Hey guys, it's obvious by my username that I do not yet have a Fiero. However, I have been looking at one and plan to attempt to purchase it by Friday. It's an 87 with around 180k miles. It also has a 'back up' engine with only 18k miles. Now, for the questions; 1. How dependable are the 2.8's in general? I do plan on doing a swap at some point in the future but would prefer to drive it around the way it is for a while to better find out what I want to address mechanically. 2. How often of an occurence is it to see sun damage on a Fiero? Or better yet, how long does it take for the damage to show? (sagging, cracks, etc.) 3. I've seen talk of the 3800SC being the cheapest swap to do overall. How much do these engines typically go for (I see very mixed prices) and how much should I expect to pay for someone to swap the engine for me? 4. Is the stock trans (auto) capable of holding up to the power of said 3800SC? If not, what is the recommended trans and like question no.3, how much should I expect to pay for the trans itself and the swap? 5. And in final, is anyone in the Tennessee area capable to doing these things to a Fiero? If so, I'd like a rough estimate of how much a engine and trans swap would cost me so I know what to expect. It is obvious by now that I am not very mechanically smart, especially with Fieros. I know that this is a lot to ask but any and all help to these questions is extremely welcomed.
Sun damage has had 28 years to show up. Generally, the northern cars that are garaged have less sun damage. The rest tend to have sun damage. Most Fieros habe sun damage. Speaker cover cloth, clearcoat, warped interior panels, etc.
In my opinion, the 3800SC gives you the most bang for the buck, but doesn't seem to be the easiest. Probably a 3.4PR would be easiest. The problem is finding soumeone to do the swap well, and a place that can/will work on your Fiero both before and after the swap.
welcome. good idea to drive it for a bit to get used to it. also a good idea to search out people who will let you ride/drive their 3.4 and SC3800. As you do your search you'll find prices for doing swaps all over the place. The better the swap, by someone with experience the more it will cost. In the end worth it. My take on the 2.8 is its a good basic engine. when I bought my first Fiero 4 years ago the 2.8 had a broken timing chain with 180,000 miles. replaced the chain and the engine ran just fine. next came the 3.4 from a 1995 Camaro and a 4T60 transmission that I put in myself. very nice improvement but I came across a 86 with a L67 already installed I sold my 3.4 and picked up the SC. It didn't run at the time so got a great deal. love the SC fiero. But if I paid someone to do the swap I wouldn't have done it, I was thinking about trying to put it together to do myself. luckily for myself I didn't have to. If you think you might want to go SC drive one and decide early before you stick too much money into either the 2.8 or the 3.4. do a search on what to look for i.e. rusted corners, rusted frame, cracks in the body and interior. good luck. keep us all posted.
------------------ 1986 Fiero GT fastback SC3800 3.4 pulley, LS1 TB 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with "big boy" 5.9 motor 1983 Honda Goldwing interstate
The things people consider unreliable about the 2.8 generally have to do with the age of the car, and the sensors/ connectors, and maintinence, (also example: exhaust manifold leaks cracks, oil leaks), rather than actual reliability issues. So yes its very reliable. The Duke is even more reliable. The ICM and few tools to change it is the only thing youd really need to carry around with a working 2.8.
Most used Fieros I've ever had needed the fuel pump replaced.
[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 07-15-2015).]
I think the 2.8 is a good, reliable engine as long as it has been maintained properly and not abused. My 86 GT has 190K and still runs great and my 85 GT has over 140K. Most Fiero's out there have had lots of neglect & abuse so you need to look for one with a sound drivetrain. After you get your Fiero you need to go over the engine & tranny (i.e. Tune up, fluids replaced, change any bad sensors, etc) and then start focusing on the suspension for worn parts. (especially ball joints and tie rods ) This should be one of your first priorities, even though you didn't mention it. Kit
Indeed. They put the two Fiero motors in *everything* from econoboxes to pickup trucks. Maybe not "good" motors in a technical sense, but designed to be cared for by the masses... or, put another way, not cared for at all. Solid engines that get by with minimal maintenance.
I would strongly encourage buying a good stock Fiero and spending a while getting used to it... get a handle on its attributes, its needs, etc., before even thinking about something as potentially ugly as an engine swap. There are a lot of details in anything like that, and it would really suck to compromise a fun ownership experience with a needy Fiero.
[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 07-15-2015).]
I do plan on doing a swap at some point in the future ...
It is obvious by now that I am not very mechanically smart, especially with Fieros.
hmmmmm ..... i smell disaster and a future "project fiero for sale" on Craig's list
Originally posted by willhaveonesoon:
1. How dependable are the 2.8's in general?
They suck. No power, nagging maintenance if you drive a lot, and designed to run hot and overheat. Radiator fan doesn't come on until coolant temp is 235 degrees, then it starts to cool. Learn about pick-up coils, ignition coils, distributor modules, alternators and starters because these all get cooked. A factory recall removed a weatherstrip which guarantees that the exhaust manifold under the rear window will rust out.
Do yourself a favor. If you want a fiero, buy one from someone here who has probably cleaned up some of the issues (see The Mall section). We all have ways of making these $hitty little cars better
[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 07-15-2015).]
I know I'm not answering any of your questions, but what part of TN are you from? Reason I ask, I'm in North Mississippi and keep my eye on fieros for sale with a couple hundred miles of me. My suggestion would be to research WAYYY before you buy. We often get pretty good deals around here, you just have to keep an eye open. Start out with one in good shape (even if its stock). I know from experience, you would much rather drive a reliable Fiero before you start swapping one
Hey guys, here's the car in mind. Again, I'm back with questions because I'm a Fiero noob Here is the car I'm interested in. It seems there's alot of upgrades that have veen done but maybe you guys have sharp eyes and see something up with it http://m.ebay.com/itm/Ponti...388019131?nav=SEARCH
I have been looking at one and plan to attempt to purchase it by Friday.
Originally posted by willhaveonesoon:
Hey guys, here's the car in mind. Again, I'm back with questions because I'm a Fiero noob Here is the car I'm interested in. It seems there's alot of upgrades that have veen done but maybe you guys have sharp eyes and see something up with it. 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT
So... you're planning to buy your first Fiero sight unseen, no test-drive, etc? Not what I would advise.
I'd also get a manual tranny. Not only is it a helluva lot more fun to drive, but it also gets a lot more power to the ground than a slush-box. You might find that the 2.8 has enough pep after all.