Copied from my web page:http://rodneydickman.com/ca....php?products_id=369
This tensioner has been unavailable for a few years now. So what can an owner of a 87-88 Pontiac Fiero with the 2.5 L4 engine do if their tensioner fails?
Here is the story on a finding a suitable replacement:
Several years ago I was at a Fiero car show talking to Fred Bartemeyer. In our conversation that day Fred happened to mention how he modified a GM FWD belt tensioner to work on the 87/88 L4 Fiero engine by cutting some of the casting off that held the power steering pump. At that time that was the end of our short discussion on this topic but I always remembered that conversation we had that day.
Fast forward to a few months ago (Sept 2015): A person calls and tells me his daughter has an 87 Fiero with the L4 and the tensioner has failed. He asks where he can buy one. I tell him there are no new ones available anywhere. I tell him the story of my conversation with Fred Bartemeyer. He tells me he does not want to try and research that so I send him on to some places that sell used Fiero parts. I would assume he found and bought a good used tensioner and had it installed in his daughters 87 L4 Fiero.
So now I start looking into this. I emailed Fred Batermeyer and I asked him for more details on this. I also ask Fred if he wants to start making these modified FWD tensioners so they are available to Fiero owners.
This is Fred Bartemeyers story:
The thought process started with my recollection of when I worked in the GM dealerships that the iron duke L4 was also used in several front wheel drive cars. I visited my local Pontiac Dealership that I have friends at and did some cross reference research to see what cars came with an R code iron duke. Knowing that the P/S pump on the FWD GM L4's mounted where the alternator does on the Fiero, I felt that my idea was dead in the water. But I still wanted to look at this so I trolled the local u-pull-apart junk yards to see if I could find one of the FWD cars on my target list. The day I looked, there was both an Oldsmobile that was on my list and a 88 Fiero coupe in their inventory. So, I took the tensioner off the FWD Olds engine and attempted to install it on the Fiero. The FWD tensioner I took off the Olds bolted up to the Fiero directly without any clearance issues. I bought that tensioner for a couple bucks and brought it home to see what modifications were needed to possibly make it work in the 87/88 L4 Fiero's. I had several Fiero R code iron dukes out of the car at the time, so I did the mock up on a spare engine. I first cut off one of the aluminum ears that held the power steering pump on this FWD belt tensioner. I then fabricated a steel extension bracket that bolted to this FWD P/S tensioner to go to the Fiero alternator which kept the Fiero alternator in the same location. It worked and there were now two 87 coupes out there that had this modification on it. These used FWD P/S tensioners were plentiful at the time, so it was an economical repair. It seems like it was only a couple years later that the aftermarket picked up on the demand and they started producing the tensioner again for the 87/88 Fiero L4's, so the need for this idea went away; until now.
This was done in the early 2000's, maybe 2003ish when GM dropped the Fiero tensioner P/N out of their books. Before we had the luxury of having online parts cross reference available from like O'Reilleys. The GM dealer was the only place that you could get that kind of information at that time.
I do not recall having any clearance issues with the tensioner bracket and the dog bone mount. If I did a modification in that area, I do not recall doing it. The beauty of it all is that the alternator does not need to move and stays in the same location.
Thanks for the recognition, while I do not find it completely necessary, I am just happy that you are taking the intuition to make a product that is helping Fiero owners keep their car on the road. Kind of reminds me of what the guys who restore pre-war cars go through to complete a car. Some of these guys would have went through the expense of having a new casting made to replicate the original.
Seems to me that it was in the time frame of 2000 to 2004 that the GM OEM went out of stock and it took a while for the aftermarket to catch up. This is when I did this to a couple of 87's to overcome the issue.
There are pictures on my web page.
I do not have any of these steel brackets in stock yet. I made up a couple for R&D and sent one out for someone to install on his 88 coupe. Once he installs it and assures me it fits and works I will start to make a batch of these brackets. Some of the parts will need to be laser cut so this will take a few months. If someone needs one right away let me know. I can hand make a few.
Fiero Parts And Acc's Web Page:
All new web page!:www.rodneydickman.com
Rodney Dickman's Fiero accessories
7604 Treeview Drive
Caledonia, WI 53108
Phone/Fax (262) 835-9575