost her till she blows... but that's like, last bit of fun on the list for that car.

Next post will be getting caught up to now, I'm still behind on updates, but more Fiero stuff has happened, so hopefully my long winded posts aren't to bad to read and it'll all be worth it when stuff actually gets done
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Report this Post06-26-2015 04:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth ZClick Here to Email Darth ZSend a Private Message to Darth ZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow man! Congrats on your purchases. I always did like Fieros, and one day tooling around on Craigslist, I came across one. A silver 87, needing a few body panels, and an engine. After reading about the 3800 SC swaps, I figured out what I want to do. The original asking price was $500. I messaged the sellers a few times, but couldn' t make it out to see the car. All other potential buyers backed out, they offered it to me for $300. Got it for $250, and he said he could deliver it for $50. I now own my first Fiero!
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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post06-26-2015 02:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Darth, welcome to the madness! We both have similar stories, all of my finds have been putzing around on Craigslist, and always a smokin' deal. I too stumbled upon the 3800 SC series 2 builds, and realized for the first time in my life the value of a Supercharger, and that's is partially what fueled my love for Fieros.

It also spurred my research into Twin-charged applications, definitely going to get a spare 3800 and attempt a Twincharge build. I know its difficult to do, but with enough effort anything is possible!

Post pictures Darth! Even to this thread, love seeing other peoples rides and projects.

I'm about to post an update I've been trying to get out the door for the last few days, but alas I'm nit-picky and long-winded. I'm really kicking myself for not taking more pictures of the work I did on the Acura and Bravada, but those aren't as important as the Fiero Pictures, so I'll definitely start taking lots when I actually DO work.
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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post06-26-2015 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello again, sorry for posting so frequently, with semi-uninteresting stuff, didn't really intend for this
to become my "Working on Cars" Diary, but for my own sanity I have to share,
and someone might be able to take something away from it.

And now onto the Last round of playing catch-up, and then the real fun can begin!
A few days after we finished fixing the Acura, we get a call from the Girlfriends mother, calling in a favor.
Now mind you, this family has a thing about rallying a vehicle out of existence. It's not on purpose, but it still ends up happening.

A little backstory on the next hurdle. The Girlfriends family has owned many-a vehicle. Mostly good vehicles, but one of their major lemons is a 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada.

This thing is awful. It has all sorts of problems, one of them being a heat problem, pumping out 90*+ temps, with the heater off and the vents closed. Once this thing gets up to "operating temperature" it feels akin to the FLOOR BOARDS BEING ON FIRE.

Not pleasent in the least, 90% of its value was the fact that it would haul things, and has 4 wheel for driving on the beach

Ive done repairs to this vehicle before, a few years back, and what started as bleeding the brakes, turned into finding out they had antifreeze in their brake lines somehow, master cylinder was toast, annnnd the break lines were compromised somewhere.

Couldn't pressurize the system with leaky brake lines, so had to hunt that down. I really wish I had taken pictures of the "solution", for what it was, it got the job done, with minimal effort.

After tracking the leak to a 90* bend in the brake line, we tried to patch it (dumb idea), when that didn't work we contemplated redoing the whole brake line (worse idea, time and money intesive) and we finally settled on compression fittings!
Stopped by local Autozone that a manager buddy worked at, got some fittings, a 6 inch piece of tubing that we curved to the correct angle, cut, flared, and terminated the hacked off end of the brake line with a compression fitting, did the same to the other side, and bolted in our bend piece. Few turns of a wrench, and presto, brakes were sealed again! Master cylinder in, brakes bled, and its out of my life forever, or so I hoped.


Fast forward back to the favor they asked of me, they came to me about a problem with their driver door not shutting.

Never dealt with fixing a striker pin, or hinges, but I went to take a look, see if I could rig it to work.

And this is essentially what I showed up to.



In this photo I had already pulled the striker plate out

APPARENTLY, the door wasn't, and hadn't, been closing right.

So the solution I guess was "Slam it harder!" but I guess after so much abuse, the metal AROUND the striker pin mounting plate had just given up.

Bent, Rusted, and torn metal were just BARELY holding this plate on, except now it was thoroughly embedded in the frame of the vehicle.

I was at a loss for words, I've never seen something so far gone. There was no bending it back into place, no salvaging the tiny pieces of curled metal.

I honestly didn't want to deal with it, and was hesitant to tell them I'd work on it, between the Fieros, the Acura, and work, I didn't really see how I could fit in any R&D on fixing the sheetmetal, since I lack a welder for the time being.

So I put I kind of put it off. They ended up buying a new Tahoe anyway, so they didn't need the Bravada as a daily anymore, so I was happy to not have to work on it.


Welp, 2 months later, we get a phone call. They want to take the Bravada 160 miles south to our fish site, and just leave it there for the summers when they're there. And they apparently NEED it to set stuff up for the fishing season.

So after much pleading, they convinced me to attempt a repair.

Thought on it for a few days, decided I would try to affix some sort of plate with the striker pin mounted to it, to the frame. There was more than enough good metal left after cleaning it up roughly with a dremel, sadly didnt get a picture of it fully cleaned up, looks really hack-jobish in that photo. Mind you this repair was suppose to take at most, 6 hours, because It would be travelling the next day, so I would have to do my fix fast.



My idea was to get a piece of thin gauge metal, trace the general shape of the area that Im patching on a piece of paper, transfer that to the metal and cut/bend it to shape. Then, because I still lack a welder, I decided that some beefy rivets would do the trick, and then if I wanted to go the extra mile I would form it all together with body filler.

And using this as an excuse to supplement my toolbox, I headed to the store. Finally got a much needed bench vice, seeing as the previous one disappeared with a roommate, and a nice, heavy duty rivet gun.

As far as thin gauge metal went, I stumbled upon two possibilities. First was a metal bridge plate(?) for securing 2 pieces of lumber together, like 2 2x4's side by side. It was 5" by 8" and symmetrically drilled holes all through it.

Second was a 1'x1' piece of 1/16th inch aluminum, which I thought might would work great for the final version of my patch panel.

So I went about getting my template done. Instead of trying to trace the shape onto paper, I decided to wing it.

I put the plate up against the frame, eye-balled where the first bend of the plate would need to be, and took it to the bench vice.

At this point I was really wishing I had a metal brake, but a hammer and bench vice sufficed.

For Reference as to what it's SUPPOSE to look like:


First bend was simple, 90* with a slight fillet to it, which was accomplised with the round end of a ball-peen hammer, almost perfect shape to mimic the rounded corner of the frame.


Walked out to the vehicle, fit pretty good for a first attempt, decided to get the other bend so I could be done with the "hard" part.

Second bend was the other direction, but only about a quarter-inch from the edge, so I had to clamp the plate mostly in the vice, with the edge that needed bending sticking out the top so I could roll it with a hammer and piece of 2x4.



That bend went.... alright. Got it roughed out as good as I could on the bench, decided to test fit to see if there would be interference problems with the door closing into the frame. Fit good, door didn't hit or anything, so I decided to translate that shape to the bigger sheet of metal.

This is where things started slowing down. Got the shape onto the metal, started cutting out the shape. I ended up making it bigger on the metal, trying to land on some even flat surfaces, which ended up being my undoing with this attempt.




Wasn't too bad, except couldnt find my angle grinder, so I did it all with a dremel, and MANY metal cutting blades. Took forever, wasnt as clean as I had hoped it would come out, but that could be worked out later, the important part was making sure it was going to fit.

Got both of the bends on it, cut some contours out, and went to test fit. The bends were right, but the way I was going about it was wrong.

Since this was on a time crunch, I didn't account for the shape of the frame, and since I made the v2 plate bigger, due to thickness and lack of an metal brake, I couldn't get the bends/curves right, and I would have to do extensive cutting, and shaping, stuff I hadn't thought about. So I scrapped that version, and went back to my first template made out of the bridge plate.

Sadly, it got late, and I lost steam, so it didn't get finished in time for the Girlfriends family to take it, so we said we'd take it the following weekend on our own time.

Through out the week we drilled holes to rivet the plate down for an actual test fit, and once it was in, it looked great.

Took measurements from the other sides striker pin to get the pin alignment right, drilled the rivets out of my new plate so I could take it to the bench and mount the striker pin and spacers.



Went really smooth, once it was mounted we tweaked/bent it slightly to get the angle right, and temp-riveted it in to make sure the door would close.

Viola! It closed and latched and everything! After doing more alignment checks/tweaks, decided it was as good as it was going to get, and drilled and riveted the rest of the holes.



Wish I had taken some corner shots to show how close I was, theres almost no gap and it touches all the way around, looks and feels solid.

Looks great in my eyes for what it was. Was kinda bummed my buddy decided to rivet one of the edges down, and did a jankity half-on-the-plate-half-off rivet, which threw the symmetry off, but I can't be mad, functions as intended and he's helped me with a lot of projects, and it didn't have to be pretty.


It was almost the end of the week, so no time for body filler to weatherize it, but we plan to spend time where the vehicle is anyway, so we plan to "finish" it hopefully later this summer.


Whew, now that THAT is out of the way, I'd like to apologize for this kind of veering off topic of actual Fiero work. Didn't plan on these things happening, and sadly it put the Fiero temporarily on the back-burner. But I learned a lot of skills that will be used to work on the Fieros, and soon will be making lots of progress.


Finally caught up with updating stuff, and some actual Fiero stuff is happening, which is putting me in kind of a pickle, but it'll work out one way or another!

Next update, which will probably be here in a few hours, will have Fiero stuff! It gets crazier, I promise
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Custom2M4
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Report this Post06-26-2015 05:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Custom2M4Click Here to Email Custom2M4Send a Private Message to Custom2M4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Your t top car doesn't have any grills in the rear deck lid or behind the sail windows, it might over heat. The 85+ cars came with the sail vents, 84 it was in the deck lid like your red one.

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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post06-29-2015 02:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by Custom2M4:

Your t top car doesn't have any grills in the rear deck lid or behind the sail windows, it might over heat. The 85+ cars came with the sail vents, 84 it was in the deck lid like your red one.



Thanks for pointing that out! I never realized where the love for the decklid scoop/louvers/vents stemmed from, but now that you mentioned overheating its a no-brainer. Don't know if it matters/helps, my trunk blower motor doo-dad still works and moves air. I also ended up with a set of the vented panels that go in the corners of the deck lid, the ones with the filter and grating in them. When I start driving it I'll make sure to use the vented ones, and I'm looking into vented deck lids/mods

Sadly/Luckily the car isn't currently being driven, hasn't been driven since I parked her a month or so ago when I noticed it was leaking oil out of somewhere (think I tracked that down).

I've hit kind of a tough decision time, and I kinda have to make some choices before I can move forward, but that will be addressed in my next post
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Darth Z
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Report this Post07-05-2015 03:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth ZClick Here to Email Darth ZSend a Private Message to Darth ZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by TargaTrouble:

Thanks Darth, welcome to the madness! We both have similar stories, all of my finds have been putzing around on Craigslist, and always a smokin' deal. I too stumbled upon the 3800 SC series 2 builds, and realized for the first time in my life the value of a Supercharger, and that's is partially what fueled my love for Fieros.

It also spurred my research into Twin-charged applications, definitely going to get a spare 3800 and attempt a Twincharge build. I know its difficult to do, but with enough effort anything is possible!

Post pictures Darth! Even to this thread, love seeing other peoples rides and projects.

I'm about to post an update I've been trying to get out the door for the last few days, but alas I'm nit-picky and long-winded. I'm really kicking myself for not taking more pictures of the work I did on the Acura and Bravada, but those aren't as important as the Fiero Pictures, so I'll definitely start taking lots when I actually DO work.


Thanks! Here's a link to my album.

Wow, that's definitely not exactly the kind of repair you look forword to working on, but it does look pretty good for what it is. I sure hope your girlfriend is smoking hot! If not, it may be time for a new girlfriend.

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TargaTrouble
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Report this Post07-20-2015 12:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TargaTroubleClick Here to Email TargaTroubleSend a Private Message to TargaTroubleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welp, I titled this thread at the end of a crazy attempt to strike a deal and get 2 Fieros from it, which I considered myself very lucky to have actually accomplished given all the hurdles and pitfalls I had to traverse. And soon after my luck held true and I chanced upon a almost running $250 Fiero.

Feelin' good about essentially getting 3 Fieros for roughly $1,500, I decided that it must be some sort of lucky streak, things don't usually line up in my favor like that.

I had THOUGHT my luck had run out, with the emergence of other car problems, but I guess something, or someone, somewhere, likes me.



At work, since i'm on a computer 125% of my work day, I started a collection of pictures as backgrounds. Started as mostly Lamborghini's, but slowly as my love for Fieros grew, the Lambo's dwindled, and the Fieros dominate now. Anything from pictures from the forum/google, to pictures of my own, I use as backgrounds. They cycle through, and the picture of my red body panels laid out on the lawn in their normal placement came on screen one day.


Right then, a person who works in my building happened to be walking by. Now i've seen this guy around, never knew his name though(works in a seperate department). As he got to my desk, he saw the body panels and said "That's one flattened corvette"

And to that I jump into the usual explaination of "Thats actually the body panels to one of my fieros"



And that struck his interest. He was kind of surprised that I was into Fieros, and I mentioned I had been buying them up off Craigslist anytime I found a good deal.


Then he asks if I had talked to "Bob Smith" about the ones he was trying to get rid of (we shall call him Bob Smith for privacy reasons).



I didn't recognize the name, thought he might be a local car guy that I just hadn't seen or heard of, so I went to write down his name so I could track him down.



This kind, random fellow who I was talking to saw this, and said "Come on, i'll introduce you, he works just around the corner"



Bewildered, I get up and start following this guy. He walks literally around the corner of my department, into a different department, and up to Bobs desk.



The guy who lead me there turns to Bob and says "Bob, i'd like to introduce you to a fellow Fiero lover," and turns to introduce me.



He then realized he has NO clue who I am, or what my name is.



I extend a friendly handshake and introduce myself as the random gentleman walks off, and we get talking about Fieros.



He jumps into how he owns "2 and a Half Fieros" and that made me curious. He later explained that he has an older VW Karmann Ghia that had been modified to take the Fiero cradle/motor, and that was the "Half" Fiero. He bought 2 Fieros a few years back incase he needed another motor for the VW, and he had always loved Fieros, and had wanted one when they Originally came out, but couldn't justify a sports car.


But he bought the two he has roughly 5 years ago, and drove them a bit, with problems showing through on both.


First is a Black v6, 4-speed manual.

The second is a Gold I4, 4-speed automatic.


Got the black one into running shape for his son, but it ended up having a slew of issues, namely a mystery oil leak. He took it to a few shops, but kept getting back-burnered each time until both shops he took it to said they just didn't really feel like working on it(Stupid Fiero Stigma). Finally, after trying to track it down himself, he eventually parked it at his fathers house to be sold soon.

They never sold even though he had a buyer lined up to buy the Black one for $3200

Years later, under pressure from his wife to sell some of his vehicles, he decided its time to try sell them again.

It hasn't been an active effort, no postings on craigslist, he really likes the Fieros and almost doesn't want to get rid of them. And in walks me, some young kid from a different department who shares an interest in Fieros, and is always looking for more parts or cars.



Even though I could tell he was apprehensive, I decided to ask him how much he wanted for both of them. He said he'd be looking for about $2,000.

That is pretty steep for me, considering the fact that I have nothing near that to my name, am making payments on the trailer to a family member, and still trying to pay bills each month, so needless to say I'm pretty much broke all the time.

But since we work for the same company, on the same floor, and we have some darn good job security, he said that he would be willing to take payments!



To him its more about getting them off of his property, money isn't as much of a concern for him as it is me, and since we get paid at the same time, its easy to set up a simple payment plan.

The more he told me about them, the more I couldn't believe it. He said they were both in pretty great condition considering the time they've sat. Both have been owned by non-smokers, and were well taken care of in their life time.






This is what it looked like when it was parked 2 years ago, in all its Shiny Black Glory.




And this is the Gold one. The gold one had a steering column float feeling, like it wasnt bolted down right(he didn't look much into it, got it out to his house and pretty much parked it).
And the front right caliper is locked up, or something like that.


The interior of both, are almost PRISTINE.


Black 4-spd manual









2 years later, with no Wax, mother nature took its toll on the paint. Luckily though, the interior remains intact, and almost perfect. Only damage I could really see from the photos was to the drivers seat, and I dont even think its really torn, just surface worn on the door side.




Now THIS THING, with its i4 and 4-speed auto, has the most PERFECT interior. It looks like it was never sat in, and only has minor dirt on the seat from when the door was opened.







So Far I havent seen them in person, but from everything he's told me they look like pristine vehicles.

Will be posting more updates probably tonight, or tomorrow, have to get pictures converted and uploaded

[This message has been edited by TargaTrouble (edited 07-20-2015).]

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